/simu/ - Simulacrum

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File: 1701722833853-0.png (295.14 KB, 540x304, Sanctuary City - 2.png)

File: 1701722833853-1.jpg (131.87 KB, 474x500, MRD.jpg)

File: 1701722833853-2.gif (497.92 KB, 500x281, Beam Blast.gif)

File: 1701722833853-3.jpg (257.22 KB, 605x624, Megiddo.jpg)

File: 1701722833853-4.jpg (104.31 KB, 865x505, Explosion.jpg)


>Date: September 1st, 2017
>Location: Sanctuary City - Downtown Sector
>Time: 12:30 PM

"What do you mean he's not being restrained?!"

>An MRD field captain continues firing energy blasts from his plasma-based bazooka. The attacks scorch the black clothing of a large, muscular figure. As more blasts pile on, an MRD lieutenant rushes up to the captain.

"Captain! We're low on plasma charges! We're going to need backup from HQ! The target's getting closer!"

>Irritated, the MRD captain bares his teeth behind his helmet as he snaps back at his subordinate.

"Under no circumstances are we allowed to let the target near the armory! Radio to HQ if we're that low on munitions!"

>Turning back to face the figure in the distance, the MRD captain mutters under his breath.

["Why did it have to be this bastard?"]

>Megiddo continues walking slowly towards the large barricade - currently blocking the way to the MRD's secondary armory station. The armory itself is a collection of valuable weaponry and gear - experimental tools designed to restrain even the toughest of Meta-Humans in the city.

{"Why is he even coming here? Is he trying to destroy it? Or is he back to his 'goon for hire' phase where he's working jobs for the highest bidder? What's this prick up to now?!"}

>Out loud, the MRD captain then holsters his large plasma cannon over his shoulder once more - taking aim with the automated targeting system as the generator powers up another blast.

"Don't think that you're some hot shit here, Megiddo! Even you have a limit! Once we reach it, the only thing you'll be waking up to is a padded cell in the Wedge!"

>The MRD captain then fires off another barrage of plasma blasts - completely eviscerating the floor and nearby metal of cars and bicycles nearby. Large plumes of smoke and fire begin to radiate out from the area, as the battle intensifies.

>The MRD captain's subordinates join him in firing off massive barrages of plasma blasts into the area - all aimed at Megiddo. The summation of their plasma firepower begins to generate a smell of burning plasma all the while.


File: 1701723420569-0.jpg (131.87 KB, 474x500, MRD.jpg)

File: 1701723420569-1.jpg (56.12 KB, 308x679, MRD - 9.jpg)

File: 1701723420569-2.jpg (366.94 KB, 1920x1080, SMG.jpg)

File: 1701723420569-3.jpg (53.19 KB, 353x422, Megiddo - 3.jpg)

>The large, bulky dynakinetic Meta-Human then slowly walks forward - still resisting the entirety of the energy onslaught coming his way.

"Captain, I believe that I have instructed your strike force before. A head on assault is unwise against one who can absorb enough energy to trivialize a nuke."

>Megiddo continues walking forward, his body now glowing with a bright red energy. As he does so, his very steps begin to generate massive plumes of radiation - likely electromagnetic.

>The EM wave generated by the steps of the Meta-Human criminal seemingly disrupt communications within the MRD barricade - sending the MRD into disarray.

"Ack! Damnit! Piece of hunk never works when we need it!"

>Giving up on the radio communications, the MRD captain then turns to his subordinates.

"You all, fall back! I'm gonna go deal with him myself!"

"Captain! With all due respect, sir - are you insane?! He'll kill you with a single punch!"

>The MRD captain falls silent, as the subordinates then realize what he's 'actually' saying.

"….No….No! Sir that isn't fair! We can hold him off together!"

"It doesn't have to be you! This isn't protocol-"

>The MRD captain then snaps back at them.

"Fuck the protocol! You're my subordinates! Not the other way around! My job is to protect you! So get your asses out of here, and let me buy you some time while you figure out how to get comms back online!"

>Turning back to face Megiddo, still walking towards the barricade slowly - the MRD captain concludes.

"Let's see just how lucky I really am."

>Adjusting his helmet and his armor, he then picks up a series of modified SMGs - magnetically attaching them to his hips and back - as he jumps out of the window of the barricade's upper floors.


File: 1701724054729-0.jpg (53.48 KB, 500x631, Megiddo - 5.jpg)

File: 1701724054729-1.jpg (94.5 KB, 1917x875, Webbing.jpg)

File: 1701724054729-2.jpeg (84.57 KB, 800x800, Arachnid - 3.jpeg)

File: 1701724054729-3.jpg (1.13 MB, 1920x1080, MRD - 3.jpg)

File: 1701724054729-4.png (41.55 KB, 256x256, Capsule - 2.png)

>Megiddo blinks in bewilderment at the scene before him - as the lone MRD captain slowly walks towards him. Sensing the trepidation and steeled nerves from the man, Megiddo crosses his arms.

"It seems that you are the lone warrior of your contingent. I am impressed, captain. You will have a fine death at my hands. This, I promise you-"

>Suddenly, Megiddo's black mask is webbed up - stunning him for a moment. As he breaks his concentration, the radiation surge emanating from his body immediately subsides.


>Before he can react, another set of silk lines grab onto his boots and yank him up into the air. The force of the yank is so strong, that it ultimately ends up crashing Megiddo into a nearby car - damaging it and nearly splitting it in half.


>Megiddo says - reeling from the pain. As he stumbles to the ground, he quickly picks himself up and pulls away at the webbing material - realizing who has arrived.

