Seti is a quiet youth with a head full of daydreams, and a forlorn air about him. Stories of the radiant sunlight and the wondrous natural beauty of the surface have filled his dreams since he was a young boy, and he longs to one day see them. Though he may come across as meek at times, the young prince is not so easily manipulated as perhaps the members of his father's court would like. Surprisingly insightful and level-headed, when drawn out of his wistful and soft-spoken shell by provocation or passion, he both fierce and decisive in wielding his authority against the deserving. Seti's soft heart is perhaps his most obvious weakness as a ruler-to-be, and he struggles to distance himself from emotional matters and pass objective judgment on such issues.
[attr="class","monstertext"]As heir to the Naga Kingdom's throne, Seti has lived a live of comforts and plenty. He has been educated by the best the nation has to offer in matters of academia, politics and magic, and provided all the tools and tutors needed to excel at anything that has taken his interest. One thing his sheltered existence has lacked has been consistent close companionship, for as the only child of the royal family, he has been afforded little in the way of freedom to venture out into even the wider confines of the caverns, for fear of danger.
Seti longs for the opportunity to spread his metaphorical wings, to experience not just the world beyond the palace, but the world beyond the nagas' self-imposed exile. He cannot understand those who preach that their curse is just, and ought be endured in the name of the gods. How can it be justice to punish them for the deeds of an ancestor centuries dead and gone? He believes that if the gods even remember them after all these years, they have endured their cruelty long enough, and that if there is a way to escape their confinement then it is their every right to take it.
Fairly charismatic (as a guide needs to be), Talim has an easy-going and earnest attitude, and a firm belief that with enough hard work anything in life is achievable. He has spent much of his life looking after younger siblings and helping his parents with chores and errands, and as such is much more responsible than many young men his age, though equally more impatient with people that don't meet his standards for pragmatism. Although he has been to school and isn't entirely ignorant of the world, he does have something of a simple perspective. He is liable to be baffled by more eccentric and unusual folks, and can be insensitive towards those he doesn't understand.
[attr="class","monstertext"]Talim is a young man of simple means and simple ambitions; hailing from a poor family with half a dozen younger siblings, he wants to earn enough money to put himself through college without burdening his parents. Fairly charismatic, and possessed of both a good head for directions and an adventurous spirit, one of the various ways he has been earning that money over the last few years is as a guide- both a tour guide for occasional holiday-goers, and an expedition guide for more academic expeditions into the desert/jungle that his hometown sits on the edge of. Fairly experienced with both the hazards of the wilderness in the area, as well as what to expect from delving into ancient ruins from his own explorations as a teen, he joined the expedition as a hire-on to get them to the tomb. He has absolutely no idea what he's gotten into, and seems to be overall amused by the expectation of the group that they're going to find some long-lost mythological king's people. Who would believe such a thing, after all?
It had been a long day. He just needed some air. That was what Noah had told himself, at least, even as his feet had carried him far beyond the end of the culdesac that was his family’s suburban paradise. His parents hadn’t questioned him when he’d said he was walking to a friend’s house for the evening. They’d told him: ‘Don’t stay out too late, you’ve got school tomorrow’ and not even contemplated that his wanderings might take him anywhere beyond the safety net of their middle-class world of neighbourhood watches and social responsibility.[break][break]
He couldn’t blame them. It’d be real stupid for a kid like him to wander aimlessly into the Inner City. That was how you ended up a sad story on the news, or on a milk carton at the neighbour’s breakfast table. At least, that’s what people said. Noah was of the mind that the assumption that a neighbourhood being on the wrong side of the poverty line immediately made it like the ass-end of Detroit was a little over the top. After all, he’d been doing this for a while now, and he’d yet to be stabbed even once.[break][break]
A warzone it might not be, but this part of the city was a different world to the one he’d grown up in. It was all apartment buildings and ratty takeaway places, not the neatly trimmed lawns and semi-detached houses of the western suburbs. Odds and ends of trash skipped lazily along the sidewalk in the wind, broken bottles lay in the gutter here and there next to suspicious stains in the concrete.[break][break]
It was the smells that got to him the most, though. Home smelled like cleaning-products, flowers and cut grass. Pleasant, but uniform and boring. The Inner City was alive with all kinds of different smells, from the spice of an indian takeaway, to the bite of alcohol, to the acrid stench of exhaust fumes. The trails of people from all walks of life, as opposed to the same six perfumes and body-sprays on repeat. It was simultaneously repulsive and enticing, in a way Noah couldn’t quite make sense of. He still wasn’t all that used to following his nose.[break][break]
