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Tamaranis

Superheroic Shenanigans

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OOC Explanatory Stuff: So over the last few months Katzaniel, The Big Pointy One, Myself, and a couple of guys who've never post on this forum, to the best of my knowledge, have been playing Marvel Heroic Roleplay. It's a great game and I'd really recommend anyone interested in trying out a rules-lite, potentially wacky super-hero themed tabletop game check it out, except it's been cancelled already.

 

We made a bunch of original characters, mostly be re-skinning officlal characters who were pre-statted, and We've been having a lot of fun with it, but! a tabletop game doesn't really let us explore solo adventures for these characters, or answer questions like what kind of neighbor they make. So I suggested it might be fun to find a place to just collect stories about these characters when they're not at full-team muster battling alien invasions or full-muster supervillains.

 

And we were talking about what kind of place we should put that. The Big Point One suggested that we could drop this stuff off at The Pen, and put it in the assembly room to make it clear it's not a big free for all.

 

I had reseverations about this plan. "The site has seen better days," I thought to myself. "It would be low-class of me to try to organize a bunch of activity that most of the remaining membership is excluded from. That would be like, the worst return ever."

 

But then I realized the solution: If someone from The Pen wants to participate in some way that is actually totally fine and there is no reason at all to be opposed to it. I think what we discussed isn't actually coherent enough for anyone else to come along and ruin it, so if someone wants to come along and drop another character into the mix or pick up an existing character and write something about them, that's great.

 

I get that that's a big "if,". This is rather niche, afterall. I just wouldn't feel right excluding anyone.The only restriction, I think, is a matter of common courtesy: If I create a character and someone else wants to use that character in a story I'm cool with it, but I can't speak for anyone else. on that kind of thing. I think if you want to write a story that heavily involves someone else's character, the classy thing to do is get permission first.

 

Anyway, this has technically been taking place in the Marvel universe, but we haven't really had anything to do with any established characters/factions aside from beating up (mostly B and C list) villains and SHIELD telling us to do things. We've been making things up as we go along, so feel free to not make any reference to the Marvel universe whatsoever if you don't feel like it.

 

That's a lot of words... Maybe I'll move this part of this post into the Green Room later?

 

Writing:

 

Mathew had to conclude that he was just about the unluckiest person in the world. First of all, what were the odds of being born a mutant*? He didn't know, the answer to that actually, but they had to be pretty low. Then what were the odds of having parents intolerant enough to kick you out of the house and the age of 14 just for being a mutant? A little higher, for sure, but when you multiplied those together, then took into consideration the odds of being targetted for a random kidnapping, three days later, that brought his current situation into the realm of being some kind of cosmic anti-lottery.

 

And that was before he even considered his mutant power itself. If he could spit lightning or lift cars over his head this would all be different. He wouldn't be locked in a tiny basement right now, except that he'd drawn the short straw. In exchange for all the stigma and hatred associated with a mutant, he got the ability to hover half a foot above the ground.

 

It had taken him a while to reason this out, actually. At first the pain and terror involved in being hauled out from under a park bench, beaten, tied up, tossed into the trunk of a car, and then tossed down a flight of stairs had dominated his thoughts. The combination of darkness and the sack over his head hadn't helped, and as he learned more about his situation, it had kept terrifying him anew.

 

He'd heard other people's voices calling out in fear and confusion in the darkness, and their fear had been contagious. He'd managed to drag the sack over his head against the floor in such a way so as to remove it and so he'd been able to see it when light burst into the room and the same three men who'd taken him a fourth man, his hands bound behind his back, into the basement.

 

He was down here with two men he was pretty sure were homeless and a girl a little older than him who he was pretty sure wasn't. After the new arrival spent some time storming around the room, cursing and kicking the walls he switched to alternately muttering about how they would be sacrificed in some dark ritual, or expirmented on, or fed to CHUDs, and moaning in fear. And all those scenarios had seemed pretty likely, because these men weren't interested in talking to their captives, and they couldn't have been trying for any kind of ransom or robbery, they were just... collecting people. And so the terror had been contagious again.

