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 Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago

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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:46 pm



John looked into the Cadillac as he squeezed the bumper, he could see Jasper and Fyedka sitting up front. Jasper looked back at John several times, the Irishman and the dark haired Russian seemed a million miles away to John. The mechanic's head was fuzzy, but his stomach was feeling better, the cramps that had a strangle hold on his guts were fading. John looked down to see his massive metal hand gripping the chrome bumper, he felt like he was having an out of body experience. He was suddenly aware that he was dragging behind the old car and his mech leg was leaving a shower of sparks as they drove along like a big white comet.

"This my car..." John mumbled to himself as he let go of the bumper, he stumbled back as he came loose from the speeding car but managed to stay on his feet. The car lurched forward as the big man let go, John looked behind him, a long stretch of damaged asphalt led back the way the Cadillac had come. A police cruiser was coming up fast as John attempted to figure out where he was. The police car screeched to a halt, the two cops were surprised to see John come loose from the old car, they stopped about 10 feet from the mechanic.

The cops were going for their P.A. mic when John approached the police cruiser. More sirens could be heard from the surrounding streets, even in his confused state John knew that he had no time to mess about.

"Step away from the car!..." The officer that was in the driver seat barked over the public address system.

John moved to the driver side of the car, he grabbed the door handle of the vehicle and pushed hard against the door. The door buckled and bent inward, the glass of the driver side window cracked but the safety glass did not break. There was no opening the door from the inside now, John pulled the door handle from the door and tossed it onto the street.

The officers were pulling their weapons but they did not want to discharge their guns inside the cramped vehicle. John stomped to the passenger side of the cruiser and slammed his mech hand into the metal of the door, the door bent concavely and now the two men were sealed inside their cruiser, the rear doors were undamaged but did not open from the inside like most police vehicles.

The men waved their guns at John but mostly they were huddled together inside the car, afraid of what the mechanic might do next.

"I don't have time for this..." John grumbled as he turned back to face the Caddy, it was idling about 40 feet from him.

John's head was clearing, he remembered the red haired Russian and her power, he wondered if she was far behind. That Russian witch and a more of Chicago's finest were most likely just around the corner it was time to make tracks.

John was coming out of the fog of Kristina's hold and he was unsure how to let Jasper know that he was himself again or would be soon. Having no better ideas, the mechanic feebly waved at Jasper and Fyedka as if to say 'I'm alright.'

John walked towards the Caddy as a few more CPD cars came speeding into view. The cars stopped near the first one, their red and blues lighting up the area.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:50 am


Jasper had brought the car to a screeching halt when John had let go. He was concerned that the mechanic might have injured himself, but watching him make short work of the squad car put his mind at ease. Still, though, he couldn't be sure whether or not the big man was still under the influence of the red-head and was prepared to floor it as soon as John made any sort preparations for a leap. Then when, McManus waved in a most uncharacteristic fashion, Jasper curiously furrowed his brows.

"Well I'll be. He seems t'ave come around." Jasper assumed, "Still, it might be a trick. What d'ya think thar lad?", he asked the Russian.

They waited. John casually strolled up to the Caddy as two more police cars rolled down the street. When he was within striking distance the big man reached out, placed a hand on the door and his eyes alone told the Irishman to get out of his seat.

"Well, guess yer feelin' better then."
Figured Jasper and he promptly leapt into the back seat. He looked back over the seat to see what the coppers were up to and held on tight to his cane, just in case.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:49 pm



"Thanks fer stoppin'" John said as he slid behind the wheel of the Caddy.

"That red haired witch is probably close by, time to scram."

John punched the accelerator and the car screeched away from the cops, they had stopped and were trying to see what could be done to get their friends out of the damaged car. They were pulling and prying at the crumpled doors with a crowbar as John drove away. In the side mirrors John could see that one officer had called their description in, he talked feverishly on his radio as the others concentrated on their trapped comrades.

"Rookies..." John grumbled as they shrunk in the side mirrors as the Cadillac sped down a side road.

"That woman is one of the worst fellas, her name is Kristina and she'll get inside yer head and before ya know it you're her own personal dancing monkey..."

John took a few abrupt turns and yanked the wheel hard as they skidded side to side, the mechanic was watching the air above them as he drove watching for R.A.I.D. air support.

"We're gonna stash this sweet ride for a minute and get off the streets." John grunted as the car screeched down a street lined with coffee shops and a few bars. It was very early in the morning but John knew of one place that would be open, a place where they served cold beer in the AM a place where people minded their own business.

John steered the car down an alley near a bank of large dumpsters that served the shops and businesses nearby, large trees grew above the dumpsters John slowed the car.

"This'll work for now." John said as he put the car in park and jumped out, quickly pushing one of the dumpsters forward far enough to park the Caddy between it and another dumpster. John jumped back into the car and parallel parked it, the trees above obscuring it from any 'eyes in the sky'.

John got out of the car and began walking down the alley to the rear of an older building. Walking to an old door John pointed to a sign stenciled on the brick above the door it read- "The Gemini" and had a image of a two headed man.

"This place is 'friendly' to our kind and the beer is cold, come on fellas." John said as he pushed the door open an entered the old bar. The place was dimly lit and quiet, it had lots of old dark wood paneling and large comfortable vinyl clad stools and booths. A man in his early forties was stocking bottles behind the old wood bar, he took notice of John and the others.

"We ain't open yet boys but I got the cheap stuff on tap if you want." The man said as he continued to stock the various beer bottles and spirits.

"That'd be fine, make it three." John said as he plopped down in a booth near the rear exit.