But it was his nose that kept bringing him back here. There was one smell in particular that carried in the wind in this part of the city. The smell of wolves. Sunny had told him there were ‘packs’ across the city, and this was where most of them spent their time. He’d spent more than a few mealtimes keeping his head low while his parents murmured worriedly at the latest “urban wolf” sightings on the news. Decrying the failings of animal control, that if dangerous predators could freely walk the streets then how could their children be safe? Little did they know they had one at their dinner table.[break][break]
The question was why he kept following that smell. He didn’t want anything to do with the lifestyle that Sunny said the packs lived. Gangs, roving the streets without a care for the law. They sounded like everything bad that his neighbours’ middle-class paranoia painted inner city life to be. 'So why am I here?'[break][break]
Noah sighed, running a hand through his hair as his aimless wanderings brought him to the edge of a road overlooking a derelict stretch of disused land. Some ways in the near distance, firelight flickered below an underpass where some people were gathered downwind of him, but Noah didn’t pay them much attention. Leaning on the railing at the edge of the sidewalk, he stared out over the sea of plastic bags, cans and discarded shopping trolleys to the woodland beyond. A little slice of the wild in a concrete jungle.[break][break]
“Alright, it’s official. I’ve lost my mind.” He muttered to himself. This was the fourth night in a row he’d taken a pointless evening stroll through the inner city, and he still didn’t even know what he’d do or say if he ran into even a single wolf, let alone a pack. “Hi, I’m Noah, I too transform into a furry menace under a full moon! Wow, we have so much in common, we should hang out!” [break][break]
He scoffed at the absurdity of it, laughing quietly into his hand. He didn’t belong here. No matter the persistent, gnawing loneliness that had been eating at him for the last few weeks, this wasn’t a world he even wanted to be a part of, right? That’s what he’d resolved. Walking around and hoping that an answer to the absence in his life would just skip out of the shadows and slap him in the face was stupid. He was more likely to get mugged. Again.[break][break]
He was about to turn around and leave, as he had done every other night this week. To go home, back to his family, his homework and his normal life. But then he heard the howling.[break][break]
A chill ran down his spine at the intensity of the mournful baying, as it was answered and echoed by others. There was a weight of loss to it that he somehow understood. A sadness that words couldn’t have articulated, but somehow this wordless cry to the moon did, and it pierced right to his core.[break][break]
It had come from nearby. The shapes of the people by the underpass … weren’t the same shape anymore.[break][break]
He’d finally found them. But now he had to decide what, exactly, he was going to do about it.
@cyan tags go here
notes go here. will scroll when too long. text text to demonstrate scrolling. two-thousand thermometers. two-thousand surroundin' us to hang out with us.
[attr="class","wassup1dangertxtnao"] "Don't think I've ever been eager to climb five flights of stairs," the boy replied, giving a lazy shrug. He regarded her outstretched hand for a moment before holding up a finger. "One sec. I'll be right with you." Then, he vanished. There was a glimmer of purple light that winked around him, and a distortion as though the air was folding in on itself, and he was gone. Almost the same instant, there was a joint yelp of surprise from the kitchen as the argument there was cut short mid-sentence, followed by the sound of vegetables hitting the ground and rolling.[break][break]
"Fucking- What the hell, man?" The voice of the arguing boy loudly cursed. "Don't just- uhg."[break][break]
Before the boy's sentence was finished, the air in front of Asako rippled again, and in a second flash of purple, the boy reappeared. One hand was holding a fresh bottle of soda up to his mouth, the other was extended to take hers and shake. "Arisawa, but you can call me Nao. What's up, classmate?" Nao grinned broadly, clearly showboating, and enjoying the freedom to use his Gift on campus maybe a little too much.[break][break]
Before Asako could answer, the door to the kitchen swung open, and another boy stepped into view - this one, surprisingly enough, a familiar face. "Don't fucking teleport away when I'm talking to you, asshole!" Taiyo yelled across the room at Nao, who just answered him with a smug little smile and an innocent bat of his eyelashes. "If you don't stop messing around with that, we're gonna have problems, and..." It was halfway through his sentence that the blonde boy noticed Asako, and did a double take. "H-huh? Asako?"[break][break]
"You two know each other? Ooh! Highschool buddies reunited, or maybe childhood friends? Is this a tropey romance in the making?" Behind Taiyo, a red-haired girl peered around him, smiling brightly (if with a hint of mischief). "Hey there! I'm Kira, officially coolest girl in school; no hard feelings. It's great to meetcha!"[break][break]
Taiyo glowered at her over his shoulder, putting a hand to his forehead and groaning an irritated, embarrassed sigh. In the meantime, Nao regarded the pair of them with an amused quirk of his eyebrow, then glanced back down to the newcomer. "Hope you weren't counting on a chance to catch your breath," he remarked with a smirk.
In which the welcoming committee have already managed to annoy each other!
