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Paragon Vanguard

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About Paragon Vanguard

  • Birthday 05/17/1971
  1. Solo rp can be just as much fun to me as teaming, but I don't think you will find many rp groups red side as it is very sparsely populated, as was said. I don't find many rp PUGs on blue side for that matter, so unless you are a part of some guild or have rp contacts, blue side isn't much different, rp'wise. Team'wise, it is much easier of course. With that said, obviously villains make their way to Paragon City. In fact, it's hard to be a true villain on the Rogue Islands, that seems more of a way to get away from the law, as most people are villains. Even the police are corrupt. My thought on the Rogue Islands is a corrupt place where "evil"...yes in quotations.....people are fighting one another. The only time your character can be truly bad is when they rob a bank, and that would be a bank in Paragon City. ALL of this to say, simply, either is good, just expect to rp solo more on red side, which is okay.
  2. It is advantageous to go rogue and play both in some/most cases, especially on Red Side. It doesn't have to be "canon" for your storyline that they are actually rogue, but instead that they ventured to Paragon City. Well played "bad guys" usually (usually being the KEY WORD) do not consider themselves bad, so there should be no real worry in playing the hero roll at times, and as was said above, it can be thought of as collecting intel or some other thought out reasoning. I have a brute that is fighting The Family for his piece of the Rogue Islands, and will transition to Paragon City at times and fight them there.....at least that is my reasoning of why he goes there. Obviously he will do other things that will pay him well while there. He has no loyalty to Arachnos. By contrast, I do have some that are loyal to Arachnos so they are not rogue, and do not go to Paragon City. They would be better known by law enforcement and local heroes. And remember, you can play OOC if need be, just to team up and have some fun while levelling. I have yet to find any rp beyond standing about talking under Atlas, yet, that does not mean it doesn't exist. Quite frankly that is probably due to me, so not knocking rp'ers here. Also, it is all modern age, so what people say OOC can be relevant anyway. 😉
  3. *Luke reads the bulletin asking for advice, nods a bit, and pens an answer* First I must say, I don't see anything wrong with bragging if it is truth. Personally, I don't bother with one of those outdated super hero names, I am Luke Minhere, and if you spend anytime in Paragon City, especially around Steel or Skyway, you will see me modeling todays most fashionable underwear via billboards. Don't fall in love, and for the record, my sidekicks in those escapades are all female. With that said, I do have some advice for you. Stay away from the Islands, the water there will turn you ghoulish and there are people who will try and throw up on you, right out on the street. I know people will claim the same in the city, but at least there aren't officers standing there watching them do it. The ones in Paragon have to stay closer to, and in, the sewers, where they belong. As far as worrying about teams, again, let me impart some advice. Don't join them. You can make a fortune freelancing, trust me. If you need a team, there are always some suckers who will join for minimal pay. Trust me, not all of my bank has come from my awesomely good looks. Besides, you can take a trip to the Islands anytime you like, though I can't see why you would like. As far as Arachnos goes, losers, everyone of them. They don't pay near what they should, especially since you will be fighting against every sup that stretches spandex. Live in comfort while you adventure in style is what I say, among many other great words of intellect. Paragon City is your best bet. I see this notice is a bit old possibly, and I am in hopes you actually see my response before it is too late. However, you can always learn your lesson and hitch a ride back to civilization. I have met some people from where you are from, and you should be thanking every god out there that you were able to transition to here, even if you are stuck Rogue Islanding it for a while. Peace, and remember, it isn't truly heroic, unless you truly do it in style. Don't Mind Using My Name, Luke Minhere P.S. You may be tempted to hit Pocket D, but last I was in there I couldn't find any shorties better than a Paragon 6....Rogue Island 8.
  4. ( https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/13502-jerrin-bloodlette-vampire/?tab=comments#comment-151960 Origin story, not needed for this short story) The Blood I Seek A Jerrin Bloodlette Story I met him, just the other day. He was pale and cold, and while this describes his appearance perfectly, it also describes his mood. I do not wish to get too far ahead of myself, but I must describe to any reader who he is, even before I tell the tale. He told me his name was Jerrin Crimlette. An odd name to be sure, but I chose not to question him further on it. I knew there was something special about him when I met him, something different, yet at the time I could not say for sure what it was. Many have lived tragic lives and are brooding and downcast, and Mr. Crimlette was definitely that, but there was more. The first thing one would notice of him is his hair. A dark, almost crimson color. It hung to his shoulders, perfect in form. His skin is pale, and makes one think of the first frost of the year. When he shook my hand, he felt cold, as if his blood was not delivering the warmth that it should. Mind you, these are not aspects that I have not seen on others, but I have never seen ones form match their personality as I did him. We were at a ball hosted by one of the high societies of Paragon City, no doubt to impress some politician or other powerful person. It is unimportant at this time who hosted a party for whom, and I must leave their names from this. I will say that he enthralled any who spoke to him. It was hard to take your eyes from him, or to pull your attention away to speak to others, that is, until he pulled his own attention away. Maybe my years of reporting and writing allowed me to see this, but the others went on with their nights and their conversations, some looking back to him almost in hopes that they would draw his attention again. That is saying much as these parties always bring in some of the heroes of the city, who themselves would draw much attention. In contrast, he did not seem to want the attention for long. He knew the power he had over others, but it seemed a reluctant power, and it seemed at times an unwanted attribute, as if he was simply wishing to have a real conversation with someone. Sadly, it did not happen, and as the night moved on he seemed to speak to fewer people. I caught some of the conversations, and none were really worth retelling. He spoke of how things were going in the city. He spoke of how his own business investments were doing, depending on whom he was speaking to. It was apparent that he was quite wealthy, but I have no idea where his wealth comes from. As a reporter it seems odd I had no knowledge of a man that garnered so much unwanted scrutiny. The night grew long, as they do for these parties, until it was no longer evening, but early morning. I had made my own way around the party, speaking to some I know, being avoided by others who had no desire to speak to a reporter. Yes, I was there working