IN LIGHT OF SHADOW is an original superhero rpg set in modern day New York City. Will you fight for the side of justice, shoulder to shoulder with the Legends, or are you planning world domination with the devious Syndicate? Not a super? Do you work for the government or are you jut an innocent bystander. No matter what you are, we hope you join us.
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Posted on Jun 6 2012, 04:24 AM
I say you kill your heroes
and Fly, fly, baby don't cry
The young technopath let loose a small snort and smirked in agreement with William’s assessment of the world. ”Not fair indeed,” he exhaled, his mind wandering all the way back to Pittsburgh where his piece of shit parents and siblings were leading their blissfully ignorant lives and making themselves feel better about their own screw ups by blaming everything on the son who did not go jacking cars with his nephew one night, who did not manage to graduate college with that fancy degree that was supposed to pull them all out of their financial hole. His family had never been very good with deciding just what they wanted Jimmy to be- a career criminal like Mikey or a genius who made lots of money at some fancy job they could not possibly care less about.
This meeting was going in a surprisingly civil manner as far as Jimmy was concerned. He had hypothesized the entire thing over and over in his head, fantasizing about the different scenarios and none of them had gone like this. Though any real battle that could ever occur between the two would have to be done remotely, anything hand to hand would just be stupid and in this proximity they would only cancel eachother out. No, their fight would always be a battle of wits and who could build the best toys. It was a little intimidating. Jimmy could handle himself in a fist fight. There was always a clear winner and a clear loser and it never lasted very long. Foresight had never been one of his strong suits, but Reboot was well aware that he was on a verge of a cold war with his Syndicate counterpart.
”Right, because that’s how I spend my evenings, hanging out with the geek squad,” Jimmy rolled his eyes before jumping with a start at the feeling of the electro-magnetic waves pulsing through the room. To most people, it would be virtually undetectable, but to someone like Jimmy it felt as rhythmic as crashing waves or the bass pumping at a club. He heard a distinct and sickening crack as his phone broke and the young man groaned. ”You know, I could have covered my own tracks without breaking her,” he complained and shook his head in disappointment. The way he communicated and manipulated machines was almost like some sort of dance to Jimmy. He was always very delicate and caring with his machines, as if they were small children. It almost broke his heart to see his phone cracked and broken like she was.
As soon as William and HOSPITAL left the room, Jimmy made a mad dash down the elevator and telepathically hacked into a nearby computer to locate all of the schools nearby to determine where these bombs would be. It was easy enough to narrow it down to one building by the time Reboot made his way to the ground floor and ran as fast as his feet would carry him. He could defuse those bombs. He could be the hero for once. He had to be the hero for once or he would die trying.
William sighed, he knew that this could have happened. He knew that the boy was clever enough to bypass both options. William never suspected that Jimmy would want to come with him, he hoped to entice him enough with his words, the bombs had been for an entirely different reason.
"No, I guess it wouldn't be fair, Jim. The world isn't fair though," William shook his head, his curls bouncing for a moment. He'd gotten himself cleaned up for meeting Jimmy, relatively speaking, of course. His hair was a mess, but when was it not? He'd gotten clean clothing and looked halfway presentable. He looked nothing as good as he did when Aisling would pick out his clothing, but that wasn't an option any longer.
He was getting worn out with keeping his face on around Jimmy. He wanted to take the child by force, get HOSPITAL to lunge forward and hold the technopath, but he knew HOSPITAL would be useless in this case. It seemed William needed a flesh-and-blood bodyguard for time like this. Hell, it would be less conspicuous than the behemoth that was the Artificial Intelligence he'd become so fond of. He put this thought away for a moment, though, and returned to the conversation a hand.
Perhaps it was in his best interest that Donovan was taking the bait to go after the bombs. The cameras would pick up how Reboot was doing his technopathy and how fast he could take down a bomb William had made himself. It would be a good sight to see. Of course, the Whisperer could easily set off the detonation while Reboot was in the building, destroying the kid and the school simultaneously, though William didn't want to lose such a valuable asset. He felt a strange connection to the boy, and he didn't want to lose something he felt so rarely. Something that could mean something in the future.
