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File 160726688652.png - (1.44KB , 64x64 , POHicon.png )
982832 No. 982832 ID: 9c1ef3

Humans gave us our forms. Once, we were like fog, dispersed, without identity or purpose. Then they came, and they made stories, they influenced one another, and they, more than anything else, believed. The fog we once were became something more. It shifted, it swirled, it separated, gained color and density. Things they wanted, things they wished for, things they desired and adored. Things they hated, things they worried about, things they despised and things they feared. In some ages, we were called gods. In others, we were called fey. In still others, angels, or aliens.

Beings of power, that's the point. Manifestations of everything they believe.


- - -

"It's a good time, Eva. You should be proud." A young man and his best friend progress down the halls of their college. He's in a wheelchair - granted, a wheelchair that looks like an iPod is somewhere in its ancestry - and she's walking beside him. His dark hair and dark eyes, frail-looking frame, and heavy clothes made to obscure his body rather than make a statement contrast with the wild red hair and bright green eyes of his friend, her bright fashion and total lack of shame in her athletic body. They've always been seen together, since middle school at least. A study of opposites, in everything from appearance to class, Timothy and Eavan. "You're getting antsy and it's affecting your performance."

"I know, I know. But I'm still missing something." the young woman mopes, raising her arms in an expression of frustration that makes the young man chuckle. She punches the air, bouncing on her heels. "I'll get it next time. It's gotta be my diet or something, I know I'll really be on point tomorrow!"

They part ways as they leave the school for home. Unseen, overhead, a blue fire flickers in the air, shifting as it watches them leave.

Who will it be following?

>Timothy, frail of body, with a mind like a rumbling thundercloud

>Eavan, the bright and carefree swim team captain
Expand all images
>>
No. 982833 ID: e8bee9

Eavan, do wan tomboy
>>
No. 982834 ID: dc0e8b

Eavan is a good answer
>>
No. 982836 ID: 094652

Eavan, we need da action
>>
No. 982855 ID: 5378af

Timothy
>>
No. 982858 ID: 0fae41

I can't Eavan.
>>
No. 982859 ID: 9c1ef3
File 160728737640.png - (16.74KB , 752x699 , JUSTICEweak.png )
982859

>>982833
>>982834
>>982836
>>982858
It's late.

The sun has already set on this town, the lights have come up, but even so, this part of town is dim. The sidewalks are narrow, where they exist. Eavan is used to this, and she doesn't care about the soft soil or shallow mud just off the shoulder. She knows being safer is more important.

A classmate, new to town, living with a relative in nearby apartments, doesn't know any of this, doesn't have the instinct. They walk on the shoulder. They wear dark colors. Perhaps they grew up in the higher class part of town with the bright lighting and the intersections with talking crossroads. Either way, Eavan's instincts tingle as a car rounds a corner nearby.

The fire feels it. The sense of danger. A moment where everything tightens around a few seconds.

The car swerves, the drunk behind the wheel bleary and tired. Eavan moves with grace and speed, gets her classmate out of the way. Relief washes over her - and the corner of the front of the truck slams into her side, sending her into the bushes and underbrush of the side of the road. The truck turns - tilts - falls on one side. The classmate runs. Perhaps he doesn't see Eavan. Perhaps they're too frightened.

It doesn't matter.

The fire moves and settles in the air next to Eavan, pulsing. This act of goodness, of selfless heroism, deserves reward. And who better to give it than Justice?

Bones repair. Wounds close. Parts re-twist, un-twist, cracking and snapping as blood launches through the air, is cleaned, and back into the body. Justice is weaker than they've ever been... But they've found what they are looking for.

You are now playing at Eavan.

Eyelids blink to a starry sky. Eavan's always liked the night sky out here, near the community college. The lights are dim and the lack of light pollution really makes them pop. She sits up, seeing the slowly turning wheel of the upturned semi. In the air, near her head now, a flickering blue flame floats. She jumps away, shocked, but it doesn't move. Some sort of swamp gas? Ball lightning?

:justiceweakicon: I... am Justice. I have saved you. You deserve it, after saving a stranger with your own life.

