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It seemed that the computer system was no longer physically present on the location, which was frustrating. Probably sold when the place shut down. It was looking a little sparse, so she assumed it was in the sort of estate sale part of the shutdown of the company. The modem was still present, however, but nothing else. But the mouse, however with no monitor that meant she couldn't interact with it. At all.
So. Should she just take the entire tower modem itself? Scheiß.
The bay door moved, and Gweniviere's shoulders tensed, hard, shooting that twist of discomfort down her limbs and back as she heard the dramatic scream of the rolling door open down on the floor. She had made her way up to the office via the stairs and was now on the catwalk just outside of it. A quick peek through the bars as she quickly lowered herself into a crouch showed that it was one of the loading bay doors. Not the most typical entrance into a warehouse for an employee, but she had thought this place was closed. So perhaps it was someone else, or even the Shadow Phantom himself.
Whoever it was, she wasn't keen on surprising or being surprised by them. She had a job to do. And that was apparently hinging on her ability to cart an entire computer tower out of here discreetly. Which, had there been no one else here, wouldn't have been a problem. Now, however, she had a problem.
Sighing through her nose, the Lieutenant turned and crouched to take a quick look underneath the desk. Was it unplugged? There were a lot of wires under here, which was unfortunate. It seemed literally everything about this was unfortunate.
Taking a breath, the Lieutenant quickly liberated with quick motions. Pulled wires could be addressed later once she got this back in her custody. All she had wanted to do was find the receipts for the sales to see if there was any record of the fireworks from last time being purchased, or if it was simple thievery. There wasn't much stock hanging around left, so she was assuming it was a sale.
And with that, she yanked the plug out of the base of the tower, so it wouldn't drag or get snagged on anything, and picked it up with ease. The only thing that wasn't easy about it was its shape. It was a cumbersome, strange thing to hold onto.
Now she needed to get back out of the warehouse and avoid whoever the stranger was... She had to creep out and see where the stranger was, now. And with that she had one hand poised to draw her weapon.
Kade's head turned on the departure of the man who was investigating the part of the scene she was in. She almost didn't catch it, the small blip just under he periphery and she glanced down to where the man had been standing just moments before. She doesn't move right away, of course. She continues to look pensively about the scene, looking at this interesting thing here, and that fascinating thing there. And when the time is right, Kade moves herself just to where the detective had been a moment prior.
It looked like it was swept away slightly, but her advanced technological lenses were able to again pick up more traces. It seemed the detective had found something, but to most it would look more like dust than anything, and with the smell of burning chemicals and smoke, it wasn't noticeable. They probably overlooked it, but Kade's lenses picked it up in trace amounts, and she was eager to get a small sample to analyze. She licks her finger and touches the dust, bringing the contents up to her eye.
[i 75% Potassium nitrate
Traces of Sodium nitrate ]
With a small smile, Kade wipes her hand on her pants and stands up straight. [i Fireworks.] Modern fireworks didn't use sulfur; they usually filled in the charges with different kinds of powder and extra potassium nitrate. That narrowed down her search parameters. She just needed to find out who stilled used old fireworks or where they were kept. Since Shadow Phantom didn't use something like acetone peroxide—a more common explosive agent for IEDs—it meant he was either supplied with the fireworks, he stole them, or pillaged them. For the moment, it was irrelevant how the would-be superhero got his hands on the fireworks, it was more important to find more information on Shadow Phantom and figure out how to stop him from endangering more innocent lives for the sake of glory. For now she would-
“Its time to go.” A voice says and Kade glances over her shoulder. It was a man of average height, short neat brown hair, and dark blue eyes. He wore a leather coat pulled aside slightly to reveal his badge on his hip. Jeremiah Locke, the Iron Wolf.
[b “I need more time, J.”] She tells him.
“Well, my captain is here and I don't want him to start asking questions. I know I owe you one, but I like my job.”
She thinks for a second and then nods. [b “We'll be in touch; I'll let you know if I find anything else out.”]
“Alright. I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants this bozo off the streets. Too much paperwork.” And she smiles at that before departing. She had some digging to do.
It didn't take her very long to tack down the warehouse on the waterfront. The chemicals weren't used in modern fireworks, so all she had to do was make a list for what companies still used them. Most didn't, so there was a relatively short list, so she refined it to ones that were now out of business and weren't liquidated. There was only one ping on her list and that was this warehouse in front of her now.
