/simu/ - Simulacrum

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File: 1700842491404-0.png (295.14 KB, 540x304, Sanctuary City - 2.png)

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>Date: August 25th, 2017
>Location: Sanctuary City - Downtown
>Time: 10:30 AM


>A man whispers to those around him, as they continue to try and sneak their way through the wreckages littering the street. Burning metal fills the air with a noxious smell - causing some people to become queasy and sick.

>As the man continues to sneak by the wreckage, using the burned cars as cover - his followers nervously tremble as they continue to move alongside him.

"I'll get you out of here, I swear."

>Loud footsteps can be heard in the distance, as sparks of bright light go off around them. Unable to see, the man and his followers can only watch as loud yelps of pain echo through the air. The loudness of the screams being apparent - even amidst the dense fog of fire and burning material.

"Just stay close to me, guys. We're almost there."

>Demiurge continues to wrap everyone around him in a makeshift invisibility cloak - having improvised the material on the spot. As he and the dozen or so people behind him continue to crawl slowly through the wreckage, his mind races.

{"It's her. Of all the people to show up in this city….It had to be her."}


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File: 1700843223399-3.jpeg (124.01 KB, 850x1202, Termina.jpeg)

>The sounds of loud footsteps continue to echo through the area - as more MRD troops arrive, attempting to curtail the damage. As a response group designed to neutralize Meta-Human threats, they've been relegated to their larger cache of weaponry and equipment - in an attempt to stop their target.

>A makeshift MRD base has been set up a few city blocks away from ground zero of the attack. Situated in the Downtown Sector of the city - entire city blocks have been cordoned off, in an attempt to contain the damage.

>Dozens of news helicopters, cars and reporting vans have been set up - attempting to reach the MRD's base for questioning.

>Inside the base, however, a discussion is occuring.


"You all know the drill. She's an Alpha-Level Meta-Human as of now. Should she come into contact with one of the higher profile Meta-Humans, however? Immediately goes up to Omega-Level."

>The MRD platoon captain then places down a metallic briefcase - taking out what seems to be a large, experimental energy rifle. Glowing lights run down the sides of the blaster, as the captain hoists it up into the air - holding it with both hands.

"Orders are shoot to kill if necessary. The target is too dangerous to be kept alive."

>The captain's lieutenant then steps forward with a datapad - looking through it as they bring up a holographic image of a sleek figure in futuristic white armor.

"Termina's been a threat for half a decade now. We still don't know anything about her origins, nor her whereabouts - until now."

>The MRD captain then looks at his troops, his helmet hiding his expression.

"Remember, a single touch from her - skin-to-skin or not, and you're done. Whatever you do, keep your distance from her. Ranged weapons are preferred, and melee batons are a last resort. We've got snipers ready to take her down - if you can lure her outside of the building."

>Nodding, the MRD troops wait for the lieutenant to speak up.

"She's possible the single most high value target that we've been unable to neutralize - at least in recent memory. Make sure she doesn't get away."

>Nodding once more, the MRD troops all salute, before quickly rushing out of the makeshift HQ - ready to begin the operation.


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File: 1700843798851-3.jpeg (124.01 KB, 850x1202, Termina.jpeg)

>Demiurge continues slowly guiding the group of civilians throughout the wreckage of the street - slowly reaching the intersection where the MRD have started to enter.

{"Just a little bit further….."}

>Then, Demiurge feels a cold shudder slowly move down his spine - his hindbrain screaming at him to not turn around.

{"…Oh No. God damnit…..No…."}

>He then slowly turns his head around - to see the figure of a woman in sleek white armor standing behind him and his followers.

>There's a silence in the air, as the civilians in the invisibility cloak begin to tremble - crying softly as the realization hits them.

{"She's been toying with us the whole time…..Shit."}

>A soft laugh emanates from the figure in white, as she places both of her hands on her hips.

"Did you really think I'd somehow avoid the conga line of survivors you've managed to scoop up? I'm a very perceptive woman, Demiurge."

>Without even hesitating - Demiurge remotely wills the invisibility cloak to wrap around the rest of the civilians. With the pretext of stealth now removed, the supernatural cloak now flies the innocent civilians away.

"I wasn't running, Termina. But I wasn't going to let you slaughter any more innocent people either."


