“You want to be left alone… and yet you’re helping me. There’s more to you than you let people see, isn’t there?” Tigress asked, though rhetorically. She wasn’t expecting an answer. The heroine couldn’t help but feel it was a trait that came with his ability. Just like the shadows he manipulated, there was much hidden behind the dark veil he kept in place. However, she doubted he’d be willing to shed some light on his true nature, especially to a stranger.
White Tigress followed the man towards the church, feeling the limits of her injury as she climbed down the fire escape. As she walked, she reflected on her decision. This was a man who had taken down several heroes in this city. His reputation was that of a monster, a villain, someone who couldn’t be trusted even by his inner circle. She was injured and needed medical supplies and a safe place to rest, but was trusting him really her only option? Janessa had learned the hard way that there was no such thing as ‘honour among thieves’. Just because he said he would help her, did not mean he truly intended to. At this point, she just had to rely on her instincts and hope her initial trust had not been misplaced. Tigress remained wary, maintaining several strides of distance as she followed the man, but it would not be enough to protect herself if he turned on her. Yet as the door to the church opened and the man offered her food and supplies, White Tigress felt more at ease. She may not be able to trust his words, but his actions seemed true enough.
“Thank you.” The heroine said plainly, as she took her seat and reached for the medical kit. After a brief look at what supplies she had to work with, Janessa carefully ripped the sleeve of her blood-stained costume to reveal the extent of her injury. The knife had cut deep into her upper arm tearing the muscle, leaving the limb relatively useless for the time being. Janessa took an alcohol wipe form the kit and cleaned the wound, gritting her teeth at the violent sting of the disinfectant, but her pain was hardly visible behind the veil she wore to cover her mouth. Once the area was clean, she took a surgical suture and began stitching the wound. Despite the clearly painful process, only a couple brief winces escaped the heroine’s composure. One benefit of her past experiences was her high tolerance for pain. Still, she was grateful for the distraction when Shadow began to speak.
“This situation? By that, are you referring to my arm or my costume? If it’s the arm, I got careless. I made a mistake and suffered the consequences. It wouldn’t be the first time.” The woman said, tying off the suture and inspecting the stitches before grabbing a roll of bandages to wrap the wound.
“If it’s the costume, that’s a considerably longer tale, and not one I particularly like telling. So how about a counter offer? I’ll tell you my story, if you tell me yours?” White Tigress offered. She had to be careful about revealing those bits of her past. There were details in her story that could lead him to uncovering her identity and then she would never be safe. That being said, she did owe him. And if stories were his currency, she’d be forced to pay her debt.
Nico stood silent and stoic as the injured woman weighed up her options, stay or go. He watched her from under the cover of his hooded cloak, appraising her looking for any sign of what she might do. As she drew her weapon Nico tensed almost unnoticeably, in fact the only one that would be able to tell that anything had changed was Nico himself. He was sure that if this encounter did come to blows then he would emerge as the victor, with the cover of night and the shadows cast all over the rooftop he was quite literally in his element. Not to mention the fact that White Tigress was badly injured. She had obviously lost a lot of blood and couldn't afford to wait around, therefore it was not really unexpected when she accepted his offer of sanctuary. As she lowered her weapon he could still see the distrust plain in her eyes and she soon put voice to it. "You are quite right, I'm not the good Samaritan type but maybe I'm not the monster everyone else believes I am, have you ever though of that?" Nico gave a brief cynical snort at the comment about his encounters with the other supers. "I'm not a fan of them? They're the ones who look for me trying to be a 'hero' by stopping the big bad Shadow, the truth is I don't care about any of them...I just wanted to be left alone."
