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A Mulched Fiction

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Post by The Nekromonga February 15th 2022, 10:10 am

SOMEWHERE IN LAS VEGAS...

June found it hard to believe, but she found herself on a rooftop brooding. The Package was too important to let fall into criminal hands, but Dragon Girl couldn’t be involved in this operation. Dragon Girl was a hero, a symbol, someone who kept her hands clean. Dragon Girl’s hands were also tied in the United States, as per the accords limiting her actions, and there was a high probability that she might engage in unsavory actions. No, it had to be someone else.

She researched the hero and villain archives and found an appropriate alternate identity. She brought up the appropriate image files. She reconfigured her suit to provide a similar costume, one that was more military in appearance – hoodie, catsuit, flexible pants, and a mask with those white lenses and cat ears. Something a GenZ merc would wear. Then a dull red and black color scheme, with a red tiger symbol on the chest. She impersonated the mercenary Black Tiger, someone who was supposed to be long retired. She also had a pair of mundane alloy batons, and even obtained some of her signature tiger claws – shurikens. Relatively mundane steel shurikens, but with her strength these were dangerous projectiles. Dragon Girl put in some practice on the roof to familiarize with them with the time she had.

With a little help from technology, Black Tiger had returned on the scene. It would raise much fewer eyes than Dragon Girl, who would likely send everyone fleeing. Perhaps they’d think this one a relative, or a chosen successor? It didn’t matter. Black Tiger needed to obtain the Package, and it didn’t matter if it meant dealing with crime bosses.

The intercepted intel led her to a diner in the middle of a pretty destitute part of town. Nothing indicated that this diner was there before, like it had opened up overnight.

It wasn’t a modernist concrete or steel box that blended in with its drab surroundings, no, Lloyd’s Diner was a throwback to 50’s Diners, to the golden age of swing. Big neon billboard, Lloyd’s in blazing red letter. Checkerboard tile floors, white walls covered in 1920s to 1970s memorabilia, the counter and the booths covered in bright red upholstery. A jukebox at the end of the diner was belting out "Devil in Disguise".
Everything was shiny, new, and eerily period accurate, even the stepford smiling midwestern waitresses in the pink dresses and white aprons. She found herself standing in place, as a pair of bearded men in jeans and tank tops excused themselves as they passed her by. Their signatures read human but also wolf DNA. Shifters? Lycanthropes?

She looked around and saw a lot of seedy looking characters, some looking like bikers and gangsters, others were full blown supervillains in costume. Then A waitress tapped her on the arm. June stared at her a moment, realizing this woman had no bio-electric signature she could pick up on. That rubbed June the wrongest way- demons, undead, ghosts, the supernatural, all of it, had a signal however faint or alien she could pick up on. This one had none. “Well hello darlin’, why don’t ya take a seat and get settled in? I’ll be with ya in a jiff. Kay?”

“Y-yes…” June had to stammer her answer out, picked a booth and sat down. Before she even glanced at the menu, the waitress had delivered her a most savory dish of garlic parmesan fried fish and chips (fries). June took in a deep smell of the food and ascertained it was real enough. She took a bite of the fish and the fries and thought it was the most delicious thing she’d ever tasted.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dragon Girl Experience
Dabbler Experience
The Steel Sage Experience
Thalassophobia Experience
Talona
Lady Deathblow Experience
The Nekromonga
The Nekromonga
Mega Poster!
Mega Poster!

Status :
Online
Offline

Quote : Neko is 9 now. Neko has many medical issues.

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 2533
Location : Philippines
Age : 33
Job : Architect, Master Builder
Humor : I made a Lesbian Feminist Ninja Vampire Samurai.
Registration date : 2013-01-18

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Post by ProwlerKnight February 16th 2022, 7:09 pm

“As far as records show, this place just popped up overnight.”  

Among the cars parked outside, an old, but still rather pristine, cherry-red 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu sat idle, Michael himself, sitting in the driver seat. “Makes sense, this place has been the talk of the town all over the New York crime network...” He eyeballed the neon sign. “Whatever these guys are after, most likely has drawn all sorts of attention, metahuman included.” He opened the passenger side glove box, revealing a small stack of papers, as well as one of his energy pistols, which he pulled out, checking it in his lap discretely.  

“So, what’s the plan??”  

“Well, still waiting on my boy to drop off the care package...” Michael stepped out of the car, hiding the pistol in the discrete holster, strapped to the pants-line of his clothing, where it rested against his lower back. “So, we go in, check out the food, and see what we can gather for information.”  

Instead of body armor and a mask, Michael was garbed in khaki cargo shorts, ankle-height hiking boots, a gray t-shirt, with an unbuttoned black and gray flannel over shirt, and a set of black sunglasses, which housed a discrete camera in the frame. It was evident he was trying to look casual, without going overboard.  

“Well, keep your phone on, I got your live feed coming through.”

As Michael stepped into the Diner, the atmosphere practically washed over him, as he anywhere he looked, he spotted some known criminal, or even costumed villains.  

“Wow, they’re just gonna walk around like nobody can see them??”

