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Freedom City Guidebook

Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide



Everything posted by alderwitch

  1. Tori's eyes crossed a little as she tried to follow that explanation but a big smile blossomed on her face at having found another student. She offered him a calloused hand, though not from fighting, just from being gnawed on by animals and digging in the garden; hard work callouses that didn't go at all with the posh accent. "Oh, that's just fantastic. I don't know anyone else in our class. I mean, sophomore, right? Campus is dead empty right now. If I didn't have Tango and Mochi to talk to, I'd be going right bonkers. My friends call me Tori. S'short for Victoria but only my mum calls me that, and then only when she's really mad." She bounced on her toes a little in excitement. That excitement transferred to her pet quickly. Unfortunately, excited foxes tended to get a little noisy and Tori winced. "Oh, sorry, I can take him outside. Tango, hush. You'll get us in trouble," Tori chided gently before she looked up and offered, "I....fell into a thing and then sort of exploded our gardens. I mean, they're fine. Everyone's fine. It's just... gone a bit native now. Primordial, really. Mum was livid and she called a... family friend and so I'm here instead of there, now. Did you end up breaking things after all or did everything work out?" Someone was going to have to teach them a better code word than 'thing' in the near future.
  2. Tori had shifted forward to try and contain the fruit with her body before it ended up on the floor. Bringing one hand down, she cornered some of the berries on the counter top with a curved palm as Ryder asked about Claremont. She glanced up and offered a small, uncomfortable smile as she realized she was about to blurt out details of getting dropped off by Vanguard. It was cool, sure, but Tori knew there were things like secret identities and the true nature of the school that one didn't share with every cute smoothie clerk, no matter how nice they might be. "Oh, uh, yeah. Yes," Tori agreed, her green gaze dropping to watch Tango carefully pluck the berry that was offered gingerly with his mouth. "Don't hurt the robot, okay? Watch yourself." Tango whined softly at the reprimand. He had been careful! Plopping down onto his belly, Tango alternated between gumming the berry and snuffling at the bug. "He's just a baby. He's still kind of learning how to eat. They're weaning off of the bottle slowly," Tori appologized to Ryder's pet before she glanced up at Ryder. "I'm already on campus - its a boarding school, but its super empty." Glumly, Tori realized that she couldn't invite Ryder to check it out. Stupid secret identities clause.
  3. "You make robots?" Tori asked, instantly enthralled. She turned to confer with Tango before setting the fox kit down on the countertop to engage in sniffing with the bug-robot. She stepped closer, her hands easily down on either side of the kit as she provided both a physical barrier to crawl back to as well as emotional support. While Ryder's back was turned, her tattoos pulsed softly with light as she tapped her magic to communicate with her charge before switching back to verbal reassurance. "Hey, Tango, it's okay. Why don't you see if you can make a friend too. You know there's going to be a lot of new things when kids show up at Claremont in the fall. Not everything is going to be as familiar as the back of my closet and that's okay. New things are cool." She rubbed her fingertips over Tango's fuzzy skull as he made that weird 'hee-hee-hee' noise that foxes make at the robo-bug. "It is. Though his sister didn't want to be Whiskey. So I named her Mochi instead. She's a little more shy so she's at home. That is super neat. I'm not so much a maker. I'm more into biology, ecology, that sort of thing but I bet that's handy. It's SO much better if you can fix something than have to replace it. It creates so much waste."
  4. "Hullo!" Tori replied cheerfully. She reached up absently to touch one of the blue lines decorating her cheek, her smile bright. "Yeah, stand out a bit, don't they? It is. We just moved here to Freedom City. The jet lag was brutal but I think I'm finally back to sorts." Her accent was crisp and clear. Despite Tori's conscious effort to down play it, it probably made it clear that the move had been a long one. "Do you have anything you recommend? I-" She was cut off by the chattering from her companion as small black muzzle stuck its way through her curls to snuffle and chitter. "Dear Lord, Tango. We've talked about this. You can't just pipe up in a store out of no where... No, I told you there's no burgers. Honestly. I should have brought your sister. She's much better mannered in public. Sorry. He's just hungry. They're weaning off the milk, you see, and starting solids. I made the mistake of giving him some hamburger and now he's a bit of a junkie." The teenager reached up to pluck the fox cub from the back of her hood where he'd been riding and cradled him in her arms. It was a very young fox, still soot black with an infant's coat. "Do you think I could get him some berries? Almost any sort will do. I like your nails by the way. Did you do them? I've never been able to manage anything but a couple of fingers before there's paint everywhere. I'm hard on my hands so its not like they'd last but its pretty." Tori paused and then frowned. "Sorry, not every boy wants to be told they have pretty nails. They're handsome? Well, I like the colors, at least! And I mean that it the least gendered, most supportive manner possible." Tori finally paused to take a breath, realizing that she'd fired an awful lot of words at the other teenager without any sort of pause. She really had to find a way to spend more time to socialize with other humans, clearly. "Sorry. Thank you."
