#1 Posted by _Titan (3364 posts) - - Show Bio

Snow caps the below zero city as the ants within build their makeshift castles. What were once men of fortune and virtue now huddle next to the filthy and homeless they once lorded over. Junkies led gangs as though they were former generals. Chaos defines this fearful new world, power and persuasion it's King, deception and avarice it's Queen.

Under Bailey Manor

The Kingpin sits on a wooden stool beside a leaking pipe shirtless, freshly healed abrasions and scars from the makeshift bomb the desperada had tossed at him mid flight during their conflict some ninety days before. Sin gently dabs them with alcohol, "I think you are ready, sir." His clothes were sitting on a hanger, dhingy and unwashed due to the shortage of clean water in the city. The military dropped no care packages, claiming they didn't want to risk the escape of the contaminate. In truth, they merely wanted to make sure the scar on their great nation faded as quickly as possible. "How are we on protein bars and vitamin pills?" She takes a long moment of silence, "Well?!" She shakes and jumps, "We...we only have enough for another week." his head hangs low under the swinging light powered by his generator, "And Gasoline?" The light flickers, "...We need to acquire more, but we aren't the only ones who have made preparations for a power outage. Miscellaneous parties have been siphoning gasoline from the vehicles for weeks. It will be hard to find." Her usual fine pressed and clean hands no rife with dirt. Flucks takes an inhale, mid breath he begins to wheeze and cough. "Time for a re-debut" He stands slowly, his large back rippling and wrinkling the old scars as he throws on his button up and jacket. The hidden catacombs proved useful while the kingpin made himself scarce. Afterall, if a city turned into a kingdom without rights..who's head would the people want first? Walking through the narrow labyrinth the crimson kingpin at his vehicle, the morgan lifecar, an electrically charged and customized sportscar with reinforced glass and steel. The irony wasn't lost to him that he needed gas to charge it.

"Where are you going...sir?" She asks in a barely professional breath of worry, "Your wounds have only just healed...those animals want your blood" The engine revves as he turns up the speakers on full blast and the ramp lead wall rises, "The feeling is mutual" The tail lights leave a streak of red as he drives into the pale darkness of the chilled endless night. His right hand turns and walks towards her makeshift laboratory, still confident of finding a cure for her lov- employer.

#2 Posted by xXSpitFireXx (209 posts) - - Show Bio

Desiray shook her head looking at the wounds healing gradually on her from the previous fight. The skin she tried to keep perfect without scars tattoos or anything appeared atrocious. Not all over the place but still there and certainly ugly to the eye. The Cardinal Virus was in her veins, looking about the place it was clear she was in a State of Emergency. The sounds of bridges being blown could be heard in the distance it was all about containment she was on her own. "Alone I'm here b*tch I can take care of you." A sick cough came before the model told the essence to shut up. Her voice hoarse in places. God forbid her dying it seamed and Des felt like throwing herself over a ledge almost. The circumstance was depressingly grim. How fitting, "Welcome to Grimm City where you know the chess pool before you end up in one." She whispered to herself straining to get through the city or so much as even stand. "Des look look, I know you kind of have a loath hate thing going with me. I am your best bet to survival though let me be a little more free reign." Cain spoke, he was right he was where she got her healing qualities from he could stave off the disease she couldn't. From the beautiful blond's left eye a inky mist slightly pored out the iris a glowing red.

Desiray Chronicles Journal Entry 1

"This message is for Justice League International I decided to start this audio diary incase of well either outcome. Should I by some miracle live I want what I went through known. Everything that happened in this hell, should I die. Well then someone needs to know what was lost in these days of anguish. Or maybe it's just a coping method so I don't lose my f*cking mind. Let me start from the beginning my name is Desiray I am on the recently constructed team as Spitfire. I was the gear head you might of seen once or twice. I came here upon learning Grimm City was the target of the Black Cardinals. They resurrected Ziccarra or something and released a virus into the air. I hoped to have some effect was not that lucky, pumped into a girl named Serenity was pretty much knocked out could. When I managed to wake I found that the bridges out were being blown city closed off. I truthfully don't think they plan to jack sh*t for us.

I stumbled onto this in a raided Radio Shack." A brief pause comes as a muffled cough can be heard. "Don't judge me for it, giving the situation theft is looking like a way of life. I know in the blue district on some of the maps is where a lot of the police set up. My goal is to hook up with them help provide them a fighting chance and as many survivors head their way for refuge. I don't care much for the government as of now. Surk if you get a hold of this promise me JLI will try and do something about the rather corrupt system. It's getting late, so guess this is Desiray Divanova signing off."

Desiray Chronicles Journal Entry 2

The sound of vomiting can briefly be heard as well as some background chatter. From the faint echo a trained ear might recognize the location as someone in a bathroom door shut. Likely locked given circumstance. "God damn that tasted like f*cking rotten….never mind. Hey its Des again for Entry number two. Its day six sense this lovely paradise became a state of emergency oh yeah fantastic. Think I have come to the conclusion the world can just blow me. Sorry let me elaborate kind of drunk. It was Little Jimy's birth day today."

"I managed to make it to the station was like f*cking Viet Kong down there. Turf war for a decent refuge. I helped kill those sonsofviches I remember the one who I stabbed in the eye with a screwdriver. Freaking epic….suppose I shouldn't say that they really are no different from us. Anyway I helped clear the riff raff out you know, and so the police and I started trying to make some kind of haven. It's so far pretty sh*tty but what can you do in this kind of chess pit you know. Currently where housing as many as we can manage taking a few places as are own. Believe we got some three hundred or so victims of government leftovers. Tax payers unite maybe they'll drop a nuke and end this with dignity." The sentence a yell that got more cheering from the outside of the bathroom then anyone could find up lifting. "Seriously though it would be doing us a favor. A hospital was near by we got a good stash of rations and medical supplies to go around for a while. It's only a matter of time though."

