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Found 939 results

  1. ic

    May 24th. 3:30PM Claremont Gymnasium She had moved her things in, she had a lot of things, but she had paired down to what she would need for the upcoming summer. And Percival. Who was essential, and adorable. The she'd be getting after she found one. It was awkward. Hannah got to meet Corinne's folks, and brother. Who were lovely people, though her brother was exactly the younger 12-year old bro one would imagine him to be. Once it was all sorted, and her folks were gone after taking both girls out to what was mucho, mucho Thai food, Corinne announced, in their room, she needed to go to the gym and work out, and she invited Hannah along so that she could get some limbering and practice in. This was of course meaning she was wearing one of the gymnast long sleeved leotards that hid nothing, dark blue with red-orange trim and matching stylized lightning bolt with a lighter blue underscore. She threw a towel around her shoulders, and a pair of white ankle high Converses before she dragged along the other girl to the Gym. "I got to loosen up, and so do you. And don't worry, you've got a better build than I do. I'm like... seventy maybe ninety-six percent leg, and that causes so many problems, like it took be years to get basic tumbles right. Pizza, or milkshakes will be our reward! Or both!" Of course she had performed an impromptu Gene Kelly-esque routine between the dorms and this building, so how much needed to stretch and limber up may be a bit of a lie. Still once there, the tall blonde immediately set about working through some basic yoga poses and others, after her shoes were shucked and she was on the mat.
  2. ic

    Syke's Gym. 3:00 PM, Jan. 23rd. It was an empty boxing gym, well more or less. Except for two people, Amir al-Misri, and Anastasia van Cleef. In other aspects, though it was clean, well lit and maintained. The mats pristine. It as a good neutral ground to learn from the daughter of someone he sort of kind of knew in business. "You're a colossal ass," came the snark statement from Ms. van Cleef, assistant, indispensable 'Dragon of the Summit.' She tapped away furiously on her phone, not deigning to lift her head and look at Amir making a colossal... well what she really wanted to say she wasn't going to. Not that she was going to be prudent and keep her mouth shut, but she really didn't want to pick that fight. Though, insulting him from the sidelines was fitting in with the ice cold blonde, in her smart grey suit. For his part Amir stood off to the side, well in the ring ring, leaning on the ropes. He was more or less dressed for learning how to fight better. Though it was more dressed in a sort of, he didn't know what else to wear type get up of t-shirt and boxing shorts, with his normal burgundy and gold coloring. "Jealous? I understand, completely." Smirking back at her, "As my ass is gosh-darned adorable, I will have you know." "Whatever it takes for you to feel better about yourself, Amir," was the tart reply, and staccato annoyed rat-tat-tat of her fingers on the screen..
  3. ic

