War Council [CLOSED]

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James Novak
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Re: War Council [CLOSED]

Post by James Novak » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:19 pm

James Novak placed his hands underneath the dryer. A bit of water had sprayed over his shirt when he was washing it with soap, so he lifted his shirt and placed it underneath the hot air for a moment.

He went back out to serve the coffee, but halted when he realized that there were only three cups. That meant that three other people would not get some coffee.

There were pros and cons to whoever he would choose.

If he gave coffee to only his teammates, he would come off as antagonistic. If he only gave it to his guests, then it would seem like he was trying to suck up to them. Worse yet, they might think that he was trying to put something in their drinks. Noctua had surely heard the story of how Novak claimed he had fed an ACF member an explosive Starburst.

With that in mind, he resolved to serve the coffee in front of them.

If he didn’t give Terminus the cup of coffee, they would interpret it as attempt to underme the leadership of the other team leader. They might even interpret that there were some issues between himself and Nick. If he did give Terminus a cup, then they might assume that Novak would back everything he said all the time.

However, that assumption could be eliminated if he also gave a cup to Total Experience. It would be a good way to even the playing field and create a neutral atmosphere. The problem was that Total Experience might see it as a play to get on his good side instead of a genuine expression. Total Experience would also probably give up his own cup of coffee to someone else (most likely Noctua) for the sake of just being kind.

Novak also felt compelled to give Garrick a cup due to the help he provided in the Las Vegas fight. It wouldn’t be too gracious of him if he didn’t at least offer some. Garrick could potentially see it as Novak being ungrateful and a personal slight against the Society of Superheroes.

Travis would surely take it as an offense if his younger brother didn’t bring him a cup of coffee too. He'd make sure that Novak and everyone in the room knew that he took it as a personal attack if he didn’t get one, which would further increase the animosity in the room.

Then there was Jaeger who had yet to formulate an opinion on Novak. James knew that if he chose to give Jaeger a cup of coffee he would seem like a good host. If he didn’t, Novak would seem like he didn’t really care about his presence there.

Novak himself needed the cup of coffee.

He was loopy and he thought about just bringing one for himself. That option would make him seem outright selfish and everyone would give him snide looks because of it.

Novak pondered his options. Then he realized that the gym was on the floor underneath and they had glasses there.

He pressed the elevator button and made his way down.

Novak walked over to the smoothie bar and said hello to some of the staff there. He jumped over the counter and grabbed three glasses.

Just as fast as he came, he was now gone.

He placed the three glasses on top of the tray and carried it inside the room.

“James Novak. Super-Barista.”
The glasses did not have handles like the cups did, which meant that some people might burn their hands.

Most of them had superpowers or armor that protected them fortunately for Novak.

Terminus had the Titanic armor he built to handle extreme temperatures. Novak had a hunch it could handle a hot glass of coffee. Not that Terminus needed any caffeine in his system in his current state.

Total Experience was impervious to almost all physical attacks so he would get a glass too.

Jaeger looked like he could take almost anything with his armor, so he would also get a glass instead of a cup. It would be interesting to see if he would have to take off his helmet, or if it had a built-in compartment to consume fluids.

Maybe he should have gotten some straws.

Travis, Garrick, and Novak would get the cups as they were the only three present who would probably feel anything.

“How do you guys take it?”

Novak placed the tray on the large metallic table. He was already preparing Travis’s cup before he even said anything. He knew that he liked it with no sugar and only a drip of milk. Novak assembled it in one of those ironic mugs one employee had gotten him as a present for his birthday.

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Re: War Council [CLOSED]

Post by Jaeger » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:37 pm

Total Experience. Terminus. Noctua. And... James Novak. Jaeger looked to the casually-dressed newcomer, cracking a soft smile at the title of Super-Barista. At the mention of coffee, the Eldest held up a hand.

"I'll have to decline. My apologies. Thank you, though, for the gesture."

He didn't quite wish to reveal his face to these people. Not with the current situation of his healing. He had been immolated, after all, and it had taken long enough to merely be fit to walk without constant agony. No doubt, his face would still be scarred-- or regenerating, still. He hadn't looked over himself in the mirror in Gods-know how long.