"So yeah started painting are logo on the wall, we made some patches like it to give to the kids. We all know it to be a f*cking lie. Its like Little Jimy said though "Hey we may be druggies, hookers, crooked cops, and some unfortunate good people. Here though that doesn't matter know? It's survival and we need some flicker of hope even if its the foolish little insignia." Kid's smart maybe I will adopt him when this blows over. Like that will happen. Anyway we gave the kid a whole bottle of Tequila he downed that sucker. Where doing are best, got shelter food water and meds. This is Spitfire telling you that coughing up blood occasionally really f*cks with my love for craving adrenaline. Cardinal's are cramping my style.

Desiray Chronicles Day 33 Journal Entry 3

"Allright check it we just took out a drug cartel right hit them fast and hard. First day I have had sense I came here where I felt alive. It was hard hitting and fun, lost a few guys going to morn for them later. Today though is good. Thirty Three days In and I don't feel like I am destined to f*cking die. Well I do but it's not some looming cloud over head." A explosion can be heard followed by indistinct yelling. "SH*T that went in my shirt this was the last twenty five percent clean shirt I had you f*ckers. Sorry gang looks like the Justice League Retaliation Force is under attack again. Lets waste these ass holes!" A minute of frantic sound and static can be heard before Desiray managed to kill the audio.

Desiray Chronicles Day 67 Journal Entry 4

"I did it I managed to complete are logo its like fifteen feet by sixteen on the side of the wall. I am like Leonardo Da vinchi or something. Okay not really Kain told me it was kindergarden level at best. But shut up okay that wasn't easy. So far its been a good week, like all of them it has ups and downs. This week was more up then down however. Little Jimy played a killer pranks and stylized my hair in a mohawk, didn't chop it off or anything just had it all up in a row of like two foot spikes. Blue tips though it was killer. That and the cops and I managed to get the turf clear of turmoil for like three days strait." A few coughs could be heard as well as a child crying. She was in the medical wing at the time.

"Despite though I can feel that it's a calm before a storm if you will. Nothing is easy here. I heard some rumors the other day that there was also some plotting going on for a mutiny. The virus in me is also slipping ever so slowly Dr Janis is working on some medicine for it. She used to be a crack whore no kidding, eventually though money wasn't paying for it though so she started cooking the sh*t herself. Tried it a month ago I think it was. Good stuff, she has had to go cold turkey sense then however. Not even the degenerates get a break in the land of the decaying it would seam. This is JLI's adrenaline freak it's day sixty seven and I'm off."

Desiray Chronicles Day 88 Journal Entry 5

A series of kicks cussing and breaking glass can be heard. "Sh*t this thing was on. Damn it" the words audible through despaired cries. "Well ass holes we reached day eighty eight and everything went to f*ck. Yeah knew it was going to happen" it was clear the vigilante was struggling to get some composure for the next minute and a half. A sigh was distinguishable before she started to speak "It sucks you know? Janis has a bit of a cure going at least enough to keep me going all is going well and then bam f*cked over. Hard to trust anyone any more. No heroes even exist in this damn town. It's all one ups pick up lines and dying. Suppose I should recap huh" another fit of cries and wall pounding could be heard for thirty seconds.

"They turned on us stole half the already low stash of rations and medicine. When we caught up to them they had gorged themselves on what they took, we punished them there was no getting anything from it however. I feel sorry, no f*ck that I am not sorry for what I did to those douche bags. Was it excessive to let Cain out, to make them beg like little brats for their moms? Was it unjust to hang them by their intestines on a distant lamp post? Ugh okay maybe…its just hard to gauge any sense of right and wrong any more. Especially with Little Jimmy gone."

"He was making a scavenging run tripped got a nasty infection. We might of had the meds not after the raid though. He was a tough kid trying to stay a spitfire even ill and dying more deserving of the name then me. F*ck more worth living then me. Yet I get to live, the young beautiful eight year old gets to die and not me. Then again maybe it's for the better, god if existing is a f*cking dick I suppose though if I had one wish it would be Jimmy didn't have to be here. Supose I should be glad when I think about it but I just can't. Maybe it's jealousy he was my link to some sort of hope now he's gone. Just me and the hundred or so survivors left over. Odds seam to dwindle every day and now even I find faith in sh*t a lost ideal.

Present Day

Desiray sat at the top of the police station made refuge. Her last cigarette in one hand an a AK-47 in the other. Her painted Justice League International Sign was riddled with bullet holes washed out paint and stains. The rest of the building a even more depressing state. Heavy was the atmosphere around the city in general the small district Des and the police ran was no different.

#3 Edited by Ishin (6831 posts) - - Show Bio

Several months have gone by since the infamous Grimm City had succumbed to the deadly Black Cardinal Virus, effectively forcing it into a prolonged state of horror. The countless helpless victims of the highly contagious virus have been unwillingly quarantined and the city itself has been forcibly closed from external influences. Along with many other notable individuals, mysterious Impero was too trapped in the unforgiving city with only his fiancee Clarice Zeraz standing by his side. However, his past experience as a merciless crime lord have served him well in his inevitable objective of amassing his own criminal organization within the heartless. Comprised of numerous thugs and former gang members, cunning Impero's organization, Salvacion, has managed to seize control of a reasonable portion of the city's eastern area. Luring members into his young yet elusive organization by promising to save the suffering from the relentless virus with what he claims to be divine intervention yet is simply the deadly strategist using his fiancee's powers to temporarily enhance their immune system, the Nefarious Neutral's true intentions in the forsaken city have yet to be revealed. But it is heavily implied that it somehow involves encountering his former teammate, Flucks.