  5. June 2020 - Riverside Joining the Claremont campus at the start of the summer meant Tori had plenty of free time to get to know her new neighborhood. She was enjoying the mixed bag of reduced parental oversight. It had been a relief to her mother to find a private boarding school that was better suited to her eldest new 'talents'. Shipping a problem child off to an elite institution was perfectly within her idiom but where her mother had been horrified, assessment at Claremont had deemed her new abilities well within Tori's control. She wasn't a danger to herself or others so there was no reason to restrict her to the campus and exploring Freedom City certainly took the edge off any homesickness. And it wasn't as if Tori was alone. In addition to the pair of fox cubs that she'd brought with her, there was no end to the creatures that called Claremont's grounds home. Still, it was nice to talk to the occasional human, as well. Tori was certainly looking forward to when Claremont would fill up in the fall. When the silence got a little too overwhelming, Tori would scoop up her wallet and keys and catch the bus from the campus into the city proper which was exactly what she was doing this morning. Tori settled onto her bus seat, ignoring the looks from the older couple across the way. Tori assumed that they were eyeing the tattoos that covered her skin. The woad swirls were impossible to cover up entirely even if she wanted to. Of course, it could have been the furry animal nestled in the hood of her sweatshirt occasionally poking his black muzzle through her red curls to catch the myriad scents. Flipping through her phone, Tori directed her conversation to her companion. "Where should we go today, Tango? Riverside? How does Riverside sound? Oh, look, there's some little bistros there. This one is vegetarian," Tori chattered away cheerfully only to have Tango snort in her ear. The teenager rolled her eyes as she went to stand up. She reached up to make sure that she wouldn't lose her passenger. "You're an omnivore, you know. We really have to expand your diet. It's what your mum would be doing in the wild. Just because you like burgers doesn't mean we eat those all the time." Tori bounced out of the bus, tucking her phone back in her pocket as she wandered along the commercial stretch of the neighborhood. Eventually, her rambling lead her to a smoothie shop where she paused. "Oh, hey. What about a smoothie, Tango? I bet we can get you some berries if we ask politely." Tori commented absently over her shoulder before she went to push open the door.
  6. alderwitch Nighthawk (4 posts) Hero Prom (IC, open): 4 Posts Kid Celtic (1 post) Mistletoe and the Fallen Moon (IC): 1 Posts Janus Danger (1 post) Shadows of the Sapphire Moons IC: 1 Posts Star Child (2 posts) Swinging on a Star: 2 Post
  7. "Not anymore and it isn't the same, anyhow. This body experiences speeds differently. I want to go see space again with new eyes but not yet. There's so much here and it took me so very long to get here. I have time," Andromeda said simply and that was likely true. Whatever forces powered her seemed unlikely to constrain themselves to a mortal lifespan. Her hands fluttered before resting on the coaster bar as the ride started. She continued to look around, taking in the riders who started to put their hands up. Hesitantly, Andromeda copied them, although - much as Ace surmised - the mild forces of the roller coaster didn't seem to even jostle Andromeda in her seat. Quizzically, she put her hands down and turned to look at Ace as the ride slowed to a stop. "I think I did it wrong," she said simply as she could clearly grasp that the shrieks and whoops and hollering were full of a joy that she didn't entirely grasp. "Do I need to put my arms up higher? May we wait in line so that I can try again?" Roller coasters didn't have the same sort of thrill when one kept the g-forces playing on their body neutral automatically.
