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  #26  
Unread 25th of May, 2010, 04:17
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As soon as she sees that Colin appears to be out of it, Starfire begins to struggle against, and finally manages to gain control of, her unintentional transformation. Oh, she doesn't shut it down completely. She keeps her fists ablaze because, you know, the Shadow could be trying to fake them out, and if that is the case she wants to be ready for him.

But with her blood racing through her veins like electrified magma, it is difficult for her to want to stop the change at that. Why not just keep going? She can make the fire do what she wants it to do. I am in control of this!

Patches of white-hot incandescence blossom on the skin of her arms, and she smiles giddily as the spots coalesce and spread all the way up to her shoulders. It is such a beautiful feeling. The fire... The power... She is invincible!

Well, of course she knows that she isn't really. But ordinary things can't hurt her when she is like this, and she feels like she can really fight back if she has to. All the bullies out there better watch out! But there is more to it than that even, there is something about the star fire that feels right when she lets it take her over...

"Gabi?"

Huh?

"It's under control. They're back and they're gonna be okay." It's Jack's voice, calm and soothing. He's trying to assure her that the situation is being handled, that she can stand down. He's not telling her anything she doesn't know. Is there some kind of problem?

" ...before we need the fire department."

Oh.

She turns it off then, slowly, reluctantly, until only the very tips of her fingers tingle still with heat. Her eyes continue to glow slightly as she looks back at Jack, but the light and the fire are fading from them too. She looks... extinguished.

"OK," she says, breathing hard now whereas before she had hardly seemed to need to breathe at all. "OK."
  #27  
Unread 26th of May, 2010, 21:53
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“One, two, three, four…” Jack counts as Nick performs chest compressions. A tense hush falls over the room, a quiet broken only by Jack’s rhythmic counting and Nick’s grunts of exertion. Minutes seem to dilate into a hours.

“Someone call an ambulance?" Nick says, his brow dripping with sweat. He stops for a second and places his ear to her chest.

Nothing.

He looks up and shakes his head.

"One, two...come on Nick...one, two, three, four..."
  #28  
Unread 3rd of June, 2010, 02:45
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"You said they were OK!" Starfire shouts accusingly at Jack, as if it were his fault that Nightwind is lying on the floor unconscious and.. and...

Not dead!

No, not dead. Just unconscious. Unconscious, but not breathing.

Oh my god!

Starfire stares wide-eyed as Nick works on Nightwind. Her stomach feels sick and she is suddenly really, really scared that something truly awful has happened. If Nightwind is dead...

She's NOT dead!

But she obviously needs a doctor or a hospital or something. Nick doesn't know what the hell he's doing. Will a doctor know what to do? Nightwind isn't exactly an ordinary person.

"Did someone call for help? How do we call for help here? WHERE'S THE DAMNED PHONE?!"

The phone is right where it's always been, and Starfire finally scrambles over to it and snatches it up. She even manages to figure out how to call the concierge.

"Hello? HELLO?!! We need an ambulance here. Right away!"
  #29  
Unread 5th of June, 2010, 04:12
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A flurry of French and English erupts from the receiver. What room…what happened…did she need to speak with the consulate… The never ending questions are muted by the pounding in Starfire’s ears as she tries to keep from staring at the motionless body of her friend. She catches Nick’s eye as he transitions from chest compressions to breathing – his sweat drenched face devoid of hope.

Nick pauses and feels for a pulse.

“What are you doing? Don’t stop!” Jack’s voice cracks with the anger born of impotence.

“Dude…" Nick whispers under his breath, "...she’s dead.” His pronouncement hits Gabi hard in gut.

Kat was dead.

Just hours ago they were sitting on a sun drenched patio on the Mediterranean planning an afternoon of shopping and ogling half naked men and now…

Dead.

“She can’t…” she starts before her throat chokes on the words.

"She isn't."

"Jack...Holy fuck!" Nick blurts as Kat suddenly opens her eyes.

"No..." the word floats ethereally through the room. Kat's body leaps from the ground, her flesh glowing brightly from the inside.

"...wait..."

Silver light pours out of her, dissolving essence and form alike, leaving in its wake nothing.
  #30  
Unread 17th of June, 2010, 07:55
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"Huh", Hardball says absently as everyone watches the last of what he thinks is Nightwind fade into the air.

You can't even call it disbelief. From birth, we all have a covenant with reality--an expectation of what we expect things to be like. The sky is blue. Grass is green. That sort of thing. For some, there comes along an event so far-placed from these expectations that you can't have a genuine reaction because your brain can't fully process what just happened. It's sort of like shock, but not exactly.