The barkeep brought three glasses of cold beer over and quickly sat them down and turned and headed back to the bar.
"Good to see you again John." The man said casually.

"You too Bill." John said as he sipped the beer.

"JB, that Russian... she can control yer mind, it's not just that- she makes you sick too, like a hangover the day after St Patrick's day. She is very powerful, a real super bitch."

John sipped the cold beer some more, the cold liquid was soothing the last of Kristina's nausea in the pit of his stomach. Wiping some foam from his mouth John addressed Fyedka.

"Yep, a real pain in the ass and it seems that YOU'VE seen her before kid." The mechanic set his empty glass down and eyed the young meta.

"Why don't you tell me about it kid." John said wondering why the feds would use someone as poisonous as Kristina to track down a scruffy street kid.

"They wanted you bad, somebody has a real hard on for ya boy, spill it." John barked as Bill brought more cold beer.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:47 pm



Kristina stood on the sidewalk, two CPD units raced down the street away from her, she frowned as she watched them. John and the others were outside of her reach of power now, long gone. The Russian woman had hoped to bind John with her power and use him as her own personal attack dog, but he had slipped through her fingers with the help of his friends. She had seen them leave the scrapyard, the big car dragging MacManus like a fifth wheel.

"I almost had you big man." She said quietly as the police cars disappeared from sight in front of her.

She thought of the Romanov boy, Mikhail would not be pleased but she would make it right. Mikhail had made her many promises but had not done much to help her get loose from federal custody. She was free now, and wanted to remain so, finding Fyedka Romanov and returning him to the care of his brother was her ticket to real freedom. Kristina trusted no one but she liked how Mikhail operated, he was a real Russian, determined and uncompromising and she had heard the tales of his violent and brutal methods of persuasion. Mikhail was part spy and part gangster and he had made himself useful working off the books for Mother Russia and now he was using his connections and calling in many favors in an effort to flush out his brother. Mikhail had plenty of money, lots of time and good friends in low places, it was only a matter of time until he looked upon the face of his little brother again.

Kristina walked down the sidewalk, she needed a phone to contact Mikhail. A few months back Mikhail had visited her in prison, it was then he told her about Fyedka and had made her all sorts of promises. She did not believe all his lies but she liked his single mindedness and his cold heart. Kristina always enjoyed working with men that did not fear spilling some blood to get what they wanted, it was her way and she believed it was the Russian way.

Kristina walked along and soon came across a young man getting on his motorcycle. He noticed the pretty woman as she walked. He slipped his helmet off as she walked to him.

"Hi" The man said with a smile.

"I like your bike." Kristina said, flashing her bright smile.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at the scrapyard the sun was coming up and Kurtz was still among the living. The tough old soldier moved to get up but many of his ribs were broken, the pain was intense. Moving his legs he found that his right leg was shattered, holding as still as he could he felt for his cellphone, it was not damaged.

Kurtz dialed and soon had a small R.A.I.D. unit and an ambulance coming to his location. Kurtz was told that local police had notified R.A.I.D. that some unlicensed metas were on some sort of a rampage in the area and had damaged a police car.

"I want a 10 block perimeter set up and I want plainclothes to canvas in the vicinity of the damaged police car." The ex-military man barked into his cellphone.

"And get that ambulance here PDQ!"



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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:26 pm


Jasper scrutinized the beer before taking a swig. He had been yearning for a pint of dark bitter but he'd take what he could get.

"Thanks Mack." Jasper said raising his glass to the big man before putting it to his lips.

Listening as John described the ability of the woman called Kristina, Joy Buzzer put up his best poker face to hide his concern but deep down she had him worried. He hated psychics, not that he had a lot of experience dealing with them, but just the face that they existed bothered the electrical mutant. What the hell good was a bolt of lightening against someone that could get into your head. He was just thankful that he had instinctively kept his distant when he began to feel ill. He wondered if this illness was some kind of built in early warning to drive people away. Jasper watched and read of lot National Geographic and it seemed that many poisonous creatures had some sort of early warning system to ward of would be predators. Maybe the Russian witch was like that, it sure seemed to work out for him, but in reality Joy Buzzer realized he was just plain lucky. Luck of course was the name of the game. That and some well placed deception could carry a man for some time.

Jasper checked the clock on the wall. He usually didn't leave whatever pub or pool hall he was hustling at until the sky was lightening so he was used to burning the midnight oil but he could feel the fatigue catching up with him now. The effects of that red-headed psychic had added to the toll and he could feel the weariness creeping up on him. Thankfully, though, years of seasoning and his Irish constitution made him virtually immune to the effects of a few beer.

Looking across the table at Fyedka, Jasper could see now why the big mechanic had positioned himself on the outside of his seat. Shadow wasn't going anywhere, unless he decided to slip away into the blackness but that would only validate his guilt. Perhaps, though interrogating the kid was the best way to get through to him.

"Hey, ye guys play?" Asked Jasper, gesturing to the pool table and breaking the tension, "Me father was a damn good billiard player; a snooker champ with flawless form, that is until he drank himself into a gutter. Y'know, I've been hustling tables since before a razor even touched me face and I'm still nothin' compared ta him, yet I never lose a game, less'n I need ta."

Jasper scanned the faces of the two men to make sure he had their attention.

"What say we go and shoot a little stick and the young lad can fill us in on his story, eh?"

