Dragon and Tiger.   Posted by Justice.Group: 0
Hunter
 NPC, 889 posts
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 00:59
Re: Dragon and Tiger
The chime tinkled as the door to the Dragon and Tiger Dojo and in stepped a familiar face. Don was in a suit, as he usually was these days, and he looked concerned. "Lucas, are you here?" This wasn't the first time Don had stopped by the dojo, in fact he'd been doing it quite frequently. Whether his old friend was hiding from him or he just kept missing him he wasn't sure, but he suspected the former. "Please Lucas I just want to talk to you. You can't avoid me forever"

He walked in and sat on one of the benches. "You missed dinner again. Zeke, Katie, Nora we're all worried about you. And the kids miss their Uncle Lucas" He looked around, listening for any signs that his old teammate was somewhere in here, listening. "Tell you what, I'm just gonna sit here, and if you want to talk you can come on out."
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2273 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 09:33
Re: Dragon and Tiger
A few seconds after Don sat down, a door slowly opened. Lucas, wearing a sleeveless muscle shirt and sweat pants,  stepped out.

"If there is one thing that I know, it's to never underestimate that Derring stubborn streak," Lucas said. "You have my time and my attention, what would you like to talk about?"

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 09:34, Fri 12 Apr 2019.

Hunter
 NPC, 890 posts
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 14:39
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Don chuckled. "You're damn right." He stood up, walking over to Lucas. "I want to talk about you. You've been avoiding me, avoiding all of us. You haven't responded to any of my dinner invitations, answered any of Zeke's calls, and Katie says you disappear before she can show up at a crime scene. You who insisted that we meet with the police at every crime scene back in the day. We're your friends Lucas. We're worried about you."

Don looked his friend in the eyes, concerned written on his face. "More than that I've seen the reports from your exploits. You're a martial artist Lucas, probably the best in the world, you know how to disable a target with minimal force, to incapacitate a foe without leaving a mark on him. But now.... The broken arms, the shattered wrists, the concussions it shows a level of brutality you've never shown before something that used to be unthinkable to you. It's like you're turning into me."
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2274 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 17:26
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Despite all that had transpired, Lucas still had a great amount of respect for Don.

"Look...the only reason I'm even talking to you, Don, is because we are friends."

He then turned away for a moment. "Criminals are animals, Don. Our enemies are sadistic and cruel. All of this time, I thought I could fight for a better way. The right way."

He turned to face Don again. "And what happened? Two people I cared about...two people that I loved...are dead. Dead because of me. Dead...because I played by one set of rules while our enemies played a totally different game."

He paused for a moment.

"I am cursed, Don. Two of our teammates are dead because they loved me. And as for brutality...well, I'm giving the criminals of Weston a lesson in a language that they CAN understand."
Hunter
 NPC, 891 posts
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 18:39
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"Who do you think you're talking to? I played by those rules Lucas, I practically wrote the book on being a brutal vigilante. And you know what? Bad things happened to the people I cared about anyway. I didn't just brutally beat my enemies I killed them, and Ellen STILL died in my arms, Jessica still got beaten nearly to death. Hell I sent her away to protect her and she got cancer and died anyway."

"They aren't dead because you loved them. They're dead because we have a dangerous job and casualties are a part of that. Did Marcus die because he loved you? Did Paul? Helena took the brunt of that bomb to save ALL of us, not just you. Me, Zeke, Katie, we ALL bear the blame and we have to live with that. But this isn't how you do it."

Don sat back down running a hand through his hair. "I know how you feel, I've been there. I was broken, angry, looking to take out my frustrations on whomever I could rather than heal. And you know what's the worst part? I have a son that idolizes it, who wants to be a 'hero just like Daddy'. And that's the last thing I want, for him to be like me. I want him to be better. And I did get better, you know why? Because of you, and Friday and Helena, that's what inspired me to better, that's what made me a hero. You sound like me right now Lucas and you've never been like me, you've always been better."
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2275 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 19:18
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Lucas' eyes widened when Don mentioned Paul.

"How did you kn--?"

He then shook his head. "I sometimes wonder why I was brought back. It was all so clear. And now...now my path is filled with darkness."

He sighed.