    82 Eridani System Thursday, September 28, 2016 Cavalier flew along side Sea Devil through the inky void, taking in the unfamiliar sights. There was an index full of the various planets, moons, and asteroids of the system, but he had never actually seen them with his eyes. Still, Mentor had recommended this as a nice peaceful system for a trial run. And surveillance. Mentor hadn't been so direct in calling it surveillance. But when Cavalier had asked why he was being asked to take Sea Devil on a ridealong - especially when she hadn't gotten off on good terms with the young Deep One, and her time in space had been far from a walk in the park - Mentor had relented and given him the full scope. "The individuals who tampered with our armor to make the Spectrum Knight design were powerful, intelligent, and given to deception. Although we have examined the altered armor in detail and found no obvious tampering, we know from our own designs that the armor can adapt under proper circumstances. It may be best to see if Ms. Innsmouth has managed to develop new... hidden talents in use of the armor. Talents that were hidden just so they could be... discovered at the right time." A full analysis would be too invasive; however, if Cavalier rode along, Mentor could analyze the code of the Spectrum Knight armor to see if there were any nasty surprises lying in wait. Of course, convincing Sea Devil to go along all on her lonesome might be tricky. Hence why Cavalier had been given dispensation to hire the Voidrunners, with whom Sea Devil had a somewhat better relationship. And hence why he'd had the request approved to let Sea Devil bring along Jessie, who'd also been dragged about half the galaxy alongside her. And hence why he felt like the fifth wheel on this whole trip. But he was the one in charge, so he had to make sure he was everyone's fun uncle rather than their drill sergeant dad. "How do you like the sights?" he asked Sea Devil. "Anything catching your eye?"
  4. Monday, June 13th, 2016 AEGIS Headquarters, City Center, Freedom City 8:21 AM A Monday morning. Nobody likes Monday mornings. Not even the men and women at AEGIS. No matter how much they liked their job, they also liked sleeping, and Monday mornings generally didn’t allow for the latter, even more so when employed by the American Elite Government Intervention Service. Among the many employees currently working, both in the Federal Building, and the actual headquarters below, were Agents Ethan Stone and James Warne, codenames Upgrade and Adept. After a run-in with an upstart hero a month ago, the two of them had been working to get the permission for a formal AEGIS Investigation. Not an easy task by any means. The company was spending a lot of money on their legal team, doing the best to make sure AEGIS would not come after them. Amongst them, Jonah Cullstone. Harvard Law. He had been making sure that any progress was denied, every little vulnerability covered. And not only was there opposition from outside. Many people inside AEGIS also believed that it was best to allow Neutron Industries to continue what they had been doing, they were important to the government. World needs power, and so long as they weren’t doing anything illegal that could be proven, there was no reason to interrupt. Not that that had stopped the two agents. They continued doing whatever they could to gain permission. And they were not alone, a variety of people all across AEGIS gave them their support. When James Warne entered his office that Monday, he was greeted by a familiar face. Vincent Clarkson. Clarkson had been assigned to the last assignment dealing with Bonfire and Neutron Industries, and had helped the agents with their efforts to get permission. His face showed exhaustion, and a smell of coffee accompanied him. In his hand, a file, only a few pages of paper inside. “We’ve got the Go-Ahead.“
  5. ic

    GM Thursday, April 20th, 2017 2:24 PM Morning, this came in today. Not as in, was sent, but as in “suddenly popped up in my drafted messages”. Is directed towards you too, so check it out: Hello You may remember me, I’m the one that helped you with Solemn’s network. I’ve got some information you and your scaly buddy are almost certainly interested in. New stuff about the guy and some stuff heating up again. The bench, where we first met. Today, 7:24 PM. Both of you. This is not a request. -Ph0enix Thoughts? Sounds pretty damn ominous, but going’s probably safer. All messages by Bonfire, written in quick succession, and received by Leviathan.
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    May 8, 2017. Tortuga, Haiti. The Bonny Read Tavern. Just After Sunrise. AEGIS agent Hannah Snell sighed as she looked at the tattered remnants of the Bonny Read Tavern. She didn’t know how she got herself into these things. Her mum back in Devonshire would say it was her desperate need for adventure. She sorted through the sleeping and/or battered unconscious figures scattered throughout the tavern with her eyes, hands, and (occasionally) fists, until she settled on one. “Oi.” She prodded the sleeping figure with her boot. “Oi. Flint.” What happened here last night would live in infamy…until next weekend, at the least. And it was at least half this woman’s fault. With the woman not waking from her rum induced slumber so easily, Hannah Snell decided to just go for it, and kicked the pirate captain in the side. Hard. “Oi. Get up, Flint. Need your ‘elp. Some pillock thought it’d be brilliant to resurrect a few old pirates for a lark. Needless to say, the prat’s dead and they’re on the loose.” Snell kicked the pirate again. “So get up, you lazy sod. You’ve got work to do.”
  7. ic

