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New Vindicators Academy of Europe #25: Jeopardy!

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  • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

    The Blue Knight

    Gwyn gave Pirjo a pat on the shoulder as she took the pilot's seat. "Thanks, ya."

    Again he considered the names. Why those four? "So, Lexus, Matt, Otso, and Juozas. What do they have in common?" They were all from different countries, all had different powers. Lexus' ma was involved in Laputa. Otso's dad-he was from the States, right? Matt-Gwyn didn't know much about him, the school loser, and a former puppet of Lacuna. Juozas-worked with the Volunteers, fit, bit of a prat.

    Maybe he'd have better luck asking them.
    [I]Any sound can shake the air. My voice shakes the heart![/I]

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    • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

      HALLWAY (Violet; NPCs: Eve and Gus)
      Violet laughed. "You saw. Nobody likes her. I don't know how she even has friends. They probably just want to look good by comparison. I mean, she's been a beast since she got here."

      "Maybe it's part of her powers," Eve joked. "Her plants produce some pollen that lets her control their minds!"

      Gus blushed. "I... I forgot this was a school for Neo-Sapiens. The only other one I've ever known was my father... What are your abilities?"

      Eve rushed to tell him before Violet could. "I'm practically perfect," she said. "My body and mind are augmented... but it makes me sort of glow." Idly, she twirled her red hair around a finger. "Violet makes ice."

      "Gus?" The trio looked up to see Mister Sonck walking down the hall, leading two an Egyptian couple towards them. At the sight of them, the woman broke into a run.

      "Mom!" Gus excitedly exclaimed, running to meet her. The two grabbed each other and hugged. Gus' mother began to sob as she held her son.

      Eve looked at them strangely. "Well, they're close..." she muttered to Violet.

      CAFETERIA (Jack; NPCs: Annaliese, Ellen, Herta, Vlad)
      The trio made their way into the cafeteria, with Jack leading the way. "Okay, that's not at all creepy," Herta muttered as he shifted forms, no longer needing the nose of a bloodhound to track Ellen.

      Vlad made his way up to the table where Ellen sat with Annaliese, a Dutch girl permanently trapped as an anthropomorphic frog. "Ellen," he said.

      "You ready to go?" Ellen asked her friend. She grabbed her tray and rose up, making sure to avoid facing her ex-boyfriend.

      "Ellen, please. We're going on a mission-"

      "Good luck," she coldly said.

      "We need you."

      Ellen looked at Jack and Herta. "Looks like you have a pretty crack team as it is."

      "I need you."

      "Don't."

      "Ellen, please just hear-"

      "I think we said enough yesterday, don't you?" She looked past Vlad, to Jack, with pleading eyes. "Please help him understand that this isn't going to happen."

      Ellen moved to leave, only for Vlad to reach for her.

      WAREHOUSE (Martin; NPCs: Crux)
      Martin watched as the crystal started to glow. They knew. Crux knew his weakness.

      As he puzzled over this, he felt his mobile buzz. He had a message from Doctor Fisher: "It's done."

      PRESS ROOM (Kas; NPCs: Fisher, Flaegler, Mizra)
      Mizra fielded a few more questions from the press before cutting them off. "As I said, there are still criminals at large and our investigation is ongoing. We need to turn our attention to those matters now."

      In the other room, Kas' mother put a hand on his shoulder. <<"I'm worried about you,">> she said. <<"Maybe you need a break. Take a week--come home. It would do you good.">>

      INFIRMARY (Jack and Otso; NPCs: Beatrice, Lexus, Mouloud)
      "I understand," Beatrice said. She spoke slowly. She was always so worried about making a mistake speaking English. "I do not like it, but I understand. But you are now better! Are the others too, as well?"

      As they spoke, Lexus led Jack--carrying Mouloud--past Beatrice's room. "Doctor Talley?" the former pawn called. "Doctor Talley, we've got..." He trailed off as he spotted Otso through the window. His eyes went wide with realization. "Otso's human again!" he exclaimed. "He has to have a limit!"

      HALLWAY (Lex; NPCs: Gaspar)
      "I donno, I guess it really picked up after the whole floating island incident. Like, right after..."

      "About damn time!" Gaspar chided.

      "And then I met her Dad," Lex said, "who is scary as hell." He laughed before adding, "I'm telling you, I now know where Kirstie gets her scary side from!"

      Gaspar chuckled. "We used to hang out, last year. Tatjana and I were a thing... She and Kirstie were best-friends. Lexus and Corny'd come along, too. They all got to talking about their folks and what they did, right? Corny's dad was a dentist and his mom was an accountant. Lexus's dad was a soldier and his... his..." He was quiet for a bit as he remembered the woman he'd killed. "We got to Kirstie, and she just stared at us. 'My dad works for the government,' she said.

      "Corny--poor guy--he was the one who acted interested, you know? 'Oh?' he asked. 'What does he do for the government?'

      "Kirstie just shrugged and said, 'Stuff.'

      "Lexus started laughing. He said she was being so cryptic and asked if her dad was James Bond--if he worked for MI6. Corny joined in on the laughing and asked, 'If you tell us what your dad does, will he have to kill us?'

