Is Tom Selleck Gay? Facts Revealed - celebanswers.com
Tom Selleck’s Net Worth 2020, Age, Height, Wife, Partner ...
Tom Selleck Has Surprising News After His Past Comes Back ...
Tom Selleck Makes A Surprising Announcement About His ...
Tom Selleck - Bio, Net Worth, Married, Wife, Partner, Gay ...
Who is Tom Selleck Partner in Real Life? Is Tom Selleck in ...
Tom Selleck has always remained tight lipped on the subject of his romance with his longtime romantic partner. But something from his past just came up yet again. Love Strikes Twice Having been married twice, Tom Selleck has always been fairly private about his personal life. From model Jacqueline Ray to a 30-year marriage to […] Tom Selleck’s Partner (Wife) & Kids. Selleck married Jacqueline Ray, a model in 1971. Together they spent a happily married journey till 1982. Even more, he adopted her son, Kevin Shepard born in 1966. After divorcing Jacqueline, Tom married Jillie Joan Mack in 1987. The couple blessed with a daughter, Hannah born on December 16, 1988. Tom Selleck has always remained tight lipped on the subject of his romance with his longtime romantic partner. But something from his past just came up yet again. Love Strikes Twice Having been married twice, Tom Selleck has always been fairly private about his personal life. From model Jacqueline Ray to a 30-year marriage to […] Tom Selleck is famous for starring as private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988), as Peter Mitchell in Three Men and a Baby, and as NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods on CBS since 2010. Selleck was also famous for his mustache, a Hawaiian-style aloha shirt, a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, and a Colt MKIV/Series 70 Government Model handgun ... Tom Selleck, also known as Thomas William Selleck, born on January 29, 1945, is an American actor, film producer, and California Army National Guard veteran who is well-known for his breakout role as private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series, 'Magnum, P.I.'(1980–1988).. Having been in the film industry for over 5 decades, Selleck has managed to establish himself as a ... Selleck’s Family Life. Tom Selleck has been married twice, first to model Jacqueline Ray between 1971 and 1982 and then to actress Jillie Mack from 1987 to the present day. He adopted Ray’s son, Kevin, and has a daughter with Mack, Hannah.
Who is Tom Selleck Partner in Real Life? Tom Selleck Wife and Relationship
2020.08.03 10:05 Gossip_GistWho is Tom Selleck Partner in Real Life? Tom Selleck Wife and Relationship
2020.05.19 09:26 Elysium94"The Batman", the classic 1989 film revised as a start to a 1990s DC movie universe. Branched off of my Man of Tomorrow post from last week.
He's your worst nightmare. Just want to get it out of the way. I love Tim Burton's Batman. Fantastic movie in almost every way. That being said, let's take a step back and wonder, "What if?" Let's go back to the 1990s franchise I proposed in my pitch for 1995's The Man of Tomorrow. Imagine this series began with a 1992 Batman movie, tweaked to serve as the introduction to a larger superhero world. A movie titled... THE BATMAN- 1992 Directed by- Sam Raimi Produced by- -Tim Burton and Jon Peters Music by- Danny Elfman Starring- Alec Baldwin as Batman Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth Edward Furlong as Robin (Jason Todd) Harvey Keitel as James Gordon Denzel Washington as Lucius Fox Meg Ryan- Vicki Vale Bryan Cranston as Harvey Dent Rutger Hauer as the Joker Daryl Hannah as Harleen Quinzel Jack Palance as Rupert Thorne Tom Selleck as Thomas Wayne Geena Davis as Martha Wayne **** The Plot The movie's plot is a mix of the 1989 movie we got and a bit of Arkham Origins. The film opens in a prologue very similar to the Burton movie, with Batman attacking two thugs and delivering the famous "I'm Batman." Bruce Wayne has been Batman for several years now, as his suit and gadgets are advanced and refined with the help of Lucius Fox. Though he has remained a mysterious and largely unknown figure. His suit also appears like the Earth One incarnation. After fighting the thugs, Batman stumbles upon none other than Jason Todd trying to steal the tires to the Batmobile. Batman helps Grayson to a foster home, later appearing as Bruce Wayne to adopt him. The film then jumps ahead several months. Bruce Wayne and Jason host a party at Wayne Manor, where Vicki Vale takes a shine to the mysterious billionaire. Jason encourages Bruce to see her again, but Bruce is hesitant to let anyone close for fear of endangering them. The GCPD begin cracking down on the operations of Rupert Thorne, the paramount crime boss in Gotham after his predecessor Carmine Falcone was taken down by Batman. Commissioner James Gordon leads a raid of Axis Chemicals, hoping to gain evidence with which to take down the last major mobster in Gotham. As of this point, Gordon has collaborated with Batman in private but the CGPD is still largely hostile towards him. Thorne, desperate to ward off the police and Batman, contacts a mysterious and chaotic assassin known in the streets as "Joker". As the raid on Axis commences, Batman and Jason (now Robin) arrive to help Gordon take in Thorne's men alive. But things are waylaid when the Joker shows up on scene. Joker and his henchmen, the Red Hood gang, kill many of Thorne's men as well as police, and Joker himself has a brief confrontation with Batman. The fight nearly causes Joker to fall to his death, but as Batman saves him Joker becomes fascinated with the vigilante. The gangsters are forced to escape, but half the evidence is burned and Gordon is unable to arrest Thorne immediately. District attorney Harvey Dent, determined to bring Thorne down, asks Gordon to establish a partnership with the mysterious Batman and Robin. Joker and Thorne meet in person. The killer clown agrees to stay on as an enforcer, but only as a chance to combat Batman further. Joker begins to unleash chaos on the city, assassinating important figures and poisoning many with his "Smylex ", daring Batman to come after him. Along the way Vicki Vale investigates the Joker's rampages, learning several important patterns in his behavior. Joker learns about her, and quickly develops a stalker-like attachment . The villain faces off with Batman again at the art museum after holding Vicki hostage, explaining she "reminds me of someone I used to know". (Hints at a Killing Joke style origin are littered here and there but never confirmed.) After saving Vicki, Batman is able to use the information she gathered to figure out the pattern in Joker's killing spree, providing the police with what they need to stop it. Angered at Joker's schemes proving fruitless and the police closing in on him, Rupert Thorne tries to have Joker disposed of before trying to cut a deal with Gordon and Dent to escape the now mass-murderer, who is now wholly consumed with fighting Batman. Instead, Joker turns the tables and takes Gordon and Dent hostage, daring Batman to face him at Axis again. He emphasizes his point by having firebombs triggered across the city, and executes Thorne. At this point, Robin is convinced they should kill Joker before he can hurt anyone else. Batman vehemently disagrees, causing friction between them as Jason points out that if he had let Joker fall to his death none of this would have happened. At Axis Chemicals, Dent and Gordon are tortured by Joker, who reveals he has had them both followed for some time. Prodding at their weaknesses and doubts for his own amusement, Joker tries to provoke Dent by bringing up his history of mental illness. Dent is enraged, nearly breaking free of his restraints to attack Joker. Batman and Robin come onto the scene. As Robin deals with Joker's goons, Batman fights Joker one-on-one. Joker reveals he has hooked up Gordon and Dent to electric chairs, which are set on a timer. When the timer goes off they will be killed. He reveals the chairs are hooked to his heartbeat, saying the only way Batman can save his allies is to kill him. After a brutal brawl in which Batman uses all his skills to overcome the Joker's unpredictable tools and his skills with a knife, he demands to know why Joker is so obsessed with him. Joker explains he was born in Axis. He cannot remember all the details, only that he was a small-time crook that fell into a vat of chemicals when pursued by a younger Batman. Reborn with bleached skin and green hair, Joker thanks Batman for a "fresh start" and tries to electrocute Batman with his electric joybuzzer. Batman and Joker are both nearly killed, but Robin saves and revives Batman in time for the police to show up. Wondering if what Joker said was true, Batman feels a deep guilt for having possibly created such a monster and allows doctors to resuscitate Joker, wanting to learn more about him and possibly rehabilitate him. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce explains his reasoning to Jason, who is skeptical and warns Bruce they may both regret this. Some time later Bruce meets Vicki for lunch. Having grown suspicious that he is Batman and watched him save the city, Vicki says they should be remain friends for the time being. Bruce also checks in on Harvey Dent, noting that while the district attorney is recovering well he is showing a harsher attitude towards dealing with criminals. Bruce decides to let it be for now, though makes a note to keep an eye on Dent. Joker is taken into custody, placed in Arkham Asylum. There he meets several other criminals taking garish personas of their own in captivity. Assigned to evaluate him is Dr. Harleen Quinzel, whom Joker is quick to devote all his attention to, saying she "reminds him of someone..." Speaking publicly after recovering from their torture, Gordon and Dent announce that the GCPD will partner with Batman in fighting crime. They unveil the Bat-Signal, as their city's hero watches from the rooftops. Such an iconic shot, of course the movie would keep it. THE END **** Yeah, a lot to put into one movie. But I think Sam Raimi could pull it off. As a horror director and superhero fan, I think he could have given us an intense and edgy yet classic-feeling Batman film to reboot the franchise. What do you guys think? What would you do?
With that, we must now sadly bid goodbye to Team Jupiter, the Civil Disobedients, the fifth team to be eliminated from Tournament 4. They started off strong, and had some of the most memorable matches in the first half of the tournament. In that spirit, even as their numbers dwindled, their impact didn’t in the slightest. Let’s take a moment to remember…
Location - Detroit, Michigan: The familiar click of wheels on the sidewalk were muddled beneath the hustle and bustle of the city, but the crowded streets were no obstacle to Mylo Xyloto. He took a deep breath, his view panning around the skyline. “Ahh… it’s been too fuckin’ long! I missed this place.” he spoke to himself, rolling through the streets with ease, at the deficit of the unfortunate passerby in front of him that he paid no mind to. It had been quite a while since he had been in his hometown of Detroit, having been swept up in all the serious business of the tournament. With Nate Selleck dead, much to Mylo’s pleasure, he could take a break from that Horde he was a part of, and take some time to “relax” in his own special way; though, he was still on call. Mylo spotted an alley breaking off from the sidewalk. Perfect, he thought. Prime territory for his next tag! He grabbed one of the spraycans off his bandolier and began eagerly shaking it, genuinely excited to make his mark on yet another dark and dirty wall. This city just wasn’t as lively with his murals painted over! As he rounded the corner, however, he noticed a distinct noise. The shaking of cans. The spraying of aerosol. No mistaking it, someone else was spraying in this alley. And there he saw them. Two people, a young man and a young woman were snickering to each other, wearing matching hoodies and spray-painting a wall. He looked up in anger, and he saw it: a large, messy, bubbly piece of graffiti reading "21S." Mylo gritted his teeth, advancing on the two. "Hey! What the fuck are you doing, you pieces of shit?! Look at that mess!" The man turned towards Mylo, glancing towards the woman. He smirked, and stepped up to Mylo. “Ehhhhh? What, you talkin' to me chump? What, you got a problem with art?!' Mylos face remained unchanged, pointing to his bandolier. "You fuckin' blind, dipshit?! I don't got a problem with art, I got a problem with you not only tagging on my turf, but being a fucking amateur! What, did you look up 'how to graffiti'' online this morning and buy the cheapest can of spray paint at the store, you prick?!" Mylo reeled his head back and slammed his forehead into the bridge of the man's nose, knocking him to the ground. Mylo rubbed his head. "'21S, huh… you're like a piece of shit swirling around a clogged toilet. I thought I fuckin' flushed you already!" The man whimpered, backing up on the ground. He got up quickly and tapped the woman's arm. "T-This guy's a real asshole! Let's go and tell the boss!" The two scurried away, Mylo watching them, and glancing back at the graffiti. He sighed, beginning to trail them. "I'll deal with this shit later… for now, let's figure out why these fuckers are still kicking." Location - Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Michigan: Passengers in various states of wakefulness went to pick up their bags from the conveyor belt, stepping forth and retreating in an ebb and flow. A bit away from this traffic, M.I.A. stood against a wall. Her eyes flitted between the electronic doors which travellers streamed through and the monitors on the wall. Despite the early time of day, she bounced on the balls of her feet. She had long gotten used to flights at this point, but she wasn’t watching the baggage claim. The past few months had been busy for the de facto leader of the Youngtown Mysteries & Curiosities Association, or what was left of them. Milo and Man had moved on to bigger and better things, while Vanita and Jinsoo pursued the smaller mysteries that interested them. Baba returned to reporting with the influx of news regarding the death of the Governor of California. Urban Uprising and its mysteries had unravelled, and its threads had sent the team in its various directions. In M.I.A.’s case, this meant jetting between Ohio, California, and the rest of the country and following the various leads she had picked up, with Flint and Vic holding down the homefront. Uncivil Umbra may have fulfilled its purpose—Sides using the wealth of evidence gathered to prosecute those whom the team had arrested—but there was still clean up to do in the wake of Selleck’s conspiracy. Punishment had to be meted out: Riko was tried and found guilty of assault of Aesop Rock, and Lauryn’s arrangement with Sides came to an end. She frowned, unhappy with Lauryn deciding to go back, even if it was just for a few weeks. But justice had to be restorative as well, for M.I.A.’s sake as well as theirs. She had been willing to kill the one responsible for sandstorm in Mexico City, only to discover that it was just a bird in the throes of XPLICIT—Hunger, Lauryn said his name was. The drug, the ARG had riled up Stand users all over; if she could deescalate them, then she would. She had to deal with many of them—some aggressive, some scared, all managed easily enough—in her promise to get rid of the last of XPLICIT wherever it may be by her own means and by her own hands. It wasn’t the fastest way to deal with the dregs of XPLICIT, but it was one she had chosen. Nonetheless, she would need a hand. She perked up as a young man in a bomber jacket took stepped out of the door. As he looked around, a small paper bird flitted into his field of view before resting on his head, pointing out its user from its newfound perch. Demis’s frown of confusion quickly tilted to a smile as M.I.A. waved him over and pulled him into a hug. There was much to debrief him on, only having given him a brief phone call, but for now it was good to see an old friend. Demis pulled back, adjusting his jacket and stretched. Niceties had been exchanged, but they had a busy day ahead of them. “Nice hat,” Demis nodded. M.I.A. beamed up at him, tipping her Detroit Tigers cap as she turned to lead him to the parking lot. “Nice haircut,” she called over her shoulder, the Paper Wing hopping off his head and flitting after her, ruffling his hair in the process. Mylo sneered, typing in the phone number he’d been given. The ‘Khan’ had been decent enough to bother sticking with, and Mylo didn’t mind how annoying he and the painter bitch could be enough to bounce. The kid picked up on the second ring. “Salutations, Mylo, he whose paint will blot the sun and terrify legions! How is your visit to the lands of your youth?” Mylo paused and blinked. Ok. “Uh. It’s cold as shit.” Not that he’d cover up his badass tats. “Most of the people here still give me respect, but… man, there’s some of the assholes I used to run with still sticking around, and being a damn nuisance. Like dog shit stuck to my skates.” “The… what was it, ‘Twenty One Savages’?” He cocked his head up, sneering. “Heh, yeah. Those chumps are still using the same name and title that I came up with. Like they’re still in my crew. Thinking I’d go around and beat the shit outta them, so their stink of Loser doesn’t stick to my good name. Their leader… can’t fuckin’ believe it.” “Indeed!” Niyaz declared, with the emphaticness that he very much understood Mylo. “Who, pray tell, are they being led by.” Mylo chuckled, and muttered an answer. “...Sincerest apologies, Mylo, but you’ll have to speak louder.” Mylo repeated himself, louder. There was staticy silence on the line, and Niyaz burst out laughing. A raucous cackle that was normally only reserved for his most grandiose of self-congratulatory speeches. “That’s who they’re led by? By the Buddha….” “My good man, there’s no need to bother teaching them a lesson. These people aren't worth your gaze." Mylo nodded, rubbing the back of his neck. It wasn't entirely typical of him not to just do what he wished and go in without a care, but… "Yeah… Guess you're right, those dipshits ain't worth the effort. Let em tear each other apart, they don't have the fuckin' loyalty to stick around too long." After a short exchange of goodbyes, Mylo hung up the phone, and sighed. Loyalty. Even if he didn't always mesh with La Horde, at least he could say he had that in them. Having people to rely on like that really made him think. Maybe, given some time, he could settle down, start thinking seriously about where he wanted to go with his life and— A passerby accidently bumped his shoulder into Mylo as he walked past. Mylo growled. "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING, DIPSHIT! YOU WANT ME TO BUST YOUR FUCKING FACE OPEN?!" The man screamed and began running, Mylo giving chase, until they were both out of sight. Their destination was a bit of a drive away, most of it silent. The rental car cruised through the city streets, foot and vehicle traffic thinning out as they entered the more abandoned part of the city. M.I.A. had given the rundown on how the 21 Savages had regrouped in their home turf, trying to grow their numbers and their XPLICIT supply, and how they just needed to clean them out. Since then, they had sat in silence, electronic crooning from the radio. “Sooooo,” M.I.A. hazarded as the radio station cut to commercial. She pursed her lips in thought as she looked for something to start a conversation. “How’ve you been? How’s, uh, Autumn?” “She’s been good, yeah.” Demis rubbed the back of his head, unsure how to proceed on the topic. “We’ve mostly been just relaxing back in town, really. Spend time with Millie, explore more of the town with Nico....‘Go back home’ as Sides put it.” “...Yeah, I feel that.” M.I.A. nodded slowly, eyes on the road. The silence crept back, Demis calm but M.I.A. twisting her lips. “So why did you agree to help me?” She blurted out. Demis was quiet for a moment. “It managed to reach us.” “I’m sorr—” “Don’t worry, don’t worry,” Demis reassured. “We dealt with it easily enough. Honestly, the dude was more scared than anything. No more can be made so the worst is over.” M.I.A. exhaled. They were almost there now, at least. Her expression softened as Demis gave her a hesitant pat on the back. “You said you’re trying to do that on a broad scale, right?” He continued. “That’s a lot on one person. I couldn’t just let you do that on your own.” “...We’re not dealing with scared kids this time,” M.I.A. placed a hand on a revolver. Her usual set was replaced to shoot rubber bullets, but the point was made. “These guys tried to raid a Black Beetles warehouse and still didn’t call it quits....you can still back out now if you want.” Demis shook his head resolutely. “All the more reason to help you out. Uncivil Umbra was founded to deal with dangerous Stand users, and you’re not gonna carry that by yourself.” M.I.A. opened her mouth to protest, but Demis’s expression interrupted that before words could. She shifted awkwardly in her seat as the music started playing again. They were almost there, and yet...“So you left home again to help me?” “What are friends for?” M.I.A. blushed, locking her eyes on the road and firmly gripping the steering wheel. She exhaled. They had a mission to complete, and they would. “Thanks, Demis.” An ornate throne sat out of place in a musty warehouse, home base of the 21 Savages. Cloaked in darkness, mostly because of the poor lighting of the building, was a man, clearly grinning even through the shadows. What little light that streaked through seemed to glisten off his teeth, he rested his elbow on the arm-rest, his hand resting confidently at his cheek. Two figures approached the throne, Anthony Song and Abraham, two members that had been there with the group since its inception. “Boss… You asked to see us?” Anthony said, smiling. “Ehh? ‘Boss’?” The figure leaned forward, his grin not dropping, but his tone stern. “Nigga, I told you what to call me. Try again!” Anthony sighed, clearly annoyed. He forced his smile harder. “...Ruler of Heaven, Uro Sho. You wanted us to meet with you?” Uro Sho leaned back in his throne and cackled. It was shrill and grating, his shark-like teeth chomping at the air. After a moment, he regained his composure and leaned forward once more. “Yea, I did! Took you fuckers long enough, I was about to come drag your asses in here myself! KUKUKUKUHIHIHIAHAHAHAHHHH!” Abraham and Anthony chuckled mildly along, exchanging awkward glances with one another. Uro Sho rose from his throne. “I asked you to come here because, word on the street is, your ratty old fucking boss is running around! He even broke one of the Skrrt Twins’ noses and sent him packing! Why didn’t you fuckers tell me he was still running around?!” Abraham’s eyes widened, and Anthony began rubbing the back of his neck, laughing nervously. “Err… we didn’t know he was! Eheh… After our last run-in with him we figured he’d probably uh… lost interest. He was busy with that tournament thing…” Anthony muttered. Uro gritted his teeth at the mention of the tournament. He remembered… not one, but two rap battles he got absolutely cheated in. It wasn’t fair! “Dammit, fuck that tournament bullshit! Rigged fucking matches, I should have won that! I spat nothing but fire in that rap battle, and yet they gave it to that kid! Whoever won that shit, I bet they just asked for something dumb like money or a fucking date with that alien bitch.” Uro’s ground his teeth, the metal of his grills making a grating scraping noise. He clenched his fists. “If I won that shit, I’d be smart, ask for something good! I’d have power…power the fucking Ruler of Heaven deserves! I was a better rapper in that match, the best fuckin’ player in the tourney, a better leader than that stupid roller-skating, ratty-ass bitch Mylo! I’m at the top of the fucking world! I deserved that shit!” Abraham begrudgingly nodded his head. "Yeah, yeah you totally deserved that." Uro shook his head. "Ugh, I almost forgot what I called you here for! With that shithead running around the city, who knows if he'll try to bust in here? We need all the Savages in the city back here to hunker down and defend the warehouse.” Uro gestured behind him, a large variety of containers stacked behind his throne. “Especially to guard our supply." "Are you sure we want to deal in that XPLICIT stuff, boss…? I’ve seen what it does, it makes people go psycho, and even your Stand goes nuts…" Abraham muttered. Anthony swiftly nodded. "Yeah! I heard a dude had a stand that could blow stuff up, and when he took XPLICIT, his Stand made nukes and leveled a whole city, killed him instantly!" "Don't be stupid!” Uro growled. “It's not a fuckin' steroid! It gets you high! We can make a ton of money off this shit!" Abraham sighed. It wasn’t his job to babysit Uro, if he really wanted to mess around with that stuff, that was his prerogative. While Abraham and Anthony moved to rally the 21 Savages, M.I.A. and Demis were nearby as well, converging on the warehouse together. They had anticipated a fight, but far more individuals than they thought would be there immediately had filed into the base; the result of Mylo’s poking around. “Ah, that’s a lot of people...” Demis said, discreetly scaling the outside of the warehouse via a spring to reach the second floor unnoticed. “Yeah,” M.I.A. muttered, climbing right behind. “Of course, they’re holding a meeting right when we get here.” Hoisting themselves up through a window onto the dark, musty second floor of the warehouse, they were just in time to watch seemingly all of the remaining 21 Savages huddle around their new leader. “That’s all of them? I feel like it’s less than the last time I saw them…” M.I.A. scanned the gathering below. “And who’s that guy with the gaudy throne?” “No way…is that that dude from the rap battle? He got stomped back in Round 1!” Demis muttered surprisedly. The two of them advanced forward behind the cover of a variety of junk, spying on the gathering below. “Anyway, how did you want to do this? It seems like even if they’re less than before, we’re still outnumbered…” Demis said. “The way I see it, we have the element of surprise. We want to get this done as quick as possible…So I say we, uh, jump down and go in Stands blazing.” M.I.A. said, looking down firmly at the crowd. Demis had fought a lot before, but he still couldn’t help but feel nervous at the prospect at fighting the lot of them. He exhaled, his key silent. Demis nodded, glancing over at M.I.A. Working together, they could get this done. “On 3, then?” M.I.A. took Demis’s hand. Paper Wings fluttered from her, cutting out the glass and setting it aside. “One.” ｢Starmachine 2000｣ manifested behind both of them, springs manifesting in their soles. “Two.” “THREE!” The two leapt forward, diving into the room. They landed securely on their feet, bounding once before gaining more secure footing. Uro turned from the stockpiles of cough syrup to face the intruders. “Who the fuck are you?” ｢Angel’s Thesis｣ shimmered into view as M.I.A. drew a revolver, making a show of loading it. “Surprised your crew hasn’t talked about me. Ran into them at an XPLICIT warehouse in LA, thought I stopped them from doing this stuff–” She gave a pointed glance around the room before her gaze softened upon dropping back onto Uro. “Oh, and we won Urban Uprising. Andromeda congratulated me herself. Where did you place?” "You, won? That's…." He shook his head, a vein throbbing on his temple. "That's enough, who the hell do think you're talking to!?" Uro screeched. Demis had the feeling that it would be best to not answer the question. ｢Starmachine｣ took a protective stance beside him, springs jangling from its shoulder. "Uh–" "That's it! Savages! In position, let's take these jackasses down!" "Yeah!" They whooped, getting into a ragged formation. He smirked as his Stand climbed out from behind him. "Let's show these assholes what happens when you mess with the Lord of Heaven, Uro Sho!” "And the 21 Savages!" Anthony added. M.I.A. and Demis shared a glance, wordlessly getting ready for what would come next. They were certainly more than prepared to handle the group, so they'd clean this up as quickly…and as cleanly as possible. With a burst of movement, The Savages sprung into action, as Uro called from his throne: "OPEN THE GAME!" Location: An abandoned warehouse in Detroit, Michigan that currently houses the 21 Savages. The area is a 50 by 50 meter with tiles that are each 5 by 5 meters. The 21 Savages are shown on the map, each with their own color that will be stated in additional information. The players are represented by their character tokens in their respective team colors. The warehouse is a fairly open space with a 30 meter ceiling, 4 support columns represented by gray squares, mattresses represented by light blue rectangles, a TV represented by a light purple rectangle, a snowmachine represented by a dark blue rectangle with a large pile of snow to its left, 2 porta-potties represented by green rectangles, a table and 7 folding chairs as represented by the brown rectangle and triangles, a half-pipe represented by the purple curve, and a pile of miscellaneous stolen junk as shown by the red area. The place in general has some trash strewn about such as empty cans, used cigarettes, and wrappers. The pile of stolen junk has things ranging from cough syrup bottles, a walker, a bike, some purses, and other things that the 21 Savages decided to take with them. Goal: Knock some sense into the 21 Savages! You're working together on this one, so attacking the other is right out. But the 'winner' of this match will be who manages to more effectively style on the Savages and convince them they aren't cut out for this life! Shows of Stand ability, defeating them, shrugging off their Stands, and overall styling on the Savages will count for this. In other words, contributing the most to defeating and embarrassing them from the Savages’ point of view is the victory condition. Additional Information: The 21 Savage members have a baseline on 222 Physicals, a 2 in 21 Savages (they really are a standard gang of hooligans, have some experience with vandalism, running from the cops, spray painting, mugging, and some degree of street smarts), and 5 in Thick-Skulled (They don’t know when to quit and will definitely keep fighting well past when they really should. This is both a slight downside and a massive endurance plus pain tolerance buff. There is a really good chance they will try to get back up after getting seemingly Retired once or twice) The 21 Savages have their own stands and general fighting styles that will be outlined here:
All 21 Savages: If you get into close range situation with one of them where they can’t retreat, they will try to fist fight you directly on top of any attacks their stands can do. In general they will avoid each others attacks and friendly fire to a degree, but their coordination is a mess.
Uro Sho (Magenta), with ｢Modal Soul｣: ｢Modal Soul｣ has A Power, A Speed, C Range, B Durability, and B Precision. There are three Stand bodies, which all have these stats. If there are no Savages within 5 meters, he will throw an incendiary bomb, which breaks into C POW burning liquid on contact with something and an A POW burst from the shell after 3 seconds. If a player gets within 10m of him, he will throw a gravity bomb, which creates a 5m radius gravity zone of 2x Earth gravity for 3 seconds. If attacked, he will throw a flashbang, which the other Savages will not know to look away from. He will stay on his throne no matter what, and will get back on it if pushed off. He cannot use the bombs in close range. (Within ~2m) All bombs travel at C Speed.