"Nick." It's Hardball that eventually breaks the silence. "Whatever's going on with Nightwind, she's beyond our help. You and Jack see what you can do for Colin. I think he needs CPR and I don't know it. Starfire, you and Paul get with the concierge and make sure we're getting that ambulance. I'm going to try to contact Polnoch and get him here."

Last edited by Hardball; 17th of June, 2010 at 15:50.
  #31  
Unread 17th of June, 2010, 08:14
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A flash of muddy white as the soaked Paul sloshes through the damaged suite toward the front desk. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. He rushes back and takes hold of Starfire's hand, retracts at the heat, then reaches out again. The pupils in his anime moon eyes dilated to the limit of the iris.

"Weshouldgo.Weshouldgo. We should go check with the concierge about the ambulance," he stutters.

Last edited by Reinstadler; 18th of June, 2010 at 07:23.
  #32  
Unread 18th of June, 2010, 03:34
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What the fuck!

The sharp pains of anger and grief war. Nick had done everything he could do, of course, and Jack couldn't really fault him. And yet, in his mind he nitpicked everything, becuase if only Jack had been the one at the wheel there it would have all turned out differently.

Before his simmering emotion has a chance to find a likely target, everything changes in a surreal instant of blinding light and softly spoken pleas. And just like that, she's gone into the ether and he is left, once again, with only the feeling of failure.

He clenches his fists, still staring at the spot, until mention of Colin brings him back to the present.

"I'll do it," he says without looking at the others. Trying not to think about what Colin might do when he came around, Jack begins the taks of bringing him back from the brink.
  #33  
Unread 2nd of July, 2010, 03:33
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Hardball reaches for the phone right as it rings.

“Hello?” the metal man says hesitantly.

“What happened?”

It was Polnoch.

"Oh, man am I glad it's you!" Hardball says. He does his best to relay their story quickly without skipping important details. "They're back, but we're in trouble. Paul's OK, but Colin and Kat... I think they drowned. I don't know. They were all wet and Colin and Kat weren't breathing. Gabi called the concierge to get us an ambulance, and Nick and Jack are giving Colin CPR right now.

Hardball pauses for a moment. Unsure of how to continue.

"But the real problem right now is Kat. I think she's dead. Maybe. I don't know. She sort of evaporated into light. That's not normal for her, right?"

"No. No its not," there's a long, heavy silence.

"Listen to me very carefully Hardball - Kat's dissappearance has created a flare of sorts that will draw the attention of the very forces I have been trying to hide you from. They have agents in every institution, so you cannot be seen. Make your way Café Noir talk to a Luc Basset. He will lead you through the next leg of your journey.

"Now - hang up the phone and get your people out of there."
  #34  
Unread 2nd of July, 2010, 09:55
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"Crap."

He had already sent Paul and Starfire downstairs. The team was split and enemies were gathering at the gates.

As he hangs up, Hardball notices the piece of paper Paul tucked under the phone with his number on it. As he dials the number, he turns to Nick and Jack.

"Guys! Nightwind's... um... thing," he makes an awkward gesture in the air as he tries to mime dissolving into light with one hand, "has attracted the bad guys. We need to pull out and find Luc Basset at the Café Noir. If we get separated for any reason, we'll regroup there.

"How's Colin doing?"

"I'm fine," Colin croaks from the floor as Hardball finishes dialing.
  #35  
Unread 30th of July, 2010, 03:36
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Jack stands up and reaches a hand down to help Colin to his feet, certain that he was going to stand up no matter what the doctor told him. Might as well keep things from being confrontational. When he's up, Jack takes a step back, eying Colin critically. The man might say he was fine, but he'd been through a lot. Not that Jack was going to push him, not after what happened earlier. He knew what it was like to hurt people you cared about.

Hardball's words send a chill down his spine, but somehow he'd been expecting that. Nothing was ever easy, but shit, did things always have to be so hard? Paul and Starfire were alone, and that was bad. He opens his mouth to voice his concern when Paul burst back into the room, looking distraught. Jack cranes his head to see if Gabi - or anyone else - was following him.

"Where's Starfire?"
  #36  
Unread 5th of August, 2010, 00:26
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"She's coming up the stairs," Paul says in his deliberate pace, "Some sort of SWAT team is after us; I'm going back for her."

As he disappears out the doorway he just appeared Hardball calls out, "Luc Basset at the Café Noir."

