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  1. It was a sad truth that even superheroes had to do their nightly chores, particularly if said heroes were also small business owners, and parents of an ever expanding brood of small children. So whilst the kids may have been a bed the adults of the espadas household had their labors yet before them. Dishes to be done, toys to be stowed before the morrow brought a new and exciting minefield of small and startlingly share bits of plastic artfully concealed beneath princess dresses and costume capes, the life of quiet domesticity that kept the whole household running. Of course for the Interceptors, such moments were never long enough. In a cloud of hellfire and sulphurous smoke a small bundled folio appeared on the kitchen table, the magical signature of it's arrival familiar to Erics metamagi senses, Raina's young demonically inclined companion. Atop the parcel a hasty note, I'm safe and I'll tell you all about it soon. Tonight has been Bananas. You need to see this right away though. Raina the handwriting easily recognizable as was the passphrase the teen had insisted was far from cool but that's she'd use in an emergency if Talya promised not to let any of her friends ever see it. The folder itself was heavy for its size, the paper within clearly of sturdy stock. The exterior printing was much like the interoffice mailers used before everything went electronic, Talya would recognize it's pedigree as even older. Printed across the most recent delivery line read, To: Captain Browning C/O Raina Sanderson [eyes only] From: Major Redacted
  2. August 2017 The Antarctic Circle Archetech Antarctic #006 (Outside Temperature -50 F) (Outside Sky Dark) "Okay, ladies, you are officially past the Antarctic Circle!" The Archetech copilot had been quite solicitous to Dragonfly and Jill O'Cure once she'd learned it was the two superheroines' first visit to Antarctica. "Welcome to the Real Down Under!" Keri Russet's Australian accent was thick; she'd worked for the Australian Antarctic Division before being hired on by Archetech as a helicopter pilot. She grinned, her head ducked low in the cramped confines of the back of the helicopter. On the one hand, the electrically-driven helicopter was a technological marvel, big as a Chinook but faster, with an engine specially modified to work in the extreme cold of the Antarctic winter. On the one hand, it was a helicopter with a passenger compartment about the size of a small bus, and Ellie and Mara had been riding in it since they'd taken off from in Rio Gallegos around the beginning of their subjective night. That had been after the connecting flight from Buenos Aires, and that had been after flying down from Freedom City. It had been a long couple of days. "With the winds the way they are and with these new engines, we're about two hours out of Ellsworth Base, so you might as well get comfortable," she offered to the two costumed heroes. "Things are a bit rugged down there - and I should know, Keith and I are gonna bunk down there till you fly out again." The pilot, a deep-voiced man with a Nigerian accent, was still up front. "You ladies must be pretty special," she added cheerfully, "you earned Keith and me both triple-pay for flying you in in the middle of winter! I'm gonna take my kids to Disneyland when this is done." The message had come for Dragonfly by long-distance text, a legacy of the tightened bandwidth at an Archetech temporary base in Antarctica at the height of the Antarctic winter. "URGENT AID NEEDED: TECH PROBLEM - MA. CONFIDENTIAL. PERSONAL PROBLEM - C." Miss Americana hadn't been around much during that summer, and come to think of it neither had Harrier, having left word with the Interceptors that he was going to be out of communication until the holiday season. Once they'd passed certain tests to prove it was a real message, had come the instructions for how to get where they were going - an Archetech "geological base" (according to their website) located in the heart of Antarctica's Ellsworth Mountains. In winter.
  3. "That should be enough folding chairs for everyone," Gina Espadas judged from the doorway to the kitchen, doing a mental tally of the guests they were expecting for the umpteenth time that afternoon, making sure that they had enough of everything. The kitchen itself had proven too small for their needs this year so a pair of table had been moved into the living room and placed end-on-end with an assortment of wicker-backed chairs and their folding metal cousins, made more hospitable with mismatching cushions. She shot her son a dry look. "Sure you don't want to spring any last-minute additions on me?" "Can I help it if you raised me to be respected and well like by my peers?" Erik quipped easily, slipping past her wheelchair with an armful of cutlery sets wrapped in cloth napkins. He didn't believe for a moment that his mother was actually upset to be hosting a particularly full house for Thanksgiving this year and she didn't bother trying to sell the thin veneer of grumpiness any further, either. "Bird's looking good and we've got enough to go around even before what everyone else is bringing. Now if only Ellie and Mara would bring the extra plates down from the upstairs closet instead of making out!" He raised his voice to carry to the second floor with the last part, causing Yolanda to groan in protest from where she helping to tidy up the rest of the room for company. "Min and Talya will be over with the girls any minute and everybody else knows the score. Smooth sailing." The elder Espadas snorted in vague comment, giving the back of his head a narrow look. "They seem to be getting along well. Min and Talya, that is. Since she's been back." Erik paused briefly before resuming what he was doing. "I feel like you're trying to say something there." "What would I be trying to say?" "I... don't know?" Gina simply made a humming sound before wheeling about and heading back into the kitchen to keep an eye on the turkey.
  4. 160 years later, the time portal no longer absorbed or radiate visible light. But it glowed like a torch at the higher and lower end of the spectrum - standing out like brightest day to Miss Americana and Dragonfly on their arrivals, and in fact putting out so much radio waves that the former couldn't get very close without the risk of losing connection to her controller. For those with normal eyes, the strip mall parking lot in the West End was quiet and still - any eyewitnesses to any recent events at this location had either fled the premises or were in hiding.
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