    April 20, 2017. The Caribbean. Cilan Island. Mid-Morning. Cilan Island was roughly the size of a postage stamp, metaphorically speaking. It was barely in the Caribbean at all, lying right between it and the Mid-Atlantic. Most people didn’t even know it was there. Until today, when a pair of hurricanes (Category 5, the both of them) sprung up almost as if by magic over the course of an hour and a half. It couldn’t possibly be right, but it seemed as if the two storms were fighting each other in deadly earnest. The poor little island was standing right in their path. Maybelle McQueen took one look at the breaking news report and ran out of the Southern Queen. The few hundred people on that island were in serious trouble, and neither of those storms were natural. She tossed command to her sous chef on the way out, and then shot into the air hard enough to rattle windows. Even at top speed, it would take her at least a half hour to get there. By then the storms would be overrunning the island, and people would be in desperate need of help. Fortunately, Queenie was on the job.
  8. ic

    May 17th 2PMish. Girl's dorm, lounge area. The staff had told Hannah who her roommate would be for next year. The daughter of the hero Asad. Well, they didn't tell Hannah who she was related to, but the gossip mill had started, and Corinne's parentage, and everything else was preceding her. To her chagrin. Given her large gap of experience regarding all of this compared to some others giving her a roomie was the best bet. And Hannah, being the kind of person she was, felt like the best choice. Corinne just... nodded along to it. She was waiting in out of the lounges in the girl's dormitory. She was people watching, and slouched in the chair which sort of hid her height, as she had on a faded band t-shirt for Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, with her denim jacket, short denim cutoffs, over a pair of plain black tights, and her short teal sneakers. She wasn't thrilled at this, but... really... she wasn't mad. She was numb. In shock, and she hoped she didn't make Hannah mad because she was out of sorts.
  9. ic

    Claremont Academy Campus May 15, 2017 It was a strange feeling, walking aimlessly about the campus. It would be another hour and change before the next meeting Corinne Conrad had with yet another member of the Claremont Academy faculty and she'd been told to take the time to familiarize herself with the facilities. In the middle of the day, however everyone she came across was hurrying to their next class or making good on lunch period plans with their friends, an active bustle which made the Los Angeles transplant feel a bit like an intruder. Even at a leisurely pace her long strides quickly took her away from the main building and out into the pleasant spring weather until she came across the well-tended zen garden. In most places in Freedom City the carefully raked sands might have seemed a bit ostentatious but something about the shade of the surrounding trees and the way it nestled into a slight hill in the grounds made the spot of tranquility feel perfectly at home. "Sorry, are you Corinne?" a voice called from behind her with a distinct British accent and a faint lilt. Two girls approached from the way she'd just come, the speaker giving her a small wave and a smile. A lavender hijab framed a warm expression and fashionably complimented her light jacket and dark skirt. Despite the uneven ground leading up to the garden her steps had the sort of grace Corinne associated with dancers. A step behind her was fit girl with a more neutral expression beneath round sunglasses and dark hair pulled back. She wore a sleeveless black top which clearly revealed powerfully athletic muscles, flexing slightly as she hooked her thumbs into the belt loops of ripped jeans. At a guess the new transfer would have said the pair were a little older than her, close to wrapping up their junior year. "I'm Faiza," the first girl continued, smile widening as she met Corinne's eyes, "and this is Sofia." Her companion raised one hand in a muted greeting.
  10. ic