Nico took a moment to compose himself before he made his way to the edge of the building, by far the easiest way to get to the church would be for Nico to simply Shadow Travel the two of them there but somehow he didn't think that she would allow the contact that would be necessary to travel with another person, it was one thing to accept an offer of help it was another all together to let a super use his powers on you, especially one with the reputation that Shadow had. The only thing for it was for her to follow him the old fashioned way. It was slow going over the relatively short distance, down a fire escape to the ground, then left, left, right, straight ahead...for Nico it was painfully slow and he could see the strain of Tigress' injury take its toll. Eventually they reached the church, nice and dark, covered in shadows, just the way Nico liked it. Slipping into the shadows he materialised inside the building and opened the locked door for his companion before closing the door behind her. Nico lit a few candles to give them some light, he didn't want to turn on any of the electricity as someone outside could see, it was an unnecessary risk. Nico had come here often in the months after he hd developed his abilities, he had an uneasy understanding with the minister here, as long as there was no damage and none got hurt he was welcome to stay here if need be but he must be gone by morning that way if the Organisation questioned the minister he could maintain plausible deniability. Going into a back room he took a first aid kit from he wall and some food from the kitchen in the next room along before handing them to White Tigress so she could patch herself up and regain some of her strength. Nibbling on a piece of bread he gently lowered his hood. He shook out his longish black hair and looked at the woman. His unsettling, unnatural eyes were on full display, the dark shifting shapes that swirled in the dark grey where white should be, the colour of his iris completely black. A candle spluttered out to his left and as he went to relight it his hooded cloak seemed to drink in the light not allowing the light to penetrate past the curious dark of his cloak, it was almost as if the cloak itself was made from the very shadows themselves, in a way it was, but that was a story for another day.
Nico pulled up a chair and sat down facing White Tigress, she was an interesting figure, most supers were but she was different. He still wasn't entirely sure why he was helping the injured hero it seemed like the right thing to do but that hadn't necessarily made a difference when he had made choices in the past. "My generosity isn't free, there is a cost to all of this and it must be paid. Tell me your tale, how you came to be in this situation and I shall consider the debt paid in full."
Even with her enhanced vision, White Tigress wasn’t able to see the man disguised in shadow until he chose to reveal himself. With senses as sharp as a wildcat, she wasn’t accustomed to people being able to sneak up on her, so as the man materialized before her eyes White Tigress instantly felt defensive. She in a swift flash of movement, she drew her dagger, knowing her sword work would be compromised thanks to her wounded arm. She felt far more vulnerable using the smaller blade, but her expression betrayed no signs of fear. Janessa had always been able to conceal her concerns behind the intimidating look in her eyes. However, if this man was the Shadow she had heard rumours about, she doubted a strong will and a short blade would be enough to fend him off.
With his reputation preceding him and his ominous appearance, White Tigress was certain she was in for a fight, and so his offer of shelter caught her off guard. With her abilities and natural talents, White Tigress was more than a match for ordinary criminals, but she had little chance against an elementalist that could control darkness. If he wanted to harm them, there was little she’d be able to do to stop him. After a moment’s hesitation, Tigress lowered her dagger, realizing that if he wanted to hurt her, he had plenty of opportunity to do so before he had revealed himself. Still, his offer – as tempting as it was – was difficult to understand. If he was a criminal, why would he help her?
“You don’t seem like the ‘good samaritan’ type. And I’ve heard you’re not exactly a fan of the heroes of this city. Why help me?” White Tigress asked, keeping her voice steady and calm, despite the weariness and pain caused by the deep gash in her arm. She’d lost too much blood, she’d never make it back home in this condition. She had little choice at this point, Tigress would have to trust this man. But that didn’t stop her from wanting to find out why.
White Tigress looked towards the other feral. He would have to make his own decisions. Shifting her eyes back to Shadow, White Tigress gave a definitive nod, agreeing to take his advice and find the church. She knew she wouldn’t be alone for long. If she didn’t return within a couple hours, her companion Kyrah would come searching for her. In the meantime, she was in need of those medical supplies.
Nico materialised on a rooftop outside on the west side of the city, it wasn't too far from the apartment building that he called home but it was far enough away to avoid the really shady characters that lived in those areas. Sitting down on the edge of the roof, Nico gazed out across the skyline of the city, it wasn't as impressive as some of the great cities of the world but it was still beautiful, especially now the way the glow of the full moon reflected off some of the windows. Absentmindedly Nico started making the shadows new him shift and dance, it wasn't sinister or frightening, it was actually kind of fun, something that he wasn't really used to. He had been forced to grow up fast, first with the death of his parents and then after discovering his powers he was forced to leave any semblance of childhood behind. Concentrating fiercely, on manipulating the dark shifting shapes, Nico tried to make them form a solid wall just to his left, the shadows gathered and ever so slowly rose up forming a solid black mass, maintaining his concentration Nico reached out and touched it, it was solid. A smile creeped onto his lips, and just at that point, it collapsed, melting away into the darkness that it had been before Nico had tried to rule it. Nico scolded himself for his rookie error. One of the first things that he had learned was that his abilities were tied to his emotions, if he wanted to master his powers he needed to be calm and disciplined, any lapse in concentration could mess everything up, look what happened when he had lost his concentration and mentally congratulated himself.