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File: 1700844771830-3.jpg (55.45 KB, 413x642, Dana Desmond.jpg)

>Location: Sanctuary City - Archeon Incorporated
>Time: 10:30 AM

>Damian continues watching the news on TV - as he's still sorting through the biological substrates on the table. Looking through his microscope, he can't help but look between it and the TV.

"……You're worried, aren't you?"

>Damian looks up to see his mother, Dana, standing beside him at the table. Nodding up at the TV for a moment, Dana then looks back at Damian and speaks.

"You know I don't want to see you get hurt, Damian."

>Sighing, Damian moves the microscope away from him.

"It's not about that, mom. But the MRD don't stand a chance against her. You've read her file. You know what she can do."

>Dana hesitates in her response.

"Yes, and I don't want to lose you because of-"

>Damian interjects.

"I'm probably the only one who can survive it."

>Dana nods, a somber expression on her face.

"Damian, I know. Your father and I designed your genome, remember? We know what your core ability is."

>Crossing her arms and looking away, Dana continues.

"In fact, that ability gave us suspicions about Arachnid's identity. The convenience of his arrival after your spider bite……It wasn't lost on us."

>Damian then looks at the TV.

"…Besides Aiden - but he's in the middle of something right now, isn't he?"

>Dana nods.

"He's in a meeting. Mariah and Jennifer are also out visiting our other facilities around the country…"

>Dana then thinks for a moment, weighing her options - before cursing herself under her breath. Resigned, she then lets out a deep sigh - unaware that she was holding it in. Then, she states:

"…..Alright, you can go. But Aiden is going after you immediately once he's done. Is that clear?"

>Damian nods as he gets up.

"Thanks mom. Love you."

>Damian then rushes out of the laboratory, leaving Dana sighing once more.

"…….Just be safe, please."

>She says with a weak expression on her face.


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>Dana looks on in worry - her face now contorting into one of complete emotional disarray. She's on the verge of tears as fear begins to grip her….

"….I heard everything."

>Dana then looks up in shock - to see Joshua leaning on the side of the wall. His camouflage having been deactivated.


>Dana looks away, red in the face in embarrassment as Joshua walks up to her.

"I'll go keep an eye on him."

>Dana looks up, somewhat shocked.

"But Joshua. Her touch can kill-"

>Joshua interjects.

"Her power works through rapid cellular apoptosis right? Damian's immune to her because of his own powers."

>Suddenly, a vantablack substance begins to appear as Joshua's clothes melt into it - rapidly covering his body and transforming him into his costumed form as Tarantula.

"But so am I. He's not the only one affected by your work, remember?"

>Dana has the realization dawn on her as she then sighs and states:

"….Alright then. But be careful. Try and keep control of your powers."

>Tarantula nods as he turns towards the nearby window and opens it. Stepping onto the ledge of the window - he then turns back towards Dana and says:

"You raised a good kid. Have faith in him. I'm just going to observe from afar."

>Dana nods as Tarantula as the latter spins out a web line and swings away from the building at superhuman speeds.


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File: 1700845935762-2.jpeg (124.01 KB, 850x1202, Termina.jpeg)

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>Location: Sanctuary City - Downtown
>Time: 10:40 AM

>Panting heavily, Demiurge looks down at the large mountain of mechanical armors that he's torn through. Dozens of armor sets litter the floor around him, as he remains on one knee. His standard costume still remains - as he instinctively brings up a physical shield - constructed through his power of creation.

"Are you finally done holding out hope? This'll be far less painful the sooner you give up!"

>Termina continues to taunt Demiurge, as her spectral bodyguards continue swirling around her. Each of them manifesting unique Meta-Human abilities - the victims of her death touch.

"I'd rather die than give you any satisfaction!"

>Termina gives a wry smile underneath her helmet as she gives off another soft laugh.

"Very poor choice of words, Demi."

>Termina then nods at her spectral fighters - as they continue to barrage Demiurge with an assortment of energy blasts and explosive attacks.

>Demiurge is then sent knocked backwards - crashing into a car. Blood begins to pour down the interior of his mask as he curses to himself.

{"Damnit. Not like this….."}

>Termina begins walking slowly to him tapping her fingers together with a perverse sense of excitement.