"….The Arachnid boy. Once again, serving as the thrall of your master."

>Just as he removes the webbing from his mask, to clear his vision - another burst of impact webbing crashes into his face - knocking him back again.

"Oh hush, you glorified portable battery."

>Arachnid crouches on a toppled over car - looking down at the MRD captain a few feet away. Startled by the appearance of the vigilante, the MRD captain says:

"….I'm not gonna lie, kid. It's good to see you take him down. But I did have a plan."

>Raising an eyebrow behind his lenses, Arachnid looks between the MRD captain and Megiddo, stating:

"I don't know about that one, chief. Looked like he had you dead to rights."

>The MRD captain fidgets around for a bit at their belt, stating:


>Holding up a canister from his belt, he then shows it to Arachnid, responding:

"Or maybe I had just what I needed to knock his ass asleep."

>Realization coming over him in a few moments, Arachnid then gives a long response of understanding.

"Ohhhhhh. Nice one! Almost mistook you for a vigilante yourself with that level of hardball tactics! Pretty risky though - getting up in his face to do that."


>The MRD captain says, as he tosses the canister to Arachnid.

"But not that you're here now. Go give him hell, bug boy."


File: 1701724703894-0.jpeg (123.38 KB, 720x540, Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

File: 1701724703894-1.png (53.43 KB, 266x199, Gadget - 16.png)

File: 1701724703894-2.png (59.61 KB, 267x200, Gadget - 20.png)

File: 1701724703894-3.jpg (94.5 KB, 1917x875, Webbing.jpg)

File: 1701724703894-4.jpg (257.22 KB, 605x624, Megiddo.jpg)

>Megiddo removes the webbing from his mask once more - a look of sheer irritation now contorting the fabric of said mask.

"The nimble and quick spider mistakes bravado for recklessness. I will correct this unsubstantiated notion of yours!"

>Picking up the car that he was slammed into - Megiddo then tosses it at Arachnid with one hand.


>The MRD captain dodges to the side by jumping - just to ensure his own safety.

>As the car reaches Arachnid - he simply spins up a silk net between two walls beside him in order to catch the car - watching as the car then slingshots back towards Megiddo.

"Think you dropped this, drama queen!"

>The car is then sent spiraling back towards Megiddo - as he's hit by the force of the car itself. While he's able to absorb the car's kinetic energy and avoid taking damage, he isn't prepared for what happens next.

"This nonsense will not continue, boy! You are in the way!"

>Megiddo shouts, as he tears through the car's internal components - expecting Arachnid still perched on the other side of the car.

>Once the car tears through Megiddo entirely - he then sees Arachnid is nowhere to be seen.

"What trickery is this?!"

>A camouflaged figure slowly jumps and leaps around the open areas of the street - not making a sound.

>Then, before Megiddo can react - a green mist appears over his face, and he instinctively takes it in.


>Megiddo then begins coughing loudly, as Arachnid de-camouflages right in front of him, While Megiddo begins to stammer back - as his vision slowly and progressively becomes more hazy, Arachnid says:

"Aerosolized version's highly concentrated just for you big guy. I figured that's one of the things they were testing in that armory right behind me."

>Megiddo then stammers a response, barely keeping himself conscious.


>Arachnid shrugs as he states:

"I get that a lot. Mostly from my partner whenever she's around. But hearing it from a career criminal like you just warms my heart, I'll tell you."

>Megiddo then staggers to the floor - hitting his head against the side mirror of a car, which damages him more as he slinks against the car door.

"Yeah, sorry about that. Your powers don't function when you're distracted. It's a pretty anti-climactic weakness, I'd bet."

>Arachnid then holds his hand out and webs Megiddo in a bind - trapping him in a large band of high-grade silk adhesive material, which holds him in place on the ground.


File: 1701725432113.png (95.02 KB, 131x469, The_Broken-8.png)

>A hand casually rests itself on top of Arachnid's shoulder

"You did well to defeat him, but your execution could have been better, little bug."

>An armoured figure stands behind Arachnid, a hood, mask, and shifting shadows hiding their identifying features.

"The incident with the vehicle would not have happened if you had complete situational awareness, but this can be resolved, with instruction."

>The figure removes their hand, stepping slightly to walk around Arachnid.

"Instruction I could provide, if you wished."


File: 1701726769707-0.jpeg (84.57 KB, 800x800, Arachnid - 3.jpeg)

>Arachnid scoffs as he then speak:

"No thanks, Count Dracula. I've already got a teacher."

>Looking at the figure as they converse with him, he then retorts:

"Besides, 'complete situational awareness' isn't exactly feasible for everyone. I don't pre-emptively act, I just react once the chaos starts happening."

>Arachnid looks at the MRD captain off to the side, saying:

"Hey, your guy's here. Might want to pick him up before tall, dark and gruesome here gets any ideas."

>Pointing at the figure, Arachnid says:

"No idea who you are, and Mosaic's never talked about you before - so I'm assuming you're not the nicest of hall monitors."

>He then instinctively assumes a combat stance in response.


File: 1701727126146.png (137.5 KB, 255x358, The_Broken-9.png)

>The figure does nothing to react to Arachnid's combat stance, instead slowly walking around toward Megiddo.

"Acting in a purely reactionary fashion can lead to death, if not for yourself, then for others. I simply mean to help."

>The figure stops once they're between Arachnid and Megiddo, still making no indication that they're reacting.

"Complete situational awareness is possible for you, you just require instruction."