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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:34 am




Following Mr Howard Kaplan into Douglas Park, Ned watched the exchange of brief cases and the handshake. Mr. Kaplan worked in the District Attoney's office, the other gentleman dressed in a matching three piece pin striped suit was obviously a well-paid carrier for the Mob. Ned had been taking photos for months at night trying to build a case. Since his early days, he was almost sure that mob boss, Alfred Mustafa worked the political arena in passing the RIGGS Act and several other political moves to control the city including the District Attorney's office, the Police Commissioner and a few other political figures. Who's knows, maybe this business transaction was another attempt to take out the Chicago City major or pay to keep the Mustafa boys out of prison.

Up to this point, Ned Levy seldomed used his Meta abilities for fear of the R.A.I.D. agency would take notice. During the day, he worked as an iron worker on the new Twin Towers Damascus building being built. Ned was known as 'Stretch' for some of the acrobat moves he would do just seemed impossible for the crew working at those high heights. Off the job, Ned liked to build and race super bikes. He got the name 'Clutch' by the same crew that he worked with and drank with.

The two men shook hands and Ned followed the mob carrier to the most seediest part of town near the warehouse District. Following down State street, Ned kept his super bike well under the speed limit, he could smell the bacon as one after another squad cars flew down the road in the same general direction he was heading. He pulled off the road and got off on his machine and followed the man until he watched the carrier enter the only Italian Eatery along the bars and seedy strip joints in the area. A few minutes later, the carrier left without the briefcase.

Kristina walked along and soon came across a young man getting on his motorcycle. He noticed the pretty woman as she walked. He slipped his helmet off as she walked to him.

"Hi" The man said with a smile.

"I like your bike." Kristina said, flashing her bright smile.

"I like your smile." "Care to get a drink somewhere?"

"No," Kristina said, she was dressed in a short leather skirt, her legs in cloth boots laced to her knees, her eyes softly shaded and sparkling, she seemed more the creation of a long-suppressed dream.

She hopped on his bike, "Take me to my hotel."

*************************************

She entered her room and he drew her into his arms, comforted by the musky fragrance of her perfume. She kissed him, letting her lips linger over his, then moved toward the chair next to the dresser. "I'm exhausted," she said, sitting down. "I've been walking for...I don't know...hours."

He sat on the bed near her and looked at the open door leading to the balcony. He felt sick, stomache hurt. She had a thick Russian accent. He wanted to appear ingenuous, and not coming on too strong...but he asked anyway.

"Don't you think it's a bit dangerous for a woman to be out alone here at night?"

"No," Kristina said, the edge of irration cutting through her voice.

Even before she answered he was sorry he'd asked the question. He really wasn't worried about her safety; that's not what had prompted his supposed concern. He felt uneasy about this female.

Kristina fingered the long strands of her red colored hair, trying to draw the static electricity out of it.
She looked up at him. "Is anything the matter?"

"No, why do you ask?" It made him uneasy that she could immediately sense when something was on his mind; then again, her ability to reach into him was a great part of what made her so attractive.

"Oh, I don't know. You seem a little tense." Kristina said.

"I'm sorry. I'm probably just tired." He massaged the back of his neck with his hand. "It's been a long day."

"Here let me do that," Kristina said, moving onto the bed. She worked the flesh in his shoulders and neck, kneading the tightness out of his muscles. She noticed how plyable they were, which seemed odd.

"You're putting me to sleep," Ned said as a liquid warmth flowed under his skin. Christ sake, he didn't even know her name. She stopped and circled her hands around his chest.


"Actually I wouldn't mind that either," Kristina said. Ned turned and kissed her on the forehead. "Let's go to bed."

They undressed, slipped under the covers, and entwined in each others arms, drifted from the world of conscious thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:59 am


Fyedka appreciated the Irishman's gesture and flashed him a tired but genuine smile as he held up his hand to stop him from sliding out of the seat.

"Thanks but . . . I'd rather keep this conversation as private as possible," he said in a quiet tone. He then sighed and took a gulp of his beer, staring at the table. John and Jasper would almost be able to see the wheels turning in his mind as he formed the words for his story. At the same time, a flood of memories he'd spent years running from began to pour back into his mind. He paused, trying to push the flames back into the dark recesses of his mind and took another gulp from his beer before we went on, clumsily.

"I . . . " he began, then sighed again and seemed to be searching for the words, having lost whatever he came up with before. He then looked up and stared with pained eyes straight into Jasper's. "My brother's been trying to kill me since my powers . . . came out," he said bluntly. There was a pause in which Fyedka decided to just let them digest that while he gulped down a good half of his beer and looked away. It was the first time he'd every spoken about it to anyone and it was proving a lot more difficult than he had even thought. Still, they had a right to know, especially now that the shit had hit the fan. "It was why I was kinda reluctant to stay around you guys," the young Russian confessed, "I didn't wanna bring you down with me. Because I know Mikhail. If he has to kill you guys to get to me, he will."

The words stung his lips as he spoke them. Again, he had to pause, staring past Jasper and through the seat into space. It never did seem right that his memories had the same faces. He remembered his brother's smile, the light in his eyes when he looked down at Fyedka and gave him a proud (but hard) punch in the arm for learning some new shenanigan.

"Finally! You learned something!" he would say. He remembered his first ballet recital when Mikhail walked up to him and said "Impressive. You made queer look ok. Still queer but not bad." That grin, that constant reminder that no matter what, Mikhail was his older brother . . . no matter what of course had its limit. Choppy memories began to invade the others, fire eating through Mikhail's grin and twisting it into maddened rage. Fyedka could still see the world shaking, his vision burst and fade, the blurred image slamming into him. He could still feel the intense pain that throbbed through his face and head and his whole body . . .

