breakingamber

What Happened in Edmonton (Reboot!)

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“Sparks sparks sparking sparks!”

Screaming. The sound of feet pounding against concrete. Electricity crackling and popping everywhere, filling the air with the smell of ozone.

“You were wrong! Sparks, Sean, you said there would be no Epics! There is clearly an Epic!”

Sean gripped his Louisville Slugger tighter, grimacing towards his radio. He very briefly stuck his head above the chunk of building he was taking cover behind, then yelped and frantically ducked back down, just barely dodging the two-foot metal needle that pierced through the air right where his nose used to be. It circled about for a bit, then flew right back the way it came. Sean exhaled in relief.

“I sparking noticed, Tommy, thank you very much,” Sean muttered to himself, turning his attention back to ‘his’ team. He activated the transmitter on his radio, broadcasting instructions to them: “Alright. Change of plans. Anne, Harris - on my signal, take what you can carry and run for it. Tommy, you’re with me. Distraction duty.” Affirmative sounds filtered through the speakers, concluded by Tommy’s resigned, “Fine.”

Another ionized boom shook the street, closer to him this time, followed by the hoarse over-the-top shouting of the Epic causing it. “Face me! Come, foolish mortals, and face the wrath of Shocksteel!” 

That wasn’t a terrible name, Sean had to admit (he’d heard of a lot worse), but he really did not have the voice to pull off that threatening bellow. He sounded more like a crow hopped up on drugs than, say, Steelheart.

He was dead now, come to think of it. Sparks, it had been more than five months, and he still could barely wrap his head around it. One of the most feared tyrants in North America, a god among - not even men, a god among Epics - dead. Killed, by the Reckoners, a group he’d thought hadn’t even existed before they’d quite publically taken the spotlight. A group consisting only of maples, consistently slaying Epics and getting away with it? It seemed like a fairy tale. Unlikely. 

And yet, it seemed that these were unlikely times, for the Reckoners did hold Newcago, were holding it, had held it against all comers for months, with no signs of being forced to stop. When Harris had finally managed to convince him it wasn’t a hoax, Sean had felt a spark of hope bursting in his chest, piercing through his hard-earned cynicism. 

Maybe things will get better, he’d thought. Perhaps the Epics that had oppressed everyone for far too long would start falling, life would return to that semblance of normalcy he treasured so deeply. Perhaps his sister would finally get to go to high school, do normal high school things, without the grim spectre of death looming over her every minute.

His hopes had risen even further when Doubletake, one of the city’s major crime lords, had fallen under mysterious circumstances in the following days. Following that, after a period of frantic struggles for territory and more Epic fights than he could remember, he’d heard rumors of a meeting, called by Epoch, between all of the city’s major and minor Epics, which seemed like it could only go poorly.

And then, as expected, there’d been some sort of disaster, though he hadn’t the foggiest clue exactly what had happened. What he did know was that every single Epic who’d attended was nowhere to be found, and that meant there were acres of unattended territory, no longer under the yoke of any Epics. Free.

The minute he’d confirmed the news, he’d called Notley, asked her for support. He was going to take his little group - it didn’t have a real name, consisting largely of former students and parents - and take back as much of the city as possible before new Epics, and he wanted the help of the former Albertan government in doing so. She’d agreed.

And so they’d went. Things had gone well, at first, as he and about a hundred others slowly tread through the eastern end of the city. They’d encountered a couple of minor Epics, but, thankfully,  they were nothing that bullets couldn’t handle. There hadn’t even been any casualties. They’d avoided the southeastern end of the city; Pariah had been rampaging there, destroying and murdering wantonly at the time, though it seemed that she’d calmed down nowadays, leading her new faction in the ruins of ERA.

And then Moonglow had shown up, and everything had gone to hell.

He hadn’t been there personally, but he’d heard from the few survivors that she’d staked a claim, right where they were planning on expanding their territory. She and her ‘Lodge’, had expressed no interest in bowing to the ‘irrelevant mortals’, and had enough powerful Epics to make it happen, causing progress to grind to a halt. Notley pulled out the minute there was any sign of resistance, giving up almost all the territory they’d taken, irking Sean to no end, even if it was the logical choice. He’d heard they were currently combating some new corruption Epic, Depravity, just south of the middle part of the city.

And now, he was back to doing what he was doing nine years ago: raiding and pillaging, foraging from abandoned houses for survival, keeping both him and the group alive for just one more day.

It was grueling, hopeless. He wasn’t the only one who felt so, given that a couple people had left to join a cult  with some slontzy name - the Acolytes, that was it. 

Still, the remaining people were looking up to him. So he did his job, going out nearly every day, braving desperate maples and dangerous Epics, hoping to find food and water and weaponry and anything else. 

Earlier that day, Anne had, while scouting, seemingly hit the jackpot. In the cellar of a seemingly-abandoned house, she’d found a large stash of food, weaponry, books, and other stuff. Sean had immediately called everyone in to toss it in the truck and haul it out, only to find that no, the house was not abandoned, and there was, in fact, a very irate Epic living there.

Which they were currently fighting. And by fighting, he meant ‘hiding from’.

Sean took another peek over his makeshift cover, finding that Shocksteel had turned away from him, crackling metal objects orbiting him lazily.

He sighed. Pressed a button on his radio.

“NOW!”

Charged.
 

What Happened in Edmonton (Reboot!)

A new year, a new RP.