File: 1701727463756-0.jpeg (123.38 KB, 720x540, Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

File: 1701727463756-1.jpg (1.13 MB, 1920x1080, MRD - 3.jpg)

File: 1701727463756-2.jpg (457.46 KB, 1920x1201, SMG - 2.jpg)

>Arachnid looks between the figure and Megiddo, stating:

"….Oh no. Uh uh! You're not taking someone to an early grave!"

>Flipping back and landing in front of Megiddo, Arachnid turns to the knocked out figure and says:

"Hey! You need to wake up! Come on dude! Get up!"

>The MRD captain then runs up towards the three figures - getting between Arachnid and the figure. Drawing his SMG, he points it at the figure, stating:

"I'm getting a real bad vibe from you, pal. Something tells me the silkhead over here's correct about you and your intentions."

>Placing his finger on the trigger, he modifies the plasma blast setting to "stun" as he continues to speak.

"We don't kill - no matter what. That ain't how it works in our business. Even the bug and his posse get that part."

>The MRD captain then slowly charges up a glowing blue energy beam from the chamber of the energy SMG, stating:

"Final warning. Get out of here - or we're going to have problems."

>Holding up his hands in his signature firing pose, Arachnid gets ready to potentially web up the mysterious figure.

{"I don't like this. My ESP's firing off like a machine! Whoever this guy is, he's bad news! I need to get Megiddo out of here, fast!"}


File: 1701728014984.png (137.5 KB, 255x358, The_Broken-9.png)

>The figure looks over at MRD captain, a disparaging look somehow being translated through their mask.

"Red Valentine's, captain. The MRD is perfectly capable of killing when it wants to."

>The figure still doesn't make any overt indication of preparing for a fight.

"Of course, the difference was that those were just students, they wouldn't be able to escalate if they had wanted to, so you felt perfectly safe in ignoring 'how it works in our business'."

>The figure looks at Arachnid for a moment, then turns to the MRD captain more.

"Don't you want to try that, captain? Your gun has the option for it, of course. And humans can get so very violent in stressful situations - you would certainly not be blamed for it. . ."

>The SMG switches from "stun".


File: 1701728598875-0.jpeg (121.72 KB, 960x640, Arachnid - 4.jpeg)

File: 1701728598875-1.png (43.53 KB, 266x200, Gadget - 23.png)

File: 1701728598875-2.gif (5.15 MB, 720x404, Swing - 5.gif)

File: 1701728598875-3.jpg (257.22 KB, 605x624, Megiddo.jpg)

File: 1701728598875-4.jpg (93.01 KB, 1024x576, Rooftop.jpg)

>Sighing, Arachnid then says to himself:

"….Of course this guy's got a grudge…"

>With the flick of his wrist, Arachnid dispenses a series of small spherical capsules - and in an instant, throws them at the floor between the MRD captain and the mysterious figure.

>The capsules, a combination of flashbangs and smoke bombs - create a massive storm of disorienting stimuli. The MRD captain is immediately taken aback, as the bright lights and even more confusing dense fog quickly fills the area.

>At the same moment, Arachnid casually picks up Megiddo with his superhuman strength and leaps into the air - beginning to swing across the city streets.

>While he's doing this, Arachnid makes a call over his comms link.

"Come on….come on…..Pick up the phone!"

>The call connects, and a woman's voice can be heard over the line.

["What is it, Damian? I'm busy getting the cellular stacks ready for a histology catalogue-"]

"We don't have much time! Somebody's trying to kill Megiddo and I'm trying to swing them out of the city!"

["What are you talking about- Wait…."]

>After a few seconds, Mariah responds.

["You're on the news, Damian! There's a chopper following your movements! Hang on, I'll be there in a bit!"]

"No! Get back and stay safe! Just tell boss about the situation! You're not gonna be able to take on this guy! How much longer's boss gonna be in the meeting?"

>Mariah thinks for a few moments, before she then remembers.

["Around ten minutes. He's meeting with the engineering team right now - and he obviously can't break character. I'll see if I can sneak into the meeting and send him a note or something. Just hang in there Damian!"]

>Mariah hangs up the call, as Arachnid continues swinging through the city.

{"Who else could I go to? Bella? No, she'd blow a gasket if I brought a Meta-Human criminal to her front lawn. Don't want to bring too much attention to her with my Arachnid persona either. Wait, this couldn't be the guy that Aiden was talking about, could it?"}

>Arachnid then lands on a rooftop, about a mile away from the scene - lowering the unconscious Megiddo to the ground as he begins pacing back and forth.

{"….There's no way. This can't be the killer that the MRD couldn't track down….Could it?"}


File: 1701728927669.png (1.05 MB, 599x792, The_Broken-44.png)

"You can't run like that."

>The figure appears in front of Meggido without any warning.

"And before you worry, the helicopter is no longer following your movements, the camera is experiencing technical difficulties."

>The figure sighs, their shoulders dropping.

"We honestly want to see you flourish, you are at no risk of harm, unless you make a point of bringing it upon yourself."


File: 1701729351687-0.jpeg (84.57 KB, 800x800, Arachnid - 3.jpeg)

File: 1701729351687-1.png (55.19 KB, 266x200, Gadget - 12.png)

File: 1701729351687-2.png (59.78 KB, 267x200, Gadget - 19.png)

>Now irritated, Arachnid spins around, instantly pulling his right hand back and dispensing a vibro disc - priming it to high frequency mode.

"Oh don't give me that bullshit! You're a murderer! All you do is kill people! With no remorse and no consideration for the aftershocks! The consequences!"