It was a very plain thing as one would imagine. It didn't look sinister or like evil villains were populating it. But Kade still liked to have precautionary measures in place. When she wasn't wearing her Aegis armour , she still came equip with many devices and gadgets to aid her in her endeavours. Of course being super strong, invulnerable, and having powerful mounted plasma weapons was ideal, she assumed she would need a much more subtle approach to this. That said, she wasn't defenceless, or alone for that matter.
Flying above her head were three compact circular drones floating in the air with anti-gravity. Not exactly super strong or invulnerable, but they did have small beam weapons for defence if she needed them. Plus they could help her monitor the area and alert her of things if she needed it. For the moment they were just here for reconnaissance.
As she approaches the door the drones depart and begin to inaudibly hover around the warehouse, peaking in to windows and skylights, three video feeds showing up. There was a blip.
[i “Infrared readings showing someone inside.”] Kade thinks to herself. It looks like she wasn't the only person who invited herself to this party, so she'd have to be careful. If they were going after the computer archive as well and they weren't intent on sharing, there might be some complications.
With that in mind, using the front door wasn't exactly the most auspicious option she had. So instead, she went round the side to a loading dock, and stood there for a second. [i Thinking.] Her technopathic powers were very useful for all this: controlling her drones, reading the security feed , and psychically opening the automated doors. [i Loudly.]
[b “Shit.”] Kade says out loud. There goes her element of surprise... Well, there wasn't any time like the present now was there? She quickly moves in to the loading area, the bay doors shutting behind her as she pushes on in to the heart of the warehouse.
The Lieutenant's eyes moved over the disaster in front of her. The tumbled walls of debris and the brick. The scorch marks from where the fires were put out, all crammed down these city streets, broken glass underfoot and the acrid smell of chemicals and smoke. It made her sick.
It made her remember.
It was initially a sort of sick unease as she walked towards the scene when she had originally gotten here. The holographic police lines and the modern uniforms guarding the edges cutting through the fabric of memory. But war was war when she saw it. She saw it in the brick, mostly. The way it spilled out into the street and hid the sidewalk from view, how dusty the stonework was on the street. It felt like she was stepping back in time. And of all things the smell made her step hesitate. It made [i her] step hesitate.
No one would know. No one knew who she was in this place, but it didn't set her any more at ease as she saw the people milling around. She could slip and give something away, or draw attention with how she was feeling. It was something she never truly got over, even this long of a time from it all.
The police lights, and the fire engines- as annoying as their constant flash in her periphery was- helped snap her back out from it. They didn't used to have lights like that when she was younger.
So, swallowing the feeling in her stomach as if the motion would settle the well of unease, tamp it down where she could address it later; Gweniviere entered.
She lingered out of sight, making herself look busy or shooing away agents to other agents who were distracting from her looking around. And presently she heard a voice that wasn't Vivian's in her ear as the little animated machine she had the Lieutenant plant unfolded itself and started meandering around the rubble. Its little spider legs tapping inaudibly as it moved, but Gweniviere could imagine it. It sounded as small as it looked when she had heard it struggle to walk across the glass tabletop of the meeting room earlier that day. And now it was doing its job, so the Lieutenant could leave it to it.
The voice beside her, out of her headset, caught her attention. Listing off the chemical composition of some of the residue.
"[B Looks like you're not the only braniac on the case,]" Gweniviere quietly murmured. To an outside eye it looked like it was to herself as she shifted and walked the length of the rubble heap she was looking at.
"[#04006E [B What? Who is it?]]" came the technician's voice from her earpiece.
"[B How do you expect me to know, look her up in the precinct database.]" the German muttered.
She stopped, catching sight of what looked to be the last remainder of a casing of some kind that was sticking out of a part of the rubble. Bending down to tug at it, she found it wedged rather impossibly underneath some concrete. She would have to be clever if she was going to take it out from under the piece this size without drawing attention. She shifted her weight slightly, nudging the toe of her shoe underneath the edge of it and used it as a guise to lift it.
With her strength it was easy enough to just shift it enough to get the piece of what felt like a rough cardboard or wrapping for an explosive out of it. The squashed casing was still partially intact, the torn side dumping its powdered contents onto the pavement below.
