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Triarii Incorporated: A Superhero Roleplay. IC

"If you need a vantage point up high you'll be pleased to know there's high-rise office blocks surrounding the place. We can get you maintenance passes, but you'll still have to be careful that you don't get detected. Also, be warned that they can see a lot from their towers; once you fire, it'll be safest to just assume you're detected. Make sure you have an escape route."

"We can provide a fair bit of stuff, but we're running a little low on volunteers to get brainwashed," Alan paused to chuckle at his own joke, "So we probably can't send anyone in alongside you. We can give you kit, but bear in mind that anything you carry will be confiscated, Faceless, and that radios probably won't be able to transmit from within the sewers. You could set up a line to above ground, but that will make you fairly obvious. You could claim it was some form of draining machine, and even have some personnel nearby 'operating' it, but that'll probably only be enough to fool the public. Clothes, on the other hand, will be easy. We'll get a suit of some kind for you, Faceless, and overalls and so on for the others. Sewer work tends to include masks to protect against gasses, so we could even hide your identity. Crimson Eye... you may be trickier. We could just give you a cap and sunglasses, or we have a non-combat super who could change your face. I warn you, though, she's a little..." Alan trailed off as he tried to find words to describe her. "Anyway, she could disguise your identity. She's done a lot of unofficial cosmetic work in the past few months."

"If you're agreed on this plan, we'll need a list of required equipment and personnel ASAP, but as long as you can get it done before tomorrow morning we should be able to get anything. Unless you want a nuke, or something!" He laughed, then suddenly remembered who he was talking to. "Please don't ask for a nuke."

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
"I'll accept cosmetics. And I will make sure I have an escape route." Crimson Eye frowned. "So radios are near useless, then? Then I will make sure to be discreet, and once I have shot the camera I will escape."

The Archivist

Archivist of the word The
True Blood
Vulcan coughs, scratching the back of her neck a bit sheepishly.

"I... haven't got the knowledge for making electronic automation. I can do things when I can see them, and I can make RC drones, and placing radio receivers and broadcast drones in strategic locations could reconnect our team's radios?"

She snorts and returns to her bouncy stance.

"Anyway, our plan is super! Let's go all espionage on this cult!"

Get of W'soran

CN's Lord of Masks
True Blood
Blademaster shrugged with a faint frown.

"Sounds like a...plan." he said with a faint hesitation, he was used to taking days...sometimes weeks...to meticulously plan out his missions but he could tell that wasn't going to work with these others.

The large man crossed his arms. "Espionage does seem to be the most useful path to take." he agreed.
Alan took a deep breath. "Alright, if you're sure." He pulled out his phone to make a call. "Hi Mandy, would you mind introducing Crimson Eye to Mel? Oh, and if possible could you make sure she's not... ah, she already is. Not to worry." He turned back to Crimson Eye with a vaguely sheepish look. "If you'll just go to the lift, Mandy should be waiting for you. The rest of you, submit a list of any kit you need and we'll get it to you."

"How'd it go?" asked the flame-haired woman as she took the lift down with Crimson Eye. "Exciting, isn't it, getting a new job. Especially one like this. I've always thought... ah, we're here." She led Crimson Eye out and down a corridor labelled "Supers.", its doors marked with brass nameplates. "Here she is." As Crimson Eye entered, he caught a glimpse of the name on the door

Mel Practice

"Hi there!" Mel was a tall, slightly overweight woman in a crumpled suit and stained apron, holding a large knife and a half-empty bottle of whiskey. Her office's pastel wallpaper was covered with anatomy diagrams, band posters and colourful prints, of the type that might grace any teenage stoner's wall. The centre of her office was dominated by a hospital bed with straps at the head and foot and distressing stains on the sheets. "If you'll just lie down and let me strap you in, we can get started. Facial disguise, wasn't it?" She took a long slug from the bottle and gagged at the taste. "Sorry, I need this. Can't stand the sight of blood." She giggled, then suddenly remembered something. "I apologise, where are my manners? Would you care for some anaesthetic?" She offered the bottle.
"Right-oh!" said Mel with a cheery smile. "Just need a couple of pictures, in case you want to go back to your old face. Give us a smile!" She pulled out a smartphone and snapped a few shots, before binding the straps tight around Crimson Eye's ankles. "Nothing to worry about, just need to make sure you don't flail about while I'm working. I'll need that back, by the way." She took back the bottle, pouring a last draught into his mouth, before binding down his arms too. "Just sterilise the blade..." She dipped the knife into the last of the whiskey before downing the remainder and throwing the bottle into the overflowing wastepaper basket. "All comfortable? Great!"