After a moment, he looked around to make sure all parties were ready to continue.

"Regardless of affiliation--"

He looked to Total Experience, at that; his gaze fell upon Terminus as he began his next point.

"-- or animosity held for the people here, you have my thanks for cooperating. I believe that we're making the right decision, here."

He began with a notion of gratitude. Commonly, it was the best way to defuse tensions-- a way to remind everyone of humility. Hospitality held an important place within his heart, and the words of Total Experience rang true-- rushing into things wasn't going to solve the issue at hand. Not without dire risk of injury or death. The name of Hector Williams bode some faraway recollection, but it was distant all the same-- regardless, if Teja Docesznic's misuse of the sword had already resulted in the death of somebody close to her, then the situation would have to be approached with decisive action.

"My knowledge of the sword begins with its origins. It's Eldest-- as you all know, most likely-- which means that it's... not entirely meant for this world." His helm looked to Noctua, for a moment, and then his gaze continued to shift from person to person, making sure he didn't ignore the reactions of his impromptu allies. "Mortals are a part of that. When a human stumbles upon an artifact of power like that, it's like-- something comparable to an Earthen toddler fiddling about with an ICBM. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yes? And that blade... its power is absolute."

His tone fell soft, for a moment. "All weapons made by Eldest hand are." Another pause. "Or-- were, as it was. My point is that it takes excruciating effort and suffering to adapt to energy like the kind held within Stahlzahn, and even then, it's still cursed, practically. What I've observed is that Docesznic has demonstrated an innate affinity with it. Why that is, I don't know, and I don't care. What matters is separating her from the blade so that it no longer twists her mind and imbibes her with its ruinous essence."

Another pause, grave in purpose. "For this bond to be severed, I'm afraid that mere isolation from the sword wouldn't help." Once again, his gaze looked upon each of the men gathered here. The task was theirs alone to bear-- but he held confidence that they were up to the task. The people before him were the best of the best-- he felt it in his soul, like ripples of stones cast along even water. It welled within him, calm and constant, and he let his uncertainties lay dormant.

"Stahlzahn must be destroyed. It is too dangerous an armament to leave unattended-- it has already tasted mortal blood, and it hungers. I know how-- how ludicrous that sounds, but these are artifacts held by Gods. It's as if an odd sentience still lingers within the metal-- and when these weapons are bound, they are bound to the soul. It is a part of the bearer."

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Re: War Council [CLOSED]

Post by Terminus » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:49 pm

TerminOS v3.3.3
Now Playing: Mick Gordon- Shatterhail.

Armor Model: Terminus.
Active Module: None.

Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Online.

Nicolas gave Novak a nod, and received the glass with one of the metal gauntlets of his armor. The sheer mundane utility of having your warsuit under your skin at all times could hardly be understated. Earth's sociocultural taboo against extensive self-modification wasn't present on other worlds like Terminal. Not to mention, the coffee came out cool enough to drink immediately.

I should get some of those machines for Skywatch.

The idea was filed away under Pendragon's 'to-do,' alongside Project: Argonaut. But he couldn't afford to get distracted right now. This meeting was important. And right now, with Jaeger's help, he was going to convince the undecided individuals in the room that Capacitor was far more dangerous than they thought. Or at least, he would try.

The Young Wolf was certainly strange. He spoke not with the Shakespearean cadence of the World-Forge or the Nation-Spirit, nor the modern dialect of an ordinary human, but some combination of the two. It reminded Terminus of Rust Clarke. Not a true Eldest, or a human corrupted by the influence of one, but a true fusion of the two. If that was close to Jaeger's true nature, it meant they might actually be able to trust him.

His words rang true as well. The comparison to a child messing around with a ballistic missile was apt, considering what had happened to all those who'd attempted to do so before. Rust had been subsumed by the Weltgeist within. The 'Future-Forge' killed alongside so many others in Rome. Flint, his spirit broken by the burden of the shield, and by the psychological pressure of being a part of the Great Society. Teja had already demonstrated signs of the same corruption, and the words of an expert were the corroboration Nicolas needed.

"I concur. One way or another, we need to separate Capacitor from that sword."