the party, but not really in need of an angle or any such. It spoke for itself. The rich gathering to speak of how rich they were, the popular and beautiful being tugged along by the rich. The heroes being invited because a party is not a party without some of them mixing with high society. Heroes are a true novelty among this group. My mind wondered back to Mr. Crimlette even as the party began to dwindle, and eventually I found him, the attention of two debutants focused sharply on him, as he charmed them with some conversation. I had a feeling he could have been insulting them and they would have still looked on him with such awe. Or was it lust? There was something about this man, and I found myself wanting to speak to him again. It wasn't the same emotion that the two ladies were experiencing, but my curiosity about who he is was just as strong. As he made his way from the ballroom with the two ladies, I followed at a distance. I felt like a creep, wishing to take a peep at something not meant for my eyes, yet I knew there was something besides sexuality going on here. I carefully entered the bedroom, one of so many on this top floor, that the three entered. It was very large, as large as some apartments, and it was easy to hide behind the many pieces of cloth that hung about. The ladies were giggling as if intoxicated, but also saying things that I cannot write, telling that they were neither debutantes nor ladies. Needless to say they were very much in anticipation of the experience they would soon share. Mr. Crimlette's back was to me. The ladies could not take their eyes from him, so I was secure in my hiding place. One was laid across the bed, exposed and reaching for him, the other was rubbing his back and biting at his ear. He bent over, as if to kiss the one laying down. She moaned, as if the two shared more than a very long kiss. When he lifted his head, she had stopped moving, as if she had fallen asleep, no longer interested in the night's escapade. Her friend pushed Mr. Crimlette to his back, the two alongside the sleeping girl, and climbed on top of him. She began to kiss his neck, but suddenly stiffened, as if ecstasy had rendered her immobile. She too fell over, as if asleep, with Mr. Crimlette sitting there, his lips now blood red. I wanted to run, but I could not. Something kept me there, as if my legs simply would not listen to me. Maybe it was my fear, or maybe it was him, because his eyes soon found my hiding place and bore into me, red and dangerous now. "I am Jerrin Bloodlette, though you would not know the name," he said to me, and I could only listen. "These women, as you will find out soon enough, are not suppose to be here. They are in fact members of the Carnival of Shadows, young members, not very dangerous really. However, they were here for a reason, as was I. I was here to find them. I found them. Had I not enthralled them, they would have enthralled some other, a target of some desire. I will not get into that, as it has nothing to do with you, and it is something you do not wish to know, I assure you. However, you will write your story, minus my name. You will point the authorities in the right direction." Jerrin Bloodlette wiped his mouth, and buttoned his fine shirt up, preparing to leave. "W--wait. Why did ....are you some kind of hero?" I foolishly asked him. His cold eyes looked on me, and I found myself locked in his gaze. He was no hero. "I am looking for something. I found this information as I was looking for it. Had I not, I would have fed on someone else tonight. Someone less, deserving. When I am hungry, it matters little. The blood I seek," he replied. He was deeply saddened by what he was, it was apparent, but he also was resigned to what he was. I have printed the part of the story he wished me to print, leaving out what he wished me leave out. I have not caved to The Family, nor any other gang in my reporting of truth, yet, in this case, I knew it was not my life only that was at stake, but my mortal soul was in danger, were I to release more of this story. Instead, I have kept it on a flashdrive, for what reason I do not know, but well hidden. If you are reading this now though, I beg if you stole it do not release it, ever. If it has been released, then I am, most probably, dead, and found my own life flow the blood that he sought.
  5. Great Idea! Try to color the power to fit what you would think is wind, and go from there. Maybe make some emotes so people know you are using wind and not gravity.
  6. ((Most awesome. I did have a look about, though no one was there. Am interested in fostering some rp from it. I cannot at this time join the guild, but can make some toons if you are in need. My idea is for one of my SG's young wards to attend it.)) Head Mistress Blackthistle, I was made aware of your school and am very interested in it. We have a young ward that is in need of proper schooling, especially in his abilities. While we provide some training to him, our time is sparse, and none of us are actual teachers. I can see where your school would be very helpful to him. I have concerns about it's location and the safety of my ward, and would like to speak further with you on this. For obvious reasons I prefer to not name him, or even his other guardians, at this time. Please let me know when you are available and I will attempt to meet you then. Dr. James K. Wild, PHD ((Let me know the times you are usually on, or how to get in touch if you will. Looking forward to rp))
  7. Vanguard found the two conspirators hiding in Vinny's office. Vinny was no coward, though the big man's power was quite scary. Still, he shot a slug from his .44 magnum directly into the big V on the chest of the hero. It had little effect. Vanguard quickly took the man's gun away, and careful not to kill him, slapped Vinny in the jaw. The gangster boss crumpled to the floor, his gun, now just a ball of crushed metal, dropped with a thud by him. Stanford, however, coward beneath Vinny's desk, until Vanguard told him to come out. He was obviously scared for his life, the gunshot not having helped that one bit. "I, I can give you......." he began, but seeing the frown on the big man deepen let the sentence drop. "Well done, Paragon Vanguard," Detective Hutchinson said, a big smile on his face as he motioned for the PPD officers to take the two criminals that were hanging helpless from the big hands of the hero. "Not really, sir," Vanguard said, handing the two miscreants over to the officers. He had stood there, holding the two, who at first were kicking and trying to get away, for about 5 minutes. He endured the promises of plenty of cash if he just put them down and let them go. "I actually followed that one," he said, pointing to Stanford," because I was worried he would kill himself over the loss of his wife. I was as fooled as everyone else." Hutchinson grinned and patted Vanguard on his massive shoulder. "Luck is just as good as skill, my friend." Epilogue Michael Summers was up late looking out of his back sliding glass doors, the moon light showing in on him, when Kathy came up from behind and placed her hand on his back. "You okay?" She asked, offering him a smile. "Yeah, I am. Just beating myself up because I really believed Stanford. He had me convinced." "So," she said, the smile still there. Michael looked to her, his head tilted a bit, wondering where she was going with that. "I believed him too," she went on. "Is Michael Summers then beyond being fooled by an apparent grieving man, even though his wife is not. Should I be beating myself up over