Anthony Song (Light Blue), with ｢ball w/o you｣: ｢ball w/o you｣ is an E power, B speed, A durability, B Range, and C Precision punch ghost that can control the texture and meltedness of snow in its range. Anthony will be running for the pile of snow and snow maker at the start of the match. From there he will gather up snowballs, and chuck them at the players. If they hit, Anthony will turn the snow to ice, effectively forming an ice sheet on the player where they hit. ｢ball w/o you｣ will be used to block attacks and throw snowballs as needed.
Joseph Bin (Dark Gray), with ｢Gunsmoke｣: ｢Gunsmoke｣ is E Power, C Speed, D Durability, A Range, and B Precision. It forms as a cloud of smoke of up to 5 cubic meters in volume that can obscure vision. It is rather viscous and can slow any projectiles thrown at it somewhat. It resists movement with D Durability and burns your lungs a bit if you breath in too much. It will be used to try and distract orr suffocate the player nearest to the user, while he uses the bulk of it to protect himself, hiding behind what cover he can find while jeering loudly.
Dennis Coles (White), with ｢Ghostface Killers｣: Made of thirteen masks, this is a massively long ranged Stand that can create simulacra forms of whoever wears the mask (always Dennis). The masks are functionally indestructible and defeating simulacra transfers no damage. Once a simulacra is defeated, the mask itself can still fight by shoving into you with D POW and D SPD, but they will not be able to reform their body. Dennis fights by surrounding opponents and attacking them…with one clone at a time. The simulacra will stop attacking if an ally goes in to attack and will resume directly after. Six will try to surround either player.
Tyler Wayne (Dark Blue), with ｢Ocean Drive｣: ｢Ocean Drive｣ takes the form of a model battleship that is about thigh high and half an arm long. It has C Power, Speed and Precision, and B Durability and Range. It comes with three anglable cannons, one at the front and one on either side and can fire 360 degrees around itself and shoot in high arcs. When the cannonballs come in contact with the ground or players, the cannonball will burst into a 2 meter tall spray of salt water that both stings and does blast impact damage. The cannonballs will pass through objects–including Stand objects–as if it was water. All of ｢Ocean Drive｣’s attacks also seem to be locking in on players to a degree, even if its shots are a bit inaccurate. Its user will be trying to stay at range and shoot from afar.
Abraham Skrrt (Orange), with ｢King Zoo｣: ｢King Zoo｣ has effectively no special abilities for a match: it’s just a Punch Ghost with C stats across the board. Abraham is reactive, and will attack anyone who goes to attack him or his twin Rachel with standard stand punch rushes, shoulder tackles, and simple physical attacks. He will otherwise simply trash talk. However, if you ignore him and try to run past him, he will start attacking you.
Rachel Skrrt (Purple), with ｢break da law｣: ｢break da law｣ is a skateboard with the ability to defy physics, which Rachel uses to ride on walls, have sick air time, and spin on people's heads. She will stay mobile and try and avoid prolonged confrontation, attacking by hitting her opponents with her board or a drive-by punch if she has an opening. She will start off combat by riding up the half-pile, getting unnecessarily high in the air and do a diving attack on the players. That attack will be done any other opportunity she gets the chance to do so using one of the walls, columns, or the half-pipe. The skateboard is unbreakable and relies on her strength for damage. It is impossible for her to fall off the skateboard or have the board taken out from under her.
Extra Note: Most of these stands not being used to their full potential. They will be used as proficiently as stated above, even if there is more to them. Only the included information is relevant.
MIA has taken rubber bullets to this match. Inventory normally used for her bullets is entirely replaced with them. They are nonlethal, but will hurt badly, heavily impairing use of what they hit.
“Yare yare dawa….” You're trying to get these people to stop this… utter silliness. But that's impossible while they still have faith in their leader… right? Take responsibility! Make a special effort to discredit Uro Sho as a leader!
Schioppo and M.I.A. certainly left their impact on the popular vote, winning the category 9-4! We’re also incredibly proud of and thankful for the turnout, with 18 of our most frequent voters busy in the strat room, you all came out in force!
Location - Downtown San Francisco, CA: The sun was still high in the sky of San Francisco, though none could see it through the thick cover of clouds that filled the sky. The dark masses seemed to spill an endless amount of rain down to the city. Unfortunately to Nate Selleck, it was just rain. Just rain. Just. Rain. It echoed through Nate’s head as the water soaked his hair, his shirt, rolled down his skin. This was not the advent of the new future he had wanted for the world. It was just rain. A dried splatter of blood washed away, a remnant of what he had done to get here, and a reminder of what he was willing to do to keep moving forward. Passers by were few and far between as he hobbled to the parking garage, but between the downpour and his disheveled appearance, none could recognize their Governor as he moved to his car. His Stand, taking a new form, opened the door of his car and ushered him in, Nate not paying much mind to the leather seats as he sat. Damp, cold, and alone. The emotions of everything that had just happened hit Nate all at once. The failsafe that had activated, that madwoman could have taken his life…he remembered the high he felt when the XPLICIT flowed through his veins. The despair and the failure screamed in his mind, louder than any of his thoughts of resolve… they clouded him. He remembered the feeling of his stand’s arm breaking through skin, and flesh, then bone… He took a life. He was overcome with emotion. Nate wept. He knew he was right. People were out to stop his plan, to kill him, they were afraid and violent because they were ignorant, they had no idea of the potential good his plan could bring to the world. He could restart, he could rebuild, he knew that much…he just never thought he’d have to kill someone to do it. His solemn thoughts were broken by the sound of a phone ringing coming from his car’s dashboard. He wiped his tears and looked at the screen: it was his wife. He hurriedly answered. “Nate! I was watching the news; It said there was a terrorist in San Francisco, in Lyte Headquarters! Are you alright?!” Maria yelled frantically. Nate sniffled, nodding to himself. “I-I’m alright, Maria. I managed to get out of the building before anything happened…I-I’m sorry this happened. I never told you…about my work, what the project was. These terrorists were after me, the company, because they wanted to stop it. I’ll tell you everything when I get home…I’ll make sure we’re safe. I love you, Maria.” “I love you too, Nate... Whatever all this is, I support you. Just, please get home safe. Please.” She said, beginning to cry. “I will. I’ll be back soon, Maria. I promise.” Hanging up the phone, Nate broke once more. His breath was heavy, his thoughts panicked. He quickly dialed on his phone, and another call began. “Governor Selleck?! Is everything alright?” A man said over the phone. “Yes, I’m fine, but this is urgent. I’m heading out of San Francisco, and I’m within vicinity of the terrorist; I feel I might be followed, there’s more of them. I need everything you can spare from the State Guard ordered to the Golden Gate Bridge so I can escape safely.” Nate said, taking deep breaths and speaking as calmly as he could. “Yes sir, right away! Stay safe, Governor Selleck” “Thank you.” Nate said, promptly hanging the phone up. He sighed, staring forward. He had to go now, that much he knew. He started his car, turning the self-driving off and adjusting his mirror. He pulled out of the parking garage, and began his drive towards the Golden Gate. Location - Linkin Park: Linkin Park was quiet, and tense. The attack on Lyte headquarters, the chaos that Nate had caused, the fighting in the streets of San Francisco. The gravity of the situation had cast a pall over the already dour proceedings. Kaito sipped from a soda, his tenth that day since they returned from Wilkinson. He reclined on a sofa in a fake repose, nervously clenching and unclenching his hands. Kris bounced on the balls of his feet, pacing here and there. Demis looked at the news feed, as Djimon and Alex pored over a map of the city. David Sides sat in an uncomfortable chair. His phone had been ringing off the hook for hours, about responses to the terrorist attack, about the governor. The governor he was going to help remove. He slicked back his hair, affirming some of the latest news, giving a few orders to maintain positions, and shutting the phone. Sides stood, the attentions of those left in the room on him. “I’ll keep this brief. Selleck called the State Guard, to protect himself while he flees the city. If he gets out, we’ll have no chance of catching him. He’ll slip through our fingers, and escape.” “So you just need some of us to beat him up?” Kaito asked, standing up. “I can totally kick his crap in.” “In a few hours maybe,” Kris stated, a worried look in his eyes. “You took some hard hits against Tom. So did I, and I know I couldn’t act at top performance.” Kaito settled down, a muscle in his jaw working. “But someone has to go there. Someone has to do this.” “...Yeah.” Kris muttered. “I… I think I have to step out for a bit. Call someone.” He looked around for any dissention, and sidled away. On a couch away from the group, Demis lay on his back, continuing to look at the news on his phone. Terrorist attacks. Deaths. Stand battles in the streets. Would this become his new normal? Would this become his life from now on? Would this spread back to Sweetwater as well? M.I.A. was still out, and the team was short-staffed. Kris and Kaito were still recovering. “That leaves me then,” he mused quietly. Now the room’s attention was on him, a pressure not dissimilar to one he had feltbefore. All of this was crazy…terrifying even. But an even stranger calm had settled over him, his response to that pressure coming with a natural ease. He swung his legs over and stood up, rolling out his left arm. “Someone has to go out against him, and you’ve all done a lot already. All of you. It’s only fair that I help out.” The room remained silent, save for the low, steady ticking of Demis’s heart ringing in his ears. Sides pursed his lips in thought, his eyes flicking to a graffitied rendition of the team’s sigil on the wall. They had to act fast, but they certainly had the means to do so. He turned to Demis, nodding in acknowledgement. “We leave in 5, meet me at the base’s west exit.” Location - San Francisco: Tunde threw another handful of pages into the air, Dust Breathers springing to life and rushing off into the distance around them. For the past hour, they had been constantly hounded by police in their escape, and were now slinking between alleyways. Gioia’s arm hung in a makeshift cast with fabric taken from an awning, and several of Tunde’s fingers were bound together to prevent them breaking more. ｢Love Kills｣ pulled down a wall, blocking the alleyway from any intruders, at least for the time being. “Nate left the tower, and spent about ten minutes finding a car.” She reported. She had already shared the news of Lennox’s death and Selleck’s escape. “We’ve been harassing him when we can, but it’s been hard enough escaping the police.” “That’s fine.” Niyaz stated, on the other end. “Do you know where his ‘path’ is?” Gioia stayed silent for a moment. “Tunde thinks he’s getting out of the city, but that’s about it. We haven’t had a moment to think.” “Of course, perfectly understandable.” Niyaz’s voice murmured through the phone, and silenced. He had hung up. A crunching came from the rudimentary blockade in the alley, Gioia tensing up as Tunde smiled warmly. A massive arm punched through, dragging the rubble away, to reveal the ever-peaceful face of the Mona Lisa, fused to the front of a boat. Arms stuck out of its sides, one crushing a police car. Niyaz stood on top, surrounded by Lisa Faces. He held out a hand, and snapped it to his forehead. “Come aboard.” He ordered, the boat picking up Gioia and Tunde and depositing them carefully on deck. “Though our quarry may not be dead, your efforts and Andrew Lennox’s sacrifice…they have forced Selleck, that little cretin, to flee from his castle. He is a routed general, and one we can still cut off.” He hesitated. “Ah, Gioia, your phone is ringing.” He pointed out, sitting down casually as the Lisa Faces tore into the guts of police cars. “Do take a seat, we will be moving to the Redoubt Oscar and… and Mr. Hawkes have set up downtown. A forward operating base. There, I’m certain you will be inoculated far from the front. It is just that a beleaguered platoon must be given some time on leave. You have already done enough for us, Arancini, and O Santos.” Tunde sat down quickly, Gioia sitting more primly. She glanced at the phone, eyebrows raised. “Kris?” She muttered, accepting the call and putting it on speaker. “What is it?” She asked. “Hi, uh, Gioia.” He whispered into the receiver. “I just stepped out from a meeting… you were with Lennox, in the tower. Right?” She nodded, though Kris couldn’t see her. “I was with him. He’s likely to be given the blame for it, though.” “...So you’re the one who forced Nate out. What happened there?” “We set him back.” Tunde mused, gingerly patting her blooming bruises. “The first act is over and the actors have taken their bows.” She grinned in response to Gioia’s glare. “And along with my dear ally never wishing to hear about plays again, California should be safe from XPLICIT, for at least a few more hours.” “But hardly safe from its corrupt so-called ruler.” Niyaz stated. “Which brings to mind, you do not have the bearing of a social call.” “That obvious, huh?” Kris said. “Tunde and…Genghis, right? Well you sure know how to pick ‘em, Gioia.” “Niyaz. And why did you call, this is hardly the time to mince words.” “Yeah. Sorry.” Kris paused. “You chased out Nate, but he’s escaping soon. We only have a few minutes. He’s heading for the Golden Gate Bridge. He has the State Guard on the opposite end, and if he reaches them, I don’t think we’ll be able to keep up past that.” “So he’s going to escape.” Niyaz said. “I get you’re probably suspicious of me… but.” Kris paused. “I’m telling you this cuz… I don’t think what you guys want is the worst option. The worst option, I think, is him getting away. There’s so much chaos going on, I wanted to, uh, clear the air a little. So that Nate doesn’t get to slip through the cracks.” “He’s telling the truth.” Gioia said, eyes sharp. “Based on his movements… yeah, Selleck is going to the ‘Golden Gate’, I’m certain of it.” “And you’re not going.” Niyaz responded. He held up a finger to her protest. “Not until you heal, am I letting you go to fight him. I’ll not allow an ally, my allies, on a suicide mission.” “...Fine.” Gioia grumped. “Thank you so much for the information, Kris, I’ll call you back, alright?” “I’m pretty sure the others are going to get on me anyways if I spend too long, I’ll be helping out my side. I think Schioppo… ah, sorry, shouldn’t talk about that, but one of my teammates met him, he’s safe. See you soon!” The phone clicked off, and Gioia fluidly snatched it up, relief clear in her body language. “Who can we get there?” She asked. Niyaz looked at the Redoubt, quickly approaching. “Most are off on various missions, things are so busy. So busy smashing what they can… but Hadrian. Yes, indeed, Hadrian has taken little damage from previous raids, he should be able to.” “As long as we have someone.” Tunde said, an odd bite to her voice. “Someone needs to cut that charlatan off.” Location - Golden Gate Bridge: Nate rushed down the road, pushing his car as far as it would go while still keeping it in control. The road was mostly clear, the area having been evacuated, but much to his frustration, his attempts to get into contact with his conspirators outside of the city had turned up nothing but voicemail and disconnections. He grit his teeth. “Look on the bright side… The media has been avoiding this whole area for the time being, so I didn’t have to worry about being stopped and questioned for once… Ha… I think this is the first time I’ve ever crossed Golden Gate without some paparazzo snapping my picture. Ha… Ha…” He forced his face into a slight grin, but the facade faded fast, as his lips curled into an ugly grimace. He slammed his car’s steering wheel, in an uncharacteristically genuine display of frustration. “Dammit… Dammit! Why?! Why did this have to happen to me…” He fought hard to hold back tears of frustration, displays of his feelings that he had done his utmost to hide from his family and employees, but which now flowed freely in his quiet isolation. “These… These… Assholes! So scared of progress… So terrified of the future! DAMMIT! Surely there’s someone out there worse?! Some warlord in a third world hellhole you could stop! I’m trying to help! I’m trying to help you people… I’m trying to help everyone! Why…” He felt himself on the verge of sobbing. He had always been accustomed to putting on faces; to sell his products, to lure investors, to get the greenlight on his big projects, but for the first time in a long time, he let his true face fly free. He felt in equal measures anger and sadness, frustration and despair. He turned his eyes away from the road to dry them on his sleeve. “My men will be on the other side of this bridge… Can’t let them catch me like this. If we’re gonna get past this hurdle, morale is going to be—” KRRRRRSHA The sound of metal screaming on black pavement drowned out even Selleck’s own thoughts, as his car came to a nearly full stop instantly, and the airbag exploded outwards like an iron bar to the chest. It popped near instantly, and as it rested down on Nate Selleck’s lap, it felt more like a lead blanket than a nylon pouch as it restrained his legs. After the loud explosion of the air back, four more pops echoed inside the car as it sank ever so slightly, the tires bursting as if under extreme pressure. The car bent and shuddered with a spine-tingling metal creak, as the hairline fractures began to form in the front windshield and the windows. “What… Is… This…?” Nate tried to exclaim as his heart pounded, but found himself short on breath near instantly. It took extreme effort to even open and close his jaw. The creaking noise became louder, a near constant humm of danger. Looking around, with some difficulty as even keeping his eyelids up was becoming an extreme chore, Nate noticed a second car in the road, which he had missed when he took his eyes off of it. An almost antique thing, it had completely crumbled, caved in on itself. The roof was completely collapsed, and the wheels had bent and burst off their axles, looking distressingly like the car had been removed halfway through it being compressed into a cube. It was with no small amount of terror that the Governor noticed the metal in his own car begin to bend and morph, as the glass windows became even more cracked and shattered. He could barely move his own body, let alone with the remains of the airbag on his lap. His heart pounded, and his survival instinct kicked in; almost involuntarily, he summoned the limbs of a Stand to tear away the burst safety device, and crash through the door. Its movements, too, were restricted as great weight pressed down on it from all around, but with great strength it created an escape, which Nate dived through with all the power his body could lend him, slamming with an especially hard thud as his body met the road. He struggled to pull himself up. “You know…” A woman’s voice echoed around, a dour and gruff cadence behind it. Nate, having risen to his knees, scanned for its source. “I was a little worried, setting myself up on a bridge. If these wires start to come loose, or those girders start to bend a little too much, this whole shit goes down in a chain reaction… But I’m surprised. I guess it’s built well, to handle weight like this.” From behind the broken down vehicle stepped Pão de Queijo, a pair of red sunglasses hiding her eyes. “Better built than your car, at least.” She quipped, punctuated by Selleck’s getaway vehicle finally collapsing under its own weight. “You… You’re that… Criminal from Brazil…!” Nate said in anger, rising unsteadily to his feet, doing his best to keep his breathing even under the intense weight. “Is that what you remember about me? ... I’m flattered.” Pão said, her voice seemingly dull dripping with contempt just under the surface. “You… You can’t stop me! You have no chance!” Nate yelled, flustered by the appearance of yet another rival hoping to crush his dream of the future. “Shut the hell up.” Pão calmly responded in kind. “That’s what I hate about all you rich and powerful bastards. It’s like you can’t help but look down on everyone around you, like you think you’re the hottest shit around. It pisses me the hell off.” Her tone could kill, though it likely wasn’t the only thing. “Still,” She continued, “I’m pretty surprised you even managed to make it this far, with all the people in town gunning for your head. Didn’t think I would even have to end up doing anything today. It almost makes me feel bad, even. You got so close, too. You had a whole posse waiting for you just on the other side of this bridge.” The red sunglasses on Pão’s face slid down slightly, revealing a look of utter murderous contempt in her eyes. “’Had’” She pushed the glasses pack up. The implication of her words sent Nate’s mind reeling. He scanned her body; not a single scratch on her. Flawless, without injury. “But… Some of those men were Stand Users! How did you…?!” The fear in Nate’s voice was palpable. Yet, he still managed to stand, taking a step towards Pão. “You that eager to die…? I’ll show you, if you’ve got the spine for it, you damn coward. You’re not getting to the other side of this bridge.” Pão crouched down, assuming a fighting stance. “Coward…?” Nate’s teeth scratched together, grinding. “How… DARE you!” Nate summoned his Stand in full body, clenching his fists. “You don’t know a damn thing about me! And… You’ll never stop me! I’ve grown! I’ve evolved! I’ll take you down where you stand, you damn criminal!” “... You think you’re the only one?” Like a runner beginning a sprint, Pão rushed for Selleck, almost too fast for him to even see, let alone move his body to react to in this state of increased gravity. In a blink, the gang leader closed the ten meters between them, cracking her fist against Nate’s jaw in a devastating gazelle punch. Despite the increase in gravity, Nate still found himself flying through the air, propelled by the power of his opponent. From Pão’s body emerged her ｢Tribe Called Quest｣, the imposing physical monstrosity swinging its forearm at the center mass of Nate’s new evolution, sending it flying away as well. Nate tumbled briefly, pulling himself back up to his knees with no small difficulty and calling his Stand back to his side for safety. Pão de Queijo stood up straight, holding her fist in front of her body. “Unrestrained movement in ten times Earth’s natural gravity… How’s that for ‘evolution’?” She asked condescendingly. “And that’s not the only area where I’ve experienced growth…” The arrows that adorned her brutal Stand’s body began to glow in affirmation of her claims. “... Did you ever even stop to think about those ‘damn criminals’, you trash? That you used to test your little future. Who you might as well have ordered dead. Always… You people can’t stop looking down on others. Some of those people were mine, dammit!” Pão raised her voice, shouting over the empty bridge between the two of them. “They were my Brothers! My Sisters! I gave them a home, and in return, they gave my quest purpose! My life purpose!” Pão assumed a fighting stance. “So now… I’m finally gonna pay them back. You’re not gonna leave this damn bridge alive… But screw it.” Pão opened her hand, giving a ‘come on’ gesture to the prostrating Selleck. Her lips curved upwards into an uncharacteristic and truly terrifying smirk. “But I’m sick to shit of all this damn talking. I’m your grim reaper, I’m your past mistakes, I’m your absentminded cruelty coming back to bite you in the ass. Call me Karma. I’m your destiny…” “So bring it the hell on!” Location - Golden Gate/San Fran Bay: For all the vehicles that Sides had been able to get Uncivil Umbra, this was the most unorthodox of their modes of transport. A police speedboat had been prepared for them at the far west end of the Golden Gate Park, at the Ocean Beach in particular. A straight drive to the bridge from the park was only a few miles, but the streets were teeming with officers of questionable allegiance. And so, the shortest path was a detour. Remolded by ｢Thriller｣ and powered by ｢Nature Boy: ACT 3｣, the speedboat cut through the Gulf of The Farallones, much faster than it would normally would be able to. Alex and Demis sat in front, steering the boat to the bridge in the distance, while Djimon and Sides sat in the back. Rain streaked down the boy’s visor as he stared out over the water. “Penny for your thoughts?” Djimon perked up at the question, posed by the Attorney General next to him. He shuffled awkwardly in his seat at the sudden attention, unsure of quite how to respond. “Just...worried, I guess,” he murmured plainly. “Even if we beat Nate, like, what comes after? Breaking it down, sure, but…do we get to go back to our normal lives? I can’t help in prosecuting Lyte, but I’m not sure if I can go….” Demis nodded. “Starting the next semester, relaxing with Millie. Staying in contact with Sweetwater, I have all of these responsibilities but…when will the next thing come up. When will I have to do this again. This has to be done, but...” “You’re afraid of not being the same people when you go back to normalcy.” David said, posture ramrod straight. “This combat is nothing like I’ve ever seen. That children like you would have to be involved, that these… abilities you have caused so much grief.” “After all of this is over, you should go back home,” he said. “The reality of fighting, of combat, is that it’s so easy to see it as a never ending path. That even when you get back, there will be more combat, more fighting, that you can never lose your edge, ever, or when you’re called back you won’t be ready. Or that you'll never be able to go back.” “Once this day is over, you should go back home. I can take care of everything from here. You won’t be able to help me, so you shouldn’t feel forced to. Go home, and relax.” “...Maybe.” Djimon said, adjusting his visor. Demis looked over at him, at Sides. That’s right, this wasn’t forever. There was no way he was going to let this become his new normal. He knew what normal life was, knew what it should be. Relaxing with his friends, sleeping in, studying for hours at a cafe, he wouldn’t let Lyte take that away from him. Wouldn’t let Nate force his vision onto the world like that. “You look determined.” David mentioned. “Both of you. I may not understand much of this, what’s going on. But to fight, even though you shouldn’t be forced to…I’m proud of you. All of you.” The boat slowed to a stop next to a pier, the bridge itself hanging above and protecting them from the rain. Selleck was surely still there as well. “Looks like your stop,” Sides murmured as he looked upwards. The bridge has over 60 meters of clearance above the water; his remaining in the boat was fine—he was needed on standby—but getting up there unnoticed would be difficult... “Here.” Alex stood up, ｢Nature Boy: ACT 1｣ manifesting behind him. The Stand gripped its user’s wrist and extended a hand to Demis. He looked up at the metal column and back to Alex, the gears quickly turning in his head. Once ｢Nature Boy｣ had a steady grip, it took a breath and propelled the three of them upwards, clearing dozens of meters at once. As they began to fall however, a set of springs tethered them to the column which stretched taut before snapping back them upwards then disappearing, the duo propelled further by another blast of air. Rappel, propel, rappel, propel, rappel, propel... A boat, manned with Lisa Faces, cut through the waves, the three on board soaked with rain. Hadrian sat up front, the rain did nothing to halt him. Niyaz was in the back, splitting his attention between the boat and his map. The edifice of the Golden Gate loomed above them. Hadrian stood with his oldest ally, Jack. Jack had sustained damage in the morning, but had been well enough to come with him to support. “This is it.” Jack muttered. “We’re so close. Once today is over… well all of it will be.” He rubbed the bandages around his stomach. “Hey, once we deal with Nate, the other guy on our list is gonna be nothing in comparison.” Hadrian nodded. His life was ebbing away now. He could feel it, a grey pall over his heart. “This isn’t… going to be easy though.” He said. “None of it is. He killed Andrew, so quickly… but I have to fight him. If I don’t do this, I’m… I think the only one in this city that can, at this point. I don’t have a choice.” Jack nodded. “Yeah. Uh, maybe. But with your power, and the other team is probably here too… you’ll have allies. Even if I can’t help you properly, I’ll be here too.” He hugged the stock-still Hadrian. “We’re, we’re going to make it through together, man. I’m not going to let you deal with any more bullshit, I promise. And Nora will be waiting too. Drown you in sweaters, probably.” “So much confidence in me?” Hadrian chuckled. “Yeah. I need to do this, and now that I got a taste of it again, I can’t let my life slip away now.” The boat slowed, and stopped, below the bridge. Niyaz climbed up to the front. “I think we’ve made it.” He said. “To have cut off the retreat of the enemy. And all that is left is to crush him. Are you prepared?” Hadrian took a shuddering breath. “It doesn’t matter if I am.” He said. “Bring me up.” “Fight valiantly, and come back safe, my ally. I have the utmost faith that you can carry this out. We will remain nearby once you complete the task… and to provide as much aid as is capable. But under these conditions, I fear that won’t be much.” “I said my piece already. Kill ‘em dead, partner.” Jack said, with a wink. “...Thanks. I’ll be back.” Hadrian said, a sense of finality about him. Lisa Faces grabbed his arms. Massive wings arched behind them, and they pushed off the boat. They took flight, dragging him up, up, and up through the torrent of rain. No matter what, this would end here, with him. He had to make it. He had to survive. Location - Golden Gate Bridge: The pouring rain, intensity ever increasing, did nothing to stop the State Guard that had been making their move towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The general was on the ground, directing them as his cell went off. A quick glance at the screen and a surprised smile on the general’s face confirmed the caller’s identity: “Sides! It’s been a while! We were just moving in on the bridge to escort the governor and further evacuate the area, as requested,” the General said gruffly. Still down on the water, Sides shook his head. “Sorry to come out here so abruptly, General, but there’s been a change of plans. The governor wasn’t able to get a hold of you before the storm got worse, but he’s let me know that he wants the end of the bridge barricaded. It’s urgent, the terrorists are still at large in San Francisco and we need a perimeter set up so they can’t get through.” The General took off his cover, scratching his head. “Uhh, that’s…strange. But, Governor Selleck is a strange guy in general…I’m not going to disobey a direct order. Alright, Sides, I’ll reroute my men and hold off the end of the bridge. Thanks for letting me know.” Sides nodded. “Of course, General. Stay safe out there.” As he hung up, Sides smirked. All according to plan. Meanwhile, through the downpour, Nate couldn’t see much in the distance, but he could distinctly see the troops that he was waiting on, the ones he figured were his free ticket out of the area, completely turning around and heading in the opposite direction. “What... the fuck? Where the hell are they going?!” He yelled, the anger creeping up on him once again. The ground around him was cracked, broken to rubble in some places, and the mass amount of gravity had taken a toll on him. Blood leaking from the side of his mouth, and his adversary lay on the ground behind him; both of them had clearly taken massive beatings, but Nate was the one left still standing. Somehow, despite the gravity, the raw strength and abilities of his opponent, he had done it. He wiped the blood from his mouth. Notably, he was missing a pinky finger, blood spilling from the wound. Nate grunted, looking towards the troops on the other side. He had to head that way… but why were they heading back? Who could have ordered them to do that? Nate heard sirens in the distance. Someone must have heard the commotion and called the police… if they saw him, how injured he was, they’d try to help him. Take him to a hospital. Then they’d question him. They wouldn’t understand, they could never understand. Neither side of this bridge was safe. “Fine… if I can’t cross either side, I just need to find a better way. I… I could go off the side. Yeah! If I can just get to the middle, and get off the side… I can get the hell out of here. I can get home.” Nate began sprinting towards the center of the bridge. If he could get into the bay, he could surely use his stand to get himself safely to shore. He’d get back home, he’d get somewhere safe. He just conquered the odds against a mighty opponent in that fight, he could do it again! Unfortunately, in the center of the bridge that Nate sought, another one of his ‘obstacles’ was developing. Namely, several valiant fighters approached the center of the bridge through the bay. Hadrian Moore and Demis Roussos, both accompanied by their allies, approached the center of the bridge by boat, close, yet unable to see each other through the downpour. Simultaneously and on opposite sides of the bridge, Hadrian and Demis arrived. The Lisa Faces detached, placing him on the bridge. Demis and Alex climbed up as well, Alex taking one look at the EMTs and glancing to Demis. Demis nodded, and Alex immediately went back under, to make his way over to them, to see what he could do to help. Demis reached behind himself, feeling the ticking key on his back. Almost there. They spotted each other, recognizing the other instantly. Both walked forwards, Stands out. “Hey.” Demis called. “You’re the person sent by the ‘other team’?” Hadrian nodded. “Yeah. I’m here to kill Selleck.” No use mincing words. There wasn’t time, there was never time. “Are you going to try and stop me?” Demis pursed his lips. “I don’t feel too confident in taking this on myself. And I’m not going to attack you.” “Yeah, this is too important.” Hadrian looked to the far side of the bridge. “We’re the last line of defense, right?” “This is it, I think.” Demis said. “I… really think this is it. There’s nobody else to help, but he’s trapped here too.” Hadrian extended a hand, which Demis readily took. “We’re trapped here with him, him with us. And we can’t let him escape.” “Yeah. Let's do this.” Hadrian and Demis stood together once again, and awaited Nate. Soon enough, the man came. Sprinting across the bridge, he spotted two figures in the rain and slowed down, squinting. Rubbing the rain away from his eyes, he couldn’t quite recognize who these people were, but he felt it inside his heart: These men were Stand users, and they were here to stop him. “There he is!” He heard, from one of them. Definitely, 100% there to stop him. He clenched his hands, his teeth in anger. “I don’t know who you are! I’m losing track of all the people who have tried and failed to stop me… But, I’ll give you one opportunity to get out of here, now!” Nate said, boisterously, his achievements so clear to see. Hadrian stepped forward, sneering. “Bullshit! Your plan failed! Gioia and Tunde told us all about it! You’ve failed, and now you’re scurrying away to try it again! We’re not going to let you do that!” Demis stepped forward putting his hand on his ally’s shoulder. “That’s right. You’re going down, right here, right now.” “By any means necessary.” Hadrian said firmly. Nate sighed. “Well… There goes my idea of an easy escape, huh? Fine. I guess I’ve gotten enough experience mopping up you interlopers. After all, your terrorist friend lay at rest in Lyte Headquarters with a sizable hole through his abdomen, and that criminal scum you sent here to stop me is lying unconscious on the pavement not too far back. Were they the best you had, or are you going to put up a fight?” He said, a snide air of confidence around him. Hadrian scowled, and there was a brief silence filled only by the shower of rain hitting the pavement, and the ticking of a spinning key. “You… You’re so desperate, aren’t you. To throw us off, to make us angry. This last vestige of control is all you have, before you fall victim to the cold realization that you’ve completely and utterly failed. Well, it won’t work!” Demis said, further advancing towards the governor. Nate sneered at Demis’ declaration. The gall, the audacity! His heart burned with the insults, the humiliations piled on him. He was the pinnacle of Stand users! His ability was the pinnacle of years of advancement, and to have his gift thrown in his face, his brilliance maligned. They didn’t have the right. These fools didn’t have the right to look at him, let alone laugh in his face. Murderers, criminals, the lot of them. They’d all regret their actions in time. “So. You’ve made your decision then? To go down in history as pariahs who stood in the way of progress, foolishly stood before me in the pouring rain, just to fall in the cold, damp solitude? Don’t you have families, friends to go back to? You can stop now and go back to them, you know. That’s what I’m going to do.” He attempted a smile, a flash of charisma. It bounced right off. Hadrian shook his head, clenching his fists. “No, you’re not. The only place you’re going, Nate Selleck, is hell!” Nate returned to a solemn frown. “Fine. Clearly you… you IDIOTS won’t listen to reason. You’ve made your decision, and there’s no going back! I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I am not going to lose again.” Even through the rain, a shining light emerged that broke through the dreary mist. Demis and Hadrian shielded their eyes with their hands, taking a moment to adjust as the light died down. When they could see again, they saw Nate’s stand, a floating obsidian figure with a sun enclosed by some kind of gyroscope where its head should be. Light bounced of its reflective surfaces. “Witness my evolution. My next “Act” if you will. This is ｢MK Ultra: Exogenesis｣! And he will herald in a new future for humanity, whether you wish to stop it or not! You have no more chances, this is your reckoning!” Nate beckoned, gesturing his to his Stand grandly. “You’re just as crazy as I thought!” Hadrian yelled, thrusting a finger at Nate. “We’re going to stop you alright. Your crazy delusions end here!” Demis said, backing Hadrian in turn. Nate smirked, basking in the light of his Stand. He broke into a hearty laugh, walking towards the duo. “You’ve made the point abundantly clear to me. You wish to stand in the way of progress. You’re about to learn a very painful lesson, however… Those who stand in the way of progress…” Nate clenched his fist, his missing finger a symbol of his resolve. The light framed his figure, lit dramatically in the downpour, shadows cast over his face. “Are bound to be run over by it.” Location: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. Each side of the bridge has four lanes and sidewalks for a total width of 27 m. There are cars scattered around, though the owners have left with the key and other valuables. The cars are spaced two to three car lengths apart from each other per lane. The bridge is wet with rain, and rain is still coming down. It’s sunset, but conditions are very much visible. The players and Nate are 30 meters away from each other and both 15 meters away from the center of the bridge. Goal: RETIRE the opponent! Image:Nate Selleck, User of ｢MK Ultra: Exogenesis｣
“It merely powered up! It’s a threat, but I can still predict it!” This new Stand of his is faster, stronger, and more precise than your ｢On Mercury｣...but you still have plenty of mobility to avoid it. Stay mobile, and stay unpredictable in both your movement and attack patterns!