      "Kirstie didn't say anything. She just blushed." Gaspar laughed. "And now you're saying he's scary... Seriously, though: what does he really do for the government? Kirstie'd never tell us."
      Armada Status

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      • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

        Alex "Current" Murphy
        HP: 1 CND: Normal

        Lex
        laughs, "Uh, dude, he might have been scary because he caught me and Kirstie making out..." he turns bright red, "On her bed in the infirmary..."

        He rubs the back of his neck, "Aaaand if I ever want to do something like that ever again, which I really kind of do, I probably can't be telling you things she's all embarrassed about, ya know?"

        "But I know he's coming to check in on her so if you wanted to introduce yourself and ask him yourself there's nothing I could do to stop you,"
        Lex says innocently.

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        • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

          Magnitude
          Kasimir Flaegler
          HP 1 LP 2


          Kas suppressed a sigh at his mother's concern. Then shook his head. "Nein. I cannot go home. I cannot rest. I have too much to do here. Crux, Durendal, Robor, Haboob, the Vitesse brothers and many other of our recent assailants remain at large...and Agnes is in desperate need of aid. Not to mention, what happens if a ferry or boat founders in the Danube? What happens if there is a fire in a tall building? Who here can do what I can do? Nobody possesses powers like mine."

          "Sure, if it's just the police need assistance with armed gunmen or disarming a bomb...one of the more responsible students, Harry, Jack or Martin could handle it, but if you have to evacuate people? What happens then? Call Alexander Murphy and listen to him bitch and whine about how the authorities should have magically known about the disaster and their response should have been flawless and how, somehow he's the wisest, most sensible person here? He's pretty good in a fight, but mostly he's good at criticizing anyone but people he personally likes."

          "Not even Mr. Anders has demonstrated the ability to duplicate what I do. He very well could. I don't know if he's ever tried...but if anything, I'm taking too much time for myself and frivolous things. I need to be doing more...trying harder...not taking a vacation."

          "I really I'd figure out a way to eliminate the need for sleep. A great number of problems pile up while I'm sleeping."


          And yeah...I'm building up Kas to be that obsessed, Because what could go wrong with an obsession with protecting the public?
          Last edited by Horsenhero; 4th March 2015, 05:40 PM.

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          • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

            Martin spared a glance for the man. Their body suits could be lead lined, the masks too, but holes for eyes and mouth, those would let in the radiation. He/They were exposing themselves just to hurt Martin?! If he tried to phase he'd leave himself open to the radiation's effects. He also didn't know if the floor dropped into an area of higher concentration of the radioactive material or not. The room where the laptops were! that had to be shielded from the radiation or they wouldn't risk such delicate equipment.

            He pockets the gold but keeps the crystal in hand.

            "You set a trap for me. Potentially lethal to me if I stay." Martin states clearly and calmly for both the commlink and the flower. "I'm done 'ere. I'm going to walk out. If I am stopped by any of your men, if I am shot at by your armed soldiers, I will 'ave no choice but to respond to defend my life." There, if they liked recording things that was a soundbite for them, Martin thinks as he walks out of the loading dock and back through the room with the laptops. He'll check the crystal again once he leaves the room. If it's still glowing he'll book it out the facility.

            Martin could only hope they'd relay to Mira to be on standby and give him some time to get clear before she decided to come in plasma-blazing.
            Last edited by flynnarrel; 4th March 2015, 05:39 PM.

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            • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

              Violet Lear
              HP: 2


              "Oh come on Eve. I think it's sweet." Violet smiled as she watched the reunion. "His mum hasn't seen him since he was taken over by that Lacuna thing. He said it was a whole year."

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              • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                HALLWAY (Lex; NPCs: Gaspar)
                "I think he'd like me," Gaspar said as the two sophomores made their way down the hall. "I mean, he's never caught me making out with his daughter in her bed in the infirmary."

                Originally posted by Michuru81
                I'm going to end the scene here, Arkrite. I'll be steering you into a group scene as soon as I can wrap the others.
                HALLWAY (Kas; NPCs: Flaegler)
                <<"Kasamir... It's not your... You're not responsible for... Kasamir, if you continue on like this, you're going to break down.">>

                Fisher put a hand on his mother's arm then. "Adeltrudis? A word?"

                The two women walked away, leaving Kasamir by himself.

                Originally posted by Michuru81
                I'm going to put you on hold, too, HH.
                WAREHOUSE (Martin; NPCs: Crux)
                None of the soldiers of Crux said anything as he left the building. A car picked him up, and took him back to the school, where he was told the students were being assembled in the sublevels.

                Originally posted by Michuru81
                Second verse, same as the first.
                HALLWAY (Violet; NPCs: Eve and Gus)
                Eve grimaced. "It's been almost a year since I've seen my own parents, too."

                As they spoke, Miss Catargi approached them. "Girls," she said, "there's an assembly in fifteen. Meet in the Wreck Room." Without explaining any further, the woman headed into the cafeteria.

                INFIRMARY (Jack and Otso; NPCs: Lexus)
                Once Mouloud was set into a bed, Lexus pulled Jack back into the hall, and pointed at Otso. "He couldn't change back because of this guy Kas was talking about, right? But now he can and Mouloud's strength is out of control.