[attr="class","wassup1dangertxtnao"] "Second coolest is definitely no bad thing to be," Kira replied to Asako with a grin. "I'm just unfair competition. But oh my gosh, your hair is such a pretty colour! I love it!" The bubbly girl slipped past Taiyo into the room and clasped her hands together excitedly around her phone. "I'm so excited! My followers are gonna love you, I know it. " Perhaps thankfully, before Kira could carry on much more, the door swung in to admit Mikhail and Eiko.[break][break]
"Oh! More newbies, hi!" Kira exclaimed, her attention immediately captured by the new arrivals. Her sunny smile turned into a slightly bemused quirk of an eyebrow as the dark-haired boy swept past them all without stopping, heading straight towards the dorm rooms. "And er, bye, I guess?" She glanced back at the room at large. "Maybe he just really needed the bathroom?" [break][break]
"Nice Titan bobble-head, Scowls!" Nao called after the retreating Russian boy, smirking at the tourist's souvenir poking out of his box. The hearty grin on the miniature replica of the juggernaut of the Six Stars was particularly funny paired with the grim look on its owner, its head bobbing up and down with each furious footstep.[break][break]
"Aw don't tease him, Nao." Kira chided. "Or are you seriously telling me you've come to a Peacekeeper academy without any Six Stars merch. I have a collection, dude!"[break][break]
The younger boy rolled his eyes, a slight scowl forming before being banished by a mocking sneer. "Implying the Six Sellouts are worth getting starry-eyed over. Mindless celebrity worship is all kinds of lame, buuuut I guess it makes sense that you'd buy into it, Queenie."[break][break]
"Ooh, zing! That was some spicy shade! Thankfully, you've got nothing on my comment trolls, Nao-Nao, so I'm not offended." Kira winked playfully at Nao, who rolled his eyes.[break][break]
"Whatever you say, Queenie. But anyways, it's getting crowded in here, and I was in the middle of a gym battle, soo... I'm outtie. Later, new girl," as he spoke he turned toward Eiko. "And other new girl. Buh-bye." Taking a half step back, Nao flashed a peace sign before blipping out of the room with a ripple and a flicker of light.[break][break]
While the two of them were having their little argument, Taiyo - perhaps sensing that Asako was getting left behind by their verbal spar - walked over to her, giving a hesitant nod of greeting. "I've uh, seen a few foreigners around," he answered with a shrug. "Not a ton, but more than I'd expected." There was a slightly awkward pause before he continued, folding his arms. "Didn't know you were interested in the Peacekeeper course here." He stated flatly. That perhaps wasn't a surprise- they hadn't exactly talked much in the past. "You must be pretty good if you got into Alpha."[break][break]
Meanwhile, further into the building, Mikhail's flight to his bedroom would - sadly for him - not be entirely uninterrupted. As he left the common room and entered the hallway along which all the students' rooms were located, the door to the boy's bathroom was swinging open. A small wave of steam wafted into the corridor, along with the unmistakable aroma of shower products mingled with hot water, followed shortly by another student. Tall and broad-shouldered, the boy that emerged out clad in nothing but a towel loosely tied about his waist had a sculpted body that wouldn't have been out of place on the pages of a fitness magazine. He stretched his arms out lazily as he emerged into the cooler air, but paused as he spotted Mikhail, forming a friendly smile of greeting. Apparently entirely unbothered by his current state of undress, he stepped towards the newcomer with a small wave. "Hey there, man! Just got here? I'm Kōji, what's up?" The tall youth happily extended one still-damp hand towards Mikhail to shake.[break][break]
In which the welcoming committee have already managed to annoy each other!
[attr="class","queentext"]Name: Jason Brooks[break] Street Name: "Hellion"[break] Age: 21[break][break]
Appearance: Jason is a hulk of a man, standing at 6'10" with rippling muscles and broad shoulders to match. Every inch of his body is coiled power; not in the showy, over the top fashion of bodybuilders or gym freaks, but rather the solidity and bulk of a street brawler or wrestler. His features are not unattractive, his youthful looks having not given way fully to the gruffer look of adulthood, but they are darkened by the scowl his face is near constantly set in. His hair falls loosely styled and infrequently cut, a choppy and unkempt afterthought on most days. His body is a mess of scars, some from fights, many not, and when the wolf within is straining for freedom, his veins bulge, almost seeming to glow beneath his skin with the heat of the wolfsblood that runs through them. His amber eyes burn with an intensity that is nothing short of wild. [break][break]
Personality: Jason is messed up. There's no two ways about it. Life has fucked him over enough times to warp his sense of right and wrong, perhaps not irretrievably, but certainly to the point of becoming the same kind of monster he hated. The anger that boils within him is only ever just barely contained, never more than a few steps away from violence. Given the intensity of the feral wolf that snarls and bites within him, that he has any restraint at all speaks of his willpower. Jason enjoys the adrenaline of fighting, letting the wolf loose in the fray; he enjoys hurting people, the rush of power and control that comes with driving someone's pride into the dirt. As someone for whom control has been taken away so many times, seizing it by the throat is cathartic to him. To the man he sees as the only one to stand by him - and perhaps to any others who might earn his trust - he is unwaveringly loyal. But beneath it all- repressed beneath the intense, sadistic and prideful man that unquestioningly serves the man who saved him, is a boy who hates what he has become, and has a soft spot for the underdog.[break][break]
Background: Life has not been kind to Jason Brooks. His home was broken before he was even born to it- his father a violent, cruel alcoholic and his mother an addict. He was lucky to survive his infancy, a neglected child who was only ever an afterthought to those supposed to love him. He was two years old before he spoke his first word. He learned quickly that not speaking was better for him, because silence was less likely to anger his father. Life became a task of survival, day-to-day, of keeping quiet and out of sight, while slowly hatred and resentment built within him.[break][break]
When he was six years old, he phased for the first time.[break][break]
