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Em walked downstairs to where the troops were to get her squadron in line and ready to search for Shelby.

6/21/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #31
Bleeding Perfection

Shelby sat in her chair, watching video feeds from spy cameras placed around the city, and some even inside Scorpia Corp. The Scorpia troopers were returning to the Corp., most likely readying for war.

"All squadron leaders to my office, now," Shelby said into the intercom mic.

6/22/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #32
Bleeding Perfection

"You can't run forever, David!" calls the Scorpia trooper.

I'm running. Always running, nowhere to go. Been running for six years now, ever since the Fall of City. They called it the Dead City now, since all that rules there is evil, and evil is death. Here in the Dead City, evil is death, and fighting is survival. Or rather, running is survival, and fighting is part of the deal.

I duck into a dark alley, reloading my Colt 1911 handgun. I chamber a new round, and run back the way I came. A few seconds later I see the Scorpia trooper. He's tall, well built, with black and red armor and a Remington 870 shotgun. He sees me before I can shoot. His gun levels right at me and I spin to the side, avoiding the slug round and fire two shots. His shoulder snaps back, then his head and blood pours from the wounds, but he doesn't die. He pumps his gun and shoots at me again, and I drop my knee and roll to the right, firing again as I come up. A red splash flies from the left side of his chest. He falls to his knees, dropping the shotgun, and then falls over dead.

I holster my gun and check the body for supplies. I pick up the shotgun. I could use one of these, I think to myself, pushing it into my old back-mounted shotgun holster. I take a few energy bars and his canteen of water.

A purple-ish smoke flits in my peripheral vision. And then I notice the tracking beacon. They used this guy to find me, I think, cursing to myself. I'd been found, and now The Phoenix was coming to kill me. I pull out my handgun and spin around, pointing it directly ahead. Jade Phoenix was there, at the end of my gun, accompanied by the purple smoke. She wears her usual costume: Leather battle pants, leather battle harness, and blue-green and black war paint.

"David Long," she says, "And so we meet again."

"As if four years wasn't a long enough wait," I reply, "Why did you come back?"

"Ripper gave me a job. I'm here to kill you. But first I'm gonna torture you."

She ran her tongue over her teeth, past long pointed fangs.

"And then," she says, "I'm gonna bleed you dry."

"I don't think so," I say, firing my gun. But before the bullet even leaves the barrel, she's gone in a flash of purple smoke. The bullet tears a hole in the smoke, and she reappears after it passes through, along with a superhuman punch to the face.

The last thing I see is black.

The last thing I feel is pain.

I wake to a bright light in my eyes, and I'm tied to a chair wearing only my boxer shorts. A warm liquid is running down my face. Some of it gets into my mouth, and I know it's blood. Then I feel the pain, coming from deep gashes strategically carved into my body. Some on my face. I should know the method. I used it often back in my darker days.

I resist the urge to scream, knowing it will only provoke my captor.

"Jade," I call with a strained voice.

A purple smoke appears in front of me, and Jade appears within that. She twirls a wooden knife in her right hand. The long cypress blade is sharpened to a deadly point, and blood stains the edges. Mine, most likely. Jade walks up to me, and draws the sharpened wood across my left bicep, drawing blood.

"What do you want?" I say, trying not to show pain.

"Ripper wants you dead," she replies, "And I haven't had a feeding in a long time. I'm tired of cow blood." She licked her lips. "Besides, your blood smells delicious."

"I'm not vampire food. Why does Ripper want me dead?"

"Because nobody kills Scorpia employees and gets away with it. We can't grow troopers overnight, you know. How many have you killed?"

How many have I killed? ...

"You can't just kill all of them, David," Shelby said, "They may be evil, but they have feelings, too!"

"They killed my family!" I yelled, "What am I supposed to do? Give them a kiss and a box of chocolates?"

"You avoid them," she replied, "One day you won't be able to defend yourself, and they'll kill you too. Do you want to die, David?"

"They have a penance to pay! And when I'm done with all of them, I'm gonna kill Ripper."

"You're only human, you know. He's too powerful."

"They can't make us live in fear forever, Shelby."

And then I turned and left.

Shelby was right. One day they would catch up to me, and that day is today. Time to take responsibility for what I've done, whether it be to evil or not.

"Do what you want to me," I say through choked gasps, "I deserve this, though Scorpia Corp. be evil or not."

"But haven't you learned by now?" Jade teases, "Where evil is law, the good guys don't look so good anymore."

She draws the sharp cypress knife down my shoulder blade, and I can't hold back a whimper this time.

