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The Big O
The Academy of Higher Learning (formerly known as Hero High) was successful in it's mission of training various supers in the use of their abilities. With all of the government aid, the school year went off with only minor blips. The Heroes were able to do what they were mandated to do in protecting the students (children and adults) and the school itself, against any possible threats for a full year. Mainly because there were none.
The school year was pretty boring. There were a few missions that Strike Force, the Heroes proteges, carried out, but nothing big. Julian, who was the schools government liasion, informed the Heroes of a few people who might pose a problem for them and the Heroes investigated. Finding nothing, they left it alone as they didn't want to be the cause of something. Especially Ben and Katt, who had recently welcomed their baby girl Alana Jordan Mason into the world after a brief pregnancy by Katt do to magical and feline factors.
During the day of graduation for some of the students (which were held in the large auditorium of the school), there were hundreds of people present: students and staff (obviously,) the Heroes, Strike Force, Julian and representatives from some of the various governments who were involved with the school, as well as the families of many of the supers graduating.
The ceremony was short and sweet. Ben said a few words along with Julian and some speakers from the assembled governments and a few other people. The presenting of certificates began and then all hell broke loose.
Several explosions rang out all over the auditorium. Just as the Heroes were hopping in to action, another explosion erupted from under the stage. There were other explosions going on all over the rest of the school as well.....
-Skip ahead 3 months-
The explosions utterly destroyed the school and killed hundreds. The Heroes and Strike Force were no exception to the loss of some of their members. The aftermath from all of the destruction was excruciating. Not only did the group of governments cancel their support of the school, they also held the Heroes responsible for the deaths of students from all of the respective governments.
Saying that with all of the technologies, psionics and magicks at the Heroes disposal, this should not have happened. This, in turn, cause the surviving Heroes and Strike Force members to be come outcasts. And not only from the governments but also from the super community, as well. The explosions and resulting deaths had been made known worldwide and this caused supers as a whole to be more publicly revealed than they ever were.
They were completely banned from ever opening any more schools, teaching any one, and they were also banned from using their powers in public lest they be seen as breaking the law and arrested right on the spot. In the end, what was left of the teams were forced to disbanded.
As if to add insult to injury, supers were being murdered. When the now defunct Heroes tried to work to remedy this, they were all arrested. They were guilty of nothing seeing as they did nothing but speak to each other. However, the registration of supers was made mandatory after this and it was now illegal to have unregistered super powers.
The killings continued and almost nothing was done about it. That is, until a group of supers, calling themselves The Crusaders, rose up. They were nothing like the Heroes. They cared nothing for the law and did what they had to do to save fellow supers. They also had no problem using lethal force against anyone who threatened them or stood in their way. They set up an underground community for supers and many are being saved by them. They also extended an invitation to anyone who wanted to help them in their crusade.
Whoever is killing supers is unknown. The former Heroes are still trying to figure out what happened at the school. Will anyone join The Crusaders? That's all up to you.
So how will YOU deal with the aftermath.......
Andrew Brok sat up straight in his chair with a sudden shout, banging his leg into that of a nearby table, and knocking a glass to the floor with a smash. "Damn," he muttered, although he didn't feel angry. Andrew rarely felt anything as of late.
"Andrew?" a voice sounded from a nearby doorway. A short young man, covered head to muscular tail in white fur, was standing at the far end of the room, looking at what had just happened. "Everything alright, man?"
"Nightmare," Andrew said monotonously, without looking at Liam. This was Andrew's house, previously belonging to his adopted father, Terry Broad. Having been exiled from Russia, Terry had not had much money, but the house was generous enough, and too spacious for just one person. Andrew had allowed the monkey boy to take the second bedroom. After all, the one place they had all called home was now lost, and they had to find whatever place they could now to shelter themselves from the wrath of the rest of the world.
Naturally, this had not stopped Liam from taking night time walks every now and then, but Andrew was a different matter. The spark had left the once proud and powerful Elemental. There were times Liam felt that Andrew's soul had left him completely, but then again, Liam thought occasionally, that wasn't far from the truth. Jane, the swords-master, the fastest being on earth, Andrew's wife, had been one of the worst casualties the school had suffered during the attack. It was through her efforts that more than 100 people were saved, but she had tried to rescue even more, and so had fallen to the power of multiple explosions.
The grief Andrew was feeling was worse than anything Liam had ever seen in his time as a hero. It was hard to live with someone so utterly filled with despair, but he had no choice.
