Feudal America - A super-power RP in modern day America (Game Thread)

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Chapter One.

The Coronation.


Camp Blanding, The US government's Florida HQ.

2 AM, 12th of June, 2013

The orders the colonel received were loud and clear.

Re-take Florida at all costs, and then push north. Florida's 3rd Super unit's next target was clear - They had to kill the lords keeping a tight grip over Palm Bay and slowly suffocate the larger groups in Florida's southern inland. The McNeil family wouldn't prove to be much of a problem to handle.

The colonel entered a small tent at the edge of the camp and looked around the compound where the military's elite were at. Plain bunk beds were the comfort of potential kings, and nearly rotten food rations filled their stomachs. The colonel knew that nothing was stopping them from breaking loose and taking what they want, nothing except for their loyalty to their country, or the shadow of it that remains now.

"Attention, soldiers!", the colonel announced and the five super-soldiers of Florida's 3rd super unit noticed the high ranked army-man enter their tent. Some immediately stood up and saluted while others had to get off their beds to acknowledge the high ranking officer. Mitchel was the first to speak as the leader of the group.

"Sir, yes Sir.", he saluted and stretched his chest, with the others following Mitchel and roaring at the same time.

"Sir, yes Sir!", the four others said. They all trained their eyes at the colonel as he began to speak.

"I have your orders. You are to re-take Palm Bay for the US government and continue the struggle to unite Florida. Our intelligence suggests that there are seven supers guarding the city... I trust you will be able to eliminate them. Your munitions and transportation are waiting at the gate.", the colonel looked at the five individuals standing in front of him. With the other more experienced super groups busy in action, he had to rely on the third unit to reign in Palm Bay.

"Sir, Yes Sir!", all of the five answered together. The colonel nodded and turned back, leaving the tent.

Mitchel sighed and stared at the lockbox on the opposite side of the tent. He knew that the more he left his family the bigger the chance of them getting hurt, but he couldn't abandon his friends still in action. Some of them couldn't leave service - Dirk had the conviction to protect others and Manny had no place to return to.

"You heard the man, suit up. Get your special gear and meet me at the gate, understood?", Mitchel barked at the others and headed straight out of the tent. The others scrambled to get into their uniform and each retrieve their own device, a gift from the state.

They had a long drive ahead of them from Jacksonville to Palm Bay. It's a shame none of them could fly.

2:20 AM, 12th of June, 2013

The team is finishing up with loading their vehicle, a Jeep with a high caliber machine-gun placed on the top to counter any armored targets they might get past. Mark sat at the wheel, the slender and short soldier made himself comfortable in the driver's seat. His equipment was at the back of the truck, a rifle fit for long range and an incredible scope able to enhance his sight up to eight hundred meters - but he didn't need any of that. His good eyes would do just fine in a combat situation. They could easily spot a baseball from two miles away. That was one of the reasons Mark always sat at the front seat - he was the team's lookout, and on more than one occasion he saved their asses from a faraway ambush.

Mark's blue eyes stared at Sarah too long, because before he could disengage and look elsewhere she caught him staring at her and smiled back. Sarah was the team's resident medical officer, or what was the closest to it - she was a pediatrician working for the army, looking after the kids of veterans and officers when the collapse hit. With her home in the state of Washington, she already gave up on ever seeing her brother and sister again. She tried to load up a heavy crate of munitions on the jeep and almost fell on her back, but Manny caught her and the crate before they had both hit the ground. He helped her up and loaded the crate in the back of the truck.

Manny sent Sarah off to the jeep and turned back to see his other teammates. Mitchel's cold touch spooked Manny as he approached him from his left and surprised him. He ordered him to take a seat as well and he walked back to Dirk as he was sitting on an empty crate and eating a half full can of tuna fish. Mitchel tapped on the large black man's shoulders and reminded him they had to move, and that they could eat on the road or after they've finished with the mission. Dirk begrudgingly agreed and left the can of tuna on the crate. He was the last one to enter the truck and mount the machine-gun on top, though during the trip he sat on the loaded crates in the back while the machine-gun was hidden under a grey blanket.

Mark raised his right hand and shouted, then waited for the others to answer before he drove off. They were team number 3, or "The tornado", as they've named themselves after their late sixth teammate who could create wind tunnels with his powers.

The tornado was about to hit Palm Bay.

Almost an hour of driving later, the road was still dark, illuminated only from the headlights of the Jeep. Dirk was leaning forward on the blanket that covered the machine-gun and staring out into the abyss the awaited them forward.

"Yo, Mark.... How can you see anything in this dark?", Dirk said spontaneously after almost an hour of silence. They knew they all had to remain alert in case they would be attacked on the road, but Dirk didn't car. He was bored to death, and even the faintest clue of a conversation would save him from his untimely demise.

Mark snarled at Dirk's interruption. He always tried to remain silent when needed, but Dirk couldn't keep his mouth shut. Mark was certain it was caused by Dirk's previous experience as a Jacksonville policeman, and talking during stakeouts with his partner seemed to be his favorite past-time when he had to kill time.

"I see... ", mark sighed loudly, "-my pupils are dilated as fuck, which is why I won't break my stare".

Mark kept his head forward and his hands firmly on the wheel. " I have to catch every light I see bouncing off anything in the distance, and you bothering me is going to break my focus", Mark finished his answer with a hint of anger.

Dirk wasn't surprised at Mark's answer, but he just wanted to pass the time better. He had enough of running the scenarios of what happened then in his head. He had to stop thinking about death for a change.

"And you, Manny... Did you improve on your time yesterday?", Dirk blurted out another sentence and hoped that his Latino companion would be more inclined to enter a conversation.

Manny turned back on his seat and looked up at Dirk. He smiled, put his hand over his nose and then disappeared. Dirk watched with awe as his teammate escaped the bonds of reality and hid himself in plain sight. Sarah was nudged to the side and against the lower Jeep door before she woke up from his nap and saw that an invisible force was pushing her away. She screamed hard and Dirk started laughing, but before she could carry on Mitchel turned around and dropped his hand on the right back sit, hitting Manny on the head and canceling out his invisibility. Manny opened his air and took a deep breath while Sarah seemed to be hyperventilating after having woken up so violently.

"I can keep it up to four minutes twenty if I'm not moving still... about a minute if I-", Manny stopped and cried "ouch" when Sarah punched him in the chest for scaring her. The middle-eastern looking miss started screaming at the aspiring prankster for waking her up while he was invisible and scaring the crap out of her.

"Shut up, Dirk", Mitchel ordered, "We have a long way to go till we hit Palm Bay".

Dirk smiled and said quietly, "Like a mother-fucking Tornado".

City Hall, Palm Bay

1:30 PM, 12th of June, 2013

Workers labored to keep the city hall clean and operating, even after the many renovations the McNeil family had done with the place. The sixty of so inhabitants of what used to be the beacon of democracy and freedom in the city now live comfortably within the hall, relying on the powers of brutal and bloody "persuasion" their super-powered relatives hold.

The workers do their best to stay hidden and unseen, so they may not suffer the wrath of the McNeil family. Once a group of manual workers and servers, the McNeil had taken their rightful place as the rulers of Palm Bay and enslaved the rest of the population to do their bidding. The fear had struck the hearts of many from the unrelenting strikes of George's wind and Danny's inexplicable drunken rage.

The delicacies Jenna and her cousins share in the upper right suite would only be a distant dream for most of the city's dwellers, a dream of an earlier time before all of the madness came into view. Before the collapse, the Irish didn't grasp the city in such a stranglehold - before the collapse, money was power.

Now... Power was Power.

An emissary had entered the building from the commons entrance and spoke up, rying to catch his breath between words. The winded young man shouted out, "The military is coming; it's coming from the north!", and the family stopped in its tracks. Mouths remained open and conversations stood still. It seemed as if their long reign of five months would come to an end by those who wish to restore the previously grand Republic...

"Then we shall come to fight them", a voice echoed through the halls of the large building. A voice like no other had heard before, one of an elderly mistress of the devil. It spoke, and the young man removed himself immediately. The Jew would command her armies of Irishmen against the forces of long forgotten order, and she will retain her throne.

The six supers in the McNeil branch presented themselves at the noble entrance to the great halls. They all stood uncomfortably, some wearing Kevlar vests stolen from the local police force and others holding firearms as a secondary protection aid. They would have to draw the military's forces into the narrow city streets so their superior numbers would work against them. Explosives were already rigged in some of the city's largest intersections, and the family knew they would have to spill blood to remain in their place.

There was Henry who had already grown used to his greenish skin complexion, trying to jump as low as he could within the walls of his castle. The young boy wasn't that much of a hit with the ladies beforehand, but now only those instructed to be with him dare touch him. He resents Jenna for taking the hand of his blind father, Flint, believing the black woman only wanted to exploit the poor widower. Jenna was the odd one out, a black woman in the midst of a family of white Irishmen.

They didn't hope for the appearance of the city's militia, as they weren't sure who they will favor. The rule of the McNeil family had been harsh, and the people resented them. Whoever remained in Palm Bay had to endure through much abuse, and those who found arms are itching for a time of weakness to come to the house of McNeil.

