Worlds Apart (Open RP)




They say there always stands some manner of cosmic irony in how very different two sides of a single thing could be.

One take for instance a certain crippled starship in a once-ordinary spot of the human settlement known as Paragon City. With shields spanned wide above, the vessel lay peacefully, a picture of tranquility.

Underneath, however, a battle raged. A battle, some say, that would decide the fate of the world. Fought underneath the massive discus, in the broken, filthy sewers of what was once the neighborhood of White Plans, the climactic clash of good and evil had already deviated from what was considered the norm.

It would deviate a great deal more.

"How do you like them apples?!" the mechanical voice of Lord Nemesis roared along with a powerful force bolt from his gear-tipped staff, the Prussian Prince of Automatons taking matters into his own artificial hands amongst the cacophonous thunder of combat - an amalgamation of shouts, all manner of superpowers, and the constant chatter of Rikti energy blasters and Nemesis Army gunfire.

"My, my, my!" he bellowed as a ball of fire splashed against the funnels of the mechanical man's steam-driven armorsuit, "Such delightful impertinence! A pity you have to die."

The arch-villain struck back without mercy, sending heroes and Rikti alike to scatter, his strangely dressed soldiers and steam-powered mechanoids taking the massive cavern with unbelievable storm.

But the costume-clad heroes did not relent. They knew what was at stake here, their courage driving them on and through the pain. He might strike them down - but they'd never, ever surrender.

"I do not say this to many, but you have gotten my dander up!" the mechanical lord's chuckling echoed over the rage of battle. But his laughter soon turned to anger, his forces driven back by the unrelenting heroes, "I commend your puissance, but I cannot let you stop me!"

The battle drew on though what seemed an eternity of vicious combat, but as more and more of the madman's army fell, the heroes closed on the mastermind himself, giving all they had to stop this maniac once and for all.

In the end, they prevailed.

"Your victory is hollow." the mechanical madman rasped as the armor lost power, the massive construct sacking together to its knees, finally collapsing onto the ground, "I am Nemesis! I am...eternal...!"

"If I had Force powers, vacuum or not my cape/clothes/hair would always be blowing in the Dramatic Wind." - Tenzhi




"Freeze footage."

The screen's motions ceased immediately, obeying the commanding voice of the Lady Grey without fault.

Vanguard Compound
White Plains
0229 Hours ZULU

Slowly but surely, the darkened lighting of the subterranean base's conference room returned to normal, the finely crafted wood of the long table lined with large chairs of black leather for the attendees of the meeting fading back into normal view.

"I'm really not seeing the point in this." Levantera offhandedly slid the manila folder across the polished wood yet again, then crossed her arms and let her gaze wander to the ceiling, "It's not like we don't already know what happened. We should be working on a plan to use what we know, not sit around and mull over it."

"I have to agree with Lev there." Borea gave a shrug, leaning back a little further in her chair, "There's nothing in this footage we haven't seen already."

"I disagree." came the deep tone of the Dark Watcher. His chair sat empty, the mysterious hero clad in black preferring to stand by the transparent interior wall (as always), his sullen stare directed half at the floor, half at the meeting of the Vanguard leadership, "If there wasn't something there we'd missed, we wouldn't have been asked to take another look at it."

"Precisely." Lady Grey intoned as she rose from her seat, placing the palms of her hands firmly upon the table, "We have to face the fact that we got lucky here. This could've just as easily ended in tragedy. I see a lesson that we have to be more watchful, and this is where we start."

"Not that I'm disagreeing with that..." Serpent Drummer scratched the back of his head, leaning forward to take another look at the files spread all over the table, "but Nemesis plan or not, there's no way he could've possibly pulled a win out of this one. I'm sorry, but I'm just not seeing it."

"Then it's a good thing I'm here to help." smiled FBSA Agent Maxwell Christopher as he entered the room, decked out in formal attire for the meeting. The duo of Vanguard operatives who'd opened the doors for the man said not a word as they let him and one of their Wizards pass, then gently shut the double doors again. The Dark Watcher's head rose for a moment, hidden eyes following the Vanguard-armored escort with odd suspicion for a moment or two, but then settled to stare toward the floor again.

"Sorry I'm late." the agent from the Federal Bureau of Super-powered Affairs apologized as he took a seat. The man seemed visibly stressed, running his hands through his surfer-like brown hair a few times, "I looked into a few more things, and I must've lost track of the..."

"We can discuss tardiness later." Lady Grey raised a hand to stop Agent Christopher, "I take it by your statement that you've insight into the situation. State it. Time may be short."

"Of course." the FBSA agent gave a quick nod, turning to Gaussian across the table, "May I have that file? Thank, as I assume you've already noted from the footage, Nemesis boasted his plan to be that of achieving immortality by uploading his mind into the Rikti mental network."

"A plan our operatives stopped, yes." Levantera sighed, "We know about Nemesis too, you know. His plans within plans shtick and all that. It's been figured out and stopped."

"I don't think so." Agent Christopher shook his head, slapping the file back onto the table, "I've been working on the Nemesis case for a long time now, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that this wasn't the end of it."

Silence hovered thick in the room. Now he had their attention.

