#1 Posted by Talon/X23 (10489 posts) - - Show Bio

Three Days Before

Tension was high as despair sunk its sickening teeth into the heart of Champions of Peace. Mistress Redhead one of the founding members was still a coma with no singes of awakening. Dark Huntress had betrayed the team to go join the ranks of the great Cajun, and Talons…previous mentor. The emerald eyed assassin was not furious by her leaving, maybe it was because she herself had done it to countless time to  teams before her, all because of the same man. Several core members had left, and others were missing, it was in truth the dark ages for one of the last standing heroic teams.

Laura Chabot, young mercenary strode swiftly down the hall ways of the Champions base. There was a dead silence that caused a chill to slither up her back. Her breathing was quick and her pace quicker as she had been called by her superior for a meeting.  Keeping her eyes down low she finally found herself standing before Sovereign Son’s room, the door was slightly agar and she could see a dim light resonating from within. Cautiously without knocking she entered only to find her leaders back turned toward her. “So Talon, it’s been a while” he said initiating her presence before she even told him.   “What do you mean sir? We’ve interacted together almost daily?” She could hear a low chuckle from his lips as he turned his dark eyes glancing at her with his brow rose in amusement. “Yes but when last you can you recall us interacting with no one trying to kill us in a mile radius?”

Laura smiled getting her bosses joke before letting out a thoughtful sigh. “Yet I’m afraid I didn’t call you here to exchange pleasantries.” As her emerald eyes gazed over him she could see the slight anxiety with in his eyes as he  walked over toward his window, the last rays of sunlight pouring through it before it elapsed behind the ocean waves. “I’ve called you here Laura to ask a favor of you.” Talon’s brow rose in curiosity as she took a single step forward her hands brushing against the smooth wall beside her. “Anything sir.” She replied whole heartedly as she brushed her midnight locks behind her ear. Slowly Sovereign Son turned with a warm smile on his lips as he let out a heavy sigh. He seemed exhausted but who could she blame him? His wife and best friend were in a coma, his stepdaughter joined the ranks of evil and on top of that he had to take care of Shadow Squad, she was shocked he seemed to in control.

“We’ve known each other for a while, and I’ve watched you. Even though I wasn’t present I heard reports of your leadership skills during the hunt for Icing death, how you took control, and got everyone one out there even though it could have cost you your life.” He paused clearing his throat as he slowly approached her, by now Talon’s eyes were wide as she was hanging off his every word. She had heard this conversation before….never directed toward her specifically but she could see where this was going and it wasn’t good. “I believe you are finally ready to take charge of Shadow Squad as my second command.” Her heart paused the moments those words left his lips, second in command? She couldn’t even protect her boyfriend let alone take charge if need be.

“Sir…are you sure? You know my past you are aware of the roles I have played are you sure you want to trust me with such a responsibility?” She said her voice just above a whisper. Once again his lips curled as he gave her that fatherly smile placing his hand on her shoulder, and staring her deep into the eye as he replied “I am sure.” Letting out an astonished breath her jade eyes dropped to the ground as she tried to contain herself, second in command!? Though her fears slowly subsided as she knew that her leader, and the man that had somehow managed to save her would be there to guide her –“Oh and one more thing. You’ll be in charge of Shadow Squad till I return.” He said slinging a bag over his shoulder as he headed toward the door.

Talon’s immobilized figure stood for a few seconds as his words hit her hard and fast. Swiftly spinning on her heal her midnight blue hair bashing against her sweat drenched forehead she blurted out “Where are you going?!”   Her emerald eyes were wide with fear as she stared at her leader as he prepared to make his exit. “I have some business to take care of. Don’t worry Laura you’ll be fine and never forget I might not be here but that doesn’t mean I won’t be watching.” With that he walked through that door leaving the teen assassin speechless and out of breath. “Oh and one final thing.”   Gasping in shock as she saw her leaders head pop through the door once more he outstretched his hand toward her holding a disk “Don’t screw up, You’ll need this.”