They waited for the enemy to come to their lair, and there, they shall feast upon its failure. No new power would rise to replace the family.

The McNeil family will remain there forever.

4th avenue, Palm Bay.

2:21 PM, 12th of July, 2013.

The entrance to the city had guards standing in front, but when they saw the uniform on the five soldiers riding the jeep they stood down and lowered their weapons. They didn't wish to engage the army, and they feared the forces of the old government's super units. The group entered the city calmly and Mark raised his left hand in the air for Dirk to see. He unveiled the machine-gun and began to slowly load the heavy weapon. They expected to see some resistance, but nothing was there to stop them.

The silence made them uneasy. But the silence didn't last long.

A trash can they passed by which stood a few feet behind the car exploded in a huge blast, throwing the jeep forward and almost toppling it over. The group knew they had already engaged the enemy, but they couldn't see it.

"Incoming, RPG! Yellow house, third floor!", Mark shouted out to Dirk as he finished loading the heavy gun and he quickly tried to position himself so he could hit the yellow house. .. But there was no yellow house.

"Can't see no fucking yellow house!", Dirk shouted back. Sarah seemed anxious to leave the vehicle, but before she could stand on both of her feet Ben already shot a rocket at the incoming jeep from the yellow house two hundred meters away, at north-north-west. The house belonged to one Geler Shmidt, an accountant who hastily decided that the early collapse had been the sign of end-times and took his own life - not before killing his three daughters and wife. It was wedged between two apartment buildings, a sight to behold, and the beauty served as one of the McNeil family's summer houses.

Ben stood on the third floor, the whole floor exposed already to the street after a streak of spontaneous renovating his mother made the servants do. His body was already struggling to keep the heavy launcher on his shoulder. One click and the rocket flew away, hitting the road ahead of the jeep and causing the damned vehicle to spur out of control and fall on its side. Tornado team tried to quickly climb out and each of them took their course. Dirk broke the supports for the machine gun and mounted it on the floor, spraying the yellow house with bullets. Suddenly Dirk could see the yellow house - it seemed like Miriam's mind tricks are paying off. The Jew sat in her comfortable chair with her wrinkly eyes closed, concentrating on the battlefield with her psychic abilities.

Mark ran back to get his equipment situated in a long and thin metal box, one he ran with to the nearby high-story building. It was a brick and mortar red office building, one he had to run through all of its stairs just to reach the top floor - and from there jump to the roof, one of the tallest places in 4th avenue. From there he could see the incoming truck from seven hundred meters away, where Jenna was already driving in and transporting a few armed normal McNeil family members in.

Sarah already pulled herself out and quickly healed Mitchel who gracious allowed her to keep her powers as she touched his right shoulder. Mitchel was pulled out by Manny who then proceeded to grab some munitions from the back of the truck. He handed Mitchel his rifle and loaded his own, then allowed Sarah to handle her sub-machine gun. They both held TAR-21, one enhanced with a grenade launcher and the other endowed with a medium range scope.
Manny liked to blow shit up.

Ben escaped the heavy fire but abandoned the RPG and missiles behind on the third floor. He went downstairs and got a radio message from Jenna telling him to stay put and wait for a pickup. He tried to hole up in the second floor but the fire from Dirk's Machine-Gun had forced him to flee downstairs and out through the building's backyard, pushing through a passage between two small resident buildings and emerging on the 5th avenue only to meet a few unlucky residents of the city. There were five of them standing together huddled around an open fire with a rusted pot filled with soup on top of it. Ben raised his black glock pistol and pointed it on the gang.

"Get the fuck up and follow me, or die if you want to run", Ben spat out his orders, his menacing voice striking fear in the five city residents who simply wanted to be left alone. There were two women and three men, one of which could read Ben's mind and see what awaited them on the other side. They were going to be cannon fodder, and John knew he wasn't going to die in the crossfire. He and the other four companions followed after Ben orders and started to walk towards the alleyway between two apartment buildings leading to the backyard of the yellow house, separated by a mere fence Ben easily went through.

"You're gonna have to climb a bit, so start soon...", Ben stared at one of the men who seemed unwilling to continue. James stared at the McNeil brother in awe and tried to weigh his possibilities... He had a gun, but James had something better.

Back up on the rooftops, Mark loaded his Springfield rifle and shot at the approaching truck driven by Jenna three times, the fourth bullet successfully hitting its right tire and crashing the vehicle on 23rd street a hundred meters away from the intersection with 4th avenue. The soldiers slowly came back to their senses and climbed out of the truck. Mark pulled his eyes away from the group and tried to scour the battlefield.

He looked around the nearby rooftops and saw a strange figure lumping over some red hunk of what appeared to be raw flesh. The figure was dressed in strange and colorful clothes that appeared to be those of a clown or a circus performer. Mark quickly drew his rifle and took aim at the thing. It was then that Fromanzio was shot in his left arm, throwing him back without notice and shocking the poor sod. Mark didn't have enough time to verify the kill as he heard the others below fighting.

Back on the street level, Manny, Sarah and Mitchel were already advancing forward. Manny was carrying an ammunition belt when Dirk fell down to his knees and dropped the machine-gun on the floor. "Mark, see if I killed the fucker on that house... MARK!", Dirk yelled and waited for a response.

"I can't see a body!", Mark shouted from up above. He kept on scouring the streets, the strange clown thing was still on the ground, but something had already caught his eye. It was a pickup truck turning half a click in front of the crew on street level, driven by Henry with his brother and uncle holding a rifle and a sub-machinegun up above who then started shooting at the Tornado crew without notice.

'You idiot! You're all exposed!', a voice echoed through Henry's mind as his green arms clenched the wheel and his legs straightened to push the pedal down to the floor. Miriam was trying to control the battlefield, but like any battle it was too chaotic to handle. Unlike chess, the pieces themselves move independently of their master, and would only occasionally yield to its demands.

Manny lent a hand to Dirk and loaded the new ammunition belt in the machine-gun. The group of four had to weigh their options, but before all they had to place some suppressive fire on the truck before those bad shots on the back would land a lucky hit on them. Mitchel picked up his rifle and aimed at the truck, successfully hitting one of the McNeil family members, one in his late 40s holding a sub-machinegun. Henry then turned the wheel to the left and left 4th avenue before Mitchel would kill him too. The truck drove a few hundred meters forward before stopping next to what looked like a populated house.

"We can't fucking leave Uncle Vance!", Henry's younger brother shouted at him as the truck stopped. He was still holding his uncle in his arms and hoping that they could save him. The greenish looking teenager opened the truck door and hopped out.

"Relax, twerp. I know the guy here...", the greenish teenager in a set of fancy clothes began to move forward in a strange fashion. His back slumped forward and his knees bent completely, he hopped forward until he reached the front door and knocked on it.

"Open up, it's McNeil!", Henry shouted out loud. The sound of the key shaking inside the hole could be heard, but the door was quickly opened and the frog man looked up to see a young woman standing in the entrance. Sarah was at her early twenties and Henry seemed to approve of her beautiful appearance, but she didn't think the same of him. He pushed her aside and looked inside.

"Doc!", Henry hopped inside of the house and looked around. He recognized many of the city's previous inhabitants sitting in the hall or peering through doors to see who it was that entered their home. It was Dr. Caldwell's clinic; he together with a nurse and a veterinarian had been running this place for the last few months and looking after some of the city's injured and ill. The other occupants would try and feed the rest, while almost a third proved to be utterly useless. The McNeil family didn't mind the little group's operations; in fact it allowed them to continue under their watchful eye. Henry turned around and shouted out to his younger brother.

"Mel, get Vance here! We got to get back and help the negro", Henry said without flinching. His younger brother knew that Henry hated their step-mother, but he was the only one in the family who would hear Henry speak to her that way and not tell the others about it. Henry saw the doctor walk down the stairs to the first floor and raised his hand in the air to greet him.
"We need you to take after Vance, he got shot by some army fucks-", Henry said enthusiastically. He looked back to the street and saw Mel struggling with Vance's bleeding body.

"Help the boy, woman!", he ordered Sarah to help his younger brother lift their uncle. The fourteen year old was still a weakling compared to Henry, and on top of that he wasn't endowed with any power.

"I will... I will get you whatever you need, we have supplies. You want protection?", Henry stared at the few others who were brave enough to keep looking at the meeting from the various doors leading to the first floor's rooms. "You need food?", Henry forced a smile on his face and extended his hand forward. He looked back and saw the young woman helping Mel with carrying Vance inside.

"Deal?", Henry asked the Doc eagerly with his hand extended to meet his in a handshake.

Back at Saint Mary's general hospital, Palm Bay's few and precious surgeons and doctors worked under the watchful eye of the McNeil family, or so they thought. With her attention directed at the battlefield and all of the family's able members ready to defend their estates, the hospital remained unattended, though those inside were oblivious to what was happening two kilometers away. The sound of explosions was dull and barely aroused any suspicious in the full cast of the city's finest.

Louie was working on helping a young child with his ankle when one of his "friends" came into the room. It was a stuffed hospital room with six beds in it where there should have only been two, but the people of the city couldn't be too picky about their health nowadays. He was a rather young and enthusiastic boy in his late teenage years, a Haitian immigrant who had lost his mother in the early riots after the collapse.

