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You are Ben Parker, super-powered criminal and thief extraordinaire. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, you underwent a miraculous change, and adopted the identity of "The Huntsman"! But it's not all bad! Your clone brother, Abel Parker, works to protect the city, and potentially help clean up some of your messes. He goes by the name of "Spider-Man"!

Archive:
https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Max%20Spider%20Quest

Last time: After Ben caught up with his clone brother, Abe (A.K.A. Spider-Man), he recruited the Thief Girls to look into the production and distribution of an addictive drug targeted towards mutants called "Kick". Then, he requested that Ember's first act as a Desperado be to use her powers to remodel Central Park into the greatest Halloween attraction known to man.

And with all the help Ben's been giving the Morlocks, Callisto finally admits to being able to trust him completely. Although, the fact that Ben had just revealed his name and face to her somewhat helped with that declaration.

But what of Iara's revelation of Donny's return? Will the Morlocks be able to comfortably move out of Central Park? Will their plans to profit off of Ember's powers pan out, or will it blow up in their faces?

And will Storm ever recommend the Desperados' services to her colleagues.

Find out more in the latest issue of…MAXIMUM SPIDER QUEST!

Rules:
Most dice rolls will be 1d100. Modifiers will be added depending on the situation or on the alien being used(Usually +10 or -10). Crit successes and crit fails apply. Crit fails can be overridden by crit successes, but crit failures cannot override crit successes.

How to Roll:
To roll dice, type “dice+1d100” in the options field without the quotations. To roll dice with positive modifiers, type “dice+1d100+modifier number” in the options field without quotations, and with an actual modifier number. To roll dice with negative modifiers, type “dice+1d100+-modifier number” in the options field without quotations, and with an actual modifier number.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR

Good luck and have fun!
>>
There were certain things in life that had to be seen to be believed. And as someone who’s lived in New York his entire life, you’ve more than seen your fair share of strange occurrences, supernatural or otherwise. Except this time, you didn’t have your phone to document the activity. And that was because a cyborg shark mutant was currently using your phone to conduct an interview for an international mercenary company.

Although, you supposed that all of this would end up on Screwball’s stream at some point, so you weren’t terribly worried about people believing what was happening right in front of you.

“What the hell is this shit…?” Callisto asked beside you, her solitary eye glued to the large plant man that had gathered all this attention.

You somewhat shared Callisto’s sentiment.

When Iara told you that Donny had miraculously returned from having his whole body turned into a massive, golden brown tree in the middle of Central Park, you weren’t sure what to expect.

But it definitely wasn’t a seven foot tall plant creature with a carved pumpkin for a head.

The “new and improved” Donny was no longer sporting his signature “pot for pants” look, and had seemingly evolved to fit with the rest of Ember’s decorations.

His limbs were made from thick, dark wood that seemed to creak and crack with his every movement. He had stumps for feet, and the right amount of fingers on each hand. But most unsettling was the carved pumpkin that he called a head, and the devious grin that seemed to rest comfortably on his bulbous, orange head, as well as the ominous green glow that emanated from the carved holes of his face.

The tall creature was currently being surrounded by a crowd of curious mutants who were struggling to decide whether they should practice caution or indulge in the curiosity that they undoubtedly felt.

Screwball had no such survival instincts, it seemed.

“Hey! Plant-guy! Donny! Do the thing again so they can see!” she shouted from her current position in the group.

The being known as Donny let out a dark chuckle that sounded nothing like what you would expect the little sapling to produce.

His eyes narrowed in clear amusement.

“Oh, alright…” he declared, in a voice that was deep, unsettling, and only slightly easygoing.

His wide grin grew even wider, physically splitting his face from the effort.

“Hey. You kids wanna see a dead body?”

No one knew how to answer that, so their answers came out as something resembling anxious murmurs.

Donny must’ve taken that as an affirmative, because he nodded his big pumpkin head and took a large step back. Then, without any further ceremony, his big pumpkin head exploded into orange, pulpy chunks and flew out in all directions!

Everyone either jumped back, screamed, or stood in stunned silence as Donny’s body staggered around without a head. Finally, it fell onto its hands and knees and fell to the ground.

(Cont.)
>>
Panic began to set in, and the other Morlocks started to flee. And if it wasn’t for Glass’ presence, they just might’ve.

“Okay, everyone. Stand back.” he demanded.

And the crowd parted to allow him access to Donny’s body. Screwball was hot on his trail, capturing every moment with her handheld camera as the Morlock leader inched closer to the collapsed plant monster.

A few moments later, Donny’s body twitched. Everyone other than Glass and Screwball flinched back.

In mild horror, you watched the headless form of Donny stagger to his feet. Orange and brown plant matter sprang up from his chest and shoulders, shaping themselves into a pumpkin that was identical to his previous one. And in a matter of seconds, Donny had completely regrown his head!

And his first order of business after having resurrected himself…was to laugh.

He let out a bellowing, downright diabolical laugh that would’ve put Dormammu to shame. His laughing fit nearly had him doubled over as he clutched his gut in agony.

“Oh…that one is never gonna get old.” he mused, wiping a fake tear from his eye.

“Is that really you, Donny?” Glass asked, caution clear on his face.

Donny grinned down at him.

“You’d better believe it, buster. I saw all the preparations you were making, and thought that I’d…get in on the fun, you know. Really get into the spirit of things.” he said, his eyes glowing an even deeper shade of green as he did.

What will you say/do?

>”How’d you go from being a giant tree to a walking, talking pumpkin? Is it because of Ember’s powers?”
>”Since when are you so talkative?”
>”I wonder if this is somehow due to the Fairy Flowers’ influence.”
>”We should probably get you some clothes. Can’t have you walking around naked all the time.” (Have Ember create some clothes for him.)
>”Man…kids these days are growing like weeds. Before we know it, he’ll be leaving for college.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6031477
>”Since when are you so talkative?”
>”Man…kids these days are growing like weeds. Before we know it, he’ll be leaving for college.”
>>
>>6031477
>”Man…kids these days are growing like weeds. Before we know it, he’ll be leaving for college.”
>”Anyways, how the hell are you doing big man? I haven't had a chance to talk with you for...ever, I guess."
>>
>>6031477
sudden fear of tricksy fae creatures
>”Since when are you so talkative?”
>"You're coming out joking, I like it. You gave us all a good scare, awesome."
>>
>>6031500
+1
>>
>>6031500
>>6031555
>>6031652
>>6031905
>”Since when are you so talkative?”
>”Man…kids these days are growing like weeds. Before we know it, he’ll be leaving for college.”

Taking these. Writing...
>>
“Since when are you so talkative?” you asked, drawing everyone’s attention to you.

Something resembling a smirk crept up the side of Donny’s wide gap of a mouth.

“Hey hey, Huntsman. Growing a mouth for the first time’ll do that to a guy. Guess I got a little overexcited.” he said with a shrug, finally daring to acknowledge the pumpkin guts splattered around him.

“I’m not the one you’ve got to apologize to, pal. I wasn’t in the splash zone.” you said, gesturing to the unlucky few who’d been too close to him at the time.

And unfortunately for Ember, she was one of them.

Donny shook his head and thumped it with his knuckles.

“Right. Sorry, guys. I’m sure that’ll wash right out.”

Donny gave them an apologetic nod and raised his hands as if to present his innocence and lack of bad intentions.

“He’s tall, he talks, and he’s got manners.” you observed.

“Man…kids these days are growing like weeds. Before we know it he’ll be leaving for college.”

Callisto, who was right next to you at the time, turned to stare at you. She was probably still feeling a little exasperated.

“Donny.” Glass said, drawing the pumpkin-headed plant’s attention.

“How’d this happen to you? You’re not even a year old yet. I saw you get stuck in a drainpipe a few months ago.”

Donny leaned closer to Glass, raised one finger, and waggled it back and forth.

“Almost. I almost got stuck.” he clarified.

“Thanks in no small part to yourself.”

Glass shook his head in confusion.

“I mean: how’re you even smart enough to be talking like this?”

Donny snapped his fingers to make a surprisingly potent noise. Sort of like the sound of a small twig snapping.

“Well…that’s simple, my friends. It’s this gold stuff that’s growing out the top of my head.” he said, gesturing at the giant tree.

Like he said, there were golden leaves growing at the top of Donny’s tree. The Fairy Flowers.

“I’m all juiced up! Haven’t felt better in my entire, pitifully short life.” he declared, a green, foamy material seeping out the edges of his mouth as he did so.

“The flowers, you mean.” Callisto clarified, finally making her presence known.

“You’re hopped up on pixie plant juice. I think you’re a bit below the legal drinking age.”

That earned her a few uneasy chuckles from a decent amount of Morlocks. Even Donny thought it was funny.

“Hehe. Say what you want. I’ve got liquid gold flowing through my veins, baby.” he said, staring down at his fingers as they twitched.

“Fake liquid gold.” Callisto clarified, one more.

Donny seemed to deflate a bit, as a jagged green line carved itself down the corner of his mouth. A moment later, it healed itself, and Donny’s smile curled ever so slightly.

(Cont.)
>>
“At least it's cleaner than all that red gunk that’s inside of you meatbags.” he snarled, pointing a finger straight at Callisto.

Callisto flinched as if she’d been slapped, her single blue eye blinking at him. A heavy silence fell over the crowd like a metal sheet. Everyone’s ears were finely tuned to take in whatever Callisto would say next for daring to say that to her face.

And somehow, no one was prepared for what Callisto would do next.

She laughed.

It started off as a sharp exhalation and a disbelieving shake of the head. But it quickly devolved into disbelieving laughter. And miraculously, it developed into a hysterical laughter.

Such a state was rare for Callisto. If not completely impossible.

But here she was. Throwing her head back in laughter. A few moments later, Donny joined her in laughing. You're not even sure he knew why.

“Oh, man. I think I might actually like this new Donny.” Callisto said.

“You’re…not suspicious?” you asked, not able to believe your ears.

“Like, at all?” Glass asked, likely feeling as confused as you were.

Callisto shook her head, raised a hand and pointed.

“Nope. Because Nature Girl would’ve said something if it wasn’t our darling crackpot.”

You all followed her finger to see Nature Girl, riding a stagg into the crowd. People were quickly stepping aside to avoid getting their feet trampled on.

She nodded.

“It’s him. Deep down, at least.”

She’d muttered that last part.

“That strain of flowers must be producing a chemical that’s warping his developing mind. He seems to have mutated from prolonged exposure.”

“Is that a bad thing?” Glass asked.

Nature Girl just shrugged.

“At this point, who can say for sure? I’m not familiar with this type of flora. Maybe if we knew a botanist that’s studied otherworldly fauna, we’d have a more definitive answer.” she explained.

What will you say?

>”We should keep an eye on him for a while. Just to make sure that he’s stable.”
>”Maybe we should pay Doctor Strange another visit. I know a Green Bull that’d be perfect for this job.”
>”Would it be possible for Donny to create some sort of sap from the flowers? He said that he had ‘liquid gold flowing through his veins’.”
>”We might have to cut you off from the fairy juice, pal. Or at least limit your intake until we can figure out what’s going on.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6032052
>>”Maybe we should pay Doctor Strange another visit. I know a Green Bull that’d be perfect for this job.”
>>
>>6032052
>>”Maybe we should pay Doctor Strange another visit. I know a Green Bull that’d be perfect for this job.”
>"What do you say Donny? You had quite the growth spurt, are you up for a doctors appointment? "
>>
>>6032056
>>6032121
>”Maybe we should pay Doctor Strange another visit. I know a Green Bull that’d be perfect for this job.”
>"What do you say Donny? You had quite the growth spurt, are you up for a doctors appointment?"

Taking and combining these. Writing...
>>
“Maybe we should pay the good Doctor Strange another visit. I know a certain Green Bull who’d be perfect for this job.” you suggested.

Some of the Morlocks traded confused glances upon hearing that last bit. Not that you expected them to know who Rintrah was.

“What do you say, Donny? You've had quite the growth spurt. Are you up for a doctor's appointment?”

The plant man made a thoughtful noise and scrunched up his face as he mulled it over. It didn't take very long for him to come up with an answer, though.

“Nah. I think I'd rather stay here with you guys.” he said with a casual shrug of his shoulders. “Besides, why would I need a doctor? I'm in the best shape of my life.”

“You've been alive for less than a year.” Callisto pointed out.

“I know. Isn’t it incredible?” Donny replied, flaunting his new body to anyone who was willing to look.

What will you say?

>”If you come with us, I’ll see if they’ll let you eat some plants from the greenhouse.”
>”That’s exactly why we need to go get you checked out. Your body’s going through some rapid changes that we can’t predict, and we want to make sure that you’re doing alright.”
>”Feeling good is one thing. Being healthy is another.”
>”Alright. We won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. But we still need to get you looked at. Would you be more comfortable if we brought someone here instead?”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6032791
>”If you come with us, I’ll see if they’ll let you eat some plants from the greenhouse.”
>>
>>6032791
>>”If you come with us, I’ll see if they’ll let you eat some plants from the greenhouse.”
>>
>>6032791
>”Feeling good is one thing. Being healthy is another.”
>”Alright. We won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. But we still need to get you looked at. Would you be more comfortable if we brought someone here instead?”

Good to see you back Score. You doing well?
>>
>>6032791
>>”Feeling good is one thing. Being healthy is another.”
>"We want you to keep feeling great, not just have you bloom for a single season, right?"
>>
>>6032805
>>6032874
>>6033213
>>6033538
>”Feeling good is one thing. Being healthy is another.”
>"We want you to keep feeling great, not just have you bloom for a single season, right?"
>”If you come with us, I’ll see if they’ll let you eat some plants from the greenhouse.”

Taking these. Writing...

>>6033213
It's good to see you too, anon! I'm doing good! A bit tired, but I can't complain.
>>
File: 4aLAameH-651x1024.jpg (47 KB, 651x1024)
47 KB
47 KB JPG
“Feeling good is one thing. Being healthy is another. And we want you to keep feeling great, not just bloom for a single season.”

Donny didn’t look terribly impressed by your pun. You’d have to come up with something else to get him to come along with you.

“If you come with us, I’ll try to see if they’ll let you eat some of the plants from the greenhouse~.” you offered.

Donny’s grin widened, and he let out a sinister chuckle.

“Ooh! You drive a hard bargain, Huntsman. You’ve got yourself a deal.”

You really hoped you could make good on that promise. It wouldn’t do to have Donny think that you were a liar.

“Just…try not to eat anything too weird. You don’t know what it might do to you.” Glass advised.

“And try not to throw up all over his nice floor if you do end up eating something weird. We don’t need a pissed off sorcerer hurling curses at us.” Callisto added.

Donny chuckled at that.

"Hehe. 'Hurling'..."

“Relax, guys. I’m sure he’s got cleaning spells for when people throw up in his main lobby.” you reassured them.

“Oh my god! How cool would it be to do a livestream from inside the Sanctum Sanctorum!?” Screwball asked her camera.

"Something tells me that he won't be too jazzed about the idea." Ember grumbled, still picking pumpkin guts out of her hair.

-------

So, you got Donny to agree to follow you to the Sanctum Sanctorum. Now all you had to do was find a way to get him there.

What will you do?

>Find a way to squeeze Donny into a taxi.
>Go for a walk. Donny could use some experience navigating the city.
>Team up with Spider-Man and carry Donny to the Sanctum.
>Wait for Iara to finish her interview and have her fly him there.
>Bring someone with you. (Who?)
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6033822
>Go for a walk. Donny could use some experience navigating the city.
>>
>>6033822
>Go for a walk. Donny could use some experience navigating the city.
It IS October, isn't it? No better time for him to stretch his legs.
>>
>>6033822
>>Go for a walk. Donny could use some experience navigating the city.
>>
>>6033822
>Take the subway
he needs to learn how to get around in NYC
>>
>>6034115
Oh and
>>Bring someone with you
>Nature girl
>>
>>6033831
>>6033847
>>6033970
>Go for a walk. Donny could use some experience navigating the city.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
For the first time in a long while, you decided that a nice, brisk walk would be a nice change of pace. It was easy to lose touch with the world when you spent all your time effortlessly swinging from place to place.

Specifically, you forgot what it was like to experience foot traffic on the sidewalk. As well as vehicular traffic in the street. Some walked far too slow. Others blocked the entire path forward with their group of friends, each one of them placed strategically to prevent passage.

It was almost nostalgic how incensed you were feeling at times. But there were two things that made this brisk walk worthwhile. It was the strange looks that you and Donny were getting, and his genuine reactions to the wide world above his previous home.

“How do I look?” he asked, rising to his full, considerable height and spreading his arms.

Currently, the lanky giant was wearing an “I heart NY” shirt, a pair of green sunglasses and a matching mantle that matched that of Lady Liberty, and an assortment of bracelets and charms he’d picked up along the way. You were, of course, paying for everything. The real challenge was keeping track of every vendor you had to pay whenever Donny lifted something from them.

“Like a million bucks.” you lied.

You were particularly disturbed by the way that he was wearing his sunglasses. They were sort of just…dangling from his eye-holes.

“Really?” Donny said, perking up at your praise.

“Yes, really.” you lied once more.

“Doesn’t he look like a million bucks?” you asked, turning to address the Indian vendor that was running this gift shop.

He glanced between the two of you and gave you a nervous nod. He seemed to be unable to meet Donny’s eyes, even when they were hidden behind those ridiculous sunglasses.

“And you’re sure that everyone dresses like this.” Donny reaffirmed.

“Oh, yeah. Totally.”

“Then why isn’t everyone else wearing one?” Donny demanded, gesturing at the passing civilians wearing normal clothing.

You made a show of lazily scanning your surroundings, as if you’d only just now noticed that Donny stood out like a sore thumb.

“Huh. You know? Now that you mention it, that is kind of strange.” you observed.

Then, with a snap of your fingers, you finalized your hypothesis.

“It must be because they don’t love New York as much as you do. That, or they’re too scared to wear it on a shirt like you are right now.”

Donny nodded as if you’d confirmed a theory that he had long suspected.

“That must be why they are staring. They’re shocked by my bold declaration.”

“And probably jealous, too. I mean, here you are, all dressed up, and they came out of the house wearing…that.”

The random person that you pointed to gave you a nasty look that you absolutely deserved.

Donny shook his head in sympathy.

“These poor, stifled meatbags...”
>>
“Right. It’s as if they’ve never seen a seven foot tall, pumpkin-headed one year old.”

“What they should be staring at are these buildings. They’re huge!” Donny declared, craning his neck all the way back to stare up at a skyscraper.

“How tall do you think that one is?” he asked.

You glanced up at the building, squinted at it, and pretended to do some mental calculations.

“Mmm…probably a couple hundred Callisto’s.”

“Incredible…” Donny gasped.

“Yeah. It really is…”

For a good, long moment, you and Donny took a moment to silently appreciate the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. It wasn’t often that you got to see things from this perspective these days.

Your feet back on solid ground, feeling the thrum of passing engines, the honking of horns and the rhythmic thumping of footsteps from all the people that were looking at you funny.

You should take walks more often.

“I wonder if they have more bracelets here.” Donny said, his entire head poking through the window of the vendor’s stall.

“No no no! Please, sir! There is no room!” the vendor pleaded.

“Really? Another bracelet?” you asked, exasperation clear in your voice.

“Buddy, I know you’ve got long arms, but this is pushing it.”

“Excuse me, sir. I’m gonna need you to step away from the stall.”

You turned to find that the source of the voice was a lady cop. She and her partner’s gazes were locked firmly on you, but they were casting nervous glances at Donny’s back.

“What seems to be the problem, officer?” you asked in your most polite voice.

“The problem is that you’re currently wanted for multiple acts of grand larceny, vigilantism and public endangerment.”

Oh, right. You were sort of a wanted criminal, weren’t you? You’ve been through so much over these past few weeks that it almost slipped your mind.

“If you would just step away from the stall, I’d like to ask you some questions.”

(Cont.)
>>
What will you say/do?

