Interlude 6a (Ashley)

"All clear!" The cop at the door shouted, wrenching it open. The metal locking mechanism CLUNKED, letting in cool night air. It replaced the sweaty, stinky, and sweltering air of the shelter, made unbearable from hundreds of people crowding it. In a far more orderly fashion then they had entered, the occupying mob filed out. A minimum of pushing and nudging, and Ashley made it out before the shelter was halfway empty.

The relief at being back in open space, with the view of concrete walls replaced by uninterrupted cityscape was tempered by the gaping holes in said cityscape. Entire buildings were gone, gaps barely visible through the faint cloud of dust lingering around their former sites. Ashley swallowed, a mixture of panic and horror chilling her further. She hadn't been dressed to go outside, let alone desperately try to find a shelter in New York City. And she had been too late to catch one of the evacuation shuttles out of the city, leaving her with the much worse option of shelter. A potential buffet for the Simurgh.

If she had shown up. The Simurgh hadn't even come to New York, and this disaster had eclipsed everything but Behemoth's attack in '94. Before she turned North, Ashley could see that the destruction had centered on the Times Square area. How many hotels, or condos had been there? How many people sleeping hadn't woken up?

No one was going to be happy, and heads were going to roll.

Carefully navigating over the occasional chunk of broken glass, hampered by her shoeless feet, Ashley started the long journey to her apartment. No vehicle, whether personal or taxi was on the road, and the subway was certainly still down, in the aftermath of everything. And, to make the point moot, Ashley didn't even have her keys.

A long walk in sweats and socks. But, no other option.


Teeth chattering, Ashley walked into her building, before smacking her head with her palm. No keys. And no one was at the desk in the entry hall - leaving no options other than the simplest. Ashley reached over the desk, and looked at the phone. Maintenance was Ext. 0451. Ashley pulled the receiver over the counter, and dialed, arms stretching to push the buttons. And no answer. Frustrated, she tried twice more, to no more success. The receiver was slammed down, without solving her issue. But she had other options.

Ashley took the handful of paperclips from their tiny container on the desk, along with a polka-dotted handled nail file, and walked to the elevator. Five paperclips were completely unfolded by the time the elevator reached her floor, an overabundance for one simple task. She looked up and down the hall, making sure no one was coming. Coast clear, she walked four doors down, stopping in front of Unit 409, and kneeled, doorknob at eye level.

Nail file in one hand, and straightened paperclip in the other, Ashley got to work. File went in the lock - and there was no room for the paperclip, then. She could stick it in, but she could not wiggle it. Would two paperclips be firm enough? She withdrew the file, and tried again with the new set of tools. And all she had to show for it was two slightly bent rods of soft metal. She pulled them out, irritated. She could whittle the nail file down, but with what? Her feet?

The elevator dinged, and Ashly shot up, nearly hitting her head on the knob in her haste. She tucked her failed lockpicking kit behind her, and waited for whoever was coming up to go to their apartment, before resuming her attempts. Or, even better, she could ask the blue-clad maintenance man who was following the elderly asian lady.

"Mister, hi, I need help," Ashley pleaded, even as he turned, opening the door next to the elevator. The old women scooted past him, and nearly slammed the door into his face.

"Room," he grumbled, rubbing his nose at the close call.

"409," she said lamely, surprised that he was helping out as well.

With a heavy sigh, the man slumped over, and fished for a key along a ring the size of a dinner plate. He found it, muttering under his breath the whole while, and jammed it into the door. He nearly broke it, turning it so hard, and walked away without another word, radio on his belt crackling with static.

Ashley went inside, locking the door behind her, and took stock of the empty apartment. Near-empty, with only a suitcase, and a few cardboard boxes aside from the furniture. It certainly wasn't lived in. But, even without a TV, the laptop was still charging on the couch, ready for use. The fridge was empty, so it was the only thing to do, for now. Ashley opened it, and waited for it to start up, fingernails drumming along the base of its keyboard.