I looked down at the shivering Scorpia elite kneeling in front of me.

"Do you know what you did?" I asked.

"I have no idea," he said, cowering, "Please don't kill me."

"You killed my family!" I yelled, "Give me one good reason I shouldn't kill you."

"I don't know! I didn't know—"

"That you would have to pay for what you did?" I interrupted.

The door behind me opened, and I spun to see Shelby walk in. She looked at the Scorpia elite, then at the gun in my bloodied hands.

"Don't do this, David," She said, knowing what I was planning to do.

"He killed my wife and kids, Shelby," I replied with bite in my voice, "I can't let him get away with it. He deserves to die for what he did."

I aimed my gun at his head.

"Nobody deserves to die. Not even him," she pleaded.

"You don't control me. I have to do this."

"No you don't. You can forgive him and let him go."

"So he can go kill more families? So he can spread evil throughout the world?"

The elite began to cry.

"Let him go. Live and let live, right?"

"Wrong. Everything has changed since the Fall. It's Kill and live another day."

"Is it really, David? Or is it your revenge?"

"It's his penance."

A boom rocked the room, and the Scorpia elite lay dead at my feet.

I haven't seen Shelby since that day.

It's my penance. I killed real people, and I have to pay for what I did. Even evil has laws. It's just too bad those laws rule the Dead City.

With each and every cut Jade makes, the pain increases. With each and every cut, I slip into a hazy numbness. With every cut, I regret the path I chose even more.

Just when I think I can't stay awake any longer, a loud boom shakes the room, followed by a bright flash.

"Let him go, Jade!"

"You're a lucky man, David. I'll see you again."

In my numbness I notice a poof of purple smoke, then feel the ropes at my hands and feet loosen. Someone picks me up and begins carrying me.

"Shelby?" I ask weakly.

"It's okay, David. You're safe now."

"Live and let live, huh?" I say, and then slip into an exhausted sleep.

You were, right, Shelby. I won't make the same mistake again.

"Live and let live."

6/27/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #33
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Name: Talia

Age: 9

Eye Color: Jet Black with Silver Pupils Hair: Blood red hair

Skills: Can manipulate dark magic, has expert evasion, mind manipulation, and can manipulate all four elements.

Skills after Receiving Wicked: loss of evasion skills. Gains enhanced elemental abilities and the ability to protect her mind from manipulation.

Background: She witnessed the murder of her twin at the hands of a solider working for Shelby. She's been trying to reach The Dead City, in hopes of finding a new home and a mentor to teach her how to harness The Wicked. She has also been practicing how to avoid mind control. She has been studying The Wicked, through left over memories, lore, and books left over from her mother. She is only 9 years old, and had been studying since she was 5. She has evasion powers as well as being able to manipulate people's minds without them knowing, but only if they are Light. She wears dark blue pants, a black vest, no longer over anything as her shirt fell to rags since leaving the Shelby's place. She has made it to the outskirts of The Dead City, starving and wounded. She has jet black eyes with silver pupils, long blood red hair, and her magic is fueled by anger. She can also control elements, but only enough to barely survive. All her weapons, except her shiv and short sword, are extensions of her elemental power.

6/27/2010 . Edited 5/13/2011 #34
Fleur-de-lis Evans

The stone was black and darkness clung to every crevice. Talia looked through hazed eyes at the square in front of her almost sighing with the relief of finally reaching the city. She stumbled from her ally, making her way towards the sound of water. Even in this 'Dead City' there was some form of beauty, and she found the alley she had run down, when escaping a guard, led straight to a beautiful garden. A black oak, with red leaves, spread shade throughout this garden, and near to the fortress wall was a fountain. She used the last of her energy to dash toward the water. She reached the edge of the fountain and fell to her knees her vest falling to the ground to expose the wound on her chest, along with an emblem of lightening. She had several more emblems on her body, a flame on her hip, a water droplet by her eye, and a few wavy lines across her right bicep. The wound, now untended for four months, was infected.

The black marble of the fountain felt good against her skin, cold. She closed her eyes for a brief second, breathing slowly in and out.

6/27/2010 . Edited 5/13/2011 #35

Aaron shuffled into the office, looking the definition of the absent minded professor. His hair, not having been cut in some time, was disheveled. His clothes were rumpled, looking like he'd slept in them for the last couple of days or more. He slouched, hands stuffed into pockets.

He nodded to Shelby (right?).

"Hey. What's up?"

