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    SORA

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    Klak
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    SORA

    Post by Klak on Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:50 am

    OP Theme

    You are a member of the ICSS in the year 1970, over 43 years since the incident in Rockbay City. You answer to the Director of the ICSS, Ezra Eiges, better known as The Shadow Operative. His many decades of experience, both as a superhero and a soldier, have made him into a legend. Though most of his colleagues are either dead or in retirement homes, replaced by new generations of SORA members, he still pushes on, holding all ICSS agents to the standards and values he has fought for all his life. For this reason, many ICSS members jokingly refer the organization “The Sense of Right Alliance 2”.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be detailed in a future post.

    --

    Background Info:



    Rules:

    1. No god-modding.
    2. Resolve all disputes cordially.
    3. Keep it tasteful. If for some reason your character has objectionable views or experiences, we do not need a thorough exploration of them in a way that will offend your friends. That said, don't be afraid to explore the issues of the era.
    4. Any posting style goes.
    5. No character limits (tentative).
    6. The plots will be less serious than most RPGs, but there will be some realistic consequences in this RPG. NPC reactions will follow this maxim. Sharing any intel that you may receive either between your characters, or with characters owned by other Users, will cause problems.
    7. Typical BZPB warning/tempban/permaban system applies.
    8. No spamming.
    9. No flaming.
    10. No extensive controlling of other people’s characters, otherwise known as “bunnying”, without consent (unless you are GM).
    11. All out of character posts must be signaled as OOC or OOS.
    12. If you are unable to post for whatever reason, please notify the other players beforehand.
    13. Each of the plots, presented as “missions” will follow a ‘Monster of the Week’ format, with loose connections (if any) to one another (think James Bond). Thus, there won’t really be any arc villains at first (but there may be recurring villains), as each threat will be dealt with in its own plot, and the characters will move on to the next one. The mission begins with a briefing, and ends with the characters destroying the threat. Fresh starts all around.
    14. GMs of particular plots will be in charge of developing the setting as well as the antagonists. Each GM will be chosen randomly after the first mission, which will be led by yours truly. Everyone gets a shot at “directing” their own spy story. If you are unable to be GM, please inform everyone and assign someone else to act as GM in your place.
    15. The RPG is set in an alternate version of the 1970s. Use of 60s and 70s tropes is encouraged, as well as references to historical events.
    16. Due to the nature of the SORAverse, technology will be significantly more advanced in this era compared to how it was in our timeline. No smartphones or internet, but the tech is much like what would have been available in the 1980s.
    17. Characters should act appropriate to the time period. However, clashes between Golden Age, Silver Age, and Bronze Age types of characters are encouraged.
    18. Agents can possess all kinds of superpowers as long as a) they don’t start off as being too OP (no agents with abilities that heavily alter reality, or anything that seems god-like), b) they are somehow tied to Kø.


    • The above rule does not apply to villains or independents (we could foreseeably have a plot similar to Infinity War, for example), but enemies are encouraged to be killable.  However, your characters will be given the chance to “Level Up.” They will be able to either Enhance a Power, Gain a new Power (within reason), or Sharpen a Spy Skill After 3 level ups, your character will move up in their ICSS rank. With enough level ups, your character might become insanely powerful. Should you have a character idea that you feel may violate one of these rules, please let me know.


    19. Subplots allowed, of course!
    20. Have fun! This is a new, more experimental take on BZPB and the SORAverse.


    Factions: Characters can fit in any of these!

    ICSS: See background for story. Each member is either a “Novice”, an “Agent,” a “Special Agent” (often the most powerful aside from their handlers), or “Analyst”. All members answer to The Shadow Operative. The ICSS base is in an island in the Pacific Ocean.

    Other Intelligence Agencies: Operatives from agencies such as (but not limited to) the KGB, the CIA, MI6, DGSE, and MSS will occasionally work alongside and/or against the ICSS. The cloak and dagger world of espionage is full of clashing interests. Revealing your secret identity or any agency secrets could compromise the mission and put lives at risk. Choose your allies and enemies wisely. Note: Fictional spy agencies are encouraged, but their goals must be realistic, and they have to fit the time period.

    Wisemen: The Wisemen were once a unit within the United States Department of Justice. However, after the Rockbay Incident, their questionable tactics and nigh treasonous motives were subject to Congressional inquiry. The group's very existence was found to be in violation of the Posse Commitatus Act, and as such the organization was disbanded. However, Hans "Domino" Badouin, war hero and former leader of the group, led its remnants to Germany, where they formed a centrist militia that opposed both the Spartacists and the Freikorps in the wake of the Kaiser's abdication. After WWII, a conflict that Domino was instrumental in ending after his assassination of Hitler in the July 20 plot, the Wisemen were offered the chance to work for the US again. However, Domino refused. Still, Domino was considered for the leadership of the ICSS before the UNSC settled on the Shadow Operative, and the Wisemen worked alongside the organization in its earlier years. However, due to the many clashes and disagreements between Domino and the Shadow Operative, the two parted ways. Domino continues leading the Wisemen, despite his age. Players may find this faction working with them, against them, or neither.

    Villainous organizations (will be updated each plot):
    • The Shadow Proclamation: A mysterious organization led by the super ex-mercenary Hercules Splendor. Many of its members are supers, and they are considered extremely dangerous, given that they have killed an intelligence operative in the past. They were behind the kidnapping of Melchett Apolion, CEO of Apolion Industries.


    Independent: Individuals who are ultimately loyal only to themselves and their ideals. They might be mercenaries, black market dealers, or some other type of freelancer. Regardless of their profession, they are connected to the world of supers and spies, and may act as assets or enemies to ICSS agents.

    Civilians: The ICSS work in the shadows to protect and serve them. Given the clandestine nature of the RPG, no civilian characters are allowed to know about the inner workings of the organization. They don’t even know the ICSS exists.


    Last edited by Klak on Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:00 am; edited 2 times in total


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    JS
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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:28 am

    [ Somewhere in Alaska ]
    [ 1970 ]

    "They've forgotten about us, you know? People have forgotten about us."

    Emma paused, her gloved thumb resting on top of the round she had just loaded into her magazine. She looked over to Ahab, who had been staring wistfully out of the Huey before breaking his silence.

    "Hmm?"

    "Jesus performed miracles." he continued, adjusting his seating. "Returned the dead to life, cured the blind - miracles. Nowadays, every other person can shoot lightning from their fingertips, or fly, or magic an arsenal of weapons out of thin air. His miracles don't quite seem so miraculous any more."

    "People didn't follow him because of his miracles." replied Emma, sliding the magazine of her XM177 into place, and slapping the bolt release home. "They followed him because of his message. They still do."

    "Do you?"

    Emma shrugged. "Not really."

    Ahab chuckled; the greyed veteran pulled his Remington 700 rifle free from the webbing running across the ceiling of the Huey, and racked the bolt.

    "Then it looks like you carried that cross for nothing."

    The Huey sunk low, barely clearing the mountaintops of the north Alaskan tundra. The rest of the striketeam onboard prepared themselves, as a pair of F4 Phantoms shot past the Huey, speeding ahead of it. Silence hung over the Huey, before the distant rumble of a series of explosions shook the helicopter.

    "Avatar 3-1." piped up a voice on the end of the radio. "Enemy AA is down; you are cleared to proceed."

    Alarm sirens sounded throughout the Thule base; soldiers rushed to defensive positions as the Huey swooped around overhead. Emma took hold of the descent rope, using as a bungee as she leapt from the Huey, firing her rifle in tight, short bursts as a squad of Thule soldiers ascended the ramp to the helipad. She touched down, sprinting in the direction of the central compound. She kicked open the door, throwing a frag grenade in before closing it again. His pistol at the ready, Ahab closed the clearing from the helipad to the compound, flanked on either side by the accompanying Delta Force members. The grenade exploded; Emma kicked the door in, and proceeded deeper into the facility.