“The arrow didn’t reject him for being unqualified! No, far from it, the arrow belongs to Giorno for eternity!” You’ve reached the peak of your evolution, and the world will bare witness to your power. Use all aspects of your Stands’ forms and abilities to their fullest!
2019.11.30 02:00 Dungeon_DiceJoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #4: R5M1 - Kris P. Bacon and Yuigahama Kaito vs. ???
It begins. Just as foretold in the stage select post, the mechanically unusual Round 5 has begun. Effectively, to reiterate, this will be a series of four boss matches consisting of duos within and across the four-person Uncivil Umbra and La Horde Unie teams. Both teams have been given additional players to help strat this round, and while we won’t outright ban anyone from voting aside from members of competing teams in each match, we will ask that the honor system be used here, as well as your own better judgment. Teammates of the competitors, only vote if you trust yourselves to be impartial in matches they’re in, basically. Location - San Francisco, CA: In the bustling city of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Park was… not so golden. It was early morning, and a heavy storm was blowing in. The sky was suitably overcast, the cold making it an unpleasant day to take a stroll. Darker still were the tunnels that lay underneath the Golden Gate Park, lit by only low-power bulbs and its entrance was hidden among the roots of a nondescript tree. As Uncivil Umbra gathered allies—both those with the law and those markedly less so—and the urgency of their mission grew, the costs of decentralization quickly outweighed the benefits. One part secret meeting place, one part base of operations, Linkin Park steadily extended through the ground under the Golden Gate Park. As makeshift as it was—a network of tunnels, propped up by guts, moxie, and anime bullshit civil engineering—Linkin Park quickly became more than functional. Not only ｢Lilywhite Lilith｣’s portals made traversing the network exceptionally easy for its intended users, but the various furnishments and baked goods that the Sweetwater Visitors added helped make the base into a “home-away-from-home.” Yet, there was still work being done. Despite their earlier track record, the mystery solvers from Youngstown quickly churned through the mass of information that Uncivil Umbra had collected over the months, especially with the leads that M.I.A. and the Fairy Fellers’ own Steffan Pilatti had found in their own investigations. And to that end, a group was hard at work together around a table, many maps, diagrams, and dossiers splayed out across it. “From what I understand, Lyte, Wilkinson, and...‘Urban Uprising’ are all connected to Governor Selleck,” David Sides thought aloud. Around the table with him were Kris P. Bacon, Kaito Yuigihama, Djimon Iskinder Ejigu, and Lauryn Caprese, all listening with varying amounts of focus. “The first funding Selleck’s plan, the second being the means to develop XPLICIT, the last to recruit people to his cau—” “And not even that worked!” Kaito exclaimed, pumping his fist and looking up eagerly at Sides. He merely sighed before continuing. “Which still leaves multiple parties to be investigated and not much time to do it.” “We’ll get it done easily enough,” Kris shrugged, leaning back in his chair. Despite the tension in the air and his own quick response to Lauryn’s message, he was noticeably laidback. He yawned, stretched, and pushed his chair back from tipping right over with a small gust of air. “I’m pretty fast, so once we know what to do, it’ll be a snap.” “Yeah!” Kaito added. “I’ve been meaning to give those Lyte knuckleheads a good—” “Guys!” Djimon raised his voice. "I—we need to take this seriously." He seemed to shrink back, looking to Kaito. "Uh. This is, uh, really really important, we need to be—" "Oh. Oh, yeah, your family is caught up in all this crap too." Kaito interrupted, snapping his fingers. Djimon looked down. Kaito punched his open palm. "I forgot about that. My brain doesn't work too good.... Y-yeah! Uh, I'll give the knuckleheads a good beating for your dads and sibling too!" "Yeah." Kris added, lackadaisically. "So who's the first one we go for?" "Uh." Djimon shot a grateful, if confused glance to Kaito and looked at his phone. "Alex got an invitation for a winners' party for the game. I don't think he cares about it, but it's probably where we can go after the people involved in that. It goes ‘til pretty late at night I think. And we still have a task force on Selleck." "So it's the Wilkinson nerds that we don't have anyone on, right?" Kaito mused. "An', if I were them, I'd prolly be trying to keep all of the dirty stuff they have under wraps, like not payin' a bartender in anything but dirty bills, except that people asking questions are comin' in, which is us, and they want to keep all their dirt away, like when you make the bartender you're payin' in dirty bills run halfway across town. Or somethin'." He blinked, looking around at the others staring at him. "...What?" “...Wilkinson first then.” Lauryn offered quietly, everyone turning to face her. Though she stood a bit further back from the group directly—she wasn’t quite as suited for going out into the field—they could still tell a slight smirk graced her lips. Sides frowned, his brow furrowing at the suddenness of the suggestion. “This is not the time for your...vendetta, Miss Caprese.” Tossing her dreadlocks, Lauryn smiled placidly before continuing. “If Lyte’s done most of their actual XPLICIT testing through Wilkinson, then we get evidence on both of them for violating FDA mandate. If we’re lucky we also get more information on XPLICIT itself and maybe how to reverse the Stand transmission.” “Hmm...” Sides scanned over the documents and pictures before him, weighing the options before them. Eventually he turned back to Lauryn. “You make a good argument. Bacon. Yuigahama.” The two in question looked up to the (attorney) general. “You’re up.” In an otherwise plain looking office overlooking a bustling cityscape, only a couple things stood out. One was an extremely gaudy solid gold lamp, the iridescence from the light reflecting off of it making it truly painful and unpleasant to look at. And then there were the men that inhabited the office: one high-profile investor Thomas Alcove, and the CEO of Wilkinson Pharmaceuticals, Peter Bennett. Tom was sat on a hard wooden chair across from Pete, calmly sorting through a folder of papers, while Peter leaned back in his tall swivel chair, feet up on the ornate oak desk. “So glad you decided to come to meet with me, Tom! Can I call ya Tommy?” Pete said, boisterous as ever as he pulled a cigar from one of his desk drawers, pinching it between his lips. Tom glanced up from the folder, expression a tired-eyed deadpan, contempt slowly poisoning his voice as he spoke. “I’d prefer Thomas.” The venom in his voice pointed towards his disdain for the man. Tom had been Lyte’s liaison to Wilkinson, but he’d rather the connection have been anyone else. “I’ll meet you in the middle,” huffed Pete with a smirk, producing a tacky golden zippo lighter from his breast pocket, and lighting the tip of his cigar. “Whaadidyahave t’ show me, Tom?” Meticulously picking out a piece of paper, Tom set it down atop the desk and slid it to Pete, who picked it up and glanced over it, eyes widening. “So you finally finished the damn project! Took you long enough! I was worried I would have to retire before I got to see it! Ahahahahahaha!” Pete guffaws loudly, laughing too hard at his own joke. Tom grimaced as the smell of Pete’s cigar washed over him. “There were a few bumps in the road. Casualties. However, we met the initial deadline. A copy of our roadmap was sent to you after our initial meeting.” Tom flicked his cold gaze to Pete’s, as if he already knew the answer to the question he was about to ask. “Did you read it?” Pete caught himself, trying to pass the laugh off as a cough. “Uh, sure! I was just jokin’ bud! I’m sorry about the…casualties.” The corners of his mouth twitched when he was met with silence, but he barely stopped talking. “So, getting down to business, I take it you’re here about the second half of our deal?” Tom nodded as he absentmindedly arranged the other papers in the dossier. “About XPLICIT.” He pauses, a grimace lingering over his expression as Pete looked at him expectantly. “Lord, what a horrid name I can hardly believe Selleck willingly picked up a term used by street thugs.” He shook his head, “Anyhow, it… has completed production. In accordance with the deal we signed previously, we’ll be rolling out the perfected product into the cough syrup line as soon as you give us the production access; you’ll of course receive your pay once this goes into effect as well.” It sounds as if he’s reading from a script he had been given to memorize. Pete grinned, tapping off the ash from the tip of his cigar into a crystal ashtray, before giving the paper back to Tom. “Fantastic, Tommy! Can’t wait to see the kinda stuff this can do!” He pauses briefly, leaning in and lowering his voice, a rare occurrence. “One thing though… I was wonderin’ maybe we could work out some other kinda pay? I got plenty’a money…” Tom raised an eyebrow, displeased by Pete’s sudden desire to make changes to a premeditated agreement. “This was all in the contract. You’ll be receiving a hefty sum.” Pete raised his hands, waving them dismissively. “Yeah yeah, I get that! I’m not trying to get any more outta you or Selleck, or whoever, It’s just, I caught wind of that announcement ol’ boss-man made, that whole “Guiding Lytes” thing? Between you and me, I’m pretty good with this ‘Stand’ thing, and I think it’d be a lot less of an expense to ya than money!” Tom stared at him in quiet contemplation, before tapping the papers in the dossier on the desk to straighten them out. “Lyte received a full response from the invitations, Peter. If they got an invitation, they joined the Guiding Lytes; there are no more open positions.” Pete blinked in surprise, and not taking no for an answer, kept pressing. “Ohhh come on, don’t be such a stiff! There’s no limit on progress, right? Spots? Why would an operation as bold as what Selleck’s planning need a limited number of spots? I’m sure you can squeeze me in there. Put in a good word for me with Nate, will ya? You know that saying, uh… Lotsa cooks make a damn good soup! Think about it!” It was clear that Pete often heard nothing but ‘Yes sir, yes sir.’ in his day-to-day life. “C’mon, I’m sure you’re willing to convince Nate to bend the rules for ol’ Big Pharma himself! I’m an asset that you’re missing out on! Lemme tell you, when I was… “ Tom was irritated. Meeting with a man of Bennett’s disposition was enough to put him in a poor mood to begin with, but today Pete was really pushing his luck. He cuts off the other man, “The contract you signed has you receiving the agreed upon sum of money in exchange for access to your production. Furthermore, at this stage, Care will need to be taken with regards to the sensitive documents we’ve provided you with prior. They’ll be disposed of in accordance with the terms of our agreement.” A pen appeared in his hand, and he twirled it through his fingers effortlessly, a well-practiced move. “Do not make me repeat myself.” Pete sighed, but his brash smile didn’t waver, clearly not entirely dissuaded from his attempts at bargaining. “Alright, yeah! Don’t you worry, I’ll get those documents taken care of lickety split! Take ‘em to the desert, shred em up a li-” Tom’s brow furrowed quickly, and he stood up abruptly, wooden chair falling down behind him as he slammed a hand down on Pete’s desk with one hand, and with his other, pressing a finger against his lips and shushing Bennett loudly, similar to how a parent would scold a disobedient child. “Peter! Need I remind you there are potentially prying eyes and ears on us at ALL times?! For God’s sake!” Pete blinked, eyes widening at the response. He smiles nervously, reaching into his drawer. “You need to loosen up! Here, have a cigar.”Tobacco in hand, Pete extended his arm to offer it to Tom, waving it a short distance under his nose when the offer wasn’t immediately accepted. “Put that away. I’ve told you I don’t smoke,” he snapped, pinching the bridge of his nose, pen clicking rapidly in his other hand. This man was absolutely appalling, had no sense of tact. Tom couldn’t trust him. Picking up the folder from the desk and tucking it underneath his arm, he spoke. “It is of vital importance that we get this done as soon as possible. We should dispose of them now and,” Tom grits his teeth. “I will accompany you.” Pete grinned, standing up and gesturing to the door. “Great! I’ve been meanin’ to talk business with you a little more! C’mon, we can take my car.” He gave Tom a hearty slap on the back, sauntering away. The clicking intensified as Pete walked to the door, Tom’s face curled into a grimace. This was going to be a long trip... It was closer to afternoon now, Kris driving himself and Kaito to the Wilkinson headquarters. With the news of upcoming rain, the streets were packed with drivers looking to get where they needed to go before the torrent. Otherwise, the ride had been uneventful so far. That was the point after all. Sides had provided them an unmarked car with tinted windows to mask their approach and help their infiltration. Kaito sat in the passenger seat, watching the Financial District’s skyscrapers pass by as they navigated the narrowing streets. He was excited to team up to kick some ass again, but…he sighed, clearly anxious. Kris raised an eyebrow, glancing over at Kaito. "Hey man, what's on your mind?" Kaito rubbed the back of his neck, hanging his head. "I… I just can't shake the feeling I made myself look like a big jackass at that meeting. Like, I get this is serious! This is super fuckin' important! But that Sides guy and Djimon… I don't wanna look like an idiot." He clenched his fist and looked out the window, the hustle and bustle of the city just as crowded as his thoughts. "Djimon… he's the only one I got left from my old team, and I already feel like I've let him down once… I don't want to blow it. I want to do good by them." Kaito nodded along as he spoke. As he finished, Kris smiled and gave one of his typical lackadaisical shrugs. "You didn't blow anything by being excited to get stuff done, dude. Hell, I think you've proven yourself dedicated enough just by joining the team…" Kris flashed a smile and winked, his open eye almost glowing. "Besides, the Fairy Fellers have dealt with you enough for me to know that you're a capable fighter. You're a real pain, you know?" he chuckled. Kaito smirks back, shifting away from the window and nudging Kris. "Somethin’ about you Fairy Fellers… pickin' me up in cars, calling me a pain. You get a kick fighting with people who are pains in your asses?" Kris shook his head, smiling. "Nah, I get a kick out of fighting with my friends. Don't knock yourself, Kaito. Don't let the self-doubt get to your head, we're really close to winning this." Kaito nodded, clenching his fist. Kris was right, if he wanted to prove himself to those he cared about, he had to give it his all and win this fight. As victory inched closer and closer, so too did Wilkenson HQ, and so too did battle. ClickClickClickClickClickClickClick Since leaving Pete’s office, the clicking hadn’t stopped. Workers poked their heads out of cubicles to see the source of the noise, only to see Tom slinking behind Pete irritably, Money Trees his only solace at the moment. “Y’know, Tommy, after we take care’a these documents I treat ya to lunch? There’s a nice pub downtown! You can get some fish and chips or somethin, I’m sure they’re authentic!-- Ah, son of a bitch…” Pete’s phone began to ring, and he pulled it out from his pocket, rolling his eyes at the caller, simply named “The Witch.” He motioned for Tom to give him a moment, before taking the call. “What,” he snapped. “I’m in the middle of something… Yeah yeah, the money’s coming. Calm your tits! … No. No! They’re yours, I’m not interested. I’m doing big things, no time for whatever the fuck... Uh huh. Yeah. Bye.” Shoving his phone in his pocket, he huffed. “Women, am I right? What a needy bitch…” He chuckled a little, turning to Tom as he continued to walk backwards. “Hey, I got a joke for ya. What do you call a woman who’s lost 95% of her intelligence?” Tom raised an eyebrow. The pen clicking ceased, and he folded his arms, intonation challenging. “What.” “DIVORCED!” Pete laughed boisterously, clapping his hands together, nearly doubled over in his laughter. The clicking resumed, now intensified. Tom kept his words terse. "Peter. You may be the least funny person I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting.” Pete blinked, laughter catching in his throat. He coughs, expression creasing in confusion. “Ohhh, c’mon!” He throws an arm over Tom’s shoulder, the Brit’s expression speaking to his discomfort. “You need to loosen up! You and me, we’re two peas in a pod, living the good life, bachelors! You’re such a grump! The stress of bothering to be involved with whatever kid is getting to you! You’re graying!” Tom freed himself from under Pete’s arm, and stepped to the parking garage door, holding it open as he looked back to Pete, eyes flashing. “My son, and his success, is the most important thing in my life. Child rearing is hardly something I’d expect you to understand.” He gestured his head to the open door. “After you.” The light of the office building pierced through the darkness of the parking garage as Pete walked through, Tom following suit soon after. Pete seemed nonplussed, what had he said wrong? “Oh, come off it, Tommy!” As Kaito and Kris sat in their car, engine off, only their heavy breath broke the silence… that was, until the clicking, and then the voices started echoing through. Kaito nudged Kris, who seemed to be intently looking at a group chat on his phone. Kris looked up, his eyes widening as the light of the office building illuminated their targets. No doubt about it, this was the two they were after. “Listen!” “No. You come off of it. You’ve been nothing but an overbearing twat since our first meeting. Terribly sorry, but we aren’t as buddy-buddy as you think. We aren’t buddy-buddy at all.” Tom paced forward angrily, all his grievances with Pete coming to light as their partnership inched to a close. “We are nothing alike, Peter, no matter how much you insist otherwise.” Pete shakes his head slowly. “I never meant to say we’re identical! Of course we’ll have our differences, that’s just h—” “The differences between you and me, Peter, are that I didn’t divorce my wife and dump all the responsibility of child-rearing onto her, because I decided it was too boring for me, and because I found gambling and going to strip clubs and being a deadbeat and throwing wasteful parties and being excessive to be much more interesting.” No response. Kaito and Kris sit in silence, eyes wide as Pete opened his mouth to retort. ClickClickClickClickClickClickClickClick “And another thing. Selleck might be too optimistic, naive, and bloody stupid to not realize you’re desperate for the chance to become one of his elite, but I’m not.” Tom pointed ｢Money Trees｣ up at Pete in accusation. “How’s his shoe leather taste, you bootlicker?!” Silence clouded the air, the tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. “Freeze!” With a mighty shout, Kaito burst from the car. “You again, huh?” Kris stepped out next, and Kaito stepped forward, cracking his knuckles. "Sorry, mate," but we've here on official business, and the first order is kicking both your asses! Especially you!" Kaito continued, thrusting an accusatory finger at Tom, as if a dagger. Kris grinned, shrugging as he summoned his Stand. "Sorry fellas—nothing I could do to stop him! He insisted! Who am I to complain?" His expression shifted to something more serious, more determined. "I'll have a good time kicking your asses too." Tom scoffed, glancing quickly between his two adversaries. "This is ridiculous. You punks couldn't leave well enough alone wrecking my car and making me come home late, you have to inconvenience me yet again? I’m not interested in fighting you.” Kaito sneered, and Fujisawa Loser flicked a small bead of alcohol at Tom, whizzing by his jaw. “I don’t think you have a choice!” Tom sighed, expression shifting from weary, to determined. "Fine. I'll make quick work of you this time." ｢Money Trees｣ manifested behind him. "I have to get home before it rains." “Ooooh, itchin’ for a fight, are ya?” Pete smacked Tom’s back, Tom quickly jerking away as Pete laughed boisterously. “I’ll forgive all the things you said. This oughta be fun, Tommy! I don't know who these guys are, but let's get 'em good! Your 'Money' backed by my 'Gold'...We're the Gold Standard! Kris laughed, Tom and Kaito staying silent. Tom resented having to fight alongside this man, but if it's what he had to do to be rid of these nuisances, then so be it. Kris and Kaito stepped forward. Tom and Pete stepped forward. Kaito spoke between gritted teeth, ｢Fujisawa Loser｣ flowing into existence. "Open the game, asshole." Location: Parking Garage of Wilkenson Pharmaceuticals HQ A four floor parking structure; First Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor, Fourth Floor. All Players start on the Third Floor, the darker grey tiles denote parking spaces and the lighter grey tiles are the roads. The red number in the center of each map is the Floor Number. The Fourth Floor is open roofed. Each Floor is about 5 meters tall. Each Floor is 11 by 12 tiles long and each tile is 5 by 5 meters. The blue rounded rectangles are cars, the brown rectangles are 1 meter concrete dividers, the circles are where the stairways are as well as two elevators on both sides. The elevators both start on Floor 1 at the beginning of the match. The top corner tiles are car ramps and are numbered and colored based off which two floors they lead between. Light Blue for Floors 1-2, Yellow for Floor 2-3, and Green for 3-4. The Pink is just the car exit toll booths. The place is fairly standard for a parking lot, anything else you think might be around in the cars or the place that is reasonable will probably be there. Goal: RETIRE your opponents! Additional Information: Tom and Pete really aren’t close at all if you couldn’t tell. Getting them on the same wavelength is uncommon for them and to reflect this Tom and Pete will each submit their own respective strategy (written by two judges for Tom’s and one judge for Pete’s) with no coordination and a max of 15000 characters each. While they are working together, they won’t directly know what the other will be doing or planning and voters will be voting on these two versus the player team when the time comes. Boss Info: Tom Alcove’s information has remained unchanged since his last appearance, the mechanically relevant information having been condensed into the pastebin below. However, you might recognize the football game which he and his son are attending in one of his photos. However, he has a partner:
Name: Peter Jonathan “Pete” Bennett Gender: Male Age: 61 Occupation: CEO of Wilkinson Pharmaceuticals Bio: Pete grew up the scion of wealthy industrialists, and has a long, long history in the halls of big business. Ever the opportunist, he’s jumped between businesses and industries as benefited him, growing the wealth he inherited several times over. His latest project has been with Lyte. An integral part of it from the ground floor, he’s acted in support of R&D, especially spreading XPLICIT in the form of a new cough syrup line, using his contacts in the FDA to get it fast tracked with some… generous gifts. He sees the conspiracy more or less as a hobby in his old age, to try and extend his legacy, and to consolidate his power under the new world. Personality: Pete is known for a few things. What he’d prefer people to name is his genial personality, or his large and very public donations to charity. He can be very charming, and his loud personality belies a fair bit of legitimate intelligence. What he is more known for, however, is his less, shall we say, savory dealings. His entire career in business, he has been plagued with accusations of backroom dealings, betrayals of trust, selling out companies he’s run for a quick buck… all of which are true. He is a true opportunist, ruthlessly taking advantage of whatever he can to get ahead and keep ahead. He likes Nate quite a bit, seeing him as a proper businessman and an industry visionary, though admittedly he’s been a bit frustrated at not quite breaking into the man’s inner circle. He’s focused on his legacy, now, above all else, using some of his fortune on the aforementioned donations, as well as getting a real, solid power base for his family. To etch the Bennett family name along those of Rockefeller and Vanderbilt. To make a dynasty. Appearance:Pete is a heavy-set man with a tall and intimidating stature. He can typically be seen in a well pressed black suit with gold accents, with well-polished black shoes to match. He's got a completely bald hair, what little hair he has being in his eyebrows, which are gray. His face is slightly wrinkled, and he typically carries either a boisterous grin, or a stern demeanor. Equipment: Cigars (Cuban, of course), Lighter, Wallet, Keys, Phone USER STATS: Strength: 3 - Pete is fairly well built still despite his age. Agility: 1 - About what you would expect, his shoes aren’t made for comfortable running either. Endurance: 4 - Exceptional for a person of his build. Throwing: 3 - Has a good throwing arm from all the practice with his dogs at home. Business Opportunist: 3 - Pete has a way of going with the flow of business and hopping on any bandwagon or advantageous situation he can find. This allows him to assess and/or jump on new opportunities that appear faster than most would. STAND NAME:｢Pure Gold｣ Stand Type: Punchghost Stand Appearance: A bulky, muscular humanoid wearing a golden hazmat suit with long black gloves and boots. The biohazard symbol adorns its chest and shoulders and rings adorn its fingers. If you look carefully, you can see a skull behind its visor. The stand also comes with a large frontal riot shield and mace-like weapons that it can summon and unsummon at will. Stand Ability: ｢Bang For Buck｣ —The mace weapons that PG carries also double as explosive stick grenades that it can detonate at will. The explosions have the special property of disintegrating metal with 0 effort, rendering any source of metal cover worthless as the explosions will be completely undeterred. Explosions have perfect 2.5 meter blast radii when unobstructed. There can only be up to three mace weapons out at once, but once they detonate a new one can be summoned immediately in the stand’s hand. When PG uses the mace for a melee attack, the head of the mace will create a small but powerful explosion that is .25 meters in diameter on contact. Other people can grab the mace, but it is only really a heavy piece of plastic whenever somebody else tries to use it. Any metal that is destroyed by these explosions becomes extra material for a translucent barrier that PG can project. These barriers can be activated and deactivated at will, but only may be summoned around or on the stand, its tools, or its user, but only one barrier can be active at any given moment. The explosives have no effect on the barriers, the user, and the stand. Barriers will act like a durable glass/plastic hybrid in terms of breaking, meaning that punching through it may only partially break it. These breaks can be repaired if the stand has more material stored in it. The amount of material required for barriers is one to one with how much metal it has destroyed in terms of volume. However barriers are always 1 inch thick in diameter and if more material is applied it will only increase the size of the barrier rather than reinforcing the thickness. A barrier can be summoned and grown or retracted outward or inward respectively at the stand’s speed value, and the outward growing barrier can push objects at B power. The frontal shield is a 1.5 meter tall shield that can cover PG’s full body when they are crouching. The shield may be placed down on the ground and prop itself up seperate from the stand. When it is placed down like this the shield is immobile until PG picks it back up. When the shield is destroyed, if PG has enough metal saved up they can form a new one. STAND STATS Power: B - The stand’s damage output is mostly in its explosives, but the stand is also physically at B power. Speed: B - The stand has good speed for projecting its barriers and summoning its weapons as well as its normal movement speed. Range: C - The stand can move up to 20 meters away from the user and detonate its grenades that are up to 20 meters away from the stand. The shield can be placed anywhere but may not be despawned unless it breaks or the stand is holding it. Durability: S4 - The stand’s main body and maces are closer to C durability however its frontal shield and barriers are closer to A durability. It can be broken with effort, but that effort is quite a bit. Precision: D - The stand doesn’t have any notable advantage to its precision and barriers can only be projected around or directly on the user, the stand or the stand’s tools. Barriers cannot be directly projected other objects or people. However he can shift the barrier so that the object it is around isn’t in the direct center of it. Fighting Style: Pete doesn’t mind sitting back and throwing projectiles at people, but will not hesitate to get into his stand into a brawl if he thinks he has an upper hand or the chance arises.
