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Avenger Assembled

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Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide

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  1. Fall 2022 Neko brought a swirl of leaves with her when she entered the bookstore, red and gold that matched the apparent color of her hair. Dressed in a second-hand sweater that hung loose and long on her small frame over baggy jeans, her shoes scraped lightly against the floormat as she walked inside and wrinkled her nose. The place certainly smelled like it might have what she wanted; and of old books, too. Running her hands through her hair, she walked inside, wrapped in an ever-present swirl of magic that made her look like any other Asian teen out on the town. She looked around briefly, smiled at the clerk behind the desk, then immediately disappeared into the stacks. She kept her eyes out, looking for sections helpfully labeled "Oriental" or "Asian" or "Japanese", knowing they might be her best bet. There were sections about the Second World War, of course, but she didn't want to look at those unless she had to.
  2. Owain blinked and gave the giant girl a measuring look. He didn't recognize the accent but that meant very little. "Yes! Yes, of course, a leader should eat as well as the lowest among her vassals, else what sort of leader are they?" he said agreeably, pouring Maddie the watermelon lemonade. "From what realm do you hail?" he asked her cordially. "I myself am from the realm of my lord Arthur, which many here dub Camelot."
  3. "Okay. Okay." The Patriot rubbed her hand against her jaw, then said, "This is going to sound like bullshit but you have to bear with me. There are - there are werewolves on the Moon." She broke off in a desperate little laugh, then said, "I know how that sounds, but believe me, this is completely real. They're Farsiders, the psionic colony that lives up there, you learned about that at Claremont, right?" she asked desperately. "Well, some of them were affected a few years ago by an alien artifact," Don't tell her it's called the Moonstone she will for sure think you're nuts and you don't have time for that right now "which...well it turned them into werewolves. They had their sanity restored and the artifact was taken to Earth, but the transformation stuck. Most of them live happily enough up there, but a few of them liked the idea of turning into some kind of furry...gospel, thing, and they really liked it after that werewolf attack in Freedom last Halloween." She looked at Carmen, hoping the girl didn't think she was nuts. "It sounds like they hacked into the teleporter downstairs and infiltrated the base here to get the - the thing, and when they didn't find it, they decided to take hostages." She looked up there and said, "But they really don't know what they're doing keeping Daisy hostage along with regular people. If we don't get up there soon, people are going to die even if they don't try to hurt the hostages."
  4. "Easy there, kiddo," said Richard, taking the big young man's hand in his own. At sixty, a father several times over, he was struck by how young Mike was. Lying through his teeth. Bullet's real, though. He didn't know who had shot the kid but he could take a guess from the first name that had come to his mind. He thought suddenly of Lizzie, playing in the summer sun with her brother, and looking at Paige and realizing they wanted a daughter. Goddamit. "You stay here, you keep the door locked. I'm going to find your sister, all right?" And that was what he did, though not without conducting another super-fast search of the headquarters before bolting out onto the street. The Emeralds were a big place but Fast-Forward could run and that was exactly what he did. He had a feeling he wouldn't have t go far.
  5. All righty! I'll use Skill Mastery on the Sense Motive and hit that 20. He'll do 20 on the Medicine as well if he can.
  6. Can I take 10 or 20 on the Medicine checks, or is that no good? Same with the Wisdom/Sense Motive.
  7. "I'm, uh, Bert Miller," said the anxious cyborg. "The Bert is short for Albert, if there are two of them. Nice to meet you, Carmen," he said with a smile that showed a few steel-colored teeth. "I, uh, ain't never been to a normal school. This must be weird!" At that moment a thought came to Leon - one that wasn't his own. Holly's voice sounded in his head as she thought BERT IS REALLY SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT HIS POWERS. HE WAS INFECTED BY NANITES DURING THE INCURSION. A LOT OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF NICHOLSON AND CLAREMONT HATED HIM FOR IT. She had a - kind voice, was the right way to put it, sounding more like a mom than a girl who couldn't have been that much older than he was. "I love your origami," she told Leon, in a normal voice. "My little brother is really into that right now, and we're trying to encourage him. It's healthier," she added cryptically. "Maybe you could come over some time and show him....?" she hazarded. Neko smiled at the pretty American girl with her teeth and said "We could all go to your house."
  8. It was hard to see much of what was going on in the Patriot's sanctum; most of the metal walled rooms Carmen could see were still locked. Only one room's metal doors stood open, a strange sight that looked more like a transporter room from Star Trek than anything she'd seen in Freedom City. The room was metal-walled too, with shiny reflections that showed Carmen her own feline face, and it smelled distinctly of wolf. It wasn't hard for her to guess where the wolf, and in fact several more wolves, had come in. Come to think of it, this did look like Star Trek - the whole place looked rather more high-tech than Carmen would have expected a government agent to have; looking more like pictures she'd seen of alien spacecraft than a US government installation. By the time she arrived back at the entrance, she was confronted by a grim-faced Patriot who was herself listening to audio playback from her wrist communicator. A growling, canine voice was saying: "If you want the ghoul back, you'll give us the Stone! You have ten minutes!" "You don't know what you're doing," Ashley said urgently into her communicator, "you need to let her-" There was a click, and silence, and she cursed.