"Well, I guess I should wish you luck with that. Don't stay out too late; you wouldn't want to miss a meeting with your friends in the Legends." William raised an eyebrow, "I hope none of them know you're here. I should remedy that, shouldn't I?" He looked over at HOSPITAL, whose red eye flicked over to its master.
"HOSPITAL, please fix Donovan's phone for him."
A rumble in HOSPITAL began, and then a pulse of electro-magnetic waves passed over the room, William heard his own phone's screen crack, and he checked it. Broken. He smiled faintly. That should have done it.
William nodded, putting his phone back in his pocket, "Well, I hope to see you in the future, James. Do let me know how the bombs turn out. If you don't get them removed by morning, they'll detonate." William brushed by the young man, saluting as he did. HOSPITAL followed closely behind. "Farewell, then."
I say you kill your heroes
and Fly, fly, baby don't cry
So William Leo knew about Cassadee. Of course he did. What he was saying was entirely true as well- Cassadee was far too pretty, smart, and sweet to put up with him and his problems for very long. The idea of being respected was tempting, but he would lose both of the people he cared about most if he followed The Whisperer into the Syndicate. It had taken him so damn long to find real friends and even longer to admit that he was hopelessly in love with one of them…all of the other crap he was going through did not really matter as long as he had that.
Then again, a school could be completely decimated if he did not join the Syndicate. This was a difficult situation. He could save countless lives if he just gave in to William’s offer, but then how many more lives would he destroy in the long run if he turned his back on the Legends and went dark side. Jimmy wished he did not care at all about the greater good and being a hero. It would certainly make his life easier and far less complicated to join the Syndicate, but complicated was all that Jimmy knew. He could use his powers to get Mikey out of prison and no one in the Syndicate would judge him too harshly for it. Maybe. There was certainly no question about how his comrades in the Legends would feel about him assisting a career criminal in a prison break. He was still waiting for the ax to fall on the little stunt he pulled letting Deuce Marrok out of his cage.
Jimmy had to admit to himself that he felt a sort of kindred opposite sides of the same coin tie to the older man. As if they could have been great friends if the situation was even slightly different. As things stood now they would probably become great rivals, and Reboot felt a little sad at the idea. ”Wouldn’t it be so much more interesting if we were on different sides of the battlefield though, Bill? I mean come on, with the two of us working side by side- it wouldn’t be a fair fight,” Jimmy laughed and shook his head, hoping to appeal to any desire William may or may not have had to fight against a worthy adversary. ”I’ll deactivate those bombs. Weapons like me the best,” he winked and tapped his temple playfully. Being inundated with military weapon information in his accident had made Jimmy particularly susceptible to the allure of designing weapons. Bombs and war machines just seemed to…get him. It was hard for him to explain to people who did not have his abilities. Yes, in another life he may have very well been very good friends with William Leo and worked side by side with The Whisperer.
William liked Jimmy. That was something that was different than when he was with others. He felt the connection with the young man that was different than that he felt with others. He had this connection with few people. It wasn't something that happened often. He felt this when he was with Viktor, a strange pull towards the other, a mind link they all had in their strange way of knowing. As if they were born to be something great and this fact brought them together in some way. Then again, it could be just a list of consequences that brought them here, that made them connect and become something more.
And this child saw none of this greatness. He just saw it as happenings he had to live through, while William saw it as opportunity. Opportunity for them to find inner connections and learn from each other, give each other pillars of knowledge to grow upon,, to create a labyrinth of knowings, tangling in and out of all the reasons and all the whys and wherefores. It would be beautiful.
