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 Circus Psychotic, Jump City - Afternoon
Rachel Roth
 Posted: Oct 26 2017, 03:40 PM
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The Titans
84
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RAVEN ~ RACHEL ROTH
Azarath Metrion Zinthos

Raven had no idea what led people to congregate toward circuses. They felt like a dying art form, where mundane acrobats flipped and rolled to impress audiences long since over-saturated with the internet, 24 hour television, sex, violence, and a universe filled with superheroes who could lift planets and travel through time.

When Superman caught planes, and Shazam pulled people from burning buildings, were acrobats on trapezes or unicycle riding clowns all that awesome? No. No they were not.

Despite the obsolete exhibitionism of the carnival, Raven had found herself allured by the freshly pasted poster of the French Grande Circus touring California at that time. The canvas showed smiling clowns, monster trucks, lions, elephants, tigers, and trapeze artists all exploding above a bright and colourful tent.

She'd thought of asking the others if they wanted to attend, but she had a fear her teammates might find the idea stupid. Besides, her main reason for going was to see her first real life tiger or lion that wasn't Garfield changing shape.

So alone, but in costume, Raven turned up to the circus in the late afternoon. To her surprised, it had been set up alongside an older fun fair, and there were a dozen rides from bumper cars to a rickety roller coaster. Their were balloons, rides, animals, and acrobats, and a whole heap of carnival games where someone could win a prize.

Hiding her awe beneath her hood, Raven drifted a few inches from the mud and grass to approach the camel rides, where people could pay to do a large lap around a maze of haybails riding a camel. Had she not have been too embarrassed about ruining her street cred, she'd have plucked up the courage to pay a dollar and experience a camel ride for the first time.

Still, in spite of her forced stoicism, Raven was surprised how beautiful and exciting the whole experience felt. The summer sun made everything feel bright and colourful, and the smiles on family faces made her feel relaxed. For the first time in months outside of the Mountain, she dropped her hood, and nibbled on a cloud of cotton candy.

Besides, it wouldn't be long until she was under the Big Top, watching the grand circus, and out of the hot sun.

Open | 383 Words | Jump City
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Ben Jordan
 Posted: Oct 29 2017, 10:18 PM
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AmericanFacepalm
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Independent Heroes
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There is always hope.


Goodness, Ben did not get enough opportunities to be a kid. All his life, he had been forced to grow up and deal with every coming hardship-- and boy were there a lot of those. So, when he heard there was a circus at Jump City, he simply had to go. Superheroes had their charms, but having two of them as your parents made the simple things all the more enjoyable. There was no life or death with someone flipping on a trapeze or juggling bowling pins. There was no real danger. It was all just... good fun. Harmless fun.

He wandered around the place, looking at each thing he passed by. It was all so... nice. People were happy, they had hope. It was nothing like the stoic melancholy that he grew up in. There were tons of people! Sure, his only reference was the Coast City boardwalk, but this definitely felt more lively. People felt safe, he could tell. It was very different from the intense aura of fear he always felt from them (despite not actually being an empath-- that was Em's thing, not his... he was just very sympathetic). It was pleasant, but he knew this present was so fragile. Terrible things could and would happen... unless he stopped them.

But for now, it was carnival time. Unfortunately, he did not have any money on him aside from a few quarters and odd change stuffed in his favorite jacket (the one given to him by his father long ago), so all the games and stuff were off limits-- a shame, too, as he spotted the cutest little blue whale stuffed animal. Oh well, some things were not meant to be.

Though, the main event was not the games and sights scattered all around. It was the big tent in the middle, the Big Top. On his way, though, he bumped into someone, having been daydreaming again. He looked up to smile and apologize, giving a swift, abrupt "sorry," before freezing in terror. This was someone he knew. This was Raven, the girl who brought forth Trigon.

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Rachel Roth
 Posted: Nov 20 2017, 03:57 AM
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RAVEN ~ RACHEL ROTH
Azarath Metrion Zinthos

Inside of the big top, the facade of laughter and amusement was only as deep as the layers of clown makeup that sculpted its contours. Near the entrance, a particularly sad and alcoholic clown was struggling with his physical performance as the booze burned through his veins, and polluted his breath with a confessing aroma.

Eric Dale, also known as Jimmy the Juggler, was a clown with cracks in his smile. A harsh divorce with Jenny the Snake Charmer had caused tension in the circus, and the upper management were clear they preferred to keep a reptile professional.