“Something tells me nobody here is gonna care.” By this time Michael had to keep his voice low, being directly in the viper den.  

The waitress, dressed and made to fit the theme perfectly, walked up to Michael, a large welcoming smile on her face. “Hello, darlin, why you don’t you go on ahead and take a seat, I’ll be with you shortly.”  

“Yes, ma’am.” Michael bowed his head politely, walking over to a booth in the back corner that wasn’t occupied, and provided ample view of the entire diner. “Circuit, start running facial recognition, let’s find our weak point.”  

“Got it, this is gonna take a second, so why don’t you...”

Before the young hacker could finish, a plate was set in front of Michael, consisting of a cheeseburger, fries, and a strawberry milkshake.  

“Okaaay, that’s odd.”
ProwlerKnight
ProwlerKnight

Status :
Online
Offline

Quote : "Insert Quote from Character Here" or etc.

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 20
Location : Bangor, ME
Age : 30
Job : Pizza Crewman
Humor : Dark, Goofy, Nerdy, pretty much anything
Registration date : 2022-01-29

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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury February 17th 2022, 9:28 am


The city of sin was not his usual beat. Vegas had its own vices but compared to the rest of the world it wasn't nearly as bad, and like the old saying went it was practically self contained. This time however what was going to happen in Vegas was not going to stay in Vegas. Et Bellator had been working the streets of Chicago, stopping the usual riff raff and low level would be super villains when he first caught wind of ‘it’. A package of some sort. One that everyone seemed to want a peace of. None of his investigative and ‘persuasive’ methods had turned up anything concrete on what the package was. It was as if no one had actually gotten to see what it was but they all wanted it for themselves. He would have put it down to a hoax, or a magical spell compelling the worst of society into a trap of some sort. Except, a few of those in the know let slip three words. The Crime Syndicate.

The largest underground criminal syndicate in the world. They made most organized crime look laughable in comparison and if any gang leader or mob boss got too big for their britches, they got incorporated. Willingly or not. Romulus had been on their trail since his arrival on the scene in Chicago, and while he had disrupted a few of their operations and even had help doing so once or twice it was as if nothing he did stopped them. This time might be different. Maybe if he stopped the sale of this ‘package’ he might actually put a dent into their operations. One could have dreams at least.

That was how he found himself in Las Vegas, on a building top across the street from a diner. A diner that by all accounts was not there the night before. Magic once again being a prevailing theory. Romulus hated magic. Too unpredictable, no true countermeasure with how variable it could be. If you think you had it figured out, there was something else you were missing or its rules would change on you in an instant. Science and cold hard facts were much easier to deal with and understand. The real world at least made a semblance of sense. Usually. Watching everyone and anyone from low life thugs to actual costumed metas walking into the diner with no one batting an eye? Well that was not normal. He cycled through his helmet’s visions, first night vision, then thermal, infrared, and finally x-ray vision. Confirming that the building was magical when he couldn’t see anything past its walls.

If it wasn’t clear Romulus didn’t like unknowns. Didn’t appreciate not having all the facts, or baring that knowing more than what everyone else did. This was one of those situations where one wrong step and everything was bound to go FUBAR. Still, he had a job to do and do it he would. After watching a couple of people walk in, mostly to confirm his theory, he used his grappling hook to descend the rooftop and make his way to the ground floor. Duster billowing behind him as he went, head on a swivel, the masked vigilante made his way across the street and into the diner. Confident that no one inside would recognize him as after his confrontation with a certain Prime Minister he had to radically alter his equipment (what little was left of it), those that had seen him before certainly had not seen him like this.

The interior of the diner was unexpected, it was as if walking through a time machine and being placed back in the 1960s. A true old fashioned diner with the jukebox playing in the corner, a waitress with a southern twang to her voice called out to him “Hey there darlin’ go ahead and take a seat, we’ll be with you shortly.” His gambit of not being recognized in this din on sin had paid off. Except at this point all of the booths, and barstools had been claimed. A quick scan of the inside let him know that two booths were only occupied by one person each. One looked like a legitimate cat burglar, ears and all, while the other was a man in civies with dark shades over his eyes. A low level thug maybe? Or a goon for one of the men in here? Perhaps someone high up trying to appear incognito? Whichever the two booths were close enough that Romulus would be able to keep an eye, or ear, on both if need be. He walked over and sat down across from the cat burglar, as it made it so his back was only towards the glasses man, and before he even had a chance to adjust a plate of chicken parmigiana and a glass of cold water was placed in front of him. Magic.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Romulus Emanuel Mercury
Et Bellator's Experience
Romulus Emanuel Mercury
Romulus Emanuel Mercury
Post Mate
Post Mate

Status :
Online
Offline

Quote : "I am not a hero nor a villain I am simply a man prepared to do what is necessary to make sure no one goes without a family."

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 181
Registration date : 2012-03-10

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Post by The Nekromonga February 17th 2022, 10:13 am

WARDEN

Accessing the public database, Warden would get a good look at all the attendants who were giving each other space.

