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Electra

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About Electra

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    Team Mom
  • Birthday 04/19/1982

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  1. "What's a wendigo?" Jessie asked. She was staying well back from the main action, hugging a wall and watching everybody carefully. "I dunno, whatsa' wendigo with you?" Goggles muttered absently, now up to her wrists in the robot Wander. "Okay, I think that'll patch the leak, that's a good start. No idea what it is though, some kind of coolant? You got any antifreeze laying around?" "It's a magic-adjacent creature kind of like a werewolf," Hell-Queen Erin explained dryly. "So basically very much like any of the rest of us except that if she becomes really angry, she's even more violent and deadly than usual." "Oh," Jessie said faintly, looking as though she were trying to press herself through the wall by osmosis. "That's completely oversimplifyin'-" Cowboy Hat began, then subsided at Hell-Queen's raised eyebrow, "but probably good enough for now. I've got it under control most of the time, ain't killed anybody since my first year at Claremont. We've got bigger fish to fry here." "She's right," Megan said, making her way through the crowd with the ripple of strange tension that always marked her passage amongst the gathered Erins. None of them ever seemed to know what to say, which would've been almost comical if it weren't so tragic. "We all need to work together, no matter what difference there are in the worlds we come from. Losing my sister once was enough," she entreated the group at large, "I don't want to see any more of you die!" The silence in the room was total and deeply uncomfortable. Finally Erin cleared her throat and looked back to the work table. "Right, yeah. Working together. Is she gonna be all right?" The robot on the table opened her eyes, twisting her neck a little in a move that looked like it hurt. "Functional," she reported in a wheezy voice. "Could be worse."
  2. The fact that Erin was able to pick up her leaking robot doppelganger without a qualm was merely testament to what kind of night it had been already. The robot Wander seemed to be edging on some kind of failsafe or powersave mode, reciting strings of code under her breath or trying to tell Erin about the Deep One version of themself that she'd been trying to track down. "Yeah," Erin assured her, "that one's come in too, there's all sorts of people here. Don't talk anymore, it's making you leak faster." Jessie had scampered ahead to hold open the clock, then followed them down the stairs to the workshop. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there weren't a lot of Wanders answering the call for technical support, but one Erin did show up wearing circuit-patterned gloves and a pair of goggles that obviously had a built-in HUD, as did Midnight-Wander. "Ouch," Goggles commented as Erin laid the robot on the worktable. She glanced around at the others. "So I'm guessing the nexus might not be as free of heart-destroying dimensional abominations as we might have hoped." "Still strength in numbers," Midnight-Wander pointed out brusquely. "We need to get her operational again so she can tell us if she saw anything. Can you do it?" Goggles blinked, her eyes big behind the glasses. "I dunno," she admitted. "But I can probably do something. Tech isn't actually my specialty, it's just that this universe is so backwards, no offense, that anybody could be a hacker." She pulled a kit of tiny but sophisticated tools from a secondary holster next to her bat and unrolled them. "First thing's probably to stop the leaking."
  3. "No!" Raina shrieked, pulling away from her parents as she struggled not to retch at the feeling of power washing through her. So much spilled blood, so much more than she'd ever imagined trying to work with, and some of it belonging to somebody who was nearly a friend. Somebody who was now in serious danger of bleeding to death in the middle of the ritual circle. Without a thought, she catapulted through the air to land in the middle of the circle near where the portal had so recently been, one that was still humming with magic and power. "No, no, no, no. It is not happening like this!" She leaned down over Robin, looked at Fred, and then raked her perfectly manicured fingernails down her own arm, raising three tiny furrows of dotting blood. "Now maybe I'm just thinking that the rooms are all on fire," she sang softly, almost spitefully, "every time you walk in the room. But there is magic all around us, if I do say so myself, I have known this much longer than I've known you..." The circle flared, and from outside it looked as though a pillar of fire were rising up from the ground to obscure everyone inside it. Raina screamed once, though it sounded more angry than afraid or in pain, and after about five seconds it began to fade away again. Robin and Fred, trapped in the circle with Raina, could both feel a burn that simultaneously hot and soothing over their various wounds, stopping the bleeding and easing the pain. The room seemed much darker when the fire died away, leaving afterimages and ruined night vision all around. In the aftermath, Raina stood in the center of her circle, defiant, unscratched, and completely covered in fine black soot. Her eyebrows and bangs were totally burnt away, giving her a startled expression even as she glowered.