"Uh. Thanks? I guess? I sort of acted without thinking. Dad would have killed me if I got hurt."

:justiceweakicon: Listen to my words. There is... a war. A war that stretches back, back, further than you can know. Evil against good. Freedom against bondage. Monsters against heroes. I must ask you, because I can reach no one else. Your answer must be true, for you are a vessel for my allies and my enemies will see you as a target.

The door to the semi slams out of its housing, making Eavan jump again, eyes wide. The door lands in the street with a loud clattering.

:justiceweakicon: I will not coerce you. But the situation might be pressing. Villainy will be targeting you. I can feel his servant nearby.

"W-wait, hold on-"

Something like an arm - black and leaking brown sludge - reaches out of the overturned cockpit of the semi, slapping down on the metal and denting it with the force. "Wait, wait, what's going on, what is that?!"


:justiceweakicon: I can only ask this once, Eavan.

>Do you want to be a hero?
>>
No. 982860 ID: 5378af

Yes, is there even any other actual answer to this?
>>
No. 982861 ID: 0fae41

Well if you have to ask, no.
>>
No. 982866 ID: e8bee9

>>982859
I just want to do what's right.
>>
No. 982877 ID: b1b4f3

What's the pay?
>>
No. 982880 ID: 094652

"No.
I want to be a person."
>>
No. 982884 ID: 0a248e

There's no such thing as wanting to be a hero. Either you are or you aren't. I am a hero.
>>
No. 982955 ID: 9c1ef3
File 160736781051.png - (32.44KB , 247x525 , Paperdoll.png )
982955

:justiceweakicon:...

:justiceweakicon:Then in the name of Justice, I grant you the power of a Hero. Stand tall! Recieve my blessing!

Eavan rises on unsteady feet, eyes flicking to the shape emerging from the overturned semi. Lights dance from the flickering flame to spin about her body rapidly. Something fills her - like a deep drink of ice-cold water, spreading from her heart through her veins to her fingertips and toes. A jittery energy thrums across her body, covering her in blue, bright light.

:pohicon: Thank goodness. It took.

Eavan jumps a little, eyes widening. WH-what's this light? I feel so, so full of energy, what is all this?

:pohicon: You're feeling the empowerment of Justice. So long as you fight in my name, you'll be operating at peak human ability, and then some, depending on your power. It's different for everyone. Right now, you need to visualize your armor.

My armor?

:pohicon: The armor you'll be wearing when empowered by me, naturally. Something face-concealing, ideally. Inspires those around you. Protects you from harm. That sort of thing. The Light will handle the rest, just... keep an image in your head.

Oh, oh...okay.

Time to make an outfit for our newborn superhero!
>>
No. 982956 ID: 094652

A randomly generated set of meme stickers covering her entire body
Codename: Meme Machine
>>
No. 982957 ID: e2f5cc
File 160736834920.png - (37.53KB , 247x525 , 160736781051.png )
982957

just doin' my job
>>
No. 982967 ID: e7c7d3
File 160738240454.png - (19.86KB , 247x525 , papdollninjer.png )
982967

How about something ninja inspired?
>>
No. 983066 ID: e8bee9
File 160744620995.png - (74.34KB , 247x525 , hardjustice.png )
983066

Face-concealing... inspiring... you've GOT IT!

A harness, to represent the burden you willingly take! A helmet, to protect your head from evil and guard you as you THRUST forward into the blackest pits! A mask, so that villainy may only know you by your raiment of justice!

FIST raised high, you're ready to POUND evil into the GROUND!

Whatever the tight spot you get yourself into, you can count on your MASTER, Justice, to know your limits and GET BEHIND YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!

WATCH OUT EVIL, YOU'RE ♂FUCKED!♂
>>
No. 983099 ID: 9c1ef3

Power and Light snap around Eavan, who looks down at her outfit as it forms, gently pushing away one, then the other, ideas anchoring in her mind one way or another. A hood and veil, Light shining from the mask.

:pohicon: Your Suit determines, on some level, how your abilities work.