Logan has told him it's the earliest he's ever heard of it happening. Whether it was an abnormality in his genes or a result of his environment can only be speculation. But one day, when his father was in a drunken rage and lashing out at him and his mother, the wolf came. By the time police responded to calls of a domestic disturbance, they found a naked child coated in blood, and two bodies. Detectives could only speculate that a feral dog or wolf had managed to get into the home, and chosen to leave the child alive. Certainly, Jason was no source of answers. He didn't speak for months after the incident, even long after falling into the mess that was the care system.[break][break]
For five years, he drifted from home to home, slipping through the cracks of a broken system. None kept him for long. He was an angry, violent child, who had never known differently, and didn't want to learn. It was when he was eleven that he found his way into the hands of a woman by the name of Katherine Lessard. On paper, Lessard was a model citizen. She was wealthy, had a spotless record, and a stern and capable manner to her. Perhaps, the social workers thought, she would be the one to reign in this nightmare child. In a sense, she was. Jason's time spent with Katherine spanned three years. It's a time that he refuses to discuss, but when he eventually fled the Lessard Estate, it was violently and leaving a path of destruction behind him.[break][break]
Fourteen year old Jason went to ground, then. His lone wanderings eventually brought him to street-fighting. He brawled for cash, became an unstoppable presence in the city's fighting rings - a freak kid that could take on men twice his size. He never lost a fight, and survived more than a few attempts on his life by people who had stakes in their fighters winning. It was how he learned he could shrug off a bullet wound. Or three.[break][break]
Life was meaningless. He lived one day to the next: for adrenaline, for money, and for glory. None of it meant anything, really. Suicide crossed his mind a few times, but that felt too much like letting the world that had done this to him win. He was resigned to his life being meaningless until he found someone that could kill him.[break][break]
Or that was what he thought. When Logan found Jason, he recognised just how dangerous and useful the young street-fighter could be. The vampire worked his charm- perhaps genuinely, perhaps manipulatively. Jason was fifteen at the time, and not insightful enough to know the difference. He treated the stranger like any other at first. But unlike every other, Logan was never driven off by his hostile, closed-off personality. He never seemed afraid of him. He spun words of acceptance, of purpose and belonging. Those things worked at the iron walls the youth had erected around himself over his long and tortured life, and found cracks. Jason came to see the man as the closest thing he'd had in a long time to a friend. Perhaps even a mentor. In a world where he'd been convinced that every other person who acted like they cared for him was temporary, or using him... Logan seemed much more permanent.[break][break]
In time, Jason became one of Logan's most loyal allies. He faded out of the street-brawling circuit, became more devoted to helping this man who had held out a hand to him in a world where he was alone, in whatever he needed. To some extent, Logan pulled him out of the dark. Since joining him, Jason has developed other friendships - even if loosely - with the people around him. Camaraderie, more than anything deeper than that, but certainly a step up from total isolation. He speaks more these days, enjoys life more. He has a purpose, even if it's not entirely his own.[break][break]
That might not be a good thing for the world. The closed off, bitter, and isolated Jason at least reserved his violence and power for those that directly crossed him. Now, it's a weapon to be used for whatever Logan sees fit.[break][break]
[attr="class","pipostpost"]Somewhere in a distant corner of the city…[break][break]
It had only started raining a few minutes ago, but the drizzle had already turned into a downpour. Fucking fall. Erik pressed himself a little closer under the overhang of the closed loading bay he was trying to take shelter in, but the wind was sending the pissing rain straight into his goddamn face.[break][break]
Motherfucker was late. Deal should’ve been done and him on his way home by now. Fucker thought just ‘cause his boss owned half the drug pushers in the city he could take his sweet-ass time. Bastard was going to get a piece of his mind when he got here, maybe get his piece too if he didn’t show some respect.[break][break]
”Ey Erik, we gotta wait much longer? Guy’s a fuckin’ no-show, it’s pissin’ buckets out here and my girl’s makin’ wings at home. Let’s just fuckin’ bounce already.” Across from him, leaning on the hood of their car, Jarett had a jacket pulled tight around himself and was glowering at him. Erik couldn’t exactly blame him. But they were making too much money off of this deal to skip out so early.[break][break]
”Nah, I need the cash man,” he muttered. ”We stick around till the hour, ‘least.”[break][break]
Jarett muttered an irritated curse at that, but said nothing else, fishing a lighter out of his pocket and trying fruitlessly to light up a smoke in spite of the downpour. A heavy sigh came from his other guy, leaning against the out-of-order vending machine that stood next to the warehouse entrance. Cid was the biggest of the three of them, a wall of muscle standing six three, and didn’t seem bothered by the rain - just letting it soak into his tank top. ”I ain’t so sure about this, y’know.”[break][break]
Erik gave the big man a sneer. ”Don’t be a pussy, Cid. Got nothin’ to worry about.”[break][break]
”Don’t we?” Cid fixed him with a cautionary look. ”We tryna play an awful big fish for a fool, Rick. People gonna talk.”[break][break]
”Keep y’ voice down!” Jarett snapped, voice going a little high-pitched as he got pissy. ”Don’t know who’s listenin’, do ya?”[break][break]
Erik just shook his head. ”Keep your panties straight, Cid. We good. You think that up-himself motherfucker cares a shit about keeping track of every bag we push? Nah.”[break][break]
Cid rumbled a hum that sounded far from convinced, but what the shit did he know anyway? Fucker was just a lug of muscle Erik kept around for looking tough. He was about to vent some of his frustration for being stuck standing around here on the big guy, when the sound of an engine drew his attention away. ”Fucking finally,” he muttered, pushing off the loading bay door and walking over to their car. Across the deserted parking lot, an oversized motorbike pulled in under the lone street-light by the entrance to the disused industrial complex. The only other light came from their car’s headlights, beaming up against the wall of the warehouse they were waiting by. The approaching figure was little more than a silhouette as the bike came to a halt and he dismounted.[break][break]