    March 24, 2017. Freedom City. Various places. Mid-Afternoon. Six heroes. Varying ages. Varying skillsets. Varying modus operandi. All of who sudden vanished off the face of the earth. There was no flash of light, no psychedelic tube of travelling. It was simply six people who were one place and then suddenly not. But from their perspective, they had not moved. The world had suddenly become different around them. And yet much the same. What had happened wasn’t hard to figure out. This was not their world. ***************** It had taken Terrifica moments to figure out she wasn’t on her Earth anymore. The lack of tailpipes on the cars was one big clue. Another was the lack of trash on the street. A dozen subtle things that simply were wrong. Fear and curiosity mixed. Her motorcycle was a dimensional wall away, and it was highly unlikely even cash would be of any assistance. So, she was walking. It was indeed The Fens, but..not. The signs of poverty and desperation were…gone. There were people around, of course, but they were moving with a purpose in mind. No loitering on street corners, front stoops, or building lobbies. She fought back anxiety at being stranded. Away from home. From family. First things first. Find a library. Assuming they hadn’t been banned in this dimension, clues would be easy enough to find in one. Newpapers, history books, geography, even encyclopedias could be useful in getting her bearings. ***************** In her chambers, the Empress, her Imperial Majesty, Savior of Humanity & Mother of The Modern World, was kind of annoyed. “So. You’re telling me either the dimensional transporter I designed and built failed to function, or that you are the kind of idiot who can’t read simple information displays.” She waved her hand at an apologetic courtier. “No, don’t strain yourself trying to answer. Like always, I already know what happened. There was a flicker from the Terminus. Slight, but enough to throw off the location calculations. it wasn't unexpected.” She pulled back a sleeve and pressed at the flexible flatscreen on her wrist. “I’ve just uploaded the tracker program. It’s based on a combination of their dimensional and super power energy signatures, which were recorded during transport.” She saved her hand at the courtier, dismissing him. “Go. Find them and bring them to me. Gods know I can’t trust you to explain the problem to them.”
  11. ic

    May 18 Pyramid Plaza, Freedom City Early Evening Huang stepped out of hte Cab with a hint of a cocky smile despite the wince at the late summer sun glinting off the towers of steel and glass all around them. There were many benefits of living in a major metropolis not the least of which was not having a driver's license for date night was easily countered by the preponderance of cabs and the fact that in a place like freedom driving was more the exception than the rule if one aimed for downtown. He certainly could have just cracked a portal through time and space to his destination of course. Though he had been informed that such casual use of magic would lead directly to further sanctions on his mystic machinations from his hypocrite parents. Besides his dad already thought his date was a bad influence. Flashing blood magic portals on a downtown street probably wouldn't help that. Turning to peek into the cab he reached out a hand, "And here we are." he presented like the occupant might find the garish pyramid themed building anything but appropriative. "I heard they do a mediterranean paleo-vegan chefs special." he offered encouragingly.
  12. ic

    Content Warning: Cussing June 18, 2017 5:35AM Bedlam City, Wisconsin Fast-Forward skidded to a halt in the middle of Hardwick Park. Not bothering to take off his helmet, he looked around wildly before declaring "...what the hell?!" 5:37AM Chicago, Illinois Millennium Park Fast-Forward stared up at the statue of the Barnstormers, ignoring the few flatscans in the park this early. "WHAT THE HELL!?" This time he did take off his helmet, never mind the risk when he was away from home, and cast out with his psychic connection to his wife - finding her in Freedom City of all places? She'd probably felt that but she was just waking up - and he didn't have time for her to catch up with him. "Come on, man, wakeupwakeupwakeup-" He ran in a little circle, hitting himself on the side of the head, using the psychic feedback Paige had taught him to break out of an illusion. Nothing. Motherfucker! Finally deciding it was worth the risk, he put his helmet back on and girded his loins for the run into Freedom City. 5:38AM Freedom City In front of the Cline household Staring up at flatscan suburban hell for a long moment, Richard Cline took off his helmet in honest bafflement - and decided to leave it off since whatever was happening had evidently happened right through the helmet's psionic bafflers. He tried the door, found it locked, and banged on it - surprised when what looked like mundane wood didn't immediately shatter under his fist. "Hey!" he called, both out loud and psychically, hot anger and bafflement turning to fear loud in both voices, a second before winding up for a blow that would have knocked a regular door out of his hinges entirely. "What the hell is going on!?"
  13. ic

