South Lawndale, Little Village. I had a task at hand, and I wasn't going to waste time.I landed on the entry sign some time after dusk, 'Beinvidos A Little Village'. Street lights bathed shop signs written in Spanish, places like 'La Villita' and 'Carniceria', 'Les Comales', named for places like 'Laredo' or 'El Paso', interrupted by the occasional 'Western Union'. It was a busy afternoon despite the cold, with groups clustered around food trucks, calling out across the street to passing friends. I could only understand every fifth or sixth word, a snatch of English thrown in with the rapid-fire Spanish. I really should learn Spanish.Other than that it wasn't too different from any other Chicago neighborhood, not too different from mine at least. Traffic, cars and people, packed the street in both directions. Halloween was coming up, Day of the Dead out here, and sugar skulls were starting to creep into decorations. A brick wall was taken up mural had been painted of a skeleton in saintly robes praying beneath names in black, smoke rising up around the figure. Boquets of flowers and stuffed children's toys had been left in front of it, alongside home made crosses with the same names repeated again.A public memorial to dead children.I stayed up high on the rooftops, keeping to the shadows hoping no one looked up. I'd have stood out either way among the brown faces. White Mexicans are a thing, and I don't mean like the fat pervert Louis CK, but down in Little Village they weren't looking all that common.It made it easier to spot who did stand out, and in a hunt for the elusive Navaja it only helped.You'd think in a city of several million I wouldn't keep running into the same faces, but I guess the world of organized crime was a touch smaller. He leaned on his white motorbike outside a club, helmet pulled off to show his shaggy blond pug face. Billy Lonegran, a chump shitkicker for the Stunt Crew MC. He sat outside with two other white bikes, alone with a bottle of tequila, looking wary at the passing crowds.Rough types came in and out of the club, live music thrashing out through the half open black doors with a hot, chaotic energy. The guys were tattooed up, gang marks scrawled across faces and hands. The girls were the usual kind who got caught up with those types. A couple stopped to talk to Billy but there wasn't any trouble. A Reaper, one of his jacket sleeves loose showing he only had one arm, limped by into the club.If Billy was standing guard outside it meant he had friends inside. Which meant the Stunt Crew had business with someone here. Crime was the only explanation, though it didn't point directly to Navaja. Still it was the only lead I had.I watched Billy spit in the gutter, leaning heavy on his bike with a sour look. I'd promised if I ever saw him in outlaw leathers again I'd do worse to him than I'd done before.>Wait to catch Billy alone, question him>Billy is a chump, whoever I want to talk to is in the club
Previously on With Great Power Quest: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=With%20Great%20Power%20Quest
>>4590540>Billy is a chump, whoever I want to talk to is in the clubMaybe on the way out
>>4590540>Billy is a chump, whoever I want to talk to is in the clubGood to see you back Bullpen!
Billy could wait.I crept low across the roof, looking for some kind of entrance. A utility entrance or something. The one I found, among the beer bottles and cigarette butts, was locked from the inside. A touch of fire and a solid right blew apart the woodchip door. I shook my wrist though it barely hurt, I'd taken to wrapping my hands before heading out now and it made a difference.If anyone had heard me bust open the door I doubted it from the screaming thrash that came tearing up the stairs. Whoever was playing was playing fast and mean, the singer screaming to be heard over the instruments, their voice a screech so I couldn't start to understand the lyrics.Down the stairs I came into a back corridor. Empty crates sat around, some cut up cardboard packaging stacked against a wall with various liquor company logos on them. A couple of band posters with touring dates plastered the wall. 'Brujeria', 'Transmetal', others, none I'd ever heard of. I'm not much of a music guy to begin with, and these guys all seemed to come out of Mexico.I slid along the wall to the door where the fierce music was bursting from. A check out the door showed a packed moshpit brawling under strobe lights, a band dimly lit behind wire mesh. The singer was a woman, long legs sheathed in tight leather, a black leather bra top like something you'd see on the side of a hippy's panel van, metal chains dripping off her shoulders, all she was missing was the sword. Sweat had turned her hair into long wet noodles, her olive skin glowing under the light. It took me a second to realize she was screeching in Spanish as she twisted, wet hair flinging out.The band behind her were a gang of bearded biker looking guys, harsh on their instruments like it owed them money, a snarling backup to her screeching. Bottles smashed against the mesh wire, flecks of glass spraying through, glittering across the stage floor.Real wholesome kind of scene.To the left of me was a standing area with a bar. A couple of guys in Reaper gear sat drinking, served by a leathery woman. They ignored the music, heads down with a grim atmosphere. The bartender poured a shot for the one armed man, who dunked it back like it was ice tea thengestured for another. Closer now I could tell who he was, the guy whose arm I'd broke in the park. I winced. Guess the doctors hadn't saved the arm.Whatever I overheard was all in Spanish, but I didn't hear much through the wall of sound coming from the stage. It sent a cold prickle over my skin, a hard thump in my stomach.The strobe lights flashed through the dark, bringing to life hot twisting bodies before disappearing again. I stepped through the dark, trusting it to hide me.I had a feeling what I wanted was through the door behind the bar. I was certain of it when one of the Reapers slapped down some cash and went back that way.Getting through that door wouldn't be easy. I had to wait for a distraction, or start one.>roll 3 x 1d100+15 dc 75
if you guys can think of a fun write-in I'll give a bonus +5
Rolled 82 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4590684
Rolled 4 + 15 (1d100 + 15)>>4590684
we need one more roll
Rolled 60 + 15 (1d100 + 15)>>4590684I'll roll again just to keep things rolling if that's alright
I got the opening I was looking for when one of the strobe lights, maybe overheated, maybe copped a stray bottle, burst, showering glass and firing off hot sparks into the crowd. The music slowed by half a tempo, the crowd clutched in surprise, but then it fired up again. The bar tender came out from behind the bar to chew out whoever was responsible for the lighting and while her patrons were enjoying the show of her tearing strips out of the goon, I stepped quick from the doorway, heading out the back.Sweat clung to me under the hoodie. However cold it was outside inside the club was hot and I was feeling it. If I was still wearing this costume by summer time I'd be regretting it.I went up a short corridor, doors leading off in other directions. Empty milk crates sat beside one door, still a little open.A glance inside showed a smokey dark room, long, the back disappearing into the gloom. I crept low, stepping inside. Muffled voices came down the way.Up ahead was a sitting area, low dark leather couches around an even lower coffee table. Glasses sat on coasters, half-filled with rum or bourbon. Men stood, Reapers mostly, looking tough at the two seated opposite. Smoke wafted from one of the couches, the soft pluck of lips on the end of a joint."So its true you did those deputies?" a rough Latin voice, "That stirred up some shit with the cops. Heard they've been giving your crew a wild time." He leaned forward, pink eyed and grinning, a man with thick rimmed glasses who looked more accountant than gangster."Whatever I've done or have not done isn't particular to this conversation," a voice I knew answered, soft with the strains of Dixie. Sullivan sat opposite the Latino gangster in an open white motorcycle jacket, his peroxide blond hair cut short. Sitting next to him in black motorcycle leathers was Baby Girl, staring at their smoking companion with a sheathed katana across her lap. "Now I suggest you arrive to the purpose of this meeting. As much as I enjoy your hopspitality, I would be more comfortable around my own kind.""Whites?" the Latino said with a laugh and half a cough, weed smoke pouring from his throat.Sullivan's eyes were flat. "Bikers," he replied.The Latino gangster grinned. "That's why we asked for you Mr Sullivan, you and your kind are what we need for this job," he said, "Navaja would be personally grateful if you accepted.""We don't work for credit, favor, or gratitude," he said, "I'm an outlaw, sir, I work for money.""For this job we're offering a quarter mil," he said, "We need you to hijack a truck heading west. You need to hit it before it gets to Iowa. You need to bring back its cargo. Simple work for guys like you."
"Must be something valuable in the truck for such a hefty bounty," Baby Girl said."You don't need to know what's in it," he said, "But you bring it back to us and tell no one about it.""Something both valuable and mysterious must be dangerous," she said, "That's worth more, half a million.""We can go up," he said, though clearly didn't like it."You also haven't said who this truck belongs to," said Sullivan, "Or more accurately who its protected by. We aren't in the business of making enemies of the Outfit.""Don't worry, its not an Outfit truck," he said, "It belongs to the alphabet gang, if you catch my meaning.""Dangerous indeed," said Baby Girl. Sullivan grinned as if it were the kind of danger he liked."Get us what's in that truck and you'll have more than half a million," he said, "Navaja has work for all over the Midwest, we can set your gang up right.""On that last score it'll be up to the Old Man," Sullivan said, "But we're soldiers-of-fortune, not errand boys. Keep that in mind."The cartel gangster pulled up a folder, flicking it onto the table between them. Sullivan reached forward. The Reapers loomed in the dark, putting more effort into trying to menace the bikers than keep look out.>make a move now, spoil their fun>wait and listen, collect details
>>4590857>make a move now, spoil their funWe get that folder, we're golden. Not gonna get a better chance.
>>4590858>make a move now, spoil their fun>>4590858Yep, agreed
>>4590857>>make a move now, spoil their funI thought about it, and we could probably beat the shit out of the other guy for any more details
>>4590857>make a move now, spoil their fun
>>4590912>>4590910>>4590865>>4590858locked ingive me a minute to sort something out
"We respect our partners, Mr Sullivan," the cartel enforcer smiled from behind his glasses.Time to spoil their fun. Power flared through me with a white hot burst."Really? Because you're last one was a chump," I said, popping up from my hiding place, "But its hard to find good help these days.""What?" the joint fell from his lip.A smile broke over Sullivan's face as he stepped up from the couch, Baby Girl behind him with her sword half drawn."Why Hotspur, as I live and breathe," Sullivan said, reaching for his gun."We won't let you walk away this time," Baby Girl said, sword sliding out with a hiss from its scabbard."You know this freak?" the cartel goon said, scrambling back over the couch as his thugs closed in."We've had the pleasure," Sullivan said."Pleasure's all mine Sully, it'll be an even bigger one when I cart you and your girlfriend off to prison," I said, bounding forward. Sullivan leapt back as Baby Girl stepped forward. The flash of her sword cut for my head in the muzzle flash of his pistol, but they hit nothing. I dropped low in a bow, blade and bullet whistling by over my head. Then I leapt up, knee crashing into Sullivan's chest, driving him back.I sprung off his chest landing in a crouch on the low slung coffee table, right over the folder as Sullivan went down.Guns bristled around me. "Fucking grasshopper!" the cartel boss spat, "Fifty grand for every bullet you put in his corpse!""How much for his head?" Baby Girl spat, sword ready before her.That set itchy trigger fingers around me. Heart thumping fear raced my excitement. I dropped low, legs bunching up under me, waiting.Could I dodge those many guns at point blank range? Didn't have much choice but to try.The chorus of gunfire flooded my ear drums as I moved, cutting out anything else as I sprung to the door with the folder in my fist. I felt the brush of wind against my neck, bullets scarcely missing. Fear clutched my balls.A Reaper stepped in front of the door. I drove a left into his face then a hard right behind his ear, knocking him down in a one-two. I kicked the door out of its frame, leaving a white foot print on the surface, rolled over it with guns barking behind me, Spanish curses hot in my ears.I rose up and lunged for the far door kicking over a milk crate. Past that door was the moshpit.But the door opened, and a whole bunch of tattooed Reapers spilled through. Chains, knives, guns and pipes, the one armed Reaper leading the way."You!" he yelled, whipping a chain in his single fist, "I got a score to settle with you!""Ah shit."Guns clacked behind me, Reapers sneered ahead of me, and here I was, stuck in the middle of a cartel spit roast.Damn.Then I heard something through the music, a low roar like a motorcycle. More Stunt Crew MC come to make my night worse? No, that didn't seem right, it had the Reapers checking over their shoulders all confused.Then a light burst behind them, flooding my sight.
There was a loud bark of 'Motherfucker!'A motorcycle came crashing through their ranks. It spun out nearly knocking me down. I hopped over it on one hand letting it skid out under me.I caught a dark shape moving in the glowing bloom, a figure in black leathers and a helmet laying into Reapers with a monkey wrench. "Eat shit, motherfucker!" he brought the wrench across a Reaper's jaw, sending teeth flying before laying a boot into the soft part of another one.Whoever he was I wasn't going to knock his help.The guns behind me lowered as the gangsters backed off, hands raised to cover their eyes, hissing with pain.It was the opening I needed.>let's brawl>let's run
>>4590951potential friend or foe? well whatever,>let's brawl
>>4590951>let's brawlI'm not adverse to kicking some ass again
>>4590959>>4590968locked inbut I'll have to update tomorrow
>>4590985oh damn missed this new thread
I didn't know who they were but I wasn't going to turn down their help, or leave them to fight half the Reapers in their home turf. His monkey wrench swung around, cracking down on shoulders and skulls, the toe of his boot clipping the side of a downed Reaper's head.A Reaper swung a chain at me. I weaved low, driving a left hook into his liver. He stumbled with a clench of pain over his tattooed face, my right in his gut doubling him over, then my elbow to the back of his neck tacking him out of the fight. The thrash metal came pumping through the brawling mess of Reapers with frentic energy.Hot fire roared through me as I swung around, the glasses goon staring as his boys poured down the corridor toward me.It was on.>roll 3 x 1d100+25 dc 75
Rolled 60 + 25 (1d100 + 25)>>4592998
Rolled 29 + 25 (1d100 + 25)>>4592998
I really don't mind people rolling twice
Rolled 40 + 25 (1d100 + 25)>>4592998
I leapt into the fray, fists quick and hammering, diving low under a lead pipe to come up, carving an uppercut into his jaw. A knife flashed in my face, cutting arcs, but my hand shot out to grab his wrist and I squeezed. Bone splintered under my grip. I was worried about making another amputee, but when my life was on the line it was a distant worry."Hey-ho, let's go!" the guy with the monkey wrench stumbled past me, wrench lashing out. Blood and bits of hair were stuck in its teeth. I got a closer look at him in that moment, he wore some kind of WW2 helmet and under it a ski mask with grinning skull mask. He was around my height and wore a bulky motorcycle jacket.Then a chain roped around his shoulders. He raised his arms before it could snare his neck, but he was still pulled back by the one-armed Reaper."Motherfucker!" he yelled as he wrestled with the chain. Another Reaper closed in driving a punch into his gut then a cross into his face. I weaved in, belting the attacker across the chin, felt bone shatter under the blow, then I grabbed the chain and wrenched it forward.It gave him room enough to turn and bash the one-armed thug in the side of the head with his wrench. He dropped, chain slipping from his fingers. The wrench-armed guy bent over panting, gave me a thumb's up before the brawl closed around us again.I threw elbows and fists, fighting back-to-back with the skull mask stranger, the world a tunnel of snarling faces in front of me.Then a flash of steel through the brawl, Baby Girl's sword thrusting. It lanced through the sleeve of my hoodie, the kiss of steel brushing over my forearm, her determined expression behind the blade. I swung for her head but she slipped back, the cold edge of her sword slicing along my arm. Blood welled in the cut, soaking my arm sleeve, but adrenaline kept it a distant, numb pain."Quit screwing around and shoot these assholes!" Mr Glasses said.Guns were raised, no mind for the gangbangers we were embroiled with."Hold up," my new friend said. He threw his hand forward, clicking his fingers. A white ball of light shot forth down the corridor. An explosion of white light blanched out the hallway, blinding the gun thugs and causing me to flinch."Time to book," I said, backing to the doorway as the criminals groaned in pain, clutching at their blinded eyes."My bike," he said, moving for the trash dirt bike collapsed in the middle of the corridor.I grabbed his arm, pulling him back. "Forget the bike," I said."Shit!" but he turned at my grip and we ran for the door.We came out into the main area. I leapt over the bar and he did the same, scooping up a bottle of beer as he did. Some people turned from the music as we ran for the door, but not many. The concert went on like nothing had happened, the gun fire and brawl lost in the cacophany of screeching metal.
We broke out into the cold night. Billy Lonegran looked up from where he was taking a piss."Suck shit!" my nameless friend said, giving him the finger as we raced by.Out of the door and into the street came a horde of Reapers, spitting Spanish in murderous fury, and out with them walked Baby Girl and Sullivan. Gun shots went up but they were shooting wide. All they did was get civilians screaming and running for cover."We should get off the street," I said."Yeah? Well I'm all for ideas," he said, running alongside me.I turned on a foot and grabbed him under the shoulders. With legs bunched under me I sprung up, launching high overhead, his weight nothing in my arms."Oh fuck!" he swore in my ear, grabbing me hard as we sailed through the air.I brought us down a block away on the roof of a Popeye's.When I dropped him he stood shaking, trying to get his feet, dropping his bloody monkey wrench."Damn, damn, holy shit!" he said, pulling off his helmet, panting hard. He loosened the collar of his jacket, then with shaking hands pulled up his ski mask. "Mother fuck me, that was wild!"Her ski mask. Dark hair was plastered with sweat to a wide face. It was the kind of high yellow skin tone you saw in some Mexicans, not brown exactly. She shook, sweating, almost feverish. She was older than me but still a teenager. Then she smiled, shook out her damp hair."Shit, damn, you saw my face," she said, pulling down her ski mask, back to a grinning skull."Who are you?" I asked."I go by Misfit," she said, "And you're Hotspur. I seen you in all the papers. Man, I was not expecting to run into you tonight." She smiled through the grinning skull, then downed her stolen beer. "You're like, why I do this man. Or like, you gave me the idea to put on a mask and do something. You're like a hero, my hero or, uh, fuck."She turned around and muttered, "Damn it, don't be fucking weird Natalie, keep it together."She turned back. "So hey, you fucking with the Reapers too? I heard that was a Reaper hang out and decided to crash their party. Literally, lost my bike and everything goddamn it. I mean it was just a kiddy little dirt bike but...uh..." she turned away, muttering again, "You're babbling dude, shit.">Misfit huh? Why Misfit?>she'd shown you her face, return the favor
>>4593156>Misfit huh? Why Misfit?Not ready to show our face. There is no way to tell if she is trying to trick us or use it against us later. Way too dangerous when we are messing with the big shots
>>4593156>Misfit huh? Why Misfit?Like the band?
"Misfit, huh, why Misfit?"I kept my own face covered. Call it paranoia but I wasn't going to show my face to someone I'd just met, and for all I knew this was some kind of trick to get me to lower my guard."The band," she said, pinching at her mask, "You know, Danzig, Jerry Only, 'London Dungeon'."I think I'd heard of them before but I couldn't name a song."I got something to say!" she belted out, her voice carrying over the Popeye's roof, "I killed a baby today! And it doesn't matter much to me as long as its dead!"Grim."What about you, why Hotspur?" she said."It's just something I thought was cool is all, no reason," I said."Damn, yeah, ok," she said, "I thought maybe you were a San Antonio fan or something." Then, "You know you're bleeding right?" she said, pointing.I looked. Blood soaked my sleeve and was starting to drip out through the fabric. Seeing it brought pain flooding up my arm. "Ah shit!"Baby Girl had sliced me good on the back of my forearm. I rolled up the soggy sleeve to my elbow. Blood leaked from a thin slice, staining my arm a bright red."Nice," Misfit said, looking it over, "That'll make a cool scar."I don't need scars, I had enough already. "So you know I heard you'd been fucking with the Reapers," she said, pulling a roll of bandages and a little bottle of disinfectant from her breast pocket, "Hold still man, I'll get that for you. So I heard you crushed Juan's arm, the doctors had to take it off at the elbow. You know what they call him now? The Juan Armed Bandit. Funny shit." She splashed disinfectant over the cut and I curled back, hissing at the stinging fire crawled down my skin. "Easy pal, easy," she said, starting to roll the bandage over it, "I got a certificate in first aid you know. That might need stitches but we'll keep it from free bleeding until then. You got a place to go for that?""Yeah I got someone," I said. Ms Grant had arranged a hook up with a doctor at a free clinic."Lucky, I've been doing my own doctorin', you know. Had a couple of cuts, got my nose busted a few times but nothing hospital worthy. My flash bombs help with that I guess, blind a guy and he'll have trouble doing much of anything.""Flash bombs, that's where you click your fingers?" I said."Yeah," she tied off the bandage, tight around my forearm, "It comes in handy but its not a finisher, that's why I got the wrench. Blind a dude then split his wig, you know.""Brutal.""Got to be," she said, "And they ain't killed me yet, so its working." She grinned. "I can't do what you do but I got some tricks.""I'm a lot of things, I ain't bullet proof," I said, "Or sword proof either.""That was Baby Girl of the Stunt Crew MC, right?" she said, "She rides with Sullivan, a couple a heavy hitters. What were they doing talking to the Reapers?"They weren't, I thought, but I didn't know if I could trust Misfit yet.>they're planning a hijacking>assholes keep asshole company is all
I'm wondering if I might need a cast list or something
>>4593257>Write-inAsk her why she's doing this. She seems like a normal civie with no powers. She's going to get herself killed like this. All to cause some destruction?
>>4593257>they're planning a hijacking
>>4593316"Hold up," my new friend said. He threw his hand forward, clicking his fingers. A white ball of light shot forth down the corridor. An explosion of white light blanched out the hallway, blinding the gun thugs and causing me to flinch.
>>4593341>>4593316These aren't mutually exclusive. I'll lock them in
"They're planning some kind of hijack," I said, pulling the folder I swiped out of my waist band. "And its not with the Latin Reapers, its the Midwest Cartel. I've been looking for their boss, some lady called 'Navaja'.""I've heard about her, dangerous customer," Misfit said, "Most of the Latino gangs pay up to her. Even the Puerto Ricans, if you'd believe it."I didn't know enough about inter-Latin politics to comment on that.I opened the folder over the roof. There were photographs of a black van clipped to maps, a sattelite map of a stretch of road I took to be the I-88, and a road map that confirmed it, taken from an old road atlas with a path highlighted in. Old school way of doing things, but I guess in an era of super hackers digital was dangerous too. There was nothing about what exactly they were after other than it being in a small black box. There was a time and date, set coordinates.Glasses had told them to hit it before they reached Iowa. I don't know what made Iowa important but it was a piece of the puzzle."Said something about stealing from the 'alphabet gang', whoever they are," I said."Federal agency maybe," she said, rubbing her chin over the pictures, "FBI or NSA, something like that."Big fish, I could see why the Cartel wanted proxies rather than going after it themselves."Man, you really are on another level," she said, "Here I am tussling with hoods while you're going after full blown criminal organizations." She said it with admiration, her eyes bright in the holes of her mask."I got lucky is all," I said, "I met someone who clued me in on the bigger picture.""Cool," she said, "You want back up on this? I can't jump a city block in a single leap the way you can, but I can ride a bike better than any of the Stunt Crew punks.""Mind if I ask you something first?" I said."Shoot," she replied."Why are you doing this?" I said, "Outside your lightshow you're pretty much a normal civilian. You're going to get yourself killed running around like this. Is it all to cause some destruction?"She tapped her steel cap boot, hands in the pockets of her jacket, thoughtful. She started to hum."We walk the streets at night," she sang, "We go where eagles dare."More song lyrics.She whipped her finger out, pointing at me. "I ain't no goddamn son of a bitch! You better think about it baby!"Not much of an answer, or at least not much I could figure out from it.
"Why do I do it?" she said, "Man, maybe its because if someone looking like me calls the cops they're as likely to get shot at as helped. Maybe 'cause its all screwed up, where the biggest gangsters get government bail outs while the rest of us get evicition notices. And maybe yeah, maybe I do want to cause a little destruction. Play the wild card in their games. But you tell me, why do you do it, Hotspur? For the thrill, for revenge, or maybe because you can do stuff others can't and you want to do something about it?""About this big ass, stinking, beautiful shithole of a city!" she spread her arms wide like she was going to embrace the night sky."So maybe we could ride together on this job," she said, "Watch each others backs. We got whole armies against us, we should help each other out.">accept her offer>maybe another time
>>4593380>accept her offer
>>4593380>accept her offerI like her guts. New best girl?JK, Ivy all the way
>>4593386I like her too, but the less she knows the better. We shouldn't have even mentioned our "handler" indirectly, she could easily be caught and tortured for info
>>4593380>accept her offerAccept this one time. She rubs me the wrong way
"Yeah, all right, I could use the help," I said."Don't worry, this won't be my first rodeo," she said. She held out her hand. When I went to shake she grabbed me around the wrist, squeezed before sliding off, then shot me a fist bump. "That's a handshake I been thinking about," she said, "This is going to be good shit man, you and me teaming up. We're going to rock their shit, fuck 'em up.""Sure," I said. She had enthusiasm, but hunger was starting to set in and I needed to get my arm stitched up. But before splitting up I had to ask. "Say, you ever run into others like us?" I said, curious."You mean folks with powers? I heard about the fire chica working for the Outfit, Salamander, but I never met her." Lucky her, I thought. "There is this one guy, I call him Ooze, he lives in the sewers. He's all...he's made up of this toxic sludge, barely looks like a person anymore. A real creep, don't let him grab you, his sludge burns like a bitch. First time I caught him eating stray dogs, disintegrating them all 'The Blob' style. If you do run into him his big weakness is water, but you need a lot of it. I thought I did him in when I blasted him with a fire hydrant but he turned up again a month later in a McDonald's trying to eat the manager. Maybe he can't die anymore, I don't know."Ooze seemed unpleasant."What about you?" she said.I filled her in on who I knew about. When I told her about Shark her eyes grew wide. "Badass," she said."I think its a good idea to keep an eye out," I said, "For sightings, rumors. Feels like there's more of us showing up everyday.""Ever since that explosion," she said, nodding, "Man I wonder what that was about, why us, y'know?""It's a million dollar question," I said.We parted ways, it wasn't hard for her getting down off the roof, and despite my hunger I launched myself through the night, heading for the surgery Ms Grant had patched me into.His name was Dr Ramsey, he worked the midnight shift at a free clinic out in Fifth City. I had a number I could hit him up with and could expect the VIP treatment, all prearranged by our mutual friend. It was still just a free clinic though, and like most in the midnight hour it was visited by the transient and the desperate, the kind tweaking bad and the homeless who had no where else to go to get their strange cough looked at.Through the window I saw a mother in a filthy coat, face stained with filth and despair, holding a girl close as they waited. Beside them was a rent boy with a face all covered in bruises, leaking spit into a bandage held against his lip.
I limped around the back, the pain in my arm really letting me know it was there.He met me by the dumpster, a young black doctor with short braids and a depressed heaviness to his eyes."So you're Maddy's friend," he said, "You going to ditch the hoodie?"I shook my head. I wasn't even inclined to speak."Super hero has to keep his secret I guess," Dr Ramsey sighed, "Come on in, I've got a nurse to help if that's all right."She was an older nurse in pink scrubs, and her job was to pass him swabs to drink up the blood around the cut."What was this, a knife?" he asked, "It's deep, almost to the bone.""Sword," I muttered."A what?" he said."A samurai sword," I said louder. He just shook his head with a chuckle.He stitched it up then gave me some antibiotics to take. "Do the full set," he said, "And rest that arm, we don't want those stitches to tear. So go easy on the pocket hocky. You got lucky Hotspur, it didn't cut the bone or sever any ligaments.""Thanks Doc," I said, limping to the exit."Yo, why the heavy steps, are you hurt anywhere else?" he said, frowming hard, demanding an explanation."Just hungry is all," I said, "My powers...never mind, I'm good. Thanks again Doc, hopefully won't be seeing you soon.""Same to you," he said.I limped out. By the time I was home we were heading into early AM hours. I hooked an arm on the fire escape ladder, careful like the doctor said, but I wasn't concerned. The cut was shallow and hadn't done any serious damage. I was more worried about explaining my new scar to Dad.I got in to a quiet apartment. I pulled off my bloody hoodie, stashed it under my bed.I sat looking at my bandage.Its funny how a question turned back on me. I'd asked Misfit why she did what she did, but the question could be asked of me too. Maybe we were both the same kind of crazy. I slipped the file into my desk, took out a notepad and wrought out Ooze's information on it, right under Shark's. It couldn't hurt to keep track, even if it wasn't much of a database.Then I sunk on the bed and lay there, trying and failing to get some sleep. -taking a break
hope you guys are having fun
>>4593508>hope you guys are having funHaving a great time. Was missing the updates when you were on your break so I had to re-read the old threads
"What happened to your arm?"A hell of a question to get over bacon and eggs. Dad looked worried over his glass of juice. He'd been drinking a lot of juice lately, to get him over his drinking. I rolled half chewed bacon around my mouth, the finest cuts available out of Luis' freezer. He'd only noticed the bandage Monday morning, right as I was due to head off to school. The weekend had passed by since my run-in with the Cartel, trying to find out about Navaja and finding out a planned Federal hijacking instead.I could still feel the cold edge of Baby Girl's sword on my skin."Cut it goofing off," I said, feeling lousy for lying and lousy for how lame it was.Dad would be heading off to work too, he'd secured a steady gig as part of a construction crew on the south side. The union card helped, a guy back home had put a good word in for him with the foreman, and it turned out Chicago was a union town. Steady work had helped with his other problems."Fell off my bike," I added, hoping Dad didn't remember he'd sold my bike a couple months back."Oh," he said, "Well don't forget to wear a helmet.""Never do," I sponged up the dripping egg yolk with white toast."I swear your food bill and the medical bills are in a neck to neck race," he said, serving me up another of his home made hashbrowns. "Growing boy."I chugged down a glass of orange juice, not able to look him in the eye.I had school to get to, homework to hand in and assignments due. I doubt the date of the hijack would be moving, it was a locked in thing. And in a couple of weeks it would be Halloween. My favorite time of year.But until then I had to focus.>focus on school, try to put that B+ up to a solid A>focus on training, both boxing and my powers>focus on my social life, Kay and my friends>focus on crime fighting, the streets wouldn't clean themselves
>>4593629>>focus on my social life, Kay and my friendswe've been ignoring Kay these past weeks, don't want his fighting power to be halved because of some emotional distress he has
I'll leave this vote open until tomorrow
>>4593629>focus on training, both boxing and my powers, but make time for some dates with KayThread's been pretty quiet compared to the other two, but I'm glad to catch it, read the first ones on the archive. Good work so far QM, enjoying the ride.