Pendragon had been absolutely serious when he'd said he had no interest in fighting the Society. But that didn't mean he wasn't willing to. That was what it meant to be a hero- putting the world before everything else. Before your own feelings, your own preferences. Men like the ones in this room were possessed of extraordinary capability, and Terminus had always believed that meant they had a responsibility as well.

"You seem to have more information than me, but as far as my observations of Erujaorn, Hollenfeuer, and Stalzahn have gone, they seem to be inviolable. If we can't destroy the sword outright, it might be possible to break Capacitor's connection to it."

Taking a look around the room, Nicolas sighed. He'd have preferred this conversation to have happened in private, without the outsiders. But there was no point in wishing for things to have happened differently.

"I've been studying the Aether Forge for a few months now. If you could help me reignite it, we could melt the sword down and reforge it. Retain the metal, but turn it into something fundamentally different, so she couldn't summon it back to her. That could also prevent her condition from degenerating any further."

The Blacksmith looked askance at Jaeger. For once, he wasn't the expert. It would be up to the Young Wolf to determine whether that was a viable strategy. In truth, a part of Nicolas simply didn't want to see the sword destroyed completely. Much as the cursed blade had caused him a great deal of suffering, it was still one of a small handful of Eldest relics left in this world.

Then, Pendragon turned to Novak, attempting to meet his partner's eyes. A silent signal of what he was about to reveal to the rest of the group.

"That's not all, though. We need to bring Capacitor in. The Front Line is government-registered, we can make arrests. And in this case, I think it’s past due."

For a moment Terminus was silent. He gauged the reactions of the other individuals sitting around the table. To be sure, some would be displeased. But this was necessary. Actions had to have consequences, and the world had to be protected. The label 'hero' wasn't an automatic protection from the reality of your actions.

"Not to mention, we have a government liaison. That gives us more legitimacy than the Society’s ever had, Besides, they can't really send ordinary cops. If she decides not to go quietly, they wouldn't have a chance."

Capacitor slaughtering police officers might have seemed unlikely, but Nicolas had watched Hector Williams kill two dozen soldiers without remorse. Heroes were capable of incredible cruelty to the 'little people' they supposedly fought to protect, when they were pushed.

"The sword isn't the root of the problem with her. It's exacerbated things, yes, but she was unstable long before she ever laid hands on it. According to the Society's files, she used kitchenware to carve out an unpowered vigilante's eyes. And she keeps bringing children into combat situations. The world will be safer with her behind bars."

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Travis McCoy
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Re: War Council [CLOSED]

Post by Travis McCoy » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:30 am

"Thanks, Jimmy. The name's McCoy, by the way."
At this point, the gloves were off. Figuratively and literally. Travis took the coffee with a bare hand as his body vented itself internally. He survived a fair share of horrible accidents. Once even having a hatchet embedded part-way into his neck in Siberia. Those were the times. A volcano though?

He would admit was a novel experience. One he hoped to avoid in the future.

Coffee wasn't his thing. He actually hated coffee, but drunk it every day out of habit just like most soldiers. The damned thing was so ingrained into military culture it was hard to root it out. Waking up at 6 every day for over 8 years will do that to you. Besides, he read in some article that hot beverages actually help cool down the body better than cold.

Or some shit like that.

"Goddamn, I can't even pronounce half those names."
He was of course refering to the Germanized nomenclature of the unholy Eldest armaments.
"Django Fett here says these things must be destroyed. If these things are even as half as bad as you paint them then, honestly, I would rather do that and avoid another Rome situation. Them sorry Guiseppes over there are hanging on by tooth and nail from what I heard when I was deployed in Europe. Now, I know you just said that these weapons are, what's the word, inviolable. What's preventing the corruption from just... holding on?"