>"Oh, no! I'm not actually...this is a Halloween costume. I got a little excited, and I didn't want to wait until Halloween night to put it on. Is my costume really that good?"
>”I think you’ve got me confused with my evil twin. You can read all about his exploits in the latest printing of the Bugle.”
>”So…you’re not taking me downtown? Because that’s usually where most cops want to take me these days.”
>”No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive. You have called for backup, right?”
>”Can’t this wait until after my friend here is done shopping? It’s his first time in the big city, and he’s giddy as a schoolgirl.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6034689
Hmmm...she's not setting off our Spider Senses at all, is she?
>>
>>6034689

>Write-in.
>"GRAND Larceny? You refuse to pay for extra chili ONE time and they send the boys (and girls) in blue? I mean the guy was skimping! That's fraud!"

>”I think you’ve got me confused with my evil twin. You can read all about his exploits in the latest printing of the Bugle.”

I mean they aren't immediately trying to arrest us so, play along I guess.
>>
>>6034721
She's not an immediate threat to you, no. They don't seem to want to immediately escalate the situation.
>>
>>6034689
>>”No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive. You have called for backup, right?”
>>
>>6034689
>>”No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive. You have called for backup, right?”
>>
>>6034689
>”I think you’ve got me confused with my evil twin. You can read all about his exploits in the latest printing of the Bugle.”
>”Can’t this wait until after my friend here is done shopping? It’s his first time in the big city, and he’s giddy as a schoolgirl.”
>Try and take a look at their names, faces, and badge numbers.

>A couple hundred Callisto's tall
>Whoa...
Lmao
>>
>>6034689
She just said we're wanted, not that she wants to arrest us.
>"That's quite the accusation. Are you sure you got the right guy?"
>"The most egregious problem I've encountered today was some not so subtle bias against my POC friend there. Green, he's uhh... a person of chlorophyll."
>"I admire your courage of approaching someone whom you think did such crimes, but you probably got the wrong guy."
>"I'm just a guy in a Halloween costume doing some shopping."
You don't want to do this, lady.
>>
>>6034689
>”No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive. You have called for backup, right?”
>"Donny, say hello. Don't be rude."
>>
>>6034791
>>6034906
>>6035182
>”No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive. You have called for backup, right?”

This is the most voted for option. Should we move ahead with it, or would anyone like to back another vote to go along with it?
>>
>>6035517
I'm fine with moving forward personally
>>
>>6034791
>>6034906
>>6035182
>”No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive. You have called for backup, right?”
>"Donny, say hello. Don't be rude."

Sorry for the delay! Just got a moment to update this. Writing...
>>
“No need. We can talk right here. It’ll give us something to do while you wait for backup to arrive.” you said, casually leaning against the counter.

“You have called for backup, right?”

The two cops exchanged a look, and you got the distinct impression that your nonchalant attitude was putting them on edge. Either that, or they were just getting annoyed with you, which wasn’t a terribly unusual occurrence.

“Are we sure he’s not the other one?” muttered the slightly overweight cop.

His partner raised an eyebrow at him, but didn’t bother to answer his question before returning her attention to you.

“Believe it or not, I’m trying not to have this devolve into a gunfight or an active pursuit. Because as far as I’ve heard, you’re not a cop killer.” said the lady cop.

Oh, please. They couldn't catch you if tied one hand behind your back, hopped on one foot, and gave them a ten second head start. But pointing that out would only anger them. And you’ve never had good experiences with agitated cops.

Maybe if they saw that you posed no threat, they might not be so quick to draw their weapons. Hence, your relaxed demeanor.

“But stuff tends to blow up when you’re around. You’re like a magnet for trouble.” her partner added.

“Guess I can’t argue with that.” you admitted with a shrug.

That seemed to piss him off even more. You could never win with these guys. This was why Abe was the one you sent to deal with the cops.

A loud thump from the stall drew their attention to Donny, who now nearly had his entire head lodged in the window.

“What is that thing…?” the woman asked.

“‘He’ has a name.” you corrected.

“Donny, say hello. Don’t be rude.”

Upon hearing his name, the large plant-man removed his head from the window and straightened his back so that he towered over all of you. He then raised his left hand and waved it back and forth.

“Hello…” he said, an unintentional snarl.

Both cops recoiled immediately.

“Jesus!”

The male cop’s hand went for his gun, but his partner stuck out a hand to stop him from doing exactly that.

Donny glanced between the two of them and made a thoughtful rumble in the back of his throat.

“You’re both dressed the same. Would either of you be willing to wear a shirt or bracelet expressing your love for this fine city?”

Neither of them knew how to respond to that one.

“Don’t mind him. It’s his first time out. He’s just a little excited.”

The lady cop nodded warily.

“Oookay…?”

(Cont.)
>>
What will you say?

>”So, from the sound of things, you two want me to come quietly and let you arrest me? Doesn’t exactly sound like a fun way to spend my afternoon.”
>”This has got to be the worst, most slowest arrest I’ve ever been a part of.”
>”Well, this has been fun, but I’ve got an appointment with the Sorcerer Supreme to make. If you’ll excuse me…”
>”Why don’t we cut to the chase? What do you want from me?”
>Let Donny take over for a little while. He can use the practice in social situations, and you could use the entertainment.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6036453
>>”Well, this has been fun, but I’ve got an appointment with the Sorcerer Supreme to make. If you’ll excuse me…”
>>
>>6036453
>>”Why don’t we cut to the chase? What do you want from me?”
>>
>>6036453
>"Look, guys, I appreciate your service and that you’re probably working hard to keep the city safe and whatnot, but I’m generally not in the habit of talking to cops, so unless you’re gonna start asking your questions or throwing around the "A" word, my pal here and I kinda got places to be…"
Don’t talk to cops, especially if they haven’t made up their minds whether or not you’re a criminal. Also, don’t put Strange in an awkward situation with the cops, that’s bad manners.
>>
>>6036453
>"If you're gonna try and arrest me, I'd appreciate it if you actually just said that next time. The whole "I'd like to ask you some questions" bit just puts people on edge."
>”Why don’t we cut to the chase? What do you want from me?”
>>
>>6036739
>>6036959
>”Why don’t we cut to the chase? What do you want from me?”

Taking these. Writing...
>>
Realizing that this wasn’t just another lazy attempt to put you behind bars, you decided to try and commit these officer’s names, faces and badge numbers to memory.

The lady cop had long legs, a surprisingly nice rack, and short brown hair styled into a bob. Her partner, the overweight man, had lidded eyes, a double chin, and a thin, brown mustache.

“Why don’t we cut to the chase, here? What do you want from me?” you asked.

The lady cop blinked a couple of times, and cleared her throat before continuing. It actually sort of like her face had loosened a bit when you caught her off guard. Was she just trying to act tough in front of you?

“Right. I’m officer Campbell, and this is my partner, Officer Kucharsky.”

Kucharsky moved his hand away from his belt and nodded.

“Huntsman. You’ve already met, Donny.” you said, pointing a thumb back at the tall plant creature.

“Hello…” Donny repeated, in almost the same creepy manner as last time.

“Uh, hi.” Campbell said cautiously.

She even attempted a smile. What a good sport.

“Well, we heard you were real active during Doom’s attack on the city. We got a few reports saying that you and a few of the other vigilantes put down a good chunk of his killer robots.”

“I don’t know why you did it, but it sure did make our jobs a hell of a lot easier.” Kucharsky said, his hairy hand still on his belt.

“Either way,” the woman continued. “Doom’s little distraction allowed a lot of dangerous people to escape Ryker’s, and we’re not having much luck finding leads on them. It’s like they’ve disappeared into the city.”

Dangerous people like Felicia’s father. You’d imagine someone that taught your fellow teammate would know how to disappear.

“Sounds like an exciting time…” Donny hissed.

Both officers gave Donny another concerned glance.

“And what do you want me to do about it?” you said.

“Well…you’re friends with some of those hero-types, right?” asked Kucharsky.

“Friends who routinely patrol the city and bust up dangerous people all the time.” Campbell added.

“We need you to ask them if they’ve seen these guys, or at least have some idea on where they might be holed up.”

You wondered if Felicia’s dad was on that list. It might be worth finding that out.

“We made you a list.” she offered.

So, they came here with the intention of using you as a Bounty Hunter/Informant.

(Cont.)
>>
What will you say?

>”I don’t work for free. You boys do good work, but I’ve been doing way too much pro-bono work lately, and I think it’s time to start charging again.”
>“I see that news of my networking skills has gone public. I’ve been making friends all over the place, lately.”
>”Lemme see that list. Is there anyone particularly dangerous on it?”
>”Ah, I see. You two are looking to use this crisis to advance your careers. Smart move.”
>”Sorry, it’s my policy not to work with or give information to cops. I’ll pass the word along, and that’s it.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6037480
>“I see that news of my networking skills has gone public. I’ve been making friends all over the place, lately.”
>>”Lemme see that list. Is there anyone particularly dangerous on it?”
>>
>>6037480
>"Okay first, I went out and tangled with those robots because I live here, just like you and your partner. God forbid I ever stray from the image the Daily Bugle likes to paint of me..."
>“I see that news of my networking skills has gone public. I’ve been making friends all over the place, lately.”
>”I don’t work for free. You boys do good work, but I’ve been doing way too much pro-bono work lately, and I think it’s time to start charging again.”
>”Lemme see that list. Is there anyone particularly dangerous on it?”
>>
>>6037480
>>”I don’t work for free. You boys do good work, but I’ve been doing way too much pro-bono work lately, and I think it’s time to start charging again.”

I suggest later on creating a tiered list and making a price match with the severity of the threat of each villain.
>>
>>6037480
>”Lemme see that list. Is there anyone particularly dangerous on it?”

Time to go on the hunt for some guys. If anything we could capture a couple and simultaneously hang out with Abe. Hell, whoever on the list might be competition against Silvermane. Three birds, one Ben sized stone
>>
>>6037493
>>6037525
>>6037743
>>6038573
>“I see that news of my networking skills has gone public. I’ve been making friends all over the place, lately.”
>”Lemme see that list. Is there anyone particularly dangerous on it?”
>”I don’t work for free. You boys do good work, but I’ve been doing way too much pro-bono work lately, and I think it’s time to start charging again.”

Taking these. Writing...

>>6038573
Saved! I see you, Callisto-anon!
>>
“I see that news of my networking skills has gone public. I’ve been making friends all over the place, lately.” you said with a self-satisfied sigh.

“You and the other guy have been making a name for yourselves, lately. I hear you two even work together sometimes.” Kucharsky put in.

“If we’re both in the area, sure.” you casually let out, not wanting to imply that the two of you were far closer than anyone actually expected.

“Lemme see that list. Is there anyone particularly dangerous on it?”

Campbell reached into her shirt pocket to produce a small bundle of papers that had been folded several times over. When you unfolded it, you saw a column of information that listed the criminals’ names, faces, crimes, and other personal information that might be used to help track them down.

“A lot of them are. You’ve got ‘Muse’, a serial murderer who turns his victims into public, gory art-projects. And then there’s ‘Sleepwalker', who invades people’s dreams and terrorizes them in their sleep for days, before…eventually killing them.” Campbell explained.

“And there’s that devil-worshiping, snake bastard. He creeps me the hell out.” Kucharsky added.

There were a lot of names on here. Some you recognized, like Halfstep and Foxhole. But to your surprise, you couldn’t actually find Felicia’s dad anywhere on this list. Either he was being identified under a different name, or they hadn’t actually noticed that he was missing.

The possibility of his immediate recapture hadn’t even registered in your mind. Cat was too good for sloppy mistakes like that.

“What about that arsonist? The guy with the pressurized flamethrower? ‘Blaze’, I think?” Campbell said to her partner.

He won’t be too much of a problem. Not for you, anyway. You can’t say much for whatever it is he decides to light on fire.

Nevertheless, you’d have to reorganize this list based off of how dangerous they are, and how hard they’d be for you or anyone else to catch,

“I don’t work for free.” you said, not looking up from the packet.

You felt both officer’s eyes settling on you, their previous conversation momentarily forgotten.

“You boys do good work and all, but I’ve been doing too much pro-bono work lately, and I think it’s about time that I start charging again.”

“You want money?” Kucharsky asked, the look on his face telling you that he wasn’t exactly surprised, but he was clearly disappointed.

“How much do you charge...?” Campbell asked, a bit apprehensively.

(Cont.)
>>
What will you say?

>”That depends. How much can you scrape together on short notice?”
>"My rates will vary depending on how dangerous the target is. Can you get me some more detailed files on these people?"
>”Find out if there are any other like-minded cops who might wanna fund this little venture. I’m sure you can pool some money if you really put your heads together.”
>”Someday, I’m gonna need a favor from you guys. In the meantime, try your best to make some connections and advance your careers. If you stick with me, I'll make sure that you move up in the world."
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6039373
>>”Someday, I’m gonna need a favor from you guys. In the meantime, try your best to make some connections and advance your careers. If you stick with me, I'll make sure that you move up in the world."
>>
>>6039373
>”Someday, I’m gonna need a favor from you guys. In the meantime, try your best to make some connections and advance your careers. If you stick with me, I'll make sure that you move up in the world."
Money we have plenty of but you can never have too many connections!
>>
>>6039373
>"My rates will vary depending on how dangerous the target is. Can you get me some more detailed files on these people?"
>”Someday, I’m gonna need a favor from you guys. In the meantime, try your best to make some connections and advance your careers. If you stick with me, I'll make sure that you move up in the world."
>>
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>>6039369
>"My rates will vary depending on how dangerous the target is. Can you get me some more detailed files on these people?"

>>6039257
>Spoiler
Yeah I've been looking for some more X-Men comics to get better screen grabs. X-Men Evolution has a bunch of good ones desu
>>
>>6039390
>>6039391
>>6039400
>>6039587
>"My rates will vary depending on how dangerous the target is. Can you get me some more detailed files on these people?"
>”Someday, I’m gonna need a favor from you guys. In the meantime, try your best to make some connections and advance your careers. If you stick with me, I'll make sure that you move up in the world."

Taking these. Writing...

>>6039587
Well, I appreciate your efforts! I had to get a few screen grabs for certain characters because there weren't any high quality ones.
>>
“My rates will vary depending on how dangerous the target is. Can you get me some more detailed files on these people?” you asked, showing the packet to Campbell.

She nodded.

“I can do that.”

“Good. Because someday, I’m going to need a favor from you guys. In the meantime, try your best to make some connections and advance your careers. If you stick with me, I'll make sure that you move up in the world.”

The two officers exchanged a worried glance. You could tell that they were apprehensive about putting their careers on the line for this, but if they weren’t at least willing to get their hands dirty, then they wouldn’t have come to you about this in the first place.

At least, you hoped they weren’t stupid enough to get themselves caught before you could get them set up. You didn’t currently have a way to ensure them a quick promotion, but that could change with a little effort on your part.

And even if it didn’t work out, you could set them up somewhere else by calling in a few favors. But they didn’t need to know that just yet.

“Isn’t that nice. You made some new friends today.” Donny remarked with a chuckle that was only slightly wicked-sounding.

And that little remark didn’t do anything to ease the officers’ worries.

With that business out of the way, you folded the packet and tucked it into your jacket.

“How will we get in touch with you?” Campbell asked.

What will you say?

>”You won’t. I’ll come and find you.”
>”What’s your opinion on carrier pigeons?”
>”Try to keep an open mind. I’m friends with a psychic, so don’t be alarmed if I decide to drop in unannounced.”
>”Invest in a Spider-symbol, but don’t make it too obvious. We don’t need the entire NYPD up our asses everytime we decide to meet up.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6040187
>”What’s your opinion on carrier pigeons?”
These are classic. I bet Nature Girl can train them better than anyone.
>>
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>>6040187
>”What’s your opinion on carrier pigeons?”
Who doesn't like pigeons?
>>
>>6040187
>>”What’s your opinion on carrier pigeons?”
>>
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>>6040187
”Try to keep an open mind. I’m friends with a psychic, so don’t be alarmed if I decide to drop in unannounced.”

>>6040197
Ngl, if we continue this strategy we could get Pete hooked up with Chat due to the entirety of the mutant population being cool with us. Hell, when are we invited to the Mutant barbecue?
>>
>>6040431
>Chat
I completely forgot she existed, which is a shame since she's right up there with MJ for how well she and Peter do together.
>>
>>6040197
>>6040201
>>6040240
>”What’s your opinion on carrier pigeons?”

Taking these. Writing...

>>6040431
>>6040655
Chat was a really good match for Peter, imo.

Don't worry! There are a decent amount of girls that Lil' Pete can end up with in this story. I've got a few contenders lined up, but he hasn't met them yet! He's got a few events and encounters to go through in the near future before he can get to that point.
>>
>>6040894
On the topic of Pete, is he enrolled in school yet?
>>
>>6040896
He's currently being home-schooled by Richard. And since Pete is a quick learner, its likely that he'll end up being pretty damn smart when he grows up.
>>
>>6040897
Not to knock Richard's ability to teach, but I think he knows just how much Peter stands to lose in terms of development by being homeschooled.
And I mean that socially AND academically. The value of being around trained teachers and kids his own age can't be overstated.
>>
>>6040899
This is just the current state of things. They're subject to change at a point later in time. Richard feels like he has a lot to teach his son, and he wants to be more involved in his life.

If you want to ask him about what his plans are for the future, or just giving Peter more opportunities to socialize with others, you're welcome to do that.

Also, Peter has another parent that has yet to weigh in on the issue. But that's a topic for another time.
>>
>>6040900
We should try and see if we can't find Mary at some point. Is Richard still unable to get a beat on her current whereabouts?
>>
>>6040909
She sent him a coded message a while back, and judging by his reaction to its contents, he seems confident that she's wrapping up whatever business has been keeping her from Richard and Peter.

If she can't be found, its because she doesn't want to be found yet.
>>
>>6040915
Surely there will be no complications in the near future. Surely.
In the meantime...time to see if there's a good school near Vic's house. That and maybe an MMA gym with kid's classes. Either or.
>>
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“What’s your opinion on carrier pigeons?” you asked.

Campbell’s mouth opened and closed wordlessly for a moment as her brain tried to process what you’d just suggested.

If they’d only known that you were acquainted with two women who were capable of training and communicating with animals, they wouldn’t be looking at you like you were crazy.

“Are we sure this is a good idea?” Kucharsky whispered to his partner.

—-----------

Sometime later, after you’d managed to convince those two cops that you were entirely capable of sending trained carrier pigeons back and forth through the city(and bribed the vendor to keep his mouth shut), you brought Donny to the doorstep of the Sorcerer Supreme.

And, unsurprisingly, he wasn’t home. Again. But Wong was there to open the door for you. And thanks to Rintrah’s endorsement, you were once again allowed to set foot inside of the Sanctum Sanctorum. The only stipulation was that Wong was insistent on escorting you and Donny personally. You suspected that the reason for this was Donny’s incessant desire to touch everything and anything that stood out to him in the manor.

This always earned him a slap on the hand from the Asian sorcerer, and a stern glare. He was this close to giving the pumpkin-headed creature a harsh lecture, when Rintrah opened the large door leading to his laboratory.

The room had checkerboard-pattern stone tiles for flooring, and a wide open space for all of Rintrah’s tools. There was only one table, but it was outrageously long, to the point of stretching from one end of the room to the other. There, Rintrah stored an impressive number of grimoires, an assortment of twisty beakers, as well as some other tools and alchemical ingredients that you were having trouble identifying.

“It’s good to see you, Huntsman. You demonstrate great judgment in coming to me with this dilemma as soon as you did. Biological transmutation is a tricky field. And for such a reaction to be naturally occuring, without the use of enchantments or potions…”

The green, bipedal bull proceeded to mutter to himself as he grabbed a number of potions and tomes, and walked further into his lab.

“It’s good to see you too, Rintrah.” you said, smiling at the man from underneath your mask.

“Do you have much experience with this sort of thing? Fairy flowers, I mean.”

Rintrah grunted, which…could have meant any number of things, really. He did it fairly often.

“Sir Strange has allowed me to study the ones that you have given him. From what I’ve learned, the flowers give off a faint illusory aura, and have been very useful in my astral magic studies. In great quantities, they can be made into a concentrated potion, and I do believe that there is some merit in using them to create a poultice-”

“So you’re pretty knowledgeable on the subject.” you concluded.

(Cont.)
>>
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“Hrrm. About as much as the next person.” he said, shoving a bundle of scrolls under his arms as he traveled down the table.

“Modesty doesn’t become you, Rintrah.” Wong said from behind Donny.

