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Avenger Assembled

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  • Birthday 11/10/1981

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  1. Not sure what was happening, Aquaria backed up, watching the two Surfacers talk. "Aquaria, thank you for coming today," said Cassandra Vale seriously. "I promise that the next time we invite you to Freedom Hall, we won't lie to you about why we're doing it." She gave Aquaria a little bow, eyes cast down, and Aquaria did the same. She gave a little wave to Archeville on the way out - perhaps she had overtaxed the former hybrid with her song and her presence. Ah well she thought as she closed the armor over her face, hopping her way through Freedom Hall and then into the sky overhead as she went. I did not say the things to him that made me very angry. So that is good. Perhaps he just needs time to consider who he is. - "How are you, Viktor?" Cassandra had led Viktor Archeville into her office, an overstuffed academic's office full of paper-filled filing cabinets and boxes, a ruggedized laptop on her desk one of her few concessions to modernity. The walls were decorated with collections of Atlantean and Caribbean art, splashes of bright color and strongly-formed figures that reinforced the impression of this being an emeritus professor's office somewhere. There was coffee here, heavily mixed with cocoa, her favorite.
  2. Up on the ceiling, Aquaria looked down at the cringing Surface-Man - and dropped back onto all fours, legs tucked up beneath and forelimbs out front, next to him. "I...I am sorry," she croaked softly, almost subsonic in her harmonizing. She shot a nervous glance back at Dr. Vale, glad she didn't seem to be in trouble. "They taught me those words too, when there is guilt." She looked up at Archeville and said, "It is fair. I asked you of your mating." She considered the conversation they were having, and the things that Surfacers feared and disliked, then added, "I am not homophobic. Many of my friends are females that mate with females." She wriggled her back leg loose so she could scratch behind the unarmored portion of her head. "Let me sing you a song." And so, she did, a low, throbbing tune that made her throat bulge and echoed in the bass. Dagon made the male Hydra birthed the female They are the pair She made a small noise, then rose again to her bipedal status. "The male would now sing of the great body of the female and the might of his seed, and the female would sing of how sharp were her teeth and wide was her mouth. But there are no males here who can sing like me." "I do have a full anthropological workup if you're interested, Viktor," said Cassandra Vale, a friendly hand on Archeville's shoulder. If she could feel the technorganic stuff within, she made no comment on it. "Aquaria knows many songs."
  3. "That is what Deep Ones are in your stories," Aquaria croaked flatly. "Things that want to mate with Surface-Men, or who trick them into mating with them. I have read what your writers say. Surface-Men with rot in their brains, who think everything must be as rotten as them!" She was kinetic now, briefly bounding up the side of the wall, then clinging to the ceiling. Archeville could feel Cassandra Vale's readiness behind him, not so much a tenseness but a watchfulness. "I am not yelling because of what happened to your ancestor, and I know I must be nice to Surfacers hurt by Deep Ones" she informed Archeville from her upside-down position above his head, but he could hear the seething in the Deep One's voice. "but Deep Ones do not want to mate with you. Or with any other Surfacer. You are mammals with hairy bodies and...and gonads, and your females hatch your young from their bellies, it is..." She made another noise, then shook herself like a seal fresh from the water. "It is perversity."
  4. "The strong do help the weak," Aquaria croaked firmly. "That is why I am here, because I want to help. We help them grow so they can be strong." Moving onto the happier subject of children and spawning, she said, "There is the mating time, and then all the females lay eggs together, and then we all tend them until the young wriggle free. Our young are much...faster than yours," she added. "They already have their teeth, and they can eat meat, and they can swim very fast. My friend says they are like if kittens and sharks had babies, but they are not mammals. We raise them all together, so that they all can grow strong for our people. I have spawn of my own, and they too have spawn, but it is...it is not like it would be if I was a Surfacer." Again, that attempt at a shrug. "Can you mate?" she asked him curiously. "Not all of your parts smell like a Surface-Man's."