"I ain't half as smart as you people. I don't know anything about this paracausal business..."
That was a fat fucking lie. Details of which were classified.
"...but seems ta' me the way you talk about these Elders and their baubles. It's not like an impurity in the metal itself. The metal is the impurity. Personally I don't trust our, as you put it, Earthen toddler capacity to turn the sword. Maybe it would be worth the effort to contact these Eldest."
The subject of Eldest population on Earth did not crop up often in Travis' previous conversations. Though the few he knew of were monitored, one even stationed himself as an ambassador in Washington, DC. It did seem to him as strategically significant to establish proper rapport with the people who made the weapons in the first place. Not to hold anything against Jaeger, but his recollection seemed shaky at best.
"That's still later down the line. Even with the warrant we still have to: one, run up in their house which is in space and full of people built like Ryu and Ken; two, seperate the sword from her provided the SOS isn't working on that already--they are all sensitive after all; and three, make it out in one piece with Teja."
Legal jurisdiction meant little in he world of caped crusaders. Accountability was at an all time low and the Front Line was here to change that. The odds were still stacked against them and Travis counted with his hand, starting from the pinkie and ending at the middle finger.
"We need some intelligence that's actionable, aside from the layout and offensive potential. I think Noctua over there could help a bit with that. What do you say, you squinty fuck? You gonna play ball with the Line?"
McCoy jabbed at the masked man. Not out of spite or hatred, no. Noctua's presence here indicated that their goals were aligned. This was more akin to that juvenile animosity that could be found among high school sports teams. Something meant to size the 'kid from the other school' up and gauge what kind of person Trav was dealing with. A test of faith.
🢖 BIO 🢔

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Deus Mortis
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Re: War Council [CLOSED]

Post by Deus Mortis » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:57 pm

”Black with two spoons of sugar.”

Garrick graciously accepted the offer without a moment of hesitation, flashing the Super Barista a small smile. He hadn’t actually expected the man to come in to serve them all, but the surprise was of course a welcome one.

The small disruption was moved past almost immediately as Jaeger took the floor. Garrick listened intently as Graf spoke, unable to shake the small tug of familiarity as he did. It was the same one Garrick felt when he met Victor after his awakening. Through the broken stretches of old speech, it was there that the visage of Volksgeist shined through. A pleasant memory, but with the thought of how all of this was was arguably caused by the god of war's influence, a bitterness set in rather quickly.

The attention shifted over to Nicholas, and it was there that Garrick found his mood sour, though not immediately.

That could work.

The idea of reforging Stalzahn was interesting. Considering how instristinc and spiritual the Eldest were, the act of breaking a weapon meant for destruction and shaping it into something that could have been for protecting or just anything else could prove symbolic enough to work. For a second, Garrick thought Nicholas was going to end on that point or expand on it. Instead, things took a different turn.

If anyone expected a knee-jerk response from Garrick, they’d be disappointed. He listened patiently for Nicholas to finish, mulling over the machinist’s words as Travis spoke. He barely looked at the shield-bearer when he was being spoken to, though he heard everything that was said. With the news that they wanted to help bring Teja into custody, what Travis was asking of him was inevitable. Whose side are you on?

”The sword isn’t the root of her problems, you’re right.” Perhaps to the surprise of some within the room, Garrick did not disagree. After everything he’s seen, it was difficult to try and argue otherwise. He didn’t allow himself to view the Society through rose-tinted glasses. He wouldn’t allow himself to let bias cloud his judgement. ”Was she unstable before, when she first joined the SOS? Maybe. She was definitely desensitized to things though.”

But just as he did not allow himself to feel biased for the Society, he would not allow himself to be biased against then.

”If we’re bringing up the past, then I do need to ask, where was the justice for what Hector Williams did?” His eyes went over to Nicholas. ”Akhilleus gunned down a platoon of U.S soldiers, I was there, Teja was there, and you were there. You were the one who dropped him next to those soldiers. I dragged each and every one of them, one by one, to the EMTs a few blocks over. Up until that day, I never had someone die in my arms, Nick.”

Garrick’s voice was steady as he spoke, anger only barely showing in his words. He didn’t let the silence in his pause settle for more than a couple of seconds before he spoke again.

”You teleported away with him. Did anyone ever try to bring him in? Did you? No, you didn’t. You kept Hector in your care for however long instead.” He shook his head, sighing. The notion that Nicholas was fully adhering to the law now annoyed Garrick, especially considering the man broke into a government facility with the intention of brutalizing a scientist for information on where Hector was. Even so, Garrick wouldn’t say a word of it.

The next breath of air felt cool, more so than the last had. The beginning of fire within his blood were snuffed out and he felt himself fully back in control of what he first wanted to say.

