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Thread: The MetaWar Saga (unfinished)

  1. #11
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    Default Chapter 8



    Command Briefing
    1 week after the opening of Olympus.

    Attendees: Members of the Admin staff and all resident MetaHumans except the speedsters.


    Janice: All right I think we are ready to begin. We are here to discuss what we have learned in the past weeks. To get things started I am going to ask a few people to fill us all in on what they have been doing. First up, Alicia from Research.

    Alicia: Hi everybody. For those of you who do not know our basic assignment was to learn about MetaHumans, how many there are, what they can do, and what they have been doing. At first we studied news reports and other official sources of information to try and get some idea how widespread things were.

    All that was shelved when Miss. Pathfinder showed up. Her ability to mentally scan over vast distances gave us a whole new direction. Starting with how many MetaHumans there are, and approximately where they are located, we were able to match news stories with a person.

    Say we know that MetaHuman A is in a particular area, there are news reports of someone flying from the same area, there you go. Not exacting but it helped a lot. There seem to be twenty basic power types and three different levels of ability.

    MetaHumans of the first Type essentially have the basic physical enhancements that all Metas enjoy, but that is all. They are about slightly stronger than a well-trained human, and are somewhat more
    resistant to injury. Speed and reflexes are high, but not superhuman, I mean MetaHuman sorry.

    There are about 350 Type I MetaHumans in the world.

    Type IIs are people with both the basic physical enhancement and a superpower. Everyone seems to basically have a single power although in some cases it is questionable. A few of the powers tend to branch into other areas if the Meta is strong enough.

    These are the 'Rule Changers', if they are smart, and use their abilities well, they are beyond normal human control. They are not invulnerable though and they could be stopped with the proper effort. I believe the human you are calling Batman is responsible for bringing down 10 MetaHumans so far, so it can be done.

    That brings us to the Type IIIs, the most powerful of the new superbeings. We call them 'Rule Breakers' because they are so powerful it is hard to conceive how humans could even hinder them let alone kill them.

    We are rating Type IIs and Type IIIs in three levels of power, one is the weakest, three is strongest.

    You Mr. Pulsar are a Type III Level 3, and there is one other here at Olympus.

    Pulsar: Who?

    Alicia: Geo. We have him classed with you in the 'Energy Master' power category but that is not really correct. But when we tried to use 'Matter Master' we just found the phrase silly. Both of you can manipulate matter or energy at such a fundamental level that your real limits will probably never be known.

    Psyche: What are the powers?

    Alicia: In order they are:

    1. Acrobatics
    2. Armor
    3. Density Control
    4. Energy Master
    5. Energy Projection
    6. Entangle
    7. Flight
    8. Force Field
    9. Growth
    10. Invisibility
    11. Mental Blast
    12. Mental Illusions
    13. Mind Scan
    14. Regeneration
    15. Shape Shift
    16. Strength
    17. Speed
    18. Telepathy
    19. Telekinesis
    20. Teleport

    All Type I Metas are classed as Acrobats which is a general physical enhancement category. The powers Regeneration, Shape Shift, and Teleport are tentative. There is no one here who has them but we have pretty good evidence they exist.

    Pathfinder: Teleport is definite, I have seen people pop across multiple states. There is one person out there who must be able to port anywhere on the planet. This person appears out of nowhere sometimes and then vanishes back. To get outside of my basic scan range you have to go to another continent.

    Pulsar: What is the difference between Energy Master and Energy Projection?

    Alicia: The difference between you and Apollo sir. He can generate light, heat, and with work possibly a laser. All his abilities are centered not only around a single type of energy, but he can only project it. He has very little ability to affect light that is ambient. You on the other hand sir, well is there any sort of energy you cannot control?

    Pulsar: Mental energy actually. I can see it, I can block it, but that is all. I cannot project it, or affect it in any other way. Psyche finds that funny by the way. But thank you for the answer.

    Alicia: You are welcome sir. We have looked at the power distribution across the three levels. Pretty much as you would expect there are about twice as many level twos as level threes, and twice as many level ones as twos.

    But I must point out that since we only have 29 MetaHumans that we can really study, this information is not solid yet. Seems to make sense though.

    Shorthand for our system is Power # x Type Level. So you sir would be 4x33

    Janice: Thank you Alicia, we will be coming back to you later, for the rest. Anyone have any questions for her before we move on? Alright, Paul you are up.

    Paul: Hello everyone. I am in charge of putting together some sort of combat training program here. The idea is to give each new MetaHuman a basic understanding of combat. I am supposed to give them some idea of how normal combat ops work, and help them to put their own special abilities to work.

    I will tell you all right now I do not know what the fuck I am doing.

    <general laughter>

    I am a former navy SEAL so I do know my trade but what you people can do makes what I know seem pointless. You want to know the truth? After my interview here, and meeting her, I went out and got blasted. Never been so goddammed scared in my goddammed life. Next time some fucker shoots at me. I am gonna laugh. Laugh! Bullets, fuck 'em, I've met Psyche.

    This is all insane shit.

    We have not gotten much accomplished yet, still just learning what everyone can really do. But I will promise you this much, I will learn and then I will teach. Everyone you entrust to me will come out of my training grounds ready to fight. This ain't no game we are playing, and I intend for my boys and girls to fucking win.

    That's my report.

    Thor: How much time do you think you would need for a proper MetaHuman combat training course?

    Paul: Well sir for normal combat three months is enough, if you want special ops level of performance add six more. Nine months would probably do it.

    Pulsar: We will never have nine months.

    Thor: But if that is what it takes?

    Pulsar: Thor my faithful friend, we do not have the time. We do not have 9 weeks, we might not have 9 days. At least for now we have to race the clock. Six weeks.

    Paul: Yes sir. Best I can do in six weeks, gotcha.

    Janice: Thanks Paul, we all have faith in you. Erin if you would go next please.

    Erin: Hiya. I am Erin and I am in charge of our facilities here at Olympus. So that means I get the food in here that you people eat by the truckload and I am responsible for all the construction.

    I just want to say first that I am thrilled to be here. I know what lies ahead of us but I know we will get through it as long as we stay together.

    We currently have eight functioning buildings. All, except for Admin, are of simple steel construction. We have however finally finished the interiors of the seven so they are not looking too shabby. This Admin building is a quick constructing prefab in case anyone was wondering.

    Current usage is as follows:

    1 Admin
    2 Living Quarters
    1 Training
    1 Garage
    1 Tech & Support Workshops
    1 Science & Medical
    1 Support & Storage

    We have major construction plans for the months ahead, and with the help of some of you superpowered people, we might even be on schedule.

    That's it Janice.

    Janice: Thank you Erin. Some information we just got goes along with her report. All six helicopters are at our airport. In case any of you did not know it we purchased a medium-sized airport under a cover business identity. The two Gulf-Stream jets arrive tomorrow.

    Those of you who were, or are, fans of comic books, or scifi movies, will love this part. Geo is going to make a tunnel leading from here to the airport. When we add in some electric vehicles we should be able to move about with little notice.

    Now we will turn back to Alicia, I think the time is right to present the most troubling information you have discovered.




  2. #12
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    Default Chapter 8a



    Alicia: Ok. In case anyone does not know, Miss. Pathfinder here has the power #13, Mind Scan. This means she can mentally look at an area of the globe and sense the people inhabiting that space. If she knows who she is looking for she can find specific people.