Edited by breakingamber
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Luna lazily walked through the streets, not noticing the humans cowering away around her and Wolf. Most didn't run, for some reason, probably because they figured it would just draw attention to them. If they thought anything, that was, of course. Luna suspected they didn't, and never had. Or if they somehow had, they'd have lost that by now, after all these years.

She looked around, wondering if there was an actual person around who'd come and greet her, or at least interact with her. It depended on the city. Sometimes they came immediately, something they came after she had Wolf eat a few dozen inconsequentials, or if she accidentally got someone who actually mattered. Well, it didn't really matter. None of them cared if she killed random humans, except for that one time, and that was just because she had been killing toys that belonged to someone else. She had apologised properly after that of course, after all, destroying someone else's toys was quite a nasty thing to do, and it wasn't as if she was some kind of horrible person who'd do go around hurting people on purpose.

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Hunter starts off her first day in Edmonton like she starts off any day: feeding her pack. 

Okay, the dogs aren't really a pack or anything. She just says that because she thinks it sounds cool. Still, the word pack implies a sense of unity, which her seven do not have, remotely. She's long since given up on feeding them individually, resorting mostly to tossing the food at the general hoard and letting them sort it out themselves.

 

She's sure that's not proper, that she should be trying to get them under some sort of control, beyond the basics of sit, stay, come, and whatnot, but hell, she's got enough trouble keeping them fed and from accidentally hurting each other or getting hurt at all. Hunter’s no veterinarian. If they get injured, they’re staying that way or worse. Bandages only go so far. 

 

She tosses them some handfuls of whatever she’s scrounged up, all their leashes tied to the tree, before taking her own rations out. Running low on food, she notes. Running low on everything, another voice notes, a little snidely. We should’ve packed more. 

 

“Shut up,” Hunter growls, mentally punching Leaf in the shoulder. They snort. “It would’ve been too heavy.”

 

Could’ve taken a ride. 


“Dogs wouldn’t have fit.”

She knows they look ridiculous, talking to herself out loud like this, but in days like these, nobody cares too much. They’ll think she’s dangerous, sure, unpredictable, definitely, but hell, who isn’t? It’s not like anyone’s going to lock the three of them up, when they’ve got their dogs around. Hunter’s in no denial about what bringing them with her makes the body look like. 

 

She finishes up the measly scraps, about to toss just a bit more to the pack, but Leaf’s disapproving glare in headspace stops her. Taking care of the body comes before taking care of the dogs, in their world, and yeah, Hunter gets it because if she dies, then the dogs don’t have anyone to take care of them. But still, she hates seeing them go hungry, and she’s lived with her own pain before. 

 

She scratches behind Lightning’s ear, and before she knows it, she’s got the rest climbing all over her, begging for attention of their own. 

 

It takes her a moment to notice the other human, lurking nearby. Looking at her, looking at the dogs. Short hair, brown eyes, definitely not short. Not huge. Not a physical threat in that way, though she’s certainly physically tough enough. 

 

Suspicious. 

 

“You’re paranoid,” Hunter retorts. 

 

“I’m just saying, they’re suspicious,” Leaf replies, using the mouth this time. Their voice is a bit higher pitched, though it’s obviously coming from the same body. Quietly, though, not enough that a normal person could hear.

 

“Do you always have to think the worst of people?”

They don’t respond out loud this time, and the unspoken answer would be obvious, even if Hunter could help hearing it automatically. 

 

Yes, because you always think the best of them. 


Someone, unfamiliar with the system’s ways, would probably think that meant the main three of them — Hunter, Leaf, and the usually neutral tie-breaking A.E.G.I.S. — could reach an average, trusting who needed to be trusted and not trusting people who shouldn’t.

That person would be someone the no-longer active Pocket would’ve called a sucker. 

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Alicia had to admit that this city had a kind of charm to it that hadn't been seen elsewhere.  Perhaps it was the overturn from what it had once been before the state of power had shifted.  Perhaps it was just the draw of power into the vacuum left behind.

Perhaps it was just the weather.

Whatever brought her forward, caught her attention specifically, didn't matter at the end of the day, however.  Because she had walked herself straight into the city and found a nice little hospital next to the bones of an old mall.  It was quite poetic, in a way, if one were to ask her.  A place thriving in capitalistic dogma left to be nothing more than a monument to times past.  Right next to a place that was full of death as well as healing.  It fit her, in a way, and so she took it, quickly taking over the medical buildings and scouring them for anything of interest.  Not a great location for exotic samples, of course, but it would make her life easier to find tools and supplies that looters had felt too trivial to take.

It was a nice place, at the end of the day, when she mostly wanted somewhere cozy to experiment in.

Which was why it was a surprise when, during one of her morning....(Was it morning?  Honestly she wasn't sure anymore.  But looking around she had to admit that it didn't seem like morning, technically).... walks of the area, she stumbled across another person for the first time in.... well, counting days wasn't really her style, especially when she barely paid attention to the passing time to begin with.  But here they were, surrounding by dogs tied to a tree, and she felt a smile slowly creeping up on her face.

"Didn't expect to see anyone around here," she said idly.  "Let alone half buried in puppies."

She lets the statement hang for just a moment.  While a part of her wanted to go deep into these dogs, this human, and find everything worth finding inside them.... That was a lot of work for very little possible gain.  She'd long since gathered the bulk of the common prizes inside the normal creatures floating around.  Not worth the time, in the end, but taking a look would be fine, wouldn't it?