She traced the tip of the knife lovingly over Crimson Eye's face. "Think we'll start with the nose..." She slashed the edge across the tip of his nose and blood began to flow freely. "I've always thought noses make a face, don't you think?" She pushed a finger into the wound and Crimson Eye felt the exceptionally unpleasant sensation of the cartilage growing, pushing out through the wound. She looked at her work with a critical eye. "Needs a bit of reshaping. Hold still." She pushed his head down onto the bed with her free hand, then smacked him hard with the butt of the knife. There was an unpleasant crack and blood started to pour from his nostrils too. Ignoring this, Mel put a finger up each nostril and adjusted the nose, before healing the break. "That should do it." She stroked the cut on the tip of his nose and it sealed shut, the pain turning to the dull throb of an old wound. "Just need to clean you up, then we can do some more." She took a flannel from a sink in the corner, squeezed most of the water out, then wiped down his face, remarkably tenderly. "There. You look different already! Now, let's do something about the rest..." She made a series of cuts under his jaw, and inserted her fingers. Crimson Eye felt the bone thin until she could snap it with light blows. His teeth moved unpleasantly as she manipulated the bone. "Shame to lose that jawline, but we can always put it back." She healed the damage before doing his cheeks too. "Now, these eyes are going to be fun... Seems like they're heavily affected by your power. I'll just put a bit of pigment in, that ought to do the trick, though they'll still glow." His eyes twitched involuntarily as she put her fingers on them. "Don't be such a baby. I'm not even using the knife for this bit." Crimson Eye felt an unpleasant sensation, like ants crawling under his irises, before she took her hands away. "Last touch, hair. I think you'd look good with a moustache..." She put a hand on the back of his head, and another on his top lip. Crimson Eye felt his short, neat hair grow at least two inches as his upper lip prickled. "There. All done! Wasn't so bad, was it?"

She handed him a mirror as she undid the straps. "What do you think? Anything else you want doing? I could make you taller, if you want."

The face before him was another man's. His jawline was softer, his face rounder and pudgier, with a large, hooked nose. A pair of deepset blue eyes looked at the scruffy stranger in the mirror before him.

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
"i don't need to be taller for what I do," Crimson Eye responded. "Besides that, excellent work." He turned and replaced his mask. Satisfied with the changes, he left the room and returned to where they had discussed the infiltration, re-strapping his rifle when he found it.
"Call me!" Mel cackled after Crimson Eye's retreating back. With a happy sigh, she strolled over to the sink to wash the blood off her hands, then picked up the intercom "Hi, Mandy, could you bring me a double espresso, no milk? I'll fix that belly for you!" She was silent for a moment as the woman replied. "Trust me honey, you really do. See you soon!" She hung up, slumped into a chair and put her feet up on the operating table. This was the life.

The day of the HPI's latest course dawned bright and clear, and a gaggle of people stood around the gates, watched with mild interest by the guards. They were a rather mismatched bunch; eager teenagers, well-dressed businessmen and their wives and obnoxiously chatty pensioners. Mixed in with them were a few wild-eyed types, who seemed to be constantly casting around for an exit, yet every time they tried to stroll away an HPI member with a microphone would accost them with a smile and a question about how they were feeling. The Faceless was mixed in with them perfectly, completely indistinguishable from the rest. In just a few minutes, they would get to find out what the HPI was really like.

Far below them, the masked sewer team groped their way through the foul-smelling darkness, occasional beeps from a glowing screen directing them through the damp labyrinth. Vulcan was a little behind as she set up another in the long chain of radio receivers connecting them with the surface. She was forced to run to keep up with Blademaster's long strides, almost slipping into the noxious water flowing past them as she caught up with him.

Meanwhile, just across the street from the HPI headquarters, a bored receptionist hid her bag of sweets as a dishevelled-looking man in blue overalls and a T I Electrical nametag walked in carrying a large bag. "You doing OK honey? What're you here for?"