”’Bout fucking time!” Erik called out across the lot, spitting on the ground. ”You always keep people waiting like that, asshole?”[break][break]
The figure paused, tilting his head and leaving an uneasy silence hanging for a few moments before he answered. ”Nah. Not always. Just the pieces of shit.”[break][break]
Erik bristled, taking a half-step forwards and getting ready to spit abuse at the man when Cid put a warning hand on his shoulder. He felt a vein pop in his forehead at the big man’s bullshit, shrugging the hand off angrily, but when he turned back to say his piece, it died in his throat. The figure had started to move forwards. It was only as he got closer that Erik realised just how tall he was.[break][break]
He stood easily a head taller than Cid. More than that. Had to be something like seven foot tall. And he was built like a stack of bricks, to boot. The light coming off of the car cast the upper half of his face in shadow as he approached, but Erik could clearly make out the smirk on his face, and the gleam of red in his eyes.[break][break]
”So,” the man spoke after a moment, coming to pause a few feet away from them and lightning up a smoke - using his hand to cover it from the rain. He took a long, lazy drag from it before letting his hand fall to his side, and breathing out in a sigh. ”Which one of you stupid fucks decided it was a good idea to cut our shit?”[break][break]
Erik went pale. ”Wh… whatcha talking about?” he managed to spit out. ”We ain’t cutting n-”[break][break]
”Cut the bullshit,” The behemoth of a man rolled his eyes, taking another drag of the cigarette before letting it fall to the ground barely half smoked. ”You don’t think Logan hears about it when people buying from his dealers wind up half-dead from snorting whatever useless shit you’ve been mixing his stuff with?” He took a few steps forwards, coming more fully into the light, and Erik took a few back. He couldn’t have been that old - his early twenties, at most - but between his size and the menacing red of his eyes, Erik was already pissing himself. The man closed the distance between them in a few strides, looming over him with a scowl.[break][break]
”Logan’s got a reputation, you see, little man.” He hissed quietly. ”He sells good shit. Someone buys from one of his dealers, they expect to get what they pay for, not garbage.” The last word was spat out halfway to a snarl. When he spoke again, though, his voice was level and frighteningly calm. ”So you see, he’s not pleased with you. He gave you a good deal. Better cut than anyone else in this city, that’s for sure. And you’ve wasted that. So that’s why I’m here.”[break][break]
A heavy silence hung in the air, broken only by the rain beating down. Erik stared up at the big man, then let his eyes dart to either side, where Jarett and Cid were watching. Sure, the guy was big, but there were three of them, and they were packing. Idiot should’ve brought backup if he wanted to menace them. So he took a breath, and a step back, trying to gather a little composure again. ”Oh yeah? And what you gonna do, big guy?” Erik sneered, pulling his gun from the back of his jeans to make a point.[break][break]
The big man smirked. ”Y’know, I thought the setup was obvious enough, but I guess I’ll spell it out. You wasted your chance. So I’m here to waste you.”[break][break]
”Aw fuck this shit, let’s just ice him,” Jarret cursed from the side, just as the behemoth of a man took a step forwards. Even with a gun between the two of them, Erik felt a jolt of fear shoot through him, and before he had a chance to consider anything, he’d lifted the weapon and pulled the trigger.[break][break]
The gunshot’s crack echoed out across the deserted industrial estate, followed by the sound of several startled animals, and the flapping of wings as a nearby group of birds took flight. Erik opened his eyes, not realising that he’d screwed them shut… only to see the big man still on his feet. He stared, wide-eyed, as the man reached down to the tear in his shirt and wiped some of the blood from the gunshot off with a sigh. ”Still stings like a bitch, every time,” he muttered.[break][break]
”What the fuck are you, man..?” Erik heard Jarret practically squeak from off to the side. The big man ignored him, taking another step forwards. Panicked, Erik lifted the gun again, but this time the other guy was faster. He lunged forwards and knocked the gun out of his hand with a single smack, grabbed him by the throat and pulled him from the floor in a single motion, before slamming him down and-[break][break]
There was a sickening crunch as the little trio of drug pushers’ leader was slammed into the concrete. Jason felt his neck snap beneath his hand like a twig. He straightened with another sigh, the stinging in his abdomen from the bullet wound already beginning to fade as the injury started to close up. To his right, an annoying constant stream of freaked-out, high-pitched cursing was coming from the skinnier of Erik’s entourage. The bigger man was going for the back of the car- probably for a weapon.[break][break]
”Nah, I don’t think so,” Jason called as he stepped over to the car himself. Grabbing the car door with one hand, he ripped it free of the vehicle in one motion, before launching it in an overhand toss with a second. The door smacked into the big guy just as he was pulling a shotgun from the car’s boot, taking him off his feet and sending the weapon skidding across the concrete. He turned around in time to see the little guy diving for his friend’s gun. Closing the distance in a couple of quick strides, he delivered a boot to the little rat’s gut while he was still fumbling with it, sending him clear off the ground to smash into the glass of the vending machine’s front. Then, while the shit was still lying on the ground and gasping for air, Jason put one hand on the machine’s front and pulled, bringing the whole machine crashing down on top of him.[break][break]
One left. Jason turned, seeing the bigger guy- one hand clutching at his ribcage where the car door had hit him - climbing into the car. He was still fumbling with the key when Jason closed the distance, put both his hands under the side of the vehicle, and heaved. The car flipped. With an almighty crash of buckling metal and shattering glass, it rolled violently onto its roof, skidding a few feet across the wet concrete before coming to a halt.[break][break]
