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NightGoblyn

Most Loathsome
Validated User
The Manhattan Exclusion Zone
March 22, 2019 - 7:05 PM EST


It’s hard to believe this used to be home to millions of people, Eleanor thought to herself. Once upon a time, New York City had been a thriving metropolis with Manhattan as its beating heart. Mostly, it still is - New York is the city that never sleeps, and in a lot of ways it’s more of a capital than Washington DC.

“But not Manhattan,” she murmurs, “not anymore.”

After the Inferno, after the Civil War, after more alien invasions than anybody cared to count, after whatever it was that happened to the Sanctum Sanctorum in 2010 when Dr. Strange was on the west coast fighting Cthulhu's ugly brother, the neighborhood just never recovered. Oh, Clinton was still a going concern, the President saw to that before he ran for office, and most folks didn’t even call it Hell’s Kitchen anymore. Most of the outskirts were fine, and a lot of effort had been put into recovering Central Park. But the rest of it . . . it was the most expensive ghost town in America.

Damage Inc. had made repairs, of course. But this part of the city just felt wrong now, like something terrible was about to happen at any moment. So everybody that could afford to packed up and moved. Then, the people that really couldn’t afford to packed up and moved. The only people left now were the ones that didn’t mind the wrongness and the ones that liked it.

Eleanor slipped from shadow to shadow, trying to avoid notice. Getting killed at this point would be a major inconvenience, plus Frank would make that face. She was pretty sure he didn’t even know he made it, but it was an almost comedic mix of disappointment and frustration. Except that it somehow always made her heart hurt to see it.

They’d only been working together a couple of weeks, but somehow the old man had turned into . . . well, not a father figure. That sort of thing just never worked out well for her. Grandfather figure, maybe? He reminded her of Clint Eastwood in that one movie where he sort-of adopted a neighborhood kid.

This was her first solo mission. She was supposed to avoid combat, make contact with a potential ally, and then report back. So far, so good. The place was creepy though, although she hadn’t noticed the wrong feeling Frank had warned her about. There was no evidence of vandalism, which was weird, but a near decade of going without maintenance left marks.

She picked the lock on a brownstone and let herself inside. She crept down the hallway and stopped in front of a door. This was the dangerous part.

Lightly, she knocked.

After a couple of seconds the door cracked open with the jingle of multiple chains and a gloved hand thrust a high-tech pistol through the crack. She could see a shadowed face, and one eye glaring at her through the crack.

“Did the racoon send you?” a man whispered.

This was not the question Frank had told her to expect.

“The . . . what now?” Eleanor said. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

The pistol was quickly withdrawn, and the sound of chains rattling and dropping followed. The door opened revealing a slim, athletic young man wearing a tanktop and shorts. His hair was long, loose and white; his skin was dark blue.

“The Pearl,” he replied. “By John Steinbeck.”

Wow, Eleanor thought, he’s pretty. “I’ve never read either book,” she said aloud as she entered the apartment.

“They both speak exquisitely of your species,” he said, closing and securing the door. “Or species group, if you prefer. Some mutants are offended at being lumped in with the other humans.”

“Frank Castle sent me,” Eleanor said. “He told me you were an engineer, somebody we need to recruit. He said you were the best.”

The man snorted. “I’m not the best, but it’s kind of him to say so. I may be the best who is also willing to entertain the idea of helping a crazy old human murder a bunch of other humans. But he knows who I am, why I’m here, and why I won’t help you.”

“He’s not the Punisher anymore,” Eleanor said. “I am. Frank wanted to kill criminals, I’m more interested in . . . overthrowing empires.”

The man’s eyes narrowed.

“Yeah, I thought you might like that,” she said. “You’re an ex-military engineer hiding out from the Kree Empire and I’m a literally unkillable mutant with a lot of pent up anger. Let’s at least grab a pizza and talk.”

“Fine,” the man said. “But you are paying for the pizza.”

OOC: There was a bit of talk earlier about NYC being wrecked, but also stuff going on there like normal. I tried to split the middle and set this in a “cursed” part of Manhattan that’s no longer heavily inhabited. Hope I didn’t step on on any toes, I can always go back and edit if it’s a problem.


The new guy? His name is Mic-Ro.
 

HNutz

Knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men!
Validated User
^ He kinda sounds like a Master of the Universe.

(I mean that in a good way. ;) )
 

Myth

Southern Mane
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Laura caught him between classes. Well, 'caught' might be overstating it a bit, as he was standing there waiting, presumably for her.

"About time," he muttered impatiently. "Now, what do you want?"

She cleared her throat.

"No, just cut to it, I don't need the warm-up."

"New Mutants. Petra, Brain, and me. We want..."

"Yes," he answered, before she managed to finish asking. "Now duck."

She ducked, just as a bat-winged flyer came around the corner, wingtip passing through the space recently occupied by her head.

"Thanks, Spoiler," she called as she headed for her next class.