"I don't pretend to know everything about this madman," he admitted, "but there is a key fault here. As it stands, his plan couldn't have possibly succeeded the way he wanted to pull it off. Think about it - just waltzing into another world and ta-da, that's it? No, too easy. The Rikti are smarter than that, and we all know it. Hacking into their mental net, if you want to call it that, is something even Nemesis would need a large amount of time and resources for; something he wouldn't have if he just jumped into one of their portals."

"So what are you suggesting?" Lady Grey's eyes narrowed, wrapping her head about the implications of this.

"I'm not suggesting anything." the FBSA agent gave a helpless shrug, "I'm just saying he's pulled the wool over our eyes again. Made us think his plan failed when really it was just a cover for another scheme."

"No." the Dark Watcher spoke, raising his gaze from the floor as he stepped toward the table, "It's still the same idea."

Lady Grey gave a nod. She already pursued the same train of thought. With all that was known about Nemesis, it stood to reason that a true scheme sat under all of this, entirely different from what had been uncovered so far. However, reason was easy. Nemesis knew that.

All the evidence pointed to it. Not a shred could counter the argument - exactly how it should appear. Nemesis wasn't running some third underlying scheme; he was still on the very same one, his quest for true immortality. After all, if everyone thought he'd already failed, there wouldn't be anyone to try and stop him. They'd all be looking for the 'true plan', leaving Nemesis to work utterly unimpeded.

Now he just needed a way to the Rikti homeworld.

"Get word to Portal Corporation!" Lady Grey's arm shot in the direction of Gaussian, who sat near the conference table's phone, "If we hurry, maybe we can still...!"

"I'm afraid it's too late for that." the Wizard who had entered with Agent Christopher interrupted, causing an immediate shift of attention. All eyes fell on the only man in the room who presently donned a full Vanguard uniform, masking every last form of his body.

"Yes, it's me." the Wizard gave a nod to the Dark Watcher, then turned to Lady Grey, stepping forward to place another file on the table, "A few hours ago, an Arachnos contingent attacked the Peregrine campus in an attempt to kidnap several researchers. Luckily, Citadel happened to be on-site and prevented the worst of it."

The folder passed from person to person, but the Wizard simply went on as if all of that didn't really matter. Indeed, in relevance to the truth, it didn't, "Sadly, it was only a guise to pin the blame on them."

"Automatons." Gaussian stated sharply, the file making its way into his hands, "The operation was staged."

"Exactly." the Wizard gave a nod, "Officially, the attempt failed. But with Nemmy involved, that's almost never true."

"What did they take?" Lady Grey wanted to know.

"Nothing." was the answer, which caused a bit of confusion, until the armored man added, "They punched through to the Rikti world."

"But I thought that was sealed off!" the FBSA agent exclaimed in shock, "How'd they do that?!"

"The barriers are weak at present." the Dark Watcher answered coolly, his expression not shifting in the least, "Give the gateways at the Portal Court enough power and the right coordinates, and it is possible to break into one of the conduits the Rikti have been laying from their world to ours."

"And with just about all their military force here with us..." Serpent Drummer gasped, prompting him to stand, "Good lord, if he gets enough hardware over there...!"

"Not an option." Lady Grey slammed her fist into the table, "We're mobilizing ASAP. Everyone, get this to your divisions. And inform Incandescent. We need to launch a task force immediately."

"To do what?" Levantera protested, "Protect those monsters? Lady Grey, with all due respect, are you out of your mind?!"

"They are not monsters." the Dark Watcher answered instead, "You know that better than a great many people."


"I will take your protest into consideration." Lady Grey ended the argument, "But regardless of what the Lineage of War has done, we know the fault for this war is by extension ours. We, the forces of justice, the heroes of this world, did not prevent Nemesis from wreaking havoc and suffering on their people once already - I will not stand idly by while he does it again. And neither shall you."

"Yes, madam." Levantera forced all emotion from her face, giving an almost military nod as she stood, "Borea and I will inform the Shield immediately."

"Thank you." came the retort while the sisters prepared to depart the conference room, "I'm counting on you."

"No sweat." Borea gave a stern nod, "You'll always be able to."

"I guess I'm kind of in the way then." Agent Christopher mumbled while he rose as well, watching Gaussian and Serpent Drummer depart the room to alert their divisions, "I guess I'll..."

"No." Lady Grey cut him off, stepping over to the man, "We're going to need you to get this back to the FBSA and alert the heroes of Paragon."

"She is quite right." the Dark Wacther agreed, "Vanguard alone will not be able to succeed here. Not only will we face the machinations of what may be the most dangerous madman this world has ever spawned, but also a people who think us their mortal enemy out to destroy them all. This may be humanity's greatest challenge yet."

"That means we'll need all the help we can get." Lady Grey finished, "Do you understand?"

"Completely." Agent Christopher gave a nod, then departed as well, the Dark Watcher in tow, "I'll do everything in my power."

"I'm sure you will." Lady Grey whispered as the doors closed yet again, leaving her alone with the Wizard.

"You have other worries." the mysterious woman commented. It was a statement, not a question, "And why didn't you tell us this right away?"

"You wouldn't have made the same decision if you'd known one before the other." replied the Wizard, "And yes, I am worried. If Nemesis succeeds, then...well, I think you've already figured out what'd happen then."