it?" "Of course not," he said, then let out a sigh. "I am doing it again, aren't I?" "Yes you are. You think because God has gifted you with the power to protect people, that you must be perfect. Well you aren't, and no one expects you to be. We expect you to be a good man, and I would rather you concern yourself with 10 friends who need your support, and 1 turn out to be liar, than you to refuse to care." Michael smiled, and was about to say something when his phone rang. "You get that, I will get the hot chocolate, and you can meet me in the bed room, big boy," Kathy said, and headed to the kitchen. Kathy sighed as she made the hot chocolate. Her husband tried to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. As massive as they were, they could not hold the weight of what the world was becoming. The water began to boil as Michael walked back in, a grin on his face. "It seems Bob Smith and his wife were arrested by the Memphis Police Department. He was trying to skip out of the Hilton Towers without paying the bill. Hutchinson is taking a plane to get him." "Well thank God this is all over, he will be relieved for sure." Memphis, Hours Later Detective Hutchinson had the two brought to the airport via taxi. He was not putting them in his rental. He could still hear Mrs. Smith as the taxi screeched off. She was present when the detective explained everything that happened to the Memphis police officers, and assured them that the Hilton bill would be paid. "......and further more, momma said I should have never married you, you were no good, you were two bit, and you had shifty eyes. I kind of liked your eyes Bob, but they are shifty sometimes. Momma said you weren't normal. You know what Bob, THIS IS NOT NORMAL!" Bob sighed, and looked out at the Memphis buildings, as the taxi carried him to the airport. He could not help but wonder if normal was ever going to be normal again. THE END
  8. Oddly, Stanford did not head to his home. He headed to the docks. Not a particularly safe place for an accountant, and Paragon Vanguard wondered if the man even cared. He seemed very emotional, and who would not be, considering the trials the man went through. Stanford's car rounded the docks, and stopped by a warehouse. It was a very unimposing warehouse, for that matter. It was not in the safest of areas, as this part of town was full of gang members, and this particular part filled with Family, notorious gangsters that cared only for money and power. The doors were opened however, and Stanford was motioned inside. It was really becoming odd. Odder still, Vanguard was pretty sure this was near where the man's wife was found murdered. Maybe Stanford was investigating the murder on his own, his mourning causing him to not think things through? Paragon Vanguard would have to investigate further. Stanford, little to his own knowledge, was surely in great danger now. "They call us Mirror...." the one began. ".....Mirror" the other finished. It mattered little to Vanguard, as both connected his jaw with a very powerful punch, sending him falling back. Falling back, something Paragon Vanguard seldom did. As fast as the two look alike thugs hit him, they were back on top of him, ready to pound some more. They wore pin stripe suits, and were obvious gang members. However, by the chords leading from their arms to their backs, they were augmented in some way. To make things worse, they worked perfectly together. Before the hero could get up, the two connected his ribs with a very powerful kick, one on each side, causing Vanguard to lose his breath completely. Vanguard sent a back fist right into the face of one of the twins. He didn't hold back like he normally had to, these guys were tough, and surely a match for him. As the one that was hit spun about and slid across the floor, the other also looked dazed, and but for a moment, stumbled backwards. This gave Vanguard enough time to recover, and he was on the twin still standing. He covered the distance quickly, leading with his fist, right into the chest of his target, before he felt the other brother on his back, an arm snaking around his neck. Once again though, both brothers grunted, and Vanguard began to wonder if he was really dealing with twins. Vanguard had made his way into the warehouse, unnoticed as he entered through a sky window. What he saw shocked him. What he heard, shocked him even more. "Where is that coward of a man," Stanford asked, then chuckled a bit. "What are you doing here, Stanford. You really should not be here," Vinny said, a deep frown on his face. "If anyone saw you come in..." "Relax. No one is watching me. I am the grieving husband that finds it hard to believe his employee, Bob Smith, would actually kill is wife in a lover's fit. Bob was perfect," Stanford laughed. "And now I am done with the bimbo, and she can't touch a bit of money. I am free to party, like any rich man should, without the fear of paying alimony." Vinny shook his head, and continued to frown. "You are having too much fun, Stanford. For me, this is business." "Good. Here is the money I said I would pay you, a fraction of what my wife would have gotten. We are done after this. No more contact. You will be done with my firm, not wanting the trouble. I will be a saddened millionaire, who's only consolable bright spot in this darkness is that the life insurance I took out on my wife will pay me a considerable amount." "You are a hard man Stanford. However, if you get caught, it's all on you. You killed her, not me. I only helped you cook up this story of Bob Smith," Vinny said, taking the money. It was at this time that Vanguard had heard enough. His anger had gotten the better of him. He should have simply called the police, and let them handle Stanford and Vinny. He just couldn't wait. "You aren't going anywhere, either of you," Paragon called as he lighted to the floor. "The police will be notified and you two will be going to jail. You, Stanford, for the murder of your wife." Stanford's eyes got big, he knew he was caught. "Vinny, help," Stanford squeaked, and turned to run. "Boys, take the trash out," Vinny called, backing away from Vanguard, as twins dressed in tailored pin stripe suits stood between Vanguard and the two conspirators. Vanguard spun the one on his back around, and crashed directly into the other. With all of his strength he pushed them all through the side of the building, taking down metal beams and steel siding. The twins were ripped apart from him, as all three sprawled onto the cement outside. One of the twins was bleeding pretty bad from a cut on his cheek, oddly enough, the other was holding the same cheek as if he felt the pain as well. They both looked to him, this time hate and murder were etched in their eyes. Paragon knew murder was not something new to these guys. "You die, hero, like other heroes before you," they both said together. "No," Vanguard said, and with supersonic speed, raced to the one that had the injured cheek, both fists in front of him. At the last moment he drew back his right fist, and then drove it into the face of the gangster, a "superman punch" from a super man. Bone and flesh gave, and the gangster fell with a thud. Vanguard looked back, and knew then that his theory was correct, as the other one buckled and fell to the ground. They were not twins. As their bodies melded back together, it was apparent they were really one person. "Mirror Mirror," he said low, understanding the name now. Vanguard looked up from the super villain, to the building where the devious plotters were hiding. This was not over.