"When my powers came about I . . . " Shadow paused, finding his words suddenly caught in his throat as though someone were choking him as he tried to speak. "My . . . our building, where we lived, was on fire. I was freaked out and . . . I guess that . . . triggered something in me," he went on, lowering his voice. "Anyway, it was really dark. Everything was just thick . . . shadow and we couldn't see a damn thing. My brother and I barely got out but . . . but pretty much no one else did, in . . . including our parents." Something choked a little tighter on Fyedka's throat and he turned away again, taking another huge gulp of beer and forcing himself to swallow it. It went down like a weighted rock. Suddenly his face felt hot and Shadow began to wonder if there was sweat stinging actual burns on his searing face. Blackness clouded his memories before giving way to the charred remains of the tenement still smoldering in the barely breaking dawn.

"So yeah . . . our family was close, ya know? I mean, everyone in that place was I guess, but . . . I guess . . . yeah, anyway, Mikhail kinda lost it." The understatement didn't sound right and Fyedka paused for a second, contemplating correcting it before he decided against it and continued. "I kinda figured out it was me because I started being able to, ya know, play with shadows and stuff and I got this weird mark thing all over my back," Shadow twisted in the seat and lifted his shirt revealing an intricate array of black tendril-like swirls and twists crawling over his back. At first glance, it just looked like an intricately detailed tattoo, but closer inspection revealed a strange quality to it, as though the pigment in his skin had actually changed color along the lines.

"Anyway, I decided to tell my brother cuz he was like, all I had left, you know? I figured he'd help me. But he didn't. He flipped. I don't really remember what all happened cuz Mikhail beat the living shit outta me. He never did that before. I mean we fought some, but nothin' serious, ya know?" Fyedka's eyes grew distant for another second before he seemed to snap himself back and looked back up at them. His eyes quickly dropped back to the table, however, as he recounted his story. "I passed out. When I woke up there were all these RAID guys around me. There were a bunch of 'em, I don't know how I got out but I did and . . . just kinda . . . went out on my own. It's why I've been on the streets so long. I've been out here ever since. And my brother, Mikhail, he's like, sworn to kill me or something. He's been hunting me ever since that day. Sending people after me, people watch for me then call RAID. I've been running this whole time. And now it's caught up with you guys so . . . " Fyedka paused, staring at the table, his eyes glistening with pain and fatigue. "Now you know I guess. I'm really sorry I didn't tell you but . . . I'd hope you could understand where I'm comin' from with that. Don't exactly what to go around advertising myself . . . if I get away from you though, he'll just chase me. He might send some huge guys to scare you but so long as you give them a lead to me, I think they'll leave you alone."

Shadow finished off his beer and cleared his throat, pausing to let everything sink in with the other two. Finally, after a long silence, he said "that lady back there is bad news. I've had to deal with her before. So long as you stay away from her, like far away," Fyedka held up his hands, palms facing himself, one a few inches out from the other to demonstrate, "then she's pretty harmless. But if you get too close," he moved his hands closer together, "she can control you. Like what you felt," he said, nodding over to John. Lowering his gaze again, Fyedka fidgeted a bit with his glass, rolling it between his hands. "Look, just lemme know what you wanna do from here, and I'll do it," he said, "I've no problem going back out on my own. I've stayed alive this long, I figure my chances are ok."
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:30 pm


Shadow's story was finally out. It didn't surprise Jasper much, the kid had the look of a hunted animal from the very beginning, and his eyes; he knew those eyes. Distant and forlorn, he saw them in the mirror every day when is dad started to hit the bottle.

"Dun be worry'n 'bout us, kid." Offered the Irishman on behalf of himself and John, whom he was sure had seen his share of shit. "We're better off stickin' together, y'know all for one, and one fer... All that crap, eh?"

Jasper tossed back the last of his beer, pushed it aside and picked up the next in line. Without another word he got up and sauntered over to the pool table. He walked around it, running his free hand along the worn red rag then stopped before the cue rack. Beside it was a framed poster, kept in mint condition behind the glass and exposure to only the refracted light from the lights over the pool table.

"Circus Circus." Jasper read aloud.

There was a picture of an acrobat and two hot assistants, seems this guy Ned Levy was a big deal twenty or so years ago. He noticed then that the poster was signed by the star himself, which is why the owner of the establish held on to the thing.


"Hey, Bill." Called out Jasper as they were the only other people in the place besides him, "Who was this guy?"

Bill squinted across the bar. "Ah, you found Ned. Me and the Missus, God rest 'er soul, used ta hit all the best acts. Vegas was our big annual trip and we saw him back in '86. It was the most amazing act I'd ever seen, Levy's performance nearly stopped my heart a few times. He was amazing. Nice guy too, signed my poster, even posed for a picture with Gladys. A real class act."

Jasper gave a cocky smile. Not that he didn't respect the performer's skill and precision it's just that to a man that had the strength to leap a good ten feet in the air and hover on magnetic waves such tricks seemed a little trivial.

"Bet he was something ta see." Politely replied Jasper as he selected a pool cue and rolled it along the table to test how straight it was.

The Irishman placed down his beer and chalked his stick. "Up for a game, Mack?" Dared the hustler, "I promise ta go easy on ya."

There was a lot that could have been said about Shadow's situation, but the kid had been through the wringer. Jasper felt it best if he just backed off and left the fatherly pep talks up to Mack, the last thing he needed was the smart tongue of a bog Irishman.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:52 pm



Fyedka said a mouthful; the death of his family, his brother Mikhail and R.A.I.D., elements of his story were familiar. John had known the loss of people close to him, and he knew what it felt like to be hunted like a criminal. However, he had not known the pain and betrayal of a brother, John was an only child. The pain of such betrayal must make the others troubles seem 100 times worse.