"Sir!... sir", he spoke anxiously, "The McNeil family... they're losing their throne!". The boy smiled and pushed himself closer to Louie . He held his arm and tried to tear him away from his patient.

"They're fighting the army... We can kill whoever is left, and you can be King, and Loa will be pleased!", the boy spoke in such enthusiasm that he didn't notice all of the others in the room heard him as well. Another patient sat on a hospital bed and tried to scratch his skin, but nothing seemed to be able to penetrate himself. Rico sat on the bed and pulled his knees back, pressing them against his chest with his arms. The man had been trying to figure out what went wrong with him for the past few days, and the doctors in the hospital didn't care at all for a man who seemed neither injured nor hurt in any way. Hearing of the ongoing battle in the other side of the city, Rico seemed to be intrigued. Who was this Loa they were talking about, and why did the doctor had a special envoy dispatched for him?

Back at the city hall, the elderly woman sat at her throne and tried to concentrate on the battlefield. She was surprised she couldn't spot the mad man in colorful attire who was shot by one of the army men, but she was pleased with his early termination. Another pest she won't have to deal with. The rest of the McNeil family was in city hall, all worrying about the fate of their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers. The few men who were told to stay indoors and protect the others in case of the front lines falling were sitting in the commons entrance and playing cards on an empty wooden crate. Danny, the largest of the five, seemed to be winning with his hand against his three cousins and father. Their guns laid on the side of the entrance, but they didn't worry much about using them. They were sure nobody would dare to show himself in front of the city hall.

"Hey, he can see our cards!", one of Dan's cousins spoke up as he eyed Flinch who stood nearby and stared forward. Dan leaned to his right and smacked his cousins' neck for being an imbecile. Dan was huge, even for the McNeil family, and any strike from him was bound to upset most people. He was careful not to use his power on the young boy, or else his brains would have already been splattered on the marble stairs at the entrance.

"He's blind, asshole!", Dan shouted at his cousin. He opened his hand and placed his cards down with a smirk on his face.

"It's a straight flush. I win!", Dan announced triumphantly. His father and two cousins all threw their cards on the wooden crate at the same time and started cursing the lucky Dan. The third cousin, the one who just recently made a fool out of himself threw his cards on the crate with a smirk on his face.

"Four Kings! I win!", he announced and quickly threw his hands at the assortment of power bars and bandages in the middle of the wooden crate, but before he could scoop up his loot Dan stopped his left hand in its place. He grunted and looked up towards his uncle.

"Flint, tell this ass I won the pot, a flush beats four kings!", Dan shouted at the blind man. Flint shook his head in disappointment, opened his mouth and clicked his tongue, which sent a small shockwave through the area and shocked his five family members.

"Get it inside, you morons. People are gathering, riling up... I can see them coming this way. I can't do jack or I'll make you all deaf.", Flint spoke in a monotone, cold tone. The old man could see through the city like a bat, and the gathering crowd which was about to hit the city hall wasn't a good thing to look forward too.

On the other side of Main Street, the city's once downtrodden prepare themselves to storm the McNeil palace - one which was once city hall - and kill those bastards. With their forces drawn to the incoming military, the people knew they could kill the few remaining guards and overthrow the dictators.

Among those who took arms was Daryl who already had a few of his identical twins roaming the city and Gavin who knew he had to keep a low profile or the locals would turn on him too. Both of them remained oblivious to each other as a second generation supers, but they were all a part of a large crowd of over three hundred who had gathered together, holding blunt objects, knives and rocks to overthrow their tyrants.

Over at the fancier side of town where the McNeil women would shop and spend their time, the city's 5th street was still filled with shops, restaurants and hair saloons that operated under the grace of the McNeil family. They were all supplied and guarded by the family, so that they may preserve some sense of the old world in their life. That area, no without the constant watchful eyes of the McNeil family had quickly turned into a popular site for looters. Having scavenged all of the city's abandoned residential areas and industrial sites, the unprotected gem of the city was just too much for the poor bastards of the city to overlook. Among the looters was an enthusiastic Charles who seemed to be itching to abuse his power and get his hands on whatever he desired. Lenneth participated in the barbaric ritual of stripping the whole street down and tearing away anything with value, though she knew that today she will be able to stand up to any that would try to stop her.

A couple of kilometers away from the city's center, Ottis was about to enjoy some private time with his dear wife when the sound of two explosions echoing in the distance almost made him cook his wife's thigh. The incident was then followed by a series of screams from his wife, the last of which inquired as to what the hell the explosions were about.

Character Sheets

Violence and murder are two evils that lead even the best of men down paths of vengeance, pain and regret. However violence and murder paled in comparison to the abuse of authority and subjugation of others in an intense time of need. Darryl knew firsthand how much shit the few remaining inhabitants of Palm Bay had to deal with on a daily basis. Fear, misery, suffering and death were far too commonplace and widespread under the rule of the McNeil's. The entirety of Palm Bay had finally had it. All that pain had soon been replaced with anger, animosity, and frustration. The human element had finally reached its boiling point.

The streets around the McNeil Palace was flooded with hundreds all ready to attempt to overthrow the tyrants that had transformed their lives into a meaningless hell. Darryl clutched a crowbar tightly in his hands as the group continued to charge towards the palace. The locals obviously had the overwhelming numbers but deep down Darryl realized that it still probably would not be enough. He had seen what some members of the McNeil family could do and it was clear that a poorly equipped mob with improvised weapons would at best only be a slight annoyance. Plus the idea of dying and leaving his family behind haunted him. However Darryl knew that the time for action had come, it was either now or never. The choice was either between dying standing strong on your own two feet fighting for what you know is right or lying in the dirt taking blows and listening to commands like some kind of animal and the choice was clear. If there was a slight chance that he could make the world just a little better for his family he would lay down his own life in a second. Although the obvious thing that left Darryl with a little more hope and allowed him to keep on charging the palace was his own ace in the hole.

Out of the pair of duplicates Darryl had sent to go find assistance throughout the city the first one had finally arrived at his destination, Saint Mary's. The duplicate, clearly exhausted, flung open the doors of the hospital scanning the rooms and corridors for anyone that looked as if they could be of use.

"We need help...a militia has formed outside the palace...we need doctors...and anyone who can put up a fight...The reign of the McNeil's ends tonight," Darryl's dupe repeated shouting at the top of his lungs while stopping frequently mid-sentence to regain his breath.

The second dupe found himself nearing 4th Avenue. He stepped cautiously as the echo of gunfire and explosions could be heard bouncing of the buildings. Darryl knew the fight would be a long one and just old bats and rocks wouldn't pose a real threat. So the second dupe roamed the streets looking for an viable and efficient weapons.

Rico entered a normal sitting position again. "Loa? Who's Loa?"

Louie didn't answer. No one EVER answers the guy who's come to the hospital because he can't be injured.

It had been frustrating. Even after he'd decided to help out anyone who needed it, he still went to the hospital to see what was happening to him. All the invasive blood tests had failed, as no needles could pierce his skin. So he just sat there, last in line for everything. He was planning on taking his leave soon anyways, but now he wanted to know who "Loa" was and why he'd be pleased... and about what.

He stood and walked over to the doctor and the young man. "Loa? What does he want, and why's the McNeil family losing the throne?" Oh, please be true. No more drunk supers in the alleys, no more attacks on his friends, no more forcing him to do computer work, and he'd finally go back to doing music. He'd finally be able to talk to his family again. Rico felt the inner cynic spit in a word edgewise, though. Hopefully, the new rulers wouldn't be even worse than the McNeils, be they Loa or whoever else.

Lenneth scavenged around, looking mostly for things that she and her friends would need to survive, least that's what her friends where doing, Lenneth drew the short straw and was out looking for things of monetary value to barter with later.

the whole thing left a foul taste in her mouth, but since her employers hadn't contacted her recently, she was left with little alternative. she searched for gold and silver mostly, something a value that remained valuable regardless of who ran things, so naturally she skipped over the money the ruling class hand circulated

she came under attack by other looters, whom she ether shoot, cut down or tore the life force from before throwing them a side like trash. she looted till her pockets where full, then went to take off for home, taking one last look around she saw some stealing or defacing the McNeil's property, to which she shrugs "no orders given, not my problem" and took off for home.

Sarah placed the blame for the current state of Palm Bay squarely on the shoulders of the McNeil family, but the pitiable sight of a young boy struggling to carry his badly injured uncle quickly overcame any sense of aggression she was feeling towards them. McNeils or not, the people in front of her were human like anyone else, and they clearly cared about the well-being of their suffering relative.

Placing the old man on one of the few vacant beds, she took a moment to look over his wounds. Even without a great deal of medical knowledge, it was clear that he was in real trouble. Sarah hoped that the doctor would agree to the deal that had been offered, it was quite possible that he was the only person with the aptitude to heal a patient in such critical condition, and food and medical supplies were badly needed. While she always brought along what she could scavenge from the surrounding area, it was far too little to make much of a difference.