A few hours later

“So Renton have you not heard the news?” The cocky eyed tactician said to his new team mate in the secret Shadow Squad headquarters. Renton only turned to glance at the little boy with a slightly unamused expression on his face knowing the boy would continue whether he said yes or no. “Sovereign Son has left, and with Dark Huntress and Crazy Eight also not present it is obvious who the new leader is.” His pride and confidence was like a stench that lingered consistently upon the little brat. He might have been short but when it came to his boasting arrogance there was no limit. The young haughty assassin continued to wrapped up in his own personal congratulations not to notice the emerald eyed assassin as she wrapped her hands around the end of his cape pulling it, causing him to fall backward and get wrapped up in it himself even more than he already was.

Renton burst out laughing as he placed his hand over his mouth, Talon remained standing in her exact spot as surprisingly swiftly the youth was back on his feet his blade at the emerald eyed assassins neck. “As Leader of the Squad I could kill you right now!” He growled his beady eyes glaring daggers the young blue haired maiden. A wicked smile curved upon Talons lips as she stared down at the young man chuckling slightly. “That might have been so…if you were selected for the position.” Lowering his blade the young boy began laughing as he shook his head in disbelief “You don’t think for a second your leaderships skills could ever rival that of my own?” That confident smile was still wrapped around his lips as he sheathed his blade, no doubt feeling sorry for her.

“Well then, you are in for an astonishing revelation, skills or not I have been selected by Sovereign Son himself to lead this Squad” She paused leaning forward so she was eye level with him mimicking his cocky smile on her own lips “That means you do what I say.” As her words slid off her very lips so swiftly did his blade once again exit its holder, speeding right toward her neck, Laura unleashed her twin blades as the two collided. The clash of metal echoed through the empty base as the two assassins stared eye to eye. “Don’t mistake your fake supremacy over me to gain actual obedience.” Hesperus sneered through clenched teeth his brows cast down.

They stayed like that, two young mercenaries clashing in the current superiority that had been placed upon the one. “I won’t stand for this! You’re…you're lying!” He growled pushing his blade against Laura’s talons causing her to back flip to control his force. Head cast down her midnight blue hair slung over her face, concealing it. “I wouldn’t stoop to your level little brat.” Once again the proud smile slid across his lips as he leaned upon his blade. “You have no proof, for all I know you were suppose to relay a message to me granting me the ability of control, but you couldn’t handle someone else in charge over you.” Talon’s brow rose in curiosity as she remained silent “Oh please you have no proof….I know how you envied Dark Huntress, how you wanted to be in second in command and how hard it was for you to deal with her power over you, and you can’t take the same happening again."

Laura made no reply instead she glance over at Renton a moment “Start up the computers, and play this” she handed her fellow team mate a CD untitled. With that the young jade eyed mercenary charged toward her opponent blades ready fully equipped to battle. Hesperus also was prepared as he too dashed toward her yet his blade soon aimed for her legs, smiling wickedly Laura unleashed her foot claw and caused it to clash once again with the young mercenaries weapon. Both Talon and Hesperus were flung in opposite directions but their momentum remained as they landed on their feet. “I have proof.” She said brushing back her midnight blue hair as she made eye contact with Renton.

With that a holographic Sovereign Son appeared as he began to speak “Hello team, sorry for the abrupt leave but I have a few issues that need to be dealt with. Don’t worry I’ve got some people looking out for you guys and I’ll never be too far away. Be strong and work together, oh and Hesperus Talon will be in charge until my return. Good luck guys, and don’t screw it up.” With that the figure disappeared leaving the little brat silent a moment. Talon looked him over, with a proud smile, he was a brilliant fighter to say the least, Talon was exhausted by both their physical actions and batter. He was in truth a viable adversary.

Slowly approaching the young boy she shot him a smile. “You’ll be my second in command.” With that she turned and walked away not hearing the young boy’s last words as he grumbled “I can live with that….for now.”  Talon was too preoccupied to pay any more attention to anything else, she was in command and that’s what mattered. Though as she prepared for their next assignment her leaders last words rung in her ears “Don’t screw it up.”