    GM May 28th, Sunday, 2017, 5.51PM Maniac Park, Downtown Bedlam, Wisconsin The last set... It was finally here. The last step on a journey across America. The last song that would put an unquiet soul to rest. Val had met the shade named Jane Westerling months back, on a tour through LA. A cover of Michael Jackson's hit 'Billie Jean' had been interrupted by the lights shorting out, a spectral wail and the appearance of a translucent floating figure with every limb out of joint, her head twisted around and her enormous eyes on the back of her head. Thankfully, Jane had just been trying to cheer and her powers had gotten out of hand. After making her earnest apologies and providing her own illumination of shimmering ghostlight, she'd dropped backstage after the show to gush and make a very odd request. "The music makes me whole, Ms. Cain. If I could hear more like it...I could remember myself. Where I can rest. Will you carry me there?" All had become clear as the weeks went by, Val sharing her body with the bubbly, now-healed ghost. No longer monstrous, the music of her long-gone teenage years had formed her back into a flickering, tiny brunette with a small, catlike mouth and large green eyes. She couldn't go far from Val, not that she wanted to. After so long alone it had been a relief to meet someone who could talk to and see her all the time again. Most of the time, she stayed in Val's head and made occasional small talk or went on stream-of-consciousness rambles about this or that, occasionally hitting on a common interest. She had been a music fanatic as a kid growing in Woolverton back in 1983 and when she'd turned 15 in '84 had struck out into the world in a stolen Chevy, following the Star Gods, the greatest musicians of her time. Four years, many life lessons and one lost finger later, she'd finally come home. Then something had happened, she had died been shattered into pieces. A part of her in every place she'd heard the songs she'd loved so much. Right then, Val could feel Jane jittering with excitement as the first chords were struck. The crowd of tired-looking Bedlamites that had gathered in the sprawling, ill-kept park weren't nearly so enthusiastic, but they'd at least made signs. Val could see the less flattering ones at the back torn down, their holders the target of a perfunctory scrap. Everyone not involved kept their eyes front and ignored the shouts and curses drifting in the air. The people in suits around the stage weren't so relaxed. Valerie Cain's security detail were used to rough towns, but they'd been on edge since arriving in Bedlam, Wisconsin, almost paranoid thanks to the rundown city's enormous crime rate. But that couldn't stop the music or dampen the spirits of 'Sweet Child of Mine'
  14. ic

    April 30, 2017 Freedom City Riverside Park 7PM It was a quiet enough afternoon for the Cline family, or at least one part of it. Richard Cline had always been an involved father (sometimes to Holly and Will's frustration) but he'd made a special point to step in and get involved in their lives after they'd all brought home baby Bryant Cline. Paige hadn't actually objected to adopting his infant father rather than see him put into the foster system - but he also knew her well enough after decades together to know what it meant for her to open their home like that. So he'd made a special point to be the father to Bryant that Bryant had never been to him, and if it was all strange and dysfunctional, well their family had always been that at least a little bit and they'd gotten through all right. Tonight, the day before the big May 1 charity Race for the Cure that he and Will had entered along with some other Freedom City heroes, he and his kids were sitting around a picnic table in Riverside Park, waiting for their fellow racers to arrive. Holly had Bryant out from his carrier and had laid him on his stomach on a blanket on the ground - but he wasn't staying there! Now a chubby nine-month-old full of energy, the bald-headed tot kept 'dashing' his way off the blanket, clutching his lovey in one hand and pulling himself along with the other arm and both his knees. <Go Bryant!> thought Holly, snapping some pictures with the new phone that had been her recent twelfth birthday present. <No more babies in chains!>
  15. ic

    May 15, 2017 Austin, TX Austin's Lone Star Bank is located near the edge of the city proper, about halfway down 290 towards Dripping Springs. The distance means that it usually caters to patrons who live in western suburbs and bedroom communities and don't want to drive all the way into Austin to do their banking business. Of course, that also means it's prone to robberies. The bank has security and security cameras - but sometimes all that does is pick up what's happening. "All right, yew varmints, we warned you!" The lead outlaw, like her confederates, looked like a character from a movie - her black bandanna, cowboy gear and hat, and twirling six-shooters, belonged to the crime of an entirely different era - as did the half-a-dozen horses she and her gang had tied up outside before bursting into the bank with mayhem in mind. The guards were disarmed now and scattered among the bound and gagged patrons, her confederates were either guarding the door with their pistols or applying the dynamite to the door, everything was going well. Even the one guy in the middle of the floor, blood pouring from the six shots blasted in his shirt, was all part of the plan. Stupid bank manager had tried to play hero. Gotta make sure the people know who's really in charge. "C'mon, boys, hurry it up!" she called.
  16. ic