She turned back towards the boy who had carried the man in, and placed her hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry, Dr Caldwell has helped people out in worse condition than this. I'm sure he'll be fine."

Gavin moved with the crowd of rioters, keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground. He seemed to be blending in well, no one questioning his attire, grappling hook, or air tanks. He looked around, eyeing people covered in plates of metal and holding their own makeshift weapons. Poor guys probably wouldn't last for a second before being turned inside out.

As much as Gavin simply wanted to jump through the air, over the crowd, track him down, and choke that bastard McNeil to death himself, Gavin had to stay inconspicuous for the time being. Enough people were already going to get hurt or brutally killed, if they knew what he was Gavin figured he'd be forced to add to the body count. He understood that this collection of hatred he was currently wading through wasn't just directed at McNeil's rule, but all superhumans in general. Even if this crowd somehow managed to deal with McNeil and his abomination of a family, they'd soon move onto other superhumans, innocent or otherwise. And in turn, more villains would be born. Perhaps even worse than the McNeil's.

"The McNeil's..." Gavin muttered, getting a feeling for the name. It's what you'd call that family down the street who you were considering inviting to a barbecue. Not a group of powerful superhumans you're start wage war with. He thought of his family and hoped he wasn't making mistake. The last thing he'd told them was that the air force was called in to battle a few dangerous supes and they'd need back up. Gavin attempted to keep it vague and slightly bent the truth. If they knew it was the McNeil's, they wouldn't have let him leave the bunker that day. There were stories, horror stories about what some of the McNeil's had done and what they could do. His mother had made a bigger deal than the rest of her family, asking her for more information, but all Gavin could say was that they were some random supes causing trouble. It wasn't entirely a lie, but it wasn't the truth either. He'd simply hugged them all and gotten on his way. Gavin thought he heard jets flying over head.

"I probably should've gone with the muscle, they're gonna have their hands full" Gavin said, sighing. "But someone's gotta protect the civilians." He started making his way through the crowd, forcing himself to the front. He had to keep a low profile, perhaps duck away when he had the chance, but for now he had to put himself on the front lines. When the time came, when the crowd found themselves face-to-face with even one of the McNeil's, he'd jump into action. After that, Gavin simply hoped the crowd would let the two superhumans take eachother out.

And that any other supes hiding in the crowd would be able to tell the difference between a friend and an enemy.

This world had turned into a hell hole, while Martin had previously only cared about research he now also cared for people. Ashley had opened his eyes to the world and he was responsible for a big group of people now. Still food and medicals supplies were running low, and there were also a few smaller armed gangs that threatened the clinic. How was he supposed to help all these people? If only there was a way to make a deal with the ruling family. Still those people didn't care for anybody but themselves.

Martins thought were interrupted by a voice calling him."Doc!" Who interrupted him while he was working? He had made it clear that he really disliked that. He began to walk down the stairs to see Henry standing there, he raised his hand to greet him. Martin hated the McNeil family for what they had done to him, closed the lab and destroyed the city. Still they were the bosses of this city and they had left him alone most of the time. That had to count for something... not much though. He wasn't pleased to see them in his clinic, he could see the fear in peoples eyes. People that trusted him and looked up to him to feed and take care of them.

"Help the boy, woman!" Martin face betrayed a hint of annoyance as his coworker was ordered around like that by Henry. "I will... I will get you whatever you need, we have supplies. You want protection? You need food?" Henry forced a smile on his face and extended his hand forward. "Deal?" Henry asked the Doc eagerly with his hand extended to meet his in a handshake, meanwhile it seemed like Sarah had taken him inside. He looked to be in a dire state and would certainly die within minutes without proper medical care.

Martin looked at Henry "I ask enough food to feed everyone here for 3 months, as well as 4 soldiers or whatever you call them here to protect the clinic 24/7. And this list of medical supplies, That is the deal." He gave Henry the long list, as he walked over to the table with the wounded man, looking up at Henry he knew he had no other choice. And Martin wouldn't back down, they needed those supplies bad. "Deal?" He extended his hand to the man he could see the expression of the man change, he obviously didn't like the demands. Still Martin knew that this was the only way to keep the people fed. And besides they would probably wouldn't even miss the food. And he also knew that as soon as he had healed him, he would lose his position of power. So the deal needed to be made now.

The McNeil family did what they wanted, even in the middle of an invasion they had time to point a gun at James, Ben McNeil was the man who had done it, a mountain of a man who was used to getting his own way. He had wanted James to follow him, there seemed no choice but to comply. 'Perhaps there was a choice, I could slip away and be out of his sight before he even notices anything is wrong, but what about the others? They might be punished.' James stayed with the group, lest any suffer the wrath of Ben McNeil.

Then a burst of courage had spurred him on, turning away from Ben McNeil, James ran as fast as he could, his power carrying him away from the fighting with great speed. The army had come to knock the McNeils off their perch, that was fine with James. As he had often taught his class, families are meant to rise and fall. But what replaced them worried him, history taught that a power vacuum meant chaos and a sudden change in leadership caused conflict. Where could he go?

James thought there was one place the army and the McNeil family would protect at all costs, the hospital. Thinking with six times the speed of an ordinary man, James visualised the route to the hospital.

"They shot me!"

Fromanzio coughed a bit as he desperately dressed his wound. A makeshift bandage via a dirty street rag. Infections were not nearly as bad as bleeding to death and he would make whoever that was pay dearly. Granted, this was not the first time he had been shot, but that was a big bullet.

Fromanzio was aware as to what was going on, the military was trying to retake the city. He was going to ensure that they lost their little war. Morality, duty, all of it was nothing in the eyes of Fromanzio. There were only dead people, and not dead people and quite often the not deads changed their status.

I told you we really should not have been waiting around on a building during a war.

Shut up.

You never listen to me.

I never listen to you because you never have anything worth saying.

Fine, I will just sit here and watch you continue your atrocities.

The voices in his head began to die down and again, the wound was still an issue. Perhaps the clinic would be able to do something. Fromanzio's rags began to bleed through a tiny bit. Time was not on his side with this one. The wound was still a graze, not damaging the bone and Fromanzio could still use the arm but bleeding out was still an option at this point.

The nearest clinic was owned by one Dr.Caldwell and although it had probably been commandeered, Fromanzio did not have his guns on him at the moment and probably wouldn't be shot on sight. Or so he hoped anyway.

The sounds of chaos erupted around Chucky as he strode through the shopping area of the city. With no McNeils around to stop him, he had been free to take anything of value at his leisure. In the old America, Charles would have been disgusted with the actions of the looters. In the old America, he might have used his power to stop them. But this wasn't the America he knew.

Charles walked down the sidewalk with a bookbag in one hand, and a tire iron he "liberated' from a fellow looter in the other. He blissfully sang to himself as he walked by the various shops.

"How much is that doggie in the window.
The one with the waggley tail.
How much is that doggie in the window.
I do hope that doggie's for sale."

He stopped and set his eyes upon one of the jewelry shops the women of the McNeils would frequent. He raised the tire iron and batted away the glass of the window left from previous visitors before proceeding inside. Helping himself to the slim arrangement of jewels not picked by looters, Charles stopped at a particularly exquisite sapphire ring.

"Oh. Lucy would love this"

He began filling his bag with the rare gems and metals, then went back out onto the chaotic streets of Palm Bay; hoping there would be an electronics store nearby he could see to next.

" OW... Ow... Hunny! ... Fucking Stop!... AH!"

Before Ottis realized it, his wife of 28 years tossed his naked ass onto the street. Bad enough he feels terrible for zapping her, but the screaming and hitting him part made it hard for him to concentrate on not doing it again.

" Bloody fucking hell." as he looked at his house and was hearing gun fire and chaos off in the distance.

The second story window opened, and his wife's head popped out. " Come back when ya can fucking control that shit" and like the first time he zapped her she threw at him some pants, his skate board and his life saver the ipod.

"What, no underwear!?"

She shut the window.

While standing there in his birthday suit all Ottis could think was how lucky he is. McNeil family allows him and his family to live in the "Old America" part of town cause of his D-list celeb status. A pit stop for when "honored" guest show up and are on their merry little way to the shops. At least they don't make him play for their birthdays or anything.

"I need fraq-ing drink"
Putting his pants on, and cranking his tunes to max. Ottis walks holding his board like a weapon as he realizes the gun fire isn't stopping and the screaming is getting louder. Something is wrong, no guards on patrol and if its like anything like the first riots; Ottis will need to keep an electric charge going. He knows his wife will be safe, her baseball bat and 15 years of kungfu classes kept their home safe the first time around. His sons are all probably at the pawn shop with their guns and reenforced doors.

" Great I'll need the Amp too..."
And with that he heads off to the pub.

This Ben character had to be joking. But even a cursory glance his mind revealed a tempest of fear, rage, and adrenaline; he would not tolerate disobedience. So be it, but John would not be dying out here and the longer he stayed out here the greater the chance he'd become collateral in a superhuman conflict in which he was helpless. He had to get to safety.

And he had one thing to his advantage; he could feel the minds of the combatants, and while it was not particularly precise it was a good enough indicator of where everyone was. He could roughly sense an out of body detachment in the armed figures advancing up the road; drilled soldiers no doubt. This gave him a good idea of where not to be, and he'd be able to use the terrain to block lines of sight and make his escape.