She took a step forward, holding out a hand with the palm up as she crouched down outside of the radius of the leashes, making sure to lean back ever so slightly as she kept her smile going without showing teeth.  She could vaguely remember someone telling her once, a very long time ago, how to approach dogs.  It seemed silly, really, but it wasn't like it meant more work for her.

"May I?" she asked, nodding at the dogs.

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Depravity strolled through an abomination.
All around him, the buildings, the roads, the alleys, and even the street lamps were an horrible, purple fleshy material. He could of sworn that it pulsed sometimes.
Three stumbling things, infected by the same stuff as the walls.
Suddenly, Depravity pauses. Is that a shuffling he hears? He glances down an nearby alley, and sees a disheveled figure there- clad in filthy clothing, a beggar sits in an alley. Someone he missed when he conquered this part of Edmonton, likely. He gestures over to the beggar and one of his bodyguards lopes over there. A short scuffle ensues, but the abomination comes out on top- it's greater strength and speed easily overpowering the poor soul. The thing drags the beggar, bloody and bruised, to Depravity. He towers over the poor man, barely giving them a glance before tapping him on the forehead- it immediately swells into the purple Corruption. The abomination lets it go, and the beggar darts away into another alley. He'll be under Depravity's sway within a couple hours.
The horrible caravan continued through the ruined streets. Soon, the Corruption begins to thing- a piece of real road here, the corner of a building there. The transition from his true territory to neutral grounds was much more sudden, however, the wall of purple giving way to the true colors of the world, the greens, reds, browns, blues, and blacks of a suburban neighborhood. Specifically, Strathcona, to the north of the Corruption. He stopped right at the edge, inspected. Sitting a couple of feet back was a stick, set there the day before, to track the progress of the corruption. He frowns, and mumbles to himself. "Hmmm... I'll need to accelerate it even more..." he sighs, and the edge of the corruption quivers. He shakes his head, and plunges another stick into the corruption. He turns around and starts marching back to his headquarters, which was located at the former Ritchie School.

It was a short walk back to the school-  and, unlike the surrounding area, it was not corrupted. While useful, the Corruption isn't exactly luxurious.
A man runs up to him, panting. "Sir! Jamie's ran!"
Another large sigh from Depravity. "Which one is Jamie?"
"Uhhh..."
"Well?"
"The one in the red sweater, sir."
"Very well, then." He continues walking toward the school. 
The man nods somberly. On the back of his neck is a single piece of corruption- a precaution, for situations like this.
Well, that was two extra soldiers for the coming war.

 

 

Edited by AmazingGoob
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Shade walked through the street, her master Downfall walking behind her. The streets were busy as always, which suited her just fine. It was easy to see where the houses were just by following the flow of the people walking, without requiring the normal effort it would take to see objects directly. She focused on her master, not turning her head, thinking about him.

They hadn't been together for that long, but he seemed like a decent sort, better than some of the other masters she has had before. Sure, he had her deal with trouble for him, but that was basically the reason she was there in the first place, and it wasn't as if she really minded it, especially since he did provide help for her for the things she couldn't do herself.

"Do you have any plans for what to do, Master?" She asked, turning her head towards him. Not something she really needed to observe him, but she had found out most people preferred if she did so.

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Safe in the City of Stars, the Epic known as Starfall still needed to make sure he could tell what was going on in the strange city of Edmonton. He'd heard rumors, of course. He heard all the important rumors in his city. And many unimportant ones. It took a true storyteller to tell which was which.

Starfall spent much of his time on top of what used to be the city hall, but was slowly being retrofitted into a fortress of sorts by his workers. It of course made sense for him to be closer to the sky than everyone else. Not only did it make sense for his powers, but a god needed to be seen.

He made a decision and stood up. Behind him, the crowd gasped. He hadn't stood for almost 30 minutes, and the last time had been to kill someone one of his minions had found robbing the marketplace. It had been beautiful and dramatic, full of blood and screaming. This time, however, there was a different reason.

He concentrated, gathering light into his palm. "Orion, which way to Edmonton?"

One of the non-Epic advisors near him pointed in a direction, presumably towards the city.

Starfall finished gathering his light, then hurled it as far as he could in that direction. It raced up to join its brethren, the stars, until it was indistinguishable from them. It would land in Edmonton and take shape as a creature he could control and see through, at least for a little while. He had to find the script before he could perform.

He turned around to the crowd. "Now, each of you bring me something to eat or drink. My least favorite will get to see where that star is going to land."

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Moonglow gazed out of the window, looking at the streets below. She had always loved views like these, looking down on the regular people below. Of course, there were other messages in the view as well. For one thing, while she looked down on those below, she could still see them. That was one of the most important lessons she had learned, that a ruler was nothing without those being ruled. If they stopped listening, well, there wasn't much she could do. The economy would grind to a halt, nothing would be maintained anymore, and things like luxury would vanish immediately after that. Of course, the fact that a large number of maples didn't actually listen to her was one of her current issues.

And then, of course, there was the second of her big issues, and the third message behind this view. For the windows in this corner of the building looked out to the south and the east. The directions her biggest rivals resided in. To the east, the old government, which the previous ruler had apparently failed to fully root out, and which while not that aggressive had still managed to turn a large part of the population against Epics as a whole.

To the south-east, Pariah. While enough of an issue in general, it was one she could have dealt with. However, she had somehow managed to gather a number of other Epics under her, none of them keen to be ruled, more of an unregulated mob than an actual faction. Powerful though.