>>4593629>focus on my social life, Kay and my friends
>>4593629>focus on crime fighting, the streets wouldn't clean themselvesDon't wanna neglect the neighborhood
>>4593629>focus on my social life, Kay and my friendsCan't neglect the home front
>>4593629>>focus on training, both boxing and my powers, but make time for some dates with Kay
My nightly adventures on the rooftops of Chicago had left me thin on the ground. Over the last week I'd had to turn down multiple invites to this or that, including a movie with Kay. So I figured now was a good time to change that, and I could use a breather before the hijacking. All work and no play makes Eric a dull boy.Of course social life meant school, too. When I rolled up Monday I got a text from Zeke.It said - 'Ms Flores ;)'It didn't take me long to figure out what he meant. She was wearing tight leggings today, with a Blackhawks jersey that didn't quite cover the view. It left most of the guys in a better mood, though it also reminded me we had the invisible creeper skulking among us. Every guy is a little bit of a pervert, anyone who says he isn't is a liar, but it had me looking at Zeke's message a little longer wondering if he was our culprit. Of course I also scoped out Ms Flores, I'm only human, so I don't know if that made me a hypocrite or what."Hey."I met up with Kay by her locker, hooking an arm around her shoulder, turning her around for a quick kiss. We'd been the same height just a few months ago but I must be getting taller because she had to lean forward for it. We broke with my fingers on the back of her neck."Hey yourself," she said, "You missed a good movie.""Eh, I'm not really into those Marvel films," I said, "I like Westerns better.""God, you're such a boomer," she said, then leaned forward to kiss me again through her teasing grin."Break it up before I get the hose," Mr Sack came down the corridor looking mean, whistle bouncing on his chest, "Don't get too cuddly on school grounds, Miller, or you'll get another detention."When he went by Kay whispered in my ear, "He's just jealous he can't get any," then pecked my cheek before breaking away.I grinned all the way through class, even the sight of Ms Flores in her tight black leggings couldn't distract me from thinking about Kay.School rang out and we'd arranged to hit a record store down the Loop. We got down to the L station, the usual gang.We got off at Wabash near Millenium park. The others were mostly talking about the movie from the weekend."What happened to your arm?" Ayesha asked as we filled into a record store. It was a neat place, I had to admit, two floors, one a mezzanine overlooking the other. Band posters litered the walls, tour dates for local acts big enough to have a following but not enough for a record deal. A corkboard with want ads by the entrance, and music thumping from the speakers was stuff you wouldn't hear in a top 20 list. They were getting set up for Halloween, putting forward horror themed music on display.
Dane was over at the vinyls, lifting out a Clash album."Cut myself shaving," I joked. She rolled her eyes. "Nah, I fell off my bike.""You're the unluckiest guy I know, Eric," Zeke said, "I swear next you'll lose an eye eating french fries."I rolled my eyes. We moved through the record store, each of us hunting different genres. Kay was looking through the latest musical releases, original broadway cast recordings, that kind of stuff. I knew she kept a poster of Cats on her bedroom wall. Zeke was looking through the latest rock and metal releases."The Darkness are super underrated," I heard him tell Ayesha, who nodded along in a friendly but uninterested way.Rufus flipped through the latest hip-hop releases looking unimpressed. "Man if you want good rap you got to go online," Hunter said, "You hear Li'l Droop? His last drop was fire.""Man fuck that mumble rap sound," Rufus said. It reminded me I still hadn't checked out Smokey and D-Mark's soundcloud.I stopped before one of the Halloween displays, a poster of a grinning skull, one eye leering from under a bony brow all done up like the Grim Reaper. Misfits was written in big white letters with a stack of albums underneath. Just out of curiosity I picked one up, turned it over.A track listing I recognized - 'Where Eagles Dare'. I don't think there was a song longer than three minutes on the album."I ain't no goddamn son of a bitch," I muttered, putting it back.Behind the counter and the blue haired girl flicking through her tablet, was a poster of a big black guy with a massive bruise on his forehead, grinning dumb at the camera. 'Wesley Willis RIP'.Then I saw Ivy flicking through records. She'd tied her sweater around her waist, her bag slung off one arm, and just had this effortless cool about her as she went through the bargain bin. She tucked her hair back as she picked up a punk record, 'Trenchmouth'."Didn't think you were the punk rock type," I said, ambling over.She turned from the records. "What type did you think I was, Hannah Montana?" she said."Hey Miley Cyrus can rock," I replied."Honestly I'm more into the songwriter types, but a girl has to keep an open mind," she said, "Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson. Pretty much my grandfather's old collection.""And they call me the boomer," I said."Good music doesn't age," she said."Truth, I still rock Soulja Boy," I said.I got a smirk out of her and a little snort. Let's call that a win."You want to hang out?" I offered, knowing it was dangerous territory considering her feud with my girlfriend. There was a curious spark in her eye but she hesitantly shook her head."No, sorry, I've got to be somewhere, you know where," she said, sliding the record away. Grace."Tell her I'll swing by soon," I said."She'd like that," Ivy said with a real smile, "I think she's getting a bit of a crush on you."
I blushed dspite myself. Coughed into my hand as Ivy backed away."See you around, hot shot," she said with a wink.I turned and bumped into Hunter. "What was that about?" he asked."What was what?" I asked.He pointed with his chin back toward Ivy."Oh, that was nothing, just a hi bye kind of thing," I said."Sure," he said. I gave him a look as I went on by, what was up with the long necked goon?Kay I found on the second floor. She hugged a record to her chest, sighing. "Oh Hadestown, this always makes me cry," she said, "I hope I get to play Eurydice one day.""What's it about?" I asked."It's a post-apoc remake of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice," she said, "You know the story?" I shook my head. "Orpheus and Eurydice were lovers, but when Eurydice died Orpheus went to the underworld to rescue her. When he found her though he was warned that if he looked back to her as they fled the underworld she'd disappear forever.""And he looked back," I said. What a moron.Kay nodded, getting teary just thinking about it, hugging the record harder."Can I tell you something?" she asked."Yeah of course," I said."I think Dad's in bigger trouble than he's letting on," she said, "You know he's been suspended but...I think there's more to it than that. He's been going out a lot and he doesn't say where. His friends have been coming by but they only talk in the study. Do you think he maybe did something illegal? I'm starting to worry."My guts clenched.>maybe he did do something wrong>I doubt he's guilty of anything serious>I don't think worrying will help
>>4594309If write-ins are ok for this vote:>People aren't always as they seem, and I don't know your Dad well enough to say for sure that he didn't do anything bad. But either way, worrying yourself sick won't change anything, so try not to?
>>4594321write-ins are always fine so long as they aren't stupid
sometimes I think my updates are too big
>>4594309>I doubt he's guilty of anything seriousWe're just a loving boyfriend. Totally not going to use this info of a corrupt cop meeting people in his study to see who else is involved.Can we ask her who he talks to?
>>4594309>I doubt he's guilty of anything serious
>>4594353>>4594347>>4594321the write-in can work as part of the main votelocked in
I have to deal with something but I'll be back on later. It could take a while though. Sorry to anyone who misses the next update
>>4594309>"Honestly from the little contact I had with him I wouldn't be surprised if he had murdered one of your former boyfriends. More seriously, I don't think worrying will help, and if it is serious I'll be here for you."
>>4594309Do you think he would tell you if you asked him what was going on? That's the only way to find out for sure. I think if we continue to outright lie to her about it everything will blow up in our faces. Also we should be a lot more cautious about Ivy, it's only a matter of time before someone tells Kay that we seem close.
"I doubt he did anything too serious," I said, "He'd be in jail otherwise, right?""I guess..." she said, looking to her shoes."People aren't always what they seem, and I don't really know your dad well enough to say he didn't do anything bad," I said, "But its so far outside your control you shouldn't worry yourself sick over it.""He's my dad though," she said, brow crinkling, "I can't help but worry. You'd be worried too if it was your dad, wouldn't you?"She was right, I would. "Hey let's get something to eat," I said, snaking my arm around her hips, hoping to take her mind off it, "There's a sushi joint near here, right?""Do they do vegan options? Is that even a thing?" she said, "Only you know Ayesha's vegan.""I'm sure they can put together a tofu roll or two," I said.We wrangled the others after a few purchases. Old media is dying ut it isn't dead yet, and there's something about a physical purchase that was different from streaming. It made a thing your own, not given to you by a service that might pull it next month. Everyone walked away with something except me, on account of having no money. I'd have to stick to youtube videos for my music for now.We found a conveyer belt sushi place and took a booth, picking out plates while Ayesha keyed in an order for the vegan options."I thought fish was vegan," Zeke said, threatening her with half a shrimp roll."That's pescatarian, genius," Ayesha said."I thought pescatarians were Jesus freaks," he added."Those are pentacostals," said Dane."Band of heathens if you ask me," Zeke said, popping the sushi in his mouth."Speaking of freaks," Kay said, indicating with a finger.A group of wide-eyed strangers walked into the store. The faux-Japanese staff called out a greeting which made the girl hop. They were dressed kind of funny, the two guys in straw hats and suspenders, the hats they took off as they came in, the girls in full long skirts and tailored blouses with hair covered in plain white bonnets. They had a hand stitched quality to them, even their shoes looked handmade."Illinois Amish, out in the big city," Dane said, "Don't stare too long or they might come over.""What are they doing out of goat fucking country?" Hunter said with a smirk, "Did they get tired of marrying their cousins.""Probably on Rumspringa," Zeke said."You ever see any Amish before?" Kay teased me."We get plenty of Amish in Indiana," I said."Old Order Amish or Mennonite?" Zeke asked.I shrugged. "Whichever kind don't that don't speak English," I said.We ate, and while waiting for her tofu Ayesha tinkered on her phone. She gave a sharp gasp and held her phone out for us to crowd around.It was a fin in the waters of Lake Michigan, snaking around. The youtube video was titled 'Shark Man of the Great Lakes???'"It's fake," Rufus said, "Look, its CG. There's no sharks in the lakes."
It rose up, the water breaking on gray shoulders, a head hunching forward. It turned to the camera and whoever was filming swore, staggering back with the camera going shaky. Beady black eyes looked into the camera above a grinning mouth filled with rows of teeth. It was Shark all right, no tricks here, his hide pitted with new scars since I'd last seen him. Shark turned from the camera, rose up, and dove back under the water."Chills," Zeke said, rubbing his arms."Do you think its dangerous?" Kay asked, "I hope someone stops it before it hurts someone.""I don't know, its kind of cool though," Ayesha said, "Don't you think?""It's gross," Kay said, wrinkling her nose."Is widdle Kaywee scawed of the shark?" Zeke said. She drove her elbow into his ribs."It is freaky," Hunter said, "All these freaks showing up, its not right. You got Hotspur leaping over buildings, shark men in the lakes, and the invisible creeper at school. I heard there's some kind of slime monster living in the sewers now too. The government should do something about it.""Yeah, bring down the jackboot," Rufus said, "That's never gone wrong before.""Hotspur is not a freak," Ayesha said, eyes hard at Hunter. It was an uncharacteristic look on her face, I think she was a little mad."Don't get so defensive, he's not your boyfriend," Hunter said."I mean, he is kind of a freak though," Dane said, "He's got those powers and he uses them to fight crime? He could be making money or something, becoming famous.""Yeah, he could," Ayesha said, "He could be doing lots of things, including nothing, but he doesn't. Because unlike you guys he's a hero.""Hey what the heck did I do?" Zeke said with a joking grin."You ran away!" she snapped at him, standing up, "You ran away and you didn't even stop! I had a gun in my face, I..." she stopped to swallow, tears in her eyes, settling back down in the seat."Jesus Yesha, he had a shotgun," Zeke said, somewhere between frightened and angry. She rubbed at her eyes."You...you're right, I shouldn't be angry, I shouldn't," she said, "But I was scared, I still...I still have nightmare. I'm sorry."We were silent for a long moment.Then Rufus asked, "So the shark, good guy or bad guy?""Definitely a bad guy," Kay said, "It's a shark.""Sharks are gregarious creatures, good guy," Ayesha said."I'm with Kay here, its a goddamn shark," said Zeke, "No way a shark is a hero.""What about you Eric, good guy or bad guy?" Kay asked.>he's a hero>he's a bad guy
>>4594594>he's a heroI’d like to hope there’s more good guys out there than bad guys.
>>4594594>he's a heroHe's either a heroic shark or an evil human
I have personally watched Shark bite a living man in two, saw the guts spill out into his swallowing maw, and listened to his victim's death scream. But at the same time, it was an Outfit thug."He's either a heroic shark or an evil human," I joked, "No but serious, I hope he's a good guy, there's got to be more good guys out there than bad guys.""Ew," was all Kay had to say to that."Bet you like this one though," Ayesha said, clicking on the next video. It was a backyard, and stepping into frame was Salamander, wearing some kind of karate gi. She'd set up a bunch of wooden planks.She gave the camera a peace sign. "This is Gabriella Marino aka Salamander putting out a challenge," she said, "Any of you punks think you're tough enough, hit me up for a one-on-one. I'll take any challenger, any time."Then she kicked into a backflip, fire bursting from her feet. Landing on her feet she spun, snapping a flaming kick that splintered the wooden plank beside her, turned into a side kick and shattered the next, sending flaming splinters across the yard. She landed, bouncing on her toes with a bright smile, giving another peace sign before the camera switched off.."Isn't she a hitman for the Outfit or something?" Rufus said, rubbing his chin, "Wouldn't mind getting hit by that.""Pretty hot for a freak, huh?" Zeke said to Hunter with a wink."Wow," said Kay, "Now that's more my steam, yeah. Girl boss."My blood ran cold watching my friends gush all over Salamander. To my relief Ayesha looked much less impressed."She's a villain, guys," Ayesha said, "I'm pretty sure she's killed people.""Yeah but like, no one important," Kay said, "I mean maybe she's just misunderstood."Ayesha scoffed, a stunned look on her face. "I bet I could make that bad girl good, know what I'm sayin'?" Zeke said, the others nodding along, "Get her all good and honeyed up."I don't think Zeke has even kissed a girl."Where's it going though?" Hunter said, "All these freaks, they can't be here for no reason, showing up now. Why? You know ever since I broke my arm I've been laid up listening to this podcast, the Mars Expression with Dougie Hicks. He's got some wild ideas but I think there's some truth there, and if so we should be worried.""You sound like one of the nerds," Kay said, "Did one of the nerds show it to you?""I mean, its just interesting is all, kind of scary," he said, "He says they've been sent by an intergalactic force to displace us, prepare earth as the new home of a whole other species.""That sounds straight up schizophrenic dude," Rufus said.
"Crazier than sharkmen in Lake Michigan?" he replied, "I dunno.""Well the only scary I'm interested in right now is Halloween," Ayesha said."Oh hell yeah," Kay said, "Party time. Anyone know a good one?""There's a senior party at Kemal's," Ayesha said, "But I was kind of hoping we could do what we used to do, a scary movie marathon. Stay up til dawn with popcorn, get freaked out together.""Lame," Zeke said."Sounds good," said Rufus more slyly, giving his rival for Ayesha's affection a smug smile."Aren't we getting too old for scary movie sleep overs?" Kay said, "I'd rather get a little wild, you know? Get turnt up."Ayesha looked disappointed, down at her lap. "Yeah, maybe," she said."You want to get a little wild, Eric?" Kay said, leaning into me.>I'm down for a party>a chill night with movies sounds better
>>4594678>a chill night with movies sounds betterAll we ever do is go to parties, I'm down to mix it up. Let's watch the Invisible Man. You guys have heard the rumors about an invisible creep at our school right?
>>4594678>a chill night with movies sounds better
>>4594678>a chill night with movies sounds betterMore one on one time with Kay (even though IVY is best girl, I still respect women)Loved the scene at the record store BTW! Amazing fanservice
>>4594703>>4594698>>4594689locking that in
"A chill night with movies sounds fun," I said, "I need a break from house parties, let's mix it up. Put on the Invisible Man or something.""Speaking of, you guys have all heard about the invisible creeper, right?" Ayesha said."Did he strike again?" Dane asked, leaning forward.Ayesha nodded. "Yeah, he [inched Ms Flores on the you know where today," she said, patting herself on the butt."Damn," I don't know if Zeke entirely disapproved the way he said it."What a creep," Kay said, "I bet its one of those nerds. This guy has mad incel energy.""Ben or Chad?" Hunter said, "Say the word and they're going straight in a locker.""We don't know if its anyone yet," Ayesha said, taking his threat deadly serious, "I doubt its either of them too. When the creeper spied on me in the shower, Annie insisted they were both with her goofing off in the library.""Maybe he can be two places at once," Dane said, "Nothing says he only has one power.""Well either way we aren't going to deal with it, I'm putting up a post on twitter later for Hotspur to see. We're going to let him know what's going on, he'll take care of it.""You sure have a lot of faith in this guy, Ayesha," Dane said.She smiled, said with a resolute nod, "Yes I do."We broke up after that, everyone heading home. I went to the L line that'd take me out to the west side. To my surprise Ayesha skipped over to catch up."Hey, can I thank you?" she said, grabbing me by the arm."Thank me? Why?" I said, slowing down.She smiled. "For backing my idea, the movie night. I feel like Kay's gone a little off the rails lately, way too much partying. Back in middle school Halloween movie night was our thing. Me, her, Ivy. We'd all get together for it. But since they fell out, well...""You used to be friends with Ivy too?" I said."Sort of, I was more a third wheel, or felt like it," she said, "They were tight you know, so tight I sometimes felt a little left out.""I get that," I said. I got that hard. I'd felt like that a lot back in Indiana. Everyone's friend but no one's best friend. It had made moving to Chicago some how lonelier, very few of my old friends had reached out."Maybe this can fix things," she said, "You're friends with Ivy, right? Maybe you can invite her to movie night for me. I'd ask her myself but I don't think she's really forgiven me yet, for picking Kay over her.""I mean, only if you think its a good idea," she said, pulling away.>I can ask her but I don't like your chances>Maybe its better to just let your old friendship go
>>4594735>I can ask her but I don't like your chancesGood excuse to see Ivy! Also let's us address the tension between the two and get to the root issue. We could also ask about the dead animal in Kay's locker
I'll pick this up tomorrow
>>4594735>I can ask her but I don't like your chances
>>4594746Reread the quest, turns out we asked Ivy at the hospital. My bad!
>>4594735>I can ask her but I don't like your chancesI'm not an Ivy simp, but I don't like breaking up old friendships that could be salvaged
>>4594735>I can ask her, but I think we should talk to Kay about it beforehand.
>>4594735>>I can ask her, but I think we should talk to Kay about it beforehand.
>>4594913Changing to this.
>>4594913voting for this
>>4594925Switching to this
>>4595460awesome, also first time coming to one of these live, wanted to say really enjoying this quest so far
"I can ask her, but maybe we should talk to Kay about it beforehand," I said, "It's a nasty surprise to pull on someone, no one likes being parent trapped.""You're probably right," Ayesha said with a glum look. "You're a good guy, Eric, I'm glad Kay's finally with someone decent."I didn't quite know what she meant by that, I wasn't super well versed in Kay's dating history. "You're the one who told me to ask her out," I said."Guess I'm a good judge of character," she said with a wink, "See you at school."She started off and I called after her, "You're good too you know."She stopped to look back. "Huh?""Trying to patch things up with everyone," I said, "It's cool, not everyone would do that."She whipped back around hiding a blush, waving backwards to me as she ran away. "Uh, yeah, see you!"I got home some time after six. Dad was home too."Mrs Valdez made empanadas, she left us some," he said. I set on the tray of empanadas without hesitation. Mrs Valdez made the best empanadas I'd ever tasted. To be fair I hadn't had a lot of Mexican food before coming to Chicago.Dad put on the tv and a grim report from Ms Takanawa came on."Five dead in a mass shooting on Chicago's south side," she said, standing on a dark sidewalk before a tall brick buildings, "Police suspect-""You're beautiful, Priscilla, but not hot enough for that news," Dad muttered, switching the station. It cut to another news report."Local judge found guilty of signing off on crooked warrants. Officers Hernandez and McAllister allegedly used these search warrants as cover to rob unsuspecting victims over a number of years. It was only after the story broke in the Chicago Tribune that an internal investigation was headed by Assistant Deputy State's Attorney Madeline Grant, bringing these allegations to light despite numerous accusations going as far back as half a decade. We turned now to Robert Duncan for more."Dad whistled. "Now that's something," he said, "They caught the bastards at least.""I swear Dad you're the only guy who watches tv to get his news," I said."Can't trust a facebook feed, kid," he said, switching over to the basketball. "Come on over, its a Pistons game."I climbed over the couch to sit next to him, together watching his favorite team smack around the Pacers.It was a good night, sitting in silence watching a game. I coud use some more good, quiet nights. Ones where I didn't have to worry about being shot or stabbed. At the same time I got restless, looking to the window, wondering what was happening out in the city and what I could do about it. My knuckles itched for it, for the rush of almost dying and the thrill of taking a gangster down. I put those thoughts aside, troubling as they were.Just focus on the game.
The next day Ayesha and I had a sit down with Kay at lunch."What's the sitch?" she asked, smiling as we sat across from her at a cafteria table, lunch between us."We wanted to ask you something, but we aren't sure you'd like it," I said."Frankly we don't know how you'll take it so we decided to ask together," Ayesha added."We um-" I looked to Ayesha."What, do you guys want to experiment with a three way or something?" Kay joked with a crooked grin, "You're a great guy Eric but that's a hell of an ask.""Uh," her joke took me off guard and if I was being honest didn't 100% sound like a joke at first.Ayesha blew a raspberry and rolled her eyes. "Oh please Kay," she said, "Like you'd turn that down."This humor was inappropriate to my hormones."She wanted to ask Ivy to come to her party," I blurted out, "And I think its a good idea."Kay's joking expression went cold. "I heard you two were getting friendly," she said, looking hard at me. "Which is weird since Ivy doesn't 'get friendly' with anyone.""She was our friend, Kay, I think its time we got over last year's drama," Ayesha said."Last year's 'drama'? Have you forgotten what she had us do? We were almost expelled," Kay slapped her hand on the table, "Dad threatened to send me to a Catholic school, with nuns!""I don't remember you being all that unwilling," Ayesha said."She used to fat shame you all the time," Kay said."You did too!" Ayesha replied, "It wasn't all on her and you know it. And her sister was sick, she was troubled.""Yeah but her sister is fine now," Kay said, "But she's still a bitch."I swallowed."Ivy's my friend," I said, "You might not like it...but I'd prefer it if you did.""Ivy doesn't have friends, just tools," Kay said, "Don't be a tool, Eric, you don't know her like I do.""Just give her a chance," I said, "For my sake."Kay crossed her arms. She didn't look convinced. I reached out to hold her hand.> roll 3 x 1d100+5 dc 80
>>4595470thanks I appreciate it. hope you keep enjoying it.
Rolled 58 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4595498rollin
Rolled 75 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4595498
Rolled 14 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4595498Here we go
>>4595521skin of teeth o wow>>4595497oh boy, what was Kay's last name again?
She hesitantly let me take her hand, and squeezed my fingers."I don't want her to...to ruin something else in my life," she said, "You don't know her, you don't know what she can be like, but if she really is your friend I guess I should give her a chance.""That's all we're asking for," I said."Thanks Kay, I know this isn't easy," Ayesha said."But I haven't forgiven her, not yet," Kay stressed, "That's on her."Ayesha and I exchanged a nod. It was a good first step.The second task was inviting Ivy. This one I did alone.I caught her by her locker, its door a different color from all the rest."Hey, what are you up to on Hallowwen?" I asked."Currently?" she said, swishing her hair back from her face, "Going to a party and trying not to get date raped by college boys, why?""Well that's an upsetting thing to hear," I muttered, leaning on the locker. "Well its just some of us are having a movie night over at Ayesha's. She was wondering if you wanted to come.""Ayesha's huh?" she said, "I can guess who else will be there. Are they cool with me coming?""More or less," I said."Probably less than more," she said, switching out text books. She sighed. "What the hey, it could be fun. Beats being groped by drunk seniors at least."I don't know if she was exaggerating or what but I felt a hot spike of anger that I couldn't settle down. I grabbed her arm before she could go too far. "You know, if anyone does grab you like that just point them out," I said, my jaw clenched tight."Easy there Galahad," she said, pulling my hand away from her arm, "I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself.""You're fifteen," it came out in a rough snarl, angrier than I expected, a flare of power rushing through me as I caught her gaze and grabbed her arm again, "You're only fifteen Ivy."She looked at me like she'd never seen me until now, a little frightened. I loosened my grip, tamping down my white hot rage."You don't have to act so adult," I said, a little softer."Well then a movie night sounds great," she said, a little shaky, "I have to get to rehearsals."She strode away, steps quick down the hallway, books hugged to her chest."I'm sorry!" I called after her, but she didn't look back.Later that day she sent me a text. 'Don't worry.' - Ivy. It wasn't much of a message.Then another text. 'Tonight on the roof. The Creeper. The girls want to meet 'you'.' - Ivy'What time?' I texted back.'9:30' - IvyI slipped the phone away, turned my attention to Mr Getty droning on about I wasn't sure what.9:30 tonight, it was time to start dealing with the invisible boy.
>>4595534>oh boy, what was Kay's last name again?Whitman
Ah shit so begins the supe psychosisOr maybe it's PTSD from seeing so much fucked up shit and almost being beat to death
>>4595576I think it's mainly that anger you get when faced with an injustice you know you can't do anything about, and in earlier threads people where theorising that having powers further amplifies already strong parts of people's characters, which for us is probably our sense of justice, which would in turn make that anger stronger.
>>4595582wouldn't surprise me, with that in mind it explains why Salamander was showing off that kinda makes sense
Right as school went out I got a text from Ms Grant, with it a picture. It was her in front of a tailor's dummy, mirrors set up like in a fitting room, and with it an address out in the 'burbs.Got that new suit ready - Ms GrantI let out a nervous breath. A new look for a new mission. I guess it would do, but it meant a detour. I'd had my last blood soaked hoodie incinerated though, so I was in the mood for new threads. I googled the address and mapped a path in my head before masking up, a beanie pulled low making up for the lack of a hood. Then when the sun started creeping down to the horizon, I snuck out saying I was meeting up with Kay at an arcade, and set toward it.It was in a nicer area, a two floor townhouse kind of thing with a Fall dead garden in the front, a flower bed hanging on the window sill. Ms Grant was waiting out the front by her car, chill wind stirring strands of dark hair. I landed on the branch of a tree overhead."Yo," I said. She looked up."Yo?" she said with a raised brow, "Do people still say yo?""I say yo," I said, swinging down from the tree branch. "You got something for me?""A new suit inside," she said, "Custom made, very expensive but very chic. You'll be taking down gangsters in style.""I have to be some place," I said."It won't take long, they just need to make adjustments," she said, leading me up the stairs.'They' were called Merriweather, and they were a private tailor for the rich and fashionable. Ms Grant promised they could keep their mouth shut, they had experience keeping secrets. We were met in the waiting room by Merriweather themselves. I don't know much about the LGBT community but you'd need to be a moron to not realize this person was part of it. I couldn't tell their gender at a glance, they had a lotion bright olive skin tone, shaved bald but with a clear hairline to say it was personal choice and not a cope, with a hint of blue make up around the corner of their eyes and lips. I couldn't tell their age, maybe north of thirty, maybe south of fifty.They were perfumed up and dressed in a hand crafted, tailor fit suit with a puff of a cravat.I guess 'non-binary' was the term, we had a few at school. Fashion was a natural industry for someone like them, I wasn't entirely surprised."Oh honey this will not do," they said, looking me up and down, "When Maddy-Line told me she was bring the new hot superhero my giddy little heart all but stopped. Let's make a look worthy of your reputation."They took a measuring tape to me, working me over with quick, practiced hands. They had a pleasant smell of lotion and perfume. "Shorter than I expected, but bigger in the shoulders, there's some muscle here. Boxing, weight training? Maybe both. nice hip to waist ration. Barely a touch of body fat. Very good. I have designs ready but I needed the exact...now this is the delicate part."
They measured around down there. Ms grant watched by a mirror, arms crossed with a little smile."You've never had your measurements taken before, have you?" Merriweather said.I shook my head."Everyone should have a fitted suit," they said, "I do deals you know, discounts for the poor. I run a workshop for soon-to-be fashionistas and designers on the south side too. Street fashion needs to come from the street you know. We don't need those gentrifying tastes taking over. Oh and you are as street as they come, for a white boy.""Do you have an interest in fashion?" they asked."Not really," I said.An amused smile crossed their face. "I can tell," they brushed dirt from my shoulder."Now leave this to me honey-boy, I'll have you looking hot," they said, "Maddy gave me the specifics. I don't get to work with these materials often, very few of my clients are looking to be bullet proof. I've made an undersirt of spider-weave, golden orb specifically. It will stop a low caliber bullet but don't think it makes you bullet proof. It's all the rage in the military. I've given it a little more 'jazz'. The jacket, double breasted buttoned across the chest, has a stab resistant layer woven into it. A high collar buttons under your chin in a Mandarin style. For face covering I don't want to mess with your look too much. Custom goggles better fitted to your skull shape with a covering for your mouth and a hood to match your jacket. Pants wise I took inspiration from Orientalist depictions of ninja with a touch of parkour, loose enough to give you air flow and a nice aerodynamic look when you're bounding around. All in all I think it'll be a look to strike fear in the hearts of villains.""The question I have for you is color. Now I was thinking a jade green, but I think midnight blue could work, or a more daring red."It was a lot. I looked at what they'd put together on a dummy in the corner. I don't know if the look was really 'me'."You seem unsure," Merriweather said, "I understand, fashion is all about risks, but trust me, I know my business.""Merriweather made the New York Times 100 most influential people last year," Ms Grant said, "And they apprenticed on Savile Row in London, you really can't do better.""Oh bless," Merriweather said, brushing their hand at Ms Grant.>take it in green>take it in blue>take it in red
every spelling and grammar mistake pushes me closer to sudoku
>>4595593>>take it in red
>>4595593>take it in blueA very dark blue
>>4595593>take it in blue
>>4595598SupportBlue blends in better at night. As much as I hate to admit it, we aren't invincible and do sneak around a lot.