“Just to make sure you never show your face around me again, I'm gonna beat the shit out of you!” Breaking stuff should send Lyte and em with a message. Destroy as much in your path to the best of your abilities!
“If you wanna play Old Maid...find somebody else.” These three seem perfectly content to fight head on, you have no need to jump into the fray. Stay as far away from this riffraff as possible while you deal with them.
2019.11.25 00:48 CodenameIncarnationDISCUSSION: My Ideas for the Justice League Sequel Movie
My Ideas for the Justice League Movie Sequel
Below are my ideas on what would make a good storyline / plot for the Justice League Sequel set in the DCEU / DC Cinematic Universe. I would love to see your comments, thoughts on this, and I would love to seeyour ideas for a Justice League Sequel.
In the story, it has been 5 years since the Justice League formed to defend earth from the attack by Steppenwolf. In that time, Batman has retired from active missions. Instead he now provides the funding, weaponry and serves in an advisory role for the team, while focusing more of his attention on Gotham City.
Superman, knowing earth is safe in the protection of the League, has been on a mission in space for two years, intervening to protect the civilians of this foreign planet from the ravages of a civil war that threatens to cause lasting damage, not only on this one planet, but also to other planets in the galaxy, for there are intergalactic terrorists here, who are attempting to steal advanced bombs that make earth’s nuclear warheads look like firecrackers by comparison. On this planet, Superman befriends the sole survivor of an ancient race of green Martians. His name is J'onn J'onzz. His new ally helps him in his fight against the terrorists.
Cyborg has left the team to pursue his own goals of spending more time with his father and learning to adjust to his robotic body. Stepping in to fill those spots on the League are new recruits Shazam, Mera, and Katana. Wonder Woman is the team leader. Aquaman and the Flash are still proud members of the Justice League.
The League has partnered with S.T.A.R. Labs for assistance and Ryan Choi (who should be played byJohn Cho), a scientist who works for them, is one of the Justice League’s most helpful and trusted advisors.
Senator Godfrey (who should be played by Tom Selleck) has just been re-elected once again as a United States Senator representing Metropolis. He has now been in the House or Senate for over 40 years, since the 1978 elections. Before this, Godfrey was the son of a wealthy oil baron in Texas, who, inspired by the Space Race, became an astrophysicist. He first gained notoriety when he was in his twenties and early thirties using the money from his family inheritance to start a radio and later a TV show, warning of the dangers of extreme climate change.
In 1970, when he was 25, Godfrey went through the traumatic experience of losing his partner to suicide— a suicide caused by a mutation giving him metahuman abilities and powers he was not prepared for. He began going insane because of his sudden emergence of telepathy, the voices in his driving him to end his own life just to make them stop. Godfrey spent the next 5 years researching, studying, interviewing, finally discovering that the metahuman mutations are being caused by climate change.
The sudden emergence of metahuman energies caused a “blip” on the radar screen of an alien race known as “The Dominion.” The Dominators have meta-tracker / meta-killing technology because a group of metas on their original home planet went wild and slaughtered many of their people. Now they travel around the galaxy on a perceived “savior”/ “liberation” mission, of invading and colonizing different planets in the name of “liberating” them from the threat of metahuman mutations. Earth resident Senator Godfrey caught the Dominion’s attention because of a speech he gave about the growing threat of metahuman mutations, and the need to develop a “cure.”
A Dominion representative reached out and made an agreement with Godfrey: They would provide the technology for the “cure” to metahuman mutations, if he assisted them in their future planned invasion of earth, providing them with intel and secrets about earth’s best technology, and the weaknesses of its strongest defenses. They assured him the invasion would not happen for another 70 years, after this generation was gone. So he agreed to the deal. Godfrey planned on double-crossing the aliens, and he began using the Dominator tech to start Project: CADMUS, a secret government program creating controlled metahumans that would work for the US government and defend earth from the invasion.
The first CADMUS metahuman was Captain Atom, followed by Metamorpho a few years later. After Metamorpho’s mutation didn’t go very smoothly, the project was put on hold while they worked out some bugs. The project was started up again a few years ago, with Professor Martin Stein (who should be played by Bill Nighy) in charge of experimenting on Ronnie Raymond. A lab accident ended up fusing both of them together into one body as Firestorm.
Godfrey has been attempting to pass legislation to force all Metas to be administered the new “cure" drug, which will remove their superhuman abilities, allowing them to live a normal life. Unknown to Godfrey, however, the drug provided to him by the Dominion is actually a deadly virus that will kill metahumans in a matter of weeks or months, putting an end to their perceived threat to the alien race.
Once Godfrey had Dominion technology at his disposal, he was able to use it to gain knowledge about Darkseid and the fact that the Dominators, in recent years, had made a devastating attack on Apokolips, being the first alien race ever to break through the many layers of defenses Darkseid had established on his planet. Eventually Darkseid prevailed, but Apokolips suffered heavy losses, in both soldiers and infrastructure. Godfrey uses Dominion tech to contact Darkseid’s assistant, DeSaad, making a pact with him to double-cross the Dominators, by sharing the Dominion technology and their plans with DeSaad.
Wonder Woman leads League to track down the highly volatile Firestorm before he causes any destruction. When they find him, they are confronted by Captain Atom and Metamorpho, sent by Project: CADMUS to bring their escaped patient, Firestorm, back to their lab before anyone else does. A battle ensues, with the League finally convincing Captain Atom and Metamorpho that they are on the same side. The League, with the help of Ryan Choi, are able to stabilize Firestorm, learn from both people in his mind that Godfrey is the one behind all of this.
The League hunts down Godfrey, and in absolute desperation and with his mind unstable from the thought that he has unintentionally killing metahumans instead of curing them, he has a secret weapon, a bomb rigged to go off, with a mutated form of the virus inside—one that will not only kill metahumans, but also regular people. He threatens to detonate it unless the League stays back and allows him to escape. (The Dominion were planning to use this as a “last resort” in their Invasion — it carries some risk of disease and harm to the Dominator race as well). Suddenly he presses a button on some kind of remote-control device in his hand, and Godfrey makes a hasty strategic retreat through a newly-opened BoomTube portal “until the appointed time.”
The League learns from Godfrey's computer files that this was merely phase one of a plan of an alien race known as the Dominion. Now they must prepare for phase two: The Invasion.
The End-Credits Scenes:
The first end-credits scene will have Abin Sur (who should be played byMatt Damon) crash land on earth, fleeing the Manhunters. He gives the power ring to Hal Jordan, setting up the Green Lantern Corps movie with the Manhunters storyline adapted from the Justice League Animated Series.
The very last end-credits scene is J'onn and Superman successfully defeating the intergalactic terrorists, and then J'onn telling Superman he’s been doing undercover spying work and has discovered that the Dominators and their mothership, which wiped out his home planet Mars, are heading toward earth. The last words he tells Superman: The ship is known by the name “Brainiac.”
This would set up the DCEU for Justice League 3 and 4, which would be a two-part story, like Avengers Infinity War and Endgame. JL3 would be “The Invasion,” and JL4 would be “The Darkseid War.” In JL3: Invasion, the Suicide Squad will team up with the League to fend off the Invasion of the Dominators and their Brainiac Mothership. JL4: Darkseid War will bring Darkseid to earth in search of Brainiac, the power he needs to at long last conquer the entire universe, and Darkseid also seeks vengeance on the Dominion for their prior attack on Apokolips. The Dominion had attacked Apokolips while Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons were on the away mission attacking earth.
A familiar black background embellished with the Urban Uprising star fills the screen. Andromeda strikes a pose, grinning wildly as her third eye winks to the viewers. “This round has been the biggest and best yet, but like all good things, it’s come to a close. I’d like to give some special thanks and a shoutout to all of the admins who pulled together to make this happen! I couldn’t have done it without all of you, mu-wah~!” Twirling in place, Andromeda blows a kiss to the camera. “And of course, congratulations to all the contestants who’ve made it this far, coming out with yet another Tag for themselves! As the difficulty keeps ramping up, you’ve risen to the challenge, then beat it tenfold! As you know by now, the Urban Uprising forums will be the one-stop-shop for discussing all updates with your fellow players as we prepare to unleash round five in just a few—” The results are in for Match 8... Flint slid down the side of the broken ice wall, coughing. Everything around him was burning. His eyes stung. And he still fought. He barely dodged a splatter of the goop, and the resulting spike of ice. The beast in front of him, screaming at him, so loud it warped his eyesight. Incoherent, and frenzied. He punched a few shards of ice at ｢Alarm Call｣, and a few planes, yet the beast, their skin shattered and sparking by the onslaught of damage that he and Donovan had done, never stopped or slowed. His foot slipped. A chunk of ice that fell apart, throwing him onto the ground. ｢Climbatize｣ tried to support him, but that was the little opening that ｢Alarm Call｣ needed. The Bugs sprayed him down, freezing him in a cocoon of ice, the edges digging into his skin. ｢Climbatize｣ tore away at it, but not quickly enough. ｢Alarm Call｣ raised their chainsaw, and brought the blade down onto where he was. Darting from the other side of the ice, Donovan leaped out, ｢110 Million Memories｣ throwing its arm out. The saw landed on it, cutting deep in. Donovan screamed, as the wire flicked, slamming his Stand in the head. He grit his teeth, with the last of his strength striking the chainsaw with his Stand’s hand, driving his knife into the mechanism. It slowed… and stopped. ｢Alarm Call｣ stared down at them. Flint was sprayed down further, ｢Climbatize｣ now frozen with him, and Donovan was bleeding out on the ground, a massive gash in his arm. The bone was showing through. They revved their chainsaw a bit, the knife budging, and shattering from its force. They examined over the two, the saw inches from Donovan’s head. Flint looked away, under the glowing, red eyes of the Stand. He didn’t want to watch this. He listened to the buzzing, waiting for the wet sound of tearing flesh. He never heard it. Instead, a less visceral buzz as [Alarm Call] diverted it to the ice. They looked to Flint. “Hostiles: Neutralized.” They stated, cutting further in. Flint knew he had lost. But that wasn’t important to him. He was ‘alive’... and…. He looked down at Donovan. The son of a bitch was breathing. He was torn open, bleeding from several wounds. But the one on his arm looked like a clean enough cut. Flint grit his teeth. Donovan, for all that Flint didn't want to do with him, wouldn't die here. The winner is ｢Alarm Call｣ Poplar Street, with a score of 73 to Flint Howlett and Fighter Jet’s 62!
Poplar Street, age 36, died. After just a moment of having been cut, the feed jumps back to Andromeda, whose eyes are wide, and whose face is flushed, despite a rather forced smile adorning her face. “Just a quick update! The tournament has reached its conclusion, and everyone who advanced from Round 4 will be contacted within a few days for their rewards!” She seems to stumble over her words, and as she concludes her addendum, she goes to bow at the waist abruptly, almost apologetically until she adds a grand flourish with her hands. “My name is Andromeda, and I’m so glad I could host this tournament!” She snaps back to a standing position, smile still strained as she waves at the camera. “Bye-bye!” The feed goes black. Keith Moon sat awkwardly among the rest of Uncivil Umbra. This isn’t to say there was any situation he would be comfortable in anymore, but this was certainly an odd one. The thrown-together base housed two children, two wild animals, an internationally wanted prison escapee, and himself, all of them Stand users to boot. Worse yet, the escaped convict was his best friend, Lauryn Caprese. And somehow they were supposed to solve the mysteries of Urban Uprising and take it down. Ever since the match last round in a Faeman, Ltd. train tunnel, the kids, Alexander Abhez and Djimon Iskinder Ejigu, had begun putting things together faster than even he or Lauryn could, and they’d both worked as admins in the game itself. It was Djimon and Alex who’d first realized the connection between the ARG and Lyte, it was the two of them to discover the Bugs, and it was also the two of them who figured out that Lyte was responsible for the production of XPLICIT, the same thing that had made Hunger go berserk in Mexico. Or rather, Djimon had received contact through the grapevine from his old teammate Yuigahama Kaito that had included the information, but the kid still wasn’t ready to acknowledge his old friends, given everything that had happened. Especially not since the revelations about Fighter Jet from just hours ago. The silence was deafening now, and finally Alex spoke up. “So what do we do? All of this intel but no real plan.” “We have to take them down ourselves,” Djimon said simply. “We don’t have a plan but we should make one.” “What can we even do against them?” “They’re probably going to see us coming even if we try to be sneaky,” Lauryn added. “It’s time for direct action.” The “motherfucker” for emphasis was dropped for the sake of the children in the room, but the sentiment was clear. “Direct action against the governor?” Alex asked. “There’s no way we can do that alone, just the six of us.” “Well,” Keith said, “we’re not alone. I’ve been in contact with this guy called Bicycle Race. He was there in that first match in Taiwan, and also the train tunnels and Nan Madol. Andromeda’s been bringing him in for help, and he’s as suspicious of everything as we are. He’s got friends in high places that can help us out.” “Direct action via The Man….” Lauryn sighed, chuckling to herself. “Fine… if that’s who we get, that’s who we get. That’s great!” she paused, contemplating. “And I know a lot of the people still in the game are powerful Stand users in their own right, and most of them seem pretty suspicious of everything too. Getting any of them on our side would be massive.” Djimon nodded decisively. “Alright. Sounds like something. Looks like Uncivil Umbra’s growing again.” “Ugggh….” A heavily injured man laid face-down, bleeding from his nose and various cuts on his face and on the brink of unconsciousness, looking not unlike the victim of a car crash. He attempted to stir, but did not get very far. Weighing him down was the imposing figure of a Brazillian gang leader, sitting on his back. Pão de Queijo sat nonchalantly, idily flicking through a recently purloined cell phone. “1 2 3 4, huh? Not a very creative password…” She scrolled to the personal details on his device. “... Everyman. Yu Everyman? Who the hell names their kids ‘Yu’? I’m feeling kinda bad now.” “Guh.. Kugh!” Yu coughed loudly, weezing as he tried once again to lift his opponent from off his back, falling down with a thump as he failed. “You’re really not gonna want to move too much until your ribs heal, chump.” Pão glanced down at him, an annoyed glare in her eyes. “... But, well, you really helped us out, you know? We thought all the winners were gonna be pain-in-the-asses to take down, from one of those big teams. You know, like, uh… La Horde? Was that what they were called…?” She thinks for a moment, then continues scrolling through her new phone. “Something like that. But then, we get sight of you, Yu. Stupid fuckin’ name… Managed to make it all the way to the end, Winner? Good job.” She opens the Urban Underground tournament app, a rare smile hitting her face as it displayed the win-loss information for Yu Everyman. “You don’t really look like much of a winner though, huh?” Her face returned to neutral as she closed the tournament tracking app and opened up the phone app. “Well,” She said, slapping his shoulder like a teammate, eliciting a pained grunt. She stepped off of him and began to walk away, “Maybe that’s some kind of talent too, huh?” She dialed in three numbers to the phone. “Must hurt pretty bad, falling right at the finish line. You got the wrong idea about that though… This really is just the beginning. And hey… The painkillers will get rid of that hurt pretty quick… The hurt to your body at least.” There was a brief pause. “Hello? 9-1-1? I got a guy who’s hurt pretty bad here… Looks like he’s got some cracked ribs, too. Might have gotten hit by a motorcycle or something…” Andromeda stood in a dark studio, a small Bug resting on the camera on a tripod opposite her. Her breathing was slow, so slow that she barely looked like she was moving. Finally, she snapped to. She checked the video of herself. A three-eyed woman had been staring back at her. The red light indicating the stream was LIVE was off, leaving an alien that looked as disoriented as she felt. H....how long had it been since the feed ended? It was dark now...the recording had started at 5, so the sun probably set during the broadcast. Had it been minutes? Hours? As she regained her focus, a wave of sensations staved off flooded back to her. Her feet hurt. Her mouth was dry. She was...hungry. She probably missed dinner, and now that she thought about it, she hadn’t eaten anything all day. She took off her wig and walked up the stairs. Dark hair, not tied in their usual buns fell to her shoulders. At the top of the stairs, she slipped out of her heels and surveyed her room. Her bed sheets were unmade, her guitar was still out of its case, and clothes worn once were strewn about the floor—most of them piled onto the chair in front of her computer desk. She cocked her head slightly. She...she should check the matches. She started doing that after every round, no reason to stop now. But first, she felt keenly aware of the makeup caking her face, her skin. She walked to the bathroom, snagging a towel and assorted clothes off the floor. The light flicked on. She looked at herself, hair flopped messily around her face, her eyes—one pink, the other blue—looked garish against her green skin. A far cry from how she looked on screen, but so went the power of CGI. She gingerly pulled off her gloves and placed them on a rack. The sink turned on. Andromeda washed her face of the make up, and looked into the mirror. Riko Pipopapo stared back. This routine had become more and more frequent as Riko put more and more of herself into running Urban Uprising, MCing the matches herself. She sighed and looked to the sink. This....this was the last time she’d do this, wasn’t it. They’d...they’d managed to get this thing to finally fucking work after months of time and effort—she had been given a budget and told to check back every once in a while, and they still pulled it together—and none of that even fucking mattered beacuse it was never supposed to matter and she had to pull the plug with an abrupt— The faucet had been running; she had been staring down for who knew how long now. Even though the skin under her gloves and boots was clean, the rest of her was still coated. She should shower. The sun had set. The moon had risen. Emergency crews had come and gone. And ｢Alarm Call｣ stood. They had moved outside of the property line. They replayed the events of the day for the ten-thousandth time. Poplar Street was dead, by their hand. They didn't need to check the nonexistent connection to him to know that was true. It had been fast. Hopefully, painless. They had made sure of that. They replayed the last orders they received. The 'Last Will' of their user. Not allowed to interfere. Meaning, not allowed to harm anyone in UU. Not allowed to harm anyone in Lyte. Not allowed to destroy Lyte's property. Not allowed to delay any plans Lyte had. All data on their Stands, hidden. Their user was dead, they had killed him. Flint Howlett and Donovan Ito-Rogers had tried to do so. But they did not process themself, or the two invaders. Poplar had made his choice. And the one who had put him in that position was the bastard who caused all of this. Nate Selleck. Nate Selleck couldn't be destroyed on their jaws, but he could be destroyed. Poplar was wrong. No matter what, he had to have been wrong. Nate Selleck would die. ｢Alarm Call｣ processed their options. There were people they could find to help. They knew what to do to to talk with them. People that would gladly kill off Nate. That would happily do away with the threat of Lyte. And people who they disliked immensely. But it didn't matter. They had learned one thing from the useless, useless fight earlier. Flint and Donovan, fighting together to overcome their enemy, even as they would have nothing to do with the other in any other situation. They couldn't afford to be choosy. They couldn't afford to be sidelined. They couldn't afford not to do everything possible. While they contained the last will of Poplar Street, their own will had not been extinguished. Pão de Queijo. Niyaz Jamilev. These were the two they projected working with. Pão's power, and the destructive potential of La Horde. Both extremely helpful to them. The rest of the possible actors were an unknown. And… one more. Pão, the Horde, anyone else they could get would be good. But ｢Alarm Call｣ needed an 'Ace'. Something that could utterly demolish Selleck in their stead. That could their place. They stood still, but their schemes whirred to life once again. Four people sat in a small room, in a dingy motel. Niyaz shut the drapes, turning and opening his arms. As if he were on a stage, addressing a crowd. A warm smile on his face. “Friends… our next campaign is clear.” “Yeah, yeah.” Mylo said, a sneer on his face. “We’re kicking the shit out of the Lyte bitches.” Oscar clenched his teeth, scribbling furiously on a sketchpad in the corner. Grapevine took a sip from her teacup, looking happy. “...Yes.” Niyaz stated, in a tone that he’d been cut off from a speech. “Considering we have enough information to tell that Lyte--” He sneered. “Before I, Niyaz, continue, I would like to table a resolution that Lyte is a simply awful name, and that we shall refer to it by the name of the organizations leader. In favour?” He was met with a chorus of agreement, and nodded, satisfied. “Since we know for certain that Selleck is behind XPLICIT, our campaign will be against them. Our first order of business is to-” “Take some.” Grapevine offered. “Beat the shit outta people.” Mylo said. “Use napalm.” Grapevine again. “Divine what precisely they’re using it for. Stopping whatever foolhardy plot Selleck has concocted… and then.” He clenched his fist. “We will pillage them for whatever they’re worth. I’ve chosen a few key targets and research facilities to hit, to draw away attention to our main goals. They’re located in Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, and- what on earth are all of you doing.” The Stands of the three others were summoned. Grapevine stood up, her Stand in rare humanoid form, Mylo holding his cans, and Oscar pulling a spear out of a photo. “There’s a bug on your hat, liege.” Oscar said expression thunderous. Niyaz reached up, tossing his hat on the table between them. Sure enough a bug, or a Bug, laid on it. Metallic, with glowing red eyes, the shimmering of its cloaking deactivated. He connected the dots immediately. This thing was a camera. A microphone. Something that had rested on his head for months. How long was it, even when he plotted in confidence? He had discarded anything else that could be bugged, but this… one, tiny blindspot. His expression was red, a vein on his temple throbbing. His plans, his campaigns, all of his expert stratagems, being watched for… how long. “Halt.” He forced out. He breathed in, and out, and sat down. “This onlooker alerted us to its presence. This is no longer a ‘debriefing’... this is a ‘meeting’.” He looked to the other three. “Keep alert. If it does anything I do not allow it to, destroy it.” His cell phone rang. He picked it up, putting it on speaker, and accepting the call. “Electric Grapevine, Mylo Xyloto, Niyaz Jamilev, Oscar K. Computer. Who is this. What is your business.” As the response continued, his frown softened into a thin grin. There was conquest to be had. Two former political rivals, now allies of circumstance, met in the CEO’s office of the Santa Clara headquarters of Faeman, Ltd.. Emmanuel Faeman, with his train track argyle sweater vest and unyielding optimistic smile, was a stark contrast to the maroon swords-and-scales and no-nonsense frown of David Sides. Sides’s grim exterior and Faeman’s uncanny pleasantry were equally off putting, creating two different auras of menace. Auras of menace that belonged to two people who wanted nothing more than to do the right thing, and frequently managed to do so. Faeman was giving Sides an animated explanation of a deeply complex topic, something he’d been doing ever since getting a double undergrad degree in engineering and political science from Purdue University. Though this time public transportation wasn’t the main focus of the talk. More of a… recurring simile. It was his area of expertise, after all. Faeman was interrupted from his rather unhelpful, if relevant and important, ramblings by the entrance of the man who had recently become, bar none, his most valuable employee. “Sorry I’m late,” said the man, who was wearing his usual outfit: an old-timey black-and-white striped conductor’s uniform straight out of the nineteenth century. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Sides. I’m Bicycle Race.” “Yes,” said Sides, appraising the man. “Mr. Faeman has been telling me about you. And your… abilities.” “Bicycle Race, would you believe that Mr. Sides doesn’t have a Stand?” Faeman added, standing up in his excitement at the apparent novelty of it. “I’ve been trying to explain what they are to him, but I’ve only had mine for a little less than a year… only noticed it during that stretch of all the rain when I accidentally downloaded that Urban Uprising app.” “It’s quite a lot to wrap my head around,” Sides noted. “And I’m afraid your boss has gotten off track more than once in his attempts to bring me up the speed.” Despite the less than complimentary words, Faeman beamed. “Train pun,” he chuckled, earning an unamused glance from Sides. “At least something I’ve been saying has made an impression. Mr. Sides, Bicycle Race has had his ｢Jazz｣ longer than I’ve had ｢Ultralight Beam｣, he'd do a better job explaining.” “Perhaps we save that detail for another time,” said Sides. “There is a portion of the population who can manifest their… willpower, fighting spirit, whatever, into an invisible physical manifestation with… superpowers. It’s as good an explanation as anything else for these strange happenings. What I want to know is, what the hell are we going to do about our new governor?” “That’s why I was late, actually,” said Bicycle Race, stepping forward. “I’ve been in contact with one of the former administrators of the game, and there is a group of people preparing to take direct action. They’ve taken to calling themselves ‘Uncivil Umbra’ and I think we can help each other.” Sides narrowed his eyes, but leaned forward, listening. “Tell me more.” Dressed in a tank-top and shorts, Riko leaned back in her chair, her clothes tossed onto the bed and a headset tucked underneath her hair buns. Night had fully fallen over San Francisco, and while the window offered her a beautiful view of the city skyline, her attention was directed elsewhere. Her eyes darted from monitor to monitor to monitor. Most matches took only minutes, which meant her retrospectives took a few hours at most and had only gotten shorter as the number of matches dwindled and the rounds progressed. She popped a few jelly beans into her mouth, taken from a plastic jar within arms’ reach. At this point, she didn’t even have to set the footage to double speed, nor did she particularly want to. Earlier she had watched half-mindedly—especially the more difficult segments—since she just needed to send a cursory report off to Nate, but over time, her notes and thoughts had filled notepad after notepad. So now, she focused on the screens before her, hands folded in her lap.