The Present

She didn’t know what happened; it wasn’t supposed to go wrong. Everything went as planned everything except this. It wasn’t long after Talon’s conversation with Hesperus that she managed to find an oil rig that had been reported for strange goings on. Those that manned it were going missing and only one man had been found, but when the police tried to talk to him he ripped off one of the officers hands with his mouth and since that point had been exhibiting animal like habits.  At first Talon thought Champions would be better dealing with it, but then she reminded herself how Shadow Squad was part of Champions secret or not. So she, Hesperus and Renton went to go seek out the  threat, they attempted to question the oil rigger but found no answers there except the same animal like behavior.

Eventually they set out via boat toward the rig, it was a few miles off shore and everything was going fine until an unknown fog settled in…..she recalled giving Renton orders to slow down and Hesperus to remain look out since their tech was acting up…but then everything went black. …

Laura’s body seemed to be propped up against the wall, her wrist were raw from the many times she had fought her restrains. A metal collar was placed around her neck making any unwanted movement painful. Beside her were the bodies of her team mates that she had practically given death sentences too. She couldn’t believe she let something like that slip, nothing was ever how it seemed why couldn’t she see it was a trap! Why did she have to be so blind! The cells that held them were rusty as this whole establishment had taken on a lot of water. She was astonished that neither Renton or Hesperus were ridiculing her with insults, she would have thought that the little brats mouth would have been a flame with “I told you so’s”  From her observations they were probably underwater, but why were they still alive? Who was behind this? That was Laura’s question until she heard a creaky door down the hall slid open as footsteps echoed in the hall way. Glancing over to her team mates with attempting to hide her anxiety  she whispered “Looks like we have company.” 