Red makes me think of Supreme, which would make us look like even more of a hypebeast than we already will
>>4595645oh shit also we shouldn't mention the words hypebeast or supreme in reference to the costume because it'd probably offend the shit out of the designer
>>4595645do people even wear supreme anymore, pic related
>>4595659only if they have a trust fund and pretend to skate
"I'll take it in blue," I said, "A lot of what I do involves sneaking around. Red seems like a bullet magnet and I don't know if I can pull off green.""Oh don't underestimate yourself, honey-boy," they said, "Blue it is, a darker shade. A boyscout but with a bit of edge, someone not to be messed with. You just wait here I'll have it ready for you."They swished out of the room, leaving me alone with Ms Grant."Merriweather is one of God's own creations," she said, "But trustworthy."They came back with the suit. "Now if you need this fixed you just come on by, I have a spare made just in case," they said."Thanks, I appreciate it," I said."And I appreciate Maddy's money," they replied, "A discount doesn't mean free. But if you have any other costumed friends who need new threads, tell them about me. No one's put their hand in real life super heroes yet, and I'm dying for the challenge." Something told me their instincts wouldn't jive with Misfit's, and Shark didn't wear clothes."I'll put the word out," I said, "Though the guys I know might not...styles might clash.""Don't let the perfume fool you, honey," they said, "I was raised Back Of The Yards. You want tough, grow up queer in down town Chiraq. Now let's leave the boy to change Maddy, I've got tea ready."When they were both gone I undressed. They'd gone all out that was sure, even the shoes were custom made. I pulled it on, feeling the fit as I buttoned across my chest. Tailor made sat different, and when I checked the mirror I had to admit it looked different too. The spider-weave undershirt felt like a silky carress. My shoulders stood out more, my physique showed off. And it was comfortable too. The dark blue wasn't garish. I brushed back my hair before fitting on the goggles and face mask, pulled up the hood. I bounced from foot to foot, then cut a quick shadow boxing combo, rolling my shoulders, my hips, checking for movement. Flexible despite the material.It was great, better than I could have hoped for. Merriweather knew their stuff.If there was one thing that made me a little uncomfortable it was the grip on my backside. Maybe girls like that, I don't know, but it left me feeling exposed.When they came back Merriweather put their hands to their lips, blushing. "Oh my," they said. I wasn't fully comfortable with that."There's a look for a trending hashtag," Ms Grant said.I thanked Merriweather again and Grant and I left together.When we were outside in a cold evening, she wrapped her scarf around her neck. "I might have a lead for you on 'Navaja'," she said."Yeah?""My sources say she operates out of a pair of brothels, one called 'Gatitas', the other 'Princesas'. Gatitas is a low class joint down in Little Village, but Princesas has corporate cover, with rooms based in Sears Tower of all places. They take a more elite clientele. I don't have an ID on her specifically, just stories.""I can work with that," I said.>tell her about the hijacking>don't
>>4595680>tell her about the hijackingtrust goes both ways
>>4595680>tell her about the hijackingSo far Ms. Grant has been a godsend, only right we give her the info
>>4595680>tell her about the hijackingHere we go! Finally about time we get a sweet suit
>>4595680>tell her about the hijacking
>>4595680>tell her about the hijackingNote that we weren't exactly subtle about stealing the file so plans may have changed up on their end
"I got some news too," I said. I filled her in on what went down, her face growing more severe the deeper the story went."Be very careful there, Hotspur," she said, "I have an idea who this 'alphabet gang' is. Remember those federal suits I told you were asking questions? I think they're part of some inter-governmental task force centered around the Chicago Explosion, a very off the books kind of operation. I don't know what their modus operandi is but I'm not digging how they do things. I wouldn't be surprised if they're connected to whatever is in the truck, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was somehow connected to you, or your powers.""That's a leap," I said, going cold inside."Maybe," she pursed her lips, "I think you should definitely stop what the Cartel is planning. I don't like the idea of something mysterious like that falling into criminal hands. But I don't trust the government with it either, whatever it is. Luckily I don't have to make that call.""You've got a good head on your shoulders," she said, "You'll know the right thing to do."Would I? "Tell me about Misfit," she said.I filled her in on what I knew, she was some kind of biker chick from the rough side of town, could create explosions of light, and wasn't shy about putting a boot in someone's head. Ms Grant drank in the information, dark eyes narrow."We need to build our alliances," she said, "Maybe Misfit can be part of it.""I'll see how she does on the hijacking," I said, "But now I've got some place to be.""Text me if you need anything," she said as I took a running lunge up into the night.The north side wasn't where I'd normally go all Hotspur, and it made a difference. There were a lot less tall buildings to use except the occasional luxury apartment block. Free falling in my new suit, the wind cut around it, no longer as hbone chilling, the loose pant legs fluttering under me. The boots, custom made, absorbed more of the shock on my landing, giving me a quicker spring up. I leapt from the roofs of take out joints to low strip malls, moving in an arc toward the school.We were meant to meet at 9:30. It was about that time when I caught the flagpole out the front, hanging off it on one arm, looking to the roof. The night had turned it into a dark silhouette, the bell tower rising tall from the rest. Some lights were on, late night cleaners probably, maybe staff staying late. I heard the a door whine open, light spill out over the roof, the soft sound of voices carrying over the quiet night air.I bunched my feet against the flagpole, and leapt.
They came out onto the roof rugged up for warmth, breath wispy smoke from their lips. A couple I expected, Ivy, Kay, Ayesha, but they weren't alone. Daphne, the theater girl Kay had befirended, came in behind them, with a couple of seniors I recognized as Peyton and Jessica, both cheerleaders. Last was Ms Flores and of all people Mr Getty. He carried a thermas of coffee, slurping at it as he closed the door behind them."I really must say we're better off going to the police," he said."We've been to the police," Ms Flores said, "They don't know where to start with this.""I just don't think its good school policy to hire a vigilant," he said, "We can sort this out ourselves.""You didn't have to come," she fired at him."And we aren't hiring him," Ayesha piped in, "He's a hero, not a mercenary.""My ears are burning!" I called, landing before them, bowing forward, "Are you talking about me?"Ayesha blushed hard, lips swallowed back in her mouth."Look guys, its Hot Rod," Ivy said, "I didn't believe Ayesha when she said you'd show.""Of course he'd show!" she said."I saw your message on twitter," I said standing straight, "I came as quick as I could." I moved over toward them, and felt them shuffle back.Ayesha smiled, rubbing a cheek. "Its weird thinking of you using twiiter," she said. She looked me up and down. "New costume? Nice, that's...that's a good look. Real good." She bit her bottom lip and I got uncomfortable again."Figured it was about time for an upgrade," I said.Ivy sighed. "Change your panties, Ayesha, they're dripping."Ayesha's eyes went wide and she turned away. I burned under my mask as the others gasped in shock. Ivy didn't give a shit."You're going to help us?" Kay asked, suspiciously."If I can," I said soberly, taking a step closer to her. "The message said something about a pervert who can turn invisible?" I looked over them, "He's been harassing girls, right?""That 's correct," Ms Flores said, "We hoped you could help us catch him.""Who says he isn't here right now, listening?" I said.Ms Flores' eyes now widened, she looked around in the dark, hugging her arm.I looked to Mr Getty. "It's a surprise to see you here," I said, "Were you targeted?""I don't need to be a target to care," Mr Getty said, "The jagoff's gone after my students, the stars of my show. I won't take that lying down."Or are you responsible, I thought."Do you have any leads?" I asked. Everyone shook their heads.
"He's been getting bolder though," Peyton, the captain of the cheerleaders said. Peyton was a bubbly blonde who I knew worked her off time at a soup kitchen. She was as far removed from the stereotypes as possible, her boyfriend was the head of the chess club."We saw something in the showers after practice," Jessica was Filipina, I think. I mostly knew her from Kemal, who thought she was the most beautiful girls in the school. I didn't know about that. "We chased him out with a fire extinguisher.""Good thinking," I said."I thought we could set a trap for him," Ivy said, "Lure him out with something too tempting for a perv to turn down.""And when he pops up you can move in and take him down," Kay said. It was good to see them united like this."What's the plan?" I asked."Cheerleader tryouts," Peyton said, "Schoolwide, open to everyone."Yeah that might do it."Mr Getty and I will be the judges, with Peyton. I was a cheerleader in high school you know," Ms Flores said."And you'll all try out?" I asked, looking to my friends. To say it was strange to be around them and not have them recognize me was an understatement. Kay looked at me with hostile suspicion, while Ayesha had something close to worship in her eyes. Only Ivy knew me for who I was, and she was trying to play it off with feigned contempt.At least I hoped it was feigned."Hell no," Ivy said, "A cheerleader? This isn't the 1950s.""Hey," Peyton snapped."No offence," she said with an unapologetic smile.It did sound like a solid plan.>go for it, I'll need the time and date to be ready>I have another option, a man named Andrew Givens
>>4595772>go for it, I'll need the time and date to be readyand if this doesn't work we can always try to get Andrew to possibly help later, though it might be hard with him now working for the government
>>4595772>go for it, I'll need the time and date to be readyYessir, Hotspur looking hot!
>>4595772>go for it, I'll need the time and date to be readyWe still need a way to see him. When you used the extinguisher did you see the powder sticking on him or did it disappear as well?
>>4595772>I have another option, a man named Andrew GivensA confrontation with a supe with unknown powers around a bunch of normies seems like a mediocre idea at best
"I can dig it," I said, "Just give me the time and date, and I'll be ready.""Next Friday," Peyton said, "Here at the school, around 12.""I'm really not comfortable with this plan," Mr Getty said, "I have to say it puts the girls at needless risk.""I'm not fully comfortable with it either," Ms Flores said, "But we need to do something.""When you used the fire extinguisher on him, did the foam stick to his body or did it disappear as well?" I asked Jessica, "This is extremely important.""I think so," she said, "But the showers were running and it was hot, so it didn't stick long. I actually thought I could see him in the steam at some points.""He could be dangerous, when I move in you all clear out," I said, "Leave him to me."They agreed, which was a relief."So see you Friday then?" Ayesha said, a little hopeful tone in her voice as she adjusted her glasses."Bet on it," I said, then gave her a thumb's up, "I can't let down my number one fan." She blushed as the other girls giggled."See you there," Ms Flores said.I turned to leap off the roof, running for the ledge. "Nice ass!" Ivy called. I stumbled at the laughter of the girls. This damn costume. I smoothed out my stride as I hit the ledge, and lunged into the sky.By the time I came down in my hood my belly was burning. I dropped on the roof of Luis' store.One problem with the new digs. I couldn't just pull the hoodie off and walk on in. I got out my phone and sent him a text, asking to meet him up top.It took a minute before he showed up out of a rooftop exit."That's a new look," he said, pulling on his pork pie hat, "I hate it man, why you got to mess with the urban ninja thing you had going on?""It was a bit DIY though," I said."Yeah but that was you, holmes," he said, "I don't know, maybe I'll get used to it." He tossed me a paper bag. I opened it up to a couple of hot, steaming, glistening cinnabuns. I wolfed them down, fingers sticky, sucking the glaze off."So you want me to set up a Hotspur signal up here or something?" he said, "Shine a light every time I got extra donuts lying around.""I was wondering if you had paintballs or something," I said, "Might help me deal with this guy can turn invisible. People at school are calling him the Creeper.""I can swing that, hook you up," he said. "Hopefully this goes better than the last super fight you got in.""This guy isn't Salamander," I said."Good, because I won't be there to save you this time," he said."When you need these by?" he said."Friday morning."Luis nodded. "Swing by then," he said.Maybe he could help me another way.>I can't keep this suit at home, can you stash it here?>Luis does enough for me, I'll stash it at the hideout
>>4595856>Luis does enough for me, I'll stash it at the hideoutWayyyy too risky to stash it here, however convenient it is
>>4595856>Luis does enough for me, I'll stash it at the hideout
>>4595856>Luis does enough for me, I'll stash it at the hideoutWhy have a hideout if we don't use it?
I couldn't ask more from Luis than what he was already doing. having to head all the way out to my 'hideout', the abandoned warehouse I train in, might be inconvinient but it kept him safe."Thanks," I said."All good holmes," he said.What I did get from him was a change of clothes, something new to put on when I needed to switch out of this tailored get up.When I got to my hideout I switched out, stashing my costume in there. I really should decorate the place or something, it was all bare surfaces. My dark blue costume looked lonely in a pile in the corner. But there was no way I could keep it at home. Dad was inattentive but he wasn't blind, and neither was Mrs Valdez or anyone else on my block.So I pulled up the hood on my new hoodie and walked my way home in the cold dark night, my mind on Friday.I'd lost to Salamander, beat down in a park, but there was no way in hell I'd lose to the Creep.Not with my friends counting on me.No way in hell.-stopping here
Hope you guys are looking forward to your second super-villain fight. Sorry if it was a bit railroady with Eric going straight to Luis for paintballs. If you guys have other ideas about what things Eric can bring to this fight, let me know.
>>4595934>Other ideas about what things Eric can bring to this fightFor all we've skedaddled around the city, we are still wildly unprepared in terms of gear:For the Creeper: flour, chalk or anything that can be thrown in a cloud (paintballs aren't the best since they need to explode before they spray paint and short of throwing them...), zipties (for obvious reasons).In general: compact first aid kit, taser, pepperspray, baton, anything that can give us an edge in combat, maybe brass knuckles?
>>4595934Silly string. Pretty cheap I think, and would work perfectly.>>4596035I'm going to advocate we get weighted knuckle gloves instead of brass knuckles. They would serve us better defensively and are less lethal.
>>4595934No problem. Rather than paintballs, I think a water gun would be more handy. Especially if we can fill it with iodine or something that stains skin and clothing and can't wash off. Even better if we can rig up a gardening hose attachment to it so it comes out in a spray instead of a stream.
>>4595934like what >>4596124 anon said, a water gun would be handier, and with water based paint since its safe and easily sticks. I think we should bring other stuff like flour just in case. zipties, weighted knuckle gloves, compact first aid kit, pepper spray and silly string, like what >>4596035 and >>4596060 anons say. we'll probably also need another phone, as a backup for photographing incriminating evidence.if not, just fill the water gun with gas and bring a lighter. best way to see the creep
>>4596200I don't think incineration would be the best move for the hotspur brand
>>4596200>putting the hot in hotspur
>>4596200Unless our powers include a pocket dimension we might want to cut this down to essentials. We'll be in a school with a nurses office, so first aid kit can be dropped. Phones for recording can be left to the teachers we're cooperating with. Silly string is redundant with the rest of our loadout, flour too probably. We might want to hold off on weighted knuckle gloves as long as we don't know he has enhanced durability. Obviously we're not going to use a makeshift flamethrower on a guy who has yet to actually cause physical harm to anyone. Pepper spray and zipties are great.
>>4595934Definitely looking forward to that, when's the next run? I don't think it was too railroady, it's not a big leap to bring paint to an invisible fight, though I also support the water gun filled with paint idea over paintballs. I liked all the different reactions to the new threads, maybe Merriweather can make the next version look a bit more 'scuffed' to better connect with our usual crowd.Also, how giddy is Louis under the tough demeanor about being "the guy in the know" and fuel supplier for the first real super hero?
I'll be honest I don't know why some of you guys want Hotspur to use brass knuckles. He already punches hard enough to bust through cement, he has to be pretty careful not to kill people when he hits them, I don't see brass knuckles making much of a difference next to what he already does. I feel similarly about him using a baton but can see how that has more utility. Is it to give him more of a Batman/gadget user flair?
>>4596628I think we wanted to do something about the constant knuckle damage, so we suggested hand wraps and those have been working out, so some people thought why not go farther?Personally I agree, unless we're fighting someone like Shark they'd be overkill.
>>4596628Nah I agree, there's not much point apart from protecting our hands from damage
I'm not running today just so you guys know, I've had too much stuff to do and I'm tired, but I'll be updating tomorrow. Hope to see you guys then.
>>4596664Can't wait, thanks for the consistent updates OP
>>4596292i was thinking more of the stuff we'd bring on our daily adventures, but yeah i could see why. instead of flour lets just bring two water guns
Friday had come. The day of the planned cheerleader try outs and my confrontation with the Creep. I lay in bed, running through scenarios in the pre-dawn hour.I had a problem, and it was a real niggling bitch of a problem. How was I going to get to school as Hotspur without anyone getting suspicious?>go for first period then leave sick>skip going to school all together
>>4597542>skip going to school all together
>>4597542>skip going to school all togetherHopefully our dad can call in and excuse this one. Maybe our injuries are acting up or something
>>4597630We've healed from the major injuries he knows about
I figured it was better to not go at all than have to ditch half way through.When my alarm went off I stumbled out of bed putting on a hard cough, sniffing. Dad was in the kitchenette putting together some breakfast."You all right kid?" he said as I slumped into the chair.I nodded dumbly, then hesitantly shook my head. "I think I might be coming down with something," I said, "Maybe I shouldn't go to school today." It was a solid performance in my opinion.Dad wasn't the 'check your temperature' kind of guy. Mom had always been about that stuff. Still he looked me over in concern."You've been taking it pretty rough lately," he said, "I'll let the school know but you stay in bed. I'll ask Mrs Valdez to come up and check on you."Mrs Valdez, my blood froze. I hadn't banked on Dad assigning a babysitter."Mrs Valdez is pretty old," I said, "Do you really want to risk her catching it?" For emphasis I coughed into my hand.That made Dad a little more suspicious. He leaned on the counter with a savvy look in his eyes."You know if you're just trying to get a day off school you don't have to give me the runaround," he said, "Shoot straight with me eric, I won't be mad.">no, seriously, I'm sick!>...you got me
>>4597653>...you got meAsk him if we can play hooky for today, we've been a straight shooter so far and going to school whenever we can, despite our injuries
>>4597653>...you got me
>>4597653>...you got mepls be cool dadif not maybe it's time to tell him
I sighed and put up my hands. "You got me," I said."So why do you want to play hooky?" he asked, stirring his coffee, "Just feeling like it or is something going on at school? You aren't being bullied are you?""No, nothing like that," I said, "I guess I'm just stressed, yeah. I need a break, my brain is all fried.""Hmm," Dad took a long sip, "Yeah, you've been having a hard year. Tell you what, I'll let you have this one day off, but you have to promise me you'll work to get your grade up. Mom thought you had it in you to be an honor's student. I'd like to see you put in the effort."That was a lot to ask, academic competition at my school was fierce and whatever Mom thought of me I don't think I was big brained enough to go against someone like Annie or Chad. I'm not dumb but talking to them made me feel smooth brained, so smooth I could rent it out as a ski slope to rich New Yorkers."I'll try," I offered."That's all I ask," he said, setting down his coffee. He checked his phone. "Well that's me, see you tonight?" he said, as he went for the door."I hope so," I said.I watched him leave. Dad could be pretty cool when he wanted to be. I waited a solid hour before heading out. My first stop was Luis' store.He'd set up Hallowwen signs even though it wasn't for another week, and was in the middle of putting up a grinning skeleton by the counter when I walked in. His cat sprang down from the shelf to rub up against my leg."Ey, Rico, hold this," he said, dangling the skeleton at me. I grabbed the skull as he put a knee up on the counter to hook the string around a hook, letting it hang limp next to the front entrance. He stepped down grinning. "You think it'll spook anyone?" he said.Maybe a five year old, a particularly nervous, near-sighted five year old.I had a grocery list of material for dealing with the invisible creep."You get those paintballs?" I asked."I did one better," he said, pulling out a pair of bright pink pistols from behind the counter. "Paintball guns going at a discount," he said, "With a couple of magazines. Enough balls to paint the school. Like Community, you know."I didn't know what that was, some old people TV show."I need some flour too," I said, "And can you hook me up with a taser, maybe some pepper spray? I could use like a baton or something.""Jesus Eric, I'm a corner store," he said, "You can get the flour, aisle 3 bottom shelf, but the rest is more than I can skate, unless you're happy with a bat. We got baseball bats in the back with the sports equipment.""You know someone who can hook me up?" I said.
"There's plenty of online vendors for that stuff, or you could go to Walmart," he said, "But I don't know what you need it for. Tasers are crazy unreliable, I seen one guy shrug off three right in the parking lot across the street, ran down the cops too and he wasn't on anything but a little liquor. Hell and on the other side of the coin you get unlucky with a taser you kill somebody too. you don't want to carry a rap for manslaughter.""Just looking to add some versatility to my kit," I said, "Can't punch everyone.""I feel that," he said.I stashed the paintball guns in my backpack, added the bag of flour.When I left D-Mark and Smokey had set up outside, D-Mark in a squat with half a cigarette at his lips."Man, my lady left me," he said to Smokey, "Said she was done messing with a loser with no job.""You tell her we get three hundred hits on our soundcloud yesterday?" Smokey said."She said that don't count unless its got dollars attached, man," D-Mark clutched his head, "I need a job, and not this gig shit we been playing. Money you can tax, feel me?""I feel you," Smokey said, "But I ain't about shifting into the system of capitalist exploitation either. Man, I am a free and sovereign citizen, beholden to no government or corporation. I stand on my own two.""Yeah well, I like pussy and donuts," D-Mark said, "You got either of those in the Sovereign State of Smoke?" Smokey shook his head. "That's what I figure," D-Mark crunched his cigarette, "Ay young 'un, Eric," he called at me. I slowed down. "Stay in school!"I gave him a thumb's up.I walked out to my hideout, ducking through the break in the wire-link fence. My new suit was where I left it. I got changed, pulling it on. It wasn't hard to get in and out of, despite the tight fit. The jacket buttoned over the undershirt, the gloves went over my taped up hands. I pulled on the goggles, pulled the cloth face mask up over my nose, and pulled up the hood. I wished I had a mirror to check myself in. It was snug in exposing places, I wasn't really about that.I checked the time. I had maybe an hour to get to school. I pulled on my backpack. It probably spoiled the image but how else was I going to carry all that junk.Outside I looked up to the cold blue sky, breathing in deep. I stretched out my fingers then clenched them into fists. I began to run through the tall grass surrounding the abandoned warehouse, then with a last muscle bunching step, leapt up into the sky.I had a mission. Game time.-
I came down in the trees at the front of the school, branches bowing under the force of my drop, leaves rustling. It was on twelve, the auditions would be starting, an open audition to join the school's top cheerleading team. I wondered just how many prospects it would attract.My next jump saw me on the top of the school where I'd met the others earlier in the week. It was weird being here as someone else. It was dangerous too. I felt all it would take was one wrong word or movement for someone to recognize me.I waited at the door.It swung open with a creak. Ivy stepped out. It was a relief in a way, at least she knew who I was."They're getting started now," she said, "It's pretty crowded. If they aren't trying out they're watching. Looks like the Creep isn't the only perv at school.""I'm surprised you aren't trying out," I said, "With your warm, cuddly nature you'd make a natural cheerleader."She gave me a sardonic look, then held up a finger as if in warning."That's a pretty mean thing for a superhero to say," Jessica said, stepping out from behind Ivy. She wore the green and gold top and gold skirt of the cheerleader squad, her black hair lashed back in a ponytail. All she was missing was pompoms.Can't act too familiar with Ivy with her around."The first batch will be done in ten minutes," she said, "We're doing the tryouts in groups. Whoever is good will stand out from the rest. Then we'll elimate them down as we go. Peyton will put them through their paces.""Where are the showers?" I asked, acting as if I didn't know."Right outside the auditorium." she said."And when will I know to strike?" I said, "I doubt you'd be comfortable with me hiding in a locker.""That's a good question," Jessica said, "You're the hero. We'll leave it to you.">if you're comfortable with it I can hide in the changing room>someone can keep lookout and text me when you think he's there
>>4597792>someone can keep lookout and text me when you think he's thereone super perv is more than enough, we have a rep to think about
>>4597792>someone can keep lookout and text me when you think he's there
>>4597792>if you're comfortable with it I can hide in the changing room
"Someone can keep a lookout and text me when they think the Creep is there," I said."I can do that," Ivy said, "I'm not interested in the try-outs anyway."Jessica nodded. "Sounds like a plan. I have to get back to the others. Send a message when the action is going down. Mr Getty will pull the fire alarm and evacuate the school. And when you catch him we'll call the cops."I punched my palm. "Let's do this."And the waiting began.I sat up there for maybe a half hour playing on my phone. Waiting was not a lot of fun. It turns out 'Raid: Shadow Legends' fucking sucks. I deleted it from my apps when I got a ping from Ivy.Ivy - Get ready.I straightened up, cracking my back. Time to go.Stalking through the school in my outfit was a strange feeling, even more so since the school felt half deserted. Empty class rooms stood silent, sound filtering in from outside. I had my bag of gear in one hand, the tools I'd need to take out the Creep.It was while walking past the science lab I heard a sharp hiss followed by whispering. I turned to see Annie poking her head out the door. A startled look crossed Annie Wang's face before she pulled her head back, the excited whispering growing louder. I could guess who was with her. A skinny hand slid out from behind the door frame holding a camera, a quick snap. Then Ben ducked his head out, staring, buck teeth bared in a gawping expression."No way," he said.I kept heading down toward the basketball courts, where the cheerleader tryouts were still going, and the girl's showers stood.No one was around except Ivy leaning on the wall, playing on her phone. The soft hiss of running water came from behind the door, the slam of lockers and muffled conversation. Music pumped out from the courts, a good chunk of the student body assembled to watch. She stood up from the wall, slipping away her phone."Hey," she said, "The next round of girls just went in.""Ayesha and Kay are part of the group. I don't know if you noticed but the Creep seems to have a thing for Ayesha," she said, "I figured if he was going to do something stupid it'd be when she was around.""Good thinking," I said, pulling one of the pink paintball handguns from my backpack.She looked to my bag and up to my face. "You need anyone to watch your back in there?" she asked.Her expression was more serious than I was used to. My guess is she wanted payback. He'd stolen her underwear, that's not something anyone could forgive.>I'll be fine, you've helped out plenty>I could use the help, give her one of the guns
>>4597936>I could use the help, give her one of the gunsAnother pair of eyes can't hurt
>>4597936>I could use the help, give her one of the guns
I spun the gun to hand her the grip."You know how to use one of these?" I said."No, played plenty of Time Crisis though. Do you?" she replied, taking it."Nope," I said, pulling the second out of my bag.She held the bright pink gun up in both hands posing like a James Bond poster."Let's paint this sucker," she said.Good line.As we stepped in I felt an innate nervousness. Whatever I'd done in the past, fighting gangsters over the rooftops of Chicago, faced down an eight foot shark man, dodged bullets from men trying to kill me, it was still the girl's changing room. Steam clouded the slick ground as I followed Ivy in, the sound of voices coming from the showers beyond the locker, some of them I recognized.There was an invisible pervert somewhere here, skulking around while the girls in my class, including my girlfriend, washed off their sweaty bodies under hot, steaming water, probably soaping themselves...I swallowed. There were two perverts here.The change in temperature from the chilly school hall to the hot swelter of the showers made sweat start to crawl down my back. The steam clouds wafted out thick, almost impenetrable.Ivy held up a finger for me to stop, back pressed to a locker. The heat was startling to curl her hair into drooping ringlets, sweat beading down her neck. I followed her stare into the hot steamy room.I saw a dark shape, a wet body, frizzy thick hair dropping around her head. I snapped my eyes away, blushing at what little I'd seen of Ayesha.Did they really have to go all the way with this act? I was burning under my mask. Ivy's eyes hunted through the steam though, unbothered by the wet, glistened bodies my body was screaming at me to look at while my better self snarled back.Wasn't Mr Getty supposed to pull the fire alarm?"There!" Ivy snapped, her gun dropping down.Something the steam moved around, empty space that became a shape around the curling touch of steam.Ivy stepped into the showers, gun in front of her. I stepped in after her. A girl I didn't know screamed, moving to cover herself.The shape jerked up, stunned by the sudden noise and the sight of both of us appearing in the showers. Then he moved.>roll 3 x 1d100+15 dc 80
Rolled 36 + 15 (1d100 + 15)>>4598030FREEZE! HANDS IN THE AIR
to pre-empt concerns barring a crit fail/crit success this will be a series of DC checks.
no one there?
Rolled 60 + 15 (1d100 + 15)>>4598030>>4598192It's super late, lucky I checked before sleeping
Rolled 92 + 15 (1d100 + 15)>>4598030
>>4598205very good, very good
I saw the swirl of steam around wet legs, the scream of girls soon puntuated by the harsh beep of the fire alarm. And then I saw water spray off nothing. I fired a paintball, a blue dot bursting across the wall."Get out of here!" Ivy said as the girls rushed for the exit. I kept my eyes head height even as a girl smacked into me in a panic, her slippery wet body rolling off and around. I tried not turn to watch Kay sprint out, though I wanted to say something to relieve the cloud of fear over her face."Something touched me!" a girl screamed, jumping. Ayesha grabbed her, pulled her out of my way. The steam didn't hide much. I couldn't look her way, it took all of my focus and will to control my screaming teenage hormones at the sights and sounds of the chaos and keep my concentration on the task at hand.Ivy unloaded with a sharp belt of anger, dots bursting over the wall. I heard the pit-pat of wet feet in water, saw the steam move around something running and fired.A blue dot bloomed across a naked back, painting between the shoulder blades. Whoever they were cried out in shock. They ducked behind a wall.I stepped between him and the exit, gun in front of me."We know you're in here Creep!" I said, "Come out with your hands in the air!""L-like you'd even see them!" I didn't recognize the voice, but it was tight with panic.I looked to Ivy, who moved toward the stall, gun low. We locked eyes.'What next?' her eyes said.I tilted my head, 'You flush him out.'She nodded, back to the wall he was hiding behind. She took a deep breath, then spun around, pistol clicking, spraying the area with paintballs. She jerked back with shock as a pink and blue painted chest came charging through her. She slipped, landing hard, a still streaming shower raining down on her back. She gasped in shock at the sudden hot water gushing over her, and pushed her way forward.Then her chin flew back as she made a harsh cry. The painted chest hovered over her. Her wet hair twisted up in an invisible grip."Stay back!" he said, "I've got a knife, I'll slit your girlfriend's throat! Back away from the exit!"My heart beat froze. "Let her go.""I wasn't hurting anyone," he said, "It's just...just harmless fooling around. No one had to know!""It's not looking so harmless now," I said, "Are you ok Ivy?"She grit her teeth, her eyes telling me how stupid the question was. "Fine," she snarled through her perfect white teeth.He picked up her paintball gun. "Just back away!" he gestured at me like it was a real weapon, dragging Ivy by the hair.""You've got a knife, huh?" I said, looking to Ivy. Did she know what I was planning? She nodded as if she did.