    "The National Guard is 10 minutes out." announced Ahab, as the team descended a set of stairs . "We need to neutralize any supers before they get here, or this is going to be a bloodbath."

    The sounds of the gunfight raging above became but a faint echo as Emma rounded a corner, entering the central chamber of the compound; a multi-storey command center built around a central clearing. Machinegun fire rained down upon them; the team ran into cover behind two of the immense server towers filling the room. Ahab looked to Emma, and nodded. Ahab burst from cover, his body suffused in a red glow; where once had stood an American man of some 60 years now stood an Asian man of half that age, dressed not in modern military garb but the black uniform of a Ninja. he ran, becoming as shadow; machinegun fire traced his path, but had no effect on the shadowy aberration. Emma stood, a blue glow engulfing her; when it dissipated, her appearance was that of Naraka Isthar, the anomaly which had been absorbed into her reincarnation cycle. She leapt out of cover, materializing a pair of Narayanastra pods; they rocketed skywards, bringing down the balconies upon which the machinegun positions had been erected. A group of Thule soldiers burst into the room, accompanied by their commander. They aimed at the attackers, but did not fire. Emma readied an arrow, as the commander emerged from behind the cover of his men; He wore a long black overcoat and wide-brimmed hat, a cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, his hand perched on the hilt of a Colt Single-Action Army slung across his hip. Instead of drawing and firing, he merely cast a wry grin towards Emma.

    "Naraka Ishtar. Now that's a face I thought I'd never see again."

    "It was my face before it was hers." retorted Emma. "I just took it back."

    The commander began to pace, as his soldiers looked amongst themselves uncomfortably.

    "Simon of Cyrene. I was there in Rockbay - back when you was called Remy. But you ain't him anymore, are you? Just the next iteration."

    "That's an astute observation."

    "And I know you ain't alone. You can show yourself, Longinus." replied the commander, looking off to the right; Ahab rematerialized from his shadow form, before reassuming his prime appearance, M1911 at the ready.

    "Surrender, Atticus." instructed Ahab. "This war is over. Let's go home."

    "You know I can't do that."

    "Think about your men." added Emma, tensing her draw arm.

    Atticus nodded. He raised a hand; his men dropped their rifles, stepping away from him and leaving the room.

    "It's just us. And now this war is over."

    Emma loosed her arrow. Atticus drew with superhuman speed; his first round cut Emma's arrow in half mid-flight, the second striking her directly in the chest. Her bodysuit absorbed the impact, but she was thrown backwards; Atticus turned and shot the first of Ahab's rounds out of the air, before fanning the hammer into his chest. Ahab flew backwards, blood trailing from his chest; Atticus slumped to the ground, clutchng at his stomach. Emma reverted to her original form, her face pale as snow; she looked mortified as she walked over to Ahab , cradling him.

    "Is he dead?" he asked, weakly. She looked over to Atticus's body, before nodding. Ahab sighed. "Well, that's Thule done for, so I guess it's not all bad. I... I suppose we'll be meeting again. So long, Simon."

    "So long, Longinus."

    And then, Simon of Cyrene found himself alone once more. Emma picked up Ahab's body, and began walking out of the compound.


    Last edited by JS on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Klak
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:04 am

    <Vietnam, 1969>

    *The helicopter slowly landed in the clearing, having spent nearly an hour hovering over a nigh interminable jungle. A song started playing. They were finally at the American base.*

    *Several Marines stepped out, each cradling M16s. The remaining Marine sauntered out, clutching a burning cigar with a shit-eating grin. His name was Lance Lopez.*

    *Had you known him before the war, you would have thought that the caked mud and blood on his uniform would belie his nature. However, 'Nam changed Lance. But not entirely.*

    *Lance nodded at his fellow servicemen as he walked into the base. Some gave him high fives, others ignored him.*

    Staff Sgt. Lamatia: "Corporal Lopez!"

    Lopez: "Yeah?"

    Staff Sgt. Lamatia: "The Colonel wants to see you! You've screwed up yet again."

    *Lance Lopez laughed.*

    Lopez: "You call it a screw up, I call it genius."

    Staff Sgt. Lamatia: "Shut up and follow me."

    *Lopez followed the Staff Sgt., and they made their way to the Colonel's tent. Lamatia pulled back the veil to his superior officer's office, revealing a mustachioed middle-aged man sitting at a desk. The desk was mahogany, a surprising contrast to the rest of the makeshift office. On it were various pens, papers, a computer of sorts, and other things a Colonel would need. Sitting across from the Colonel was a woman wearing the uniform of a Soviet major. However, she also wore a United Nations armband on the left sleeve of her jacket.*

    *Lopez saluted the Colonel, hoping to comment on the mysterious woman later.*

    Lopez: "Corporal Lopez reporting, sir!"

    Col. Gilclack: "At ease, Corporal. Sit."

    *As he complied, Lopez opened his big mouth, still balancing the cigar.*

    Lopez: "Why are we letting commies into the base, Colonel?"

    *Gilclack sighed impatiently.*

    Col Gilclack: "This is Major Amelia Volkov. Former Soviet Major, now works for the United Nations alongside the Ambassador."

    *Lopez grinned and leaned over to Major Volkov*

    Lopez: "Fine by me. I always loved a woman in uniform."

    *The Colonel cringed. Major Volkov rolled her eyes, then grabbed Lopez's cigar. She dropped it to the ground, but before she could stomp on it with her boot, it suddenly reappeared in Lopez's mouth.*

    *Her eyebrows raised in slight surprise, and she nodded. She then spoke in a perfect American accent.*

    Major Volkov: "Your reputation precedes you, Corporal. Super speed."

    Lopez: "Not in everything."

    Major Volkov: "Oh yes, I'm sure you're fast where it counts."

    *The Colonel grit his teeth.*

    Colonel Gilclack: "Cut the shit, Lopez. Your raid on a North Vietnamese base yesterday put us in trouble. Apparently, there were Russian and Chinese operatives you killed."

    Lopez: "It's war, Colonel. They were on the wrong side."

    Colonel Gilclack: "I'd agree with you if they weren't wearing UN uniforms."

    Lopez's eyes widened.

    Lopez: "But sir, I-"

    Colonel Gilclack: "Save it. To avoid a diplomatic incident, we've agreed to transfer you to a unit where your skills might be more useful. In exchange, the Russians and Chinese will treat them as they really were."

    Lopez: "Rather convoluted, don't you think?"

    Colonel Gilclack: "Hey, whatever gets this RPG starting. Anyway, Major Volkov here will be your new handler. I'm finally rid of you."

    Lopez: "I like being handled. But I won't work for the UN or the Soviets."

    *Volkov rolled her eyes and tapped Lance Lopez on the head. The Corporal fell to the ground, unconscious.*

    Major Volkov: "We will have a lot of work to do, but his power could be useful."

    Colonel Gilclack: "Agreed."

    Major Volkov: "Of course, you know the protocol for this."

    Colonel Gilclack: "Right. You don't exist."

    *Volkov nodded. She and Lopez disappeared into thin air. The Colonel was taken aback.*

    ---

    <ICSS Base, 1 Year Later>

    *Lopez rubbed his face with warm water in front of the mirror, having just finished his morning shave. He sighed, hoping that today's would go well.*

    "Of course it will," he thought to himself. "I'm Lance freaking Lopez."