"I'm going to have so much fun with you once I've taken you. You're so unimaginative with that creation power of yours. But we can fix that - together~."


File: 1700846332317-0.jpeg (124.01 KB, 850x1202, Termina.jpeg)

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>The villainess continues walking towards Demiurge, feeling confident about her victory - until a blur of black objects strike the ground in front of her.

"What the-"

>Termina looks downward at the black and red objects - circular blade discs. Confused for a moment, the villainess kneels down to pick one up.

"Hello there…..What are you?"

>The black and red disc then begins displaying a small red circular dot - which begins blinking rapidly.


>The condensed explosions generate enough force to send Termina flying backwards - rolling into the ground at high speeds.

>Fortunately for her, the spirits surrounding her use their air manipulation to catch her movement - gliding her up into the air for her to recover.

"What a nasty little present….Whoever's responsible for this? Show yourself."

>A gust of wind in the form of an aerial vortex slowly begins to appear around Termina's feet - generating a rapid surge of air pressure. It's powerful enough to begin lifting some cars into the air - hovering beside her.


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>The camouflaged form of a figure then kneels down beside Demirge, placing a small capsule in his hand.


"Just eat it. It's a med capsule. It'll heal you up while you get away."

"I can barely move…I can't just-"

"I know. That's why help's on the way."

>A large metallic vehicle appears in the distance, roaring with the power of its engine.

>At the same time, however, the MRD contingent designed to take on Termina has arrived.

>Barely noticing them, Termina casually waves her hand - as her spiritual summon redirects their plasma bolts with its air manipulation.

>The sheer air pressure of the summon's ability splits apart the plasma in the energy bolts - causing them to sputter out into nothingness.

"Shit! Plan B! Surround her!"

>The MRD agents then move around Termina, attempting to stun her with knockout gas containers. However, Termina's summon once again uses its air manipulation to blow the knockout gas back at the MRD agents. Their helmets are able to filter out the material quickly - however their plan is quickly falling apart.


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>Meanwhile, the Manifold has arrived, as an invisible body picks Demiurge up and carries him to it. Placing him inside of the driver's seat, Arachnid then speaks:

"Manifold, rendezvous with Commander Valkyrie at MRD Precinct Alpha. Override Command: 'Transience'."

>The Manifold then immediately closes its front plating with Demiurge situated inside. Turning around - it then drives off, leaving the camouflaged figure alone once more.

{"Now to finish this."}

>The camouflaged figure then turns around and watches as the MRD agents continue to get ragdolled into the sky above. Some of them are tossed into nearby lampposts and street signs - while others are effectively cratered into the ground, repeatedly. The force of air pressure bearing down on them to a significant degree.

{"That armor is the only thing keeping them alive. I've gotta make a move - now."}

>Still camouflaged, the figure then quickly flips onto a nearby MRD vehicle and fires another set of discs at Termina - grazing the side of her armor with the speed of their movement.

>Surprised, Termina looks up straight - aiming at the direction of the discs, after calculating their general trajectory in her mind.

"I said, show yourself. Before I turn the armored goons into paste."


File: 1700848058667-0.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

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>The figure then finally reveals themselves - becoming visible for all to see. The armored black and red form of Arachnid finds himself perched on the MRD vehicle - staring electronic daggers at his opponent.

>Blinking for a moment, Termina then laughs as she speaks up.

"Oh, it's you. Arachno Boy, or whatever your name is. I'm disappointed. Here I thought the big man himself would show up to give me a bit of discipline~."

>No longer considering Arachnid worth her attention, she turns her focus back to the downed MRD agents - raising a pair of fingers into the air, as she prepares to instruct her construct to act…..

>Suddenly, she finds herself hit from behind by the force of a freight train. Turning around at the last second - she can see Arachnid's armored boot kicking into her back, and causing her to spiral into the air.

>Surprised by the sudden speed and strength of his movements - Termina doubles back, catching herself in mid-air due to her summoned spirit's air manipulation.

"Looks like I misjudged you a bit! No matter. You're still minced meat, brat!"

>Termina's summon then begins lobbing cars at Arachnid - firing them like bullets at supersonic speeds.