But his train of thought was distracted by something behind him.

with the other citizens over the soup, and he'd managed to establish that James had some sort of power (those thoughts and feelings quickly surface when anyone mentions supers) but exactly what it was had eluded him.

And now it was James' mind that distracted him.

It was a maelstrom - the winds and the currents were swirling with such a velocity they threatened to engulf him; it was the same mind, but on fast forward. Out of necessity he tore his mind away and began to back off towards the yellow house, and away from the confrontation

And in a flash, James ran off at inhuman speeds. With Ben distracted John also ran, but into the yard of the yellow house and round the side. The plan was to huge the building and stay low; using the cars for cover, and get into the apartment block right next to the yellow house, which he knew was open. The soldiers were still on the street but it sounded like they were in a gunfight with another group he sensed on the road and soldiers didn't shoot unarmed civilians, especially when there were armed fighters shooting at them... at least that was the gamble.

And so; hands up for good measure and ready to sprint the short distance; he stepped into the street.

Lenneth arrived a few minutes later and her friends discussed briefly what they should do next, with the riots, incoming storm and army on the way, it seemed like a good time to just leave, how ever Lucy, as it turned out needed medical attention they could not provide.

it was decided, Lenneth would fly Lucy to the Hospital to get looked at while Kenneth and Gin made ready to skip town. Lenneth flew as quick as she could safely with a live passenger, but when she got there she found the ER full with injured people from the riots. Lenneth frowned sat Lucy down and flagged a nurse down to see Lucy, but was told to 'wait like every one else'. she was all together unsurprised but annoyed regardless. so for the time being Lenneth sat by Lucy as they waited for some one to she her.

Lenneth got no end of funny looks, and rightly so, she did resemble an angel of death

The building was in Fromanzio's sights. He wondered for a second how weird people will think it is to see an injured jester, but that thought faded when he felt light headed due to the blood loss. He hobbled inside the hospital, blood oozing out of his arm and yelled. "Excuse me, I hope this is not of too much botherings, but I am kind of about to die here."

It was now that he began investigating the room. There were chairs around everywhere, people were standing injured as well, probably from the same military bastards that hit poor Fromanzio. Still, his would was a bit more serious as the people surrounding him were either dead, or had cuts and bruises.

"In fact, could we please hurry with that one?"

Lenneth watched the 'clown' walk in, he was hard to miss, so she did what she thought was best, she got up, walked over to him "hey, take my seat, you look like you need it" she said pointing to the chair she'd been sitting in

Fromanzio was getting delirious at this point. Flying with blood loss does that sometimes but one of the friendlier guests stood up to help. She was strikingly beautiful, though Fromanzio's warping made him essentially asexual and he couldn't care less about it. What he did care about was the fact that she had offered him her seat.

Say hello damn you. Every time this happens you just stab the person or shoot them and take the seat, I honestly don't understand.

Geeze, I don't always do that! Sometimes I blow them up too! This seems to be a bad time to do that though, seeing as how I would probably just bleed out, and I forgot my guns...

"We-er Fromanzio I mean I appreciate your offer miss. So hard to find courtesy during an invasion you know? Someone sees you flying about and without warning he shoots you! The rudeness of these invaders is entirely deplorable! Someone aught to teach them some manners... Speaking of! What is your name?

Fromanzio slowly took his seat, the person sitting next to him looked a mix of confused, bewildered and outright horrified at how casually Fromanzio seemed to be taking what had to be a very painful wound.

"Lenneth" she said after he explained what happened, Lenneth frowned "so much for leaving then, if they're that close and taking shots and anyone that moves, we're stuck here" she said with increasing annoyance and disappointment

'looks like blood will need to be shed no matter what side i take, idiots, who cares who controls what' she thought as she stood by her friend

Fromanzio looked at the ceiling, wondering when someone would take a look at the gaping wound in front of them.

You aught to make her an ally, god knows you could use one.

I know what I am doing, leave me alone already!

"Fromanzio is going to be killing as many of those invaders as possible once he is out of here. We honestly don't care who wins but Fromanzio has had a distinct lack of people to put holes in recently and despite their training, Fromanzio knows they will go down like the rest."

Fromanzio let out a pain filled chuckle as laid back in his chair. "Feel free to take a side on this, but Fromanzio is going to be killing the invaders...unless the current rulers make us mad, in which case we will start killing everyone. Should that be the case, perhaps we will skip over you? Yes that seems fair."

Lenneth pondered his offer "i must pass on your offer, temping as it is, where as I'm like you in that i don't care who wins or rules what, i am some what more selfish, i like to be paid for killing people. so unless we can reach some for of business agreement, I'm afraid as shall continue to look after my own interests" she said with a smirk "while i watch the city burn in the chaos surrounding us"

Lucy got a nervous look to her, she hated when Lenneth talked like that, she could never tell how much as an act and how much was her true feelings

Fromanzio sighed hard. He looked at his wound and was surprised it was taking this long for a single person to try and help him. Hospital was probably busy, but dying really was not on Fromanzio's schedule.

Oh well, if the military hires her, she would make a good pin cushion at least.

Why is that always your solution?

Why is that not always yours?

Am I going to have to take over here?

Oh god no.

Go away, you are even worse than him!

Fromanzio was looking somewhat distressed, his arguing with himself was beginning to turn into mumbles. He ran up to the front desk and started frantically banging it. "I highly suggest you hurry and get me some help!"

Henry stood there, frozen. What the doctor asked him was more than what he could have stolen from the family stores, and he was certain that the family didn't value uncle Vance that much. He was torn between his uncle - his friend, and what loyalties lied with the rest of the family. His younger brother had already loaded the poor sod into the house and the doctor extended his hand.

"Vance... they're asking too much", Henry turned to his younger brother. Tears began to form around the corners of his eyes, and the boy's knees began to shake. Henry couldn't bear to watch his brother like that, and he couldn't leave the man who served as a surrogate father figure for him ever since his father was blinded by that explosion.

Henry grabbed the doctor's hand and squeezed it firmly. "Fine, Doc, you have your deal. Now patch him up quickly. If Vance dies, you get nothing. Understood?".

The other four had already armed themselves with their rifles and stood before the stairs leading up to the entrance to city hall. Ben marched down the stairs and shouted at the crowd to disperse.

"Get your asses outta here, The McNeil are staying here!", Ben shouted at the crowd but they didn't seem to budge. An assortment of curse words and wishful thinking dribbled out of the crowd in a sort of diarrhea fashion, all of their hopes sounding like garbage in the eyes of poor 'ol Flinch who had had enough of hearing every single person cursing his mother and sisters.

"Put your ear plugs on, now!", Flinch ordered the others and Ben complied as well. Flinch positioned himself towards the masses and clicked his tongue, sending out a high frequency signal that caused agony to all those who heard him outside in the crowd. Most of the people fell down to their knees but the others stood their group and even carried forward. One man, holding a lead pipe, charged at Flinch's brother and tried to land a hit, but he already shot the man before he could swing the thing at him.

At a small flat nearby, a certain someone was violently awoken from his slumber as the sound from Flinch's click penetrated his ears and caused him untold anguish. Matthew sprang to life that very instant, the ongoing events outside drawing his curiosity.

Flinch was careful when he slowly went down the stairs and stumbled upon Ben. Ben then took his earplugs off and Flinch whispered something in his ear. 'Lets not waste ammunition... Get inside, and kick them till they bleed and run like mice.'

Daryl and Gavin, now having survived Flinch's deadly sound-waves need to prepare themselves for the worst of offenders. Dan slumped forward and went through his armed family members. The first person he saw he hit with his right hand, sending his body to the ground and crushing him completely.

"Run, you fucking mice, RUN!", Dan screamed at the crowd.
The damned boy turned away from Ben and started to run away from him. Ben quickly offloaded four shots into the insolent brat, but before he could blink he was gone from the scene. Whatever was that boy, it wasn't human, and the thought of more super-humans in the city that they've missed scared Ben. They knew of some small time gangs being controlled by a super, but they all operated outside of the McNeil zone and their protection. They were small fries, nothing to fear - but if someone had infiltrated the city without their knowledge...

"Hey!", Ben looked back at the four remaining hostages."-Do any of you know that guy... the one... the fast one", his voice was trembling. He walked a few steps out of the alleyway and caught a glimpse of his relative in full combat gear.

"Yo!, Jimmi!", Ben shouted at him. The other man aimed his gun at him and for a moment Ben feared the most, but he then pulled it aside and shouted back from the other side of the street.

"I almost shot you, Ben!", Jimmi answered. Ben walked towards the incoming group of armed McNeil soldiers that survived the truck crash and waved at them with his pistol as he drew nearer. He seemed to have forgotten about his hostages, but they had little escape routes to look for.
The looting seemed to be going brilliantly for all those involved, of course disregarding those who were killed by their fellow looters for swag #A or swag #B, each with its own value. Charles was trying to stay unnoticed after his attempt at going for a jewelry store, but wishing to remain alive he decided to rummage through the warehouse shop that housed all of the city's excess products. Knowing that the McNeil family was never too big on technology, he was hoping to find some equipment in there.