>Arachnid waits, still aiming the disarming weapon at the figure, while speaking.

"I only do what I do because people like you keep killing indiscriminately, and without restraint! People I know died because of recklessness like yours! So don't even think that you can ever teach me anything!"

>Knowing full well that the attack likely won't phase the attacker - Arachnid still holds onto the disc, but taps the side of it - causing a blinking red dot to appear.

{"The timer won't start yet, not until it leaves the capacitors in the graphene layers of my suit's gloves. But they don't know that - nor how long the timer lasts."}

>At the same time, Arachnid's suit is attempting to perform an electromagnetic scan of the mysterious figure - attempting to discern any existing irregularities and potential weaknesses in their physiology.

{"Data's not coming with a match so far. Wait…."}

>Arachnid notices that the nearby steam pipes are electrically controlled - and immediately begins interfacing with the power systems inside of the building below.

{"Could use this as a feint if needed."}


File: 1701729943234.png (478.49 KB, 365x684, The_Broken-37.png)

>The figure sighs again.

"No indiscriminate targets, only dregs. The world will not miss those who die, and those who survive will receive the message. No more will the broken be left to their whims."

>The electricity going into the steam pipes stops flowing.

"Any other deaths are a tragedy, but necessary for this purpose. Their names will be remembered."

>Slowly, systems in Damian's suit seem to start winding down.

"And this will create a future for the weak and helpless, such a future is a good one, is it not? Or do you want them to suffer more?"


File: 1701730553838-0.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

File: 1701730553838-1.png (150.63 KB, 510x288, Nanite Circuitry.png)

File: 1701730553838-2.jpg (27.21 KB, 640x360, Gear Watch - 2.jpg)

File: 1701730553838-3.jpeg (937.76 KB, 1920x2875, Original Arachnid.jpeg)

File: 1701730553838-4.png (75.38 KB, 267x200, Gadget - 10.png)

>Arachnid's suit immediately begins flashing warning messages.

["Critical Error - Siphon Point Detected. Emergency Measures Advised."]

>Sighing, Arachnid groans as he then says:

"Fine, auxiliary power mode."

>Tapping the center emblem on his suit's chest - the nanomesh that is Arachnid's main suit immediately shifts into an amorphous black and red liquid mass. As the liquid mass disappears inside of Arachnid's body - a more traditional black and red synthetic suit appears.

>The vibro disc has also retracted with the rest of the nanites - leaving Arachnid in his original cloth suit once more.

>The rest of the nanite suit material has been absorbed into a small black and red watch on Arachnid's wrist.

"Wow. I haven't used this cloth suit in a long time - but I guess you're full of surprises aren't you?"

>Now addressing the figure's question, Arachnid says:

"No single person gets to decide the future of all people. Especially not a maniac like you."

{"Can't risk this guy draining all of the Phi Gear's energy. That siphon output was on par with that of a star - the exact kind of output that's powering the suit. Honestly, where did Mosaic even get this tech from anyways?"}

>Realizing that he feels significantly weaker without the neuromuscular amplification of the Gear's systems to rely on, Arachnid still readies himself for a fight.


File: 1701791176602.png (277.78 KB, 393x303, The_Broken-33.png)

"We can agree that no single person will decide the future, but so be it. . ."

>The figure clenches one of their fists and a blade of flame emerges from their wrist, a second one joining it on their other arm.

"As a teaching opportunity, a single strike shall be allowed. Use it well."

>With the blades still out, the figure brings their hands back down to their sides.


File: 1701792392924-0.jpeg (871.04 KB, 1920x2584, Original Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

File: 1701792392924-1.gif (4.14 MB, 540x320, Blast.gif)

>Not bothering to care about the potential dangers, Arachnid then scoffs as his arm glows with a bright golden electric surge.

"Fine. Your words, not mine."

>Arachnid then rushes forward and strikes the mysterious figure in the chest with their left hand - blasting them with a large amount of bio-electricity.

>Still punching into the mysterious figure, Arachnid says:

"Huh, definitely tougher than I thought."

>He says as he struggles to punch his hand further into the mysterious figure's chest.


File: 1701793768866-0.png (576.46 KB, 498x496, The_Broken-31.png)

File: 1701793768866-1.png (882.97 KB, 448x844, The_Broken-60.png)

"One strike was all you got."

>The figure grabs Arachnid's wrist, and then twists it back violently with the same amount of force as everything Arachnid has thrown into their body. Then, to add insult to injury, they use their spare hand to slash across the length of Arachnid's arm with their spare hand, finishing off the move by grabbing his neck, lifting him up casually by it.

"If you had read the situation correctly, you would have realised that you were never seen as a threat. The offer of tutelage was genuine - a certain amount of debt is owed to you and your 'boss' for establishing such useful network of surveillance across the city, after all."

>The figure looks over at Megiddo for a second, then back at Arachnid.

"Luckily for you, there is time pressure to end this quickly, so you will not be forced to watch a more. . . in-depth example of how to deal with his kind without proper preparation."

>The figure takes a step closer to Megiddo, still holding Arachnid in the air.

"This crusade is not without heart, however, so you will be given a chance to vouch for him, if you wish."


File: 1701795915440-0.jpeg (937.76 KB, 1920x2875, Original Arachnid.jpeg)

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File: 1701795915440-2.jpg (299.16 KB, 1920x1200, Bright Light - 2.jpg)

>Yelling in pain, Arachnid feels his vision go hazy as blood begins to pour from the open wound of his arm. As he continues to writhe in pain, Arachnid's mind then races:

{"Wait…Surveillance network?! This guy's been messing with the nanite swarm?!"}

>Thinking rapidly, Arachnid grimaces as he begins to adapt to the pain - his body going into overdrive as he feels it reacting to the circumstances at hand.