Gweniviere hummed as she noticed that, but turned her gaze to what of the label hadn't been scraped off when she had retrieved it. And on it, had a name and partial address for a warehouse. Incomplete, of course, but it was something. The German woman's brow arched as she glanced around and pocketed it.
Eyes down on the smear of explosive agent, she scuffed a shoe through it and shifted to leave the scene.
The smoke seethed out from between the woman's bone-colored teeth. A healthy, alive off-white. Like still-living bone as she drew her lips back from over the slender, white cigarette captured between her teeth. Gold eyes- yellow as well in this light- moved up over the wall before her eyes. It had the faded, completed name of the warehouse that the fireworks .
The woman's low, ruined, husky voice hummed out from behind the heavy scarring on her throat, and her face twitched slightly on the right side as it attempted to make the expression she was going for. It ended in baleful eyes moving over the mundaneness of this silent waterfront property. From high above came the noice of traffic from the nearby bridge some distance behind her. The estuary was, as most are, populated by warehouses galore of varying industrial nature. Practically choked with them.
Dropping the cigarette, the super soldier crushed it out with the heel of her boot and started towards the building finally. She would get in and go through the records. There were ways of making this remote. If she had Colin or Swan with her, then she would be able to simply send them in alongside her and not have to do it by hand. But they were too far. And even Wight needed a way inside physically to get in the system somehow.
Making it inside was easy. Kicking a door down was incredibly easy. And with the new piece of technology that she had thanks to Wight all she need do was press it to the alarm box and make it turn to its neutral setting within the timelimit of it alerting the authorities.
Gweniviere pushed the door she broke closed and put something in its way to prevent it from opening again, at least visually to the outside. And now to find their computer archive...
Collecting the many different videos of the fight and putting them together in the specific intervals from start to finish was easy. The nature of Kade's powers in the digital age was exceptionally useful, especially since information was in constant flux and she could always find what she needed. So doing that while also trailing all the way back through Nestro's colourful past wasn't exactly the most difficult thing in the world. There was so much to go through and look at, but the more Kade looked at the videos and biography, the more Shadow Phantom's brawl didn't make any sense.
Currently she resided in her 'base', a forgotten weapons depot she had re-purposed a little after the start of her superhero-ing career. It was built in to the side of a cliff and under the water on the East coast, away from prying eyes, and digitally invisible thanks to her powers and the equipment she had been able to build because of them. One such of these marvels was a large monitor in front of her on the concrete wall, sandwiched between a dozen smaller monitors, all scrolling with information and video recordings. Psychically she sifted through the information on each of the screens, funnelling certain chunks of data on to one of the smaller monitors off to the side, trying to put a profile together for both of the men. Nestro was easy since he's had decades of activity, but there wasn't much she could put together for Shadow Phantom. Although, it did help that other than his fight with Nestro, he fought another vigilante and a vengeful henchman. So far all she could determine were some of his powers and that he absolutely loved the camera despite his name.
Something pinged on three of the monitors. Her eyes shift over to the master monitor, and as she does, so does the content of the three pings. What was now before her was two frozen videos of the Last Stand fight and a part of Nestro's abridged internet biography, particularly his M.O. The two frozen videos were that of Nestro and Shadow Phantom coming to blows, both videos having an excessive amount of pyrotechnics. It was distracting... [i Very] distracting. And it didn't corroborate with Nestro's usual M.O. either. There was something here, but she couldn't figure it out by looking at it digitally. She had to look at it in the flesh and pick up her own evidence. That meant walking in to an active crime scene, which would prove difficult since she wasn't part of the force anymore... She'd just have to call in a favour.
It was lucky for her Iron Wolf was still on the police force and owed her one. It took a bit of convincing, but he got her in to the crime scene without any hassle. Just from him. She still had her own badge from when she was on the police force, she just needed the extra person in case any of the personnel recognized her and gave her a hard time. But her 'plan' seemed to go off without a hitch and she was passed the police tape, blending in with the other uniforms.