"you had a nightmare?" Liam asked, wondering when the last time was that Andrew had slept at all.
"Ben," Andrew replied, still with the same monotone. "I could feel it."
Liam nodded. This house was a fair distance from where Ben, Katt and their little bundle of joy now lived, but Andrew's powers of detection had few limits, especially when it came to someone as powerful as Hero High's former Dean.
"He must really be feeling it," he muttered, too quiet for Andrew to hear. "Anyways," he continued, louder this time. "I'm going... Shopping, be back soon."
To Liam's great surprise, Andrew gave a grunting snort. It was the closest thing he had done to acknowledge any of Liam's jokes in a long time. The monkey boy smiled, and walked back to his room. There was a black shimmering mass filling the doorway. Liam moved towards it without any hesitation. As he crossed the threshold of his room, the black mass wrapped itself around him, and in seconds, had become the suit everyone was familiar with. He turned and left the house, taking great care to lock the door behind him. Like a shadow, he disappeared into the night.
Leon woke covered with a thin film of sweat. It was still night, as he could see out the massive window that covered most of the far wall. Even he had to admit, it was a good view. Leon never stayed in one location for more than a few days, a precaution that had saved his life more than once. This time around, he had commandeered the penthouse of a very luxurious hotel. It had everything, even its own fully stocked fridge, which Leon had made sure to make good use of. He rarely had the time to enjoy good food.
Knowing full well that getting back to sleep was futile, Leon forced himself out of bed and into the shower, all the while thinking. 'That dream again.' It wasn't even a nightmare, and yet, Leon always woke up shaking in the wake of its vivid realism. It had been Strikeforce's last mission. Leon had been set to graduate, but before that he had to prove himself worthy, especially after the incident with Lucian. The very thought of that walking corpse had sent Leon's blood boiling, but he mastered himself, and after a few months of excruciating training under Andrew's watchful eye, he came back into his own, more powerful and in control than he had ever been.
Or so Leon had thought. His encounter with Ghost. His inability to do anything but watch as his home was destroyed before his eyes. It was too much for Leon's pride, and he fled the city. For the longest time, Leon struggled with what had happened. Nothing that he had learned as a student and hero could have prepared him for this. There were times Leon wished he could have died too, but before he could even attempt to slip the noose around his neck, someone came to him. Someone with a vision, an idea. Leon was given a chance, not to undo all that had happened, but to salvage the situation. To give all supers the chance they never could before. To change the world forever.
Leon was promised the freedom to do as he wished, how he wished. To find those responsible for all the evil that had been brought down on him. To use his considerable power without limitations. To bring justice to the world. All he had to do in return was swear his loyalty, prove he had the courage to do what was necessary for the sake of justice, and place a mark on his right shoulder, so that all would know who he was - A crusader.
And so Leon became Ouroboros, an enforcer for the Crusaders. Leon worked alone, rarely if ever interacting with others in the organization. He never met his superiors, his orders being sent directly to the phone they had provided him. As long as he followed the instructions sent to him, he was given the right to do what he wished with his free time. It was an arrangement Leon was perfectly happy with. After all, there were other matters he had to attend to.
When Leon was dressed and fed, he made his way to the roof. As he was standing on one of the tallest buildings in the city, the wind was strong, and he could see the lights of the city below him. He was about to sit down and enjoy the view, but his phone began to vibrate. "Oh, hell!" he muttered, fishing it from his jacket pocket and looking at the screen. What he saw was surprising. Come to base
"So much for rooftop relaxation," he sighed, putting the phone away and straightening his jacket. He walked to the very edge of the building, taking a final moment to enjoy the breeze, before he allowed himself to fall over the side. As always, flying was exhilarating. Leon wondered if he would ever get used to the feeling. He pulled up sharply, changing direction to where he knew, and few others did - the nearest Crusader's HQ was located. It was the first time Leon had been called in since he had first joined. 'This ought to be interesting.'
Sam sat in hotel room that she was able to get with her father's money, she hadn't see her parents since the explosion and fought the idea of not seeing them ever again. The teen walked into the bathroom and saw her reflection she had dark rings around her eyes and her skin was sickly pale due to the fact that she hadn't slept for days. Sam sighed and covered the mirror with shadows then splashed herself with cold water, it was another sleepless night filled with tormented dreams of her friends and home being obliterated by explosions. The teen looked to the counter and saw the vile of respite that she had bought days ago, she picked the vile up and stared into it, the drug was made for supers and was unlike the other drugs that burned up inside her due to the magic in her veins but respite was dangerous and could kill a super with just one dosage and there was no telling on how it would effect you since it worked differently and other supers. The teen sat the vile back down on the sink she wasn't ready to die yet although she had thought a lot about it, the world was hell and she was all alone in it. Instead of trying to fall asleep again she threw on her shoes and coat and headed out hoping a walk would help her get out of her head.