But instead Donovan didn't take time to dwell on any of this. He saw William offering him only money and resources. He saw so little William could barely keep himself from getting angry. Instead, he sighed, and nodded his head. "Yes, I understand why you would say that, being as young and foolish as you are. Things that seem to be doing so great are simply going to fade. Think about your girlfriend. Do you see yourself spending all of time with her? Do you think she'll stay with someone like yourself until she dies? Don't you think she's a little too pretty for that? A little too clever and sweet? Don't you think it would be better to be respected other than scolded?" William smirked softly, "Anyway, my organization has just gotten serious recently. You may turn down my offer, but there are some of these waiting at a school nearby." He motioned toward HOSPITAL, who held out a large mechanical hand. In it, was a small explosive.
"It may look small, but it's built in my own design. The corpses from this will be plenty. No doubt about that. Now, if you come with me the bombs will be forgotten about and deactivate on their own. If you don't, well, you know the answer to that, don't you?" He took the bomb into his hands, smiling at its composition. "Any such effort to deactivate them yourself is ill-advised, of course." William stashed the explosive into his coat, and raised an eyebrow. "You didn't think I wouldn't have another form of leverage, did you?"
I say you kill your heroes
and Fly, fly, baby don't cry
Jimmy was more scared and nervous than he had initially suspected he would be. He was usually fearless when thrown into this sort of situation, but he had never gone toe to toe with someone like him- someone who was better with technology than he was. For the first time in many years, Jimmy felt truly small and insignificant. He knew many people who were better and more powerful than he was, but he always had his computers and technology to give him the upper hand somewhere. William Leo was smarter, wealthier, better with his powers, better dressed, and dammit- Jimmy had to add ‘more attractive’ to that list. The Whisperer seemed to understand him more than most other people did. Most of the people he came across thought of him as nothing more than some punk who would end up dead or in jail. He was trouble. There were very few people who actually believed in him. Amy, Dylan, Serafin, and Cassadee- a whole four people thought he was worth something. Hell, even Justice admitted to thinking he had potential, though whether it was the truth or just some pep talk ‘tear-em-down-and-build-em-up’ crap Jimmy did not know.
He was astonished to find that he did not entirely disagree with William’s sentiments about keeping abilities a secret. Jimmy stood beside William and crossed his arms over his chest pensively as he looked out over the cityscape. New York was really beautiful at night, like William stated, and it was true- there were probably just as many (if not more) criminals using supers or things invented by supers (including himself) than criminals behind bars because of the Legends or the light leaning Rogue heroes. There was a very good chance that the Syndicate would actually accept him and his flaws more than the Legends ever could. He was not entirely in disagreement over the basic philosophies either. Jimmy thought supers and non-supers should be completely equal, however. There was also that pesky bit about betraying the only people he ever truly cared about and throwing away everything he had worked so hard to attain. He had a good mentor in Tizona. He had an honest to goodness real girlfriend rather than some chick he hooked up with for the first time in his life.
Reboot let slip an indignant snort. ”You think wealth and freedom are things I need you to give me?” he rolled his light blue eyes cynically. ”I have all the money I need and I’m free enough. Besides, working around my restrictions keeps things…interesting,” he explained with a shrug. ”It’s a tempting offer, and if you had come to me say…six months or a year ago I might have jumped at the chance. But I’m set, thanks,” he added with a confident smirk. He would not let down Serafin or Cassadee, not this easily anyways. He had been screwing up left and right as of late, but he would not stumble this time. He would be a real hero even if he had to die trying.
William let a smirk slowly crack over his lips. Donovan's over-confidence was a defense mechanism. That was normal. William knew he was intimidating, but he wasn't going to back down to make Jimmy feel any more relaxed. This situation wasn't meant to be comfortable. At least, not for Donovan. William wasn't nervous or scared, he came with a deal. One that could mean the destruction of many lives or one that could gain him a new person for the Syndicate. It was a very tender situation. Still, William's eyes were narrow and calculating, figuring out what Donovan could do. William wasn't sure about the situation itself, but with HOSPITAL there he felt relatively safe, even if Jimmy had warned his mentors. Then again, would someone really tell the Legends that they were going to meet one of the most powerful Syndicate members? William's intuition said that Reboot wouldn't try it. Still, HOSPITAL stood by, just in case.