Outside George was considering his options. He could return to the city hall and inform his family, or he could deal with the situation himself. Knowing fully well that the more he delays his decision the less there will be left to salvage, George set off to stop the looters. The thirty year old man stood on top of a dog hairdresser shop and eyed the view in front of him. It all felt like that time of the collapse, when everything was uncertain.

George set off and jumped off the roof, turning on his power and flying through the crowd of people. The wind around him turned into blades at dashes from his flight hit the looters and left them with cuts over their bodies. The fortunate Charles had already entered the electronics shop when he had heard cries of agony from outside. Something was wrong, and it looked like the McNeil had something to do with it.

At the lobby entrance to the hospital's ER wing, two very strange individuals sat at the reception, one bleeding, the other holding a bleeding friend. The banter between the two seemed like out of a sick comedy sketch show, but nobody was that deranged to think it up. The nurses at the desk slowly disappeared form the scene, leaving only one unfortunate soul to guard the entrance and let people in.

The words being thrown around even scared those who sat across and near those two. Words like killing, mercenary, death... It all seemed dangerous, as if the McNeil family was on its famed hunts form the beginning of their era, but those weren't McNeil. They were something else.
IT was something else entirely.

It was the stranger one of the two who first came to the reception and shout at the nurse there.

"I highly suggest you hurry and get me some help!", Fromanzio spoke in a nervous tone as his arm continued to bleed in the hall.

The terrified nurse tried to force a smile at the clown as her right hand was rummaging under the counter for a handgun left there just for these kinds of incidents.

"Sir... uhm, sir, is that right?", she fumbled with her words, "You need to wait, and, uhm... pay for your visit first... F-fifteen hundred d-dollars first...". The nurse felt the cold stock of the colt handgun and she quickly tried to hold it firmly under the counter.

It was in his best interest to leave the scene of combat, but doing so also meant that James had left other four acquaintances and if I may say, friends, to die. He tried moving towards the hospital, luckily evading the shots Ben had tried to hit him with, but the road forward was blocked by the truck Jenna was riding in earlier. The turned over vehicle blocked off the whole street and what remained of the squad sent to deal with the invaders only now managed to climb out and reorganize. James had to stop before the truck and quickly think of a way out of this conundrum, if he was really going to end up at the hospital.

They screamed in his mind. The fauna of the city all screamed in his head, all of the time. He couldn't bear it, but the most recent screams were the loudest. Somebody was setting them ablaze, somebody was killing Warren family. The giant arose from his slumber awkwardly, but first he had to find a way to leave the concrete prison he found himself in, the sewers, and protect his brothers above ground.


Scratching, skittering, gnawing, gnashing. Teeth and bones and flesh. A sharp squeak, a scuffle, and no more.


His awareness gathered at the edges, not wary, but slow, steady. Like the sun rising. Tendrils gorged, nutrients and protein fuelled spindly vine-limbs, thickening and strengthening them. Tips fed into concrete floor, searching for earth, for father.

No, for the ground, solid and rock hard. Warm and damp.

Only cold here.

Warren's eyes opened slowly, yellow depths flicking with tiredness, with age. He sat up or tried to, and fell back when his arms weren't where he thought they were. In fact, they were lodged in-between the gaps in the concrete beneath him, twisting and working their way deeper.

Surprised, Warren went to yank them out, but as soon as the thought crossed his mind they relented. Coiling up like young ferns beneath his palms. That was when he noticed the greenery, and the rest of his surroundings.

He was in a sewer, no doubt about that, but it was unrecognisable. (Not that he made a habit of frequenting sewers, but one generally has a good idea of what they are meant to look like.) It was like a forest, vines and creepers crawled the walls and ceiling, hanging and swooping across the width of the narrow passage. Tufts of grass erupted at infrequent intervals through the ground, where the rock had obviously been worked away by time, and given opportunity for nature to take over.

He lay at the centre of it, where the grass was lush and plentiful. A small path of sunlight was pleasantly resting at the centre of his forehead. Warren sat up, and felt tired in the dark, his head pounding suddenly and without warning. He shuffled back to let the sun rest at the crown of his head, and truly observed his appearance.
Green skin, fingers, and long, coiled, limbs like the creepers above; twisting into knots and untwisting without whim. He was naked, and his body was thinner than it had been since he was a teenager. Hips and waist abnormally small, larger shoulders though, stretching to accommodate the length of his arms. Which, he estimated would hang down to trail at his heels when he stood.

As he rose the vines above him tangled and supported his unsteady steps, kindly, gently, like his wife or sons when they would help him in his garden-

His wife! Marie! Where was she? Was she safe? She'd left for work a few days ago and...

And what? His house had been overgrown, like this place, but brighter somehow, more like home. Even more than when it hadn't been. Yes, like his magnificent garden... ahh, the orchids in bloom, the magnolias, the roses. How he valued them and their soothing presence in these troubled times.

Yes, there times were bad, and his wife worked for the worst, the McNeil's and their regime. So where was she? And where was he? And his garden, his family...

All this time he'd been standing the feelers had crept up his legs, strengthening his limbs and alerting him to sounds far away. But no human sounds. No, this was something... else. Something alien, and dominating, but also calm, soothing. Warren eased into the sound, his eyes closing. His feet grew tired and he began to settle down for another nap, just a short one...

Fire! Pain! It's burning, burning and fire and death and they are killing us and oh god help help us no it's comingpleasehelpus.

His eyes snapped open, fury rolling off him in palpable waves as the fauna roiled and whipped about in frenzy. There was no time for rest. His family was in trouble.

Follow the sun... rise above the earth... grow and dominate...
"Yes," he whispered, mouth cracking open into a vicious snarl that echoed beneath him with hundreds of tiny mouths. "Yes, save our family, save our garden of delights."

He raised his hands, fingers uncurling and reaching to the sky above. They found the iron plate that bound him into this green prison and hurled it up and away. He stood beneath this circle of sunlight and let it fill him up, invigorating the last few joints-that-were-no-longer-joints and consuming him as he rose up and out of the sewer, the vines lifting him where his limbs couldn't support his body on the slim ladder that usually served as the path to the exit.

Drenched in the light now, Warren turned his head to the sun, to stare directly into its life-giving glow. Then the screams of his family brought him back to earth, and into it. His roots tore down and out, seeking out true earth, not the hardened, blackened rock he found himself on, and sought the area of most carnage, of most pain for his precious children.

There, streets away, but not too far. He stepped forward, and fell flat on his face. His roots bound him to the ground, strong and unyielding. He swiftly recalled them, and the came, chattering in his head and whispering and sighing gently about the sky and the wind. He was forced upright once more, and moved on his way.

Soon enough he arrived, not without a few more stumbles as he checked and rechecked his location through the roots. 4th avenue. He knew this place, nice houses, nice gardens. He'd complimented the yellow one often enough to know the scents for each time of year. Wonderful composition, an all-around beauty.

But not anymore.

Tyre tracks marred its once pristine lawn, discarded shells littered its earthen walls, and a small fire silently consumed a young tree that stood in the corner. Warren felt its screams, and echoed them. Wailing roots dragged him off the main road and around the back, out of the warzone. But his anger still raged. The grasses behind the houses and apartment blocks grew, coiling and writhing like snakes. He stalked to the back of the yellow house, leaving a trail of aggressively growing plant-life in his wake. That's when he saw the people, one with a firearm of some description, and others without, huddling together. Warren rolled forward on vengeance, aiming his ire at the most aggressive looking one. He would die first.

Matthew's eyes snapped open and his first action was to scream in pain. He felt like his ears and brain had just been stabbed, if such a thing could even be imagined. He writhed on the filthy madrass in his small flat. His claws ripped into it, causing long rends in the fabric. It took him a full minute of agony to recover and even then, he still had a splitting headache and ringing in his ears.

Aiken managed to sit up on his bed, rubbing his forehead with the palm of his left hand. What had just happened? He could vaguely hear wails of pain coming from the hallway of the apartment building. There were people there. Dying people. His mind strayed from them as he took in his surroundings, no, the threat wasnt in his room that was clear. It was from outside then. It had awoken him in the most brutal of manners. He tasted blood in his mouth, having raked his tongue on his teeth in his fit of agony. It was more pleasant than he cared to admit and he was awarded with a flood of adrenaline surging through his body. He shivered lightly, imaging how he could potentially exact brutal revenge on his aggressor. Only, he didn't know who it was.

The sensation was abruptly ended as Matthew had to lean to the side of his bed, heaving up yesterday's lunch when his dark thoughts had strayed. It still made him sick to think about rending and biting humans. He didn't feel up to the task of questioning wether he could still be considered human or not, he had to focus on survival for now. Matthew's pains were already fading as he stood up, looking for his clothes. He had fallen asleep in a pair of grey slacks and a white t-shirt. The skin on his arms, all the way down to his forearm was a dark green scaly texture. His neck likewise had this property, and of course, his fingers ended in sharp claws. He managed a slight exhale, as wisps of green mist trailed out of his mouth.