He heard a soft thud and the sound of metal breaking, instinctively Nico shrouded himself in darkness, effectively making him invisible in the dark of night. Moving swiftly and silently, Nico approached the figure that had seemingly jumped across the roof opposite, grabbing the pipe and in the process crushing it. That could only mean one thing; he was a super. That was just perfect. If there was one thing Nico didn't need it was other supers. He was a solitary figure by nature and uncomfortable enough around normal people, supers just made everything more complicated all together. He had come across, how many had it been? Four? No, five, he had come across five others with abilities, mostly when he was working, would be heroes trying to stop whatever he had been hired to do... it never ended well for them. It wasn't that Nico had wanted to hurt them, but they just wouldn't leave him alone. The only one who had understood him was...No Nico couldn't bear thinking about him. It was too painful. What he had done he would never be able to forgive himself for. After that incident Nico had heard the whispers throughout the super community, "Beware the Shadow, he can't be trusted" "If he would do that to a friend what do you think he would do to an enemy" "Controlling darkness, how much more evil could you get" The worst thing was that Nico could understand, he had often had many of those thoughts himself. He turned his attention to the two figures, one was a man, the other a girl dressed in white and bleeding from a wound from her arm. Nico recognised her description, she must be White Tigress. Nico had to suppress a snort, he had always found it ridiculous that she kept an actual white tiger as a pet.
Hidden by the shadows, Nico moved even closer, listening in on their conversation. Nico didn't know anything about the other figure, tha man who had crushed the peipe, but he could smell the alcohol on his breath. White Tigress wasn't wrong, this part of the city could be dangerous, and if nothing else their being here might bring unwanted attention on him. Making a decision, against his better judgement, Nico let the shadows that hid him, fall away revealing himself to the other two, not that there was much to see. Nico was dressed head to toe in black. Black shoes, black trousers, black top and a black cloak so dark that it looked to be absorbing any light that touched it. The hood was firmly up covering his black hair and those unsettling dark eyes. By the way the other two flinched they obviously weren't expecting someone to seemingly materialise from nothingness. In the dark of night Nico cut an intimidating figure. He was sure that White Tigress would recognise him from the urban legends and whisperings about Shadow so he didn't bother introducing himself, but he did allow the shadows that surrounded him to shift and swirl around him giving him an almost ethereal look. "There is a building not far from here. An old church, it will empty right now. You can talk there, it is safe and there will be medical supplies. Make sure you are have left by morning." Nico tried to channel the persona of Shadow that he had created, confident and authoritative, as he told them about this place, in truth he wasn't even sure why he was telling them. The girl obviously needed to get patched up, but there was no way he was letting two strangers with superpowers into his home at the apartment building. He felt that this was the right thing to do, the only question that remained was would they trust him.
The stranger may have claimed he meant her no harm, but it would be foolish of the heroine to trust his word after only just meeting him. With her injury, she was vulnerable, and the wisest course of action would be to leave before the man got any closer. However, the man’s words gave her pause. He had abilities too? He was like her? White Tigress wasn’t sure she believed him at first, but as she watched him clear the distance between the two rooftops, leaving evidence of his superhuman strength on the crushed pipe she was convinced. No ordinary human could have caused so much damage to the rusted metal; he must have been affected by the radiation too.
White Tigress had crossed paths with other super humans before now, but they had all been far more aggressive than this man. Most of them had decided to use their abilities for less-than-moral means, and her confrontations with them hadn’t ended well for either party. She had never come across any other super humans that actually wanted to help.