>Arachnid weaves between the cars, showing off his superhuman agility and flexibility. As he weaves between the cars at faster and faster speeds, he then rushes towards Termina herself.


>Instinctively, Termina has her summon put up a barrier of air pressure around her - pressurized enough to rip through steel.

>However, Arachnid pulls his fist back - and then punches through the barrier. Arachnid strikes the barrier with enough force to completely rupture it and cause a massive sonic boom to form around the street.


>Arachnid then grabs the collar of Termina's armor and slams her down into the ground - creating a massive crater in the street because of it.


File: 1700848479298-0.jpeg (84.57 KB, 800x800, Arachnid - 3.jpeg)

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>Now pressing her down with an immense amount of strength, Arachnid kneels over Termina as he says to her:

"There are a lot of people wanting to see you buried - especially after everything that you've done."

>Arachnid leans in close to Termina's helmet and then states:

"You're not getting out of this one."

>Termina scoffs and starts laughing loudly in response.

"And they're welcome to try. But they're going to have to get through you to reach me!"

>Termina then reaches out and grabs Arachnid's hand with her own - as a glowing purple light begins flickering and emanating from it.

>Still laughing hysterically, Termina watches as a cloud of purple energy and light begins swirling around Arachnid - beginning to consume his body as she then shouts:

"You're stronger than I thought, bug! But not strong enough to win! Everyone dies to my touch! I've killed dozens, no, hundreds of Meta-Humans by just touching them! What makes you think that you're any different?!"

>The purple light continues to consume Arachnid's body, as Termina continues laughing hysterically.

"Now you're mine - like all the rest are!"

>The purple light continues to coalesce around Arachnid's body, then it solidifies into a purple substance - until a bright red light starts to appear from inside of the substance. Cracks start to show in the purple crystalline substance - as fragments of it begin to splinter outwards.


>Termina says in absolute shock - as the purple crystalline substance completely shatters, leaving Arachnid standing right where he was.

"I told you."

>Termina moves to strike Arachnid with her other free arm - only for Arachnid to catch it effortlessly in his palm and push it down.

"You're not getting out of this one."


File: 1700848925788-0.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

File: 1700848925788-1.jpeg (124.01 KB, 850x1202, Termina.jpeg)

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>Arachnid then throws Termina up into the air. The villainess attempts to escape by summoning her spectral warrior to fly her away. She continues using her air manipulation to generate updrafts of wind - in a bid to leave the area.

>However, Arachnid as leaped up into the air after her - demonstrating his immense physical strength, as he's able to catch her. Now with both of them hovering hundreds of meters in the air, Arachnid spins a silk strand towards Termina's body in order to close the distance.

"Nggh! Get away from me you bastard!"

>Termina is then kicked in the helmet - as Arachnid flips backwards, now gliding in the air around her with his suit's jacket.

"What's wrong? I thought you wanted the big man to show up?"

>He then spins through the air while gliding - avoiding the air blasts sent his way by Termina. The villainess then summons another spectral being - a deceased Meta-Human with the ability to warp space.

>Attempting to close the gap between them, Termina teleports to Arachnid's location - attempting to strike him. However, Arachnid begins to cloak once more with his natural powers - catching her off guard.

"Damnit! Show yourself you stupid bug!!!!"

>Termina then begins indiscriminately fires off into the air with various air bursts - as she and her two summons continue hovering in the air.

"Where is he?!?! Where'd he go?!?!"

>Down below - Arachnid has just landed on his feet, still camouflaged. Looking up at the aerial villainess with his magnified vision, he then thinks to himself:

{"I've got her panicked now. Let's see if I can bait her into screwing up again."}


File: 1700849212927-0.jpeg (124.01 KB, 850x1202, Termina.jpeg)

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>Termina then teleports to the ground - scanning the street carefully. As she looks between the burning cars and building exteriors, she turns her attention to the downed forces of the MRD once more.

>Now marching towards a downed MRD trooper, Termina makes a gesture with her hand - causing a gust of wind to blow him up from the ground - and right into her grasp. As she holds him up with one hand, she then shouts out loud.

"Time's up, bughead! Either you show up and let me absorb you - or I'm the last face that this little tin man ever sees!"

>The MRD agent feels himself getting the air sucked out of his lungs - another function of the summoned warrior's abilities.