#2 Posted by -Hesperus- (175 posts) - - Show Bio

'Of course, it was obvious from the start that Michael had made a terrible mistake.' Damian thought, his wrists starting to itch as the cuffs dug into his flesh. 'Still, the little girl is so accoustomed to my comments; my silence is a far better punishment.' Hesperus had not spoken since waking up to find himself and his lackeys locked up in a damp, dingy prison cell, surrounded by the stench of filthy animals. 'Odd, I was not informed that we would be infiltrating a zoo.' The boy smirked. 'In fact, I don't recall being told much about the mission. Disappearances on an oil rig and a dribbling lunatic don't really qualify as intel.' His eyes closed, the young Champion had decided that meditation was the best way of passing the time, after becoming quickly bored of his situation. His games had dried up, he had run out of both interesting ways to kill Eclipse and reasons he would make a better leader than Talon. All that remained was to wait. 
"Looks like we have company." Laura's voice whispered. Damian's ears perked up, and a grin spread across his face. 
"About time." He laughed, slipping his hands easily out of his handcuffs and wrenching the collar off his neck with both hands. Bounding onto a nearby barrel, Hesperus vaulted up to the ceiling, hiding himself in the shadows among the rafters. As soon as he woke up, the young assassin noticed that he was chained up. Taking note of the fact that his wrists were slimmer than his two team-mates, and so he had a greater chance of escaping, he set about loosening his bonds slightly, by trapping them against the wall and pulling them looser and looser, until he had to grip them to ensure he didn't fall out of them prematurely. The metal neck restraint was a greater problem, but Damian had confidence he would be able to break free from it. From his vantage point, he heard the bolt securing their door in place slide open, and the door was thrown wide open. 
Through the gap strode three figures. The largest entered first, following by a man half his height, before finally the third man entered the room. Leaning to get a better view, Hesperus took in the appearances of their visitors from his hiding place. The tallest was by far the most physically intimidating. With broad shoulders, a large chest and huge arms, Damian made a mental note to take him out stealthily if the opportunity arose. His hair was a large, blonde, shaggy mess, surrounding his entire face as it faded into a beard below his ears. Coupled with his fang-like teeth and huge, black eyes, the man looked startlingly like a lion. This view was confirmed, causing Damian to raise his eyebrows in surprise, as a tail was noticeable, dangling next to his legs. Behind the snarling man was a sniveling one, a stout, hunched-over little man, with watery eyes and twitchy features. He had grey hair not only on his head, but covering most of his face, aside from his nose, which was far longer than average, and framed by whiskers. All this combined with his long, bald tail made this man look remarkably like a rodent. Bringing up the rear was the man who was clearly the brains of the operation. 
"Greetings, pests." The man grinned, stepping between his henchmen to address his audience with a devilish grin. "I am Foxhound. Please, don't get up." The charismatic thinker was, unlike his counterparts, an odd combination of fox and dog, though with far more muscle than either. His fur-covered face was decorated with a small pair of glasses on the bridge of his foxy nose. His bushy tail swept back and forth behind him, much to the irritation of the rat-man. "Ah, forgive me, heroes, I am not used to playing the role of a villain. This is the part where I unveil my plan to you all, giving you the opportunity to break free and ruin everything, yes? I think I might skip that step and simply have the three of you undergo the procedure." 
"Master..." The rat whispered shakily into Foxhound's ear. "There are only two prisoners..." 
"Use your senses, Sikes." The lion growled. "Can't you smell the fresh meat?" Leaping up, the beast tore his mighty claws through the rafter above him. Hesperus vaulted from his perch before it was destroyed, landing on all fours on the wet floor, between the three villains and the rest of the Shadow Squad. 
"Very good, Leonardo." Foxhound bared his teeth and flexed his claws. 
"If you're not going to talk now, I guess I'll have to crack open your head and see what information spills out." Hesperus smiled back, crouching low, his fists clenching. 
"Ah, the lone wolf." Foxhound chuckled, his long toe-nails clattering against the floor as he paced between his henchmen. "You know, the tactical move would be to release your friends there." 
"Co-workers." Damian spat, unmoving. "Not friends. And I've taken one worse than the three of you alone." 
"Quite." The villain replied, his English accent seeping through. "It is unfortunate that you won't have the chance to test that theory." That moment, a spiked tail flashed through the air, its tip scratching Damian's cheek. Hesperus made to turn around and face the threat, but immediately toppled over unconscious. Emerging from the shadows of the room came a fourth animalistic person, this one a woman, with the appearance of a scorpion. 
"He'll only be out for a moment. Long enough to reapply the restraints." She said quickly, dragging Damian back to his position and clamping the cuffs more tightly over his wrists. 
"I shall return momentarily." Foxhound grinned, as his henchmen filed out of the room. "Don't worry. Soon, you will be like us." Bowing his head slightly, the villain made his exit. 
Groaning a few seconds later, Hesperus shook his head vigorously. Upon discovering he was restrained once again, he swore and leaned his head against the wall. "Well, there goes my plan. Got any ideas, Robin Hood?"

#3 Posted by Talon/X23 (10489 posts) - - Show Bio

Incompetence that’s what this all was. One large sea of it, a slide of events creating an album in whole. Though it was not her team mates but her own ignorance and self confidence that had lead her to this point in time. Hesperus had disregarded her existence and she couldn’t blame him. First day as a leader and she had managed to botch the job moments after it was given to her. Renton had remained neutral and mostly silent, whether he was calculating an escape or simple holding his tongue she had to give it to the young man for his self control. It was just the three of them after the little incident Damian had regained consciousness….sadly and once again the young emerald eyed assassin was at the mercy of his mouth.

"Don't worry. Soon, you will be like us." Foxhounds words rang in her ears over and over again. She replayed the moment in her head, how he entered his confidence and obviously his odd animal like appearance. Could he had been gene splicing? Merging human DNA with animals? That wouldn’t make sense…except for his statement he said last. "Soon, you will be like us." He mentioned “You” as in her individually. He couldn’t be using DNA he’d have to be doing something more personal…something possibly similar to metamorphosis? From what she had seen he knew what he was doing and he intended to do the same to her, maybe that was why her sense wasn’t working maybe that was why she felt so aggressive. With that a thought came to her.