“You’re strong… You were affected by the radiation too?” Tigress asked, unable to help the tone of curiosity in her voice.She knew she should be more cautious, but the thought of having someone to help her fight was intriguing. She had never been able to talk to anyone about her abilities before, not since her sister died anyway.
“You want me to train you? I’m not really the Instructor type.” She admitted. Tigress had been out here on the streets for the past four years, so she had plenty of experience fighting crime, but to share that knowledge with another made her a bit self-conscious. Sure, she knew how to fight and had mastered own abilities, but there had been several instanced when she had misjudged a situation and got in over her head. The events of earlier tonight were no exception. If she couldn’t even protect herself, how could she train someone else?
“I don’t think I’m really the best person to train you… but if you really want to make a difference in this city, I could give you some advice.” She offered. White Tigress reached her hand up to cover the wound in her arm. If she wanted to help this stranger, she’d have to take care of herself first.
“I’m White Tigress. I’m sorry, but I don’t reveal my real name to people until I know I can trust them” Tigress introduced herself. As she spoke, she ripped the bottom of her blood-stained sleeve and tied it tightly around the wound to stall the bleeding until she could find someplace safe to stitch the wound.
“We shouldn’t stay here. From the rumours I’ve heard, you and I are not the only super humans in this city. I’d rather not get ambushed for the second time tonight. I usually don’t stray this far West, so I’m unfamiliar with this part of the city. Do you know of anywhere safe we can go to talk?”
Wolf was confused. Who was this girl? How'd she get that 'scratch' that appeared to be bleeding more than most cuts should? And why was he bothering to help her? "I know it's not safe. Don't worry about me. And no, I'm not gonna turn you in." He slowly walked to te edge of the roof, peering out at the other roof where she stood.
"You're one of the supers, aren't you?. Wait! Don't go! ....I'm one too." He backed up some and stared at the gap between the two buildings. Could he make it? His physics-driven mind started evaluating the size of the gap, the velocity he'd have to reach, and the force with which he'd have to jump to get there. He backed up a little more, then ran.
At the edge, he pushed off, and went flying across the large gap. Stumbling as he landed, he tripped, then pulled himself up on a rusty pipe, which crumbled underneath his strength. "Hi. Ya see? We're both supers." He stared at her, until he was sure that he was making it akward. Turning away, he saw her arm, and the state of the wound, but he didn't comment on it.
"Uh, so, this is akward... You're the first super I've met. I don't quite know what to say, but... Can you help me? I wanna do what you do. I wanna stop crime. Help everyone. I've been doing it on my own, but it isn't quite happening. I need someone to train me.Please?" He stared down, and waited for her response.
The man nervously approached the abandoned apartment building, this was the place, he had been told that he could speak to the infamous Shadow here...the only question that remained was if he really wanted to or not. The place was so gloomy and dark that he was jumping every time a floorboard creaked. A rat scurried by, its claws scratching the old wooden floors, this was not a welcoming place, why would anyone choose this building, it was not just creepy, it was just plain frightening. As he climbed the stairs higher and higher, the only light guiding his way was from the moonlight that managed to fight its way past the cracks between the boarded up windows. Eventually, he reached the top of the stairs, slightly out of breath he looked around the top floor, trying to remember what he had been told, what was it the others had said...end of the hall, last door on the left. That was it, he was sure. Nervously he walked towards the ;sat door on the left, tang a deep breath he reached out a hand and tentatively turned the doorknob opening the door and nervously walking into he room.
It was completely empty.
The young man peered at the darkness that filled the room, it was dark but he was sure that he was the only one standing in the room. Very funny, he couldn't believe that he had been believed the others in the gang, actually believed that Shadow was real, how could he be so stupid? He was never going to live this down. He actually laughed a his mistake buyt almost as soon as the smile had come it died on its lips... he ws not alone, a lone figure stood at the back of the room, although he could havesworn that he had been alone.