"Genocide." Lady Grey sat again, her face emotionless, but her tone appalled, "Worse, if word of this gets out to certain people here...there are a good few organizations who'd rather take the route of exterminating every last Rikti to stop Nemesis instead of taking him on directly."

"I know." was the Wizard's retort, "And should he succeed, I'll have to order just that."

Lady Grey looked up from the table, aghast at the proposition, "You can't..."

"I'd have no other choice."

"Now you listen to me…" the inexplicable heroine rose with a fire in her eyes, stepping over close to the man to glare directly into his masked face, "I don't care who you are, I will not let anyone slaughter innocent people! Is that understood?!"

"Madam, you forget yourself." the Wizard growled, stopping Lady Grey in her tracks, "You follow my orders here, not the other way around. Or would you rather I go back on my end of our little agreement?"

"No." the woman whispered, her gaze lowering, "No, I wouldn't."

"Then you have to keep up your side of the deal." the Wizard stated coldly and turned to leave. However, he stopped once more before departing, "Please understand. I am not an unreasonable person. But I cannot afford to lose what we've worked so hard for - even at the cost of another world."

"Then tell me. Tell me what you're doing here. Tell me what it is you need to succeed."

"I can't." the Wizard sighed, "If I did, it would never work."

And with that, the doors closed one last time...

"If I had Force powers, vacuum or not my cape/clothes/hair would always be blowing in the Dramatic Wind." - Tenzhi




The harsh beat of rotor blades cut through the night sky like thunder, the rapidly approaching duo of MI-26 HALO helicopters speeding over the streets of Peregrine Island like massive hornets stirred up from their nest.

They flew in formation, one behind and to the side of the other, their periodically blinking position lights outlining rough, deep-black shapes against the cloudy night sky as the two descended on the Portal Corporation campus.

Portal Court
Peregrine Island
0556 Hours ZULU - 12:56 A.M. Local Time

The place already brimmed with activity. Longbow personnel could be seen flitting in and out of the bright-white cones the quickly erected spotlight towers blasted into the court, assisted by the PPD's Kheldian division in securing the area..

In the rear of the facility already stood the helos Freedom Corps had landed, the red-and-white paint jobs of their MI-26s leaving no uncertainty as to which of the large rotary aircraft belonged to what organization. The jet-black Vanguard helicopters certainly wouldn't be confused with their Longbow counterparts.

Light from towers, vehicles, and aircraft alike bathed the whole campus in illumination, several spotlights having been trained on the sit of the former portal to White Plains. Already, the massive rings rose there once again, turning slowly as the gateway awaited its final activation.

Wind whipped the ground savagely as one of the Vanguard helos touched down on the helipad near said portal mechanism, its turbines only idling at the bare threshold of takeoff as he helo commenced its drop.

Pebbles jittered and the earth rumbled, two Vanguard tanks rolling down the aircraft's rear ramp at speed, taking up their pre-planned positions near the reconstructed gateway. They weren't taking any chances on this one.

No sooner had the second tank left the cargo hold than the first MI-26 revved its turbines back up to speed with an infernal roar, wheels lurching off the landing pad to make room for its companion as quickly as possible.

Several more armored vehicles rolled off the second aircraft, and though they weren't even half the size of the tanks who'd come before, their automated missile batteries packed a punch no recipient of their ire would ever forget. From high explosives to incendiary tips and toxic gas, the munitions these devilish contraptions could employ were staggeringly fiendish in both nature and number.

Several Vanguard personnel disembarked from this helo as well, some coordinating the placement of armor around the portal while others checked in with Longbow forces setting up a security perimeter. Borea and Levantera couldn't have been clearer in their orders - if someone didn't cut it, they wouldn't be going.

The Lady Grey couldn't help but be somewhat relieved, the sisters having yielded to her authority. She'd have to have a word with them once the initial operations had commenced. Vanguard was already under fire from a good many directions, and the organization couldn't afford any internal strife.

"Lady Grey!" the dark heroine perceived a shout from the side as she stepped off the aircraft, prompting her to turn in the direction of Security Chief Unai Kemen running toward her. Judging from his hurry, the man had news.

"We're all set up here." Kemen started as he reached Lady Grey, visibly out of breath. Understandable, considering he'd been chosen as head of security for this entire facility. The circumstances of his hiring were still somewhat shrouded. Nobody knew the reason he'd been asked to perform this duty, least of all Kemen, and Statesman himself had encouraged the man when he'd at first refused the position.

"As expected." Lady Grey gave answer, "There is something on your mind."

"Right, right..." the security chief waves a hand about for a moment, still catching his breath, "How'd you pull this off so quickly? I mean, usually it takes us months to change just about anything around here, what with the government breathing down our necks at every turn. And now this...frankly, if I didn't know better...I mean, it's almost like back when Webb was running the show around here."

"You can thank Incandescent for that." the woman replied, "She's holding down the fort at the UN for us."

It wasn't the whole story, but Kemen seemed satisfied with it. Like the rest of the Vanguard leadership, he knew well of Incandescent's efforts in the muck of politics. There was a reason many people regarded her as Vanguard's toughest member, after all. A good many heroes would've rather faced a world-eating monster than slug it out with politicians any day.