“These all look really easy to break. Are you sure you need all of these?” Donny asked, eyeing the oddly shaped beakers.

“Keep your hands to yourself.” Wong demanded sharply. To his and Rintrah’s credit, neither of them seemed phased by Donny’s odd apparel.

You supposed that with an occupation like theirs, it would take a lot to surprise them.

Donny just shrugged.

“Whatever. I came here for the free food, but I haven’t seen anything worth eating.”

Rintrah’s ears perked up slightly.

“Oh? And what exactly is your diet composed of?”

“Huntsman said that there’d be plants to eat.”

Both Rintrah and Wong stopped suddenly, and turned to stare at him.

“You eat plants.” Wong said, not quite phrasing it as a question, but you could tell that there was an underlying tone of incredulity mixed in there somewhere.

“Fascinating…! A herbivorous plant creature. What sort of plants do you enjoy eating?” Rintrah asked.

“Colorful ones. Crunchy ones. Tasty ones...” Donny said, unhelpfully.

“He ate a daffodil off the sidewalk on the way over, if that counts.” you added.

“It tasted terrible.” Donny grumbled.

Wong was currently demonstrating his secret superpower: "Radiating displeasure without outwardly expressing it".

Rintrah made a thoughtful grunt as he set his things back on the table.

“Hrrm. I wonder if your diet has anything to do with your current appearance.” he wondered aloud.

Donny shook his head, and then pointed at it.

“Nah. This is just because something called ‘Halloween’ is coming up. At least, that’s what everyone tells me. I’m just trying to get into the spirit of things.”

He said that last part with a maniacal laugh that had both Rintrah and Wong giving him concerned looks.

“Kids say the darndest things.” you said with a sigh.

Rintrah shook his head and cleared his throat.

“Yes, well…I still need to conduct a few tests.” he said, grabbing a beaker filled with clear liquid and offering it to Donny.

“Donny, would you be so kind as to provide me with a sample of your, erm…body?”

“Sure thing.”

Donny placed a crooked finger over the beaker, and right before your eyes, his finger started to demonstrate rapid growth. Then, he wrapped his other hand around the finger, mercilessly snapped a chunk of it off, and dropped it into the beaker.

Immediately, the liquid inside turned pitch black.

“Oh, my…” Rintrah gasped.

A moment later, swirls of green started to appear, followed by little flecks of gold.

“What’s that mean?” you asked.
>>
Rintrah blinked several times, swirled the liquid around a bit, and then brought it up to his nose to sniff it.

“Hrrm. I haven’t the slightest idea. I’ve never seen anything like this.” he confessed.

Even Wong, who was usually stoic, looked a bit perplexed.

“I’m afraid that I’ll need to keep him here until I can get a better idea of what’s going on.”

Donny didn’t seem to like that answer.

“What about the food? You promised food.” he demanded with a pronounced scowl.

What will you say?

>”If you’re a good boy during Rintrah’s tests, then I’ll let you eat all the plants you want, later.”
>”I’m sure Wong and Rintrah have a few plants that they can spare. Don’t they?”
>”Sorry bud, but it's probably for the best if we shelve that idea until we can figure out what's going on with you."
"Are you sure you didn't eat anything else weird before you came here? You can tell me. I won't get mad."
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6040965
>"Who am I to deny a growing boy his food? I'm sure we can whip up something tasty for you back at the park and I can bring it on over in a flash, if you're okay with a light roasting."
Shouldn't be a problem for Nature Girl to grow us some exotic plants and stuff that in a big old web-sack.
>>
>>6040965
>>”I’m sure Wong and Rintrah have a few plants that they can spare. Don’t they?”
>>
>>6040965
>”I’m sure Wong and Rintrah have a few plants that they can spare. Don’t they?”
>>
>>6041108
>>6041207
>”I’m sure Wong and Rintrah have a few plants that they can spare. Don’t they?”

Taking these. Writing...
>>
>>6040965
Damn, I forgot about this for too long after the break. I missed some juicy votes earlier!
>”Do either of you know any flower shops in the area? I can pick Donny Boy up some greens to try before the pipes start calling him.”
>”But this is a doctor visit, so we expect plant-based candy on the way out. It’s a small price to pay for learning more about what’s up with our homegrown plant boy.”
>”Are you sure you didn't eat anything else weird before you came here? You can tell me. I won't get mad."
>>
>>6041691
16 minutes late and… a little over one cent short as the saying usually goes. Oh well!
>>
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>>6041691
>>6041695
Better luck next time, anon! And welcome back!
>>
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“I'm sure Wong and Rintrah have a few plants that they can spare. Don't they?” you said, directing that last part at them.

The two exchanged a glance. Rintrah was the first to speak up.

“Hrrm. You know, it might be worth it to see which creatures Donny chooses to ingest, as well as the processes his new body goes through to digest them.”

Wong let out a weary sigh.

“Fine. But you’ll be the one explaining to the gardener what happened to their mandrakes.”

Rintrah swallowed nervously, and then tried to cover it up by clearing his throat.

“...I’m sure they’ll understand.”

Donny’s grin was so big that it quite literally split his mouth at the edges.

—--------

Doctor Strange’s garden was exactly as you remembered it: Teeming with life, and with far more movement and plant-on-plant violence than you would have personally preferred in a greenhouse. It was an entire self-contained ecosystem that, if not carefully cultivated and monitored, might just spiral out of control. And Donny was preparing to run right into the middle of the whole thing.

“Where to begin. They all look so good…” he muttered. The guy looked like a kid in a candy store.

Wong gave him a warning look. He had already informed everyone of the endangered species that were strictly off-limits, but you weren’t sure if Donny was going to abide by those rules.

Rintrah was by his side, eager and ready to take notes.

“It’s time to go hunting, Huntsman.” Donny said, turning his painfully wide grin on you.

He wanted you to go out there too?

What will you say?

>”Those weeds are about to get whacked!”
>”Don’t worry, Wong. I’ll make sure that he doesn’t eat any of the super rare ones.”
>Turn to Wong. ”Is there anything in there that I should be worried about?"
>”Actually, I’ll sit this one out. I filled up on street food on the way over. Help yourself, big guy.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6041712
>"Pace yourself Donny. And try not to eat anything that looks as rare as you are."
>Turn to Wong. ”Is there anything in there that I should be worried about?"
>>
>>6041712
>”Well, momma did always say to eat my veggies.”
>Turn to Wong. ”Anything that goes well in a salad out there?”
>"Pace yourself Donny. And try not to eat anything that looks as rare as you are."

I’m tempted to ask about dangers, but I’m sure the answer is “everything”. I can still back it just to give Wong a chance to stop us and fail.
>>
>>6041712
>>”Don’t worry, Wong. I’ll make sure that he doesn’t eat any of the super rare ones.”
>>
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>>6041712
>”Don’t worry, Wong. I’ll make sure that he doesn’t eat any of the super rare ones.”
>Turn to Wong. ”Is there anything in there that I should be worried about?"
>>
>>6041719
>>6041728
>>6041734
>>6041997
>”Well, momma did always say to eat my veggies.”
>Turn to Wong. ”Anything that goes well in a salad out there?”
>"Pace yourself Donny. And try not to eat anything that looks as rare as you are."

Sorry for the delay. I forgot that I had an RP yesterday after work.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
>>6041734
>>6041997
>>6043053
>”Don’t worry, Wong. I’ll make sure that he doesn’t eat any of the super rare ones.”

Also this!
>>
“Well, momma did always say that I needed to eat my veggies.”

Donny nodded.

“Mm. This ‘Momma’ person sounds wise.”

“Don’t tell her that. She’ll never let me forget it, otherwise.” you said, before turning to address Wong.

“Is there anything in there that’d go well with a salad?”

“That depends. Are you fond of bloodsucking vines that can exsanguinate a body in mere minutes? Or flowers that release choking spores capable of clogging your lungs?”

“Sooo…that’s a no, then.”

Wong didn’t bother to dignify that with a response.

“I would recommend that the two of you exercise caution while inside the Green Room. Lest you become fertilizer for the plants.” Rintrah, advised.

“No no, yeah. But you wouldn’t just like…leave our bodies here, right?” you asked.

“Of course not.” Wong answered.

“The Gardener would be the one to dispose of you.”

“I’d think Donny’s chances of survival are much greater in the case of him sustaining a critical injury. His new body demonstrates remarkable regenerative capabilities.” Rintrah observed.

“I’ve got some pretty ‘remarkable regenerative capabilities’ myself, you know.” you cut in, raising your hand to get everyone’s attention.

Rintrah blinked in surprise.

“Hrrm. Are you capable of regrowing your limbs?”

“I…don’t know, really. I’ve never lost one before.”

“Maybe we can change that today.” Donny proposed, taking a step forward.

“Just remember to pace yourself, Donny. And try not to eat anything that looks as rare as you.”

Donny turned his big, pumpkin head to stare down at you. He flashed a wicked grin.

“Aww. You really do say the sweetest things. I hope you can keep all your limbs today.”

“You and me both.” you replied, entering the Green Room alongside Donny.

You gave the garden a cursory glance, watching for anything that looked immediately threatening. And, if Donny had bothered to exercise half of the caution that you displayed, maybe he wouldn’t have been caught so quickly.

—-----

It all started when Donny found, in his words, a “tasty-looking root”. He knelt down, took it in his hand and bit into it like it was a freshly made corn dog. Unfortunately for him, the root that the plant belonged to had a lot more bite than he did. That was, if the rows of razor sharp teeth lining its quadrisected, petal-like beak were anything to go by.

The massive, slithering squid-like plant monster had wrapped Donny up in its tendrils and dragged him into its lair. Currently, it had him pinned down under its bulk. There was a large, gaping maw on its underbelly, and it seemed to be dripping digestive fluids onto the vulnerable Donny.

(Cont.)
>>
The crazy pumpkin man just laughed and stabbed a sharpened spear made of bark into its side. You weren’t sure if the offending monster could feel pain like you, but the screech that it let out informed you that it was entirely capable of feeling pissed off.

What will you do?

>Web-shape a pair of hand-axes and toss them at the creature’s limbs.
>Blast a burning hole through the plant monster.
>Try to find one of those mandrakes that Wong mentioned. Maybe it’ll have an effect on this thing.
>Use your webs to restrain the creature while Donny deals the killing blow.
>Sit back and coach him through the fight. You'll interfere if you think he's in any serious danger.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6043112
>>Use your webs to restrain the creature while Donny deals the killing blow.
I'd love to coach him, but right now probably isn't the best time for training.
>>
>>6043112
>Web-shape a pair of hand-axes
>Webline to Donny and pull him out
>Throw the hand axes on the Tendrils that hold onto Donny
>>
>>6043112
>Use your webs to restrain the creature while Donny deals the killing blow.
For all I know the plant could toss the hand-axes back at us.

We can take some mental notes for coaching after he’s done fighting this thing. Spin it as the more efficiently he fights, the quicker he can get to the tastiest plants.
>>
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>>6043112
>Use your webs to restrain the creature while Donny deals the killing blow.
>>
>>6043117
>>6043134
>>6043141
>Use your webs to restrain the creature while Donny deals the killing blow.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
You muttered a curse under your breath and leapt into action.

“This is why I told you to pace yourself!”

“I’m wearing him down! He can’t keep this up forever.” Donny said, still smiling to himself and wrestling with the beast’s tentacles.

With a couple of well-aimed web=bolts, you managed to pin a few of its tentacles to the ground. Unluckily for you, however, the terrain favored your opponent.

The plant monster ripped the ground up along with the webbing and lashed out at you as you drew closer. You flipped over one tentacle, slid under another, and vaulted over a third before you could get close enough to make your webbing more effective.

“It won’t need to if you’re already in its stomach.” you shot back, sidestepping a barbed appendage and enveloping both sides of its body with wide, web nets.

This thing had a lot of arms, but so did your teacher. And she was far more coordinated than whatever this was.

With the web nets still connected to your wrists, you wrapped them over and under your hands, and yanked them to the side. Hard.

The plant monster let out a startled screech as you forced it off of Donny, and the Morlock mascot quickly scrambled to his feet before you could lose your grip.

“Great teamwork, partner! Now…hold it still.” Donny said, circling the bound beast with some measure of caution as it thrashed wildly in your grip.

“Just need to put on the finishing touches…!” you said with a grunt.

Then, you tried something that you didn’t have a whole lot of practice with. Using your web-shaping abilities, you commanded the web nets to spread out and attach themselves to the nearby trees, resulting in a construct that closely resembled that of a real spider’s web. Only, on a truly massive scale.

Just in case, though, you kept feeding more webbing into the construct until you were confident that it would hold your prey long enough for Donny to deal the killing blow.

“Excellent…” Donny hissed, his smile turning more sinister.

He raised both his hands, extending all ten of his fingers, and then stretched them towards the bound monster. Most of the gnarled tendrils invaded its mouth, but a few of them entered what you thought might’ve been an eye socket.

Its thrashing intensified, and you were starting to become worried that it might really tear down every tree in the area in order to free itself.

With mild horror, you watched as Donny’s fingers dug around in its head, scraping and tearing through anything and everything that got in their way. Green and purple ooze poured from its wounds, and the large orb that you thought was an eye started to roll upwards.

Donny just laughed the entire time.

After about a minute or two of this, the animal finally stopped moving, and you allowed yourself to relax.

(Cont.)
>>
Donny retracted his fingers and brought them up to his mouth. To your disgust, he proceeded to lick the gore from his fingers with a green, worm-like tongue. He seemed to take great delight in this.

“I’m gonna have to teach you some table manners one of these days…” you said, feeling a little queasy.

Donny glanced at the trussed up veggie platter you’d prepared for him and made a thoughtful noise.

“Hmm. This is going to take a while.”

“What’s wrong? Aren’t you going to dig in?” you asked.

Then, without a word, Donny turned and started striding towards a pond in the distance. You raced to catch up with him.

“Hold up! Where are you going?”

“I’m going to need some help.”

That was all he said. Which was more than a little concerning. Miraculously, you followed him to the pond without incident. He didn’t pick any fights along the way, even when a few wayward plant creatures stumbled into his path. Donny was…weirdly focused on something, but you couldn’t for the life of you figure out what.

You stopped at the foot of the pond at roughly the same time that Donny did. Feeling a bit fed up with his behavior, you decided to confront him about it.

“Donny, what’s going-”

You cut off abruptly when you saw Donny step right past you and into the pond.

“Donny! Where are you going?”

Donny didn’t reply. He simply walked towards the middle of the pond, only stopping when the water was up to his chest. Then, he dove underwater.

“Donny!”

You were about to run in after him, when you noticed an ominous green glow where Donny’s head had once been. Mere moments later, Donny reemerged, his entire upper half bound by thick, hairy vines.

“Ah…I thought I felt something.” he said, sounding pretty self-satisfied.

“Donny, what is all that?”

“‘Bloodsucking vines’. Just what we needed.”

That was the only explanation that he gave, right before he brought a bundle of vines up to his mouth and bit into them like they were string beans.

You recoiled a bit at that, but it wasn’t terribly off-brand for this newfound version of Donny. The vines appeared to be clinging to his body like a leech would to a flesh and blood mammal. They didn’t seem to bother your friend, though. He just kept eating until he was satisfied.

Roughly three minutes later, Donny wiped at his mouth and walked back out towards you. It was as if nothing at all had happened.

“There. Now we can eat.” he declared, brushing past you.

Your eyes were locked onto his back during your return trip, and you could swear that Donny had gotten a little bulkier. Either that, or there were still a few bloodsucking vines latched onto him.

You thought it best to give him a bit of space until you could figure out what was going on with him.

—------

(Cont.)
>>
It didn’t take long for you to find the freshly lobotomized plant beast Donny had killed. Which was good, because it meant that there was less time for Donny to slide that worm-like tongue over his lips in a gesture that you were sure meant that he was famished.

“Come to papa.” he said, extending his fingers until they stabbed into the creature’s face.

And before your very eyes, you saw what little life had remained in the monster’s corpse slowly draining away. It was as if its body was becoming shriveled up and mummified. And then, it hit you.

The bloodsucking vines. Donny hadn’t just eaten them. He’d somehow incorporated them into his own body! You hadn’t imagined him getting bulkier, he really was “feeding” on this thing.

Amid this jumble of conflicting thoughts and emotions, there was only one thing that made it out of your mouth. It had been something that was bothering you for a while.

“Wait. You just said ‘Come to papa’. That means you totally know what ‘momma’ means.”

Donny chuckled at that.

“You got me. I was just playing along to see what you’d say.”

Several moments later, he retracted his fingers, but didn’t lick them this time. Instead, the fluids seemed to soak into his body all on their own.

“Mm. That’s good stuff. I wonder what else there is around here.” he wondered, glancing at his surroundings.

What will you do/say?

>”You’re kind of scary sometimes, you know that?”
>”Well, there goes my appetite.”
>”I think Wong said something about ‘choking spores’?”
>”How’d you know where to find those bloodsucking vines?”
>”Maybe we should go back for now so that Rintrah can take another look at you.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6043226
>>”How’d you know where to find those bloodsucking vines?”
>>
>>6043226
>"So uh...any idea what you can "splice" onto yourself? Besides the bloodsuckign vines I mean."
>”How’d you know where to find those bloodsucking vines?”
>>
>>6043226
"So uh...any idea what you can "splice" onto yourself? Besides the bloodsucking vines I mean."
>”How’d you know where to find those bloodsucking vines?”
>”Maybe we should go back for now so that Rintrah can take another look at you.”

Since he’ll complain about the last one, we can rebut it with
>”I know several people who stopped being one person and started being another for various reasons, and more than one because of things that went in them.”
>”Bow before my unique and distressing amount of life experience on this very niche topic!”
>>
>>6043226
>”Maybe we should go back for now so that Rintrah can take another look at you.”
>>
>>6043232
>>6043238
>>6043283
>>6043575
>"So uh...any idea what you can "splice" onto yourself? Besides the bloodsucking vines I mean."
>”Maybe we should go back for now so that Rintrah can take another look at you.”
>”How’d you know where to find those bloodsucking vines?”

Taking these. Writing...
>>
“So, uh…any idea what else you can ‘splice’ onto yourself? Besides the bloodsucking vines, I mean.” you asked.

Donny made a thoughtful noise and stared down at his hand. He flexed it a few times.

“Dunno. I’m eager to find out, though…”

“Right, well…maybe we should go back for now.” you suggested, prompting a look from Donny.

“I think you should let Rintrah take another look at you.”

Donny made a disgusted sound.

“I told you, I’m fine. I don’t need a doctor.” he said, waving his hand dismissively.

“Trust me on this. I happen to know several people who stopped being one person, and started being another for various reasons, all because of something that they put into their bodies.” you explained.

Donny just folded his arms and raised a non-existent eyebrow.

“We just want to make sure that you’re healthy, and not in danger of-”

Becoming an evil plant monster? How were you supposed to put this delicately?

“We don’t want to see you get hurt.” you decided.

Donny threw his hands up and let out a long, suffering sigh.

“Fine…” he grumbled.

“Thank you. When we get back, I’ll let everyone else know how much of a good boy you were.”

“You’d better.” Donny muttered under his breath.

Ah…kids.

—-------

On the way back, Donny’s shoulders remained slumped, and he had this perpetual, grumpy frown on his orange face. Both Wong and Rintrah seemed surprised that you came back so early, but they didn’t look at all upset by this development.

However, that sentiment rapidly evaporated after you gave a report of what had happened.

“Incredible…!” Rintrah gasped.

The green alien bull was currently holding a light blue gemstone up to his eye. You had to guess that it was aiding him somehow in his examination of Donny’s health.

“Donny appears to have seamlessly ‘grafted’ the bloodsucking vines to his new body. It’s as if he willingly mutated his cells to accommodate them.”

“Such a thing is rare for any organism to accomplish in such a short amount of time.” Wong observed, scrutinizing Donny with fresh eyes.

“How’d you know how to find the bloodsucking vines, anyway?” you asked.

Wong seemed interested in this topic as well.

Donny just shrugged.

“I just knew. I could feel it in my toes.” he said, wiggling his stubby, root-like toes.

Wong looked dissatisfied with that answer.