  5. The teens got there in plenty of time for the show, even if they looked to be a little younger than the target audience. Judy joined them after a delay just long enough to be noticeable, looking surprised for a moment when she came across them in their seats. "Ah've never sat on the aisle seat before," she commented as she took her position there, occasionally turning to look backwards with the paranoia that must have come from both her difficult upbringing and life with her overprotective sister. "But Ah think everything is going to be okay now." She beamed. - At the second phone call, sometime later, Kendrick sounded a little abashed. "Hey, Mr. LaMarr, yeah, it's me. The girl went inside and everything...yeah, but before she got up and left, this guy stops by! Real funny-looking, like what's a guy in a suit doing walking into a place like this? He tried to get her to come with him, but she said she told him she was fine and to go away, and so he did. She didn't look scared, but it just...didn't look right. No, I don't think either of them were paying attention to me. Nobody notices the guy in the Arcade Mouse suit."
  6. "Dagon and Hydra teach us to turn our teeth outward against our enemies, and for the weak to make themselves strong. But if one has broken the law, he will flee," as I did, "or die." She made a gesture with her upper body that was as close as she could get to a shrug. "I could not understand your Blackstone when I was in it. Being locked in a cage was like a slow death; one fit only for the very worst." She tapped her armor, and said, "They are called the Spectrum Knights! They make war against the Star Knights, but tell many lies. They must have thought I would be their friend, because I have so many enemies here. They steal armor of the Star Knights and use it. They are very clever, but they are not friends." "The Spectrum Knights are an interstellar terrorist organization that arose after the Incursion," commented Vale. "We don't know much about their origin, but they seem to have begun as a group of dissident Star Knights who favored a galactic revolution." "That was how I went to the Sea of Stars! I came back with my friend Bliss. She lives in space!"
  7. "Oh hi Lulu OH-" Judy's eyes bugged wide and she clapped her hand over her mouth to silence a sudden scream, her heart racing in terror of the hideous abomination before her. It occurred to Ashley, standing behind them, that it would be perfectly in-character for Watchdog to draw her taser and stab the obvious Grue infiltrator in the back - but then staying in-character and being smart on an undercover operation weren't always the same thing. Unbidden, she thought for a second about her last session of Dungeons and Dragons with Judy and how this very subject had come up. "You should warn people before you do that," she said, her voice flat and toneless, before she stepped around Horrowshow's back to where Judy could see her. She made eyecontact, pushing down her sunglasses, a question. Judy waved her off, hand pressed to her chest. This tour was not going very well so far. "That's very exciting!" she said out loud, obviously doing her best to roll with it. If she was a beauty queen, she was a beauty queen trying to put a good spin on a fellow contestant whose talent show had been projectile vomiting.
  8. "Plays, huh? That sounds fun; Ah'm organizing a chapel quartet for our youth group, but we could always put plays on in there too, Ah guess..." At the door to the cafeteria, Judy paused, her hand on the metal doorhandle for just a second. She closed her eyes, took a breath, then smilingly led them all inside. A high school cafeteria was different than a college cafeteria, of course, but many of the students between classes were grabbing snacks from one of several snack bars or just and watching television. The cafeteria had a bigger television than any of the dorm rooms, and could fit more people into it. With a bright beauty queen smile on her face that didn't quite reach her eyes, she walked Davyd through the cafeteria, waving at friends and pointing out amenities, occasionally reaching up to fiddle with the gold cross around her neck.
  9. "Hmm. I have heard worse than that." She made a slow, deliberate smile, not too big so that she didn't look too terrifying. "Below, we learn that Atlantis is rich when we are poor, has full bellies when we are hungry, and is jealous of what we have. When they find temples to our gods, they pull them down and erect their own in their place. Some will kill us for their sport. There are some who are not bad." She considered telling Archeville the truth, that the stars were almost right and that one day the first would be last and the last would be first in the Great Jubilee, but she knew that truth usually unsettled Surfacers. "When the crisis came this year, I met an Aquaria who was an Atlantean! Oh, there are many strange turns in the Cosmic Coil, that poor thing." She shook her head, or rather, her whole upper body. "A Deep One superhero would be one of great power, yes?" she croaked softly. "What could one do?" she asked, curious about this being with his reputation for farsight. "To raise Lemuria would slay Surfacers and so bring them down upon us. To humble Atlantis would mean more war. To fight the false priests would fill the oceans with blood and bring down our enemies even so." She tapped her armor and said, "Do you like it? I found it in the Sea of Stars. It was the armor of a Star Knight, but it was changed by their enemies."