    *He exited the bathroom, just as cocky as he was before his life changed forever.*

    --

    <Elsewhere in the base>

    *Director Ezra Eiges, better known as The Shadow Operative, paced around his office, observing various photographs. He sighed, remembering how far he's come since he had joined the Protectors at the age of 17. The fight against Thule, the expansion of the team, the Depression, the Second World War, Venezuela, and so much more. 4 decades of turbulence, with so many lives lost.*

    *The Shadow Operative pursed his lips. It had been many years, but he still missed his friends. Bravarius most of all. He privately cursed at Minatop again for never warning them about Bravarius's looming death during the War.*

    *He then sat as his desk, swiveling to the window behind him that showed the ICSS briefing room. On his desk was the photo of his own family.*

    So much has changed, he thought to himself. So much stays the same.

    *The Shadow Operative stood up, and made his way to the briefing room.*

    ---

    Apolion Industries Headquarters, New York City, 2 Months Earlier

    *The executive assistant walked into Mr. Apolion's office, carrying several folders full of forms and papers. The mammoth room full of books, statues, photographs, and psychedelia would have intimidated anyone else, but she was used to it. Working for Melchett Apolion for the past decade hardened her against his excesses, including his temper. Few things surprised her anymore, except this...*

    Mrs. Pimoq: "Mr. Apolion?"

    *She gasped, dropping all of the folders. Mrs. Pimoq crouched as she observed a pool of blood on the floor. Next to it was a note with a series of cut out newspaper letters on it.*

    *WE HAVE APOLION AND HIS SECRETS. A NEW AGE DAWNS. DEATH TO THE OLD ORDER.*

    Mrs. Pimoq rushed to a nearby phone.


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    Zev the Reveler
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:50 pm

    [Somewhere in London]

    It had been unusually cold and devoid of rain that day, with a feeling like the forces of nature were holding their breath right into the night. In a back alley that reeked of garbage and cigarette smoke, two young women found what they were looking for: the spacious staircase leading down into the ground beneath the local bookstore. With great trepidation, the college students descended down the stairs to a place that felt much deeper below the surface than it actually was, with a recessed mailbox and a door of genuine ebony set in the concrete below the building above.

    Before they could even knock, a nasally, crackly female voice from beyond the door made them jump. "Come inside," the voice said. "It's too cold to be hemming and hawing at the door, and time is money no matter the weather." The two girls looked at each other. One gulped, the other blinked rapidly. As the former laid her hand over the ornate pewter doorknob, the latter gently placed her fingers over her friend's for support. Giving each other a more confident smile and a nod, they opened the door and went inside.

    Inside, it was like another world in another time. The room was lit only by countless red candles arranged on obsidian platforms atop tables all around the room, giving it an ethereal atmosphere. It smelled of incense and tea, of parchment and ink, and of various different pleasant aromas that completely negated the pungent stench of the alley outside. Subdued jazz was being played on an ebony and pewter gramophone in a corner across the room from the door, parallel to a globe in the other back corner. The room was all ebony and mahogany, pewter and silver, and shades of red besides that. The floor had small, triangular tiles of speckled white stone and bright red ceramic, as well as a rug with triangular patterns and fiery colors right inside the door; the ceiling was vaulted with an ornate pattern of diamonds of various shades of red beside and inside each other, and mahogany shelves filled with books filled the left and right walls of the room from the front to the back.

    Across the room, in front of a third, smaller shelf, there was a mahogany desk with three low-back chairs in front of it, all lined up very neatly. There was a crystal ball and an abacus with Dzi beads for counting on one end of the desk, and on the other end, a gongfu tea tray made out of ebony and pewter, with a cast iron kettle adorned in scarlet designs and matching cups on top, the former of which issued a curling plume of steam from its spout. These items were accompanied by a strange little red clay tea pet with many eyes and mouths sat in the corner of the tray, along with a black and red tin which likely held the tea leaves that her visitors smelled as they stood apprehensively at the door.

    Sat in the high-backed ebony chair behind the desk was a girl who was alarmingly young and yet strangely, subtly intimidating. She wore a red velvet mantle with fur trim that looked too big for her slender build, and when a hand emerged from underneath the garment to beckon the girls closer, it seemed slightly large and spidery for her whip-thin wrist. Her wavy shoulder-length hair was a dark brown that looked like the color of particularly deep, rich tea, and her dark eyes seemed almost too large for her face, even with the slight shadows underneath them. They seemed to appraise the very souls of the girls who nervously sat on the crimson cushions of the chairs across from her, leaving the two very discomfited as they subconsciously kept the middle chair unoccupied between them.

    "I've not seen your faces around here before," the teenage girl behind the desk spoke up, startling the university students across from her. "My name is Aradia Thrice. I am the owner of this business dealing with witchcraft and the occult in general. Would you like some tea?" The two girls shook their heads, looking incredibly pale and frightened to the point of nausea. "A pity," Aradia sighed, taking ahold of the kettle and pouring some tea out for herself. "Oolong tea is delicious and healthful, and would probably relieve your stress. I allow my clients to make their own decisions when the occult is not involved, however."

    She then proceeded to sip the tea for a minute, staring at the two slightly older women from across the top of the small, shallow cup. When only a very small amount of tea was left, she reached out her arm and poured it over the strange, horrifying little clay figure in the corner of her tea tray, never once taking her eyes off of the two as the liquid ran over its vermilion surface, past the openings between the pewter rods in the top of the tray, and into the reservoir within.

    "Allow me to explain my business," Aradia finally went on to say, pouring another cup of tea and resisting the urge to roll her eyes at the frightened silence of the girls. "I am a witch who offers consultation on matters of the occult, divination by way of various different means, and the administration as well as the lifting of curses, blessings, and other spells. Every medium I use is on the shelves behind me." She kept staring at the girls as she took another sip, jerking a thumb over her shoulder as she silently contemplated whether or not the two were ever going to notice that her tea kettle had yet to be refilled or heated, it being a magical item she had made.

    On the shelf behind her were many, many boxes of ebony and pewter, as well as countless stuffed animals that each looked more uncanny than the last. "As you can see, there are five shelves behind me," Aradia went on to say, pouring the last of her tea over her tea pet again. "They go from bottom shelf to top shelf, with moderate shelves one through three in-between. Depending on what kind of spell you want me to work, I will use one or more media from a particular shelf, with my dolls being the primary foci I work with. This also determines the price." She poured another cup of tea and began to sip it again, never once looking away from the girls. Pouring the last of it out again a minute later, she concluded, "For example, a curse of bedsores and a limp would be moderate shelf one, and would cost you 675 pounds. Now, what have you come here for?"

    The two young women looked at each other with horrified expressions. Her neutral expression beginning to turn to a scowl, Aradia continued to fix them with her gaze even as she took ahold of the ornate obsidian base of her crystal ball, sliding it over to the center of the desk before her. Leaning on her elbow with her chin in her palm, Aradia gazed into the crystal ball as she drummed on the desk with her manicured dark crimson nails, causing a rhythmic series of clicks that made the girls quake. "You're both students at the local university," Aradia drawled. "You both failed on your last exam. You want me to curse your professor with impotence and baldness for failing you. Right." She then glanced up at them again, mouth open to say something.

    However, she closed her mouth with a little click of her teeth. Suddenly standing up and leaning over her crystal ball, palms on the desk, she got so close to the women that they squeaked in unison. She began to sniff the air around them, thrusting her nose at them like a dog before it crinkled with distaste. "You two have no experience in the Art," Aradia sighed, sitting back down in her chair and fiddling with her bangs. "Look, girls," she went on to say, "magic is like sex in a lot of ways. And like sex, your first time is something that you should cherish. Having your first experience with magic be a curse is like having your first time having sex involve a blindfold and a ball-gag." She gave them a sideways glare, then, curling up and leaning on her chair's arm. "Go out and experience some magic on the West Side, it'll probably find you before you find it. Then, if you still feel like it, come back to me with your professor's hair or fingernail clippings or something, plus his personal information and enough money to pay me with, okay sweeties?"