However, the master manipulator's current situation has affected his influences over his associates beyond the dismal city. Most notably, his most prominent associates, the Witch-Hunters have grown worried without their enigmatic Grandmaster to guide them to a new age of prosperity. With various attempts at communicating with their lost leader, it seems as though Aisha Omar, the Witch-Hunter lieutenant has finally managed to establish a proper line of communication with her masked superior. "...Impero? Have I reached you? Are you there?", the increasingly worried elite witch-hunter asked, persistently speaking into her communicator. "Ah Aisha, now there's a voice I haven't heard in a while", Impero answers with his characteristic composure to the relief of his subordinate. "Oh thank God! Where are you? Do you need help!? We've been trying to reach you for months and we haven't been-", unfortunately, Aisha's concerned queries are swiftly interrupted, "Calm yourself Aisha. I'm fine. And tell the Witch-Hunters not to concern themselves with my situation. Impero will return to them in due time", cryptic Impero answered much to the frustration of his loyal lieutenant. "But when? You can't just-", again the expert combatant was interrupted, "Forgive me Ms. Omar but I have business to take care of. I will return soon". Almost instantaneously, the communication line had collapsed, courtesy of elusive Impero who had more pressing matters that required his attention.

With armed thugs guarding the building's main office, the poised assassin sat confidently in a black office chair, with Clarice in her own seat across the desk. "I know that you're their leader but tell me again, why are the Witch Hunters so obsessed with you?", Clarice asked, folding her leg over the other. "It's really quite simple my dear. It has been a while since they have tasted success in their.. endeavors. I came to them and brought upon an unforgettable era of accomplishments for them. To them I am their absolute leader, their Grandmaster. But in fact, I am the heart and soul of the Witch Hunters", he explained. "So a little success and they fall head over heels for you? Ha!", the manipulative redhead laughed, finding the entire situation a tad amusing. Chuckling smugly, Impero elaborated somewhat, "Perhaps. Or perhaps the success they tasted is unrivaled by any throughout their entire history. As their Grandmaster, they believe me to be some messianic figure. A small group has even developed some sort of religion involving me", he revealed. "And you allow them to believe this?", she asked, her brow arched in curiosity. "But of course my dear. Religion is truth to the common man, nonsense to a scientist, but useful to a ruler". Halting the conversation as he rose from his seat, Impero's search for Flucks resumed with numerous Salvacion members and his remaining Reapers spread across the city in search of their leader's target.

#4 Posted by The_Superior_Sapien (1716 posts) - - Show Bio

Overcast skies had become the norm, almost as if god himself had ordered the sun to join the rush of politicians forsaking the infected city. Its population of sick and dying, huddled around empty barrels that burned for days thanks to the toxic rain fall and flammable atmosphere. The immoral inflection thrust upon them by the religious zealot and her indoctrinated followers determined to over-through Grimm City and claim it for their own, sweeping through the metropolis stamping out any and all resistance. Finishing what the plague had initiated. Unprecedented sanctions from the CDC had quarantined the outbreak but months later had still no answer or signs of a viable solution. The city was being strangled and hope, the most basic human condition, was fading.

His well defined arms crossed over his hulking chest while watching the resurrected Cardinal dismiss his father with a venomous sermon, Florian stood visually absent of emotion. His head tilting down as Ziccarra tossed the key to the assassin's shackles before walking away, leading her army out into the polluted urban environment in an effort to lay claim to the entire city. However the LeBeau heir remained behind, crouching down and hesitating as if compelled to contemplate the ramifications of his actions before acting upon them. Looking up at the tormented torpor body of his father shaking his head at the condition the once illustrious assassin had been reduced to. Tar like sludge stained the outer rims of his nostrils as he dangled from his wrists eyes barely open. His breath exhaling in exhaustion as Florian un-cuffed him allowing his lethargic body to slump over his shoulder before carrying him off....

8 years ago: League of Shadows -

A tear raced down Florian's face as he was forced to watch the unmerciful lashing of his best friend. Their previous child like antics and disobedience had always been tolerated, but times had changed and the League had taken a more vicious direction. One in which free will and rebellion was thoroughly met with violent discipline. "Thirty two!" the Cajun's unwavering voice thundered as yet another strike sliced through flesh detaching meat from tendon, tendon from muscle, muscle from bone. Cassidy's limp body slung over the crudely constructed wooden X in the center of the courtyard, her back unrecognizable as it had been reduced to a crimson painted collection of mashed past, to weak to cry out anymore she had been made an example of. Restrained by two assassins Florian was helpless to do anything but sob and watch. "Pleeeeeease father, no more, no more.....let me take her place" be pleaded, Angelique sneering with disgust as her brother begged. The pleas reaching some portion of the Cajun's buried heart as his brow arched, holding his hand high bringing a halt to the beating. "Very well. Perhaps now you can grapple wit dee significance, dee responsibility of being a LeBeau. Death is not a game for children, and make no mistake, here...... you face death." Folding his arms behind as back making his exit flanked by his daughter and the League. Mercy's helpless body left to be unchained by no one but Florian. "I'm so sorry little raven, so so sorry." he subbed.

3 months later:

"GO!" Florian yelled. "RUN!"

"I cant, I cant not without you." the tears racing down her face.

"YOU HAVE TO! GO NOW!" pushing her from the bottom using his incredible strength to elevate her up to the edge of the wall. His body being pulled, punched, and assaulted as his fathers assassins scrambled to stop him. Looking down while straddling the wall Cassidy watched her only friend say goodbye,

"The sun will never shine so brightly as it did today....." before being overrun and buried beneath a sea of assassins.