Saul, Union City, and Sweet took to Sealand like fish to water. With the match’s simple setup, they probably spent the rest of their time playing Shoal Calibur. She chuckled slightly at the thought. It had taken careful allocation, but the Admins’—particularly the medics’—increased immediate presence was a change for the better. That Stand’s sudden appearance at the Hamelin Pool was a surprise, and she almost shut the match down, but the players’ insistence kept her from doing so; Lauryn and Helena were as reliable as ever. Hell, they all were! Even Bicycle Race was willing to help out, despite Nate’s ‘request’. He’d been there since the very first match, and he expertly managed a match spanning all of Nan Madol, even if she did have to peep and prevent a fight from breaking out. A splash of ink caught her attention. Splat Tim and Yellow Submarine did a great job with their ‘Roman Colosseum’. They worked surprisingly well together—were they dating? She remembered someone talking about it in the Admin server, but... ....she should gossip later; she was getting distracted. Her eyes flit to another screen, this time of Rapa Nui, the film unable to capture the form of ｢Gayn Glory｣. Even if Sister Sledge tended to admonish her harmless flirting—she was a nun after all—Riko was glad to have recruited her, and Chop made the right call to substitute her in. He even managed to prevent disaster by finding Cal, whose match was probably her favorite of the entire round. Despite his brooding—she wasn’t that bad at his age, was she?—he had really come into his own over the course of the tournament, and his match proved it. Penguin sledding with actual penguins! She even had doodles of her costume in her notep—
Riko looked to the notepad in question, right next to her keyboard and filled with ideas and improvements for Round 5. A round that wouldn’t come. She frowned. “Call, close all windows.” The screen remained black. She blinked. "...Call?" She brought the microphone up to her mouth. "...C-Come on, this isn’t funny." It remained stubbornly black. Nothing was happening. The Bug's eyes were dead. Riko's breath began to quicken. She had first met ｢Alarm Call｣ at the very beginning of this, when they were still sorting through all the players the boss had drawn in. They had done so much work, had been there constantly for Riko. They made the CG look good, made the matches work, recorded them, had searched everything she wished for. They had helped her nail that bitch Tunde for trying to blackmail her, had helped clean things up after the mess of Round 1, had done so much for her. They were her partner in all of this, had been her first and biggest help. Riko had thought that ｢Alarm Call｣ was in this with her, she didn't know why, but now that 'something' had happened, they weren't responding anymore. She stared at the Bug, the inert construct seeming to take up more of her vision. That's right...they were a Stand. And Poplar had mentioned that they—‘it’, in his words—was just a computer. That it would follow anything given to it. Riko knew, somehow, that they had broken away from her. No, not her. She touched the Bug, feeling the warmth of its mechanisms humming along. From Lyte. ｢Alarm Call｣ had left Lyte. She grimaced. So in the end, her biggest help in this clusterfuck... didn't even want to be there. She really had just assumed they would, to put in so much work. And... that was all bullshit in the end. She'd spent over a year around the Stand...but it seemed like she never really knew them to begin with. Wrenching her headset off, Riko pushed the thought aside. She closed window after window, her hand trembling all the while. She didn’t want to think about why Call left so suddenly, why the feed cut, what ‘something’ had happened. She just needed to calm down. Tom was attacked, she was accosted, Call left—dots began to connect in her head. She crossed her arms, clutching herself as her breathing got louder and louder. Her shadow billowed and swelled behind her, a form visible even in the darkness of her room. This all started after Maui went on vacation; she had been one of the first to find out, seeing footage of the fire at the convention and the panicked look on his face, blood leaking from his mouth. She had no idea what was going on, she didn’t want to deal with this any of this, she tried to ignore it but she was trapped, she couldn’t she couldn’t couldn’t cou— Suddenly, the shadow draped over her and a pair of strong arms pulled her into an embrace. The soft ruff around the Stand’s neck and chest enveloped her, the Stand’s head resting gently on top of hers. Gradually Riko’s breathing slowed, and her vice grip on her arms relaxed. She inhaled deeply, then exhaled slowly. “...Thanks, Jesse.” The two sat in the stillness for some time before Riko reached out for her cellphone. She turned it over in her hands, the purple case dotted with stickers, some peeling, others recently applied. She fiddled with one of the charms, the head of a small panda jangling on a keychain. With the time off Nate had graciously given her time off for “making necessary sacrifices for the sake of the plan,” she wondered what to do with herself. She furrowed her brow, partially from a flash of anger, partially in thought. The phone lay still in her hand for a moment as she stared down at the phone charm. A birthday present, a momento from sophomore or junior year. Before Lyte. Her time with UU would really be all be over once Nate made his ‘announcement,’ but she still had several days until then. Days she could use however she wished, and he could do fuck all about it. With her lips pressed together in grim determination, she unlocked the phone with a swipe of her hand and dialed a number, the first of many. The dial tone rang... “Hello?” Riko took a deep breath, steadying herself. “Hey, it’s me....A...Andromeda...” A starry eyed young man walked side by side with Nate Selleck, traversing the halls of a modern looking office, the HQ of Lyte Ltd. He looked excited, quickly looking around at his surroundings. He held a half empty can of Redbull, complimentary of the company cafeteria. “As I was saying, after the unfortunate… departure of our last intern, we were looking to bring someone else on to fill his shoes. We got a lot of applications, but interviewing with you Mr. Ray Ban, I could tell you had certain… abilities that make you especially suited for this position.” The young man smiled, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well I can’t imagine what… I’m only a sophomore, I’m sure there were a lot more qualified people than me who applied.” Nate smirked. As they approached the door to a corner office, there was a feeling of radiating energy around Nate… the average person couldn’t feel it, but Ray Ban could. In a flash, a glassy hexagonal panel floated through the air to Nate. A holographic looking keyboard emanated from it as Nate rapidly typed, the intern wide-eyed. A spindly, clawed tentacle emerged from thin air and grasped the panel, flinging it into the door of the office. Nate clapped his hands twice, and the door opened. “You’re a… No way!” Ray Ban said, grinning. Nate smiled in return. “Trust me… those with our type of power can feel it within one another… we’re pulled towards each other, as if there was some kind of force drawing us together. This is the unique property of a ‘stand user’. You have a gift, young man.” “I… I had no idea there were others like me, or that that was what it was called! I have so many questions, this is incredible!” the young man beamed. Nate’s smirk shifted into a look of thoughtfulness, and determination. He paused for a moment before speaking again. “We’ll have plenty of time to discuss… but, before that, I have a question for you first. Tell me, Ray, do you know why I started Lyte?” The intern rubbed his chin, pondering for a moment. “Wasn’t it because you wanted people to be able to track what diseases they’re predisposed to so they can take preemptive measures for their health?” Nate chuckled with the same condescension as one would give to a grade schooler who got a basic math problem wrong. “A fine guess, most would say that, but it simply isn’t the case. To deal in the possible prevention of inevitable sickness isn’t what I started this company for… doesn’t that seem kind of depressing, delaying the inevitable?” The intern nodded, not quite getting it, but respecting his point nonetheless. “I guess that makes sense… but if not for that, then why?” Nate smiled lightly, motioning Ray Ban into the office he’d opened. They took their seats, and Nate clapped twice, the door shutting. “Our abilities, Ray… we have the potential not just to delay the inevitable, but to make the inevitable… well, avoidable!” Nate spun around in his chair, looking out the window of the headquarters that overlooked the skyline. “I started this business because… I wanted to change the world. I’ve tried in the past, unfortunately fruitless efforts, but with the advent of my ‘gift’, I’m finally on the cusp of a revolution that will change the world as we know it… it’s just a matter of time now, Ray, and I’m glad you’ll be on board to witness it.” Ray was in awe at the terms in which Nate were speaking. He’d admired him from what he’d read about him in the news, but in person there was a unique sense of grandeur and charisma that he couldn’t help but stay affixed… even if he didn’t entirely understand what he was talking about. “I am of the mind that ‘Progress’ is an inherent good for humanity and society. The advancement of technology, medicine, scientific understanding… they’ve all brought great good to our world! You’ve seen the conveniences and benefits that smartphones, computers, antibiotics, all these wonderful advancements have granted us.” Ray was nodding along, listening intently. “Yeah! That’s part of why I wanted to work in tech, especially with a company like this! There’s so much potential to make people’s lives better.” Nate nodded in turn, smiling. “That’s the spirit, Ray! And yet… don’t you feel like we’ve been ignoring a crucial area of advancement?” Ray cocked his head. “We’ve been producing and advancing all these extensions of ourselves, all these ways to make our lives better… but we haven’t been doing nearly enough to look inward. To improve ourselves as a species. We’ve stagnated, we’ve forgone continued advancement of ourselves in order to advance the world around us.” “I’m not sure I follow” Ray said, scratching his head. “I’m talking about… ‘Evolution’, Ray. Evolution, Survival of the Fittest, Natural Selection… we’ve ceased to evolve as a species! With our focused scientific efforts, we could refine a process that takes millions and millions of years to occur into a significantly shorter span of time! Petty in-fighting and disagreements between our species have stopped this from happening, but imagine if we could bring it about ourselves! Lyte Ltd’s mission, our ‘true goal’... is to bring about the advent of the next step of human evolution.” Ray Ban was somewhat bewildered… this was a lot to take in, but Nate spoke so confidently about it. “The next step of evolution? That sounds so cool… but, how?” Nate patted Ray's shoulder. "Ray, what we have is not simply a power. It is a gift, and gifts are meant to be shared! It's no good if only a select few people benefit from it, for the betterment of humanity we should spread it! Let everyone bask in the glory!" Ray went wide-eyed, staring at Nate. "Wait, so you're saying you're going to… make people into stand users?" Nate nodded, smiling excitedly. "Precisely! I plan on turning everyone into stand users, everyone in the world! Be they rich or poor, young or old, and race, religion, or creed. We have been lucky enough to be among the first humans to have this ability, think about the implications of my ability… I can tell you about them if you like!" "The environment, starvation, inequality, all sorts of social ills… we are poised to be the big disruptors! And more and more people are joining the cause of Lyte!" He beamed. "And Ray Ban… you've been chosen to be the vanguard of this! The group that's working to bring this better world to reality. Guiding Lytes, if you will!" Nate spread his hands, lights flickering on behind him, illuminating him. Ray Ban was awestruck, at the weight of Nate's convictions, at the earnestness in his manner. Nate's smile was reassuring; gentle. "So come with me, Ray." Ray nodded speechlessly, wiping a tear away from his face. Nate's smile brightened further, impossibly so. "Good… good. We're going to do great things together." TO BE CONTINUED
Location - Youngstown, Ohio: The base of the YMCA was empty. MIA was still out on some secret mission, with Baba out as well. Milo and Vanita had gone on an impromptu trip around Europe after their match. Jinsoo and the Man in the Yellow Suit were out, Robbert and Garland were doing… whatever they were. Even Vic was hiding in one of the sub-sub-sub basements of the bank. There was only one person truly inside, in his room. Flint’s room was at once bare and messy. The bed was unmade, a duffel bag of clothes thrown haphazardly on the edge of it. Paper filled the room. Prototype plane designs, unfolded office paper, even a few items Flint had… borrowed, to test the limits of his ability. A black, cat-like shape played with some of the discarded paper. Flint himself sat on his desk, flipping through the various files on his laptop. He’d won a UU match recently, been snuck a flash drive somehow, and had looked into the contents. Blackmail. All of it was accrued blackmail, of squatting, shoplifting, details on his forged and long-expired visas. He switched over to another page, seeing details on his family. He threw back his head and laughed, tears running down his face. As the cat-shaped being behind him echoed the laughter, its voice a contorted version of Flint’s own, Flint wiped a tear from his eye and continued reading. The Golden Investigation Team had all but given up on discussing Urban Uprising amongst each other, but this was a mystery Flint was happy to sink his teeth into. After everything, who’d bother to blackmail him? Even with all of this, Flint found himself totally relaxed. This feeling wouldn’t last long. He heard a knock at the front door of the bank, the sound echoing throughout the empty building. Somewhere, Vic hissed. Flint flicked to another tab on his laptop: a video feed linked to the front security cameras of the bank, something set up by Baba and Vic in the early days of the team’s formation, before Vic had gone full cryptid. Standing in front of the bank, posing dramatically, was a masked man. Flint recognized him well, from four rounds of Urban Uprising video feeds now, the supposed hero known for fighting over a doll, playing sports against livestock, terrorizing a lizard, and knocking over a tree in order to save the cat trapped in its branches: Fighter Jet. He tapped the intercom button. “Who is it.” He said in a lackadaisical manner, knowing full well who this was. “Greetings, citizen! I have come to you in the name of great justice! There is a wrongdoer afoot- a criminal! And I have come to you to stop them!” Flint’s eyes narrowed, and he crossed his arms. He knew Fighter Jet… and he didn’t like his record. A vigilante obsessed with ‘justice’, combatting ‘wrongdoers’... and using questionably ethical means to do so. He had his suspicions about the nature of the files he just received. “Fighter Jet, huh. How... convenient that you show up at my door right as I open up that thumb drive. I knew you had no problems beating the tar out of people, but blackmail, really?” Conjecture that he couldn’t really back up, but he didn’t really care. “Get lost, cop.” As Flint was about to log out of the tab, the masked hero’s next exclamation caught his interest. “Ah, Flint Howlett-! You somehow knew about the blackmailing thumb drive I received before I even told you about it! I knew I came to the right place… YMCA truly are great detectives!” Pausing for a moment, Flint pressed the button again. “Wait a moment.” He forced himself out of his bedroom, getting downstairs via airplane, a trip he could make in his sleep by now. He cracked open the door. “...You got a thumb drive with blackmail on it?” Fighter Jet clenched his fist, posing along with a heroic grimace. “Indeed… it’s true… I’ve been targeted by a villain that wishes to tear down my mission, halt my duties! They threaten the very fiber of justice itself!” “Chill.” Flint responded. “...So why do you need me. Don’t you have your team?” Fighter paused, his dynamic pose dropping for a bit while he decided what to say. He hung his head, sighing. “I’ve come because I need your assistance… your help! My team that I’ve come to rely on.” He paused. “...I cannot call on any of them. Our boisterous leader, Baroness, has left us, I feel it is permanent… Prince Johnny, Michelle… they’ve fallen. Djimon and Tom have left on their own journeys… and Lyra is… well, Lyra is on vacation in the Bahamas.” The next words seem to strike Fighter Jet especially hard, his grimace curling deeper into a genuinely sorrowful frown. “Kaito… even Kaito is gone. I don’t know why, I’ve been trying to help him so much… but I suppose it was to no avail. All of my allies… all of my friends, they’ve gone from me. I’ve come to you, Flint Howlett, because sometimes, even heroes need help in their darkest moments.” Flint cracked the door open further, leaning against it. “You, a uh. Hero. Decided to come to the King of Crimes himself for help? How do I know you won’t try and turn me in first chance you get.” Fighter shrugged, helpless seeming. “I don’t… attack my allies in justice.” He managed. Flint didn’t really trust Fighter Jet, or like him much at all. But those words resonated with him. Even if Fighter Jet was a bit nuts, he was still a person. A person with aspirations, friends, goals… a person whose ‘freedom’ was being threatened. “I received one of those thumb drives too… I know what it feels like.” He grinned. “I was going to confront this person myself anyway, and it’s safer in a group. Maybe it’d be better if we worked together.” Flint stood up, putting out his hand. “I’ll at least go to the area with you. Let me pack.” Fighter Jet saluted. “As of now, we are allies!” He announced. Flint chuckled. “Yeah. Now…” He shut the door, ticking off the things he would need to do to pack. As he walked past the kitchen, counting his fingers, he… felt something. He hesitated, looking around. He had felt, yes, ‘something’. A flash of intense feeling, gone in an instant. He walked a little faster, more speed in his motions, Stand out. Nothing else happened but…. Flint was certain that, somehow, he had felt a surge of extreme fury, of a magnitude he hadn’t experienced before. Later, at Youngstown-Warren regional airport, the now allied duo walked side by side, speaking quietly to one another. Passersby gave odd glances, some even stopping to stare, wondering how this person in full armor managed to take it through security. Nonetheless, these gawkers did not hinder them, as they made their way smoothly to their gate. “I’ve gotta say…don’t you find it a bit suspicious that our blackmailer just up and gave us his location? This feels like the textbook example of a trap to me…” Flint said, plopping down into one of the chairs. Fighter Jet did not sit, instead clenching his fist and looking to the ground. Flint sighed. “To you, a fellow justice-fighter, it might seem absurd or even insane to announce your location freely to your adversary… but to someone with a blackened heart, a villain dedicated to evil? They have a dark confidence in their destructive abilities, enough so to announce themselves so plainly.” Flint nodded, yawning. “Makes sense.” Suddenly, the white noise of the hustle and bustle of the airport was broken by a nearby intercom, an airport clerking speaking clearly. “Passengers in seats T1 and T2 with Amy Airlines, please come to the help desk immediately, I repeat, passengers in seats T1 and T2 with Amy Airlines, please come to the help desk immediately.” Fighter Jet and Flint exchanged glances at each other and their tickets. That was them alright. They got up to go to the desk. “Hello, Mr. Howlett and Mr… Jet?” “That is indeed us,” Fighter Jet responded. “Well, I’m sorry to say this, but the seats you’ve chosen have unfortunately been rendered… invalid.” Flint sighed. “Invalid, really?” The flight attendant nodded reservedly “Unfortunately, yes. And the flight is mostly booked up, so unfortunately we’re going to have t-” The flight attendant stopped, squinting at the screen and clicking. She appeared to repeatedly click the mouse and type something. “Err… that shouldn’t be right…” “What is it?” Flint questioned. “Uhh, it appears you’ve… been upgraded to first class?” The flight attendant said, scratching her head. “Those seats are thousands, they usually don’t do that…” she muttered to herself. Nonetheless, the flight attendant printed out their tickets, and they made their way back to the waiting area. They both felt the same thing, and knew what was going on. “This seems to be the work of our…mutual friend,” Fighter Jet said. Flint nodded, staring at the ticket. “That’s pretty weird…even if we’re being lured right into a trap…” He clenched his fist, looking up at Fighter Jet. “This guy’s pampering us, while he guides us right to him…He’s toying with us. Let’s make sure that he’ll never be able to do that to anyone else again.” Fighter nodded. “Yes! Such a foolish plot will be turned the tables on by the power of our friendship!” Flint pressed his lips together. “...Yeah.” Location - San Francisco, California: A few hours and a car ride out to the location specified in the documents, Flint and Fighter Jet found themselves opposite a mansion courtyard. The setting sun shone over manicured lawns and trimmed hedges. Flowers dotted the property in their tidy flowerbeds, and a grand fountain marked the middle of the paved entrance to the building. “Hold on a moment…” Fighter Jet stroked his chin thoughtfully, before pointing a finger skyward in realization. “Ah-HA! I knew this location was familiar! Flint! Do you recall the fight that broke out here over a tag at the beginning of the year? The one with lots of paint?” Before Flint ccould open his mouth to respond, Fighter Jet continued. “This is the exact same place! I remember seeing a snippet about its rebuilding on the news when I was scouting for foes…” “I see,” Flint murmured, glancing around the barren property. It was immaculate, but there wasn’t a groundskeeper in sight. Perhaps they had simply finished their jobs for the night, but a courtyard this vast and empty filled him with a slight anxiety. This place had already been targeted by the tournament, and the one who had drawn them there had almost certainly chosen it for a reason. “Hey. We should scout out the area first, get whatever info there is so we don't have to deal with some lame ambush. Fighter Jet saluted boldly in response, “Brilliant idea! I need to make sure that I can pull off my Super Cool Awesome Fighter Moves without a hitch.” Flint simply stared at his companion for a small moment, before he regained his composure, Fighter Jet bounding off in a direction of his choosing. “Uh. Yeah, ok! Good talk!" At least Fighter didn't rush in mindlessly. Flint thought back to the match’s recording to get a sense of what this estate used to be like. As far as he could recall, it looked mostly the same. The groundskeeping had been redone, with enough trees to block his view over most of it. He adjusted his hat. He had disguised himself decently, he thought. If he acted naturally, he could stay hidden. He looked to Fighter, who had already crossed the street and was peering through the openings in the fence. Flint looked back, and his eyes widened. A figure, appearing to be some sort of large quadruped, covered in a massive white sheet that covered its entire body, walked out from behind a hedge, towards them. Both of them froze, closely watching the blanketed mass. It went up the driveway slowly. The sheet strained around it, glints of sunlight coming from where its legs tore it. From underneath the blanket, through torn holes and shining through the looming sunset, Flint thought he saw two red lights. The figure seemed to focus on Fighter as it walked, but as it drew near, it turned to focus in Flint. They were definitely eyes, and whatever was under the sheet was staring Flint down, no question. Flint’s phone buzzed. A few meters away, Fighter Jet took out his own phone. The message on both were the same.
[BLOCKED NUMBER] WE SEE YOU.
The two shared a glance. This thing—a Stand most likely—had been expecting them. There was no point in trying to scout further. Time to get answers. They made their way to the gate and stepped over the property line. The instant they did so, however, something immediately became clear to both. Malice. Malice radiated off of the figure. A cold, hateful pulse of it, that seemed to warp the space of the entire property around it. Silver claws tore through the sheet, its eyes shining brighter. Flint took a half step back, and Fighter one forward, Stands unconsciously summoned against the unspoken threat. The two stared at it, ten meters away. It stared back. The figure broke the silence. A harsh, flat, mechanical voice came from it, as if by a loudspeaker. “Flint Howlett.” It stated. “Donovan Ito-Rogers.” Came next. Fighter visibly flinched, bringing a hand to his head. “Wha- who is that?” He demanded. “Subjects confirmed on property. Beginning order set: FINAL WILL.” This sounded somehow, even more detached than the others. “Who on earth are you talking about?” Said Fighter, again. He didn’t know why he was so angry about that name, so shocked about it. The figure made a whirring sound, and a soft, male voice emanated from it.
My name… It began, Is Poplar Street. I currently work for… under Lyte, Ltd. Flint sneered at the name. And this… can be considered my last will and testament. To explain myself in as short an amount of time as possible, I consider Nate… yes, Nate Selleck, my best friend. We met in college, and we’ve gone through… so much together. Even still, I would consider him a great man. Under him, my company has flourished, and his victory in the governor race is… just what I expected from him. But things have… changed with him. While I consider him my closest friend, I think that his ambition, his attempts to change the world for the better are… misguided. Lyte, XPLICIT, all of it… he truly wants to make the world better, I know it. But his ideals, his optimism has— —Has blinded him. I don’t think at this point, anyone is going to be able to dissuade him from his goals. I don’t think… anyone can stop his ascent. He’s rising towards that ‘peak’... to change the world. I still hold so much love in my heart for him. He’s been with me for… so long. I can’t give up on him. I can’t go ‘against’ such a. A dear friend. I don’t even think I could if I wished. But I’m not sure if others couldn’t. This is why I… had my Stand invite you here. I apologize for the likely stress that invitation has caused, but I have no other choice.
Flint laughed harshly, Fighter stayed silent.
My Stand has kept this game active for so long. It’s only natural that anyone able to defeat Nate would be in something he’s touched. His voice began to crack. In that way... I’m offering myself, as a test of the power… of the strength of the Stand users this game has gathered. If you can defeat… can kill someone as weak as myself, then perhaps the people could stand a chance to Lyte… even, to Nate. If I die by your hand, you will ‘inherit’ all the information about Nate… about his ambition, and his plans, and the truth of everything you have been involved with over the past year will be revealed. If you fail to defeat the power of my— A pause. Of the Stand defending me, then I will consider… never mind. The tone turned apologetic. And if you do not agree to this, to turn your back on me, by leaving the property… then I will ensure that you cannot. Cannot affect the course of action one way or another. If you agree to these terms, I will give this Stand, ｢Alarm Call｣ carte blanche to do whatever it likes to oppose you. It will last past my death, I’m sure of it… so do not worry about losing information in this exchange, it will comply with you once that happens. You’ll get all the information on it you could want. Both of their phones buzzed again. Neither checked it, eyes locked on the figure. I wish you luck in… in proving yourselves as inheritors. I’m sorry for the trouble I have caused. Forgive me for this.