”I don’t like what Teja did at all. Grabbing Stalzahn while she was alone was stupid. I doubt anyone in the Society is going to disagree with me. Hector Williams, however, was far more unstable than Teja will ever be without Stalzahn, and you, Nick, you still brought him back.”

Garrick’s attention went over to Travis after he finished speaking, not forgetting what the shield-bearer had said to him. Squinty fuck was a new one.

”I’m willing to help you bring Teja in, but with two conditions.” The caveat was probably going to rub at least someone the wrong way, but he continued on anyways. ”The first condition is to only bring her in after we find a way to destroy Stalzahn or sever Teja’s connection to it. Like you said McCoy, she’s too dangerous to try and bring in, not only to us but the people around her.”

He looked back over at Terminus.

”And the second condition is: to get Teja some help. Whether you have to take her off-world like you did with Hector or get her special counseling when she’s incarcerated, I want your word that you’ll try to help her. If not for her, or for me, then for all of the people she’s helped save while on the team.”

”Only after those two conditions are met, will I help.”

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Re: War Council [CLOSED]

Post by Terminus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:56 pm

TerminOS v3.3.3
Now Playing: Mick Gordon- Shatterhail.

Armor Model: Terminus.
Active Module: None.

Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Online.

Pendragon acknowledged McCoy's points with a nod. They could decide what they did with the sword after they had taken it from Capacitor. Seeking the assistance of Magnusson might have been wise, but it carried its own risks. Besides, the Son of Magnus was currently off-world, and he'd left behind no indication of when he would return.

What Valeria brought up was equally valid. Nicolas closed his eyes for a moment and sighed.

"There were some extenuating circumstances. Hector had absorbed a nuclear detonation prior to that incident. His body was riddled with tumors- including one in his brain. It altered his behavior, made him more aggressive and violent."

It had taken months off-world for Hector to be cured of his cancers. He'd been frothing with rage the first time Terminus took him out of the medical unit, but as the tumors had been excised through advanced alien technology, he'd returned to the person he'd been before the Pack had attacked him. Still, that didn't mean he could be absolved of all his sins.

"Still, you're right. He needs to be held to account for that incident, and the one in Los Angeles. As soon as I can recover him, he will be."

The thought of pulling Hector out of his government prison, only to immediately help prosecute him, wasn't pleasant. But Nicolas felt sure his friend would understand. From their conversations prior to the Ruination event, Williams had felt burdened by the guilt of the lives lost thanks to his actions. In a way, punishment for them might help lift that burden.

The Front Line didn't quite need Noctua's help in arresting Capacitor. They had planned for a scenario in which they took on the entire SOS, and Pendragon was confident they would win. But his cooperation would be invaluable. Everyone on that team trusted him, and they'd be more inclined to allow the arrest to happen without resistance if he was vouching for them. That alone was worth the price of his conditions.

"We can't be certain of how to deal with the sword until we have it. But it sounds like we have two viable methods already. The Aether Forge could be used to melt it down and turn it into something else. If that isn't sufficient, Jaeger here sounds fairly confident he could destroy it outright."

Hopefully that would be good enough for Garrick. As an engineer, Nicolas knew that 100% certainty was an illusion. It was possible neither method would work. But if they waited until they were completely sure one strategy or another would work, they'd never act at all. As for his second request...

"Listen. I respect Capacitor. She's done a lot for this world. I'm not arguing we throw her in some hole and leave her to rot. We'll get her treatment and care. But I don't think she'll want it from me."

Whatever else transpired between the two teams, Terminus and Capacitor would never be friends again. If they ever had been. It was hard to tell, with her. That was a heavy price to pay, but it was a part of the job. Keeping humanity safe had to come first.

"Still, I think there is something I could do for her. I've been studying her powers, and I think I might be able to prevent them from killing her. Or at least give her more time. Whatever else she's done, she doesn't deserve the early death that the government condemned her to."

Capacitor had mentioned the fact that she had such little time left in one of the Society's recent press conferences. That would likely not be a surprise to anyone in the room. Hopefully the notion that Nicolas could reverse the malign effects of her power would be a bright spot in an otherwise dour conversation.

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