"I take it you're ready for powerup then?" Lady Grey wanted to know as she and Kemen made their way to the reconstructed portal, "If so, I'd prefer it done immediately. We don't know how much of a lead Nemesis has on us, and I'd like to get after him at once."

"This wouldn't happen to have anything to do with his mention of your 'pretty little head' now, would it?" the Dark Watcher threw in his remark as he joined the group, prompting a downright vicious glare from Lady Grey.

"I've work to do." she told them within moments, "If anyone needs me, you know where to find me."

Kemen stood visibly confused for a bit, one of his eyebrows a good way above the other as he turned to look questioningly at the Dark Watcher.

"Nemesis upset her greatly not too long ago." the mysterious man in black explained, "We need to keep reminding her this operation is not to be a personal vendetta."

"Ah." the security chief gave a nod, then turned to the technical staff that manned the portal generator and shot a loud whistle in their direction. No sooner did he have their attention then he raised a finger into the air and performed a sign of spin. The technicians understood immediately.

They initiated startup.

A sound of thunder rushed from the gate, the roar of heavy machinery following the same second. Fingers flew over keyboards and system panels, measuring, adjusting, correcting, and controlling every aspect of the sequence. The massive gateway that had formerly sent heroes to White Plains surged with energies once again, thundering and roaring as the gateway vortex in the center of its rapidly rotating rings forged itself a route across dimensions.

For a small amount of time, all activity in the area ceased, their air heavy with anticipation. Rifles of Vanguard and Longbow personnel alike rose to take aim at the coalescing gateway, and the automated missile batteries swept watchfully to and fro, ready to engage anything hostile that might come from the gateway at a moment's notice.

However, it all seemed to have been for naught. Slowly but surely, the initial storm of noise and light settled down to a dull roar, the portal stabilizing without incident. A collective sigh of relief hung almost audibly in the air.

"That's it, then." Kemen took a deep breath, turning to the Dark Watcher again, "No telling where exactly the thing ends up, but it's definitely a Rikti supply line. I just hope Lady Grey's wrong and there won't be any trouble from the bad guys right here. You got any advice for us?"

"Should I?" the Dark Watcher's shoulders moved slowly in the gesture of a shrug, "It's been a while since I last visited that world."

"Well yes, but you should at least know something still." the security chief protested, "I mean, you described your experience as 'harrowing' - wasn't there anything to that?"

"Of course it was harrowing." the Dark Watcher gave a rare chuckle, "The food was absolutely terrible..."

"If I had Force powers, vacuum or not my cape/clothes/hair would always be blowing in the Dramatic Wind." - Tenzhi




"Pretty lights. You guys hanging a Christmas tree?" rang out a brash voice, made even louder by the silence that had fallen over most of the crowd after the portal had been opened.

All heads turned to stare at a plain grey android that looked back with what might have been confusion in its cyclopix targeting eye.

"What? It just looks like it would make a good ornament, don't you think?"

Muffled groans and head shaking followed this question as the assembled Vanguard and Longbow troopers turned their attentions away from the wisecracking hero and back to the portal. Shrugging to himself, Solid Shot wandered over to the Dark Watcher, rifle slung over his shoulder on a strap.

"You rang?" Solid asked as he got closer to the group. "I got a message straight from Vanguard command and figured it must be important. What gives?"

"You'll be briefed once the other volunteers arrive," the Dark Watcher replied as he crossed as arms and continued staring at the portal. "Until then have a seat and try to stay out of trouble."

"Sheesh, you spill someone's coffee once and all of a sudden it's like I'm a total clutz," said Solid with exasperation as he crossed his own arms and looked out at the portal. "But seriously now, what's going on?"

"I'm sure our inestimable commander will let us know when he's ready, Solid," said a voice remarkably similiar to Solid's but more controlled.

The particular owner of this voice sauntered toward the command group, his red and blue diamond pattern cape fluttering slightly in the light breeze and a sextet of combat drones stomping along behind him. In Solid's vision the other android walking toward him was bracketed in red with the Arachnos and Vanguard symbols floating to either side. Targeting protocals refused to engage, which meant that Toy Dispenser was here in his capacity as a Vanguard operative, much as Solid was.

"Hello again, Toy," Solid sighed as the mastermind reached him. "I guess it was too much to hope that that hole put through your chest was permenant, huh?"

"Pretty much," Toy answered flippantly as he looked over the gathered troops with an appraising eye. "And I take it you also got a message directly from Lady Grey?"

"Yep," said Solid glumly. "Though if I had known you were coming, I would stayed in bed."

"Cease: Pointless bickering. I: Always: Must break up: Bickering. Previous action: Tiresome," came a clearly synthetic voice from between the Vanguard choppers.

"The Rikti are her-!" shouted one frantic Longbow soldier before the man next to him whapped her upside the head.

"Stupid," he whispered. "Read the damn briefing. That one's on our side."

Warmaster Cher'tak of the Traditionalist faction was used to such talk around himself and paid it no heed as he walked toward the pair of androids with might have been a jaunty bounce to his step. Solid and Toy exchanged a look, each wondering if this could be true. Cher'tak looked to be almost skipping with joy.