6/27/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #36

Name(s): Margo and Sapphira Appearance: Margo looks as if she is a teenager by human standards

Species: Vampire and White Tiger with Vampire blood

Allignment: Neutral

Weapon(s): Hand Gun, Sword

Abilities: high athletics


Margo pulled her long red hair back into a ponytail, brushing a strand of her bangs past her freckled face and out of the way of her blue eyes. She was dressed in black fighting gear, and any first glance would have caused assumption of her being a ninja. She had a black sheath at her waist which contained a black sword. She also had two daggers, one strapped to each thigh so she could access them quickly. Walking beside her was Sapphira, a white tiger with sapphire eyes. The tiger looked up and made a quiet growl. Margo followed her gaze. A city....

6/28/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #37
Bleeding Perfection

Shelby looked Aaron in the eyes.

"Aaron, thank you for coming so quickly," she said, "If you don't mind, we'll be waiting for a couple other people to arrive before we begin."

A few moments passed, then Kallien Faeri and David Long walked in. Kallien had her large purple wings folded back, like a butterfly's, and her purple hair was down, laying gently over her shoulders. David was dressed in his usual garb, with blue jeans and a black sportcoat, and multiple guns hitched to his belts and within his jacket.

"David, Kallien, thank you for coming."

Shelby turned to the large screens lining her back wall, showing the interior of Scorpia Corp. multiple views to each screen. Some screens showed Scorpia Troopers lining up to get weapons off a wall rack, while others showed advanced war vehicles being fueled up and loaded with weapons.

"Scorpia Corp. is planning an attack," Shelby said, turning back to the three, "Ripper had obviously had enough of us, and is opting for an all-out annihilation. What we need to do is mobilize defense units, comprised of only the most elite warriors, to hold the Scorpia Army at bay."

"What about their elites?" David said, "Like Jade and Emily?"

"We'll deal with that bridge when we come to it," Shelby replied, "Aaron, are your men ready?"

6/28/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #38
Bleeding Perfection

Jade suddenly stood behind Talia, with the purpleish smoke dissapearing into the wind.

"Get up," she said.

6/28/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #39

Aaron nodded, though he frowned and his face remained full of doubt. He had his own ideas about how this campaign ought to be run, but he wasn't about to argue with the leader's strategy in front of her other commanders. So instead he just hung back, slouching, head bowed, and waited for additional information, orders, or the others to leave.

6/28/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #40
Bleeding Perfection

Shelby pressed a button on her remote, and the screens chanmged to battle plans and tactics, placed on a map of the Dead City. A red circle surrounded Scorpia Corp., roughly 2 scale miles in radius.

"We're going to have the main force surround them, keeping them within the red circle shown on the map," Shelby explained, "Our goal is to keep them away from the refugees lying in the outskirts of the City. We're also going to enter Scorpia Corp. via these sewers here, here, and here." She pointed to three large sewer entrances around the City. "Once inside, we're boing to make our way to the Scorpia Trooper control room and disable every unit. They can't act independently of Ripper, so if we sever their connection, they'll just disperse. Any other questions?"

The map outlined the finer points of the attck, so Shleby didn't need to speak all of it.

6/28/2010 #41

Margo looked down at Sapphira. "Ladies first."

The tiger growled, and looked towards the city, which they were only steps from entering.

"Come on, you're not scared are you?"

The tiger rolled her eyes and took a step forward, Margo following her. "The place looks deserted." The tiger nodded...

6/28/2010 #42
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Through hazy eyes Talia saw a woman, purple smoke enveloping her. She moved her lips her voice coming out rasy, "Can't," she whispered. She let her arms fall the bandages ripping off. She cringed away from the anger she expected from this woman. Obviously she was one of Ripper's top girls. She trembled but continued in a quiet voice, the words coming out slowly. "Shelby planning attack. full mobilized troops." She fell silent and let her arm fall from her side, her vest falling open, as the connecting buttons had broken a month ago. Her wound fully visible, and obviously infected she passed out, not realizing that all the emblems, on her body since birth, blazed brightly.

6/28/2010 . Edited 5/13/2011 #43
Alexander Starkiller

Name: Allen Merrick.

Appearance: He has black hair with a few oddly purplish strands mixed in. Eyes are purple with white, moving flecks, for he is half-Kineta, despite not knowing that himself. He stands just over six feet tall, and has mastered the power to manipulate electricity.

Sepcies: He is an ancient vampire who has all the attendant powers, but hasn't used them in ages.

Skills: . He mainly deals with special operations tactics: including martial arts and less than lethal tactics. He has a thorough understanding of psychology and how to influence people.