                "What if this guy has a limit? Maybe there's only so many powers he can mess with at once, and he thought Mouloud's strength was more useful than being able to turn into a bear? Think about it: super-strength from Mouloud, Viktor's invulnerability, the Amanar girls' flight... This guy is on his way to becoming some sort of Superman."

                The door opened, and Mister Carmichael stepped in. "Hey, guys?" he asked. "The headmaster's asking me to get the students assembled in the Wreck Room."

                CAFETERIA (Jack; NPCs: Herta and Vlad)
                Once Jack had resolved the issue with Vlad and Ellen, Miss Catargi entered the cafeteria, and announced an assembly in the Wreck Room, beginning in a few minutes. Begrudgingly, Vlad resigned himself to attending, and postponed his mission even longer.

                WRECK ROOM (Everyone)
                Harry and Pirjo were the last to arrive. Newton nodded to them as they slipped into the makeshift war room. It looked as though everyone was here--the faculty, students... A few faces were missing, yes: Doctor Talley's visage appeared on a monitor. She was teleconferenced in, staying in the infirmary with Mouloud, Beatrice, and Kirstie. Otherwise, it seemed as though everyone was present and accounted for...

                "A lot has happened," Newton said, "and I felt transparency was necessary to avoid wild speculation and misinformation running amok. "I'd like to start with Kasamir's group. As many of you know, Kas, Jack, Harry, Astrid, and Gaspar went away for a while..."

                Originally posted by Michuru81
                While it may seem like this is something that could be handled with a single sentence of narrative "Everyone shared everything they knew", I have my reasons for this.

                There were a couple ways to handle this. One was to have Newton prompt each of you for a portion of the story, but that would take us too long, and bore most of you. Instead, let's go against what sanity would suggest and just throw information out there. Imagine that you're in a room facing the faculty and student body, giving a testimony over the events of the last few sessions. Tell them what's important: Martin and Otso will be asked about their mission to Romania, for example, thus educating... well, Harry I think is the only PC who doesn't know about Durendal yet. Similarly, Martin can tell everyone (again) about the hotel room and Chuck Faust. You get the drift.

                Feel free to comment on each other's explanations. It's needed. Harry, for instance, can bring up the paper he found in Sweden, which Otso will likely understand to be from Skew, as he's the only one with a connection to those four students--things like that. I'll take everyone's posts, amalgamate them together, and fashion a narrative from them when possible.

                I don't intend for this to wrap the session up. Jack has Agnes' address, for instance, and I don't suspect Kas would just leave that. Vlad has no intention of leaving his family thing unresolved for days, and I doubt with multiple people suffering because of Durendal, anyone will be willing to leave that sit. As a result of this pow-wow, we'll figure up who goes where and deals with what. We'll get into the actual meat of the session, and then wrap it up.
                Armada Status

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                • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                  Magnitude
                  Kasimir Flaegler
                  HP 1 LP 2


                  When it came to his turn in this round robin of divulging information, Kas frowned. This didn't seem like a particularly smart way to determine how the Academy should respond to the various threats facing them. Their were too many students who couldn't contribute in any meaningful way to any efforts at pushback. Come to think of it, there were quite a few instructors whose main contribution to any effort was, at best, administrative.

                  However, he schooled his features to a neutral expression and gave his report as best he could, not knowing what may or may not be important.

                  "I don't need to remind anyone about yesterday's events, so I won't go over any precipitating details. We survived two separate, concurrent assaults. That is good. That is unfortunately where the good news ends as far as I can determine."

                  "For those of you who haven't spoken with Rose or me, I'll apologize right now for supplying a new potential enemy with leverage against us. In response to an unwinnable battle, I made some threats toward the families of the Vitesse brothers which convinced them to abandon their assault on the citizens of Vienna. While purely fiction, these threats were recorded by somebody...likely an ally of the brothers, in order to blackmail cooperation from Martin in a scheme to amass vast wealth. To disrupt that plot a press conference was held earlier today, wherein my duplicity was revealed, however since I was not permitted to speak directly to the press, there may be some lingering suspicions. I have inadvertently made your lives more perilous and I'm sorry for that."

                  "During that same event I met a superhuman who claimed to be a French neo-sapien with a desire to use his powers for the public good. Unfortunately, I was unaware at the time there has been a neo-sapien stealing the abilities of others in order to use them for an unknown purpose. Had I known, I would've made an effort to apprehend him on the spot. As it stands, we have a physical description of the man from Mouloud and I would suggest the faculty make that description available to every student. This man has senses that detect SPB's and can identify their powersets. Learn this description and avoid physical contact at all costs."

                  "Finally...I believe I was contacted psychicly by a super-powered being in danger, but I am woefully ill-equipped to properly investigate such a thing and need aid from anyone with expertise with this sort of phenomena."

                  "I believe that is all I can contribute to this meeting."


                  I kind of imagine Kas giving his "report" in almost military fashion, standing at near attention without a great deal of inflection.
                  Last edited by Horsenhero; 5th March 2015, 05:12 PM.

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                  • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                    [So it seems we should just post and sequencing will be taken care of later. If I'm mistaken, my apologies.]
                    When it's Martin's turn to speak or on a subject he was involved in he'll come up.

                    Re: Romania

                    He was there when Quintessence made an official report to the Vindicators and thought that was a good enough summation of their time in Romania. Martin describes the scenes and recites the words from memory.