John felt for the young man, he had lived in fear for a long time, it was time that Fyedka had some support, some real friends.

"It takes a lot out of a person to have to live in fear. You got friends with you now kid, just remember that."

With that the mechanic joined JB at the pool table and began inspecting the well worn cues. John felt that though his actual pool skills were pretty flat that he would make up for it with some powerful playing from his mech hand. JB might just call BS but John's mech hand was his right, his strong hand he simply couldn't be expected to play with his left.

John located the old wooden triangle and racked the scuffed balls up.

"It's all you Irish." The mechanic said as he lit a cigar.


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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:03 am


Strips and solids was the game. Right off the break four balls went down, which Jasper seemed to take for granted. He claimed the striped balls with a sweet bank shot and was instantly four up on the big man, but he was hardly done. The Irishman had left himself with great shape and he took advantage of it, making two more shots, then as it were he had closed himself in and missed his next shot.

"Ye tippin' the table on me thar, Mack?" Joked Jasper, directing his chuckle toward Fyedka in an attempt to include the kid and get his mind off his crazy brother for a while.

Whether or not Jasper had missed his shot on purpose couldn't be known, but now the heavy handed mechanic was up.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:27 pm



Ned looked at the time…wow…man, the time really does fly when you’re having fun. He looked over to the redhead; she was sound asleep and her redhair was a mess. " You sure were fun hon...." He couldn’t believe he actually caught a Russian snapper. She stirred, "I gotta to go babe, duty calls…"

"Mmmmm…" she mumbled something I couldn't understand in Russian. "I didn’t understand a word of whatever you just said. But I love you too. I gotta be on the job by 6 am."

Ned jumped outta bed, looked to see if she was really awake...then stretched his arm to the chair, grabbed his clothes on the way to the bathroom. He got a shower, then started to redressed.

Ned noticed the Redheads’ name on the flight bag tags…Kristina

What was driving him crazy was, “What the hell is she doing in this neighborhood? There’s nothing in this part of town except old warehouses and beer joints.”

Curious, Ned peeked out the bathroom and saw she was still sleeping, before he unzipped her luggage bag and looked through it. Using a hairbrush, he lifted the articles of clothing before he spotted her passport.

Being careful, he opened the passport that said who she was and where she was from.

“Mmmmm that’s interesting, Kristina is from the Russian Federation City of Kamyshin, of the Volgogradsaya region…and she told me, she was a Dentist on vacation from Rostov na Donu, Russia.”

He wrote down the information on a scrathe piece of paper and stuffed it in his pants pocket. He slipped the passport back in her luggage and lifted a pair of pokadot pink thongs up with the end of the hairbrush. There in front of him, was a soviet-made Makarov PM 9mm handgun.

Blinking…Ned stepped back…stunned. He hadn't seen one of those in years but knew how easy some of the special models were made to tear down the weapon including the firing pin and reassemble it in less then a minute. It was service pistol used by the soviet miltary and their police. " I think it’s time to leave." Putting the thongs back in its place, Ned flushed the toilet to cover the zipper being zipped closed.

He brushed his hair with her hairbrush and stepped out of the bathroom. He grabbed his backpack and noticed it was unzipped and wondered if she as well had been snooping, looking for something that identified who he was. He noticed the camera case opened and was patting hisself on the back as he felt the memory card in his socks that he was wearing.

He walked to the front door and heard her moaning... saying something about the snake in bed last night and he laughed, as he clambered down the steps to his rocket bike.

Things were bouncing around in his head…I wonder, is she’s involved with the Russian mob or is she a Russian spy or... Ned pulled out his iPad from his leather riding jacket and added the information on what he saw in the passport from the scrathe paper. He stood inside the entrance lobby of the shady hotel and used his wireless internet connection to Google in the location of Kamyshin City, RS and pressed ENTER.

It wouldn’t come up…it kept on timing out before the information would come up on the iPad. What the hell? Ned entered the State of Volgogradsaya. This region was also blocked. Mmmm, well ...he entered the website belonging to the Central Intellegnece Agency. The CIA had a public website which served two purposes. It was an educational site for the public, especially school children doing school reports and to publicly spy on anybody trying to look up information from their desktop computer at home.

Pulling out all stops, Ned ran this city on the CIA agency website and lo and behold the region and city appeared. That’s interesting…Let’s see where the nearest commercial airport is in that region… Well I’ll be damn… 300.84 km away in Rostov na Donu, ROV was the airport in which this Redhead said she lived. Thats roughly 180 miles away....what is she hiding? Putting his iPad back in his leather riding jacket, Ned opened the door and stepped out…but what he saw made him sick…

"Oh Shiiiiitttt..." his rocket bike was a skeleton. Someone or many somebodies helped themselves to all his parts on his machine. “....Gad dang it….” Ned looked down the alleyways for signs of the thieves. It was 4 in the morning and not a soul around, not even a taxicab in this area.

He put on his leather riding jacket, and lifted the bike frame onto his shoulder, then he began his long walk back into town. He would have to call a taxi from a pay phone and the boss.

Ned walked 19 blocks and began to get hungry and thirsty, when he spotted a beer joint. "These places never close?" He was surprised. He sat the bike frame down and swung open the bar door. Then he lifted the frame and carried it into the place.