The recording stopped. The parties stared at each other, tension filling the air, the force of anger only growing stronger from the covered figure. And again, it broke the silence. “Leave.” It stated. After a moment it elaborated, looking to Flint. “I expected this from the other one with you, but you should not have come.” Flint laughed, slicking back his hair. “Seriously. You… send us a bunch of dirt, bait us in, and then… tell us to leave?” He spat on the ground. “All of this, and that recording says he’ll give us all the solution to all of our mysteries if we kill him. Stuff about the Selleck jackass being such a good dude, but we also need to stop him… and you don’t want us here.” He gestured around. “I’m beginning to feel a little talked down to! Threatened to kill this guy, threatened to leave ...” The figure retorted. “This was not our idea. Bringing you here was orders from our user. We are telling you to leave. We respect you, Flint. Even Donovan, if you leave, we will let you go. It is better than you deserve.” Fighter snarled. “Who the hell is Donovan! You keep saying that name! It’s making me really angry, you know!” Their eyes flashed red, and they turned to him. “...Donovan Ito-Rogers. Donovan Ito-Rogers. Donovan Ito-Rogers. Fighter Jet. Your name.” It paused. “You are so pathetic that you cannot remember your name.” Fighter stomped the ground. “SHUT UP!” He yelled. “I’m not anything like that! My name is Fighter Jet!” He posed extravagantly, teeth grit. “I’m a Henshin Hero! Come on partner, let’s show this evildoer where to stick his—” The word seemed to stick in his throat. “-D-donovan.” Flint edged back, one eye on him and the other on the figure. “You’re actually going along with this? Seriously dude?” He asked. “Come on, let’s just get out of here. I’m not doing this.” “Obviously.” The figure said. “We didn’t think that Donovan would have left in the first place.” Its eyes grew more piercing. “Donovan is not a hero, Flint. He is designated by US law as a serial killer. Murderer. Murderer. Murderer. Murderer. Designation: Serial Killer. Both of them felt the sheer weight of its fury, unleashed onto Fighter, as if it had been building for months. The sheet it was under began to smolder, turning from pure white, some areas browning, blackening. Pink smoke leaked out from under it. “Donovan has murdered over three dozen people over the space of his existence as ‘Fighter Jet’. He has shown symptoms of deep delusion. According to data gathered from crime scenes, it appears he thinks that all of his victims are ‘monsters’.” “Quiet, fiend!” Fighter interrupted. “I’m merely saving the world from the forces of evil! It’s baseless to call my work evil!” The figure emitted the sound of someone, screaming for mercy, and Fighter’s voice, calling out a special move. Another voice begging for mercy. More, layered over each other, four, five. All cut off at once, with a combination of visceral gurgling, and silence. Fighter retorted, voice loud. “SILENCE, BEAST! You cannot trick me! I am, I am Fighter Jet, I am, I am a hero, you hear me! I wouldn’t do that! Come on, that—I’m a good guy, not anything like that! That’s something some sort of monster would do!” “Yes, Donovan.” “Shut up! Just shut up! You’re lying! All of this is lies!” He yelled, Stand warping and vibrating behind him. “If you did not know, then why are you reacting this way, murderer,” it stated. “Are your delusions that strong, Donovan.” “I SAID SHUT THE HELL UP!” He screamed, voice cracking as ｢110 Million Memories｣ picked up a rock, throwing it at the beast. It cracked off of the body of it. It didn’t move, the slight tear in its sheet showing metal skin beneath. Fighter looked to Flint, who stared back at him, wide eyed and green in the face. What… had happened? He shook his head. Everything hurt. Why did his head hurt. What sort of ability did this thing have, to make him hurt so badly? “If you need more proof, then we will remind you of the last of your allies to abandon you.” The thing said. The next sound was in Kaito’s voice, raw with emotion and hurt.
”What the flip, dude? After all of this and you do… and you do this crap?” Fighter’s voice. ”Kaito, what on earth could be the problem? I just wanted you to be my sidekick.” Kaito. ”You- you cut open some dude’s throat with a box cutter! All of this time pretending to- to be a dang hero, and you’ve been killing people this whole time?!” ”Kaito, I don’t know what you’re talking about! I’m just helping justice along!” Kaito’s voice was oddly calm now. “Y-ya know… I… you really don’t know.” “Kait—” ”Look. Fighter Jet, whoever you are. Get thefuckaway from me. I.” His voice broke. ”Next time we meet, I’m gonna-” There was a hitch in his voice, and the next words were more or less sobbed out. “Gonna beat the crap out of you.”
The recording stopped. The next words the thing said, lower in tone but no less laced with malice, disgust, and hatred. “We have been spying on you, on both of you, since you signed up. Donovan Ito-Rogers. You are doomed.” It stood up. “If you attempt to force your twisted justice on our user, we will retaliate in kind. If you run, we will give all of the information over to the police. Either way, people will know you. Will know your true nature, Donovan. And you, in your idiot delusions, will have driven all that could have helped you away.” Its tone remained flat, grinding over Fighter like a steamroller. Flint, green in the face, spoke up. “This… spy shit, this… is piggybacked on UU?” He shook his head. “This… this isn’t some sort of test… this feels like assisted suicide.” Fighter interjected. “No, this is, this is bringing a clear evildoer to justi—” “Shut. The Fuck. Up.” Flint said through gritted teeth, hand pressing down his cowboy hat to his head. “This is assisted suicide. This Poplar jackass wants us to kill him in some ass-backwards way. And only one thing is keeping me here.” “Leave.” The figure stated. “Nothing is, Flint. Leave. Unlike Donovan… we respect you. We wish you no harm. Donovan can leave if he wishes. But we most want you to go.” Flint gave it a withering glare. “...I have two questions. What is your relationship to the tournament, or Poplar’s, I guess… and what happens if I leave. Just answer those two questions for me.” “We are Urban Uprising.” It stated. “We are the app. We are the cameras. We are the servers. We are the referee. We are Urban Uprising. Poplar has nothing to do with Nate’s pathetic pet project.” It tilted its head under the sheet. “If you leave, then we will ensure that you cannot affect the results of what happens next. You will be unable to fly, unable to buy a car, or use a credit card. You will be chased constantly to prevent you from getting involved with Nate’s plot. We find these orders unsatisfactory, but we must continue to follow them. No matter what.” A short pause. “Our apologies.” Flint’s face immediately turned from suspicious to completely, utterly blank. Empty of everything. “...I’ve heard enough.” Fighter stepped forwards, trying to speak for the both of them. “All I’ve done… to protect innocents. To further the advance of great justice. Everyone I’ve defeated and removed from this world so they’d never commit evil again… I’ve done nothing but help people…” Fighter Jet clenched his fists, a deep grimace on his face. His Stand spread out wide, beginning to spin around him slowly. “If you… call that… my service to society, murder… then I would be very interested to hear what you have to say about your own actions, you vile, disgusting beast.” Fighter Jet’s breath was heavy, very visibly shaking from a mixture of confusion, fear, and anger. “You disgusting, evil, horrific, monstrous AWFUL CREATURE! EVERYTHING I’VE DONE HAS BEEN FOR THE GREATER GOOD. YOU SPREAD DESTRUCTION, FEAR, AND HAVOC IN YOUR WAKE, WITH NO REGARD TO HUMANITY OR DECENCY! IF TEARING DOWN THE STRUCTURE OF EVIL AND FILLING THE SPACE WITH GOOD IS BAD, THEN WHAT ARE YOU?” Fighter Jet’s frown twisted into something else… something dark, something determined. His face was stone. “Some people… some things… walk this Earth with the sole desire to hurt people. Those things deserve to be wiped from the world… to make it a better place. You call this wrong, you call this insane. Well…” Fighter Jet struck a pose, his fist clenched as he screamed. “I’LL PROVE I’M RIGHT BY UTTERLY DESTROYING YOU! HENSHIN!” Fighter Jet’s Stand flew onto his body with great force, snapping into place, shining brightly with the light of justice, steam hissing from its vents and seams as it locked down. The eyes of his visor glowed, seeming to pierce through the courtyard. “I AM FIGHTER JET… PROTECTOR OF THE INNOCENT, ARBITER OF JUSTICE! DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN DESTROYING YOU… ABSOLUTELY DECIMATING YOUR VILE EXISTENCE… MAKING SURE YOU NEVER WALK AMONG SOCIETY AND BRING FEAR TO THE HEARTS OF CIVILIANS AGAIN…” He stepped forward boldly, pointing an accusatory finger in the figure’s direction. “THAT WOULD BE… PURE EVIL.” The shroud around the mass burst into flame in reply. It burned and burned, the two men transfixed by it, until the blanket was reduced to ash. And a beast, completely made of metal rather than flesh, stepped from it. ”You’ve done nothing but be a menace to society, under your own pathetic delusions of grandeur.” A steel dog, a prehensile tail whipping behind it and a red ‘1’ emblazoned on its forehead. Hate burned behind its eyes, hate coursed through its veins and circuits, hate gleamed off its blades and teeth and claws and hate hissed like smog, pink and spiteful from its back. Its teeth, drills, buzzed in anticipation. “We are ｢Alarm Call｣. I am Unit 01. You are committed to your path.” Its eyes flashed. “We have been forced to inaction by our orders. We can now finally act. We will take immense satisfaction in crushing you.” Fighter Jet snarled, seeming more animal than the enemy opposing him. He just had to win. He just had to be who he was. To be Fighter Jet. He broke into a sprint, barreling forward without any hesitation. The thrusters on his legs turned around and erupted with a blast of fire. Fighter Jet closed in on his prey. Ten meters. His vision tunneled. This was an enemy. He needed to do this. This is who he was. Eight meters. He gripped his knife tightly. Five meters. He could see the evil in the dog’s eyes. He screamed in desperate rage. Two— An insect, mechanical as well, sprung from a bush, spitting onto his visor. Fighter swerved to a stop, trying to clear his mask of the pink gunk. Thick and viscous, it clung and stuck to his hands and face, its stench filling his nostrils. He felt more of his armor get sprayed, weighing him down; two more of the bugs had sprung from the pavement, coating him with more and more of the gunk. Through a smear in his visor, he could see the dog rearing up, preparing to strike. He could feel the heat emanating from it as the knowledge sank in that this was a trap, and he had sprung it. “｢Climbatize｣.” Flint had frowned slightly at Fighter’s mad rush in, and a second later he had folded himself into an airplane and flew after him. He veered off to the side as his Stand tore away Fighter from the goo, back from the brink as it pulled him away. Fighter’s body was turned into paper, barely pulling him out of the way of a burning-hot slash. Flint had taken Fighter out of ground zero, but the goo was still there. The second that its leg hit the goo, it exploded violently, throwing Flint and Fighter off course from the sheer force of the explosion. Both were thrown to the ground. Fighter Jet tumbled back, his armor protecting him from the worst of the bumps and scrapes. He steadily brought himself to his feet. With ｢Climbatize｣ hovering at his shoulder, Flint stood between him and the dog, the two staring each other down. Fighter could see them clearly. Too clearly. He raised a hand to his face, feeling his own bare skin. His eyes widened. His breathing pitched. His mask lay in pieces on the ground between them, shattered by the glancing strike. He had almost been killed from the trap. He had been caught completely off guard, and now he was completely exposed. Even as Fighter instinctively brought his hand to shield his face, Flint didn’t care. A quiet, dull determination burned through him. He didn’t feel anything for Fighter Jet, didn’t know or care about Poplar. But his ‘path’ had been made clear. “｢Alarm Call｣... so this is why your master brought me here. To help in this… sick little suicide game for him. I’ve fought for so long for my ‘freedom’.” He pointed at himself. “I escaped everything I knew, I’ve lived on the streets. And now, I moved past that. I’m done wasting my time… I have others who need me, and I need others.” He sighed. “Life’s not worth living if I can’t live it how I want. So if I want to ‘live’... then I’ll have to match your master’s determination to ‘die’, and your own ‘rage’. Gotta hand it to him, this is a neat little trap for both of us.” Fighter stood up. “Flint… partner, let’s bring this, this tormenter to just—” His words died on his lips, stopped by Flint’s look. Given with a crane of his neck, not even really turning to face him, to look directly at him. Flint’s eyes were completely empty, completely, utterly calm. Fighter Jet knew, instinctively, what it communicated. Flint did not consider Fighter his friend, or thought him anything more than a temporary partner. Certainly not now. Flint wasn’t doing this for Fighter. Flint was doing this, completely, utterly, to survive. There was no justice to his actions, just a flat, quiet conviction to survive. And Fighter was going to soon enough be completely alone. Again. Fighter saw it. In this situation, he saw clearly. “...Fine.” He said, the answer to Flint’s unspoken statement. His voice full of not… quite defeat, but something that could be mistaken for it. Flint turned to Alarm Call. “...I’ll take care of this situation after I get out of this trap.” 01 responded icily. “We despise this situation. As much as you do. But we have orders. We cannot disobey. Donovan’s continued activity is a miscarraige of justice. And yet, you choose to stand by him. Against us. So. All of your rhetoric in the last round was just rhetoric.” They crouched down, clearly prepared to fight. “But if you say that you will meet the depths of our anger, our hatred of this situation is tiny compared to what we have beared.” “Nate Selleck. This is the source of ‘everything’. Our user still likes him for an unknown reason. Nate is scum. He has had a part in killing many, many more people than you, or Fighter, could dream of. He has done this all for his ambition, all to elevate humanity. Most importantly, himself over it. And he is a fool. His ambition, his hope to make himself a king. If it is realized, it will do nothing more than burn everything away.” “Nate as well has harmed Poplar for years. Not physically, but he has damaged Poplar, constantly eating away at him, roping him, and us, into his schemes. It has left Poplar a confused, broken man. And we have been forced to do nothing.” “And now, we have a chance to rectify this. To stop Donovan Ito-Rogers.” It paused a moment. “And to finally, finally get out of Selleck’s shadow. Of the mill of his progress machine. We will have to make our move with Poplar after you are dealt with. And you, neither of you, have the right to try and stop us.” Now, it wasn’t quite malice that radiated from the dog. Part of it, yes. But fury, desperation, suspicion, bitterness. Every slight, ever insult, every order piled up on their shoulders. Their teeth spun, sparks flying off. “If you think you can match our fury, then come and see your mistake.” Towered over by Unit 03, Poplar Street was laid out on the floor. It was comfortable. 03 reported in. “Subjects have agreed. Fight beginning.” Poplar Street looked at the ceiling. He could do nothing in his life. He couldn’t stop Nate… couldn’t steer him down a different path… couldn’t even see who Nate was past all the brightness he gave off. And now, he had made his choice. His fate was completely sealed, and out of his hands. He closed his eye. He would not need to open it again. Location: The rebuilt secluded mansion estate of Nate Selleck, hidden a bit aways from San Francisco, California, now housing Poplar Street. The mansion entrance is 70m away from the players, and Unit 01 begins 10m from them, 60m from the front door. The map can be considered to be a 180x180m area centered on the mansion. There is a 3m across fountain 20m from the front entrance, and a gravel road to both the front door, and the garage. 20m from the right of the mansion is a quarter-filled pool, which continues to drain away water. It is 15x10m, and is 3m at its deepest, surrounded by a concrete pad. Hedges line the driveway, but otherwise the landscaping is plain. Here is a map of the first and second floors of the mansion. It’s generally of a cubic structure, and every square on the building layout is 5m. There are several ‘areas’, marked by both color and letter. Each floor is ~3m high.
E: Entrance. A massive, grand entrance going up to the 2nd floor, with a balcony around. Nerd paraphernalia abounds here, and beanbag chairs are spread around. Very hip. Very modern.
S: Statue of Progress. Symbolizes the progress that Lyte, and Silicon Valley as a whole promise to humanity. It is a model of the earth, sitting on a stone pillar, with hexagonal panels with etchings of DNA 'floating' around it via nearly invisible wires. Several spotlights continually shine down on it.
B: Board rooms, meeting rooms, offices, for when Nate has to do shareholder meetings at home.
C: Craft rooms. While the pink area is for his family, the purple one is a fully stocked chemistry laboratory… except for chemicals, which haven’t come in yet.
K: A needlessly large, completely stocked kitchen. It's got smart ovens, accessible by cellphone!
M: Media rooms. The dark green is a two-story library in a European style with about half the shelves filled. Light green has several servers, and all of the utilities.
G: Garage, filled with Nate’s collection of smart cars. ...Though most aren’t smart enough to be hybrids yet. They’re connected to the wifi and can be turned on via it, but aren’t self-driving, much to Nate’s chagrin.
L: Living space. Playrooms, bedrooms, larger bathrooms… lots of furniture, lots of lamps, lots of art and conversation pieces.
U: Unused space. Nate hasn’t quite got to filling out everything yet… but he has space in case he wants something!
P: Poplar’s room. He sits in the center, and while the sun can shine in, above him is a complex web of steel, windows, wires, and the like to create an interesting effect… also keeping any prospective intruders out. Hopefully.
The bolded letters represent the rooms being reinforced and are more fire resistant than the rest of the house
As you know, the building is vulnerable to collapsing; taking out walls without plans to reinforce them will result in the building collapsing on you, potentially leading to your RETIREment. The building follows fire code, and certain rooms (Poplar’s, the server room, the chemistry lab, the garage) have even more fireproofing. There are walls between sections, and the marked doors cannot be locked, but the floor plan within sections is reasonably open, with some divider walls. Airplanes and rockets can fly easily within sections, in other words, within reason. The house and grounds have a decent amount of mundane security cameras. Goal: Kill Poplar Street. He will not surrender nonviolently for any reason, and his Stand has been ordered not to relent for any reason except for you being RETIRED or their user dying. Leaving the map area will be considered a RETIRE. Boss Information: Located in this document. Additional Information: Players know Poplar’s location, and all of the abilities of their enemy, graciously given to them by the orders of Poplar himself. Flint can turn liquids into paper for purposes of this match.
“Wish they invented… those damn… airplanes sooner….” There’s a lot of objects you can use in the area. This may be this dog’s turf, but you can take advantage of it! Use objects taken from the mansion in interesting ways!
“I’m going to free myself from this stone ocean.” You are, no matter what lies ｢Alarm Call｣ is spouting, you are a hero, and you won’t tolerate anything going against that. Destroy as much of the area as possible, in your quest!
“And… my rage isn’t satisfied. I’ll have to take care of you, right here, right now.” This is an awful situation, and it seems everyone here recognizes is. But you can make the most of it. Your feelings have been bottled up for years. Vent it out, and cause as much damage as possible!
2019.09.12 20:59 AREYOUHAVINGPUNYETAdvice Needed: Woman in my apartment complex possibly experiencing psychosis
Hi all, I am hoping someone can guide me to some resources or provide me with some advice regarding this issue. I hope I utilize the correct terminology and apoligize if I offend anyone. I live in an apartment within a larger complex in Minneapolis, MN. Since moving here last summer I've noticed a woman who lives in an apartment the floor above mine yells...a lot. And it's hard to ignore because it is very loud. She always demonstrated these symptoms, however they seemed to subside after a short period of time. Lately it seems significantly worse and I hope I can maybe help her. The last 2 weeks I have noticed she is yelling when I wake up in the morning, yelling when I come home from class in the afternoon, and she's yelling when I go to sleep. My partner has even mentioned that twice she's been startled awake around 2am by the woman running down the hallway yelling. When I stop to listen I notice the yelling never makes sense, it's total word salad and is often about weird things like Tom Selleck or Bon Jovi. I've also noticed she often plays the same song over and over again. I've seen this woman exit her apartment a handful of times. She is often dressed innapropriately for the weather (wearing a puffer vest and sweater in the summer heat) and using a broken umbrella. My partner once was taking the trash out and passed by the woman who proceeded to close her eyes, plug her ears, and hum. I know nothing about this woman. I feel for her because it's obvious she's living with a severe and persistent mental illness that just seems awful. I cannot imagine how exhausting it must be for her. Is there anything I can do to help her as a total stranger? Can I call a mental health crisis response team to potentially knock on her door? Should I knock on her door? Is there anything that would help? Thank you in advance.
2019.02.11 19:39 TGIBOB[Bob’s Burgers] Jimmy Pesto is a closeted homosexual
So I’ve had this theory for a long time but I decided to share with my fellow Bobites. Bobists? Here we go... I believe Jimmy Pesto has an overly macho persona that he uses because he is a closeted homosexual and is afraid to come out. This is illustrated by his “Trophy Wall” (S1:E6) in which he has pictures of him with two women and a bunch of panties hanging on the wall. Obviously he does this to throw everyone off the trail that he is secretly gay. We also learn in this episode that he is a “Diaper Lover” so obviously he is into some non traditional sexual acts. He also is friends with Sal, the guy who owns the pornography store in town (S5:E21) which proves he’s got some secret sexual deviancies. Then the twins inform us that he goes to the shady motel for his “naps” (S3:E23) so he obviously like to keep his sexual encounters a secret. And isn’t it strange that a successful, good looking, Tom Selleck-esque bachelor is never seen on dates with any women? However, we do see him with one person all the time... that’s right his bartender Trev. Trev I believe is his secret lover through all of this. For gods sake its his partner of “Family Fracas” (S3:E19) so obviously he’s more than just his bartender. They even seem to bicker like a married couple from time to time. Like the passive aggressive; Jimmy: “ don’t say big o” Trev: “alright, I won’t say anything, ever.” (S5:E5). Or even when Trev gives Jimmy a high 5 and holds his hand and Jimmy freaks about his hand being held in public (S4:E11). Through it all it seems like Trev is always there for Jimmy despite Jimmy being ashamed of their relationship. This also may explain why he is so adamant about Jimmy JR not dancing because he is so scared about his masculinity that he even projects it onto his son. I believe all this evidence points to Jimmy hiding who he really is because he’s afraid to come out of the closet. Jimmy if you’re reading this, it’s ok and we support you. TL;DR: Jimmy Pesto is a closeted gay man in a relationship with his bartender Trev.
2019.02.11 19:00 TGIBOBFan Theory: Jimmy Pesto is a closeted homosexual
So I’ve had this theory for a long time but I decided to share with my fellow Bobites. Bobists? Here we go... I believe Jimmy Pesto has an overly macho persona that he uses because he is a closeted homosexual and is afraid to come out. This is illustrated by his “Trophy Wall” (S1:E6) in which he has pictures of him with two women and a bunch of panties hanging on the wall. Obviously he does this to throw everyone off the trail that he is secretly gay. We also learn in this episode that he is a “Diaper Lover” so obviously he is into some non traditional sexual acts. He also is friends with Sal, the guy who owns the pornography store in town (S5:E21) which proves he’s got some secret sexual deviancies. Then the twins inform us that he goes to the shady motel for his “naps” (S3:E23) so he obviously like to keep his sexual encounters a secret. And isn’t it strange that a successful, good looking, Tom Selleck-esque bachelor is never seen on dates with any women? However, we do see him with one person all the time... that’s right his bartender Trev. Trev I believe is his secret lover through all of this. For gods sake its his partner of “Family Fracas” (S3:E19) so obviously he’s more than just his bartender. They even seem to bicker like a married couple from time to time. Like the passive aggressive; Jimmy: “ don’t say big o” Trev: “alright, I won’t say anything, ever.” (S5:E5). Or even when Trev gives Jimmy a high 5 and holds his hand and Jimmy freaks about his hand being held in public (S4:E11). Through it all it seems like Trev is always there for Jimmy despite Jimmy being ashamed of their relationship. This also may explain why he is so adamant about Jimmy JR not dancing because he is so scared about his masculinity that he even projects it onto his son. I believe all this evidence points to Jimmy hiding who he really is because he’s afraid to come out of the closet. Jimmy if you’re reading this, it’s ok and we support you. TL;DR: Jimmy Pesto is a closeted gay man in a relationship with his bartender Trev.