Faith: A very strong Christian who's faith is unwavering, which, as you said at first, should reduce the influence over him and his of the Wicked and those who channel the Wicked. A

Background: He was last seen with Em and Shelby in an attempt to remove Ripper's influence over her. He found out somehow and removed her. Then Shelby left very quickly, leaving Allen alone to fight Ripper's minions. He then went into deep hiding, waitng for a chance to fight Ripper and find Shelby...


Allen felt them a group of beings that were burning with power. Not literally of course, but that was how they felt using his web of electrical pulses, set throughout the city. He knew it was time to meet Shelby once again, and this time pledge himself to her cause. He got showered, dressed in his darker black jacket, as opposed to his bright yellow and white one, and jeans, and jumped out of the window. He landed softly, and ran to the group of heroes.

6/29/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #44
Bleeding Perfection

A voice came over the intercom in Shelby's office.

"Allen Merrick says he's here to see you Shelby," it said, "Let him in?"

Shelby hadn't heard from him since that day ten years ago, when they removed Wicked from Em. She had since been taken back over by the force, but Allen had vanished.

"Let him in," Shelby said, "Send him to my office."


Jade watched the girl fall unconcious. Wicked could heal that wound on her chest. She stepped forward and placd her hand on her, to provide connection for teleporting back to Scorpia Corp. They reappeared in the imbuement room, which looked similar to a dentist office, but darker. This was where Ripper would give her the Wicked. Jade placed Talia on the bed, and waited for her to wake.

6/29/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #45
Alexander Starkiller

Allen walked into Shelby's "office". Not in great condition, but not bad considering that she was in hiding. "Nice place. Now I know I don't have an appointment, but please here me out," Allen waited for an answer.

6/29/2010 #46
Bleeding Perfection

"Go ahead," shelby said, "And we could always use extra help with the war on Scorpia."

6/29/2010 #47
Alexander Starkiller

"That's actually what I want. To join in. It has taken ten years of training to find you, and now that I have I want to help," Allen looked into her eyes and noticed what should have been obvious. "Just a second. Your eyes, why are they purple? My eyes are also purple. Why?" Allen's breath quickened as he spoke. Does she know?

6/29/2010 #48
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Talia felt the elemental emblems on her body go warm and cool. She also felt her body moving and her chest healing. Maybe it went quicker because she had dark power inside of her already. She came to slowly her eyes casting their own light so she could see.

"Th-thank you," she stammered. She waited for the woman to introduce herself. Before she did, Talia said, "I'm Talia Dupree... I've been trying to get here for so long, since I was six. If you're putting wicked in me I'll be taken over willingly but I don't know how to master my gifts I need help."

She fell silent hoping that this woman wouldn't hit her. All she wanted was to get revenge and to meet the man, who although everyone called him evil, she thought was fair and just, and whose laws she had studied and learned through her aunt, who transferred all her memories of the City and it's rise into darkness to Talia upon her death, and who had died trying to pertect Talia and her brother from Shelby's people. At least Ripper was honest about who he was and wasn't trying to persecute people who couldn't help being born the way they were. Talia laid back, keeping quiet hoping she'd be taken under somebody's wing.

(Bleeding your Ripper right? Well I was thinking that her mother worked for Ripper in the early days or something and ended up being killed, shortly after she sent her children away. So maybe he recognizes her because she resembles her mother a bit? If not that's cool to but that's what I was thinking.)

6/29/2010 #49

Margo stealthily followed after Sapphira through the darkness. They needed to find a place to bed down for the night. Sapphira growled and burst through a door that led into an empty townhouse sort of building. She quickly looked aroudn and found a bedroom, and went to the bed, not bothering to remove her weapons. Sapphira curled onto the bed, and Margo lay on the bed with her, resting her head on her friend's slowly rising and falling chest...

6/29/2010 #50
Bleeding Perfection

"Didn't you know?" Shelby said, "You're half-Kineta."


Jade didn't respond to Talia. Instead, she went to the intercom and paged Ripper.

"Yes, Jade?" he said, a tinge of annoyance in his voice.

"Got one of your little worshippers down here," Jade said, not acting particularly interested, "Says she wants the Wicked."

"I'll be right there."

A few seconds later, Ripper was stepping out of a cloud of Wicked that had materialized in the back of the room.

"Talia," Ripper said, reading her mind to retrive her name, "You do know I'll have to kill you before you recieve the Wicked, right? The host has to be dead to accept the dark force."

He didn't particularly care whether or not she agreed to be killed. He'd do it anyway, no matter what she said.