  4. The Midnight Erin nodded at Trevor, angling her body so she could look at him from the corner of her eye rather than head-on. "About half of the Erins who've arrived live in the Manor on their worlds. Some of them have gone to collect bedding so we can set up a barracks in the trophy room, maybe one of the garages if people keep arriving. Maybe Mark can whip up some cots. Under control, do what you need to." She turned away and raised a hand to run it through her hair, stopping when she remembered it was covered, then headed back to the wall of security feeds. Across the room, Erin made the same gesture but managed to complete it, disordering her auburn hair with agitated fingers. "Right, yeah. We should get some kind of plan in order here, and somebody really should get Jessie out of jail." She looked to Mark. "You've probably got the best legal contacts, can you find somebody at Project Freedom or the Freedom League and tell them what's going on? We can send somebody over to pick Jessie up and get her back here, but nobody should be traveling alone if something's gunning for us." "We should mount a watch," the Erin in blue and white suggested. "The surveillance here is not bad for a private residence, but nothing beats the personal touch. And lay in some food supplies. Do you have Big Star Pizza in this world?" she asked hopefully. "God, I miss real Freedom City pizza."
  5. "Clara, be polite," said the Wander with the flag on her arm, even as she reached down to scoop up the little girl. This Erin watched Mark with wary impassivity, an expression more carefully schooled than what he was used to seeing on Erin's face. "Remember that this isn't our home, and the people here aren't the same as the ones you know, even if they look familiar." Clara's little face (it was hard to tell her age, but she didn't look more than four or five) screwed up as she thought about that, then smoothed into a polite little pout. "No thank you, Daddy," she tried again, "but can I have a unicorn with rainbow hair instead?" From next to them, Megan muffled a snicker. The brief moment of byplay was enough to let Erin finish staring and recover her equilibrium. She knew Megan had caught her staring, but the younger heroine seemed resigned to it by now. Erin was hardly the only one in the room doing so. Before she could say anything, though, another pair of Wanders joined the group, one a dead-ringer doppelganger except for the blue streaked hair, the other sporting a spiky auburn cap and a uniform that seemed to be about 85% pockets. Pocket-Wander grinned at Erin. "Hey, long time no see! I'm Wonder," she added helpfully. "We were Disco Freedom last time you dropped in on us, but we're over that now. Remember? You helped us beat Breakdown so hard he pissed himself?" Erin nodded, she did indeed remember that. "Anyway, me and my kind-of evil doppelganger are both here. Wander here and I stashed her in your holding cell, hope that's okay?" "Ah, yeah, that's fine." Erin said, trying to make her voice strong enough to at least be audible. "Do we know if there are any other evil or evilish Wanders running around?" "I saw a Deep One Wander about ninety minutes ago," Blue Streaks volunteered, "but I couldn't catch up to her. She seemed kinda pissed. And I guess your Jessie's still in prison, or in prison again?" "Who's Jessie?" asked Cowboy Hat. On the other side of the room, Midnight Erin stared at Trevor for another few moments, then blew out a long breath. "Yeah, I hope so. It's what Travis said too." She rested her hand on the edge of the console, pressing down with her fingertips in the deliberate way Erin had of controlling her strength when she'd rather be crushing or punching or smashing some hapless inanimate object. "Feels strange to be here like this," she admitted. "Haven't seen other people in the house for awhile."