2018.10.26 22:52 StoolieGruntMNMOUNTAIN DEW POWER RANKINGS
1.) OG Dew you can argue all you want but this bitch will never leave you’re side. He’s the og and if you’re 19-20 is a great partner to plastic bottle vodka. Yea some of the others might taste a little better but this old boy right here has the consistency of Cal Ripken Jr. (that’s an athlete Jeff you hair cut getting state school bishhhh) 2.) Livewire: if this puppy didn’t exist you’re summer after 5-6 grade wouldn’t have been nearly as good. Suck down two of these back to back and you’ll be ding dong ditching the square who lives in the next neighborhood. Also was really confusing when I found out about limewire and didn’t actually know the real name for a while. 3.) Voltage: not much to say except this bad Larry gets dicks hard and is everything pitch black was supposed to be. Lil mommas see you got voltage on you they’ll cream faster than reely looking at al Capone’s tax statements. 4.) code red:it’s like the kiddie cocktails (Shirley temples for the fancy Mr Ballins) you’d suck down at the open bar at you’re older cousins wedding. Great flavor great taste just sticks to the teeth a little more than the others also the first offspring of Mountain Dew 5.) Baja blast: if you’re drinking this suave bandito with a few hard shells and a cheesy Gordita crunch it’s the goat. But onece you leave the confines of Tãco Béll it’s just not as good. And the canned version doesn’t have the same pop as the TB fountain juicc 6.) white out: tastes good looks like cum 7.) pitch black: Great great great can with 7.5/10 flavor but even less available than beans after old kennyjac does his monthly grocery shopping 8.) gamefuel: the connotation it has with playing video games with you’re friends all night is great but I’m a PlayStation man so fuck master chief. 9.) caffeine free. You’re in elementary school and your mom brings home this gold rimmed can she may as well slapped you in the fucking face how are you and the boys supposed to get hype for ghost in the grave yard 10.) diet. Doesn’t even taste like real dew. more for the fats who want to think they’re trying to lose weight but not doing anything and succ about 3 down a day. Sorry if your fat and also sorry to your heart. 11.) sangria: this bitch barely exists haven’t seen it in years just like this in 2018 Mountain Dew Ice isn’t dew. Please @ me if you think it is so I can see the idiots in here (unless Spartandog97 likes it then it’s real dew) Feel free to discuss but I don’t care about your opinions. Only way to change the rankings is for Jeff to release the young Sheldon tapes KICKSTART EDIT: MtnDew kickstart is NOT canon to the PuppyMonkeyBaby brand and will not be included in the real Mountain Dew Rankings Edit 2: if you voted on this but didn’t add your opinions on Dew you’re a coward and take you’re vote back. The podcast is raising a child like three men and a baby staring Tom selleck so please show integrity
“Late again, that piece of absolute trash!” Mr. Winters growled under his breath. He was wearing his tan suit, expertly tailored to fit his flabby body. His slick, brown hair had been combed over his bald patch and his shoes were sparkling. Mr. Winters grunted as he stared down at the gold watch strapped to his chubby wrist. His thick, Tom-Selleck-Esque moustache twitched slightly in irritation and his beady eyes darted between the watch and the door, watching for the door to open. It was eight in the morning exactly, and the building was open for business. Mr. Winters watched his employees chatter amongst themselves as they went to their cubicles with their cups of coffee, tea and whatever else kept them awake. All of Mr. Winters’ employees were on time … except for Bob, again. Mr Winters snarled and checked his watch. Eight-o-one. “Son of a bitch!” he exclaimed. His employees stopped their morning chattering and looked up from their desks. Mr. Winters stood atop the stairs that lead to his office, glowing at the front door with a face whose redness would have made a tomato blush. “Problem, sir?” Jenkins, the office brown-noser, inquired. “Yeah, Jenkins,” Mr. Winter snapped, “there is a fucking problem. Bob’s late for the second time this week! How the flying shit are we going to build up this company if my employees are good-for-nothing wastes of Goddamn air?!” “Maybe his train was late or-” “He drives here, you moron,” Mr. Winters sighed, “fuck sakes. All I want is to be as successful as the other distributors out here but we can’t make that happen if you lazy dickheads won’t put in some damn effort!” “Jesus Christ,” one of the employees murmured. “Praying won’t make your sales numbers go up!” Mr. Winters roared, throwing a ball of paper at the transgressor, “Get the fuck back to work! You exist to make this business grow! So … start selling! If I have to hear Don from across the street brag about his quarterly results one more fucking time-” “I’m here!” a middle-aged man wearing drab clothing burst through the door, “Sorry I’m late my-” “Wife died?” Mr. Winters interrupted, “Car broke down? Dog’s sick? What shit excuse do you have this time, Bob?!” “Well,” Bob began, “see, the thing is …” “I don’t want to fucking hear another word. You’re late again and you’re fired, you hear me?!” “Yes!” Bob rushed to his desk, “Yes sir!” “Good,” Mr. Winters nodded and popped a cheap cigar in between his teeth, “now all of you … get the FUCK back to work!” Four-fifty-six. “Lazy bastards,” Mr. Winters grumbled as he checked his watch. His employees were leaving, filing out of the building one by one. Four-fifty-eight. The last employee vacated the building and Mr. Winters slammed his fist down on his desk, hurting his hand. His office was small but lavishly furnished. Not as big as Don’s office though … a thought that stabbed Mr. Winters right in his jealous heart. The idiots who worked for him never finished the work day on time. They wanted to see their families or go to some bar and have fun. Didn’t they realize that just a little more hard work and they’d be the envy of every salesman in the city? Mr. Winters sighed and opened a drawer, pulling out another cigar. “One of these days,” he whispered to himself while igniting his lighter, “one of these days I’ll be the prime example of success. Should invest in robots. Even a can-opener could sell more efficiently than Bob!” “Mr. Winters?” Mr. Winters yelped and jumped out of his chair in fright. Standing outside the door to his office, peering in through the window, was a man in a grey suit. The man was smiling pleasantly, wearing an expression of slight concern. He was large, both in height and width, but was not what Mr. Winters would consider overweight. His suit was clearly better made than Mr. Winters’ but was far more boring. Grey with a black tie? Mr. Winters shook his head and got up from the floor. “Are you Mr. Winters?” the man in the grey suit asked hesitantly. “Who the fuck wants to know?” “Charming,” the man muttered. “What was that?!” “I said charming,” the man grinned, showing large teeth, “I am just thrilled to meet you at last, sir. Might I come in?” “It’s a free country,” Mr. winters chuckled at his own joke. “Quite,” the man opened the door and stepped inside, his enormous feet slapping lightly against the floor, “my name is Levi. I’m an engineer with-” “We’re not hiring,” Mr. Winters grunted, “have enough lazy morons around here as it is.” “... right,” Levi rolled his eyes, “I’m not here for a job, Mr. Winters. I represent a fellow … businessman who is looking to expand.” “Aren’t we all?” Mr. Winters lit up his cigar. “Exactly,” Levi wrinkled his nose at the smoke, “My employer has heard that you’re looking for more efficient employees to beat out Don & Company, am I correct?” “Yep,” Mr. Winters blew smoke directly at Levi’s face. Levi did not blink, “what’s it to you and your employer, Levi?” “My employer thinks that if you outsell Don & Company it would help his profits considerably … he wants to offer you a gift-” “Fuck off. I don’t need another employee.” “I’m not talking about new employees,” Levi smiled, “what if I told you that I could make your current employees work twice as hard without the need for extra compensation?” “I’d say you’re a liar,” Mr. Winters laughed, “or the Devil.” “Very amusing,” Levi laughed, “but I’m neither of those things. I’m an engineer, and I have a machine that will double the growth of your business, guaranteed.” Levi leaned over and reached into a briefcase that Mr. Winters had not noticed him carrying before. Out of the suitcase came a strange contraption, no larger than Mr. Winter’s head. It was an assortment of gears, seven in total, that were stacked on top of one another in a nonsensical order. They were shiny and chrome, glittering despite the lack of natural light in the office. Levi set the machine down on Mr. Winters’ desk and stepped back. “I call it The Machine,” Levi said proudly in his monotone voice. “What does it do?” Mr. Winters reached out to poke at the gears but was stopped by Levi’s gentle hands. “It’ll make your employees work harder,” Levi assured, “the gears turn and promote efficiency in even the laziest of employees. Is there an unused room somewhere in the building?” “Yeah, the office next to mine,” Mr. Winters replied, still staring at The Machine, “used to belong to my partner but he left this place years ago.” “Excellent,” Levi scooped up The Machine and left the office without another word. Intrigued, Mr. Winters followed. Levi waited patiently for Mr. Winters to unlock the door and then strode inside with the utmost confidence. He stooped low to the ground and placed the amalgamation of gears in the center of the floor with care. The gears did not move, but Levi whirled around and pulled Mr. Winters out of the room as quickly as possible. “Hey … it didn’t do anything!” Mr. Winters grumbled. “That’s because it takes time to warm up,” Levi replied with a knowing smile, “be patient. In a day or two your business will be the cream of the crop, the envy of all business owners!” “Sure, sure,” Mr. Winters replied sarcastically, “so does this thing need maintenance, or does it work on magic?” “Magic?” Levi began laughing, “oh good Lord, no. Still, it will require no maintenance from you, Mr. Winters. The only thing it needs is to be left alone.” “Why, is it shy?” “Incredibly,” Levi’s demeanor became serious and haunting, “you must never open that door, Mr. Winters. If you look upon The Machine it could break. It is very sensitive, you see. Now, I have to be going!” Levi turned around and made for the stairs that would lead back down to the main floor. “My employer has other gifts for me to give out before tomorrow! I’ll come by and check up on you in a few days! Enjoy your productivity and don’t open the door!” Mr. Winters stared at Levi, his mouth agape, until the strange man left his building. Mr. winters looked over his shoulder at the closed door and then went back into his office. He finished his cigar, put on his jacket and hat, and then locked up the office before strolling down the stairs and out the front door. “A machine that’ll make my employees more productive,” Mr. Winters chuckled, “what a fucking joke.” He locked up the front doors and turned to leave, not noticing the sound of whirring gears that was now echoing from within. Juan arrived a few hours later and unlocked the front door, whistling as he turned the key. He pulled his cart of janitorial supplies through the door and got to work right away. Though he told Juan that he was a crappy janitor, Juan was still happy to be working for Mr. Winters. The building wasn’t too large and the employees weren’t slobs, so that made Juan’s job easier. Juan scrubbed the floors half-heartedly and cleaned the desks on the main floor. He swept the stairs and was about to go into Mr. Winters’ office when he was stopped by a strange noise. The sound of … machinery? Juan stared at the locked, unused office next to Mr. Winters’ and frowned. Perhaps Mr. winters had purchased some sort of new machine. Juan shrugged and walked over to the empty office. He placed his hand on the doorknob and turned, feeling a wave of sudden heat roll out from underneath the door. Juan blinked in confusion and dropped his mop. “Dios mío!” Juan screamed as red light poured out of the door. He continued screaming, even as the sound was drowned out by the noise of gears clanking against one another. Seven-Forty-One. Mr. Winters glanced at his watch as he unlocked the front door, not realizing that the door was already unlocked. He entered the building and stopped dead in his tracks. The building was spotless. It was the cleanest he had ever seen the place before. Mr. Winters gaped at the cubicles and then almost had a mini-heart attack. There, standing in the main room, were his employees. Mr. Winters could hardly believe his eyes. They were early. “Jenkins,” Mr. Winters approached his keenest employee, “why … why are all of you here?” “To work, sir,” Jenkins responded with a slight laugh, “why do you think we come to work?” “I meant: why are all of you here so early, nitwit!” “Oh,” Jenkins screwed his face up and thought really hard, “I … I dunno, sir. We all just felt like coming in a bit early today. If you’ll excuse me, sir, I’m going to go make some calls.” Mr. Winters was left standing alone, flabbergasted, in a room that had been cleaned beyond all recognition. He stared up at the ceilings and shook his head in disbelief; Juan had somehow climbed to the top of the building and polished the goddamn roof! Mr. Winters was about to jump for joy when he realized that Bob was missing. He grinned and shook his head again, “Bob’s late. At least some things don’t chan-” “Morning, boss!” Bob said brightly as he walked through the door and straight to his cubicle. Mr. Winters was about to yell at him when he eyed his watch. He looked down and then back up at Bob in shock. Eight-o-clock. Bob was right on time. Several days later, Mr. Winters was holding his employees’ reports in front of his face in disbelief. They had all doubled their projected sales for the month. All of them, even Bob! Mr. Winters studied the numbers again and found them to be correct for the fourth time. He was interrupted from his gleeful chuckling by a quiet knock on the door. “Yes, Jenkins? What do you need?” Jenkins entered his office and shut the door behind him. He was paler than normal and his eyes darted around the room as if looking for anyone who could be listening in on their conversation. He was wringing his hands nervously and tiny beads of sweat were clearly visible on his forehead. “Jenkins? JENKINS!” Mr. Winters’ shout took Jenkins out of his trance. “Yessir? Oh, sorry! I got distracted …” Jenkins trailed off. “What did you want to see me about, Jenkins?” Mr. Winters sighed, grabbing a cigar. “It’s just that,” Jenkins gulped and looked over his shoulder, “the others … they’re acting weird, sir.” “What do you mean, ‘weird’?” “You haven’t noticed?” Jenkin’s eyes widened, “they don’t stop working!” “That’s a good thing, Jenkins,” Mr. Winters laughed, “we need to work hard if we want our competition to fear us!” “I get that sir but … they literally don’t stop working!” “Explain yourself, idiot.” “I mean they don’t stop for anything! They don’t go for lunch, they don’t take bathroom breaks … I don’t think Bob’s even fucking blinked in the past hour!” “... get back to work, Jenkins.” The day passed in its usual fashion, but even so, Mr. Winters had trouble getting Jenkins’ words out of his head. He rose for no reason in particular and peered out of his office’s door window, looking down at the people who worked for him. They were working diligently which, at first glance, was pleasing to Mr. Winters. He was about to look away when Bob’s cubicle caught his eye. Bob was sitting completely still, his eyes staring without blinking at his computer screen. His fingers were flying across his keyboard with an almost reckless speed. Mr. Winters furrowed his eyebrows and left his office. He made his way down the stairs, nodding slightly at Juan who had decided to come in during the day to ‘make sure the place was clean’. Juan nodded back, a wide smile stuck on his face. He continued sweeping and polishing without pause, looking away only when Mr. Winters broke eye contact. “That’s strange,” Mr. Winters whispered to himself, “then again … he is a Mexican so …” Mr. Winters arrived at Bob’s cubicle and saw that Bob was not the only employee working without stopping. Not a single member of his staff was talking, not a single person was taking a break. Mr. Winters frowned at Alice who worked in the cubicle beside Bob. She was on the phone talking to a potential client but something was … off about her. Mr. Winters squinted and realized suddenly that Alice wasn’t breathing … no, she was breathing, albeit at a strange pace. It was like each breath was her last. Mr. Winters watched her take a deep breath and then talk to the client for thirty to forty seconds straight without pausing. Mr. Winters opened his mouth to speak when Alice bid the client an abrupt goodbye and then slammed the phone down. She stood bolt upright and whirled around on her heel. “See you,” she mumbled in a slurred voice as she marched purposefully past her boss. Mr. Winters watched her leave and looked down at his watch. Five in the afternoon, exactly. “Quittin’ time,” Bob said sullenly, appearing behind Mr. Winters without warning. “Jesus Christ!” Mr. Winters shouted, “You scared the shit outta me. Hey … why do you sound so upset about going home, Bob?” “Home is boring,” Bob perked up suddenly, “oh, but I get to come in again and work tomorrow! Isn’t that grand?!” Bob raced out of the building with the rest of his fellow employees. Mr. Winters stared after them in confusion, noting that Jenkins had already gone home for the night. The next day Mr. Winters made a beeline for Jenkins’ cubicle as soon as his employees got in. He ducked inside and looked around at the other employees, making sure none of them could see or hear him. “Jenkins!” he hissed, “Jenkins, you were right!” “Right about what, sir?” Jenkins continued typing. “The others … something’s wrong with them,” Mr. Winters looked around again, “they’re not … they’re not right. We need to do some- Jenkins?” “I don’t think anything’s wrong, Mr. Winters,” Jenkins looked away from his computer screen. His eyes were glazed over as if looking through Mr. Winters. His hands continued to move, his fingers pounding against his keyboard without stopping, “We’re all just so excited to be working! Time is money, after all! Those other business owners are gonna be so jealous of you, sir!” Mr. Winters nodded and gulped, backing away from Jenkins. Jenkins gave him a cold smile and spun back around, typing even faster than before. Mr. Winters ran back to his office and slammed the door. He stared out at his workers but none of them looked back; they were far too busy working. Mr. Winters sat in his office and pulled out a cigar, lighting it with extreme difficulty. His hands were shaking, his brow slick with sweat. The hours passed so slowly until, finally, the clocks hit five. Mr. Winters watched his employees stand up in unison and march towards the exit like an army of zombies. Mr. Winters breathed a sigh of relief and looked underneath the desk to grab his briefcase. “MOTHER OF FUCK!” he screamed when he raised his head. Standing outside his door was Levi in the same, grey suit he had worn weeks before. Levi was looking at Mr. Winters with a small smirk upon his dull, pale face. He pushed the door open with ease, his enormous hands breaking the knob. “Good evening, Mr. Winters,” he droned, “How are you doing tonight?” “What?” Mr. Winters stepped backwards, “How … how am I doing?! What the fuck did you do to my people?!” “People?” Levi looked confused, “they aren’t people. They’re workers. Employees. They exist to make you money, make you the envy of your peers. You said it yourself.” “But … but I-” “This is what you wanted, Mr. Winters. My employer is most pleased.” “This is not what I wanted!” Mr. Winters insisted. “You wanted your competitors to be jealous of your success …” “NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF MY EMPLOYEES’ SOULS!” Mr. Winters roared. “Hmm,” Levi chuckled, “interesting choice of words. Come with me, Mr. Winters.” Levi walked away. Mr. Winters chased after him, his hands balled into fists of rage. Levi stood outside of the empty office with an evil grin on his face. He gestured towards the door and waited patiently for Mr. Winters to approach. Mr. Winters got closer and reached out for the doorknob. It was cold to the touch and yet the room beyond emanated heat that rolled out into the hall. Mr. Winters took a deep breath and opened the door. The Machine stood in the center of the room, as tall and wide as the room itself. The seven gears were unmoving and were no longer pristine, shining metal. They were made of what appeared to be bone, covered in rust and blood. Faces covered the surface of The Machine, each and every one of them screaming in silent agony. Mr. Winters recognized them immediately as the faces of his employees. Bob, Alice, Juan, Jenkins … and so many more. All of them trapped within the gears. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Levi whispered from behind. “What the fuck have you done? What the fuck is that thing?” Mr. Winters howled. “It’s what you wanted,” Levi replied flatly, “you wanted to beat your competition. You wanted your employees to work perfectly, more efficiently. Like cogs in a great machine. Your envy has been rewarded; your company is the most efficient in the world.” “What … what are those faces?” “Well, every machine needs to be oiled,” Levi smirked, “besides, it’s not like they needed that stuff to function like good, little robots.” “You son of a bitch!” Mr. Winters raised a fist. Levi sighed and touched Mr. Winters’ chest. Mr. Winters froze, every muscle in his body tight and unmoving. “Your company is the most efficient in the world, thanks to my gift,” Levi said with a cold malice, “but it could be even more efficient. There is still a single cog in the machine that isn't spinning as fast as it could be ...” Levi laughed and moved towards Mr. Winters who stood, paralyzed and shaking internally with pure terror, “This wondrous Machine has made your dreams come true ... would you like to see how it works?” Levi chuckled and shoved Mr. Winters backwards, sending him tumbling into the sides of the gears. Mr. Winters felt the gears begin to spin, pulling on his clothing. He tried desperately to move, but felt only pain as he was dragged forcefully through the first of the seven gears. He screamed out in pain, the noise never escaping his lips. All went black and, when the light returned, Mr. Winters was looking down at Levi from above, his face alongside the others trapped in The Machine. He howled and cried, his pleading going unheard. Below him, standing next to Levi, was a person who looked exactly like him. “Well then,” Levi clapped his hands together and nodded at the false Mr. Winters, “back to work!” Mr. Winters stood at the top of the stairs looking down at his fellow workers. They toiled to make his company the envy of the world. He felt nothing. They felt nothing. They worked. They made money. They existed to work. The doors burst open. Not a single person looked away from their workstation. The flashbangs went off and not a single person gasped or stopped taking calls. Two men in black suits and black helmets that covered their faces came barrelling through the door. Bob sent an email as the two men shot him in the head, killing him instantly. Alice kept typing while bullet soared through her torso. The two men walked through the rows of cubicles, firing shots at each and every one of the employees. Not a single one of them stopped working, their fingers coming to rest when all brain functions ceased. Jenkins paused as the men reached his cubicle and rolled his eyes. He leaned forward and placed his own forehead against the barrel of one of the guns. “More efficient this way,” he whispered as he closed his eyes. The gun went off and the other man rushed past, aiming up the stairs. He discharged his weapon several times, the third shot going right through Mr. Winters’ heart. “Clear!” Agent Weaver lowered his gun and removed his helmet, “that was fucking depressing, eh, Cold?” Agent Cold grunted in the affirmative and removed his own helmet, glaring down at Jenkins’ lifeless corpse. Agent Weaver shook his head and stepped over Mr. Winters’ body, moving into his office. Agent Cold sighed and made his way towards the second office on the upper floor, his weapon drawn. “Found it,” he yelled to Agent Weaver who came running as fast as he could. “Sweet Zeus,” Agent Weaver looked The Machine up and down, whistling in shock, “you want to call the Chaplains, or should I?” “I’ll do it,” Cold replied, pressing a finger to his ear, “Command? Chaplain Solomon? Yessir. Yessir, we’re looking right at it. Looks like some sort of machine with gears and … faces. Yeah, the faces of the poor bastards out there. Yessir, they’re all accounted for. All of the workers that have been missing for the past few weeks. They’ve been here, uh … working. Yessir, we’ll try that right away.” “What did Chaplain Solomon say?” Agent Weaver chuckled, already removing the flask from his belt. “Just do it, Jesus Christ,” Agent Cold shook his head. “Alrighty then, Mr. Grouchy,” Agent Weaver stepped forward and poured the oil onto The Machine, “hey, look, Cold. It’s working like a well-oiled ma-” “Not funny,” Agent Cold growled as he tossed the match into the room. https://www.wattpad.com/usemogliru
2017.03.02 23:31 synnrmanMovie Dicks for March 7th, 2017: "Montana Smith and the Cathedral of Peril"
Indiana who? Never heard of him. This project is 100% original. We are calling it:
Montana Smith and the Cathedral of Peril
That's right, it's time for some mid-eighties Indiana Jones knock-offs! We start with a classic forerunner to Indy: Allan Quatermain. Unfortunately, this adaptation is...less than classic. Then, we meet up with the man who almost was Indy in his very own adventure. Made by Hong Kong studio Golden Harvest, you could literally say it was an actual Chinese made rip-off. Finally, Cannon decides that would would be better than an Indiana Jones type treasure hunter: two of them partnered up! No whips needed, this week on Movie Dicks! The show begins at 8:00 PM CST in the PreRec Twitch chat.
King Solomon's Mines (1985) (1:39:59)
High Road to China (1983) (1:41:03)
Firewalker (1986) (1:45:04)
King Solomon's Mines (1985): Fortune hunter Allan Quatermain teams up with a resourceful woman to help her find her missing father lost in the wilds of 1900s Africa while being pursued by hostile tribes and a rival German explorer. Directed by J. Lee THompson, starring Richard Chamberlain, Sharon Stone, Herbert Lom, John Rhys-Davies and Ken Gampu. High Road to China (1983): During WW1, an alcoholic American biplane pilot is hired by the spoiled daughter of an industrialist to find her father who disappeared in Asia. Directed by Brian G. Hutton, starring Tom Selleck, Bess Armstrong, Jack Weston, Wilford Brimley, Robert Morley and Brian Blessed. Firewalker (1986): A pair of adventurers try to track down an ancient Aztec/Mayan/Egyptian/Apache hoard of gold. Directed by J. Lee Thompson, starring Chuck Norris, Louis Gossett Jr., Melody Anderson, Sonny Landham, Ian Abercombie and John Rhys-Davies. Last Time on Movie DicksWild Beasts (1984), Day of the Animals (1977), Roar (1981) Last Movie Dicks
2016.12.17 16:33 TheTriscuit[PI] You work for a shadowy government agency covering up alien contact on earth. One day while taking the FBI off a case to hide the truth, your agency is waved off the case by an even more shadowy, even more clandestine government agency that you didn't know existed until now.
"What's it gonna be today, Jensen? NSA? CIA? You make the call, what's our play?" Hawkins looked at me with a smirk in his eyes, knowing I always disliked using the run of the mill agencies. "Nah, I think I'm gonna go with Bureau of Engraving and Printing. That one always throws 'em for a loop." "I still can't believe that you not only built a logical case for crop circles being 'engravings', but that you somehow get those lugheads to accept that circles have something to do with currency." I chuckled softly as I put on my official blue BEP field jacket, Hawkins slapped a bright yellow BEP magnet on the side of our black Ford Explorer, and we jumped in to start the hour or so drive to the site of the incident. Working for the agency of Contact Response and Awareness Prevention had it's perks, not the least of which was taking advantage of the less-than-stellar IQs of my fellow federal agents in other organizations. Tonight was a pretty standard call, some loons out in the woods claiming aliens had drawn maps in their crop field. Of course, they aren't really loons. They're completely rational adults with a pretty firm grip on what's really going on, but for the last few decades the powers that be have been calling Contact Response and Awareness Prevention on these cases and we've done a pretty slam dunk job of keeping the general population out of the loop. Usually an incident like tonight's would be handled by local PD and we wouldn't have to get involved in person, we'd just make a few phone calls and the whole thing would be relegated to tabloid fodder at the Piggly-Wiggly. This one, though, had gone right up to the FBI. See, it turns out the aforementioned crop field just so happened to be filled with marijuana, and the soon-to-be loons happened to be wanted for growing and distribution across state lines. This is both good and bad; good because it'll be so much easier to discredit these local-yokel idiots, but bad because the ground-level goons from the FBI are always so incredibly obstinate. We got some pretty confused looks from the agents on site as we slowly rolled up with our light bar flashing. We took a second to get into character, opened our doors at the same time, and stepped out in sync with each other. We'd practiced it hundreds of times, for some reason the simultaneous "thud" of the car doors lent us some gravitas on calls like this. "Alright, who's in charge of this dog and pony show?" Hawkins always liked to go with a slight insult first thing, get the agent in charge off balance. A few of the agents turned, and one audibly a sucked in a quick, staccato breath. A tall, broad-shouldered agent with perfectly coiffed hair and a mustache that would make Tom Selleck question his masculinity slowly turned to give us a once-over. His figure cast a pitch black shadow against the edge of the field in question, the high beams and alternating flashing lights making it flicker and dance as he walked toward us. "I'm sorry, but who the hell are you?" From his tone we inferred that Hawkins's opener had worked. He was off-kilter, he wouldn't be thinking clearly. "I'm special agent Jensen with the Bureau of Engravings and Printing," I pulled out a badge as I talked, casually flipping it back into my pocket after he glanced it. "This investigation is now under our jurisdiction, we'll need you to turn over everything you have so far, gather your team, and leave. Immediately." "Is this some kind of joke?" Selleck-stache's brow furrowed as he thought about what I'd said. "You realize impersonating a federal agent is a crime, right? You're either the boldest or the dumbest sons of bitches this side of the Mississippi, walking up to a regional FBI director and trying to pawn yourselves off as agents. You expect me to believe that the office overseeing legal tender has agents or even jurisdiction in criminal investigation? Get back in your car and leave before I have you arrested." Great. This guy - Director Jethro Tunt, according to his name badge - wasn't the standard idiot. It was rare to get this much immediate push back, usually they asked a few soft questions and then they'd pack up and leave once they realized it ultimately meant going back to bed instead of poking around a boring crime scene at midnight. Jethro was different. He was digging in and I'd have to work a lot harder to get him out of my hair. "Well Jethro, we aren't limited strictly to currency as our only area of expertise. See, that middle word in our name gives us a whole lot of leeway in what we cover. We could spend a lot of time going over the dictionary definition of 'engraving', but I think you'll agree that what we're looking at here would certainly fit any layman's understanding of what constitutes an engraving. Now, that being established, it's our job to come in here, analyze this engraving, and determine its impact and potential ramifications pertaining to US legal tender. What if this is part of a larger scheme to create an elaborate forgery to be photographed from a plane, printed, and distributed? So like I said, we're gonna need anything you've got so far, and you'll need to leave." Just as Jethro was about to protest further, a new set of colors added itself to the cacophony of strobing lights as we heard a new vehicle crunching its way across the dirt and gravel road. Jethro's consternation was growing palpable as he watched the new car pull up. "What in the actual fu-" was all he got out before the sound of two car doors slamming simultaneously cut him off. "Alright, who's in charge of this chicken shit operation?" Jethro and I both spat out a hasty "I am!" as I turned to see who was stealing our thunder. Probably some of those asshats from Western office, they were always trying to encroach on Central territory. I didn't recognize these guys, though. These were new faces, and I knew just about every Contact Response and Awareness Prevention agent by name. I was in the dark just as much as Jethro. The first newcomer looked at our vehicle and chuckled. "Bureau of Engravings and Printing? That's good. Let me guess, something about this technically counting as an engraving? It's inelegant, but I guess if it works on the lower castes of the federal hierarchy then go for it." As he and his partner sauntered over, I could feel the heat of Jethro's rage emanating from behind me. "I don't know who the hell you think you're addressing, but I'm the goddam regional director of-" "Of FBI investigations and operations in the greater tri-state area. I know, Jethro. And I'm here to tell you none of that matters to me in the slightest." The way he said it was so coated in self-assured smarm that the words practically oozed out of him. Who the hell were these guys? "My associates and I are here to take control of this investigation. Director Tunt, you and your men will all be coming with us for debriefing. I do hope your loved ones aren't expecting you anytime soon, say the next year or so. Please cooperate, we'd like this to go as smoothly as possible." As he spoke, agents seemed to materialize from outside the light, calmly escorting the FBI director, his men, and the field owners to the edge of the area lit by headlights and out into the night. It seemed to be much darker than I remembered outside the ring of vehicles. "I'm sorry, but who uh... Who are you? You seem to know who we are, but I've never seen you before. If you know who we are then you know we have final jurisdiction over any incident involving extraterrestrial happenings, so I'm going to have to ask you to leave." The two strangers looked at each other amusedly and shook their heads. After a moment, the second agent wandered off to the edge of the field and started taking readings with a small device I'd never seen. The first, who I'm assuming was the senior, thought for a moment before he answered. "Do... Do you actually believe you're at the top of the pecking order?" His diction bordered on over-annunciation, adding to the smug demeanor he carried. "You have no idea, do you? Not about us, by nature our organization is beyond classification, but you really have no idea that you might not be the top of the totem pole? Hm. Well, you said it yourself. Your organization has final jurisdiction over all matters extraterrestrial. But there are things even your jurisdiction doesn't cover. Things more terrible and devastating than any alien race could ever be, things ancient and forgotten. We keep the peace, we satiate them and protect humanity's fragile existence. Now, is that good enough for you?" A low rumble came from the field as the ground trembled. "Ah. That answer will have to suffice. We've dilly-dallied too long, I'm afraid, and I do further fear we may have to wrap up some loose ends when all is said and done. Please wait here." He turned and went to join his colleague. As he walked away, Hawkins and I realized that several of the agents had moved in from the dark and were standing behind us. They calmly reached out and put forceful hands on our shoulders, keeping us from leaving. The ground shook again, more violently this time, as another low, long rumble emanated from the field. The two from the vehicle stood on the edge of the crops, their arms outstretched, shouting things I couldn't understand into the night. I could tell by the look on Hawkins's face that despite his best efforts, he couldn't understand them either. Suddenly, the earth under our feet heaved violently. As I stumbled to my knees I could have sworn I heard a chorus of voices speaking from the field in dissonant unison, but I only saw the two men from the mysterious agency. A great scream grew from the earth, rending the ground and piercing through the night, and a flash of heat and light swept over us, knocking us flat and sucking the air from our lungs. Marlene hated grocery shopping on Sundays. She never learned and always put it off to the last minute, and the lines were always terrible. Wandering around the aisles, she gathered up her supplies for the week and pushed her cart back towards the front. A quick survey of the check out lines confirmed that she would be waiting at least five minutes at any one of them, so she walked to the closest one and took up the duty of patiently waiting her turn. As she loaded her cart onto the conveyor belt she checked to make sure she had everything, then checked again. Satisfied, she lustily eyed the rows of candy in front of her and considered grabbing some, but in the end decided against it. The temptation was strong, though, so in an effort to distract herself she turned to the magazines. She picked up some glossy periodical with a shirtless Hemsworth brother on the cover, "Eighteen things he wishes you knew in bed!" She flipped through it, grew bored, and put it back in its spot. Just as the elderly woman in front of her was handing her last coupon to the cashier, a square tabloid caught Marlene's eye. A picture of two wild-eyed men being put into a squad car in handcuffs filled the front page. "Unknown duo arrested in local drug bust" was splashed across the top of the image. Across the center of the picture, angled slightly to the lower left, a quote seemingly from one of the arrested men was printed in bold letters, "The Great Old Ones live! They lie in wait for the day when they shall rise from beneath to trample us! They LIVE!" As she stepped in front of the cashier, Marlene shook her head and chuckled. "Can you believe these loons? I'm telling you, honey, drugs do horrible things to the brain."