Shunned to the sidelines, Eric had become increasingly belligerent around the children, by jumping out on them and making them cry, and by drinking alcohol around the sets. His final act before being chastised was juggling with three empty liquor bottles, and vomiting in front of a startled family of four.

Management let him know that once the tour was over, he'd need to find other work. If he could clean himself up and make a good impression, they might consider keeping him on, but that act of redemption was seemingly impossible. An alcoholic with no redeeming qualities, and a temperament belonging to a honey badger, Eric Dale was one destroyed clown.

He considered the gun he kept in his trailer, loaded with bullets and whispering every night. He wanted to take his own life with the item, and escape the constant falsehoods of the circus. The smell of popcorn made him nauseous, and the laughter of children made him weep. The thought of simply biting down on the end of that steel barrel, and fingering the trigger started to become the only reality he could think about. To drown out the convincing finality of that fatal solution he hit the drink even harder. Booze was all that could silence his woes.

Slowly and achingly he slipped back to his abode, fished the gun out of his locked, and checked it was loaded.

The bullets were there, and the safety was easily thumbed off. He'd have blown his own brains out had it not been for the most unlikely of rescuers.

The window to the trailer cracked open, and a bolt of yellow light smashed into compact living space. The light grew in intensity, and a voice sang out from the aura.

"Eric Dale of Earth. You have the ability to instill great fear. Welcome to the Sinestro Corps."

*****

The circus went on without a hitch, and Raven nonchalantly watched from the stand, not so much fascinated by the acts, as by the whole concept of the circus to begin with. What would possess people to abduct a dozen dangerous animals, dress up in ludacrous colours, and parade about in death-defying stunts left her serious mind alarmed.

Perhaps what was most enjoyable about the spectacle was the illogical leaps it involved. Who would realistically be fired from a cannon, or do a trapeze spin without a net? What deranged idiot would stick their head into the mouth of a lion, knowing it could snap at any second and kill its alleged 'tamer'?

Such answers eluded Raven, but they haunted her enough to distract her from simply enjoying the show. Besides, something felt off about the evening, as if things were running too smoothly. She'd sensed the disequilibrium as she'd entered the circus, as if some brief note in space-time was out of tune. That one note had been drowned out by the symphony of normality immediately following its play, but the memory remained itching on her psyche.

Then came the feeling of impending doom, as if each gasp from the audience, or laugh, was a despairing scream. The joy was pain, and peoples eyes failed to align with their smiles. It was a stage of grief seen that nano-second before a plane crashed into a mountain, as every passenger knew their last moment had come.

Raven wanted to stand and get out. Something was making her nauseous, and she couldn't hone in on the danger when buried in such unbridled emotions. The crowd was suffocating her skill set, and she needed to be alone.

A bang followed, and then scream came from the audience, but one of panic instead of excitement. Raven's head snapped back to the arena, where in the spotlight, a clown had staggered into the middle of the arena, holding a whiskey bottle and a pistol. The fool looked drunk, overweight, and angry. His disfigured makeup and stained costume gave the man all the hallmarks of a Joker underling rather than an entertainer.

At the clown's feet stood the ring master, lying on his side with a gaping hole in his head. No amount of circus special effects could replicate the tasteless joke of a point blank headshot; this was cold blooded murder.

Raven went to bring up her magical wards and stop the gunman before he could act again. He dropped the bottle and picked up the microphone the ringmaster had been using to address the audience.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you tonight's entertainment. Reality."

A blast of yellow light tore through the center of the arena, and four specters of yellow energy erupted into reality. Their bodies were made of golden energy, but their shapes struggled to become physical embodiment of circus attractions.

A clown with a chainsaw, his face a mutilated smile with razor sharp teeth.

A lion with snakes for a tail, vomiting a golden napalm.

A strongman in a tiger pelt, swinging a sledgehammer violently.

An elephant with four tusks, twice the size of a regular beast, its body covered in spikes and horns.

They went for the crowd, and the audience tried to run.

"Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos!"

Raven rose her arms into the sky and conjoured an onyx storm of thrashing smoke. It enveloped the center of the ring, trying to quarrantine the aggressors and segregate them from the public. Their attacks hit it with such force that Raven could barely hold the shield together.

Immediately, beads of sweat formed on her brow. Only the fear of seeing them break into the general populace kept her standing. The price of failure was too great to pay.