"Congratulations. You have discovered my blatantly obvious secret. I applaud that it didn't take you longer," William laughed, putting his hands in the pockets of his coat. "Now, let's skip the diplomacy we're expected to make in these types of situations. I don't look at you and see a troubled kid, like most people would see. Hell, it's probably what most of the Legends believe you to be." That was an assumption, William didn't know much bout opinions of the Legends, but that didn't matter. He had to keep up the knowing demeanor. "I see a mind that could create some great things. I know that what you see when you look at my organization is pure evil, but that isn't true. Supers have to hide behind a visage to keep them and their families safe. I think that that's horseshit."
William paused, and turned to look at the cityscape through the window of the Chrysler Building. "It's a beautiful city, but it would be nothing without supers. How often do people use the supers that we have? How many rapists and crimelords are jailed because of supers? How many times a day are my father's and my inventions are used by the scum of this world?" William sighed. How he hated them all. How he wished they were dead. He wanted a world where only he and those like him existed. How could he convey such a world to someone so young? How could someone like this kid understand a world so brilliant? Could he understand it? No. William knew the percentiles. William knew the answer to his question before he asked it. There was no hope. That's why other measures had been taken. William didn't want to take no for an answer.
"My request is simple. I want you to throw away your life and come with me. In return, I promise you a life of affluence and relative freedom. I have already prepared an establishment capable of fulfilling your intellectual interests. It's the most free you will ever hope to be."
I say you kill your heroes
and Fly, fly, baby don't cry
For half a moment, Jimmy let himself get excited when he laid eyes on the large machine he quickly learned was called HOSPITAL. It was beautiful and dangerous and the young super was ashamed to admit to himself that he was a little jealous that The Beast was not nearly as mobile. His excitement lasted only a moment, however, before he went back to being serious. What he was doing was against pretty much every protocol he knew. The Whisperer was a dangerous man and Reboot was risking everything by even communicating with the older man, let alone having secret meetings with him.
Jimmy had never really imagined what William would actually look like, but now that he stood before him it was unsurprising that this was the man who sent all of those creepy messages to him. Reboot pulled the bandana down from his face at the greeting. ”So you know my name. Great, William Leo,” he scoffed. ”I can do a bit of digging myself,” he added with a hint of overconfidence he tended to take on when he was nervous or in trouble. What could this man possibly want to talk to him about? Sure, his abilities could be very valuable, and the knowledge he had stored away about the technology the government had been working on was probably priceless- but Jimmy had a bad habit of inspiring chaos around him. Nothing in his life had ever gone smoothly or according to plan. If he joined the Syndicate it would probably be a favor to the Legends because he would screw things up so badly. He set his bag down by his feet gingerly and shoved his hands into the pockets of his hoody. ”So what’s with all the cloak and dagger stuff, Bill? You saw my rap sheet and liked what you saw? Hate to admit it- but most of my more nefarious crimes were entirely on accident,” he shrugged his shoulders in mock defeat and pursed his lips.
Jimmy was scared shitless. This meeting could make or break him as a man and a superhero. If he managed to walk away from The Whisperer unscathed or having outsmarted the older man, Reboot would have redeemed himself. But with the way things had been going for him lately…it would not have been entirely shocking if he ended up screwing the pooch and losing absolutely everything he had worked so hard for. Sure, it was only a matter of time before he was kicked out of the Legends, dumped by Cassadee, and disgraced to a life of petty crime. He had just been hoping it would happen later. ’Guess this means you can’t screw this up, Donovan,’ he thought to himself with a small snort.
There were few things in this life that William had to go without. Everything that he wanted he found a way to get. Those things that were not on this list were things that he had to go without were often people. Even those were few and far between. William had a way about him that was very charming, able anyone to convince people of almost anything. He could feed lies that could easily be true. He was a puppet master of many people, but he could not get a few individuals.