The destruction was the first thing she took note of, obviously. But even in the flesh, it seemed quite contradictory. Nestro wasn't this destructive; pancaked cars, scorch marks, ripped up cement and concrete. It most certainly looked like the remnants of a last stand, but it still didn't fit the profile and there was still something tugging at the rational part of her brain. Something was here, none of the pieces were missing, just scattered around for those determined enough to find. Fortunately, Kade was [i just] determined enough to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
However, putting this all together would've been much easier if she was able to bring along more of her equipment to the scene, but being a seven foot tall robot would've been a little less than covert. She didn't want anyone to know a superhero had their doubts about this. So instead, she brought the minimum, hidden under and in her charcoal peacoat. She was a woman of just a few inches above average height, with a darker complexion. Her black hair was braided all around and kept out of her brown eyes, which currently had a nearly unnoticeable blue hue around the edges of her irises.
The blue edges around her eyes weren't natural, she was currently sporting contact lenses that gave her a HUD and augmented reality for greater perception and detection. She scanned the area, a little feed at the top left of her vision playing bits and pieces of the fight depending on where exactly she was looking, putting together a 3D model of the battle together as she did to review later. One of the areas of question she wanted to take a look at was where one of the explosions had been taped. Fortunately for Kade, it seemed she mostly had the floor to herself since most of the officers and detectives on deck just chocked this up to a superhero fight. They seemed more content with keeping civilians out of the area until they made sure it was safe for traffic. However, it seemed she was also going to be sharing the scene with another detective, who at the moment was brooding over some rubble and a defaced wall. Kade was hoping to avoid coming in to direct contact with actual law enforcement, looking around quickly and getting what she needed before leaving, but if she wanted to get a proper reading and evidence it was looking like she'd have to at least share the area with him.
On her walk over, she couldn't help but wonder if the detective that had spotted something that piqued his interest. Most of the vanilla human's weren't looking at this with a fine tooth comb, but it seemed they were quite interested in the same area as Kade was. After all, there [i had] to be more than just her who had seen something they couldn't place and wanted to get to the bottom of it.
Kade comes to a halt, scanning the floor and then the wall, and... [b “Traces of charcoal and potassium nitrate.”] She thinks out loud, unsurprised. The contacts picked up the residue as well as some small fragments in the wall. [i Explosives.] It seemed she was right to think that something fishy was going on here. She looks up the wall, following some thin score marks, following the blast radius from the wall, back to the corner of the building facing the street. The video feed continued to play, and she picked up more of the explosive elements that seemed to be where a fire hydrant had once been.
One of the videos played as she approached, and she saw the hydrant explode, a chunk of the metal striking the camera. And after a quick search, it showed that the person who was filming was in the hospital but recovering. She glances at her smart watch, which would look like she was checking the time to anyone who wasn't wearing her contacts, but a holographic screen projected itself through her AR vision, running down the list of 'collateral damage'. Plenty of people were injured, two of which were in critical condition in hospital. Kade frowns and crouches down to look at the damp hole that used to be the fire hydrant.
Using a fire hydrant as a place to set up an explosive was pretty smart. It reduced the blast, created the minimum amount of shrapnel, and the water spouting afterwards washed away a good chunk of the residue. The fact that no one would be looking for some kind of explosive device made it even more clever; a super powerful punch could've just ruptured it, right?
It was unheard of. Certainly it had happened before, of course; a brand new, hot-wired hero somehow managing to overcome the most unlikely of odds. Everyone could die. Everyone, also, could be bought. But knowing Nestro as she did, that was unlikely. The man's ego had swelled along with his cerebral cortex. He wouldn't be purchased to throw a match, as the American term was. And there was no fathomable advantage to being dead that anyone other than Gweniviere could think of because of the nature of her work. She was the product of an organization that liked to stay in the shadows, play dead, and arise again. It had shaped her as an individual, that sort of proceduring. But Nestro wasn't like that. He wanted to be the indomitable. That was what made this so shocking.
In her spare time, the Lieutenant had gathered every scrap of coverage, every shaky, cellular camera taking in the scene for those moments before its owner took cover, every news anchor grinning stupidly through their coiffure, every piece of paper she could comb through. [i How did he do it?] This man, this Shadow Phantom. Ridiculous name. There was no shadow about him as she saw him grinning on the front page of an American newspaper while the city made pubic thanking him for his efforts. Her eyes narrowed in hatred as she saw him just basking in the light of it.
And even that press coverage had resulted in [i another] battle, as an unknown vigilante something or other flew in and tried to do battle with him. Wrecking the entire street as they tussled in the air and on the ground as the crowd scattered.