                    Quintessence held a video conference with the other Vindicators, explaining the details of what he and the young heroes had encountered. "He never gave us a name," Quintessence said, "but he spoke with a French accent. We're calling him Voleur--the French word for 'thief', given that his ability seems to let him steal the powers of those he causes to lose control of their powers.

                    "At the moment, we know that he is in possession of the powers of six Neo-Sapiens, but there could be more than that. Four young girls from Romanian possess flight and the ability to endure high altitude; he currently possesses their powers, as well those of two students here at the school: Otso Karrell's ability lets him transform into a bear; Viktor DeGallow's power makes him immovable, unstoppable, and relatively impervious to harm.

                    "We also need to consider that he has some sort of ability to sense powers, and understand them. The moment he gains access to their abilities, he seems to instinctively understand how best to employ them. Further, the four girls from Romania were not well-known. They hadn't even manifested yet. Somehow, this man knew about them, and knew how to find each of them in a relatively short time frame."
                    "In ze aftermathz, Otso and ze ozers endured quarantine. I was securing ze girls - 'is original victims, and not in ze direct confrontation wiz ze man." Martin explains.

                    "Since zen, we 'ave learned zat zis man showed 'imself to Kas during ze 'ostage situation caused by ze Vitesse brozers, identifying himself as a French super'ero, Durendahl. 'E freely admitted to 'aving ze powers, not mentioning zeir source. Subsequently, in ze aftermath of zose attacks, 'e stole ze superstrengz of Mouloud, and eizer released Otso's powers, or was forced to release zem due to capacitance."

                    "'E seems to need to touch you to take powers and we can try to find a picture or construct one from eyewitnesses. We can distribute zat picture to all of you and our sister schools so you may be more aware."
                    Martin says.


                    Re: Crux

                    "I was contacted early zis morning by a person or group identifying zemselves as 'Crux'. Zey zreatened to release ze Names, numbers, and Home addresses of everyone in zis school unless I paid attention to zem."

                    There was sure to be outrage at this piece of information but Newton want 'full transparency'. Martin would wait until any ruckus died down.

                    "Zey claimed to want money and wanted me to use my abilities to create it for zem. I 'ad full auzorization and back-up from Dr. Fischer and met zem at what seemed to be a temporary facility. Zey dressed like zis." Martin shifts to the green Uniform, armband, and Bedford mask they guards were wearing. He shifted back.

                    "Zey seem to be a militant group of 'umans 'oo resent Neo-Sapians. I do not know zeir agenda or capabilities. I would 'ave tried to find out more, in fact, 'e seemed eager to say more, but I discovered zey 'ad lured me into a trap a potentially deadly one for me if I stayed. If anyzing, even ze trap seemed like a way zey could show off zeir knowledge as zey did not prevent my leaving. Or per'aps zey were 'oping I would be weakened more before I spotted what was going on and weren't willing to risk a confrontation at zat time." Martin shrugs non-chalantly. Actually he was pissed and not a little concerned. He'd only told a few people what could hurt the Curie-clan. More than likely they got the information from the same school database that yielded personal contact information. If the school hasn't already done so they need to look at revamping their digital security. They would likely get a plethora of requests to do so.

                    "In any event, my assessment is zat zey are a credible ztreat, 'ave access to information and military-grade resources, and zat we will be 'earing from zem again."

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                    • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                      Violet Lear
                      HP: 2


                      Violet felt out of place, having much less to share. And how little it seemed to relate to anything else. Was all the stuff people were talking about really connected somehow?
                      re
                      "At the school, before we left to stop the attacks in the city, we stopped a wizard who said he was here to kidnap Mario Tharivol. And he said that if he couldn't take Mario, he would take a different Tharivol. But he never said what he wanted with them. We fought a bunch of villains in the city. We caught some and some got away."

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                      • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                        WRECK ROOM: The Drifter
                        "A lot has happened," Newton said, "and I felt transparency was necessary to avoid wild speculation and misinformation running amok. "I'd like to start with Kasamir's group. As many of you know, Kas, Jack, Harry, Astrid, and Gaspar went away for a while..."

                        Newton looked to the five, but none of them seemed to know where to start. It was Gaspar who took the initiative: "A lot of you don't... we haven't really met," he said awkwardly. "My name's Gaspar, and I was... I'm a student here. I control the weather. When Jack and, uh, Harry brought me back, this girl appeared. She called herself the Drifter, and she said that she needed our help in saving another world. Long story short? We ended up in this world where... everything was so different. Neo-Sapiens ruled. I mean, literally. Like... they were kings and queens. The countries were all so different, you know? Like, the Great Wars hadn't happened, I guess, so... the Hapsburg's were still ruling here, only their princess... She had all this power. It... it's kind of hard to explain.

                        "Anyway, she was going to marry Kas, only he was dead, and the Drifter wanted our Kas to stand in for their Kas to prevent a war, except that their Kas wasn't actually dead, but was the guy trying to start the war. I don't think I'm smart enough to really get what was going on, but... we fought an evil Kas. Oh, there was an evil Harry, too, except he was a knight with a burned off face, or something."

                        Newton nodded in agreement. "Shortly after they arrived yesterday morning, everything started happening fast. Kas left to go take in the city, and that's when he ran into the first attackers..."