{"He's definitely a technopath as well then. The nanite swarm isn't complex enough for analog inputs to affect it. No, gotta focus."}

>Looking down at the the unconscious form of the Meta-Human criminal before him, Arachnid then coughs as he says:

"I don't care what you say. Killing isn't justified - and you're not going to get any sympathy from me if you kill him here and now!"

>Bringing his hand up to struggle against the grip of the mysterious figure, Arachnid then exclaims:

"Everyone deserves justice! Not pre-meditated executions!"

>Arachnid's body begins to slowly pulsate with faint light - as his body begins rapidly adapting to his injuries.


File: 1701798566424-0.png (277.78 KB, 393x303, The_Broken-33.png)

File: 1701798566424-1.gif (677.25 KB, 640x360, Shadow_Form-2.gif)


>The figure laughs, a dark, guttural sound, like crackling of burning charcoal.

"This demonstration is not about sympathy, simply a lesson that you can take on. . ."

>The figure slams Arachnid down onto rooftop, kicking him away.

"Stay there now, justice is now being rendered."

>Arachnid's shadow grabs at him, trying to force him to remain in place.

>The figure, meanwhile, walks over to Megiddo, looking down on his unconscious form.

"Richard Travers, 'Megiddo', for your crimes, burn."

>The figure waves their hand over Megiddo's body, and it sets on fire, the flames of which radiate intense heat that starts melting the concrete of the building.


File: 1701799042954-0.jpeg (937.76 KB, 1920x2875, Original Arachnid.jpeg)

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File: 1701799042954-2.jpg (299.16 KB, 1920x1200, Bright Light - 2.jpg)

>Arachnid screams in anger as he fights back against the mass of shadows.

"You God damned bastard!!!"

>As his adrenaline kicks in, Arachnid's strength multiplies, dramatically. Within an instant - he rips apart the mass of black shadows attempting to hold him down - causing a ripple that shakes the foundation of the building.

>The attack is seemingly telekinetic - as the glowing light pulses intensify around Arachnid's body.

>However, Arachnid's efforts are seemingly for naught - as the burning body of Megiddo has been reduced to a charred husk.

>Falling completely silent, Arachnid's arm stops bleeding - as blood stains spread across his left arm.

"Not a single day."

>Arachnid says, finally breaking the silence.

"Not a single day goes by from this moment onward - that doesn't involve me hunting you down."

>Pressing his right hand against his left shoulder - Arachnid uses his superhuman strength to forcefully fuse his socket joints together again, making a loud snapping noise as he does so.

>The bright light grows even more luminescent, as the blood spots instantly disappear from Arachnid's body - although his suit is still torn at the stab wound.


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File: 1701799628737-1.png (57.87 KB, 209x265, The_Broken-11.png)

"You lack the ability to do so."

>The figure replies impassionately, as if reading a fact from a prompter.

"All you have seen today is because you were allowed to, to educate first of all, but now so you can act as a messager."

>The figure turns from the charred remains to Arachnid.

"Tell your 'boss' that Jack Blackburn is not forgiven."

>The figure turns away from Arachnid, walking several steps before disappearing without leaving a trace.


File: 1701800116709-0.jpeg (871.04 KB, 1920x2584, Original Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

File: 1701800116709-1.jpg (27.21 KB, 640x360, Gear Watch - 2.jpg)

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>Still silent, Arachnid looks down at the charred and husked body of the former Meta-Human, before he them muffles a scream with his own hand.

>After a few seconds, he then regains his composure as he slinks down to the ground. Placing a hand to his mask, he then sits down in silence.


>Then after a few more seconds, he feels a buzzing from his watch. Raising his left arm up to his mask, he then presses a button on his watch as the call comes in through the speaker.

["….I'm so sorry, Damian. I should've been there-"]

>Arachnid immediately interjects, his voice completely hollow.

"It doesn't matter, Aiden. He's dead. Just promise me one thing."

>Silence fills the air, as Aiden's voice then replies from the other side.

["I know. I'll get him."]

>Nodding slowly, Arachnid then makes one more statement.

"….He's going after your friend, Jack. Probably next."

>The line is silent for a few more seconds, before Aiden responds.

["Just get yourself out of there. The swarm couldn't catch anything, not even a distorted signal from a distance - which confirms the technopathy. We may not know who this person is - but we at least have confirmation that they exist. Even if we don't have evidence."]

"Alright then. Got it."

>Lowering his hand, Arachnid remains slinking across the edge of the rooftop. The burning of the man's body still a fresh memory in his mind.



File: 1701800569986-0.jpeg (937.76 KB, 1920x2875, Original Arachnid.jpeg)

File: 1701800569986-1.jpg (27.21 KB, 640x360, Gear Watch - 2.jpg)

File: 1701800569986-2.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

File: 1701800569986-3.jpg (39.65 KB, 1280x720, Aurora - 4.jpg)

File: 1701800569986-4.jpg (171.36 KB, 1000x1467, Mariah - 3.jpg)

>After a few more minutes, Arachnid then slowly stands up, pressing a button on his watch.

>In a few moments, the black and red nanomesh covers his suit once more - reconstructing it to merge with the nanites. A few seconds later, and Arachnid's upgraded suit is back.