Then again, the image of the blood red armored, elite commando skipping was one so absurd that it was almost immidiately discarded. Then again, organic life always had a way of surprising even the most flexible of AIs.

"And here's the one who will be giving the actual advice," the Dark Watcher said as he turned slightly to watch Cher'tak approach out of the corner of his eye. "After all, who better to guide our force through the Rikti's homeworld than a Rikti itself?"

"Emotional state: Profound joy: Returning home," said Cher'tak as he arrived and nodded at the Dark Watcher and the two androids. "Guide duties: Possible combat services: Freely given."

"Hey Cher'tak, what's with the broken up speech again?" asked Solid as he quizzically tilted his head. "I thought you had one of those newfangled Mark III translators."

Cher'tak shrugged.

"Mark III translator: Incompatible: Current Armor," he replied.

"Then why not get a new suit?" Toy suggested. Cher'tak shook his head venemously.

"Idea: Inconceivable. Armor: Hereditary, Invaluable," he said. "Masterwork: Craftsmanship. Slight inconveniences: Bearable."

"I believe it also has something to do with his rank of Warmaster," the Dark Watcher added to an approving nod from the Rikti. "Since the title of Warmaster is hereditary it would make sense that the armor is as well."

"And where did you learn so much about Rikti culture?" Toy asked as he moved to flank the taller Rikti soldier and watch the portal.

"I have my ways," replied the Dark Watcher as he followed Toy's gaze, ending the discussion with just that movement.

Statesman said let there be heroes, and there were heroes.

Lord Recluse said let there be villains, and there were villains.

NCsoft said let there be nothing, and there was nothing.



(*Reserves spot in RP*


What? It's 3:30 AM here. I'll post tomorrow.)




Okay, I've received quite a few questions about this, so I think Imma answer them here rather than send the same PM to several people. I'm hoping that'll also clear up things for any newcomers we might have.

1. Vanguard is dispatching an expedition to the Rikti homeworld, this much yalls already know. Being an organization uncaring for their operatives' backgrounds, there is no preference for hero, villain, or anything in-between here. So long as you're willing to fight and do as they say, Vanguard'll have ya on board.

2. Obviously, creating a conduit to the Rikti homeworld isn't something exclusively proprietary. There are a good many people and factions around with the same capability, so the Vanguard gateway set up in Portal Court will not necessarily remain the only access point to the Rikti universe as time moves on.

3. People are welcome to drop characters into this from any angle. Do you share the vision of the Lady Grey and wish to help the Rikti who've been duped by Nemesis? Or are you just along because you've some vendetta with the Prussian Prince of Automatons? Then again, maybe you've sworn revenge on the Rikti instead and just joined up as a farce, or perhaps you're part of an organization with much more sinister plans in mind.

And there are just a few of the viewpoints your character(s) might take. There are a great many more. While a core plot stands here, the angles people may take on this are nearly limitless, so don't feel restricted into thinking the expedition will be all there is to this thread. Who knows, the Rikti may not be the only one in danger.

[u]End OOC Comment[u]

"If I had Force powers, vacuum or not my cape/clothes/hair would always be blowing in the Dramatic Wind." - Tenzhi





I will also reserve a spot here.

The poll will be up with the next 3-5 hours, so for any of those who know what I'm talking about, now is the last chance to PM me with your ideas.

EDIT: I can't get Tobay to reply to me. The poll will need to be delayed for a while... *Poke*))



In the midst of the hustle and bustle that naturally comes with pre-mission preperation, there was one person who really didn't seem to be doing much of anything. Indeed, it seemed he was actually chuckling at the frantic nature of the Longbow and Vanguard alike, seeming to enjoy their, as he saw it, unnecessary worry and stress.

On the contrary, as he saw it, they had much more pressing matters to be worried about.

Of course, he couldn't blame them for not knowing about them. Hell, he only had a vague theory for what they were, himself. All he knew is that he was given a small tape recorder with a tape inside and orders to play it after he arrived in the Rikti Homeworld.

He sighed as he felt around in his pocket for it, finally finding it after digging through a pack of gum and some Mentos.

Arachnos is planning something. Can't say what it is now, but I'll know soon enough... Smirking he continued to look on at the other applicants, seeing if he had known any from before.



I can't post until later but I am also reserving a spot.




"Am I on time?" Asked a smooth voice with a hint of an English Accent.

"Just on time." The Dark Watcher responded.

Ineffable was standing right behind the Dark Watcher's shoulder, having seemingly come out of thin air.

"I'm sure you're aware of the proceedings?" The Watcher asked.

"Yes, yes. I am to obey all orders from the force leader, and I am not to move outside of a five mile radius of him, otherwise I am automatically ported back to the Zig." Ineffable stated clearly. "But I have a question. Surely, since I'm working for Vanguard, there should be no need for such restraints? I am told you turn a blind eye to the nature of people who work for you."

"Normally, yes. But remember it is only my word that got you out of the Zig. Longbow still has a say in what you are going to do." The Watcher responded.

Ineffable went silent, and walked around the Watcher over to the nearest wall. He leaned on it, and after sparing Chertak and Toy Dispenser a quick glance, looked on into the portal.

