By Paragon 32 Comments
(OOC: This is a story for me and every character I've made to expand their universe inside the RPG world with stories I feel the need to tell outside of the RPG universe. Like Eclipse said in Trial of Ages, "It's not a FanFic, because I made the characters." Give comments and criticisms (I like those), since I'll just keep adding to this first post.)
Chapter 1"Are you sure you want this?" Asked the woman as she locked the door to her office and unbuttoned her blazer, walking across the room to where Dr. Brendan MacAskill lay on the couch.
He looked deep into her piercing blue eyes and answered. "More than anything, Lizzy. You're my oldest friend, and it will make things easier for me and Brooke. Even you. I've thought about this for a long time. Let's do this."
Liz sat next to him, looking back into his eyes with a serious stare, using her telekinesis to dim the lights in the room. "Just so you know, even when I was on shaky moral grounds as a criminal, I wasn't comfortable with mind wipes. So can we go over who's we're making forget your identity again, just to be sure?"
"Pretty much everybody." he replied. "It's a much shorter list if I just tell you who we're not making forget. Just me, you, and Brooke."
Liz sighed as she brushed a long strand of her dark black bangs out of her eyes. "And this is because too many of your old teammates have gone rogue and used the knowledge of your identity to hurt you and the ones you love, so you want to make sure that absolutely no one remembers so that someone won't just go ahead and sell that information to Darkchild or ReEnforcer just to make a quick buck."
"Exactly. Took the words right out of my mouth. It's like you read my mind." he smiled, winking at the psychic psychiatrist.
"Ugh." She hated that joke. "So, why just the three of us?"
"If I forget who I am, that's not good. I think you know how that ends up." Brendan started, referring to Liz's amnesia she had suffered. "If Brooke forgets, it's going to be hard to explain how she got her powers. Also, super powers are about the only thing I know how to help her with right now. I have no idea how to handle a teenage girl other wise. As for you, I don't want you to forget what you're doing halfway through."
"How thoughtful of you." muttered Liz, looking thoroughly unimpressed.
Brendan grabbed her hand reassuringly. "Liz, I'm kidding. You've been with me in this superhero thing from the beginning. I couldn't imagine it without you. That's why."
She smiled, and squeezed his hand back and smiled. "I hate when you're sweet like that. Alright. Let's get started on this then." She moved her chair to the end of the couch behind Paragon's head, and positioned her fingers on his temples. "Just close your eyes and relax now, B."
With a giant exhale, Brendan closed his eyes, relaxed and let Liz take over. Her breaths were slow and controlled, as her fingers hovered over his head, channelling psychic energy between the two bodies. Her breathing quickened as the power built, resonating around the room, vibrating small things on the desk and shaking the leaves on the plant like a soft breeze. It wasn't long before the power mounted again as her breathing became quicker, and the psychic energy began to show in her eyes, turning them from a bright blue to a glowing electric purple. Items around the office began to levitate, slowly at first, then rising several feet in the air. The dim room gained a purple glow, like Liz's eyes, as the power continued to escalate. Beads of sweat ran down Liz's forehead as she reigned in the psychic forces swirling around them as her breaths became more shallow. With a final breath, there was a pause as everything in the world seemed to stop for a moment, except for her heart which felt like it was beating like the wings of a hummingbird, then it happened. The psychic energy released like water breaking through a dam, crashing over the minds of the world, erasing all knowledge that the respected Dr. Brendan MacAskill was the Champion of Peace, Paragon.
Slowly opening his eyes, Paragon felt no different. "Well, that wasn't too bad." he said, sitting up on the leather couch.
"Speak for your self, sweetie." Liz panted, wiping sweat from her brow. "I feel like I just ran the Boston marathon twice after eating rotten sushi."
"Oooh, let's get you on the couch, Lizzy." Brendan said, popping up beside Liz, and helping her over to the couch in her weakened state. The colour had dropped from her face, leaving her skin a ghostly white. "I see why you don't like the mind wipes now. I'm just going to let Geoffery know to cancel everything for the rest of the day until you feel better. In the meantime, I'm going to go get you some chicken noodle soup. That's good for psychic sickness, right?" Liz's only response was the sound of her throwing up into a potted plant. "Gross."