And, of course, to the south, a new group, one she hadn't managed to get much information about, aside from the fact that the Epic behind them worked with what seemed to be organic matter, corrupting the area around them. 'Corrupting' was the term her scouts and informers had used, at least. Incredibly vague and unhelpful, of course, but they didn't have much better. She had considered executing them for the failure, but decided against it in the end. No matter how well it would have worked as stress relief it would make getting honest and skilled informers in the future a lot harder.

She sighed, sipping from a drink, when she heard a knock on the door. "You can enter," she told the person knocking, her voice friendly and normal. No need to act all mighty before them. She needed both of them after all, and besides, keeping up that act all the time got tiring after a while, and neither of them had succumbed to the megalomania common to epics anyway, so they should be fully aware they were all human too.

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Gyroto smiled as he soared over Edmonton.

It was hard to tell from up here what was happening within the city. It looked peaceful enough at the moment, although a certain section appeared to be... rotten, like what a bad wound in flesh would look like in... to be honest, flesh. But Gyroto had enough experience to know that such a balance could never hold. If his intel was good, then this city had three major factions that had just replaced the main leadership, with a few oddities like that Corruptor shaking things up. And he was about to add a fourth element.

He reached into his pocket for his mobile, careful to lock his fingers on it. It was windy up here even before you added the giant rotor on his back keeping him suspended in the sky. He punched a button, then yelled into the device his faintly British tone. "Looks fine from where I am, sir. I'm sending a good radius now. Just stay where you are and it shouldn't overlap with any known Epic territory."

He didn't add that he didn't really like this idea. Blockade knew his skill as a tactician, but even that wouldn't save him from a lecture on respect - or worse - for questioning his orders again. He didn't worry about risks much. He didn't need to.

Gyroto lowered the torque on his rotor, slowly starting his descent. He didn't want to be caught outside.

And just when his eyes caught the glint of Blockade's circlet, the world got a lot more blue. The force field was snapping into place. No going back now, he thought, and dove for the ground.

Then something caught his eye. He jerked back into a hover, watching... something fall from the sky. It wasn't headed toward the field, which was a relief, but it would be noteworthy. Any Epic with that kind of power often packed more. Another variable.

No more distractions. The field grew stronger as Gyroto went into a full dive, linking the propellers  on his feet for more control.

The General would be waiting.

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Blockade stood on his miniature tower and concentrated, watching his color paint the sky. He liked that saying, even if his color was pretty much what the sky looked like anyway. 

The few people milling outside looked up at the sky in wonder, and a decent number looked then at him with the same expression. Next to him, under a light protective field, stood a collection of those he'd brought with him, ranging from his minor Epics to his maple strategists to a few soldiers. He erased the field around these, who then started asking people to gather in the courtyard outside the area he'd decided would make a good center of operations. It would need some remodeling, but it would suffice now as a meeting place.

Gyroto, his current second-in-command, landed just as Blockade felt the massive force field slip through his fingers. It was done - this sector of Edmonton was now his. He could dismiss the field, of course, but that would about as long as the field's creation - half an hour at least, he'd lost track.

He ran his fingers through his off-blond hair, then added a few decorative guards and looked at the assembled crowd. A decent haul. Nowhere near the population of this area, but that wasn't his goal.

"I am Blockade," he said with a smile. It had been a while since he'd done something like this, and it felt good. Then he stared down from his perch of curved blue disks. The crowd murmured. A few people bowed. Only two he could see refused to lower their heads - he noted their approximate positions.

"I won't say I've come to bring peace. I haven't, although I hope that peace can eventually be made. But instead I bring security," he said, waving at the blue bulge above their heads. "While this stands, nothing can get within to harm you. But while it stands, I rule this land. So if anyone wishes to contest my claim, I urge them to do so now."

That last word he gave a bit of bite. Nobody dared step forward, of course. Epics all thought they were invincible. They would come later, and he would deal with them then.

"I'm glad you all understand. This used to be an industrial zone; I intend to make it so again. If you hold jobs, you may keep them, and Chloro and Forge can provide tools, currency, and food as payment for your service. If you're interested in a position, return here in two hours."

Blockade jumped off his platform, only to make a singular field under his feet. It strained, but held his weight.

"Now go."

The crowd didn't need much encouragement. Blockade waited for most of them to leave, then dismissed his tower and unlocked his strategists. Forge immediately jogged for the central building - her crew would be able to whip it into shape. Blockade nodded at Chloro and Gyroto, and they went to their respective positions.

Blockade turned. There were still a few stragglers. That wouldn't do.

"GO!" he yelled, watching the maples scramble to find a street away from his gaze. He hesitated, then made a shield in front of him, made a fist, and punched it with all his might. It held, barely.

Blockade grinned, then let loose on the field and made another when it broke. Then another. Then another. By the end he was energized, with a proud soreness in his arms.

He would hold this town. Blockade it if he had to.

And he had to.

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The star landed in an alley and formed itself into a shape... what shape? From afar, Starfall decided quickly. It needed to go unnoticed for now.

He dimmed the light as much as he could and formed into the shape of a small cat. As long as it stayed in the light and no one noticed the faint glow it gave off, or that its eyes, whiskers, and claws were the same color as its fur, it would be impossible to tell it wasn't a golden-furred cat. Starfall gave it a one word command. "Investigate"

It would try to stay out of sight and watch anything big that went down. If anyone confronted or tried to capture it, the construct would get away from them as best it could. That would do until he could give it more direct instructions.

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The stranger approaches, carefully. Too carefully.

"May I?" they ask. 