I threw my backpack at him. He raised his arms in surprise, letting go of Ivy. She dived for the bag and pulled out the flour, flinging it over him. He screamed like a shocked child as the white powder stuck across his body, across his arms, his legs, his crotch. He stood stark naked in the showers, a now visible if headless powder white figure. He had no knife I could see, and I could unfortunately see everything except the look on his face.This guy, this sick coward who had harassed and stalked my friends, stood looking pathetic in the middle of the room, horrified by his own reveal.Power surged through my legs as I lunged toward him, rage and fire pumping through me, my hand a clenched fist.>roll 3 x 1d100+30 dc 55
Rolled 51 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>4598239He's gonna get his shit rockedGod I hope it's Jeremy, fuck that guy
Rolled 75 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>4598239
Rolled 74 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>4598239inb4 we punch this guy's head clean off on accident
I threw a right cross as Ivy swept his leg with a kick, driving him even harder into my fist.Blood poured down over his lips and chin, the sound he made panicked and pathetic as he stumbled over, grabbing at his mouth blanketing out the sight of it for a moment. I didn't let up, loosing a left hook behind his ear. He wailed. It was pathetic, and only stoked my anger.Ivy scrambled away as he tripped by, staggering."You disgusting little creep," I said, stalking him over the drips of blood, his trail running into the steamy showers."Please," he sobbed, "I was j-just playing around.""Playing around? You could have done something good with your powers, something decent.""M-maybe if I had your powers," he said, "M-maybe if I could leap over buildings, b-but I can turn invisible. N-no one ever noticed me e-even before I t-turned invisible. Are you g-going to tell me you wouldn't do the same thing?"He ran for one of the running showers, maybe hoping to wash off the blood, flour and paint. I grabbed him by the neck, and flung him back toward the entrance. He smacked down onto the cement, rolling with a groan."Stalk girls, creep on them?" I kicked him over, "No, I wouldn't. No way in hell!"I grabbed at his throat, squeezing. His blood stained hands gripped my wrist."Guys like you think we're all the same deep down," I said, driving my fist into his face, "Scumbags, perverts, corrupt. You act like good people don't exist, innocent people." I belted him again. "Leaving dead rats in a girl's locker, stealing panties, grabbing them. What else did you do?""D-dead rat?" he choked.I pushed him down. "I'll beat the invisible out of you," I snarled.My fist drove down, again and again, the knuckle guard on the glove turning red."Hotspur," a voice I could barely hear through my burning rage. "Hotspur stop!" louder but I was half-blind, my teeth bared."Eric..." a panicked whisper in my ear.My fist jerked to a stop half way to his face. His nose was a bloody crater in a tan face, teeth dislodged through groaning lips. I didn't know him, whoever he was. He looked Asian, or mixed. He twitched under me with a cough.I looked up to Ivy, her eyes wide with fear, her hand locked to my shoulder, her cheeks red from the heat."He's done," she said.I got up with a swagger, the Creep's blood dripping from my fist."Is he..." my voice was spiky with puberty and a flush of fear, "Is he alive?"
She touched his neck, checking for his pulse. I sagged with relief when she nodded, visibly slackened, slumping back against the wet wall. It was hot in my new suit, and I was suddenly very tired. I loosened my collar at the neck, unbuttoning it. He lay covered in flour, paint, and his own blood among the rivers of water bubbling around him, shrouded in the steam. Self-disgust rose up inside me.I'd almost beaten him to death."What about you," I said, waving a hand."He kicked me in the chin," she said."Glad you stopped him, glad you got revenge?" I said, bending over my knees. Hunger was starting to set in.She crossed her arms. "I didn't do it for revenge," she said.But whatever else she was going to say she left unsaid when the other girls came back in, now dressed.They stopped in shock at the sight of the blood and his battered face."Who is that guy?" Kay asked, a hand to her nose."I think his name is Ernest, we have Biology together," Daphne said.Ayesha handled the zip ties. They rolled him onto his back, binding his hands together, then his ankles."The cops are on the way," Ayesha said, coming up to me, "Do you want to stick around, give them the blow by blow?"I shook my head. "Me and the cops aren't exactly tight," I said, "Ivy can fill them in on what happened.""Yeah well, don't be a stranger," she said, "This is the second time you've saved me. I owe you.""It's a bad habit to get into," I said, "But as damsels go you're pretty all right."She took a deep breath, walking away. Then shook her head and walked back."Do you maybe want my number?" she said in a nervous rush, "I know I'm maybe young but I'm mature for my age and um no, forget it, forget I said anything I...thanks again Hotspur, really. Thank you!"She gave me a quick, tight hug then stepped away with a nervous grin. I saw Ivy try not to laugh. I felt all kinds of weird, but I felt bad too. Ayesha really put herself out there."Well, if you do need rescuing, I'll come running," I said, "You have my word, and when I give my word I keep it." She didn't see the wink on account of the goggles, but I hope she heard it.Either way, it was time for me to go.The crowd outside parted as I left, staring in wonder, phones snapping pictures. People I knew looked at me with awe. I was a stranger among them, something not entirely real. I didn't like it, the feeling it left me with.I ignored the calls for me to wait, the people trying to get my attention. Now all I wanted was to be somewhere else, and leave this all behind me.I ran.
I'll be back tomorrow
Sorry if the Creep being an unknown student was underwhelming. It was always the plan. You'd have met him in the first thread if you'd gone to the Loop to meet Kemal.
>>4598341Nah that made sense. Thanks for running! So I've noticed a trend, when we got our powers we were protecting a woman from a scumbag. Then when Ivy mentions scumbags going after her at parties we start to lose our shit. And when this invisible guy was harassing women we went fucking nuclear on him too. I think our supe psychosis is directly related to what we were doing right when we got our powers, and it seems like it's getting worse. Maybe we can talk to Ivy or Luis about it but I think we should start meditating to regain some control.I think the real solution to this problem would be to find out more about the explosion, treat the root cause. Because at this point it's a matter of time before we lose control and beat someone to death.
>>4598440>shark was just a hungry swimmer trying to reach land to get a snack
>>4598440That makes a lot of sense actually! Salamander could've been committing arson, Shark could've been going for a swim, Creep could've been stalking someone. Brooo thats a good theoryAlso, I hope this scene proves that Ivy is best girl
>>4598481Or it could just exaggerate a character trait that was already there. I'm sure a kid with a dead mom feels strongly about protecting women overall. The fact that we were saving that woman could just be a coincidence. Could be correlated to but not caused by what we were doing during the explosion.
>>4598481>Salamander could've been committing arsonI think Salamander was fighting for fun, note how she keeps challenging people and I think she said she "needed it" when we were fighting her.I don't know if it has any correlation to abilities, but I think there's a strong correlation to what's driving them.
>>4598790Yeah agreed. I bet the invisible dude was hiding, maybe from bullies. I don't think its true, but I would laugh my ass off if Shark was literally just a shark before the explosion
>>4597788> Enough balls to paint the school. Like Community, you know.>I didn't know what that was, some old people TV show.welp it's clear now that our guy is an uncultured swine.
>>4599796I tried the final season recently and it was pretty much unwatchable, couldn't do it. Great show in earlier seasons though.
I got back to Luis' some time after two in the afternoon, switched out of my costume and limping with hunger and self-disgust. The bell chimed overhead as I came in and I had to swerve to avoid the hanging skeleton display.He had his little tv turned on, watching the news. Priscilla Takanawa stood out the front of my school, mic in hand, scarfed up against the chill breeze with wisps of black hair flicking across her finely sculpted face. Zeke and Dane wandered through the background trying to catch the camera's attention, pulling faces, generally clowning."-saw dramatic events unfold within its halls, a super powered showdown between a student dubbed 'The Creep' and the superhero known as Hotspur. The Creep, whose real name cannot be disclosed as the accussed is a minor, is alleged to have been waging a campaign of harrasment on the female student body, going so far as to break into lockers and engage in sexual assault. After a brief but violent confrontation the Creep has been transported to a local hospital under police custody. It's our understanding that the Creep has the power of invisibility, making him the latest in a line of super powered criminals since-""Can you shut that off man?" I said, leaning against the counter, belly in a hot vice."Crazy shit," Luis said."You got anything I can eat man?" I said. He pulled out a pack of glazed donuts."You ever consider carrying an emergency supply or something?" he said, "You know my uncle had diabetes and he used to carry a bag of jelly beans on him just in case." I couldn't answer through the chunk of food I was trying to swallow, all mashed up in my mouth.The news kepts playing. Ms Takanawa was interviewing students now. Ayesha stood nervous in front of the camera."We put the word out through social media hoping he'd see it," she said, "We were really lucky. We're all lucky to have a hero like him.""Change the station," I said, reaching for the remote, burning hot down my neck."Fine, fine," Luis said, switching it over.It was just another news story, still about me but with a very different track. 'Hotspur's Hot New Look' was printed across the bottom half of the screen, over a photo of me stalking down the hallway. I cringed, shoving another donut in my mouth.Luis sighed, switching it over to a daytime soap. "Oh Rhett!" a woman with a plastic face said, falling into the arms of a plastic faced man."Wait, I thought she was goin' with Rhett's cousin Carmichael," Luis said with an ugly frown. When he caught my stare he smiled. "Man, what, give me a break. They got some good lookin' babes on this show and they put 'em in low necklines.""Pornhub is a thing," I said."That's the problem with your generation," he said, "It's all straight to the hardcore stuff. You don't appreciate erotica. Man, I don't want to see a woman turned inside out by some jumbo sized dick everytime.""This is not an appropriate conversation to have with a minor," I said.
He turned the TV off. "How you doin?" he asked more seriously."Fine," I said."Really?">yeah really>maybe not 'fine' fine
>>4600646>maybe not 'fine' fine
We should really tell him about us losing control a few times. Get some advice.
I sighed. "Ok, maybe not 'fine' fine," I said, "The news is making it sound like some super hero fight, some dramatic heroic thing but...it was just messy. It wasn't glamorous. I beat him half to death, Luis. You didn't see what I did to his face.""Shit," he said, "That's pretty heavy.""I've just been getting so...so angry lately," I said, "I lose control a little, and with what I can do, that's a scary thing. I don't know if I've...I could have killed guys and not even known it, as hard as I can hit.""We'd have heard if you'd put anyone in the ground," he said, "And if you're defending yourself its not evil."The bell chimed, Smokey ducking his head in."Not now Smoke," Luis said."Man, I was just lookin' to get some hot Cheetohs," he said, backing up.Luis looked back to me. "Look kid, I don't got a lot of answers, I just run a corner store is all, but you've been doing good where you can and that counts for something. Maybe you need some help managing this stuff. We got grown ass men working as cops and soldiers who can't keep it together. You're just a kid and you already seen more than most folks'll see in a lifetime. It's going to have a toll.""Who am I supposed to talk to?" I said, "Who else knows what its like?""I don't know," he said, "Maybe you can find someone, but until you do you can always swing by here. I'll look out for you."I let out a heavy sigh. "Thanks Luis," I said, "I owe you.""Don't worry about it," he said.He sent me home with a box of cupcakes he had sitting in the back, just at their use-by-date. I was half way through the half-dozen when I got a text.Kemal - Dude!!! You missed out!!! Crazy shit went down!!! I'm a cheerleader now!!!I coughed with laughter on a mouthful of cupcake, had to spit most of it out in the gutter to keep from laughing.I had a couple of others.Ayesha - hey didn't see you at school today. you ok? :)Kay - BIG NEWS! Call me? xxooZeke - Yo man, Hotspur showed up at school. Kicked the crap out of a senior! Dane - So the Creep = Eugene Nguyen. That's good, I was worried it was Rufus.Rufus - Turns out the Creep was some Asian kid. I thought it was Dane.I flicked through the texts as I got up the stairs."You're home early," Mrs Valdez said, "How was school today?""Oh I took the day off," I told her."Everyone deserves a day off," she said, "My daughter, she's always working. She barely sees her son. But that's life.""You know it Mrs Valdez," I said, waving on the way up.I got in and phoned up Kay.
"Hey there," she said, voice all sultry, "Guess whose going to be at every single game from now on cheering you on?""You made it?" I said, "That's funny I don't picture you as the cheerleader type.""And why not? Don't you know it looks good on college applications?" she said."Well just between it, the student council, and the play you're going to be real busy," I said."Never too busy for you," she said, "I was wondering if you wanted to come over for dinner to celebrate?"Dinner at the Whitman residence?>I'll be there>Do you want to have dinner here?
>>4600759>Do you want to have dinner here?aw fuck time to clean like a madman
>>4600759>I'll be thereI wanna have her over sometime but I also want to get a feel for what her dad's up to after he got caught being dirty.
>>4600759>I'll be thereWe should really prepare more before inviting her, clean up some and learn to cook at least one semi-nice thing.
"Sounds great," I said, "Should I bring anything?""A big appetoite, Mom's baking an apple pie," she said. I could do that."What time?""Any time after six," she said.Great, I'd leave Dad a note. I scribbled something down and stuck it to the fridge. In the mean time I caught up on some homework.However I was feeling about the Creep at least it was done. He'd locked up and unable to harm anyone, maybe he'd have time to think about where he'd gone wrong and come back a better person. Maybe. In the mean time the next big thing would be the hijacking next Thursday, then after that Ayesha's Halloween party.Mostly I was thinking about tonight, dinner with the Whitmans. I wanted to say I was only going over to support Kay, but that wasn't true. I wanted to know what her dad was about ever since he got suspended. He deserved whatever came his way, but Kay didn't, and it better not come back on her.When I left I passed the nurse coming down from Mr Green's, the guy who lived above us. A male nurse, a tired looking black guy, he gave me a distant nod. I'd seen him come and go a couple of times. I'd only seen Mr Green once, an ancient wheelchair bound old black guy who dated back to the time 'negro' was a polite word. He was a lonely relic who never had more visitors than the nurses who checked in on him.A lonely way to live. Not really my problem though.I took a couple buses up to Kay's, wearing my denim jacket, tired but trying to hide it. It had been a big day.Halloween decorations were already taking over the street. I love Halloween but thought it was a bit early. One house had a graveyard put out the front, a line of tomb stones with earth padded down to make graves, skeletons hanging from tree branches. Another had set up a glowing jack-o-lantern on their mailbox. Kay's house had a ghoul in the window but that was it.I came up the drive, knocked on the door. A red haired boy, maybe ten, opened the door. Kay's little brother Simon."Oh barf, its you," he said. He turned around. "Kaylee, your boyfriend's here!""One second!" her voice came down the stairs.I waited for the little brother to let me in but Simon stood his ground, arms crossed, blocking my way with a punk slouch chewing gum. Little asshole, I thought. Stomping came down the stairs.
Kay hopped off the bottom step in her new cheerleader oufit, gold skirt and green and gold top. I stared at her exposed flat belly, heat building in the back of my head. "Ta-da!" she said with a twirl. I swallowed. "What do you think?"I wasn't going to say what I really thought in front of her little brother. 'Hot' was the child friendly version."You look good," I said, trying not to crack, "Great.""Mmm hmm," she said, rolling her shoulders, "You aren't looking so bad yourself. Well, come on in. Is Simon playing bouncer again? Simon, quit being a turd."She pushed her brother aside, all but pulling me in. I saw Simon pretend to vomit behind her."I heard Hotspur showed up at school today," I said, "Crazy.""Oh that guy? Yeah, he took down the Creep. Did you hear it was a senior? What a loser."Mrs Whitman came out of the kitchen, cleaning her hands. "Eric, its so nice to see you," she said, "I'm sure Kaylee told you everything, we're all very proud of her.""Not sure why she's running around in the outfit though," her dad came waddling out of a backroom, his study. "You aren't going to be one of those girls who wears her outfit everywhere?""Oh Daddy," was all Kay said, kissing him on the cheek."I dated a couple of cheerleaders in high school," he said, "A couple in college too. Good chicks but not much to 'em. If you've got to pick between studyin' and cheerleadin' you pick study, got it?""Yes sir," she gave him a salute."And you better not be doing this over some boy," he added, then looked to me, "Talking about some boy, Eric, you mind if we have a talk in private before we sit down to eat?"So he wanted to talk, and he wanted to do it in his study. He held the door open."Don't worry, I won't kill you and make it look like a suicide," he said with an unfriendly chuckle. Kay gave me a nudge toward him.I stepped in, Officer Whitman following, the door clicking shut behind us."Eric, I'm going to ask this straight, are you a virgin?" he said.I blushed, but there was no point lying. "Yes sir," I said."Bet you want to change that though, with my daughter," he went to sit on a wooden swivel chair by a computer. The study was a small room, cluttered with this and that, including a revolver disassembled on a little tray with cleaning equipment set up next to it. No bullets I could see, but there was a little combination safe stashed under the desk."Sir," was all I could think to say.
"She's a good looking girl, I can see that," he said, "You aren't the first boy come sniffing around, but you're different. She's nuts about you in a way she wasn't with the others. If I'm honest I'm sick of hearing your name. The only consolation I've got is you're a boy. I know its not PC or 'woke' or whatever but I was starting to worry my girl had different interests. She was getting really heavy with this...ah forget it. Point is, I wanted to talk to you one-on-one, man to man.""Sir," I said. I found older guys liked being called 'sir'."I don't think I've got to threaten an upstanding, respectable boy like you," he said, "So I'll ask for your word instead. You treat my daughter right, you treat her like a princess, you respect her honor, and we're kosher. Do you understand?"I understood, it was hard not to. Not with an open gun sitting behind him on his work desk."I understand," I said carefully. This wasn't the kind of guy I liked making promises to. "I'm on leave at work but don't think that'll stop me from hauling you down town if you step out of line," he said. He really couldn't help but make a couple threats, I guess bullies were like that. "They got niggers in holding will pull your guts out your asshole. Buckwild south side boys just itching to get their hands on a pretty white boy."The slur put a prickle up the back of my arm."Anyway, let's have some dinner," he got up and clapped my shoulder too hard.We went back to the smiling family out at the dinner table, Officer Whitman acting like he hadn't said what he said. I sat across from Kay. She smiled at me, trying to play footsie under the table. Her mom served up pork chops and gravy. Officer Whitman ate with a shark smile, all the way through joking with everyone around the table. It could have been pleasant if I wasn't feeling cold.Then the doorbell rang."Now who could be calling this late?" Mrs Whitman said, getting up."I'll get it," Mr Whitman said, rising a bit too fast.He waddled from the room, his wife halfway through slicing the pie.>follow Mr Whitman>stay seated
>>4600882>follow Mr WhitmanKay and Ivy definitely used to be a romantic thing, I think the evidence is insurmountable at this point. Anyway maybe we can pretend that we're supposed to give our dad a call and go a room near Mr. Whitman to eavesdrop
>>4600882>follow Mr WhitmanMan, fuck this guy.
>>4600888SupportMy guy really just dropped the N-word like that
>>4600888+1 stealth tactics
>>4600928>>4600897>>4600888>>4600894locking those in
I got up to follow. "I promised Dad I'd give him a call after dinner," I said as an excuse, following Officer Whitman to the frunchroom only to step aside into the kitchen.He went up to the door.Frankie the Nose leaned in the doorway, flat cap pulled low over a nasty grin, his beak-nose jutting forward. He wore a cheap suit under a long coat, scarf draped around his shoulders. He was working something out of his teeth with a little steel toothpick. Behind him Bruno loomed in a red track suit, gold chain around his neck. If there were more I couldn't see them.Outfit goons."Clarence," Frankie said, working away at his gum line, "We wanted a word."I couldn't see Mr Whitman's face but I could imagine it."This is my home, Frankie," he said, voice all choked up."You've been getting all kinds of visitors lately," Frankie said, "All kinds, isn't that right Bruno?""All kinds," Bruno repeated."You're a popular guy," Frankie said."I've got friends," Mr Whitman said with a deliberate heaviness."He's got friends," Frankie said back to Bruno, who chuckled. "I thought I was your friend, Clarence. Do you mind if we come in?""He don't mind," Bruno said, pushing Officer Whitman aside.He barely made a token effort to stop them. It wasn't just Bruno with Frankie too. I scoped two other guys down by a car and another poking his head around their yard."Nice place," Frankie said when they went by me into the dining room. The whole family gathered around the table. "Oh did we interupt something? Sorry for the late call, but we won't be long. Everyone just keep your seats, we just need a word with your old man here.">go back to the dinner table>stay hidden
>>4600936>stay hiddenFuck, do you guys think we should call 911? We can exactly go full superhero here
>>4600936>stay hiddenDon't call 911 yet, it'll just escalate things into straight up violence or a hostage situation. Wait and see if it seems like it's gonna get violent, if they're here to silence him or hurt him we can't let that happen.
Also I can't be certain that the address won't be recognized by police and some dirty cops would be sent out, causing more harm than good.
>>4600942>>4600959>>4600962locked in but I'll hold off on the 911 call unless things escalate
I stayed back and out of sight, ghosting behind them in the hallway. I had my phone ready to make an emergency call."Daddy?" Kay said, looking to her dad."Just stay where you are Kaylee," he said."Lookie here, a cheerleader," Frankie said, leaning over my empty seat to look over Kay, "Sitting at dinner in her cute little outfit. You do jumping jacks for your daddy? I bet you can kick those feet up pretty high, can probably get them up behind your head. I'd like to see that, your feet up behind your head."Bruno laughed. Officer Whitman just stood glaring but unable to do anything."Mmmm, fresh apple pie," Frankie scooped his finger through it, sucked the filling off his finger, "I sure do love some fresh apple pie.""You made your point," Officer Whitman said."Just complimenting your wife's cooking," Frankie said, looking smugly back at him. He stirred his finger in the pie. "Maybe we can take a slice, call us even."Now Bruno looked uncomfortable. "Come on Frankie, that's his daughter," he said.Kay just sat there pale and wide-eyed, breathing hard, clutching the arms of her chair."Yeah, you're right," he flicked the pie off onto Kay's cheek. She flinched back with a sharp whimper. "This is just between us, right Clarence?" he said."That's right," Officer Whitman said."Because if you've been talking to anyone else," he said with a laugh, "Well, do you know why they call him Rooster?"Officer Whitman swallowed."Because if you want to fuck with him, you have to get up real early in the morning," Frankie said. He clamped the steel toothpick between his teeth. "The pie's tasty, Clarence, but you're lucky I just brushed my teeth."He clapped the cop on the chest on the way out.Officer Whitman stood shaking, watching the open doorway. Behind him in the dining room Kay's face shrivelled up, tears of fear building in her eyes. Mrs Whitman just sat shocked, completely bewildered.There was nothing to do but step out.Officer Whitman turned his face to me, and the fear turned to a palpable anger. "You should go," he snarled, "Take a hike kid, and forget what you just saw."Kay's chair screeched back as she stood. "Stay, Eric," she said, "Please."I looked from the shaking, furious Officer Whitman to my girlfriend.>stay>go
>>4600995>stayJust pretend nothing happened. As much as I want to ship Eric and Ivy, Kay needs us to be there for her right now.Also, would it be too metagaming to bring up Ivy and Kay's relationship to Ivy?
Rolled 1 (1d2)I'm going to flip a coin1 is stay2 is go
I'll open up tomorrow with a postsee you guys later.
>>4601055actually screw that roll, I'm just going to leave this vote open until I get back
>>4600995>stayGo over and see if Kay is okay.
>>4600995>stayabsolutely stay, jeez
well that's an overwhelming vote for 'stay'
Fuck Officer Whitman. I went over to the dinner table, around to Kay. I wiped the apple goop off her cheek with my thumb. She looked about ready to cry, and no one could blame her."I'm here," I told her, and she began to smile."I said get out," her dad said, coming around the table after me."Daddy, leave him alone!" Kay said, getting up from the chair to grab my arm.He slammed his hand on my shoulder pulling me back but Kay held on tight.I was caught between them, the furious, spitting police officer and my girlfriend."Daddy, just stop it!" Kay said, cheeks going red."Clarence!" Mrs Whitman called. Their youngest kids, barely out of diapers, started to cry."You little punk, disrespecting me in my own home," for a second I thought he was going to hit me, "Get out, both of you!""Clarence!" Mrs Whitman tried to pull her husband off me.It was a mess of a scene. Frankly I wasn't in the mood for taking his shit. When I looked back and caught his snarl with a hard eyed stare, his snarl faltered. Then his focus switched to Kay, and his face went crimson, his lips a gruesome sneer."If you're going to disobey me, see how you like spending a night outside," he said to her, grabbing her by the collar."Daddy," she said."Let go of her," I said."Stay out of this Eric, in fact stay out of our lives," he said, "If I see you around my house again I'll shoot you." She didn't put up much of a fight as her dad dragged her to the front door. I burned with the need to hit him, but it probably wouldn't do any good."Daddy, what's got into you?" she said, starting to push back as he dragged her to the front door."It's time you learned some respect," he said, pushing her into the front yard. She stumbled, fell back hard, a dazed look on her face. I followed them out, what could I do.The night had gone sour quick. Mr Whitman seethed in the doorway of his home, his wife cowed behind him, the other kids watching from the back of the hallway. Kay started crying on the cold wet grass. I went to her, pulled her into my arms."Where is she going to sleep tonight?" Mrs Whitman said.Mr Whitman had a self-satisfied, gloating smile as he said, "Let her figure it out."Then the door slammed shut on the both of us.Kay was numb as she held tightly to me, her face pushed into my neck. I rocked her slowly. This wasn't the night either of us had planned. I didn't ask any stupid questions like if she was ok. I waited for her to talk."Ayesha lives a couple streets up," she said, her voice low and husky, "If you could walk me there, they'll take me in for the night.""Sorry," I said, "This is my fault." I should have just left instead of getting all proud."Daddy can get like that," she said, "He'll calm down tomorrow." But there was no hiding the hurt in her eyes.>take her to Ayesha's>invite her over
>>4601929>take her to Ayesha'sI am still too ashamed of our living conditions
>>4601929>invite her over
>>4601929>take her to Ayesha's, but stay with her until she's calmed down. Her father's a dick, make sure she knows she did nothing wrong.
>>4601982SupportThis is who we decided to protect? Knowing this, I don't know if we should bother saving him and his goons from the Shark next time
>>4601982+1just got caught up, nice work OP.
>>4602015>>4601995>>4601982locking that in
>>4601995Well we did still uncover his corruption - he's an asshole, but I'd say Kay not being traumatized because her dad was eaten alive by a man-shark and us not being wracked by guilt because we let our girlfriend's dad be eaten is worth him being alive.
She shivered, rubbing her arms against the cold. She was just in her cheerleader outfit, a short skirt and a top that didn't cover her belly. With a cold wind blowing she'd catch a chill. I pulled off my jacket, draped it around her shoulders. The cold didn't bother me, all it took was a finger of the white fire inside me to keep it at bay. We walked down the lonely street, our footsteps loud on the sidewalk."Dad's been under a lot of stress lately," she said, "He isn't normally like that. It's hard being a cop in Chicago."A corrupt cop, I thought. Maybe that was a what do you call it, a 'tautology'."He's a jagoff," I said.Kay laughed. "Sometimes, yeah," she said, "He's still my dad though."I could understand that, my dad wasn't perfect either. Love was like that, you can't always turn it off when they hurt you."Those guys, they were criminals, right?" she said, "Not just criminals, they were gangsters. Oh Daddy, what did you do?"I could have told her but for now I kept my mouth shut. For her part the tears had dried in her eyes and she had gone from upset to quietly sad. The trees whispered at us as they bowed in the wind, Fall leaves cascading down around us. She walked closer to me, hip to hip. I put an arm around her shoulder."It's almost a beautiful night," she said. Faint stars showed through the city smog."The company is," I offered, running a hand across her collar bone.She looked up and away, a smile crossing her face. "You know how to make me blush," she said. It was good to see her smile.We came around the corner, to a house with the front light on. Fake cobwebs clouded the front windows, a black cat statue sitting by the door.Kay knocked on the door."Who on earth, at this hour?" a muffled voice from behind the door.It swung open to show a black woman wearing a loose African style robe, her hair down to her shoulders in clicking braids."Kaylee, what are you doing out at this hour sweetheart?" she said, relaxing a hand on her hip."Hi Mrs Carver, is Ayesha home?" it was hard for Kay to hide the upset tone in her voice, and the thoughtful look Ayesha's mother gave her just made the hurt come out more. "I really need to talk to Ayesha.""What's going on Afeni?" a man's voice behind her, then he appeared over her shoulder. A tall light-skinned black man looked down through wire framed glasses, his voice warm and bassy. "Kaylee, this is a weird time to be over.""Something's wrong, Eddie, go get Ayesha," Afeni muttered back at him. She turned back with a smile. "Why don't you both come inside for some tea?" she said, giving us the doorway, "You've both had a busy day, we heard all about what happened at school. This isn't about..." Kay shook her head. "No, I didn't think so."