Nico stepped out from the embrace of the shadows. wearing a hooded cloak as dark as night itself his face covered in shadow he looked at the man standing before him. He had seen his kind before, young and foolhardy looking for a "super" to do the hard work for him and his friends, willing to do anything to get ahead on the tough streets of the city that they called home. "Why are you here?" Nico didn't care much for these people but they generally paid well enough. The man stuttered a generic reply about wanting something stolen from somewhere, he ad heard it all before and this time he didn't feel like stealing. "My answer is no. Be grateful you are leaving unscathed." Despite being dismissed by the dark figure the man didn't move, it was brave, not many had the courage, or stupidity, to go against his wishes...Shadow had a terrible reputation.
" I ain't leavin' without getting' what I came for!" The man pulled out a gun from his jacket pocket and pinter it at Nico. The first time this had happened Nico had been terrified, but it had happened so often that a mere gun couldn't scare him. Letting the shadows he was standing in envelop him, Nico melted into the shadows as the youth pulled the trigger and the bullet hit the wall where he had been staining in front of just a moment before. Panicking he fired three more times, all hitting nothing, after all you couldn't shoot a shadow. Nico materialised behind the man and tapped him on the shoulder, as the man swung round panicking, he tried to smash him over the head with his pistol, but time was Nico's, once again Nico vanished into the shadow as the man's blow struck nothing but air. This was how Nico preferred his fights, not brute force, but manipulating his surroundings, fighting through fear and deception. As his would be attacker got more wired up he would make more mistakes and give Nico the opportunity to end the fight. Nico once again materialised at the other end of the room. Thrusting a hand out in a whip like motion Shadow manipulated a tendril of darkness like a whip as it coiled itself around the man's ankle. Pulling his hand back sharply, the youth was brought to the floor, his gun flying out of his reach. Shadow purposely strode towards the downed man and loomed over him. Nico slowly pulled back the hood that had been covering his face, revealing his most disturbing feature...his eyes. Where white should have been instead it was a dark grey, with no colour just plain black. they were a terrifying sight. Nico looked into the other mans eyes for a second before the youth looked away. He couldn't blame the man, it had taken Nico weeks to get used to the eyes the radiation had given him. Nico had never met anyone that could hold his gaze. "Leave now, and never return or I will see to it that you will never wake again." The quiet threat was sinister and as a result more frightening than if he had shouted. The man scurried out of the room as quick as he physically could without looking back. Wanting to clear his head after the encounter Nico escaped into the night by simply dissolved into the shadows once again.
The unfamiliar voice snapped White Tigress out of her deep thoughts. Peering through the darkness, across the dimly lit rooftops, she could see a man rising to his feet atop one of the local bars. The change in the heroine’s posture was instinctual, shifting into a wary stance with her injured arm angled behind her, away from the stranger’s gaze. White Tigress’ first instinct was to run. She was seen, mere blocks from a group of incapacitated criminals, still wearing her disguise. There would be little doubt in the public’s eyes that she was one of the superhuman heroes that stalked the streets. Unfortunately, her good intentions didn’t really set her apart from the villains. The public was scared of these abilities, meaning Tigress was in as much danger from ordinary citizens as she was from her enemies. The only difference was that her conscience wouldn’t allow her to deal with the civilians the same way she dealt with those criminals back in the alley.
Despite her instincts, however, White Tigress didn’t run. If this man had meant any harm, he would have already called for the police. By the sound of the sirens, the cops were already responding to something that happened at the bar, so it would take little effort for this man to report her. Yet instead of calling for the police, he asked if she was alright. Maybe he wasn’t as much of a threat as she first thought.
“I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.” She lied, not wanting to appear vulnerable. She’d have to stitch it up herself once she got back home. Going into the hospital would beg too many difficult questions.
“What are you doing up here? This part of the city isn’t safe after dark.” Tigress noted, as if the blaring sound of police sirens didn’t give that away. The woman shuddered slightly at the pain in her arm. She wouldn’t be able to leave it like this. The last time she had been cut this deeply, she almost hadn’t made it back home.
“You’re not going to turn me in, are you?” White Tigress asked, wanting to be sure before she risked turning her back to him.
Wolf downed the last of his drink, then lightly set the glass down and asked for another. He had to be careful about everything he did with his hands now; extra-strength came at a cost. As he fished out his wallet and slid a few dollars down the table, he notice some people walk in. He'd had the bar alone, but now it was filling with people.