Gweniviere had been watching the coverage live from her office, elbows leaned on the table and fingers templed before her lips, turned down in disdain as she watched the mannerism of this "Shadow Phantom" whose spandex looked hardly becoming of him in the summer sun. And neither did it look comfortable as he shifted, glancing away repeatedly over the crowd. But he seemed to be enjoying their presence. Gweniviere's eyes narrowed in hatred.
But the conflict had come suddenly and all at once. Some little henchman looking thing had attacked the shadow phantom in a show of revenge for killing his master. Flying, actually flying- cape and all- from back behind the cameras with a shriek of something or other. Probably rage. That was what caught her attention, the woman sitting up from her pensive position as the cameras struggled to keep up.
She didn't recognize him, this henchman. Certainly Nestro flattered himself with young, able-bodied ubermensch as his flock of muscle to be his battering ram. He was a product of his time, after all. But he usually had his costumed, named sidekicks. He went through a number of them over the years, of course. What was this one's name? She couldn't recall at the moment. But this one- she didn't know this one. Was she just not recalling him??? What was this?
The fight was over almost as quickly as it had started; with the Shadow Phantom standing triumphantly over the fallen, broken body of the henchman supposedly for Nestro in a heap of concrete, caved in from impact. The cameras ran up alongside the police- the noses of their sidearms visible and pointed at the fallen henchman. Shadow Phantom turned to the cameras, thanking the city again, and reached a hand out, shutting them off as his palm covered the camera lens.
She had now been watching this recording for about two and some hours now repeatedly.
"[B Bo, what is strange about this?]"
[http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Johnny+Weir+18th+Annual+Elton+John+AIDS+Foundation+0VkNwfXd_TDl.jpg The android] looked at the screen with processing eyes, the little lights in his temple blinking as he processed. "[#b36dd9 Other than the daylight attack in front of a crowd of people?]"
The German sat back in her chair, "[B That's exactly it. He's very visible, isn't he?]"
"[#b36dd9 Aren't they all, Lieutenant?]" asked he.
She hummed pensively, "[B Yes, but this feels different. Perfectly timed... after the thanks. Wouldn't the enemy want to stop him before he was thanked?]"
Bo looked at her quizzically, the woman catching his glance and sighing, "[B I don't know. It just seems theatrical to me.]"
He laughed. "[#b36dd9 As if you aren't guilty of the same now and again.]" The look he received caused him to lean back, laughing it off desperately, "[#b36dd9 With respect, of course, and much more taste.]"
There was a pause, upon which the snowy haired woman hummed once again in thought. "[B Are they still investigating the scene, the police and such?]"
Another pause for a moment as Bo searched, face falling still for those buffering moments before a smile pulled across his lips. "[#b36dd9 They are indeed.]"
Gweniviere nodded once. "[B Good. I'm going to America.] she murmured, watching the Shadow Phantom's eyes stray over the heads of the crowd once again in slow, frame by frame motion.
[center [pic https://onestoryslinger.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/untitled.png]]
Standing at about 6'3", the Lieutenant wasn't hard to spot as an individual. Today, however, she was hiding the scars all over her face with a skin-like, disguising cover that Dr. Arndt had stolen the plans from another, heroic agency, and then copied. She too was hiding her eye color behind contact lenses. Her identity hidden behind a fake badge on the inside of her suit coat.
At her true skin level, Gweniviere Nitzsche, or more popularly known as The Lieutenant had scars littering her face and gold eyes. Pulling down the right side of her mouth, reaching up from her jaw, lining her throat and hands and arms they warped her features, and immobilized them. But these were hidden today under long sleeves and prosthesis. Her hair, fortunately for her, was trendy as of late and so required no alteration. White was in, pastels, all that nonsense. She stood at the edge of the scene, just inside of the yellow tape, surveying the scene. Slowly she walked between recovery personnel in their white little bag suits and gloved hands.
She wore a suit, eyes glancing over the details as she saw them. Lots of destruction. Odd. Lots of burn marks. Also odd. Nestro had a propensity for chemical weapons, but his mind was generally more focused on twisting the mind than the body. Opening neurological pathways to his use, flash-freezing dignitaries to hold for ransom when his funds were running low... things like that. Not pyrotechnics. The noise was too much for him. He hated explosions. he hated being dirty, he [i hated] black powder. It was beneath him when he could use simply other means. Or just let his henchman blow a hole in the bank, not he himself directly.
