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Found 1,453 results

  1. GM Bayview, Freedom City, USA July 27th, 10:00am Rachel Morgan would be a star employee at almost any other organization, but at ASTRO Labs, she was surrounded by all sorts of super-geniuses and was thus just one of many scientists. She had no personal workshop there, so when she wanted to tinker, she had to work at the one in her home. Which worked fine for her, she had many ideas she had no intention of monetizing. She had been kicked out of a few places thanks to problems with Home Owners Associations and late-night noise, so she had finally given up on attached homes and splurged on a solitary property in Bayview, where she could work in peace. She had the home specially built with sound-proofing in the basement so that she wouldn’t be bothered by any further noise complaints. Now, the most the Home Owners Associations mostly just bothered her about neglecting her lawn, which she promised herself she would fix the robot that mowed it for her soon. The house itself was unassuming, a fairly standard one-story building, built wide with a green tiled roof and with a cherry red electric car sitting out front. On a flag pole sat an American flag, and beneath it a pride flag. There was a porch, painted white, its front partially obscured by grass growing ever higher in front of it. The front door was protected by a screen in front of it, and a charming little welcome mat declared “I can see your underwear”. Yet in the place of a doorbell, there was a strange, HAL-looking piece of machinery. As the group approached, it chirped. “Hello there, I’m Garvey. Welcome to Ms. Morgan’s home. What’s your names, and what’s your reason for visiting?” Those with pop-culture affinities might have noticed it sounded quite a lot like Michael Caine. @Heritage @Electra @Tiffany Korta @Exaccus
  2. GM Brussels, Belgium July 27th, 10:00 AM The trip over water had been mostly fine. When going at the speeds that Fast-Forward was capable of, there was little in the way of hazards that could slow you down. Going overland was more of an issue, being more bumpy, breaking off from the Scheldt river near Antwerp to hit the capital of Belgium. Brussels was, in many ways, one of the most powerful cities in the world. De facto capital city of the European Union, it was a meeting place of every sort of power you could imagine. Which made it the perfect sort of place for a super-hunter-for-hire to set up. Much as they wanted to keep it quiet, the governments of the world knew that there were plenty of powerful individuals who could take on entire nations, and sometimes things had to be done a little more black hat than the average superhero could manage. Amongst the mixture of modern and antique buildings rose a white complex, cast in the art moderne style, looking more than a little out of place next to its neighbours. It rose for 6 storeys, lacking much in the way of detail beyond glass, white plaster and steel. This was the home and office of Adrian Pike, once known as Kombat, former ally of Corona and now a potential threat. @Avenger Assembled @RocketLord @Tarrakhash
  3. The Danger! mobile slid into traffic not long after Frost had called his old friend about the newcomer the league had recently completed debriefing. Weaving effortlessly through traffic the famed car roared to a stop in a spot reserved for league members, Ace not for the first time shook his head at the absurd sign, when was the last time anyone but Frost actually drove and he borrowed a League car from the motor pool. He hopped out of the open top of the convertible and strode up to the stammering security guard with a wink as he took the mans hand palming a generous tip as he did so, "Now you keep a good eye on her for me son." he bade and with a snappy salute jogged up the steps to the main entrance flashing a smile to a familiar face behind the security checkpoint, "Charlie! how're the kids?" he asked as he made directly for the bypass waiting expectantly for the senior security officer he'd gotten the entry level job for almost a lifetime ago. He flirted briefly with the receptionist as he waited for the elevator and rode casually up to the floor they'd indicated the newcomer awaited. Frost having been called off for some business she was currently overseen by some staffers as Ace arrived taking in the scene in the small waiting area with a raised brow before stepping forward, "Greetings and Salutations." the immortal greeted warmly, "Ace Danger at your service, Dmitri suggested you might be in need of a guide?" he smiled wide. Yes this was going to be an interesting task indeed.