Looking upon Ineffable himself, he seemed normal enough. But there was this...feeling about him. As if he wasn't really THERE. He was solid to the touch, and opaque, but one got the feeling that where he was standing, there shouldn't have been anything.



Randall Grey glanced over the glasses in his cabinet. The bottle in his hand remained closed, and his fingers drummed on it expectantly.

It had been a long time...

"I think this will do..."

He pulled a shot glass from the cabinet. One shot. That was all he needed for celebration. His friends and family had engaged in numerous successful operations across the city against the villainy that corrupted it, and, best of all, his friend, Ray Harris, had finally been vindicated in the eyes of the law.

It took rescuing Faultline and Fusionette, but he did it (and without pause). Helping a group of Longbow escape a collapsing building probably helped, too.

Good enough reason to...

The phone rang as he started tugging on the whiskey bottle's cork. Grumbling, Randall set it down and walked across the hall to answer the ringing annoyance.

"Randall Grey?" the voice on the other end asked.

"Yes..." the tanker growled as he recognized the voice, "Agent Wild. Mind telling me why it is you're interrupting me?"

"Interrupting you from what? Surveillance has you pegged as about to catastrophically jump off the twelve step program."

"You boys watch me?"

"It's the only way we can keep the Malta Group off our favorite heroes' backs," Wild quipped on the other end, "It's not like we're planting evidence or harassing you like some sort of conspiracy theory..."

Randy walked back over to the bottle, popped it open, and poured himself a shot.

"Don't do that... Please?"

"First off," Randall downed the alcohol and set the glass in the sink, "I'm a might too big for one shot to have much effect. Second, I never went through any program. I stopped drinking on my own... Things are going well in my life, and I'm takin' tonight easy..."

He closed the bottle. Good stuff in that bottle. It'll be good to hold onto it.

"I understand, Randy," Wild's voice suddenly hushed, "But... Well... I have a proposition for you."

"What's that?"

"Look, Freedom Corps has been told to get a hold of any and all heroes they can convince to send through the portal they just put up in Peregrine Island. Now... While I qualify for 'hero' status, I already know I'm no match for what's on the other side of that thing..."

"But I am, and you're assigned as my liaison, right?"

"Look, Randall... I wouldn't have tapped you under normal circumstances..."

Randall didn't interrupt during the slight pause. The whiskey was having a subtle effect, it was making his brain feel like he was swimming, but only slightly.

"Grey... I don't like all this 'we're watching you,' crap... Freedom Corps and Longbow against Arachnos, that I can handle. Those guys are definitely not on the right track. But Vanguard? We're all supposed to be heroes, right? We're all supposed to be protecting the innocent... Well... You're the one guy I can trust to send somebody over who won't be trying to screw everybody else over. Plus, you're probably the only person I know who can take a hit from the Honoree..."

"You heard of him, huh?"


Randall drummed his fingers on the counter top. Already, his buzz was fading.


"I'm thinking."

Grey popped open another cabinet and pulled down a loaf of bread. From there, he started opening the refrigerator and gathering other ingredients.

"Tell me where to go," he grumbled as he started making himself a couple of roast beef sandwiches.

My Stories

Look at that. A full-grown woman pulling off pigtails. Her crazy is off the charts.



Portal Court
Peregrine Island
1:34 A.M. Local Time

- - -

A person of strong stature, Silent in his own right.
A man only known by death, unsure of what it feels like.
Unable to see and understand, to walk the world unknowing.
This is his path, his story… The one to be the ruin of mankind.

A figure roughly over six feet walked through the Portal Court gateway. He was dressed solely in black patent leather, with multiple chains across his body, making him look somewhat of a captured animal. A black leather mask covered his head, with a small dark grey ‘slash’ pattern over his eyes.

By the looks of it, he only carried two weapons. One: a sword… A typical sword at the side of a few of Paragon’s most known and feared heroes and villains. Except, this person wasn’t known by anyone. He made himself known by fear. But by the end of the day, those who had come in contact with this person couldn’t, or wouldn’t remember him.

The second weapon: A large shuriken on his upper back, approximately a foot and a quarter diameter. While an unusual weapon, it indeed had its purpose.

Other then those two weapons, and many chains, the man seemed to the most unusual simplicity. Something not often observed by Paragon’s heroes and heroines. They seem far too caught up in the bright colors of their costumes, rather then seeking training or using the time they have for something more important.

The man walked slowly across the right side of the courtyard to the spot of all the commotion. He watched and listened to those who gathered while remaining near the wall of the east building.

He took a quick look at the note in his hand. After reading it quickly, he folded it up and put it in a small black cloth pouch hung from the chains around his waist.

He didn’t know where it came from. All he remembered was seeing it on the table of his ‘house’, but then, that was all he needed to know. Something in the back of his mind told him he made a promise… Or something. Either way, he was seeing it through. This was the first step.



Binro stood silently for a moment, pondering. One of his contacts had told him the details of a mission into the world of the Rikti. He had run across the Rikti a couple times before, on Earth and earlier during his travels across the universe.

"Vanguard is accepting volunteers for the mission so I just thought I'd mention it. Probably be pretty tough and you're used to that kinda thing."

There was truth to that. Binro's place seemed to be in the midst of great battles, but he was loathe to leave Earth, as his search still continued. Suddenly the large mace hanging on his belt began to vibrate slightly, like a tuning fork that had just been struck.