>Taking the phone terminal out of his jacket, Arachnid activates a signal as he makes another call through his comms link.

["….Damian, I-"]

"I'm not mad at you, Mariah. You did everything that you could."

>Still looking up into the air, he then says:

"I'm calling you to keep an eye out on Tarantula."

>A confused response comes from Mariah on the other side of the call.

["What? Why is that? He has't done anything wrong-"]

>Arachnid continues looking up in the sky, as more seconds pass.

"He's responsible for nearly killing Hollow and he ended up killing Phobos. Anyone who's committed a crime is considered a target in this prick's eyes."]''

>Then, a loud humming sound can be heard, as the cloudy skies part from above. A sleek black hovercraft with glowing red accents then appears above the rooftop - the Aurora.

>Without missing a beat, Arachnid jumps up into the air - notably with far more strength than shown prior, easily sticking to the underside of the vehicle as the underside hatch opens up.


File: 1701801381210-0.jpeg (84.57 KB, 800x800, Arachnid - 3.jpeg)

File: 1701801381210-1.jpg (101.51 KB, 500x375, Aurora - 8.jpg)

File: 1701801381210-2.jpg (17.48 KB, 654x368, Aurora - 10.jpg)

File: 1701801381210-3.jpg (447.94 KB, 1920x2145, Damian - 18.jpg)

File: 1701801381210-4.jpeg (590.08 KB, 2457x3402, Aiden - 41.jpeg)

>Now inside of the cockpit of the aerial vehicle, Arachnid's gloved fingers interface with the neurosynaptic controls of the machine.

>The call is still open, as Mariah asks Arachnid one more question.

["Are you going to try and go after him now?"]

>Fingers now moving so quickly as to glide across the analogy keys and switches of the machine's controls - Arachnid snaps back:

"You have a brain, Mariah. You make that inference for me."

>Ending the call, Arachnid then grabs at the control levers for the machine - pushing them forward quickly as the machine immediately takes off - racing across the skies of the city at hypersonic speeds as it leaves a trail of red light in its wake.

>Another call starts, which Arachnid manually blocks. However, the system overrides as the call opens up forcibly.

["You know I designed this machine, right?"]


["Damian, don't go after them. You're not equipped to-"]

"It doesn't fucking matter whether I'm equipped to or not, Aiden! That piece of shit is out there, and he needs to be stopped!"

["You said it yourself, their next likely target is Jack - not you, and not anyone else. So it's better to fall back and formulate a plan to prepare for his next appearance. Rushing around with seemingly no plan and no leads isn't going to help anyone."]

>Still straining as he presses the levers further to reach faster than hypersonic speeds for the Aurora - Arachnid finally relents. Looking up at the holographic display of Aiden's face - Arachnid then slows down his lever pushing and gradually brings the Aurora to a halt.

"…..Keep your promise and take this guy down. He killed a person with no recourse for the consequences. Just to make some twisted and fucked up point."

["I will."]

>Arachnid pulls off his helmet, allowing Aiden to see the glowing red irises beneath Damian's midnight black hair.

"I mean it, Aiden! If you don't stop him, them I'm going to-"

["Kill him? Is that what you want? Because I've been in that situation before - and I made the wrong choice. It almost cost me my life."]

>Damian falls silent, as Aiden continues speaking.

"I don't want to you to fall into that same spiral."


File: 1701801974540-0.png (146.05 KB, 300x342, Damian - 3.png)

File: 1701801974540-1.jpeg (123.38 KB, 720x540, Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

File: 1701801974540-2.jpg (111.37 KB, 736x1064, Aurora - 7.jpg)

File: 1701801974540-3.jpg (39.65 KB, 1280x720, Aurora - 4.jpg)

File: 1701801974540-4.jpeg (94.68 KB, 850x1159, Aiden - 48.jpeg)

>Damian looks at Aiden with disbelief, regarding his lack of emotional response.

"How can you be so calm about this? How…."

>Aiden is then blunt and directly to the point with his response.

["Because they're not going to be able to actually kill Jack. Something like this is part of the reason why I tested him the other day."]

>Thinking to himself for a moment, Aiden then responds:

["Besides, I'm not concerned for Jack's life - I'm more concerned for his peace of mind. If this figure can't kill him, that doesn't mean they'll stop trying."]

>Damian then looks at Aiden and speaks:

"Bring him back."

>Aiden responds.


>Irritated, Damian presses further.

"He deserved a chance to stand trial for what he did! Not to get murdered!"

>Then, Aiden responds once more.

["I know. It still wasn't my decision to make. I don't determine who lives or dies. I just do what I can to protect people."]

>Silent once more, Damian then scowls before he puts his helmet back on - becoming Arachnid.

"Fine. If you're not going to help me stop them? Then I'll go find someone who will. Just this once."

>Sighing, Aiden then responds.

["You're your own man, Damian. You can make your own choices and decisions. Just be careful, and think before you make a choice that you'll regret."]

>Arachnid looks at Aiden, dead in the eye.

"Is that a threat, boss?"

>Aiden looks at Arachnid from behind his sunglasses, stating:

["No, it's an inevitability of human behavior - regret."]

>He then ends the call, as Arachnid presses on the levers further - controlling the Aurora as the advanced hovercraft begins flying even faster and further - towards a large skyscraper in the distance.