Crimson Eye turned to look at the minor obstacle.

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
"Repair work. One of the feedback circuits has blown. Someone probably put the wrong device into the system, and that's blown it up. It should be easy." Crimson Eye shook his head. "But some fool got even that wrong and now there's a chance there could be a massive electrical blow out, so I need to get up there and fix the mistake before anything else goes wrong. You'll notice the lights aren't working properly." His eyes glowed briefly as he used his hypnosis. "Your electricians can't have been very good. Not to worry, I'll soon correct it." If necessary, he could make the receptionist let him through. But she would probably be concerned enough by the flashing lights she thought she was seeing to let the 'technician' in.
The receptionist looked up at the steadily glowing lights with a glazed expression. "Oh yes. They've been on the blink for weeks. Go right on, lift's just on the right. Come back if you need anything."

The lift took Crimson Eye up to a warren of conference rooms on the top floor, mostly empty, with large windows taking up the entire street-side walls. An unlocked door gave him a vantage point over the HPI headquarters, just in time for him to watch the crowd feed into the HQ. White-robed HPI members surrounded them, shepherding them back onto the path if they started to wander.

"Nervous? Everyone is at first. Don't worry, I'll stick with you." One of the wild-eyed, desperate types had tried to make a break for it, only for an HPI member to throw an arm around his shoulders in an apparently friendly gesture. "Not too much further. Come on, you'll like it!" The light drained from the man's eyes as he meekly submitted to the inevitable. In less than a minute, the whole group were through the big doors and they closed with a resounding boom. The Faceless heard a little click of a lock just before a pretty brunette in white robes started talking.

"Welcome, everyone, to the Human Potential Intiative's superpower introductory course! We're all so pleased that you've taken this opportunity to fully embrace your potential for superpowers. I know a few of you may be sceptical of us, but I promise that your scepticism will be unfounded. Every single one of you will develop something by the end of this course. I guarantee it!" A general whooping and cheering from the HPI members surrounding them created a smattering of applause from the inductees. "But before we do that, we must ask that you cleanse yourself by abandoning your worldly possessions. Don't worry, you'll get them back later!" A roar of laughter, with some of the inductees now getting the idea. "Just go through to the changing rooms to either side, we've got lockers for your possessions and robes of all sizes. Just pick out one that looks good!" More laughter. Laughter would clearly be a fixture of this course. "Get changed as quick as you can, then go through the doors to the central hall. See you in a few!" The girl flashed a dazzling smile as the older HPI members herded the inductees into their changing rooms, welcoming smiles plastered across their faces.

The Dread King

Staff member
True Blood
The Faceless was quiet, his face a bland mask of an utter bore. Silence only made him less noticeable, and keeping a low profile would help with his mission. Walking into the changing rooms with the other males, he was keen to maintain quiet observation of his surroundings. Nothing seemed suspicious about the room at first glance. It's not as if any serious super-powered criminal gangs would have lockers that were actually secret doors, he thought, dismissing petty speculation about the room's features.

He began to change, and quickly - for though his face could change at will and he was unidentifiable via its features, he had an Achilles' heel: a small bulge on the back of his neck. Hard to notice, and not seemingly unnatural to the human eye - but a feature that could be used to distinguish him from other people. That was enough to frighten him of being identified by any pursuers he might have, and the caution that proceeded from this fright ensured that he undressed and re-dressed (putting on a rather large robe, to accommodate his tall frame) at a brisk, though not hurtling, pace. Afterwards, he packed his clothes into a locker quietly, his fingers brushing against its edge as he did so (just in case it held any surprises).
"No sir, I'm sorry, but you'll have to hand that to us. No, you'll get it back at the end. Modern electronics disrupt the flow of the spiritual cleansing process. You want to be cleansed, don't you? Sir, I really will have to insist! No sir, you can't... I'm very sorry about this, sir." A pair of muscle-swollen brutes in robes grabbed the boy and pinned his arms as they divested him of his phone.

"Locker?" growled the one holding it, his voice unnaturally deep and gravelly. He grimaced as he said it, as if even to speak was physically painful. With a shaking hand, the teenage boy pointed to an open locker already holding his clothes, and with exaggerated care the monstrous man placed it on top of the pile and closed the door with a hand like a bear paw.