Present time:

Carrying his unconscious father through the less traveled areas of the city the LeBeau exile made his way back to his self made stronghold. A small yet surprisingly comfortable fire burned in the center of the abandoned clothing department store he had claimed as his own. Its dimly cascading light flickering in the otherwise pitch black room. In the corner, a pile of gathered clothes were suspiciously heaped and distributed with unknown purpose. Laying Gambler down against the wall the silent assassin knelt next to the clothes slowly and carefully peeling them back to reveal the sleeping Raven, Cassidy O'Rourke. Her arm in a sling and her wounds dressed. After checking her temperature with the back of his hand Florian slumped against the wall sliding down into a seated position. Removing a small handheld musicbox from his pocket and winding it to play, the unorthodox trio sat together as a family for the first time in over a decade.

#5 Posted by Mercy_ (91871 posts) - - Show Bio

8 Years Ago: League of Shadows

Her body was broken, a betrayal of the worst kind. It had been three weeks of intense healing with Florian pinching the healing balm that the medics of the League used and applying it to her ravaged back on a twice daily basis. He was the only soul permitted into her room during this time, but despite that edict, Angelique made nightly visits. She would sit in a chair by Cassidy's bedside and lean down as if she were whispering conspiratorially in her ear. Instead it was taunts. How father loved her best, how she would never measure up, how it would be a favor to mankind if the mongrel died from infection. Anything and everything she could to undermine the confidence of Le Petite Oiseau.

And every morning and early evening Florian would come in like clockwork and clean the perspiration from her back with a damp cloth before applying the miraculous balm created from regional herbs. It was an arduous and complicated healing process, preventing all but the most faint of scars from the lashing and preventing a brutal infection that could so easily take her life without a moment's hesitation. On more than one occasion, she had turned her head to look out the window in an attempt to distract her mind from the pain only to see Angelique peering in with angered intent.

3 Months Later

Branches snapped beneath the feet of Cassidy as she landed on the ground, her knees bent as she'd been taught in order to lessen the impact and prevent damage. Tears streamed unabated down her face as she pulled the camouflage jacket tight around her body. The renegade assassin took off with only seven or eight looks back, knowing the fate that Florian had been sent to. In the years that they had grown, they had truly become best friends, the only obstacle interceding with that being Angelique, who had always had a blind hatred and envious spirit when it came to her adopted sister. It pained the teenager to think of how she would exact her vengeance, knowing that hurting Florian would hurt her just as badly. It was a fortunate thing that Cass had not been able to predict the sadistic and perverted depths that Angelique's mind would sink to - she never would have left if she had.

Present Time (3 Months After Initial Conflict)

Oddly colored teal eyes blinked quickly as Cassidy used her uninjured arm to hoist herself up to a seated position in the window-dressed queen-size bed. It was one of the few luxuries that had been eked out in what had quickly become a miserable existence. They had been cut off by the government and radio signal jammers had been implemented in a net over the city in order to prevent unauthorized outside contact.

Slipping her fingers under the bandages, she winced slightly as she peeled them off, taking note of the white scars that now decorated her lithe arm around the shoulder socket and elbow. She'd bare them forever because despite having access to the technology and doctors who could easily remove them, she felt that they were an apt reminder that nobody was infallible. Sliding her legs over the bed, the redheaded tour de force took a deep breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling before stopping to grab equipment.

Strapping her trusted kukris to her hips and ensconcing herself in a black North Face, she wrapped a scarf around her neck and over her head to obscure her view. The fact that she was still alive was a well hidden secret of Grimm City that Cassidy Lockhart-Starks hadn't perished in the initial engagement. Using a network of street thieves, foster children and other young souls without anybody to protect them or turn to, Cassidy and Florian had built up an information network. When food, bullets, weapons and medicine were scarce, information became power and gathering it became tricking. Giving it out in an artfully misguided fashion was not quite as hard.

Exhaled breath misted in the air, the heat of her body meeting with the cold harsh air of Grimm City. Everything was white and grey, shades of dirt and desperation. Food was low, heat was nearly nil, gasoline and other things that had been taken for granted were now the only things that had commodity. The glare of the sun reflecting off the snow momentarily screwed her vision, so used to the darkness of the stronghold.

Traversing the dark alleyways, Cass was sure to keep her appearance obscured, pulling the scarf up around her face leaving only her eyes uncovered. Bringing a hand up to her ear, her fingers slid beneath the scarf and fiddled with the implant that she herself had designed. Terrified to attempt to access it only to be cut off, she'd forced herself to forget about the outside world and focus only on her physical and mental recovery, the loss of an epic bond and the treacherous betrayal of Angelique had struck her deep.

For the first time in 96 days, she activated the implant. At first everything was just a painful static in her ear before she heard a voice that nearly brought her to her knees. The lilting Italian accent of Lea Drago.

"Cassidy? CASS! Is that you? Cass, answer me, dammit!"

Ducking deeper into the alley she spoke softly, taking shelter from the light flurry of snow beneath a fire escape. "Lea, it's me. ID code Alpha Zulu Victor Delta. I need a full sit-rep on what's being reported about the situation and I need it yesterday."

Snapping straight into executive assistant mode, Lea began reciting everything that was going on. "They stopped showing 24 hour news coverage after the Presidential address regarding the situation. He flubbed it and forgot he had a mic on. The second that he intimated that Grimm was a lost cause, the military jumped on it. They have scenarios devised, many of them include complete eradication. All contacts that I've been able to maintain have reported similar findings. Nobody's allowed out of the city under threat of death due to the quarantine. There have been eleven casualties from that method alone. The National Guard is refusing supplies, nobody's crossing the border into the city and the airspace is now a restricted flight zone. Fighter jets are scrambled every time that somebody crosses it or even begins a trajectory for it."