Eventually, his gaze caught his clothing which was in a heap on the floor. If he was going to head out, he'd need to cover his body fully. He grabbed his shoes first and put them on, tying the laces as to not trip over them though he fumbled with it a little, claws and all. They were cheap running shoes, a dull worn white colour mixed with faded black. Next was a hoodie shirt, way too large to fit him properly. He put it on, causing the sleeves to cover his hands and the edge of the shirt going a bit down his thighs. Last, he wrapped a winter scarf around his mouth, letting the end trail down one side as he pulled up the hood of his shirt. This would have to do. The only thing abnormal about him now, besides the awkward clothing were his dark golden eyes. They seemed to gleam under the darkness of the hood, predatory in nature with black flecks here and there staining them. They were also bloodshot, from the sudden awakening.

He made his way towards the door, the pain he had felt already a distant memory as a few minutes had passed. He had to get out of here and find out what was going on. He needed to survive.

A gun was pointed directly at him!
John has completely miss-calculated - the soldiers had been driven back and that other group; which he saw were the McNeils; held the street in front of the yellow house. He heard distant gunfire, but he was caught in a lull.
The gun aimed at him from across the street gestured slowly that he backed up. John did as he was told and made slow movements back; the currents of suspicion were strong in the mind of the man with the gun.

He slowly rejoined the other civilians as Ben finally came to from his shock and started talking to the man with the gun; 'Jimmi'.
Fear radiated from his mind, the discovery that James had a power worried him - a super that the McNeils did not control was a threat, no two ways about it. John had learnt that in this New World, supers were high profile assets; the nuclear weapons of the New World - there were no hidden supers; no supers without an agenda. But James was exactly that... as was John. Dots began to join. Two people was no statistical sample, but it suggested one thing, something that Ben had not yet realised but something that filled John with a terrible sense of foreboding...

This was a second awakening!

Terrible conflict was coming - one in which citizens were nothing but collateral. With this tragic realisation he looked to the three citizens cowering around him. He'd had ample time to get used to the storms of their minds; fear, uncertainty, and worries for loved ones, ruled the surface. But deeper there was a will to live; a defiance. These three had survived the first awakening - John was sure they were damn well going to survive the second.

In a hushed voice, told the civilians; "Let's get out of here, follow me," reluctance; "Don't worry, he has forgotten about us - bigger things to deal with." He offered his hand in support to the woman nearest. They nodded in acceptance, and began to move, but something was off.

The grass, it was growing unnaturally fast. John's mind surveyed the area and found the source - a mind that was barely human. This hurricane was no less complicated, but the winds and currents were slower, much slower, but also unwavering and resistant to change. Images of plants and forests dominated, and these images were associated with a... loving affection?

Now John's eyes followed his mind and; indicating for the others to slow; he surveyed the area; that's when he saw the 9ft plant man striding towards them. Now with visual clues aiding his intruding mind he sensed anger in the powerful figure...

Running was no option with the McNeils behind; dread filled John, he had to think fast; "Back up against the wall and stay perfectly still!" he hissed at the others who had noticed the figure by now and realising the danger, obliged. He was praying that this man would see no threat here.

John's mind now surged forward and dove into the plant-man's mind in a desperate attempt to find some clue on how to react.

"And don't step on the fucking grass!"

James saw his way was blocked and abruptly turned, if anything a bit too sharply, straining his leg. He would feel that when he slowed down. James abruptly ran down the street and looked for an alleyway that could get him to another street and loop round the truck. However, when he came to the end of his chosen alleyway, he had to stop. Only then did he feel the effects of his power. Crouching down behind a pile of crates, James caught his breath and felt a twinge in his leg.

Looking out at the street, it appeared deserted, but it could have people in buildings looking out. James walked out of the alleyway and down the street, taking care to play up his leg. It would be better to appear the wounded civilian than let too many people see he had a power.

As he made his way along, James heard a noise behind him that made him turn around quickly.

Gavin grabbed his head, the piercing sound waves rattling around is his head. So, this is how it starts. People around him started running in fear or falling to their knees, but even more ran towards the McNeil's. They weren't backing down, despite how powerful the family was, and neither was Gavin. Gavin quickly reached down to his belt, slipping his hand through his grappling hook. It locked around his forearm and the triggers slid up to his wrist. Gavin equipped a spear head and prepared for the worst. There was going to be a lot of blood today. Gavin hoped some of it would be the McNeil's. He watched as a McNeil made his way past the rest of his family and crushed a man with a single punch.

"Run, you fucking mice, RUN!" The McNeil said, Dan if Gavin's memory served him right and the files he'd read were correct.

Gavin tensed his knees and the area around him got lighter. This was it. He suddenly turned around and fired a minor repulsive blast, pushing back those who weren't running. Gavin understood their motivation, the people they wanted to protect, why they wanted to do it, but figured he'd give them a few more seconds to decide whether they really wanted to go up against the McNeil's.

With part of the crowd out of harms way, he launched himself backwards through the air and found himself floating above the McNeil. They made eye contact and Gavin flipped him off, firing the speared grapple directly at Dan. Dan took a quick step back and the grapple embedded itself in the ground, a few inches in front of him. Gavin didn't take any time to hesitate, he reeled himself in fast, aimed at the McNeil, and dislodged the grapple, simply letting gravity and momentum due the work. Gavin collided with Dan, but stopped instantly, an extremely strong hand around his neck. In that one fell swoop, Gavin found himself face-to-face with a McNeil and so far, things didn't look like they were going to end well. Dan only glared up at Gavin as he spoke, saying the only thing that came to his mind.

"Bet you didn't expect to find a condor hiding among the mice." Gavin seethed before reducing the gravity around them, sending himself, Dan, and a number of McNeil's flying into the air.

Darryl feel to his knees and covered his ears as the sound waves rolled through the crowd. As the crowd started to disperse slightly some quickly recovered and charged towards the steps of the palace and the McNeil's themselves. As Darryl staggered to his feet he watched as Dan McNeil obliterated a man and quickly turned his attention back to the mob and shouted.

"Run,you fucking mice,RUN!"

Things were getting hectic. With the crowd slowly losing it's numbers Darryl knew time was of the essence. If there was going to be any chance in taking the palace and finishing off every last McNeil in that place it would have to happen now. Darryl grabbed a bat off the ground beside him and clutched it in his right hand with the crowbar now in his left. As he and a few others rushed towards Dan the small group quickly stopped in their tracks as they all took a double take to make sure they were witnessing the same thing. A man that had been apart of the crowd had launched himself straight into the air and was floating above Dan. The group continued to look on as the man collided with Dan and somehow ended with both men, and a few others up in the air. After regaining his composure Darryl turned his attention to the tiny group behind him.

"Throw everything you can at em while they're distracted!!!" Darryl blurted.

Soon rocks and a assortment of other small objects were flung through the air making their way towards Dan and the other McNeil's. It would make no real difference but it would sure throw off their focus.

As they were lifted above the crowd and the rest of the McNeil's, Dan released his grip. The other McNeil's, Dan, and Gavin all came to an abrupt stop, simply floating freely in the air. Gavin quickly brought his hands to his throat, rubbing it furiously. A few more seconds, and he was sure Dan would've snapped his neck. He saw Dan floating a few feet away from him, slightly confused.

"Didn't expect that now did you, fucker?!" Gavin yelled, preparing to drop them. Suddenly the other McNeil's took point, using their guns to get into position, preparing an attack and taking aim at Gavin from all sides. Even if he dropped them all now, they had perfect shots on him and would probably end up firing into the crowd. "Okay, so you guys aren't idiots and I fucked up." He aimed his grappling hook. "Bring it!" He yelled, knowing he wasn't gonna gently drift back to the ground. As one right in front of him took aim, a lead pipe slammed into the side of his head. It sent him reeling and he let out a scream. More debris, pipes, rocks, wooden boards, and the like were thrown at the McNeil's. Gavin looked down and saw him, one guy in particular armed with both a crowbar and a bat directing the crowd. He wasn't sure if the guy could see him, but Gavin gave him a quick salute. Suddenly, he saw a rioter next to him hit with a chunk of a concrete and an entire group was shot down in a hailstorm of bullets. The McNeil's had started firing into the crowd and Dan was throwing their own materials back at them.

"Oh fuck, what have I done!" Gavin yelled out, aiming his grappling hook. He pierced through one's skin and reeled himself in. They redirected their fire at him and Gavin felt a number of bullets collide with his vest. He soon watched as parts of his white hoodie slowly turned red, up and down his arms. He'd been shot before, plenty of times, but not by this many people at one given time. Gavin wasn't superman and let gravity take hold once more, the McNeil's colliding with the ground. Gavin slowed his own fall, landing on one knee before bending over in pain.

The other McNeil's weren't so lucky, groaning in pain from the fall. Dan quickly jumped to his feet, practically unfazed and absolutely irritated.


I know already.

Fromanzio looked at the nurse, who seemed to be about ready to kill one of her own patients with a gun she probably could not use. Fromanzio started to cock his head a little bit and waited. Then she said the words that will probably seal her fate, he was still undecided. "You need to wait, and, uhm... pay for your visit first... F-fifteen hundred d-dollars first...".