The human in front of him watched, puzzled, as the large armored figure seemed to listen to something before finally nodding.

"Very well," he said in his deep voice, seeming to talk to the weapon before directing his attention back to his contact. "I will go on this mission."

The human nodded, giving him the information on departure time and objectives. Binro thanked him and left, the man sending a message to the Vanguard that the Omega Knight had volunteered for the mission.

Binro landed at the meeting place at the appropriate time. Even in Paragon he was a bit of an odd sight. Over seven feet tall and clad in armor that seemed to be a mix of the medieval and the futuristic. His most striking feature, however, was his head. It had dull brown, leathery skin, no ears, and was shaped like a cross between a dragon and an emaciated horse.

He nodded respectfully to the Longbow agents, staying silent, but standing dutifully nearby. A sash of white feathers with gold ends hung from his right shoulder and he absent-mindedly fingered the handle of his mace as he waited.



A figure was hanging outside Portal Corp,listening,watching. Eyes darker then space itsself looked down upon the busy place. The figure grinned and said,"Looks like ill be able to do some good finnaly....god damn newspapers spreading rumors." The figure then leaped off one of the buildings of the Portal Corp and landed before the right place/ He shook and brushed himself off and walked to the meeting place. When he walked a bit closer,the light showed he was decked in Vangaurd Armor..except he didnt have the helmet. But his face was way too familler,it was the Vangaurd member,Raien Storm,or as he is known,Electron Boy. His hair was combed back,its color as white as a full moon. His eyes a dark abyss color. He kept quiet and walked a bit in and then stopped. His eyes moved around,cheaking the place out. He shrugged to himself and just knew,this had to go right,for the Rikti didnt deserve this....and Nemesis deserved to pay for his deeds. Luckily,Raien was a manipulator of this shouldnt be that hard.




The setting is on the outside of the building where the 'Rikti Crash Sight' portal used to be.

Well... I think... ))



((Oops. Edited. ))



Randall approached the Portal Corp campus. By now, his buzz was gone, and the roast beef sandwich was a quiet memory coursing through his veins and nourishing his body.

Flashing his security level card at the assorted security personnel, he made his way for the portal.

"Excuse me," a young lady with blond hair and what seemed to be white and purple martial arts robes held a hand up to stop him, "May I see your identification, please?"

"Here you are," the large tanker handed over the card and waited patiently.

Borea wasn't surprised by much, but what she saw on the card at least caused her to have a startled and bemused expression for a few seconds.

"Mr... Grey?"

"Yeah," Randy replied as he took back his card, "I was told you Vanguard people need some support in a special mission."

"Grey?" she still seemed a little perturbed.

"What?" he shrugged, then his face got uglier as he grinned and his face's wrinkles got deeper, "Ah... That's right... No, I am not now, nor have I ever been a blood relative of or otherwise related to the Lady Grey."

"Ah..." Borea resumed her usually placid appearance, "Yes, I see in our reports that Freedom Corps has requested a position for you."

"Hot [dung]," he barked as he followed the Vanguard officer she assigned to lead him to where the other gathered individuals were waiting to be briefed.

My Stories

Look at that. A full-grown woman pulling off pigtails. Her crazy is off the charts.



"Eccentric: Assemblage," Cher'tak said as the various heroes and villains started arriving.

"That's what we are," Solid muttered as he bent over his rifle and started tinkering with something on it. "Eccentric."

"This'll be fun," Combat Toy rumbled as it stepped aside for a hero as large as it was.

"As long as we keep ourselves from getting killed," moaned Block Bot as it checked its nanite reserves.

Statesman said let there be heroes, and there were heroes.

Lord Recluse said let there be villains, and there were villains.

NCsoft said let there be nothing, and there was nothing.



"I doubt that this task will be of much threat to beings such are gathered here." Cher'tak, Solid, and Toy Dispenser heard from behind them. Ineffable was responding to Block Bot's statement.

"Even assuming we'll have to fight against the full might of the Nemesis Army and the Rikti military...Neither of them are significant threats...No offense to the Rikti, of course." Stated Ineffable casually. He was either incredibly confident or just incredibly ignorant of what the Nemesis Army and the Rikti military were actually composed of.



"I believe this shall serve." A man gazed at himself in a large, ornate mirror. Brown hair slicked back perfectly, and a black, neatly trimmed suit, he cut a fairly impressive figure. The man reached for a small pendant set on a stone table. He placed it carefully over his neck, and sighed. "And now, it begins."


A woman dropped from the sky, landing gracefully in front of the Freedom Corps. perimeter. She walked forward, swaying gracefully in the tight, brown leather costume she wore, her cape flowing majestically behind her. She adjusted the red belt right before standing in front of one of the Officers.

"Security clearance?"

She handed him a small card. He gazed at it carefully for a moment, then snorted.

"Knew you couldn't keep it up, Mike," said Danica with a light smile.

"Eh. Can't blame me for trying to act the part, ya know?" He shook his head and handed her back the card. "Good luck, D. And be careful out there."

"Always am," she called back, heading toward the group already assembling.

There was a faint *pop* as the brown-haired man appeared in the same spot Danica had landed.