  9. Owain looked up at the giant girl, briefly alarmed, but when she was interested in a purchase he smiled. "Well-met, fair giantess!" He pointed around the table, where a large pitcher of lemonade stood by a selection of red Solo cups and various small containers. "The drink is the juice of the lemon mixed with the freshest of water and powdered sugar, and the little cups allow for...ah yes, customization! You mightst have, ah, strawberry, watermelon...well, if you can read the English of this place, I am sure thee can see our offerings."
  10. Neko returned the godling's smile with a look that was no less playfully predatory for all that her incisors were just barely larger than the human norm. She wasn't a great lioness of the veldt but she was no toothless kitten either. Of course, she thought, even kittens can have sharp teeth. "I looked up there," she said, pointing to the ceiling, "and she was in a room, talking into a camera." She patted her hovering little camera-bug and added, "It was very - big? Not one of the little - boxes." She demonstrated, holding her hands out in front of her in a square shape. "I can find her again," she added doubtfully, "but she could see this time." A quick check of the hotel's floor plan revealed it had several suites on its uppermost floor, a quick elevator (or otherwise) trip away for the godlings and the feline, who from her twitching tail was enjoying this chase very much. She kept up a running commentary for her camera as they went, yellow eyes shining with nascent excitement.
  11. Bear-Claw was confronted by his own form emerging from the fiery visions all around him, twisted and screaming in agony as flames burned his flesh and scorched his eyes, as a deep feminine contralto screamed in his ear. YOU SEE!? YOUR HELL AWAITS YOU FOOL! Owain went for the bite, down hard, and hobbled away, out of immediate melee range of Bear-Claw where the big man wouldn't be able to spot him - and hit him, unless he shook off Neko's illusions. Which didn't seem likely. Those watching could see Neko behind Bear-Claw, teeth set in a snarl, her movements mimicking the illusory Bear-Claw as said Bear-Claw began screaming in mortal agony about how the cats tormented and violated his flesh at every turn in increasingly unwholesome ways with their terrible fiery whips.
  12. "Ah, jeez," said Richard. He took a moment to case the room, though subjectively it was more like several minutes, before he dropped down to the wounded young man's side. Hell. This space is probably too narrow for Spica, and if I move him outside without checking him I could break something vital - especially if whoever did this to him is still there. "Hey boyo, it's your Uncle Dick," he said, kneeling down next to the wounded young man. "I'm going to get you out of here. Who did this to you?" As they talked, he tried to get the younger man out of his costume, the better to check him for actual injuries.
  13. Neko shifted in her seat, tail twitching, and glanced down at chat. "They say you are...'holding out on me'? Ah, I know this! What did you do when you were a child?"
  14. Bert cringed briefly. "Are - are you sure?" When Carmen was, he relaxed a little. "Hi, I'm Bert." He stuck out his hand for a shake, his grip firm, his skin mottled with silvery patches that were cold to the touch. He distinctly even smelled of tech, and medicine, up close. "Oh, uh- hi Holly!" he called out to Holly, his loud voice sounding like a combination of electronic and natural. He headed over there and joined the group, waving a hello with his metal-mottled hand, shifting nervously as he looked at the others, seeming to expect some kind of fearful reaction.
  15. Neko gave Carmen a look, tail twitching behind her, but smiled carefully. She knew the girl wasn't so bad, and there was no reason to let their dual natures make them enemies. Even if she makes the hair go up on the back of my neck... Really, she was much more interested in Leon, who got a real smile from her as she got Owain to take her place behind. "Leon! Get your own money," she said playfully, coming up next to him with her hands folded in front of her. Owain sold Luke the lemonade with a ready smile, his hand touching the other boy's for just a moment as they swapped coins. "Hi, I'm Holly Cline, but you can call me Mastermind. And you're Leon." For her part, Holly was impressed, both by Leon's trick and - even more so - by Cat-Sith's. "OMG! That is so cool!" she told Simon, having filmed the whole thing on her phone. "You should go on Tiktok too, you would get epic hits. Shapeshifting is so awesome, that's the one thing nobody in my family can do." At that moment, a puffy cloud of pink butterflies formed nearby, took a humanoid shape - and promptly transformed itself into a slight, slim figure with pointed ears and bright pink hair cut short. "What ho! Holly, who are these fine specimens?" Holly quickly introduced Gwen, whose pronouns were they/them, a traveler and mystic from the realms of the fae. Gwen beamed at the phrase, then admitted, "My mother was, I am a Butterfly in the garden of such magic." Their eyes set on Luke and they declared, "Is that a dragon in manflesh? I have one of your kind in my service. How wonderful! Why did we not hang out with them before?" "Gwen's dad is a cop," Holly confided to Simon as Gwen sauntered over to eye Luke, "but they're okay. My dad once got into it with their dad over pot, though, sooo embarrassing. They've been a little extra since the last time they really went at it with their dad." At that moment, a big, muscular young man with a teenager's goatee visible under his hoodie bumped into Carmen. "Oh jeez, sorry!" He pulled up his hoodie, revealing a darkly complected face marred by what looked like a cybernetic enhancement across his left cheek, one mostly obscured by a big, heavy set of sunglasses. "I can't see well yet! Sorry!" He sounded mortified. "Hey Bert it's okay!" called Holly. "Come over here!"