Far on the opposite side of the Diner, was Talona (A lister) and her 2 German Shepard dogs Cuchulainn and Diarmuid. Originating from the Troubles in Ireland, this Gaelic dressed, Leshen masked woman is an extremely old, powerful and intelligent villain with control over animals, including bio-engineered mythical creatures. Nobody sat near her except...

The Bearded Werewolves (A class) Hrothgar and Harald. A long-time pair of extremely powerful muscle, who were maturing into capable crime bosses on their own…

Standing very conspicuously at the end of the bar, The Circus of Fear’s (A class) The Fatso and the Thin Man. Records of their appearance are few and far between, and often involve the disappearance of dozens of children. A supposedly supernatural threat, these two were supposed to be bogeymen...

Working down the rankings…

White Flame (B class) A female pyromancer vigilante with a disregard for collateral damage. Normally she’d turn a crowd like this to ash. Today was clearly different.

The fearsome ninja four (B class): Matthias, Marcus, Lucas, Johann, a quartet of high tech cyber ninjas in some kind of power armor, armed with- get this- dual katanas, dual sais, dual nunchucks and bo staff.

Then there was the bottom of the barrel group, The Anachronists (C class) led by Chronos basically a dude wearing a baseball uniform, a mask, a white blanket for a cape, wielding a baseball bat covered in stolen watches. Spartan Stan in his Greek armor, Cowboy Kelly with his guns and bandana, and the Crimson Katana, an actual badass with a magical red sword who probably outperformed all of them. (B class)

Then there were some normal goons. 6 Hells Angels (Non powered gang) 13 MS-13 members all armed to the teeth (Non powered gang) 8 Cartel Men (Non powered gang) 7 unaffiliated armed individuals (Non powered gang) Dumb enough or confident enough to rub shoulders with super powered goons.

And finally, Black Tigress, a B-class mercenary whose last documented activity was in 2002 – 26 years ago. It wasn’t hard to imagine this was some new kid in town trying to crib someone else’s established rep. Taking someone’s name was always a kind of social faux pas, as it meant either living up to a legacy or more usually tarnishing it.

BELLATOR

“Full house. You wanna sit down?” June offered to Romulus, seeing there wasn't a reason not to be hospitable to fellow rogues.

The Fearsome Ninja Four arrived relatively late to the Diner, clad in their dark olive-green cyber armor. A quartet of possibly juiced up and enhanced humans, they acted like four frat bros who talked trash below their ranking and giving those above some due respect.

“Well, well, what do we have here. Look bros, stolen valor. This chick thinks she’s hot stuff, cribbing the Black Tigress.” Said the leader, Matthias, armed with dual katanas.

“Oooh Meee-yow! I’d like to pet this kitty cat!” Lucas, the nunchucks guy, showed agility and balanced herself on the booth divider. He admired Black Tigress while having no sense of personal space.

“And who are you, dipshit? Never seen you around these parts before. You’re in our seat you know. Why don’t you fuck off.” Marcus stood by Bellator and looked him up and down. It was clear they wanted the booth with the pretty lady.

“…Actually you know what. Me and Mister Dipshit were just leaving. You boys enjoy the booth.” June said, not wanting to break some noses just yet. “Come on. The fearsome four ain’t worth this…cra- sh-shit.” June had to exert herself to curse. She didn’t curse in Korean anyway, let alone in English.

She gestured Bellator to follow them to the booth that had Warden, probably the only non-hostile fellow left in the house. She carried her food along. No sense wasting a good fish fillet.

A Marilyn Monroe looking waitress came by, from out of nowhere, in that signature house service and brought the brothers a giant sharing platter. This had the good effect of distracting them. Fish sticks, chicken wings, sausages, pulled pork and a mountain of French Fries. And a dozen dips. How they could all be so shredded with that kind of diet was a mystery.

June walked over to the booth. “E-excuse- I mean… Hey. Those fuckwits hogged our booth. Mind we sit with you?” June skipped the manners and sounded like an actual mercenary. Her nano-tech mask would facilitate letting her continue her meal with convenience, seeing it a shame Romulus lose his. She offered him some of her fries. "YOu hungry? These are damn good fries."

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dragon Girl Experience
Dabbler Experience
The Steel Sage Experience
Thalassophobia Experience
Talona
Lady Deathblow Experience
The Nekromonga
The Nekromonga
Mega Poster!
Mega Poster!

Status :
Online
Offline

Quote : Neko is 9 now. Neko has many medical issues.

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 2533
Location : Philippines
Age : 33
Job : Architect, Master Builder
Humor : I made a Lesbian Feminist Ninja Vampire Samurai.
Registration date : 2013-01-18

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Post by ProwlerKnight February 17th 2022, 3:16 pm

As Michael expected, there were quite a few players after this “package”, and some powerful ones, as well.  

His attention fell on Black Tigress, given the last sighting of the infamous mercenary was 26 years ago, this newest iteration seemed a bit, out of place. She sat by herself, which wasn’t out of the ordinary, as he was currently in his own booth, but she seemed to almost like she didn’t belong among the vile and vermin that occupied this establishment.  