"I'm waiting! Show yourself!"

>Now removing his camouflage - Arachnid stands a few feet before Termina, hands up.

"Fine. Here I am."

>Smiling underneath her helmet, Termina tosses the MRD agent to the side - who's now gasping for air, barely staying conscious.

"Well then. Let's try that again."


File: 1700849647139-0.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

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>Termina then holds out her hand towards Arachnid - gesturing him forward.

"Now be a good boy and let me consume your power. Either you die here - or they all do."

>Perched atop a nearby building, Tarantula watches on. His organic white lenses narrow reflexively, as he mutters underneath his breath.

{"I've got faith in you Damian. Don't screw this up. Your mother's gonna kill me if you do."}

>Arachnid then slowly walks forward - making her way toward Termina as he then says:

"Alright then. You want my power?"

>The armored hero then firmly clasps Termina's hand - holding it tight as bright energy sparks begin to discharge rapidly around them both.

"Here it is. Take it."

>Termina begins laughing loudly as the energy begins to surround them both - but soon her laughter turns to screams of terror and pain.

"No….NO! What are you doing?!?! What……"

>Termina then begins screaming in pain as she falls to her knees - now grabbing hold of Arachnid's hand with both of her own. She begins struggling to remove her hands as she continues feeling the pain of the energy discharge.

"What are you doing to me?! It hurts….The pain! It hurts so much!"

>Arachnid remains absolutely still, as his red energy discharges start to overpower the purple energy produced by Termina.

"There's something to be said about overconfidence. You were so certain of your power - and assumed everything about my own. Well, here's a news flash for you."

>Arachnid then leans down and then speaks softly to Termina.

"My power has nothing to do with arachnids or spiders. Looks like you fucked up."

>Termina is then flung backwards by the resulting energy explosion - her body now saturated with bright red particles of energy. Groaning, her armor slowly starts to disintegrate - having been heavily damaged by the energy infusion.


File: 1700850088358-0.jpeg (123.38 KB, 720x540, Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

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>Arachnid then walks forward - as he sees the damaged form of an attractive young woman with blonde hair. The woman slowly looks up at Arachnid - bruises on her face. She then glares at him with an expression of pure malice.

"…..Consider yourself lucky, brat."

>Crossing his arms, Arachnid then looks down at the damaged form of the woman - noting her slim and fit physique.

"I'm guessing you weren't entirely bluffing when you said that you wanted a fight. You're definitely built for it."

>The woman then slowly rises to her feet, hesitating slightly as she feels an aching pain throughout her body.

"How the hell did you-"

"That's for me to know, and for you to spend the rest of your life behind bars figuring out."

>The blonde woman then attempts to fight back holding out her arm to generate a summon around her. Space distorts around her briefly - before the summon disappears.

>Eyes widening, the woman then mutters underneath her breath.

"…Unbelievable. I can't kill you - and you can disrupt my powers."

>Arachnid then takes one look at the woman before speaking.

"I'm only going to tell you this once. Turn yourself in, admit to your crimes, and maybe you'll see the outside of a jail cell after half a century."

>The woman narrows her eyes - seemingly angry at first. But then, her snarling expression changes as she closes her eyes and scoffs. Then she opens her eyes again - her expression morphing into that of a wry smile.

"Oh, I'm not a Meta-Human. Their little dampeners won't work on me."

>Looking over Arachnid for a moment, she then says:

"And something tells me neither are you."


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File: 1700850453333-1.jpeg (249.58 KB, 1448x2048, Ciara - 2.jpeg)

>Arachnid groans as he already knows where the woman is going with her statements.

"This has nothing to do with you breaking the law, does it?"

>The woman then laughs again - with Arachnid now certain that they're around the same age.

"Why do you think I've been a pain in the ass to these MRD chumps all this time? They can't stop me."

>Narrowing his lenses, Arachnid then responds.

"….They never actually try to capture you…"

>The woman gives Arachnid another sly smile as she states:

"Correct~. Because they can't~."

>Whistling to herself, the woman then looks around - taking note of the figure perched on the building nearby.

"Still, I will admit. You've impressed me."

>The woman then walks up to Arachnid and gets right up in his face - as she's only an inch or two shorter than him.

