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Freedom City Guidebook

Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide



Everything posted by Electra

  1. Miss Americana chuckled a little. "Believe it or not, yours are not the most unusually-shaped eyes I've had to figure out light protection for. But if you're good, we won't worry about it." She adjusted a few readouts, turned the blue light to a soft amber as another machine took a very close look at his feet. "So what's your favorite part about Earth Prime so far?" she asked conversationally. "Have you been able to get out and do much yet? Tried much of the cuisine or the music? Freedom City's no New York, but we've got our share of world culture."
  2. Gina hadn't so much as picked up her fork, fiddling with her napkin instead until Steve stilled her fidgeting with his hand. She thought back to the first night they'd spent together, how sad they'd both been, how despairing of ever having anything better. They'd come a long way from that, she thought, they had a pretty good gig going... if you were looking at it from the perspective of somebody in a deep hole of depression. To anybody, well, anybody even a little bit normal, it probably still seemed like a complete disaster, especially for Steve. "Well, you deserve better," Gina offered, trying her best to make her voice sound like she meant it. She was terrible at lying outside her Miss A armor. "You deserve to be happy, whatever that looks like for you."
  3. "I'm not sure anything short of picking me up and shaking me would've woken me," Gina admitted. "I was up till five reworking the security firewalls for Claremont just to keep all the little metahuman script kiddies busy." She yawned and stole a piece of bacon, then set it down again when Steve mentioned wanting to talk. Talking wasn't necessarily bad... but it wasn't exactly good, either. And Steve was exactly the sort of guy who would think it was appropriate to provide a gift to accompany bad news. "All right," she said, just a little bit carefully. "I've got the time if you do." She took the plate he handed to her and carried it to the table, sitting down at the spot obviously laid out for her.
  4. "When I am ready?" Gina mused aloud, studying the note. It was obviously important somehow, but she wasn't exactly sure what he meant by ready. Sleep in if she wanted? Get dressed for the day before braving the kitchen? She decided she was too hungry and curious to take a shower and get dressed before finding Steve, but compromised by putting on yoga pants and a sweatshirt and brushing her hair before venturing out into the house. "You're up early," she observed as her bare feet hit the kitchen tiles. "Smells good."
  5. Miss A nodded absently, most of her attention still on the readings she was taking. "Barring supervillainy, yeah. I've got a conference call with Tokyo at seven, but I don't think it's going to take very long. Will you bring dinner home?" She touched a few controls and the blue lights shifted pattern, one of them turning yellow and faintly warm as it played over the cyborg's body. "How long have you been free?" she asked Delta. "All the way, I mean. Did you break away before the big power shakeup, or more recently than that?" She wasn't as up on the history and politics of the Terminus as she perhaps ought to have been, but it was one of Steve's least favorite subjects in the entire universe so she tended to let it go. "If the light's too bright I can give you sunglasses."
  6. "Metal on your body is fine," Miss A assured him, "it'll just be easier to get a scan of it without anything in the way." She did a brief double-take when Delta showed up naked for the scan, but kept her expression pleasantly neutral despite the surprise. Once Delta was settled on the table, several devices that looked like boxy cameras descended on robotic arms from the ceiling, pausing a few feet over his body. "None of this should hurt," she reiterated from the control panel on the other side of the room. "If you feel any discomfort or you need a break, tell me right away." The devices began to hum with activity, one of them bathing a soft blue light over various parts of Delta's body. "Can you tell me a little more about your history?"
  7. Danica seemed loathe to admit it out loud, but her face said clearly that she hadn't been entirely sure Ashley wouldn't shoot those people. She diplomatically changed the subject instead. "But at least we got Judy her dress, and now we've got a case study to talk about in class, just like the upperclassmen! I just wish I'd thought to record it, but I was too busy freaking out," she admitted frankly. "Maybe next time." She turned to Micah. "And if you've made any progress on those shoe things, I'd love to try them out! I was super-awkward in there, the aisles were so close that if I'd had to retreat, I'm not sure I couldn't turned around!" The mental picture had her laughing, for all it could've been a tight spot.