    MetaHumans show up in her scans even when she is not looking for one in particular. We spent one very intense 24 hour session recording everything she found across the entire planet. When we combined that with data from the Olympus residents, and the condensed news report data, the entire picture began to emerge.

    Let me stop right here. I want you all to know that what I am about to say is certainly based on conjecture. The numbers could not possibly be exact. But they are probably pretty close to what is going to happen I am very sorry to say.

    Ok.

    We have identified, or tracked, 302 Type II & Type III MetaHumans. There are 29 of them resident at Olympus. If you apply the most basic of psychology to those numbers you get something like this:

    38 MetaHumans will join Olympus at first
    83 will remain basically Neutral
    123 will go bad to various degrees
    58 will go really bad, Evil

    The odds against us are staggering. The most troubling part has to do with how the levels of power within each type seem to work. If the breakdown is what we think it is that means of the 180 MetaHumans who might be the enemy... 36 will be Type III, and of those, five will be Level 3.

    Sir we mean no disrespect by this, but we have a name for Type III Level 3s, 'World Wreckers'.

    It is true sir, that you could destroy the entire planet?

    Pulsar: Yes I think it is.

    Alicia: How are we going to stop them?

    Pulsar: I think the odds are going to be worse, but those are bad enough. We are going to stop them by working together. We are going to stop them because we have a cause that is worth fighting for. Paul, are battles won by guns and bombs?

    Paul: No Sir.

    Pulsar: What does win battles then?

    Paul: The will to win Sir. You have to want it more.

    Pulsar: Exactly. The reason we will win is because we are standing up for every living thing on this planet. Never forget that, any of you, not for a moment. We have to survive if the planet is going to survive, it is as simple, and as horrific, as that. I am going to ask every one of you to do some tough things along the way, some of us... are gonna die.

    But we are going to win. We are going to do it because we are going to be willing to make the hard choices. The kind that no one should ever have to make, the life or death kind. I was not ready to discuss this with any of you yet, but I guess now is the time.

    We are composing a Pact. A short document that basically says that MetaHuman powers are to be used for positive things only, or not used at all. Humans, and human society is not to be harmed, or adversely affected in any way by MetaHuman actions.

    Every Metahuman we can reach will be offered the option of either coming to Olympus, or simply agreeing to the Pact.

    If they have not intentionally hurt anyone, or done anything else that would be considered criminal, then those are the choices. Anyone who rejects both options will be told that they will be watched.

    And we will watch.

    As long as they remain peaceful or helpful, fine. If not, then things become a little different.

    Let's say that a group of Metas is robbing a bank. Some of us show up and stop them. Now what? Some of them may die in the fight, so we do not have to worry about them, but what of the others?

    Can we trust humans to imprison them? Will they be able to contain people with our kind of power? I doubt it.

    Could we control them? Maybe, but to do it we would have to have MetaHumans maintain the prison. Our power could conceivably contain theirs. But at what cost? The more of them we chain up, the more of us that must guard them. Anybody here want to be a prison guard?

    Do not feel bad, neither do I.

    Even if we could make it work, the prison would simply be a target for every mastermind that wants some henchman, right? I don't like it, and I do not think it would work.

    So that only leaves one other option. We make sure that when we fight, none of them is left alive.

    <confused outbursts>

    Quiet! Do not look at me like that. This is War people, a Meta War. If we fail the world dies, and those who do not, they will wish they had because they will be slaves!

    There are 29 of us here, after a month to think about it, 29. I am so glad you all are here I cannot even begin to express it. But we are outnumbered, badly. We do not have the luxury of playing nice. I have said from the beginning this is not a comic book, maybe now you finally understand why.

    You want another option, find one. Until you do then I have no choice but to proceed, my way.

    Apollo, Nike. I want the two of you to start thinking about what sort of team you wish to lead. I want eight people per team and you each have a slightly different focus. Nike your team should lean towards the covert, and Apollo you have the strike force. But do not get too focused on that. Both of you should pick a team that is ready for anything, any mission, any threat.

    The Speedsters will be available but do not fill one of your team slots with either of them. They will help everybody. Each of you will need a Telepath and fortunately Psyche's two sisters are willing.

    Justice will also be expanded a bit beyond the four of us. But I do not intend to go into the field unless I have to. If either of the two of you have any questions, talk to me about them later. Nova, want a job?

    Nova: With Justice?

    Pulsar: Yes.

    Nova: Oh hell yes.

    Pulsar: One other thing, Alicia, how many speedsters in your estimate?

    Alicia: No estimate here, there are six. They are hard to miss I am told.

    Pulsar: Alright. Speed. Kid Flash. I need you.

    <double whoosh>

    Speed: you rang

    Pulsar: Speed, Kid, there are 4 more people like you out there, find them for me.

    Speed: you got it boss

    Kid Flash: hi everybody bye everybody

    <double whoosh>

    Pulsar: Janice would you like to close us down?

    Janice: This meeting is adjourned. Recording devices off.


    end transcript


  3. #13
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    Default Chapter 9



    “Oh you have got to be kidding me!” I muttered as I stared at the monitor.

    “I am Caaaarnagggge.” came out of the speaker. What I was seeing was a 8' tall ugly red monster. MetaHuman, shape shifter, hostile. Ugly really falls short as a description.

    Problem? The visual was from Nemesis, Apollo's weapons master. She was very good, but she was hurt and outclassed.

    Oh, and this was Carnage #3, more on that later.

    “Nearest speedy gonzales?” I asked.

    Central was fully active, and buzzing like a friendly nest of bees.

    “Quicksilver.”

    “How long and what is he doing?”

    “6 minutes, MetaSearch.”

    He could get there in approximately 6 minutes and he was looking for Metas that we have not contacted.

    “Vector him now.”

    He was on his way, but 6 minutes is an eternity in combat.

    “Nemesis, can you get out of there?” I asked her over the voice channel.

    “Hell no boss, I can stand up. Hooray for me.”

    “Weapons?”

    “Pistol, used everything else with those other dickheads.”

    “Aim for the eyes, and try to evade. Help is 6 minutes away.”

    “Roger.” BOOM.

    Her first shot was on target, as usual, but did not seem to bother the beast all that

    much. Crap.

    “Team Status and locations. And coffee, please somebody.”

    Apollo's team had run into a bad situation. They were being hunted by another group of Metas .

    Apollo engaged the only non-Carnage hostile. Some big bruiser of a Meta, never did learn his name. The team leader's light beams forced his attacker to retreat in less that one minute. Athena and Cronus engaged Carnage #1. Mantis worked with Nemesis to put down Carnage #2. Lightray circled and helped everyone as he could.

    Between Athena's explosive fists, and Cronus's massive strength, Carnage #1 died in 2 minutes of hard fought combat.

    Nemesis and Mantis did defeat their enemy, but not before the bastard ripped Nemesis's side open. Her acrobatic skills were not quite as protective as Mantis' armored form.

    Then somebody shot down my spy drone and jammed our communications. We were blind and out of touch for almost 4 minutes.

    Apollo had a small base HQ established on the edge of the city, they got a new drone into the air fast. Lightray was now flying escort for the newly launched drone. He knew he would get extra brownie points if he bagged whoever hit the first one. I hate it when it when they pop my drones.

    When we finally got communications going, by pushing all of our transmitters to maximum, it was just in time to see Carnage #3 make his entrance. Somehow Nemesis had ended up underground with one more of those things.