Brendan closed the door to Liz's office quietly, and walked up to her assistant's desk. "Geoffery, I need you to cancel all of Dr. Ferris's appointments for the rest of today. She's not feeling well."
Geoffery shot him a angry glance, hidden beneath his stylish hipster haircut, and an answer full of 'I-know-more-than-you' righteousness. "I can't do that unless I get approval from the doctor herself. If I just cancelled appointments whenever a patient told me to, she'd never get anything done."
Dr. MacAskill leaned in close so that the assistant could just hear him whisper. "Listen Geoff, Liz told me to tell you to clear her day, or she's going to come out here, and throw up all over this new suit you're wearing and seem to love so much."
With a look of defeat and fear for his suit, Geoffry made a few quick clicks with the mouse. "Done. Also, I meant to tell you, Metro PD is here looking for you. I think she said her name was Detective Snow, or Heat... Something like that. I wasn't paying attention."
"Such a good assistant. How have you not gotten a raise?" he quipped sarcastically before turning around to scan the waiting room for the detective.
Turning, Brendan saw a tall, gorgeous woman with long dancer's legs, and a sultry, yet commanding voice. Her shoulder length brown hair framed her face, drawing his attention to her sparkling, aquamarine eyes. "Detective Snow, I presume?"
"You guessed right, cowboy. Now can you please turn around again, and put your hands behind your back. You're under arrest for the murder of Kaylee Tam."
Brendan had sat in the interrogation room for almost 20 minutes before he was finally joined by Detective Snow again.
"You know, with the cases I've been on, I always thought it was fun making the suspects sit it out in here for a while, but, man, it sucks now that I've experienced it." he told the detective. "I mean, I know why you do it. You're trying to break me. Make me slip up. Over think my story."
"And what is your story, doctor?" asked Snow calmly.
"That I'm not your guy! Simple as that!" he responded. "I know absolutely everybody says that, but it's true! I've never even heard of Kaylee Tam!"
The detective slid forward a picture of the victim. A young Chinese girl, who looked to be in her early twenties. "You might know her better as the Jade Tiger, doctor. Mostly worked in Chinatown."
"OK, well I have heard of Jade Tiger, but we had never actually met." he said, looking over the pictures of the victim. "These gunshots look more like gang violence, anyways. There's a pretty good chance she was breaking something up, then was caught and punished by whoever it was."
"Hmm…" laughed Snow. "That's what our gang experts said too. It's funny how you're so accurate on the call there. It's like you were there." she said, almost implying something.
"What?" he said, dumbfounded. "Are you trying to say that I am leading a Chinese gang? Have you seen how white I am?"
"We found hair samples on the body that matched your's as well as a hotel key card, to a room in your name." Snow shot back, sliding a small bag with a room key to #1387 in the Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a bill to Brendan MacAskill.
"And I assume you have proof of me using this hotel room, and it's not a case of identity theft?"
Snow leaned in on the table between the two of them. "Security camera footage at the hotel desk of you checking in, with Kaylee in tow."
Brendan leaned into the table so that his face was inches from her's and looked into her aquamarine eyes. "That's mighty compelling evidence there, detective, but I can alibi out. See I was with my daughter and some friends." he explained, alluding to patrolling with the Champions of Peace. "Did you check my twin brother, because that would explain for the DNA on the hair, and the security at the hotel.
The detective leaned even closer, so that their noses were almost touching. "According to our system, you don't have a twin brother, doctor. Seems despite seeing it so many times, making you wait it out in this room did, in fact, break you."
"That's because he's a ghost for some international high military, that your systems can't access. I however, can look into FBI, Interpol and even old ICE Dragon files. Bring me a computer, and I can show you the man you're looking for." the doctor said, calm and unblinking. "Also, you smell pretty."
The last comment caused Snow to roll her eyes, and pull back, unimpressed. "You've got one shot, or we're locking you up." With a snap of her fingers, another detective brought in a laptop, and within moments, they were all logged into the ICE Dragon server.
