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Thread: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter III)

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    THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter III)

    In 1945, mankind learned that they shared the planet with super-powered beings--men and women capable of growing to tremendous heights, transforming their flesh and bones into raw energy, or even controlling another person's mind. Even with a group of heroes--the Vindicators--dedicated to protecting humanity from those who would misuse their gifts, mankind began to fear and hate the Neo-Sapien race.

    Today, the situation has only marginally improved. As the Neo-Sapien populace grows, so too does the list of people who would see them destroyed. In order to provide young Neo-Sapiens with a place to learn and grow, the United Nations opened the New Vindicators Academy, where the heroes of tomorrow begin their journey...

    THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum
    Last edited by Michuru81; 10-02-2014 at 08:01 AM.

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    THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum

    THE AFFILIATION #114: SexyBack - Chloe is dead, and Adonis is out for blood. Calling himself Acrimony, he's declared war on mankind--but if he's going to fight a war, he'll need soldiers. After recruiting a few new members from the school, the Affiliation moves to collect their captured comrades from Alcatraz itself, but a new team of heroes stands in their way... Enter: the Paroled.

    Last edited by Michuru81; 10-02-2014 at 08:02 AM.

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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    THE AFFILIATION #114: SexyBack

    Chapter I: Call to Arms
    Adonis Skraag was not a normal twenty-year-old. While most people his age were in college or entering the work force, Adonis was rallying the tired and oppressed under his banner.


    “We have visual on the target. She’s with Vincent Haynes.”

    “Roof team, ready?”

    “Room team is good to go.”

    Adonis looked to Chloe—took in her reassuring smile—and then looked to the forces congregating around him in the alley. “You all know what to do,” he said. “Go.”



    Most people his age didn’t have to deal with insubordination.


    “NO!” With a right cross to Lodestone’s face, Adonis knocked the man to the ground. The blow took him by surprise, and the rifle fell from his fingertips and to the ground. “What did I tell you before we left!?!” Adonis roared. “No casualties!”

    “Says the man who stockpiled more assault rifles than David Koresh,” railed Lodestone. “I think you’re sending some mixed signals here.”

    Adonis kicked the rifle away. “Stay down, Magnus,” Adonis ordered.



    Most people his age hadn’t held the one they loved as they breathed their last breathe.


    Chloe moved to protect them. With the totality of her magnetic powers, she commanded every scrap of metal in the area to form a bubble around them. As the dome came together though, Chloe was struck. She fell back. Adonis moved to catch her.

    Slivers of light came through the cracks she had yet to seal, exposing the glazed-over look in her eyes.



    While most people his age were sending graduation or wedding invitations to their loved ones, he was delivering a message to the entire world.


    “I hereby declare war on the people of Earth, for crimes against humanity. Like it or not, that is what Neo-Sapiens are: humans. We are humans—humans who are tired and exhausted and we have a message from the oppressed and persecuted:

    “We got the power and we’re not going to take it anymore.”



    Adonis Skraag was not a normal person, and for that, he was thankful: no normal person could do what he was about to do…

    The broadcast ended and Acrimony sighed heavily as he sat back in the headmaster’s chair. Across the desk from him stood three SPBs: Lurker, his most loyal an invaluable follower; Bluetooth, who had made their global broadcast possible; and Exempt, whose Esper abilities made it possible for the other two to look upon their leader’s face. “We have a lot to do,” Acrimony intoned. “Our first order of business will be a full withdrawal from the school. Not only have we overstayed our welcome here, but after that stunt, the Vindicators will be on us within the hour.

    “Once we’re clear, we need to make a jailbreak. They took some of our people: Black Widow, Mirth, Girth, Bile, and Dingo.” He sighed as he threw himself out of his chair. “Every member of this group is ancillary, and I refuse to abandon any of them. We’re going to find them, and we’re going to free them.”

    “Hey, boss?” asked Lurker, his voice wavering.

    Acrimony looked up at him, but Lurker couldn’t bring himself to meet his leader’s dead gaze.

    “I… I’m sorry…” He came forward and put his arms around the other man. “I know Chloe—I mean, you loved-”

    “We have work to do, Lurker,” Acrimony said. His voice sent cold chills up Lurker’s spine. “I believe the headmaster is in the infirmary, tending to the wounded. Please go find him: tell him we intend to vacate the premises, and that I would like to speak with him before going.”

    Lurker nodded before stepping back into the shadows. The darkness took him, and Lurker was gone.

    “Begin monitoring communications,” Acrimony told Bluetooth. “Find out where they’re taking our comrades.”

    “Wouldn’t it be more prudent to have Katherine Wellor use her abilities to find them, as she did Autumn Colbenson?”

    Adonis shook his head. “We’re pulling out as soon as we can,” Adonis said. “As simple as that would be, we can’t involve the students or faculty of this school anymore than we already have. Besides, depending on where they are, by helping us find them, Miss Wellor could be making herself an accessory. We need to do this ourselves.”