There were a few patrons still playing pool in the back of the joint. Ned dropped the bike frame and sat on the high bar stool.

"Good morning…to you...all I spotted your bar still open and figured I’d stop, get a cup of good o'l Joe, and call for a cab. You do have hot coffee?"

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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:38 am

Bill was already filling a cup for the man even before he asked. He placed the steaming mug in front of Ned, and waved off the money as he dug into his pocket for some change.

"Technically, we're not even open yet." Explained the bar keep, "I don't sleep to well these days, so I keep the door open. A moth needs a light, eh? There's a few of you out past soul's midnight anyway."

Bill smiled. "Enjoy the coffee, youngster." Said the old man as he studied Ned's face.

'How ironic', he thought. Here they were just talking about Ned Levy the circus acrobat and in walks a guy who bore a surprising resemblance to the performer. In fact he was pretty much a dead ringer for him but he couldn't be the same guy. He saw him, what? Twenty four years ago, and this guy looked to be in his thirties.

As Bill continued to polish his glass ware he looked glanced over at the framed poster on the wall and shook his head. These sleepless nights must be getting to him, but then again, maybe, just maybe there was an explanation. After all his joint had catered to the meta-human community for years. For some reason, whether they knew about his place or not, they all seemed to gravitate toward the place.

"Say mister," Called out Bill from the end of the bar, "You ever been to Vegas? You look pretty damn familiar but I can't place the face."

Bill was lying of course. He knew the man looked just like Ned Levy, but was it really him? Hanging around meta's one picked up a thing or two, and the old man was aware that some of these guys didn't age normally. John for instance was a perfect example, although with a mug like his it was difficult to tell his age anyway. If the man was who he thought, he was definitely meta. Just another mutant mysteriously pulled into his establishment.


Jasper eyed up the man sitting at the bar and tipped his hat when he looked over his shoulder and scanned the place. Biker boots and a jacket to match and yet he hadn't heard the sound of motorcycle prior to the man's entry. That set off an alarm for the Irishman and glancing over at the big mechanic while he made his shot, could see that he was well aware of the discrepancy as well.

A frightening thought had struck, Jasper. If that red headed witch could control people, she could push anyone toward them. They'd never even see it coming! He wrung his hand round the pool cue nervously and tried to concentrate on the game. 'Keep it together, there, boy', he told himself. He was getting paranoid and he wasn't sure if it was the fact that they were being pursued by some mind controlling psycho or that his electrical levels had finally normalized.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:29 am

Thank you. Much obligated...sipping the hot coffee Ned settles down. He turns towards the three men playing pool and sees a stunning difference in size and features in each man. He sips the hot coffee and turns back to the barkeep that is drying his glassware.

Ned does feel the uneasiness of the pool player, holding his pool cue as if he wanted to do more then play pool.. but tries to mind his own business. Looking up "... and thank you for allowing me a moment to rest my aching feet...." He paused before continuing, "....I just walked the last 20 blocks back from the old Howard Hughes Motel 9 and this side of town hasn't changed in twenty years." He turned his head toward the bike frame, sitting on the floor behind him. "That use to be a custom built 1600 Super Glide rocket bike...comparable to an Arlen Ness machine now it’s a skeleton."


"Say mister," Called out Bill from the end of the bar, "You ever have been to Vegas? You look pretty damn familiar but I can't place the face."




"Why do you ask?" Ned really didn't want to answer that question but finally said..."Yeah, I've been going to Vegas every year for the past nine years and get lost in the midst of 30,000+ bikers that show up for Vegas Bike Fest that happens between Sept 30 through Oct 3."

" I build and race High Speed Rocket bikes when I'm not working on building those tall skyscrapers in the downtown area..."

"Say Mac, do you have a payphone, I need to call a taxi to get me home?"

The barkeep, Bill pointed in the direction of the restroom.

Ned Levy wiped the sweat off his brow and forehead. He wondered why the barkeep asked that question and got up off his chair. He walked back toward the phone when he spotted the framed poster. Beside it was a old wood cue rack. He felt eight eyes on his back...Ned couldn't believe it..It was a signed copy of his best performance in Vegas..at the height of his career, four years later his career would be over.

The frame poster kept in mint condition showed the famous 'Circus Circus and Acrobatic team. Ned just stood there is shock and the memories came back..." He spoke out loud not realizes the barkeep Bill, John and Jasper were standing nearby. "...Angelina and Michelle!"

"My Gawd..." Ned turned around, "Where did you get this poster?" Ned had not aged in 20 years although he had grey sideburns; he stood by his self resemblance of the man in the poster. Bill dropped the glass he was polishing.










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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:33 pm

"Damn! I knew it was you!" Hollered Bill. He scooped the glass he dropped off the bar, placed in the rack and made his way around the bar toward the man.

"I should a known that by the way you performed your act you were more than Human." Said Bill, unaware that man's abilities did not manifest until some years later.


"Well, well." Whispered Jasper to McManus, "He's one o' us. If'n that counts for anything these days."

Jasper walked around to other side of the pool table. The side nearer to the cue rack and the poster. He glanced over at the stripped motorcycle then back to the man, who obviously had some of the good stuff in his dna.

"We were jus' talkin' bout that thar poster, and here in walks the devil himself." Jasper said to Ned in his thick Irish drawl. "We've had our fair share of trouble this evenin', mister. So if ye don't mind me cuttin' to the chase, are ye here because of us?"

As he spoke to the stranger, Jasper walked over to the booth where he had been sitting, placed down the pool cue and picked up his cane. Flashing his frosty blue eyes toward the man who was supposedly, Ned Levy, a slight smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he twirled the rod smoothly through his fingers.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:59 pm





"Because of you?"