    She then sneered, making the girls' breathing hitch at the same time. The look on her face was so hideously angry, so vile and disgusted, the two girls couldn't force breath into their lungs, it horrified them so. "Now get out of my store," she growled, her voice having dropped an octave into a wroth contralto. "I don't have the time nor the patience to teach women almost a decade my senior in this life how to breathe." The two girls got up like a shot, knocking their chairs over, and ran out of the room. They almost shoved each other over getting out of the door, slamming it shut behind them with a scream.

    Standing up, then, Aradia walked over to the gramophone to turn it off, her disproportionately large platform Mary Janes clicking and clacking on the tiles as she walked, their little black bows bobbing slightly with each step. While she dealt with the record player, an invisible force set the chairs back upright, aligning them perfectly with the one in the center. Making a satisfyingly loud scratch as she removed the needle from the record, Aradia strolled back to her desk, sat down, and poured out a cup of tea. She stared blankly at the door as she sipped it, before pouring it out again. "I know you're there," she snapped. "Speak, if that be your will."

    Half the candles were suddenly extinguished, and those that remained burned dangerously low, making the room almost too dark to see anything. Shadow and air twisted and warped into the shape of a man, with two impossibly dark pits where eyes were supposed to be. It seems the witch that has died twice is plagued by quite the disrespect for her betters, a voice rumbled with words that were felt more than they were heard. Shall I drag you to Hell straightaway to join the loved ones you abandoned in your past lives?

    Nonchalantly, Aradia poured more tea into her cup, sipped it, and poured it out. "You told me once that money runs Hell as well," she murmured, before pouring tea into the other cup and holding it out. "Does that still hold true, my Darling Demon?"

    Indeed, the shade responded, taking the cup with its shapeless hand and pulling it to its empty face. Hell is the final resting place of all the wealth on Earth, the graveyard of all property and material possessions. The humans and demons who inhabit it are richer than anyone alive can possibly conceive of.

    As she took the empty cup back, Aradia smirked. "Then I have no fear of Hell, when my deal with Mother Goddess and Horned God runs out," she replied. "If Hell does indeed run on money, then I'll bankroll Satan himself and be running the place in a week or two. No one in Heaven, in Hell, or on Earth is better with money than I am."

    The shade chuckled. We'll be delighted to have you, when the time comes, it remarked with a bow. Oh, and by the way: you're going to get a call soon after I return to the underworld. It's in your best interests to answer it. The darkness faded. The candlelight returned to normal. Aradia poured another cup of tea, drank most of it, and poured it out for the fifth time.

    Right on cue, a ringing sounded within her desk. Opening the drawer, she set a positively ancient phone that wasn't wired to anything on her desk, leaning in and taking ahold of the instrumentation. "Yes, yes, this is Aradia Thrice speaking," she answered. She paused. "If ICSS needs me, then I can be there momentarily." Another, longer pause.

    "Do not mock me," she snarled. "Of course I'm not going to ride a broom over land and sea to reach you. I'm going to take a cab back to my estate outside of the city, then use a ritual circle there to teleport to the circle I left at my quarters in your base." She gave a quiet little tch then. "And if anyone's erased my circle, I will find out, and I will curse them. Expect me there within the next two hours. And since I'm supposed to be handling my shop at this time of the night, I expect you all to pay me by the hour and handle my Kø requirements for how I'm spending so much of my very finite time on this Earth helping you with your inconsequential problems. I would also appreciate a hot cup of black tea upon my arrival." And with that, Aradia hung up, dropped the phone into the drawer unceremoniously, and slammed it shut.

    Getting out of her chair again, Aradia turned so that her red and white plaid skirt fluttered slightly. Searching and searching the shelf, she settled on a striped gremlin among her collection of dolls, plucking it and holding it to her chest under her mantle. Smiling down at the stuffed animal's unnerving, felt-fanged grin and squishing one of the five ping pong ball-sized magenta bean bags she'd sewn into its face for eyes, Aradia lastly made sure her wine red stockings were straight and tidy, then strolled out of the door before locking it behind her with a spindly red rune that floated above it, pointing down at the knob with an arrow underneath its single staring eye.

    "Dealing with ICSS is going to be a bother," she sighed, climbing the stairs. "Still, it's good to be out."
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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:07 am

    < ICSS Base >

    Hanssen stepped out from the helicopter, the downdraft of its rotors blowing her hair into disarray. Tugging on the sling of her rifle, she made her way across the sun-baked tarmac of the runway towards the central ICSS building beyond it. The Pacific, she thought, casting her gaze out at the shimmering crystal seas surrounding the base. Of all the places they could've chosen. The heat was too much for the pale-skinned Berliner; even stripped down to a black vest and a pair of loose-fitting combats, she could feel beads of sweat make their way down her forehead. Brushing it with the back of her hand, she stepped into the air-conditioned lobby of the compound, internally breathing a sigh of relief.

    "So, it's true, then? Ahab is..."

    She turned. Erich stood under the cool of an air vent, his lips momentarily pulled away from his cigar, as he addressed Hanssen. Hanssen nodded; he sighed, before returning the cigar to his mouth. His appearance was almost entirely identical to Atticus's; were in not for the faint stubble Eric wore, the two men would be identical in appearance.

    "I'm sorry, mein fräulein."

    "He'll reincarnate." replied Hanssen, nonchalantly. "He couldn't actually die if he wanted to."

    Eric smirked, and gestured for Hanssen to follow him. The two headed down a corridor, towards Ezra's office.

    "Atticus is dead, too?" asked Erich, once again removing his cigar from his mouth.

    "Yep." replied Hanssen, looking out of the glass wall of the corridor, once more to the sea surrounding the island. "The Americans kept his body; said they needed it for research."

    "Research?" replied Erich, a sour look taking hold on his face. "Nazi 'research' is what made us clones in the first place. Here was me hoping this'd be an end to this particular chapter of history."

    "It sort of is. Atticus's death makes you the last Kruger clone still alive."

    "Well, 'spose it does."

    The two entered a meeting room, which was currently empty.

    "Something big's happened, fräulein. Something Ezra ain't told even me." said Erich von Bergmann, extinguishing his cigar and depositing it in a nearby bin. "He's assembling everyone he can for a meeting."

    "Even Arcadia?" asked Hanssen, worriedly. Erich nodded, sorrowfully. Hanssen sighed.

    "Hopefully it's something minor, like Lance violating the Geneva convention... again. I can't be dealing with another Cuban Missile Crisis."

    "Neither can I." replied Hanssen, as she pulled up a seat and lent back, the barrel of her rifle resting against the table.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:42 am

    <ICSS Briefing Room>

    Agent Vasquez nodded at both Hanssen and Bergmann. He had been in the briefing room for another meeting, and was picking up his notebook and a few files.

    Vasquez: "I'll be off soon, don't mind me."

    Agent Lance Lopez burst in angrily, with Major Volkov calmly following him. The light from the corridor shone on the darkened globe that was behind the table briefly, before leaving it in darkness again as the door slammed shut. They both sat down.

    Despite the fact that he had only joined the ICSS a year ago, Lance Lopez had demonstrated enough skill to advance quickly in the ranks. That said, his lack of discipline was what was holding him back from advancing any higher.

    Lance: "Thrice? Aradia Thrice? Is he out of his mind?!"

    Major Volkov lit a cigarette, sneering. Once again, she spoke in an accent that belied her Russian origin.

    Major Volkov: "She is a needed asset, Agent Lopez."

    Lance: "That chick's a loose freakin' cannon."

    Major Volkov: "Look who's talking."

    Lance: "Seriously, Am-er...Major. She's a glorified mercenary."

    Major Volkov: "Look at it this way. The situation is serious enough that The Shadow Operative brought her in."