"Eh?" Hunter asks, a little caught off guard. Even though the thing distracting her was a lecture on how she needed to be more careful, and, presumably more alert. Her posture's submissive, but whether that's for the sake of the dogs or Hunter herself, she can't quite figure. She's not the best with people. "You wanna?" she asks, tilting her head at the dogs. 

Hunter squints, trying to remember what the proper response for this situation is. I need to spend more time with other humans. 

No, you don't. 

Shush. 

It's too early in the morning for this people thing. What's the risk of saying yes, what's the risk of saying no? She doesn't want to think it through, doesn't want to hear Leaf rattling off the long list of reasons why a stranger could be dangerous. If she said no, would the stranger listen? It seems like it, with how her posture is, but... whatever. Ugh, whatever.

"If you're careful," she decides. 

Just hope she doesn't blame us if she gets bitten, Leaf remarks, skeptically. 

She's not acting stupid. She'll be fine, Hunter tries to sound reassured. 


sailor moon icons | Tumblr in 2020 | Sailor moon wallpaper, Aesthetic  anime, Sailor moon

It wouldn't be accurate to say that everything went black.

It also wouldn't be accurate to say that everything went white. 

It might be accurate to say that everything went weird, but, Kokichi was in the room from the beginning, so it's hard to imagine things getting even weirder than that. Well. They did. And as lovely fun as it'd be to try to describe the indescribable yet also perfectly easy to animate, if you think about, let's just skip to the fun bit. The screen shut offs midscene, reality skips a couple of frames, however you want to put it ,and Kokichi finds themself lying in a pretty dang near exploded building. 

Rather conveniently exploded. They've only got a gash across their head, dripping blood in their eye, which they wipe away, leaving their neon pink hoodie all bloodied. 

"Effffffff," they whine, seeing the stain. There's some holes across it too, though those are totally inconsistent. They look around. "Lee? You make it?" 

No response. Not even a groggy, "yeah," from another room. There's a bloody smear beneath a pillar that might've been him. They don't bother investigating. 

"Ugh, he's probably dead. Lame. Ef, ef, ef." 

They kick one of the few remaining pillars in this totally busted building, getting kicked back a bit. 

"Not poggers. Just. Majorly not poggers." 

Their words echo. This is like, the only messed up building in this area. Or, not the only messed up building, because everything is kinda messed up, but the rest is mostly blown out windows or whatever. Nothing as thorough and bloody as here. There's got to be someone around to exposit whatever nonsense they've missed, hopping forward in time like this. If that's what happened. The smell in here-- ick. No thank you. 

"Not poggers, you hear me!"

They shake their fist at, what, God? Calamity? Some other, third, made up thing that's a funny and topical reference that they can't be bothered to actually fill in as part of their internal monologue, but trust them, it's really hilarious? 

Yeah, that third very funny very topical reference sounds about right. It's just bonkers enough. 

Edited by the winter system
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Laplace walked through the streets, watching the city, feeling the flow of the people. Subconsciously she moved around other people, nobody touching her. Still, the need to dodge at all annoyed her. Angry, she grabbed her gun, shooting it towards somewhere in the air. Immediately, the person about to walk into her died, the bullet having ricocheted around into the back of his head, spraying those around him with blood, blood that would have hit her if she had shot him directly.

"Move it folks," she said coldly, and as one the crowd parted. A bit happier now she kept walking, enjoying the fear and hatred of those around her. As always she wished she could have just done it back when she still taught classes. Some students...

After walking for a bit she suddenly stopped, moving towards the side, dodging a stone as the building a few hundred meters in front of her exploded, the stone only just missing the side of her head, and she could feel the cold sweat on the back of her neck. The explosion had been way out of her range, and she had only noticed the rock at the last possible moment, at the point it actually started flying her way. If it had just been a little faster or bigger...

Feeling pissed she drew her gun and walked down towards the place of the explosion, noticing the... were they a boy or a girl? Noticing the person walking around in the middle of the ruined building, somehow unscathed aside from a scratch on her head.

"Now who are you, and why did this building just explode?" She asked in an angry tone.

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sailor moon icons | Tumblr in 2020 | Sailor moon wallpaper, Aesthetic  anime, Sailor moon

A person approaches! Kokichi examines her, trying to figure out what her deal is, when she points a gun at them! Rude. Also, pretty handy introduction of what her deal is: having a gun and pointing it at people who are licherally just sitting here, man. 

"Now who are you, and why did this building just explode?" she demands, and they stretch, completely unperturbed by the weapon. Like, yes, they could get shot, but the less of a big deal they make it, the less of a big deal it became. Which, they figured, was kinda obvious, but dumbies just didn't learn when it came to them. 

"Kokichi. And I'm a they/them Epic! Theypic? No, that soooo doesn't work," they say, trying to comb their hair into some sort of order. "Your local friendly inconvenience. As for the building? It probably just seemed dramatic. Or maybe it had something to do with that off the charts dumb meeting I got stuck in."

They count off on their fingers, trying to count all the Epics they'd seen at it, but they lost track super quickly. Waay too many people. If that was where the boom boom came from, then, well, even if killed their new bestie, Kokichi couldn't bring themself to be mad. It's a natural result of hubris! 

Hubris sounds like hummus, and now they're hungry. They reach into their pockets, all seven of them, and finds nothing. 

"Hey, do you have any snacks?"