                        WRECK ROOM: The Faustian Society
                        "Yesterday morning, a group of mages attacked Vienna." Photographs of Chuck, Dante, Nicholas, Mikayla, Rembrandt, Gwen, Joan, and Luther appeared on the screens behind the headmaster. "This is not the first time we've encountered them."

                        Jason stood up. "They contacted me last year," the American explained. "I received an email, inviting me to a bookstore here in Vienna. It's known as the Dust Jacket, and we now know it to have been their base of operations. One of the former members--Rembrandt Van Benthuysen--told us that the store is magically protected. No one can find it unless they know about it. Unless they reveal its existences to you, your eye will pass over it without registering that you ever looked at anything.

                        "Nevertheless, I met with them, and Chuck taught me to wield arcana. It's a process that would normally take much longer, but my powers let me process the information quickly. In return, he asked for my help. He gave me these scrolls... Rembrandt explained it to me later. See, the school is magically warded to prevent people--like them--from using magic to watch us. According to Rembrandt, Chuck was trying to use me to get to one student..."

                        It was Violet's turn to chime. "At the school, before we left to stop the attacks in the city, we stopped a wizard who said he was here to kidnap Mario Tharivol."

                        No one seemed more perplexed by this news than Mario.

                        "And he said that if he couldn't take Mario, he would take a different Tharivol. But he never said what he wanted with them."

                        "I can field that one," Doctor Talley reluctantly explained, across the teleconference screen. "Over a century ago, there was a war fought between various wizard families. This war was started by the Tharivol clan, whom the others thought had been eradicated. My sons' father, Doctor Alexander Tharivol, is descended from a survivor of that conflict. I didn't know much about this until recently--when the Aurelius came here. He said we'd been lucky so far, but he feared the wrong sort would find my boys someday. He's the one who put the wards up around the city."

                        "He also sent me to watch over them," said Mister Benson. "After what happened in the States--after Apocatastasis... He said something about how a Second Blood War was brewing, and he could no longer protect the Tharivol children himself. He asked me to come here and protect them from... well, people like Chuck Faustus, I guess."

                        Jay nodded. "It turns out, Chuck wasn't after Mario for himself, but someone else. For destroying the wards around the city, he was paid by someone named Agamemnon a canister--a canister that was then stolen from him by Tallemaja."

                        Dag grimaced at the mention of her name.

                        "Laputa caught wind of Chuck's movements, and they sent Tallemaja to act as a spy. She learned magic from Chuck. She fled from him and came here, posing as Mary Ljungdahl--apparently looking for protection from Chuck, who was after the canister. When Chuck sent Luther and Joan Okafor, then Dante, and then Nicholas, his objective was to get at Tallemaja and reclaim what she'd taken from him. The canister, according to Rembrandt, contained an apple--a golden apple that would make whoever ate it immortal.

                        "Unable to get the canister from Tallemaja, Chuck changed tactics--abandoning his hunt for her and instead trying to capture either Mario or Johnny. According to Rembrandt-"

                        "Whoa, whoa, whoa..." Armande said. "You keep saying 'according to Rembrandt'. This guy was working with Chuck--why should we trust him?"

                        "Because the operating word is 'was'," Jason said, "as in 'past tense'. Rembrandt started to work with Martin to get to Tallemaja, but Martin picked up on Siegfried's surveillance of the school, and Rembrandt began to help him figure out what was going on. Siegfried got the drop on Rembrandt and took him captive, but Chuck didn't believe Martin's explanation. He thought that Martin was double-crossing them. Gwen, who harbors feelings for Rembrandt, left Chuck's side to help Martin take down Siegfried, and free Rembrandt. Since then, Rembrandt and Gwen have been working on their own. They're no longer affiliated with Chuck."

                        WRECK ROOM: The Mercs
                        "Here is what we know about the individuals who attacked the city, on Siegfried's orders." Newton pressed a button on the remote, showing the assembly images from the hotel room Martin had found. "First, Siegfried... He'll be the slipperiest--not because of his powers, but because of his money, influence, and legal representation... Siegfried is, much like myself, several centuries old. He's an immortal with a hatred for other immortals. That by itself wouldn't worrisome, except that the man is in possession of an artifact that allows him to kill the unkillable. Siegfried came for me, and it seems Laputa is responsible for chasing him away from the school. He's not an immediate threat, however those he hired are.

                        "Not only is Siegfried ageless, he's invulnerable to harm. He can communicate with birds, whom he employs as spies. He's been watching the school for some time, gathering information on us and how best to deal with us. This information was passed on to the mercenaries he hired to attack Vienna. As such, every one of these people knows things about many of you--ranging from your powers to your weaknesses.

                        "Let's start with the three we've apprehended." Cleave's image appeared on the screen. "This one was the most dangerous. He calls himself Cleave, and that's all we have. He's a Neo-Sapien who can summon swords from nothing. Once he's swung one of these swords, it comes to life. They can fly and follow simple orders. Yesterday, Lex, Kirstie, Martin, Kas, Rose, and Mister Murphy engaged these things with the help of several police officers. Kirstie was seriously wounded fighting these swords while the others engaged Cleave himself. The man is insane. He has no regard for human life and gleefully cuts through anyone. He killed several people yesterday at the hospital before he was brought down.