    Lance rolled his eyes. He gazed at Hanssen and Bergman, then at Vasquez.

    Lance: "Back me up, please? Anyone?"

    Vasquez: "Not my mission, not my business!"

    Vasquez left. Lance slammed his head on the table in front of him.

    Major Volkov: "The Operative must be caught up in office work. I assume he will arrive soon. Plans on giving the briefing himself."

    Lance: "How'd your mission go, Emma? I'm sorry about Ahab, I just heard."

    The Major nodded solemnly, her own way of expressing her condolences.

    ---

    <???>

    The man pursed his lips, allowing the scalding tea to meet his tongue. He quietly set it down in its saucer, gazing on the rocky shores below the compound.

    ???: "Commander Splendor, sir!"

    He turned around, nonchalantly.

    Hercules Splendor: "Yes?"

    ???: "We have him. The traitor."

    Hercules Splendor: "Excellent."



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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:52 am

    < ICSS Base >

    "Don't worry about it." replied Emma, turning her gaze away from him and to the main window overlooking the cliffs below. "We managed to take out Atticus, which means the American branch of Thule is effectively dissolved."

    "Of course, that won't stop someone else trying to fill the void." replied Bergmann, smirking.

    "It's fine. I'll just shoot them, too." replied Hanssen, nonchalantly. Bergmann raised an eyebrow, looking nervously to the rest of the room.

    "That sound 'just a little bit too casual' to anyone else?"
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:23 am

    [ ICSS Base: ]

    "Oh, it sounded far too casual to me."

    The atmosphere deadened slightly. Aradia stood in the doorway, her small, slender form half-cloaked by black wisps of smoke. It made her look particularly hellish. "Oh, don't look at me like I just ran a lorry over your dog," she snapped, her platforms clacking loudly as she walked in. "I arrived by teleportation ritual. Although, I might just appropriate one of the vehicles on the base and do it yet if I don't get my tea. Any of you dog lovers?"

    "Jeez, you're as nasty as ever, Thrice," a gruff voice chuckled. Stood in the corner of the room, leaned up against a wall was a tall, muscular man with a scarred face and red-tinted shades. What looked like a katana was nestled in the crook of his arm, leaned up against his shoulder. No one had noticed him until he'd spoken, including a noticeably startled Aradia.

    Biting her lip with an ugly scowl, Aradia stomped over and took the seat farthest from anyone else. "Ryuunosuke," she spat the man's name out like poison, angling herself away from him in her seat. "I thought you were supposed to be in the Middle East for another year."

    "They called me back ahead of schedule to help with the mess here," he remarked, walking over and dragging a chair out with his foot. Sitting down heavily, he kicked back with his feet on the table and smirked at the witch. "Ain't you just lucky?"

    It was like the witch and the swordsman were barely holding back their urges to kill each other right then and right there.

    What the hell was their problem?
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    A New Arrival

    Post by redwolfmoon99 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:03 am

    [ 1970 ]
    [ ICSS Base ]

    "дерьмо, дерьмо, дерьмо!" Sasha muttered out loud in her native language as she once again deftly manoeuvred around the 20th base staff today that were too preoccupied with their own tasks they didn't notice the sprinting woman. Like the majority of Russian supers, Alexandra Mikhailov was a psionic human-animal hybrid descended from the liberated subjects of, Projekt Shahka, an old Tsarist Russian super-soldier program, which made use of the precious mineral Zarnite. The Russian is currently in her hybrid form, that of an anthropomorphic white wolf clad in KLMK camo, as she raced through the hallways, going over, under and to the side of every obstacle in her way without breaking stride.

    "Гребаный дурак!!" The former Soviet soldier swore at herself. Now she's late for the briefing. This was supposed to be her first real assignment after she joined the ICSS and she already screwed up. "Why the heck did I decide to stay up all night watching those damned American movies!"

    Nearing her destination, she hopped onto a random file trolley, Sasha's momentem propelling it from the grip of its flabbergasted caretaker and sending it hurtling at high speed towards the doors at the end of the hallway. Whatever tense atmosphere in the briefing room was abruptly shattered as the doors burst open with a loud startling bang, immediately followed by Sasha surfing the trolley straight into the table in the middle of the room, the sudden stop causing her to stumble. As the Russian regained balance, she suddenly became very aware of the eyes of the room's occupants upon her, eliciting an awkward scratch to the back of her head.

    "Uh... Sorry I'm late?" Sasha offered lamely.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:03 pm

    <ICSS Base>

    Lance: "Yeah, if Aradia calls it too casual, then you know it's too casual."

    Major Volkov: "Not casual for me at all."

    Lance muttered under his breath.

    Lance: "Damn Reds."

    Sasha burst in, and Red's post happened.

    Volkov shot a disapproving glare at Sasha, while Lance grinned and leaned over to her. He winked and spoke quietly.

    Lance: "The key is to arrive before he does. Then you'll be fine. Speaking of which..."

    Major Volkov: "He's surprisingly late! I-"

    Suddenly, everyone in the room felt an inescapable sense of dread. Clouds of terrible fog began spreading throughout the room as the windows were darkened. Deep and intimidating laughter echoed through the room. Lance saw a shadowed figure creeping behind him. His instincts kicked in, and he lashed out at breakneck speeds. However, he realized a second later that he hit nothing, a mere image. Major Volkov felt someone brush past her, and she tried to grab at this assailant, but saw she was grabbing at nothing, and gasped.

    The fog lifted. Light returned to the room. Everyone spun around, and saw The Shadow Operative still laughing, sitting at a chair at the head of the table.

    The Shadow Operative: "43 years, the old man's still got it."

    Some of the agents rolled their eyes, catching their breath. Others audibly complained. Others may have stayed silent.

    The Shadow Operative: "Shut up."

    He pressed a button on a console near him, and a microfilm projector rose out of the table. On it was a picture of Melchett Apolion.

    The Shadow Operative: "Melchett Apolion, CEO of Apolion Industries. They're involved in all sorts of things, including, but not limited to, defense contracting. Two months ago, he was kidnapped. His secretary saw some blood on the floor with a note. Forensics determined that there was little sign of a struggle, and that the kidnappers likely came through the window. The man works in one of the higher floors of a skyscraper."

    TSO pressed another button, and the slide changed to a photograph of the note from a previous post.

    "WE HAVE APOLION AND HIS SECRETS. A NEW AGE DAWNS. DEATH TO THE OLD ORDER."

    TSO: "According to one of my contacts in the Department of Defense, codename Norman, various agencies are treating this as terrorism, as well as an attempt at espionage. Apolion took a very hands on approach, especially when it came to weaponry. That, combined with a genius-level intellect and a eidetic memory, makes him an encyclopedia of state secrets. This means that the Americans are extremely interested in bringing him back."

    Major Volkov: "If I may, Shadow Operative. Do we have any idea who did this? Was it Thule?"

    TSO: "We didn't until several weeks ago."

    He pressed another button, changing the slide to another note, this time written in blood.

    TSO: "This was found inside of a capsule belonging to a CIA agent whose body was found in Belize. I won't tell you where they found the capsule, but the agent was smart enough to put it in a place his captors wouldn't look into. Apparently he had been sent to infiltrate a militia that had formed a base on an island off the coast of Central America a few years ago. Somehow he blew his cover, and they tortured him, then killed him. Thanks to various intelligence sharing agreements, the ICSS was able to obtain a photograph of the note. It contains coordinates to the island's location, and also claims that Apolion was on the island. He was about to detail more, but the sentence was never completed. I suppose he heard someone coming and quickly put the note in the capsule."

    The Shadow Operative switched to a microfilm picture of a man in a military uniform, calmly sipping on some tea. Various ICSS felt unsettled about the photo, as though something were off about the man.