A small amount of interference buzzed in her ear again as she leaned her head back against the brick wall of one of the buildings outlying the alley. "So we're fcked is basically what you're saying? How is Starks Enterprises doing - give me the best and the worst, I need to know everything."

"You're well thought of by colleagues in the military side of things. The business side of things has been stable, there are days we go up and days we go down depending on how public opinion of the Grimm City situation is. You've been reported to be dead, Kastiel has been acting in your stead and doing an admirable job with my guidance. Regarding the military contacts, Cass...they sympathize, but there's nothing that they can do to quell the ever-popular thoughts in that sector about how to handle this situation. They're already acting as if everybody in that zone is dead. Vigils and memorials have been held, half by populace who actually care, the other half simply as a publicity stunt for politicians."

Tilting her head back, she closed her eyes, taking a deep breath as the interference continued to grow worse. "Do we know why the implant's acting up?"

"Your use of it needs to be incredibly limited. They've cast a tech-net over the city. No communications of any sort. The only reason it's functioning is because of the Starks satellite system and the next-gen tech. If it were of any lower caliber, it would just be a minute chunk of metal and tech embedded in the flesh of your ear."

There was a whiskey tone to her voice, low and raspy from the restrained anger as she spoke. "I need you to break protocols for me, Lea. They're protocols that I wrote, so this shouldn't be a problem or a moral dilemma. I need you to listen to me carefully and follow what I say to do with no divergence. Can you do that?"

"Yes, absolutely."

"Good. Go to my desk and enter the code 12E4YD9M0 into the keypad. Open up the drawer and pull out the key. Slide the third book from the left on the bottom shelf of the bookcase and enter the key into the slot." The background noises indicated that Lea had done just that. "Remove the entire row of books and lift out the false bottom. There's a floor safe beneath it. Your full hand print has been programmed to open it in case of situations just like this. Place your right hand there and wait for the scan. Afterwards, open the safe using the same combination for the desk only in reverse. Pull out the phone and the box that it's attached to. Dial the following number: 11-573-9876-439. Wait for three rings and leave the following message: This is Danielle from CVS. I'm calling to let you know that your prescription is ready for pick up at your earliest convenience."

Three minutes later Lea was back on the line. "What did I just do?"

"I'm not sure yet, mein freund. We're going to have to wait and see how it plays out. I'm signing off now, remain doing exactly what you've been doing and tell nobody that you've spoken to me except for Kastiel and Kazarian..." She paused for a moment before lowering her voice to even more of a whisper. "Tell him that...tell him that I love him if I don't make it out of this."

There was an emptiness in the pit of her stomach as she was once again cut off. Re-securing the scarf around her face, Cass carefully walked towards the exit of the alley, standing behind the wall and looking both ways before she began to step out onto the street. The echoing of footsteps moving quickly in an unorganized manner caused her to step back in, obscuring herself from view. Cass watched in silence as a young girl no older than eleven years old bolted past her with an apple in her hand. In hot pursuit of her was a mid-teen boy on a bicycle calling her vicious names and chasing down that food.

The second the little girl ran past Cass bolted out of the alley and angled her arm so that her elbow caught the pursuing assailant in the face, knocking him clear off the bicycle. Standing over him, the only thing visible about her being her eyes, a single death glare was all it took to have him bolting off. Turning to the girl, the mother of two crouched down in front of her, smoothing her hair off her face. "What's your name, sweetie?"

"Elizabeth...but everybody calls me Ellie."

"Ellie, that is a beautiful name and a strong one. You bear the name of some of the strongest and most influential women in history. I need you to make me a promise, Miss Ellie." Cass looked at the apple markedly. "He was gonna run you down and take that from you. That's how precious food is to these people. I need you to promise me that next time you're out and about with food...or next time that you take food, you make sure you're either strong enough to fight back, or that you're fast enough to get away before they can track you."

"They're all stronger than me."

"Then that means you get faster and you get smarter. It doesn't matter how big somebody is if you can out-think them and use their own power against them. There's a whole martial art that's dedicated to using somebody's own power, momentum and weight against them." Cass's eyes narrowed as she fully surveyed the young girl, coming to stand at her full height. "Where's your family?"

"Dead, infected or gone. My daddy was a police officer. He and I were the only ones who weren't infected." Her voice quieted as she readjusted the beanie that was covering her curly dirty blonde hair. "He tried to leave the city to get supplies. They shot him down."

"Those fckers." The words were mumbled under her breath. "I can't take you with me. It's too dangerous what I need to do and where I need to go. If you make it to the Seventh Street Shelter, I have a friend there who will take care of you. Just tell her the password. Sancta Camisia. Can you remember that?"

"I remember. Thank you,...what's your name?"

"Call me Raven." And with that Cassidy turned around, pulling the North Face close to her body and holding her arms over her chest as she made it back to the stronghold. Walking past the curtains that they'd set up as a room blocker in the department store, she found Florian pacing around looking for her. Holding her hands up in an innocent gesture, she shrugged before unwrapping the scarf and removing the fleece pullover. "Get Jean...I have a sit-rep from Lea and things are worse than we thought."

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#6 Posted by _Titan (3364 posts) - - Show Bio

On the streets of Uptown

Ripping through the streets the bold vagrants that had nothing to lose chase him, throwing their last bottles of alcohol at his car, lit by the fires of old barrels they now congregated at on a daily basis. The car overturns breaking down at broad street and skidding to a fiery halt. His eyes see blurred blobs of white and orange, his nose stings as the hairs within curl. His dazed state is quickly shaken off, finally realizing the car was near ready to ignite, a frayed wire parking by the front axle as gasoline trickles towards it. In a smooth motion he kicks the door open, monkey crawling out of the wreck on his belly. He hustles onto his feet to avoid the explosive results, thinking quickly and jumping into a dumpster.. He teps out and duts himself off, indifferent in demeanor knowing he may have deserved the action, but didn't see a point of retaliation.