                        "Next was the duo, Blackguard and Caballero. As Gaspar said, the Drifter took his group to a parallel dimension where they encountered versions of themselves. In that world, Kas could see and was shrewd and conniving. Harry's double, meanwhile, was a brooding foot soldier. We don't know how many different dimensions may exist out there, but it stands to reason that any number of doppelgangers may exist in the vast cosmos. Blackguard and Caballero are two such figures." Images of the two men in question appeared on screen, as well as a file photo of Paladin and Viktor's school ID. Blackguard is the otherworldly doppelganger of the British hero Paladin, and Caballero is a version of our own Viktor DeGallow. They possess the same abilities as they do, but they grew up in a different world. They think slightly differently. Mister McClanahan took Ellen, Jack, and Vlad with him to face them. Using their knowledge of how Viktor's powers work, they were able to restrain him, thus nullifying the threat he posed. Blackguard, I'm told, was more difficult. The man is a capable hand-to-hand fighter, with several tricks up his sleeve

                        "Next is this man..." Randy sighed as his father's face appeared on the screen. "He's been identified as Seamus O'Shae, but he calls himself Robor, after the Gaulish god who was considered the spirit of the oak trees. Mister Bradley, Fiore, and Randy went to face him. Robor incapacitated Mister Bradley, forcing Randy to retreat, leaving Fiore behind to hold the man off. Robor's powers allow him to control plants, as well as become them."

                        Randy realized that Newton hadn't mentioned their connection yet, and suspected it was out of some measure of kindness. "He's my da," Randy said. "We used t'be a normal family, y'know? Da owned a restaurant--ran it with me mum and uncle. He was always workin'--barely had time for me or my three wee sisters, but my uncle Kenny... He looked in on us. One night, I woke up, and I... I stumbled upon somethin' dark. My da was... obsessed with the occult. He'd took his brother into the woods--was going t'sacrifice him for something. I used my powers t'save him and we escaped. My uncle... he's hiding. He enrolled me here. Turns out, my da... That night, it was some sort of ritual, he said. Somethin' about blood, y'know? When I saved my uncle, he..." He choked up. "He killed my sisters instead.

                        "My da found a way t'increase his power by sacrificin' his family who have the same power. He won't stop until he gets me. He wants me t'lead him to my uncle, who he'll kill before he kills me."

                        Newton looked on at Randy sadly. "That about sums it up," Newton said. "Robor can do everything Randy can do, only this ritual has increased his power to staggering levels."

                        "When we fought," Fiore offered, "I tried to overpower him, but he... he's very strong. Even Randy and I working together could barely break his hold. Boson and I wouldn't have left that fight alive if it hadn't been for Herta."

                        Herta beamed at the praise the Italian boy gave her.

                        "Upon her arrival," Newton continued, "Herta was able to destroy Robor, revealing that they had actually been dealing with some sort of wooden avatar. Amongst Robor's repertoire of appears to the power to create a wooden simulacrum. Much like how Randy can see through plants, and control them, Robor can see through his avatar's eyes and controls it from a distance like a puppet. This effectively allows him to be somewhere without actually being somewhere. In all likelihood, if you encounter Robor, the chances are it's not really him.

                        "Furthermore, the man has Randy's ability to transmit himself via plants. Shortly after Herta defeated him, what we believe to be a second plant clone arrived at the Prater battle site. There, he took one of our own hostage and used him as leverage to ensure the escape his the other mercenaries. You heard what Randy said: his father wants him and his uncle. We are forced to believe that Robor may have recruited the surviving mercenaries to his mission to do just that.

                        "The mercenary in question is known as Ogre, though, thanks to Vlad, we've learned her real name to be Adela Dumitrscu. Adela is a Romanian girl--an orphan who was raised by this man... Radu, formerly of the Romanian Armed Forces and SRI, Romania's own version of the CIA. The man's MO appears to be taking in orphaned Neo-Sapiens and raising them to be soldiers. Adela, Vlad, and Herta are all products of his training."

                        "Adela's powers are pretty simple," Vlad explained. "She turns into a monster. In her other form, she's bigger, tougher, stronger... Her body quickly recovers from injury."

                        "Her mental faculties wane in that form," Herta added. "Adela, for instance, speaks several languages--English, Russian, Arabic... Ogre, on the other hand, comprehends very little."

                        "That would explain why she wouldn't follow my instructions," Catargi said. "In the fight, I used my hypnotic gaze on her. It seemed to stop her, but when I gave her a command..."

                        "Unless it's issued in Romanian," Herta said, "she wouldn't have understood you. Once she becomes the Ogre, she only understands her native language."

                        "She's near unstoppable once she transforms," Vlad said, "except that you can force her to revert back by dropping her body temperature. Violet was able to force her to change yesterday. It was perfect. So long as you can keep her cold, she can't become Ogre. However, all of that would be for nothing if someone like Anne or Pirjo had hit her with one of their attacks. Focused beams of light? Magma? The heat would just undo the cold and let her transform again.

                        "Be warned, however: even if you can force her to revert to her natural form, the fight will not be easily won. Adela was trained by my father. She's a capable hand-to-hand fighter, and very vicious."

                        "I'll vouch for that," Catargi said. "As soon as she became her, she turned into some sort of... kung-fu warrior, or something."