==

Edward finished his homework five minutes into study hall, then thought about the potential team. Luke Jiang, the precog, was a good choice, though he'd want to read some on the psychological issues that were likely to come up. Transport was the other open gap, and hopefully a quiet type; they only had two prime combatants. Something with strategic possibilities...

40 minutes to go. Might as well learn some Japanese.

==

Edward found her on the indoor track, pointlessly running in circles. Probably a good idea, he decided. Hero-ing seemed to involve a lot of running, if Doctor Who was anything to go by. He shifted to diamond form and joined her.

She eventually puffed to a stop, sweating and panting. He, of course, did neither. He waited for her to catch her breath.

"Whaddya want, Brain?" she asked, only a little hostile.

He went through 73 rejoinders before he came to one that wouldn't aggravate her. Her powers really made her the best choice from the current class.

"We're making a new New Mutants," he began. "We need you, Sarah White."

"You don't want me," she declared. "You want Wormhole."

He had to admit she was right.
 

Shawn_Hagen

Shawnya the Evil?
RPGnet Member
Validated User
All around them, hundreds, never born clones rose up, moving, not with stumbling gaits, but smooth steps, eyes empty but for the glow of corpse fire.

“Krutack this,” Rocket said, and opened up on the front rank of girls. “Shoot them!”

Persia seemed happy enough the follow the order and opened up with controlled bursts from a plasma gun.

Ramona lifted her pistol, looked to either side, saw both Miki and Adisa looking both as uncertain as she.

“We can’t shoot children,” Ramona said.

The other two agreed.

“Even if they are zombies,” Miki added.

“Then get behind me and…”

The rest of Rocket’s orders were drowned out by a bellow from Thanos. He was up and running, and with sweeping punches her sent both Rocket and Persia flying.

Wasted as he was, the powerful Titan still was a threat.

Rocket crashed into one of the empty cylinder.

Something cracked. He as pretty sure it was the cylinder and maybe his armour, but with the way things hurt he could not discount that it was him.

He ignored the pain and yelled at the others, “Shoot Thanos!”

“Oh, we can go that,” Adisa said, and swung a multi-barrel rail cannon around to open up on Thanos.

Rocket turned and started shooting at the stillborn clones.

However, now that he looked, he could see that his fire was doing little to them. Knocking them back, but doing no harm.

“We are krutacked,” he said softly as he chambered a concussion grenade. He dropped it among the front rank of the clones, scattering them, slowing them, but they continued moving towards him and the rest of his team.


Long Ago (a little more than forty years)

Bananarama sung ‘I Heard a Rumour’ from the radio, and about ten girls sung along with it around the picnic table. There was the scattering of sugary and salty snacks over the table as well as glasses of sticky, sweet drinks.

They girls were all in bright party dresses, a few stained with some of the aforementioned food.

The song ended and was replaced by Belinda Carlisle singing that Heaven Was a Place on Earth.

“Girls, turn off the radio and come into the house,” an older man called out. “It’s time for the cake.”

The girls quickly silenced the radio and rushed to the house. They made sure their party hats were set right and their dresses were neat and all expressed excitement over the cake. As if they needed more sugar.

On the dining room table was a beautiful cake, with eight candles burning on it.

“All right girls. Time to sing.”

The girls gathered around the table.

The man who had called them in had brought out a camera. He looked down at it and then used the lever to wind the film. He lifted it to his eye and took a picture, then wound the film again.

They all sang, high child’s voices, added to by the man as he took pictures and the woman as she leaned over the shoulder of her daughter, faces close together, smiling.

“... Happy Birthday Dear Jean, Happy BIrthday to you!”

“Blow out your candles honey,” the man, Jean’s father said.

Jean took a deep breath in.

The flames of the candles exploded into a bird of flame.

Everyone screamed.

Jean sat in her chair, transfixed as the bird of flame stared at her.

It spoke.

Perhaps only Jean heard it.

The Mad Titan thinks me locked out for his Empress sets the rules, but I shall simply take you now, early.

And at that moment Jean Grey’s mutant powers activated.

The resulting explosion of unbridled telekinesis destroyed the house, levelled houses three blocks away, reduced them to a fine spray of particles. Not a single person, even pets, were harmed, though all found themselves standing in basements where their houses used to be.

As for Jean, she was gone.


Now

This situation looked bad, Rocket thought. The clones had already marked them, all of them wounded. Thanos was hurt as well, but the Titan was not out of the game yet.

“Miki, use your fighter, drop some munitions on then,” Rocket ordered, “clear us a path.”

“They’re too close,” Miki said. “We’ll be hit as well.”

“Do you have any better ideas?” He screamed, firing another burst at the clones. He was almost empty.

Then where was a flash of light and a little girl in a party dress appeared among them.

As she looked exactly like the clones meant Rocket almost shot her, but unlike the clones, she spoke. “You are all wrong,” she said in a voice louder than any little girl should have.