"You will NOT BREAK ME!"

Eric hovered closer, parking himself inches from the force field.

"You're scared, little girl. Scared of failing. I can smell it. Well I've been a failure all my life, so I can understand where you're coming from, but you're not going to contain me. Their terror feeds me. As they run and trample, I will hunt them down. Now it's my turn to laugh at you."

He floated aside, revealing the stampeding elephant of yellow energy directly behind him. It was charging with frenzy straight toward Raven. It hit the wall, destroyed itself, and the whole bubble shattered.

Raven flew back from the impact, smashing into the wooden stalls. Her body ached and her head swam. Only a quarter of the occupants had escaped. Children were screaming in terror. Raven tried to blink some coherency into her skull.

"What is this guy?"

Raven noticed one of the civilans nearby. Some boy who'd bumped into her.

"Get out of here!" She yelled, before rushing back into battle again, totally outnumbered by the Yellow Lantern and his three familiars.

Ben Jordan | 1180 Words | Jump City
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Em'li Eva'anzz
 Posted: Nov 28 2017, 08:43 PM
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Miss Red
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You don't control me
You don’t decide my fate
So I refuse
to apologize for who I am

Em’li had been attracted by the aura of excitement and joy that permeated the affair, along with the lights and the cheerful music and the gleeful lilt of laughter, many of them children. Although she has often found it necessary to close down her Martian abilities in large crowds - humans are such emotional beings - to avoid being overwhelmed, such a strong, collective force of feeling is impossible to completely block from her natural empathic abilities. Of course she had to come see for herself and found herself wrapped up in everything, positively delighted by the energetic environment. And so many smiling faces...it captivated her.

The sign makes it clear that the public is not supposed to poking around behind the big top, but she has never made it a practice to read the warnings or pay any mind to the threats they impose. She is an adventuring treasure hunter, an archaeologist and many say ‘tomb raider’. How would she have ever gotten very far in her profession if she paid attention to the ‘do not enter’s and promises of doom? So in she went, brushing back the tent flaps and slipping inside to find herself viewing the stalls and pens of the show animals.

While the throngs of carnival goers present an empathic rainbow of delight, that is sharply contrasted by the fear, restlessness, hopelessness, and exhaustion that casts a deep, dismal shadow over her mind. The tigers pace in their small cages, growling as they bare ivory fangs, lips curling and whiskers twitching. The elephants shift sadly from foot to foot, the chains around their ankles tethering them together in a line rattling hauntingly.

Em’li frowns and approaches them first, levitating off the ground so that she can put her hand gently on one of the elephant’s foreheads. “Hey there,” she whispers gently, smiling as the lovely creature inspects her with its curious, gentle trunk. And gently she leans against the gentle giant, hands exploring with soft and loving strokes. She tries to smile but her hand goes over a scar above the animal’s eye. Okay, this has got to end. You can argue until you are blue in the face that they are taken care of jus fine, but you are talking to a telepath and what this beautiful beast is telling her…

Bang!

The sound of a gun firing causes everyone in the back tent to jump, the anxiety spiking amongst the animals. “Sh sh shhhhh…” she hushes, seeking to send out a wave of calm even as the screams erupt and the fear and the panic hit her like a trainwreck. “Easy. I’ll be back for you. I just have to take care of this first, alright?” And with a flare of her ring, Em’li’s Green Lantern uniform (custom now that she figured that part out) envelopes her.

She arrives on the scene as Raven’s shield is shattered, taking a second to evaluate the situation before she jumps in. This gig keeps getting more and more interesting every day. A clown, a lion, and a strongman all created from yellow light, all murderous, all summoned by a Yellow Lantern. Em’li has never combated a Yellow Lantern before; in fact, it had not yet been a major part of training so far. Still, that is not exactly a good enough excuse to just abandon these people to this fate or leave the violet-caped crusader to do battle all by herself. So here she goes. It will be fun.

Despite knowing that green energy is typically weak against yellow, Em’li leaps into action, envisioning a tentacled beast that snatches the lion around its torso, mid-air as it launches itself at the blonde child - the one with the completely utter lack of self-preservation. As she makes to slam the construct against the floor of the ring, she connects with the boy’s mind to send him a message. “Don’t just stand there! Run!” Followed by reaching out to brush her thoughts across the younger heroine’s. “I’m here to help.” better to attempt a telepathic link than scream any coordination across the space, betraying strategy.





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