  4. West Gables Housing Unit, Pi Epsilon Delta Sorority. Saturday, August 17th, 2019. 8:04 am Despite it's reputation as a 'serious' sorority, PED was still part of Greek life, which meant the occasional party. And sometimes, these parties involved alcohol. Rather a lot of it, really. Everyone on the unit knew Casey Blankenship was hopelessly square, and they kind of loved her for it. Sure, she'd drink the occasional beer, but it never seemed to get her the slightest bit tipsy. But everyone also knew she never hogged the bathroom, always made a fresh pot of coffee in the morning, and would be the first girl to hold back your hair if you had to puke. And she was forgiving, endlessly forgiving. It was like a superpower. This Saturday morning after a major basketball victory, the blonde heroine tiptoed out of her room in her bathrobe, shower bag over one arm, quiet as a ninja out of respect to her hungover sisters. She was just passing the doorway to the common room when she heard unfamiliar snoring on one of the couches, and Casey knew how all her sisters sounded in their sleep. Her interest piqued, she floated into the room, quiet as a church mouse, her sandaled feet less than an inch above the floor. Peering through her glasses, her hair pulled up into a topknot on top of her head, she leaned down to whisper. "Hello?"
  5. Scion was facing down a couple of small time super powered criminals in the West End of Freedom City. The two thieves thought they could take what they wanted in broad daylight. Some criminals never did have any sense. "Freedom City, of all places," she laughed, "you better be glad all yo got was me!" Slamming one into the other. "Fortunately your hospital stay will be short, but your jail time will be..." Her, admittedly one sided, conversation was quickly interrupted. The two obstacles, in the blink of an eye, were now unconscious and handcuffed to boot! It "Pacer," Scion exclaimed, greeting the quick heroine, "how goes it, lady of the wind?"
  6. As time flowed, Moira and Estelle got... content with each other. They grew close. And that was fine for both women. But each knew they were not the settling down type. They had their love, but it was time to go their separate ways. With that, Moira caught a plane ticket to her old stomping grounds. Freedom City was like a big palette cleanser for Moira. It was her youth tied up with everything that made the world great. Not all of it though. But then you have the power to change things in Freedom City. From the smallest to the greatest. It's the reason she always had ties here. Unfortunately some ties got looser, but she would always remember them. First visit was to her home she always had. To check in on her father, the temple, and of course, Morleys pub. That was something she would fight for until her dying breath. Family. Even if Sean wasn't her biological father, he was her father. Ares was the type you went to when you wanted training or a fight. Sean was the one you went to when you wanted comfort and daddy's advice. Second visit was around the West End catching up on talk and people, but mostly, she wanted to see Lynn. The friend she'd always have. Plus, perching with her was always awesome. Well, if she'd allow. Moira looked at the last text she sent to Lynn. Half spelled out 'be back next weekend, love you' followed by a few emojis. That was last year. She sighed. It was almost indicative of her to be that flighty. Still it was fun. She sighed, shaking her head, followed by a quiet laugh. There was Lynn's door. It was Friday after hours. Knocking was purely customary, as she tried to open the door afterward. "Hey, anyone home? I brought the good stuff!"
  7. Saturday, August 3rd, 2019, 9:35 AM Riverside Park, Near Hamilton Planetarium Claude dialed back his pace, slowing down from the jog he was at to a more sedate walking speed. Ever since getting his current gig, Doc had drummed into him the importance of about getting a bead on your environment. Especially if you were going to be somewhere for any length of time. Coupled with wanting to get out of Jules' apartment for a bit Claude had chosen to take a morning run through the local park. His attire of jogging shorts and a simple white t-shirt kept him comfortably cool, while his headphones pumped out tunes to run to. The Bostonian had to admit it was a decent park, but the rookie guardian preferred unspoiled nature than carefully tended and shaped artificial constraints of man-made natural engineering. Still, the statues were nice and the Sentry Statue was an iconic landmark, even in the future. What wasn't nice was the oddly prevalent minor temporal anomalies he had ran into during his circuit of the park. The one nearby marked the third he had found today, this one in a flower bed that was doing an excellent job of confusing the local bee population. On their own, these minor anomalies didn't do much. They might make it feel like earlier in the day, temperature wise or slow down time so the plants matured slower. What made them truly dangerous is that they tended to move about and were attracted to each other, and when you got enough together that's when time storms started to form. Claude had once queued up temporal meteorology with the repository and it was like trying to piece together the remains of a taco warping through a tesseract: messy and disturbing. But when caught before then like now, they were easily dispersed. Stopping in front of the flowers, he knelt down as to tie his shoe and brought out his Isochronon. A button press later, the bees were now appeased being able to find their target. Mischief managed, he thought. A wry grin graced his features at the mental turn of phrase as Claude discretely pocked the Isochronon, went through the motions of checking his laces, and then stood back up.