The Carver household was a warm, small two floor house, decorated with art of 'the struggle'. A picture of grim Malcom X stood in the hallway looking down at us. Newspaper clippings of activist movements were framed along the way. Some soft contemporary jazz was playing from the sound system."Alexa, turn off," Mrs Carver said, the music shutting off. We went into the back kitchen where she sat us down."Dad kicked me out," Kay said, "Just for the night.""I don't suppose it had anything to do with this boy here?" she said, casting her hand in my direction."Maybe a little," I said."It's not your fault," Kay said, "Dad's just being an ass."Mrs Carver was in the business of making hot tea when Ayesha came running in, dressed in pink flannel pajamas, hair all messed up."What's going on?" she said, blinking sleep out of her eyes."Kaylee is staying the night," Mrs Carver said, "Do you want to pull out the couch or do you mind sharing a bed with Ayesha?" Ayesha was not consulted."I don't mind sharing a bed," Kay said, trying to smile as she started to tremble."It'll be ok, it'll be fun," Ayesha said, taking her best friend by the hand, giving it a comforting squeeze."You can stay the whole weekend if you want," Mrs Carver said, "Eddie will go talk to your parents in the morning, let them know you're all right.""Thanks Mrs Carver," Kay said, tears starting to pool in her eyes again as she hugged my jacket around herself."Thank you for coming here," Mrs Carver said, putting aside the tea to get a tissue. She dabbed at Kay's cheeks. "You showed good sense coming right over. Why if I was your age and angry with my father, who knows what I'd get up to." She said that with half a look at me, suspicious and disapproving."Now whose your friend?" she finally asked, looking at me directly, an eyebrow raised."This is Eric, from school," Ayesha said."My boyfriend," Kay added, putting her hand on mine."So you're the boy Ayesha's been talking about. She left a couple details out about you. Now I don't suppose you're planning on staying the night?" it wasn't said as an offer."No ma'am," I replied. I looked at Ayesha with a question. What had she told them about me? She just had an awkward smile."If you don't have a way home I can give you a ride," Mr Carver said, taking his keys off a hook on the wall.>accept the ride>I can find my own way home
>>4602084>accept the rideNormally I'd say we can walk home but it might be an opportunity to show that we're a good dood
>>4602084>I can find my own way home
>>4602091SupportWe're just a normal kid, it wouldn't be safe for anyone to walk home alone at this hour
>>4602106We're a streetkid now, its not that abnormal. I wanna get a feel for the city and get some time to think while walking home
>>4602084>accept the ride>>4602118I get this, but also we go out patrolling as Hotspur pretty frequently so I don't think one night walking home would really do anything for us there. Better to not look weird to our friend's parents.
>>4602091>>4602106>>4602118locking that in
"Sure, I'd appreciate it," I said.Kay slipped off my jacket. I didn't take it, jst took her hands instead."Get it back to me on Monday," I said.She nodded, then perked up to kiss me soft on the lips."Time to make tracks," Mr Carver said, twirling his keys around his finger.Before we left Ayesha caught my sleeve while her mom gave Kay a cup of tea. "Thanks for walking her over," she said."No problem," I said."I'll let you know if anything happens," she said, "But are you ok? You weren't at school today.""Yeah, I missed all the excitement," I said, but Ayesha frowned."I'm worried about you Eric," she said, "You're missing a bunch of school, getting beat up. If things aren't good for you at home you can tell me.""Hey I'm fine," I said, backing out the front door, "You just take care of our girl."Her thoughtful frown turned into a gentle smile. She gave a little two finger salute. "Will do," she said.The door closed behind her. Now I was starting to feel cold as the garage door opened and Mr Carver's car rolled out. It was one of those family sedans built for the city. Mr Carver unlocked the passenger door."So where do you live?" he said, putting in the GPS. When I told him he gave me a second look. "Serious?" he said. I nodded. He locked the doors. "Well all right."Like a lot of guys his age, somewhere over forty, Mr Carver had the radio playing. Late at night it was mostly atmospheric beats, at least the station he had it on. It fit the streetlights of Chicago and the dark cold world outside the tinted window. There wasn't much traffic at this hour until we starte moving through areas with clubs, where ubers emptied passengers on street corners, swelling the lines waiting outside neon signs waiting to get in out of the cold and onto the dance floor."So you're from Indiana, right?" Mr Carver said, "That's what Ayesha tells us.""Yes sir," I said."And you train over with Afeni's brother Roy at the gym?" maybe he was just making conversation, maybe he was feeling me out. I nodded. "He runs boxing classes for at risk youth. Are you at risk?""Is it a problem if I am?" I said."No, of course not," he said, "I worked as a social worker for a bit when I was younger though. Believe me I've seen some stuff. I'm in office supplies now, regional manager. It's not rewarding but the nightmares are more bearable. Kafkaesque but I'll take Kafka over Marlon James, you know what I mean?"Not really."My daughter's brought you up a couple times. Its either you or that damn superhero. I tell you when I was a kid we had crushes on celebrities, movie stars, athletes, not violent vigilantes. 'Hotspur', funny kind of name for a super hero. Why not Jump-Man? He jumps around everywhere.""Ayesha talks about me?" was that good or bad?
"Its easy to forget but there was a time my baby girl was an outsider too," he said, "Constantly teased for being a little chubby. A friend of hers used to call her 'Hyena' just to make her upset. 'Friend' my ass. Now she's growing up and getting all this new attention. I mean I'm happy for her, proud of her. She gets herself to the gym, stays on a vegan diet. I can't do that. But the boys have started sniffing around. Am I just too old school? I don't like it, there's this one shit name of 'Zeke'. I do not like Zeke."He turned a corner, kind of rambling."Good to know you're with Kaylee," he said, "Last thing I need is another boy sniffing around. I was worried when she started bringing you up, asking her mom if Uncle Roy can give you boxing lessons, stuff like that. Talking about you getting beat up, missing school, showing up covered in bruises. She talks about you a lot, never mentioned you were a white boy though.""She's just looking out for me," I said. "Maybe I should send Hotspur a thank you letter. She's crushing so hard for him none of the little punks at school even catch her eye anymore," he said, "I worry man, she's growing into a looker. Gets it from her mom. Before she moved out to Chicago Afeni was a swimsuit model, had a serious career out in LA. I ain't bragging, just so you know."Kind of sounded like he was bragging."She's moved over to antiques now, online stuff, gone all artsy. She even hosts a poetry slam every Saturday down by the university," he said, "And always, always down with the Struggle.""What I'm trying to get at is, I need someone to keep an eye on my little girl," he said, "She likes you, you can be that for her, right? Keep the assholes away. She's a smart kid but still a kid, I don't want her getting caught up with some hood or a white boy who don't respect the culture just because she likes his smile."We were getting close to home. I knew there were a couple of guys interested in Ayesha, probably more than a couple. Mr Carver was right, she was a looker."You say she looks out for you," he said, "Can you look out for her?">Ayesha can take care of herself, trust your daughter Mr Carver>I can do that, sir, I owe her that much
>>4602211>I can do that, sir, I owe her that much
>>4602211>I can do that, sir, I owe her that muchShe's always going out of her way to take care of everyone, not just me. One of the best people I know. Thanks for the ride.
"I can do that sir," I said, "Ayesha's good people. She goes out of her way for everyone, not just me.""That she does," Mr Carver said, "And the world sucks for good people. Lots of folks looking to take advantage."He pulled up to the curb. "Thanks for the ride," I said, getting out.I got a text as I went up the stairs. A photo from Ayesha with a :), of Kay curled up asleep in her bed, head tucked into a pink pillow, curled up under a comforter.I shot back a thumbs up. But it was about time for my own bed. I had a lot to think about, mostly the gangsters who had shown up at Kay's house. Frankie the Nose was a capo in the Outfit, no small time scrub no matter how he acted. A captain coming by to make threats directly meant Officer Whitman was in some truly deep shit. And he hadn't just threatened Mr Whitman, he'd threatened Kay too. Lurid threats that made my blood start to boil with rage and fear. It had taken a cool head to not interfere. Next time the Outfit came calling I doubt it would be to just make threats. My question was, how much would fall on the rest of the family? If Rooster or anyone working for him touched a hair on Kay's head, they wouldn't like what I'd do. Just thinking about it while lying on my bed sent a hot roar of fire running through me, teeth clenched hard.The mew at my window broke the hot stream of raging thoughts. The mangy cat scratched at the glass. I inched the door open enough to let it in. It was cold outside. It nestled in my comforter right away, starting to purr.I lay back. Whatever the fallout with Kay's dad, I still had the hijacking this coming Thursday.Which meant a week of school between then and now.I yawned, and tried to get some sleep.-In the weeks leading up to the hijacking I:>trained my powers and my boxing, I had to be sharp>took it easy with my friends, no need for extra stress>focused on school work, had to make up for missing Friday>busted heads, crime doesn't stop
>>4602331>trained my powers and my boxing, I had to be sharp
>>4602331>focused on school work, had to make up for missing FridayWe promised Dad. Though a part of me wants to slack on class and focus on fighting...QM, would we be able to keep our promise to our dad if we decided to train instead of study?
>>4602361>QM, would we be able to keep our promise to our dad if we decided to train instead of study?no probably not. Eric's dad wouldn't believe boxing is a substitute for college.
>>4602361We have to survive vigilantism to make it to college
>>4602331>focused on school work, had to make up for missing FridayWe did promise dad. We should do some crimefighting too though.
>>4602331>focused on school work, had to make up for missing Friday
I'd missed class and I'd been slacking on my studies, I had to sharpen up. That didn't mean I wasn't on the basketball court or in the gym, but I had to give something a larger focus.The stuff with Kay's dad didn't get resolved right away, but when we met up on Monday she laid down the result after a weekend of texting. She was back at home, but 'grounded'. She came to school in her cheerleader uniform and my denim jacket over the top."So no date nights for a while," she told me, "But if we can be good for two weeks he'll let you back in our house."It was something at least. "What does that mean for Halloween though?" Ayesha asked around the cafteria table. I was scratching out some Math homework while they talked."Alas, it must be a miss," Kay said with a great deal of melodrama."Don't worry Ayesha, we'll still be there," Zeke said with a grin. My pencil stopped scratching. Ayesha's dad didn't like Zeke, and I knew Zeke liked her. I told him I'd keep an eye out on her."Same," I said, cooling his jets."A bunch of boys huh, I don't think my parents will approve," Ayesha said."Ivy will be there," I said."I'll be there too," said Daphne, "Are we going to wear costumes? I could put something together.""Costumes could be fun," Ayesha said, but couldn't smile at Kay, "I'm sorry your dad's a jerk.""Yeah, its cool, have fun," Kay said, "I shall keep a diary of my time in exile.""Aren't they letting students wear costumes this Friday?" Dane said, "Could be fun, maybe we could do like a group costume.""Scooby Doo, maybe the Riverdale gang," Zeke said."Well zoiks," I said, closing the notebook."I'll do whatever," Rufus said, "Anyone seen Hunter around? We got something to do later.""I saw him hanging with Ben over near the biology lab," Dane said, "He's been hanging with the nerds lately.""God, why?" Kay said, curling her hair around her finger, "I swear I thought the Creep was going to be one of them, anyone of them.""They're nice once you get to know them," Ayesha said."You're just saying that because you used to hang with them when you were fat," Kay said, "I don't see you hanging with them anymore.""I still talk to Annie..." Ayesha said with a strange guilty tone.It wasn't my business, I had to catch up on my reading. We'd started a Steinbeck novel. By we I mean the rest of English class, I hadn't even started. 'Of Mice And Men.' It was about a couple of drifters back in the day, one big and slow the other small and crafty. It looked like a lot of it was about working on a farm. If I'm being honest my kind of books had swords in them, swords or dragons. I ground my way through it in the afternoons, taking notes. I could have just googled around for cliff notes but I wanted to do this right.
Once I sunk into it, it wasn't half bad. Steinbeck was really talking about how fucked over the average working man is, and how the system is meant to keep him in line by punishing those that don't fit in. no one's looking out for us, the world was built for the rich and powerful. Or at least that was my take, so its what I wrote down.Chemistry wasn't so hot. Mr Nfume didn't bust my balls but everytime I slid my homework over his desk, there was a slight frown on his narrow dark face. It came to a head Wednesday afternoon, right before lunch."You could use some tutoring," he said, "I'd like you to work with one of the more advanced students." By which he meant Chad. I wasn't much of a science guy, so he wasn't wrong.The night before the hijacking I went in for a last boxing lesson with Coach Jackson.He was working with Stink, a big south side kid out of foster care, holding pads while Stink worked combinations."How you doin' Eric," he said, coming over."All right I guess," I said.He took me through a couple of things, then when we wre done and mopping off he laid it down. "I think you need to do more sparring, come in more often," he said, "You're starting to plateau, you need the next push.""These lessons aren't enough?"He shook his head. "I can teach you a hundred things but if you ain't training them, using them, learning it on your own time, you're wasting your time. Next month I want you ready to go six rounds against Stink.""Stink is like two weight classes above me," I said."Friendly rounds," he said, "But a guy like you, living where you live, you'll always be punching above your weight, feel me?""Yes sir," I said."Good, now get your dancing shoes on, Diana's teaching beginner cha-cha tonight."I got home tired.It would be an early start tomorrow, beginning with a hook up with Misfit at a gas station out west. From there we'd go down the I-88 out toward Rock Falls. That was a two hour drive, an early start.There was another reason I was pouring so much time into studying, this mission meant another lost school day. I could take a hit from one misse day, but two? I'd have to apply my brain power to keep my grades from slipping.For now though I got some rest, and tried not to worry.Whatever action tomorrow would bring, I was ready.-with that said I'll see you guys tomorrow. time to switch from teen drama back to super hero adventure. hope you guys are still having fun.
I've got a serious question for all of you, how do you feel about the direction of the quest so far? I'm trying to balance the focus but I worry about slipping into CW drama territory.
>>4602596I love it! It's interesting to struggle and find balance between two very different worlds as two very different people.
>>4602596>>4602617+1, the weekly focus idea is nice, lots of options means lots of opportunity cost.It has been lacking lately in the superhero department, but obviously that's getting fixed next time.I'd advise focusing on adding more suspense and slowing things down. The Outfit and Cartel lack a lot of development, as Ms. Grant kind of gave us the whole deal right away. I wouldn't say her not doing that would have been better, because her doing so is rational, but still our main villains right now lack the urgency they would have, had we cookie-crumbed our way through it. That said, I'd advise carefully managing the mysteries of the alphabet people, the other supers, the exact nature of our powers, and the explosion itself. That's what's most anticipated plot-wise, at least, and are the greatest avenues to apply suspense through.Also, more powerful supers? Right now, the biggest threat to us is only Salamander, who isn't bad, but I think adding to that list would give a greater sense of objective and obstacle to the whole plot. Plus it's getting lonely being the only proper superhero around.Best quest on board? Yeah probably.
>>4602596I'm really liking it, it could be more superhero focused but you have to have the other stuff to make Eric feel like a real person.
>>4602596I like it a lot
>>4602596Very enjoyable so far, this thread has been a bit slow but it's been kind of R&R, being a normal teenager, and getting the new costume - all things that were necessary. So yeah, definitely one of the best quests currently running, but I'm looking forward to the action next session.
>>4602596Great so far, I like drama shit but I'm also looking forward to the raid.
>>4602596I think you're doing a really good job with the balance. It can't be all superhero stuff all the time, you need more of the normal life to keep the character grounded.I do wish we could focus on more than one thing during timeskips, since right now it feels like we're barely keeping up with schoolwork with the focus, and falling behind on everything else. I don't remember missed school days being so destructive, perhaps we can get one of our friends to take notes for us when we're out? Nerd crew probably would be best, but we wouldn't need to come up with an excuse for Ivy.
It was brutally cold when I hit the gas station at the outskirts of the city, landing on the roof overlooking a sweep of road, the start of the highway. A grey line on the horizon marked the hour before sun rise, the rising skyscrapers of Chicago black outlines against it. I yawned behind my mask, wishing I'd stopped for breakfast somewhere. The side of the gas station was marked with a tag I'd been seeing around the city, including where a couple of kids had thrown it up on Luis' shop, D-R-U-J. Trucks bustled down the road, headlights scything through the dark, trailers lit up for visibility. The few cars on the road were heading into the city rather than out of it, the nomadic commuters coming in from the suburbs at an ungodly hour.The rumble of a motorbike and a single headlight came down the road, turning into the station. A black motorbike with a rider in black leathers and a skull-mask. Misfit kicked out the stand, bringing it to a stop, pulled off her soldier's helmet. I crouched on the edge of the gas station roof, over the pumps."Good morning," she called up to me, "Ready to bust some Stunt Crew heads?""Always," I said, hopping down. The gravel crunched under my feet."New digs, huh?" she said, "I liked the old look more. It's too slick, what do they call it, high fashion? Give me grit.""You do you," I said."So the I-88, a highway fight," she said, "Should be fun. Long ride though, near two hours to get to Rock Falls."She leaned forward in her seat. I climbed on behind. She revved the engine, the seat shuddering under me. I grabbed her by the shoulders, not sure how close to sit."Don't worry, I ain't shy or delicate," she said. I pulled in closer.She kicked up the stand. "Let's rock!"The bike went from sitting to fifty faster than I thought it could. Soon we were barreling 70 miles an hour with the wind whipping around us. Soon we were going faster. Misfit didn't strike me as the type to give half a fuck about speed limits. She didn't care I wasn't wearing a helmet."You like it?" she yelled over the howling speed, bent forward and concentrating on the road flying underneath us. She weaved around a heavy truck that blasted its horn at us as we zipped ahead. "Its a custom rig based on the Indian Scout! Put it together myself! Been working on it for the last couple months! A lot of scavenging and pocket money went into this babe!"An overpass appeared overhead. "Toll booth, shit," Misfit snapped, "Goddamn toll roads."We slowed in a cash only lane. Slowing from 80 something an hour down to a crawl just hammered how fast we were going. The toll booth operator stared as Misfit shoved a wad of notes at her. The boom went up as she revved her engine. When it did we spat forward. I grabbed her tight, the motorbike snarling under us as it tore down the road.
It was surprisingly smooth after we climbed into the 80 mile range again, the countryside flitting past us on the two lane highway. We went from blocks of homes to open green country, past woodland down a cement track. We had no company save the occasional long haul truck. I kept my eyes open for the black van.Behind us the sun came over the horizon, the night rolling back overhead to a clear blue day. Nothing but the sound of the bike and the flutter of my hood in my ears, the feel of the seat under me and the grip on Misfit's hips.We passed a turn off for a truck waystation.Up ahead I saw it, a dark van rumbling down the road, a car ahead and a car behind for escort. The file hadn't said anything about escorts.Behind me the roar of engines. I looked back.White motorbikes came bouncing out from the waystation. A lot of white motorbikes, each rider with a helmet marked with a big black number. The lead bike had a rider with a passenger in black riding behind him, carrying a samurai sword in a dark red scabbard. Sullivan and Baby Girl.Their engines roared. Baby Girl's sword flashed out of its scabbard. Shotguns and rifles came up from holsters, held up in single hand grips.They'd come heavy."Show time!" Misfit laughed.>focus on taking out the bikers>focus on protecting the van
sorry for the late start, got preoccupied with something
>>4603357>focus on protecting the vanWe can't forget why we're here
>>4603357>focus on protecting the van
>>4603357>focus on protecting the vanMisfit might actually be more useful than us here, blinding them while driving
>>4603357focus on protecting the van
"Get close to the van!" I yelled in Misfit's ear.She revved the bike, swerving around the rear escort. I caught a glimpse of men in dark suits, one of them nursing a submachine gun in his lap. Sunglasses masked their eyes but their faces were set in grim lines.We came up beside the van, Misfit slowing down to match its pace."I'm going to jump off!" I said, "Hold off the bikers, let's try and get this to Iowa!""That's three hours away!" she yelled back over the word snatching wind.The fire inside me roared to life. I kept a grip on Misfit's shoulder as I rose in the rear seat. I eyed the gap between me and the van, the road blitzing underneath us. A fall at this speed could do something gruesome to the human body.I leapt off, leaving a glowing foot print behind me on the leather seat. Misfit swerved from the force of my lunge but she steadied up as I slammed into the side of the van, grabbing the top to haul myself up.The wind whirled over me as I stood in a crouch, hood fluttering back. My goggles protected my eyes as an insect splattered itself against my chest. I looked back down the highway to the platoon of bikers coming up on our ass.The roar of engines fought with the howling wind as they siddled up on the rear escort. Gun shots ripped from the passenger window in a hot burst. The biker slowed back, bringing down his shotgun. A bark of the gun blew out the back window. His companions opened fire, bullets ripping through the seats, riddling the car. I saw the driver jerk in his seat in shock, blood splattering the steering wheel.The car slid off to the side, off the road to slam into a ditch.Ruthless.A biker came up on Misfit, gun in hand. He took aim with his shotgun at the back of her head.Right as the trigger was about to be pulled she threw her hand backward. A ball of light flung from her palm struck him in the chest, exploding in a blast of heat and light. A yelp of terror, smoke risin from his chest as the bike swerved, only to tilt over. The bike spun out, dragging the biker with it backward as it came apart. He flew off it rolling, bouncing down the road.We left him behind in a white heap.The bikers swarmed up behind us. I kept my head low, moving to the front of the van.I popped my head down to talk to the driver, the speed of the van as it bounced down the highway threatening to drag me off.Same suit, glasses, and ugly frown met me."Don't worry, we're here to help," I said."Goddamn freaks!" he said, drawing a pistol from his shoulder holster. I pulled my head back before he could put a bullet between my eyes, the gun blasting. What the hell?Sullivan and Baby Girl came up the side. Baby Girl stood upright in the rear seat.Sword in one hand, scabbard in the other, she leapt, landing with dark boots planted on the top of the van.
On the other side Misfit looked back at the bikers coming at her rear. She reached back a hand, an explosion of light blinding them, her bike disappearing for a hot second in the bright glow.I looked up to Baby Girl. She stood low, stepping carefully forward over the van roof, her balance cat-like even on the bouncing van.The van underneath us began swerving hard side-to-side. Looking to shake off the bikers or to dislodge us, I couldn't say.My concern was more the woman with the sword in black leathers, her face hidden under a black motorbike helmet. She lowered almost like a bow.I raised my fists, ready to fight as the countryside rushed by us.>roll 3 x 1d100 + 20 dc 75
Rolled 87 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4603450get fucked baby girl
Rolled 89 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4603450Hopefully the driver doesn't start swerving
Rolled 80 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4603450rollan again sorry lurkers
Place your bets for what's in the vanMy money's on supe test subjects
Baby Girl slashed for my head. I rolled low and dipped back, the blade slicing between us. Her scabbard came around in a red whirl. I checked it on my elbow, arm raised with a hand grabbing the side of my head in a boxing guard. The shock ran up my arm, hitting hard.I stepped back on the rocking van, she stepped forward, the both of us checking our balance as it veered side-to-side.Under my feet I heard the driver roar into a radio - "We got bandits and a couple freaks on us! Requesting back up!"Baby Girl slashed her sword down, the blade a bright vertical line, hoping to split me open. I slapped a hand down on her hand, holding the sword down as I brought my head forward. My forehead crunched against the dome of her helmet, power driven hard into it. It caved inward as dazed lights broke over my sight.We staggered apart, our balance rocky. She flipped open her visor, glaring."I'll give you one chance to get out of here, Hotspur!" she said, "Last chance!"My answer was my raised fists.She yowled, lunging across the roof, sword and scabbard moving together. I stepped around the sword stroke, the scabbard battered across my forearms. I launched a left hook, my fist corkscrewing out to slam behind her ear. Without her helmet she'd have dropped, but it soaked up the worst of my punch.But I didn't leave up with just one punch. I sliced an uppercut into her cut, hammered her with a jab. She swung her samurai sword out to chase me back, standing woozy on the rocking van.Underneath us bikers shot at Misfit. She skidded side to side, throwing back balls of light, bouncing across the road to explode in the sides or under carriages of the compact white bikes. A biker went flying from his seat with a scream.The lead escort turned off, spinning around to block the second lane, the car a road stop. Misfit dropped low in her bike, bouncing the damn thing hard up on one wheel. She hit the hood then landed on the road, dropping horizontal, bike speeding forward as behind her Stunt Crew bikers crunched into the side of the car.A gunman pulled up out of the passenger seat, unloading a magazine down the road. White leather turned red, bikers dropping before a shotgun blast scooped off the top of his head. Some kind of fire bomb was flung into the driver's seat as bikers sped by, the car bursting into flame and smoke around the driver's scream.
"Mayday, mayday, we have lost our escort!" the van driver screamed.Baby Girl came running with a snarl. I ducked, her cut sailing over head, side-stepped her scabbard as it drove downward. A punch to her liver buckled her over, then one to the chin jerked her head back. She went limp. I grabbed her by the front of her jacket before she could sail off to her doom.I looked for Sullivan. He was keeping pace with the van, a heavy revolver in his hand as he came up beside it. He shot out the rear view mirror. The driver shot out the window blind. Sullivan was a wolf in white, low in the saddle of his bike, closing in for the kill."Hey Sully!" I called. I picked up his woman, she groaned in my hands. I flung her at him.His bike veered off in shock. His gun dropped to grab her. The bike went sideways then skidded out as they came off it. He held her tight as they rolled off into a ditch, bike dancing into pieces behind them.I clapped my hands, but the job wasn't done. Their heavy hitters might be out of the fight but there was still plenty of trouble.With more coming from ahead. A squad of bikers coming down the road, right for the van."Shit," I said as the van picked up speed, grabbing the roof tight.>roll 3 x 1d100+10 dc 75
Rolled 94 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4603509Shit, might have to peel open the roof of the van and jump inside to avoid gunfire from the bikers. We've got no ranged options. Worst comes to worst we can grab whatever the van is protecting and jump back onto Misfit's bike to escape. Depending on whats in there I guess.
Rolled 44 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4603509
Rolled 5 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4603509>roll 3 x 1d100+10 dc 75
The bikers opened fire. The glass punched inward. The guard riding shotgun returned fire, blasting the glass out, bullets spraying the bikers. Blood burst from white leather, bikers flung back in their seats, bikes toppling over to screech across the highway. The van hopped and jostled as it drove over the fallen bikes.I held on tight.A sharp burst and I looked down to see a front tyre shredded on the axel, behind was the same. The van began to veer out of control, the driver trying to master its wild bucking. Then with a lurch, it came off the ground.It over turned. I swung hard in my grip as it struck the cement, concrete shearing the side of the van throwing up sparks in my face, screaming under me at flesh shredding speed.It slowed to a stop on a lonely stretch of highway, blocking both lanes. I panted, hanging from the roof. We hadn't made it to Iowa. I pulled myself up, the cough of engines behind me. I looked back to see the remaining Stunt Crew MC converge behind Misfit. She let off blasts of light, dropping the last few chasing her. They left a trail in her wake.She slid to a stop beside the downed van, kicking out her stand."So much for Iowa," she said.The passenger door kicked open next to me. The guard climbed up, blood running down his jaw, a submachine gun in his grip.He looked my way, then spun around, gun kicking in his grip. I dropped back, bullets ripping through where I'd been."Shit dude, we're on your side!" Misfit said."No goddamn para-freak is on my side," he snarled, pulling out a new magazine as he ejected the other."Goddamn it," I bobbed forward, kicking him hard in the side of the head. He flung back, gun going off, cutting the grass beside the road. He lay still with a groan."Shit heads," Misfit said, getting off her bike.I looked down into the van. The side of the driver's head was a wet smear against the side of the road, white eyes staring glassy. The radio crackled with static.I could hear the distant whoop-whoop-whoop of a helicopter as Misfit wrenched open the back of the van."What are you doing?" I asked."You aren't curious what these guys were after?" she said, pulling a little flashlight from her pocket. She clicked it on."Huh."I dropped down next to her. "What is it?" I asked."A bow, hold on," she ducked her head, flashlight between her teeth as she took out a little knife. She cut at the straps harnessing the box, pulled it out. It was small, smaller than a school bag. It had a small lock. Misfit rolled her thumb and forefinger together until a small beard of light appeared between it. She slipped it into the lock. A sharp little burst with a flash of light, then a click as the lock came undone.She looked to me."Ready?" she said. I shrugged.We opened it.
A small black stone, smooth, sat in cushioning styrofoam. It could have come from any pond of stream, outside its smooth surface it was entirely ordinary in shape and color."Is this it?" she said, face wrinkled in disappointment.The sound of the helicopter came closer, almost overhead. My ears perked at the sound of cars coming the other way.Misfit looked up. "We should get out of here," she said.I stared at the stone. All that trouble for this? There had to be more to it.>take the stone>leave the stone
>>4603557>take the stoneThis would make us stronger. Or give us the power to make more of us.What if we broke it open...?
>>4603557>take the stoneoh shit, we just stole from a shady government agency. the question is why did the cartel want it?