Though, Michael simply chalked it up to being new in the game. She definitely looked like she could fight, but as for mercenary work, considering the records show this as the first sighting of the Tigress in decades, means she was new to the game, or was trying to hide who she really was.  

Either way, Michael knew he had to start with her.  

As he started to plot his next move, a second figure strolled in, wearing a duster, some tactical gear, some kind of gasmask, topped off by a ballistic helmet.  

As the figure sat down across from Tigress, Michael reevaluated his plan.  

Who was he? Possibly her mentor?? His posture, the way he walked, everything about him screamed tactically trained, most likely military veteran like Michael.  

“Well, well, what do we have here. Look bros, stolen valor. This chick thinks she’s hot stuff, cribbing the Black Tigress.”

As the Ninjas finally arrived, harassing Tigress, and the other guy, Michaels left hand slowly slipped under the table, reaching back. His finger gently brushing against the pistol grip, as he waited, in case things escalated.  

When Tigress decided to move, and shifted over to Michaels table, the vigilante nodded.  

“Take a load off...” He stated, his mafioso accent damn near on point, only a well-trained ear could tell he was. “Names Ricardo.”

“Really, just gonna throw out names on the fly??”

Michael then heard rapid typing, the sound of the hacker working out a fake portfolio for him.
ProwlerKnight
ProwlerKnight

Status :
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Offline

Quote : "Insert Quote from Character Here" or etc.

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 20
Location : Bangor, ME
Age : 30
Job : Pizza Crewman
Humor : Dark, Goofy, Nerdy, pretty much anything
Registration date : 2022-01-29

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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury February 17th 2022, 4:40 pm

The cat burglar offered him to sit even as he was already sitting down. A raised eyebrow, hidden underneath his helm, gave him insight into the obviously young villain. Or, someone pretending to be someone they weren’t. His interest very much not on the food, Romulus took the time to size up the cat burglar and tried to remember where he had seen her before. When it clicked he almost sighed in disappointment. Black Tigress, a mercenary who hadn’t been active in over twenty years. Romulus was just a child when she was last running around and unless she had found some secret to make her immortal as well as unaging then the woman sitting in front of him was definitely not Black Tigress. Her demeanor suggested a copycat, or something similar.

Those thoughts were brushed to the side when the four cybernetic ninjas made their way over to the booth. Boisterous and anything but ninja, they crowded the booth and the lady pretending to be Black Tigress. If this were any other operation, or literally anywhere else the vigilante known as Et Bellator would have had no problem putting these four in their place. Leaving them bloody and broken on the front steps of the nearest police station, precinct, sheriff's office, county jail, or state penitentiary. They were very lucky that doing so would not only blow his cover but also attract the attention of everyone else in this diner and he was not that confident in his abilities. There were way too many unknowns present; and the Syndicate representative hadn’t even shown themselves yet.

No. Instead Romulus stood up to his full height of 6’4” (the boots gave him the extra two inches, a way to help hide his true identity further) and looked down at Marcus. The glowing red eyes on the helm bore into the idiot that called him a ‘dipshit’ and were acting like children who thought they owned the place. Before he could say anything, ‘Black Tigress’ offered the booth to the four fools and mentioned that Romulus and herself would be leaving. “She’s right. Your blood isn’t worth spilling.” His automated voice growled out, brushing past Marcus to move to the booth behind them. The one with sunglasses and khakis.

Letting the copycat in first, Romulus slid in next to her taking the ‘outside seat’. His back to the entrance unnerved him, but he didn’t let it show in his body language. Perhaps the only sign would be the quick scan of the diner he made before sitting down. Scoping out everyone and everything one last time before his vision was completely shut off from it all. “No thanks.” He replied in response to the offer of the fries. He wasn’t hungry, didn’t trust the food here, and it would be inconvenient to remove the gas mask portion of the helmet just to eat food that may or may not be poisoned or ‘magically hexed’ in some way. The false, possibly, name given out by sunglasses in a too good to be true accent. “Mi chiamo Mercurio” Or, I am called Mercury. He informed the two of them in fluent Italian. A test to see if the ‘mafia’ member understood. No need to give out his real name or his ‘vigilante’ name; but as the saying went the best lies were based in truth.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Romulus Emanuel Mercury
Et Bellator's Experience
Romulus Emanuel Mercury
Romulus Emanuel Mercury
Post Mate
Post Mate

Status :
Online
Offline

Quote : "I am not a hero nor a villain I am simply a man prepared to do what is necessary to make sure no one goes without a family."

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 181
Registration date : 2012-03-10

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Post by The Nekromonga February 17th 2022, 9:04 pm

The Jukebox which was located near the trio’s booth. Once again, the King’s music was on the queue, and the jukebox belted out Jailhouse Rock’s tune.

The warden threw a party in the county jail
The prison band was there, and they began to wail
The band was jumpin', and the joint began to swing
You should've heard them knocked out jailbirds sing

Let's rock
Everybody, let's rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock


“Hey will somebody turn down the grandad music? Can’t we get some Kendrick Lamar or Drake?” Marcus shouted over the music, but the opinion was unpopular.