  6. "This is it," Erin murmured to Trevor, staring around at the crowd of herself. "I always figured one day I'd just crack under the pressure, but this isn't really how I saw it going down." Her grip on his arm was implacable as stone, just shy of painful. Most of the other Erins were obviously able to hear her, but they seemed to be a taciturn bunch overall, most of them watching at best, glaring at worst. Every defensible corner of the room had been staked out by at least one Erin, while the rest milled about more or less aimlessly. White-haired Erin stepped forward from among the throng, giving her counterpart a crooked smile. "I'm gonna guess from context clues that you're probably the Wander who actually lives here. Sorry for dropping in on you like this, but I guess that's what happens when you live on the dimensional nexus; you get all the weird relatives dropping in every time there's an emergency." "What kind of emergency are we talking about?" Erin asked, her focus sharpening. "Y'know, the thang that keeps hopping dimensions and ripping our hearts out, or tryin' to anyway," This came from a Wander who seemed to have traded the usual spandex or tac pants for riding chaps and whose reinforced vest had a silver star on it. Erin was absolutely sure she had a cowboy hat somewhere nearby. "You ain't heard anything round these parts?" White-haired Wander didn't seem surprised by Erin's obvious incomprehension. "Dragonfly, our Dragonfly, theorized that whatever it is got started away from the dimensional nexus and has been sweeping its way inward, maybe because it came from that direction, maybe because it wants to hit the nexus last. Either way, that's what got me headed in this direction." "We need to get a plan together to face this thing." Here was a Wander who looked quite similar to Erin herself, but much tireder and wearing a flash patch on her shoulder that looked like a flag with flowers, a crown and a Latin saying. Erin racked her brain and came up with "I live free and die," but suspected that was wrong. Flag-Wander had a little girl clinging to her leg, but Erin was very deliberately trying not to look at that right now lest she have that mental break for real. "Is this going to be a secure base?" "Depends on how many of you guys show up," Erin pointed out ruefully. "But yeah, I want as much info as I can get about the threat. Have you all been talking with each other?" "No offense or anything," a new voice piped up, "but I still think we'll be better off at Claremont. They'll have room and enough security to back us up." Erin felt her brain briefly white out as Megan pushed her way into the conversational circle. Not just Megan, but Megan three inches taller and with fifteen extra pounds of muscle from the last time Erin had been to Seattle. A Megan wearing a Claremont uniform like it was familiar as her own skin. She just stared. A few feet away, another clot of Wanders near the control board shifted around, apparently in the service of finding some bedding upstairs. Four or five Wanders left the room, leaving the way clear for Trevor to at least see his command center. There was a Midnight there already. That would've been surprising enough, but a second look revealed that this was almost certainly another Wander, judging from height and the way the costume fit. Midnight-Wander was already facing him, motionless and silent. After a moment she reached up and pulled off her mask, revealing an Erin who was staring at him very much the way his Erin looked at Megan: like the ghost of someone lost and bitterly grieved. "Trevor?" the unmasked Midnight asked, voice thick.
  7. Tired as she was, Wander had lost no time in spinning her own bat to full-length to face the intruder. Then blinked, her weapon faltering slightly as she got a load of who they were actually dealing with. She'd thought she had lost the ability to be surprised by her own doppelgangers at least a half-dozen universes ago, but this was a little beyond the pale. "Swander?" she repeated weakly. "Jesus Christ." Redbird's words didn't make her feel any better. "The usual me this time? As opposed to... another one..." She looked closer at the house, where there were a lot more lights burning than normal, even if Redbird had been expecting them to come home. "Redbird, is Jessie having some kind of party in there?"
  8. "Ah, protective custody?" White-Hair guessed. "The Singularity in my world didn't seem to be a target, nor did the native version of us, but it's smart to be careful. Hopefully we can figure this out soon and we can all go home." She sighed and raked a hand through her pale hair, a gesture she had in common with the Erin and Jessie that Aquaria knew. She looked around as though about to say something else, then startled slightly as Charlie slunk into the room, looking both nervous and put out. "What's Charlie doing here?" The question caught the attention of the little girl, who happily abandoned her bunch of grapes. "Kitty!" she cried enthusiastically, racing across the room much quicker than most children her age could manage. Charlie seemed to decide that this was more than enough and booked it for the door, his tail a bottle-brush puff. The little girl began to cry. "Hey now, Clara," Megan soothed, reaching down to scoop up the little girl before Clara's mother could break off from her conversation with Redbird. "It's all right, kitty was just surprised! Do you want to say hi to the nice frog lady?" Clara thought about that, one small hand tugging her own strawberry blonde curls. She looked adorably pathetic. "Yes," she finally sniffled. "Hi, Frog Lady."