“So he’s also capable of sensing nearby plant-life. Fascinating…”

Rintrah was furiously taking notes, when he abruptly stopped and looked up at you with those dark eyes of his.

“Hrrm. Wong, would you be so kind as to escort Donny back to my lab. The Huntsman and I will join you shortly.”

Wong glanced between you and Rintrah before signaling Donny to follow him. The plant creature did so begrudgingly.

(Cont.)
>>
As soon as they were out of earshot, Rintrah rolled up his scroll and leaned in closer.

“I’m going to be honest with you, Huntsman. I think Donny should remain here a while longer. At least until I can accurately diagnose his new condition.” Rintrah proposed.

What will you say?

>”He’s not gonna go for that. Not unless we sweeten the pot.”
>”Is it because of the ‘grafting’ thing, or is it the whole ‘maniacal laugh’ thing?”
>”Maybe we can try and space these out by scheduling regular check-ups. I’ll grab a Morlock or two to escort him here and back.”
>”Yeah, I think so too. I’ll try to convince him somehow.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6043960
>”He’s not gonna go for that. Not unless we sweeten the pot.”
>”Maybe we can try and space these out by scheduling regular check-ups. I’ll grab a Morlock or two to escort him here and back.”

Donny is looking more and more like a problem, but hopefully if we believe in him he swings back around to not being one
>>
>>6043960
>”He’s not gonna go for that. Not unless we sweeten the pot.”
>”Maybe we can try and space these out by scheduling regular check-ups. I’ll grab a Morlock or two to escort him here and back.”
>>
>>6043960
>”He’s not gonna go for that. Not unless we sweeten the pot.”
>>
>>6043960
>>6043980
Supporting, though I’m pretty sure Glass will pick who escorts him later.

Can they set up a little arena for him to beat down some tough plants? They can see what happens when he wolfs down a plant as long as they don’t make it too easy for him. He seems to like the hunt.

Also, crackpot theory to propose to Rintrah - Donny is based on the faerie flowers and they’re used for astral projection. They could have projected him into others and let him learn things he otherwise wouldn’t know, like a different form of our spider-sense. He could also be using that same principle to find things he wants like the bloodsucker plants since he can project himself outward until he finds it. Which would be broader than finding plants, but he’s interested in food so that’s what he used it for.

It could also be a crutch for accepting mutations into him. An astral form should reflect who you are, and if he’s “becoming” what he eats on an astral level it could guide him so his physical form matches.

Might open him up to the same concerns that Abe deals with when things “stick” to him and he has to clear it off.
>>
>>6043980
>>6044113
>>6044003
>>6044023
>”He’s not gonna go for that. Not unless we sweeten the pot.”
>”Maybe we can try and space these out by scheduling regular check-ups. I’ll grab a Morlock or two to escort him here and back.”

Taking these. Writing...

>>6044113
Interesting theory!
>>
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You shook your head.

“He’s not gonna go for that. We’re gonna need to sweeten the pot.” you proposed.

“Maybe we can try and space these visits out by scheduling regular check-ups. I’ll grab a Morlock to escort him here and back.”

“Hrrm. So long as you can get him to agree, that is.” Rintrah pointed out.

That was true. You should probably practice what to say to him before you actually initiate the conversation.

Yup, that’s it. You’ll just walk right up to him and say-

—----------

>”Good news, Donny! I got Rintrah to agree to let you come back here to snack on more plants. It won’t be every day, but I think they can spare some of the less endangered ones.”
>”Hey, Donny. So…the results came back, and Rintrah thinks that there might be something wrong with your new body. But, don’t panic. If you keep coming back for regular check-ups, then you should be fine.”
>”Donny! Glass just told me that he wanted to assign you a very important mission. Doctor Strange doesn’t have enough hands to help him with his Halloween decorations, so he needs you to jazz up the Sanctum Sanctorum while he’s gone. Do you think you’re up to the task?”
>”Have you ever wondered where I got those fairy flowers from? I can take you there someday. I’d bet they have lots of plants that we’ve never even seen before. But I’ll only take you if you agree to help Rintrah with a few things every now and again.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6044978
>”Hey, Donny. So…the results came back, and Rintrah thinks that there might be something wrong with your new body. But, don’t panic. If you keep coming back for regular check-ups, then you should be fine.”
>>
>>6044978
>>”Have you ever wondered where I got those fairy flowers from? I can take you there someday. I’d bet they have lots of plants that we’ve never even seen before. But I’ll only take you if you agree to help Rintrah with a few things every now and again.”
>>
>>6045022
>>6045120
So, I won't be able to update until tomorrow, but I was wondering how you guys wanted to proceed? Would you like to wait for more votes to roll in, or should I just flip a coin when I'm available to write an update?
>>
>>6044978
>>6045120
I'll support this one to get things rolling.

So is Donny childlike considering his age? Or more teenage or adult? The general spookiness is making it tough to gauge.
>>
>>6045120
>>6046487
>”Have you ever wondered where I got those fairy flowers from? I can take you there someday. I’d bet they have lots of plants that we’ve never even seen before. But I’ll only take you if you agree to help Rintrah with a few things every now and again.”

Taking these. Writing...

>>6046487
Donny's behavior has been noticeably erratic. Ben's having a hard time getting a solid read on him because he isn't always consistent.
>>
“Have you ever wondered where I got those fairy flowers from? I can take you there someday. I’d bet they have lots of plants that we’ve never even seen before. But, I’ll only take you if you agree to help Rintrah out with a few things every now and again.” you promised, gesturing at the green minotaur.

Rintrah tried to give him a friendly smile, but you could tell that Donny’s attention had turned inward. After a while, he finally nodded to himself, and then at you.

“Pinky promise?” Donny asked, extending a gnarled pinky finger in your direction.

“Pinky promise.”

You locked pinkies with the giant plant creature and shook on it. You weren’t sure if you’d be willing to make good on that promise in the future, but it was the only thing you could think of to make him agree to Rintrah’s tests. Hopefully, you could get this whole mess sorted out without having to deal with Donny in a less pleasant way.

“Excellent. When can I next expect you?” Rintrah asked Donny.

The plant boy scratched his chin thoughtfully.

“Gee, I dunno. I’ve got a pretty packed schedule these days.”

“What could you possibly be busy with?” Wong said, a mildly condescending look in his eye.

“Oh, lots of stuff, baldy. Lots and lots.” he claimed, earning him a glare from the Asian man.

“We’ve got a Halloween party to plan…”

—----------

On the way back to the park, Donny was surprisingly well-behaved. He stopped to help an old lady cross the street by physically lifting her up and stretching his legs from one side of the street to the other, and he used his long arms to hold doors open for people entering nearby buildings.

He must’ve been in a good mood after having eaten his fill at the Sanctum Sanctorum. Either that, or he was trying to earn some good boy points so that you’d make good on your promise to take him to Neverland one day.

Or…maybe, just maybe…he was still a good boy, deep down? Like…deep, deep down.

You didn’t know. You’ve never had to deal with anything like this before. Hopefully Rintrah can shed some light on the situation. Until then, you’d have to fill Glass in on what had happened.

—------

“Someone's been busy.” Donny observed.

“Yeah, no kidding…”

It was hard not to admire the work ethic of Ember and the others. In the time that you were gone, the park looked like it had been completely remodeled to fit within the Halloween theme that Screwball suggested.

The trees, which had once been healthy and rich with autumn leaves, were now dark and sinister-looking. Their branches were crooked and slightly spiky, with tombstones and lit jack-o-lanterns planted nearby.

Cackling witches and wailing spirits circled overhead, and large bats and spiders flitted between the trees, so close that you could almost touch them. You were sure that you even spotted a spiffy hat or two amongst the group of oversized arachnids.
>>
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“Why's that guy following us?” Donny asked, pointing out a creepy man in white rubber mask.

Far off in the distance, Michael Myers was unsuccessfully hiding behind a tree. You wondered how long he'd follow you, when your thoughts were interrupted by the sight of Iara and Glass flying towards you.

To be accurate, though, it was Iara carrying Glass through the air by the waist. At least this time she wasn't stripping him naked.

“Hey guys, how'd it go?” Glass asked as Shark set him down.

“Strange wasn't home this time, but my friend agreed to look into a few things to make sure that Donny was okay. We agreed to bring him back there every so often for more check-ups.” you explained.

“Did you have fun, Donny?” asked Shark.

Donny patted his stomach.

“Huntsman wasn’t lying about there being good food there. I can’t wait to go back.”

“That’s great. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.” Glass said, a clear note of concern in his voice.

“Shark, would you be okay with going there with him and Nature Girl next time?”

Iara’s eyes sparkled at the suggestion.

“Uh, yes!? That sounds way cooler than carving pumpkins.”

Glass scoffed.

“You carved all of yours with laser vision. You barely lifted a finger.”

“And you did yours with knife hands. Besides, I think Nature Girl was getting mad at how I kept ‘lasering’ mine all the way through.” Shark said with a shrug.

Donny took a small, almost imperceptible step back.

“You should probably learn how to control that better. It’d help to avoid accidents.” Glass advised.

“I just wish we had a Danger Room to use out here.” he muttered.

“What’s a ‘Danger Room’?” Shark asked.

Donny looked interested in hearing the answer as well. But you had bigger things to worry about at the moment.

“Shark? Where’s my phone?”

Both she and Glass turned to look at you.

“Huh? Oh, that! Yeah, I gave it to someone else to hold.” Iara said.

You folded your arms over your chest.

“Why would you go and do that? Your pumpkin-carving experience sounded pretty ‘hands-free’.”

“This outfit doesn’t exactly come with pockets.” Shark claimed, patting her thighs.

“I’ve got some on my jacket, but I didn’t want it to fall out and break.” Glass added.

“Well, who’d you give it to?” you asked.

Shark let out a thoughtful hum and tapped the side of her face with a clawed finger.

“I think I gave it to Beak to hold.”

“You think?”

You had to try very hard to refrain from lashing out at the amnesiac shark woman. She probably hasn’t owned a phone in a long time, if ever. But you needed to find that phone!

(Cont.)
>>
All your contacts, criminal and otherwise, were on that phone! As well as some pretty damning evidence linking you with Ben Parker. And there was a certain pink-haired, streamer gremlin walking around that hadn’t done nearly enough to earn your trust with that kind of information.

What will you say/do?

>Enlist nature Girl’s help to find your phone. This park ought to be teeming with little critters that were perfect for the job.
>Have Iara fly you around the park to retrace her steps. Someone here has to have your phone.
>Use your second phone to call your first phone. Maybe someone will pick it up and answer.
>Get in contact with Ember and fill her in on the situation. She might be able to create something that can help with your little dilemma.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6047177
>”Shark. For future reference, there are people who would kill me with what’s on that phone. Please don’t lose it in the future.”
Be calm while saying it. No sense being upset while we still have a mission to do.

>Get in contact with Ember and fill her in on the situation. She might be able to create something that can help with your little dilemma.
I assume there aren’t a lot of electronic devices in the area that weren’t created by Ember or brought in by Screwball. Anything that could pick them up shouldn’t have to deal with much chaff if it can exclude Ember’s constructs.

We could also try calling it if we rope in Callisto or Joyce. With their senses they may be able to pick up on the ring.
>>
>>6047177
>>Get in contact with Ember and fill her in on the situation. She might be able to create something that can help with your little dilemma.
>>
>>6047177
>Have Iara fly you around the park to retrace her steps. Someone here has to have your phone.

This option is the one that feels like it has the most fun hijinks
>>
>>6047184
>>6047188
>Get in contact with Ember and fill her in on the situation. She might be able to create something that can help with your little dilemma.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
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“Donny, stay with them. I’m going to go find Ember.”

Maybe she could help find your phone. With her abilities, anything was possible.

Shark was looking a bit guilty now.

“Sorry. Was it super important?”

“Super important.” you confirmed.

That only made her look more worried.

“We’ll keep an eye out for it.“ Glass promised.

“And, don’t worry about Donny. We’ll keep an eye on him too.”

Shark nodded furiously.

“Yup! We won’t let him out of our sight. I won’t mess up this time.”

Donny flinched when Iara focused her eyes on him. He must be afraid of ending up like those "failed Jack-o-lanterns" of hers.

“Thanks. And…does anyone know where Ember is?” you asked.

—-------

“You want me to make you a ‘phone finder’?” Ember said, repeating your words back at you.

Currently, she was resting her back against a tree, and presumably, hiding from the mutants while she took a moment to recuperate. Apparently, they’d been all over her ever since she started using her powers to help kickstart the Halloween event.

“Do you think you can do it?” you asked.

Ember’s eyes began to glow, and a collection of golden pixels assembled to form some sort of handheld radar.

“Probably. Cell phones emit a certain electromagnetic frequency, even while inactive. We just have to tune it to pick up those signals. It’d be easier if you left your Wi-fi option on. Then we’d be able to narrow it down a bit.”

“I don’t think I left it on, but there’s a chance that someone might’ve turned it on by accident.”

“Let’s hope so.” Ember said, handing you the radar after she was done tuning it.

The device’s screen displayed a green grid with multiple, blinking red dots.Five of them, in fact.

“Huh. That’s more than I was expecting.”

One of these has to belong to Screwball, and the other probably belongs to Abe. And then there’s your backup phone.

Who has the last one?

“What’s wrong?” Ember asked.

“Is there something wrong with the scanner?”

You frowned at the device.

“I don’t know. There’s more signals than I was expecting. What’s the range of this thing?”

“I made it so that it wouldn’t try to pick up anything that was too far from the park’s location. It might be picking up some frequencies from the cops, but I can’t say for sure.”

“Let’s see if we can’t eliminate one or two of those options.” you said, pulling out your backup cell and dialing Spidey’s number.

Ember’s expression was clearly one of confusion, since, from her perspective, you just pulled out a cell phone after claiming to have lost your cell phone. You didn’t bother explaining.

“Hey there, Parker Prime. I see you’re using the backup. Did you forget to charge your main cell, or something?”

(Cont.)
>>
File: 8870319-spidey.jpg (585 KB, 945x1446)
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You were glad that Abe was able to grasp the situation so quickly. It was another benefit of dealing with someone who, on multiple levels, thought and behaved just like you.

“Nope. Shark ‘misplaced’ it.”

“Ouch.”

“Yeah. I got Ember to make a signal tracker for me, but there are more than I thought they’d be. Where are you right now?”

“That depends. Where are you right now?” Abe countered.

The two of you exchanged details of your surroundings, and within a minute or two, you were both able to grasp your respective locations, as well as your relative distance between one another.

“I think I see where you are on this thing. Do you have any idea where Screwball is?” you asked, directing your question at Abe, but focusing your attention on Ember.

The blonde girl just shrugged.

“Not really. Callisto’s probably watching her.” Abe replied.

“That’d be a safe bet.”

“Why don’t we just tune into her livestream?” Ember suggested.

“Here, I’ll do it on my phone.”

“Great idea. I never thought I’d be thankful that Screwball literally records everything.”

What will you say while Ember navigates her phone?

>”The park looks great, by the way. You guys did an awesome job while I was away.”
>”Only a day into your employment as a Desperado, and you’re already proving to be a valuable member. Keep it up.”
>”Do you think you can help me look into that other signal? According to this thing, there’s someone else with a phone in this park.”
>”Is there an actual limit to the things you can create? How much have you experimented with your powers?”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6048717
>>”Only a day into your employment as a Desperado, and you’re already proving to be a valuable member. Keep it up.”
>>
>>6048717
>>”Only a day into your employment as a Desperado, and you’re already proving to be a valuable member. Keep it up.”
>”The park looks great, by the way. You guys did an awesome job while I was away.”

Can we not just call the phone and see who picks up?
>>
>>6048717
>Check if any of the signals match up to where you told Callisto who you were.
Could be that someone either misplaced a phone or set one up as a camera to eavesdrop on something. Since we know where Abe is we can try a bit of mental math to figure out if any could have picked us up.

>”The park looks great, by the way. You guys did an awesome job while I was away.”
>”This isn’t the main work of the Desperados by the way. Helping out here is more a personal favor to me. So thanks for sticking around this long.”
>”So do I need to arrange more dinner dates with the most stylish available spider-themed super in this city? You seemed to enjoy your little jaunt with him.”
What goes unsaid is that we’re obviously better, but we’re not available.

>>6048755
I had held off initially since it’d possibly clue someone else onto our phone that we wouldn’t want. If none of the dots are near each other then we’re probably safe to call it. I’m sure Screwball is carrying her own after all.
>>
>>6048755
+1
>>
>>6048734
>>6048755
>>6048841
>>6049571
>”Only a day into your employment as a Desperado, and you’re already proving to be a valuable member. Keep it up.”
>”The park looks great, by the way. You guys did an awesome job while I was away.”

Taking these. Writing...
>>
You nodded your approval.

“Only a day into your employment as a Desperado, and you’re already proving to be a valuable member. Keep it up.”

Ember’s cheeks went a bit red, and she brought her phone up to cover her face.

“Oh yeah…? I didn’t really do anything special.” she muttered.

“Are you kidding? The park looks great. You guys did an awesome job while I was away.”

Ember grinned, looking surprisingly pleased with herself as she cast an appreciative eye over her surroundings.

“Okay, I guess it is pretty cool. This is for charity, right?”

“Not charity. I’m just doing some friends a favor.” you corrected.

Ember opened her mouth to reply, but a familiar, annoying voice coming from her phone’s speakers cut her off.

“Ope. Stream’s up.”

“Sweet. Where does it look like she’s at?” you asked, flipping onto the tree she was sitting under and staring down at the screen from above.

Ember flinched at your sudden movement, but she didn’t try to move away.

“Dunno. This girl can’t keep her camera steady to save her life. Let’s ask and see if she responds.” Ember said, typing out her question in chat.

You squinted at her username.

“‘Sinister Darkflame Ember’?”

Ember blushed and moved her phone so that you couldn’t see the screen anymore.

“I’ve had this account for a long time, okay!?”

“Hey, I’m in no place to judge. My first Oz-Box username was something similar to that.” you said with a shrug.

Ember just sighed and turned her phone back around. Now it was her turn to squint at the screen.

“Damn. I can’t even find my question anymore. It got lost in the comments.”

“This chat moves fast. How does anyone actually manage to read anything?” you asked.

“Eh. You get used to it.”

“I don’t think I want to.” you replied.

—------

Ember had to try a few more times before a moderator actually responded to her. According to them, Screwball was near the Children’s Zoo with Nature Girl. It sounded like the mutant tree hugger was using the criminal streamer’s platform to raise awareness on the correct treatment of animals.

“So that’s another one down.”

“And another two to go.” you finished for her.

One of the signals was decently close to Screwball’s location, while the other was pretty much on the opposite side of the park.

You just hoped that the one close to Screwball wasn’t your phone. And if it was, then you’d better snatch it before she got a chance to get her grubby little paws all over it.

What will you do?

>Go after the signal that’s closer to Screwball.
>Pursue the signal that’s further away.
>Coordinate with someone else so that they can help figure out what’s going on.
>Write-in.
>>
>>6049844
>Pursue the signal that’s further away.
>See if Ember can build a short-range jammer to block Screwball’s stream. If Screwball goes for the phone, she can flip it on as a temporary distraction.
I assume that if her stream goes down she immediately jumps to Defcon 2 and works to resolve it.

That said, I’m okay with sending Ember after one. She’s clearly good enough to take a peek herself, but if jokes about it then we say she gets no more freebies with Spider-man. She can pick which one she wants to go after in that case.
>>
>>6049855
+1
>>
>>6049855
>>6049960
>Pursue the signal that’s further away.
>See if Ember can build a short-range jammer to block Screwball’s stream. If Screwball goes for the phone, she can flip it on as a temporary distraction.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
File: Spoiler Image (296 KB, 759x1152)
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“Do you think you can do me another favor?” you asked.

Ember gave you a hesitant look and a cautious nod.

“Great. Here’s what I need…”

—---------

You swung through the park, faster than you normally would, but not so fast as to arouse suspicion. You had to make a conscious effort to avoid using your newfound power of flight to propel yourself through the air.

That, and you didn’t want to set any trees on fire by accident. Your control was far from perfect, and you were still working on developing those skills.

Similarly, Ember wasn’t terribly confident in her ability to create whatever you asked. Which, in this case, was a jamming device to halt Screwball’s stream and momentarily distract her.