“Shut up junior, have some respect for the King.” Someone else retorted.

June made some word and face association. “Ricardo.” Warden. “Mercurio” Romulus. Then she pointed to herself. “Black Tigress. the second one. It’s nice to meet you.” Now that introductions based on made up names were over, they could get to the business at hand.

“So. Uh. You guys also here for the package? I keep hearing things about a package but it doesn’t seem like anything conclusive is coming up. Have you guys any idea what it even is?”


IAPETOS ARRIVAL

The main purpose of the food really, was to keep these cutthroat competitors from spilling blood onto the floor. After a few more minutes of letting people eat, people were now ready to interact with each other, and poorly. It took the arrival of one Iapetose of the Crime Syndicate to bring order to the diner.

“Alright, you all settle down.” The PA helped. Iapetos proceeded to behind the counter of the Diner.

“I am your officiator for tonight. Don’t ask for names. I’m here to handle the auction, not take you out for drinks and motel, ladies. Mister Lloyd will elaborate in a few more minutes. Finish your dinner, get the brownies for a dessert, get your game face on.”

“Yo. Godfather. Who’s Lloyd?” Again, the Four were being dumbasses.

“If you prove yourself capable perhaps, you’ll find out, Ninja Turtles.” The retort joke elicited a laugh from the crowd. He should be in comedy.

LLOYD SPEAKS
The music finally stopped playing, and the voice of a gentleman born for old time radio shows began to speak from the Diner’s speakers. Despite the grainy quality of the audio, every word Lloyd spoke was crisp and clear.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I hope everyone had a bite to eat. I had a personal hand in tonight’s dishes. I’m Lloyd. Iapetos, the Packages?”

“It should be here any minute now mister Lloyd.” He said. Seconds later, the rotary phone at the counter rang its old timey ring, and Iapetos picked up after the second ring. The news seemed to change his mood. It rang two more times in quick succession, delivering the same news a total of three times.

Iapetos was a bit miffed. Especially as this Lloyd character insisted on using older technology, as everyone else was used to instant messaging and live video feeds. But in a way it was smart. If you were intending to hack a video feed, maybe you’d overlook tapping old phone lines or analogue radio transmissions. He dialed the numbers- working the rotary phone - “Mister Lloyd, I regret to inform you, the couriers have absconded with the packages.”

The smooth velvety radio voice of Lloyd didn’t respond right away. “I see. An unfortunate development, but, not unexpected. Alright…” Lloyd paused a moment, to gather his thoughts. “…Well, Instead of an auction, it seems we have a scavenger hunt.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dragon Girl Experience
Dabbler Experience
The Steel Sage Experience
Thalassophobia Experience
Talona
Lady Deathblow Experience
The Nekromonga
The Nekromonga
Mega Poster!
Mega Poster!

Status :
Online
Offline

Quote : Neko is 9 now. Neko has many medical issues.

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 2533
Location : Philippines
Age : 33
Job : Architect, Master Builder
Humor : I made a Lesbian Feminist Ninja Vampire Samurai.
Registration date : 2013-01-18

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Post by ProwlerKnight February 19th 2022, 12:27 am

Michael, knowing the response was test, realized he really should’ve taken time to come up with a better cover.  

Considering he had much better choices, like Irish, or Russian mob even. He had been listening to the local mafiosos for the past month, so his brain was still wired to Italian. Thankfully, the Tigress spoke up, bringing up the package.  

Unfortunately, it seemed like Michael was out of luck getting information from her, as well, as she proved to be in the same predicament. “Well, I ain’t heard much, just that it’s worth a lot, and everyone wants to get their hands on it...” He leaned in, whispering some. “You ask me, sounds too good to be true...” He glanced over to the ninja, named Marcus, as he complained about the music, before returning his attention to two people beside him. “Nobody knows what’s inside, and those who have seen it, never give a solid answer...” He leaned back, acting nonchalant about the whole thing. “You ask me, I say this is all either just some money scam, or a way to get everyone to off one another.”

As if to help with his attempt to remove the two potential threats from play, there seemed to be “complications” with starting the auction. Specifically, the package was now missing, and the auction turned into hunt.  

“See...” He pushed away the untouched cheeseburger and fries, smiling to the other two. “Nothing more than a set up.”  

“Your package has been delivered, room 112, Luxor hotel, room under the name Ricardo Giorno.”  

Michael rose from the booth, pulling out a few bucks for the meal, and tip. “Tell you guys what, you ever come to New York, I’ll give you the hook up, look for Ricardo Giorno...” He glanced over to the masked figure. “Buensora.” He gave a polite bow, before walking towards the exit.
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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury February 19th 2022, 7:37 am

Well. At least she admitted to being a knock off of the real deal; or more accurately was trying to be the second iteration of the Black Tigress. The false italian was able to hide his coverup when the cat burglar immediately jumped into a spiel on the package. How they, just like everyone else, hadn’t anything conclusive about it. ‘Ricardo’ even backed the statement up. Putting into words the same thoughts that Romulus himself had been having about the package. Except they spun it in such a way as to try and get himself and Black Tigress to lose interest. This was not a hardened mercenary or mafia enforcer who wanted the job all to himself. They were playing their cards too open. No, something was up with sunglasses and Romulus didn’t enjoy that he didn’t know what it was.