    Later on, May 15th. It was getting on, the end of... a bewildering day, her folks were still working through the paperwork and hammering the details, so they were giving her a bit of space to still explore. Having already met some of the sterling members of the community, she felt that at least she could talk to the others here and it wouldn't be such a colossal disaster. If, yanno, I wasn't staring like a deer stuck in headlights at everything. And it wasn't like she knew how to relate to people. Hi! I am Corinne, you know my father, probably better than I do! And I can do things with stuff. The Zen garden hadn't been as zen, because she had to deal with people in unfamiliar territory. ,Well fortunately she was able to sort herself out, and she had a longboard, and that helped. The rhythm of it. Pump, pump, glide. Then came the movement on the board, making it weave as she shuffled and twirled on the board itself. Arms held up and bent at her elbows for balance.
  17. ic

    It was a small list - the friends that Talya still had from her time among the Allies of Freedom was a small list that grew smaller yet every year. Most of them - all of them, really - had public personas just as flashy as Natalya Browning's public facade. They were also well aware that Talya's actual private life was something she had always kept decidedly so, so the understanding that discretion was expected was well understood alongside her invitation to visit the recently renovated apartments above the Espadas' School. Well, to most of them, it was likely well understood. For Ace, she made the effort to include a pointed phone call alongside sending a private town car - lest she get the damn Dangermobile hovering outside a window just because he wanted to tease. It might have been any other cheerful weekend afternoon at the rather noisy home of four very young children. That Talya was tense was only clear to those who knew her very well - and those who could compare her usual level of tidiness to the current downright sparkling level of cleanliness in an apartment with very young children. It was, frankly, unnatural to see the living room looking like something out of a magazine as the blonde Brit frowned before going to rearrange the art fully folded quilt on the couch's arm for the third time.
  18. ic

    Freedom City, New Jersey Thursday, 23 March 2017 Afternoon Arthur Campbell was many things to many different people. He was a world-renowned geologist, a contemporary of Edmund Hillary, one of the last great explorers, a guest lecturer at HIT and FCU, He was a philanthropist and a regular figure in Freedom City's gala scene, always a perfect gentleman and the life of the party. He also had excellent taste as he had requested the help of Samantha Carson when he ran into a sticky problem with some crystals. He was also a figure of interest to the police, given the number of police cars gathered around his North Point mansion and the police tape across the entrance. Samantha Carson was parked on the side of the road, watching the flurry of police activity. She was supposed to be meeting with Arthur in, well, about thirty seconds, but driving through a police cordon would make that much more complicated.
  19. ic