After everything you’ve seen, you had every confidence in her. But just in case something went wrong, you sent her ahead to intercept the criminal e-celeb. You couldn’t afford to leave that particular stone unturned, and you had your own signal to pursue.

But the closer you got to it, the stronger your certainty became about who had your phone. And that’s how you ran into Callisto at the park’s Tennis Courts, teaching the other Morlocks how to play.

—--

Every head turned to stare at you as you swung onto the scene. Callisto and Joy were the only ones who didn’t look surprised to see you. Knowing them, they probably heard you coming from a mile away.

Before you could fire off a single wisecrack, your phone was already hurtling towards you. You caught it easily, but you could feel your heart skip a beat when you thought of the screen cracking against the asphalt.

“You should learn to keep better track of this thing. It’s been changing hands all day.” the Cyclopean mutant said.

“You’re lucky I was here to intervene, or it would’ve ended up in police custody. Or worse–in the hands of that pink-haired, sugar-fueled loudmouth.”

You opened your phone’s screen, only to find that your wallpaper, lock screen, button layout, app arrangement, and themes were all different. If it weren’t for your password and personal information being the same, you might’ve questioned whether this belonged to someone else.

If you asked anyone else, they might’ve said that it belonged to Iara. Her silly face was plastered all over your background and lock screen, after all. At least now you knew that she was capable of taking selfies. You’d have to include that in her resume when she went to go meet Sable. That is, if her interview went well.

(Cont.)
>>
What will you say?

>”Remind me to buy that girl some pants with pockets.”
>”I think we might need to have a talk with Iara about responsibility. At least where other people’s stuff is involved.”
>”You’re a lifesaver! I wish you were around when I lost my keys the other day.”
>”You didn’t happen to notice someone else using a phone here, did you? Other than Screwball and Spider-Man, I mean.”
>”Are you planning on starting an All-Morlock Tennis Team? Am I too late for tryouts?”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6051185
>Call Ember, tell her the backup plan isn’t needed now. Though if she still wants to figure out the other signal you’d feel better about it.
May as well stop the potential disaster I helped set in motion.

>”Remind me to buy that girl some pants with pockets.”

>”You didn’t happen to notice someone else using a phone here, did you? Other than Screwball and Spider-Man, I mean.”

>”Are you planning on starting an All-Morlock Tennis Team? I feel gypped! I put in my application a while ago and you never followed up.”
Referencing our game with her where she thrashed us.


>”Got any basketballs around? I know it’s not your thing, but it’s easier to play b-ball away from proper courts than most other sports.”
Dare we start the mutant basketball league from a prior thread?
>>
>>6051185
>>”Remind me to buy that girl some pants with pockets.”
>”You’re a lifesaver! I wish you were around when I lost my keys the other day.”
>>
>>6051185

>”Remind me to buy that girl some pants with pockets.”
>”I think we might need to have a talk with Iara about responsibility. At least where other people’s stuff is involved.”
>”You’re a lifesaver! I wish you were around when I lost my keys the other day.”

Callisto really is best girl, came in clutch
>>
>>6051185
>>6051208
+1
>>
>>6051208
>>6052741
>>6051369
>>6051922
>”You’re a lifesaver! I wish you were around when I lost my keys the other day.”
>”Remind me to buy that girl some pants with pockets.”
>”I think we might need to have a talk with Iara about responsibility. At least where other people’s stuff is involved.”
>”You didn’t happen to notice someone else using a phone here, did you? Other than Screwball and Spider-Man, I mean.”
>Call Ember, tell her the backup plan isn’t needed now. Though if she still wants to figure out the other signal you’d feel better about it.
>”Are you planning on starting an All-Morlock Tennis Team? I feel gypped! I put in my application a while ago and you never followed up.”
>”Got any basketballs around? I know it’s not your thing, but it’s easier to play b-ball away from proper courts than most other sports.”
Dare we start the mutant basketball league from a prior thread?

Taking these! Writing...
>>
>>6053025
Didn't mean to paste that last part!
>>
>>6053027
I absolve you of your sins
>>
>>6053027
Yeah, that’s for a different red spandex anti-hero to say out loud!
>>
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“You’re a lifesaver! I wish you were around when I lost my keys the other day.”

“Try a key hook, instead. It’ll save us both a headache.” she replied, placing her hands on her hips. There was a slight smile playing across her indelicate features.

“Speaking of headaches, remind me to buy that girl some pants with pockets.”

“And here I thought you enjoyed dressing amnesiac girls in spray-on pants.” Callisto said, without any discernible malice.

“I didn’t really have a say in the matter when they were dressing her up.” you shot back.

“On the bright side, though, I heard that they’re self cleaning.”

“So she’s going to be wearing the same clothes every day, then. What do we do if they start to smell?” she asked.

You gave her a shrug.

“Maybe it’ll have a tag with dry cleaning instructions. But more importantly, I think we might need to have a talk with Iara about responsibility. At least where other people’s stuff is involved.”

“That’s Glass’ problem, now. Let him be the one to talk to her.” Callisto said, frowning a bit.

“Are you guys still arguing?” you asked.

Callisto turned to stare off into the distance. You followed her gaze to find Joy playing a friendly game of tennis with Beak. Despite her not even being a year old, she was doing quite well.

“It’s just…I still see the old Iara when I look at her. It’s hard for me to disassociate the two, you know?”

You nodded slowly. Iara admitted to having a decent chunk of her old memories, but she never once felt like the person she was seeing in those memories was truly “her”. In her words, it was sort of like watching a dream unfold before your very eyes.

“Yeah, I get you. All we can do is help her along and make sure nothing else bad happens to her.”

After a moment, Callisto sighed and nodded as well.

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll talk to Glass about it. Knowing him, though, he’s probably already brought it up to her.”

“Fingers crossed.”

“And he’s better with that stuff, anyway. It takes a special sort of person to stay patient with someone after they’ve stripped you butt naked, mid-air, in front of an entire studio audience mutants.” Callisto rationalized.

“Right…” you said, not at all fooled by her deflection.

She wasn’t exactly wrong, but you couldn’t help but feel like she was creating yet another reason to avoid interacting with Iara.

For her sake, you decided to change the subject.

“So…are you planning on starting an All-Morlock Tennis Team?” you asked, gesturing at the others.

“Because I feel like I got gypped! I put in my application forever ago, and you never followed up.”

Callisto chuckled and slung a racket over her shoulder.

“What can I say? You’ve got some stiff competition this year.”

(Cont.)
>>
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Both of you watched as Esther tried, and failed miserably in her attempt to hit a tennis ball that she’d bounced into the air.

You nodded.

“Clearly.”

Callisto gave your arm a light punch, and you pretended that it didn’t hurt as you glanced around the court.

“Got any basketballs around here?”

Callisto turned to look at you.

“Basketballs?”

“Yeah, basketballs. I know it’s not your thing, but it’s easier to play b-ball away from proper courts than most other sports.”

Callisto made a thoughtful noise, her single eye scanning the horizon.

“It can’t be that hard to find one. Maybe our little event coordinator can poof one into existence.” she suggested.

“Speaking of Ember, I need to make a quick call.” you said, pulling your phone back out and calling her number.

Callisto nodded and took a few steps back. Not that it mattered. Her hearing was so good that she could eavesdrop on your conversation without even needing to strain her ears.

“Ember, did you find out where the signal was coming from?”

“Hey. And no, I can’t find it anymore. The signal’s gone. It just up and disappeared as soon as I got close.” she explained.

“At least you found your phone.”

“Yeah, but I’ll be rearranging my apps and changing my settings for a week. I can barely find anything anymore.”

“Better than having it stolen. Shit-!” Ember replied, letting out a curse at the very end.

“What happened?”

“It’s Screwball…! She keeps trying to get me to show up on her stream. I’ve gotta get out of here before some of the other mutants show up. See ya!”

And without further warning, she hung up. You stared down at your screen, caught somewhere between annoyance, suspicion, and amusement. Iara’s selfie made for a surprisingly cute background photo.

You turned your attention back to Callisto. She was patiently waiting a few feet away, casually pretending that she hadn’t just heard that entire exchange.

“You didn’t happen to notice someone else using a phone here, did you? Other than Screwball and Spider-Man, I mean.”

She fixated a single blue eye on you.

“Not that I’ve seen. Why, what’s wrong?”

“No reason.” you lied.

“Just being paranoid, I think.”

“A healthy dose of paranoia never hurt anybody.” Callisto said with a smirk.

“It’s probably just some kids sneaking pics of us and all these decorations. This is supposed to be a huge Halloween event, right? Screwball’s been yapping about it all day. Someone was bound to show up.”

You supposed that was a reasonable assumption.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

“I’m glad that you agree. Now, stop worrying about your cell phone and start looking for a basketball for us to use.”

—---------

(Cont.)
>>
Who will you invite to join in on your basketball game?

>Spider-Man
>Joy
>Glass
>Beak
>Skids
>Screwball
>Ember
>Cindy Moon
>Wanda Mason
>Daredevil
>Luke Cage
>Iron Fist
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6053182
>>Daredevil
>>Luke Cage
>>Iron Fist
It's been a while since we've seen them
Not sure if they are up for it, but its sorta a community service, if they show up to show support for the mutants


Can I nitpick about your formatting?
I somewhat have internalized that, during dialog, a blank line signifies that the next person is talking. But when you have something like:
"speech", said person A and "continues talking again"
that "continues talking again" slips down in it's own paragraph, separated by a blank line.
This update it happened both with Callisto, which is fine because you go through the effort of coloring people differently... but also with Ember, which was a red and red conversation.
Fortunately it was rather obvious who said what this time
You do you, but I much rather have one persons dialogue in one paragraph, and if it has to be split up, like when they are monologueing in the second paragraph starting with something like "They continued:"
>>
>>6053403
That's entirely fair. I've been experimenting with different writing styles and techniques as of late, and even I'm not sure if I'm feeling this one too much. It could also be a failing on my part in a literary sense, so more research and practice in my spare time might be required for the structure of the dialogue to flow more fluently.

I'll go back to doing things the way I have been before if that makes it easier for you guys to comprehend. Thanks for the input, anon.
>>
>>6053623
I have had no problem comprehending how you write and format things. I also pointed out once before that you accidentally used the wrong color for a person.
I do voices in my head, and it's just those couple of seconds, when the wrong voice talks, because I expected that next paragraph to be the next person.
Probably just a me-issue too.

That is to say, you are living up to a very high standard. I wouldn't say anything to more novice QMs. It's just a small disruption of my flow when reading and immersing myself in a story.
>>
>>6053182
>Cindy Moon
>Wanda Mason
Cindy won’t be playing with her injury and Wanda may be too tired to join now, but we can spin it as training. Wanda will need to keep a cool head in the face of opponents and allies above her level, cooperate effectively to achieve a goal, and work of her physical coordination.

Sure, anything sounds like training when phrased appropriately, but still!

Cindy can chat with anyone else watching the games between tennis and basketball. Even if we have to send a few players her way between rounds to distract her from trying to coach Wanda’s form.

>Daredevil
>Luke Cage
>Iron Fist
What >>6053182 said. If they don’t buy in with that, mention a whole community of mutants in the park was big enough to bring in some protesters so getting to know them would be pretty smart in case they need to defuse tensions later. By playing basketball, they can claim they’re working.

>Glass, Callisto
Not to drag them in necessarily, but to spread the word. Not like others can’t drop in once we find some balls, we have anywhere from 2 to 10 players per basketball so we can take anyone interested in playing with each other or outsiders.
>>
>>6053403
>>6054304
>Daredevil
>Luke Cage
>Iron Fist
>Cindy Moon
>Wanda Mason
>Glass, Callisto

Taking these. Writing...
>>
It didn’t take long to find a basketball. All you had to do was find Ember, promise her that you could get the Morlocks off her back for a few hours. The deal was, she'd make about ten Desperado-branded basketballs, and you'd web-shape a comfy couch for her to sit in while the others played.

You and the others thanked her for her contribution once more. Ember just sighed and pulled out a handheld game console. You were pretty sure that she liked having people rely on her, but was too embarrassed to show it.

After she shooed you and everyone else, you requested that the Morlock leaders, Glass and Callisto, spread the word throughout the park, and maybe even to anyone who happened to be walking by.

You considered telling Screwball, but you figured she’d find out from the others. And if anyone could draw in a crowd, it was probably her. But before that happened, you had a few other people that you wanted to invite.

You just hoped you had the right number.

—-----

“You’ve reached the Heroes for Hire. This is Iron Fist speaking.”

“Hey, Iron Fist. It’s the Huntsman. I hope I’m not interrupting your meditation, or disrupting your meridians or something.”

“Rest assured. My meridians remain undisrupted. What can I do for you, Huntsman?”

At least he remembers you. That’s a good sign.

“I was wondering if you and Luke wanted to engage in a little community service.”

“Luke’s not gonna like the sound of that. Community service usually doesn’t pay very well.” Iron Fist said.

“What if it helped to expand your clientele?” you suggested.

“I’m listening…”

“Well, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s a group of homeless mutants living in Central Park right now, and the only thing keeping a bunch of angry protesters from barging in and kicking them out is a thin blue line of inner city police officers and Spider-Man’s crowd control skills.” you explained.

Iron Fist made a thoughtful sound on the other end of the line.

“Hmm. No, I hadn’t heard about that. What would you have us do?”

“It’s simple. All you need to do is show up, being the local heroes that you are, and show everyone that you’re cool with the mutants.” you said. “You…are cool with mutants, right?”

“I have no such prejudices, Huntsman. Mutants, like most people, are sentient beings with every right to their lives and freedoms.”

You breathed a sigh of relief.

“Awesome. This was gonna be real awkward if you turned out to be some huge racist.”

“One cannot harness the energies of the mystical world without being at least a little open-minded.” Iron Fist replied, not nearly as offended as you thought he’d be. “But now that we’ve confirmed that, can we get back to the part where you tell me about this job of yours?”

(Cont.)
>>
“Right, of course. How good are you at basketball?” you asked.

“My jump shot could use a little work, but I’m no slouch on the court. Why?”

This guy was downright unflappable. He didn’t sound the least bit bothered by your seemingly random question. He was so zen that it might’ve annoyed you if you weren’t asking for a favor.

“Do you think you and your buddy Luke can come down and shoot some hoops with the local mutants? It’d do a lot for their image, and it could get some people off their backs if they think that the Heroes for Hire are protecting them.”

“I suppose that sounds somewhat reasonable.” Iron Fist replied. “However, I’m missing the part where me and Luke get paid, here. Forgive me if I’m being presumptuous, but I’m not convinced that a community of homeless mutants is flush with cash.”

Yeah, he had a point.

What will you say?

>”They aren’t, but I am. I can cover the cost if that’s what it takes to get you guys out here.”
>”They might not have much right now, but I can guarantee that they’re about to come into some money, real soon.”
>”Community service never pays well. I thought heroes were supposed to work for the betterment of their community. I feel like our roles got reversed at some point this year.”
>”Oh, come on. I just need you to come out and have some fun. I’m bringing my kid, and I’m sure Pei would love it too.”
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6054442
>”I can cover your subway tickets and any food you'll happen to eat today."
>"And if you want some risk in a dangerous mission, we can always do a little bet on a game."
>”Oh, come on. I just need you to come out and have some fun. I’m bringing my kid, and I’m sure Pei would love it too.”

do we even know who Pei is?
>>
>>6054451
He mentioned her to you once during the Silvertongue arc, I beleive.
>>
>>6054442
>”Man, it’s weird being on the other side of this conversation. Pretty sure I’ve told others that hero work doesn’t pay the bills on its own.”
>”I can cover your subway tickets and any food you'll happen to eat today.”
>”I’ll even toss in a small amount for the game just so you can call yourselves professional athletes if you want.”
>"And if you want some risk in a dangerous mission, we can always do a little bet on a game."
>”Oh, come on. I just need you to come out and have some fun. I’m bringing my kid, and I’m sure Pei would love it too.”
We can pay them, but it’s a community game. We have every right to crack jokes at the idea of making them pro athletes like this.

Unrelated,
>>6053403
>>6053623
>>6053675
I’ve also held up Scorekeeper as an example of a QM that has grown into an excellent writing style for the quest in the /qtg/ threads. I sometimes let things pass because they’re infrequent enough to be brain farts, and I have plenty of those myself.

I’ve had my tirades before on death by ellipses. It’s the style choice that’ll bounce me off what someone is writing the quickest and I’m glad it doesn’t happen here.
>>
>>6053675
>>6054497
Thank you, guys! I'm glad that you feel that way. After my last quest, I've been trying to improve as a writer, and I think I've been making pretty decent progress. I want my writing(or at least my stories) to be something that I can be proud of.

And I appreciate you guys reading along and voting throughout this whole adventure. I have a lot planned for this quest, and I have every intention of creating an amazing story in this universe.
>>
>>6054442
>”They aren’t, but I am. I can cover the cost if that’s what it takes to get you guys out here.”
>>
>>6054451
>>6054497
>”I can cover your subway tickets and any food you'll happen to eat today."
>”Oh, come on. I just need you to come out and have some fun. I’m bringing my kid, and I’m sure Pei would love it too.”

Are you guys cool with me moving forward with these options?
>>
>>6055994
I’m okay with just voting >>6054451. All I did was add onto it anyway.
>>
>>6054451
>>6054497
>>6055994
>>6056015
>”I can cover your subway tickets and any food you'll happen to eat today."
>"And if you want some risk in a dangerous mission, we can always do a little bet on a game."
>”Oh, come on. I just need you to come out and have some fun. I’m bringing my kid, and I’m sure Pei would love it too.”

Taking these. Writing...
>>
File: EQH1ysWWsAA7QLf.jpg (246 KB, 791x1200)
246 KB
246 KB JPG
“I can cover your subway tickets and any food you might happen to eat today.” you promised.

“Free hotdogs and soda won’t exactly cover our usual fees.” Iron Fist casually replied.

“Not even if we spice things up with a little betting on the side?”

“So I’m potentially losing money in this new scenario.” he concluded.

“What’re you, scared?”

“As far as negotiation tactics go, that’s a pretty poor one.”

You groaned.

“Oh, come on. I just need you to come out and have some fun. I’m bringing my kid, and I’m sure Pei would love it too.”

Iron Fist made a contemplative sound on the other end of the line.

“Hmm. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to let her run around outside for a while. And I might be able to get Luke onboard with a bit of convincing.”

“So you’ll do it?”

“I’ll pitch the idea to them, but I think there’s a more than decent chance of us making an appearance.” he declared.

“Sweet. Oh, uh…you guys won’t have any problems with that police barricade, right?” you asked.

“I have yet to find an obstacle that could bar Luke from entry, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.” Iron Fist said, sounding vaguely amused by the thought.

—---------

“You want to meet in Central Park?”

“Just for a bit. It’d be awesome if you could meet my mutant friends. I’ll cover food, transportation, anything you need.” you said, putting on your best salesman voice. “We haven’t hung out in forever. Come out and shoot some hoops with us. I’ll even give you a handicap.”

“I’m a bit busy at the moment, but…I’ll see about dropping by later.”

You supposed that was better than an outright refusal.

“Wait. You’re not doing that thing that people do where they make a flimsy promise to show up to something, only to flake on them later, are you?”

“I guess there’s only one way to find out.” Matt said, right before he hung up.

—--------

“Basketball with the mutants? I’d love to, but the Night Nurse was pretty clear on what she’d do to me if I didn’t take it easy.” Cindy said.

If you had a nickel for every time someone repeated your questions back to you…

There was a brief shuffling sound, a muffled cry, and then you were suddenly speaking with Wanda.

“But I on the other hand am able-bodied and still have energy to spare!” she declared.

“Ow! You’re pushing on my head!” Cindy complained.

“Is Wolverine gonna be there? Should I wear a mask? Do you think they have a spare X-Men uniform? I’ll even take a large if they-”

More shuffling. More muffled shouts.

From the sounds of it, Cindy didn’t like having her phone snatched.

“Hello? Ladies?”

(Cont.)
>>
The sound of wind blowing into the receiver was the only thing you heard for a second, and then there was a thump.

“Hi, sorry. Me again. Wanda sort of threw my phone by accident.” Cindy said, sounding mildly annoyed.