                        "It was karate," Herta corrected.

                        Newton nodded, and moved on to the next suspect: the image of Skew appeared on the screen. "This man is Wally Iverson," Newton said, "better known as Skew. Otso first encountered him in Uganda."

                        "He's a son of a bitch," growled Kowalski, Otso's father. "He's a British mercenary who whored himself out to General Basenji, a warlord who's been taking over the country down there. Basenji's turned himself into a god, and created the UUB--the Ugandan Unity Brigade. They raid villages, turning young girls into sex workers and boys into soldiers. The adults? The infirm? Those they execute. At the helm he has a group of Neo-Sapiens. Skew's one of 'em, and a real piece..." He seemed to realize where he was, and who was talking to. "...of work. His power lets him create portals that appear as silvery discs in the air."

                        "I've seen 'em," said Mister Murphy. "Yesterday, at the hospital, the cops fired on the swords. The bullets went into these discs then came out from behind us--buried themselves into my back..."

                        "Skew's tactics are pretty simple," Kowalski said. "He finds a good hiding spot, and then just deflects your attacks. He supports his teammates and doesn't tend to fight on his own."

                        "He started out at the palace," Juozas said. "Dan, Violet, and I ran into him. He baited us into attacking each other, then he ran. It took us a minute to realize he'd just been a distraction. You, uh... you got a map of the city, sir? With the attack sites?"

                        Newton nodded and soon, a map showing the city was up.

                        "Notice how Skew's target was so much further out than the others? We're pretty sure he was trying to lure us away. We got there, he got under our skin, and he left. If it hadn't been for Mister Ander's getting there, we'd have been stuck."

                        "The time table assumes that he left the palace for the hospital, where he critically injured Mister Murphy." Newton looked from the American man to Harry. "He next made his way to Prater, where he began to interfere with the battle there, assisting Ogre. When Robor retreated with her, Skew also left. At this point, we're unsure if he left with them, or if he returned to Uganda.

                        "Likewise, we're not sure about the status of the one called Haboob. Actually, Haboob is the one we know the least bit about. Given that the word means an intense dust storm, and someone conjured a dust storm in Vienna yesterday, we assume this to be his ability. Likewise, we assume that he's responsible for the series of gunshot wounds from yesterday. Haboob may be gunman capable of creating an area where he strips his enemies of their ability to see and hear, while leaving himself unhindered.

                        "Lastly, two of the Vitesse brothers were involved in the attack. This is where things get complicated..."

                        WRECK ROOM: Crux
                        Kas took the floor once more: ""For those of you who haven't spoken with Rose or me, I'll apologize right now for supplying a new potential enemy with leverage against us. In response to an unwinnable battle, I made some threats toward the families of the Vitesse brothers which convinced them to abandon their assault on the citizens of Vienna. While purely fiction, these threats were recorded by somebody... likely an ally of the brothers, in order to blackmail cooperation from Martin in a scheme to amass vast wealth."

                        "I was contacted early zis morning by a person or group identifying zemselves as 'Crux'. Zey zreatened to release ze names, numbers, and 'ome addresses of everyone in zis school unless I paid attention to zem."

                        "Wait, what?" Dag looked alarmed--understandably so: the climate was shifting in Sweden. Neo-Sapien refugees from America had immigrated there, only for protests to ignite. While the government had once been welcoming, the people were no longer so permissible.

                        "How did they get our information?" Buddy exclaimed.

                        "Safe money's on Steve," Ellen grumbled, shooting the youth a glare. "Everyone knows he hates us, and his mom works in the office!"

                        Roger Murphy was on his feet in no time. "My son wouldn't do this," he argued.

                        "The hell he wouldn't," spat Armande as Venefica shouted, "If not him, his mom! She hates it here! She looks at us like we're monsters!"

                        WRECK ROOM: Durendal
                        Martin began by recalling--verbatim--Quintessence's briefing on the power-thief: "'E never gave us a name, but 'e spoke wiz a French accent. We're calling 'im Voleur--the French word for 'thief', given zat 'is ability seems to let 'im steal ze powers of zose 'e causes to lose control of zeir powers.

                        "'At ze moment, we know zat 'e is in possession of ze powers of six Neo-Sapiens, but zere could be more zan zat. Four young girls from Romania possess flight and ze ability to endure 'igh altitude; 'e currently possesses zeir powers, as well zose of two students 'ere at ze school: Otso Karrell's ability lets 'im transform into a bear; Viktor DeGallow's power makes 'im immovable, unstoppable, and relatively impervious to 'arm.

                        "'We also need to consider zat 'e 'as some sort of ability to sense powers, and understand zem. Ze moment 'e gains access to zeir abilities, 'e seems to instinctively understand 'ow best to employ zem. Further, ze four girls from Romania were not well-known. Zey 'adn't even manifested yet. Somehow, zis man knew about zem, and knew 'ow to find each of zem in a relatively short time frame.'"

                        "In ze aftermaz, Otso and ze ozers endured quarantine. I was securing ze girls--'is original victims--and not in ze direct confrontation wiz ze man.

                        "Since zen, we 'ave learned zat zis man showed 'imself to Kas during ze 'ostage situation caused by ze Vitesse brozers, identifying himself as a French super'ero, Durendahl."