File: 1701803335611-0.jpg (70.08 KB, 468x707, Tower.jpg)

File: 1701803335611-1.jpg (39.65 KB, 1280x720, Aurora - 4.jpg)

File: 1701803335611-2.jpg (93.01 KB, 1024x576, Rooftop.jpg)

File: 1701803335611-3.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

File: 1701803335611-4.jpg (236.26 KB, 842x1920, Phone Terminal.jpg)

>Location: Sanctuary City - Business Sector
>Time: 1:00 PM

>The Aurora hovers above the UP Building - cloaked and in standby mode, as Arachnid kicks himself off of the underside of the vehicle. Falling to the ground, he then lands on the top of the building, beginning to rise up to his feet.


>Arachnid then takes out a small data chip - a cloned version of the same component that was integrated into his smartphone. After placing it into his suit's phone terminal, he then presses a series of buttons on the keypad before bringing the phone terminal up to his helmet.

>Now using the terminal like an actual phone, he then dials a number, and waits for a response.



File: 1701805167857.jpg (403.06 KB, 1280x1920, UP_Tower.jpg)

>The UP Building, unrivalled in height in the business sector, and only rivalled in height by one other building in Sanctuary, the MRD Spire, overlooks the majority of the rest of the city, piercing the sky as the makeshift phone dials.

>After a few rings, the signal clicks to indicate that it's been picked up.

<<<You'll have to keep it quick, I'm busy.>>>


File: 1701805366640-0.jpeg (84.57 KB, 800x800, Arachnid - 3.jpeg)

>Arachnid scoffs and rolls his eyes behind his helmet, stating:

"Yeah? So's the MRD - especially after what happened today."

>Waiting a moment, Arachnid then says:

"If you're still serious about stopping really bad criminals, then set a time and a place, so that we can talk."

>Looking over the edge of the UP building, Arachnid continues to speak into his phone terminal.

"At least, I assume that you are. If you don't want to? Fine. But the info that I've gotten about the Crimson Tide is need-to-know basis then."


File: 1701805588125.png (59.74 KB, 820x897, 261-2619843_basic-phone-ca….png)

>The voice on the other side is silent for a moment.

<<<Waterfront, 9pm tonight. Is that sufficient?>>>


File: 1701805991835-0.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

File: 1701805991835-1.jpg (236.26 KB, 842x1920, Phone Terminal.jpg)

File: 1701805991835-2.jpg (39.65 KB, 1280x720, Aurora - 4.jpg)

File: 1701805991835-3.png (69.04 KB, 900x506, Aurora - 9.png)

File: 1701805991835-4.png (295.14 KB, 540x304, Sanctuary City - 2.png)

>Arachnid then says:

"Nothing ever more than just 'sufficient' with you anyways. I'll be there."

>Ending the call, Arachnid then places the phone terminal back in his jacket as he then jumps back up into the sky. Now seemingly sticking to nothing - he crawls up the opening underside hatch of the cloaked Aurora.

>After getting inside of the vehicle, Arachnid then prepares the engines and flies the vehicle away into the distance.


File: 1701814382484-0.jpg (302.64 KB, 1920x1200, Hydroponics District.jpg)

File: 1701814382484-1.jpg (476.31 KB, 1920x1080, Warehouse - 2.jpg)

File: 1701814382484-2.jpg (39.65 KB, 1280x720, Aurora - 4.jpg)

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File: 1701814382484-4.jpg (11.58 KB, 612x612, USB.jpg)

>Location: Sanctuary City - Waterfront Area
>Time: 9:00 PM

>The Aurora lands outside of an abandoned warehouse, right at the edge of the coast. On the outskirts of the city, the warehouse stands hollow and empty.

"…..This better be worth it."

>Arachnid says to himself, as he leaves the Aurora from the underside of the machine - lightly falling to the ground as his jacket helps with air resistance.


>Arachnid then takes out a small data chip and stares at it for a moment while remaining silent.

>After a moment, he then places the data chip back into his jacket as he then begins crawling inside of the abandoned warehouse through an open window.


File: 1701970862388-0.png (168.12 KB, 440x279, 92.png)

File: 1701970862388-1.jpg (171.79 KB, 1200x675, Abandoned_Warehouse.jpg)

>Inside the warehouse, the remains of a battlefield fill the main storage area, various bodies littering the dusty worn down floor, with one body in particular having made an impact with an empty crate and left a crater in it.

>The slight movement of the chests of the bodies does indicate, however, that they are still alive - or at least still breathing.

>In the middle of it all, the silhouette of Apex stands, her staff standing upright next to her through the use of several retractable legs while she adjusts something on one of her gauntlets.

>As Arachnid crawls in, she speaks up, not looking in his direction.

"It's 9:01, you're late, technically."


File: 1701972334582-0.jpeg (123.38 KB, 720x540, Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

File: 1701972334582-1.jpg (11.58 KB, 612x612, USB.jpg)

>Narrowing his eyes behind his helmet's lenses, Arachnid looks around at the chaos that Apex has created. The strewn out bodies of her opponents come to his mind as he then speaks up:

"Somebody's showing restraint - for once."

>Looking back at Apex for a moment, Arachnid flicks the USB drive effortlessly between his fingers for a few seconds.


>Then he flicks the USB drive up - holding it with his right index and middle fingers.

"Routed shipment data for containers of the humour mutagen - right here. I got the info out of Traction and a few more of the mooks that the MRD captured."

>Looking at Apex with a neutral expression on his helmet, Arachnid continues.

"They were planning to use this - and other information as collateral to get themselves into the Crimson Tide's good graces. Apparently they had ambitions to actually join them - and seemingly kept in contact."

>Arachnid then continues speaking.