    Lance Lopez: "Who's this cat?"

    TSO: "This is believed to be the other person referred to in the note of the deceased operative, Hercules Splendor. The photo was taken by a spy plane that flew by the island and was somehow able to get out alive. Various world intelligence agencies have informed the ICSS that he has served as a mercenary in various conflicts, and may have even been involved in World War 2. The note claims that he is the leader of the militia involved in this mess, which calls itself 'The Shadow Proclamation.' Its ideology is mysterious, appearing to owe no allegiance to neo-Nazis, Thule, or any communist nation. I don't like unpredictable enemies. What's worse is that many of their members are allegedly supers. That's where we come in."

    The Shadow Operative stroked his chin.

    TSO: "If it's true that the Proclamation has kidnapped Melchett Apolion, then their endgame is something sinister. Sure, I've had unpleasant experiences with the Apolion family before, and I trust Melchett as far as I can throw him, but he's a needed asset to many of the states we represent. If the Shadow Proclamation gains access to some of his secrets, then they could cause chaos. Problem is they're not the only thing you need to worry about. Man like that will attract attention. Other intelligence agencies that have no doubt received word about this just as the ICSS has will want to send their own agents to 'rescue' Apolion. Soviets, Cubans, Chinese, Japanese, Americans, you name it. Our job is to ensure stability, rescue Apolion, and stop the Shadow Proclamation. Any questions?"

    Lance Lopez: "Pretty straightforward."

    Major Volkov said nothing.


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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:05 am

    < ICSS Base >

    Erich spat. The room turned to him as his eyes narrowed, casting a seething glance towards Ezra.

    "You could've at least taken a moment to acknowledge the fact that a man's died, you god-damned machine."

    He turned and left. The room then looked to Emma, who tried to ignore the situation, before sighing and walking off after him. As the door slid shut behind her, she jogged down the corridor after him.

    "Smooth."

    "You're all pawns to him." replied Erich, coming to a standstill in the doorway of an armory. "Pawns to be chewed up and spat out. Forgotten about."

    "You know that's not true."

    "Domino was right." said Erich, and then silence followed. The hum of the flickering lighting above; the gentle swaying breeze outside, the squawking of gulls above - all submerged. Bergmann's gaze met Hanssen's. "Ezra has nothing else. This is all he has. All he is. He's a machine. A damn, emotionless machine-"

    "Shut up."

    "Make me."

    Hanssen briefly summoned up her strength, before deflating. A disappointed look took hold of her face, as she turned and walked back towards the meeting room.

    "If you haven't got the stomach for war, Bergmann, then stay out of the war room."

    "Funny." replied Erich, his gaze following her into the room. "I thought we were formed to end wars, not fight them."

    The door closed, separating them. Hanssen walked back to her seat, her face blank; she looked at the semi-gawping onlookers with confusion.

    "No, I don't have any questions."
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    Re: SORA

    Post by redwolfmoon99 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:50 am

    [ 1970 ]
    [ Briefing Room, ICSS Base ]

    "Yeah. Two questions, sir." Sasha announced after a couple of minutes waiting for anyone else to speak up, leaning back casually on her chair. "First, what if the guy's dead before we can get to him?"

    "And second, what if we get to him but can't get him out? Do we...?"

    At the last part of her question, Sasha mimicked a pistol pointed to the side of her head, followed by clicking her mouth in an implied gunshot.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:18 pm

    < ICSS Base >

    The Shadow Operative said nothing, shooting a stone cold stare at Emma. Major Volkov was gobsmacked. She glanced at both Emma and TSO, noticing that Ezra's face was expressionless. She wondered if any of his previous comrades felt that he was so difficult to read. Meanwhile, Emma took Ezra's stare to mean that he would like to speak with her and Erich in his office after the briefing.

    Ezra continued his emotionless stare at the latest incarnation of Simon.

    The Shadow Operative: "Excellent question, Novice Sasha. As you know, we're under international treaties. Attack only when attacked. If he's dead, gather intel and report back to base. The other situation is impossible, for failure is not an option."

    Lopez gulped.

    Lance Lopez: "B-but, hypothetically speaking, sir...I mean she is a novice and it would be helpful for her..er...all of us...to know..."

    The Shadow Operative: "Don't do anything that will get us into a myriad of hearings in various countries, and get us grilled by the UN Security Council. Other than that, be creative. So no, you shouldn't kill him if you can't rescue him. Regroup and return to base. We plan accordingly. Any other questions?"


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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:19 am

    [ ICSS Base, Helipad ]

    Bergmann emerged from the central compound, and walked to the flight commander, who saluted him.

    "I want a transport helo fueled and ready for 15 minutes."

    -

    [ Cuba ]
    [ A forest clearing, a few miles south of Havana ]

    Starring Ian McShane as Hans 'Domino' Baudouin
    with Shohreh Aghdashloo as Kara 'Deadshot' Al-Abadi
    and Eiza Gonzalez as Luciana 'Burn Notice' Navarro


    When the helicopter touched down, the soldiers burst from cover.

    It was a Mil Mi-6, though unlike any the Cubans had seen in Soviet service; the hull was coated in low-observability, radar-absorbing black paint, whilst many of the key areas of the chassis had been reshaped with sharp, angular edges to reduce the vehicle's radar profile. Despite the Mi-6 being a transport helicopter, this example was heavily armed, with an armament of missiles and two GUV-8700 gun pods mounted under the wings.

    By the time its rotors had stopped spinning, the Cubans had surrounded it. The side door hinged open with a hiss as its hermetic seals deactivated, and a gentle whirring of motors as a stairway slid down from the opening. The Cubans raised their weapons as a man emerged from the helicopter, casually walking down the steps. He was dressed in a thin cream duster over a white shirt and brown trousers, outfitted with a faded crimson waistcoat and knee-high riding boots; a dark brown stenson sat upon his head, which he removed, annoyedly surveying the area. His hand gripped tightly around a duffel bag, swinging by his right leg.

    "Now, what kind of welcome is this?" muttered Domino, before walking towards the head of the perimeter that had surrounded him. A man emerged from an army transport, a red beret upon his head; two soldiers followed him, dragging a woman with a sack tied over her head with them.

    "Lower your weapons, men." instructed the commander, in a thick Latin accent. "I'm sorry, Camarada. Just precautions."

    Domino threw the duffel bag to the space between them.

    "Courtesy of the Liberian military."

    "They parted ways with this willingly?" replied the commander, kneeling down and unzipping the bag. He pulled out one of a series of stained wooden cases within; flipping it open, he found a set of gleaming diamonds within.

    "I've got more shit on the Liberians than the Liberians have got shit on the treads of their tanks." replied Baudouin, smirking. "Blood diamonds."

    "Blood diamonds for blood itself." replied the commander, smirking approvingly. He stood up, and gestured to the soldiers who had accompanied him to hand the woman to Baudouin. "Seems like a fair trade to me."

    "I'll keep her out of your hair."

    "Or don't." he replied, picking up the duffel bag and handing it to one of his men, who took it over to the transport behind them. "This arrangement has been pretty profitable for us."

    "If this keeps up, I'm gonna run out of African countries to blackmail." replied Domino, chuckling. "Be seeing you, Amigo."

    "Be seeing you, Comarada."

    Domino turned, drawing a knife from his pocket and cutting the woman's restraints. Patting her on the back, he led her towards the helicopter, and up the stairs into its hull. Closing the door behind him, he banged hard on the doorway to the crew compartment, and heard the engines embedded in the hull above him whir back into action. As the helicopter pulled away from the Cuban coastline, he led the woman into the passenger compartment of the helicopter, and sat down across from her, removing the sack from her head.