One man in particular caught his eye. The man was looking around nervously, and seemed to be holdin something in his hand, which was inside his jacket pocket. The man at at the bar, and kept glancing everywhere, seeming to be… looking for something. Wolf turned back to his drink, and thought about the day.
Work had been slow lately. Not a lot of teachers were getting sick, or taking days off. So, he wasn't getting paid. He'd been having more flashbacks lately, of stuff he'd done as a cop. There was the drug bust of '08, the time he'd had to arrest a rather aggresive serial killer, who'd managed to leave Wolf blindfolded in the back of his truck. Then, there was the mission that had sent him over the edge.
He shook his head. Best not to think about it. He was about to ask for another small glass of whiskey, when the man next to him, the shady-loking man with his hand in his jacket, pulled out a gun, and aimed it around. "Nobody move!" He shouted. Then Wolf moved.
He grabbed the man's hand and brought it down onto the bar with all his might. The gun broke free, and the man's wrist snapped. Then Wolf punched him in the face. His jaw snapped, broken, as the man lay on the floor. "Aw, crap." He ran his hand through his hair, and heard the buzz of police sirens nearby. He ran out of the bar, as people whispered, "Isn't that one of those super-powered people?" "Look how he brought that guy down! That's not normal." Wolf ran along the sreets, until he reached a fire escape. Thoughts of gunshots and people whispering cluttered his head, and he meeded a break from it all. He pulled homsel up to the roof, where he sat and put his head in his hands. Then he saw her.
A woman dressed in white, bleeding. He slowly rose, unsure of what he was seeing. "Hey! Hey, are you okay?" He called out to her.
A burning pain spread across White Tigress’ arm, forcing her to back away from her attacker and clamp her hand over the fresh wound. While her disguise allowed her free movement, it didn’t offer much protection. This wasn’t the first time the heroine had been slashed by a knife, but it did serve as a painful reminder that she had to be more cautious. This was supposed to be an easy mission. She had only seen two armed thieves fleeing from the scene of a store robbery; it should have been easy for the experienced martial artists to take them down. Unfortunately, White Tigress wasn’t counting on them having reinforcements waiting only a few mere blocks away. Now she was outnumbered: five against one... the odds weren’t exactly in her favour.
“We’ve got her now boys. Let’s show this kitty what happens when she sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong.” called the gruff voice of the man who had cut her. Tigress could see twisted smirk that spread across his face as the others mocked and taunted her. She hated the cat-calling, but after several years in this line of work, she was starting to get used to it. Besides, she liked it when her opponents underestimated her. It would make her victory so much sweeter.
“What are you waiting for?” White Tigress challenged, provoking the man with the knife to make the first attack. As he ran at her, the heroine ducked down, swiping out her leg to trip the man and send him sprawling into the brick wall lining the alleyway. Grabbing the man’s arm, she twisted sharply to snap his wrist and force him to release the blade before shoving him into the next attacker. Hyper-sensitive hearing alerted White Tigress that the other three men were closing in. Spinning swiftly on her heels, the heroine kicked the first man into the wall, hearing the satisfying crack of his skull against the bricks. Keeping the momentum of her spin, White Tigress brought her knee up, colliding with the next attacker’s chest with enough force to break ribs. Shoving him out of the way, the woman turned on the fifth and final attacker, who by this point was looking a little uncertain. Foolishly, the man pulled out a gun. White Tigress’ animalistic agility gave her an advantage. She had her hands on the weapon, forcing it down into the man’s leg before he could pull the trigger, causing him to shoot himself in the thigh. Screams of pain erupted from the alleyway, and Tigress knew it wouldn’t be long before the police arrived to clean up this mess.
“Time for me to disappear.” She muttered to herself, swiftly climbing up the fire-escape and onto the roof of the store that had been robbed. She could easily stay out of the public’s view by sticking to the rooftops. Now that the immediate threat had faded, the heroine took a closer look at her arm. The scent of blood was all too sharp for her keen sense of smell, and for good reason. The cut was deeper than she thought. A good portion of her sleeve was dyed red from the wound, and she was in need of stitches.
Careless. She thought to herself. This city was too dangerous to be making such foolish mistakes.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.