Down on the street seemed normal but since the ban on powers crime had sky rocketed and super villains were on the rampage but the humans and their government wanted it this way. Sam thought it was funny how she separated herself referring to non-supers as "humans" and now understood why beings from other planets and dimensions wanted to destroy the human race. They were a self indulgent plague on the face of the universe that destroyed what they could not understand or control so wanting to wipe them out before they could spread was understandable. Sam had given up on the humans having risked her life many times saving them only to get spat on and have her home and friends destroyed. Sam thought back to the mission on the train and the fight with ghost, the government's dog, it had to be more then coincident that bombs on the train that were undetectable by strike force and bombs that were undetectable by the students and staff of Hero High were used on both occasions. Sam found herself thinking about this a lot and when she she felt like giving up on life she would remind herself that she couldn't die until the son of a bitches that were behind the attack were slaughtered. As Sam walked down the abandon street shadow energy begun to seep out from her, she hated that she had to hide herself from the world, "Why should I have to hide when I could destroy this city in one night, they should be the ones hiding from me..." Sam said to herself knowing no matter how mad she got she could never take the life of an innocent.
Just as she finished speaking she heard a car coming from behind her and a quick flash of red and blue lights, Sam rolled her eyes and turned to the street as a black and white pulled up to the curve. Maybe they read my mind, Sam thought and let a giggle slip out at the unlikeliness of that being the case. The teen let her hair drop in front of her face and with a little shadow magic covered most of it and leaned over , "Hello officers...were ya looking for a good time or something?" Sam said in a sexy voice and grind as the two cops looked confused at each other. The driver looked back up to Sam and got out of the car, "you know minors shouldn't be out this late how old are you and what's your name kid?" The officer questioned. "Well how rude of ya, didn't ya mama eva teacha manners, never ask a lady her age," Sam said in a southern accent obviously toying with the man. The officers rage was apparent, "Alright little girl we'll just get this sorted out at the police station then we'll see how funny you are then," the man said grabbing at Samantha's arm but his hand would just pass through it. "What the... a super!" the man cried and she could hear his partner get out of the car. Sam phases back a few feet away from the man, "Catch me if ya can coppa," she said and laughed as she faded into the shadows. Sam appeared on the roof top near by and looked down on the man stumbling back and frantically reach for his radio, it seemed the only amusement she got now days was messing with cops and scaring humans she knew she it was wrong but it helped with her forget for a little bit.
"They're going to find us eventually." Pryce leaned against the wall, tracing his eyes over every inch of the room. It was a sparse place, with no windows or doors. At least, no obvious ones. Shelves lined each wall, meant to store quite a few treasures, but they had been empty for years now. There was next to no furniture save a few folding chairs and a single cot, though a new mattress had been added recently. The Shadowman's hideouts weren't exactly made for living in. Ever since the attacks on the school a lot of people, especially Supers, went into hiding. Pryce and Bennu were among them, and having an expert thief for a grandfather had a few advantages.
Pryce continued scanning the room, his gaze lingering on the empty shelves. He felt sick imagining what used to be there sometimes. Priceless treasures, stolen by his grandfather, never to be seen again. Until he got the wrong one. Pryce finished his sweep on the the only artifact still in the room, then turned to look over himself. His skin was still pale, thanks to a life in the dark, but a least he was recognizable as human again. Hadn't been that way he was a kid, thanks to the Blank Jewel hanging on the wall.
"If we're lucky, we won't need to hide for long," Bennu said, interrupting Pryce's thoughts and drawing him back to the present. She tied her hair back into its usually ponytail, then traced her fingers around a point in the wall until until she found the sliding panel. With a deft movement she pushed it aside and stepped halfway through. "You gonna come with?" she asked casually.
"People are trying to kill us," Pryce huffed.
"Yeah, and they haven't managed it yet." Bennu gave a mischievous half-smile, then relented. "They're scared, Pryce. We've gotta show 'em why they shouldn't be." The smile was back, and then Bennu was gone, out into the night.
Pryce sighed loudly. "Alright, I'm up," he said wearily.
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