  9. "Well, it seems then at least they have a lead," Michael told Stanford, and nodded as he did so. The man was very distraught, still. He was telling Michael how he had to see a psychologist now, and seemed very embarrassed about it. "Yes, but nothing they do will bring my wife back," he put his head down. What could Michael say to that? It was true. He was not really much of a help either. He was not a detective. Not all heroes were detectives, that was only in the comic books. This was real life. A real person was dead. He was not about to play detective. Instead, he offered as much help and comfort to his accountant as possible. "I am so depressed," Stanford said, and lowered his head and cried. Michael simply patted him on the shoulder, gentle even for a huge man with super strength. Kathy came in with some cookies and placed the platter before the two, before sitting down as well. She looked to her husband who apparently looked at a loss for words. Kathy could not blame him, she had no idea what to tell Stanford either. A story of her mother passing away of old age? A distant cousin that she had a pen pal friendship with that died in a car wreck? No, none of those can compare to the loss of a spouse. Apparently a very beloved spouse. There was few words between them, though Stanford did pull himself together as he headed for the door. He said that the police were looking into Bob Smith, an employee of his accounting firm. He was sure that Bob had nothing to do with it though, but the police insisted. "Where are you going?" Kathy asked, as they walked him to the door. "For a drive, I just need to be alone," he said, his head bowed some. "You can stay here longer if you need," Michael assured him, but deep down he really was a bit relieved to see the man go. "No no, I have taken up too much of your evening already. It is getting near 10," he assured them, and was soon in his car and driving off. "I can't even imagine how he must feel," Michael said, looking to Kathy as they watched the tail lights of the car leave the drive. "Me either, I kept trying to think of words, but came up blank." "Guess there really isn't words that can help someone so depressed," Michael sighed, then noticed his wife's very worried look as she watched the car. "What are you thinking?" He asked, following her gaze. "He is very depressed. Do you think it would be best for you to maybe follow him a bit and make sure he does not harm himself?" She asked, looking to her husband. Michael nodded, and grabbed for the keys to their car. "Michael," she chuckled a bit looking to him, with one brow raised. "Oh, yeah, I will get my suit," he said, with a grin on his own face. It would be much easier to follow him as Paragon Vanguard than as Michael Summers.
  10. "Why are we leaving, we should be here for two weeks, you said Vinny said we could," Mrs. Smith complained, as Bob hurriedly packed his bags. "We have other sites to see," he said, motioning her to hurry. "So why the hurry Bob, why the hurry? I had planned for a good movie tonight, you know that one with that handsome curly haired guy I like," she fussed, but began packing. "Bob, you are sweating. You never hardly ever sweat. Why are you sweating?" "It's hot in here, and I am in my sweater, dear," he offered, hurriedly packing still. Bob Smith's day was okay, considering he was on the run for a murder he did not commit, the victim a friend's wife he did not have an affair with, despite how it all looked. It was okay, that is, until he got the bill. The bill. Not the receipt. Not the paper showing that he paid in full. No no, the bill. To many this would not mean time to panic, but to Bob, this was somewhere beyond panic time. It was more like sit down and have a panic attack, and hope to die, time. He tried hard to call Vinny, but only got his voice mail. There was no way he could afford 4 days and nights in the Memphis Hilton Towers. It would completely drain his bank account, and then some. He would then be stuck on the streets of Memphis. "Out of control, this is out of control," he said low, to himself. "What did you say honey, I didn't hear you," Mrs. Smith asked, as she slowly, ever so slowly it seemed to Bob, packed her things. "Nothing dear, just pack. Just pack that suitcase, and dont worry about nothing." How could he tell her that they were on the run from the cops, that Vinny said had been snooping around. He said that he would deal with them, but it was a good idea to lay low none the less. He said all expenses would be paid. He said he would take care of Bob. He of course knew how to do that, in the line of work he did. The fact that he was obviously associated with the Family of Paragon City meant he had plenty of connections. Bob on the other hand had no connections. He was not connected to anything but his wife and two kids. His two car garage, and his very normal life. No, no connections. Except for Vinny. Vinny, who, for some reason, has stopped paying for the Hotel Room. All expenses paid has suddenly turned into no expenses paid. Call me anytime has turned into can't get in touch with you Vinny. This may be normal for some people, but not for Bob Smith. "Can we take the drinks," Mrs. Smith asked, looking to Bob with a grin. "WOULD YOU JUST PACK", Bob shouted, and quickly covered his mouth. Not normal at all.