Pieces snap into place - hard armor on the forearms and shins, a softer sort over chest and legs and arms. Eavan looks as Light forms into leathery gloves that don't restrict movement, feeling like a second skin. On her hips, sleeves for shuriken made of shimmering white Light, and a tanto on her back.

:pohicon: No time for orientation! We'll have to do this live.

D-do what?!

:pohicon: Fight the villain, of course.

The monster, now fully emerged from the truck, reminds Eavan of an ape, sort of. The head is a mass of smartphone screens, its mouth a mass of pointed white crystals, brown sludge dribbles from its maw. Its arms are made of cord-like muscle, ridges of needles run down the center of its back. It reaches over, tearing the bumper from the front of the truck and roaring skyward with its weapon - thick, black smoke issuing from its throat.

I can't fight that?! What the hell is that?!

:pohicon: It's one of Villainy's minions. A Manifestation of some concept or another - knowing what of may or may not be of help. In any case, you can fight it, and you can win. You have power, real power, beyond your physical form. The problem is, I don't know what power you have. Probably something to do with gravity, I think?

The creature begins to charge, a loping run.

>Draw the tanto.
>Throw the shurikens.
>Kick its ugly face.
>Something else?
>>
No. 983101 ID: b1b4f3

>>983099
Throw shurikens. That's what they're for.
>>
No. 983102 ID: e7c7d3

Boot to the head!
>>
No. 983103 ID: 094652

Nonlethal takedown!
For all you know, you might be insane from getting bashed in the head with a truck and that's just a drunk driver.
>>
No. 983189 ID: 9c1ef3

>>983102
>>983103

These minions of Villainy, they're like, sorta... what you did to me?

:pohicon:Villainy's people don't ask. But yes, there's a living person in there. To an extent, the possession protects the host from harm. After that, the Manifestation will either give up the host, or put its all into offense. Of course, this doesn't matter with weapons of Light...

Focus on nonlethal, got it!

Eavan dives over a swing of the bumper - the beast using it like a sword or club - and lands on her hands, scrunching her body in like a spring. Then, pushing off with her hands, she drives her legs out, connecting with the mass of smartphones and wires that make up its head. Still in close when she lands, she does a hopping spin to deliver a powerful roundhouse to the creature's neck - but the momentum is lost when the creature, thanks to its bulk and poise, doesn't go flying.

Eh?

:justiceshockicon: Look out!

A fist slams into Eavan, sending her flying and bouncing back into the bushes and mud. The impact is smaller than she expected - both because it was an awkward strike, driven across its chest, and because the Light did so much to divert the force. The arm guards have tiny, hairline cracks, but no other visible damage.
:pohicon: As I was trying to explain, your weapons of Light will never damage the host. You need to make a concerted effort to harm any mortal with them on purpose. Right mindset, to go nonlethal. Wrong method. You did do some damage, though, because your armor is made of Light.

Indeed, the 'face' of the beast is cracked, several of the phones not even able to turn on and others displaying broken patterns of red, blue, and green. However, the creature shakes itself, spikes of white crystal emerging from its neck and between the screens, and it laughs. It's a whooping, coughing, braying sound, unhealthy, wrong. And after banging the bumper on the asphalt a few times, it charges again.

:justiceshockicon: New plan now, better this time! Let's go!

>Try the shurikens
>Draw the sword.
>Tactically advance in a rearward direction!
>>
No. 983193 ID: e8bee9

Shurikens to the arm, soften it up before we go toe to toe!
>>
No. 983194 ID: e8bee9

>>983193
the arm holding the bumper that is
>>
No. 983204 ID: e7c7d3

Draw your sword, face your fears head on and slice!
>>
No. 983281 ID: b1b4f3

Do a sickass parry with the sword and slice its weapon in half.
>>
No. 983316 ID: 9c1ef3

>>983281
>>983204
Eavan reaches behind her, grasping the hilt of the smallish sword. To her, unused to weapons, it is huge, as long as her forearm. Before this beast, it feels tiny. She takes a deep breath, keeping her focus as she eyes the weapon. It's like playing ball, she thinks, only if I miss god only knows what will happen. He might bat me into next county. She plants her feet, facing down the enemy without flinching. Power wells up within, fueled by her conviction to not turn away.
:pohicon:Good. My Light lives on your courage and your conviction. Certainty is a must for a Hero.