  8. "Yeah, I'm fine," Danica assured Micah, leaning over the seat to talk to the kids in the row ahead of her. She'd vanished her shell by this point and looked like her human self again, though it had been tough to wedge her Segway into the tiny cargo area of the van. "I wasn't really at any risk, guns can't hurt me and if something is too scary I can just make my shell weigh a thousand pounds and hide in it. They taught us all kinds of escape and evasion back at Nicholson," she confided, "it's what we learned instead of superhero stuff, just in case. I was bad at escaping and evading, but I'm super-good at hiding!" She seemed quite cheerful despite her deficits in this area. "I was more worried about the poor clerk, he seemed really scared and confused." She gave Ashley a look that was just a little bit disapproving. "I think maybe we didn't really need to break his door down."
  9. Miss Americana gave Steve a look that was both affectionate and exasperated. "It was a misunderstanding, he was in his armor and in the middle of an emergency situation. It took us a few moments to realize he wasn't the one who caused the emergency and was actually trying to help. Nobody's going to shoot you with lasers here," she promised, then reconsidered. "Well, nothing that's not harmless and diagnostic, anyway." When the elevator opened again they were in a quiet, empty and very clean hallway. Miss A stepped out first and led the way to a double-airlock door that opened into an expansive lab full of equipment that looked sophisticated and expensive, but mostly was impossible to determine the function of. A robot that looked like an upended trashcan with arms rolled up to her and presented her with a tablet and a surgical cap. Aside from it and two others like it, they were alone in the lab. "Thank you, Emerson," Miss A murmured, briskly twisting her blonde hair back into a bun and securing it under the cap. "All right, Delta, if you could step behind that curtain over there, you'll find some surgical gowns and drapes. If you feel more comfortable keeping some or all of your clothes on, you can keep anything that doesn't have metal on it. When you're ready, you can climb onto the table." Her meaning was obvious; the entire lab was centered around the table that stood alone in the center of it. It wasn't made of stainless steel like much of the equipment, rather it seemed to be made of some plastic or foam substance and actually looked like it might be almost comfortable if it were in an austere bedroom instead of in the middle of a research facility. "Take your time, I'll be setting up."
  10. "I'm okay," Danica told Micah, sending him a relieved smile as they came in through the now-damaged and still unlocked door. "I think things are... under control?" She grimaced as she heard what Ashley was reporting back to whoever was on the other end of her earpiece. "No!" Danica yelped, loud enough to be heard over a commlink. "We're not having any fun! She's just kidding! Nobody's going to get hurt or traumatized or anything," she promised, to the clerk and the criminals and Ashley's earpiece all at once.
  11. Danica, who'd been doing her best to glare down the bad guys while balancing the greatly increased weight of her shell on the Segway, nearly fell over as Ashley burst into the store. She resisted the urge to raise her own hands automatically and let out a breath of relief when the situation suddenly became much less scary and more manageable. She still didn't know who any of these people were or exactly what they were up to, but now nobody was probably going to shoot anybody. "Cowboys?" she asked Ashley. "Do we have a team name now?"
  12. Danica's voice over the phone was slightly muffled and very excited. "Micah! I'm in the Claire's and it was full of adults and no kids or teenagers and the adults have binoculars and guns and the guy behind the counter is crying and I don't exactly know what to do at this point! I think maybe they were trying to trick the clerk into giving him the cash register by pretending to be Secret Shoppers but they are definitely not and some of them are wearing track pants and I don't even... Can you help?"
  13. Miss A started the tour off slow, avoiding the high-traffic areas for the moment and instead heading for areas that Delta would likely find interesting from a tactical point of view. She'd done the same thing with Steve years ago before she'd brought him to this building for the first time, letting him see how secure the place was before asking him to make himself vulnerable in it. She took them past the garage area and through the security and maintenance floors, showing off a bit of the security surveillance web and the biometric security on sensitive areas. "I can turn off the cameras in the labs," she assured Delta, "to ensure that your information stays completely private, but we take data security very seriously in general, for every lab and every person we work with." By the time she'd showed them the guts of the building, it was after five-thirty and the rush of people leaving for the day would be tapering off. She took them up to the main lobby of the tall glass trapezoid that was the main building and pointed out the restaurants, the scientific and historical displays, the subtle security features to ensure that even in such a large space, no intruders would pass through unseen. A security badge was waiting for Delta at the front desk, Miss A picked it up and offered it to him. "The labs are on the secure floors in the upper third of the building. Nobody without clearance can get up there. I have two doctors and a few lab assistants waiting up there to help with the scanning, but if you're not comfortable, I can do most of the work with my AI assistants for now."