  8. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 2:04 PM, August 10, 2019 Meta-Naut They were only ten minutes out of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, but after a whole third of a day spent in the sky on her private jet, even ten minutes seemed like a lot to Raya Wells. It helped that she had been waiting on this purchase for months now, and there had already been a few delays. The chance to buy a cabinet of the infamous Polybius, perhaps the only cabinet in the world, was something she never expected to have. That was, until, someone had contacted her with an offer. They had found her through some forum posts a few months back, and there had been a back and forth ever since. But now, it seemed like she was going to have it. It was a bit strange, honestly. She had checked through multiple dimensions, and never found any indication that any such models still existed. It had taken some time travelling to even confirm that the thing even ever existed, and even that, multiple trips since they were hidden back in some pretty low-key arcades in 1980s Portland. There were all sorts of myths around the cabinet. That it gave kids seizures or changed their behaviours, that it was strangely addictive, or that somehow it was connected to MKULTRA and government research into mind-control. Well, if the last was true, the USG was saying absolutely nothing to her. Which, given, wasn’t all that unusual. If it wasn’t them, they wouldn’t want to reveal they were testing mind control on kids, and if they weren’t, then they were just as in the dark as she was. A voice crackled over the intercom. “Alright, buckle up, we’re landing.” Raya did as she was told, and watched as the ground grew ever closer through the window. When they touched down, it took a bit of willpower to not immediately stand up even though the plane was still rolling into place. Once it stopped, she could not get her seatbelt off fast enough. She rose to her feet, moving to the door, pulled on a baseball cap and sunglasses, and headed out. Only to find a bunch of reporters standing at the bottom. She frowned, pulling her cap down, and moved quickly, not even looking at the reporters as she descended the steps. “Excuse me!” one called “We heard you were buying a Polybius cabinet for $6 million, can we borrow a moment of your time?” She ignored that comment, and simply kept moving into the airport. She hated talking to reporters. Raya had earned a reputation as being rather mysterious, avoiding contact with the media where she could and doing what she could to keep a low profile. The main factor was mostly anxiety - those cameras freaked her out. But also, the fact that any records before a few years ago were fabricated helped make her nervous. She didn’t want to draw too much attention and get people investigating her too much. As she made her way inside, her first thought was getting something to eat. She was thinking burgers. Yet she was interrupted again, this time by a grubby looking man with a long, dirty blonde beard and wild eyes, wrapped in a long green coat that was definitely too warm for the weather. He looked like he had really been through the ringer. She would have felt bad for him, if not for the giant sword he held in his hand. “How did you even get that in here?” she asked, confused. “YOU!” he rasped. “You threaten to truck with dark forces. Turn back, and return from whence you came!” She stared at him. “Uh… Right.” She looked around. “Security?” “They cannot see me,” he said. “I have been disconnected from this realm, and it takes all my strength merely to reveal myself to you. Turn back, Raya Wells! Seek not Polybius! ‘Tis an evil game! I was once like you, and it ruined me! RUINED ME!” With that, he seemed to fade from existence before her eyes. She looked around, confused, and frowned. “Oh, this is going to be stupid, isn’t it?” she asked rhetorically.
  9. Riverfront August 5, 4:10 PM GM It was a fairly standard afternoon in the Riverfront. The cars pushed along, their drivers eager to get out of the downtown and retreat to the suburbs where they lived. The heat made things slightly sticky, only encouraging people to want to vacate faster. The sidewalks similarly were lined with people going about their daily business, entranced by their phones and latest purchases. Yet in one alley, there was something quite un-standard. It started as a small pulse of light, before the air in the alley began to ripple and shudder. For only a split-second, that light became a crack in the border between worlds and just as soon, it was gone. In its place stood a man clothed in the stereotypical outfit of a burglar: A black-and-white striped shirt, a black beanie, a domino mask, and black pants. In his left hand, he held a strange-looking gun - shaped like a ray gun from 1950s sci-fi movies, it was coloured shiny gold and covered in dials and meters. “Myah!” He cried. “I did it! They thought it would not work, but they were fools to doubt Captain Crime, who breaks even the laws of causality!” His victorious gloating was interrupted by the sound of a door opening. Captain Crime turned to see a young man, dressed in a black polo with khaki pants and a similar apron, carrying a bag of trash. The young man stopped, and stared at Captain Crime. “Uh… You lost?” he asked. Crime smiled, and raised his pistol. The young man backed away, raising his hands. “Hey, now, buddy, we can talk ab--AAA!” His high pitched-shriek intermingled with the sound of a laser blast, the light of which enveloped his whole body. When the beam had faded, the young man had changed. Now he was dressed in an open, sleeveless leather vest, along with torn up jeans and combat boots. What had once been a fairly neat blond undercut was now a lime green mohawk. He stood still for a moment, looking at his surroundings, before a cruel grin crossed his face. “Eyyy,” he said. “Now this is nice. Hey, boss, you wanna go and mess some stuff up?” Captain Crime’s grin grew wider. “Oh, oh yes, my felonious friend, I do.”