6/30/2010 #51
Alexander Starkiller

"Half what? I don't know what you are talking about. But it seems you know what you are talking about. Please tell me what you know and I will help you anyway I know how," Allen's curiousity was through the roof. Maybe he could finally know why he was like this.

6/30/2010 #52
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Talia glanced up and said, "I know. And I don't care that I'll lose evasion or my other abilities. I will keep my elemental abilities though." With that she waited.

6/30/2010 . Edited 5/13/2011 #53

Aaron stood in the corner and waited for their leader to finish with the new arrival. He thought what he had to say was worth saying, but he still wasn't going to say it in front of her other people. If she wanted to pass on his concerns and opinions she could either do so, or ask him to pass the word on. Otherwise he'd keep it between the two of them.

6/30/2010 #54
Bleeding Perfection

Ripper smiled.

"Very well," he said.

He brought one fist up, then drove it straight into Talia's throat with extreme force. She instantly began choking, and eventually choked to death on her Adam's apple. At that point, Ripper stood over her, Wicked swirling in his right hand. The Wicked spiraled down, then entered Talia through her mouth. Her body arched with the sheer amount of evil entering her, and soon enough, it was done. Talia sat up, then opened her eyes. They were completely blood red, no iris, no white, no pupil, no nothing. Just pure red.

"Welcome to Scorpia Corp, Talia," Ripper said in a dark voice, "Whom do you serve?"


Shelby smiled kindly at Allen.

"Half-Kineta, Allen," she said, "Or a Half-Laser Entity. All Kinetas, or full Laser Entities, have purple eyes and the ability to generate and contol laser for any porpose. Childern of a Kineta and a human have purple and wite eyes, and they also have a random kinetic power, such as causing things to explode, telekinesis, or in your case, controlling electricity.

7/1/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #55
Alexander Starkiller

"So one of my parents was a Kineta? And you are too? Well that explains a lot. Not nearly everything, but a lot. Thanks. Now use me as you see fit. I can be very helpful if used correctly. Oh, and I think I should go back to your "waiting room". That man over there has something on his mind. It seems to be important as he is hiding it very well. All I can tell is I am in the way. Call me when you need me," Allen wasn't sure what to do so he saluted her and left the room.

7/1/2010 #56
Bleeding Perfection

Shelby smiled. That was the Allen she remembered. She concluded the battle plans meeting and sent David and Kallien back to their respective platoons.

"I can tell you have something on your mind, Aaron," Shelby said, "What's wrong?"

7/1/2010 #57

"With all due respect, sir," he said it as though the formality pained him greatly, "your plans bite. We're vastly out manned and out gunned, and there's the chance the enemy can control some of us telepathically. Yet you want to address the threat using conventional tactics? You're going to spread us even thinner to surround the enemy, trying to immobilize their entire army, while still protecting the refugee camps? Either you know something I don't, or your personal power has addled your brains." He was moving now, gesturing a pacing just a little as he spoke. "Now, I could totally see using a small part of our force to create the illusion of these conventional tactics, while the main body of the force does something more . . . appropriate to its size and composition. Attack their weaknesses with our strengths. And what are those weaknesses and strengths? Mobility and visibility. There's no way they can hide the movements of such a large force, and to coordinate those movements, even with the Wicked, will prove slow and cumbersome. We, on the other hand, survive by remaining hidden and mobile. We move quickly and invisibly, strike hard and fast where it'll hurt the most, and get out before the enemy has time to engage. And if they do engage, we present a minimal defense, just enough to draw them in, and then close as a trap around them. Blow them away, or knock them out, or whatever it is you want to do with them once their smaller sub-units are immobilized."

He took a breath, about to go on, and then stopped, closing his mouth as the blood rushed to his face. He bowed his head, embarrassed that he went on so long.

7/1/2010 . Edited by Fleur-de-lis Evans, 5/13/2011 #58
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Talia smiled elation filling her. It no longer mattered what had happened. What would happen, with aid to her elemental abilities, and how strong she would be at Ripper's side, that's what mattered. She jumped off the chair and knelt in front of him. "I serve you, my lord." She said.

Whoever told those soldier's to kill her family would pay. As would anyone who was delusional enough to think that Shelby had their best interests in mind.

7/1/2010 #59

Sapphira growled, raising her head slowly so as not to disturb her sleeping companion, and looked at the door. Soemthing bad was happening here... soemthing evil... and she didn't like it. Curling herself a bit more tightly next to Margo, she laid her head down, but kept her eyes on the door...

7/1/2010 #60
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