  8. Andromeda had no issue with any staring as she was watching the humans moving around her with the same rapt attention as they gave the floating alien. Every so often, she would forget to connect back with earth, as if her attempt at mimicking their gravity was forgotten in favor of wide-eyed wonder. She hummed her agreement softly as Ace expounded on the value of memory. It drew her attention from people watching back to his face for a moment to consider his words. "Yes! Exactly that. Memory. Human experience. The lens that you view the universe from is unique to you. That's exactly why I'm here. I have to be a 'me' to have that sort of experience. Stars burn and live and die but our lives are bound by the universe's constants. Gravity, mass, force... physics and mathematics but those are universal. Any star, comet, speck of space-rock exists for those constants and, generally, for those constants alone. It's an existence but it isn't life. I want to live!" Andromeda spoke with excitement, her hands gesturing widely and trailed faintly by light as if the star-heart within her vibrated with pure conviction. "You have an experience that is uniquely yours and that is such a miracle." Her enthusiasm drew a few more stares, although her words likely didn't exactly make sense to the random people in line on either side. When they reached the front of the line, Andromeda gave the ticket taker a warm smile. "I love your planet. It's very special." "Uh, thank you?" The teenager managed in response before giving Ace a slightly helpless look.
  9. Reflex save: 25 and Nighthawk has evasion x 2 so no damage.
  10. Immediately, Andromeda pointed towards the coaster whipping screaming boardwalk patrons around. "That. I want to try the one that makes people scream. They are scared but also not-scared. I don't understand it but I want to," Andromeda offered immediately with wide, interested eyes. Absently, she tested a bite of the churro as she watched the Centurion's track with rapt attention. That, briefly, drew her gaze back down to the new treat. "I like this too. I like the warmth. It's pleasant. How do you rank them? You said it was the best, but how is that known? Are their contests? Or is it more of a personal sampling? It seems like that would be a subjective statement."
  11. The muscles under Kam's fingertips were coiled and ready. "It isn't going to care about the actual reasoning or studies, or your words," Robin commented, the words dispassionate and her grey eyes ice cold as she watched the false Sun Dragon grow. She waved one hand towards Not!Danica instead, "Convince her to restrain her sibling. She has reason and sense and compassion. She might have humanity. When Archer was... ill, the Doom Room was a crucible. This thing will feed on your pain, and your rage and sorrow. All you can do is give it nothing to grow on." She lifted one shoulder in a tight shrug, "When you stop letting it hurt you and manipulate you, it loses the power and control. Archer hated that. This thing hated that. Just ignore it like the petulant creature that it is. We're not afraid of you, you know," she said finally to the Doom Room. "And we don't need you."
  12. Robin had gone stiff at Kam's side, her fists clenching until the metal of her arm creaked audibly. "No," Robin said firmly, the words harsh and immediate at the suggestion that Archer be brought to the Doom Room. While Robin intellectually understood that Archer had not been, exactly, himself during her time at Claremont, the idea of being at the mercy of the Doom Room, controlled by THAT program with Archer standing over them all... No. Absolutely not. She took a step forward, canting her body so that it presented a shield, her teeth bared at the false Sun Dragon in an almost feral snarl. This was a far cry from the usually composed hero but this particular simulation of the Doom Room had dredged up every horror that lurked in Robin's psyche and tossed at at her over her four years at Claremont. She could, perhaps, be forgiven for her reaction to the simulation that had flung her parents death in her face at more than one occasion. "You should have been erased. Expunged. Destroyed," Robin spat out, a hair's breath from flinging herself at the simulation. Honestly, if Robin thought she could tear the program apart with her bare hands, she would have already made the attempt. Her voice was tight, the words harsh and pulled from her reluctantly as she knew that these teens hadn't had that experience and while they needed to know what they faced, the topic was not an easy one. "Archer wasn't himself when he made... THAT. It's designed to grab things out of the worst parts of your memories. Make you face them over and over again. It's awful. It was awful. It hasn't probably been updated but chances are real good that it's able to glean enough from its 'sister' that it'll know how to hurt you where it counts."