Slowly her emerald eyes rolled into her head as her fist tightened. The veins in her arms started to become more apparent as her teeth clenched together. Her midnight blue hair slung across her face as her emerald eyes faded bright yellow. With that her hands started shifting and finally she began pulling on her restraints. Breathing heavily with silent cry she broke the bonds that had held her wrist. Falling on her face down her hands stopping her fall slowly everything reverted to the way they were. Taking in a deep breath she got to her feet brushing her hair out of her face. Hesperus had managed to unchain himself already and Renton using his robotic arm had also discharged the chains. Glaring over at Hesperus a moment she approached him hands on her hips.

“You are my second in command and as that I entrust you with my life.” With that she pulled something out of her pocket that appeared to be a syringe and handed it to him. “This is 50 cc’ of liquidized silver, if injected into my blood stream it’ll cause death. If anything goes wrong I know I can trust you to end my life without a second thought.” Giving it to the young boy she turned to Renton “Part the sea Renton.” And with those words their cyborg team mate pried the cell pars enough for them to pass through. Even though Foxhound could have made security more enhanced it appeared that his attention was drawn elsewhere no doubt to whatever he was cooking up in his lab.

Now standing with in the dim damp hall way she turned to face her only two cohorts “Your guess is as good as mine but I assume there’s a lab here. My plan is we stealthy find it and find out what’s going on in. If any of you have a better suggestion I’d like to hear it.” And like clockwork Hesperus spoke “Why should we listen to you? You’re the one who got us in this mess in the first place. What right do you have to order us around?” Letting out a deep sigh Talon’s lips curled in a nervous smile. “You’re right…I have messed this up and I admit that I have been over controlling. But I’m not ordering you around anymore. I am asking that you trust me one last time and I can bet my life on it that this time we will not fail….for if we do Hesperus you’ll be in charge of Shadow Squad.”

Shooting him a cocky smile the game was on. She knew failure was never an option but she would rather die than let that little brat be in charge over her. With that the trio skulked down the dark slimly hall ways. She could see that this place had taken on a lot of water, no doubt they were several feel underwater. The metal was corroded and the rocks had moss grown upon them. The only lighting was being given by the emergency lights overhead this place was certainly not tended to in the past months. In truth Talon was curious as to why their escape had gone unnoticed? Was it because he was truly that ignorant? Or did he have an unknown agenda concerning the three Shadow Squad members?

But as she was in the middle of thought a strong pain coerced through her spine as she stopped in mid stride. The canines of her grew to a point as her emerald eyes shifted yellow but just for a moment. With that her eyes returned to normal as did her teeth. With Hesperus glancing suspiciously at her she rolled her eyes raising her brow in annoyance. With that they continued onward without a word. “I should never have given him that syringe, that little brat no doubt will kill me if I sneeze.” She thought to herself. Eventually the three came to a narrower tunnel. In single file line Laura started questioning if this was even leading somewhere. After a few minutes had passed up ahead Laura could see a bright beaming light as the tunnel began to spread out more.

Pausing a moment she glanced over to Renton as he placed his hand upon the stone wall. Due to his robotic arm he could pick up tremors that most individuals wouldn’t be able to detect, not even Talon. “There’s a lot of movement beyond this corridor.” He mentioned his deep eyes staring thoughtfully ahead. Slowly the three skulked in the cover of darkness about the edges of the entrance. It appeared to span into a large warehouse like room, it was littered with different types of machinery and many more of the half human half animalized creatures. “Got a plan?” Renton whispered toward Talon. “Of course I do.” Hesperus said full volume. Frozen in motion Talon glared back at the little brat not willing to tolerate his arrogance. “Yes I do. But it’s going to be risky. Do you trust me?” She didn’t know why she kept asking that, maybe it was because she wanted their trust rather than obedience she didn’t know, even with War Killer she would constantly ask that question.