"You're the only person who's survived my touch - that makes you fun."

>Arachnid then pushes the woman back causing her to glide a few steps backwards. Her body regains its strength as she barely feels the shove.

"Ahahahaha~. There it is~. The concern, and the doubt."

>Irritated, Arachnid holds up his hand - ready to blast her with a silk strand from his palm.

"It doesn't matter how many times it takes. I can stop you - as you've said yourself."

>The woman then shrugs and looks at Arachnid - stating.

"No need. I'll go to their fancy precinct and get myself processed."


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>Confused, Arachnid lowers his hand for a moment - as he stares directly at her face.

"…..Why exactly are you being cooperative now?"

>The woman looks at Arachnid and smiles.

"Because now I have something worth biding my time for - you."

>Stunned, Arachnid falls silent as he then has the realization.

"….You've made me your prime target now."

>Nodding slowly, the woman then gives a seemingly bored expression with her hands - assuming a thinking position as she feigns boredom.

"It's not like I had anything else to do. Everyone else around me seems to have a bad habit of dying. I'd forgotten what it felt like to be close to someone. Anyone."

>Her gaze stares off into the distance as her piercing blue eyes narrow. Sighing, she then mutters to herself:

"….What I'd give to get that in return. The feeling of being close to someone….."

>Arachnid then interjects, still in disbelief.

"….So you're willing to stop causing chaos and killing people haphazard for what? Being able to be near me?"

>The woman slowly turns her head back towards Arachnid - an even more satisfied smile on her face, which becomes an evil grin.

"No, you bonehead. To have you. Someone who can actually make me feel something. In a fight, at least."

>Arachnid shakes his head.

"I don't make dates with murderers."

>Rolling her eyes, the woman then says:

"I didn't kill them willingly. Everyone who touches me ends up dying - and their power becomes my own. I can't help it, and I can't control it."

>Looking down at her hands, the woman then states:

"That's the pain of being who I am. Of being alone."

>Arachnid then asks the obvious question after a moment of silence - to take in her statement.

"….What's your name?"

>The woman looks up at Arachnid and smiles.



File: 1700851367836-0.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

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>Arachnid then falls silent once more as he looks at Ciara for a moment. Although he can't deny her obvious beauty - he remembers the horrible nature of the villainess before him.

"Alright then, Ciara. Turn yourself in, and don't cause any more trouble."

>Arachnid taps the side of his helmet to get a visual heads up of radio transmissions in the area.

"You're not getting out on good behavior any time soon - so enjoy rotting away in the Spire."

>Ciara remains standing still, completely unphased by Arachnid's statements as he starts to walk away.

>She does however speak to him - as he's about to leave.

"Oh I will, but just remember bug boy…."

>Arachnid turns around looking over his jacket shoulder at Ciara - waiting for the rest of her response.

"Time means nothing to me, given how much power I've gained. I can wait out decades - centuries. As long as I need to."

>Feeling a sourness in his gut, Arachnid waits for her to finish her statement.

"And I know you can too. You're not like the Meta-Humans. You're different - like me."

>The armored man then turns back away from Ciara, as then says:

"And eventually - you'll see that too. I'll be waiting~."

>Ciara then blows a mock kiss to Arachnid - as the irritated vigilante spins a web line and swings away into the sky.

>After a few minutes - the MRD arrive, surrounding Ciara with their weapons.

>Scoffing, Ciara then says:

"As if you can do anything to me. Come on, let's go. I've got some processing to do."

>Ciara then saunters away, casually disregarding the sheer terror and panic on the faces of the MRD troops.

>However, the MRD troops relent and escort her back towards the APC ready to transport her away.


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[A few minutes later]

>Arachnid lands on the side of a nearby building - groaning and muttering to himself.

"Stupid. I should've left it alone."

>Feeling his heart race quickly, Arachnid barely detects a figure crawling on the wall beside him.

"Long day, huh?"

>Spinning his head to see Tarantula sticking on the side of the skyscraper beside him - he then says:

"Oh, I didn't see you there Joshua. Sorry."

>Tarantula nods as they both look over the city. After a few seconds, Tarantula then speaks up:

"Don't let her get to you. She was just trying to rile you up."

>Arachnid nods his head as he leans forward - his arms resting on his knees.