    Bluetooth nodded solemnly as Acrimony led Exempt out of the headmaster’s office, towards the common room.

    He dragged his feet. It was one thing to say what he had just said to a camera, and another to say it to the faces of his fellow Neo-Sapiens. Still, there was no better time to do this: the Vindicators wouldn’t be here. They had remained in the city, to clean up after the battle with Black Box. They would be called in as soon as his broadcast went live, and were no doubt receiving new orders. Hourglass was probably planning to try and talk him down. She wouldn’t have the opportunity—the Curler would charge in the instant he was onsite. The others would move to support and suppress, and it would escalate into a full-blown battle. The school didn’t need that—the students didn’t need that after the night they had had. Acrimony knew he needed to move the Affiliation off-campus as soon as he could, but he had to do one more thing first…

    Acrimony strode across the foyer, opened the doors, and stepped into the crowded common room. There were faces he knew—former classmates of his, from the year he spent as a student here: Lex Sway, Magnus and Maria Loder, and Ben and Alicia Altair; other members of the faculty he didn’t know well, such as Dane, or Michael McDougall, or Kat Wellor.

    He made himself look into the eyes of the students—the future of the Neo-Sapien race. The television was on—reporters were talking about his broadcast. They had seen. They had heard. No doubt he had terrified them. He had to assuage those fears.

    “On July 16, 1945, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Oppenheimer witnessed the Trinity Test—the first explosion of an atomic bomb,” Acrimony said as he waded into their midst. Even with Exempt so close to him, retarding his unnatural charisma, he commanded the crowd to cease their babble with his soft-spoken words. “When he famously recalled his thoughts on that tremendous moment, he said, ‘We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people remained silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of Worlds.” I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.’

    “Oppenheimer recalled a line from the Bhagavad-Gita, but there is a line that precedes his quote: ‘If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One.’

    “You, and I, and all our oppressed brothers and sisters out there in the world—we are a thousand suns… and the people of this world are about to see just our radiance.

    “You’ve been watching and you know what I’ve done: I’ve declared war. I have declared war on those who would oppress us. It will not be an easy war to win. I am not so deluded to believe that our radiance will grant us everything we’re deserving of. This war—this fight may ask that we lay down our lives… I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

    “Nevertheless, we are each made of fibers that vary in strength. I want you all to understand that… while my friends and I are fighting this war for all of you, this is not your battle. I, and any who choose to follow me, will be departing from this place in the next five minutes. You don’t need to be afraid of anyone coming here, looking for me. I won’t darken your doorstep any more than I have. I won’t involve any of you in this conflict, but I also won’t turn away anyone who truly wishes to fight for a better tomorrow.”

    Laughter erupted from Lodestone, followed by sarcastic applause. “You are, without a doubt, the dumbest smart guy I know.” He stepped out into the open, before Adonis, in the ring of terrified students and worried teachers. “Let me tell you all a little something about this guy: he says he won’t involve any of you, but the last time he decided to play general, and wage war on bigotry, a lot of people died.

    “Some of you might remember Doctor Styles. She was this school’s biggest cheerleader.” He thrust an accusatory finger at Acrimony. “And this son of a bitch is the reason there’s a statue outside memorializing her! This guy is the reason most of those names are on a plaque in the gardens. Maybe he’ll try and tell you that he’s changed—that he’s a new man—a better man!

    “Tell that to Miss Bedford, though. Even if you didn’t know Doctor Styles, you knew Miss Bedford. She died tonight, and it’s all this guy’s-”

    Anomaly stepped forward and hit Lodestone with a right cross to the face. As Lodestone fell to the ground, his face a bloody mess, Anomaly continued walking towards Acrimony.

    He offered out his hand. “I’m with you,” he said.

    Prompt stepped forward. In her hands was a letter. “I’m with you,” she said darkly.

    Exempt stood beside Acrimony. “You know I’m in,” she inflected meekly.

    One of the students stepped forward. Acrimony had met him less than an hour ago: his name was Rick Tasker, and his arm had numbers burned into it. Three more students Acrimony hadn’t met came over. He shook their hands and waited for them to introduce themselves: Gage Morris, Orencio Arevalo, and Andrew Woodford.

    Another of the students stepped out from the throng, dragging an aluminum baseball bat along the floor behind him. At the sight of his defection, Lodestone laughed. “Big surprise,” he said, holding his nose. By the sound of his voice, Anomaly had broken it. “Tide Junior turned evil!”

    “Shut up, Magnus.”

    Lodestone looked up to see another of the students crossing the room to join Adonis’ cadre. The sight of him made his eyes bulge. He had no words for this betrayal.

    The young man offered his arm to Adonis. “Will Loder,” he said, “at your service.”

    Lodestone scrambled to his feet. Bloody hands grabbed Will’s wrist and tried to pull him away. “No!” he snapped. “You’re not doing this! You are not joining him! He’s a terrorist! He caused the White War!”