With that the group divided up circling around the room ducking behind machinery. Talon had charged Renton on a special assignment and Hesperus was paired up with her to try and figure out what was going on. No words were exchanged thankfully, she didn’t have time to endure playful banter with the mercenary kid. Right now her mind was focused on one thing, and one thing alone: Success. Avoiding being spotted they eventually made their way safely behind a large container of sorts. Talon had felt slightly edgy the whole time but denied to show it. The Lycan within wanted out. Talon knew Hesperus was a smart kid, Sovereign wouldn’t have chosen him for Shadow Squad if he wasn’t and honestly Talon wouldn’t have trusted him as a second in command if he hadn’t showed promise. She might not have liked him but she couldn’t deny he was a boy genius.

Turning her emerald eyes toward the young assassin she was about to speak from both sides they were taken by two wolf like creatures. Back to back with Hesperus she whispered “Don’t engage.” Oddly enough the canine creatures remained at an aggressive stance but didn’t attack. Taking this opportunity Talon continued to whisper “Alright Hesperus, I know your mind has been constantly at work the whole time we’ve been scouring this area tell me what your Ideas?”  Yet just after that Laura soon realized while those things remained placid. “Well…well looks like the three blind mice have escaped” and with those words the beast like villain approached behind one of the guards. “But alas there is one missing, you go find him.” He motioned to one of the wolf like guards. “Well it seems my hypothesis was correct.” He said with a sneering smile upon his cold lips his eyes directed at Talon who had unleashed her claws by now her brow raised in curiosity at his sudden attention toward her.

“Of course you wouldn’t have known, I subtly manipulated you’re feral hormones to direct which path you’d take. The moment I detected that feral instinct I knew I could have used it to my advantage.” His strong British accent laced on every word. Talon’s facial features remained hard and stern as she appeared not fazed by his revelation. “Yet before I continue I wanted to make sure you are worthy to join my army.” With those words creatures of all types began to surround them. Some upon the metal railings above and others on the sides “Anyway is not the animal kingdom run by survival of the fittest? And I shall tolerate no weaklings.” With that he disappeared around the corner leaving the two Champions left on their own to face the beast like creatures. Knowing how the little brat thought she could almost feel Hesperus’ hand to his belt.

With lightning precision she grabbed his wrist her emerald eyes darting toward his brown. “Damian, trust me.” With that the two Shadow Squad members were left to battle against these animalistic monsters. Hopefully this would by enough time for Renton to complete his task, but she knew he’d fine. It was herself and Hesperus she was worried about, and more importantly she was worried if that mad man was actually right.

#4 Posted by Kincaid (28 posts) - - Show Bio

Victor lay in his bed, awake staring at the ceiling and listening to Linkin Park. His roommate Aiden had gone out with Honor Girl again and once more hadn't returned. The room was empty, the CoPs base quiet. A movement in a dark corner of the room caught Kincaids eye, the teen Champion jumped to his feet an elegant array of tribal tattoos appearing upon his skin. These tattoos radiated a blue aura illuminating the darkness.

Although Kincaid hadn't been a member of CoPs for long, when ones life was threaten as much as the Champions lives were you adapted. Vic's reflexes had a hair trigger and this movement had launched him into action. The light emanating from Kincaid revealed the intruder to be Mike Lockhart. "Easy kid." He said. The dumbstruck Victor regained some kind of sense and relaxed his stance. Still stunned into silence Kincaid stood staring blankly as Sovereign Son began to speak. "I need you to do something for Victor." Kincaid's eyes widened, Mike Lockhart needed something from him. As he waited for the Champion to continue hundreds of possibilities ran through Vic's mind.

"Walk amongst the Shadows." Sov said cryptically. Victors first thought was "Am I being recruited for Shadow Squad." SS was a secret division of CoPs, many members of the Young Champions and the Core team were oblivious to its existence. A team of heroes like the Champions of Peace could not be affiliated with a group who were willing to do whatever it took in order to get the job done. "I've been called to duty." Mike continued, "I can't say why I have to go but Shadow Squad has lost a great deal of members as of late and I'd like to see how the team dynamic has been effected. Since I can't do this myself, I need you to be my eyes. Observe the group, help them and when I return I'll debrief you."