She takes a deep breath again, in through the nose - is that coffee? why does it smell like coffee? - and out through the mouth. The mist forms in the air, and in the time it takes for it to fade, the creature closes in, swinging high and aiming slam her into the earth.

But like a match lit in perfect darkness, like a door opened to a gloomy room, the blade springs forth. A blade of perfect Light, bright blue at the edge and white in the center, shears apart the bumper and leaves only what the beast's paw covers. The rest flies straight behind it on an impossible curve, spinning in the air as it winks out into the sky.
:pohicon:That... That's never happened before. I think. Look out!

This time Eavan catches the blow, another swing of her sword slamming into the fist of the beast - a shimmering Light blasts where the dark hide and the blade meet. And some of the Light is left behind. The creature looks deeply confused as its fist and arm begin to pull back, and after a moment, it looks almost panicked, grasping at the earth with the other hand - bumper abandoned - and clawing at it to keep from being pulled into the sky.

It loses grip, and for a harrowing moment, it hangs two feet... four feet, ten feet off the ground, then is dropped unceremoniously to its face, cracking more screens. Coffee, yes, coffee, dribbles from its knuckles and 'face'.

:pohicon:To truly dispel it from its host, you need to strike it in its core with Light and call it by Name, whatever that may be.

"How can I know its name?"

:pohicon:Well, look at it. What does it look like to you?

White crystals all over. Smartphones for eyes. It dribbles coffee as blood, coughs up tobacco from its lungs. Wires and cords wrap about its body. It is weak. A single blow will end this. Just...

>What is its name?
>>
No. 983317 ID: e8bee9

Addiction
>>
No. 983318 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah it's made of drugs and other addictive stuff. If it wasn't for the needles and white crystals it could be a corporate or office related thing, but that nails it down to addiction.
>>
No. 983369 ID: 6f62dd

Addiction/obsession seem like pretty reasonable answers.
>>
No. 983389 ID: 9c1ef3

>>983318
>>983317
>>983369

Eavan stares down the beast, eyes narrowing. It rumbles, shakily, burbling through coffee blood as it coughs up tobacco smoke. She points the shimmering blade of Light at it, taking a breath.
"Uh..." One fist is raised. "Addiction! I name you!" the fist stops, hesitation and shock in its posture, smartphone screens flashing white and red alarms. "I name you, and, uh... I expel you from this mortal vessel!"
:pohicon: Needs work, but close enough.
Addiction grasps its head, roaring in confusion and anger, and barrels forth. Horns of white crystal burst from its head as it hunkers low in its charge, ready to impale. But Eavan is oddly calm. She stares down the beast. It's only in the last moments that she lunges forth, sliding like a baseball player under the horns, past its face, and driving the blade of Light directly into its chest.

The blade hisses, and the monster lifts up from the earth as its personal gravity reorients. Eavan, working on some instinct she doesn't yet fully understand, leaves the weapon in the beast as it curls and lashes out, ascending and screaming as Light wraps about it. Toothy jaws of needles, claws of white crystal, eyes of television screens, it bubbles with rage and impotent lashing, until finally there is a flash. A tiny star of darkness flings itself free like a pilot ejecting from a dying plane, leaving an unconscious trucker slowly drifting towards earth - and the weapon of Light beside him. Eavan takes the blade and sheaths it with unconscious ease. Sirens begin to wail in the near distance.

:pohicon:Time for your reward. I need you to trust me. Point to the skies.
what
:pohicon:Look, just do it.

Eavan is at first hesitant, then points skyward.

And the direction she points becomes her personal down.