"I don't know. She seemed dead serious."

>Silent for a moment, Tarantula then speaks up.

"…Well then, either way - you stopped the rampage. She's not going to go after anyone else - not while she's fixated on you."

>Both vigilantes then flip upwards - starting to run up the skyscraper in seconds before they flip onto the rooftop.

>They both then land effortlessly on different sides of a large antenna tower on the top of the skyscraper.

>Arachnid looks at Tarantula for a moment before he speaks.

"That's what I'm afraid of. The minute she figures out who I am? Everyone's in danger. My parents. Mariah. You. Everyone at Archeon."

>Tarantula remains silent for another moment, before he then speaks up.

"That's the importance of a secret identity, kid. Just don't screw up, and you'll be good."

>Nodding, Arachnid then looks over at the skyline of the city and says:

"We should be going back then."

>Tarantula then looks Arachnid and nods again.

"Like I said, your mother would kill me if anything happened to you out there."


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>A moment of silence passes between the two - before Arachnid asks.

"….So nothing actually happened between you and her…right?"

>Sighing, Tarantula then says:

"You know it was Jennifer pretending to be her."

>Nodding, Arachnid then speaks:

"Yeah, I know. It's just….I….."

>Rolling his eyes behind his organic mask lenses, Tarantula then responds:

"Let's just get out of here, silk boy."

>Nodding, Arachnid then jumps off of the radio tower with Tarantula - as both of them begin to rapidly swing away towards the Archeon Complex in the distance.


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>Location: Sanctuary City - The Spire
>Time: 12:00 PM

>Valkyrie sits across the table from Ciara - narrowing her eyes at the young woman.

"You understand the severity of your crimes, correct?"

>Ciara leans forward in her chair - amused.

"You understand that I don't care, correct?"

>Rolling her eyes, Valkyrie then writes down on her notebook - finishing up her assessment of the captured supervillain.

"You villains are a dime a dozen these days. Same reckless abandon and disregard for human life. If it were up to me, you'd all be sent to the Wedge - with the key thrown away."

>Ciara looks up at Valkyrie for a moment - her piercing blue eyes staring at her.

"…..Something tells me you're not being too honest with your detainee either. Don't you think it's reckless to endanger the lives of your own men - when you're far more than powerful enough to stop me?"

>Silent, Valkyrie then looks at Ciara in return - her own emerald eyes contrasting the sapphire eyes of her detainee.

"…..This interrogation is about you, Ciara. Not me. I've heard enough anyways. You'll be booked here first - then prepared for trial in the coming months."

>Ciara nods happily, humming to herself as she does so.

"You do that~."

>Disgusted, Valkyrie stands up and turns around to leave. As she does so, Ciara speaks from her seat at the table.

"Control's an awfully important thing to lose, isn't it chief? Especially if it's done on impulse."

>Confused, Valkyrie turns around to face Ciara - stating.

"What are you talking about?"

>Ciara then gives Valkyrie a wry smile in response.

"Supernatural powers run in families - even if they're not necessarily Meta-Human in nature. I know Rachel's touch when I see it - and the power that stays within you."

>The color drains from Valkyrie's face, as the realization hits her.

"I'd love to see my cousin again - bring her in with you next time you visit me!"

>Valkyrie then quickly leaves the room, as Ciara laughs hysterically in her cell.


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>Location: Sanctuary City - Archeon Incorporated
>Time: 1:00 PM

>Aiden continues walking down the hallway as Phoebe lists off the shareholder voting issues that will show up in Archeon's conference call later in the month.

"So besides Board of Directors voting candidates, we're going to need to authorize share buybacks if you want to keep your good businessman image."

>Phoebe continues listing off company topics as she looks through the manilla folder in her hands. Aiden partially pays attention as he then says:

"I don't understand why someone wouldn't just come up to my office if they need to see me. The open ended nature of the company is public knowledge."

>Phoebe rolls her eyes behind her sunglasses as she speaks:

"Yeah well, not everyone's confident enough to avoid intimidation by the great Aiden Ethan Grayson."

>Aiden scoffs lightly as he keeps his hands in his jacket pockets. His shirt's sleeve cuffs extend slightly beyond his jacket's sleeves - and he reflexively taps the cuff buttons in anticipation. His gut is telling him that this circumstance is different - and he's preparing himself for that.