    Will shook the man off of him. “I’ve made up my mind, Magnus,” he growled. “Ever since I came back, I missed out on my life, you know? My wife, my son—your grandfather… I missed everything. Suddenly, everyone just expects me to be that person, you know? They expect me to fall in line with a life I never got the chance to live. I know you don’t understand-”

    “You’re damn right I don’t!”

    “But try to respect my decision.”

    “You’re my great-granddad!” Lodestone snapped. “You started the Lodestone dynasty! You can’t do this to our legacy!”

    Before Will could argue it, Lurker led Doctor Howell out of a shadow. Acrimony turned from the Loders’ spat, and took the man’s hand. “Thank you for sheltering us this long,” he said, “but I won’t hurt this school more than I have. My friends and I will be out of your hair soon. I just wanted to offer my congratulations on your wedding again, and my apologies that tonight turned out this way.”

    When Acrimony pressed a small device into his hands, he looked surprised. That quickly faded, as his resolve strengthened. Doctor Howell held Acrimony’s hands firmly, and made the blonde-headed man meet his gaze. “Adonis,” he said, “I’m begging you not to do this. Right now, you’re hurting. Chloe’s death-”

    “We have to do this,” Acrimony growled. “They’ll never accept us.”

    “Public opinion of our kind has never been higher!”

    “Things have improved, yes, but we’re still being-”

    “Let the Vindicators handle this!”

    “They can’t do what we can.”

    “Then you’ll-”

    “Then we go to war.”

    The headmaster sighed. “To quote the great philosopher Edwin Star, ‘War, hunh, good God, ya’ll! What is it good for? Hunh! Absolutely nothing! Say it again!’”

    Acrimony smiled at him. He meant it. Even with the rift between their ideologies, he could see through their differences to see where the man was coming from. Could he have derived comfort from anything, it would have been the knowledge that at least someone cared about him.

    “Lurker, are the others gathered?”

    Lurker nodded.

    “Then let us be gone.”

    The words had only just escaped his mouth when his eyes caught the sight of the crackling ball of electricity. Words failed him as he watched it expand into a portal. He knew who had generated it—he knew what it meant…

    It meant he hadn’t left quick enough.

    Hourglass was the first one through the portal her boyfriend had generated. “Adonis!” she cried, setting sights on him. “Do you have any idea how badly you just screwed things up?”

    The other Vindicators began to funnel out. Boson and Horde were the next ones through, followed by Mirage and the Aurelia. The Curler stepped through, and the gateway closed behind Portal. “You need to come with us, Adonis,” Portal said. The powered armor he wore masked his voice, but there was no mistaking a sense of sadness behind it. “That little stunt irked off some very important people, and now we-”

    “Now we have orders to bring you in,” snapped the Curler. “We can do things the easy way, or the hard way. Lady’s choice, Adonis.”

    Acrimony sighed. “I have no intention of surrendering,” he said, “but I would also like to refrain from turning this school into a battleground.”

    “Yeah,” the Curler scoffed, “I know how much regard for human life you have. Tell me again how we didn’t have a memorial garden until you enrolled here?”

    “Magnus already made those points.” Acrimony looked to Lurker. “Fetch Gabrielle.”

    “No one’s going anywhere!” the Curler roared. “I mean, except you. You are coming with us—but no one else, and nowhere else!”

    Lurker dashed behind Acrimony and sank into his friend’s shadow. Immediately, the Curler swore. “Hard way it is!” The behemoth charged, ignoring his teammate’s shouts to stop. Barreling across the common room, the Curler pulled back his fist, and Acrimony braced for the worst.

    Quote Originally Posted by To Be Continued...
    The Vindicators versus the Affiliation!

  4. #4
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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    As we're moving into the new forums, it seemed appropriate to break out this. I've been sitting on it for a while...

    I've been saying for years that I'm going to edit the New Vindies books and toss 'em out there, and I am. I'm just obsessed with tightening the story, and making sure it's the best I can do. One of the changes I made to the series was changing a name. Chienne's name was meant to sound pretty, but be an ugly name. At this point, is just seems sophomoric. I mean, why would parents even name their daughter that? So, Chloe. She's Chloe.

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    Keeper of Secrets Arthur Eld's Avatar
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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    I dunno, it seemed to work well enough for Reba.

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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    You had me thinking I was crazy because I had no idea who Chloe was. I didn't have a problem with the name. Superheroes frequently have weird names.

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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    I have nothing deep or even pithy to add...just...yay.

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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    I thought this whole Chloe thing was a mind-messer situation where we'd eventually discover that Cheyenne had been replaced with somebody nobody knew of for some nefarious reason.

    Why they'd replace her with somebody who's dead is a question I couldn't quite answers though. Unless Cheyenne was alive and needed to be able to work without people bothering her...

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    Keeper of Secrets Arthur Eld's Avatar
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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    That's how I explain why Jason's sister is called Liz and not Anne, like she was originally.

    She was wiped out of the timestream leaving Jay with just one sister. She'll be back though, for vengeance...

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    Re: THE AFFILIATION: ira deorum (Chapter I)

    Yay! More stuff.

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