Before he could call him out on it though, or well prod him at least, a new player entered the diner. The one they were all waiting on it seemed, the man who would be starting the auction and selling this mysterious package. They were also someone Et Bellator was familiar with. He had heard the stories of the Syndicate Six; the six highest ranking members of the Crime Syndicate and the man in the fancy suit was none other than Number Two. The second highest ranking member of the world’s largest underground criminal syndicate. The spokesperson for ‘Number One’ the leader of the Syndicate and if the rumors were true. A dick who could control minds. A feat he almost immediately showed off when he started speaking and told the gathered crowd to not ask names, to finish their dinner and get the brownies for dessert.

The only saving grace Romulus had was that he didn’t have any food in front of him. His meal was back on the other booth and currently covered by the large tray of finger foods being devoured by the cyber ninjas. However he did have a strange urge to order brownies now, but was able to push through the mental block by telling himself that he didn’t need the brownies because he hadn’t eaten the dinner. Shaking his head to help sort out the mess in his brain, the ex-marine focused in on the word’s between Llyod and Iapetos. Scoffing as it became apparent that the ‘package’ was no longer in route and had been instead stolen, perhaps by the courier who was supposed to bring it to the diner. Typical.

The proposed scavenger hunt actually made things easier for our resident undercover vigilante. Not only could he follow and take out the ‘villains’ who went after the package, and thus eliminate the chances any of them got their hands on the package he could also make sure that he found it and got it somewhere safe. ‘Ricardos’ easy dismissal of the entire thing made Bellator scoff “Giving up so easily?” He called after the man as they made their way towards the exit. Really wishing he had some sort of tracking device on him, but those were hard to get your hands on. Even his old black ops contacts were hard pressed to acquire some that they could ‘misplace’. He did not trust the way in which they seemingly gave up this quickly. So, instead he stood up, cracked his neck and shoulders before looking down at Tigress the second. “Partners? At least for now?”

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Post by The Nekromonga February 19th 2022, 9:28 am

A few people in the diner, unamused at the development, began standing up to leave. Iapoetos interrupted them with his compelling voice. “Sit down.”

Lloyd continued to speak on the radio. “Actually. This is an opportunity. An opportunity for growth. There are three packages. Two are decoy. One the real package. Return it to me, I’ll make it worth your while.”

“You’re a real chump if you think we’d off each other for some loose change. We don’t work cheap… Lloyd.” Matthias made a rude gesture at the radio, showing that these cyber warriors were not complete fools.

“Oh, dear me no. Nothing so trivial as… money. But that will be in ample supply. No. Ladies and Gentlemen, you may find it difficult to believe. But I am in the business of making the impossible… possible. The group that brings the real package to me, without opening it, will be given 1 million dollars, each, cash, untraceable, unconditionally. Then we will discuss long term… partnership opportunities. And no, if anyone is feeling greedy, the cash is not on site.”

Iapetos raised his hand and waved at the lady in the far corner. “Miss Talona. Come to the phone.”

The tall, lanky druid looking Irish super villain sat by herself, legs crossed, her two dogs seated on the floor. She waited dramatically before she approached Iapetos. “You think to call me out, mortal? Talona?”

“I’m just the messenger. It’s for you ma’am.” Iapetos did not want to gravely offend Talona, given her long, colorful career as an eco-terrorist.

The phone call was private, but June had a tool installed into her suit that would let her pick up on the conversation. She even had a mini speaker to let Bellator and Warden listen in. Everyone else in the bar would only hear Talona quickly becoming agitated when Lloyd called her by her real name. A name she’d protected for over 3 decades. “Good evening, Dr. Moreau. Three years ago, you discovered your only son inherited your powers but used them for… altruistic purposes. This was at cross purposes to your excursion to a Senator’s home regarding his environmental policies. And you ended up killing him.”

Talona exploded with rage at the personal stab. “You. YOU DARE. YOU DARE USE SUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION AGAINST ME?! I’LL HAVE MY DOGS EAT YOU-

Iapetos placed a hand on the villainess’s arm. “Calm down, Talona.” To which she did, and listened to what else he had to say. The next voice she heard pushed her over the edge.

“Mom? Mom is that you? Please. Please come get me. I want to go home.”

Talona slammed the phone down, almost breaking it. “This… this is fake. This is all a fake. This… this… there is no rational explanation for this.” IN her hysteria she went to the door. “OUT OF MY WAY. IF ANYONE THINKS THEY WILL GET THAT PACKAGE, I WILL FEED YOUR CORPSE TO GALAHAD!”

The lady slams the diner door on the way out.
“Okayyyyy. Anyone else want a personal sales pitch?” Iapetos offered the phone to the present company. Nope, anyone who can rile up a big name like Talona, there was now no doubt.

“Alright listen up. Your contacts are: Frank at The Caesar’s Palace, Presley at the Vegas Outdoor Amphitheatre, and Ray at the Vegas Speak Easy. Now go get the package. Or go home. I don’t care.”