                        Kas stepped forward. "Unfortunately, I was unaware at the time there has been a Neo-Sapien stealing the abilities of others in order to use them for an unknown purpose. Had I known, I would've made an effort to apprehend him on the spot.

                        "'E freely admitted to 'aving ze powers, not mentioning zeir source," Martin explained. "Subsequently, in ze aftermath of zose attacks, 'e stole ze superstrengz of Mouloud, and eizer released Otso's powers, or was forced to release zem due to capacitance."

                        "As it stands, we have a physical description of the man from Mouloud." As Kas spoke, the original sketch of Durendal appeared on the monitors behind him. "This man has senses that detect SPB's and can identify their powersets. Learn this description and avoid physical contact at all costs."

                        WRECK ROOM: Agnes
                        Newton looked out across the sea of faces. Many of them looked tired, battered, and defeated by the influx of information. "Is there anything I missed?" he asked.

                        Kas rose up. "I believe I was contacted psychically by a super-powered being in danger, but I am woefully ill-equipped to properly investigate such a thing, and need aid from anyone with expertise with this sort of phenomena."

                        "Psychic, huh?" Juozas looked to Emily. "Sounds like you're in."

                        Emily let out a groan. "Look, I only signed on to help Jay because I wanted to make sure his sister was gone for good. The last thing I wanted was her coming after me and my family, again. If it's all the same? I'd really like to just head home now."
                        Armada Status

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                        • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                          The Blue Knight

                          Gwyn cleared his throat, stepping forward a bit. "I can vouch for that," He said, looking to Herta and talking about her comments about Ogre.

                          "Putting Ogre down was hard enough, but keeping her down is even harder. I musta dropped her, what, twice?" He looked to Pirjo, she was there.

                          "She just kept getting back up." Weren't flipping fair, no sir.

                          "So, today, using information Blackguard shared with us-" He refused to call the man Robert. And 'Bob' was a fat guy's name.

                          "Pirjo and I searched a hotel room some members of this group have apparently been staying at. They had flown the place, apparently, but we found a few things." Gwyn produced the bag with the syringe, and the list of names and phone numbers.

                          "The phone number's to Morocco, and the names are Matt's, Juozas', Otso's, and Lexus.'" He looked to Otso, shoulders raised in confusion.

                          "Any idea, Paddington?"
                          [I]Any sound can shake the air. My voice shakes the heart![/I]

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                          • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                            Magnitude
                            Kasimir Flaegler
                            HP 1 LP 2


                            Kas nodded in understanding at Emily's attitude. He didn't blame her for wanting a normal life, free of the troubles this kind of thing could bring.

                            "Not to worry Emily, I shall find a way. This isn't your problem."

                            When Stephen Murphy was accused, Kas had to stand up and face Ellen and Armand. "Enough! Really Armand? Of all people, you should know the pain of wrongful persecution. I am certain, now that Crux has tipped their hand about knowing so much that it could only be from a leak inside the UN, appropriate investigations will take place. Stephen Murphy may hate us, but that is a far cry from definitive evidence of guilt." Cocking his head toward Ellen, so she would know he was speaking to her, he shook his head. "Not a week after I arrived you had an...incident...with self-control. Despite the destructive nature of that incident, nobody believes you intend the wholesale destruction of the school and the people in it. Wait until the facts are in before you make such certain accusations...after all, you have done far worse to your classmates than simply run off at the mouth and nobody is pointing fingers at you."

                            And his mother wanted him to take a break. Under these circumstances? The very idea was preposterous.

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                            • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                              Ursa
                              HP: 2

                              Otso looked up from Beatrice at Lexus's exclamation. He flinched inwardly at the boy's words. "It looks like my good luck might have come at someone else's expense. Don't worry, I'll just go find out what this is all about. I'll be back soon ma cheriť."

                              ******

                              "The names are simple enough, Skew was letting the other mercenaries know about our powers. He'd know about mine from Uganda and fighting my dad, same as he'd know about Juozas and Matt's dads and Lexus's uncle. I've got no clue about the syringe, though. As for the phone number, Morocco points to Africa, maybe Uganda? I don't know honestly."

                              Otso shrugged as he looked to his dad, in case he had any information to confirm or deny the connection.

                              ******

                              "Voleur needs to be stopped. I don't care if he does good with the powers he's stolen, he's still ruining lives by screwing with people's control over their powers. We're just lucky he hasn't gotten to someone like Kas, yet."

                              He still didn't his own powers after what the man had done.
                              Last edited by McGuffin; 12th March 2015, 12:36 AM.
                              Otso Karell, codenamed Ursa, on New Vindicators Academy of Europe.

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                              • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #18: Decompress

                                Alex "Current" Murphy
                                HP: 1 CND: Normal

                                Lex
                                glowered half ready to let off a scathing response before Kas beat him to the punch.

                                He hated to admit it but if Kas hadn't beat him to the punch he'd have probably started another fight.

                                "Ever occur to you that they could be bluffing?" He edited out the 'dumbass' he wanted to throw in, "Like a few other people in our school did to the bad guys, ya know?"

                                "You want to do something helpful than maybe we ought to think about what we can do to help protect the families just in case,"
                                He crosses his arms, "Or y' all can keep taking pot shots at my family. I got all the time in the world."

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