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alderwitch

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Freedom City Guidebook

Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide

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  1. "I sort of annihilated my mother's hedge maze. My magic manifests as a connection to the earth; plants and animals mainly," Tori told Utsuwa cheerfully. Her grin widened at Ryder and she headed over to the window, stepping over Magenta and Tango's antics with ease. Mochi leaned forward huffing and scenting the hesitant bug before she curled up on her side to look a little less intimidating. She started chuckling at the yellow robug in what seemed to be encouragement. Tori, for her part, was leaning out the window to peer down at the side of the building. "That's why you have to be a little bit creative. 'Sides, we're supposed to get a better handle on our powers, right?" That did not include making ladders between the rooms but that didn't seem to stop Tori even a little. "And down to the ground, obviously, just in case flying is a no-go." She wiggled her fingers once and the tattoos on her skin lit up with a much brighter inner light than the flickers that appeared when she was just chatting with the animals. Gesturing slightly, Tori murmured something low, melodic gaelic and coaxed the rather cheerful ivy that clung to the side of the building in places to turn into a much thicker weft over the brick. "How's that, Ryder? There's handholds in it but they're a bit better hidden."
  2. "Oh, I dunno if mine really count as tattoos since they just appeared when my powers did," Tori glanced down at the blue swirls decorating her hands and arms. Since she was in shorts and a tank top, it was easy to tell that they ran all the way up to the line of her clothing and probably continued. Honestly, they even ran under her hair. She'd halfway been considering an undercut on one side. Might as well embrace it if you couldn't change it after all. "But nothing nifty ever pops out of them or anything. They're just the way my body manifests the the power. Mine's a family thing too. My code name is Kid Celtic - 'cuz I got it from my great grandma, Lady Celtic." A fact that Utsuwa was probably having screamed in his ears. Tori wiggled her fingers before letting her hands drop to her sides. She offered a bright grin and then crouched down towards where the yellow bug was hovering. "You can go play with Mochi if you want. She's calmer than Tango. Tango, settle down, yeah? Not everyone has your energy and enthusiasm." She glanced up at her roommate with an undiminished smile, "Either that or cuz I promised to show Ryder what a hedge maze looks like when we could use our powers without getting scolded."
  3. One of the doors down the hall banged open and Tori burst out, chasing pel mel after a small fox. "Give that back, Tango. That's MY breakfast." The fox darted between the legs of the ladies gathered about on the floor. For a moment, it seemed like Tori might just crash into the knot of girls but her tattoos flashed as behind her flared the ghostly animus of a fox. The redhead was suddenly much more quick and nimble as she slid through the other teenagers and scooped up the misbehaving fox in her arms. "Give it. Giiiiiive, Tango. It's not going to be good on your tummy, you idiot." Sitting on the floor, the keening fox kit in her arms, Tori was very disheveled and wearing loose comfy shorts and a tanktop. It was not move in clothes as she'd been here all summer. She had her legs akimbo and the fox tucked under one arm as she tried to wrestle her blueberry bagel back from his determined jaws. It was at that point that Tori realized the move in crowd was all filling the halls. "Oh. Uh. Hello."
  4. Mochi and Tango woke up the rest of the way, leaping down from the bed to bounce excitedly around Magenta and started squeaking and laughing with the weird happy fox noises. "Aw, Tango told Mochi all about Magenta when we got home. She says hello." Tori translated. Her tattoos briefly flickered with an inner glow when she tapped her magic to understand the fox's chattering before she turned back to the humans. Mochi was a little more shy than her brother, crouching down and snuffling at Magenta while Tango bounced happily with clear invitation to play. "Hi, Utsuwa! Come on in. Make yourself comfortable." Tori went to sit on her bed as well, leaving their desk chairs for the two boys. It was very clear who's side was who's as Tori's bedding was all bright colors and her walls were splashed with posters that seemed a relatively even mix between obscure anime shows and 'save the planet' posters that one gets for making donations to wildlife funds. There were a fair number of plants spread over her desk and shelves and her closet had been converted so the bottom half was clearly the bedding area for the foxes. Thankfully, she didn't have any other foundling animals inside... for now. "Killer robot gorilla is pretty neat! Ryder's suits are super bad-ass." Her bright gaze turned up to Utsuwa's taciturn features expectantly, "Magic swords or normal swords or both?"
  5. "Is it Ryder?!" Tori had been quiet, for once, but mostly because she had been dealing with the plants and her two half grown foxes had been both blessedly asleep once. She bounced up from her bed, waking the foxes snuggled there and the bird that had been perched on a window sill. Living with Tori was like living with an especially tatty Disney Princess. The fox pair woke up and started making their weird keening noises and Tori absently patted both Mochi and Tango before she bounced to her bare feet on the floor. Like Natalia, she was dressed in lounge wear, which in her case was a pair of ripped denim shorts and a loose tank top. Her corkscrew curls were a tangled mop loosely knotted on the crown of her head. "I haven't seen Ryder since the summer. I mean a little with moving in but, you know - it's been right busy." It was Tori who flung the door open next with a wide smile and bright enthusiasm. "Ryder! And a friend. Hello, Ryder's friend. D'you wanna come in? It's okay if they come in right, Natalia?" The question was perfunctory at best as Tori was already flinging the door wide to invite the two boys inside.
  6. "When you come to school, I can show you what it looks like!" Tori offered with unbridled enthusiasm, "I'm much better now at getting the plants to do what I ask rather than just taking it as open invitation to go all 'reclaim the earth'. That is one of the AWESOME things about school. You get to practice without people freaking out." Tori paused for a long moment, tipping her head to the side before she amended, "Well, most of the time, at least." She glanced around the room, as if deciding to suddenly be a bit more discrete than loud enthusiasm over the ability to move plants. "So, uhm, is it fire that's your 'thing' or ...?"
  7. "Well, it's not the BEST, but, I mean, I was at a boarding school before so it's not really different. New country, though, for sure," Tori shrugged, a little uncomfortable but she probably didn't look exactly okay. It was pretty sucky. She fidgeted a bit before lowering her voice and whispering, "More like I turned our hedge maze back into a chunk of forest and it won't let them manicure it back into the grounds. I mean, there's something of a metaphor there, if you think about it. It's okay, though. I have Tango and I have Mochi and there's lots of little critters always coming around to poke their heads in. There's a possum family under the eaves that I sneak a little bit of food too after I go to the dining hall. I mean, it's real nice to talk to people for a change. Are you looking forward to starting or nervous? Both?"
  8. Name: Victoria 'Tori' Griffen Codename: Kid Celtic Year: Sophomore Pronouns: she/her Prospective Roommate: Nocturne Goal: Saving the Planet and making some friends along the way First Impression: Vapor Ware Hippie Disaster Bisexual
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. "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."
  12. "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."
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. "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.
  16. 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.
  17. Reflex save: 25 and Nighthawk has evasion x 2 so no damage.
  18. 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."
  19. 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."
  20. 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."
  21. 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?"
  22. 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
  23. "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."
  24. "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."
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