For a few moments, the only sound was the steady downpour of rain, now pattering against the exposed underbelly of the vehicle. Then, a quiet groan informed Jason that its passenger still lived. He paced around to the side of the car where the last man lay in a heap inside the upturned vehicle, crouching down. ”Nothing personal to this, you understand,” he stated flatly. ”But Logan can’t be seen going soft on people that try to cheat him. We aren’t in the business of warnings, y’know?” He paused, considering. ”Well, I guess we are. But in the sense that what’s happened to you three is a warning to anyone else that might think to try their luck pulling bullshit with Logan.”[break][break]
The man gasped against the pain, spluttering blood as he tried to form words. ”P...please…”[break][break]
Jason grimaced. ”Don’t go pulling that shit on me. You knew the game you were playing. And you should’ve known that when you play games with Logan, you lose. House always wins.”[break][break]
A few minutes later, Jason was pulling back out of the deserted parking lot, leaving three mangled bodies and a smashed up car behind him. It’d be a while before any cops cared enough to answer a disturbance in this part of town, so there was no need to rush. As he drove, he let out a sigh. The bunch of pathetic losers had hardly been worth killing. Hadn’t even gotten his blood pumping.[break][break]
Whatever. Logan wanted them dead, so they died. Didn’t matter whether he enjoyed it or not. But fucking hell, he hoped whoever he got sent after next put up a bit more of a fight. It’d been far too long since he felt the rush of a good brawl.[break][break]
While he was stopped at a light, he felt his phone buzz in his pocket, and pulled it out to check. When he saw who the text was from, he immediately grimaced. It read: ‘Next session in two days, usual time. Approved with Logan already. Making good progress, look forward to seeing you! - Dr. Nezarian.’[break][break]
Stupid fucking old man still signed his text messages. Great. If he hadn’t already been in a bad mood, now he was. He stuffed the phone away and took off again, not waiting for the light to turn. The sooner he got back to report to Logan, the sooner he could spent the rest of the night getting drunk and - hopefully - getting laid. And the less he had to think about that.[break][break]
'Ghost In the Machine' - Kai takes Diving to the next level. Where most Divers simply project their consciousness into the network, Kai's powers allow him to choose to digitise himself entirely, becoming a literal ghost in the machine. He can use this power to travel between access points, escape danger, or even possess robotics and take control of them from inside. It makes him incredibly hard to pin down, and is part of what's kept him alive despite his brazen campaign against the authorities. While in the digital world he can project himself to other devices. While within a device he can access and manipulate all aspects of it like a highly advanced virus.
'Processing Power' - The ability to process information and knowledge at beyond the rate of a supercomputer processor -- even the most powerful computers’ computing power pales in the comparison to the theoretical processing power of the human brain (it took the 4th fastest supercomputer in the world 40 minutes to crunch the calculations for a single second of brain activity), and so by being able to directly apply his brain in a similar way to a computer, Kai can perform some incredible feats.
'Connected Mind' - The ability to interact with and access signals and data from his brain, including accessing the internet and the information available therein using his own visual senses as a ‘screen’.
APPEARANCE: A shock of messy, ill-maintained hair bleached white by his powers; bright blue eyes that at times flicker with digital code. Pale, slight of build and standing at 5' 7", he's physically unimposing. Tends to dress in hoodies and t-shirts with nerd-culture references on, otherwise lacks fashion sense. [break][break]
HISTORY: Kai's story is not an unusual one in Meropis. He was born to civilian parents, and raised with the expectation of a life of toil and subservience to the elite. Where his story begins to differ from the others is with his father, Andrew. Andrew was never satisfied with simply fulfilling his role in society. He had friends and contacts in criminal circles, those who worked against the authorities, who he provided computing and engineering expertise to in secret. He used to tell Kai stories that his own father told him of the days before the fall of the globe, when life was - even if not perfectly so - more equal. When even the poor could see the sun rise. He filled Kai's head with thoughts of a world that could be better. [break][break]
And so, when Kai's powers developed in his early teens, here - he thought - was a way he could make things better. At first, the young teen used his powers to mess around. He learned to ride the waves and signals of the city, to break into secure systems for the hell of it, and watch banned content on the internet. The city's great firewall became a joke to him, as he slipped through its cracks on a daily basis. Sometimes, he would even transmit himself up to the upper city, to gaze upon the sun and feel its warmth. Perhaps, had all else continued in this way, he might have been content to be little more than a confusing pest in the system- an occasional security failure, and a source of pirated content for his friends.[break][break]
But when his father's connections to criminal parties were uncovered, the corporation showed no mercy. Their home was raided. His parents were to be taken prisoner and 're-educated'. Andrew knew the kind of suffering that meant, and refused to go quietly. Both he and Kai's mother died resisting arrest, and Kai fled into the networks. Since that day, the fire of his hatred for the system has burned with a new intensity. He went to ground, spending the next few years building the groundwork for his own personal rebellion. He gathered data, funds and equipment to build himself a bunker hidden deep in the city's heart, connected-but-separate to the corporate-monitored grid. When he was finally ready, he struck.[break][break]
A few months ago, the city's viewing systems were hijacked by an anonymous hacker who introduced themselves as 'Verity'. Masked and voice-modulated, the figure stated their mission: to spread the truth. To release information from the corporation's most hidden places, and arm people with information. Access codes, identities, banking details- nothing would be safe from him until the people's demands were met.[break][break]
Kai remains himself in many respects - a nerdy, cocky teenager with more power than he knows what to do with. But now he has a mission. To bring down the corporation and its cronies, whatever the cost. He'll watch the city burn to do it if he has to.