    "This the girl we just traded the GDP of a small African nation for?" asked Kara, clambering in from the crew compartment. Like Baudouin, time had taken its toll on her appearance; like Baudouin, her mind had remained undulled. The one-eyed marksman still cut an ominous presence, her duster swaying around her as she took a seat at the rear of the chopper. She pulled out a cigar, and lit it.

    "Luciana Navarro... is a powerful woman. A woman of great personal strength. During the Cuban revolution, she single-handedly took out a battalion of communist revolutionaries."

    A confused expression took hold of Kara's face. "So did I. Where's my medal?"

    "You weren't twelve years old when you did it." replied Baudouin, looking over to Kara. She slumped back, defiantly. Baudouin turned his attention back to Luciana, leaning over towards her with a cigar held out. She took it, raising it to her mouth. "She spent so much time in Cuba that the CIA ran out of black ink to smother her files in. And when she finally slipped up, they repaid her with a burn notice. But I suppose that's a rule as old as time itself; fighting fire... with fire."

    Luciana made a thumbs up gesture with one hand, a small, flickering flame hovering above her thumb. She poked the end of the cigar into it, before drawing it back to her mouth.

    "Whereas for you, Hans Baudouin, no introduction is necessary." replied Luciana, adjusting her position on her seat. "That the gun you killed Hitler with?" she asked, waving the tip of her cigar in the direction of the Browning hanging from his belt.

    "Who said I used a gun?" he replied, matter-of-factly.

    Luciana smirked. Hans stood up, and began to pace the passenger compartment.

    "I went to a lot of expense to bail you out, Luciana, and it wasn't 'cause I was feeling particularly generous. With that said, I can't force you to help us. But I've got a feeling you will."

    "My parents?"

    "Fake identities. They're staying with some friends in London, and I've had a very stern talk with your CIA handler about the burn notice they issued . A... few shots might have been fired."

    Luciana smirked, blowing out a puff of smoke. "Then I guess I owe you one. Who're we up against?"

    "Hercules Splendor." replied Kara. "He's leading an outfit known as the 'Shadow Proclamation'. We've known about them for a while, but now they've decided to kidnap Melchiott Apolion, of all people."

    "'Apolion Industries' Melchiott Apolion?"

    "The very same."

    "Well, shit. We better get him back."

    "I appreciate your enthusiasm, Luciana!" boomed Hans, his voice vying for dominancy against the rush of wind blowing through the now-open hull door, which he stood beside. "But first... let's get you some new guns!" he added, looking gleefully down at the approaching deck of the Hephaestus below.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:22 am

    <ICSS Base, Briefing Room>

    The Shadow Operative cleared his throat.

    The Shadow Operative: "Alright. Wheels up in 15 minutes. You're dismissed. Emma? My office."

    The Shadow Operative walked away in a speed that was quite brisk for his age, with Emma quietly following him.

    Major Volkov muttered a Russian curse word under her breath, and then looked at the rest of the team.

    Major Volkov: "You heard him. We may have some other agents join us later on, but it all depends. Grab whatever you need, and meet me at the helipad in 15 minutes."

    Lance Lopez proudly tugged on his supersuit, which had been reverse-engineered from Naraka's.

    Lance Lopez: "All I need is a gun and some water, and I could always get that from someone else."

    --

    <ICSS Base, Office of the Director of the International Clandestine Superhuman Service>

    Ezra stormed to his desk and glared at Emma.

    The Shadow Operative: "Damn it, Emma. What the hell was that?"

    Emma: "Look, it's understandable. Ahab just died. You said nothing."

    TSO: "Had you both waited until after the briefing, I would have told you about two ceremonies we would hold in honor of the man. Both private, one for family and one for the ICSS. But no, Bergmann had to have his little meltdown."

    He slammed his fist. Emma could almost see tears.

    TSO: "You think this is easy?! You think I want to be like this?! Rockbay, the crime purge, the war, the Holocaust, all the missions we've had to deal with since then. You don't think I have every single death weighing on my conscience? All the lives lost because of our crusade?! It's easy to misunderstand when you've died a million times, Simon. But even you know...you get used to the pain. I was a damn boy when I started this just a few years before you met me, hoping to make things a little safer on my damn block. I had no idea what this would lead to. Now I've an entire team of people whose lives are my responsibility. As if all of this wasn't enough, I have to deal with Nixon, Hoover, the Premier, or the Secretary General, or anyone with a damn title who thinks they know better than we do!"

    He sat down, sighing.

    TSO: "So the next time Bergmann wants to call me a machine...remind him that the world turned me into one. You may both take a break if you need to, but the next time he disrespects me like that, he's gone."

    He grabbed his pen and began writing on a piece of paper, all the rage in his tone being replaced with his usual mixture of stern callousness.

    TSO: "You're dismissed, Emma."



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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:22 am

    < ICSS Base >

    Emma stepped outside, closing the door behind her. She felt a wave of emotion rushing up within her, and then disappear as quickly as it came; she sighed, pulling a cigarette from her pocket and lighting it.

    Simon. She had the memories of two thousand years flowing through her; fear and pain, love and joy, a quantum of individual experience all compressed down to a nondescript tone in her memory; like tinnitus, a whine that persisted and could never be fully ignored. Simon. Simon was the memories; an ancient individual beyond race or gender, beyond life and death and all physical ability and definition. Emma, however, was Emma; A woman, a German, an atheist; Emma was the part of her that had grown up not knowing she was Simon, misled into the belief that she might have a distinct identity for herself.

    Simon. Every time someone called her that, it pissed her off.

    She made her way to her quarters, stripping off her fatigues and putting her combat suit on. She still had her rifle with her; reaching into her gun locker, she withdrew a new set of magazines, sliding them into her belt. Throwing the rifle over her back, she pulled the hood of her bodysuit over her head, before stepping out of the room and making her way to the helipad.

    ---

    < Langley, Virginia >
    < Office of CIA Director Richard Helms >

    Director Helms was sat behind his desk when the phone rang. He lifted the handset to his ear.

    "Hello?"

    "Hello, Director Helms." replied a voice down the phone. "I call to tell you one important thing..."
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    Re: SORA

    Post by redwolfmoon99 on Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:27 am

    [ 1970 ]
    [ Helipad, ICSS Base ]

    Alexandra Mikhailov jogged towards the helipad where all the mission personnel are to gather, having supplemented her earlier KLMK fatigues with a light version of a typical spetsnaz tactical rig, and shouldering a sawed-off RPD light machine gun. Along with basic supplies such as extra ammo and emergency ration bars, she also brought with her a couple of Zarnite battlefield first-aid canisters and a magazine of 7.62mm Zarnite rounds, just in case.

    "Ебать, не снова!" Sasha increased her pace as she noticed that everyone except her is already waiting at the helipad, cursing again for her lack of punctuality, having been caught up in choosing her equipment loadout for what is to be her first real mission for the ICSS.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:51 am

    < Wisemen Stealth Infiltrator Hermes >
    < Skies off the coast of Shadow Proclamation island, early morning >

    ♫ "Sublime gracia del Señor,
    Que a un infeliz salvó.
    Fui ciego mas hoy veo yo,
    Perdido y Él me hayo." ♫


    "Amazing Grace?" came a question from the jet's cockpit. Luciana turned her head in the direction of the entryway; though Gestalt was hidden behind the headrest of the pilot's seat, the faint blue glow of his cobalt skin reflected off the windscreen infront of him.

    "Sí." she replied, nodding. "It was my mamá's favorite song."

    "Was?" replied Gestalt, turning around and looking to her; the glowing blue pilot cast a look of confusion towards his sole passenger. "I thought your mother was still alive?"

    "Oh, she is." replied Luciana. "It's just now she's more into Tom Jones."