 

But you could only stay utterly terrified for so long. Eventually your attention wandered and you started thinking about things like the incredible odds against this happening to you.

 

Matthew wasn't sure how long it had been since the fourth captive had been added when the sound of a struggle was followed by the door at the top of the stairs opening to admit the fifth. It was a woman. She struggled and cried, which meant she was more thrown down the stairs than carried down them. One of their captors snarled for her to shut up, but didn't really seem interested in enforcing it. They left the way they'd come, leaving her weeping on the floor.

 

There was the sound of their footsteps retreating, and then she abruptly stopped crying. Matthew could see her silloute sit up. In the darkness, it seemed like her hands were tied behind her back, but then she casually lifted them over her head to hold them in front of her instead. A second later he head what he thought might have been the sound of zip-cuffs being dropped on the concrete floor.

 

She lifted one arm to pull her sack off her head. Her hands were definitely free.

 

"Okay, everyone" he voice was pitched low, but there was no sign of her previous fear or distress in it, "we're all going to be out of here in a few minutes."

 

Questions and demands errupted around the tiny basement. Things like "Get us out of here!" "Who are you!?" "Who are those men?" and "Untie me!"

 

The first thing she did, though was find the chain on a lightbulb hanging from the ceiling and illuminate the room.

 

Mathew, the girl, and the man who had managed to get the sack off his head all squinted and turned their heads away from the sudden, harsh light.

 

Mathew saw the woman somewhere in her early twenties, some complex and indecipherable ancestry, bruised and bloody like the rest of them, maybe pretty underneath that, but not pretty enough to justify the amount of skin she was showing off. A prostitute? Probably just someone trying to look like one.

 

She took a few steps towards the girl, then stopped. Mathew might have been willing to attribute the way she'd slipped her cuffs to a trick of the lack of light, but the room was fully lit now, and suddenly she didn't have a mark on her.

 

"Hey, I'm Ilsa. Are you Sophie Harm?"

 

"I..." the girl stammered, "I am. Who are you, what's going on?"

 

"Hold still for a sec," Ilsa reached behind Sophie, then pulled away the remains of a set of zip cuffs, "I told you already, I'm Ilsa, and I'm saving you."

 

Ilsa walked across the little room to free the man who was still hooded, "I'm saving all of you," she clarified, " Sophie's the one people are looking for, but we picked up on the fact she wasn't the only person collected."

 

She freed Mathew next. Her fingers were suprisingly warm, almost to the point that it was uncomfortable when they slipped inside his cuffs, and then suddenly his hands were free. Mathew picked up his cuffs to examine them more closely. There were two places where they looked like they'd been melted through. Her fingers hadn't been that warm.

 

"Are you a mutant?" he asked.

 

Ilsa finished freeing the last man before she answered, "Probably not, but anything goes, with mutants."

 

"Who are these assholes?" the man she'd just freed pointed upstairs, were they gonna eat us? You gonna kill 'em?"

 

"I don't know, maybe, and no." Ilsa answered, "I not much for gore and killing."

 

"Lady, I don't know what your deal is," the other man said, "but those guys upstairs are pretty mean, it might go bad for you if you decide to play nice."

 

"Speaking of that kind of thing," Ilsa said, "I want everyone to stay down here until I tell you its safe to come upstairs. You might hear or see some scary things. You might hear gunshots. They might shoot and stab me. Don't worry. I'll be fine, but if bullets start flying and one of you is upstairs, you might not be."

 

Ilsa walked to the top of the stairs and groped around the locked trap-door for a few minutes. Then she somehow managed to step around it as it fell out of its frame and slid down the stairs.