Internet, first. The headlines, from multiple new sources, all had one of two common threads to them. Either, 'Simurgh attacks two cities,' or 'Rampage in New York'. Ashley didn't really want to know the exact details of the former, along with the fact that the latter was probably more pertinent at the moment. She clicked on the first one, working her bottom lip with her teeth in nervous anticipation.

'Rampage Rocks New York, Before Simurgh Attack.'

January 27, 2011

AP (New York) - Late yesterday evening, less than an hour before the Simurgh was reported in Canberra (See: Simurgh attack: Canberra and Montreal), two unknown capes engaged in a conflict that rocked the city. Buildings have been entirely destroyed, and hundreds, if not thousands are missing, even with the limited communications imposed by the Simurgh attack closing on this event's heels. Preliminary casualty reports are very much guesses, but are suggested to be at least several thousand. At this time, no official response has been made from either the NYPD, or the New York PRT, but unofficial sources and eyewitness reports make certain facts clear:

Starting in Hell's Kitchen, the aforementioned two capes began a destructive brawl, damaging a building, before using each other as weapons. Both have been reported at being 'at least as large as a dump truck', and considerably strong. One, or possibly both, were thrown or moved through several other buildings, collapsing them. Legend, and several members of the Protectorate, were seen arriving on scene.

Eyewitness reports then state that some of the Protectorate capes turned coat, and helped one or both of the two initiators. Quintessence, one of the more senior members of the NY Protectorate, has been caught on camera, wearing a new costume, and using her ability to create forcefields to demolish an occupied building.

[url= watch?v=rog8ou-ZepE][size=1]Caution: Video below contains graphic material: Viewer discretion is advised[/size][/url].

Ashley skipped the video, and skipped further down, numb. At the end, was a one line update:

UPDATE: 0415AM: One cape has been identified as Defiler, the villain outed early in January, also known as Taylor Hebert.

She closed the window, running her unoccupied hand through her hair. No good news at all, but there was one other source for cape news. A quick bit of toying with the internet, and she was proxied. And then she brought up the page for Parahumans Online.

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Topic: The Lawgivers:

In: Boards ► Teams ► NEW

Lady_of_Problems (Unverified Cape)(Original Poster)

Posted on January 25th, 2011

Just to let my fans know, I've joined a new team! It's gonna be great! And look out, whoever stands in my way!

The Lawgivers are here!

Current Roster:

Damsel of Distress


(Showing page 4 of 113)

Killkicky_Shin_Menace(Veteran Member)

Replied on January 25th, 2011

Pff, yeah right, what a joke. As if anyone would believe that. :rolleyes:

TheTeachingAassitant(Veteran Member)

Replied on January 25th, 2011

I dunno. Weirder shit has already happened.


Replied on January 25th, 2011

So you're working in lesbian porn now?


Replied on January 25th, 2011

Cut that out DarthFishySama, as that sort of stuff ends up bringing in mods and banhammers.

One of them is 15, in case you forgot. Don't be a creeper. Sheesh.


Replied on January 25th, 2011

Sweet, kick some ass for us!


Replied on January 25th, 2011

Huh, wonder what

Edit: The lag is insane.

I wonder what Defiler is doing, slumming with a no-name?

Happy_Face (Verified Cape)

Replied on January 25th, 2011

Cool, then I can kick both your asses!

Happy_Face (Verified Cape)

Replied on January 25th, 2011

Cool, then I can kick both your asses!

Happy_Face (Verified Cape)

Replied on January 25th, 2011

Cool, then I can kick both your asses!

User received a temp ban for this post: seriously, stop double, triple, and quadruple posting already. This is getting tedious, already.

WaterAthropod (Moderator)

Replied on January 25th, 2011

Happyface, stop triple-posting.. This is the twelfth time you've done that today, alone. There won't be another for some time.

Topic: Damsel of Distress:

In: Boards ► Places ► America ► New York State ► Minor Villains

Edict(Verified Cape)(Original Poster)

Posted on October 3th, 2009

Yes - That was a new villain we stopped.

Never fear, citizens of Smallsville, we will always stand up for you!

(Showing Page 5 of 5)


Replied on November 25th, 2010

Why don't you join your criminal lovers, and then go to jail. Scum like you, glorifying villainous, corrupt parasites that take from hard working Americans deserve nothing more than a shallow grave.