"So, you're going to have to explain to me how you managed to get a keycode to log into the ICE server." said Snow, as she watched the doctor clicking around the screen, and pulling up files.
"I've worked with the Dragons on many a case, m'lady. Did a bit of work for Andferne, Nighthunter, Paragon… A *lot* of work for Paragon actually…. I was on the team, you could say." A few more quick clicks, and a familiar face was looking back at them from the screen. "Bam, said the lady! James Marshall MacAskill, alias, Vengeance. Brother of Brendan Wayne MacAskill. Member of Canadian secret military organization North Wind. Known accomplices: Paragon, Metric, Geist, and, the lady who brought us all here today," He too a breath for effect. "Jade Tiger."
Detective Snow didn't look too thrilled with the evidence presented before her. "You can go, but don't leave town, doctor."
"I wouldn't dream of it, Snow. I have a lot of work to do here."
In a flash, he was on Pennsylvania Avenue, on front of the Marriott. "Let's see if this works." he said to himself, as he walked up to the front desk. "Hello," he smiled to the receptionist. "Seems I'm in a bit of a pickle, and have left my key locked in my room. It's number 1387."
The receptionist smiled back, with the large, overly happy look that everyone in the service industry could replicate. "Of course sir. I'll just need your name."
"MacAskill. Brendan MacAskill." he replied, feeling like James Bond.
The receptionist clicked away at the computer in front of her, as a new key was made. "Perfect. Here you are, sir. Have a nice day."
Brendan made his way to the elevators, and headed to the 13th floor. As the lift came to it's destination, the doors slide open revealing an empty hallway, that was clear all the way to his brother's room.
"This is almost too easy." laughed Brendan, as he slid the key card through the slot in the door, which unlocked with an audible click.
The explosion from the room blew the door off it's hinges as the fireball erupted down the hall. The only thing keeping Brendan safe was the heavy door sitting on top of him. Throwing the large slab of wood off of him, Brendan quickly ran into the room to see if there was any information he could salvage. Sirens could be heard off in the distance, as fire crews and police would be on scene shortly as he waded through the wreckage. Surveying the room, he could tell through the smoke that there was almost nothing left, save for a bed on fire and the charred remains of the dresser. No clothes. No bodies. No clues at all.
"Looks like this might be a dead end." he muttered. Just then, his phone buzzed with a text message. "Undisclosed number?" he said, opening the message.
B, saw the explosion from the roof across the street. They're onto me. Send your friend Paragon to the abandoned Starks warehouse. He'll get the answers you need.
In a blink, he was dressed in his Paragon armour. "Well this doesn't sound like a trap at all…" he said, as his phone buzzed again.
That's because it isn't.
Chapter 3The late afternoon sun beat down on Paragon as he peered through the skylight of the abandoned Starks Enterprises warehouse to the people he saw below. Twelve asian looking men dressed in sharp, black suits, and several others were loading a large crate into an unmarked black van. "Why would they do something like this in the middle of the day?" Paragon wondered out loud.
The feeling of a cold steel barrel against the back of his skull provided his answer. "Because no one sees it coming." answered a deep voice, with what Paragon guessed to be a Chinese accent. "No sudden movements, hero or I spread your brain all over this roof." The speedster turned slowly to see a mountain of a Chinese man. He stood easily a head taller than the hero's own 6 feet, and was built like a Mack truck. Swearing silently to himself for being caught, Paragon quickly thought up an escape plan, and how to subdue this giant.
"You're pretty sneaky…" started Paragon, looking up at the giant. As he said those words, three muffled shots from a silenced handgun interrupted his sentence. The behemoth's eyes rolled back in his head, as he crashed to the floor.
"Thanks. I try." Behind the colossal corpse stood a familiar figure, holding a smoking pistol. Despite his face being covered in a small domino mask, Brendan recognized the face immediately, for it was identical to his own.
"Vengeance!? What the hell?" Paragon was blown away by what had just transpired before him. "You realize I easily could have downed that guy before he could have done…. Anything! Without killing him!"