  9. "Stay quiet," the Wander with the scythe instead of the bat told the young woman. She looked oddly familiar to Aquaria, someone she'd seen before, but not another iteration of Erin or Jessie. "We don't know if this is a safe place." "This is Midnight Manor," White-Hair explained to her compatriots. "Midnight is a good friend of ours, we should be safe here. Though I don't know why Redbird is putting out the all-call here and not Bluebird at the Castle. Maybe the Wander in this universe isn't around right now?" "I don't really care where we go as long as we get somewhere defensible, and soon," the burdened Wander snapped, shifting from foot to foot. "We can't just run around Freedom City all night." The weight on that Wander's back shifted, a small face suddenly becoming visible as what Aquaria had thought was a bag resolved itself into a small human, clinging with arms and legs. "Mommy?" the small human whispered, almost too softly for even the sensitive security pickups to catch. "Can we go home now?" "Not yet, baby," Mommy-Wander murmured soothingly while the others winced. "Soon as we can, I promise." "We could go to Claremont," the young woman suggested hopefully. "My friends there and I could-" The others all told her "No" simultaneously, with various degrees of firmness. She folded her arms over her chest and sulked. "This is getting ridiculous."
  10. Raina's eyes widened. "Do you have any idea what that's going to do to my karma?" she yelped, her voice shrill. "I don't want to know what threefold of bisecting somebody with a universe is!" But at the same time, she didn't have any better plans, and they were rapidly running out of options. She couldn't stop glancing over at the new thing that Fred had turned into, now obviously injured. but still in the fight. What would happen to little bitty Fred if big monster Fred took more damage than it could heal? What would happen to any of them if the feral Alkahest got truly loose to run around? Spinning away from Riley, she summoned a handful of brilliant, sickly green fire to her hand and pointed it at the wavering place where the portal had been. "We'll live in slow motion and be free," she sang, practically spitting the words, "with doors unlocked and open, doors unlocked and open..." The portal ripped its way into existence like a compressed spring freeing itself, once again glowing malevolently in the room.
  11. "Are you crazy?" Raina shrieked at Riley, turning away from her parents with fire already sparking off her fingertips. "I''m not opening that gods-damned portal again just so you can run through it and get your stupid-ass self killed by a monster! I JUST CLOSED IT!" The air around her shimmered with heat, a sure sign of agitation that had even her parents taking a couple of measured steps backwards.
  12. "No, of course not," Grey Bat said. "I'm not from her dimension at all. I imagine if you've seen other Wanders, they're here for the same reason I am, though. There's strength in numbers, and your dimension is a stable nexus in our timelines. We all diverged from here, maybe it makes sense we make our last stand here, too." She smiled, but not like she thought it was funny. "I better go get that one before she does anything reckless or stupid. See if you can get the AI to open up the house, would you? We could really use a base of operations." With that, yet another Erin bounced off into the sky, this one with an ever-so-faint mechanical whir.
  13. "They're gone?" Grey Bat seemed uncertain for a moment, staring up at the locked house with an incomprehensible Surfacer expression on her too-familiar face. It was not dissimilar to the look Jessie got sometimes when talking about her not-sister in Seattle and that family, an understanding that one will forever stand outside of the family unit they were once part of. She turned her head to face Aquaria. "I guess I have some time on my hands and no place to go," she observed ruefully. "What's going on with your friend?"
  14. Grey Bat looked at her hand almost reflectively, flexing her fingers before sliding her bat back into its holster. She really did look very much like Jessie's sister, but her hair was a little bit shorter and, as Aquaria noticed upon closer inspection, streaked through with dark blue. "I suppose it's a matter of your definitions," she allowed, her lips tipping up ruefully. "We are all created beings, just not all of organic materials." She raised an eyebrow, now giving Aquaria a sardonic smile. "If you prick me, I do bleed. But I'd like to avoid that." She jerked her head towards the house again. "Are they home?"
  15. Red Bat and Blue Bat were clearly paying a lot more attention to whatever they were arguing about than any threat Aquaria might pose, to judge by the way they were turning to face off again. Blue Bat at least seemed a little apologetic about it. "We'd love to help your friend, I swear, but there's just a lot going on right now that you don't understand. Tell your Wander to sit tight where she is; this universe is the safest one we've found so far. Tell her to talk to Miss Fantastic, she'll be able to explain things, um, probably?" "Your powerful friends aren't worth jack against what's coming down the pike," Red Bat sneered. "If it can eat us for breakfast, what's it gonna do to anybody less invulnerable? You probably wanna get back under the ocean for this one." Without any further warning she tensed her legs and bounced like a loosed spring, taking off across the rooftops with her glowing bat leaving a faint trail of light behind her. Blue Bat muttered a quick curse and went after her the same way.
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