  13. Robin's gaze was flat and implacable. She didn't bother to defend herself, which was a testament to how used to this sort of thing she was by now. Her chin lifted a fraction of an inch and her hands, both the flesh one and the prosthetic remained relaxed at her sides so as to not show sudden aggression that might further fan the flames. Micah was given a small, tight smile of appreciation - a gesture that softened a little for Kam. "It's alright," she said, although it wasn't really. Her grey eyes flicked to 'Danica', the movement assessing before she, too, turned her gaze towards the room briefly. "We're probably sharded," Robin offered thoughtfully, "If a bunch of students couldn't get into prom, there would be attention drawn, but the Doom Room can expand - some sort of dimensional tech that I never fully understood personally. Running that many different simultaneous simulations would have to be a strain, even for its programming." Her gaze cut back to the room's spokesperson, her voice surprisingly kind, "You should wind it down before anyone gets anymore hurt. I know that's not what you want, right?"
  14. alderwitch Nighthawk Hero Prom (IC, open): 7 Posts Janus Danger Shadows of the Sapphire Moons IC: 7 Posts Bombshell Strange Like Me (IC): 4 Posts
  15. "Hngh," Robin managed at the psychic pain. To her credit, despite the assault, she managed to winch open one eye and take in the changing room. "No good comes of this damn room," Robin muttered through gritted teeth as she shook her head to try and clear the fog of pain. She reached up, knotting her hair back with the tie that she'd kept around one wrist. It always paid to be prepared. The comment about blasting the wall, though got her attention. "No, don't!" Robin said. "You don't know what's behind it and - worse - it could reflect. If someone's controlling the Doom Room, it's designed to handle everything we can do. If it's just a hallucination, you could hurt someone. Everyone take a breath. This isn't an emergency, yet. It's just a situation to deal with. Start with what we know, and go from there."
  16. "Towards the bright light, I assume?" Janus said dryly. As no threats seemed to be directly approaching, Janus took a slow, careful look down each way before letting their sword and shield fade from their fingertips. Lacing their hands together, Janus bent a little at the waist, "Alright, Ronnie, you can probably climb this wall without the help but better safe than sorry. I'll pop you up and then onto my shoulders, alright?" "I'd rather get a look through a window before we go opening any strange doors, personally. Might give you some idea where we ended up."
  17. Orokos continues to show me zero love: 14 I really need to put some of Nighthawk's many unspent points into skills that she learned in Claremont.
  18. Location: A stately manor just outside Glastonbury, Somerset, England Date: May 5th, 2020 It wasn't unheard of for Vanguard to be tapped when one of England's children developed sudden meta-human abilities. It was slightly less common for the request to come directly from the current director of the Ministry of Powers. Of course, this particular manor had once been the country home of the Lady Amanda Phipps-Gordon, the late Lady Celtic. These days, her direct descendants called the manor home. Rather than a servant, the door was opened by Nadia Griffen, who looked to be near her wits end. "Oh, thank goodness you're here. She's in the gardens. She's always in the gardens now," Nadia said, without even a hello or the usual niceties. She seemed more the harried mother of a newborn rather than her usual elegant socialite self. "And if she's not in the gardens, then she's just brought it inside with her. I've had to send the staff on holiday after the mice in the pantry. Truly, we've never had even the slightest trouble with vermin before but if she can control it, she certainly doesn't seem to be of a mind to do so." Despite her agitation, the floors of the manor were hardly in ruin. There was perhaps more dirt tracked through than was socially acceptable but it was hardly a disaster zone. It was, however, clearly out of Nadia Griffen's control and she was not a woman used to things being out of her control. "Thomas has taken our son back to the city. He doesn't need to be unnerved by his sister. He's off to Eton in the Fall for the first time, you know. Honestly, we survived the vegan phase and the vegetarian phase and even the 'eat local' phase that she was just in but this... this is just too much." With that dramatic pronouncement, Nadia flung open the back doors to the stone patio overlooking what had once been manicured gardens and a well kept hedge maze. Now, however, trees and brush thrust up from the ground that seemed more appropriate to deep wilderness than a stately English garden. A young teenager stood at the edge, just in the grass where it was reclaiming the gravel. She was barefoot, her bare legs mud streaked and covered with blue markings. She was too young to have gotten tattooed but those blue marks swirled over her bare legs and her bare arms. Wild red corkscrew curls were tossed by the wind and the teenager shook her head impatiently to clear her vision. As a rabbit took a few hops towards her, those tattoos lit up like there was light just under the girl's skin. "Tori, stop playing in the mud, dear, and come say hello," Tori - Victoria Griffen dutifully turned, once she'd gathered the bunny into her arms to take in her mother and their guest. Her blue eyes widened with recognition and surprise. "Mother! You called in the Vanguard!?" Tori gasped, her words absolutely horrified. Her gaze shot to Synapse's face. "It's just a hedge maze. You have to have more important things to do. I'm so sorry."