  10. A couple days before Graduation. Claremont Dorms. It was almost over this national nightma- ha ha ha ha, I'm funny! Corinne thought to herself, or as much as one could in this place. Someone was probably listening, or something. She let her hair grow to an even chin length, blonde with a hint of faded pink throughout, but tucked under a bowler hat. She always looked a little different each time, and today she was a little bit late 80s, given the Pat Benatar t-shirt she had on that was cropped just a little above the high waist acid wash jeans, and a pair of calculatedly battered white sneakers. She moved through the hallway dancing, as she tended to do. Heading towards Judy's room, to sweep up her friend with a bit of her joy. Well her own happiness, she knew that others might not feel that way. Rapping knuckles on the door, she settled back into a running man with vigorous swinging of her arms backwards, keeping elbows tucked near her torso.
  11. GM Riverfront August 9th 2019, 4 PM The Riverfront district was as busy as ever on the Friday afternoon. City officials trying to get the last bit of work done before the weekend, locals and visitors starting their weekend in the nearby culture centers and the Yellow Brick Row shopping complex. Traffic had slowed down considerably. Everyone wanted to go somewhere. All in all, a typical Friday afternoon in Emerald City. Peace and quiet, as you would normally find in a city without super villains. Until, suddenly, several men and women stopped what they were doing, and exited their cars. A young man, maybe in his early twenties, stood nearby, appearing seemingly from out of nowhere. He was dressed in a costume with dark and light blue stripes at a 45 degree angle all over his body. He wore light blue boots and small gloves in the same color as the light blue stripes, and had a hood pulled up with the same striped pattern. His eyes were hidden behind a light blue domino mask. One could just spot his short blonde hair at the edges of the hood. His eyes seemed to be glowing white as people left their cards, starting to walk after him and towards the government buildings. Then came the sound, a loud crash as someone big came barelling through the traffic, flipping the cars out of the way while laughing loudly. The ones that caught a good look at him could see a large man, standing at least 10 feet tall, clad in what appeared to be grey armor, stylized like a triceratops, including a large helmet that mimicked that of a triceratops' head: A large flat shield, a pair of horns at his forehead, and a small horn on a part of his helmet over his nose. His eyes were hidden behind black lenses that connected directly to the helmet, while his mouth was left visible. The rest of his armor was the same dull grey as the helmet, consisting of several armored plates interconnecting along his body. He seemed to be running with little rhyme or reason, instead seeming to cause just as much chaos as he could. He didn't seem to care if he hit already empty cars, or cars that still held passengers. Moments after the man had begun his rampage, a bright light illuminated the sky. A woman in a red costume flew from the sky, leaving a trail of fire behind her as she moved. A white sun symbol at the center of her chest seemed to glow as she sent streams of fire flying randomly across the area around her. The yellow goggles that protected her eyes seemed to reflect the light from her flames as she set whatever random targets caught her sight on fire. The goggles were held in place by a heavy leather strap that went over her short black hair. Fire burning in her hands, she came to a stop, hovering above a rather large group of people. "Listen up! I'm Sunburn, and we're the Upstarts! I don't know how a city like this have been this quiet this long, but that's gonna change! This is our city now! So all of you better start handing over everything you got!" Smart phones were capturing everything already. What better place to attack than a city with no other villains? Nowhere to step on your toes or take your score? But the Upstarts had made one mistake: While Emerald City was a city without villains, it was not a city without heroes.