>>4603557>take the stoneNo government supers allowed
>>4603561fuck that, messing with this thing without knowing anything about it would be dumb. the only power up I'd be interested in would be something to help our defense, we're already stacked when it comes to offense and mobility
>>4603557>take the stone
I didn't know what it was but I wasn't comfortable with the government having it. It was light, smaller than the palm of my hand. I opened my jacket, slipping it into an inside pocket. Overhead I saw a helicopter, and not a news one. It was black with double propellers, looked like it meant business. Coming down the other way wasn't a car but an APC, a machine gun pintle mounted on the roof done up in desert camo like it had come straight from Afghanistan.Misfit whistled as she kicked out the prop, engine revving. I buttoned up my jacket as I hopped on behind her.A sharp skid screeched before we ripped out of there, weaving through the wreckage of the street battle, a burning car and scattered parts of motorcycles, bodies littering the way.Sullivan climbed out of a ditch, helping Baby Girl up. Seeing us race by he just slumped his shoulders and shook his head, holding his girl close. They better start running, I thought.No one pursued us that we could see. The big military helicopter touched down way behind us as we sped on. Misfit ignored every kind of law and as we came up on a toll booth, popped a spark and blew out the boom gate, racing through the wreckage."I thought you could only blind people," I said."Nah, I can control how intense they are!" she said, "Flash bang is the lowest setting. I mostly stick to it because I'm not a fuckin' psycho!"Regular traffic started to appear as we raced headlong into oncoming traffic. Misfit pulled up the side, swerving out of the way of a big mack truck. The driver blew his horn, red faced and screaming at us."Road's closed buddy!" Misfit laughed.We didn't stop until we were back in Chicago, Misfit picking a way through backstreets, coming to a stop outside a run down garage with stacks of old tyres out the front, roller doors coated with rust and graffiti.She let out a sigh, pulling off her helmet as I climbed down from behind her."Jesus that was intense," she held up shaking hands, "You ever do something like that before? Damn I could just..." she rubbed along the leather seat, "Man, I just need to fuck right now. You down?""Excuse me?" I said, stunned by the offer.She laughed. "I'm kidding," she said, then shrugged, "Kinda." She swung off her bike, pulling up her mask. From a saddle bag she pulled a bottle of whiskey. She uncorked it, took a pull, gulping it down."Don't worry, I can't actually get drunk," she said, "Not properly, not anymore. Something about my power burns through alcohol but I need it, y'know, after I've used it."Kind of like my hunger, I thought. My belly was squelching now, demanding food."So when I need to relax I smoke up, you know, got to find something," she said, "What do you do when you need to unwind?""Nothing like that," I said.
"Me I like fighting, fucking, eating pussy, is there anything better?" she said. Then she coughed. "Uh, I'm being weird again aren't I? Sorry man, I overshare like a motherfucker." She was blushing under her mask."What do you think is up with the rock?" she said.I pulled it out. The smoothness of it was perfect, as perfect as its blackness. But there didn't seem to be anything unusual about it. It gave off no menacing aura or whispered dark secrets. It wasn't the One Ring calling to Sauron as far as I could tell. But then I didn't know what I was looking at or looking for."They'll be coming for it," I said."Para-freak," she said, "That's what the shit head called us. Para-freaks. You ever heard that term before?""I've been called a freak," I said, "But that seemed more specific."Misfit nodded. "Things are getting complicated," she scuffed her boot heel, "I hate complicated."It was getting to lunch time. Had we really been through all that in only a morning? Whatever time it was I was hungry to the point of weakness. I needed to eat.>part ways with Misfit>invite her to lunch
>>4603676>invite her to lunchThings are hot right now- let's lay low as Hotspur for a bitDoes eating with Misfit implies we have to go out or share our identity? If so, I'd rather we part ways
>>4603686>Does eating with Misfit implies we have to go out or share our identity?you can specify to what level as a write-in if you want
>>4603676>invite her to lunch
>>4603687Let's get delivery so we don't have to show ourselves
I'll be back tomorrow, just too tired. I'll leave this vote open until then
>>4603676>invite her to lunchI'd honestly be down with sharing to her. We just got in the shit together.
>>4603676>invite her to lunchDelivery. Don't show her anything more than our mouth though.
>>4603676>part ways with MisfitStaying in costume right now is the opposite of laying low, we just pissed off some very dangerous people as hotspur.
>>4603676>part ways with Misfit
>>4602596My only qualm is that the MC should have a bit more personality. The stuff earlier with the invisible kid was good, and I feel you should do a bit more of that. Don't go overboard on us with tons of monologues from him or anything, but make him have more character than just a avatar for us to make decisons with.
I AM HERE, For this badass thread! Honestly I’ve not seen many Urban superhero quests and I love this one, Kay is best girl and I think as we get better with our powers we’ll only get stronger I also love the social aspects as it really gives us an outlook of a teenager going through with powers instead of a superhero going through life as a teenager. Anyway I’ll be here for time to come, although two things that was suggested earlier that I kinda agree with are both the lack of fluidity for fighting actions which I think should also be applied to weekly actions and the fact that we can only do 1 thing a week while taking detriments to the others. Maybe make it so that we can split focus between things or even roll to do a second set of actions per week, just something to think about. Anyways thanks for the Quest Bullpen You’re great!
>>4603806>>4603740>>4603696>>4603688>>4603686locked ingetting delivery
"Do you want to get a bite to eat?" I said, "Delivery.""Uber Eats or something? Sure," she said, getting out her phone. "I'm in the mood for...pizza. Split a deep dish?"I thought about it. My belly did too. "Better make it two," I said."All right, there's a good local place," she tapped away at her phone.I looked around the abandoned garage. It was half a junkyard, trash littering the yard, the windows spray painted over with crude tags where the glass wasn't blown out. "It's pretty great, right?" Misfit said, "It's one of my hide-outs. I got a couple others like this. I rotate around them just in case I get a tail, you know."She walked her motorcycle around the back while I waited in the empty yard. Something scurried in the trash. A rat raised its head, pink nose sniffing, then darted with a flash of its long tail into a drain pipe.Misfit came back around dusting off her hands. She went to the front door of the garage shop, kicked it hard in the corner loosening it up, wedged her fingers through the frame and pulled it open. Inside wasn't as dusty as the windows had me expecting. A cleared area, an empty counter, and an old mattress set up in the corner. There was a milk crate full of empty beer bottles, crumpled up bags of junk food scattered around. An ipod with a speaker sat next to the bed."It's not the Hilton but its a place to crash out," she said."You ever bring anyone through here?" I said."Just this chick one time I was hiding from a local gang," she said. "Hey, I get if you got trust issues but I think the delivery guy will think it's weird if I take the order dressed up like Misfit so, uh, you don't got to do the same but..." she pulled off her mask, brushing out short dark hair wet with sweat. I'd caught a glimpse of it our first time meeting, just a bit, now I saw the whole thing in daylight. She had a broad face and a thick bottom lip, narrow eyes.A self-concious flutter came and went.She unzipped her motorcycle jacket, threw it on the counter. She wore a tight, sleeveless blue compression top underneath. She had muscle on her shoulders, but without her bulky motorcycle jacket on I felt stupid for ever thinking she was a boy. Her right forearm was covered with knicks and burns across the back. Her left arm had similar burns, her dark skin mottled with waxy patches."Ooze," she explained, "One of the reasons I started wearing motorcycle leathers. Takes him longer to burn through it. The cuts are from a freaked out junky, my bad for dropping my guard. You got any scars?""A couple," I said."I'll be out there, waiting," she said, "Just kick up and relax."
I guess there wasn't much else to do. I pulled down my face mask, sat up on the counter.I watched through the dirty windows as a scooter pulled up, a black guy on the back. They talked briefly as he handed over a couple of pizza boxes and a paper bag. Then he scooted off. She pushed her way back in. "Chow," she said, handing a box over, "You sue you can finish a whole family sized pie yourself?" I just gave her a look. "Man can eat."Out of the bag she pulled a couple Dr Pepper's. I didn't stand on manners, starting into the food, slurping down the drink.Misfit put on some tunes, some kind of dirty local punk band."I got to say, you fighting Baby Girl on the back of a speeding van was some badass shit," she said. She imitated cutting around with a sword, popping up on one foot."The way you jumped over the car was pretty cool," I said, "You really can ride.""Heh, yeah, I've been on motorbikes before I could walk," she said, "My parents ran a shop on the south side before they uh, yeah. My uncles taught me how to ride proper though. My abuelo was one of the early Latino bikers up this way."I had to admit there is something undeniably cool about motorbikes, no matter how cliche or stereotypical bikers could get.I scraped melted cheese off the bottom of the box."We should probably lay low for the next couple of days," I said, "Those guys weren't gangsters. That's some black ops government stuff. CIA or NSA or hell, maybe something brand new just for us.""I feel you," she said, "I guess Halloween is a good time to take a break. Day of the Dead is coming up, we usually have a big feast, it'll be good to see my cousins. My abuela has finally stopped trying to put me in a dress for it. She threw a fit when I showed up at my Quinceanera in a tux.""Does anyone know your secret identity?" I asked.She shook her head. "No, I ain't told anyone, you?""A couple people," I said, "More a case of them finding out than being told."Misfit drained her pop, crumpled up the can."You really ate a whole ass family pie," she said."I got to eat to refuel, like you and alcohol," I said, wiping sauce off my chin.She smiled. "You ever think we're using our powers wrong?" she said, "Or do you think everyone has to deal with these drawbacks?"I shrugged. I hadn't thought about it."Para-freak," she said, musing on the word, "Well I was a freak before I got my powers."I had to ask, maybe I was prying but it was in the back of my mind. "So are you gay or something?" I said, "It's cool if you are.""Huh?" she said, "I guess if you had to split it I'm like eighty percent gay, but Jason Mamoa or Henry Cavill? They could do whatever they want to me. No woman is that gay.""You got a girl?" she asked."Yeah, you?" I said.
"Not any more," she shook her head, "She said I was a trash dyke going no where. Maybe she's right, but I'm going no where fast. That counts for something, right?" She was putting on bravado with a cocky grin but there was a beat up look in her eyes. I don't think Misfit was even eighteen yet."I can take care of myself," she said, "I been half homeless since I was thirteen, even before I got my powers I been dodging bad dudes. Guys who try to get a lost girl on her own, tryin' to..." she said, rubbing her bicep self-concious, "Ah shit, there I go with the oversharing. Sorry.""Here you are being cool as a closed book and here I am spilling my guts," she said, "You didn't ask for the life story."I don't think she got a lot of chances to talk to people, not honestly and not about this stuff.>its fine, we're in the shit together now>yeah, you probably should be more careful
>>4604586>its fine, we're in the shit together now
>>4604586>its fine, we're in the shit together nowMaybe we can introduce her to Grant. Misfit seems like a good person, though a little lost
>>4604586>its fine, we're in the shit together nowYeah definitely down to share identity with herTake off our mask
>>4604673>>4604643>>4604591locked in but I'll make the 'share identity' a separate vote
"It's cool," I said, "We're in the shit together now.""True," she said, "I don't really got anyone I can talk to about this shit. Figured you might understand.""I feel you," I said, "Even the people who know I'm Hotspur don't really know what its like.""My name's Natalie by the way, Natalie Rodriguez. You don't got to tell me your real name or whatever, its cool. I just want someone to know.">(take off my mask)I'm Eric>I'm not comfortable sharing my name, sorry
>>4604692>I'm not comfortable sharing my name, sorryIts safer for everyone involved if we minimize the number if people who know us
>>4604692>I'm not comfortable sharing my name, sorry
>>4604692>(take off my mask)I'm EricWe hit a alphabet agency van together, she can't exactly be out to betray us.
>>4604692Write inShow face but don't give name, a vague description isn't dangerous to us or her should she be captured but a name is
"Thanks for respecting that," I said, keeping my mask on. "If you do need to talk about this shit though, I'll be around to listen.""Same," she said.I hopped off the counter and we bumped fists."Take it easy Hotspur," she said."You too, and keep an eye out for the alphabet gang."I ducked out waving behind me as she pulled her mask back on. The pizza left me with enough fuel to get back to my own hideout, where I stashed my costume and went down to Luis' store. I should probably message Ms Grant and tell her what was going on, she'd known about the hijacking in advance, and would be curious about an update. And I was skipping school again, there'd probably be trouble for it, maybe even detention, but that felt like the least of my worries.I kept the black stone close in my back pocket. If there was something going on with it, I didn't want to risk it getting stolen.Luis' store had been kitted out for Halloween, black cats in the window, jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs, and penny candy up front for the kids. To my surprise D-Mark was inside stocking the shelves."Shouldn't you be in school?" he said as I grabbed a packet of Doritos."Shouldn't you be outside with Smoke?" I replied, popping the pack open."Uncle hired me on as a stockboy," he said, putting up cans of soup, "I need a money paying gig."Smokey was looking kind of lonely out the front holding down the corner, music playing from the speaker hanging from his belt.The tv behind the counter was running a news reporter, Priscilla Takanawa standing over a news feed saying 'Road Carnage: Highway From Hell', scattered bike parts littered behind her. They were playing off this morning's incident as some kind of freak car crash on I-88, and not an attempted hijacking by a crew of bikers."Yo," Luis said with a nod. "Hey D-Mark, take a lunch break.""Got it boss," D-Mark said, getting up from the soup cans he was stacking."Needed the help for the holidays," Luis said, "After the weekend we got Thanksgiving, then Christmas. We'll see how he works out after that.""Cool," I said, getting an ice tea."Crazy shit on the highway this morning," he said."Yep," I said, sipping the tea, munching doritos."You got anything to do with it?" he said.I hid my grin behind the can. "Maybe a bit," I said.We both admired the cut of Ms Takanawa's outfit, the tv on mute as she gravely addressed the morning's toll. When I was done eating I went home, stopping to scratch the cat as I climbed the stairs.My mind was on the stone in my pocket, and when I got inside I put it on my desk.
This was connected to something, a mystery profound and deep that I couldn't start to fathom its depths. But it was connected to me and Misfit, probably all the other 'para-freaks' running around since the Chicago explosion. But it looked like an ordinary rock. I flicked it, bounced it on the surface of the desk, flipped it like a coin catching it on my palm.Normal, mundane.Maybe it needed to be scienced or something to activate. I really had no context for this thing. I didn't know who to talk to or ask and even if I did, I don't know who I can trust.>google is always useful, start looking online for information>maybe the science nerds at school could help? they'd been looking into the Explosion>better to just hide it for now and not worry
>>4604847>better to just hide it for now and not worryJust tell Grant about it. I'd rather the glow in the darks not see our search history and our two and two together.
>>4604847>maybe the science nerds at school could help? they'd been looking into the Explosion
>>4604847>better to just hide it for now and not worry
>>4604919>>4604897locked innext write-in is the last for the day
I wasn't getting anywhere by staring at it.For now I just had to let it rest. Going online was a good way to get caught and it was too soon to ask around. Maybe I'd let Ms Grant know, but for now it was going into my desk draw.I yawned, the morning's action catching up with me.I crawled onto my bed, content to sleep out the rest of the day.Whatever problems the stone could bring could wait until tomorrow.-Just a head's up I'll be taking a couple of days off, I need a small break. I've read your feedback and will try to take some of it onboard. Thanks for playing.
>>4604925Thanks for running!
>>4604925thanks for the run
>>4604925Thanks for running! It must be exhausting providing multiple updates every day
I woke up somewhere in the afternoon to the sound of drumming on our apartment door. I didn't so much get up as fall out of bed, legs cramped up. I massaged my calves before getting up. I guess bouncing around all morning going a hundred miles on the 1-88 took its toll irrespective of my powers. I got out into the living room, the pounding loud. It was the kind of mid-afternoon gloom of no lights on while the sun was disappearing outside. So Dad wasn't back from work yet. Maybe he forgot his keys.My phone buzzed with a text. I had a couple of messages, one from Dad the other from Zeke.Dad - Hey kid, I'm going out with some friends after work. Mrs Valdez will bring up a plate for dinner.Zeke - Open the door asshole we're outside.Huh. Who was we? I checked the lock and the chain, opened it up to Zeke and Ayesha in the door frame. Zeke wore a green school sweater while Ayesha wore a long coat with a home knit scarf around her neck."You got the flu?" Zeke asked as Ayesha waved, his brow furrowed."No," I said."Mr Simmons asked us to bring over your homework," Ayesha said, pushing up her glasses."No, Ayesha asked to bring over your homework. I came because I know you live in a hell zone and didn't want her getting mugged or something," Zeke said, "Is that a junkie living in your alleyway or something?""Is Hector back?" I said, still blinking sleep out of my eyes, "Damn it."Ayesha handed over a notebook while Zeke just ambled on in. "My notes, I thought they might help," Ayesha said with a bright smile. They were the first guests I'd ever had over, as uninvited as they were, and I felt exposed as they looked over our kitchen and living room."Damn, this is how you live? Grim," Zeke said. Ayesha slapped him over the back. You couldn't call it 'spartan' since spartan was a choice, dilapdated was too strong, unkempt was maybe too charming.Dirty would have to do."Is your dad home?" Ayesha asked. A cockroach poked its anntena over the rim of a dirty plate in the sink."Out," I yawned. I was the golden tired of not quite enough sleep, feeling good but wanting more."You missed school again," she said."Sheesh, get off his case Yesha, you aren't his mom," Zeke said, then looked at me uncomfortably. Ayesha wilted a little too."I'm sorry if we're out of line for coming over," she said, "But there's a big assignment due next week and I know you don't want to fall behind.""It's a good excuse to come poking around," Zeke said, flipping through our calendar, "See how the 'bad boy' lives."Bad boy? That's not a label I'd give myself."I'm just looking out for a friend," Ayesha said, getting hot under the collar."Thanks Ayesha," I said, putting the notebook on the table, "I'll get on that.""We won't hang around," Ayesha said, looking to Zeke who was currently looking through Dad's DVD collection. "We'll see you at school tomorrow though, right?" she asked, a little nervous.
"I don't plan to miss it," I said. She smiled while I showed them out. When they were gone I sighed, pressing my head on the door. I looked at the notebook, then over to my bedroom door. The stone was hidden in my desk, a secret lurking inside it.The cartel had gone to a great deal of effort to snatch it up. We'd foiled the attempt, no doubt they'd be spitting furious. Maybe tonight was a good night to check out just how furious with some snooping around.But there was a day of notes to go through. I was a hair away from raising my grade. >focus on the missing school work>scout out the cartel for information-weird start time I know but here we are
>>4609840>focus on the missing school work
Whatever was going on with the Cartel could wait. I was keeping my head down anyway, didn't need a bunch of federal goons alongside cartel goons hunting me tonight. I pulled out the book full of Ayesha's notations. She had fine, scrawly hand writing with big loops in cursive. I flipped back and forth, jotting it down in my own notes, mostly page numbers and stuff to reference.By the time I was starting to draft the essay I got another knock on the door."Good evening Eric," Mrs Valdez said, carrying a hot plate of Mexican rice, "Your father asked me to check in on you. You are doing school work?""Yes ma'am," I said, taking the plate."If you ever want company you can always study downstairs with us," she said."Thanks for the offer Mrs Valdez," I said."Study hard, yes? Get into a good college," she said, "But not too hard, you are still young, enjoy being young.""I'll try Mrs Valdez, thanks," I said."Such good manners," she said as I closed the door.The rice was hot and spicy, mixed with bell peppers and chilli. It went down good. I kept working, and as the hours crept on started wondering when Dad was getting home. I rubbed my eyes, yawned. closed the book knowing I was half way to being done.It must have been nearly midnight when I heard something at the door. A hard thud, then a 'shh-shh'. I took a spot at the kitchen table facing the door. There was a rattle of keys, then the door swung in. Dad stumbled in drunk, grinning from ear to ear, arm around a middle-aged peroxide blonde woman just as drunk and reeking of cheap perfume. The only stink stronger than her perfume was the alcohol coming off both of them. She was pulling out his shirt and playing at his belt buckle.Anger flushed through my gut."Hey kid, wow," Dad said, straightening up, "I thought you'd be in bed." He tried to hide the slur in his voice as well as his unsteady posture, planting a hand on the door frame for support. "Don't you've school in th' mornin'?"His cheeks were flushed pink, his eyes glazed, his smile tight. The woman giggled while pawing at him."Put junior to bed," she said, "And then I'll put you to bed.""You're drunk," I said through a tight jaw."I jus' had a couple," he said, "My friends bought them, can't be rude an' say no.""Who," my hand balled into a tight fist, "Who is she?""This is...this..." he looked down at her. She giggled. "Melanie?" he guessed, "Tiffany?""Sarah," she said."Sarah," he said with a nod, "We met at a bar."A sour taste filled my mouth."Hey, what's with that look?" he said, "You're angry."Angry was understating it. A raw fury shook inside me, feeding the white fire smouldering somewhere within. He was drunk, and he was with a strange woman. A woman whose name he didn't even know. A woman who wasn't Mom. He promised to stop drinking, now he was drunk and betraying Mom.I was past angry.>let it out, yell at him>keep it in, go to bed
>>4610015>let it out, yell at himSeems like a low-quality woman. Kick her out.
this probably was a bad time to run. I'll be back tomorrow. the vote will stay open until I do
>>4610015>keep it in, go to bed
>>4610015keep it inour dad needs to move on at some point, this isnt the way how to do it but faulting him for trying isn't going to do anything good. Just mention to him to lay of the drink and calm down in our room. I don't want Eric to accidentally his father in an outburst. This doesn't mean we let this slide, just no reason to sperg out. Talk to him later about it.
>>4610015>keep it in, go to bedWe've already told him how we feel about the drinking, it's up to him to make his own choices now.
>>4610015>keep it in, go to bedHe's on a long long road, and there's nothing we can say that will make him feel more ashamed than he will be when he's sober.
>>4610015>keep it in, go to bedDon't think talking to him now would do any goodWe can try in the morningAlso yeah sorry OP I was already asleep last night when you started.
I was too angry to talk. I got up from the kitchen table."I know that look," Dad said, but I ignored him, shrugging my shoulders inward as I stalked to my room."Hey, hey!" he called after me to know effect.The door slammed shut behind me. Sleep didn't come all at once as I lay in my bed, curled into a ball of anger that slowly molded into a bitter sadness.I heard shuffling from outside, Dad muttered 'you should go.'I lay there for some time trying not to listen but so perked by anger I heard every little sound, the shuffling of Dad's feet, the ring of the shower, finally his staggering march to bed, alone. I don't even remember falling asleep, only getting up early with a twisted gut.I packed my bag for school, made a small breakfast for myself, did some last minute homework while the radio in the kitchen played."And in other news Ixion Mobil has made headlines in next generation energy production, signing a new contract with the city of Chicago to provide-""Record lows in Arctic-""Singer Layla tops the charts with her new hit-"And so it went. By the time I had to get to school Dad still hadn't got out of bed. I popped in to make sure he was all right just to find him slumbering over the bedsheets, still knocked out from last night. He'd be fine, I figured. Anger still soured my gut but there was no point in waking him up. We could argue when I got home.I got into school before first bell. Kay was grounded so there was no seeing her outside school hours, meaning the only time we had to meet up was the ten minutes before class started.I met her under a tree and we made the best of it, kissing and pawing each other out of view of our classmates, her hot breath on my neck making me forget everything else as I held her tight, feeling her shape and heat pressed against me.When we walked to class a loud "Hey shit-shoes!" belted from behind me.Sitting with a couple of other rejects, Jeremy had his nasty smirk on, face bumpy with a new crop of pimples, his greasy hair grown out. The rejects snickered at his dig."Ignore him," Kay said, holding my hand tighter."Nice Barbie doll Shit-Shoes, does she come with the hand job grip?" he said.I stopped in my tracks. Power pumped with my rage, a fast heart beat."He's a gross little loser," Kay said, her eyebrows drawn together in anger, "He's not worth more trouble.""Is she smooth under the skirt?" Jeremy laughed hardest at his own crude suggestions, "Come on, why don't you show us? Give us a quick cheer routine, Barbie-doll. Why don't you -oh shit!"
I turned to see Ivy had him in a headlock, twisting his ear around until it burned bright red in the pinch of her fingers, his face white with pain. His fellow rejects were backing away."You got something to say, Kusick?" she sneered at him."Just leave him alone, he didn't do anything wrong!" a rat-faced girl said. Ivy turned a cruel little grin at her. She backed up, shutting up."Nothing clever to say now, Kusick?" Ivy said, "And here I thought a girl getting rough with you was your wildest dream." I thought she might twist his ear off."Bitch," spit flew from his teeth."Yeah," she said, then drove her fist hard in his stomach. He buckled over coughing. She let him go, stalking away. When she passed us she just flicked her hair and said, "Don't say a word."Kay watched her stalk away, burning red. "She didn't have to do that," she muttered.First class with Ms Flores. We took our seats as she scrawled on the white board. She wore black leggings and a loose t-shirt knotted at her belly with the word 'RUSH' printed across the chest, hair tied back in a long pony tail."So, you've all done your required reading?" she asked as we pulled out our books, smile bright and cheery. The school day went by with a slow tempo, the temperature low outside, the heat turned up in the classroom.By the time I got to Chemistry I was ready for the bell to ring. On the way I had the misfortune of running into Mr Sack, talking to another teacher as they patrolled the halls."No way does a girl like her actually listen to a band like Rush," Mr Sack said, "Rush is for losers and nerds. Guys like, hey, Miller, there he is." I stopped at Mr Sack's mean smile. "Actually made it to school today huh? See this kid, this is Eric Miller, one of my No Hopers. You going to be coming to the club tomorrow Miller?"If he meant weekend detention, I was hoping the answer was no, but I felt answering the question was a trap."Sure you are," he said, "Skipping class is a serious offense. You'll have to make it up tomorrow. See you bright and early!"Asshole, I thought. Mr Ballsack.I made it into Chemistry, dropping my homework off on Mr Nfume's desk."Made it to school today, Eric?" he said.I groaned. "Is everyone going to get on my case about that?" I said."If you keep missing school, maybe," Mr Nfume said, "Take a seat."I slumped down next to Dane, who was more doodling than taking notes.Behind us the trio of nerds gossiped. "You heard about the car crash on the I-88?" Ben said, "Its not what they're saying. Talk has it a Chinook was spotted landing on the highway.""Talk from who," Annie said, "Dougie Hicks? The Mars Expression? You need to stop listening to conspiracy theory podcasts."The hair on my arm prickled.
"Its true though," Ben whinned, "And Hotspur was spotted nearby with another para-freak. There's more to it.""Do you still believe Hotspur is some alien warrior sent to prepare our planet for invasion?" Annie scoffed."Its as good a theory as any," Chad offered without much enthusiasm."Enough chit-chat," Mr Nfume said, "I don't want to hear any more superhero talk in my classroom. And besides, everyone knows Hotspur is an escaped military experiment designed to fight alien threats."Ben looked ready to argue but kept his mouth clamped shut. The bell rang out. I packed my school bag, but before I could leave Mr Nfume called me over. Chad was waiting by his desk."So this is your tutor," he said, "Chad here is going to help you catch up on the particulars of Chemistry.""Hey Eric," Chad said with a friendly wave."Find some time over the weekend for a playdate or whatever it is you kids do," he said."I have dtention tomorrow, apparently," I said."Skipping school is a serious offense," Mr Nfume said, "Chad, can you come in tomorrow? You can make up detention with some in school tutoring.""Will do sir," Chad said, "See you then."I guess that was settled."I know this isn't fun, Eric," Mr Nfume said, "Maybe you feel its unfair, but you're lucky this school is committed to helping all our students. Do you think there's public schools on the south side willing to get your grade up?"I shrugged, "Maybe.""Yeah, maybe," Mr Nfume said, "I'll see you tomorrow for practice. You can go to 'detention' after."Now all I wanted was to go home.While stalking out of the school I came across Ivy hanging in the hallway."Hey," she said, swinging out to walk beside me."Hey," I said, "What's up?""It's Halloween tomorrow," she said, "Ayesha's party." When she walked she kept her eyes on her shoes, hands in her pockets."You still going?" I asked.Ivy nodded, not looking up. "Yeah, but, maybe you don't know but Halloween is Grace's favorite day of the year.""Mine too," I said."Like usually I take her trick'or'treating," she said, "But not this year. She's going to miss out.""So I was wondering if you could swing by and see her, you know, today," she said, "Bring some candy or something."I wanted to get home and talk to Dad about his drinking, figure this out. But the thought of a sick little girl missing out on her favorite day of the year? Yeah, it tugged at something inside me.>sorry but I have my own family drama to deal with>count me in, I'll see you there
>>4610571>count me in, I'll see you thereDad's a grown ass man, he knows what he needs to do
>>4610571>count me in, I'll see you there
>>4610571>count me in, I'll see you thereDad knows what he did wrong
"Yeah, of course," I said, "What kind of candy does she like?""Almond Joys," she said, "Or a Zagnut.""All right," I said.I could pick up candy bars anywhere but I made a point of going to Luis' store. Got to support local business, right? Outside D-Mark was having a smoke with Smokey, taking it easy with some beats pumping from the speaker hanging from Smokey's belt. A kid came up with a couple of crumpled up tens and Smokey went with him around the corner."How you doing Rico?" D-Mark said."Kickin' along," I said, heading in.The store had fake cobwebs hanging off everything, plastic bats and spiders dangling from the ceiling. Luis had a black robe with the hood raised, scythe in hand. Instead of the door chime a witch's cackle rattled out when I came in. He'd gone all out."Hey Eric, looking forward to Halloween?" he asked."Sure am," I said grabbing a couple of Zagnuts and an Almond Joy.Then the witch laughed again as the door swung in. Frankie the Nose, with Bruno and Salamander. My blood ran cold at the sight of Salamander, bent over to poke her nose around the shelves. Bruno cracked his knuckles, standing behind Frankie."You want something?" Luis asked, stepping close to the counter and pointedly not looking in my direction."A word," Frankie the Nose replied."Last time you came around looking for a word it didn't go so hot for you," Luis said."That's why I brought her," he said, thumbing at Salamander."Well hi Luis, good to see you again," Salamander said with a wave."I thought our beef got squashed," Luis said, "We had a sit down, sorted it out.""We did hombre, and it has been," Frankie said, "Our word is more friendly like, and not for you. We want you to pass a message along to the boyscout is all. Tell him we know about the highway job he rolled, and what he took. Our boss would like to meet with him and make an offer. Friendly, no bullshit.""And if I don't?" Luis said.Frankie shrugged. "If you don't, you don't. Can't say it'd be a good idea, our boss would be grateful."The witch cackled again. Smokey and D-Mark stepped in. Bruno turned to square up on them but they didn't blink, expressions flat. Whatever playfulness about them was gone, they looked like a couple of hard bangers now."Everything good in here?" D-Mark asked. Smokey put a hand to his belt line."This your security?" Frankie said with a smirk."Yeah, call me Quick Draw McGraw if you start shit," D-Mark said."I'm more the El Kabong type, if you feel me," Smokey said."They hang around," Luis said, leaning on the counter. Bruno had his chest out, smiling in the humorless way of a thug looking for a fight. Salamander popped open a pocket of chips, munching down while she watched. D-Mark and Smokey just kept staring at them, still as a pair of gargoyles.