"I don't know what you're talkin 'bout?"

"And you say...I'm, I'm like all of you...?" Ned raised his right eyebrow...slightly laffing. He didnt get much sleep, his bike was stripped and now he was getting question by the these thugs who either worked for the mob or worked for the DA.

"Look fellas..." shaking his head "...I just walked damn near 2 miles to found a place open to make a phone call. I don't who you are or who you think I am and what kind of trouble you're in?...I don't care!"

"I haven't done much of anything since my acrobat accident that took my career away damn near twenty four years ago. In fact, before tonight, I've never been in this part of town before." Ned was lying when he said that, but he knew nothing about these four guys and for all he knew, these guys could be working for the mob boss, Alfred Mustafa. He watched as the fella with the thick accent leaned the cue against the pool table, and walked over to the counter, reaching for his walking cane. He twirled it like it had some magikal power.

"But a friend of mine was making a delivery and so I drove down in this area to get a drink and then picked up a chick andgot lucky...at least I thought so until I got back out to find my bike stripped..."

"...so look I don't want no trouble and I don't want to put any of you guys in the hospital....especially the Irishman twiring his cane...so I think I'll pay fer my coffee and head out the door with my bike...is that ok by ya all?"

Ned started to walk very fast for the front door,...he didnt care much for the way the reception was going down and stretched his left arm and fingers around the heavy bike frame, quickly snatching it up and headed for the front door...if he was going to fight the mob, he was going to fight the mob on his terms and not theirs...

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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:42 pm



"Relax Ned." John grunted taking a step towards the man. John's mech leg clanged and clicked against the old worn hardwood floor of the pool table area. The pool table had obscured Ned's view of the mechanic's large mechanical leg, now Ned could clearly see that these 'thugs' were not your garden variety.

John looked Ned over, he was decked out in top of the line riding gear. He had dragged his stripped bike inside with him. Ned had none of signs of Kristina's 'influence', no sweating or pale skin, his eyes were clear not glassy. This biker may be just what he claimed, a guy having a bad morning. It was too much of a coincidence that the former acrobat and performer would walk into this bar, but John knew that lots of metas having bad days and nights found their way here and for decades Bill was here with a friendly drink and a smile. This kind of early morning randomness was what made this bar legendary (among those who knew of it's open door policy towards friendly metas).

"You a cop Ned?" John asked rather point blank. It was a fair question, this last time John was in custody he learned from some of the loose lipped agents and other inmates that R.A.I.D. was quietly using metas to hunt, bait and draw out some of the 'big fish", metas that the government desperately wanted to have back in custody. It was of course illegal as the RIGGS act forbade any meta from openly serving in law enforcement or the military. It was just like these hypocrites to bar metas from serving in law enforcement and then sneak them in the back door to serve as blood hounds to track and hunt other meta humans. John had no love for any of his kind that would serve RAID or the FBI or CIA as some kind of bounty hunter.

"This is nice friendly place Ned, Bill is kind enough to serve us in the off hours. If you have some beef, me or JB would be happy to discuss it with you outside. If I seem a little prickly Ned it's because I have recently left the company of RAID and have to spend a lot of time looking over my shoulder. As for my friends here, their stories are their own but it goes with out saying that we all agree on this one point- we don't deal with cops meta or otherwise."

This wasn't meant to be an overt threat, more of a statement of fact but John's statements never came across as more than a combination of the two and with Jasper at his side twirling his cane and Fyedka behind them the statement was a serious one.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:14 am


As the big man stepped forward and intercepted Ned, Jasper was now all the more confident. Seeing that the ex-acrobat had hardly aged in over thirty years, made him suspect that he was either a Meta-human a mutant, or maybe even a combination of the two. Anyway, he had no idea what this guy was capable of, but the Irishman didn't figure there were many out there who could single handedly take them all on.

When, John asked the man if he was a cop, Jasper's eyes narrowed. Was he? That would really throw a damper on things if that were the case, but since when did law enforcement start employing their kind? He'd heard a few rumors about such things but had always dismissed them as urban legend type crap, but if he did turn out to be a copper they have to handle the situation delicately. Even, Jasper during his relatively short time in Chicago had heard of the Gemini. The two headed man represented the double identities that mutant-kind had to maintain, or rather should maintain. It referred to the old code, back when Meta-human's used their gifts for good and did so right in the public eye, the golden age, when they all aspired to be 'heroes'. By day, you lived a normal life, worked your nine to five and supported society while at night, you donned your heroic persona and made a difference enforcing the laws that once upon a time applied to Humans and Meta's alike. The place was legendary in the underground and it was rumored that the owner was a Meta, but looking upon old Bill, one would never suspect that he was different. Jasper, had his doubts, but then again his abilities could be rather insignificant, since why would a Human invest so much time in an establishment that catered to Meta's and mutants alike? Of course, the other story was that his late wife was a Meta, which made a little more sense to Joy Buzzer, but whatever the truth was, the bottom line was that it was plain and simply rude to start trouble at the Gemini.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:29 pm



Ned didn’t even see the big fella sitting in an obscured table, hidden by the pool table and the column at the back of the bar until John spoke. Ned stepped back from the front door, turned around and faced the big guy. “Me… a cop? Me?” He pointed to himself and laughed. “I’m an iron worker working on the 109th floor of the new high rise downtown, and Thanks…I’ve been called some pretty low scummy things before...But never been called a cop… and in this city? I’m not on anybody’s payroll and I certainly wouldn’t stop into an establishment like this with 3 dudes lookin’ to fight their way out of trouble. I don’t work for RAID, I’m not a copper and I don’t work for scumbag, District Attorneys’ office”