>scream
>berate this weird fireball living in... my head?
>flail wildly
>Something else?
>>
No. 983390 ID: b1b4f3

>>983389
screm
>>
No. 983391 ID: 6f62dd

definitely flail wildly.
>>
No. 983468 ID: e7c7d3

Flail wildly. Try not to vomit if gravity switches around again
>>
No. 983481 ID: 094652

"WHY DID I HAVE TO BE A MAGICAL GIRL TODAY?!"
>>
No. 983523 ID: 9c1ef3

>>983391
>>983468
Eavan lets out a strangled cry as she launches into the air - from someone else's perspective, anyway. From hers, she is falling. The ground lifts away, as if the planet were a bird she'd scared off, and her face orients to a terrifyingly dark sky full of glimmering lights. Her body screams at her, you're falling, you're falling, and it floods her body with adrenaline as a panic response. Light, and the empowerment that comes with it, can only do so much.
:pohicon:Calm down. You're fine. You might even say you have a parachute.
Eavan screams out her fear in response, but she tries to control her breathing and relax. It's getting colder.
:pohicon:You orient your personal gravity according to where you point. In a sense, this allows you limited flight, so long as you have Light.
I can run out?
:pohicon:It's unlikely. Anyway, if you point at the horizon, you'll orient so you're falling horizontally. Point back down, and you can return to Earth. Just stay calm. Navigate with care. We can't let just anyone know who you are.
Right... It's getting far too cold. She's having a little trouble breathing.

>Eavan returns home.
>Eavan lands in a park.
>Eavan visits her friend, Timothy.
>Eavan returns to school (by now empty).
>>
No. 983524 ID: e8bee9

>>983523
A park. Always the sensible choice.
>>
No. 983527 ID: 8483cf

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home...
>>
No. 983536 ID: e7c7d3

Take us home
>>
No. 983538 ID: b1b4f3

If you go home won't everyone nearby know where the new hero lives? And thus, easily find out who you are?
Go to the park, you have some chance of landing unnoticed amongst some trees or something.
>>
No. 983569 ID: 19da02

Definitely park. For the reasons previously addressed.
>>
No. 983574 ID: 465a14

Park seems sensible for now.
>>
No. 983576 ID: 9c1ef3

>>983569
>>983538
>>983524
Eavan angles towards a park near her home, a nearly-invisible comet without a contrail. At the last moment, she attempts to curb her fall by pointing back up, but the slowing effect isn't quite effective enough and she sails into a leafy tree. Several broken branches later, but thankfully no bones, she lands on soft earth, standing wobbily.
"Was all that really necessary?" she asks, as the ball of fire pulls off of her, returning her to her original outfit. The Light of its storage has repaired it of the rips and tears from the accident and cleaned it, as well. "The whole... falling thing?"
:pohicon:Yes. Well... Somewhat. The more you use your abilities, the more comfortable you are with them, the more efficacious you'll be with them. Your powers are broad in application and strong in power - my blessing is among the strongest of my side.
"Gravity... It's complicated. I don't even really know what my shuriken are capable of." she sighs, walking. "And I don't understand your cause, either - not entirely."

The two of them now walk towards her home, but Justice hides in her bag to avoid suspicion. "There's so much I don't know."

:pohicon:I suppose that is fair enough. I don't mind explaining. Ask away, I suppose.

"Yeah, I just... I don't know where to really start..."

>Maybe with a summary of this conflict you referred to?
>Who is this... uhm, Villainy guy?
>Who are the other... things? Your side? Who else is on your 'side'?
>Is there any cost I should know about, some sort of... catch-22?
>Something else?
>>
No. 983591 ID: e8bee9

>>983576
We need to know the war we're fighting in.
>>
No. 983677 ID: e7c7d3

Try to see if there's any hooks in this deal
>>
No. 983760 ID: 9c1ef3

Trying something new here, hopefully the update is more readable this way.

>>983591
"So... What sort of war is this?"

:pohicon:It's a little difficult to explain to someone who isn't a Manifestation. That is, an elemental being of power, a... sort of condensed lump of belief in something. There's many of us. I am Justice. My rival, or rather, the enemy overall, is Villainy. Remember, not evil, Villainy. The distinction is important. Evil is too powerful to bother with our affairs. But Villainy is petty. He started all of this. So very very long ago, he murdered one of our number. Killed them utterly, erasing them. No matter what side you're on, that's... That is taboo. It hurts reality. Myself and most of the other Manifestations at the time took issue with it, but Manifestations usually cannot interact directly.

"Which is why the murder was so foul. It was supposed to be impossible."

