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Project: Pantheon - Episode Three 
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What makes one human? Is it the capacity to think, to love? The will to survive against all odds, and persevere in the darkest of hours to protect all that we care for; or is it our flesh, our genetic makeup, the code that dictates that we are homo sapiens. What does that make me? A genetic anomaly, fashioned through science, yet born of man. Am I human?

In a darkened pod you sit alone, innumerable lights flicker on a screen you cannot comprehend, though the soldiers had told you beforehand not to worry about them, the pilot was in complete control. You feel like a sardine, packed tightly into a small container, and further still you wear a black bodysuit sticking to every nook and cranny of your body. They said it should protect you, that it was made out of something strong, that it was the newest technology! Of course, nothing was ever guaranteed, and it was uncomfortable. You long to reach your destination and leave these restricting confines.

"Target reached" speaks the pilot over the intercom. You brace yourself, this was the hardest part, they said. You hear various clicks and immediately the forces of gravity pull your stomach up, up, up into your throat, or so you feel as you fall from the jet plane like a bomb. It feels like minutes, when actually it is only seconds, when you hit the ground with a solid thump. Had your body not been restrained, your head would have smashed into the front of the pod. Silence. All has gone dark. You suddenly hear a slow hiss as bolts pop out from their positions and the air seeps out of the pod. The entrance pops open, bringing in a world of sensations at once.

Immediately, you are hit by the sound of screaming, the smell of smoke, and the bright lights of the city. Slowly, you climb out of the pod, your eyes adjust to the sunlight and you see the chaos that is Manhattan. Buildings burning, people screaming, sirens blaring, where do you even begin? The answer is quite clear as you hear a roar in the distance from one of the skyscrapers, and a crackling in your ear as the communication lines are established, "Protect the civilians, and take down the target. Move out, Pantheon!"

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Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:15 pm
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As Natalie stepped from her pod, she was immediately greeted with a cacophony of panicked shouts and alarms. The sun was just beginning to set, wreathing the city in a sea of orange flames. No, wait, those were real flames. The entire city was a wreck, and everywhere she looked, she could see terrified civilians, several of whom were now looking right back at her. Oh, but of course they were. After all, she had just fallen from the sky in a giant metal egg and was decked out in military grade equipment. As onlookers gathered around the girl, she began to doubt whether she'd be able to live up to their inevitably high expectations.

Instead of dwelling on that, Natalie took a deep breath and tried to relax. She couldn't allow anxiety to set in now. Ignoring the dozens of eyes boring holes through her, she surveyed the direction the roar had come from. In the process, she also spied several aircraft receding in the distance.

There are five of us, then. She thought to herself, letting out an audible sigh.

After a few quick stretches, the girl took off toward the skyscraper at top speed, keeping an eye out for anyone who might need her help. At no point did she stop to consider who or what was capable of causing this much destruction, or how she was supposed to stop it.


Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:52 pm
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Austin forced himself not to think about his humanity as he sat in the dark pod. It was easy, considering his mind was soon disoriented and struggling to make sense of the sensation of freefall. Once his brain got used to the feeling, he silently prayed that there was no flaw in the pod's technology, no minuscule mistake in design that would lead to his death. The restraints worked wonders to keep him safe when he landed, yet still his stomach tumbled. "I don't want to be here," He thought to himself as the bolts and mechanisms popped into place, opening the door to a chaotic scene.

The air was tinged with heavy smoke. Austin climbed from the pod, shading his eyes with his hand, and immediately thought of Abigail. "Abi, where are you?" He shouted uselessly through all the noise. The destruction was a grim reminder of what was at risk, and it made him focus. Wondering how many people had died already, and how many he could save, he took a few steps and surveyed the scene more thoroughly. The fires raged all over the place, and a building in front of him was consumed by the blaze. He nervously pondered whether he should head into the building and look for survivors, or wait for the others.

He heard a roar in the distance just before his communications line opened. He ignored the message and keyed the mic. "Abi, are you okay?" He shouted, looking towards the target. "What the hell is that? Command, do you have eyes on the target?"