"Instead, you chose to chat him up, potentially giving him a change to blow our cover, either with his noisy gun, or this here radio." said Vengeance calmly, as he quickly searched the body. "I simply acted when you didn't."
Brendan took a deep breath to quell his rage toward his twin's reckless action. "So I'm guessing because you killed him, you already know everything, and had no need to question him." he said, sarcastically.
"Exactly." Vengeance replied, bringing the hero's frustration coming to a boil again, as he walked over to the skylight and looked down at the scene below. "I had been watching these guys for weeks now. Call themselves Dragons of the Inversion, and they're run by Xiang Yu."
"The ancient Chinese warlord?"
"Claims to be the re-incarnated spirit of him, and wears a Beijing opera mask. Really, more of a terrorist than a warlord. Which is why I've been tracking him and his activities for the North Wind. Intel says he's got his hands on some sort of cryo-bomb that could send the whole city into a new ice age, freezing everything in it's blast radius." He continued, scanning the room, and seemingly picking targets.
"And where did Jade Tiger fit into this?" The hero asked.
Vengeance's eyes narrowed at the mention of Jade Tiger. "Kaylee and I were working this together. We thought we had found the bomb, but it was a trap. We took down as many of them as we could. Me with my guns, and Kaylee with her claws, but then he showed up. Goddamnit, he was fast on the draw. Shot out both her kneecaps while she was mid jump. She cracked her head on the floor when she couldn't support herself on the landing. He finished her off with two to the chest, and one to the head. I barely got out with my life, and when I came back, the place was swept clean, save for her body. I planted the hair, because I knew the cops would pick up my brother, who'd be smart enough to get you involved. It's a two man job, and I feel I can trust you."
"I'll help you, to save the city, and bring Jade Tiger's killer to justice. We do it my way, though. Deal?" Vengeance's eyes narrowed with annoyance again, but just as he was about to open his mouth, their attention was suddenly drawn to the room below.
The door to the warehouse burst open as a SWAT team moved in, guns drawn.
"Metro PD! Down on the ground!" shouted a voice familiar to Paragon. Detective Snow was leading the assault.
The gang fired on the police squad, who immediately fired back. All hell broke out in the warehouse, as the sound of machine gun fire and bullets filled the air.
"We've got to get down there!" said The White Knight, only to realize Vengeance was no where to be seen. He looked back to see one of the gangsters sneaking up silently behind Snow, blade drawn. With a split-second reaction, Paragon came crashing down through the skylight, landing on top of the thug, just as he was about to pounce.
Detective Snow turned around quickly to see the hero standing over the unconscious assassin.
"Nice entrance." admired Snow, as she fired off a round, taking down another of the Inversions.
"I try." Smiled the speedster, before taking off around the room.
At high speed, everything seemed to stand still. The bullets that filled the air moved at a snail's pace as Paragon ran to each gang member and swiftly disarmed them, and disassembled their guns. It all happened between the ticks of a second, as he came back to Snow's side, while the SWAT team members moved in to cuff the thugs. "That should be the last of them."
"Good. Thanks for the save back there." said Snow.
"Any time, Detective…" started Paragon, fishing for a first name on top of the one he already knew.
"Snow. Robyn Snow." she stated, taking the bait.
"What brings you to these parts of D.C., Detective Snow?"
"Hot tip on a murder investigation. What about you, Speedy?"
"Same thing." he answered, before catching something out of the corner of his eye. As a SWAT member bent over to cuff one of the mobsters close to the van, the Inversion member swept the cop's legs from under him and made a break for the driver's seat.
"FREEZE!" yelled Robyn quickly drawing her sidearm. The gangster paid no attention to the woman's warning as he started the engine and put the pedal to the floor, laying a strip of rubber on the ground before crashing through the garage door. Snow fired an entire clip into the back of the vehicle, as she tried to take out the tires, narrowly missing with each shot.
"God-f*******-damnit!" she cursed.
"Don't worry. I've got him." said Paragon as he prepared to take off after the van.
"No, Paragon. You're letting him go," came the voice of Vengeance, as he appeared behind Robyn, holding a gun to her head "or I shoot this pretty, little cop..."