Where you belong too.

User received a ban for this post: seriously, advocating the death of other users, regardless of standing, is never tolerated here.


Replied on November 25th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Damsel!


Replied on December 24th, 2010

Merry Christmas, Damsel!


Replied on January 28th, 2011

Holy shit, she's with Defiler now.

Topic: JAN 27th:

In: Boards ► Places ► America ► New York City

Mechanical_Messiah (Veteran Member)(Original Poster)

Posted on January 27th, 2011

EDIT: Stay safe, people! Get off the computers and to the shelters!

1) Speculation is alright, but these are people's lives. A modicum of respect is necessary

2) We don't know anything solid yet.

What we do know:

• Two Capes fought, starting everything (EDIT: AP said one is Defiler)

• Quintessence went full-on crazy, was directly responsible for the majority of the damage.

• Legend was seen blasting the second unknown out of the city.

• He used a LNG Carrier in the harbor as an improvised explosive, ending it.

(Showing Page 1 of 283)

► NewYorkManInDaH

Replied on January 27th, 2011

I think the heroes are outside my house!

► Sokijo

Replied on January 27th, 2011

I could feel something from my house, anyone know what's happening?

► DasBuildingen

Replied on January 27th, 2011

I heard some explosions

► Vanilla_Spoonful

Replied on January 27th, 2011

I feel sick. There's blood everywhere where I am. Oh god.

► Fleshy_Cosmonaut

Replied on January 27th, 2011

OMG my neighbors apart is gne

► DomesticatedAxe

Replied on January 27th, 2011

y u so h8 nyc?

► bodyrug

Replied on January 27th, 2011

i bet it was wretch

► Brainful

Replied on January 27th, 2011

Please stay safe people. I don't want to have to mourn any of you idiots tomorrow.

► Zombro

Replied on January 27th, 2011

I'm not sure if it's the booze, but I think something is happening. It woke up the kid, too. brb

► NewYorkManInDaH

Replied on January 27th, 2011

Shitshitshitshit shit. RUN! Capes fighting in the streets, buildings falling. It's a goddamned warzone out here in NYC!

A fist banging on the door nearly caused Ashley to drop the laptop, before she set it down gently. That laptop was probably the most valuable thing left, and no one would be happy if it broke. She looked through the peephole, and flung the door open.

"Taylor!" Ashley said in surprise, stepping aside to let her in.

"Daphne," Taylor said, carrying a blond - who had to be Sundancer - bridal style.

Ashley's lip curled, and she had to restrain herself from telling Taylor to drop her like a load of bricks. Instead, she kept herself civil. "What's wrong with her?"

Taylor shuffled into the apartment, slow under the weight of Sundancer, before gesturing with her head for Ashley to move. She complied, vacating the couch, and taking the laptop with her. Taylor set Sundancer gently down, before replying to Ashley, "She was upset. For," she paused, "personal reasons."

Ashley felt jealousy and anger, mixed with fear. This was supposed to be her ticket to the big leagues, and then this stupid bitch jumped the line. And now Defiler was treating Sundancer, who had helped kidnap her, like another fucking teammate, without consulting her. But Defiler had certainly been trying to eclipse the Endbringers lately, in terms of damage done. Even if only a third of the casualties were from her, she should be making the Slaughterhouse Nine green with envy. It was the only reason Ashley held her tongue, keeping her real feelings unaired.

Instead, she looked concerned, and asked, "Is she going to be alright?"

"Should be," Taylor replied, distant.

"What happened? Did you fight the Simurgh?" Ashley asked, curious.

"No, she left by the time we got there. And villains were coming out of the woodwork to pick up scraps," Taylor whispered, the simmering anger in voice telling Ashley exactly how Taylor felt. Ashley would describe it best as 'murderous' with a nice heaping of 'maimful'.

She shrunk back, not wanting to be in the way, if Taylor decided to go off like she had earlier, against the other big thingy. Taylor didn't move, or say anything else. Out of nervousness, Ashley licked her lips, and asked, "So… now what?"