As he walks into the dark alley heading for one of the many hidden entry ways to the underground, he's stopped short by a goggled group of black cloaked assassins, by the look of them. As he goes to draw his pistols one raises a hand, "Wait!" He bows to one knee, showing the top of his had "We were sent by the Mighty Impero, he requests your presence....we mean no ill will" He takes his hand off the gun, the safety still flicked off in the holster. "So what, you expect me to just come with you no questions asked?" The assassin raises his head, "If you have any questions, they will be answered. We are only doing what our grand master has charged us with." His eyes can be seen just barely under the red tinted goggles connected to his mask. Flucks knew a liar when he saw one. If Impero wanted him dead or not, none of these hunters knew. "Fine, lead the way."

After a trek across rooftop after rooftop, the group plus one land at a large building with makeshift trenches and barricades. The With hunters escorting him inside from both sides. A masked man stands atop a double spiral staircase. The infected Flucks looks at him with a slight disdain, unaware he had occupied his city this entire time."Impero..."

Meanwhile, Under Bailey Manor...

The Versatile vixen sits among beakers and testubes, a centrifuge spinning behind her with various samples of both the clean samples she had acquired from uninfected vagrants in uptown, and the infected blood of her superior. Her eyes focus in on the microscope, peeking into the atomic structure of the virus. She notices a crystallization of black mass within the compound. She sitt confused for a moment and then sits back and thinks to herself, the centrifuge putting her into a meditation as her finger pushes the red button on her tape recorder, as she speaks her notes aloud

"Three samples...one a normal homosapiens infected blood...with no crystallization." She slides the chair across the smooth stone floor to grab the small glass slab with her employers plasma, "Flucks appears have crystallization after and before infection...yet the dormant virus alone appears to have it as well...why not the average host?" She ponders, tapping the recorder on her chin. She mumbles to herself "What's the connection..."

Above Midtown

The organic barrier opens above the central city, small amounts of light pouring in and blinding the onlookers below. The see high above with their strained mole like eyes, something in the shape of a man

#7 Posted by Rumble Man (11073 posts) - - Show Bio

My offer is better than money because my offer is life, not just living but a standard that will put you on par with ‘peak’ humans” Fowler goading them for drug based human experimentation.

Before the pandemic outbreak all he had were a handful of trusted men, after the sudden outbreak whatever it is left standing are a rag tag bunch of gang bangers stuck together in the heart of madness. Realistically just having a dozen able handed men and women picked from the big four Gaetano, greed, quickdraw and cardinals is an optimistic sign but luckily he currently has more. So far the only good is that the ones that are able to join his new forces are the quite competent by his own personal standards, the bad thing is that most of them left because of unforeseen conditions which did not go according to plan apparently because some crazy harlot decides to plague the entire city which would turn his drug plans to accommodate vaccinations as well, the real ugly part is that there is a huge concentration of power tilts towards one of the previous heads. A head belonging to the epicentrum of all the religious supremacy within the city, they hold reason with a strand of hair and they keep a scissor around it to keep others from getting close. His eager ‘recruits’ now have different reasons to gather around, basically most of them just want a place to belong while everything else overcooks itself. Gaetanos want restoration back to power, Greed gang wants to create havoc their way, Quickdraw wants a handful of vengeance swiftly delivered by the path of a bullet while the treasonous members of the Cardinals decided that they want to establish a branch as well. So far they have separate goals, but so far each of those colors can be mixed to create a nice pattern. They need something to hit and something to protect, obviously they have a common enemy for the long term bonding agent. Fowler has in his mind a place which they can protect, a nest fit for the scoundrels that they are

As members of a newborn outfit they all took names under the banner of “The Bohemians”, after taking the signals given off by their new head the undermen who had previously locked their allegiances to their bosses took off in droves of cars, their mobilization forming a makeshift serpent in the streets converging to a central point. Fowler had a special building in mind.

For starters they get the opportunities to dual wield a pair of Mark 1 Deagles with nine bullets a gun and a nifty semiautomatic function, which the Gaetano’s love as they start grabbing all they can get their hands on. Fowler armed them better so that they can gun down tougher things, tougher things that he has in mind would cover almost every stranger visitor that they might come across. Things such as but not limited to; pesky street level vigilantes trying to make the city a better place only with a limit such as martial arts and several homemade gadgets, annoying good hearted individuals out to make social change who are not afraid to be martyred, idiots bent on making 'disney' speeches to uplift and convert the minds of masses because in his world those people must be drowned at birth. Also each able-bodied member is given an option of having Franchi 12-spas shotguns as their close quarters weapon should some altruistic fool decide to rush at them in a hallway, obviously they get the special shells as well so they can put people in their coffins faster. For the Gaetano’s they got classy weapons because they seem to love things with certain flair to it, so far they took interest with things such as the Heckler & Koch HK94A3 SMG, which they can carry with pride. Fowler did not knew that they too are fans of 007, but when he is done with the modifications they will be able to emulate several feats and in some cases surpass them. The quickdraw gang who apparently did not hesitate to work along in this time of chaos under a ‘devil you know’ principle also took a liking to the Colt Model 653 "M16A1 Carbine" but their hearts chose the Remington 700 as a replacement for their long range messengers, good men which will be made even better one the tempo goes along. Crazies on the other hand prefer the heavy-duty stuff such as the Hand Held GE M134, which is basically a minigun with a chainsaw handle for long-range annihilation, giving armored vehicles hell and reducing any cover into swiss chese. Plus an assortments of rocket launchers but instead of RPG’s they have something in the caliber of SA-7 Grail and FIM-92A Stingers to send vehicles rolling upside down. Cardinals however stick with their symbolisms opting for specialized napalm Flamethrowers and an armful Satchel Charges. The Cardinals take jetpacks as well, Gaetano’s took the Grenades, and greed gang took the Molotovs while the quickdraw holds the Tear Gas spiked with sarin.