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Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:12 pm
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This wasn't exactly what Bertók was expecting. It wasn't the destruction that bothered him, it was the task at hand and the lack of briefing. As he exited the pod, he dragged a large wrapped package out, almost as big as he was, something that made the trip down less than comfortable. Unraveling the protective layer, he cradled the mirror and glanced around. There was a large amount of destruction, but nothing he could use.

Then the roar rang out.

Bertók shook his head and looked at his mirror. How could he deal with whatever that thing was when, judging by its cry, it was probably much larger than the mirror. He was expecting something human sized so he could copy it. And just when he thought it couldn't get any worse, a girl ran past him at blistering speed. He glanced at the mirror in his arms again, shrugged and moved out.

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Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:00 pm
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The landing could've been better, Mike thought as the pod opened. Although it wouldn't have mattered as much thanks to his genetic makeup. The only thing that made up for it was the suit which showed off his muscles and even that was uncomfortable. They also had just plopped them down into the chaos almost blindly and gave them short instructions. Naturally, everything would be sharper to him. The screams were ringing in his ears, the flames were more vibrant. He could even pick out the figures in the smoke from where he was, and his nose was filled with the black stuff.

Due to their entrance, everyone who was on the ground was staring at them; their eyes filled with a wide array of emotions. Mike would've attempted to quell their emotions, but he didn't like to make broken promises among other things. If he did this and the person responsible got away, they would call him a freak and a liar.

Sure everything about him was enhanced or made better, which meant all the menial and mundane tasks and limitations of humans were nothing to him, but that did come with a price. He was the best marksman on Earth, and could run the fastest for miles and miles without tiring, but all that energy had to come from somewhere, and he required a lot of calories. Basically he could beat any Olympic athlete at anything and make them look like babies. And if he were stranded somewhere he could survive longer without food and water a rather longer time than most, but if he did manage to find food, it wouldn't be enough to sustain him.

Was he still human? No one else could excel at everything known to man. He could try but the chances of him fitting into society were slim: he'd be too much of an outsider.

The sound that grated him the most was the roaring of a particular skyscraper somewhere in the distance. Deciding that would be the best place to go, he took of at top speed, looking for anyone who might need saving along the way.


Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:28 pm
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The scene before Abigail was quite dire as she stepped out of the pod. The air was thick with smoke as buildings burned about her, and she could hear little beyond the screams of civilians. The situation was quite overwhelming, to say the least; she felt far from ready to help these people, let alone deal with whoever or whatever it was that did this. As if to answer her thoughts, a very audible roar shook the city, causing her to whip her head in the direction it had originated.

The communications lines crackled to life, vaguely defining their mission objective and activating the communications links between each other. Promptly, her brother asked if she was alright. She half-smiled to herself, despite the situation she was in, her brother as usual, checking in on her. In all honesty though, she found his voice the one reassurance she had in this entire ordeal.

"I'm fine Austin" she replied through the com-line, as she jogged into a sprint running towards the roar.

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

"This is command" spoke a man's voice through the com "We have sight of the target. Target is a male, approximately 6'10 with abnormal levels of strength. Approach with caution. I repeat. Approach with caution.....We have now lost sight of target. The target is in one of the buildings"

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

Natalie was the first to survey the scene. The area was completely decimated, and it was clear that someone had smashed through an assortment of buildings with brute strength alone. In one of the buildings directly in front of her, there was a deep hole where further smashing could be heard. Next to arrive at the scene was Bertók, having caught up to Natalie at the main scene of destruction.

As Mike made his way towards the scene, his ears picked up on someone sobbing and crying for help weakly. As he turned his attention to the cry and followed it to the source, he was met with a very large pile of broken debris made of various twisted beams of metal and bricks.

"Uh...hi...team" spoke Abi into her communicator, they still had yet to formally meet each other "I'll be scouting above to see the full extent of the damage. I'll brief you with further information, once I have gathered further information"

With that said, Abi launched herself into the air. Flying above Manhattan, she could see the path that the monster, or whatever it was, was heading. It had literally torn through many buildings, some of them collapsing as a result, heading straight for- her heart stopped momentarily, as she realized where it was heading.