  11. Poplar street, Memphis Bob was very unsure why it was called that. It was not a normal street, no not at all. He watched the traffic out of his hotel room, thinking at any moment one of those cars could be the cops, or FBI, are whoever they sent after men who murdered their mistress and skipped town. Never mind he did not murder anyone, and did not have a mistress. He did however skip town. It was the only way Vinny would help him. He would set him up in Memphis for a bit, at least until things cooled down. This was a week ago. "Oh Bob, you should relax. It is our first vacation we have had in years!" Mrs. Smith called from the other room. This caused his lip to twitch a bit. A twitch was not normal. He liked his life with his normal wife, and normal kids. The kids, thank God, was at their aunts in Washington for now. He and his wife were enjoying their "second honeymoon", or so he told everyone. They were in a popular, expensive hotel chain. Vinny had him sign up, but was paying the cost. In fact, the first two nights receipts were shoved under his door, marked "paid in full", despite the fact that his wife ordered midnight snacks brought up to the room, all of the movies she could watch in a day, and additions to the wet bar. Sometimes she did not even watch the movies, she ordered them and left the room to do whatever she was doing, the cost fully paid, the movie going unwatched. His life was spiraling completely out of control. Of course he never told her that they were in a room paid for by a gangster, because it appeared that he killed his mistress, which happened to be his boss' wife, while at a party full of hookers and alcohol. No, one did not tell their wives this. Not normally, anyway. And if he was nothing else, he was normal. "I will be there in a minute," he called back, barely loud enough for her to hear over the television that she was not watching. Bob watched as the snow began to fall, ever so slightly. Paragon City Michael Summers stood at the door of the house, as the Sheriff's detective went through the proper etiquette's of a search warrant. Stanford kept looking to Michael for answers, Michael only shook his head and nodded toward the officers. Once they were done explaining it to him, they began to search the home. "Why are they doing this Mr. Summers?" he asked. Michael had received a heads up that they were doing the search from his detective friend, that he called in some favors and Michael would be allowed to be present, as long as he stayed out of the way. "They have to cover all bases, that is all." Michael assured him, but was not completely sure that was the case. He would not have been made privy to any information concerning this case. He was neither a detective nor an officer. People misunderstood many heroes rolls in society, thinking all of them worked directly with the police departments. It simply was not true. Michael was, in fact, simply a professor, that happened to have super powers. Brolin, his friend at the police department, was only returning a favor, after Michael helped him with some gangs in Atlas. He did not seem too pleased about that. Thankfully Brolin worked well with heroes, even the ones that were not considered law enforcement. "Do they think that I killed her," he asked, a look of fear on his face, mixed with the sadness of his situation. "I could never have." Michael simply shook his head. "What little I do know is that they have to cover all bases, which means they have to show that you did not do it." This seemed to put Stanford a bit more at ease, and the two stood their silently for a bit until one of the detectives called Stanford over. Michael followed. "Ever seen this before," the detective asked, showing Stanford a loose leaf paper with something written on it. "Or these," he showed him some other opened envelopes with apparently more letters in them. Stanford went to reach for them, but the detective pulled them back. "Just read, don't touch." Stanford read over it, his face a mask of confusion. "Bob?" He asked, and looked to the detective. The detective simply looked to him for answers. "I didn't write that letter," he said. Another detective looked over, as he was looking through the other letters. "All signed, 'love Bob' ", he offered. "Bob? She doesn't know a Bob. Could those be old letters or something?" he asked, but even as he was asking, it was obvious the paper on many of them was not that old. "I never saw these, where did you find them?" "They were in her wardrobe closet, in the drawer, under some magazines." The detective offered. Michael suddenly felt very uncomfortable, as Stanford looked to him, then back to the officers. "Bob Smith is the only Bob that we know," he offered, but shook his head even as he said it. "Bob Smith just is not the type, could never." The first detective looked to the other, and both nodded at one another. "Tell me about Bob Smith," he prompted.
  12. "I can't believe she is dead," he kept telling Michael, after having explained that his wife was found murdered at the dock in Independence Port. Michael felt a bit out of place, standing there with his W forms, his pay checks from the last year, his receipts, and everything he would need to have his taxes done. Tax time can be a bit of an emotional time for many, happy if you are getting back, a bit stressed if you are giving, and at ease if you find neither true for you. Stanford just stood there at the door of the Summer's house, just on the edge of Paragon City. It was indeed a suburb of the city, though the yards were large and flush, and the neighbors were not very close. "Invite him in honey," Kathy said behind Michael, who apparently had no idea how to deal with a sobbing accountant that was suppose to be showing up to gather his tax information. Stanford always did come to the Summer's home, feeling it was a privilege to work with a super hero. Michael was a bit put off with this at first, but he soon warmed up to the idea, especially since Stanford was a no nonsense accountant. He never cut corners. He did not try to gain you a better tax cut by "fluffing the numbers", as one accountant promised Michael one year. No, he seemed to be very honest. "Please come in," he said to the man, moving his huge frame out of the doorway, and allowing the accountant to enter. Stanford was normally well in control of things. He was handsome, blond wavy hair, and a pleasant smile that put everyone around him at ease. He was built like an athlete, with broad shoulders and a slim waist. Michael lead Stanford into their dining room, and the two sat at the table. Kathy went to get them some coffee, making motions to her husband to encourage the accountant to speak. Michael Summers could not help but think that he was a teacher, not a psychologist. Alas, the man did need to talk, and Michael could not turn him away. Especially with Mrs. Summers expecting otherwise. "I am so sorry, Mr. Summers. I do not usually bring my troubles to my clients, you do understand," Stanford said, a deep frown of sadness marring his face. "No no, I understand. I just don't get why you are working. You said they just told you that your wife was dead only four days ago. Why are you even here. You should have sent someone else, or something...." Michael said. "I must confess, I did not come to do your taxes. I do not think I could keep my mind on it well enough to even begin to do a good job," his head then flopped into his hands, and a few sobs began to shake his body. Michael was not a man without a heart. He felt for Stanford. He was just not in the habit of comforting non-family members at such an intimate time. The death of a spouse, well, Michael could not imagine. However, when Kathy walked in, and he saw the gray streaks in her hair, and he watched as she opened and closed her hands after setting the coffee cups before them, he realized time was doing to him, what this killer did to his accountant. "I need you to help," the man