The villains slowly file out one by one, eyeing each other nervously. While no violence erupted in the parking lot, every was in a big hurry to put distance between themselves and their competitors.

Lucas, the nunchucks brother, made a blowing kiss gesture at Black Tigress. He was berated by his brothers, before they hit the town on their bikes.

June was munching on the fudgiest, tastiest brownies for dessert. The salty walnut toppings balanced out the sweetness. Everyone else seemed to be missing out.

June put in her opinion. “…Talona doesn’t strike me as a tool who’d put on an act. And… Doctor Moreau? Francesca Moreau, the British wildlife lady? Act or not. These packages are going to attract a lot of attention. Everyone in this Diner is going to kill or get killed... and honestly I'm not really in the business of killing unless absolutely necessary. I say we pick one of the contacts and go from there... and rough up whoever's in the way.”

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Post by ProwlerKnight February 19th 2022, 11:39 pm

Michael ignored the comment “Mercucio” made, seeing that his attempt to deter him was futile. All he knew, was things were about to hit the fan, and Michael needed to get to his gear, before somebody got anxious, and try to pick him off early.  

The thing was, the change in plans made things a whole lot easier, tactically. Everyone would be spread wide, and ready to take out anyone who crosses their paths. Their numbers will dwindle, and fast, making it easier for Michael do his job.  

He was sure “Mercucio” was coming up with the same conclusion.  

He couldn’t quite understand why, but his gut was telling him the masked man, and the girl, were going to be more useful than they appeared. They both seemed like they were hiding something, and not just the typical villainous secrets or hidden motives.  

He did take into consideration the possibility of other heroes catching wind of this event, and knew a few would devise the same plan of slipping in undercover like he did.

The only issue was, he was in a den of snakes, where one wrong assumption could out him before he could make his next moves.  

He only got a few steps away, when the man named Iapetos spoke, simply ordering him, and the others attempting to leave to “sit down”.  

Suddenly, he found himself sitting back down at the booth, clearly not happy.  

He had heard a member of the Crime Syndicate was going to be present for this deal, he just could pin down, at least, he forced back into his chair.  

Luckily, Tigres was resourceful, having tapped the phone, so they could listen in.  

Unfortunately, it seemed the situation was worse than previously planned, as it now seemed hostages were being force into play, especially ones from beyond the grave.

He looked over to other two, gauging their reactions.  

As Tigress laid out the situation, Michael felt he had enough to make his next move.  

“The only issue with your plan, is one of us here isn’t really who they say they are...” He spoke low, so only the two of them could hear him, while he leaned in, setting his energy pistol on the table discretely, as he locked eyes on Tigress. “So why don’t we take a nice, calm walk out to my car, and we can talk.”  

While it seemed he was outing her, it was actually “Mercucio” he was gauging here, as he had enough insight on the Tigress that he was willing to gamble on her being an ally. Now, he just had to either make sure the masked man on her other side was going to play ball, or that he could get rid of him before he could foil their plans.  

But first, he had to get both of them out of the diner.
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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury February 21st 2022, 8:44 am

Black Tigress hacking into the phones and allowing the three of them to listen to the conversation between Talona and her long lost son was an interesting and useful display. It gave them an insight that the rest of the diner didn’t have, and also went on to show the far reaching power of the organizers of this auction turned scavenger hunt. But it begged the question, if they seemingly had enough power to do that as a way to keep Talona in line then why weren’t they able to keep their Courier in line? How did they have three contacts at three different casinos already? This all smelled like a set up. It was planned from the start. Everything was going exactly how the Crime Syndicate wanted it to go. He definitely wouldn’t be surprised if these ‘contacts’ were more Syndicate plants.

All of this was running through Romulus’ head when Tigress and ‘Ricardo’ started to talk. Tigress about how she wasn’t in the business of killing unless it was necessary and was worried this would escalate into everyone killing everyone. Wanting to pick a contact, get there quickly and stop whomever was along the way. A sensible and easy enough thing to say outloud and also further put her in the category of not who she claimed to be. Ricardo’s reaction was a lot more telling. Laser pistol, threatening Tigress but body language indicating the threat wasn’t necessarily towards her. More a general statement of fact. He could be outing himself as ‘not being who they said they were’, he could genuinely be talking about how this cat burglar was absolutely not Black Tigress or her replacement. He could also be talking about how ‘Mercurio’ wasn’t who they said they were.

“A threat? When it would be two against one? Even in Vegas those aren’t good odds.” Romulus spoke, hands coming to rest on the top of the table, a cylinder object in his left hand. One the two military minded individuals would recognize as a military grade emp grenade. The left one palming a colt. 45 revolver. “I’ve got nothing against going outside to have a chat, clear the air. But don’t think you hold all the cards sunglasses.” The armored and masked vigilante spoke as he stood up, exiting the booth and moving out of the way to allow ‘Black Tigress’ to leave without having to do any strange maneuvers. “I’ll be outside, I won’t wait for long.” He informed them as he turned to leave and walk outside. Purposefully turning his back towards the two of them. He didn’t expect them to do anything and was showing that he expected them not to. Once he made it outside, he walked a little bit before stopping in the ‘parking lot’ and waited. He would wait five minutes before leaving on his own, but didn’t expect to be waiting that long.