"It's heading towards the United Nations!" she relayed through the communications lines, immediately she flew towards the others.

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Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:28 pm
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It was a huge relief to Austin to hear Abigail's voice through the communications system. However, when he heard her say the United Nations was the target's destination, his face drained of all color. There was a lot at stake. If he messed up, it would affect the entire world. He broke into a sprint, chasing after the speck in the air that he knew was Abigail. As he ran, he passed through street after street of destruction, listening for screams and cries for help, torn between being by Abigail's side and going to rescue the endangered citizens. "I have an objective," He finally thought to himself. "The police can help those people, but only we have a chance at stopping the target." Perhaps this was just an excuse to protect Abigail, on the other hand it was convincing logic. With a slight nod, he took off sprinting even faster towards the gathered team.

Just then, he had an idea. Austin keyed the mic and called out, "Command! Requesting the rescue and extraction of endangered citizens." Hopefully the military could move in and do the job. If not, it was going to be a very long day.

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Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:45 pm
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Natalie listened to the chatter on the com unit in case anything important was said, but avoided making any contributions to the conversation herself. As she arrived at a particularly demolished portion of the city, she heard a voice crackle over the headset. It was Abi, and from the sound of it, she was going to be their eye in the sky. That would be useful. Natalie turned her attention back to the scene before her. The attacker had left no subtle trail of gaping holes in walls that, if this were a cartoon, would undoubtedly be shaped like the outline of his body. The haphazard tunnel had probably left structures unfortunate enough to become part of it quite unstable. Simply trying to follow it could be dangerous at this point. The girl jumped slightly as she realized someone else had arrived on the scene. It was the young man she had passed on her way here, who had also been in a pod. She had pretended not to see him before, and she doubted he appreciated that.

Natalie's thoughts were interrupted as Abi reported in once again, this time with seemingly dire news. Whatever was causing all the hubbub was now making a beeline for the United Nations. Now, unless he planned to cross the Atlantic Ocean on his rampage, that likely referred to a building rather than the country. Judging by everyone's reaction to the news, it was probably an important building as well. What was their quary trying to achieve here exactly? Before long, Natalie could see a figure, most likely Abi, closing in from above, and another approaching on foot. She decided it would be best to move along before it got too crowded and took off after the target on her own.


Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:47 am
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Bertók silently thanked god that the target was still a human instead of some monster. Now he has an easier time using his mirror, though he still needed to catch the thing first. God knows that would be the difficult part. He ignored the girl as she sped off again, this time toward the United Nations. Personally he didn't care what happened to the building. It was just a structure, and odds are it wouldn't cause any more resistance than the rest. However, he knew he was being paid to deal with this and if he did nothing he would have more to lose than if he acted.

He continued moving toward the target, heading out right after the girl ran out. As long as he could follow her, she should lead him directly to the target.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:11 pm
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Mike made his way over to the source of the sound as fast as he could. He was listening but decided to wait a bit before contributing to the conversation. It seemed like he would be the last one to reach the target, but it didn't matter as long as he was saving lives. He couldn't wait to meet the other members, and see what powers they have, but one apparently can fly or levitate. Reaching the source, he started to move the debris.


Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:04 pm
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The communication line remained silent for a few moments before Austin received a response, "Request received. Military reinforcement is moving in for civilian recovery."

In the distance Mike's ears were able to pick up on the sound of approaching military-grade helicopters, still far off, though they were definitely on their way. As he moved the debris, he found a young woman, probably a businesswoman from her apparel. She was disheveled and pinned to the ground by a large metal beam that had fallen onto her leg. Quick to act, Mike tried his best to gently move them beam off from her leg, though despite his efforts, the slight movement caused the woman to cry out in pain. It was clear her leg was probably broken. Nevertheless she looked up at him gratefully once the beam was removed, her face smeared with soot and ruined makeup.

"Th-Thank you," she said while shifting her body slightly, only to wince in pain. She would have to wait for the paramedics before she made any attempts to move. As she looked at Mike, her eyes began to widen as she realized what had just occurred, "You're...You're a superhero!" she exclaimed excitedly.