suddenly said, lifting his head from his hands, and grabbing the sleeve of Michael's green sweater. "Help, what can I do?" Michael asked, which seems absurd to some, considering him being a super hero. However, this seemed like a case for a detective. While Michael Summers, more specifically Paragon Vanguard, was more than capable of meeting threats that even law enforcement could not, he was not a detective. "You are a hero, and a very powerful one. Can't you help with this? I loved her very much. Synthia Stanford was my life, Mr. Summers. My life! We were even trying to have our first child," the man, normally handsome, was not looking so great with the tears drying on his face, the look of desperation causing creases on the corner of his eyes. Synthia. Now she had a name. It was becoming harder and harder to excuse himself from the situation. "I do not know even where to start, Mr. Stanford," Michael said, and felt the warm hand of his wife rest on his massive shoulder. He looked up to her, but she was simply looking at the accountant with sadness. "I am not a detective. I have only slim contacts with the police department. I helped PPD a bit with some gang stuff, but other than that," he just shrugged. "I am sorry to put this on you, sir. I had no right to come in and ask you to do anything," Stanford nodded. His head dropped a bit, and he looked embarrassed. "No no, my husband will do what he can son," Kathy spoke up quickly, a deep look of concern on her own face. Michael looked to her pretty blue eyes, then back to Stanford. "I will ask around a bit, see if I can find any leads. Other than that, I really don't know what else I can do," Michael offered. Stanford looked up to him with new hope. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" He said, and began sobbing again. The Summers' watched as the accountant drove away. "You are a good man, Michael Summers," Kathy said, a pretty smile crossing her lips. "I don't know what all I can do, honey. I am not a detective. Show me the bad guy, then I can help." "You will figure out what to do to help, you always do," she encouraged him. "I noticed your hands are hurting again," Michael said, gently cupping her hands into his massive hands. The warmth of his hands indeed made her's feel better. "It's nothing. The cold air is all. Nothing that no one else at our age doesn't experience," she laughed and then kissed his hands before laying her head into his chest. "You are a great guy, Michael Summers." This normally would bring a big grin to his face, but had she been looking she would have only seen worry, as he though that the cold effected most people at their age. It had no effect on him. His age had no effect on him.
  13. Samantha Summers was actually enjoying herself serving the homeless. She did not know what to expect. Her dad would not let her come to this part of the city until she was grown, which basically meant she would never have his permission. She knew her dad was simply being too much like a, well, like a dad. The end of the day was a bit harder, as the lines of the homeless started to finally shorten. It was nine at night, and she had been at it for over 12 hours. Her feet hurt, her hands hurt, and she had a headache. However, she felt very good about what they did. Turkey and ham, black beans and rolls, someone had given roasts and deserts even. Samantha almost cried when a little old lady offered her a quarter and a blessing. The clean up team came in, and they were now relieved. "Oh thank goodness," Leana, her new friend from college declared. "I couldn't bare it any longer. My feet are killing me." Of course they were, Leana decided to serve while wearing high heels. At least Samantha knew enough to wear her tennis shoes. She just laughed at Leana's complaining. Her friend was dark skinned, dark eyed. She was tall, with much of her lower leg showing from beneath a skirt that would have gone near Samantha's ankles. Leana was beautiful, but she did not always think before she did things. "It's over, and I thank you for joining me," Samantha said, considering she had to talk her well to do friend into it. "You just cant tell pops, he would kill us both if he found out you put me in danger of being killed!" She laughed, and Samantha laughed with her. Samantha was almost a stark difference to her friend. She was light skinned, blonde haired like her dad, more average height. She did have wonderful blue eyes like her mother, and where Leana's legs usually caught someone's first attention, Samantha's eyes did. Both of their parents were college professors, but while Samantha's dad was a professor of a state college, PCU, Leana's dad was teaching in an ivey league school in New York. The difference did not stop there, of course. Samantha's dad was also Paragon Vanguard, and she was pretty sure Leana's dad was not a super hero, though he was a super guy, and a very loving dad. Her mother had died from cancer a few years ago, something Leana was not over. The two chatted as they exited the back door of the soup hall, into the alley. Much of the other volunteer servers had already left while Leana was trying to wash the smell of food off of her, to no avail. Anything less than a full shower was not going to do, and Samantha knew Leana would not stop complaining about it, until she actually got the shower. As the two got to the road, Samantha stopped. "My purse, I forgot my purse!" She exclaimed. "Well, you go back and get it, I will get us a cab," Leana said, looking down the street for one. Samantha nodded, and headed back into the dim lit alley. As she reached for the door, her small white purse dangled in front of her, held by a large meaty hand. "See, you do need your dad," the huge man said, as he stepped from the shadows. Samantha did not even startle, though most would. She had lived with Paragon Vanguard her entire life. A smile simply crossed her face. "Daddy!" She said, and offered a hug, that was gladly received. From behind they both heard a noise, and Samantha looked back to see her friend, armed with a can of pepper spray, eyeing the two. It didn't matter to Michael Summers that the young lady saw them, he did not hide who he was. "Leana, I told you about my dad," Samantha said, and motioned to him. Leana looked at him, and blinked. "Dad? This man cant be but maybe 30! What was he, 10 when you were born?" "I do not age," was all Michael said, offering a big hand, and bit of an embarrassed smile. Leana took his hand, very dainty like, as was her way, and smiled a beautiful smile. "Please to meet you," she said. "I have to go, I just wanted to see you," Michael kissed his daughter's cheek. "And dont leave that purse lying about, with all the cash you have in it." Samantha watched her dad take to the air, the snow swirling up and following him, and he was gone. She looked to Leana and smiled, then back to her purse. "I dont have any cash, I am flat.....Oh dad," she blew another kiss to the sky. Samantha then looked to her friend, who was also looking up to the sky. She still had the pepper spray can in her hand. "What exaclty were you going to do with that?" Samantha laughed, pointing to the can. "You dont even know how to use the thing, do you?" "Oh dont you doubt I can use it, my dad showed me, in fact, I even accidentally sprayed him so I know it works, besides......" Paragon Vanguard watched as the two climbed into a cab, Samantha's new friend going on and on about her pepper spray abilities. He was pleased that she had a friend that would protect her. Still, he wanted to follow the cab anyway. Alas no, he had been there long enough. His wife was waiting at home. She would shake her head at his endeavors that night, and pick on him when Samantha was around, but truth be told, she as much wanted him to check on her as he wanted to check on her himself. As the cab blended in with other New York City traffic, Paragon Vanguard made his way back to Rhode Island at near super sonic speed.