"Before I go, I have something for you." Mike said reaching into his right pocket. When he pulled his hand out, Mike held a pair of black sunglasses between his fingers. "I had these made for you, they should make it easier for you to take someones abilities." Sov said. "They're connected to the Champions database, when you have a target in your sights a heads holographic display will appear telling you what information the database has on their abilities."

“I won't let you down, Sir.” Vic said finally jarred from his revery. “There isn't a doubt in my mind.” Mike said a slight smile upon his lips. “Slightly less than twenty four hours ago the SS headed out on a mission, eight hours back they lost contact. Your first objective should be to locate them.” As Mike said this he took a step back into the shadows then he was gone. Kincaid pinched his left arm to be sure he hadn't been dreaming, it hurt and he realized he was still holding the glasses in his right hand. This was real, Sovereign Son had just asked HIM for help. As the thought crossed his mind a huge smile appeared on Victor's face. 
Alone in his dorm room once more Victor walked over to the black dresser on the west wall of the room. Opening the top drawer of the dresser Vic moved several delicate pieces,of clothing aside to reveal an electronic hand scanner. Placing his hand on the device the young heroes identity was verified, the wall to the right of the dresser retracted revealing a suit of body armor very similar to the one Sovereign Son had just been wearing, a pair of identical gold plated 9mm's hung in a holster given to Kincaid by Crazy Eights after his first encounter with the Champions of Peace and a pair of combat boots. One after another Victor adorned them, after lifting his red hoodie over his torso to conceal the weapons and body armor, finally Victor place the glasses Mike had just given him upon his head and picked up his ipod and cell phone.

Pressing the internet icon on his Evo, Kincaid was brought to a site he frequented, Champions Viral. The Wizard the sites founder placed real time updates on CV anything to do with the Champions of Peace. If anyone had info on the Shadow Squads whereabouts he would. The latest update read “Young Champions training Exercise scheduled for tomorrow morning, how will the adolescents fair without their mentor?” Just below that “Shadow Squad heads south to investigate mysterious disappearances.” Clicking the link to expand the article Victor learned that the SS's investigation had lead them to search to sea off the coast of Florida.

Without haste Kincaid headed to the Island's hanger bay, it was stocked with a large variety of vehicles. After a quick browsing Victor chose a single seated craft equipped for both flight and sea travel. Securing himself into the cockpit Vic hit the code which he'd learned from Mistress Redhead on his one and only flight test, an alarm began sounding and the hanger bay doors opened. “Can't be too much different then HAWX on the 360 right?” Victor asked himself worry in his voice as he pushed the large red button which launched him into the air.

As the G Force hit the Young Champions face he let out a scream filled with both fear and joy which was drown out by the sound of his crafts engine firing up and breaking the sound bearer. Before he messed something up Victor located the navigation systems setting his course and switched the vessel to autopilot. His breath labored, he was unable to contain the excitement which he felt. Sure in just a few hours his life would once again be put in jeopardy but Sovereign Son had asked him to help the Shadow Squad and he was soaring through the air traveling over a thousand miles in less then thirty seconds.

A few hours later after the initial thrill had passed the navigation system signaled the final approach to Victor's destination and a voice said over the intercom “Autopilot Disengaging.” Vic's eyes shot open as the craft began to fall toward the unforgiving waves of the ocean below. Grabbing the controls before him Kincaid pressed two blue buttons, immediately the top of the of the aircraft separated and was thrown back to reveal a jet ski. “Oh SHIT!” Vic screamed as he fell and the jet ski fell 500 feet to the water below. Pulling back the throttle Victor was able to slow the momentum of the fall and land safely.