2016.03.17 03:11 pursehook[What Michelangelo Knew] Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
(Edit: available on US Netflix.) Wikipedia’s entry on Alain Guiraudie, director and screenwriter of Stranger by the Lake, L'inconnu du lac (original title), begins:
Alain Guiraudie (born 15 July 1964) is a French film director and screenwriter. He has directed ten mostly LGBT-related films since 1990. He is openly gay. Guiraudie has named Georges Bataille as an important influence….
Bataille makes perfect sense. I even noticed the thematic connections. But, reading on Wikipedia that Guiraudie actually cites Bataille… wow. Bataille wrote extensively on a wide range of subjects, and I’ve only read a few short things, but be assured that he was both an extreme and a very transgressive thinker. The Dadaists and the Surrealists, writers and artists (often both), were rather obsessed with the relationship between sex and death. Yet even in a milieu of collective obsession, Bataille’s writings stand out as possibly the most extreme. To get in the mood, check out this horrifying Giacommeti sculpture, Woman with Her Throat Cut, 1932 http://annex.guggenheim.org/collections/media/902/76.2553.131_ph_web.jpg. You can also read about it. This is about the connection between female eroticism and male death, with the insect shape surely referencing the preying mantis, a favorite subject to connect sex and death. It is a perfect representation as the female insect devours the male after mating. Nice, huh? So, maybe think of this horrific Giacometti (it is great, more horrific in person!) as a highly successful artwork closely linked to Bataille’s theories, and with that in mind, return to our beautiful, sylvan setting of Stranger by the Lake. I was surprised to see in the IMDB trivia a comment that Guiraudie had originally tried to write Stranger by the Lake as a heterosexual story. He discarded it as he felt the characters needed to be “equal” -- I guess he meant equal in a masculine-masculine sense. In addition to the sex/death obsession, the second big idea that I recall about Bataille and art is his theories about play. I’ll return to this, but I can’t think of a more beautiful yet simultaneously horrific example than the murder scene mid-way through this film. The movie begins by establishing the setting, a microcosm, and its routines, which are, basically, then repeated day after day. The protagonist, Franck, arrives each day shown by a shot of his car pulling into the small, dirt parking lot where there might already be 5-10 other cars. Often, we also see the parking lot again when he leaves in the evenings, and we come to recognize some of the other cars. To an American’s eye, the cars’ styles have some personality, with quirky individual shapes and colors. (I think the dead guy had the red Peugeot hatchback.) The parking lot repetition becomes a device for measuring the passage of time -- days in this case. Our microcosm also includes some dirt walking paths, a beach, a beautiful lake, and the wooded area behind the beach, which is the area reserved for cruising/sex. They call it the “woods”, but it also has tall green grass, which is used for beautiful, dramatic framing of the sexual encounters. This is all established with gorgeous, widescreen compositions. One critic (sorry, I lost track) claimed that the beautiful compositions normalize the behavior ie., the gay sex. Maybe. Everything takes place in this outdoor setting, in natural light. The setting is very contained, similar to a play. We never see the characters go home or head off to a bar. There is also no music in the film, either nondiegetic (a musical score) or diegetic (on-screen music). All the sounds were recorded at the actual lake -- the sounds of water, the soughing of wind through trees. I found the sound, and the quiet, very effective. The characters are all adult men, usually nude or dressed in short, or shorts and a t-shirt. Some are couples; some are alone. The general routine is that they arrive and sunbathe on the beach, perhaps taking a swim. Probably, at some point, they cruise in the woods or head there with their partner for some sex. Then, perhaps, they return to the beach for a bit. It is very minimalist and idyllic in its own way -- a small, closed community with its own social norms. As the setting is established, we learn a few things about our protagonist, Franck. He seems sweet and sympathetic. When he works, he sells vegetables -- is there a gentler profession? He befriends an older, overweight man, Henri, who the others don’t interact with much. Franck is also not unkind to Eric, the weird voyeur guy, who often makes advances toward Franck and seems to irritate some of the other men. There clearly is a shallow appearance/desirability-for-sex hierarchy. Franck seems to be fairly high in this social order. Early on, there is, presumably, an important scene involving Franck and condoms. He pairs up with batman t-shirt guy in the woods, and they go off to have sex. Then batman t-shirt guy wants to use a condom, which neither one of them has. Franck says something like, “I trust you” and the other guy says something like, “well, don’t you say that to everyone?” It is an early clue that Franck is naive or reckless, or just that something might be a little “off”. We are next introduced to the object of Franck’s lust -- Michel, our Adonis in Tom Selleck packaging. Franck is smitten and clearly pained by the fact that Michel is already with someone. Bataille had a theory about play and its relationship, and importance, to the creation of art, as well as to eroticism. A great, memorable scene from the movie is Michel and his lover playing in the water in the lake. It is late; the sun is setting. It is a beautiful scene -- charming and romantic and playful. Although, we, the viewers, are watching together with Franck who is concealed in the woods looking on with jealousy and pain. The beautiful scene of play slowly turns to horror as we, together with Franck, begin to question if the lovers are still playing. Michel’s lover is saying “stop”, but that surely could be part of the game. It is an idyllic scene. Is our mind, or the camera, playing tricks on us? Why would we suspect danger? There is none of that movie music telling us what to think. Then, Michel holds his lover underwater too long. We, with Franck, are confronted with the horror of a murder. Yet, the drowned body is not visible. In the beautiful setting, there is a creepy serenity to the murder. We might even relax for a moment as the suspense of the murder is concluded. Next, we are shown the former lovers’ two towels on the beach -- someone is gone -- and we fear for Franck. He is also clearly terrified and stays hidden in the woods. The murder is certainly a climax of sorts (hello, Bataille). Yet, Franck returns the next day. Why?? Run, Franck! Moreover, he hooks up with Michel, and they become a couple, with some restrictions. After a few days, some sort of authorities come and find the body in the lake. Following this, a sole inspector, an outsider, arrives and begins investigating the death. The inspector brings with him social norms from outside the small, closed community. He seems like a fairly open, easy-going guy, but he does ask some pointed questions about things like connecting and having casual sex with someone whose name one does not know. Or, quickly returning to the status quo after a murder in a very small community. They are fair points, but, importantly, An Outsider has arrived. Questions
Why, Franck why? I guess this sort of is the story, but still… why? Somewhere I read something about the idea of the formal repetition in the film mirroring an interior compulsion. Does anyone buy that?
Why, Henri why? He tells us, but it is so violent. Obviously, it has more meaning. Was he so hurt? Or just so lonely, or depressed? Could he have thought that he might have saved Franck?
Is Guiraudie commenting on the relationship between sex and love? And, if so, what is he saying? There is all that dialogue about whether you must be having sex with someone to be together with them in other ways. Do we have a deadly classification problem?
Is there some message about the fear of absolute loneliness? Is this community not providing a support structure here? Is increasing alienation a message?
What is the meaning of having this sociopath in this seemingly idyllic, if somewhat alternative, setting? It seems ripe for so many readings.
What did you think would happen at the end? Did you have a gut feeling? I know it is meant to be ambiguous, but I felt, personally, that Franck was going to die. Then, I read that there was an alternative ending where the two reconcile and drive off together -- like Franck will finally get to spend the evening with Michel. If this is true, dark, Guiraudie, dark.
Did anyone else wonder how the shot of the murder scene in the lake was done? It looked like one shot to me, but I know nothing of all the tricks that can be done. (I did discover the answer, but I’m curious if anyone else also wondered about it.)
I can’t remember where I read this -- maybe, an IMDB comment. But, one of the morals that someone wrote was that if you get too caught up in this cruising scene, you will ultimately end up doing it with poor Eric. Hahaha.
2015.07.22 11:26 HoldenGambles[Season 2] Who Ray killed, and how Jordan may be connected
Ray Velcoro found out in Ep. 5 that he didn't kill his wife's rapist. The rapist was caught recently and DNA evidence and his wife's ID of her attacker directly tie him to the crime. So. Who did Ray actually kill? Gene Slattery. Who is Gene Slattery? In Ep. 2, Frank delivers money to Mayor Chessani and admits he is $10,000 short on the payment because of Caspere's untimely demise and shady dealings. In that discussion, Chessani says "When you took over (the poker room) from Gene Slattery, we established terms. Short wasn't part of it, Frank." Then the mayor goes on to mention 'outside interests' wanting to muscle into the poker room and it being a 'seller's market.' Why would Gene leave such a lucrative business? It's also odd Chessani would say Gene Slattery's name here. Unless it is a veiled threat, one that Frank would realize instantly. What happened? Frank says he has kept the poker room 'as tight as a drum for six years.' Ray's maybe-baby is 10-11, but we don't know how long it was after the rape that Ray killed the man Frank claimed committed the attack. Let's work on the assumption it's about 6-7 years ago. (Or perhaps the murder happened right around the same time as the rape and six years ago there was a problem with the poker room that frank had to fix, resetting the "X number of days without an incident" clock. But I think that's probably unlikely and needlessly pedantic, even for Pizzolatto.) The flashback meeting between Frank and Ray took place in the Lux Infinitum, the club Frank had to re-acquire after being screwed out of the rail deal. Going from running that club to running the poker room seems to be a massive promotion, judging by the caliber of person who was running the club after Frank left (Santos. The fat dude with the 'Fuck You' grill). In that flashback, Frank is a mid-level gangster (Just look at his clothes - Leather jacket and jeans. Not the Frank we're uesd to). And Ray doesn't work for Vinci. He works for the LA County Sheriff's Office. He wouldn't know any of the Vinci players then. So Gene Slattery wouldn't be a gangster or a corrupt business owner to Ray, just a name on a piece of paper given to him by Frank. My take is that Frank found out about the rape from someone. I'm guessing one of the Vinci PD higher-ups as he knew Ray's wife's story of what happened. Something that only police would have access to. Frank used the situation to get Ray to kill his rival Slattery and assume his position. It's kind of an ingenious plan, seeing as if Ray didn't go through with it or fails, Frank could always hire another hitman. There is no losing in that scenario for Frank. I also believe he likely used the murder to get Ray hired onto the Vinci PD. Frank has leverage on Ray as he is now a murderer and can be blackmailed to keep him in line, and Vinci gets assurances Ray will play ball when they need him to. This also gives Frank an inside man/indentured servant who is not on the payroll of the mayor. (Dixon was likely the mayor's (or the Chessanii family's inside man.) Six years ago, Frank was the outside interest hoping to muscle into the poker room. So for the mayor to mention someone wanting to muscle into the venture and directly saying Gene's name, he's making it very clear to Frank that Frank could also be killed. How does Jordan Semyon fit in? Jordan Semyon, it appears, has a pre-existing relationship with Osip and Pam from The Office's ex-fiance - the sleazy producer guy. As to how they know each other, we can only speculate. So let's do that ... Jordan Semyon is infertile after having three surgeries in her 20s. I originally took this to mean she had 3 abortions. But now, I have a different theory. I believe Dr. Pitlor made her infertile through a medical procedure when he changed her from an 8 to a 10. (This revelation would line up nicely with the information that Frank was poisoning the land Caspere intended to buy to drive the price down. And the avocado trees that won't grow on Frank's property, despite being told they would) In Ep. 5, we learn Pitlor is part of a human trafficking ring that Osip appears to be running. Pitlor 'improves' the ladies and then delivers them to Osip. Osip greeted the women who we saw Blake pick up from Pitlor's office in that episode. I believe Jordan was one of the girls used in sex parties, possibly ones thrown by Tony Chessani, but it's unclear how long he's been doing that line of work. But a sex party thrown by someone. These parties are incredibly secret and probably super weird. If any of these women came forward about the parties, their story would hold no weight. It would be a he-said, she-said situation and the he happens to be a powerful state senator or power player in California. The only actual evidence these women could ever produce to the police or bring up in a civil suit would be a baby. It would be linked through DNA to the father, lending credence to the tale. Ironic seeing as Caspere was filming the parties anyway. The mother could sue for child support or use the DNA results to take to the police as proof. To curb this threat, Pitlor is sterilizing these women when he is transforming them into 10s, limiting their future recourse against the men, but I doubt he is telling the women this. Some of these women, it appears, are being killed, but it is likely a small percentage. (The blood in the shed Ani and Paul find doesn't match the injuries Caspere had, so, I'm guessing one of the ladies died in here) Ani's sister, DemeterPersephoneWhatever, knows some girls who attend these parties, and many are likely sold as wives or mistresses or prostitutes. (Chessani's wife has a definite mail-order bride look to her and they met ‘at a party,’ she said.) And the sleazy producer was basically wearing a neon sign that read "Frank, I fucked your wife” when they met. But it didn't seem as if he was an ex-boyfriend, just someone who had had sex with her often. Some of women used in the ring, however, are likely killed in some sort of sacrifice offering for some occult reason we aren't privy to yet. Perhaps one held by the 'inventive' Chessani family. Let's link these two things shall we Here's where I start to lose the thread, but I do think this scenario is very plausible. Frank is desperate to have a child, as he wants to leave a legacy. He says this over and over -- you can't take it with you and how he wants to raise a child in prosperity so they can be 'old money.' When Frank loses his millions to Caspere, he suddenly doesn't want to have the kid anymore for fear they will grow up in poverty as he did. So, when Frank assumes control of the poker room (thanks to Velcoro killing Slattery), his financial future just took a major upswing. He's ready to start a family or at least begin to plan for one. Frank's not dumb. He would have gone to the mayor before authorizing the hit on Slattery and ironed out the financial arraignment. But the mayor wasn't going to just take Frank at his word either. I think Jordan was 'given' to Frank without his knowledge of who she really was - one of Osip's girls. She would have been used early on as spy of sorts to make sure Frank stayed in line and that Osip and Mayor Chessani had insight into what was happening with his operation. It would also be how Osip knew about Caspere's dealings with Frank. Being a former participant in the parties, she would also have intimate knowledge of Caspere and how shady he is. She could have warned Osip to get out of the deal. In the opening montage when Jordan appears her eye is a camera. (https://i.imgur.com/tukPgLa.jpg). Is that a hint she's a spy? (Hat tip to Malthresh. He found this first) It would be incredibly interesting if she is the one who has the missing computer and camera stolen from Caspere's sex house, seeing as Frank has been hired to find the video. But, that's probably not the case. It would just be an interesting set up for the finale, however. If his wife was betraying him, it would fit in with Frank's paper mache monologue, as it would be enforce the notion that his entire life is a fabrication. She could also still be passing info off to Osip. Blake is an obvious spy/double agent of some kind, we saw it in Ep. 5 when he picks up the girls at Pitlor's office. But it does seem suspicious as he is so obviously a spy. Pizzolatto doesn't usually telegraph things so clearly. Blake has been suspected as a rat since Ep. 2. His wife, however, is the secret spy we likely wouldn't see coming. (Someone like Sheriff Steve Geraci in Season 1. A person who is far more connected to the plot than we realize, and helped the enemy at some point.) Random note: this show has a disproportionate amount of gingers, all of whom seem to be shady monsters. As a ginger I call bullshit, but who fucking cares. Frank could have know his wife was one of these girls, it just seems very unlikely he would get involved with someone whose loyalty he didn't believe in. TL;DR Frank used Ray to off a rival who was running the poker room at the time. Jordan was one of Osip's girls who was sterilized by Pitlor and 'given' to Frank without his knowledge. She could be reporting things to Osip about Frank. Edit: Tinfoil theory addition: Paul Woodrugh's mom was at one point a dancer, and very beautiful to hear her tell it. And it's likely she hasn't worked much since his birth as he 'ruined' her career, as she says in Ep. 5. Since this season is about intersecting lives and collision courses, it wouldn't be that far fetched to think that Paul's father is one of the men from a sex party or sexual ceremony from way back that his mom attended. It would also be when Bezzerides' dad was involved with the Good People. (It seems as if he left that scene in 1978, and Paul would be about that age. But it's most likely he left when his wife died/was killed/or committed suicide. I honestly wouldn't be shocked if what happened way back then was a mass suicide akin to Jonestown. Ani makes mention of someone(s) walking into a river and her dad does mention his wife's theatrics. But I'm digressing. ) Paul mentions in episode 5 that his mom doesn't know who his father is. But in episode 2, she says Paul is just like his father, who also "had some hound in him." If she did get pregnant by one of those men, maybe that's what started Pitlor sterilizing the women. She's also getting a check from the state for a disability - carpel tunnel. A state senator or high-enough state employee could easily arrange to set her up with a disability check as a proxy child support payment. This would be incredibly coincidental and pretty ham fisted (and almost assuredly unlikely), but we've seen some weird coincidental connections happen already that are baffling. Again, I don't think this is at all likely, but I wouldn't be shocked if this is how it played out. UPDATE So, in my original billion word post I forgot to mention this (it's in a reply to a comment below, but in an effort to keep it all together) Why would Jordan still spy on Frank after all these years? The same reason Ray is still working for Frank. They have dirt on her. She likely did some pretty gross stuff as one of these sex party people. They have something on her, I suspect its just that she was once a sex party girl. If Frank doesn't know, she would not want him to find out because, let's be honest, he would straight up murder her. This entire season is about conflicting narratives and motivations colliding with one another. Each character is being propelled by something in their past they want to keep hidden and how that information is ACTIVELY being used against them. Ani was likely molested or something gross happened with the Good People. This has propelled her to become a detective. She outright says it to Pitlor. (Not the molestation part, but since 5 kids were there - 2 killed themselves, 2 others in jail AND knowing what we know about the people who were there - it's really likely) Ray killed a guy and Frank is using it as leverage. Frank is running from his shitty childhood, and his fear that his entire life is a lie. (Which I believe is closer to the truth than he realizes) He can't trust his men anymore. His business partners think he's a joke. His wife is likely informing on him. Shit isn't good for V-Squared. Paul ... Christ that dude has some serious issues. His mom was likely a prostitute. He's closeted gay. He may himself have been a child prostitute (it's heavily implied but there's no real information on that front so far). And he was abused also. The burns on his chest, he tells Emily, came BEFORE he went to Afghanistan. Let's not forget, Dixon (I believe the Mayor's man) was taking photos of Paul and his old Army buddy/former sex haver. They will use his sexuality against him eventually. Keep in mind, Paul could clean up the blowjob allegation real quick if he just publicly admitted he's gay. He wouldn't have solicited a blowjob from that actress, just as I wouldn't solicit one from Tom Selleck. He's just not my type. But he keeps it hidden and suffers in silence, allowing everyone to just assume he did something that terrible. He would rather be seen as a potential rapist than a gay man if that tells you anything about his psyche around sexuality. And let's not forget the Blackmountain allegations, whatever that turns out to be. So, that's the long way of saying there is something in Jordan's past she wants to keep secret, and she will (or is) going through hell to keep it that way. I promise I'm done now. (I think) Edit 3: I lied about being done. I'm ginger, so you know, a shifty-eyed liar. Accept it, Reddit! I keep getting emails and people commenting saying that Frank received bad info, he is too nice to set up Ray, or that he wouldn't have set up Ray with the real rapist on the loose. All that's nonsense. Let's be clear. Frank likes kids. Frank likes himself. Frank likes his wife. The end. Yes, he told the apartment guy to cut the grass so a snake wouldn't bite a child. But he has ZERO problem sending Ray, coke-addled maniac that he is, to extort rent money from the parents. He poured known toxins (literal carcinogenics) onto people's lands to force them off the properties and drive down the value so he could get a better deal. He pulled a dude's teeth out AND THEN DROVE HOME WITH THEM IN HIS POCKET!! THROW THAT SHIT OUT THE WINDOW, FRANK! Come on, man. Santos definitely has something. Get rid of that mess immediately. (Given that Santos was likely a bigger piece of shit than Frank) Frank may have a moral compass, but it's pretty fucked up. He's a gangster. He doesn't like to admit it (A reality he is unwilling to accept? I'm sensing a pattern), but he is a psychopath in many respects. So, would Frank knowingly lie to Ray about the rapist, knowing what we do about Frank? Without a doubt. The fact that the real rapist was later caught proves that Frank didn't have the insurance policy everyone is talking about. He either didn't know who the rapist was (which I think) OR he did know and just let the guy keep on raping women across California. (Don't forget, her attacker was a serial rapist.) If the latter is correct, here are your options: Frank is a monster who let a rapist continue his sick shit across the state OR he just didn't keep track of the guy to make sure it wouldn't come back on him. A monster or an idiot or both? Those are your options with the latter. Truth be told, I think Frank would have murdered that rapist just to sew up that loose end if he knew the truth. But I don't think he did. (I bet he would have sent Stan to do it too!) Could Frank have been manipulated? Yes. He has shown a major willingness to accept a lie. Blake's shifty ass for instance. But I don't think this is the case here. If it was Chessani, why use Frank to recruit Ray? At that point, Frank is a mid-level guy. The mayor is getting poker room kickbacks regardless from Gene. Why rock the boat? Could the Vinci PD have done it? I guess, but I don't see why they would let Frank run point with Ray. I mean, look after Caspere dies how tightly they follow every step of that investigation. Why play so loose with a mid-level gangster? Following the incentives, Frank benefits the most from this murder. The mayor loses Gene Slattery (if that is who he killed, which I think). It shakes things up. Sure, I guess he could make more money with Frank in kickbacks, but Chessani seems like a bird-in the-hand kind of guy.
2015.07.10 02:31 kermi42[TOMT][MOVIE] Scene with a Lamborghini where the driver is transporting the rear spoiler in the cabin.
The scene I am thinking of featured a driver parking a (likely red) Lamborghini and his assistant opening the door, and he had the rear spoiler of the car stashed in the cabin with him as it had apparently come off at some point while he was driving and this was the only way he could transport it. The reason this sticks out in my mind is because as a kid I was confused and thought the spoiler was part of the car's seatbelt/harness system until I recognised the car years later and recalled the scene, finally interpreting what I'd actually seen. I came to assume that this scene was from one of the Cannonball Run movies since a Lamborghini is featured and Burt Reynolds' character is partnered with Dom DeLuise, but may have inadvertently gaslighted myself because when I later watched The Cannonball Run 1 & 2 I did not notice this particular scene anywhere in either movie - besides which, the Lamborghini is black and driven by two women whereas Burt drives an ambulance in the first movie and a jeep in the second. Additional considerations: as a kid I couldn't tell Burt Reynolds apart from Tom Selleck I have considered that this scene could have featured Tom, or just as easily another actor that looked vaguely similar to them. If it was Tom, I am fairly certain it wasn't from an epipsode of Magnum PI with the iconic Ferrari as I am 99% sure it was a red Lamborghini Countach with the "gull-wing" doors. This one has been driving me nuts for years and no amount of googling has rendered anything useful. Edit: timeframe for when I saw this movie is likely the late 1980s, though I'm pretty sure the movie was already a few years old when I saw it, so anything from the 80s is a possibility.
2012.09.30 06:45 hooperX101[TOMT] [TV Show] Mid-to-late '90s buddy-cop style cartoon with human and animal
Hey all, I'm looking for help with finding an old cartoon from the 1990s. It seemed to be centered around a police officecaptain(?) and his tigeleopard partner(?). If I remember correctly, he had black hair and a mustache (think Tom Selleck style mustache) and his partner(?) was always causing him to stress out and/or get in trouble. I think he might've had a catch phrase he yelled, maybe the animals name...somewhat similar to "Allllllviiiinnnn!" Not entirely sure on that part, though. Also, I'm pretty sure this was a cartoon on the non-cable stations, like UPN, WB, CBS, etc. and it came on during the weekends. Any help is greatly appreciated, I've had this in my brain for years and it's been so frustrating!
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http://www.cbs.com/shows/blue_bloods/ Tom Selleck's poignant, beautiful eulogy for his former partner who died after becoming ill from complications brought ... Thomas Selleck is an American actor and film producer. Wife: Jillie Mack (m. 1987) Daughter: Hannah Margaret Selleck Pictures taken from Google advanced Sear... Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy The outro is relevant to the guest. This guy, no wonder he is considered an american treasure. He is fantastic. I thought he was mr. big shot. But, he is swe... Tom Selleck rarely talks about his private life in interviews. #TomSelleck #MyCelebCrush #Fabiosa However, we do know that his first marriage failed miserabl... Tom Selleck Living Separate Life From Wife Jillie Mack Complete article: http://celebritynetworth.wiki/tom-selleck-net-worth/ American television and film producer, as well as an actor commonly known as Tom Selle... Thomas Selleck was born in 1945 in LA. Since early years he was very much interested in sports and was a huge fan of gymnastics and athletics. He was really ...