    “Apollo, Athena, Cronus, Mantis and Selene are all 100 active, and searching for a way to get to Nemesis. There are no holes or other obvious entrances they can see. Lightray reports nothing but birds in sight. Sir, Nemesis is shaky, vitals are all over the place, mostly bad.”

    A very familiar voice that.

    “Janice?”

    “Yes?”

    “Get bored with all the paperwork?”

    “No, my best friend is fighting for her life, and Sandy is out sick. I took the slot, rank hath it's privileges. Unless you object. Please don't.”

    “You are going to be here anyway, might as well be useful. Find the next nearest available speedster, if they are within 10, get them moving now.”

    “Yes sir.”

    “You can talk to her Janice, but don't distract her.”

    “I know, I won't.”

    On the main screen I was getting a lot of blurry moving images. Flashes of that ugly red sucker mixed with bursts of light when Nemesis fired. She also screamed a few times.

    “ETA on Quicksilver?”

    “3 minutes, 30 seconds.”

    Carnage #3 was clumsy, I was wrong, she was not outclassed. Nemesis could have killed him easily with a sword. Hurt as she was, she barely held the bastard off.

    “Central.” came across the speakers from Apollo.

    “Central online.” responded a Tech.

    “We cannot find any possible way she could have been hauled down into a sewer, let alone as deep as she seems to be. Something else is going on, she was moved, somehow. Any reports of Zippy in this area?”

    “Negative, he is still in Asia.” from another Tech. I do know their names, I am just not going to use them.

    “Well somebody grabbed her and took her down into that hole. Unless you people have a better idea I am going to start blasting and tunnel the fuck down.”

    He was angry, frustrated, and I could not let him do that.

    “Apollo, this is Pulsar. Quicksilver will find a way to her. Hold on the massive property destruction until after speedy gets a shot, ok buddy?”

    “Roger Central. I just want to do something.”

    “How the fuck do you think I feel, hold for now. Central out.”

    “ETA.”

    “2 minutes, 10 seconds.”

    “There is a teleporter near Nemesis and Apollo!” shouted Pathfinder as she burst into the room. “The big boy, the one that can jump anywhere.”

    Mystery solved.

    “Hello Pathfinder, your timing is excellent.” I said as she fell into the chair next to me.

    Big grin from her, followed by her attempts to breath again after the run.

    “Janice, do you know where Nemesis is yet?” was my next question.

    “Part of an old subway system, never completed.”

    “Please tell me there is a surface entrance.”

    “Yes, but it is sealed, buried maybe, not exactly sure. Can I send the drone that way?”

    “Yes.”

    “Central to Apollo.” I called out.

    “Apollo, go Central.”

    “We found your way to Nemesis, about 8 miles north. And we have confirmation of a teleporter active in your area. Pretty sure that answers your mystery.”

    “Great. All our vehicles are toast, burned toast. Any suggestions?”

    “Steal a car.”

    “Say what?”

    “I think the phase is 'say again'. I said steal a car.”

    “Been drinking boss?”

    “Two minutes ago you wanted to rip up a public street and now you balk at stealing a car? Blow out a goddamn window, have Selene hot wire it, and get the fuck over there. Any more smart-ass questions?”

    “No Sir, we are moving. Out.”

    A Teleporter, damn. They are elusive, and all our plans for catching one involve me and a whole bunch of other people working together. I had none of those things at the scene since I was sitting, well pacing, back at Olympus.

    “Quicksilver is onsite.”

    Finally!

    “Central to Quicksilver.”

    “i am here bossman”

    “Nemesis is being hunted in an abandoned subway system tunnel, she is hurt. You are standing at the old entrance. Find a way to get to her. Dig, smash, do whatever you have to, but find her. Out.”

    Lightray and the drone arrived just in time to see Quicksilver vanish into the structure.

    “Status on Nemesis.”

    “She has managed to put some distance between herself and that thing, but she is running out of space fast. Vitals are still weak, but stable.”

    Waiting, it is just the worst. If it drags on long enough you begin to second-guess yourself. Did I miss something? Did I make the right calls? I usually try to avoid these thoughts by attempting to watch every monitor simultaneously.

    Apollo and his team arrived on the scene at the same moment that Quicksilver found Nemesis.

    She was down, but still moving. Quicksilver did one of the magic speedster things and administered first aid. In an eye blink all her wounds were bandaged. An air gun hypo blasted painkillers into her neck.

    Carnage #3 charged down the tunnel towards the two of them. I could not see Nemesis's face, but I bet she was smiling, I sure the hell was.

    The monster was going forward one moment, and sideways the next. Pieces of him seemed to fly off on their own as he was slammed left and then right.

    Quicksilver pounded his opponent into unconsciousness in 12 seconds. The doomed Meta returned to human form in mid-air. The impact against the concrete wall was harsh, and fatal.

    The Techs exploded in cheers, shouts, and lots of unnecessary hugging.

    I let that go for all of 30 seconds and then barked “Stations! We are not done yet.” And yes being an asshole is part of my job description.

    Up top Apollo was sitting on the hood of his stolen car and just waiting. I was just about to contact him when something happened.

    A shape formed 30 feet in front of him. Male, normal sized, dressed in flowing panels of cloth.

    “New Player!” called Janice.

    He spoke, the words were artificially amplified somehow, “Have you enjoyed my game?”

    “Game? Is that was this has been?” snapped Apollo with obvious hostility.

    “Oooo so unfriendly. Is that any way to address a fellow deity?”

    “We are not deities, and you sure as shit ain't. What was the point of this game?”

    “Well you would know about you I guess. I know about me. I am Loki, and I am a god. The Game? The Name! Why the name of course, which ever one of the three managed to make the first kill got to be the one and only Carnage. The other fellow was just to even the odds a bit, sad performance really. When I was down to one shape shifting pawn I thought I would give him an easy kill. I like that girl, she has spunk. Surprised me. If you did not enjoy my game I will leave. BUT... before I go I have to ask you one thing, is your sister dating anybody?”

    Apollo responded with a massive light blast, I saw the people on either side of him jump back as it went off.

    The beam passed right through Loki and dug a hole in the ground behind him.

    He laughed as he faded out of sight.

    “Pathfinder, where did he go?”

    “One sec boss.” she replied with her eyes screwed shut in concentration. “He is gone, really gone this time.”

    “Central to Apollo. Looks like our new friend has left for now. Pull your people back to your base, and then head home. How is Nemesis?”

    “Roger that Central, she will be ok.”


  4. #14
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    Default Chapter 9a



    Two months after Day One (the eventual official name for the first official day of Olympus). We had made friendly contact with 46 friendly, or at least neutral, MetaHumans. We had killed 19 less than friendly ones. Nine while they were in the process of murder or other major crimes, the rest when we tried to talk to them. And much to my surprise, four MetaHumans were working, voluntarily, for the U.S. government.

    And now some twerp who thinks he is Loki.

    If you really must use comic book labels he was the first true Mastermind. He was not going to die easily, or anytime soon. I hated him already.



  5. #15
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    Default Chapter 10



    One of the problems that plagued us in the early days was rather mundane: Transportation.

    How could we get where we needed to be fast enough to make a difference. This problem did not affect all the work we were doing, but it was a major headache.

    In fiction the good guys always manage to stumble across the criminals at just the right moment. Real life rarely works like that. In comic books the tradition of patrolling is well respected. We were able to do some of that. Our Speedsters and Fliers traveled quite a bit.