  16. "I am not wise to the ways of women," admitted Owain, who come to think of it Leon had never seen so much as look at a girl. "But I can tell the look in Neko's eye when no one else casts their gaze her way. If you have no intentions, she has them for you." He sighed. "Perhaps I have said too much. It can be difficult to swim in the waters of three worlds at once."
  17. "Aren't you Simon?" asked the rainbow-haired girl, a smile on her face as her hovering phone circled back around to her pink-nailed hand. "Hi, I'm Holly Cline, but people here call me Mastermind. I didn't know you knew Neko and Owain. I love your hair!" "Holly has been most generous in her support for our business," said Owain significantly, pointing to the large thermos the girl wore at her hip. "How do you fare, Simon? Is all well with your foster parents?" For her part, Neko was counting the money, her sharp nails clacking against the change, occasionally swiping somebody's credit card through a reader attached to her phone.
  18. "Hm," said the Patriot, once she'd checked that the werewolf was down and out. Once that was done, she carefully bound the man, tying his wrists together first with zip-ties, then powerful-looking handcuffs that glittered with barely-suppressed internal energies. "Would have liked to interrogate him, but better he's down than we're hurt." She took a cylinder of metal off her belt, held it to her lips, and said "Flower Girl! Flower Girl, come in! Damn it..." She looked around the level they'd entered, its walls a gunmetal grey rather different from the institutional interiors of wood and plaster they'd left upstairs, and said in a cool, professional voice that belied the tension she was actually feeling: "Going to keep trying to raise Daisy on the comms. Scout around down here and see if there are any more of these bastards, but don't engage - come back here."
  19. Having secured his room already, Owain was safely in position next to a booth constructed of scrap wood and plasterboard. "Lemonade!" he called. "Get thy lemonade at the cost of a mere fifty cents! We also offer various confections such as candy, chips, and various treats from distant lands!" Behind the counter, a smiling Neko was counting the money and handing out the treats; mostly from a service Raina had found for them at only a small finder's fee. Though most of her fellow students didn't talk much about money, she'd found it was easy enough to turn a profit in the superhero business. "Hey!" said a rainbow-haired girl who seemed to sparkle as she approached Neko. "It's Catgirl Reacts! OMG, my little brother loves your show! Can I get a selfie?" Beaming, Neko gave the girl just that, posing as the hovering phone floated up in front of them. Holly Cline was one of the 'popular' girls, a psychic from a famous hero family, and her support could only make things better for them.
  20. That hits well! And he is knocked out, go ahead and post
  21. The wolfman growled and swiped at the retreating catgirl, only to have his blow intercepted by the solid presence of the Patriot herself. Ashley caught the blow against her armored sleeve, turning so the claws skidded along the tough cloth, and spat directly in the werewolf's face. Then she came up with her left-hand gun and shot the wolfman in the face, twice, producing an agonized howl of pain that made the creature stagger back against the wall. Bringing both her guns up, the Patriot took aim. "Stand down! Final warning!" she barked.
  22. Yes, I'm afraid so! Okay, with two bruises on him, guy goes for Patriot again: https://orokos.com/roll/954269 11! Okay, this time she's going to Intimidate him. 25 He resists - but fails - https://orokos.com/roll/954271 Time to see what we can do here. +5PA with pistols https://orokos.com/roll/954272 21! And rolled an 18, so that's an improved crit. 10+5 (PA)+5(Crit)+2 Sneak Attack 22+15=a Tou save of 37! https://orokos.com/roll/954273 actually a very good roll, so he is bruised x3 and staggered - but he might not be able to keep this up for much longer
  23. The wolfman bled with an animalistic cry, the hot smell of animal-human blood filling La Puma's nostrils in the aftermath of her palpable swipe. Despite having cut him deeply enough to bleed on the metal floor beneath their feet, he seemed more focused on her mentor, though - or maybe it was just that the Patriot unhesitatingly put herself between the wolfman's huge claws and her protege. The claws swung high over her head as she dropped to one knee, dual-wielding her pistols as she fired a volley of brightly glowing red and blue laser blasts directly into the creature's midsection. The wolf was wounded now, bleeding and burned, but clearly still in the fight.
  24. In private, Owain put his hand on Leon's shoulder, then seemed to reconsider it, then did it again, then said: "I will say it plainly, friend. Neko lacks father or brother in this place and time, and our hosts the Espadases are - not inclined to play the role that a head of household must. So I must ask - what are your intentions towards her?" He spoke - well, not with hostility, but with what seemed to be a deep, brotherly concern there in the relative privacy of a mostly abandoned pool house.
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