"Those new young heroes...at the museum. They seemed so enamored with me. Like I could do no wrong. Of course, we know I am very imperfect."

He looked at Don,his facial expression intense.

"I wonder....have I gone too far? Is it too late?"
Hunter
 NPC, 892 posts
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 21:15
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"You know why they were? Because you're Dragon Fist. THE Dragon Fist, the original inspiring hero. You embodied for everything Excelsior is known for when his biggest concerns were passing tests and hiding his sexuality. The man who stood toe to toe with Brain, who faced down a demon lord, and you still are that man, even if you've lost your way."

Don chuckled as he stood and placed a hand on Lucas' shoulder. "It wasn't too late for me, and you haven't killed anyone. And if there was hope for me, with all the blood I have on my hands, then there's hope for you."
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2276 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Fri 12 Apr 2019
at 23:42
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Lucas nodded at Don.

"You know what one of the most sobering messages was? This happened recently. But....I stopped several gang members from robbing this little boy. I tore into them like a wild animal. I turned towards the boy....and he was just as frightened of me as he was of those gang members. That part made me wonder if what I was doing was truly right....or if I was just taking out my anger for all the pain and loss I suffered?"

He paused, putting his hand to his chin in a thoughtful pose.

"I think the biggest worry that I've had, more than anything, is if I use too much force, and if I, either deliberately or accidentally, do kill someone. Like I did with Flamethrower. I know that happened a long time ago, but I still have nightmares about it."
Diantha Ellen Derring
 NPC, 237 posts
 Don's Daughter
Sun 14 Apr 2019
at 03:58
Re: Dragon and Tiger
  Diantha and Donnie were waiting in the car.  She was, as usual, paying attention to the area telepathically, and when she sensed Uncle Lucas talking to Daddy, she told Donnie "Uncle Lucas is talking to Daddy.  Let's go get our hugs!"  And with that, she popped the door open and darted into the Dojo before anyone could grab her to stop her, shouting "Uncle Lucas! Uncle Lucas! Uncle Lucas!!"

Donnie zipped along right behind his sister, grinning as he headed to get Uncle Lucas too.
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2278 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Sun 14 Apr 2019
at 10:38
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Lucas both heard and saw the two children as they came running towards him. He smirked at Don as he prepared himself to receive the big hugs from the two children.

"Diantha....Donnie....I missed you guys a lot," he said, hugging the two eager children back.
Hunter
 NPC, 893 posts
Sun 14 Apr 2019
at 21:56
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Don looked down at his children. "I told you two to wait in the car. Daddy and Uncle Lucas are having a grown up talk" Don shot a grin at Lucas. "Told you they missed you."
Diantha Ellen Derring
 NPC, 238 posts
 Don's Daughter
Mon 15 Apr 2019
at 00:51
Re: Dragon and Tiger
  Diantha hugged Lucas firmly, even as she told her Daddy "Uncle Lucas needs hugs.    You are an adult, and you don't do hugs to other adults but Mama-Nora worth a poop."
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2279 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Mon 15 Apr 2019
at 02:20
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"Now Diantha..." Lucas said, chuckling. "What your Dad may lack in hugs, he makes up for in a lot of different things. He loves you very much, and wants to make sure that you're safe." He hugged them back one more time, and then stood up.

He turned to Donnie. "You sure are getting big, Donnie. If I blink, you'll probably have graduated already.

He smiled at Don. "Is it just me, or have both your children gotten much bigger since the last time I saw them?"
Donald Derring Jr.
 NPC, 4 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 01:26
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Donnie grinned widely. "I am Uncle Lucas! And strong! You should see how much I can lift now!"
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2280 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Thu 18 Apr 2019
at 03:13
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"Oh, I'm sure you could, Donnie," Lucas said with a chuckle. "You're a good boy, use that strength to help others."

