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Avenger Assembled

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  1. Let me know if you'd like to see Fast-Forward or Hologram guest-star in the thread, Cubismo - as far as I know, @Electra and I are the only ones with PCs active in Freedom's 1980s! And don't forget @Gizmo's Wail, if you want an actual superhero in it.
  2. Judy hugged Leroy from the side, the heat of his body something she was acutely conscious of when she looked right at him - just as she was aware of Ashley's nearby presence. She'd been the one who suggested a chaperone for their date; after all, that was just good sense. She was wearing sturdy jeans and a denim jacket over a loose flowery top, the boots on her feet obviously worn and used but still in good condition. "Ah don't know how people in Freedom do it either," she confessed with a nervous little laugh. "Ah mean, Ah'm used to it by now, but between you and Ashley Ah know Ah'm safe out here." She looked up at the sky and admitted, "Ah don't think Ah could ever feel safe in this city, not all the way, not knowing the kinds of things that happen around here." She considered that for a moment, then said, "Let's do something where Ah can sit down," she said, "Ah haven't gone walking like this in forever."
  3. Judy took Leroy's hand as they went, taking comfort from his near-presence, and from the way Ashley was staying close too. "Ah don't see why people want to sneak around in the library," she commented. "Rules are there for a reason," she said with the assurance of one with reason to know. "His dragon's a real nice guy," she told Davyd. "You'll like him." Ashley was in a bind; she felt bad for the teenage shapeshifter who obviously had some serious issues controlling his powers, but Watchdog wasn't supposed to be the sort of person who had a lot of empathy for the misfortune of others; especially not somebody who might be a Grue. She settled for giving the Ukranian teen a glare from over her sunglasses and hung back, letting her much more empathic charge (and the others) handle Davyd.
  4. 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.
  5. 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."
  6. "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."
  7. "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."
  8. 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. 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. He...sonofa-" There was a moment's pause, and then. "Guy came back and he went right into the theater! There's no reason some grown man in a suit without any kids would be going to see Wonder Park."
  9. "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!"
  10. "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.
  11. "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.
  12. "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."
  13. "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?"
  14. "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?"
  15. "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?"
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