“You have a grappling hook in your cast!?” Wanda blurted out.

“It’s not a grappling hook. It’s just a mini-Moonrang with a bit of rope at the end of it.” she explained. “And it’s a good thing I packed it this morning. I don’t think my phone would’ve survived that fall, liquid polymer screen protector or not.”

“I told you you should’ve sprang for the OtterBox.” Wanda chided her.

Cindy groaned.

“But they’re so ugly and bulky. You could block a bullet with those things.”

“One would think that that would be a major selling point to a vigilante superhero.” Wanda pointed out.

“I think I’d much rather move out of the way of the bullet.” Cindy replied in a matter-of-fact tone. “Besides, I spent an hour picking out a cute phone case, and I’m not about to cover it up.”

What will you say?

>”Hello? Is this thing still on?"
>"Don't worry about wearing masks. You'll be playing as civilians today."
>”Tell Wanda that I’ll ask them about the costume, but there probably aren’t gonna be any X-Men at the park. There’ll definitely be some other heroes there, though…”
>”We'll find you a cute, bulletproof phone one of these days. We know at least a handful of super geniuses.
>"I can't wait for you to see what we've done with the place. My new recruit is really pulling her weight today."
>"I don't suppose either of you are Screwball fans, because she's here too."
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6056141
>"I for one am happy you express yourself by customizing your gear for style instead of practicality. But if you want-"
>>”We'll find you a cute, bulletproof phone one of these days. We know at least a handful of super geniuses."
>”Tell Wanda that I’ll ask them about the costume, but there probably aren’t gonna be any X-Men at the park. There’ll definitely be some other heroes there, though…”
>"I don't suppose either of you are Screwball fans, because she's here too."
>>
>>6056141
>>6056310
Supporting. I kinda want to say “no masks” so Cindy socializes more as herself instead of learning on her hero persona, but we did say our daughter was coming. Not hard to eliminate the possibilities from there.

Should we still offer it and explain the caveat about Iron Fist and Pei?
>>
>>6056310
>>6056448
>"I for one am happy you express yourself by customizing your gear for style instead of practicality. But if you want-"
>>”We'll find you a cute, bulletproof phone one of these days. We know at least a handful of super geniuses."
>”Tell Wanda that I’ll ask them about the costume, but there probably aren’t gonna be any X-Men at the park. There’ll definitely be some other heroes there, though…”
>"I don't suppose either of you are Screwball fans, because she's here too."

Taking these. Writing...
>>
“I for one am happy that you express yourself by customizing your gear for style instead of practicality.” you said, reminding everyone that you were still involved in the conversation.

“But if you want,” you continued. “We’ll find you a cute, bulletproof phone one of these days. We know at least a handful of super-geniuses.”

“You know, it’s really hard to tell when you’re joking sometimes. Knowing you, you’d probably find a way to twist Mr. Fantastic’s arm so that he’d make me a super-phone.” Cindy said, her laugh coming through your phone’s speaker loud and clear.

The resulting effect was almost so stimulating that you nearly let out an involuntary laugh of your own. You never told Cindy this, but there were times when her laugh played havoc with your senses. It was as if her voice could directly tickle your brain. It was a pleasant feeling that could only be compared to a sudden dose of dopamine.

The implications of this were, of course, very unsettling. Either you were a huge creep with an overpowering sense of fatherly affection for your ward, or Cindy was using some sort of trick.

It was a difficult topic to bring up, so you opted to keep it to yourself for now. Maybe you’ll keep it to yourself forever.

“Is it really possible to twist the arm of the stretchiest man alive?” Wanda asked, bringing you back to reality. “Oh, who am I kidding? I would totally twist Mr. Fantastic’s arm if I ever got the chance!”

“You should really teach your sidekick about proper superhero etiquette.” you advised, noticing that you’d been silent for a bit too long. “Also, tell Wanda that I’ll ask about the costume, but there probably aren’t gonna be any X-Men at the park.”

Cindy relayed that message, and you didn’t have to think very hard to imagine the disappointment on her sidekick’s face.

“There’ll definitely be some other heroes there, though…” you added.

“He says there’s other heroes coming.” Cindy repeated.

“Ooh! Anyone I’d know? Are they going to be playing basketball with us?”

“We’ll find out when we get there.” Cindy said easily.

“Oh, and Screwball’s going to be there too. I don’t know if either of you are fans.” you put in.

To your surprise, Cindy was the one to react this time.

“WHAT!? Screwball’s with you right now? Are you serious?”

“We’re gonna be playing basketball with Screwball?” Wanda said with a snort.

You’re a Screwball fan? Seriously?” you asked, an incredulous tone in your voice.

“Well I, uh…used to watch her VODs when my parents weren’t looking. They thought she was a bad influence, so I could never watch her streams while they were in the house.” she explained. “She’s actually pretty funny, sometimes.”

You suppose there’s no accounting for taste.

—---------

(Cont.)
>>
About an hour later, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and a little Asian girl who you assumed was Pei were the first to arrive. Luke was wearing a tight yellow shirt and a pair of torn blue jeans that were held up by a belt with a buckle that spelled out the word “CAGE”.

It was a little on the nose, but still an incredibly iconic look.

Iron Fist, on the other hand, was missing his signature deep v-neck and high collar. He had instead opted for a dark green tracksuit with yellow stripes running down his arms and legs. He kept his mask on, though.

Similar to her mentor, Pei wore a red and black tracksuit with white stripes. Seeing the two wear slightly matching outfits was pretty adorable, but it was hard to ignore how short the girl was.

For someone who was “similar in age to Cindy”, she looked pretty young. Her dark, shoulder length hair was tied into pigtails, and they whipped from side to side as she tried to focus on each and every Morlock in the area.

“Sweet Christmas…”

That one came from Luke.

“I ain’t never seen Halloween decorations this realistic before. They should have mutants do it every year.”

“I agree. If I wasn’t able to sense that they held no life energy in them, I would’ve assumed that they were all real.” Iron Fist added.

Ember looked up from her game console, and she had to do a double take when she realized who it was she was looking at. Her eyes went wide, and she sank deeper into her chair until her handheld console covered most of her face. A second later, her mask had materialized around her head.

“Hey guys! Glad you could make it.” you said, running up to greet them.

You were the only one who did. Most of the Morlocks were still a little shy around strangers.

Danny nodded towards you.

“Hello, Huntsman. Pei’s been eager to get out of the house more, so we decided to bring her here.” he said, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“You mean you decided.” Luke corrected him. “I heard there was supposed to be free food.”

“And soda.” Pei said in accented English.

“But not too much soda.” Iron Fist asserted.

Pei let out a frustrated groan

“Pei…”

“Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. My body is a temple, blah blah.” Pei said with a roll of her eyes. “A bit of sugar won’t throw off my chakras or disrupt my chi flow.”

“Yeah, cut the kid some slack, Danny. She’s old enough to decide what she wants to eat, and young enough to bounce back after eating a boatload of junk food.”

Pei nodded furiously at that.

Danny looked between the two and let out a sigh.

“...Fine. Eat what you want. Just know that all that junk food won’t help you grow taller.”

Pei’s look of victory quickly evaporated, only to be replaced by a conflicted one.

“You three should get your own sitcom. Really. This is gold.”

(Cont.)
>>
All at once, the three of them turned their attention on you. But your attention was firmly fixed on three approaching shapes in the distance.

No…it was more than just three.

Cindy, Wanda, and Nature Girl were coming your way, all of them riding atop a pair of grizzly bears. Cindy and Wanda were sharing one, while Nature Girl had her own. The latter seemed to be riding tall, her back straight, and her antlers high.

Noticing that you were no longer paying attention to them, the Heroes for Hire turned to stare at them as well. So did the Morlocks. Everyone was staring at them now. Even Ember lowered her handheld to catch a glimpse.

The closer they got, the more details you could pick out. And the reality of the situation was…strange, to say the least.

Both Cindy and Nature Girl were being swarmed by small animals. Rodents crawled over their arms and shoulders. Birds perched atop their heads and hopped around in front of them on the grizzly’s back.

“Who are they?” Pei asked, squinting at them.

“The one on the left is my kid, Cindy. The one on the right is a mutant that we like to call Nature Girl.” you whispered. “I’m sure you can figure out why.”

The surrounding Morlocks began to murmur and chuckle amongst themselves. Even you were having a hard time holding it in when you noticed the troubled look on Cindy’s face. The whispered conversations continued until both grizzlies stopped in front of the tennis courts, bringing the precession to a halt.

You and Cindy locked eyes, then. She opened her mouth to say something, but her words were cut short by the tittering of a group of approaching birds. They were carrying something in their talons, and-

A wreath of flowers was unceremoniously dropped onto Cindy’s head, pushing her hair in front of her eyes and causing her to splutter. Behind her, Wanda looked jealous of her new gift.

“You’re giving off real ‘Disney Princess’ vibes, you know that?”

That was all you said, and that was all it took to break the silence. Those who didn’t outright break into laughter, tried to suppress a giggle or a chuckle. There were of course, those that did neither, and instead went back to whatever they were doing before Cindy’s arrival.

But it was enough to make Cindy turn beet red at the attention she was getting. Nature Girl was giving your ward curious looks, and Wanda was waving at everyone cheerfully.

Oh, yeah. It was definitely a good idea to invite these two.

—----------

(Cont.)
>>
What will you do?

>Call up Chef Ameyama for some good grub!
>Call Anya and Benga so they can pick-up some take-out for the players.
>Introduce Cindy and Pei. You've got a feeling that they'd get along.
>Make a wager with Luke, and anyone else that's interested.
>Use your web-shaping skills to build a court. It's time to decide the teams for this little bout!
>Pull someone aside for a little chat.(Who?)
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6056737
>Call up Chef Ameyama for some good grub!
Well, we promised
>Introduce Cindy and Pei. You've got a feeling that they'd get along.
>Use your web-shaping skills to build a court. It's time to decide the teams for this little bout!
Might as well get this started before we get distracted.
>>
>>6056737
>>6056769
Supporting. I had voted for Ameyama a while ago anyway.

If Cindy seems like she’s struggling for an icebreaker, mention Screwball is in the park and see if Pei knows of her. Seems like the sort of person Iron Fist would disapprove of, and Pei would have found a way to watch off that alone.
>>
>>6056769
>>6056737
+1
>>
>>6056737
>>6056769
+1
>>
>Call up Chef Ameyama for some good grub!
>Introduce Cindy and Pei. You've got a feeling that they'd get along.
>Use your web-shaping skills to build a court. It's time to decide the teams for this little bout!

Taking these. Writing...
>>
>>6056769
>>6056781
>>6056831
>>6057152
Here's your (You)'s in case you guys were feeling neglected!
>>
Seeing as how you made promises to the Heroes for Hire and Chef Ameyama, you decided to make good on them and called up the caterer from last night. She was very surprised to receive another call from you this soon, but she swore that she was up to the task.

Someone would have to do something about that blockade, though. Maybe you’d send Abe back out there again.

While you considered that possibility, Cindy and Wanda dismounted from the grizzly and approached you. Predictably, the blonde sidekick only had eyes for the Heroes for Hire, and made a b-line for them as soon as she registered their presence.

Cindy glanced over her shoulder at her, shook her head, but didn’t actually make any effort to stop her.

“Hey, Snow White. There's someone I'd like you to meet.” you said, waving over Pei.

The little Asian girl didn’t need much convincing for her to slip away while Wanda nerded out over Luke and Danny. She walked up to you, and then stared up at Cindy.

Cindy stared back for a second, before giving her a smile and a friendly wave with her one working hand.

“Cindy, this is Pei. She’s Iron Fist’s kid.” you said.

“He is my mentor. I am not simply ‘his kid’.” Pei corrected.

“Pei, this is Cindy. She’s a good friend of mine, and one of the fiercest warriors I’ve ever met.” you continued, ignoring the young girl for the time being.

Cindy blushed at that.

“Aww, you’re just saying that.” she said, sounding genuinely flattered.

“Is that how you received those injuries? In a fierce battle?” Pei asked, staring at Cindy’s arm in mild interest.

“What, this? I got in an accident when Doctor Doom invaded the city. A bunch of rubble fell on top of me, and I almost blacked out. It was a real mess.” Cindy explained, patting her bandaged arm.

A squirrel popped out of her sling at that very moment, and Cindy’s eyes widened in surprise.

“How’d you get in there, little guy?” she asked.

“These animals seem to like you.” Pei observed.

“I'm sure it's just Nature Girl messing with me, or something.”

“It’s probably a result of those antlers of hers growing into her brain.” you added, pointing both index fingers up on both sides of your head.

That earned a chuckle from Cindy, but there was no dopamine rush like last time.

Pei just shook her head.

“No, they are drawn to you. I can tell.” she said, offering a hand for the squirrel to climb onto. The little rodent did so after a moment of hesitation. “I was told that the people of this realm possess unique abilities that do not require the use of chi. Is this one of yours?”

Cindy laughed and shook her head., causing the flower wreath to slip off of her head.

“Nope. I don’t really have any powers. Not unless Khonshu blesses me, anyway.”

Pei squinted in confusion.

“Who?”

“He’s Cindy’s Egyptian moon god.” you added.

“Ah.”

(Cont.)
>>
Pei nodded in the way people did when they didn’t truly understand what was going on.

“Has he done something like this for you before?” she asked.

“Like this? Never.” Cindy admitted with a shrug, staring at a yellow bird that had just landed on her shoulder. “I wanted a pet when I was younger, but my parents wouldn’t let me. They said an animal’s scent might throw off my game if the thing I was hunting smelled it on me.”

“That sounds like a flimsy excuse a parent would make up to stop their child from asking for a dog.” Pei reasoned.

Cindy let out a hollow laugh.

“Heh. Yeah, probably.”

Cindy grew a bit sullen at the mention of her parents.

What will you say?

>”If you wanted a pet, you should’ve said something. I totally would’ve gotten you one.”
>”Just be sure to say goodbye to all your new friends before you go back to your dorm. Something tells me that they wouldn’t be welcome indoors.”
>”Why’re we standing around speculating when we could literally just go and ask Nature Girl ourselves? She’s right over there.”
>”Are you planning on playing, Pei? If not, I was wondering if you’d be interested in teaching Cindy a thing or two about manipulating Chi. Nothing too intense, of course.”
>Slip away at your earliest opportunity, and give the two of them some time to get to know each other.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6057244
>>”Why’re we standing around speculating when we could literally just go and ask Nature Girl ourselves? She’s right over there.”
>>”Are you planning on playing, Pei? If not, I was wondering if you’d be interested in teaching Cindy a thing or two about manipulating Chi. Nothing too intense, of course.”
>>Slip away at your earliest opportunity, and give the two of them some time to get to know each other.
>>
>>6057244
>”If you wanted a pet, you should’ve said something. I have an extradimensional terrarium, Ana and I could have found something neat. A falcon would work too.”
I’m sure Khonshu would be willing to grant his champion something to help her control a falcon.

>”Why’re we standing around speculating when we could literally just go and ask Nature Girl ourselves? She’s right over there.”
>”Are you planning on playing, Pei? If not, I was wondering if you’d be interested in teaching Cindy a thing or two about manipulating chi. Preferably something to help her relax. This girl works herself too hard.”

I wonder if the “dopamine rush” we feel is what the animals feel too? They could be more sensitive to it than we are. Might be worth running her by Abe or Webb at some point to see if she’s got an empath power.
>>
>>6057244
>>6057244
>>”Why’re we standing around speculating when we could literally just go and ask Nature Girl ourselves? She’s right over there.”
>>”Are you planning on playing, Pei? If not, I was wondering if you’d be interested in teaching Cindy a thing or two about manipulating Chi. Nothing too intense, of course.”
>>Slip away at your earliest opportunity, and give the two of them some time to get to know each other.
>>Get Callisto to join a team for the pickup game
>>
>>6058530
Fuck, my image didn't go through
>>
>>6057401
>>6057543
>>6058530
>”Why’re we standing around speculating when we could literally just go and ask Nature Girl ourselves? She’s right over there.”
>”Are you planning on playing, Pei? If not, I was wondering if you’d be interested in teaching Cindy a thing or two about manipulating Chi. Nothing too intense, of course.”
>Slip away at your earliest opportunity, and give the two of them some time to get to know each other.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
“Why’re we standing around speculating when we could literally go and ask nature Girl ourselves. She’s literally right over there.” you said, pointing to the nearby mutant druid.

She was currently being subjected to having tennis balls stuck onto her antlers by her fellow Morlocks. To your surprise, she actually seemed to be enjoying herself for once. And with sentient beings, no less.

You waved her over, and she hopped off of her grizzly bear to approach you, looking serious despite her ridiculous appearance.

“What is it? If you’re going to ask about the park’s security, I already told them to stand down for the time being.”

“It’s not about that, but thanks.” you added. “We were just wondering if you had a hand in getting those animals to like Cindy.”

Nature Girl cast her scrutinizing gaze at Cindy. She shook her head.

“No. I didn’t tell them to do all that.” she answered. “I told them to be nice to her, but not that nice. I don’t know where that came from.”

“They clearly like her.” Pei said, letting the squirrel crawl back into Cindy’s sling.

The Korean girl squirmed uncomfortably and shifted her arm as it wormed its way back in.

“Yeah, I can see that.” Lin said, shifting her attention to the bird on Cindy’s shoulder.

Lin whistled at it, and got a series of chirps in response. Lin nodded seriously, looking more engaged in this conversation than she has for any you’ve seen her have with the other Morlocks.

“She says that she likes your voice.” she said in a gentle voice.

Cindy glanced down at the bird and let out a melodic whistle. The bird pecked her cheek in response.

“Ow.”

“Yeah, don’t do that. That was very offensive.” Nature Girl warned.

“Sorry. How did you do it?” Cindy asked.

“Like this.”

Lin let out another whistle, and the bird on Cindy’s shoulder responded more positively this time.

“Like this?”

Cindy whistled again, and it earned her another peck and some agitated chirping.

“Maybe you should try out some bird body language to appeal to it.” Lin suggested. “A little head-bobbing or some tail-wagging.”

You, Cindy and Pei watched with mild interest as Lin shook her hips from side to side. You haven’t seen her this animated in a while.

You and Pei turned to stare at Cindy, wondering if she’d really do it. Her expression was…apprehensive, to say the least.

“No no, yeah. Lemme just…”

Cindy whistled once more, and this time, you did feel something. Without thinking, you found that you’d taken two steps towards Cindy. So had Pei, for that matter. You snapped out of it quickly, but it seemed to have the intended effect on Cindy’s bird.

It flew back to her, landed on her shoulder, and nuzzled its head against her cheek.

“Aww. Hey, I did…”

(Cont.)
>>
Cindy cut off suddenly as she stared past you. Lin seemed to be alarmed as well. You and Pei turned…and took a step back as a flock of birds came flying towards you.

No. Towards Cindy.

She panicked, and pursed her lips to attempt another whistle, but Nature Girl stepped in front of her.

Lin spread her arms out, raised her hands, and bellowed.

The birds flew around and above you, breaking up before they could collide with Nature Girl, and came back together in a cylindrical flying formation. You all stared up at them as they spiraled up towards the sky and flew off in separate directions.

You weren’t the only ones, either. Everyone present was watching, as well. And as soon as the flock of birds had gone, their gazes naturally drifted to Cindy and Lin.

“Are you sure you don’t have any powers?” Pei asked.

“Pretty sure…?” Cindy said carefully.

Her squirrel had fled by now, but the yellow bird was still circling the area.

As for Nature Girl, she seemed to be very interested in Cindy now. She was giving the girl an appraising look, and you had a feeling that she was going to try and make more than a token effort to get to know her.

“Forget Disney Princess.” you said, sounding truly impressed. “Are you sure you’re not blessed by the God of Pigeons instead?”

Cindy frowned at you, and Pei’s face split into a grin.

“Now that I believe.” she said.

“I’m not exactly looking for an open spiritual relationship.”

“Tell that to the Pigeon God.” you said, sharing a laugh with Pei.

Nature Girl was still staring at Cindy.

“Are you planning on playing, Pei?” you began. “Because if not, I was wondering if you’d be interested in teaching Cindy a thing or two about manipulating Chi. Nothing too intense, of course.”