  19. Notice Check: 10 Nighthawk is distracted
  20. "Let's," Janus agreed, nodding towards the dark doorway. "Shall I take point then?" Janus moved forward, their booted feet catlike and quiet on the stone floors. Janus always walked with a certain degree of elegance; that amount of training changed the way a person carried themselves permanently, but it was usually with more of a lazy grace. Janus was still light on their feet, but their movements were smooth and precise, the lethality that Janus kept masked and muffled at Claremont on full display. Janus wasn't afraid, but they were fully aware that dark mirrors did not often teleport their family typically for fun time and vacation. "I hope we're not in some time dilation. You know how Grandfather is, it'll be a week or two before he starts to worry as it stands. I'm not really eager to be spat out and have everyone we know a decade older. I've only just gotten used to the other students as it is."
  21. "It's alright," Talya said, the words kind in the face of teenage embarrassment. Her blue eyes twinkled as she stepped back from Davyd. Briefly, she glanced up to Erik and Eira as they returned to clock the emotions of that teenager before her attention shifted smoothly back. Her hands fluttered in elegant movements, unfastening the scarf from her bicep to fuss with it as she spoke, elaborating her points with quick precise movements of her hands. "Even for those of us who come into our powers later, sometimes instincts are a little hard to reign in fully. It's less about being perfectly in control and more about knowing what you need to adjust for. If you're going to have trouble keeping your form in hand, you might wear or manifest clothing that will help obfuscate your movements." She tucked the scarf away and produced a small wipe from somewhere up one sleeve. With a few quick movements, she wiped away the expertly applied makeup from her elegant features. It didn't make her less attractive but without the makeup, her features softened. The dark cat eye and the red line of her lips added years to Talya's features. With the Bombshell look, she looked in her mid-thirties, without it, Talya didn't look all that much older than high school students. "Or makeup, for example," she said simply as she tossed the makeup towel easily in the nearby trash. "I stopped aging when I was twenty-two and I'll never look a day older. Sometimes that's useful but not so much when one needs to be seen as an experienced adult." Her smile quirked then, still amused as she glanced to Erik, "Despite appearances. I'm older than the husband. So I adjust, I adapt. I suspect you're very good at that, Davyd. You just need to find a way to make those skills work within the parameters of the situation." "Now," Talya said. "Shall we try it again? Erik, I think that Benny might need a bit of your help over here, please. Eira and Pan, continue to work together. Kam, Leroy, why don't you two switch roles, hm?"
  22. Robin had tensed, watching the exchange of teenagers that she didn't know and felt even less in common with. That, at least, was familiar. The smile she gave Kam was just as strained as his. Despite that, she gave his shoulder a gentle pat of commiseration. "The only thing that I think anyone has in common is everyone feels a little uncomfortable at these events, sometimes more excited than uncomfortable but always a little on edge," Robin offered her opinion before she finally pulled her attention away from the drama in the room to smile up at at her date. Humor was back in her grey eyes as her lips quirked. "Claremont generally does tend to teach you more how to be comfortable in a super hero fight than a normal teenage situation. We were never going to be normal, I guess. I know I wasn't. What about you, Kam? Did you ever want to just be a normal kid?"
  23. Janus grunted slightly as the world twisted, turning with blade in hand in one elegant movement to take in their new surroundings. "Never been a fan of portal mirrors. Don't imagine we can easily pop back in the way we came, no?" Raising their hand to breastbone height again, Janus pulled on the magic that was their birthright and a glimmering pink buckler formed over their free hand. Spinning slowly, Janus crossed one booted foot over the other to turn and take in a full three-sixty degrees. "Well, it's not Fortuna. I'm used to what home feels like and I'm used to Prime, past that, I haven't a clue as to where we are. What direction are we going in? Any ideas?" Other than slightly elevated concern, Janus took the events in stride. It was unlikely that a Danger-child made it through their first decade without falling through at least one magic portal or another.
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