"That should be everything then!" said the unpowered HPI member, a forced, brittle cheerfulness in his voice and a smile like a searchlight on his face. "Who's excited to get started?" A generally positive mumble came from the crowd. "Great!" His smile somehow widened by an inch, "I can see you're all gonna do well! Follow me, and we can get started!" The man led them to the far end of the room and grasped the handles of a set of double doors. He turned, his smile now painfully wide. "Welcome," he said, throwing open the doors, "To the Human Potential Initiative."

The room stretched out before them, a cavern like the lovechild of every theatre, concert hall and cathedral in existence, and some of the new recruits could not restrain gasps as they saw it. Gilded figures chased each other across the high ceiling, gilt flames and lightning bolts shooting from their hands and twining down the marble pillars. Statues of superheroes loomed over the hundreds, perhaps even thousands of robed HPI members who milled about, chattering excitedly as they jostled for a good position to view the glittering podium at the end of the hall. As the initiates were herded in, older members surrounded them with beaming smiles and "Hihowareya?"s, pulling them into the white-clad throng.

"Hihowareya, I'm Jon." said one of them, grabbing the Faceless' hand and pumping it vigorously.

"I'm Steve." said another, "So great you could come."

"So great. I'm Madison. You excited?"

"Everyone's excited, it's so great to see her, we're so glad you could come."

The group were speaking over each other, not giving the Faceless a chance to say anything as they bombarded him with compliments, jokes, friendly comments

"I love your hair, it looks so good on you."

"And your biceps, you must bench something fierce."

"Shame about the face, but we can fix that." The group all laughed in sync, and one of them slapped him on the back in a friendly way.

"So great you could join us. Let's go find a space."

They steered him away from the other new members and into the main mass of people. A dozen more people introduced themselves and asked the Faceless his name, why he was there, what he liked to do. They seemed fascinated with everything he had to say, laughing uproariously at everything which could seem like a joke and never taking the smiles off their faces. Without warning, the whole room went black.

"It's starting!" Hissed Jon, from behind the Faceless. The chatter slowly died down until the room was almost silent, the legion of people holding their breath in anticipation.

Suddenly, a light appeared at the far end of the room, and sped towards the Faceless, banking and wheeling as it passed over the whole crowd. As it swept over him, he saw that it was a woman, her body encased in bands of light and her long hair and robes fluttering in the wind as she flew. She dived, low enough to brush the hair of the members below her and eliciting gasps and whoops as she did. Finally, after circling the room once more, she soared back to the podium and alighted on it, her toes barely touching the balcony as she spread her arms wide and her electronically amplified voice boomed out of the speakers.

"Ladies and gentleman, I give you... Kisosha!"

And the crowd went wild.

The Dread King

Staff member
True Blood
The Faceless was a big man. He'd taken a lot of physical damage in his lifetime: the violence of cavemen, forces of nature which could dash a grown man's head open in seconds, and so many brutal wars. But in this moment, he was overwhelmed by the buffeting of the frenzied crowds screaming for their idol. What for was not clear: attention, appeasement, abilities...it did not matter. For the initiates, the messiah had returned, and for the Faceless, he was finding the act of staying on his own two feet amidst the jostling people more difficult than a drunk on ice with soap bars for shoes.

He turned his attention to the woman who'd made the explosive entrance. Even if the powers she'd displayed moments ago were only cosmetic, they could be put to effective use nonetheless. The Faceless almost grimaced, but kept his face an emotionless mask. Nothing could be given away; however, he had a sense of foreboding, as the report on the HPI Initiative he'd been given at headquarters had hinted at abilities Kisosha had which would be far more dangerous.

Then he cursed internally, and realised that he might well have given something away: that he was spying on her. When Kisosha arrived, the Faceless was certain he had been the only figure in that crowd who had not cheered, smiled or expressed joy in some way. Trying to blend in had made him stand out. Forcing a slightly pained smile to his face, he hoped his cool demeanour had gone unnoticed by Kisosha, and observed her, waiting to see what she would do next.

This was his first - and hopefully his last - error, and he hoped it had slipped away unnoticed. Still, he could not count on it.

The Faceless resolved to be more careful in future; he could not afford to, and would not, fail again.