  12. Archetech August 2019 The impossible had happened and a shining knight had found love with a perfect goddess of science and patriotism - or so it was known in much of the Freedom City community. The reality of the unholy cyborg killing machine from beyond the stars and the mysterious controller behind Miss Americana was rather more complicated than that, and far less known, even inside the relatively small confines of the hero community. But it had happened and those two lovebirds really were married now, a texted picture of rings on fingers having been sent to Erik and Talya's cellphones about twenty minutes earlier, about the time the Interceptors had arrived. They, their children old enough to stand a party, and a selected few friends of the family had been invited to the reception for the wedding at Steve's invitation. They were about ten stories up in a glass-walled, flower-bedecked atrium in a room staffed entirely by robots too far off the humanoid to be creepy - some were serving drinks, one appeared to have built-in speakers and was parked near a small dance floor, and others had been dusting and cleaning when the Interceptors and party arrived. It was a nice room on a sunny summer day, the sky overhead a lovely shade of blue dappled with white clouds. Steve and his bride were supposed to be there at any moment...
  13. GM To the north lay Scarlet Hill, a name no one in Bedlam City used anymore, instead referring to both the hill and the mansions turned sub-sub-divided-apartments surrounding it by reference to the Country Club which sat atop it, looming over the south-eastern parts of the city. Both were saturated with diesel exhaust from the Rook Island port at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. To the south lay the freezing waters and hard-packed, littered sands of Graves End Beach. And between north and south lay Bedlam City's answer to Skid Row, the neighborhood known for its most famous boulevard, "Ash Street". Sitting at the foot of the hill, it was not quite as drowned in smog as the Country Club, the trees and grass, not quite as withered and lifeless. At least two out of every three buildings sat empty and abandoned. Homeless people were everywhere, taking shelter in every nook and collecting cans and bottles almost as soon as they were discarded. The only businesses seemed to be invariably overcrowded homeless shelters, thrift stores, and the odd convenience store. Even the check cashing and payday loan storefronts with their neon "We Buy Gold and Silver" signs that seemed to be on every third block in Wolverton and Hardwick Park were too extravagant for Ash Street. The odds seemed long, but the local fast food chain, Wunder-Chuk, was betting that there was an untapped market on Ash Street and in the Country Club. The grand opening of their new branch on Storch Avenue had kicked off earlier in the evening. Everything seemed to go smoothly until the "Clash of The Woodchucks". The local press managed to get their hands on the surveillance footage immediately, and had edited together and spread it like wildfire within an hour. On one side of the restaurant, the employee who had drawn the short straw and had to wear the Wally Woodchuck mascot costume walked up to the wrong little girl, mistakenly thinking he would make her laugh. Instead, she started bawling. On the other side of the restaurant, a true monster had appeared. Some sort of humanoid rodent, like a man with the head of a chipmunk, wearing a trenchcoat and wide-brimmed hat as a comically ineffective ineffective disguise, had walked up to the outdoor seating area carrying a battered, bloody young woman in his arms. He laid her down on one of the unoccupied tables, tore a diamond necklace from her neck, and turned to leave before the young girl's sobbing seemed to get his attention. He ran up to the mascot, slashed at him with bear-like claws, scooped up the little girl, since identified as "Emily Petrovic", age six, and ran off with her. The mascot attacked by the "Woodchuck Man" was admitted to Downtown General with multiple lacerations, but nothing serious. He was being kept at the hospital while the doctors ran tests for any infectious diseases, but they expected to discharge him within the next couple of days. The battered young woman the "Woodchuck Man" had left behind, meanwhile, had been identified as Ashley Fairchild, age 21, a student at Belchner College. She was supposed to be starting her senior year in the fall, and she was engaged to marry her boyfriend, meat packing heir and fellow student Ethan Pfeffner. Now she lay in a coma at the Beth-El Hospital near Stone Ridge, and the doctors couldn't say if she'd ever wake up. Ethan had spoken with reporters, imploring anyone with information relevant to the investigation into his fiancee's assault to come forward. He made special mention of the diamond necklace the creature had stolen, stating that it was an heirloom passed down through five generations of his family. His grandparents offered a $10,000 reward for its safe return. The police were technically searching for the girl and the "Woodchuck Man", but the most and of the Ash Street residents saw of their efforts was a patrol car creeping by maybe once every half-hour. Even that was an unprecedented level of police presence in the area, but it was unlikely to yield any tangible results. As soon as they learned of the incident, Dead Head and Mister Strix had taken it upon themselves to investigate. Their first stop was the restaurant itself, now closed and mostly deserted, save for a single patrol car in the parking lot, and a couple of reporters and unpaid gawkers milling about.