>A few minutes later, Aiden and Phoebe have entered the lobby of Archeon Incorporated - as they turn towards the receptionist.

"Hey, Laura. You said someone was here to see me?"

>The receptionist nods and smiles as she then points outside past the doors.

"Yes, Mister Grayson. Although he seemed nervous, almost worried."

>Nodding at Laura, Aiden then says:

"Alright. Thank you Laura. We'll see you soon."

>Aiden and Phoebe then turn and walk outside - into the entrance of the Archeon Complex's main building.


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>As Aiden and Phoebe walk outside into the parking lot area - Phoebe brings up something of note.

"I saw what Damian did - earlier on the news. They apprehended the woman without a fight."

>Aiden nods, stating:

"Like I said. It's about what I predicted given the possible outcomes that I saw. Damian's more capable than you think, Phoebe."

>Phoebe shakes her head:

"I'm not doubting his capabilities. I'm doubting your decision to just let him handle everything. He's capable, yes Aiden. But he's not invulnerable."

>Hands still in his pockets, Aiden then walks forward as he then notices a lone man with blonde hair standing in the parking lot's entrance.

>The blonde man has his back turned to Aiden and Phoebe, as they approach.

"….Hello? I believe you called for me?"

>There's a moment of silence that passes by in the empty parking lot - as the figure then speaks.

"…..I didn't know how to best reach you - and I didn't know if I even deserved to. So…."

>Upon hearing the man's voice, Aiden's eyes immediately widen.


>Phoebe's hands instinctively tighten as her anger flares. The ground begins to shake around them.

>The man then turns around - his face confirming their suspicions.

"Hey, Aiden. It's been a while-"

>Phoebe immediately flies forward, slamming the man into a nearby wall. It completely shatters - causing a rupture in the ground around them.

"You absolute, complete piece of shit! I should kill you where you stand!"

>The man struggles to grab onto Phoebe's hands - attempting to speak to her.

"Phoebe! ACK! I'm……sorry……"

>Phoebe's grip tightens around the man's neck, as she glares at him with glowing red eyes.

"You should be."

>However, Aiden's voice calls to Phoebe from behind.

"Phoebe, that's enough."

>Spinning her head back in disbelief, Phoebe then shouts.

"Are you fucking joking me, Aiden?! Of all people, you want me to show mercy to him?! He nearly killed you, and was going to do God knows what to me and-"

>Aiden then stares at Phoebe - his expression neutral and his eyes hidden behind his sunglasses.

"I know. Put. Him. Down."


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>Phoebe, barely controlling her anger, drops the man down to his knees. As she steps back, she watches as her brother slowly walks up to her.

>Hands still in his jacket pockets, he then says to Phoebe.

"I put up a perception filter around the complex the instant I heard his voice - because I anticipated your response."

>Phoebe looks at Aiden with anger in her eyes, and Aiden looks back at her.

"I know. Believe me, I know. But he wouldn't have dared come back without a very good reason."

>Aiden then looks back at the man on the ground and then speaks to him.

"Hello, Jack. Why are you here in this universe?"

>Still having his hands in his jacket pockets, Aiden continues to inquire:

"Also more importantly, why have you come back to see me in particular?"

>Jack then moves to place his hand around his neck - easing the pain. Despite Phoebe's immense strength, Jack is still more than formidable enough to withstand her strength.

"….I'm sorry. I know what I did is beyond forgiveness, but I need your help. I know that I am the last person that you'd ever want to see."

>Jack then looks up at Aiden - genuine pleading in his eyes as he does so.

"But I need your help."

>Without moving a muscle, Aiden has already altered reality - as to repair the damage to the wall and the ground caused by Phoebe in her anger. Craning his head to the side slightly, Aiden then asks:

"What exactly is so dangerous and life threatening to someone with Godly powers - that they'd need to turn to me?"

>Jack then slowly stands up, now looking down and away from Aiden and Phoebe as he does so.

"….Something stronger than a God. So I needed the help of someone who was also stronger than a God. You."

>Aiden then finally removes his hands from his jacket pockets and crosses his arms.

"Fine. I'm listening."

[To Be Continued]

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