"Well we aren't here to start shit," Frankie said, "Boss thought it was funny the way he punked the Cartel, but it makes him think the boyscout doesn't know how deep the ocean is. Let your friend know is all, could be good for his health. I'll be around tomorrow for an answer.""I'll tell him," Luis said.Frankie tipped his cap. They exited under D-Mark and Smokey's watchful glare. "Happy Halloween," Salamander said with a toothy grin.Luis sagged with relief. "You boys go on out of here," Luis said.When we were alone he smiled, tired. "You catch that?" he said."I caught it," I said."So what you think?" he said.>can't hurt to hear them out>screw 'em, they can hang
>>4610705>can't hurt to hear them out
"Can't hurt to hear them out," I said."It could be a trap," Luis said.I shook my head. "Doubt it, Frankie would be throwing around more threats if it was a trap. He isn't subtle.""Well I'll let them know," he said, ringing up the candy bars.I took a bus to the hospital as the sun started going down. It was creeping closer to winter, the days shortening. I had to hustle to get there before visiting hours closed out.By now I didn't need directions. I took the elevator up, got out in the children's wing.Heading down to Grace's room a fleshy middle-aged nurse came out, her red hair so bright and curly I thought it was a wig. Her name tag said 'Janice', she gave a warm smile as she passed."I had the most terrible vision," a woman called. I stopped."That's splendid!" a peppy male voice replied"No, it was about your Christmas. There was smoke... and fire!""That's not my Christmas! My Christmas is filled with laughter, and joy...and this, my Sandy Claws outfit. I want you to make it.""Jack, please listen to me. It's going to be a disaster!"A Nightmare Before Christmas played on the tv screen, the skeleton dancing around the zombie girl, oblivious to her fear. Grace coughed on the bed. Her eyes were bright red, sore against her pale face. They brightened as I came in."No, wait," she said, hitting pause on her controller, "Go outside then come back in.""O-kay," I said, stepping backwards.Sheets shuffled. "Ready!" she called.I stepped back inside.A white sheet with eyeholes cut out had replaced Grace on the bed. "Boo," the little ghost said.She pulled the sheet down, grinning. "Scared you?" she said."Terrified me," I said, pulling out the Almond Joy. I threw it on her lap. "Happy Halloween," I said. She pulled the wrapper open."King size? Nice, how'd you know?" she said."He had a hint," a voice behind me. Ivy came in with a paper cup of water.Grace munched on the candy bar. I offered Ivy one of the Zagnut bars."I'm good," she said, sipping her water."More for me," Grace said, grasping out a hand. I handed it over."It's not exactly trick'or'treating," Ivy said, "But it's the best I can do.""Oh tomorrow Janice and the nurses are going to take us through the hospital," Grace said, "We've been doing up costumes.""Are you well enough for that?" Ivy asked, eyebrows narrowed."It's a hospital Ivy," Grace said, thumping back in her bed, "If I can't go around in a hospital I can't go anywhere! I'll be in a wheelchair, Janice will be with me the whole time, it'll be fine!""Hmm," Ivy said. She looked a lot older in that moment of concern, older and tired."Let's just watch the movie," Grace said.
"I've always thought this was more a Christmas movie than a Halloween movie," I said."Somethings can pull double duty," Ivy said, settling into the bed behind her sister. Grace hit play, then patted a spot next to her. I siddled up as the skeleton dude started singing and dancing again. We watched in relative silence, Grace giggling at the jokes, growing breathless at the scary moments. When it reached the end though her breathing had grown sharp and ragged, a sickly look on her face."You okay?" I asked. She nodded, pressing a button, feeding morphine through a tube into her arm. She didn't look okay, she put a hand to her belly and looked like she might puke. A guilty feeling squirmed through me, wondering if it was because of the candy bar."It's been hurting a lot lately," she said, "So much I just sleep. They used to not let me use the button too much but they say its okay now, I can use it when I want it. I don't like it though, it makes it hard to um...think." Ivy rubbed her back, eyes large on her sister. Grace just smiled at the blank tv screen."Hey, do you want to come around for Thanksgiving too?" Grace asked, "Mom and Dad will be here for it. You can meet them. I might even be okay to go home for it. You'd like our house, its really big. We have a pool and everything. You can meet my horse. Well, its not my horse exactly and they keep her out at a stable but I ride her a lot, or I used to. Ivy can show you her guitars. It'll be really cool if you could come."Ivy caught my eye with a pleading look."Sure thing kid," I said. The bald little girl grinned, then lay back in her bedsheets. The morphine was taking over, her head starting to loll forward."It'll be nice," she yawned, blinking, "To go home..." Her small chest began to rise and fall in sleep.I got up, crumpling up the wrappers as I dropped them in a bin. Ivy did too. We walked together to the elevator."Thanks for coming," she said as we got on."It's no big deal," I said with a shrug. We waited in silence, floors ticking by."You move different you know," she said.I raised an eyebrow."When you're him, when you're dressed up," she said, "You become more intense, more focused, like a...like a wolf or something. A predator."I focused on the door, trying to ignore the pulse in my neck."I don't like it," she said, "You're fifteen too you know."I didn't feel fifteen. Sometimes I felt about a hundred years old."That's why I went with you," she said, "Not for revenge."I looked at her and she looked away, an uncomfortable expression on her face. Something a lot like anger burned inside me but, not anger exactly, a hot emotion that wanted to spit out.
The door opened."See you at Ayesha's," I said, stalking out of the hospital.I got home to find Hector hanging in the alleyway. The junky shivered on a chill breeze, coat tattered, thin beard wispy. Forecast promised early snow this year."Spare some bread man?" he said, holding out a hand. His voice was raw. He didn't recognize me.>give him some change, even a guy like him could use a little kindness>give him nothing, not after he'd held up Mrs Valdez
>>4610898>give him some change, even a guy like him could use a little kindnessIvy's right, we need to chill out a bit. Plus maybe if we give him change now he won't hold someone up for it later haha :(
>>4610898>give him some change, even a guy like him could use a little kindness
>>4610903How can we chill out? We're helping people, but we're also hurting people just as much and we're gonna keep seeing a lot of fucked up shit. As bad as it sounds we sort of have to be a predator.
>>4610917One area we could chill out in is how we dealt with the Creep. Beat him way too badly relative to the crimes he was committing.
"Here," I shovelled a couple of quarters out of my pocket, change from buying the candy bars.Hector was a lot of things but at the end of the day he was a guy sleeping out in the cold. No one should live like that, not even an animal."Couple of quarters?" he said, voice choked as he looked at the coins on his dirty palm like he needed more but more wasn't coming. He swallowed a raw lump, shuffling away. "Thanks." He slunk off down the alleyway.It was a depressing kind of good deed. As I went up the stairs my thoughts turned to Dad, and him coming home last night stinking drunk with a strange woman on his arm. I stopped at the door, voices coming through."It hasn't been easy, but we're both trying," Dad's voice, "Maybe I'm not doing my best. My kid, he's been keeping it together, keeping me together. Skipping school though, I didn't know about that.""It's why I thought to come over, talk to you one-on-one." I hesitated opening the door, it was Ms Flores' voice. "Eric is a good student, dilligent, he studies hard. Even missing days he gets his work done. But he is missing days Mr Miller, I'm worried about him.""Call me Joe," he said, "How's the coffee?""Good!" she said, voice perky."I try to get him off to school but I work construction," he said, "Some times that means early starts and late finishes. The woman downstairs, Mrs Valdez, keeps an eye on him sometimes but...""I understand," she said."It's good of you to come over Ms Flores," he said."Please, call me Carmen.""Carmen," he said slowly, like he was testing the word. "Eric's lucky to have a teacher like you take an interest Carmen.""I see a lot of potential in Eric," she said, "If I'm honest I was worried about coming over, I thought you might be...""A bum? Don't let the good looks fool you Carmen, I'm every bit the bum you think I am."She laughed. "I find that hard to believe.""Get to know me and you'll find out," he joked."Well..." she said. The way she said 'well' stuck me in place. Just the hint of something that rooted me to the spot. What did she mean by that."Can I ask you something, Carmen? A serious question.""Of course, go ahead.""Are you really a Rush fan or do you just like the logo?"She made a soft retching noise. "Oh the number of times I have to answer that question when I wear this shirt. Yes, some women do like Rush. Will you be annoyed if I said I prefer their 80s style? Power Windows, Signals, Grace Under Pressure?""I was more wondering because of your age," he said, "Rush has never been popular, y'know, not even when I was at college."
"Oh, fishing for my age?" she said, "Well if you need to know I'm twenty-seven, and Rush got me through college. I can even play a little on bass.""Impressive."I'd heard enough, my ears were burning. I went in.Ms Flores turned in her seat with a smile, Dad slouched in his."Hey kid," he said. They had a cup of coffee each, fresh. She'd been here a while."Eric," she said, "Sorry for the housecall, I wanted a word with your father about all the school you've been missing.""Yeah," I said, "Well that's him."I didn't know what I was feeling, equal parts anger and jealousy."I should go," she said, getting up. She placed a card on the table. "If you'd like to finish the coffee sometime."Dad smiled, sliding the card over. We both watched her walk away.When the door was closed he exhaled, eyes wide."Jesus Christ," he said, turning over her card, "Do you think that's her real number? I mean...Jesus, I never had a teacher like that. No wonder you're in love with her."I blushed over the seething mix of jealousy and anger.>yeah I think its her real number, are you going to call her?>I think she isn't Mom and she's way too young for you
>>4611054>yeah I think its her real number, are you going to call her?
"Yeah I think it's her real number," I said, "Are you going to call her?"He flicked the card before sliding it into his wallet."Do you think I should?" he asked, "I care about what you think, Eric.""Cared enough last night to come home stinking drunk with a stranger on your arm," I said.He frowned. "That was...I was out with some work friends, we went to a bar just to watch a game but...I know I said I wouldn't drink but I slipped up. Then the woman...Tiffany?""Sarah," I said"Sarah, we got to talking and she was nice and I...I've been lonely, Eric. Even before your mom...I...she was sick for a long time." He choked down his coffee rather than show his emotions, a look of pain in the back of his eyes."You don't have to make excuses," I said, maybe harsher than I should have."You know I never was with anyone before your mom," he said, "I'm not used to this, getting phone numbers. Even at your age I was kind of a loser. And your teacher, she is pretty."Carmen Flores, yeah she was. Every straight guy, bi, and lesbian at school had a thing for Ms Flores.He laughed. "What am I thinking? I'm no prize, she was just being nice is all, wants to keep in touch for your sake," he said, "A pretty young woman with an old guy like me? No way.""But you and me, Eric, we do need to talk about you skipping school," he said, "I gave you a day off last week, now you cut behind my back? It's not cool, kid."He wasn't wrong, even if he didn't know why I cut out from school. Turns out criminals didn't give me the benefit of planning all their heists out of school hours."Now I'm not going to ground you," he said, "Ms Flores already told me you already have detention tomorrow, but we need to work something out. Something that will make sure you get to school. I'll let you know what it is on Sunday.""All right," I said."Now I don't know, go to your room," he said.Go to my room? I'd go to my room all right. I stalked through the apartment and slammed my door shut. I sat alone in a foul mood, working through my homework and getting no where.My phone buzzed with messages.Kay - Yo, you up. Dad's too much of a boomer to take my phone ;)Me - Yeah.Kay - Miss you.Me - Miss you too.Then she sent a picture, her smiling, leaning back on her bed. God she was cute. I sent her a selfie back. It was hard to stay mad with my girlfriend sending me pics that got hotter with each one, until they started flirting with illegal. It got me sweating with a nervous look to the door. It was the worst possible time for someone to walk in.Then a text.Kay - you wearing a costume to Ayesha's party?>yeah, I was planning to>nah, costumes aren't my thing
>>4611152>yeah, I was planning toCostumes are definitely our thing
>>4611152>yeah, I was planning to
>>4611152>nah, costumes aren't my thing
Me - yeah I was planning toKay - make it something sexy. want to see mine?Me - sureShe sent a picture of her with fake vampire teeth, pretending to bite her teddy bear.I smiled, putting my phone against my forehead.Whatever else was going on in my life, in my personal life or in the costume, I was still a lucky guy.-I'll be back tomorrow
>>4611241Thanks for running!
decide Eric's costume for the party
>>4611263rocky balboaironic slutty catfrankensteinbruce springsteen
>>4611263>decide Eric's costume for the partyShitty/dollar store Hotspur, the occasion is too great not to take it.
>>4611557Just use the old costume
>>4611557That's an awful idea, why would we make any sort of association with Hotspur? It's just asking someone to make the connection.
>>4611263Werewolf, to match Kay's vampire but not copy it
Saturday was going to be full. I had basketball practice in the morning, then straight afterward detention. Mr Nfume had stepped in to let me take a class in Chemistry instead, so at least I didn't have to suffer under Mr Sack like the rest. Still, it wasn't how I wanted to spend my weekend.Add to the fact it was pouring down hard outside, sheets of freezing rain washing over the city, just added to the miserable atmosphere. As cold as it was outside meant inside was too warm, the heat turned up with the windows shut trapping it in for a cloying, sweaty temperature that made the coats we had to wear outside a prison.As I was getting ready to go I pulled a notebook out of my desk and saw the stone I'd pilfered from the federal van sitting in my desk drawer. I had no idea what amount of trouble it was bringing, I'd kept my head down over the last couple of days. It was a mystery with a question I didn't even know how to ask.Whatever it was it seemed nothing more than an ordinary if vaguely pretty stone. An ordinary stone people had killed and died for.>take the stone to school>leave it here
>>4611794>take the stone to schoolmight be super paranoid of me but I want it on our person at all times just in case someone breaks in and sees it or w/e
>>4611794>take the stone to schoolWe really need to figure out what we're doing with this thing.
>>4611794>take the stone to school
I slipped the stone into my bag. For now I wanted to keep it close at hand. Call me paranoid but I was worried about Dad finding it or someone breaking in and stealing it.Outside the cold rain came down hard. I popped open an umbrella, trudging toward the bus stop. Somewhere thunder rumbled. The good thing about days like this is it kept people in doors. Of course that meant for a pretty dull Halloween, only the bravest kids would be trick'or'treating tonight.At school I hooked into the change rooms for morning basketball practice. Another good thing about the downpour was this - Saturday morning was cheerleader practice, but because of the rain they had to practice in doors, so we were sharing a space. Which meant I got to see Kay kick her legs up in her short skirt."Focus Eric," Mr Nfume said when my gaze started to stray down that side of the court.Peyton was leading her team through a routine, a team that now had big, bearded Kemal standing in green and gold. He hoisted Kay up overhead, somehow balancing her on one hand by the belly. I heard her laugh at being so effortlessly picked up before being let down. He did it with a couple girls. Jessica even managed to stand on one foot on the palm of his hand, her own arm raised with a 'woo!' before hopping down.Dude was strong. He wasn't the only guy on the cheer squad but I'd bet he was the only straight one.Meanwhile we were doing bear crawls."See, Kemal is smart," Rufus huffed, walking on his hands and feet next to me, "Getting to throw around pretty girls while we huh while we sweat!""Yeah but if we win they'll be all over us," Tim said, sweat crawling down his broad nose."With Hunter down you better pick up the slack then," Rufus said."Shit I would if I wasn't dragging your black ass," Tim replied."You're the wrong shade of a paper bag to be talking like that, brother," Rufus joked as we turned, going back the other way."If you can talk you aren't working," Mr Nfume said, "Looks like I need to set you boys on burpees."Goddamnit."You had to talk," I muttered."Easy for you to say, you already got a cheerleader," Tim said as we got up, a quick breather before the next work out, "Hell, sweat some more maybe she likes watching you exercise."I had to admit, it made me work out harder knowing she was watching. But by the time we were done with burpees I felt ready to puke. We stumbled over to Howie, who handed out water."Good hustle," the wide-eyed boy said, "Good hustle.""Thanks Howie," Rufus said, shotting back the cold water. Whatever cold rain was coming down outside we were sweating."Lincoln, Albert, Donald, run defence. Tim, Rufus, Eric, offence. Let's see some ball work out there. Games aren't won by heroes, it takes a team," Mr Nfume said, blowing his whistle.
I wiped away my sweat, jogging out with Tim and Rufus, forming a trio. Normally we'd run these plays with Hunter, but with his arm still healing we had to make do with Timothy. The string bean was probably a better overall player than I was but there was something about operating in a unit that picked up your game.When practice ended I was ready to call it a day, particularly after a hot shower. Still it was a good chance to steal a moment with Kay before breaking for detention. The basketball team was more than happy to mingle with the cheer squad too."Yo nice stuff out there," Kemal intercepted me before I could get to Kay, "Looking crisp with those three-pointers.""Thanks man," I said, "You enjoying the cheerleader experience?""Homie I'm all about cheering on my friends," he said with a big grin."And getting to throw around Jessica doesn't hurt," I said. His smile turned sly.Kay jogged over, cheeks pink with sweat. "There's my b-ball hero," she said. The rest of the cheer squad were around Howie. Something about him pulled a big sister instinct out of girls, those that weren't assholes anyway. Kay flicked back a stray lock of auburn hair behind her ear. "You looked good out there.""Same, so did you," I said."Well I've got Daddy waiting in the car to drive me straight home so," she popped up on her toes to kiss my cheek. She backed away grinning. "Have fun in detention.""Detention again?" Kemal said, "Dude, you're becoming a real delinquent.""It's not like that," I said."It's all good," he said, "I'm just surprised is all. I hear you get up to all kinds of wild stuff, fighting all the time. You don't look the type. If you ever want pointers you know I train Shotokan Karate. I'm always happy to learn you something.""I've been doing some boxing," I said, "Actually I got a friendly match coming up.""Dude, boxing? That's sick!" he said, "I can totally see you as a welterweight. 'Pretty Boy' Eric Miller, ducking and weaving.""Maybe we can get some of the cheer squad out to support you," he said."I don't know if my coach would dig that," I said. But it would be cool for Kay to watch me fight, I thought."Anyway, the squad's going out for milkshakes. Later gator," he punched my arm, heading back over to the gaggle of sweaty cheerleaders.Lucky motherfucker. I was headed to the chemistry labs, bag over one shoulder, to be tutored by Chad.Chad was waiting with books ready. We were doing a thing on proteins and I was a bit behind. Chad wasn't alone, his pals Annie and Ben were hanging out the back of the classroom playing on their DSs. They didn't look up when I came in."Hey there Eric," Chad shook me hand, "Ready to embark on a scientific adventure?"
"Nerd," Annie called without looking up."Virgin," Ben added.Chad wilted."Yeah I'm good," I said, "Kind of tired from practice though.""Jock," Annie called."Meathead," Ben added."Ignore them," Chad said, "I try to."He started in on a lecture about the function of proteins. I tried to keep up.As he was flipping through his notes on a touch screen I saw a folder marked 'Chicago Explosion'. Now that was interesting.>change the subject to the Chicago Explosion>keep my mouth shut, just listen to his lecture
>>4611908>change the subject to the Chicago Explosion
>>4611908>keep my mouth shut, just listen to his lectureNot sure what these kids could possibly know. Other than the ridiculous conspiracy theories they spout in class
>>4611918It's a start at least.
well that's a tieI'll leave it open a little longer
>>4611908>keep my mouth shut, just listen to his lecture
I have to deal with something that could take a couple of hours. I will be back though
I don't get it, what's the harm in checking out what info he's collected on the explosion?
>>4611983Takes up useful time we need to use to learn chemistry
I don't think discounting their research because they're "kids" makes much sense when Eric is 15 himself. And I haven't seen any viable alternative ways to look into the explosion.
Rolled 1 (1d2)I'm back and its tied againI'm going to flip a coin1 is ask about the explosion2 is study
"The Chicago Explosion," I said, "You guys have been looking a lot into that. Weren't you taking readings or something a couple weeks ago in the Loop?""Yeah, we ran into you. You were down there with Kaylee, right? We've been doing some original research," Chad said, "But it doesn't really have anything to do with Chemistry.""I mean isn't a big scientific mystery?" I said, "No one knows what it was and right after all these guys like Hotspur and Salamander show up.""Correlation is not causation..." Chad said."Oh please," Annie lowered her DS mid-battle with a Shelmet, "It absolutely is the origin of the para-freaks. The 'explosion' was a rogue military sattelite breaking up during atmospheric re-entry. It's payload was a biological agent meant for experimenting in next-human development. It broke apart over the city, scattered mutational particles across the population.""How is that more credible than aliens?" Ben said, putting down his own DS, "You've got no evidence it was a government experiment, but I'm the conspiracy nut."Annie raised a finger. "MK Ultra," she raised another, "COINTELPOL" a third, "The Stargate Project," then a fourth, "Air America.""Yeah, so what?" Ben said, "What about Project Blue Book?""The point is our government has a history of clandestine and illegal experiments on the civilian population," Annie corrected her glasses, "I'm convinced Chicago has become a petrie dish for transhuman experimentation all with oversight from the various letter organizations under a special commitee set up in Washington.""Or its aliens," Ben said.She rolled her eyes. "Or its aliens.""Whatever it is we do have some tangible clues," Chad said, opening his tablet folder. It was a few pdfs and jpgs. He opened up a picture. It was a white blur and in the middle of the blur a black dot. "We found this online. There are a bunch of blogs and twitter feeds dedicated to unraveling the mystery of the explosion. This is the best photograph we could find of it right before it blew up." He zoomed in on the blurry dot. There was the faint outline of a building behind it, just viewable through the light bloom."Based on some calculations we think this is the source of the explosion," he said, "It's a physical something, maybe a meteorite or like Annie thinks, part of a satellite. It's roughly three feet wide but getting a sense of its actual shape is impossible."I don't know how big exactly the stone in my bag was but it was not three feet."What are the other pictures?" I asked."Oh," he thumbed across to the next one. Shark's torso rose from the water from behind, gray hide pitted and scarred. The next was a still of Salamander, kicking through a cement block. The next showed Misfit on her motorbike down an empty road, popping off fireworks. "Just what we could find of various para-freaks throughout the city." The next was me, stalking down the school halls.Ivy was right, I did look intense.
"There's rumors of more," Annie said, "Some toxic sludge guy on the southside. Supposedly a telekinetic moving around. I heard there was someone seen flying over farmland out west.""Who knows how many haven't even come into their powers yet," Chad said."You think so?" I asked, "Don't you think they'd have got them right away?"Chad shrugged. "Maybe, but how would you know? Say you're bullet proof, how do you find that out without taking a bullet? Heck, I could be a para-freak and not know it."He kept his voice to casual on the last part, but I heard a faint hope."But that's not what they are," Ben said, "They aren't people, not anymore. All you're seeing is the host body for the alien parasite that took over. You can't trust them, they aren't our friends.""If I could just get my hands on something physical," Chad said, his hands twisting into claws, "We could really figure something out.">mention the stone>keep quiet about it
>>4612088>keep quiet about it
>>4612088>mention the stoneHow else will we figure out what this is?
I really don't wanna go into this meeting with the outfit without some independent research of what the stone is. Do you guys have any other ideas for how to find out?
>>4612088It's locked in but I'll add legitimacy to >keep quiet about itand also we should bring up that para-freak is an offensive term. They should get out of the habit of using it lest they accidently call Salamander that to her face or something.
Whatever theories Chad had concocted I wasn't ready to show the stone to him or his friends."Shouldn't you be teaching this dunderhead chemistry?" Annie said, putting away her DS.Chad shook out of his thoughts. "Oh yeah," he said, "So Eric, what do you think of proteins?""Interesting stuff," I said. It was really. I'm not a science head but I appreciate it when I understand it.Ben framed us with his fingers. "The Virgin Chad with the Chad Eric," he said."I'm not a Chad," I said."Oh sure, you're just a star basketball player with a cheerleader girlfriend," Ben teased, "Just a complete loser like the rest of us.""I'm not a virgin," Chad snapped."Oh?" Ben said as Annie blushed."No I mean, I'm not a loser," Chad replied, blushing, "I'm still, you know, whatever.""You are absolutely a loser," Ben said, putting an arm around his friend, "I'm a loser, Annie's a loser. We're the biggest losers at school. Even Jeremy has his pack of ghouls. Remember my middle school nickname, the one you gave me?"Chad sighed, hanging his head in defeat, "Obi-wan."I didn't really think of myself that way. A 'Chad' or a jock or whatever. I guess it was kind of true when it was put that way by Ben though. My friends were certainly on the more popular side, though being sophomores we were pretty low on the social order."Call yourself a loser if you want, I don't care about that crud," Annie said, "They'll all be working for us in twenty years anyway.""Or dead by our hands, ahahaha!" Ben laughed in faux-villainy."You guys," Chad whined, looking at me like his credibility was slipping away.I hope they knew Kay had an A average and Ayesha was on the honor roll, and science might be my weakest subject but I was doing pretty well at everything else.Whatever, they probably needed some kind of fantasy to get through the day. We wrapped up the lecture. I had a party to get ready for."If you're interested in this stuff, the Chicago Explosion, we can add you to our Discord group," Chad offered."It's secret group," Annie chided, "Bad enough you already added Hunter.""Come on, Hunter's cool," Ben said."He's a moron," Annie hissed.>that sounds cool, send me a link>no thanks, too much conspiracy for me
>>4612171>that sounds cool, send me a link"Stop calling yourselves losers. That's something a loser would do."
>>4612171>that sounds cool, send me a link
>>4612171>Get the linkMight as well, doesn't take much investment from us to join a discord group
"Yeah man, count me in," I said, "But you know, you guys shouldn't call yourselves losers. That's loser talk, and you guys are okay."Then half way to the door I looked back. "And maybe cut it with the 'para-freak' stuff. It sounds like a slur. These are people we're talking about right?""Maybe, maybe not," Ben said."I'll see you guys online or on Monday," I said, waving as I went out.The other detention serving rejects got out at the same time. We had to sign out to make sure the school knew we had come and gone. Mr Sack took our signatures with a glouting look."You're welcome back at the No Hopers Club any time," he told us as we left."Ballsack," Brian coughed into his fist as he limped along in his crutches.Mr Sack let it go with a glare. We exited into the ongoing deluge, gutters churning with rain water as thick dark clouds roiled overhead.I had to get my costume together for tonight. I had no budget to hire anything or buy stuff, so I'd have to put something together out of what I had. Figured I'd go as Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas. I had a black suit, left over from the funeral. A white shirt underneath with a black bow-tie. It wasn't perfect but it would have to do. It was kind of a goth look I guess, but with my light brown hair cut short at the sides and large blue eyes I wasn't exactly Mr Gloomy. More like an earnest funeral director. I guess that was kind of goth."-escaped convict, armed and dangerous in the Cook County area," the radio said, but I missed most of the broadcast. I sent Dad a text telling him where I'd be, then went out in the maelstrom.By the time I got there the sky was so dark I couldn't tell if it was five o'clock or ten. The storm grew furious, lightning crackling among the darkness with an ear splintering shriek, thunder booming down.Wet leaves caught my leg as I braved the wind and rain up to Ayesha's front door. I rang the bell.Running drummed down the stairs. A lock clicked, the door swung inward."Hey Eric, you're early," Ayesha said. She wore a blue dress, her hair bunched back from her face. "What's the look, some kind of mortician?""Jack Skellington," I said, "And you're...?""Katara from Avatar," she said with a smile and short bow, "I had it left over from C2E2 last year. It doesn't fit as good though, I'm like three sizes smaller now.""Hey my man!" her dad Eddie said. He wore a dashiki and colorful cap, round glasses with red lenses. "Looking sharp. Robert Smith, right? Got to tease out that hair though.""No one knows who that is Dad," Ayesha said, rolling her eyes."So I'm the first here?" I said."Yeah, Mom's just gone to pick up some snacks. What kind of pizza do you like? We're ordering in.""Whatever is fine," I said.
A knock on the door and Hotspur walked in. Originial street wear Hotspur, only I never wore a name brand hoodie like that or the latest Jordans. It was kind of a surreal moment."Yo," Rufus said, pulling down the goggles, "Am I early?""That's dope," Ayesha said."Yeah, there's a lot of Hotspurs out tonight," Rufus said, "It was hard getting the goggles, they were practically sold out."I couldn't help but think anyone dressed as me had a death wish. I'd dodged plenty of bullets lately, but I don't think some college student would be so lucky."What up!"Another Hotspur came in, this one with the new look but cheaper, a rented costume and tacky as hell. Zeke grinned as he pulled up the card board face mask."Cool look Eric, Men-in-Black right?" he said."Jack Skellington," I said. He shrugged."So what are we watching?" he said."We're still waiting for Daphne and Ivy," Ayesha said, but as she said it Daphne rolled up.She was done up like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, her face painted blue, a red wig over her own curly hair. She had stitches painted over her neck and at the corner of her lips. Of course Sally was a waif where as Daphne had a bit more heft to her."For you," she said, handing Ayesha a rose."That's amazing Daph!" Ayesha said."Thanks," she said with a little twirl, "Any excuse to dress up. Oh, are you Jack Skellington? Brain twins.""Yeah, meant to be," I said, adjusting the tie.Ayesha's dad moved us into their frunchroom."We'll move upstairs when the movies start," Ayesha said, pouring out some pop, "I figured we could start with Sleepy Hollow then move onto something gorier, if you guys are up for it. The original Dawn of the Dead, then Hellraiser. Work our way through until morning.""Got to rock it 'til morning," Zeke said.There was another knock on the door. The last guest to arrive.She strode in sheathed in tight leather, the pink paintball gun strapped to her thigh, zipper open to her bust, her hair lashed back in a ponytail. When she saw us she stopped, a hand placed to her hip, and sighed."Wow, I misjudged the vibe," Ivy said with an embarassed grin. She grabbed her zipper and drew it all the way up, right under her chin.Zeke dropped his cup, staring."That's a cool Black Widow," Ayesha offered. Ivy shook the red belt buckle with a smile. I don't remember the movie costume being that tight."Thanks," she said, "I brought some drinks by the way. So is this everyone? Where's the princess?""Kay's grounded," I said through a tight throat. Ivy pursed her lips, tutting. Very tight.Ayesha's dad came in, saw Ivy, then looked away. "That's a very uh mature costume there Ivy," he said, "I think I'll just...go cut a lemon or something."