    We made a difference in a lot of ways. Local police forces across America, Canada, Mexico and a couple of other places came to respect us because of the speedsters. They had their own fully automated version of Central and any local government could request access to the system. Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Civil Defense, once authorized any of these could put in a request for help.

    24 hours a day my amazing friends buzzed into their lounge. Covering one wall was a 10' tall, 4' wide task list. Speed and his buddies would scan the list and pick what they wanted to do next. You can see them standing in place for a few moments, or wandering around like normal folks as they listened to rapid-fire recorded messages. They decided if the call was worthy, or immediate.

    I offered to assign staff more than once to help them out but they turned me down. I got the distinct impression that they were laughing at me every time I offered. I just did not understand, they did not need any help. Keying in the index code off the list gave them all the data they needed, most especially it set up navigations for their wrist display unit. Zoom, off they went.

    Another large wall screen showed a map, and tracked the locations of not only the speedsters but all Olympus MetaHumans. The number of people they rescued, located, or apprehended is staggering and constantly growing.

    As we began to look at the other things we could do besides deal with other MetaHumans we considered a lot of options. We did not just want to stop certain types of crime, we wanted to eliminate them if at all possible. By that I do not mean kill them. Our dealings with human criminals have to the greatest degree been in line with human law enforcement techniques.

    Except in a few special cases.

    Since we could not be everywhere, or even in the right place at the right time often enough, we considered other possibilities. Where could we do the most good?

    Serial Killers.

    We knew that out in the world there were men stalking other humans like prey. You know the names of many of these sick individuals and I will not mention any here. Like any disease, what you see, what can be caught, is only the beginning of the story.

    We hunted them.

    Forgive what is going to sound like an arbitrary and callous judgment, but it took 5 kills to qualify as a serial killer. Not accidental, not crimes of passion, but cold-blooded murder, often much worse than simple killings is what it took to make our list.

    There was only one way to find them, our Telepaths had to shift the population and look. It turned out that these sorts of people deserve to be called evil. When a serial killer interacts with another human there is a psychic trauma inflicted. This is nothing you would know consciously, but it is real and most importantly, it is detectable.

    A Telepath and a Scanner Meta along with a small team of defenders and support people would move around a city in civilian clothes. Psyche, Selene, or Circe would look for the traces I described. When those were found a closer examination of the person's mind was conducted. It usually only took a few people with the traces for the girls to figure out who left them.

    Pathfinder or Seeker would then take the supplied mental image, and begin to look for the target. They usually found them.

    The team would get close enough to the target for the Telepath to do a full reading. If the person had indeed committed multiple murders, we took action.

    If the killer had a living victim we moved in as soon as we knew where they were exactly. Speedsters got to do a lot of rescue work here as usual. But the teams did not always call for them. Some of these guys were beyond any sort of bad you can imagine and the need to take personal action sometimes took over. I know, that happened to me.

    When we knew the whole truth about this guy, I pulled the whole team back to the vehicles. I got out and walked into the house. The door turned to dust. This was not a man that cowered before me, it was a thing, a monster.

    I will not tell you what he had done, I cannot put that here for all time. But he had been doing it for 56 years. He died screaming silent screams, and it took 5 minutes.

    If I am supposed to feel bad about what I did I am sorry but I don't. This is not Pulsar the MetaHuman talking, this is a human being who shot a rapid dog.

    We would record all the important information about the life of the now deceased killer and present it to the local authorities. People who had never known what had happened to their child, or their wife, at least knew finally learned the truth.

    27 days into the first month of doing this work we discovered the real cost.

    I was with the current search team because Psyche was with them. Selene was working the target but Psyche was there for moral support. We already knew this work was hard on the girls. We just did not know how hard. Selene had one more target to track down and then we were all going to a late lunch.

    You might find that a little heartless perhaps. We had accepted our life, and we still had to eat.

    We found the guy, he had killed 36 teen boys over 22 years.

    He was alone in his house, and then he was dead.

    Selene was outside the RV we were using as a command post, looking depressed and sad which was normal considering.

    She slumped to the ground.

    Psyche ran to her, I flew.

    Psyche always answered my really serious questions without my having to verbalize them. In moments of stress that is how it has always been.

    She was not saying anything.

    “Psyche?”

    “Something is very wrong, but I do not know what. I cannot reach her, and she is in pain”

    “Tell us what we need to do.”

    “I don't know, give me time.”

    “I am taking command, get ready to move out everybody.”

    Psyche held Selene's head in her lap and tried to make some sort of contact. I could see her energy, controlled and focused. But I could also see random spikes shooting out of Selene. I did not know what it meant, but it was wrong.

    Minutes ticked by, I had a team of superpowered people straining at the leash. We all wanted someone to lash out at, some target we could hit. Instead we waited.

    “Oh god, it is him. The killer, his mind, somehow absorbing it has sent her into some sort of internal spiral. She is there, but so is he.” she spit out in a haunted voice.

    Internal spiral, that made sense to me. Overload perhaps, feedback maybe, energy out of whack, that put me back on familiar ground.

    “Can we get him out of her, erase the memory, anything?” I asked.

    “No, we cannot forget, you know that.”

    If we cannot get rid of it maybe we could...

    “Pulsar to Central.”

    “Central online.”

    “I need the location of the nearest school, not a college, kids, find it fast.”

    “Say again.”

    “Find me a school, elementary, high school, whatever.”

    “Working on it.”

    “Everybody, load up.”

    The coordinates were not long in coming. An elementary school about 15 minutes away.

    “Central to Pulsar.”

    “Pulsar.”

    “Do you want us to contact the school?” they were confused and trying to cover all the bases.

    “Negative, I doubt that would help. There is no danger there, but Selene needs their help. Pulsar out.”

    Psyche gave me her maybe look in response to my unspoken question.

    She did not know if it would work either.


  6. #16
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    Default Chapter 11



    We arrived at the school, I spoke over the team frequency.

    “Everybody stay put, weapons under cover until we leave.”

    I got out and headed into the school. The looks I got were mostly amusement, somebody dressing up like a Olympus MetaHuman, no biggy. The principle's office was not hard to find, and my reception there was slightly less than amused.

    “I need to see your principle.” I told the glowering woman behind the desk.

    “Please take off that mask.”

    “Sorry, that is against the rules.”

    “Who are you?”

    “Pulsar, and this really is urgent.”

    “I mean who are you really, I can see who you are dressed as.” snarky and unpleasant.

    My forcefield lit up. Her mouth hit her desk.

    “The Principle, now please.” a little Darth Vader voice to complete the effect.

    She pointed to a door to her right. I opened and went through it to find a rather average middle-aged man doing the usual paperwork.

    “Who are...” he began.

    I flashed my shield, I was out of patience.

    “I'm Pulsar, and I need your help. One of my people has been hurt, and the only chance we have to save her requires your school's help.”

    “But. But what could we do? I don't understand.”

    “I do not have time to make you understand. You know who I am?”

    He nodded, twice actually.

    “Then you know what I do. Does Olympus matter to you at all?”

    Again, he nodded. Just the once this time.

    “Then help me, explanations can come later. Call an assembly, and take me there. I have a team of people outside waiting for my signal, time is short.”

    “Alright.” and off he went. The PA crackled to life and the student body began to shift it's location.

    Mr. Huckle, the Principle, showed me the way to the gym. As soon as we got in the door I tapped my earpiece.

    “Psyche, bring her in, my location.”

    “On our way.”