He then turned to Don, and sighed. "Katy and Zeke....is everything okay with them? I've been so wrapped up in other things that I haven't taken the time to at least see how they're doing."
Diantha Ellen Derring
 NPC, 239 posts
 Don's Daughter
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 12:23
Re: Dragon and Tiger
  Diantha replied quite logically (for a young lady) "Daddy can't help the fact that he is not a hug person.  Which is why he doesn't hug for poop.  Donnie and I, however, are good huggers, and you needed some.  Nor would you ever hurt us.  So we are the best men for the job, as Daddy has been known to say."   And gave Lucas another hug.
Hotwire
 NPC, 470 posts
 Damn comic book hero want
 to be's
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 23:42
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"Can't speak for the Queen of Tinfoil Hats,"

The voice crackles through, something.  If we're lucky it's actually something that it makes sense a voice would be coming out of.  If not, he'll make do.  The lights in the dojo dim just slightly as Zeke forms out from the wiring, giving a grin to the kids before looking up to his friend.

"but I blame you for the situation I find myself in."

It really wasn't like Zeke to get all dressed up like this, he was actually in a suit.  With. A. Tie.  That he quickly starts to fumble with a bit to loosen.  There was an attempt at a stern annoyed face but it had just been too damn long since he talked with Lucas, and he didn't want to upset the kids.  The usually unkempt hair is tied back and worn in a cared for ponytail.  With the tie loosened he adjusts the cufflinks a bit before slowly shrugging off the jacket with a slight wince.

"Ugh, been too long since I went through wiring.  But, heard about a parahuman attacking a building, figured I'd swing by and see if my help was needed, it wasn't.  New blood has it handled quite well."

He smiles a little and offers a hand that oddly looks like it recently had a pedicure.  Though if/when Lucas takes the offered hand, he'll move in for a hug himself.

"It's been too long, man."

Giving a nod over to Senator Hunter.

"Saw your car while I was passing through, figured I'd poke my electrical signature through and take a look."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:45, Fri 19 Apr 2019.

Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2281 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 00:36
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Lucas was taken off guard briefly as he saw Zeke materialize. Off guard...but not entirely surprised as he had done things like this before.

"Zeke....it's been a long time," Lucas replied as he moved to accept Zeke's handshake. "It's good to see you. I've heard you've been very busy nowadays." The hug surprised Lucas, but he hugged Zeke back.

"Suit and tie, huh?" Lucas asked Zeke, chuckling. "What's the big occasion?"
Diantha Ellen Derring
 NPC, 240 posts
 Don's Daughter
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 01:32
Re: Dragon and Tiger
  Diantha took advantage of Zeke being busy to manage a 'sneak-attack' in the form of hugging HIM too.  She told him mock severely "You need to visit more.  With all of us."
Hunter
 NPC, 894 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 20:35
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Don gives Zeke a friendly smile and nod as he appears, not even mildly surprised by his appearance. One thing that made him such an exceptional marksman, besides the whole son of a supersoldier thing, was his attention to detail, he noticed the signs of Zeke's presence.

"Zeke, good to see you. How's the school doing?" He grinned as Zeke mentioned passing by a crime scene where he wasn't needed. "Probably for the best, you're a bit out of shape for super-battles if that potbelly is any indication." He teased

"Personally I'm glad to be retired, I'm too old for crime-fighting."

Donny runs up to Zeke, hugging him solidly around the legs, then he pulled upward lifting Zeke by his legs. "See!? See how strong I am now?!"

"Donny! Put your uncle down!" His voice was stern, but there was a glint of amusement in his eyes.
Hotwire
 NPC, 471 posts
 Damn comic book hero want
 to be's
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 22:20
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Zeke grins to Diantha when she hugs him and gives a little shout of surprise when Donny grabs him and picks him up.

"You have gotten stronger since I saw you last!"

He seemed a bit more mature than Lucas would remember him, still Zeke but a little of that edged had been sanded off.  Once he's set down he kneels to give a hug to both of the children, one arm around each of them before standing back up.

"Fighting, definitely not.  But talking someone down, reasoning with them.  Well I like to think my people skills have improved.  Marginally."

Looking to Lucas, his face gets a little more serious, he knew the guy was still hurting.  They all were.  Zeke had his moments with Friday, and he missed her quite a bit.  But those were connections outside of anything romantic, unlike Lucas and the two women he and the team had lost.  At least Zeke's own fling had simply walked out the door.

"Business look for business situation.  I was at a dinner with a few representatives for other countries.  Some of it to talk about the aliens that just popped up but mostly just to get an idea how well our government's attempt at counseling and training parahumans are going.  No one wants this to develop into some new Cold War arms race, at least not publicly.  I'm sure there are some that have alterior motives, but keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  So just heading home from that."