    Claremont Academy Dormitories April 15, 2017 Winifred still wasn't used to the literal weight taken off of her shoulders be her recent haircut but after putting it off for so long there was a certain visceral satisfaction in having had the early waist length hair cut back to a tidy pixie cut with razor sharp lines that kept it off of her ears and neck. It had already proven to be more practical in the lab and if she were to allow herself a moment of vanity the displaced Victorian might have gone so far as to say that it combined with the collar of her slate grey dress shirt to make her neck and jawline look fantastic. A scientist had to acknowledge empirical fact after all. Shifting the strap of the bag slung over her shoulder, she strode down the dormitory hallway with her shoulders squared and her chin tilted slightly upward. It had taken almost half a year of trials and tweaking but the grin threatening to break through her composure came from the feeling of a craftsperson preparing to showcase their efforts. She counted slowly backward from one hundred as she rounded the corner; she wasn't in a position to let excitement or nerves get the better of her. Reaching the door to the room shared by Clouston and Sanderson she gave it a distinctive trio of sharp raps.
  20. This is a mistake, Tristan Delacroix thought glumly as he waited on the moonlit beach. Tonight he was a slender, middle aged man, tanned to the point of leathery wrinkles. Freedom City wasn't known for its surfing, and furthermore this was the wrong time of year for it anyway, but the disguise still brought him some comfort. Just some guy enjoying the beach, late at night. If only the rest of his plan was as simple. He spent the whole day second-guessing himself. Easy enough to think about inviting an outsider to his new lair--well, no, even that wasn't very easy--but actually following through with the idea brought the risks to the forefront of his mind and pushed all possible rewards to deep, dark corners. Even just Bonfire, whom he trusted fairly well by this point, could cause him terrible harm. Perhaps just inadvertently; trusting the other hero's motives wasn't the same as putting potentially his entire heroic career in Bonfire's smoky hands. The blog deal hasn't backfired yet, he reminded himself. No, no, that's unfair. It's going well. That's probably how Rayzer heard of me, so failing all else, at least Bonfire is effective. That guy was all the way on the West Coast! I could probably go to space and get recognized before long. At any rate, it was too late now. He had already contacted his "publicist" to request a meeting, with vague details, and most dangerous of all, advised Bonfire to bring a camera. Tristan was sure that he could pick and choose what was photographed, but would that be enough? What if he missed something? He imagined a fan intensely studying their computer screen for clues, and finding a loose thread that unraveled the whole tapestry he spent years creating. Never before had his cover story felt so flimsy. Tristan shivered from more than the chilly air, but didn't leave the beach. All he could do was proceed with watchful caution and trust his ally. Time would tell if that was enough.
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    @Heritage It hadn't taken much convincing. All Samuel Steiner had to say to get their attention was "Val Verde," and all he had to say to get their agreement was "Vacation." Three words were all it took to get Lynn Epstein and Gretchen McDaniels to board a plane to the secretive little island a few hour's flight off their nation's southwestern coast. That, and a few days of planning. A employer can't just disappear along with two of her employees in tow and expect everything to keep running like Swiss clockwork in her absence. Schedules needed rewriting, tasks needed assigning, and subtle, only half-joking threats of terrible retaliation for failure needed making before they could leave. All things considered, it was a painless procedure. It could have been even more-so, with the power available to the three. A few spells and they could have stepped from their homes to the island in an instant, without the need for planes, trains, or automobiles. But part of the joy of vacation is the trip, and so they took a passenger jet to the American southwest, arranged a taxi to a small, private airfield, and boarded another plane -- small, but richly furnished -- to the island. The process had been described in great detail by Steiner's letter, now slightly crumpled but none the worse for wear. Written by their would-be host, a man named Gallo, the letter had given the two women only the smallest taste of his personality, the tiniest glimpse of what he'd be like. Sam had tried to fill them in on the rest but some men, like Gallo, defied simple explanation. "He just is," the magician explained. "He's larger than life. Big eater, big drinker, big talker. He and I go way back; I think you'll like him. He was a good friend to me... kind of like how you guys are, now. He took me in when I needed taking in and helped get me back on my feet when I was laying low." Eventually, the flight neared its end, and it wasn't long after that when the three could look out the windows and see it: Val Verde, set like a gleaming emerald on a sea of blue velvet. "My God," said Sam. "It's just as beautiful now as it ever was. I'd almost forgotten." @Blarghy James Warne dusted