    The kids started to steam in from the other end of the rather large space. They spotted me and their chatter grew louder. The bleachers along the walls began to fill.

    Psyche and the team made their way in the room, I directed them to the center of the open space.

    The kids were dead silent now. Somehow they had figured out that we were not some sort of show but instead the real deal. Never felt so many eyes on me before.

    Might as well do it right. I floated into the center of the room, hovering 10 feet over where Selene now lay. She was still, but breathing.

    “I am Pulsar.” add a little echo along with some volume, bring up the shield.

    “We are here because we need your help. Selene is a Metahuman and she has been hurt. Not shot or stabbed, the hurt is in her mind. A very evil man has done something to her and we need all of you to help us undo it. Do you think you can do that?”

    “YES!” came as a roar.

    I floated down next to Selene's prone form. To Psyche I directed the question I had to ask.

    “It might not work, but the kids will be in no danger. You have my word on that.” was her reply.

    “Why the tears honey?”

    “The kids, they love us, so much, it is wonderful. Bring them closer.”

    Back into the air.

    “Kids, I need you to move down here, sit in a circle around us.”

    A waterfall of children roared down towards me. They were not yelling or shouting, but just the movement was like thunder. I think I was a bit over-sensitive right then.

    “Now I need one brave boy, and one brave girl. I am going to ask you to take one of Selene's hands. This will be a little scary, like a roller coaster. You are perfectly safe but you might see lights, or flashes of weird stuff. I know this is a lot to ask, but you know we would not let anything happen to any of you.” Psyche was speaking with what we called the 'mom voice' it worked on everyone, including me.

    Full of warmth, trust, and love, it was her at her very best.

    A bunch of hands shot into the air, but one boy, and one girl, got up and moved to sit next to Selene's hands. I was ready to warn them not to touch her until we were ready.

    Off by the rest of my team the Principle was looking extremely uncomfortable. I could not blame him, but I could not allow him to stop us either. I drifted down near Psyche and whispered “The Principle, convince him this must go on unhindered.”

    Via my special senses I saw the tendril of mental force reach out and make the connection. In a moment the look on Mr. Huckles face changed to something more hopeful.

    I rose back into the air, I needed space to focus. I wove a matrix of energy around, and through, the entire group of us. It was delicate and complex. Working with psychic energies is difficult for me and I was really pushing my limits here. Psyche was helping, and on familiar ground, but I had to guide energy that I could not control.

    But now I could put Selene into telepathic contact with each individual person and shield them from any hostile feedback. In theory.

    “Ok, everybody. I want you all to think of a happy memory. A birthday, a trip, anything you like. I need you to keep thinking about it until I tell you to stop. Now you two, please take her hands.”

    They both reached out, I felt contact being made.

    Selene stirred, not much, but it was something.

    The two children holding her hands looked ok. Nothing was coming back to them from Selene that I could detect.

    “Psyche?”

    “Tiny but positive, not sure how much it will take. Go slow, one a second until I tell you to stop.”

    I began to link the kids to Selene one at a time. Everything was flowing into my wounded Telepath, and nothing was going back. At least that worry did not materialize, the kids were fine.

    We continued for a few minutes. I could tell Selene was responding but she was still out. The fear that this might not work was back in full force.

    My head was aching, and I really needed a drink of something. Each new link was a pop in my head that sent little echoes of pain down my spine.

    Psyche called to me from below, odd that she spoke rather than sent, stress of the moment I suppose.

    “It is not enough, that blackness just swallows up each new contact. Hit her with all of them at once. I know what that means. I love you, please don't die.”

    Oh, this is going to hurt.

    I landed and sat down, let's not crash into the kids.

    Up went my hand, into it I gathered all the strands, all the connections. The faint glow of my forcefield became a stronger one. In a smooth motion I threw the energy at Selene.

    In one instant she was connected to some 300 children. Their lives flooded her, all that power, life when everything is possible, invulnerable, eternal, alive.

    Selene's eyes snapped open and she screamed. A long hard scream that seemed to empty her and finally fade away into echoes. She grabbed the two children that had held her hands and squeezed.

    Cheers erupted, all that sort of stuff. Everybody cried.

    At least that is what I was told. I was unconscious at the time. Head pretty much exploded when I made those links, fire, pain, not even a little bit fun.

    As I swam up from the blackness a thought not my own swirled just out of reach.

    'You know, if you die you are going to bum me out.'

    My eyes open, slowly. Impressions intruded, couch, dry mouth, whole body intact, but wishes it was not. Alive, probably.

    Psyche was sitting next to me. We seemed to be in a lounge of some sort.

    “Where is everybody else?”

    “Entertaining the kids, that was the plan if this worked.”

    “So I guess I am not dead.” the jury was still out as far as I was concerned. Nobody alive could hurt this much.

    “No, but if you were a cat I would say that you have 8 left. She is fine, Speed came and took her home. The docs have her but it looks good. Long term though, not sure. We are going to have to alter how we handle this project of yours.”

    “Yeah, fine, water please. ”

    We stayed for a couple of hours. I got better quickly and was soon setting up zero gravity bubbles for the kids to try. They loved it. Sure a fair amount threw-up, but as soon as it left their mouth, it vanished. I am good. The child in question also found themselves floating back to the ground to recover.

    Selene did recover but our new understanding of what constant contact with horrible minds could do to the Telepaths made us slow down our operations. We knew we had to continue the work, but we did not want to destroy our people to do it.

    So to compensate each of the psychics visited a elementary, junior or senior high school every month. Through less dramatic means they absorbed the happy life of the children. The kids got a MetaHuman show that they would never forget, and some of the worst of the worst vanished off the face of the earth.

    Sitting back, here and now, thinking about it all. 63 Jack the Rippers would never hurt anyone ever again. More than worth what it cost, but it did cost. Psyche and the others tried to hide it from me but the impact of those 63 personalities on them is something they will never shake. Every Telepath who has done this work has shown some twitch, or phrase, or emotion, that is not their own.

    Evil has a foothold in my girls. From the moment I understood this I have thought carefully about everything I ask them to do with their power. I need them.

    There are more serial killers out there, in North America, and the rest of the world. But we eventually terminated the search program. We did not want to, we knew there is more to do. But to continue would have cost us some amazing women and I could not ask that of them.

    13 months, 63 killers, enough to make a difference in a lot of lives.


  7. #17
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    Default Chapter 11a



    When we returned home, I got to read this:

    Transcript of initial Police interview with MetaHuman known as 'Mad Mongo'.

    9:07 pm

    Officer1: Subject was apprehended after he personally and intentionally, caused the destruction of a entire shopping mall. Suspect is charged with 157 counts of first degree murder along with a host of destruction of property, both public and private, charges.

    Officer2: Relax Mongo, those chains are titanium, unbreakable. And we have you on a heavy dose of muscle relaxers so even if you get free, you ain't going nowhere. The chains come from Olympus and they know your kind.

    Mongo: Wanna bet?

    Officer2: Why the mall Mongo?

    Mongo: Like you give a fuck.

    Officer1: We are just curious, thought you might like a chance to tell your side of the story.

    Mongo: You guys are a scream.

    Officer2: Some clerk blow you off for a date? Cause lets face it, you are butt ugly. Come on, why not tell us? None of us is going anywhere, we have to talk about something.

    Mongo: muttering you don't care.