  14. Ok, waking up in a shipping container is NOT normal, Bob thought. Sprawled across a woman who has apparently NOT woken up is NOT normal either. Bob was cold, he was very cold. Abnormally cold in fact. He was not use to being so cold because in his normal home the temperature was always set at 76 degrees. His normal home is where Bob was use to waking up. Not in a shipping container, and especially not sprawled across a prostitute. His head was spinning, and he was sure he would be sick soon. Bob recognized the woman as one of the "ladies" the night before. She had short blonde hair and pretty green eyes. Her hair barely came to her shoulders, and Bob wondered what would possess her to crop it so short. Bob staggered to the container entrance, that was still partially opened. He was not even sure how he got there. He smelled like booze and cheap perfume. He still had the derby on, and his tie. Other than that, he was sporting his plain white boxers and calf high black dress socks. Bob winced as he looked out of the container. Obviously he was in the shipping yard, amidst a bunch of other containers. He could hear muffled talking but it did not sound as if anyone was really all that close to him. With a quick glance around, he did not see his clothes anywhere. Worse still, he did not see any clothes for the woman laying on container floor either. He felt very uncomfortable, and it was not just the cold. Being in a container with an unconscious naked woman is very hard to explain. Thankfully early morning on a weekend, on this part of the docks of Independence Port, was not very busy. Bob walked over and shook the woman, who groaned slightly and began to turn over to her back. Bob quickly stopped her, and insured that she did not further embarrass him by exposing him further to her being exposed. "N-no ma'm, you just lay there. I will uhm, I will get us some clothes, and uhm, well, we can get out of here," he told the woman, who merely seemed to go back to sleep. As cold as it was, they would both be dead if he did not get them out of there. It was definitely below freezing outside, and he was thankful that they probably had not been there that long. Bob looked out of the container again, and saw some boxes. They weren't much, but surely he could pull them apart and place them on the woman to keep her somewhat warm while he found his way back to his client's warehouse. If anyone would know what to do it would be Vinny. Vinny was his friend, and Vinny knew how to do things that weren't normal. This was really past normal. So past normal, that Bob was feeling greatly abnormal. Bob tenderly walked over the cold asphalt, and felt he would freeze if he did not get some clothes soon. He grabbed some of the cleaner looking boxes, and hurried back to the container. As he pulled them apart and placed them on the woman, she stirred again, halfway opened one eye, groaned, and went back to sleep. Bob knew how she felt. His own head was killing him, and he felt he would lose his supper, if indeed he had any supper in him. He was not sure, he did not remember if he ate or not. The nausea would come and go though. Bob knew enough to know he had what others called a "hang over". Bob did not like hang overs. As Bob exited the box, the sun hit his eyes, having now poked out from the city skyline. A new wave of nausea hit, and he released what little he did have in his stomach on the side of the box. Once he got his barrings, he was able to determine which way the warehouse was. Vinny would understand and Vinny would help him. Vinny lead the way to the container. They were blocks away from the warehouse, and Bob walked all that way in his boxers. Bob was thankful Vinny had a pair of pants he could put on, and a shirt, though it was all very baggy on him. Unfortunately either Vinny did not have any extra shoes, or he simply was not letting Bob use them. Bob looked around now, not completely sure which container it was. The morning sun was rising, and people were beginning to come out for work. "You sure you left her out here," Vinny asked, and did not look amused at all. He also seemed to have a hangover. "I-I am sure, sir," Bob said, and began to retrace his steps. Along the way back he was sure to mark where he had been, so he could find the box. Vinny was now following Bob, a long overcoat over his shoulder for the naked woman Bob told him about. "I tell you Bob, I aint never seen someone change so much as you did, you were an animal man! I almost didn't want you to leave, but you said you had to go. Hah, I saw that look in your eye like I seen in many others, I know you gave someone a good time! I just assumed it would have been your wife!" Bob didn't say anything. He was sure he did not give anyone a good time. He was pretty sure he didn't have a time, good or bad, with anyone. Vinny was lead around to the right container, and they both peeped in. Bob saw the hand poking out from under the boxes, and recognized the red nail polish. "You are one crazy son of a gun, Bob. I don't think I will be letting you drink so much next time though. Hah, you even had me worried about you for a while. However, I know these types of girls, and you aint nothing she couldn't handle," he went on, as he pulled the boxes back. Bob decided to stand back and let Vinny handle this. He was not sure if he would throw up again, since he already had to stop two or three times on this trip. "Bob, what did you do?" Vinny asked, and looked over very seriously at Bob. Bob felt his face flush, because truth be told, he had no idea what he did. He was sure however it was nothing that Mrs. Smith would be happy about, no not at all. "C-can we just hurry up, get her up and get out," Bob asked, and Vinny was still staring at him, a very concerned look on his face. "Bob, she is dead," Vinny said. Bob was sure he heard wrong. Surely Vinny said dead drunk, and he just did not hear the drunk part. Dead tired, and he did not hear the tired part. That would have made sense to his senses, but dead, with nothing added behind it, was too preposterous. "Dead?" Bob had to ask. This was definitely something one must clarify if one is told this. Bob of course had to ask the normal question, that anyone in his unshoe'ed feet would have asked. "What do you mean dead?" "Dead Bob," Vinny said, irritated now. "Dead as in dead. Dead as in she aint putting this coat on you made me drag over here for her, dead. Dead as in I do not need this problem, this should have been something you told