  14. It was normal for Jack to get lost, quite normal in fact. Jessica had left earlier that day...Jack wasnt quite sure what she had gone out to do...but the weather felt amazing and he didnt have anything really to do that day so he just started walking. He hadn't really focused on where he was going, just out for a stroll enjoying the warm, lazy day. It was nice not to have to save anyone for a change. He always enjoyed it, but there was a simple dignity in a slow day where one could relax and take in the sights. Going for walks helped Jack stay grounded, and often it was how he met new people. He made a mental note to stop by and see his parents later...it had been awhile since he had seen them. He knew how his mother worried for him...he let out a small sigh at the thought, but turned his thoughts away from where that would take him. Best just to deal with one moment at a time, as he always said. Jack noticed the buildings had changed around him and he looked around to see he was in unfamiliar territory. This turn didnt worry him, as he could nearly always find his way home eventually. It did, however, coax a smile from him, as he had not yet been in this part of the city. This was turning out to be an interesting adventure...
  15. Octoman Ben Wang intended to take full advantage of the summer months to get the hang of this superhero thing before school started back up. The weekday morning found him on the roof of his West End apartment complex, shifting the colors and textures of his skin, and recreated the costume he'd only drawn on paper. OK, that doesn't look right in 3-D...darken that part, brighten up this one...now we're in business. He took a few deep breaths to fill up his internal bladders. Then he crouched down and flexed muscles no other person had, forcing the air through his internal siphon and expelling it through the now-open valves in his hands and feet. He shot off into the air like a rocket. "AWWW YEAAAHHH!" Tentacles sprouted from his body while he soared over the buildings. Once he started to lose momentum, the tentacles stretched out for dozens, sometimes hundreds of feet, slapping against whatever building was in reach. The suckers lining the tenacles stuck to any surface, and the tentacles could retract as quickly and forcefully as they expanded, pulling the rest of his body through the air to meet them. He held his smartphone with one of the tentacles, using the tip to press the virtual button. As he bounced around between buildings, he took a series of candid action shots, and a few plain old selfies. What has two thumbs and doesn't need a transit card anymore? While being pulled toward the side of a building at 25MPH by what was basically a motorized winch in tentacle form, he actually took the time to raise two fists and point his thumbs at his own chest as he completed the thought. THIS GUY.
  16. Summer 2019 Phoenix Federal Building As he waited for Lady Liberty to arrive, AEGIS Special Agent Jim Johnson stayed out of the sun. It was Phoenix in summertime, 85 degrees at 9 o'clock in the morning, and he was damned if he was going to let the teenage superheroine catch him sweating more than he already was. So he stood just inside the building's glassed-in door, waiting for Lady Liberty to make her appearance. With the channels the government had established in the superhuman community in the last year, it had been easy enough to send the message to Lady Liberty - please come meet with us at such and such a date at such and such a time, so we can discuss a matter of importance to you. He'd always been a fan of Lady Liberty, the kind of heroic legacy he'd hoped to embody himself as an agent of the United States government, and had made a study of the current one's predecessors before taking this particular assignment - straight from the Director, who'd gotten it straight from the President of the United States. He was sincerely looking forward to bettering the life of America's patriotic heroine - and making things run a bit more smoothly for everybody.
  17. angrydurf

    Helpless

    The Summer had hardly been uneventful but despite a few close calls and a thorough condemnation for reckless risks and an equally thorough commendation for breaking up the ring of Daka Crystal thieves Kam and his friends had returned to Claremont Academy. They arrived in advance of the next year with time to catch up on the news of Freedom and more importantly perhaps share their own exploits. The late summer sun found several of them gathered for lunch in the central quad trading stories. Kam let out a bright laugh, "Then they spun her." he shook his head at the memory nodding at Janus and eyeing his sister with a teasing glint in his eyes, "At least half of that giggle was genuine." he prodded perhaps foolishly given her penchant for getting the upper hand in these wars of words. Looking directly at Elizabeth he smirked, "It was like something out of one of those teen musicals." he joked easily. It would likely be less funny when those pictures circulated to where their father uncovered them. Raising his hands the Dakanan prince deflected gamely, "I will grant it certainly got people's attention."