    Long silence

    Mongo: You never cared, any of you. Oh you would arrest me, lock me up, but you never asked why before. You never asked if anything was making me do the things I did. Fuck you. Now you care because I am strong, you fear me.

    Officer1: We brought you down with tear gas and tasers, you are not that tough.

    Mongo: LUCK! Fucking luck was all that was. I'll get a gas mask or something, yeah. Stupid tasers would not have worked if I could have kept moving, fucking gas made me puke.

    Officer1: Superpuke, you killed an officer by blasting him into a wall with your vomit.

    Officer2: And you killed three other of our brother officers before you went down. You are going to pay for that.

    Officer1: Arch, cool it, you know the rules.

    Mongo: Rules! Yeah, that is what is going to kill ya. You will never even see it coming until it is right in your miserable faces.

    Officer1: What do you mean Mongo? When what is in our faces?

    Short silence

    Officer2: Hey Mongo, how can we be scared if we do not know what to look for?

    Mongo: Cute, so so cute. I see how you get humans to talk, push their buttons until something works.

    Well I am not human assholes, I am Metahuman, I am a GOD. You have not yet learned your place but you will soon enough, he is going to teach you.

    Officer1: he?

    Mongo: He. And we.

    Officer2: He got a name?

    Mongo: He does, and you will learn to fear it, just before you die.

    Officer1: Subject seems to be undergoing some sort of convulsion. Wait, wait, he is changing, altering his appearance. He is smaller now, closer to human-sized.

    Mongo: You think I am some insane child, Mad Mongo. I kept that stupid name because it was fun, it made you fear me even more. That visage is just my power you idiots. When I power up, I get a little ugly along the way. Everything else, is theatrics.

    You two have no hold on me, no levers to apply. I will be free in hours, either by legal maneuver, or by a good old fashioned jailbreak. Attempting to hold me here simply shows how little you understand the situation. You should have turned me over to the Olympus goons, or just shot me in the back of the head. Tell me, how many of you fine police officers are in this building?

    Officer1: Over 100 so forget any ideas about that jailbreak.

    Mongo: Confident, good trait in a cop. Too bad you are most likely dead.

    Officer2: Making threats against a police officer is a crime pal.

    Mongo: Indeed. 157 counts of murder, looks impressive. My actual total is 831. After I rip this place down around your ears it will be close to 1,000. Since you are recording this I believe that qualifies as an admissions of guilt.

    You think I care about your LAWS? You are nothing, mere insects that infest OUR world. Do you believe that Pulsar and his dogs of Olympus will save you? They are a pathetic handful of misguided fools. Worship us, or die, even you monkey boys should be able to understand that.

    I am done talking to the two of you.

    End Interview

    Nine hours later a group of what were believed to be MetaHumans assaulted the police station. Mongo was released and he carried out his threat to level the building. 169 Officers and civilian staff lost their lives. Detective Archie Toma managed to survive, his partner did not.

    Mongo's kill total stands at 1,000.

    End Report



  8. #18
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    Default Chapter 12



    We kept our secrets well. Except for those people who had some sort of public display of their power happen by accident or design, we kept our true selves hidden.

    So much so that even our enemies really did not know what we looked like. The effectiveness of our efforts was brought home to me one summer afternoon. I was off duty, me, totally and completely free. Nova was at Olympus and I was sitting on the grass watching Psyche's youngest sister, age 15, show off her dance moves.

    The sun was shining, the wind was gentle. I was peaceful.

    Two men and two women came around the side of the house, heading towards the backyard where we were. I had heard, and sensed, the car pull up but had assumed it was Psyche's mom and other sister. I fully admit I was not suspicious in the least.

    They were dressed in neat casual clothes.

    “Beth Smith?” one of the women asked my companion.

    “Yes.”

    “We need you to come with us, there has been an accident, your mother and sister have been hurt.”

    “Who are you?” I asked as I stood and moved towards Beth.

    “Police, please come along now.”

    “If you are the police, you have badges, and names.” I was way past suspicious now, I knew cops and these were not cops.

    “We have these, will they do smart guy?” snarled one of the men.

    Guns. pistols, machine pistols, not messing around these people.

    I wove an invisible shield around Beth. I was wishing Psyche were here. Something about the way they said 'your mother and sister' made me think they have them prisoner already. We were in no danger, I decided to play along for a bit. But I needed to talk to Beth, she was quietly freaking out and kept looking at me.

    The Smiths kept two dogs, large and overly friendly. They were currently barking themselves crazy in a pen to my left. The tension between all of us was obviously affecting them.

    Popping the lock on their cage was simple enough, as was erecting invisible forcewalls to guide the dogs right into the midst of our would-be kidnappers. Chaos erupted as the dogs escaped and charged into the stunned thugs.

    I pulled Beth back one step and spoke rapidly, “I have put a shield around you, can you feel a tingle across your skin?”

    She nodded.

    “Their guns no longer work, but with that shield around you there is nothing, nothing, they can do to hurt you. Do you understand?”

    Again the nod, but with a little less fear.

    “I think they might have your mother and sister and I want to play along for a bit until we can find them. I can fly us away at any time. But if we can play along we might find your mom and sister faster. Can you do that?”

    “Yes, I think I can.”

    “Good girl, your sister will be proud of you. If they push you, or hit you, you will not even feel it but try and pretend that it hurts. Do not overdo it, just move away from the blow and glare at them.”

    “yes boss” came with a smile.

    Great, it runs in the family, but it did make me smile.

    Our abductors had managed to get the dogs back in the pen. I do not think they attempted to take a shot, civilized kidnappers will wonders never cease.

    “This way you two, move!”

    “We do not want him, he's not part of the deal.” came from one of the women.

    “You will take me with you, or I will start yelling. You can shoot me but that will draw a hell of a lot of attention in this neighborhood.” not bad I thought, I did not leave them with much choice.

    “Fine, come along, but keep your fucking mouth shut from now on.”

    Yeah, that was gonna happen.

    I still had one minor problem, my communications earpiece. They would certainly search us eventually and that would be kind of a dead give away. Putting my hand in my pocket I formed a small force sphere around the device. A flick of my wrist, and a touch of gravity neutralization and the sphere shot straight up. I tethered it to me with a line of force and it hovered like a tiny pretty much invisible balloon a few hundred feet above my head.

    They were a quiet bunch. In my experience thugs, or criminals in general tend to be noisy. They walked to a large SUV, did a quick search. I can control my forcefields to a rather fine degree, when they went into our pockets the shields simply shifted along with their hands.

    I grinned at Beth while they looked her over. She seemed to be ok, and was certainly glaring at our abductors in the way only young girls can do. They were not impressed, but I was.

    No blindfolds, either that is only done in the movies, or they were a cocky bunch.

    A long ride lead us to a farmhouse. Isolated but with a lot of very nice looking cars parked along the massive driveway. I revised my opinion, these were not thugs, they were a better class of criminal scum.

    I am not Pathfinder, but at close range I have a lot of different ways I can sense people. I scanned the entire area, Beth's mom and sister were not here. Dammit!

    They walked us through the front door and into a huge living room. I looked around, someone lived here, no dust. Could be one of these people, but I doubt it. Four more people were waiting for us.

    Enough with the games.

    “Beth please go sit over there.” I pointed to the far end of the room.

    As she moved away the guy I took as the leader barked at me.

    “Hey, you do not give orders around here!”.

    I had moved into the center of the room, between all of them and Beth. I gave her a smile, she returned it. Brave girl.