Vix ne mazim convenire consectetuer, in has dicta corrumpit. Qui dolore verterem te. Sit explicari laboramus sententiae in, ut tractatos definitiones mei, cum ad hendrerit disputationi. Detraxit legendos forensibus eu vix. Eu quem sint justo usu, vix cu blandit suscipiantur.Et homero volutpat duo, aperiri epicuri at pri, sed graece definiebas consectetuer ei. No vis solet legere, ut has utamur eripuit, prompta oportere facilisis id sea. Doming tacimates mediocritatem ea sed, eum ne choro accusamus honestatis, vim at atqui nominati torquatos. Cu utamur sapientem has, vis no sonet possit. An eripuit posidonium concludaturque nam, nostrud utroque duo ea. Movet animal corrumpit ei mei.
[break][break] At sensibus persequeris vel, mnesarchum assueverit nec in. Ea qui ignota iriure, est meliore nonumes ne, clita timeam sit no. Pro no accusamus cotidieque, adipisci efficiendi te cum. Dolorem efficiantur vituperatoribus no sea. Mea putent consulatu constituto ad, cibo elitr integre ea sea. Et homero volutpat duo, aperiri epicuri at pri, sed graece definiebas consectetuer ei. No vis solet legere, ut has utamur eripuit, prompta oportere facilisis id sea. Doming tacimates mediocritatem ea sed, eum ne choro accusamus honestatis, vim at atqui nominati torquatos. Cu utamur sapientem has, vis no sonet possit. An eripuit posidonium concludaturque nam, nostrud utroque duo ea. Movet animal corrumpit ei mei. [break][break] Sea ex prima brute. Sed ne ludus nihil imperdiet, numquam instructior mei at. Pro te eius quas iudicabit, est ad dico saepe, simul doming disputationi ne mei. Pri ut ferri dolorum, sea eu erat repudiare. Eum partem adolescens no, duo ei quis vocent percipitur. Te nisl oblique virtute mei. Est eu tempor eleifend sadipscing. Eu qui nisl docendi, cu ponderum facilisi laboramus mei. [break][break] Eleifend persecuti nam an, ridens delenit adipisci ne sit, eos in persius delenit dolores. Cu amet vituperatoribus his. Libris interpretaris usu ut, cum numquam accumsan posidonium in. Cum id impedit senserit. Sed malis disputationi no, nam ne eripuit omnesque legendos. Id nihil audiam forensibus duo, te usu altera tamquam. Et tantas scaevola posidonium mel, te quo alia forensibus, fierent senserit petentium eu per. [break][break] "You know you want to~"
[attr="class","boxo-notes"]ADD YOUR SHORT NOTES HERE
Name: Keiji Matsui[break] Nickname/Street Name: Iron Fist[break] Age: 21[break] Pronouns: he/him[break] Sexuality: Bisexual, moderate preference for men[break] Classification: Mystokinetic Civilian[break][break]
Tracer - Though not as fast as he is strong, Keiji can still move like a rocket, particularly when it comes to the quick, snappy movements of hand-to-hand combat.
Pusher - A real monster of physical prowess, Keiji hits like a truck on steroids. One of the pushiest Pushers to ever push.
Fortifier - Keiji's mystokinetics allow him to focus to make his body more resilient to harm, shrugging off most weapons. Too much prolonged use of this ability is draining, and particularly deadly or powerful attacks can still harm him through it.
Appearance: Standing an imposing 6'3", Keiji has a relatively muscular and broad build, though his strength is far beyond what a man several times his size could muster. Handsome in a messy, somewhat boyish way, he enjoys decorating his body with tattoos and piercings to add to his loud and in-your-face aesthetic, and often dyes the tips of his messy black hair. His eyes are a warm amber, and his smile is infectiously broad.[break][break]
History: Keiji grew up in the same 'neighbourhood' as Gaia and Kyou, and has always been a little bit loud and over-the-top. He never knew his parents- his older brother Ryouta told him that they died in an industrial explosion when he was two, leaving Ryouta to care for him. The community they were in was tight-knit, and came together to help raise the boys (Ryouta only being eight at the time) when the Corporation failed to acknowledge their plight. As Keiji grew, Ryouta worked tirelessly to help provide for him- taking work wherever he could find it, legal or otherwise. He managed to give Keiji the closest thing to a good childhood he was going to get. When Gaia started her raids against the Corporation at sixteen, Ryouta - by that point a developed Telekinetic - joined her. He was a valuable ally to her in her early days, until one day he didn't come back from a mission.[break][break]
Losing Ryouta is the closest Keiji has come to breaking under the weight of life at the bottom of the pile. But he refused to let it. He didn't blame Gaia, or the raids, only the system that had forced them into the life they led. A few years later, in his early teens, his mystokinetic abilities developed. When he was sixteen, a criminal syndicate tried to lay claim to his old neighbourhood. Keiji sent them packing almost single-handedly, earning the beginnings of his reputation and his street-name. Since then, he's continued to make waves whenever he's crossed paths with someone who's tested him- some even say he's never lost a fight. Somewhere between a street thug and a vigilante, Keiji was quick to be recruited into the rebellion once it was founded, happy to run with he and his brother's old friends again.[break][break]
Despite his fearsome reputation and his physical prowess, Keiji is a softie at heart. He's all smiles, bad jokes and lovable stupidity- though he's got a lot of practice putting on a mean face when he needs to be intimidating. Still, for most of the resistance who actually know him, they've realised he's much more of a cheerful goofball than the fearsome menace the people he's tangled with would make him out to be.