  18. GM Doctor Adriana Aparo stood in the cemetery outside the Saint Fabian's Catholic church on Stark Hill, holding two bouquets of roses, one red, the other white. She crouched down under the moonlit sky and laid each bouquet down in front of the two tombstones resting in front of her. The white roses, she placed upon the grass in front of "Father Rafael Giordano, Beloved Son, Dear Brother, Good Shepherd". The red roses, she carefully put in front of Rafael's neighbor, "Gaetano Giordano, Beloved Son, Dear Brother, Devoted Husband". Her companion and former sister-in-law, Flora Russo, extended a hand to help her stand back up, and then rested that hand on Adriana's shoulder, squeezing it. The two women exchanged a brief conversation as they lingered over the graves for a couple more minutes. Then Flora took Adriana's hand and walked her out of the cemetery. On their way out, Adriana stopped once, turning to look back over her shoulder. After a few seconds, she turned back and resumed her exit.
  19. Down below The argument from below awoke Heroditus, his parents' voices echoing up from the atrium of their house to his second-floor bedroom window. "No, he's too young! You shouldn't take him to a scene of such...carnage!" "He is my right hand, and he needs to know the nature of our foes! Especially with him about to go Above!" The third voice wasn't immediately familiar, and spoke more quietly than either. "Whether you bring the boy or not, we need to go quickly before the spoor is lost. I trust you, Stylianos, and if you trust your son's discretion, that's all the word I need." Peering out his window, Heroditus could make out quite the crowd down below. His mother, his father, and a figure in a general's armor he thought he recognized were standing in the courtyard around the back of a high-speed watercraft that looked to be of military make. The general was accompanied by several soldiers, all of whom were still inside the craft proper. There was enough room for more inside.
  20. Summer 2019 Suddenly the door to the conference room opened, and a man entered. Well, depending on your definition thereof. Both Miracle Girl and Fulcrum had heard of the fate of Captain Thunder's son Bolt, the electric speedster and Claremont alum who'd recently been the victim of a horrific attack that had left him permanently transformed into energy now possessing a high-end robot. Bolt hadn't bothered with the kind of android features used by mechanical heroes before him; he had a featureless blue face and metallic body, with long blue cape behind him. "Hello, Miracle Girl, Fulcrum." He cocked his featureless head, then sat down at the head of the table. "Before we start," he said, his modulated voice serious. "I want to let you know that it wasn't my idea to do it this way, and I hope you won't hold it against me. Now!" he added, his voice suddenly light. "Tell me about yourselves."
  21. Summer 2019 Suddenly, the station gave a great lurch beneath Terrifica and Salvo's feet, making both women stumble - a moment before suddenly everything in the room rushed up against the ceiling with bone-crushing force, then back down again at equal velocity. There was no glass here in this futuristic station, but there was the sound of crunching metal and plastic as monitors and equipment shattered from the sudden strain of gravity reversed, then restored, then failed! Even an end to the violence didn't bring peace; everything was floating now in the sudden arrival of microgravity, and alarms and a recorded voiceover were clearly blaring "Warning! Systems Failure! Systems Failure! Skinbreach protocol in place!" as red lights lit up around the room's door - which had noisily thunked shut with a sound you didn't need to be a supergenius to recognize as an automatic doorlock. From outside came a distinct rumbling sound.
  22. Late August 2019 Washington, DC Alone in the East Bedroom, Judy clutched the new phone tightly in her fingers before she began typing a message. "Hey Lulu, it's Judy. Are you awake?" She looked past the beeping medical monitor along the left side of her bed to the clock on the wall. Well it was 2AM on a Saturday night, so maybe she was! She settled back on the bed, her comfortable satin pajamas rustling slightly, and set the phone down beside her to wait for a reply. At least she still had her leather-bound birthday present beside her, which she cracked open. "“Now when the evening was come, his servants made haste to depart, and Bagoas shut his tent without, and dismissed the waiters from the presence of his lord; and they went to their beds: for they were all weary, because the feast had been long..."