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laplace-finished.png.f819cf6361824fc98ad8b697f20aa9bb.png

Laplace simply sighed as the young Epic continued rambling. Well, at least she knew they were an Epic at least, no other way they could survive an explosion like that, let alone survive in this world like, well, that. Annoyingly enough she had no clue what their power was, aside from what was obviously a prime invulnerability, which meant she couldn't just shoot them and be done with it.

At least she knew they were a they now, which would prevent any future confusion. Sighing again, she fished around in her pocket, somehow finding a candy bar she had forgotten apparently, which she threw at Kokichi. "Here," she said. "Now, can you explain what you just said in a way that actually makes sense?"

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A cat slinks by, largely unnoticed in this city full of strays

Quote

Do I need an image header like that?

 

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Brenton stumbled out of his front door, watching the bulge form in the distance. Bright, blue, and very, very big. He gave a weak sigh, a forlorn look on his face. Another Epic in Edmonton. Another chance for a fight to start, another chance for everything to go wrong.

He'd moved three times in the past few months. The first time when he'd thought Epoch's field had stalled instead of broken entirely, and had taken the chance to enter Epoch's territory. He needed to move again when Pariah started hunting down anyone left with a spark of defiance. And then he'd gone east for a drink and found the monster that was Depravity blocks away. He'd needed a few more drinks after that night.

So here he was, in the middle of no-man's-land, free as a bird with a gilded cage. And that cage had just shrunken severely. So Brenton walked calmly back inside, told the ones eating what food they had bought yesterday the news, then picked up a rucksack containing what remained of his possessions and left.

~~~

An hour later, Brenton opened the door to a decrepit building. It used to be a church; technically, it still was. All the religious symbols had been removed, burned off by the look of it. He still wasn't sure if that was the work of some divinely-deluded Epic or the new congregation. He'd seen some wackos here before, but they all mellowed out in time.

He had.

The main door was shut, but the telltale red graffiti over the handle showed it was still in use. Brenton coughed and the door opened, revealing the Church of Collection. A simple hallway guarded by a red-robed clerk, leading to a row of five confessionals. He and the other newcomers still weren't allowed in the inner sanctum, but he'd found even the confessionals... promising.

He nodded to the clerk, removed a glove, and shook hands with her, trying to maintain eye contact. She simply nodded and gestured towards the rightmost confessional box. "The Conduit can see you now, Brenton. Go ahead."

Brenton smiled - he still wasn't sure if he was supposed to talk here - and walked within, sitting on the bench. Facing him was a simple velvet curtain - the wall had been removed. Then the curtain shifted, revealing the Conduit - this Church's priest. Like the clerk, he wore red robes, although he had much more of a smile on his stubbled face. For a leader of a church, he was quite young and quite... handsome, actually.

"Ah. Brenton. Is it that time already? I thought I saw you three days ago," he said, taking a seat on the opposite bench.

Brenton scratched his head. "Yeah, I just had an... eventful week. Met a lot of new people. Most of them ones I didn't want to meet. I think I've Collected enough stories for the week."

"You did? Hmm. Tell me about them."

And so Brenton talked. About the grocer who'd found a supply of seedling potatoes, only to come back a day later to a burning building. About the field over the city - the Conduit's eyebrow raised at that one - and leaving his home. About the gang who'd nearly beaten him to death before his backhand broke the leader's nose. And the Conduit continued to nod, smiling, feeling with him.

Eventually the priest spoke up. "The Collector will be proud of your experiences," he said, stepping forward and laying an arm on Brenton's shoulder. "Now, how do you feel?"

And then it happened. Brenton felt a jolt, as if he'd been made anew right there on the spot. He felt... like there wasn't any problem he couldn't handle. He felt... he barely knew how to describe it anymore... alive. Like a weight had been lifted off his shoulder, even as the Conduit's hand seemed to carry the weight of worlds.

"Great," he replied. The Conduit nodded. "Then go and Collect."

Then the preist's solemn demeanor dropped a bit. "You've done well. Unless something else major comes up, feel free to come back at our normal time next week," he said, lifting his arm and turning slightly towards the curtain. "I hope I'll see you then."

Brenton nodded, breathing heavily from exhilaration. He opened the confessional door, gave a nod to the clerk, and walked into the city, feeling like a new man.

Part of him knew this wasn't normal, that he was falling for what his parents would rightly call a cult. But that part of him was quiet these days. He was feeling too much joy to give it up.

He would serve the Collector, for as long as he would have him.

~~~

The Conduit closed the curtain, then took a few calm steps before blurring into motion, dashing towards the abandoned inner sanctum and the shattered stained glass windows within. The blue bulge was clearly visible against the sky.

Suddenly a figure stood behind him - evidently moving too quickly for the eye to see. So he'd seen it already. Of course.

The Acolyte was quite pale, wearing a crimson T-shirt and jeans instead of his usual robe. He'd also lost his spectacles - not that he would need them, the Conduit thought. 

"He's arrived. And he brought what I seek," the Acolyte said. "You are to continue your work here, but I'll need to Collect early, Marn."

The Conduit - flinching at his old name - nodded. "Of course," he said, kneeling and extending out a hand. The Acolyte merely tapped it, and the Conduit felt all the attribute's he'd gained flow out of him. He was still several times over the strength and mind of what he'd been before, but it was nothing compared to the power the Acolyte held.

"Do not worry. This city is still ripe for harvest; we will not throw out the unused chaff yet," the Acolyte said. He motioned Marn to rise and extended a hand. "As Ferocity wills."

"As Ferocity wills," returned the Conduit.