    “Please forgive me for everything that happens from this point on Beth, but these people are scum and I am going to treat them as they deserve.”

    “Are mom and Carol here?”

    “No, but we will find them, trust me.”

    I turned back to the now very confused pack.

    “Draw your weapons.” I said with the tone of command unmistakable in my voice. “Shoot me.”

    “What? Are you crazy?” came from the back of the pack.

    “No? How about this, shoot me you miserable pack of brain-dead, donkey-fucking, foul-smelling rejects from the asshole factory.”

    That did it. Guns came out, and nothing happened. No clicks of course, just confused looks, and some panic.

    I held up my hand and called my little sphere down to me. It drilled a neat hole in the ceiling before dropping into my palm. My would-be kidnappers just stared at me as I replaced the little bit of electronics in my right ear.

    “oh shit” came from someone, quiet and terrified.

    “Yesss” I slurred and twisted the word. Darth Vader would have been proud.

    Tap. “Pulsar to all Speedsters. I feel the need.”

    One of the large tough guys off to my left wet his pants when I smiled at him.

    “You are not him.” challenged the leader.

    “Really? Actually, being wrong about that, is going to cost you your life. Look around you, standing next to each of you is a zombie, the walking fucking dead.”

    Their leader roared and charged me. He got to take 2 steps before I incinerated him. In one second he went from living man to nothing but ash in the form of a man. The forcefield I used to contain the heat that roasted him held the ashes in his shape.

    I blew a puff of air at the figure and released the shield. The ashes flew everywhere and the goons scattered to the outer edges of the room.

    A familiar vibration began to fill the room. The walls rattled, the already terrified hoods hunkered down even more.

    Three on my left, three on my right, the Speedsters of Olympus had arrived.

    “I want everything except their clothing on that table. Blur, take Beth to Psyche. Everybody outside on perimeter until I call.”

    As fast as I could say it, it happened. Now it was just me, and them.

    I flipped through the wallets and other trinkets. Really nice cars. Nothing useful.

    While I was doing this one of them made a slow move towards the door.

    Without looking up I said “Another step and you die now, rather than later.”

    He backed up.

    “Alright here is my problem, you have committed a mortal sin, you have messed with our families. This is beyond repulsive, it is not even human. You have two other people, and I want them. Tell me where they are and one of you can buy your life.”

    Cold, somewhat empty, but necessary, I had seen that far ahead already.

    “Don't tell him, as long as we have them he cannot touch us.”

    I put a pencil-sized laser through his left shoulder. He went down with a shriek, the shock from a hit like that is pretty bad.

    “Really? I think I can take each of you apart piece by piece until you talk. But I do not want to. So last chance, anybody have an attack of brains?”

    “I'll tell you” came from one of the women.

    “Come over here then.” as I waved her to a chair. “As for the rest of you. I will give you more than you deserve, a running start. Go, out the door, run.”

    “With them out there, we do not stand a chance.”

    “Fine, stay here then.” as I brought my right hand up.

    They left, some out the front, some out the back.

    Tap. “Speed.”

    whoosh

    “sir”

    “The people who just left here need to become dead.”

    “blur won't do that”

    “Then send her to guard Psyche. Go.”

    whoosh.

    The woman looked pale, “So you are going to just kill them?”

    I did not answer, the screams from outside did. It was over quickly.



  9. #19
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    Default Chapter 12a



    “Where are they?” I asked.

    “If I tell you are you going to let me live?”

    “Yes, because I have a task for you, something you are going to do for me. Where?”

    “8799 Grant, industrial district, guarded by 8 well-trained men.”

    Tap. “Speed.”

    whoosh

    “Find 8799 Grant, look for guards and Psyche's mom and sister.”

    whoosh

    “You realize if you just lied to me I will know in seconds.”

    “I am not stupid, it is the place. What is it you want me to do?”

    “After I know. Shut-up.”

    Speed was back in under a minute. He reported that everything checked-out.

    “Can you and your brethren get them out?”

    “boss you wound us of course we can and you want the guards dead”

    “I want them dead and bloody. We are sending a message to anybody who wants to try this again. Make sure the letters are plain.”

    “yes boss are you ok boss”

    “Yes my friend. We have to do this, we have to do this or else this is going to keep happening.”

    “right boss with ya boss”

    whoosh

    “You do not look at all like what I pictured.” said the woman.

    “I suggest you try and forget what I look like, describing me to anyone would be unwise.”

    “I understand that.”

    “Why?”

    “Why what?”

    “Why did you do this?”

    “Oh, that why. You know why, the money.”

    “Bullshit, there are a hell of a lot of people a lot safer to extort from than us. You wanted something else, or to make some sort of point.”

    “Perceptive but then I read that about you. Even without the witch you are good.”

    I waited.

    “We did want money, but what we really wanted was information. All the data you have on all the MetaHumans to be exact.”

    My turn to be confused, “Why so you can write a book?”

    “No so we can survive. You MetaHumans are going to destroy this planet. How many have died already, even before your tally tonight? It is going to get worse and we needed information to find some sort of vulnerability in you people.”

    “I take it you do not trust Olympus to protect the planet?”

    “No, you don't really think that we believe this goody-two-shoes act of yours. After tonight I believe it even less. You are just more subtle than the rest, wonderful PR campaign you have. A fair majority of the common populace thinks you people are heroes. Even if you do mean it, there is still the whole cult of personality problem. This kind of power always goes bad, you know it as well as I.“

    She did have brains I have to give her that. What she was saying was not entirely wrong. Over the damn top as their actions may have been, what she was saying was rational. Based on fear, but rational.

    “Would you rather I stopped trying, joined the rest of them. Your society would not stand a month if I did that.”

    “No we want you to keep doing what you are doing, while we find a way to stop you.”

    Resolute, determined and resolute. It would be a waste of time trying to change her mind, Psyche can handle that, I hoped.

    “Well at least we agree on something. In case you had forgotten, you now have a task to perform. In exchange for your life you will go out and tell the world what happened here. Go on TV, write a fucking book, I don't care. But tell the world this: Anyone who goes after the family or friends of the Heroes of Olympus will die. They will not accomplish their goals, they will NEVER force us to do anything. They will die.”

    “I understand, an effective tactic in my professional judgment.” said my new messenger.

    “Ah, a professional criminal. I'm not impressed.”

    “Until 39 days ago I was an agent of the Secret Service of the United States. My last assignment was on the White House detail.”

    I am pretty sure I did not believe her at the time, I was wrong.

    “I resigned when I, and some others, realized that the current administration had no chance of dealing with the threat you MetaHumans represent. Criminal? I bust criminals asshole. Well I used to, I am one now thanks to you and your kind. The criminal here is you, all of you. How many murders have you committed Mr. God? You are hunting serial killers? You ARE serial killers.”

    Every item, every bit of furniture, everything except the two of us, disintegrated into dust.

    She dropped to the floor but was quickly back up via a smooth trained move.

    The house around us melted away. Starting from the roof it lost all cohesion, all it's energy drained away.

    We ended up standing in the center of a massive swirling pile of dust.

    “It is the only way. This is war. Tell the story.”

    I floated upward, looking down at her.

    “You think all your enemies are Evil don't you! Big old capital E right? Some of them are, but not everyone who stands against you is wrong. Remember that Pulsar!” she shouted up at me.

    I flew home. I expect she had a long walk.