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Post by The Nekromonga February 21st 2022, 9:39 am

June sighed. Internally she was criticizing herself for her lack of deeper nuance in infiltration. She was wasting her good high tech disguise. She failed to convinced ‘Ricardo’ / Warden and ‘Mercurcio’/ Bellator was sort of pity-team up with her. Or was a bit more reserved with the aggress- nope, he pulls out a gun.

She trailed behind the others into the diner’s now empty parking lot, the rogues and fiends now on their way to meet their destiny. She was now able to stand her full height. Oops. Well, her height wasn’t going to matter much as long as the conversation kept going. “If nothing else, if you- or you- are going to go after one of the packages, you’ll need someone to watch your back. We’re dealing with killers, metahumans, and killer metahumans. You might beat them if you take them on. But who’s to say another’s not waiting for the competition to weaken the other? I can be quiet and get around fast. Make sure our flanks are covered.”

It hadn’t been 15 minutes since the diner was starting to be vacated when distant gunshots could be heard, followed by bursts of flame shooting into the air. The faint glow of energy weapons illuminated an area some blocks away. And… was that a griffon soaring above a casino before briefly descending again?

June had to fight the urge to start hulk leaping towards the nearest incident. “I say we can work together. At least, until we get the package. Maybe even get that carrot being dangled in front of our eyes, and walk away as the winners... and as survivors.”

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Post by ProwlerKnight February 22nd 2022, 1:24 pm

Two against one, while Michael was a gambling man, he knew when the risks were too high.  

However, “Mercucio” coming to Tigresses aide was the exact action he was hoping for. Given the nature of the situation, he figured he would find others like him, hiding among the snakes, trying to snag this elusive “package” before it could fall in the wrong hands.  

He nodded, holstering the energy pistol, as they all strolled out of the diner. “The 1964 Chevelle Malibu...” He nodded towards his car, his accent gone, now that they were clear of eavesdroppers. “I suggest we move quickly, I gotta make a quick stop.” He guided them over to the car.  

“The police scanners are going ballistic right now, APBs are coming in on everyone, the Sheriff is issuing a lockdown of the city, and requesting National Guard.”  

Michael looked back at the other two as he opened the drivers side door. “Sheriffs calling for a lockdown of the city, and brining in the Guard...” He slipped into the driver seat of the convertible. “Nellis Air Force Base is right here in North Las Vegas, which means they’ll have reconnaissance of the area up within the hour...” He started the ignition. “When those drones go live, I want you linked in.”  

The last part of his dialogue sounded like it was meant for someone else, someone not there with them, as he then glanced to the other two. “Get in.”  

From his hidden earpiece, he heard.  

“Already tapped into the Nellis central systems, will be giving you live info when they’re airborn.”
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Post by Romulus Emanuel Mercury February 23rd 2022, 9:57 am

Hell in a handbasket. A strange saying, but one the ex-marine was fairly certain fit given the current state of things. It hadn’t even been ten minutes since the majority of the occupants from the diner had left and already everything was going to shit. Explosions could be heard in the distance, sounds of gunfire, and apparently a griffon flying off in the not so distant skyline. Sunglasses leading the three of them over to his car, as Tigress suggested they all work together was a welcome surprise. The man dropping his fake accent and showing his true new yorker accent showed he wasn’t who he claimed to be. A point towards the theory that he was perhaps like Romulus. A vigilante of some sort who heard about the package and decided to come in undercover and make sure it didn’t fall into the wrong hands; and maybe catch a few loose ends along the way.

When they got to the small car, Et Bellator opened the passenger side door and moved the chair up. Despite his initial thought of getting in the front seat so as not to be trapped in the back. The third member of their ‘group’ was an entire foot taller than Romulus was. Meaning the backseat was where he got in. It was definitely a tight fit for the armored 6’2” vigilante but it would have been a lot worse for the false Black Tigress, and in this enclosed area if this was a trap no one was going to escape when he activated the knockout gas he had easy access to. Sunglasses made mention that the sheriff had already called for a citywide lockdown and called in the national guard. Who had a very quick response time given the close proximity of Nellis Airforce Base. Things were about to get very tricky for the trio, but it would also make things more difficult for the ‘opposition’.

Romulus decided not to comment on sunglasses ‘order’ to someone that was not himself or ‘Tigress’, filing the information away for later. It was probably a partner, contact of somesort. More than likely a tech expert. This gave a bit of insight into how the new yorker operated, and would help to give them an eye in the sky. “After your stop. Caeser’s Palace is the most well known of the three given contact locations. Might be best if we head there. More civilians that will be in trouble if other unsavory types decide to hit it as well.” This was said to gauge the reactions and answers of the other two individuals in the car. Everything wasn’t out in the open but it was enough to finally see if they were on the same side as he himself was. While also allowing plausible deniability.

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