  10. "Yes, Surfacers worship many interesting things," croaked Aquaria politely, hopping along at Archeville's side and occasionally stepping as they went. She got little attention as they went; evidently the Sea Devil (especially with her face mostly covered) was a familiar enough figure inside Freedom Hall that she got no more than the occasional odd look. At the mention of Atlantis, she added, "Do you worship any Surface gods?" "Aquaria has worked with several visiting Atlanteans," said Vale gently. "It caused a few diplomatic incidents, but things have improved on that front too." "Yes, and only once did they try and strike me dead," Aquaria croaked, irritably. "What do you know of Atlantis, Archeville?"
  11. "Yes, she's Lady Liberty all right!" Judy laughed nervously. "We're all American here, except those of us who aren't from America like Leroy here." Outside the building, Judy took the lead, falling into the role of tour guide with practiced ease. Her accent put her home somewhere to Freedom City's south and west. "The cafeteria is very nahce," she said with a faint air of disinterest, "but Ah personally prefer the library." Her sister didn't seem inclined to say anything, just following one step behind the group, her eyes hidden behind sunglasses and her face behind a scowl. "They've got lots of new books, and they've got some old stuff too; even an Gutenberg Bible." Worried that she was starting to sound like a nerd, and definitely not wanting to talk about the cafeteria, Judy changed the subject. "So where are you from, Davyd?"
  12. "Yes, I can tell you about that," offered Aquaria as she landed alongside Archeville, keeping pace with him as they walked together out of the hallway and back into Freedom Hall proper. "I found my armor when I went into the Sea of Stars with my friend. I was supposed to use it to kill Atlantis, but my friend told me that was bad. So now I use it to do good, and I do not kill Atlantis." Her throat flexed contemplatively as she said, "My friend is Singularity, she is is like Wander, but she is from a different place. Have you ever been to other places?"
  13. "He is a good dog. His fur is the color of the dirt, but he is a good dog." Aquaria offered an unarmored hand to Mutt to sniff, careful to show him the back and not her three fingers. She knew that these animals could sometimes be mistrustful if they caught her scent. "He had no home, and now he lives with us in the tower. Dogs are friends." She thought about adding that they also tasted delicious, but she knew Surface-Men did not eat their animals and so she did not say anything. She wasn't going to make that mistake, no sir. "Not like dolphins," she added seriously. "You must never trust them."
  14. "I remember, in the realms Below, whole villages with nothing but the spawn and the very aged to feed them," croaked Aquaria rapidly. She had hoped for calm here, she knew how important it was, especially in this place full of mighty Surfacers. "And they sang of the champion who had taken the males and females to war, to build a world where all could eat their fill and where all could sing together. Those songs are gone now, and I am the only one who remembers." She looked away again, stowing her trident on her back, and began ascending the walls, sticky pads clinging as she went. She looked back at Archeville, clinging to the ceiling. "The hungry will follow a champion who promises them food. The faithful will follow a champion who has the blessings of the gods. I am sorry for what was done to you, Archeville - it was an abomination to take the blood of the gods and pour it into the flesh of a Surfacer, fouling both to no end but suffering, but I am the only one who sings for the dead Surface-Men and for the bones of our dead in your dry ground." "We took all the ones we could find," said Vale mildly, having watched the exchange between the two with interest, "and returned them to the sea, as you requested." "...yes," admitted Aquaria unhappily, looking away again. "That was kind." She scuttled around above them, then hopped back to the ground on all fours, all kinetic motion. "They call me apostate, because I chose life on the Surface over death, and because I found family here when all below had abandoned me because I thought there was a path to sacrifice that did not run through blood. If they would just listen to me, here and there both, things could be different. But they will not, and so I am the Sea Devil, who traveled on the Sea of Stars and returned to this place."
  15. Okay, sorry for the delay! Aquaria is going to go ahead and stab the squid leader. http://orokos.com/roll/718645 = 26! That's a DC 27 Toughness save. She'll then surge and do it again http://orokos.com/roll/718646 = 27! Another DC 27 Toughness save. I'll spend an HP to cancel the fatigue from the surge.
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