The grave light in the never born went out, and their bodies went up in short lived pyres that left nothing but a fine ash behind.

“That was unexpected,” Persia said.

“No!” Thanos yelled. “I will not be denied!”

The girl stumbled, looked around, at Thanos. “Where am I?” she asked. Her voice no longer was loud of confident. It was scared and small.

“Fool Phoenix! You bring an immature vessel!”

Jean stared at Thanos, then fell to her knees and began to cry.

Ramona slapped fresh power packs into her micoplasm pistols. “Oh, you do not make a little girl cry,” she said, and then opened up on Thanos.

OOC:
Old Lady Jean Grey is the Phoenix. She is also not an Old Lady cause she was plucked from an earlier point in the time line... again. Well, I am certain the Phoenix's messing with time will have no negative effects.




HNutz HNutz is up now
 
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Troy Swain

Registered User
Validated User
NightGoblyn NightGoblyn , that was great! What a weird NYC! I didn't really have anything in mind, but wanted to lock in A Airk 's 70s/80s dark-NYC vibe. I like the ghosttown aspect. It's clever to have the superheroes, government, and Damage Inc., rebuild the city, but everyone still move away! It would make the city even more appealing to risk takers, artist types, oddballs, criminals, the dispossessed (like mutants), and wannabe superheroes. Along with former Kree soldiers and murderous vigilantes. It definitely sounds like a place I would move to. (Cheap rent!)

Myth Myth , there should be a crossover between your Petra and my Preta just for the "Who's on First" possibilities.
 

HNutz

Knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men!
Validated User
Riri Williams IS Ironheart!
Kevin Masterson
IS Thunderstrike!
Julia Winters
IS Nomad!
Richard "R.J" Jones, Junior
IS Limitless! (OC)
Valssa Conansdöttir
(OG)
John Reynard (OG)
VS!
Hadrian Zemo (OG)


*****

A long time ago in a place far, far away... They thought he was dead. Beaten and left to die in a pit in the desert.

But he climbed out.​

*****​

That was more than 30 years ago. Since then, he's been involved in all sorts of criminal dealings. He's been a smuggler and a bounty hunter. He's dealt with gangsters and crime lords, hives of scum and villainy, and lived to tell the tale.

It's simply business.

*****​

He's had plenty of experience fighting metas. Although he has no powers of his own, he knows how to fight telekinetics and telepaths. While he prefers to use small arms, he's experienced with using explosives, a flamethrower and even a jetpack.

He's savvy enough to use both homing devices and cunning tactics to track his prey. Intelligent enough to carry a grappling device in case of technical difficulties and talented enough to use it as a weapon if necessary.

*****​

Once, his father was the best there was at what he did. He trained legions of soldiers in his image. Now, his father is simply a footnote in his story.

He's older than his father now. Scarred. Mangled.

For some, it's not the years but the mileage. But for him, it's both. His joints don't bend like they should. He's had broken bones that never healed quite right.

It would have been all too easy to roll over and die.

But he climbed out of that pit with pure grit and determination. The same attitude that's kept him alive since then.

Now, he can't overpower his opponents. He has to outsmart them. He has to rely on his skills, honed over the decades, to beat them.

*****​

Was it luck that pulled him out of Zemo's portal? Divine intervention? Or something else?

It took no time at all to adjust to this new world. Most of it is laughably, annoyingly backwater.

Still, he has certain skills that translate to any world that he's on.

*****​

A few weeks ago, Zemo's men attempted to steal from Rick's bunker and kill an incapacitated RJ. But they didn't know about Valssa, who... "intervened". In the process, she maimed the captain of his guards, leaving him hungry for revenge.

(Hadrian has an... associate that will prove to be invaluable for this)
The prosthetic isn't a big deal. One of the toughest men I've known had his hand replaced. And the brat, too.

But this is simply a primitive world for the most part.

Of course, there's a few here that have technology more advanced than anything I've ever seen.

Like that girl in the armor. And this hand...

He underestimated the girl once, along with her friends. He won't make that mistake again.

*****​

Spoiler: Show


OOC: Left for dead in a desert pit, the mercenary called Boba Fett clawed his way out and got back into the lifestyle.

About 30 years later, Hadrian Zemo and his moonstone brought him to Earth.

Regarding director James Mangold's unrealized Fett project:

The film takes visual, tonal and thematic inspiration from classic western and noir cinema, with director James Mangold having stated that Fett's influences included "visual reference points" of cinema, citing Shane (1953), The Cowboys (1972), Paper Moon(1973), The Gauntlet (1977), Unforgiven(1992), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and The Wrestler(2008).


beachnik beachnik is up.
 
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Troy Swain

Registered User
Validated User
I grew up with Boba Fett, so the first paragraph was enough for me!

And Shawn, maybe post a new post? When anyone goes back and re-edits, I often miss it. And that was an installment I didn't want to miss!
 
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