Fromanzio let out his famed laugh, it echoed throughout the hall and everyone looked terrified. "So you say? Alright, let's see, I think I can manage that, one second." Fromanzio grabbed the nurse by the arms, it hurt to use his wounded arm but he could not risk her shooting him and he was pretty sure the gun was in her right hand. He jumped on top of the desk and then flew off with her right out the door.

The nurse was petrified at this point, entirely unable to speak aside from screaming. She was kicking her legs but missing every time, her arms unable to even move. She shot once at the ground and Fromanzio laughed again "We don't know what you have against the dirt, but it certainly is not about to kill you."

Stop that right now! This will only lead to-

Sorry, can't hear you, too much fun.

When Fromanzio landed on the building, the first thing he did was snatch the colt out of the nurse's hand and started messing with it. Analyzing it in every aspect was the first thing Fromanzio did with any gun he gained. It was able to shoot about six times before running out of ammo and that would be plenty. The building was a high rise for Florida, approximately seven or so stories, enough that the people in the street were looking up and screaming. Fromanzio had the nurse on the edge and she began crying.

"Please, don't do this I-"

Fromanzio interrupted "It's a shame, this gun only has four shots left."

"W-w-what d-d-do you m-mean? I only shot it once-"

Fromanzio fired the colt and the bullet pierced the nurse's head. Blood flew everywhere behind her and the body fell to the ground like a stone. The mark on the pavement was horrendous and Fromanzio's laugh echoed through the streets. With everyone staring at the dead girl on the pavement, Fromanzio flew back to the hospital, gun in his pocket now.

I can't believe you just did that to an innocent young girl.

She had it coming.

"I would hate to have to ask in a not so kind way again but this gun still has four bullets if any more nurses would like to tell me I can't have this wound treated."

Henry seemed distressed by what Martin was asking. "Vance... they're asking too much" He could see the younger boy was almost about to cry. Martin felt no sympathy however after what his family had done, he couldn't feel bad for the boy. Henry turned around and squeezed his hand firmly "Fine, Doc, you have your deal. Now patch him up quickly. If Vance dies, you get nothing. Understood?". "Of course now let me get to work." The boy wanted to stay, but Henry knew they couldn't so he took him out of the room. Martin grabbed something that would make his patient fall into an deep sleep, after 30 seconds his patient slipped into an deep sleep as expected. Martin was relieved to see that it had worked.

Martin grabbed all kinds of equipment as he quickly used his power, together with his other hand to stop the bleeding and to fix him up. After 5 minutes of work Martin's job was done and only a small stitch mark remained. He wasn't about to let them know he had special powers, so he made sure to leave an small wound behind. Martin took his mouth cap off as he left the surgery room he looked around but the 2 man had left. Must have been in a hurry. Still I got what I wanted. Martin smiled brightly as he looked to an young boy sitting on the ground. Martin grabbed an apple from his backpack and gave it to the hungry looking boy. Martin smiled as the boy began to eat and he continued on his way walking down the hallway.

He then heard the front door opening. Smith stepped in along with his 'security team' 8 man armed with baseball bats and axes. Martin walked over to them "So found any good loot?" Smith looked a bit sad as he emptied his bag, a bit of food and a few water bottles but not much. Martin sighed looking at Smith "Well I got some good news for you later, for now just take your defensive position outside." Smith nodded signaling his man to go back to their defensive position. Martin looked at the supplies If Henry doesn't deliver the goods we will have an food shortage soon.. Martin placed the food in the storage room. He was happy that Smith helped him though. The ex sergeant had proven to be an good leader of the man healthy enough to defend the clinic, and loot nearby buildings for supplies. And he also had an pistol, which made the locals gangs think twice before attacking them. Martin had an gun himself but other then taking it apart a few time he had never used it.

Martin walked back outside of the storage room to see Sarah standing there. Martin walked over to her "Hello there Sarah so how are you and the patients doing?" Martin knew she had no real medical experience, but the girl was an quick leaner and she had also showed to have an good heart. And she had no problem working around the clinic, she had volunteered to become a nurse. If only I had an couple of more like her, shame that most people here are sick. Still some of them were recovering quite well, and with all those promised medicine he would be able to patch most of them to health.

Matthew opened the door. The hallway beyond was unremarkable. Bland and worn walls with a staircase leading up and down. The apartment building had three stories and he was on the middle one. What was remarkable was how crowded the hallway was. Groans of pain were common as folk, both dead and alive were slumped against the walls. Almost all of them were bleeding from ears and noses. Aiken didn't doubt for a second everyone who were would also never hear again. Some people died from the pain.

Only two seemed unaffected. One appeared to be what Matthew could only presume was a deaf middle aged woman clutching her dead husband in her hands, wailing with wild abandon. It stung him a bit, but the simple cold truth was that the weak did not survive in this new world. Another was a girl sobbing, wearing a headset over her head. They had to be well isolated to protect her and she couldn't be more than 19 years old by the looks of it. He proceeded down the hallway, clad in his full body clothing. Matthew had the third floor in mind. He didn't doubt he could take himself onto the roof from there. But before he could get to the stairs, something gripped his leg.

He stopped, only to turn his head, glaring at what he had caught onto. It was the 19 year old girl, her voice was choked with sobs. She had the audacity to grab a complete stranger by the leg it seemed.

"P-please... h-hel--"

Aiken's eyes stared into hers and what she saw there made her recoil, she screamed in fear and bitterness welled up in Matthew. Why did he have to live like this? He had no ill intentions and yet his eyes always seemed like those of some ruthless predator. They weren't his eyes anymore and he wasn't sure he was going to be himself forever either. More than his body had changed. His psyche seemed affected by the mutation as much as his body. It was depressing to say the least, having to live with conflicted emotions and instincts that didn't feel like they were quite his.

"Your headset. Give it to me."
"Wh- Ge--"

Matthew's voice was muffled by the scarf. He gripped her headset and tore it off. The girl screamed and wailed. He had to survive. It was more than likely this girl was already dead. This was the best way to go about it all. Keep telling yourself that, Matthew. Everyone else are forfeiting their humanity, why shouldn't you, right? Matthew gritted his teeth and ran for the third floor, he wasn't sure why he was running. He just wanted away. Bile was gathering in his throat again but he forced it down. He got up to the third floor, everyone here appeared dead, they weren't as lucky.

There was a makeshift fire in the corner, heating didn't work in the building, so it was usually rather cold at night. The fire was long since put out and it was encased in a set of loose red bricks. He grabbed one , heaving it up in his hand. Matthew made his way to the window, it appeared to face an alleyway caught between two separate apartment buildings. These were close to the palace and that was dangerous. He wanted nothing more to do with the Mcneils. He just wanted to survive. He couldn't hide his "power" as well as he wished he could and it wouldn't take long to get exposed if he got caught. The alleyway below was empty, everyone must've been out on the streets then. That's what the ruckus was about.

Matthew smashed the window open, making sure to clear it properly as he climbed out. It was high up, but Aiken didn't seem to care. He climbed the apartment wall with an amazing sense of finesse. It's nothing he could've pulled off if he had still been human. He used any jutting objects he could to climb. Air conditioning units, lines, uneven walls. Everything could be grabbed onto. It didn't take him long to heave himself up on the roof. Now he would just have to travel away from the palace, seemed like a good plan if any. He began to move across the rooftops, jumping when it was required, slowly making his way away from certain death.

"Hello there Sarah so how are you and the patients doing?"

She gave a quick look over the occupied beds nearby, before nodding. "They're good... or, as good as can be expected anyway. The medical supplies from the McNeils will really help."

Laughing for a moment, she added "You have some real guts, you know that? I half expected the guy to storm off, or worse..."

Her good mood vanished quickly however, as she contemplated the position they were in. "I think the battle outside is getting worse, and it's dangerously close to us. I'm glad you've decided to help the old man, but I don't know how safe we'll be if the attackers find out there's a McNeil in here."

"They're good... or, as good as can be expected anyway. The medical supplies from the McNeils will really help." Laughing for a moment, she added "You have some real guts, you know that? I half expected the guy to storm off, or worse...I think the battle outside is getting worse, and it's dangerously close to us. I'm glad you've decided to help the old man, but I don't know how safe we'll be if the attackers find out there's a McNeil in here."

Martin was happy to hear that none of the patients had worsened. "Thank you it was just that without those supplies we would have starved, so it was either we would get the supplies or die. And I know Henry he isn't the type to shoot or take hostages... well maybe he is but he knows it won't work on me so he doesn't take the risk. And his little brother was here as well so I knew they would agree to my terms. And I have sent Smith and his crew to protect the clinic and we will close the doors soon so we should be save..." Martin looked around. Whatever was about to happen next he hoped that these people would survive.

Martin then looked at Sarah again. "But as usual you have avoided 1 question I also asked how you were doing. I know you are still worried about your mother, and that this work is an great way to distract yourself but you also need to rest. I mean you aren't of any use to the patients if you pass out all of a sudden right?" Martin smiled at her, he got to know her quite well since she started working here. She was one of the few people who had lifted an finger and since she was an nurse they had talked quite allot.

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