Inside the building they all take in their ‘medication’ and that building is…

#8 Posted by Atomo (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Washington D.C. 2 Hours Ago

The president sits in front of graphs, files, and video feeds. "As you can see Mr.President the toxicity levels are zero when airborne but..." the woman in the black pants suit and glasses trails off turning to her associate, a tall skinny Asian man with a mustache. "But we contained a straggler just before the bridges were taken out, and the virus itself is highly contagious when it makes contact with another host via skin contact and blood infection. Without a cure, we simply can not tear down that wall. For now we have it completely contained" He leans forward on the table taking off his glasses to show small beady brown eyes, "If it continues to exist however...it WILL adapt...and overcome." H leans back and sits down

The president, with hands palm down on the table swimming slowly through papers, looks up at the filled situation room of analysts and generals. He turns to the six starred man in green beside him, "General Graives, any proposals?" The general with his sunken middle aged stone face, manage to raise a brow. The president knew his position firmly on the subject. A small smirk rises as he understands he is now in command, "Yes sir. We have something that we've been working on for six years now" He walks over to the wall mounted television and inserts a dongle to the USB port, "Who you see before you, is Thomas O'reilly. On record he died in Iraq from a D.O.D. explosion. Off-record" He presses a button on a tiny remote, showing a picture of the assumed dead soldier cheering and drinking a beer before getting strapped into a table with wires on his head and men in yellow hazmat suits strapping him in, "He volunteered for Operation: Atomic Obelisk, or Atomo as we call him now.Over time we assumed he was unresponsive for very long, merely suffering of rad poisoning...until he woke up, killed six men after being shot with automatics, and looked like this, " A picture shows a man with a nuclear green hue and a visible black skeleton pushing a stream of energy through two guards chests, appearing to be either laughing, or screaming. "His body survived, but his mind is...touch and go. He will serve his country, and he will do as I specifically order him to. "

The president rolls his veiny hand in the air, "Get to the god damn point already!" The general flips off the screen and walks with a stiff spine towards the president, "He can absorb nearly any form of energy that touches him, that energy will be converted to make him, larger, stronger, faster, and more unstable. If we were to drop him in the dome or wall, or whatever it is...He could scrub the city clean...and maybe even reform before we need to clean up our mess. Total deniability." The old standing leader twiddles his thumbs nervously, a tear of sweat visible on his elongated forehead, "Do it."

1 Hour Ago

On a stealth bomber above Midtown, General Griaves stands beside the zombie like Atomo in a yellow suit with his hand in a strap loop, the bomb hatch open as it hovers over the small opening above the organically domed city "Alright son this is it. Get down there and wipe that sh!thole clean you hear me soldier?!" He yells over the rushing air. Atomo answers in a chilling gurgled voice, " Sir yes sir..."\Graives sticks his hand in the broken soldiers back, a large crunch is heard as he presses down pulling his thickly gloved hand out and smacking the nuclear heated shoulder of his project laughing maniacally. " Go gettum boy!" The bubbling green form of man steps out of the plane swiftly, dropping like a paratrooper, body flat towards the darkened streets below, small dot of heads visible. He merely smiles with a translucent skeletal jaw, tapping his thumb into his middle finger, in rhythm with the ticking in his chest.

Time until Detonation: 5:59:58...57....56

#9 Posted by Editman (3472 posts) - - Show Bio

“That horsemen really f@cked my suit up Jeeves” The battle between her and the horsemen left extreme wear and tear on the Editman. {The virus is spreading faster than Paris Hilton’s herpes} The A.I chimed in; as Paige pmcs’ed the damage on her Editman. “I don’t see any class three leaks; we should be good until we get it back to the depot.”

Having worked non-stop sense the action between her and the horseman ceased; she used this time to take a break. {Patching through a message from Gabe} Jeeves said, activating the commo protocols. “Paige, we’re on our way back to the WAL base, mission complete.” He said; sounding as if he got his ass beat.

“You got your ass beat didn’t you?” finally saying what both her and Jeeves thought. “That doesn’t matter…preparing to start maintenance” there was a hint of embarrassment in his voice; normally she would’ve picked it apart, but she didn’t really have the strength to. {I betcha he has that, “I got my ass kicked face”}, the A.I remarked updating the damages to Paige’s Editman on the 5988’s.

The makeshift base had been on the fly; using the Auto section of a rundown Wal-Mart as her workspace; having been in a similar situation sometime in the past; of course then she was with the military. “I need some music Jeeves…” she said, resting on a nearby couch. {What do I look like b!tch, a Wal-Mart? You think you’re too good to loot? You better get your ass out there and get an IPOD} The crude A.I responded.

“Why are you so crabby?”. {Because b!tch you don’t say please!} He quickly retorted, {It’s always, I need, I need, and I need. Sh!t bitch do it yourself}. She ran her hands through her thick red hair, trying to think about what was wrong with Jeeves. “Oh…I know…” walking to the Editman; she opened the A.I hatch and tightened and re-taped the wire for Jeeves’s response system. “Damn, I need to fix that short…”

{Ghetto Ass Company…sorry…that was the last one} he said, returning to his senses. “How much rocket fuel do we have left?” {We have six hours’ worth}.