And they stared through the glass at the blue horizon, waiting to reflect the shattered view they saw it through.

Ferocity.jpg.09ced2ecad55e5161553f7b4ad9aebdc.jpg

 

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pngfind.com-purple-watercolor-png-2673552.png.76abf61356764281df5a6d2f28a01767.png

@Ashbringer

   From a former classroom window, Depravity glared at the sky. 
   Well, not quite. What he was really staring at was the great dome that had appeared to his east. It had appeared but a few days ago, and ever since Depravity had been in a foul mood. He had heard rumors of a new before the fact, but this was worse than he ever imagined. He was completely flanked. He knew almost nothing of this new epic, but they were obviously powerful if they could create this huge dome.
   He suddenly stands up, startling the meeting that was going on in the room. 
"Go to this new epic. I want you to negotiate a non-aggression pact of sorts with this new epic. I don't feel like dealing with whoever they are."
   They all look at each other uncomfortably. One of them dares to ask, "Er... sir, which of us will go?"
   He spins and snarls back, "You, since you had the nerve to talk back to me."
   He just nods, cringing back, staying seated.
"Well? GO!"
   He bolts out the door, and Depravity sits back down, staring out of the window, not saying anything more.

Edited by AmazingGoob
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Blockade.jpg.6bb5230f01739166be7441f892bd7bcc.jpg

 

Blockade finally reached the last breach on the north side. His arms were sore, but there was a satisfying line of blue bubbles behind him, each covering a section of the main field that was interrupted. While his fields didn't technically have an origin, if one ran into something like a building it would stop and continue around, spreading its reinforcement instead of the field itself. That meant any building that overlapped the field could act as a way in or out, and Blockade needed to control this sector before he opened it up any more than necessary.

The home was a smaller one, but still had an easily accessible door on this side. Blockade summoned his armor - a series of concave shields covering his forearms, shoulders, and chest, along with intensifying the cyan glow of his personal field. It didn't really help protect him much - the layer of near-microscopic energy shields did that phenomenally - but he found it fantastic at intimidating those who might otherwise question his Epic-ness. So he walked to the door and quickly twisted the handle, breaking the mechanism and forcing the door open. Walking inside, he admired the entryway - a nice light green on the walls, and sufficiently spacious enough to accommodate a checkpoint. This could make a good gateway, although it was rather close to that spidery zone.

A cascade of footsteps came around the left hallway, and a bearded man rounded the corner holding a shotgun. When he saw the glowing figure just inside his threshold, he stopped, still gripping the weapon but leaving it firmly pointed to the ground.

Blockade smiled. "I hope you don't intend to use that."

The man didn't laugh. Good.

"What do you want?" he growled, refusing to back down.

Blockade shrugged. "You've seen the current state of the outside world, yes? My bubble's edge over your property? Well," he continued, not seeing any confusion on the man's face, "that puts you in a unique position. You're technically outside my territory, so I'm giving you a choice."

His eyes narrowed. "Your home presents a breach in my defenses. I am going to seal that breach in five minutes. It's up to you which side of the field you want to be on. But stay, and you'll be trapped. So I suggest you make your decision quickly."

The man seemed to consider a response he'd likely regret, then stopped. "I'm alone here. I have nowhere else to go. This place is all I have."

"If you can work, I can supply you with food and shelter. The center of the field has an assignment building - I'm hoping I can make this zone self-sufficient. But I can't speak for what will happen to you-" he gestured in the general direction of Depravity's territory "-out there."

Then he turned around and left, checking around the sides of the building to ensure there wasn't a doghouse or something that would interfere with the force field's effective sizing. And when five minutes had passed, he concentrated and made the field, sealing the breach the house represented.

He didn't bother to check if the man had left. He hoped he had - he hadn't ruined his good mood.

Unlike the fourth house he'd visited.

@AmazingGoob

Spoiler

So, Blockade's going and touching up his main field. If someone (I assume a maple?) bangs on the field while he passes, it would probably get his attention... but that might not be a great negotiating tactic. You could also try and flag down Gyroto, who's doing rounds alternating inside and outside the field.

 

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@Ashbringer

"Why me, why me?" murmurs Joel. How had he gotten into this mess? If only he had stayed silent, maybe someone else would of been picked for this accursed job... but no. He had asked the obvious, stupid question and now he was going to get murdered by some strange epic. In fact, how had he gotten mixed up in all of this anyway? He was just an manager supervising some factory in Irvine. Now he was serving some maniac who could turn him into a mindless, horrible beast at any time. He rubs the pustule on the back of his neck and shudders. He turns, seeing the abomination that was escorting him. He shudders again.
Finally, he arrives at his destination, the great dome spread out before him. He worriedly looks around for any sort of door or gatekeeper or something. Seeing nothing, he attempts to knock on the dome. If that doesn't work, he curses and begins to circle it and look for an entrance.

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Gyroto.jpg.73da6572cd08a44e87527d983de9a05d.jpg

 

Gyroto perched at the top of the field, looking over the city as he took his lunch break. The view was spectacular.

It was also really sparking cold up here. His jacket was nice, but it had a rather large set of holes to accomodate his main rotor, and his wrist gauntlets drew in cold like a... he scratched his chin. Like a flame drew moths. Or a city drew Epics, he added grimly.

He finished the last scrap of his sandwich, and started jogging down the side of the field, watching the curve. He'd have his coffee in-flight.