Zeke bristles just a little about the place being a School. But it was the easiest way to describe it.

"The 'Quadruple P' is going very well.  Exuasting and I had to politely decline having my head shaved and riding around in a wheel chair for Halloween once again, but otherwise it's moving along nicely."
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2282 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 03:59
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"You've come a long way, Zeke," Lucas said. "What you're doing is very important and very vital to our future. We can only hope that those representatives realize that those paras are people too."

It was good to see his two teammates again. Don's children were amazingly perceptive, and to the point when it came to frequent visits and emotional states of their "aunts and uncles."

"This city seems to be getting more complicated by the minute. Oh...I noticed some new heroes over at the museum when dealing with some mummies there earlier. They seem to work well together....maybe a bit loose knit, but they seemed to coordinate pretty well. Do either of you know any more about any of them?"
Hotwire
 NPC, 472 posts
 Damn comic book hero want
 to be's
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 19:40
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Zeke's eyes narrow a little bit at that question, though his body language remains relaxed.

"Thanks.  Really I had no clue my speech about the Para Parties was going to get me to this position.  I figured I'd put my two cents in, make the proposal for a facility like what we have and people would realize how horrible of an idea it would be to have me be anywhere close to it."

There was a mix of exasperation and satisfaction to his voice though, despite his view on it, he really wouldn't have it any other way.

"I can certainly hope we can work things through though.  As for the new heroes... I haven't had any experience with them.  But the one guy, Daystar.  I don't trust him.  There's just something about the guy that rubs me the wrong way.  He didn't have his suit at the museum but he identified himself as Daystar, same guy that was wearing a very high tech suit at the scene with the aliens.  Up until a few days ago there was nothing and now.  Boom.  He's at the scene of an alien invasion and where a bunch of mummies come back to life."

Zeke fidgets a little.

"There.  Were.  Aliens.  I got distracted though when I was going to the scene.  Again. Ail.  Lee.  Ens.  Of course I was trying to get there, but then I felt something else that didn't belong here.  The tech he has, the vehicle he has.  I wasn't able to get close to it, it probably would have been the Satellite all over again if I had.  Still, the material its made with.  The sense it gave off to me.  It was even more foreign than those aliens are.  I don't trust him."

Of course, Zeke has never been known for being overly quick to trust anyone.
Hunter
 NPC, 895 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 18:08
Re: Dragon and Tiger
"Things are better than they have been, though I'll be the first to admit it's not perfect. I've been working on peoples' opinions on paras from my end as well" Don told Lucas.

"I think if theres anything we've learned from our dealings with the New Age Defenders is we can't stop young people from going out there and trying to do what we did. Best to make sure they're equipped with the tools and experience they need to do it properly" He added to Zeke.

Don pondered Zeke's assessment of this 'Daystar Character'. "Government prototypes maybe? Something stolen from the Brain Bank? Or he could be another para-inventor, like Malcolm?"


While the grownups talked the children took advantage of being in a dojo. They both stood on the mat in fighting stances. Lucas could tell from experience these were proper stances, not children's playacting. Clearly their father had taught them a few things. They stood facing each other then Donnie charged forward sending a kick towards his sister's midsection. With inhuman grace Diantha slid under her brother's kick and jumped up behind him. She sent an open palm strike towards Donnie's midsection but the boy reached up and grabbed his sister's wrist pulling forward and sending her forward. Diantha recovered with the same impossible grace as before coming up in a roll and grinning at her brother, who returned the smile.
Dragon Fist
 moderator, 2283 posts
 Mystic Martial Artist
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 01:21
Re: Dragon and Tiger
Lucas frowned slightly, seemingly in thought. "It appears that this...Daystar's....intentions were in the right place. But...there was an edge to him. Something unknown and a bit elusive."

Out of the corner of his eye, Lucas noticed both of the Derring children in their advanced spar. He remembered teaching them only a few basic forms and techniques, and they had clearly not only retained that knowledge, but expanded upon it.

"Wow Don....Diantha and Donnie have learned some advanced techniques since I saw them last."