his hands and reached one of them into his jacket, intent on removing the battered carton of cigarettes nestled into a pocket therein. He was surrounded by the prone bodies of groaning men, their firearms thrown haphazardly around the room by a telekinetic storm of disarmament, with their persons having followed shortly thereafter. He flicked the lighter with a practiced thumb, lit the smoke, and inhaled. Other men might have allowed themselves a smile, if only a bitter one, at the idea of a job well done. Not Adept, not here. Duty called, he answered, and that was all. The cigarette, the smoke in his mouth, the fire in his lungs; that was his smile, his concession to the world. His phone buzzed, once, an indication of incoming text. He reached for it, touched the screen, and brought up the client. TSA pegged your old friend [STEINER, SAMUEL] leaving the country w/ 2 women, it said. [EPSTEIN, LYNN] & [McDANIELS, GRETCHEN]. They're headed for Val Verde. Pack for sunny weather and report for briefing. Sorry. It was signed, at the bottom, by 'B,' which meant it couldn't be ignored. Warne grunted, replaced his phone, and strode towards the exit. He passed police and paramedics on the way, who hustled towards the battered men behind him. When he was out of sight, he took to the skies like a bird of prey and flew back to the city. It was going to be a long day.
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    January 13, 2017 3:45 PM Even in a city that catered to as many esoteric subcultures as Freedom there were only so many places a teenager might go to improve their skills with medieval weaponry. With the faculty of Claremont Academy in something of a restructuring period - and portions of the student body's faith in the combat training there having suffered somewhat - Cathy Clouston had suggested the next best thing to her girlfriend: a privately run dojo in the city's West End that had been introduced to her by her roommate. Said roommate had continued to receiving mentoring of her own there, albeit in the form of classes not openly available to the public at large. There were certain skills painfully absent from a young lady's usual education these days: picking locks while hanging upside down, disarming an attacker while wearing heels, disarming an attacker with a pair of heels...
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    May 10, 2017 Wolverton Bedlam City Black Rose Detective Agency 9AM A god kicked in the door not long after opening. Lady Horus flew into the Black Rose Detective Agency with speed fast enough to send loose papers flying everywhere, then kicked the door shut behind her with equal alacrity. "Lo!" she called in that oddly resonant voice that was familiar both from the television and to the local residents of the Wolverton/Hardwick Park area - "where is thy doctor? This girl needs care!" In her arms, or rather, wrapped in her white and gold cape was a battered-looking young woman in the torn remnants of a super-costume - the darkly complected Hispanic girl looked like she'd taken a heavy beating from somebody.
  24. GM March 21st, 2017 8:31 AM A girl slipped in about a half hour after opening, short, a little shorter than Gretchen, though certainly not as slender as she was. She wasn't just hispanic, she was certainly an indio. A punk, with a burnt sienna colored dreadlock hanging on the side of her face, under striped hood of her striped sweatshirt. She idly picked through things, grabbing three books, and a magazine, before she moved back towards the front of the shop. Her age hard to tell, she pursed her lips, and played with the piercing on the lower one. "'Scuse me... only one here?" Her voice was heavily accented, matching where her face was from and English might not even be her second language. She continued on as she set the books down on the counter and she looked at Gretchen. The girl's smell permeated the air, some sort of fruity essential oil, and freshly rained on dirt. A little odd, but then, book stores like this place attracted worse. "Do you do a Mexican mocha?" Pushing up her brows as she shifted her purse up and onto the table, before she was shuffling through the studded leather thing.
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    Meechum's 1:30 PM, May 16th. This was odd. Very, very odd. She checked her phone and made sure she had the right place. Probably. The restaurant was a good neutral sort of place, having enough options that there should be no problem with any dietary restrictions. It was a safe gamble, and Corinne noticed it. It was like her meeting with her father, but... more awkward. She didn't know what Amir's ex was to her, but the lady was trying to be nice... And she might know some things about this town that she'd like kt know. Or how to deal with the attention her dad got, but then, she wasn't exactly a completely private person really. Wearing her kinda sorta bucket hat, a denim jacket, a blue and black plaid shirt, with a pair of black pants, and teal sneakers. Of course... that wasn't so different than a whole host of teenagers and twenty somethings. What made her stand out was the height. Taller than her father, and Agnus, she was a statuesque stunner, and even in a moderately busy place like Meechum's during lunch, she was more than visible. She assumed Agnus was already here, because she was still navigating and learning the town, but she was looking for her, peering and surveying.