So, looking up at the score of scorch marks against the wall in an alleyway, and recalling the number of sparks flying between the Shadow Phantom and the villain Nestro Gweniviere was stumped. This was so peculiar.
Pacing slowly, she exhaled, and discreetly pulled something out of her pocket, picking up a handful of rubble and crouching down. She feigned pensiveness, feeling the concrete gravel in her hand for a moment and gazing up at the remnants of an old, painted mural advertisement on the wall of this brick building, now defaced with soot or residue. And tossed the tiniest of objects down one by one along with the gravel. One. By. One. Thoughtful officer, shaking her head at the conundrum.
It wasn't entirely all acting, of course. She really had no idea what to do with this.
Shock and awe, that was the boundless feeling that projected itself through the streets when text hit paper and screen. It was a splendid disbelief and then a matter to be celebrated. One of the biggest villains in history had been wiped off the map by an upstart superhero. For the public, this was a time to rejoice, and even some heroes took part in the collective sigh of relief. Finally they could take back from the villains, this new hero an echo of hope through the long cavern of defeat. However, for some this created skepticism and doubt. One such hero was Kade Jensen, more commonly known as 'Guardian'.
Villains in the world weren't a new phenomena, the heroes were the new additions to the roster, and since their evil counterparts have been around for so long they knew the game better than anyone. Villains had heroes outnumbered, new crusaders were often crushed before they could make waves leading to overconfident criminals. However, with the right skills, equipment, and powers, it could lead to a pretty fascinating tide turn as well, especially with the amount of underestimation one could face. Guardian wasn't a new hotshot hero who's only power was wanting to do good; she saw the rise and fall of too many people to rely solely on that. Powered armour made from advanced Terran and alien technology was her answer to the age old question on 'how to not become a sitting duck'.
The waves this particular hero made were small at first, not a huge fan of the spotlight. A foiled harbour arms deal here, stopping a gang shootout there... But what really caught the Press' attention was your cliche 'bus hanging off of the bridge and the hero saves the day at the last second' ordeal. Even though she wasn't a fan of the spotlight, Kade had to admit the picture of her overhead-pressing a bus full of school kids while hovering in the air was a pretty cool debut for her in the papers. Much like the hero who defeated Nestro, this was front page news for a while, where Kade acquired the name 'Guardian', and how everyone thought she was a man underneath the armour. Its also how she got a target on her back.
Superheroes that passed through the make-or-break stage often attracted trigger happy criminals or eager villains. Either they wanted to make a name for themselves, stomp out a new hope, or add another notch to their sword. She watched it happen with The Mantis, Iron Wolf, and Shaft within the span of her own hero career. The first two were able to make it, but the bow wielding vigilante was brought down by an opposing villain's might. It was not a wonder as to why many superheroes kept in contact with one another—at least in her case—but they were all too far and in between to really band together and make a huge difference.
The divide and conquer tactic was one that often worked fairly well, especially since lots of heroes could be baited fairly easily with hostages or disasters. Kade was no exception to that, especially in the case of her arch-nemesis 'Blight' and his first brutal rampage. A scientist who was working on a large scale project—concerning the detection and collection of dark matter—had an accident, becoming the project himself. The archetypical power turning a well-intentioned individual in to a deadly megalomaniac bent on world domination. He siphoned cities dry with his power, law enforcement and even the military not being able to stop him.
That was until Guardian showed up of course. The battle was a long and brutal one, Kade still having nightmares about it til this day. Lots of explosions, energy blasts from both sides, saving civilians, property damage. A building almost fell on her too! It was a destructive mess up until its climatic ending with Guardian barely as the victor, and considering all the collateral damage, she still didn't feel like a winner.
It was because of that experience that something didn't sit well with Kade in regards to this new hero. After reviewing footage and what have you, the fight seemed rather clean and easy, especially for a big unveiling of new talent. There was no way Nestro was going down without some kind of grand finale of epic proportions. It could be chocked up to luck, but that's how Kade won against Blight the first time, and again it wrapped back around to 'to clean and easy'. Maybe it was jealousy that some upstart hero was able to do what no other hero has done before? That would be an easy answer, but Kade was too practical for jealousy and wasn't the type. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she wasn't about to doubt her intuition on the matter and dismiss it.