After a few minutes of jogging his boots started to slip on the field's surface. Go time. He crouched, letting his momentum take him into a slide, watching for anything in his way. It wasn't often that he got to practice a moving liftoff.

Now. Gyroto jumped, and applied a strong spin to the apparatus on his back. The four blades spun into motion almost instantly, first sticking together before splitting into a square formation, the complex raising itself a bit higher so he wouldn't decapitate himself. Forge's design - this model might be a keeper. He'd gotten pretty good at takeoffs: he used to shoot up into the air, but now he was better at judging how much wind he'd need to stay aloft. Then he tapped the buttons on his knuckles, opening the rotors on his arms and linking the two on his ankles, forming a tail rotor and two guides.

And he soared. It was second nature to him now: scanning the ground below, adjusting the speed of each set of blades, even keeping his own body still enough to have a stable path. Gyroto dove to a few hundred feet, marking Blockade's smaller fields covering the main one. About halfway done sealing the breaches. Not bad for a day's work. There would invariably be those that escaped the confines, but that could work to their advantage - rumors would spread, and the more confusion about Blockade's strength, the better. They were... shorthanded these days. 

On the west side, something caught his eye. Someone was right alongside the field - they didn't seem to be doing anything to it, and Gyroto doubted that even an Epic would have trouble making a dent in a force field this size. The ones that could would hopefully know better.

Better see what it's about anyway. He dove to about fifty feet, getting a better view of the human and what the CALAMITY IS THAT THING.

Next to the man desperately - knocking? - on the field was a purple... monstrosity. It looked alive, even if unnaturally still. The same color as the western zone.

Gyroto decided this would need more of a show. He slowed to a hover, dropping about twenty feet behind the... pair. He drew one of his submachine guns from his hip, but left it pointing toward the ground.

"What, exactly," he said in a faintly British accent, "are you doing here with that?"

@AmazingGoob

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20 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

"What, exactly," he said in a faintly British accent, "are you doing here with that?"

Surprised to see this man drop out of the sky, Joel straightens up and puts on a mask of calm. "I am a diplomat from Depravity, and this is my... bodyguard. I presume you are not Blockade?"

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27 minutes ago, AmazingGoob said:

Surprised to see this man drop out of the sky, Joel straightens up and puts on a mask of calm. "I am a diplomat from Depravity, and this is my... bodyguard. I presume you are not Blockade?"

So they've already learned his name. That's either good or very, very bad. But then again, he doesn't know who I am...

He raised his goggles to his forehead with his free arm. "No. I go by Gy-ro-to," he replied, careful to stress the first syllable. His Epic name... took a little getting used to. "Blockade's main scout."

Technically, he was a lot more then a scout. Second in command when it came to strategy, organization, anything that didn't directly fall to any of his subservients. But that wasn't information he wanted passed around just yet.

He disabled his rotors, letting them collapse to his back and limbs but ready for flight again at a moment's notice. Depravity, eh? Must be the purple Epic. He'd seen what he could do to territory, but that he could make... that... he'd never - no, he had seen something like it. And it shook him all the same.

He wouldn't let this diplomat see that, though. "I take it you are not Depravity, then. If you have a message you need brought, I can deliver it according to it's urgency, but we are not currently accepting diplomats at this time." He leaned forward, slightly conspiratorially. "That being said... you're the first Epic to make it to our border with a message. Make of that what you will." He was fairly certain this man wasn't an Epic - he was far too scared of the thing beside him - but it wouldn't be the first time he'd been surprised.

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15 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

He wouldn't let this diplomat see that, though. "I take it you are not Depravity, then. If you have a message you need brought, I can deliver it according to it's urgency, but we are not currently accepting diplomats at this time." He leaned forward, slightly conspiratorially. "That being said... you're the first Epic to make it to our border with a message. Make of that what you will." He was fairly certain this man wasn't an Epic - he was far too scared of the thing beside him - but it wouldn't be the first time he'd been surprised.

"Ah, I see. Well, tell Blockade that Depravity wishes to meet them. Anytime will do."
Well, at least I haven't been murdered yet, he thinks. In fact, this is going rather well. Perhaps Depravity will give me a promotion or something. He chuckles internally at that thought. Depravity? Giving promotions? It was never going to happen.

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On 10/19/2020 at 9:45 AM, AmazingGoob said:

"Ah, I see. Well, tell Blockade that Depravity wishes to meet them. Anytime will do."
Well, at least I haven't been murdered yet, he thinks. In fact, this is going rather well. Perhaps Depravity will give me a promotion or something. He chuckles internally at that thought. Depravity? Giving promotions? It was never going to happen.

Gyroto smirked. "I'll inform him. I suspect he'll want a meeting, but the semantics may need some discussion. Having a large group of Epics in close proximity can have... unexpected results," he said, looking in the distance toward the ruined stadium. There was also the minor detail that Blockade would never invite a corruption Epic into his field; he was too used to his grappling fighting style, and until they learned whether his force fields could be corrupted or not, it would be too much of a risk.

Speaking of which... the... thing didn't appear to be spreading corruption. Good to know.

"I'll go give my report," Gyroto said, springing his rotor to life and starting takeoff, keeping it slow in case the messenger had anything else on their mind.

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20 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

"I'll go give my report," Gyroto said, springing his rotor to life and starting takeoff, keeping it slow in case the messenger had anything else on their mind.

He nods and watches Gyroto fly away. Wow. I'm not dead. He turns around and starts to head back "home", to inform Depravity of this semi-promising news. Let's hope this is satisfactory for him...

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