 

***

 

Ilsa climbed out of the sub-basement and into the basement. No one was down there, so she went upstairs to a tiny kitchen. The sound of the door sliding down the stairs had been enough to put the designated guard on alert. He spent a couple of seconds struggling with his ski-mask, gave up and tossed it aside, drew the pistol on his belt, then froze in confusion when he realized which of his prisoners who had emerged from the basement. By the time he put together what was happening Ilsa had crossed the filthy kitchen and put one hand around his wrist.

 

She wasn't really strong enough to overpower him and take control of the gun right now, but she didn't need to be. To a sense she possesed and other people did not, the chemistry of his blood and of his nervous system were visible, obvious, reachable. She pressed into his chemistry through the hand she had around his wrist as she reached for his throat with the other.

 

His free hand intercepted her. Her wrist extended into something like an extra elbow and forearm and her hand reached his throat anyway. The man made the decision to pull the trigger but his fingers had already stopped responding to him. He swayed, then collapsed.

 

Ilsa spared enough effort to make sure he came down without smashing his skull open on anything. There'd be no point in working out nonlethal chemistry only to have someone die from the ensuing fall.

 

She been pretty quiet about that takedown, not letting him get a shot off or anything, but it must not have been quiet enough because his friend stepped into the kitchen with a pistol already in his head. Or maybe he'd just heard all that racket with the door.

 

He looked back and forth between Ilsa and the man on the kitchen floor. Ilsa rushed him. He managed to get a double tap off. One bullet took Ilsa just over the sternum, the other her right shoulder.

 

A little bit of grey something came out of Ilsa's back with the bullets. The entry and exit wouinds filled in with the same substance almost immediately, leaving her with a couple of metallic-looking splotches on her chest, but otherwise no worse for the wear. Once she got a hold of him he went down as easily as his friend had.

 

The third man immediately layed into her with a shotgun. The sheer amount force each shot delivered was enough to put her off balance and by the time the thing was empty she was looking decidedly freakish, but it wouldn't have been accurate to describe the experience as painful.

 

When she advanced on the last man he abandoned his efforts to reload the shotgun and tried to hit her in the head with the butt of it. She let him, the put him down the same way she had the first two.

 

Ilsa considered the state of her body. That last exchange had pushed a lot of what she was using as skin into her and exposed a lot of her inner mass. The shotgun had torn and broken her contractile-fibers and bone-analogs and while that kind of thing didn't hurt her, exactly, she hadn't been focussed on rearragning them into where they'd be in a human. Her left arm currently bore no resemblance ot anything that could reasonably be expected to be attached to person.

 

Usually she felt like there was something vaguely rude about making herself look like a human being, like she was lying to everyone who saw her, but the people in the basement were going through a bad time and might not do well with it if asked to cope with a sort-of-humanoid mostly-metallic thing. She decided to take a moment and put the illusion of humanity back together for now.

 

As soon as she was finished, she turned around to see the boy who'd been in the basement standing at the top of the stairs, staring, wide-eyed.

 

Ilsa rolled her eyes, for some reason emoting was a lot more instinctive when she looked like a person, "What did I say?"

 

"You are a mutant." he declared.

 

"Look..." Ilsa sighed, "I'm probably something else, but sometimes I get this this anti-mutant sentiment directed toward me and there's this expectation that I be outraged or distraught or something but it's just sort of confusing and awkward?"

 

"I mean, some of my friends are mutants, so I feel kind of upset on their behalf, but..." the blow that knocked the front door in was so powerful that it reduced not-insignifcant portions of door and frame to splinters. "...oh. Good."

 

(And that covers about half of what I wanted to cover with this post. I'm bad at short.)

Edited by Tamaranis

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"What is the meanings of this!?" The man standing in the doorway was well-dressed in the sort of way that you could still enter this neighborhood without necessarily getting mugged. Leather jacket, sunglasses at night with lenses probably a little too small to be effective if it was the day, bluejeans but new and clean ones, not-exactly-dress-shoes.

 

"I convinced your henchmen to kidnap me so I could learn where people were ending up. Then I beat them up so I could safely take everyone else out of here," Ilsa explained, "I think there are probably some bullet-holes in your kitchen cupboards."