"There's more info - involving supply caches that the Helixers set up around the city, as per the instructions of their former boss - Chiral. There's likely some valuable Meta-Gene research and genetics equipment there, maybe some more documents about Chiral's plans too."

>He then stops speaking for a moment, looking around at the bodies once more as he starts to speak again.

"I was planning on checking the sites out myself - but I could give the info to you. Figured you'd want access to something that even the Crimson Tide were willing to entertain membership over."

>Shrugging for a moment, Arachnid then speaks:

"Plus, with all those reports of Chiral and that Hollow guy seemingly popping up all across the country? Chiral might start going back to these caches if he really is back."

>Arachnid then holds out the USB drive with his thumb pressed on it - before pulling it back slowly.

"There's just two things that I need to know first - then you get all the data."


File: 1701972806122.png (708.19 KB, 724x1328, 31.png)

"They wouldn't have gotten much leverage out of it, the Crimson Tide already has their own supply of humour and they don't do work in genetics."

>Apex keeps on adjusting her gauntlet, not changing her visual focus.

"Still, it would be good to destroy those caches, what are the conditions?"


File: 1701973122725.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

>Arachnid doesn't waste time and immediately names the conditions.

"Stay away from the guy who killed Megiddo this morning. He's bad news, and he's picking off criminals like he's judge, jury and executioner."

>Thinking for a moment, Arachnid then names the second condition:

"Also, we need to actually start working together - if we're supposed to be 'working together'. We're already barely exchanging information, outside of times like this."

>Arachnid then remains silent once more, before he states:

"….I could also probably synthesize an anti-serum compound that neutralizes the effect of the humour mutagens. It'll take some time, and probably a few more late nights at the lab - but I can create an inhibitor."

>He then crosses his arms - still keeping his thumb on the USB drive as he talks.

"….If you actually work with me - and we actually start spending more time together as a duo. Both in costume, and out."


File: 1701974015221.png (933.5 KB, 1680x1458, 12.png)

"I wasn't planning on dealing with that one, they're a useful tool as they are, even if the methods there are a little too brutal."

>Apex finishes adjusting the gauntlet and points it at Arachnid, a dart firing out of it at high speed in his direction.

"How would you rate the force on that, too high, too low? It's not calibrating properly."

>Apex picks up her staff, the legs retracting, and checks the balance on it.

"Don't bother making an anti-serum, I already made one, but I can agree to working with you for the caches at the very least, it would be impractical to handle them alone."

>Apex turns to look at Arachnid for the first time.

"What? Read wikipedia some time, I'm an expert chemist, you didn't think I could come up with a simple anti-serum for some low level drug once I had a sample of it?"


File: 1701974318412.jpeg (123.38 KB, 720x540, Arachnid - 2.jpeg)

>Arachnid catches the dart in his hand without flinching - looking directly at Apex as he speaks:

"More than fast enough to stun from its striking force alone - which I assume is your intent."

>Sighing, Arachnid then says:

"I'm not surprised that you could create an anti-serum. How we first met clued me in real early that you're not a 'normal' human."

>Looking down at the dart, Arachnid mutters to himself.

["As if you could ever fail at anything."]

>He says, remembering the rapid burning and immolation of Megiddo's body - with him being helpless to stop it.

>Looking back up at Apex, he then says out loud:

"I probably would've been able to handle the situation better if you were there with me earlier."

>Walking up towards Apex, he then hands her back the dart, as he says:

"But I was far more interested in just us actually building up trust. We can't do that if we only spend our time punching criminals in armor suits."


File: 1701974827836.png (933.5 KB, 1680x1458, 12.png)

"Too high still. . ."

>Apex takes the dart, loading it back into the gauntlet, and starts adjusting it again.

"So what are you suggesting, lunch meetings at five star restaurants? I do those to win over investors, not build up trust. Handlng criminals is closer to how I build up trust."


File: 1701975305084.png (2.04 MB, 738x2375, Arachnid.png)

>Arachnid looks at Apex, analyzing her gauntlet design for a moment as he says:

"You sure you don't want the stuff in my suit? I know retro-futuristic is more your aesthetic and all - but the stuff's saved my butt a few times."

>After a moment of pause, he then says what's really on his mind.

"….I'm not interested in just punching criminals all day with you. Yeah, we can raid caches, destroy supply lines, intimidate criminal collaborators - do all of that stuff, all day."

>He then pauses again for effect before continuing:

"Hell, we could take down the Crimson Tide itself - but something could take its place for all we know. You, more than anyone else, understand what happens when efficiencies aren't put in place - with any system."

>Holding out his hand, for Apex to take the USB drive, Arachnid then concludes:

"I just don't want our……partnership to be an endless cycle of counterintelligence and crime fighting. Yeah, kicking a few butts here and there is fun - adrenaline rush and all. But at the end of the day? You're way more interesting than just….you know…..this."

>Arachnid keeps his hand open for Apex to take the USB drive.

"…I sort of appreciate that about you - and maybe I'd like to spend time discussing something with you besides defusing makeshift bombs all night instead. Like maybe this weekend?"

>Feeling a profound sense of awkwardness, Arachnid then reflexively says in a quieter tone of voice, hoping Apex won't actually hear it.



File: 1701975769022.png (576.98 KB, 573x790, 78.png)

"I'm not trusting my life with devices I haven't made myself."

>Apex stops adjusting the gauntlet, letting her arm fall down to her side.

"And I don't do things for 'fun'. But. . ."

>Apex sighs.

". . .fine, if that's your condition, we can do something this weekend."

[The End]

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