Ayesha led us to her room upstairs. A big stuffed giraffe sat in one corner beside a reading nook, a bookcase over filled with paperbacks and comics. She had a flatscreen tv set up with cushions spread out on the floor beside her bed. When I closed the door I was confronted with a blown up picture of myself as Hotspur, standing tall glancing over my shoulder in the school hallway. It was flustering to say the least."Three Hotspurs in one room," Ivy mused, looking at me looking at the poster. "So what are you, a mortician?""Jack Skellington," I said as Ayesha handed Daphne a bowl of popcorn. She set up the stream on her playstation, the rest of us finding seats. Lightning crackled outside."Spooky season," Zeke said, taking a seat next to the rain drenched window.We sat through Sleepy Hollow, then onto Day of the Dead. Ayesha offered trivia at every other scene."Oh cool fact, that zombie was not supposed to walk down the up escalator but he did it anyway," she said, "That's good acting."Daphne squirmed at every spot of blood and blood curling scream, and had to look away when guts were pulled out on screen. Ayesha grinned, munching popcorn."So anyone want a drink?" Ivy offered, pouring from the coke bottle she brought.Ayesha took a sip then stopped. "Dude," she said."Oh its rum and cola," Ivy said, "Looks the same doesn't it? Its a trick I picked up for sneaking alcohol into school.""Dude, that's awesome," Zeke said, taking a cup."What about you?" she asked me, "Going to be a square?""I thought we were keeping this night PG," I said."Ayesha's drinking," Ivy said as Ayesha took a second, longer sip.>screw it, I'll have a drink>why is everyone so desperate to get me drunk?
>>4612292>No thanksI feel like it would be in character for Eric to lash out, but hopefully he can contain his anger
>>4612292>screw it, I'll have a drink
ok I've got to go. I'll leave this vote open until I'm back tomorow
>>4612292>why is everyone so desperate to get me drunk?(exhasperated)
>>4612292>why is everyone so desperate to get me drunk?
See I’m torn cause I think private drinking with friends over movies is a much different situation than party drinking, and while I do think it’s commendable not to want to repeat Dad’s mistakes I don’t think throwing away every chance to have fun or let loose is the way to do it, besides we’re a fucking superhero we’re already better than he is. But on another hand if we’re gonna drink for the first time I’d really like to see a scene of that with Kay being there. Yeah I’m not coming up with any decision rn, I’ll come back tomorrow and decide but if we do decide not to drink could you guys do the regular option instead of he exasperated one.
Guys, we don't have to get wasted. Having a drink with friends is normal and fine, don't be square.
>>4612292>screw it, I'll have a drinkdon't let our baggage make us miss out on being a teen
>>4612623Fuck it, changing my vote to supportHopefully Alc would be an easier way to source our calories. Plus, as the other characters are saying, we're only 15. Ms. Valdez herself said that "you are still young, enjoy being young." Can't be a tight ass all the time
>>4612653Idk about using it for fuel. Being drunk and using super strength does not mix.
>>4612663Didn't Misfit say something along the lines of not being able to get drunk anymore? Found it:>"Don't worry, I can't actually get drunk," she said, "Not properly, not anymore. Something about my power burns through alcohol but I need it, y'know, after I've used it."Who knows? This could be our emergency power supplyWhat would Hotspur drink?
"Screw it, pour me a drink," I said, handing her my paper cup."Just kick back and chill," Ivy said with a smile, pouring it out.Rum and coke didn't taste much like alcohol. I took a long sip. Half way through the first cup I felt a light buzz. Was I drunk. Nah, I wasn't drunk. I felt normal. Positively nurmal. I smiled, it was hard not to smile. Why not smile? The rain was coming down hard outside but here I was, surrounded with friends on Halloween, all that was missing was Kay.Kay, man I missed her. I checked my phone for messages but nada."What's this movie?" Zeke asked as Ayesha queued something up."Exorcist 3, the best Exorcist," Ayesha said."I didn't know you were into horror movies," Zeke said."There's a lot you don't know about me Ezekial," she replied, pressing play. She sat back in a cushion, lip of her cup pressed under her chin, smiling, cheeks glowing. I watched her watch the movie. She really was a good friend. Just kind of great in general. And cute. And...I took another sip."So how you doin' Ivy?" Rufus said, leaning on Ayesha's dresser. Ivy brushed back a wisp of hair behind her ear."Good, you?" she said."Doin' better now," he said, slurping the drink. Man it was weird seeing Rufus dressed up as me. He didn't even know it. Ivy knew it though. Did she like Rufus? I don't know."So where's Dane and Hunter?" Daphne asked, "Weren't they supposed to be here?""The storm scared Dane off, and Hunter's at a senior party," Zeke said, "Want me to call them, see if they can come over? Storm's kind of letting up."Daphne sighed. "It's just a shame Kay isn't here. Why did she get grounded anyway?""You can thank the bad boy over there," Ayesha said, smiling up at me, "He's nothing but trouble."I blushed, hid it with a long sip."The princess only lives a couple of streets away," Ivy said, "Maybe we could sneak over to say hi."We could, I thought. We really could. The storm was letting up, and it would be cool to see her even for a second. But if we got caught I don't see Mr Whitman taking it well.>let's do it, screw Officer Whitman!>better not, can't risk getting caught
>>4612958>better not, can't risk getting caughtLet's not risk getting shot
>>4612958>better not, can't risk getting caughtLet's make this our last drink, then switch to water.We are clearly *not* immune to alcohol.
>>4612958>better not, can't risk getting caughtHe would literally shoot us
>>4612958>better not, can't risk getting caught
>Better not, can’t risk getting caught, send her a group picture with the text, “Happy Halloween, Kay, we’re thinking about you.”
"Her dad keeps a gun in his study," I said, "And he does not like me. Going around there on a stormy night is asking to be shot."Still, it gave me an idea."Hudle up folks," I said, pulling out my camera, "Let's take a photo."We bunched up in front of the tv smiling. Ayesha put up the peace sign. Rufus put an arm around my shoulder.'Happy Halloween Kay, we're all thinking about you.'It wasn't long before I got a text back, 'you guys!' with an exaggerated crying emoji.We settled in to watch the next movie, Exorcist 3. If I had to be honest it was more creepy than scary, and there was one dream scene that was really weird. It spooked Ayesha though, she grabbed Ivy's arm at one point."How many times have you seen this?" Ivy asked, a little incredulous."A couple times, leave me alone its scary!" she said."Could have used more gore," Zeke said, "At least the first one had the vomit scene.""You don't appreciate good film making," Ayesha replied."I actually liked that one," said Daphne as Ayesha went looking for the next movie."You guys want to play a party game?" Zeke said, waving the empty bottle around, "We got three guys, three girls. Perfect number for spin the bottle.""What is this, middle school?" Ivy asked, "Is it seven minutes in heaven next?""That's not a no," Zeke teased. I was surprised by the flush of pink in Ivy's cheeks.Then my phone buzzed.My other phone.Madeline Grant - Where are you right now?I stared at the message, then tried to tap out a message, struggling with the keys. The letters just wouldn't stay in the right order.Me - at a friend's. Why?Madeline Grant - The Creep broke out earlier today, killing a guard. I just found out and thought you'd want to know.My drunk haze evaporated in a cold rush. Thunder boomed outside.I looked to my friends, giggling as they formed a circle with a bottle between them."You joining in Eric?" Zeke asked."We should turn off the lights," Daphne said self conciously.I squeezed the phone in my grip. Ivy smiled, but watching me started to frown. 'Is everything ok?' her glance asked.'No,' my eyes replied.The Creep had an obsession with Ayesha, and he'd killed someone now. Would he come hunting for her?>play it normal and join in the game>make an excuse to stand guard
>>4613069>make an excuse to stand guardMan I got a girlfriend I can't play this game.
>>4613083So I completely forgot that Zeke suggested to play Spin the Bottle so yeah I’ll change my vote since I can’t delete the previous one. >Say no to the game “If you really wanna see gore just imagine what Kay would do to me if I played.” Wait for them to get suitably buzzed and distracted before sneaking out to stand guard.
"I've got a girlfriend, I can't be playing games like that," I said. Which was true, but also I didn't want to get distracted. "You guys have fun though.""What, scared you might accidentally kiss a boy?" Ivy teased, but her eyes remained serious, probing me for more about what was wrong. I had nothing to offer."What?" Zeke said, "I don't know about that rule.""The bottle decides," Ivy said, "Don't chicken out too Zeke, you only have a one in four chance of kissing a guy.""Russian roulette has better odds," Rufus complained, but neither of them budged.I went over to the window, watched the rain running down the glass. There was nothing to see outside but the darkness and the outline of a tree branch bowing in the wind. Even the street lights were swallowed up by the rain. My good mood was gone, replaced with tight apprehension and a staring gaze."I'll go first," Ayesha offered. No doubt Zeke and Rufus were holding their breath."Well," Ivy said, "I guess fair is fair."I was worried but I turned my head slightly to see Ayesha lean across the circle toward Ivy. My throat closed as they- the sound of leaves rustling snapped my attention back around to the window. Was there a shape in the dark, sitting on the tree branch?"I need to use the bathroom," I said, going to the door."Downstairs to the left," Ayesha said.I closed the door behind me. I was lying of course, though I did go downstairs. My nerves were peaked. This was not a place for Hotspur to mysteriously appear, but I had to protect ny friends. I got out my phone and sent a text to Ivy, filling her in on the details. She sent back an >:(Downstairs I heard her parents talking from the kitchen."-the shotgun upstairs," her dad said, "The cops said he might come here. They're sending a squad car through the neighborhood just in case.""How are they going to spot an invisible boy?" her mom said, "Maybe we should end the party, send her friends home.""Come on Afeni, that'll only scare her," he said, "The police just called as a precaution.""And you trust the police?" Afeni said."No, I mean, not much," he replied, "Either way we have a gun. You don't need to see him with a good enough spread.""Let's hope it doesn't come to that."Lightning burst outside, bright through the dark windows with an ear splitting crackle. The lights inside winked off, plunging the house into complete darkness. My heart dropped. I heard a gasp upstairs."...I'll check the breakers," Mr Carver said, "Maybe switch on the solar battery. It has to be good for something, right?""Be careful," Mrs Carver said.I stood in their hallway, listening. This didn't feel like a coincedence.>roll 3 x 1d100 DC 75
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>4613163Wonder if our beating made him snap.
Rolled 47 (1d100)>>4613163rollin
Rolled 34 (1d100)>>4613163
that's a fail
Thunder rattled the windows. The backdoor swung open, letting in a gust of rain water. Did something move through it, or was my imagination firing on paranoia?"Mr Carver?" I called."Eddie?" Mrs Carver called.Something came into the doorway, then fell with a hard thump, a soft moan."Is everything okay down there?" came a nervous voice from the stairway.A split of lightning lit the doorway. Mr Carver lay groaning, a bloody welt on the back of his head.I gasped, then raised my arms just in time as something hard swung for me, an invisible weight cracking against my forearms."Is Ayesha home?" a voice called from no where, "I've come to join the party."I looked around, breathing hard, heart thumping.Something struck my side. I buckled hard with a bark of pain."I know you. Eric Miller with the dead mom. I know your girlfriend. I know everything about her, every inch.""Son of a bitch," I spat, stepping around.The invisible bat struck my leg and I dropped to a knee. Hot vomit rushed up my throat. I barely held it down."Eddie!" Mrs Carver screamed. She stepped into the corridor, horrified at her husband. "Ayesha lock your door! Ayesha!" A scream from upstairs.Wind howled through the open door, wet leaves scattering down the hallway."They think I'm just a joke, the guard thought so too. Until I choked the life out of him."I heard something drag up the stairs, dragged across the ground. Pain throbbed behind my knee cap. A flush of power dulled it to nothing."Come on Ayesha, I've already seen everything, why hide?" the Creep called, "Are you all bundled up with your girlfriends? Oh please say you are."I dragged my leg up the stairs. A hard thump on the door. Over and over, harder and harder, then the door began to splinter, the wood panels break apart."Trick or treat!" he called."Trick," Ivy said. I saw her through him, between the others and the door, pink paintball gun drawn. A pink paintball exploded over his face."Bitch!" pink paint smeared his cheek, "Cunt! I'll ruin you, I'll-"A second paintball burst on his chest.He stepped inside, everyone inside pushed back. Ayesha wept, Daphne was deathly pale, Rufus and Zeke crouched with them, terror bright in their eyes. Ivy glared."Hey Creep," I wheezed. The pink dot turned. "We ain't finished."I raised my fists.>roll 3 x 1d100+10 dc 75
Rolled 82 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4613232start with probing jabs to get a feel for where exactly his head is relative to the pink dot, then hit him with a haymakerreally fishing for an extra dice bonus with this write in lmao
>>4613235shit I glossed over the part where the paint was already on his face. at least I rolled well
Rolled 38 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4613232
avoid a crit fail and this is a pass
>>4613237Great roll you saved our asses. Now let's beat a pervert and shove that bat where the sun doesnt shine.
>>4613245don't forget to roll, we need a full set of 3 rolls
>>4613252to roll you put dice+1d100 in the option box
Roll 1d100 + 10
>>4613254put dice+1d100+10 in the options field
Rolled 47 + 10 (1d100 + 10)
>>4613258there you go!okay with this: >>4613235its a pass
>>4613261oh boy, time to punch a creep
>>4613261hell yeah, we kept our promise to Ayesha's dad. hope he's okay.
I focused, energy crackling inside me. The pink dot hovered, jerking back. I felt it on my skin, heard the shuffle of his feet. I rolled back, his metal bat swinging through where I'd been. Coach Jackson's voice in my ear, 'footwork, Eric, footwork.'"How?" the Creep swung again. I dropped back. "How are you dodging me?"My fist struck his mouth, a heavy right cross, his teeth cutting my knuckles. It shut him up. The pink dot wobbled in the middle of the door. The bat dropped from his hands, bursting into sight.He came in a tackle, trying to run me down, screaming with high pitched rage. I stepped aside, driving a hook, catching him behind the ear.Eugene flickered into sight as he dropped to a knee, his pale face washed with sweat, blood, and pink paint. He was wearing the drab outfit of the county jail. Then he flickered from sight again, reaching for his bat.The pain in me was gone, my focus intense. My hearing was stronger, so strong I could hear the others panting in the bedroom, heard Ivy breathing fast, heard Zeke swallow a lump. And my vision, I could pick up a buzzing mosquito across the room, see the tears glazing Ayesha's cheeks.But I honed it on the Creep, listening for his movements.A crash of lightning blazed white light through the house, thunder clap roaring. For a second I was deaf and blind. I raised my arms, dipping back, knowing he'd use the moment. The bat cracked against my forearms. I rolled my wrist to grab it, pulled Eugene forward. My fist rocked into the side of his head.He dropped, the bat in my hand."Stay down," I said as he came into whimpering view. I raised the bat to threaten him. He squirmed into a ball, hands raised."Please," he said.Sour contempt flooded through me.A siren split the night, the wail of a squad car and an ambulance. I stood guard over Eugene."Are you okay?" Ivy asked, stepping out while holstering her pistol. Her face was red."Yeah," I said.I let my power slip, which brought my bruises to throbbing lufe. My hands shook. Something white stood out from my bloody knuckles. A splinter of bone? No, I picked it out. Part of Eugene's tooth.Zeke and Rufus stepped out. Ayesha stayed behind them, shivering in Daphne's arms."We should mess him up before the cops get here," Zeke said, fake tough but legit angry."Maybe bash his brains out," Rufus said. He looked up at me, "That was a real clinic you ran on him," he said.I shrugged. All that mattered was he was down.Rufus wiped his nose. "Give me the bat Eric," he said, holding out his hand."Yeah, let's finish this scumbag off," Zeke said.Eugene clutched his head, whimpering.I was seriously considering it."Eric," Ivy caught my eye, "Don't.">give Rufus the bat>Don't
>>4613287>Don'tBack off. He's had enough. You try anything and you'll get some too.
>>4613287>Don'tNo need to beat him more, its just pitiful
>>4613287>Don'tsomeone go check on Ayesha's dad and make sure help is coming. he probably needs an ambulance. I'll keep an eye on Eugene
>Don't, someone go check on Ayesha's dad and make sure help is coming. he probably needs an ambulance. I'll keep an eye on Eugene
locking all that in
>>4594677Ok, all this quest I've been thinking that kay is just a typical self centered teenager, but this fucking update has made me lose all hope for her, she's a fucking witch and the sooner Eric stops thinking with his dick and breaks up with her, the better. None of you fucking waifufags better have voted to reveal our identity to her ,she's definitely going to betray us.
>>4613354I'm pretty sure everyone knew she was a typical teenager. What specifically did she say that rustled your jimmies so hard?
>>4613354Nvm after actually following the link she is there.I do think you're madly overreacting though. She didn't say anything dissimilar to anyone else there.
Yeah I’m not gonna act like she doesn’t have the emotional moments but she IS a teenage girl, just like Eric is a teenage boy. Judging them for having flaws is unfair and honestly I’ve been liking Kay a lot.
"Nah," I said, "He's had enough."Relief flooded Ivy."This piece of shit-" Zeke started."He's had enough!" my glare set Zeke back a step, grip hard on the bat. "Now make yourself useful and go check on Ayesha's dad, check to see if he's okay. I'll keep an eye on Eugene.""Sheesh, all right," Zeke said, adjusting his Hotspur costume. He and Rufus went down as Ayesha came out of her room, leaning on Daphne. Ayesha looked down on the whimpering Eugene, then up to me. She pushed out of Daphne's arms to wrap me in a hug, holding tight. I heard the whimper in her breathing and it put a spike in my heart."You don't got to worry, I got him," I said."I wasn't worried about him," she said into my neck. She pulled away, smiling under her tear stained eyes. "I thought he hurt you," she said."Well I ain't a daisy but I'm on my own two," I said, resting the bat on my shoulder with a tough grin.The front door drummed. "Police!"Mrs Carver unlatched the door as Rufus and Zeke helped Mr Carver limp over to the frunchroom, setting him down on the couch. A couple of uniformed cops came in, guns drawn."He's up here!" Daphne called, "We have him."The uniformed cops weren't alone. After them stepped in a big fat woman in a coat, badge swinging from a chain, and behind her a pale man in black."Get cuffs on the freak," the woman said. I stepped away from Eugene."You're going to prison, Eugene," I said, "Peeping is one thing, but murder? That's a whole other score.""Th-they aren't s-sending me t-to prison," he said, shivering, "A l-lab, the guard said s-so. I'll be a guinea pig f-for the rest of my life. I had n-nothing to lose." He sobbed into his hands as the cops stomped up, cuffs ready."I'm Detective Bohauer," the woman said, "City liason with the Department of Paranormal Affairs.""I've never heard of that department," Mrs Carver said."We're new," Detective Bohauer said, "This is Special Agent Penderose.""You've secured the Creep?" Special Agent Penderose had a ghoulish pale look, pits lined with sleepless bruises."We'll be taking witness statements," Detective Bohauer said, clicking a pen, "Why don't you all just come on downstairs."A couple of EMTs came in, checking Mr Carver as we came down. Ayesha leaned on me for support."You been in the wars, son," Detective Bohauer said. Detective Bohauer wasn't just fat, she was tall, making a tent out of her long coat."I'm fine," I said, grimacing with pain as I sat, body stiff."Crazy night, but it'll make a hell of a Halloween story," she said to Ayesha with a wink. Special Agent Penderose busied himself with the Creep, overseeing his transportation downstairs."Why don't you all take me through what happened.""Um," Mr Carver's face was unfocused. Probably a concussion.As we told our story Penderose came in to watch. He stared, judging silently, an unsettling gaze crawling over us.
When I started my part of the story they settled on me, making me sweat. I got up to the part where I first knocked Eugene down when he interupted. "Hotspur," he said.I almost jumped out of my seat."Excuse me?" I said."The method is identical to the one used by the para-freak Hotspur, the use of a paint gun, with the exact same girl on the trigger."His gaze slid over to Ivy. Up and down her in an unwholesome way. She crossed her arms, uncomfortable about where his gaze lingered."How fortunate," his effort at a smile was unsettling. Detective Bohauer wore a cagey look."I train boxing with Ayesha's uncle, Roy Jackson," I said, "I can throw down.""Hmm-hmm," Penderose said, oiling back his coal black hair, "Yes you are a tough little boy."What the hell was wrong with this guy?"Sorry about my partner, he's a fuckin' alien," Bohauer said, "The FBI didn't send their best to the DPA.""We're a new organization, dedicated to the tracking of paranormal events and the...detainment of paranormal inflicted people," he said, "You have all had some experience with the vigilante 'Hotspur'. Miss Carver, I believe you yourself run a fan blog dedicated to his so-called achievements. Any information you could share leading to the identity of the para-freak would be appreciated. Monitarily appreciated."I looked to Ivy, who looked away with eyes wide."What do you mean 'detained'?" Mrs Carver asked, "That sounds like a serious infringement of their civil rights.""Its a matter of public security," he said, "See the trouble one teenage boy caused with the power of invisibility? Now imagine he was a Chinese spy. What trouble he could cause our God blessed country. Who knows what other powers abound.""If you could share any information that could lead us to him," he repeated.>take a hike pal>feed him some disinformation
>>4613381I like Ivy better personally, I sort of think Kay just likes Eric because he's attractive
>>4613387>take a hike palGive us your card or whatever and get outta here, we've been through it tonight.
>>4613389I think that it was that plus some interest in the beginning, but as we’ve been with her we’ve shown her a host of good qualities and let’s be honest you have to at least find someone attractive before you decide to date them.
>>4613387>"Is what Eugene said true? You're going to run experiments on him?"Answer his question with our question
>"Is what Eugene said true? You're going to run experiments on him?"Safety of the country my ass.
>>4613387>take a hike palWe weren’t even in school that day
>>4613402...let's not draw attention to thatwe're so fucked, our identity is so close to being revealed
>>4613387>>4613398This. Also his name is Eugene. quit calling him the Creep. He's done some bad shit with his powers but he's still a human being.
>>4613402Yeah, we don't want to tell them that. The weirdo is already like "oh wow you two took him down the same way hotspur took him down the first time." If we tell him we missed school the one day hotspur showed up he's gonna be pretty much certain it's us.
>>4613399>>4613401>>4613398>>4613410locking that in
Did Eugene's powers grow? He was naked last time he was invisible. Now he's making clothes and his bat invisible too. I wonder if stress causes powers to get stronger.
>>4613447We stopped needing to eat after every power use with practice. He probably could improve the same way.Wonder what he needs after using his power. We have food, Misfit has booze. Water?
>>4613450inb4 Eugene was a true hero about to blow the whole explosion conspiracy wide open, he was just forced to look at naked ladies to refuel his powers
"His name's Eugene," I said, "Eugene Nguyen, not the Creep. And he's human, not a 'para-freak'. Whatever he's done he's still a human being.""Maybe," Agent Penderose said."He said you were going to do experiments on him, turn him into a human lab rat. Is that true?""Our organization is not involved in human experiments," he said, "We simply find and detain the uh, 'paranormally inflicted', if you prefer.""That's not an answer," I replied."I'm not in the business of explaining myself to teenage boys," he replied. I'd say he had the stare of a lizard but I like lizards."You're done here," Mrs Carver said, "These children have been through enough tonight without you drilling them about some superhero."The corner of his eye twitched."You're right, forgive me. I can become...overzealous in my pursuit of duty," he said, "No harm was meant. Come Pamela, we have a prisoner to book.""He's a real peach," Detective Bohauer said, "Thanks for cooperating, I'd say 'have a nice night' but," she shrugged before following her partner out.Once the police and the EMTs cleared out its like we let out a collective sigh of relief."Hell of a night," Mr Carver said, pressing a cold pack to his head. I kept my eyes fixed on the door, fists clenched in my lap. "Tell you what Eric, you're welcome over when ever," he said to me."No one has to go home," Mrs Carver said, "But I'll call your parents. They deserve to know what happened.""What do you want to do?" Daphne asked Ayesha, rubbing the small of her back. Ayesha thought about it for a long moment."Ice cream," she decided.-I'll be back tomorrow. Hope you guys are enjoying things. I'm enjoying your arguments over various characters too.
>>4613454So tragicSo misunderstoodWhat a grave mistake we made>>4613469Thanks for running!Now we have an event we can blame the next few nights of crimefighting injuries on at least"Oh yeah Eugene must have uh slashed my arm open with his bat and I didn't notice until now because of the adrenaline"
>>4613469Thanks for running man, this quest is my shit
>>4613469thanks for running
I don't remember having enhanced senses before. Did we just power up?
>>4613513Seems so ,we're some kind of enhanced superhuman with mild ignoring of the laws of physics. Also that flying farm boy, superman experience?Possible ally
>>4613741as an Indiana native, can confirm we have farms everywhere, so possible, also can't wait for tonights run, this probably one of the better quests that's been on here
Halloween had been an experience. I got home early the next day with throbbing pain in my arms and leg, courtesy of my run in with Eugene's baseball but, but the thing that was really pre-occupying my mind was Agent Penderose. Was he connected to the organization I had taken the stone from? It seemed likely. His agency, the Department of Paranormal Affairs, was making the news. I caught a glimpse of Priscilla Takanawa on the tv going over something about it.Dad shut the tv off as he stirred on the couch. "Hey kid, you good?" he said, "Pretty dramatic night.""Yeah, and yeah," I said, pouring a bowl of cereal. Mr Carver had dropped me off. "You get drunk last night?" if it came off as gruff I had good reason."No, I had an early one," he said, "The storm helped. How are your friends? If it was me I'd be rattled out of my head.""Ivy's staying with Ayesha," I said, "She's pretty shook but playing it tough.""Which one of those is your girlfriend?" he said, getting up for a cup of coffee."Neither," I said, "My girlfriend's Kay.""Have I met her?" he said."I keep meaning to bring her around," I said. A guilty look crossed his face. Maybe he knew I was ashamed of how we were living. Maybe he was a little ashamed too. I finished breakfast then washed the dishes. "I'm going down to the corner store, want anything?""Nah," Dad petted his belly, "Time for this old horse to go on a diet."The day after a storm left the world wet and misty, the cold made it crystalline, the beginnings of frost covering the streets. It was almost pretty even with the pigeon shit. People went out rugged up, breathing in the mist, breathing out their own. I shoved my hands in my pockets. It really did feel like we'd be getting an early winter, which was nice after the hot autumns we'd been having lately.Luis was in the process of taking down his Halloween decorations, with D-Mark helping while Smokey held down the corner."Hey, its the champ," Smokey said, "I heard you took down a para-freak last night with the old one-two, protecting a couple shorties.""Who'd you hear that from?" I said."Word gets out," Smokey said, rubbing his nose.I went in, the bell still a witch's cackle."Take a break D-Mark," Luis said. He got down from a step ladder, skeleton hung over his shoulder."Hungry?" Luis asked."I could eat," I admitted. He put a couple burritos in the microwave behind the counter."Word came back from the Outfit," he said, "They'll meet you tonight at a warehouse in Brighton Park."He slipped me the address."I heard about what went down last night," he said, "Bad stuff, para-freaks breaking into homes.""I don't like that term," I said, "Where'd you hear it?"Luis pulled out the steamy burritos.
"On the news," Luis said, handing one over. It was technically too hot to eat but it didn't stop me. I swallowed more than chewed to keep from burning my mouth, the burrito making a hot, greasy ball in my stomach. "They've been doing promos all morning for this new federal agency, the DPA, even put up a hotline and website asking for tipoffs on paranormal activity. Sounds like a snitch line to me."I didn't see it going anywhere good."You know my cousin got snatched up by ICE a couple weeks back. Good kid, he was born here and everything, now he's in detainment waiting to be sent down to Mexico. Sucks," he said."I trust you Luis," I reassured him. He seemed proud of that."You going to meet the Outfit alone, or do you need back up?" he asked.>I'll go alone>I won'tsay no to back up
>>4614116>I'll go aloneThank luis for the offer, but he's been doing enough for us as is, still its the thought that counts
>>4614116>I'll go alone
>>4614116>>I'll go alone
>>4614116>I won'tsay no to back upIf they stay far away. Long range support
"Nah Luis, I can handle this on my own," I said, "I appreciate the thought though.""You know I always got your back," he said.I walked out swallowing down the last of the burrito, sucking the grease off my fingers.The DPA was on my mind, the mystery of the stone, and my coming meeting with the head of the Outfit. That wasn't counting the drama of everyday life too. I had a game coming up and with Hunter down the team was relying on me to pick up some slack. I had my Chemistry paper to turn in, and I was worried about Ayesha and how she was holding up. She'd been through a lot, dealing with a home invasion, an invisible stalker trying to get at her, it had to be traumatic. She had a gentle heart, she didn't deserve that level of shit.But mostly I was missing Kay. Another week and it would be over, we should have a date night or something.While kicking it back home I got a text, on my other phone. Ms Grant.Grant - We should meet, talk about the DPA situation. See you at City Hall, 2 PM?And maybe the stone, I thought. I'd signed up to Chad's Discord server but it had mostly been conspiracy theory talk and blurry pictures. Maybe a deeper dive would reveal something, but I need multiple avenues of investigation. Ms Grant had helped me out on a couple of scores already.But the more people I drew into this mystery the greater the danger. Ms Grant had plenty of enemies already.>agree to meet, and take the stone>agree to meet, but leave the stone behind
>>4614174>agree to meet, and take the stoneWe sure as shit aren't doing anything with it.
>>4614174>agree to meet, and take the stone