Something strange was afoot, and Guardian was determined to get to the bottom of it.
The newspapers covered it as a scandal, almost. Sensationalism at its finest with such a shocking turn of events: [B NESTRO DEFEATED BY ROOKIE HERO]
It stormed the media; villains and heroes alike everywhere were taken aback with a breath of shock at some no-name. For some it was a glimmer of hope. To be stopped, to be helped. Hope was a complex thing. But for many, especially a large number of civilians, it was news that put power in different hands. Perhaps things were changing.
One of the oldest villains still living, one of the most iconic men in villainy history was now killed. The big-headed, pointed beard, English mad genius was deceased.
Since the dawn of the true villains, the names that lasted longer than the tall tale mythics; the Billy the Kids and the Bonny and Clydes and the Capones. Nestro was one of the first crop-ups of the modern-day villain around the turn of the century. A true-blood, accident-in-a-lab mega-genius disaster that decided to use his new psionic powers for personal gain.
He had come in the golden age; in the postwar era when things really kicked off; back then Nestro was just a hotshot, bank holdup, individual phenomena. Sure, he was getting a little on in years now, but his psionic abilities meant no one could touch him. Until now, it seemed.
Nestro had come with the first crop of full-time, major villains. He wasn't by far the first, of course. Villains cropped up here and there all the time, but it was the period after the first world war that things, that chemicals, that warfare and general state of being started changing. From then on, villains kept getting bigger, badder, and more far-sighted. In the strangest ways, villains shaped culture in many ways. Other than the governmental/systemic changes to security and such things, some of the individuals themselves- especially as they aged- became caricatures.
Domme, from the 1930's introduced the knives in stockings, red lipstick laced with chemicals, whips and leather pilot outfits that only the Germans managed to outdo ten years later with their military. German dungeon porn became a thing for a reason. It was frankly for those of whom it was modeled after a side-effect of their interrogation tactics they certainly weren't expecting. But being women, of course it got sexualized.
In all, villainy was a complex, muti-faceted thing depending on the villain. They were either smalltime, street-level locals who subsisted only on bank robberies and cat thievery. Some managed to grow themselves to the Olympian monsters that Nestro was from the very beginning, or a slow cycle downwards into villainy like Olympian; whose "reformations" and demands suddenly almost caused a genocide before he was wrangled, briefly. These villains were territory owners. They battled with one another on a whole other level of ownership of parts of the globe, among new visionaries, or old as sin titans who were the same age as their grandparents, and just as scary. Some were taking titles from said grandparents; becoming the new head of an empire if they could survive long enough.
[right [http://rp.eliteskills.com/vc.php?c=352229 [pic http://th03.deviantart.net/fs43/200H/f/2009/137/4/e/Scarred_Girl_by_Samiross90.png]]] Another such golden age name was one that floated around as more a confusing mythos of individual or organization. A shareholder in the world, indeed, but not a hard landowner. More a territory local whose fingers were in many pots. The Lieutenant was one such oldie.
An organization back during the war called Medusa was the creation of this particular monster. Testing during the war to try and create a truly extant Übermensch to fuel the war effort and realize its ideology. Unwilling to experiment on male soldiers, some female staffers were chosen by volunteer to undergo the first completed serum. Four out of the original six subects survived. A success, they then became the wundersoldaten. They were advertised even alive as martyrs; giving up their womanhood to become these giants.
Conservatives and peers of that age were horrified by the masculine bodied super soldier that came from German genetic engineering, and so they were kept to more womanly occupation while the serum was tested further for mass production. That is, until the Jolly Rogers came in and destroyed their facilities, leaving only the four to continue their espionage training, until things got dire towards the end of the war. Medusa's existence had been discovered and they were now targeted just as any other arms warehouse or factory to be destroyed. In mid 1944, the wundersoldaten were introduced to the front as support troops: snipers and scouts and hunters. They targeted flanks and officers and worked mainly behind enemy lines to start undermining the enemy. Jeagergeisten.
Only one went to trial in Nuremburgm believed the only surviving wundersoldaten; now working under the name The Lieutenant.
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