"Security clearance?" asked Mike.

The man handed him his card. The Longbow soldier cocked his head as he scanned it, not seeing any results coming up. "Sorry... Big Thelth, was it? I'm not getting anything from our database."

Thelth frowned. "Odd... Look again."

Mike's blinked away what felt like the last remnants of his morning sleepiness, then double-checked. This time the scanner approved and confirmed the hero identity. "Whoops... Musta misentered something. Go on in."

Big Thelth nodded and walked forward towards the others, his face utterly emotionless.

Arc ID: 475246, "Bringing a Lord to Power"

"I'm only a simple man trying to cling to my tomorrow. Every day. By any means necessary."
-Caldwell B. Cladwell



"Well, you certainly seem excited." Borea remarked to the massive tanker with a wry smirk as they walked, "I don't suppose it'd make you feel any better that you've been requested to lead one of the expedition's subdivisions, hm? Specifically, the super-powered one."

Not waiting for his answer, the woman went on, intent on finishing the conversation before they had reached the rest of the group, "Aside from a duo of robots, you're the most experienced one around, and we know you can keep a level head under a great deal of pressure - and there's going to be no end to that. The Rikti you'll be encountering most likely won't be soldiers this time. They'll be just ordinary people; people who think we're the murderous invaders threatening their civilization. In their view, the Omega Team is still a terrorist group. I don't imagine you'll be greeted any differently than we might welcome a party of Al'Qaeda..."


"That would be a welcome change of pace." the Dark Watcher remarked sullenly, casting his sunglass-hidden gaze over to the rumbling portal assembly as he spoke.

"Ah, there we are." he gave a satisfied nod as he saw three more well-armored Rikti approach, turning back to the group, "As we are already on the matter of guides - Cher'tak, I think you'll be glad to know you have backup. There is a large chance our groups will be separated at one point or another, and we can't take chances on this one."

By this time, the Rikti trio had reached the assemblage of people. The first stood clad in an armorsuit of silver that could have been that of a Chief Soldier, had it not been for the rounded shoulder components that more closely resembled those of a communications officer. The second wore the set of armor belonging to a Chief Mentalist, and the third's suit matched that of a Chief Soldier to a tee, though he'd presently removed the helmet from his head, holding it tucked under the right arm.

"For those of you who don't already know," the Dark Watcher introduced them in the very same order, "meet the rest of our guides: C'Kelkah, our dimensional travel scientist. Her work has been paramount in creating a stable gateway. Lk'Onik, our Psi-scout, whom most of you should be familiar with already, and Sah'Teece, one of the negotiators who helped solidify our peace."

"That doesn't go to say my presence will be making this any easier." the former negotiator added, his Mark III translator giving the synopsis of his thoughts in flawless, albeit somewhat monotone English, "Hro'Dtohz has just about everyone back home believing that Nemesis' actions are a lie and that all our evidence is fabricated. Still, I want to do what I can to help."

Lk'Onik gave a silent nod, the Rikti most everyone had given the nickname 'the shy one' knowing full well they and all other Traditionalists had been branded treasonous traitors at the hands of Hro'Dtohz. Judging by his quiet demeanor, he seemed somewhat out of place here. Those who'd fought with him, however, knew his bashful exterior masked an impressively strong and calculating mind underneath.

"Fluctuation reduction: complete." C'Kelkah then told them, her unique armor apparently incompatible with the new translators as well, "Preparation state: final. Exclamation: Huah!"

"Good to hear." the Dark Watcher retorted, "We will depart as soon as this division is fully assembled, then. I take it all of you are prepared...?"

"If I had Force powers, vacuum or not my cape/clothes/hair would always be blowing in the Dramatic Wind." - Tenzhi




"More or less..." Jake muttered, smirking as he felt his tape recorder yet again. As for now, according to his instructions, he simply needed to get into the Rikti Homeworld. Whether or not the rest of them were ready wasn't important to him.



"I am ready." Ineffable stated simply.



“I am ready.”

[/ QUOTE ]

A figure in black and yellow fire stripe metallic armor dropped in to the courtyard, just as he finished the last phrase, leaving a slight haze of dark energy in the arc of her previous jump. As the darkness faded, the details of the figure became much clearer.

She was a beautiful, young woman in her early twenties… Very early, as she seemed almost 21. She had a fairly dark complexion, with her dark brown hair tied in to a pony tail. She also had a cape continuing the black and yellow fire stripe pattern, as well as a full black metallic belt.

“Now, I hope I didn’t miss anything!” She said, unusually perky. She grinned slightly, waving a little to Psy-Scout Lk’Onik. “And it looks like I got here just in time!”

“Welcome, Night.” Said the dark voice of Watcher as she made her appearance.

“Hello!” She replied, look around right after to the many others gathered. The first thing of many she noticed was the two androids. So, she did what any normal person would do.

“Hiya there! What are your names?” She asked happily, stretching out her hand for a handshake.



"We will depart as soon as this division is fully assembled, then. I take it all of you are prepared...?"

[/ QUOTE ]

Binro looked up from having his head bowed, looking as if he'd been praying.

"I am prepared," he nodded to the Watcher, while checking the securing straps of the mace on his belt and the axe on his back.