  14. "It's not a force field," Danica sneered, "It's a shell, and it's part of my body. Anyway, you've got a gun and you're really not a secret shopper and I wouldn't put it down if I could." She cast a worried glance at the clerk. "He's not a secret shopper," she told the clerk reassuringly. "They don't get to carry guns, I'm pretty much sure of that. Be right back" She pulled one arm into her shirt and ducked her head down as well, partially disappearing into her shell. There was a brief sound of rummaging and then an echoey "Call Micah." A pause. "No! Call Micah. Come on, stupid... call Micah!"
  15. Danica leaned forward abruptly, speeding into the rapidly decreasing space between the strange adults and the counter. She came perilously close to running over somebody's foot, but they had really good reflexes. "It's okay!" she told the man behind the counter in a loud whisper. "Whatever's going on, you can tell me. I can protect you!" She gave the pretend shoppers a narrow-eyed look, one that widened immediately when she realized that the man with binoculars also had the sort of bulge in his jacket that she'd been taught meant concealed weapon. "Get down," she told the employee urgently, "call the police. Don't worry about me, I'm invincible." As she turned back to her new enemies, she let her shell manifest around her, so big that two or three guys could've hidden behind it.
  16. Miss Americana nodded gravely, looking at Delta with eyes that were at once sympathetic and incisive. She was holding her body very deliberately relaxed, hands open and palms turned slightly out at her sides, unarmed, nonthreatening. She didn't seem afraid, it seemed more like she didn't want him to be afraid. "Understandable. Making sure you have full control over your body and mind is going to be our first priority, and we can start with an in-depth examination of your nervous system. I've gotten a lot of baseline data on the cybernetic engineering of Nihilor from Steve and a few other former Omegadrones I've been able to work with. It's not quite the same, but it'll give us a jumping-off point. If you like we can start easy, just a tour of the facility and whatever questions you'd like to ask today, or we can do all that and then start with some scans and noninvasive testing." The elevator door slid open behind her, revealing a clean white and blue interior softly lit by wall panels. She stepped aboard and waited patiently for the others to join her. "We'll be going into the main facility for some of this, but not for a little while yet. There'll be fewer people running around after the end of the workday."
  17. Danica stopped dead just inside the doors to the store, nearly putting herself into reverse on accident. She had never seen this many adults inside a Claire's store, certainly not this many adult men, and with no kids in sight. It was like being in the wrong store, except everything else looked right. Nobody was buying anything, nobody even had bags from other stores. And those binoculars... something was not right here. She considered turning around and going right out again, but that was logistically difficult with her wheels on, and wasn't she supposed to be a hero? "This is weird," she said instead, leaving herself planted firmly in the doorway. "Is this a robbery?" She looked to the guy behind the counter. "Are you in danger?"
  18. It wasn't a very long walk to the elevator bay, a nondescript lobby with a few chairs and vending machines arranged around a wall of four stainless steel elevator doors. There was a woman seated in one of the chairs, legs comfortably crossed and an open can of soda sitting on the table next to her. She was uncommonly beautiful for someone from Earth Prime, with perfectly flowing hair and flawless facial symmetry over an exquisitely proportioned body. The woman was reading from a tablet, but looked up with a smile as they came into the room. "Welcome to Archetech," she began, addressing herself to Delta. "I'm Miss Americana, I run this company and I also work hands-on with a lot of our metahuman science initiatives. Steve's told me a little bit about what you're looking to have done. Do you have any questions in particular about your modifications?"
  19. Danica looked a bit skeptical of Judy's taste in dresses, but the other girl was so obviously pleased that she kept her mouth closed. The dress was, well, modest was one word for it, but the old-fashioned lace and severe cut made Judy look like she was about twelve years old and going to Sunday School instead of a formal dance. It was lucky Judy was so pretty, Danica figured, because it meant she could still pull off a dress like that without looking ridiculous. Danica would never let any of her friends go to a dance looking ridiculous, even if it required a failure of diplomacy. She herself bought an extremely fuzzy pair of slipper socks and hung the bag off the handlebar of her Segway as they left the store. "Oh, hold up! Pretty earrings!" she exclaimed as they passed a teen jewelry boutique. "You guys go ahead, I'll catch up. You know, more or less." She grinned and waved them on.