“No and hell no...Not even RAID! I build and race rocket bikes on the side and I’m looking to go Pro here pretty soon all I need is a sponsor and the Mob Boss, Vince Mustafa put in a secure prison cell for extortion, murder, conspiracy, attempted murder, illegal gambling, illegal prostitution and half dozen other reasons. He and now, the god damn double-crossing District Attorney’s office, are partners and they...” He stopped in the middle of his conversation as the three stopped and looked at him. Ned ‘s hot temper got the best of him…he probable said too much already, but this fella, just didn’t understand the frustration of living this life that Ned now lived, day in and day out. He looked at John and then to JB, “I’ve already probably said too much and there’s no need for me, to put your lives in danger too.”


“It’s my fault…I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got shot in the back trying to escape.” Ned relived the moment of impact that shattered his career. He sat down on the bar stool and hung his head over the bar counter.


He whispered to Bill, “That picture is me. Twenty two ago, I was the best act in Vegas. I was being invited to all the parties with some and not some important people with lots of money to spend. At one of these parties, I witnessed the mob boss ‘One –Eye Louie’ get shot point blank in the coat room by the hit man, young Mustafa and I tried to escape, but caught bullet in my back. The Mob dumped me on a street corner. I woke up on a gurney at Vega General hospital. That wound, shattered my career.”
I moved to Chicago, on the run from the Las Vegas Mob and got a job operating a crane on a Ironworkers construction project.


A few months later, on the construction project, we heard the sirens and saw the high rise complex on fire. The ladder truck that couldn’t reach the children on the 18th floor, so I ran up the ladder truck, told the firefighter to get out of the way and outstretched my hands, I grabbed the kids and brought them down to safety. People were ecstatic...and I became a super hero of sorts. I had to change my appearance or at least not be seen in public because the mob thought I was dead… so I went undercover.”


Ned relaxed a little. “ I call myself, ‘Metamorphosis ‘ and have helped the cops catch the bad guys from robberies to shootings,helped save the humans from themselves until Vince Mustafa showed up with his family and took over as the new Crime King, Chicago's Mob Boss. His dirty money from Vegas, has influenced the people we voted into office.The Mayor, a few Senators, and congressmen who changed the RIGGS ACT and laws that made us superheros look like the bad guys. And I'm sorry you dislike my kind...I'm stuck, I can't change who I've become, because of them."


“Last night was no different from any other night; I’ve been chasing Vine Mustafa since the day he pulled the trigger and shot me in the back with an experimental drug. That bullet changed me for life. I haven’t aged in 22 years and I can do some really weird shit. Anyway, the mob has an Italian restaurant about 13 blocks from here; where Vinnie likes to hang out, when he’s in town. He’s close to the prostitutes, the illegal gambling and the docks.


So, I was surprised to see the ASST DA in this neck of the woods by himself without RAID. He delivered a bio lab container to a well dressed messenger and the mob messenger passed a briefcase of money to him. A few minutes later a gunshot sounded off in the alley and the well dressed messenger dragged the Assistant DA into the street, opened the attaché case and dumped the cash over him. The hit man took his picture and walked down the street, with the bio lab container. I took pictures of it.”
Ned pulled the plastic baggie from his jacket; one of the $100 bills with splattered blood on it was in the bag. “I believe that’s phony money…I took photos of the whole incident and then followed the messenger back to the Italian eatery.


Inside that Bio lab container, I overhead the conversation between the ASST DA say it was an experimental viral drug that the mob planned on injecting into our kind, to rid us. He was complaining that the cash wasn’t enough when he was killed.”


“So now you know who I am …and I supposed you’re that fella that RAID has a special bulletin broadcast on all the TV channels...ARMED n DANGEROUS?”
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes The Breakaway Chapter 1-Sweet Home Chicago   Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:16 am



John knew a little about Mustafa and his crew, and what he knew was that they were some serious bad apples. Like Ned said, they dealt in all sins, gambling, working girls and murder. A man like Mustafa would not be content with just controlling all organized crime in the windy city, he might just be the kind of man that would use a bio agent on metas and regular people alike to assure his complete dominance on the entire city.

John did not care if scum like Mustafa and his men killed off other criminals, hell-what's a few dead pimps and pushers? However when men like this turned their sights on regular hardworking people or even unsuspecting metas it was time for concern.

"Do you know what was in the canister Ned?" John asked as he drank from his beer bottle.

The mechanic wondered what new horror was in the hands of the crimelord, John had heard a few rumors that the Government was cooking up a drug that would help subdue powerful metas, a sort of vaccination against the rare genes that made metas different from normal men and women. But it was only rumor and talk, surely if someone had such a chemical it would be in the hands of RAID troopers and their suited masters by now. What if such a compound never made it to any government agency? What if the place where it was engineered leaked it to the criminal underworld for pure profit? John did not like this theory at all.

The mechanic was no scientist but he could imagine a host of ways that such a chemical could be weaponized, John had a lot of dealings with well armed government agents and well funded rogue metas, in this modern era one side or the other could easily turn this bio agent or whatever it was into an idiot proof street weapon.

The mechanic tried to picture a world where criminal scum had the means to render powerful metas impotent and average. The man who unlocked this secret would have no one standing in his way.

"Tell me more about this restaurant Ned..." John said as he finished his beer.
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