me about so I could send someone else to get her, dead. DEAD BOB!" Vinny was clearly irritated, but Bob could not think on that too much. Bob pushed past Vinny and looked over. The woman was dead. "Hypothermia?" He asked. "I tried to cover her up to keep her warm. I was not gone that long Vinny!" "Hypo-what? Last I checked hypothermia doesn't cause deep bruises to the neck Bob, or scratches on their neck," Vinny stared at Bob now. "Bob, where did those scratches on your face come from." Bob put his hand up to his face, and felt the scratches. He didn't notice them before, but of course his head was spinning, and he was all but naked in a box with a fully naked woman. "Wait a moment," Vinny looked closer at the woman. "Bob, this aint one of my girls." Bob walked over, and looked closer. "Bob do you know who this woman is?" Bob just looked. A part of his brain was thinking yes, he knew. Another part of his brain was saying impossible. "Bob, this is Danny Stanford's wife. I met her several times at business lunchings." Vinny said, but Bob's mind was saying no way. Bob's knees were saying I cant hold you up buddy as he collapsed against the container wall. Stanford was Bob's boss. In fact, Stanford was one of the closest things he had to a friend at his job. Stanford was the only one that would seem to put up with his odd behaviours, as others called them. Stanford was young, cool, handsome, and actually considered Bob a friend. "I, I don't know...." Vinny just stared at Bob for a moment, and for the first time Bob could see doubt, and maybe worry even, on Vinny's face. "I don't think I want to get involved with this, Bob," Vinny said, shaking his head a bit. "I didn't. I didn't," Bob said, his eyes going from Vinny to the naked Mrs. Stanford. "Well, it sure don't look good for you buddy. I remember you made a phone call before you left," Vinny said. "I had no idea you would be calling Stanford's wife." Bob looked to Vinny, then felt for his phone. He looked at it quickly, checking his calls. There was definitely a number on there he did not recognize, and he was willing to bet it would be her number. "We need to call the police," Bob said, his face another shade of white now. Vinny looked over, and shook his head. "You givin' yourself up? Ifn' you are, you aint making me part of this, you hear!" Bob tilted his head, as it was just now sinking in. Bob was a murderer.
  15. Vinny tweaked the brim of the derby that now sat upon the head of Bob Smith, then he straightened Bob's tie. His suit was gray, and his shirt was white, all normal like, like Bob likes. "You lookin' good there, my friend," Vinny said, with a snap of his finger and a wink. Bob just smiled. It took them only three weeks. Three weeks and Bob Smith was not feeling normal at all. He was not sure if he liked it or not. Oh, he liked the extra money he was getting, but he did not like having to explain it away as nothing to his wife. It felt like lying. Lying was not something Bob normally did. Bob liked the attention he got from these rough, powerful men. He did not like how they treated others, though he kept his mouth shut. It felt like he was just as responsible. He liked to make Vinny happy when he "doctored" the books, but he did not like that much of it, if ever found out, would be criminal. It felt dishonest. "Th-thanks Mr. Vinny. Uhm, I have a good report for you, as always," Bob said, and it was not bragging. He always made sure he had a good report for Vinny. He was not sure what happened to the last accountant. He was not sure he wanted to know. He was sure he did not want to end up like the last accountant, and always made sure Vinny got a good report. "You always have a good report Bob! Always! I like that Bob. My people like that Bob," he said, spreading his arms out to motion to the men all around the warehouse, who were not paying much attention to Bob anymore. "My boss likes that as well Bob!" "That is, uhm, that is great. I just wanted to point out..." he began, but Vinny, as usual, wanted little to do with it. "Put away all those papers. Put that briefcase in your car, Bob. We have worked enough today," though Bob was not sure what kind of work Vinny did today. The man pretty much sat in his office while Bob worked on the numbers. "In but a moment a car is going to pull up Bob, and in that limo is going to be more ladies than we have men here," Vinny grinned. Bob was pretty sure of what Vinny meant. He was also sure that he would not like this, no not one bit. Bob was normal, as he liked to point out to others, though not to Vinny. He was also certain however that his very normal wife would not exactly understand. "I see your worry in your face, but I have something for you Bob. I have a wonderful year of brandy, and I tell you, it goes down smooth like water." Vinny slapped Bob on the back, and headed to his office to retrieve the drinks. Bob just stood there. He was actually exploring the idea of making a run for it. Head to his car, and race off, never to look back. That would not have been normal. It would have been such an odd thing for someone to do, he could not bring himself to do it. It soon no longer mattered, because Vinny showed back up with drinks. "Here you go my friend. Drink up, and enjoy. Life is great." What was Bob to do? Vinny gulped his own drink down, and then began yelling at one of his thugs to open the warehouse's giant doors so the "gals" can come on in when they get here. The men all cheered. Bob did not exactly gulp his down. In fact, it took quite a few sniffs, sips, and finger stirs before he actually took a real drink. He was only halfway done when Vinny returned with another for himself. He was only 2/3s done when the limo pulled in. In fact, the ladies, if you can call them such, were all popping open wine bottles and champagne by the time Bob finished his first drink. People kept pouring different kinds of alcohol in his glass, but usually Vinny came along and dumped out whatever strange concoction he had in his glass. "You and me aint like them, are we Bob? We are refined. We like the real stuff," he would proclaim as he poured from the Brandy bottle. Bob did begin to loosen up, as his head began to spin. In fact, he was not such a fuddy duddy as to keep pushing these nice girls off of him. They were friendly, and did not deserve to be treated as such, as Vinny well pointed out. "Okay. This is not normal", was one of the last thoughts that he would remember.
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