 

He was... quick. Ilsa had been hanging around Burnout too long for anything she could actually see happening to pass her personal threshold for what should be considered fast, but he moved faster than she ever could have. She was no longer standing on the floor. Instead she was being held above it by the hand wrapped around her neck.

 

"This was none of your business." He snarled.

 

He was taller than Ilsa was right now, with significantly more reach, so he was sort of confused when Ilsa calmly reached out and put her hands against his face. Or maybe he just expected that when you do something like this the victim should choke and grasp at your hand and arm instead. At any rate, he twisted his head so he could peer between her fingers at her.

 

It was the strangest thing. He was made of flesh, Ilsa could tell. But it was dead. It was beyond dead. There was no life there at all, no chemistry, nothing happening in it. A corpse had an ugly little life all its own, driving its decay, but he didn't even have that. This guy wasn't dead like a corpse, he was dead like a rock. She tried the same things that would make a human collapse but he didn't seem to notice.

 

"Usually you're unconscious and/or paralyzed by now," Ilsa said.

 

He snarled at her, actually snarled, a sound a person should not be able to make, and his grip tightened. Ilsa was at something of a loss as to what to do. She turned up the chemical assault and he still gave no indication he was aware it was happening. She considered switching to just dissolving his flesh, but that an ugly, painful, foul-tasting trick. He noticed she still wasn't choking or struggling so he tightened his grip further. Ilsa's windpipe made a crunchy noise as it gave way.

 

Ilsa's throat and lower jaw writhed out of his hand and her feet hit the floor. Her windpipe made another crunchy noise, "I told you! Basement until I'm done up here!"

 

"That's a neat trick," the man told her, "I hope you'll survive this long enough to learn your place,"

 

And then the force of the blow to Ilsa's head was was pushing grey material out the fissure in her skull. Had there been intestines or a liver or anything of the sort in her abdomen the knee to it would have caused something to that effect to be torn. A kick bent one of her knees backwards and then hands were squeezing her shoulders with enough force to break more bones. His head lashed forward and fangs sunk into her neck.

 

Oh. That made sense.

 

The knee that had bent backward recovered form and strength while remaining in its new alignment. The broken bone-analogues in Ilsa's shoulders squirmed down and out from under the vampire's hands before knitting back together. The mass of her neck sipped through his fangs the same as it had his fingers. Strong as the vampire was, he wasn't especially heavy. Isa's displaced arms lined up with legs that had ended up better suited to lifting when she compensated for the knee, and she threw him, not in any particular direction, just up and away.

 

The couple of seconds he spent tumbling through the air gave Ilsa the chance to replace its arms with things that were at once whips and swords. It landed one solid hit, leaving a bloodless laceration before the vampire had come all the way down. Once he was on the ground moving under his own power and speed again, though, Ilsa mostly just sliced the carpet and furniture to ribbons. No great loss, actually.

 

Any further chances to be underestimated and act with the advantage of surprise were gone, now. The vampire moved faster than Ilsa could swing any limb that wasn't a whip at the moment and struck with force that shattered whatever was supposed to be solid. Ilsa slashed away with between three and five arms ending in sometimes-flexible points and blades. The vampire seemed to like tossing it smashing it against the walls and knocking it across the room, so Ilsa ended up being squat and four-legged to improve its stability.

 

At one point the vampire emptied a magazine from a pistol into Ilsa, but it seemed to have less effect than anything else, so he flailed away at it with a couch. Trying to gain the mass and energy to overcome it's foe, Ilsa left something like a burn wherever it touched the carpet or furniture, devouring any feasible material it came in contact with.

 

Then the hail of bullets started. The four people who had been trapped in the basement had recovered their captors' weapons and were trying to shoot the vampire to death. Ilsa had no idea if that was even possible, but they seemed just as likely to shoot Ilsa as the they were the vampire and FAR more likely to shoot a wall than either combatant.