:pohicon:Exactly. Among other reasons that are difficult to explain. So we took champions to right the wrong, and we clashed with Villainy's side and his champions. We were not victorious. Beaten and broken, he found one among us and changed them. I don't even remember their name or which one was changed, no one does. When Villainy did these things - the murder, the conversion - it was like removing a thread from a tapestry and burning it, or dying it. They were just...
:pohicon:Gone. The manifestation and a chunk of what it represented.


Eavan stopped in her tracks, staring dead ahead. "S-so... If you die..."

:pohicon:Wanton murder, the rise of dictators en masse, horrible things done and never corrected, even worse than now. I'm aware of the state of things, yes. But trust me when I say that Villainy would be happy to see them get worse. It empowers him and his, after all. Take Addiction. If the world is going to hell in a handbasket, are you really going to give up your creature comforts?

Something about the question strikes at Eavan deep, and she shakes her head. Of course not. "What about us? What happens when we weaken Villainy?"

:pohicon:It's not an exact opposite, but people will be less selfish, more orderly, things like that. Killing him isn't possible, but defeating his champion will do something similar, if weaker. Besides, leaving him to his devices is... bad. He has fermented wars before.

"Wait, plural?"

:pohicon:Before you ask, he wasn't the man with the bad haircut and tiny stache. Some doctor, I think? One of the other Manifestations chose little man with the big voice as his champion. It was his type.

>>983677
By now Eavan is nearing her home - a trailer lined up with others in a park. Her father, beloved but dealing with an addiction of his own, as well as the consequences of it, in prison. Mother, deceased. She works and goes to school, and visits him when she can. Not a terribly good cook, her house is full of boxes of powders and pasta, the fridge with ground beef, eggs, cheese and milk, and not much else. A loaf of bread sits on the counter, lonely. She sets to cleaning, a short task given the small space.

"So what's the catch, for me? Amazing cosmic powers, great abilities, a body I only dream of... But what's the hook here?"

:pohicon:Oh, we Manifestations can't kill each other. But, uh. We can always kill the champions our foes choose. Or at least, Villainy's boys can. We don't do that sort of thing, generally. Just drive out the Manifestation. We're very hard to kill. Conversely, without my protection, well... You're quite fragile. All things considered.

"And... You can't heal me, or anything?"

:pohicon:Oh, any Manifestation can keep a body and mind going far longer than they should. But that's just forcing things to pump and move. Healing is a rare power among Champions, if it ever comes up at all.

"So, in exchange for these powers, excitement, and peak human athleticism, I get the possibility of being murdered, maimed, and broken."

:justiceexciteicon:Precisely!

>Can I talk to anyone about this?
>Are there other champions out there right now?
>What Manifestations should I worry about?
>Something else (Write in)
>>
No. 983784 ID: 094652

>Killed them utterly, erasing them. No matter what side you're on, that's... That is taboo.
"So even Evil was disturbed by the resulting shake-up?"
>Beaten and broken, he found one among us and changed them.
"I take it Evil wasn't as disturbed. So what is the concept of 'evil' in this universe? It's so... nebulous, at this point."

>Before you ask, he wasn't the man with the bad haircut and tiny stache. Some doctor, I think? One of the other Manifestations chose little man with the big voice as his champion. It was his type.
"Ah. I take it Narcissism chose the loudmouth. And chose again, recently. As for the doctors, they needed guinea pigs for the science they'd been forbidden to research for years; orchestrating the escalation of a world-spanning war just so they could finally get a lifetime supply of test subjects is exactly what I'd expect of the concept of 'villainy'."


>Questions
"So what was the Manifestation background behind Operation Paperclip?
Can multiple Manifestations inhabit the same body or does that cause schism paradox failure?
Can you loosely describe the concept that was murdered, or is there an information block on all of humanity as a result of their nonexistence?
What happens when champions 'team up', per se? Does this make memes related to the concepts of the champions intertwined or merged together?
Am I insane and hallucinating all of this as my body bleeds out in a bush?"
>>
No. 983786 ID: e7c7d3

Ask if there's other champions. Are we alone in this fight?
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