You gestured at Cindy’s cast and boot, and Pei made a thoughtful noise.

“Hmm. I guess it wouldn’t be a huge waste of time. She moves with grace and purpose, and she has actual combat experience.” she reasoned, gesturing at Cindy. “Let’s see whether she has any talent in cultivating chi.”

Cindy smiled, her mood suddenly lightened.

“Seriously? You’re okay with it?”

Pei shrugged.

“Eh, why not?”

“...Can I join too?”

Everyone turned to Lin. She was leaning in and pointing to her own face. Pei and Cindy exchanged a glance. Both shrugged and muttered their agreement.

Nature Girl gave them a rare, friendly smile. Although, it was kind of ruined by the odd tilt of her head.

You smiled at them, taking this opportunity to slowly back away and give them their space. In the meantime, you had a basketball court to build.

(Cont.)
>>
—--------

What kind of court will you build?

>A regular court with web fences to catch the ball.
>A web-cage court where you’ll play as the referee.
>A trampoline, bouncy castle court.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6058706
>A regular court with web fences to catch the ball.
>>
>>6058706
>A regular court with web fences to catch the ball.
Start basic. We can build up to the caged stadium with web runways on the walls for people to play on later.

It’d be pretty cool if we could add enough vertical space that we could have 2 basketballs going with expanded teams. Something real hectic that would be a joy to watch.
>>
>>6058706

>A regular court with web fences to catch the ball

But it would be nice to do it again but with Ben refereeing
>>
>>6058706
>>A regular court with web fences to catch the ball.
oh boy, remember when it was said that there are some risks involved in giving her her voice back?
>>
>>6058863
I was pretty sure those risks were about the Silvertongue that had it and how killing it would release all sorts of locked away languages that could do horrifying things. But you’re onto something. I doubt the effects of languages/voices consumed by a Silvertongue that was later released has been studied very extensively. If it has, those results were likely from long ago given that there was only one of them left until very recently.

Maybe all that time her voice spent marinating next to forbidden languages has given her… a silver tongue.
>>
>>6058709
>>6058720
>>6058739
>>6058863
>A regular court with web fences to catch the ball

>>6058863
>>6058967
Interesting theory!
>>
File: inhyuk-lee-1 (4).jpg (232 KB, 1000x1518)
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After much deliberation, you decided on a simpler design for the basketball court. Despite that, however, you struggled a bit with the hoop’s construction. Specifically, it was the stand that held up the hoop. You couldn’t exactly shape something that was stable, vertical and perfectly cylindrical all at the same time. Not without some more practice, at least.

So, you decided to make a high, slanted structure, with a backboard supported by thick strands of webbing that connected to the web-shaped fences behind them. Those had been easier to make, but were a lot more costly in the webbing department. Even with your web-fluid production being all ramped up on account of your new diet plan, you could feel a notable absence of the excess fluid that you normally carried around in your arms.

But you had to admit that the lack of pressure in your forearms was a relief.

—-------

By the time you were finished, Screwball, Shark Girl and Abe found their way back to the group.

“Is that…is that a basketball court!? What’s it made out of?” Screwball wondered aloud, her camera drone getting closer to inspect your creation.

“Ooh! Are we doing something fun?” Shark asked, her face splitting into a toothy, excited grin.

“Yeah, do you know how to play?” Joy said, still holding a noticeably bent tennis racket.

“Hmm…nope!” Shark declared.

“Me either.” Joy admitted.

“Oh, snap! Is that Luke Cage and Iron Fist?” Screwball announced, directing another camera drone to point in their general vicinity. “I almost got caught by those guys before. I wonder if they’d be open to doing another collab.”

You watched as Screwball approached the Heroes for Hire, when Abe suddenly landed opposite you on the backboard on the other side of the court.

“What’s all this about? I thought we hated public art.”

“Oh, nothing. This is just the first step in my multi-step plan to form a Morlock basketball team.”

“Whoa, seriously? Who do you have on the team so far? Do you have jerseys printed and everything?” he asked, clearly interested in the idea.

“I knew you’d be on-board.” you said with a satisfied nod. “And, no one so far. I haven’t formally pitched the idea to them yet.”

“But they probably know about it by now.” Abe reasoned.

“How do you figure?”

“Because we’ve been raising our voices this entire time, and some of these guys have really good hearing!”

“Oh! Right, I forgot!” you lied.

That earned a few chuckles from the mutants that were present.

Now that there were more people showing up, you could start deciding teams. With Screwball's stream and the Morlock leaders busy recruiting mutants and outsiders to come play, you should have a decent crowd coming to join in on the fun.

(Cont.)
>>
What will you do?

>Challenge the Heroes for Hire to a 2 on 2 with Abe as your partner.
>Decide the teams at random so no one has any clear advantages.
>Bring Glass and Callisto back so they can pick the teams. It’s time to see which Morlock leader was the better baller!
>Ask Ember to bring in her Pixelated Halloween creations for a few games.
>Pull Shark and Joy aside for some coaching. They can get involved after they’ve had some practice.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6059161
>Decide the teams at random so no one has any clear advantages.
At least for the first couple rounds so everyone gets a feel for everyone else. We can do themed teams later.

>Pull Shark and Joy aside for some coaching. They can get involved after they’ve had some practice.

Some themed team ideas:
>My own worst enemy - Abe vs Ben, 1v1
>Spider supremacy - Abe, Joy, Ben vs (any), 3v3
>Beat the bosses - Glass, Callisto, (any) vs (any Morlocks), 2v2 through 5v5
>Is Celebrity Streamer Better Than Gaggle of Kids At BBall Click To Find Out - Screwball vs (any group of young kids), 1v2 up to 1v5

If things really get going and we’re not needed, I’d also be okay with popping over to do some tennis with Callisto for a set.
>>
>>6059185
+1
>>
>>6059161
>>Challenge the Heroes for Hire to a 2 on 2 with Abe as your partner.
>Explain to Joy/Shark how it's done, but get increasingly more serious
also:
>no cheating, no using webs or sticking to balls
>>
>>6059256
I’ll support the last two, though if others want to cut loose a bit with their powers I’m willing to flex ours. Our tools are better than theirs.

I’m debating how friendly we want to seem with Spiderman. The Maggia already dislike him, and with Screwball streaming everything it’ll bring up questions on why we’re so chummy with him. I’m willing to say that we put aside differences given where we were at, I’m just not sure how far that’d fly.

I still support an all-spider team because when else are we going to get to play with three spider heroes?

If we ever do a real charity version of basketball then we need to see if we can pull in Cindy and Spiderwoman, with Webb as a referee. It’d be dumb, but if they’re humoring our dumb ideas then we’re not doing anything worse. That’s gotta be good for Hill’s heart rate.
>>
>>6059185
>>6059196
>>6059256
>>6059328
>Decide the teams at random so no one has any clear advantages.
>Pull Shark and Joy aside for some coaching. They can get involved after they’ve had some practice.

Team ideas:
>My own worst enemy - Abe vs Ben, 1v1
>Spider supremacy - Abe, Joy, Ben vs (any), 3v3
>Beat the bosses - Glass, Callisto, (any) vs (any Morlocks), 2v2 through 5v5
>Is Celebrity Streamer Better Than Gaggle of Kids At B-Ball Click To Find Out - Screwball vs (any group of young kids), 1v2 up to 1v5
>Challenge the Heroes for Hire to a 2 on 2 with Abe as your partner.

Taking these. Writing...

>>6059328
The funny thing is that Ben could probably make it happen if he really wanted to.
>>
To make it completely fair, you had the first few games decide their teams at random, with Danny and Luke being on opposite teams more often than not. And it was an unspoken rule that the use of powers was strictly prohibited, unless it was something that you couldn’t completely turn off, like Luke’s super strength or Iron Fist’s superhuman agility.

It was the same for you. You weren’t allowed to use your webs or fire powers, but that still left you with a superhuman body that was capable of outperforming most of the people here. But for the sake of those that were without such gifts, you decided to take it easy in the beginning.

That meant pretending that you were too slow to prevent someone from stealing the ball from you every now and again. Or passing the ball to a teammate when you were fully capable of driving it home on your own. You wouldn’t want to discourage the others from playing.

The Heroes for Hire seemed to be doing the same, but to a lesser degree. Every now and again, Luke would score an amazing three-pointer, or Danny would cross someone up so hard that you had to wonder whether their ankles would ever recover.

But more often than not, they were taking it easy. Not for people like you, Abe or Callisto; but for people like Wanda, or that purple guy who’s name you never got.

Speaking of Cindy’s sidekick, she was putting on a pretty decent show. You guess she wasn’t kidding about having dabbled in multiple sports when she was younger.

Luke actually looked like he was impressed that she was any good at all. And if she hadn’t picked up on that fact already, you’d be sure to tell her later.

Even Screwball was putting on a decent show. Accurate to her portrayal in her infamous burglary streams, Screwball was surprisingly athletic. Her aim could definitely use some work, but in terms of coordination, stamina and acrobatics, she was outpacing most of her teammates and opponents.

At some point, someone found out that Screwball was best used as a vehicle to slip through the opposite team’s defenders and deliver a lay-up. After that, everyone else started taking her more seriously.

But absolutely no one was prepared for the diabolical duo that was you and your clone brother. News of Spider-Man and the Huntsman being on the same team was almost always either met with groans from the enemy team, or excited murmurs from the crowd watching.

And the spectators were right to be excited, because if there was one thing that you and Abe were good at, it was making a spectacle.

From insane trick-shots to legendary cross-court passes, everyone knew to expect something Spectacular from the Spider-Twins. You even recovered a basketball that had almost been out of bounds, gripping it with one hand, and the ground with the other, while your entire body remained suspended by that one arm. But you made sure to keep it to a minimum around some of the...less gifted players.

(Cont.)
>>
File: maxresdefault (3).jpg (105 KB, 1280x720)
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—------

After a while, you decided to take a break and check in with Joy and Shark. You found them hitting tennis balls at Skids’ forcefield. They were taking turns fetching the balls that rebounded too far, or too far.

But when you told them that you were willing to coach them in how to play basketball, they dropped their rackets almost immediately and chased after you.

—-------

“Whoops! I’ll get it!” Shark said, shooting into the air to go fetch what had to be the fifth ball that she nearly sent into orbit.

Abe whistled from his perch atop the web-fence you’d made.

“That might be a new record.” he said, craning his neck and shading his eyes so he could spot the rapidly disappearing dot.

Everyone who’d been watching your little training session stared up at it in awe. Some just pointed and laughed, which was fair.

To put it lightly, Iara stunk on ice. She struggled to moderate her strength, and because of that, she couldn’t dribble, pass or shoot the ball without something going wrong every so often.

Joy, on the other hand, was a quick learner, as she’d always been. She easily picked up on the fundamentals and put them into practice with ease. You’d been secretly worried that she wouldn’t be very good at this particular sport, but your concerns seemed to be entirely unwarranted.

If anything, Joy was far too unpredictable in the way she handled the ball. Sometimes she fell for feints, and other times, she would just sit there and stare at you. Since she didn’t know what to look for, her eyes remained glued to the ball, no matter where you went. And because her kinetic vision and reflexes were so good, she actually managed to steal the ball from you a couple of times.

“Nice work, Joy. It’s scary how fast you pick things up, sometimes.”

Joy gave you a confident smile.

“You should see me put things down. Because, I can do that…pretty fast, too…” Joy said, slowly petering out as she reached the end of what you thought might be her first quip.

She gave you and Abe nervous glances.

“That…didn’t come out right.” she admitted.

You and Abe wouldn’t hear of it. At once, you and him flanked the Gwen clone and lavished her with praise and headpats.

One’s first quip was a special moment, after all. You just wished you had thought to bring a camera to properly document it.

Maybe you could “borrow” one from Screwball later.

—------

As the time approached for your and Abe’s solo match, more people started showing up to participate in the event. You wanted to believe that they were here for you, but you thought it more likely that Screwball’s apparent fame was actually beginning to pay off.

And with the arrival of new players, you and Abe had to construct more courts. It was easier the second and third time. Even more so with Abe’s help, even though he wasn’t capable of web-shaping.

“So, how do you wanna play this?” Abe asked.

(Cont.)
>>
“Handle what? Does that hoop look slanted to you?”

“Our match. Are we playing for fun, or are we playing for keeps?”

What will you do?

>Play for fun. You're just here to make sure everyone has a good time. (Put on a show)
>Play for keeps. May the best Ben win! (Rolling required)
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6060258
>”Why not both?”
Put on a show for most of it, but toss in a single roll for the end where we both take it seriously. We’ll say it’s first to three dunks/shots/whatever. No points, just 3 to 5 balls in the hoop however it can be managed.

I’m not concerned with who comes out on top, just that we both get a feel for what a head-to-head would be like. Y’know, in that hypothetical where we ever end up on opposite teams.
>>
>>6060258
>>Play for keeps. May the best Ben win! (Rolling required)
there can only be one
>>
>>6060258
>>Play for keeps. May the best Ben win! (Rolling required)
>>
>>6060268
>>6060518
>Play for keeps. May the best Ben win! (Rolling required)

Taking these. Writing...
>>
You leaned in close and lowered your voice to a whisper.

“We’re playing for keeps, my friend. May the best Ben win!” you said, extending a hand toward him.

Abe gave your hand a firm shake and nodded approvingly.

“Good. And here I was worrying that things would get boring.”

—-------

As it turned out, the second court had been necessary for your 1v1 with Abe. It was hard to ask the newcomers to clear the court after they showed up looking for a chance to play with or against Screwball.

But considering the amount of eyes on you and Abe when you made your declaration, your game was generating a pretty decent amount of hype on its own. Callisto and Glass had even come back to spectate.

However, they weren’t the most notable figures in this crowd. Nope.

That honor belonged to the blind man that was parked right next to Ember. Everyone watched with some interest as he miraculously found his way over to her, only sit down and say:

“Don’t mind me. I’m just here to watch the game.”

—-----

Roll 1d100, bo3!
>>
Rolled 84 (1d100)

>>6060846
boy oh boy
>>
Rolled 22 (1d100)

>>6060846
For all our differences, I’m glad he could make time for this.
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>6060846
>>
>>6060847
>>6060853
>>6061095
>84

Taking these. Writing...
>>
>84

On account of an unlucky coin toss, Abe was the first to receive the ball. And despite not having been alive for even a year yet, he more than made up for it with muscle memory and coordination. Clearly, his career as a vigilante superhero was doing wonders for his prowess on the court.

However, you weren’t worried about keeping up with his movements. You were just as fast as he was, after all. The real struggle was an internal one; the unseen mental war of calculations and predictions. Trying to figure out what he would do next shouldn’t have been that hard, considering how you were roughly the same person.

Which was precisely why he would try to do the exact opposite of what you were expecting. This line of thinking would almost certainly lead to the entire game devolving into a series of events consisting of 50/50’s. Crucial moments that would decide whether you won or lost.

Abe was thinking the same way that you were, and knowing him, he was more than capable of remaining in control of the ball. You knew it as surely as you knew your own capabilities.

And those certainties were proven right when your clone brother used his adhesive feet to stop on a dime. You did the same, but the sudden maneuver caught you unawares, and you were a split second too late to react.

With dizzying speed, he pivoted, tossed the ball between your legs, and caught it on the other side before delivering the ball to the hoop with a layup. The crowd cheered and hollered. Some of them even looked a bit awestruck after seeing how fast you and your clone counterpart truly were, if only for a brief moment.

You hadn’t wanted to let Abe score a point on you this early in the game, but you weren’t too put out by this outcome. After all, it was your turn now.

—---

Step by step, little by little, you and Abe fought over possession of the ball, your arms snaking around one another, fishing for openings. It was a delicate dance that taxed your brain more than it did your body. Your stamina reserves were far larger than that of a normal human, and, with practice, you could pretty much perform any kind of move that you could imagine. But the same rules applied to Abe, so you were tasked with outmaneuvering an opponent that could hypothetically perform any maneuver, so long as it didn’t violate the core rules of the game.

And that wasn’t even mentioning the cruelest part of this matchup.

Any shot that either of you attempted, from anywhere on the court, it was a given that you would make it. It was hard to explain to any non-Spider-people, but your rapid mutation had granted you a kind of spatial awareness that was unmatched by most people other than Matt.

Spider-people didn’t miss stationary targets, and they seldom missed moving ones. They pretty much always knew where they were going, where they would end up, and when they would get there. Although, that last sense could be a teensy bit inaccurate at times.

(Cont.)
>>
File: 2d0l9sgjo4l11.jpg (232 KB, 2048x1152)
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Anyway…the point was, you were entirely capable of landing three-pointers from anywhere on the court. The problem with that was, of course, the distance that the ball had to travel to make it there, as well as the speed at which it traveled.

A perfectly calculated shot had to be thrown with a certain amount of strength and precision in order to hit its target. The slightest fluctuation in either of those fields could throw off the shot entirely. The player had to be aware of each and every one of their body’s movements during each step of this process. That meant, you couldn’t just chuck the ball at the hoop and hope it went in. Chances were, the ball would burst from the sheer impact, or it would barrel straight through the backboard.

So, to break it down, both you and Abe could move at insane speeds, but the ball couldn’t. Not always, at least.

Anything that you shot from halfway across the court could be easily intercepted if Abe made the right read. And with you being the original Spider-Ben, you would do the same if you were in his shoes.

And it was for this very reason that you and him were fighting for dominance of the court. Each and every step taken was more ground gained in what felt like a war of wits and wills. It was a brutal tug-of-war that no one aside from you and Abe were entirely aware of. In the most literal sense, you and him were evenly matched.

So, it all came down to one factor.

It wasn’t luck. Luck barely came into play when two nearly identical superhumans who had near perfect control of their bodies were involved.

No. It was about who could outfox the other. And unfortunately for Abe, you’ve been outfoxing people longer than he’s been alive.

—-------

It was a close thing. Closer than you would’ve liked, but there was no question as to who the victory belonged to. You had won by two points, but you really had to hustle for that last one.

And despite there being a whole other game happening in the adjacent court, you could tell that nearly every eye was on you.

Then…the crowd went wild.

What will you do?

>Raise Abe’s hand to celebrate both of your performances. He played a really good game!
>Make a request of Abe. You are the winner of your little 1v1, after all.
>GLOAT!(Write-in.)
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6061613
>To Abe - ”Winning was worth the wicked headache I’m going to have for the next hour. I know that was more brutal than it looked.”
>To the crowd - “So remember everyone, good always triumphs over evil in basketball so that makes me the good one. People have gotta start keeping that straight!”
>Raise Abe’s hand to celebrate both of your performances. He played a really good game!
>Make a request of Abe. You are the winner of your little 1v1, after all.
>>He has to go on a date by next week with someone he hasn’t dated before. Give him an additional kick in the right direction.

He can’t turn it aside by saying we didn’t agree to a wager. We know he’s already thought about what he’d have had us do because we’re doing it now instead! Flawless logic.
>>
>>6061643
+1
>>
>>6061613
>>6061643
+1
>>
>>6061643
>>6061702
>>6062436
>To Abe - ”Winning was worth the wicked headache I’m going to have for the next hour. I know that was more brutal than it looked.”
>To the crowd - “So remember everyone, good always triumphs over evil in basketball so that makes me the good one. People have gotta start keeping that straight!”
>Raise Abe’s hand to celebrate both of your performances. He played a really good game!
>Make a request of Abe. You are the winner of your little 1v1, after all.
>>He has to go on a date by next week with someone he hasn’t dated before. Give him an additional kick in the right direction.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
You took a moment to drink in the praise of your audience before turning to address Abe.

“Winning was worth the wicked headache I’m going to have for the next hour. I know that was more brutal than it looked.” you said.

“You’re telling me! I’m pretty sure that at some point we performed the exact same move, three times in a row, back to back.” Abe said, laughing despite himself. “I’m less frustrated about the loss than I am about having to play against…well, me.”

“Of course. I wouldn’t have challenged you in the first place if I thought you’d be a sore loser.” you replied, turning back to the crowd.

“So, remember everyone: Good always triumphs over evil in basketball, so that makes me the good one. People have gotta start keeping that one straight!”

There was clear confusion in the faces of those who didn’t know you very well, but you could clearly see Callisto and Matt shaking their heads. And they were even giving a light round of applause.