"Did you ever have the feeling that something just wasn't... right? Imagine that, but it's your whole life, because it's built on the bones of people just like you. Feels bad when you think about it, right? I guess that's why most people don't."
Appearance: Slender of build, and standing 5' 8" in height, Callum has a typical nerd's skinny physique. Blonde-haired and blue eyed, he is stereotypically attractive, and his family is well off enough that he can afford to dress well (although he still tends towards simple, if high-quality outfits). His body language is usually fairly withdrawn and stiff.[break][break]
History: Callum is the son of a relatively high-ranking corporation security officer (Gabriella Locke), and a civilian with whom she had an ill-advised, drunken one-night stand while she was still a low-ranked agent conducting an investigation in the lower city. When she realised she was pregnant - only a day later, utilising the advanced pregnancy testing technology available to citizens - she immediately concocted a story about a similar one-night stand at an upper-city bar, going so far as to stage a similar night of debauchery so as to ensure her story was believable. As such, not even Callum knows that he's of mixed citizen/civilian heritage - that secret's between his mother and the Corporation DNA database. Aside from his unusual heritage, Callum has had an unusual life in a few other ways compared to your average citizen.[break][break]
Like all citizens, Cal was raised around the rhetoric that citizens were a class separate and superior to civilians. As a young boy, he simply took it as a given that if everyone believed it, then it must be true. His perspective changed when he was seven, however, and he stumbled upon a pair of other children - one his age, one a few years older - hiding in one of the upper city's artificial parks. They were grimy, injured and terrified. He would learn after speaking with them that they were in fact civilians, who had snuck into the upper city to try and see the sun. He spent several days secretly visiting the pair- who had gotten into the upper city by sheer luck, and now couldn't figure out how to safely get out again - bringing them food (sandwiches) and drink (cans of fizzy drink) when they asked him to, because they seemed scared and upset, and the naive, kind mind of a child just wanted to help them. They told him awful stories about how life was down below, but - he realised - they were, aside from having had dangerous lives, very much just like him.[break][break]
One day, a little shy of a week after first meeting them, he returned to the park to find them gone. Later, he saw a news report about "dangerous civilian criminals" having "infiltrated the upper city with ill-intent, only to be apprehended by security forces". He couldn't understand why people would think that the scared, malnourished kids were dangerous to anyone. When he asked his mother, she was shocked to hear he had encountered them, and urged him never to speak of it again. She told him that "people aren't always what they appear" and that "sometimes things just have to be a certain way, because that's the way they are".[break][break]
He wasn't, and never has been, altogether satisfied with those answers. That day spawned a mind that questioned what the citizens were told about their neighbours below, and all the people who said that they were "lesser". He would always remember the scared, helpless children who had only wanted to see the sun, and could only hope that they were simply taken home rather than facing any worse fate. This attitude had him grow into a discontent, withdrawn teenager who didn't feel comfortable around most of his peers and their anti-civilian attitudes and jokes. He knew better than to voice his disagreements, but instead quietly developed his computing skills - eventually figuring out a way to bypass some of the firewalls put in place by the corporation and access underground news sources, ones not simply churned out by the corporation's propaganda machine. He discovered that there were others like him on the web - citizens who didn't buy the corporate propaganda. There weren't many, but there were enough for forums and chatrooms to pop up on the darkweb, places to anonymously discuss their conspiracy theories about what sorts of things the corporation was truly up to.[break][break]
The most tumultuous event in his life, though, came only a few months ago. He was at his computer, surfing the web, when a sudden surge of electricity seemed to come from nowhere and short-circuited his PC. Panicked, he jumped back, only to realise that the crackling sparks were coming from him. Since then, he has realised he has powers, strange abilities he doesn't yet fully understand, but knows without a doubt he has to keep secret from everyone. Rumors have circulated on some of his forums before about people with strange abilities fighting back against the corporation, but the majority of even the most die-hard conspiracy-theorists had dismissed them as fanciful nonsense. More fool them, as it happens.[break][break]
Since his abilities manifested, Cal has had limited opportunities to experiment with them, and still barely knows all the things he can do. For now, his plan is to keep his head down, keep his powers from rearing their head in any situation where they might be discovered, and try not to get himself on a list of people the corporation wants to make "disappear".