One of these was the girl he loved- named Aisling. Aisling was small and petite, but also beautiful and kind. She was one of the few that William could be in a room for long periods of time without irritating him. Well, she used to be, but now all he could see on her was the markings of a woman that would not wait, one that no longer loved him. She had apologized for it, but he couldn't help but hate that she did. He wasn't sure about his feelings for her, as he felt hostility to her and her lover.
Now all felt nowadays was ruthlessness towards everything. He needed something to get Aisling off of his mind, and now that HOSPITAL was done, William has selected a new target, a boy he watched on the computer all the time, watching and learning about him. He knew of the boy's past in juvenile detention, his family and his heroes- those he looked up to. Ironically, one of Donovan's teachers had been the ex-lover of "the fixer", the very man that had helped William in setting up the bombs. Yes, Nathan Samuel and Yannick Faust had once been lovers. It made getting Yannick to set up the bombs as planned easier. The bombs had been planted so it looked like Nathan had done it. The way Yannick had done it had been masterful, almost like poetry.
Now William stood in the room high in the Chrysler Tower, just as instructed. He wasn't sure if Donovan would show up or not, but he had a good feeling about it. Things were going to begin changing now, and William was in the center of it all.
HOSPITAL's one red eye watched the door fervently, waiting for it to open and a stranger to come in. William looked out the tall building and out into the dark morning hours. For a city that never slept, it was very quiet in the tower. It was a good time to think. William didn't believe that Donovan would want to come and be welcomed at his side, but it was worth asking. William didn't like useless bloodshed. He only used it as a means to get what he wanted in various situations. It was possible this situation needed blood in order for it to work.
The elevator beeped, and William turned to look at Donovan. He seemed nervous, and was holding a backpack. William's eye narrowed at this, but he offered a smirk nonetheless. HOSPITAL got between the two of them, making a protective wall between he and Donovan. William put a comforting hand on the thick arm the machine had, and gave it an order to stand down.
"Good to finally meet you in person, James Donovan," William said, taking a step towards his younger counterpart. "I've wanted to meet you for a long while."
I say you kill your heroes
and Fly, fly, baby don't cry
It had all started innocently enough- these things usually did in Jimmy’s experience. It had been the occasional witty (and somewhat creepy) text back and forth between himself and The Whisperer. His much darker counterpart seemed to know a lot about him, and to someone who took extra care to keep personal information about himself private- this was not good. How much did this person know about him? Did he know about his time in juvie? About his dysfunctional family? About his nephew being in jail for armed robbery and grand theft auto? What about his relationship with Cassadee Skylar? Jimmy could not have cared less about the state secrets he kept locked away in his mind, but there were people he cared about- Tizona and Sky- and if they were to get hurt because of him he would be devastated. Then there was his sketchy past, how would the other Legends feel about a juvenile delinquent in their midst? Would they even be surprised? Jimmy had been screwing up left and right lately and he could not afford to blow off a guy like The Whisperer.
If anyone had known about his frequent texting with the Syndicate big wig there would be trouble for him and Jimmy knew it. There was probably some sort of protocol for something like this- there always was. Reboot had never been very good at following the rules though, and what good would it have done him to tell someone about his correspondences with the other technopath? He was already turning out to be quite the liability with his constant mistakes, Jimmy suspected that if anyone found out he was being actively recruited by “the bad guys” they would chain him to The Beast for the rest of his life and never let him see the light of day again.
Jimmy had debated whether or not he should suit up for the occasion. The Whisperer knew who he was anyway, what was the point in hiding his face? He had settled on wearing the black hoody and bandana over his face, there was no need to break all the rules with this little meeting. Jimmy shouldered the black backpack he carried with him almost everywhere. He would not go into a possible fight without at least a laptop and his cell phone handy. There was also the small detail that he had come straight from work and had not had time to stop by his small apartment to drop off his work clothes- though raggedy old shirts were not technically up to the dress code.
Once he reached the top floor of the building he stepped cautiously off the elevator, unsure of what would be waiting for him up on the darkened top floor.