 

This had to stop. If they didn't kill each other they would kill someone in a nearby building. The vampire's fangs flashed forward again. He might be dead, but he was still made of flesh. Instead of slashing through Ilsa's mass as if it were only a little more rigid than water they stuck fast. He was powerful enough to break Ilsa's grip and pull free, but was stuck long enough that when he drew back with a roar of pain he was looking especially fearsome, much of his lips and gums dissolved away.

 

"If you will not surrender I will consume you," the vampire's fists lashed out and Ilsa's solid bits still collapsed under them, but he lost skin every time.

 

"I don't know how much you can survive," The vampire's fist sunk in when he struck what passed for Ilsa's torso at the moment. Rather than try to overcome his strength Ilsa allowed mass to go with him as he pulled back. On limb retracted into the torso to make up for the loss. Another wrapped around the one that was being created by hanging on to the vampire's fist, and merged with it. By the time the vampire got his hand free, bone was showing, "but it might be very painful,for you."

 

The skeletal hand swept against a spearpoint-limb, taking the end of it off. It had lost muscle, but no strength. This would take too long.

 

"You will devour me!?" The vampire was outraged, "I am the predator, here!"

 

The vampire leaped out of the way of one of Ilsa's whip-swords and swept an arm through the wall, tearing the drywall like it was paper until his arm hit a stud. He kicked the base of it and tore it free, then started swinging.

 

When he stabbed the stud through Ilsa, Ilsa just stayed wrapped around it and worked it's way down while the vampire swung it into things.

 

Ilsa swung a hand with a dozen longs fingers spread wide enough to form a net and caught the vampire about the upper body and head. He tore most of the fingers free while another, giant hand wrapped around him. Ilsa more flowed up its own arm than it did pull itself forward. The vampire broke and tore the fingers as they thickened and merged, his attempts to break free easily dragged Ilsa down a hallway with him, but didn't break the grip. More than a third of Ilsa's mass was in the grappling arm, it only had the one arm now. Ilsa didn't really care where it got dragged to, or even if it stayed standing. It reverted to two thin, weak legs.

 

The hand hanging on to the vampire shifted its grip and flowed until it was wrapped around his neck. The forearm swelled ridiculously reshaping and redistributing bones under the rain of blows constantly breaking them. It was difficult to get that single, massive arm into working order while it was being constantly broken, but Ilsa finally managed it.

 

The hand wrapped around the vampire's neck grew sharp and closed with colossal force. The vampire's struggles and the rain of blows he was delivering ceased, and his head popped off his body with surprising force.

 

Ilsa began flowing into something a little less specialized in squeezing heads off and a little more capable of walking. The vampire had dragged it out of sight of the former captives, but Ilsa wasn't entirely sure the shooting wouldn't start again when they saw it. It didn't know what would be more likely to cause trouble at this point, a human guise or a more honest appearance.

 

Probably it was time to call Ghost Dad or SHIELD or regular police or something? There had been a whole lot of shots fired. The police should be here soon.

 

Ilsa stepped back into the ruins of the living room where most of the fighting had taken place. "You are no longer in..." A couple of bullets zinged past,and one passed through its torso.

 

Ilsa walked back the way it had come. There were sirens in the distance. It could just slip out a bedroom window or something.

 

((Cleaned up a few sentences here and there))