"Meetyouthere!" comes the reply from the bedraggled speedster.
  #37  
Unread 5th of August, 2010, 13:49
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The short hallway flies by as Paul races toward the lobby. Near the top of the stairs he spies Starfire making her way quietly up, her eyes fixed on the lobby below. The wet squeak of his shoes catches her ear and he watches her spin in slow motion to face him, the strands of her hair fanning out in a gold mist.

wrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

The high pitched whine reminds Paul of the sound a camera makes as its flash charges, only instead of the hallway being bathed in soft, white photons, it explodes in hard, screaming ionized plasma. For a brief moment Starfire is surrounded by a red-violet nimbus and then the hall fills with vaporized plaster and masonry. He falls backwards, as the wave of heat and ozone laden air washes over him.
  #38  
Unread 29th of August, 2010, 03:53
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Raw energy courses through Starfire’s veins, drowning out her thoughts with the roar of cosmic ignition. Blue white flames erupt from her body, boiling away the weak flesh that imprisoned them. The faceless soldier at the bottom of the stairs looks on in disbelief as she slowly turns to face him. With a flick of his thumb he puts the 1.7 megawatt blaster on full auto and empties the rest of the weapon’s power cell into the center of the blazing nimbus. Streams of hot death slam into the metahuman’s torso as the rifle shrieks out enough plasma to level a city block – all to no effect.

“Burn.”

Starfire’s words roll down the stairwell at the vanguard of pyroclastic wall of white flame. Kevlar body armor runs like water, and the soldier’s scream are lost to the din of the exploding munitions on his body.

“STARFIRESTOP!STOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOP STOPSTOPSTOP!”

Paul leaps back as the flaming goddess turns towards him, her eyes burning wells of creation.

“Wegottago.Wegottago.Wegottago.Wegottago.WEEEEGOOO OOOOTTTTTTTAAAAAGOOOOO.”
  #39  
Unread 29th of August, 2010, 04:31
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“Where the fuck are those guys?” Jack’s question hangs in the room for a moment, before shattering under the piercing roar of blaster bolts chewing through the air. Sections of the walls explode, showering the group with hot plaster and splinters. Then the blaster’s report suddenly stops, drowned out in what sounded like the roar of a blast furnace.

“We gotta go people!” Hardball points towards the balcony.

“What about Starfire and Paul?” Jack yells over the ringing in his ears. Behind him a staccato of explosions causes sections of the ceiling to collapse.

“I’ll get them, now go!” the metal man gives Jack a push as he moves towards the stairwell.

“INCOMING!” Nick shouts as he dives back into the room from the balcony, his body hardening into stone as he tumbles to his feet. The whirl of helicopter blades blasts into the room as a small attack chopper pops into view, its chain gun barking to life.

Bullets rip through the air as the pilot wildly swept a hundred rounds a second through the shattered room like a child playing with a fire hose. Sparks fly as the 7.62mm full jacketed shatter and ricochet off of Hardball and Nick.

Hardball is first to react – with one arm raised to shield his eyes, he grabs the nearest heavy thing and throws blindly. The whine of the minigun abruptly stops as the small craft climbs out of the way.

“Everyone…” Hardball starts but is cut off by Nick and Colin appearing before him in a flash of shadow.

“NO WAIT! WE…” the rest is lost in the inky vertigo of Colin’s teleportation.
  #40  
Unread 31st of August, 2010, 02:58
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...CAN'T LEAVE THEM!, Jack shouts into the black hole the Shadow moved them through. His ears are ringing when the world reappears, crazily crooked. His reeling hand finds a slimy brick wall on one side of the narrow alley, and for a moment he feels like he's been sent back through time as well, to a somewhen that found him drunk, homeless, and alone.

Gritting his teeth against the backwash of memory, he focuses on the present, ignoring the irony that while his situation had improved dramatically, his problems had grown exponentially. Nobody sent an assault chopper to disintegrate your room in a hail of gunfire when you were merely drunk and disorderly.

"God damn it!" he wheels around, looking for Colin. "Paul and Gabi NEED us!"
  #41  
Unread 10th of September, 2010, 09:49
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"I know." It is the Shadow's voice that echoes eerily in the dark alley, not Colin's. Misty blackness hangs like a ragged funeral shroud across his frame, and for a moment his body seems to be nothing more than an abyssal hole, swallowing all light and joy.

Then he was simply gone.
  #42  
Unread 14th of September, 2010, 02:44
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"Son of a bitch!"

Why screw around coming back here to nab Paul and Gabi if the Shadow was still in charge? Why let them go in the first place? But it was the only thing that made sense - he'd dropped the rest of them out of the picture, where they couldn't hope to help their comrades. And now he was going to spirit them off again.

"We have to go back."

Looking around, he tries to tune his senses to their surroundings and get some sort of orientation. Things were crazy in there; even the Shadow was going to have a hard time nabbing them both unawares. No way they could get there before he did, but maybe they could be in time to help.
 

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