“Alright…I’m suiting up” The suit’s cab opened and the Apex Industries President; once again dawned the Editman. “I can fly out of here right?” she asked cautious of what happened last time. {Rockets at 66%} Jeeves said, pushing Paige out of her Wal-Mart base towards midtown.

{F@ck...I’m picking up a huge energy signature over Mid-Town…} Jeeves altered Paige showing the image on her screen. She could barely see what it was; just an eerie cyan color concealed by the clouds. {I’m almost sure that’s nuclear energy falling from the sky…this is almost as bad as when you learn how to dougie}

“JEEVES!” {Sorry…last one I swear}

Augmenting her speed, she sped off towards midtown. “We got enough repulsar power?” she asked hoping to blast it straight out the sky. {Shooting heat energy into a nuclear bomb is an awesome idea Paige, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that…} the sarcastic A.I responded. “I’d rather it blew up in the sky than on the ground….” She said; charging her cannons.

{Yeah, but then a disease will be the least of….you fired it didn’t you….da fuk!!!}

The energy parted the clouds streamlining towards what Paige could only assume was a nuclear bomb. {Paige…that’s a person}. “F$ck” she said, watching as the energy shot towards him.

#10 Posted by xXSpitFireXx (209 posts) - - Show Bio

Desiray Chronicles Journal Entry 6

"What the f*ck is that?" Desiray remarked as she watched an emerald fall from the heavens. The glow radiant from any place in the city it seamed, it seamed slow, this was only however do to the range Des could tell. Janis looked to her eyes widened with fear, of course this could be a drug induced panic as far as any of them could tell. That was until she started to speak. Her words were frantic even if one didn't catch it all however the important details were there without any concealment.

"I saw that Sha chick use a attack with that kind of glow. Killed the fire lady I swear it. The Dathron invasion saw a few glows like that to….its a nuke." This of course could only result in one outcome, everybody breaking into a panicked state of mind. A threat of a nuclear blast for so long seamed like a promising end to this slowly dying life style. It seamed a given though that life was not to end so sudden, and when not washed away in a wave of nuclear fire they freaked out. So for the first and hopefully last time in her life Desiray moved to make a speech. Her foot thumbing the speaker to its highest volume and speaking into her mike. The free hand holding the recorder. "It would seam the government has decided to frag the place. I say it's the government because it's a no fly zone unlikely anyone else would end up here. What they droped I don't f*cking know. Its nuclear however and will take care of the entire city….we survived ninety six days and now we face a quick kill to hide it all."

If they level this place my assumption is some radiation absorbers and they likely will simply come in clean up and sell some bull sh*t excuse. I am not a nuclear chemist nor do I fight such threats like that if its a person. In short shut up and file into the bus we're going to try and escape." That was her speech it was not a good speech she was not a politician. It was a simple thing honestly, she had no desire to be nuked to oblivion.

Desiray Chronicles Journal Entry 7

"The day is eighty six, if you are receiving this that means we had to use the bus. Officer Pie, yes that was his name don't ask me why his family was such d*cks!" The brief moment indicating today was not a good one. Which wasn't saying much. "Anyway it was Pie who suggested the bus be retrofitted awhile back in case of emergency. A car only would attract attention in this situation promising to get us all killed at best violated at worse. Instead we took the bus meant for transporting convicts and outfitted it. Theres not a lot of gas going around we scrounged up a full tank though for the bus however. Dismantling other cars we scored a fair amount of extra armor. We made it into a tank without a cool canon. God I wish we had one, would be so much more useful. Anyway so thats it, if shit comes to it we use a armored bus to try and flee the city. "

Making The Run

Ninety Six people including Desiray were on the bus the dirty blond obviously taking the wheel. "You win every damn race your in, you can pull just about any stunt possible. Not about you can do this. Forget about the thugs going to be trying to gun you down, got plenty of metal between you. Forget the debris you can maneuver around it or plow through it. Calm down its just another run" Des kept telling herself trying to avoid the dark reality of what she was riding on. Cain of course was quick to ravage her thought process. "Think about it Des, fifty four sick people young and old riding on this. Another dozen kids in this bus relying on you another thirty men and women with them. All forty two of those people have other infections and guns out the window. And you, you want to drive a rusty clunker a good several miles through a war zone. Trying to outrun a almost certain nuclear explosion. Your so f*cked princess I'll date ay when I'm back in hell and you join me." Doing her best to tune him out Desiray started the engine minutes fading away before it was functional.

Garage doors flew off their axis as the bus slammed through the passage. Cars knocked aside by the speeding cylinder of metal. Some had common sense and were trying to flee that bomb to come. Others still absorbed in the first draft of survival still assailed the bus. It seamed around every turn their was another hail of bullets thudding into the prison transport. Despite speed and limited openings the sad truth was Des was to dedicated to the driving she could do nothing to help those fighting back. Blood began to pool along the floor as bullets ripped apart the ragtag gunners. The first hope was to go for the bridges the gap was to big, driveway not enough to get this brick going. Cursing in every language she could think of she made a almost complete U turn in a bus that was more battering ram then set of wheels.

The bus slammed onto the ice coated river bend cracks shooting out in every direction. "Cain f*cking cooperate" she yelled the dark possession creating a bridge for what was ahead of the speed demon. Of course it could not be so easy any military on the bridge or not having to control some crisis turned to the bus on ice. The impossible escape attempt under works, they had been blown from the frying pan and into straight up hell. Bullets ripped through the bus armor piercing rounds ignoring the sheets of weak metal. Explosions rocked the bus about road constantly shifting into a ever more trecherous path. The bus at the end of the stretch went from madly fish tailing to a barrel role crashing into side of the nearest city. The prison transport looking warped and disfigured in every way.