Alright, Callisto’s was noticeably more lazy than his, but you liked to believe that she was genuinely impressed with your performance. And you weren’t the only one who played your heart out here.

You reached out to grab Abe’s wrist, and raised it into the air. You got the impression that he was equal parts amused and surprised. Even though you were pretty sure that he was the whole reason this crowd had such a powerful reaction to your victory. You’d bet a mil that he was secretly hyping them up with his empath powers.

“But, good or evil. Game recognizes game.” you declared.

“Word up.” Abe added.

You shared a nod, and released your grasp on his wrist.

“Oh, and as winner of this little competition,” you continued, in a quieter voice this time. “I get to make one request of you.”

The eyes of Abe’s mask narrowed.

“Damn. I need to learn how to wipe people’s mind’s like Webb does.”

Considering the fact that he was a low-level psychic, the probability of that happening wasn’t absolutely impossible.

“By this time next week, you’ll have gone on a date with someone who you’ve never asked out before. I’m gonna ask for details, so make it happen.”

Abe’s shoulders sagged as he let out a sigh.

“Is this about Doreen again? What’s your obsession with me dating Squirrel Girl?”

You put a hand on one of those saggy shoulders.

“Because she’s a cute, nice girl, and you need someone who can do something about that dark cloud you’ve got hanging over your head all the time.”

Abe stared at you.

“It doesn’t have to be her. I was just making a good suggestion. You need someone you can open up to.” you said.

“Like you with Anna.” he said in a tone that was impossible to interpret.

“Uh…right. Yeah, like that.”

“Hm.”

What was that even supposed to mean?

(Cont.)
>>
Abe’s never shown signs of jealousy or bitterness towards your relationship with Ana before. Or maybe he had, and you just hadn’t picked up on it.

But now that you thought about it, it couldn’t have been easy for him to have memories of starting a romance with a woman that’s romantically involved with someone else.

You hoped there weren’t any hard feelings between you. Parker men don’t fight over the same girl. It was a family rule.

That, and you really didn’t want to have an argument with yourself.

To your great relief, Abe shook his head and patted you on the shoulder.

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“I’ll do it. I’ll ask Doreen, or some other girl out.” Abe said, as if he had to be the one to reassure you. “I guess I’ll ask Doreen first. See what she says.”

“Cool. I hope it turns out well.” is what you said, but you were secretly hoping that she’d surprise him and say yes.

—------------

For the next game, you and Abe invited Joy out on the court. She seemed confident that she could play well, after having only practiced for 10 or 15 minutes. It was scheduled to be a 3v3, with the spider-people taking down anyone that was crazy enough to challenge them.

And to your great delight, the Heroes For Hire were the ones to take up that challenge. But Luke and Danny weren’t without their own third player. Your and Abe’s jaws nearly dropped when you saw the living legend trailing behind Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

Misty Fucking Knight. Certified Super Cop with a Robot Arm. Her afro seemed to bounce and sway with her every movement. She stopped beside Danny and flexed her gold, metal arm. It shone in the fading light of day.

“A super crook and a baller.” she said, giving you an appraising look. “You learn to play like that in prison?”

“Never been. I’m just gifted like that.”

Misty lowered her eyelids as she glanced between you and Abe.

“Uh-huh? We’ll see about that.”

Luke and Danny wouldn’t have brought her here just so she could arrest you, right?

“You two look like you’ve trained by each other’s side your whole lives. Are you brothers, perhaps?” Iron Fist asked.

“That would explain why their voices and costumes are the same.” Luke remarked.

Joy, who’d been staring at Misty this entire time, gasped in delight.

“I love how big and fluffy her hair is! Can I-?”

You and Abe rushed in to stop her before she could ask to touch Misty’s hair.

—------------

(Cont.)
>>
It was starting to look like you might have to start trying a little bit harder for this one.

And with that in mind, you couldn’t help but wonder how Joy was going to act in an actual competitive sport with competent players.

Maybe you should give her some advice.

>Tell Joy to go out there and have fun. You’re not too worried about losing.
>Use this as an opportunity to teach Joy about strategy and team-work. Maybe she’ll pick up on an interesting concept during the match.
>Don’t say anything. You wanted to see Joy’s rapid learning at work.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6062811
>Use this as an opportunity to teach Joy about strategy and team-work. Maybe she’ll pick up on an interesting concept during the match.
>>
>>6062811
>>Use this as an opportunity to teach Joy about strategy and team-work. Maybe she’ll pick up on an interesting concept during the match.
>>
>>6062811
>>Use this as an opportunity to teach Joy about strategy and team-work. Maybe she’ll pick up on an interesting concept during the match.
>>
>>6062868
>>6062873
>>6063145
>Use this as an opportunity to teach Joy about strategy and team-work. Maybe she’ll pick up on an interesting concept during the match.

Taking these. Writing...
>>
It was weird to admit, but there was some part of you that was glad that the Heroes for Hire had brought Misty Knight in on this. She was something of a local celebrity around these parts. An ex-cop turned detective, and part-time crime fighting vigilante. Most criminals knew better than to get on her bad side, and a decent chunk of the hero community respected her for her accomplishments.

And now, you were getting the chance to play basketball with her. What an exciting life you lead.

“Okay, spiders. Huddle up.”

Without arguing, Abe and, after a moment’s confusion, Joy leaned in for a team huddle.

“I think it goes without saying that we’re a lot faster than these guys, so let’s use that to our advantage. No one other than maybe Iron Fist can intercept the ball in time when we go to pass or shoot.” you said.

“And they can’t steal the ball if they can’t keep up with us.” Abe put in. “Oh, and we’re not using our webs for this, Joy.”

Joy deflated a bit at that.

“But we do want you to try coming up with strategies that we can use during this game.” you added. “Got any ideas?”

You and Abe turned to Joy expectantly. She made a thoughtful noise and closed her eyes, a slightly troubled look on her face. After about a minute of humming and face scrunching, her eyes snapped back open.

“Okay! I’ve got it.”

“Lay it on us.” Abe requested.

Joy nodded, looking pleased with herself.

“Just…you have to promise not to freak out. I don’t want you or anyone else squishing them.”

You and Abe traded confused glances, but when you felt something crawling up the back of your neck, it was all you could do to avoid freaking out.

And from the way that Abe shuddered at roughly the same time, he must’ve felt the same exact thing you did.

Of course. Joy’s plan involved spiders. You really should’ve seen it coming.

—---------

“It’s about time.” Luke said after seeing your team huddle had concluded.

“You know, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have a team huddle of our own.” Danny suggested.

“For what? This ain’t varsity. It’s streetball.” Luke replied. “Come on. We’ll even let y’all have the ball first.”

They’re overconfident. Good. That’ll make things more interesting.

“That’s awfully kind of you, Luke.” you said, catching the ball from him.

“Hope you don’t regret it.” Abe added.

“Good luck~!” Joy put in.

You started dribbling the ball, signaling everyone else that the game had started.

Luke stayed in front of you, his arms spread to prevent you from moving past him. Danny chose to stay on Abe, and Misty took Joy. You weren’t looking at them, though. There wouldn’t be a need to if Joy’s plan worked the way it should.

Tap tap tap. Tap tap. Tap.

(Cont.)
>>
You nodded to yourself, having understood Joy’s message from the spider in your suit. Abe had likely gotten the very same message, so there was no need for any verbal correspondence.

“I hear you’ve got unbreakable skin.” you said to the broad man standing in front of you.

“Yeah? What about it?”

“Let’s see if you’ve got unbreakable ankles!”

You exploded into motion, crossing up Luke so hard that he didn’t even have time to turn around before you were rushing past him. Danny started heading towards you, and you had a feeling that he was anticipating a pass to Abe. You took advantage of that misconception and pump faked towards your clone.

Danny took the bait, and Luke was charging straight for you with impressive speed for a guy his size. But both of them were too late to stop you from passing the ball to your other teammate. You even did it without looking!

Joy flipped right over Misty’s head, caught the ball, bounced it under Misty’s legs in mid-air, landed, and then scrambled over on all fours to grab it before anyone knew what she was doing. It was an unorthodox play, but you couldn’t doubt its effectiveness.

You and Abe started blocking Danny and Luke, trusting Joy to run circles around Misty Knight. You knew your faith was well-placed when Joy drove it home with a slam dunk on their side of the court.

“That’s our girl!”

“You go, Joy!”

You and Abe shouted her praises as she celebrated her first point for the team. The Heroes For Hire seemed bewildered by what had just happened. They couldn’t have known how you were all communicating so effectively, and they likely never would unless you bothered to tell them.

Danny rubbed his chin in confusion.

“Hm. Perhaps they’re all siblings.” he concluded.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me, man…” Luke sighed.

So began the biggest blow-out of the season.

—-------

It wasn’t a huge upset when you beat the Heroes For Hire. It was just no one expected you to beat them by such a large margin!

Joy’s strategy of using her countless “spy-ders”, as she called them, to view the court from multiple angles and report back to her went off without a hitch. There were, of course, times when you and Abe got your signals mixed up and made a misplay, but you quickly recovered after about a minute or two.

Luke and Misty looked like they couldn’t believe what just happened. You were pretty sure you’d heard Power Man mutter something about him losing street cred after this match.

Even Callisto seemed impressed by what she’d just seen. It was Joy’s first time playing the sport, after all.

Matt was giving you a knowing smile, but…there was no way that he could sense the spiders under your suit, right…?

“You’ve seen it here first, folks! The Heroes For Hire just got trashed by the Huntsman, Spider-Man, and some random blonde girl!” Screwball reported, pointing her camera at you from atop the branch of a nearby tree.
>>
For once, you were grateful that Screwball was getting this all on camera. You’d have to get Cindy to show you those “VODs” later.

Mere moments later, she threw her head to the side and nearly fell out of the tree in order to avoid a stray basketball hurtling straight at her!

You and the others traced the trajectory of the ball back to a hovering Iara, her hands placed over her mouth in horror.

“Whoops! Sorry!”

—------

With those games out of the way, you were free to watch the remaining match-ups in peace. Glass and Callisto were being called out to join in on the fun, and Screwball’s viewers were pressuring her to step onto the court as well.

The park was starting to fill up with curious onlookers, some of them there to watch the proceedings, and others just to see Ember’s impressive Halloween decorations.

Anyone who got hungry or thirsty paid Chef Ameyama a visit, and partook in her dangerously delicious tortas, including the Heroes For Hire themselves. Anna was especially excited about that particular endorsement.

What will you do now?

>Buy a torta for the genius who won you that last basketball game. She’s earned it.
>Stay and watch a few more games. You don’t want to miss anything important.
>Go and check on Cindy, Pei and Nature Girl. You’re curious to see how her lesson on Chi Manipulation is going.
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6063415
>>Buy a torta for the genius who won you that last basketball game. She’s earned it.
>>
>>6063415
>Buy a torta for the genius who won you that last basketball game. She’s earned it.
May as well hear about what she’s decided with her kinda-sorta father and twin sister as well.
>>
>>6063415
>Buy a torta for the genius who won you that last basketball game. She’s earned it.
>Go and check on Cindy, Pei and Nature Girl. You’re curious to see how her lesson on Chi Manipulation is going.
>>
>>6063415
>>Buy a torta for the genius who won you that last basketball game. She’s earned it.
>True to our word, also pay for the Heroes for Hire
>Also also, bring some to Cindy/Pei/Nature Girl (and Wanda?)
>Go and check on Cindy, Pei and Nature Girl. You’re curious to see how her lesson on Chi Manipulation is going.
>>
>>6063504
>>6063721
>>6063723
>>6063893
>Buy a torta for the genius who won you that last basketball game. She’s earned it.
>True to our word, also pay for the Heroes for Hire
>Also also, bring some to Cindy/Pei/Nature Girl (and Wanda?)
>Go and check on Cindy, Pei and Nature Girl. You’re curious to see how her lesson on Chi Manipulation is going.

Let's take these. Writing...
>>
Trusting that the others would keep things interesting while you were gone, you and the rest of the spider crew mosied on down to Anna’s food truck. But, you liked to refer to her with her last name, because her first name was a sore reminder of the fact that your deadly huntress girlfriend was still out of town. You’d have to call her and figure out what she was up to one of these days.

By the time you got there, you noticed that the Heroes for Hire were still eating. And, being the good guy that you were, insisted that their meal was on you for making the effort to come all the way out here.

“It’s the least I could do.” you said, leaning on Ameyama’s counter.

Luke’s eyes flew open at that declaration.

“Shit, that almost makes what happened back there seem worth it.” he said, turning back to face Chef Ameyama. “I’ll take five more for the road.”

She beamed at him.

“Comin’ right up!”

Danny shook his head, his shoulder leaning against the side of the food truck.

“You’re going to get an unbreakable gut if you keep stuffing your face.”

“I’ll take one more too, miss.” Misty chimed in, holding a finger up.

Danny sighed, looking mildly defeated.

“Yeah, sure. I guess I’ll have one too.”

“If he don’t want his, I’ll eat it for him.” Luke told Chef Ameyama.

She chuckled to herself, already hard at work grilling the meats for her tortas.

“There’s no need to fight, boys. There’s more than enough to go around.”

“Glad to hear it, because I’m starved.” Abe said, snagging a pic of a QR code that would show him her menu. “You’ve got this covered, right bro?”

“Yeah, yeah. Eat up, you two. You’ve earned it.”

“What is that? It smells really good!” Joy said, glancing between Chef Ameyama, Abe’s menu and the torta that Misty was currently eating.

“I got the house special. But what I didn’t get was your name, mystery girl.” Misty said, waving a half eaten torta in Joy’s direction. “You sure as hell ain’t a baller, but you got moves.”

“My name’s Joyce, but everyone calls me Joy. And your name’s Misty, right?”

“That’s right. Most people recognize me on sight because of this thing.” she said, flexing her robot arm and turning it over to show Joy.

“Um…what happened to your arm?” Joy asked, sounding genuinely concerned.

“It’s a long story, Joy. Maybe I’ll tell you, if Anna here secretly serves whiskey under the counter.” Misty said, glancing at Chef Ameyama for confirmation. “No? Didn’t think so.”

“Then I guess we’ll have to form our wild theories for why we think you have a robot arm.” Abe added, not bothering to look up from his phone as he leaned closer to Chef Ameyama. “You know what? I’ll have what she’s having?”

Abe pointed at Misty, and Chef Ameyama nodded her understanding.

“Comin’ right up!”

(Cont.)
>>
File: Spoiler Image (83 KB, 940x410)
83 KB
83 KB JPG
“Me too. I’ll have what they’re both having.” Joy put in.

“Make that a triple.” you chimed.

“No problem.” she confirmed.

—------

It took a little while to fry up all the meat that the Heroes for Hire requested, but by the time they were done, Luke, Danny and Misty were snatching them up and returning to the Tennis Courts. No doubt intending to watch the Morlocks play.

“Come on. I think I saw Matty in the crowd somewhere.” Misty had said as she passed you.

Joy and Abe had finally gotten theirs by the time the others had left, and you were about to put in an order for yourself.

“Actually, can I get about five more of those?” you requested. “I’m gonna be making another stop after this.”

“Oh yeah? Where to?” Abe asked, already sinking his teeth into the piping hot torta.

“I wanted to get some for Cindy, Pei and Nature Girl.”

“Who’s Pei?”

Abe didn’t seem the least bit surprised to learn that Cindy was here. Maybe he’d sensed her on the way over. You weren’t sure how his powers worked.

“Iron Fist’s little protege. She’s teaching Cindy how to manipulate her Chi.” you explained.

“Neat. I can’t wait to see how she applies that knowledge to her ‘part-time job’.”

“You’ve been partnering up with her, right? She tells me you swung to her rescue a few times while I was away.”

Abe shrugged.

“I was in the area, yeah.”

“Uh-huh. Well, thanks for being ‘in the area’ while I was out of town. I really appreciate it.”

“You’re not the only one who gets to be a ‘cool uncle’, you know.” he said.

“I guess that’s fair.” you said with a laugh.

“Hey, what’s ‘Chi’?” Joy asked through a full mouth.

You were about to tell her to finish chewing her food before asking questions, but someone else saw fit to answer her question. Someone who’s voice you didn’t recognize.

“Chi is a sort of bio-electric energy that surrounds all living beings. Through mysticism and meditation, some people are even capable of using it to improve their minds and bodies.”

You all turned to stare at a woman with green skin and antennae, wearing a green and yellow dress that appeared to be made from plant fiber. If your eyes weren’t deceiving you, this was one of the substitute Avengers, otherwise known as Mantis.

And currently, she was running her slender fingers along the walls of Chef Ameyama’s food truck. After a moment of awkward silence, she snorted a laugh and turned to address you.

“Or something like that. This one’s never been able to harness its power during meditation. It’s more of a Terran thing, we think.” she said, sounding a lot less intense than she had before. You’d even go so far as to say that she sounded downright whimsical.

Her coal black eyes glistened as she stared at each of you in turn.

(Cont.)
>>
“Two of you. Curious. You’re usually a lot older, and…not alive. We wonder why that is.”

You and Abe exchanged concerned glances. “This one” was another crackpot.

“And you…” Mantis continued, taking a large step towards Joy and gently grabbing her face. “Is your neck okay? It appears to be unbroken. Which is a good thing!”

Joy tried and failed to nod with her cheeks squished between Mantis’ fingers.

“Mhmm. I’m okay.” she managed, though it was a bit slurred.

Mantis smiled brightly at her and, to your great relief, released Joy’s face.

“Good. There’s so much life in this iteration. We like it.” she decided, nodding to herself. “But…why are there two of you? And you’re old, but not as old as you should be? How intriguing.”

…The hell is she talking about?

>”I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t understand any of that.”
>”Oh, come on. We’re not that old. This guy right here isn’t even a year old, yet.”
>”What was that about you saying that I was dead?”
>”You must be Mantis. I’m the Huntsman. We briefly met during Doctor Doom’s attack. I was the guy riding past you in the cyber car.”
>”Am I being scouted for the Avengers already? I knew I made a good showing, but this is all happening so fast.”
>”Are you hungry? This lady here makes a mean torta. First one’s on the house.”
>"Are you here to enjoy the festivities? We've always got a spot open if you want to play with the others."
>Write-in.

Pastebins:

Character Sheet:
https://pastebin.com/1ZihFYSV

Equipment and Gear:
https://pastebin.com/WAhveFAd

Contacts:
https://pastebin.com/WdcFXD2s

10 Commandments of the Desperados:
https://pastebin.com/Qpr2jVPE

Costumes:
https://pastebin.com/5Jie54X2

The Huntsman’s Travel Guide:
https://pastebin.com/PU6LWsip

Upcoming Events in the Maximum Universe:
https://pastebin.com/DceSEjiR
>>
>>6064018
>"I'm young because... I was bitten by a radioactive... child?"
>>
>>6064018
>>6064060 is too good not to use.

>”Is this a multiversal totem thing? It sounds like a multiversal totem thing.”
>”Are you the Mantis I whizzed by in my cyber car when fighting Dr. Doom, or a different one? I start to lose track when mystical forces are involved.”
>”Have a torta, I’ll cover you. It’s too delicious to not be real, and it sounds like you could use the validation you’re here and not wherever else you remember.”

Take it in stride, Ben. You may not have seen weirder than a lady wondering at your age and why a friend’s neck isn’t broken, but you’ve gotten close enough.
>>
>>6064060
+1
>”What was that about you saying that I was dead?”
>”Are you hungry? This lady here makes a mean torta. First one’s on the house.”
>>6064018
>>
>>6064018
>”You must be Mantis. I’m the Huntsman. We briefly met during Doctor Doom’s attack. I was the guy riding past you in the cyber car.”
>”Are you hungry? This lady here makes a mean torta. First one’s on the house.”
>"Are you here to enjoy the festivities? We've always got a spot open if you want to play with the others."
Courtesy first

>”Am I being scouted for the Avengers already? I knew I made a good showing, but this is all happening so fast.”
>”What was that about you saying that I was dead?”
>>
>>6064018
>>”What was that about you saying that I was dead?”
>>
>>6064018
Since there’s no takers on mine, I’ll switch to backing >>6064060 (for the joke) and >>6064336 (for the reasoning). I know we’re a little spread out otherwise.



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