Edited by Tamaranis

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An elderly dark-skinned man dressed in an elaborate house red house coat, a comfortable-looking pair of plain brown slacks and some navy blue sippers paced around a small room. Across from the only door was a large square window overlooking downtown New York. Infront of the window was a wide wooden desk that must have been at least 75 years old, sturdy in design if not faded in colour. The room was flanked by rows and rows of books, broken up occasionally by the odd curio here and there. A simple round rug took up the space on the floor between the desk and the door. The man hummed and hawed, then stopped pacing. Turning to the desk, he activated the video camera that was sitting on top, made his way around to the other side and sat and turned the camera around so it was facing him. It was resting on top of a few books so as to be at face level. Frowning, he spoke."Greetings children. If you are viewing this, then I am dead. Permanently this time. While I don't think Banner is the type for cold-blooded revenge, I have the feeling that after what I did to him, well, if he ever recovered from that, he'd coming looking for me. More likely than not, I wouldn't be able to keep calm, he'd hit me with some sciencey jibbery jobbery, and he'd turn into the Hulk and put me out of my misery. At least, that's the way I'm pretty sure it will happen. I wanted to leave you all, my adopted family with this diary in the hopes that it may give you some insight into who I really am, and perhaps uncover the secrets of my past, if I haven't done so by the time of this recording." He paused a moment."...where to start. Well, I guess first off, I don't even know my real name. 'Ghost Dad' is the code name SHIELD gave me after I first reappeared on the mortal plane about 30 years ago. I overheard someone saying something once about the irony in the name, but I never understood it. In any case, as much I wanted to know my real name, they told me that it was imperative that I never found out. That is a secret they have locked up tighter than the address to Colonel Fury's current hiding spot. I've been searching for a long time, and I still can't find out WHY. Until Banner finds me, I'm not going to give up on finding it out, but in the mean time, I have you kids now to look after, and that gives me meaning. Let me say right now, as an aside, that I'm really proud of you all. I've been mentoring young people such as yourselves for literally decades, and none have managed to make as much as of an impact on me as you have, so thank you. It does bring me pleasure to call you my family. Up until these recent months, it's always been a job for SHIELD, calling in their favours and doing their bidding; with you, I've managed to break free and start fresh somehow. Thank you."He paused again and cleared his throat, a mostly meaningless gesture. "Anyways. I need to tell you what I do know about myself, and my past. If I don't survive long enough to find out the answers to my questions, my only request is that you at least try to find out for me. The truth must be known. So, before I touch on my past, I will tell you about myself in general. As you all know by now, I am indeed an actual ghost. I don't eat, I don't sleep, I don't breathe. Through decades of practice, I have been able to alter my form to the point where not only can I touch the physical world, but actually manifest in it in a solid form. Even lately my abilities in this area of vastly improved. Heh, I think you kids have truly brought out the best in me there too. Anyways. Although I don't sleep, from time to time I will leave the physical world as you all know it, and enter some sort of trance-like state. Time seems to flow differently, and I seem to not have full control over my actions. I guess I'd equate it to having a really vivid dream. That isn't truly accurate, but it's the best way I can describe it. While in this state, images come to me. Terrifying, gruesome images. I see people in pain, suffering, bleeding, screaming. Screaming at me. I look down," Ghost Dad looks down at his hands, turning them over, a worried look creasing his forehead, "and it's my hands inflicting the pain and suffering, making these people scream and bleed. Doing terrible things. I don't understand, I'm scared, I fall over, I try to run away, but the sounds, the feelings, they follow me. Everything swirls around me, then I'm in complete darkness. He reach out, and find a wall. I hear a faint, muted buzzing. Weird noises, noises I've never heard before. Words in a language I don't understand. I feel this wrenching at the center of my being and then a sensation like I'm being pulled up. I shield my face from the wall of darkness but I find that the wall isn't there, but the darkness is. Moments later, I find myself in a dim light. I look up, and there's this rectangular device with a glowing white screen, shining light downwards onto me. C.L.A.I.R. I look at my surroundings and stumble backwards when I see a tombstone. My tombstone. I try to read the name then... then I 'wake up'. It's a terrifying sensation, and I hope it's one any of you never have to face in your lifetime."He runs his hands through his short, curly grey hair then looks into the camera again and speaks, "I... I think they're my memories. From when I was living. I'm not sure, but I think the reason SHIELD doesn't want me to know about my past is because I wasn't a nice person at all. I think whoever I was, whenever it was, I did some terrible things. Why SHIELD wants me around if that's the case, I don't know. But they don't want me to know, and I intend to find out." He stands up and sighs. "...that's all for now."

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