“Alright, if the Wizard's info was correct the team disappeared after they went searching for an oil tanker. That tanker should be within a 50 mile radius of my location, better start the search.” Victor thought. Unbeknownst to the youth a large fin trailed his craft but the muscular arms connected to that fin revealed that it belonged to no creature of natural origin.

#5 Posted by mantoidx (1812 posts) - - Show Bio
Cool waters from salty ocean waves swept past Erika's ankles. Staring out over the waters at the rising tide, she could feel the flow of the underwater currents. Some shallow, some deep; circulating cold water from the ocean floor with warm water waters from the surface. As much as the waves interested her, she was thinking about something far more complex, life beneath those waves. Sitting down on the empty face of the Austrailian beach in her swimsuit she set her hand on a nearby piece of coral. Tiny creatures coming together to form a more significant, more beautiful and visible form. Touching another piece of what many people would think was coral, she smiled as sharp venomous spines poked up into her hand, not harming her as her skin changed to water on reflex. Disguised as a piece of coral, one of the world's most deadly fish, the Stonefish, lay still, half submerged in water. Not a beautiful creature, its disguise was almost perfect and in the eyes of the goddess of the ocean was a beautiful fish. In more ways than was apparent, Erika was like that Stonefish, even if she did not realize it.

Closing her eyes, she thought about the mental image that she would carry with her forever, the one where everyone had neglected her, humans and fish alike, and she remebered falling apart into water that she could not put back together, how powerless the feeling was. Snapping out of her old memory she opened her eyes and thought about her time at the Champions of Peace. She had surfaced from the depths of the ocean after an absence and had joined the team because she saw it was a great opportunity to reach and save people on a global scale that would be much harder to do by herself. After two big missions her experience at the Champions changed when Mike Lockhart gave her an offer that she thought about and accepted after thinking on the subject for a few days. Erika joined a part of the Champions of Peace that does not exist, the Shadow Squad, allowing the natural predator in her to surface.

Picking up the Stonefish carefully she looked into its eyes, reading them like a book, the stonefish mimicing her action. Communicating back and forth for many minutes, which was fine for the Stonefish as they can be out of water for many hours, she stood up to her feet and walked into the waves, setting the dangerous fish down in the deeper waters. Taking a long look at the rising tide on the shore, she saw a small group of people come into view. The time was hers to return to the waters. Sitting back down, the water was up to her neck now, and a foot high wave approached rapidly. Overtaking her, she was lost underneath the rising tide, her legs changing into a tail, a mermaid. The superheroine Mantoid swam away into deeper, darker waters, off to greet some ocean animals before heading off to her first mission as part of the Shadow Squad.

A few hours later, traveling as liquid through the water at the speed of sound, she had made excellent time and was off the coast of Florida. Slowing her pace she returned to her mermaid form and became more aware of her surroundings, as her fast travel was only a method for transportation, and did not allow her to interact with the environment around her very well. Focusing on the waters around her she could visualize the underwater landscape, and pinpointed the oil rig that was her destination. Swimming underwater towards the oil rig, she felt a large ripple above her, a large object displacing and disrupting the surface of the water. Propelling herself to the surface she stopped and remained still, her eyes above the surface of the water. On the move was a jet ski, speeding in the direction opposite of the oil rig. Catching a glimpse of the jet ski rider's face, she recognized him as part of the Champions, the Shadow Squad. Thinking that he was lost and was not sure where to go, she tailed him for a while, keeping out of sight, drawing closer until she had her best opportunity.

Touching the back of the ski with her hand, Erika closed her eyes and fell apart into water. Utilizing the spraying water from the jet ski Mantoid took control of the water and manipulated the droplets to converge behind him. Forming feet, ankles, legs, chest, arms, and finally her head, in a water form, her two piece swimsuit fit on her from the water behind the jet ski, before her water body became flesh and bones. Tapping Kincaid on the shoulder, she watched him turn around in what appeared to be a surprised state. She said with a thin smile on her face, "Follow me to the oil rig." Falling backwards off of the jet ski, her tail returned and she swam led the way to the oil rig, approaching within ten minutes.