    Her words affected me, all of us eventually, but it did not alter my plans. She and her people kidnapped a woman and two teenage girls to use as pawns. My friend's mother and sisters. I would not allow this to happen again, I. Would. Not.

    When I returned I looked over the list of all the MetaHumans who were either at Olympus or were friendly neutrals. I picked a new team, recruiting 3 from outside our walls.

    I called them the Black Team. They call themselves Bloody Vengeance, or just Blood.

    They do not operate out of Central like everyone else, they do not wear cameras. The missions are official, but covert and more highly secret than anything else we do. They work for me, and I take full responsibility for everything they have done.

    Their first task was to hunt down everyone who knowingly helped the kidnappers in their plot. This was surgical and focused, but merciless. Everyone that was found to have provided assistance died within 2 weeks.

    My little messenger did her work well. The picture she painted of my reaction to the kidnapping was vivid and memorable. She of course also tried to convince the world that we were not to be trusted. Much to my surprise her warnings were not only rejected, they were shouted down. For now anyway, much of the public was indeed with us.

    Official Olympus policy is that threats to the family and friends of the residents of Olympus are to be met with maximum force. It is to the Black Team's credit that in the time since they were formed, we have had few problems in this area.

    Here endth the lesson.



  10. #20
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    Default Chapter 13



    Everybody always wants to know how Nova and I got together. Not sure why it is so interesting but I am willing to tell the story.

    She has explained her power, how hard it is for her to keep it in check. I have to do the same but it comes easier for me. I can get mad, I can yell. For me it is just a matter of not losing control beyond a certain point. Sex was never a problem, in fact I can do some tricks... But I digress.

    Nova has never gained that level of control, she may not.

    I am the only person who is perfectly safe with her, she might be able to hurt me if she really tried but certainly not by accident. So I guess it is natural that we might spend a lot of time together when we were not working. AT first we did not. Some, but it was always as part of other groups.

    We did not come together easily, in fact Psyche made me. It was not that I did not like Nova but being around her made me worry about myself. Would I end up like her? Sure I had perfect control then, but I also knew my power was slowly growing. I was being selfish, I admit that. But I was responsible for a whole planet, cut me some slack. Psyche sure as hell did not.

    Psyche knows me far too well and she would not let it go. At first the time Nova and I spent was awkward but once I learned to fly things got easier. She and I would fly together every night.

    Technically she taught me how to fly but mostly it was me studying how she did it and replicating it with my own powers. I did try to use heat as the driving force a couple of times, but aside from destroying a bunch of trees, not much happened. Gravity was the obvious choice.

    What she contributed was her knowledge of all the body contortions you have to learn to maneuver well. Those days were fun and always too short. Eventually my control over gravity allowed me to simply power my way in any direction I wished. But sometimes I fly the old way, it is still a rush.

    I had accepted that she needed me and I was doing my duty. I did grow to enjoy her company especially since it was often the only downtime I had available. She loved ancient languages, Greek, Latin that sort of thing, why I cannot to this day tell you. So I had people who could speak Latin brought in to chat with her, and bought her a library of books I will never be able to read. She obtained a never ending supply of gadgets and movies for me. I have to laugh at how hard she tried not to fall asleep during my beloved WWII movies.

    Have I ever mentioned that little passion of mine? Except for that series with MSNBC I have rarely done any sort of interview so probably not. WWII was a clean War if such a thing could possibly exist. Good guys, bad guys, and lines in the sand. I know a fair bit about the reality of the conflict, trust me. But the movie versions I enjoy. It was close enough to my life to work, and yet far enough away to relax me.

    Psyche, tricky little mindwitch that she is, had told Nova that I needed help. Psyche said that I was too deep into the job and was going to burn out before it was all over. When Psyche later told me about this I thought she was manipulating both Nova and I, but for Nova's benefit.

    “You would think that, but what I said to her was every bit as true as what I said to you.” was her reply.

    “Besides she is a whole lot better for you than all those bimbos you sleep with.”

    Do all women call other women bimbos? One of those bimbos was a Nobel prize winner for physics I will have you know. She was also hotter than hell. I was her subject and the things I told her about energy made her into a superstar. She does deserve the award, she took my information and advanced human knowledge by a number of great bounds.

    I knew about Nova's worst restriction, no sex. We did not talk about it, but she had to know I knew. I blew up at Psyche when she suggested it would be safe for Nova and I to sleep together.

    “So is that the new command requirement? It is not enough that I am risking my life and taking responsibility for 300 power-mad little gods, now you want my dick too? That is too much to ask of me and you fucking know it!”

    Psyche smiled and walked away.

    Sometimes I really, really, hate her.

    Well I thought things had been awkward with Nova at first, guess what they were like after I suggested that I would be willing to have sex with her if she wanted that.

    For one second she looked at me with hope, could we really? And was that...?

    Then my actual words registered. I, uh, pissed her off.

    It cost me my house, vaporized in an explosion of fire before I could even react.

    She raged at me, “Willing? W I L L I N G! Am I some charity case? Or is this just part of your job Mr. Commander Sir! Should I say thank you sir and spread my legs for service? Who the FUCK do you think you are?!”

    I wanted to respond, to say something, but it was all I could do to contain the heat flowing from her. She could have leveled Olympus. I had just unleashed a nuclear bomb in my living room and I was fighting to contain it. 'Psyche if I live through this I am going to kill you.' went through my mind as I fought for control. I managed.

    Then I looked at her.

    If only you could see her as I do. Every living person is a beautiful spiral of energy to me. But she was radiating power, in my eyes she is more beautiful than any woman who has ever lived. A Goddess of power and light. I am energy and so is she, why did I not get that until now?

    A step towards her.

    Ever have your life completely change in a few steps? I walked towards her as she huffed and ranted at me. I am not going to tell you all of it, just insert every vile word you can think of and you will be pretty close. I do think the things she said about my mother were out of line though.

    Another step.

    I was really stupid. I realized this. My entire life had become Olympus, my task, I never expected to live to see the end of this War. For any of the other sides to win they had to kill me, and when I was really honest with myself, I bet on them. You can only defy the odds for so long.

    Never looked at her as anything other than an asset. A person with feelings yes, but a tool that I needed for my work first. Not a woman, never that. Damn I was Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. No scratch that, he had a mate.

    I forgave Psyche.

    Another step, within touching distance.

    She had wound down and was just glaring at me. Daggers of fire shot from her eyes and spattered harmlessly against my shield. Pretty sure I did not notice at the time.

    Very quietly I said, “stop.”

    The energy around her started to contract, the heat began to drop. I intensified the shield I had around what had been my house. Fool me once.

    I kissed her.

    Energy flared, but it did not matter anymore.

    We made love for the first time in the ruins of my home. Protected by my opaque shield we spent a long time letting a lot of demons out of both of us. And damn she really could shoot fire from any part of her body. When it was over, and we were dressed, I dropped the barrier.

    Psyche was standing there, along with a dozen other people, mostly Metas.

    In keeping the energy of our passion contained I had blocked everything, even Psyche. They had been afraid I had been attacked. Olympus was on alert.

    Awkward.

    Cheers, hoots, and assorted catcalls burst from the assembled group.

    I flew over, swept Psyche up in my arms, took her 20' up into the air in a slow spiral, and kissed her.

    To clear the crowd I said, “The show is over, anybody within my sight in five minutes gets fried, and I will let her do it. Clear out people. ” Nova had joined me as I finished and I nodded to her with a smile.

    Love is a funny thing.


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