In the meantime, Natalie, Bertók, and Austin rapidly closed in on the man. While he was literally tearing through steel and cement, he had shown no sign of slowing his pace. He was quite easy to track with Abigail flying above and the sound of crunching steel as he burst through one building into the next. Just as the man made it to Heroes' Square, a monument made in memory of Pantheon, he stopped and turned around, as if waiting for something.

He panted heavily, great globs of drool falling from his mouth, his eyes reddened and his pupils dilated unnaturally. Quite frankly he looked like an extremely large body builder who had used steroids way more often than anyone should've, muscles upon muscles rippled and bulged with every movement of his body. His skin was a sickly tint of yellow, and his black hair was slick with grease and sweat. Apparently, the military had underestimated his height, for he stood at least seven feet tall, towering over everything around him.

He roared powerfully, rattling the nearby glass windowpanes, even shattering some of them, and causing the ground to tremble slightly. This man, no, this creature, was not a force to be trifled with.

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Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:38 pm
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Austin panted as he came upon the target. He'd expected a monster, not a human. Either way, there was no way he could take down the target on his own. His abilities weren't exactly combat-oriented. He caught up to the others and eyed the man. "Is he waiting for us?" Austin asked. "It doesn't look very intelligent. Maybe that man doesn't even know what he's doing. He seemed to be heading straight for this spot. Perhaps he means no harm. If we had some sort of tranquilizer we could just put him to sleep. I'm sure the military has some sort of secret holding cell that they could put him in." Austin observed the man further. "I don't plan on using my powers on this guy. There's too much we don't know."

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:42 pm
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How trite. Natalie thought, looking at Austin with disdain. She didn't know what his powers were or how useful they would be in this situation, but the fact that he would consider holding back after all the destruction this thing had caused was nonsense. For all she knew, this man… creature… thing wasn't hostile at all, but it was still a danger, and that meant its well-being had to take a backseat right now.

Natalie opened her mouth to inform Austin how foolish he was being, but couldn't bring herself to actually say anything. Instead, she moved to flank the target. If they could subdue it without harming it, fine, but she wouldn't hesitate to let loose it if it tried anything. For all of Austin's moralistic drivel, however, he was right in one respect. Something was definitely off here. As she moved into position, the girl produced a small glass container from her suit and twisted it open. The fine grains in the bottle spilled out, then coalesced into a large crystal that hovered gently over her open palm.


Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:26 pm
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Bertók shook his head as Austin voices his concerns. The last thing they should be doing now is making friends with a monster of that magnitude. Something like that really was a menace, through the question he had was who was at fault for it's actions: the monster, or the men who decided it would be a good idea to create it. It didn't matter to him, he just had to do his job.

"Who gives a damn about what it is," he rebuked. "Let's just deal with it and leave."

He stood far enough so that he could capture the entire hulking beast within his mirror. When he found it sufficiently reflected, he sent his shadow to merge with it. He'd only merged with other living things a few times. It wasn't as easy to merge with something that was not inanimate, and he struggled to wrestle control over it within the mirror. A few seconds later he finally had some control over it and pulled the clone from the mirror. It was a bit smaller because Bertók had to use a smaller reflection to capture the entire body, but he was hopeful that it could deal with the monster on somewhat even footing.

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:16 pm
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Despite the situation at hand Mike managed a smile, relieved she wasn't as worst off as he thought she was. He was still considering if he was actually a superhero, but didn't voice anything regarding that. "Don't worry, help should be on the way. You'll be safe now." He spoke into his communicator, giving them directions where the two were. "I've got a young woman here with a broken leg." Turning back to the woman, he gave a short wave and took off to the direction of the roar he just heard.

The roar sounded like an actual monster. Mike imagined a terrible gigantic hairy beast tearing up the city. Everything had been peaceful up to now, almost exactly ten years before his father went AWOL. Having ceased contact with Mike, at first he was afraid of something happening to him after, but he soon realized who he was worried about. That didn't go without saying he still didn't wonder where he was and questioned what was going through his mind when that happened. Though he was confident that wasn't him rampaging right now. Besides, the roar and the description that was given didn't even sound like his father.


Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:31 pm
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