    The Stealth Infiltrator decloaked, its midnight black hull appearing out of thin air as it closed in on the shoreline of the island. The passenger bay hatch slid open, the roar of the wind rushing past flooding into the vessel; Gestalt flicked a few switches on his console, before shooting a thumbs up towards Luciana. She stood, her back to the opening behind her, and jumped. Clutching her rifle to her chest, she fell downwards through the air; as the ground rose up towards her, she flipped, her feet now facing the ground. At that moment, flames materialized in the air surrounding her waist and calves; hot jets of blue flame, firing like thrusters to slow her down. She gently touched down on the shore of the island, her AKM-X already drawn and shouldered. She raised a finger to her earpiece.

    "Come in Hermes, this is Vulcan Actual. No sign of hostiles. I'm heading in."

    She began a sprint, which in all actuality was a series of rocket-propelled leaps, each one covering a hundred meters or more of land and gaining a quarter as much altitude. It had taken a long time to train her body to deal with the intense acceleration and deceleration involved in using her own pyrokinetic abilities for movement; admittedly, her time in captivity on Cuba had somewhat lessened her tolerance for the G-forces involved. Partway through a jump, she caught a glimpse of heat in the distance; using a blast of flame to cancel her momentum mid-air, she sighted a Shadow Proclamation compound in the distance, and memorized its location as she fell down to forest floor beneath her. Better carry on on foot, she thought, unfolding the stock on her AKM-X and pressing it firmly to her shoulder.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:38 am

    <Shadow Proclamation island, early morning>

    Ahead of Luciana were two Shadow Proclamation guards, both with HK36 rifles slung on their shoulders. They walked through a pathway that cut through the forest, not realizing that an intruder was so close to them.

    Shadow Proclamation Soldier 1: "I'm not getting paid enough for this."

    Shadow Proclamation Soldier 2: "Don't worry, this will all be worth it."

    ---

    <Helipad, ICSS Base>

    Major Volkov quietly walked behind Emma, and spoke to her calmly.

    Major Volkov: "Kopf hoch. You know how he is. The rest of the team will make sure Ahab didn't die in vain."

    Volkov then approached the rest of the group.

    Volkov: "Each of you may have noticed a tape recorder in your pockets. This will be used to gather evidence, if necessary. Aradia, you may use magic as an alternative. Ryuunosuke, try not to dismember anyone too much."

    A Zambian Tonga man waved at the group from inside the cockpit, clutching a cigar in his teeth. Most of the team, Novices, Agents, and Special Agents alike all knew him as Choolwe 'Daniel' Mutinta, one of the ICSS's top pilots. He possessed the ability of Adoptive Muscle Memory, meaning he could learn about piloting most aircraft just by watching other people.

    Choolwe Mutinta: "Let's get a move on!"

    The ICSS agents all got onto the helicopter, which flew away at surprising speeds.

    The helicopter arrived a few hours later. They could see the island in the distance.

    Lance Lopez pushed an inflatable boat off of the aircraft. It splashed onto the water.

    Major Volkov: "We approach stealthily. Go, go, go!"


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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:54 pm

    < Shadow Proclamation Island >

    Luciana burst from the treeline, loosing a jet-assisted kick which instantly knocked out one of the guardsmen; before the other could make sense of the situation, she carried her spin round, driving a combat dagger into the ribcage of the other guard and pinning him to a tree. He went to gasp; Luciana pressed her hand over his mouth, silencing him, before driving the dagger up an inch.

    "My dagger's now in your aorta. You struggle - you die. I pull it out - you die. You tell me where Melchiott Apolion is being held..."

    She pulled her hand away from his mouth, summoning a small blue flame above her fingertip for him to see.

    "...And maybe I cauterize the wound for you. Your call." she added, smirking.

    ---

    < ICSS Infiltration Boat >

    Emma sunk down low in the boat, bringing Ahab's Remington 700 rifle up to her shoulder and taking point at the fore of the craft.
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:17 pm

    < Shadow Proclamation Island >

    The Shadow Proclamation soldier gurgled and croaked.

    Soldier 1: "H-he's in the compound somewhere! I've only seen him in passing, I swear! Splendor likes transferring him to his own room often, but none of us ask! The higher ranked guys like Siegfried know more! I just follow orders and get paid! I swear..please..that's all I know!"

    ---

    < ICSS Infiltration Boat>

    Major Volkov grabbed a scope and aimed, surveying the island's distant shores. Lance Lopez leaped into the waters and grabbed onto the back of the boat. Once everyone was ready, he would move his legs rapidly to act as a motor (a much more silent approach).

    The remaining ICSS agents also got on board, and they set off, arriving at the shore in a few minutes.

    Major Volkov jumped out of the boat and strafed the area, aiming her arm and charging a seismic energy blast. Lopez caught his breath for a few seconds, then jogged up to Volkov. She signaled for him to check the near area, and Lance did so. In just a second, he found that no one was hiding in the forest. They were clear.

    Major Volkov: "Alright, we'll split into partnerships. Choose wisely. Everyone ready?"


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    Re: SORA

    Post by redwolfmoon99 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:44 am

    [ 1970 ]
    [ Covert Landing Zone, Shadow Proclamation Island ]


    Sasha did one more quick inspection as the infiltration boat raced towards the island, making sure her RPD and equipment is in order. As the others disembarked off the boat, she was the last one to leave, bringing up the rear of the team.

    "Yeah, splitting up. Cos that always goes so well in movies..." Sasha called out as Major Volkov issued such an order, still scanning to make sure the group's back is covered in case of an ambush from that direction. "But eh, I'm fine with whoever."
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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:21 am

    < Shadow Proclamation Island, Inland >

    "You're... that's..." Luciana stuttered, pulling away from the man. A confused expression took hold of her face. "You're surprisingly co-operative, you know that? she added, before rapidly heating up the blade, cauterizing the man's wound. She pulled up, sheathing the dagger, and walking over to the treeline to retrieve her rifle. "Stay put if you want to live. Better still, try and get off this island." she said, before continuing on her path.

    -

    < Shadow Proclamation Island, Shore >


    "I have to agree with Sasha." replied Emma, pacing generally in her direction. "But if we are going to split up, we may as well do it Berlin style." she said, coming to a stop next to Sasha. "Us commies will go save the day, and you pig-dog capitalists can all find a pitfall trap to be rescued from." she added, in her usual deadpan tone - only the slightest confirmation of humorous intent shining through. "Da?"
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    Re: SORA

    Post by Klak on Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:05 am

    <Beach, Shadow Proclamation Island>

    Sasha and Major Volkov grinned.

    Lance Lopez: "Now see here, you commie, I-"

    A rustling sound coming from the trees ahead of them interrupted Lopez.

    Major Volkov: "Contact! How did they--??"

    The answer to the Major's question came seconds later, when a Shadow Proclamation super shimmered into visibility in front of them. In the blink of an eye, there appeared an army of the same man.

    Lopez rushed up to one of the copies, and punched it rapidly. But it was to no avail. The illusion simply disappeared.

    Lance: "Find the real one!"

    Suddenly, all the illusions started firing their guns at the group. The ICSS agents then felt the sand underneath their feet shift, as though something were moving below them. Their worst fears were confirmed when a giant made of sand rose above them, roaring and swinging its fist at the agents.

    Volkov spun towards the beast and fired two seismic blasts at it. Heaps of sand leaped off, but quickly regenerated.

    ---

    < Shadow Proclamation Island, Inland>

    Another Shadow Proclamation trooper flew above Luciana, surveying the area. She noticed that he was about to dive into the trees to observe the path she was on.


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    Re: SORA

    Post by JS on Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:35 pm

    < Beach >

    Emma materialized a battery of Narayanastra pods, which took aim in a 360 degrees pattern around her, before firing into the crowd of illusions.

    -

    < Forest >

    Luciana stopped, and turned a different direction to avoid the soldier.

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