  20. The building itself was hardly imposing, especially compared to the terrifying laboratories of Nihilor, just a squat building that looked like it was probably used for storing vehicles and loading trucks. It did have sturdy-looking security; the sliding doors were thick and set deep in their frames, and cameras and lights dotted the covered portico they'd pulled up under. As the two exited the car, a red light next to the door cycled to green and the doors slid silently open. "Welcome, Steve, Delta," a smooth and accentless female voice greeted them. "Miss Americana is waiting for you at Elevator Bay One." A series of LED arrows lit up in the surbase along the wall, pointing the way they were to go.
  21. "The blue," Danica advised immediately, with great confidence. "Unless you already have a lot of ties, or you only want to wear white dress shirts. Single-color ties are easier to match with a lot of different things. But if you get a nice dark red one, it could be a Christmas tie too," she pointed out, before considering Ashley's question. "I don't know," she began, "I guess it's more a question of what I'm going to do first. I have to go to school for a long time still, but that means when I'm done, I will know lots of things, from lots of classes. I'm not sure I'm cut out for hero work unless I get like a jet-pack or something," she admitted with a laugh, "but I've thought about maybe becoming a doctor and going to places where it's dangerous to be a doctor. I'm pretty hard to hurt!"
  22. "That's true," Danica mused, examining the blue dress before nodding approval. "My parents have stayed young for a long long time now, but when I'm a grown-up, they will start living the rest of their lives, so someday they'll get old and retire. I'm going to have to get a good job!" This idea seemed to preoccupy her a bit more than the idea of finding a dress, though she did enthusiastically encourage Judy to try on the one she'd found. With Micah off browsing, she found herself standing quietly next to Ashley. "What are you going to do when you're done with Claremont?" she asked curiously. Ashley looked like she was maybe a little bit older than the other students in her class, like maybe in the rush to escape their world she'd missed enough school to need to repeat, but that wasn't really polite to inquire about.
  23. Danica edged closer to Judy as they shopped, pitching her voice low so as not to be overheard. "It's all right," she murmured, "I mean, if you haven't got enough money for your dress and things. I know your situation's got to be pretty tough, even if Claremont gives you a place to stay. My folks give me an allowance and I hardly ever spend it," she went on, telling just a bit of a white lie. She hardly ever spent it on anything really important, that was closer to the truth,, but not exactly what she wanted to say. "If you need a little extra to get the dress and shoes you want, just let me know." Glancing around, she pinched the sleeve of a plain black dress and pitched her voice back to normal volume. "Oh, this is a pretty one, but I'd probably have to hem it."
  24. Danica gave the dress a look that was frankly skeptical before schooling her face to something more diplomatic for Judy's benefit. "I do like black and gold," she enthused, "but I usually wear solids of one or the other so I don't get the crazy contrasting patterns look with my shell, you know?" She hadn't been nearly so discriminating when she was little, but back then everybody had liked crazy patterns and it hadn't been weird. It was now, though! "Anyway, I thought we were gonna be looking for a dress for you for the dance?" she reminded Judy, then shot Micah the briefest of commiserating glances. "And then maybe we can visit the bookstore?"
  25. Danica sort of wanted to visit the leathercraft store too, but it didn't seem nice to leave Judy all by herself when she was the one who'd invited them in the first place. "Sounds like fun," she told the other girl as they drove around the back of what was apparently a mall these days, even though it wasn't enclosed and didn't have a movie theater or anything. Danica wasn't sure why Ashley chose to park in the back of the mall, in place she wasn't 100% certain was legal, but it did get them close to the big stores. With some help, she was able to unstoke her Segway and settle her backpack into place, ready to face the wonders and rigors of the mall. "And after we finish our shopping, we can hang out at the food court and have Orange Julius!" She gave the mall a slightly skeptical look. "Do strip malls have food courts?"