  23. Skies Above Seoul Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea Saturday, June 27, 2019 8:25:41 PM Two figures traced lazy circles in the space above skyscrapers, straddling the line between the sea of noise and light below and the empty blue sky above them. It was a Saturday in twilight, the sun setting an hour ago, and like all cities on Saturday nights the streets were packed with cars, horns honking at each other. People waded in and out and through the open air markets and shopping boulevards. Families ate dinner together. Friends drank to each other. Drunk voices rose in chorus to sing songs in Kareoke. Parties blared and thrummed with the beat of music and bodies. But up in the air, the two figures might as well have been the only ones left in the planet. "Hey, how's the headset going?" Nicole's voice sounded in Selena's ear, loud and clear. It was almost as if Nicole was speaking right beside Selena and not fifty feet to her 11 o'clock and slightly behind her. As Nicole asked this, the form of her armor entered Selena's view. It spat out flame from her boots in short, controlled bursts and looped away and around her, back out of her vision. The two had travelled to Seoul for one last visit before the university season started and the two, presumably, part ways. They had different paths in life, though both were superheroes and that made for a small community. Both could fly and that made travel easier. Still, one last trip was in the itinerary and they both jumped at the chance to go abroad. They hadn't been in Seoul long, only two days but the chance to fly around aimlessly in a new city was always a treat for anyone who could. As for Selena's helmet, it was a gift Nicole had made for her. Something that allowed Gauss to speak and look and listen without the hassle of things like the howling wind on her face when she was flying at top speeds. "Earth to Selena. Hellooo," Nicole said again. "I say again, 'How's it going?'"
  24. The Rooftop Castle on the DuTemps Building. Friday, July 26th, 2019. 7:04 pm As first dates went for Casey Blankenship, this was the first; sure, she 'dated' Tim Krieger freshman year back in Colorado Springs, but that was mostly holding hands at Summer Bible Camp. She hadn't dated at all at Claremont, and despite the efforts of her sorority sisters, she'd yet to date anyone at FCU. But something about this new website intrigued her; just knowing your date was, well, different, somehow made everything much easier. She scanned the 'Men Looking For Women' listings in a matter of seconds, but only one listing really caught her eye. This Morgan, though... Messages were exchanged, a date was planned, somehow. Casey didn't want her date to feel uncomfortable, and they both flew, so she blurted out the one rooftop she knew in Freedom that combined an amazing view with a garden. A quick phone call to a simply delighted Daphne assured her that it would be 'totally fine' to meet her date on top the DuTemps Castle in time to eat while the sun set. Having no idea how normal people dated, the blonde powerhouse announced she'd bring the food, which thrust her into Martha Stewart mode; by 7pm, she had two folding chairs and a collapsible table set up, with a red and white tablecloth and a big wicker picnic basket. Since her date knew she was a hero, Casey opted to skip her glasses and wear her hair down; she'd picked a dark blue party dress she really liked, and did her best to not check her watch every five seconds, as she sat in a chair with her long legs crossed.
  25. Freedom City Friday, July 26 5:58 PM Donahue’s Dockside Bar was not exactly the most glamorous of establishments. The outer walls were coated in flaking black paint, the sign that announced the bar’s name was a harsh neon red, and the windows were tinted in such a way that peering inside was at the very least difficult. On the steel front door was a sign which declared in hastily scrawled letters “closed for a private party”. The interior was not much better.The tables were made of old, battered wood, and the chairs had clearly seen better days. The lights were dim, as if to enhance the melancholic mood of anyone who happened to drink there regularly. The only thing really livening things up was a cloth-covered pair of tables, with a bright sign saying “free food - take what you like”. A few pieces sat under cloches, and the smell of hot sauce was strong in the air. Serena paced back and forth in front of the bar, rubbing at her temples. She was dressed in her Corona costume, a grey set of tights with black trunks and a leather jacket over top, along with a pair of welding goggles resting on her forehead. She sighed to herself. “Do you think anyone’s gonna show up?” she asked. Lester Donahue looked up from the glass he was polishing behind the bar. The muscle he had possessed in his teenage years had long ago turned to fat, and now an enormous belly hung in front of him, but he still possessed the orange fur and wet black nose that had come with the transformation that had given him inhuman levels of strength. He frowned at her, his yellow eyes following the superheroine as she moved back and forth. “It’s still two minutes to six, give’em time,” he said. “Besides, at least some of them are gonna show up for the free food alone, always do.” Serena looked over at him. “Well, that’s great but I kinda need superheroes.” Lester shrugged. “Superheroes like free food too. I mean, you’re mooching off of me right now,” he said with a slight smirk as he looked back down at his glass. Serena huffed. “Not mooching, I will pay you back.” Lester waved his hand at her dismissively. “Myaaaah, it’s fine. This is sticking it to Wu, it’s on me since I can’t uh… Well with my back injury and the heart condition…” Serena smiled sympathetically at him. “Thanks, Les.” Lester shrugged again. “Eh, it’s fine. EY! I think that’s the first person now!” he said, gaze drifting towards the window.
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