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  1. Summer 2021 Discovery Channel "So that was the secret of the Day of Wrath," said Fast-Forward into the camera, looking rather more serious than his usual mien, a cloud of black smoke rising from the still-smoldering building behind him. "Robot conspiracies, evil dopplegangers, and a plan for Earth that went much deeper than anybody expected it. When we picked this story for our finale, we never imagined we'd find anything like this - perhaps the most shocking moment in the history of...Supercrime!" - A day earlier....
  2. A few weeks after the events of Everything They're Asking For And More It had been an eventful few weeks of show prep, interrupted by chaperoning Holly's very first trip to Sanctuary with the rest of her Claremont class and Bryant waking up with one of those high fevers that goes and comes quickly in small children. But Richard and Paige had gotten a lot done despite all of that. They'd talked a little bit about their respective interviews, but they had been too busy to do their usual repeated comparing of notes. Some of what Richard had heard and seen had stuck with him, hanging like a dark cloud around his head as he sat at the dining room table, coffee in one hand and yellow legal pad with giveaway ballpoint pens in the other, writing names and question marks, a frown on his face.
  3. January 2021 FCTV Studios Richard had honestly been a little surprised when Kinsley and Darin York had agreed to meet with him at the FCTV Studios instead of the home studio-cum-library where they usually shot their Tiktok videos. Normally conspiracy theory types liked the homey atmosphere of where they usually did their work, and got nervous about coming into the lion's den of a professional television studio, particularly the types who were worried about mind control rays on the television (which was BS, Paige had checked) or secret conspiracies in the media (which was right but they usually had no idea about who was conspiring to do what). Of course, that didn't apply to the two young Millennials who were out there in the studio getting set up with the crew right now. As they'd mentioned on the way in, they didn't even have a television. They were a married couple, a couple of years older than Will, who favored the sort of casual business attire (Darin, for example, was in white dress shirt and red tie) that made them look ready to work in one of the TV offices rather than be interviewed in it. Karen the social media girl (as Richard called her in his head) had sent their messages to the show's staff for years and Richard had found some of it, well, some of it interesting! For two kids who didn't have powers themselves, they'd figured out at least a few things that Richard knew for a fact were true. When his own makeup and hair were done, he thanked the staff because only an asshole doesn't do that, zipped out to the seat he preferred, in front of the green screen background that would provide color for the kids, then waited for them to make their appearance.
  4. January 2021 The same message had gone out both electronically and mentally to the whole family - Hi, everybody. We need everyone who can make it home tonight for a family announcement. This is important; not a drill, 616. In other words, by words and the numeric code at the end, this wasn't a life-or-death immediate emergency -but it was certainly something serious. Downstairs in the living room, Holly Cline focused on the act of psionic creation while watching her stepbrother watch Daniel Tiger while sending a message out to her brother. I don't know what it is either; they're both locked down tight. But it must be something. Nana is here. Her eyes flicked over to her father, who with his eyebrows set and his arms folded across his chest, had that look that meant he wasn't talking about anything more serious than the weather. In the kitchen, Anna Cline was honestly looking better than Paige had seen her in years - she'd found a shade of blonde for her hair that wasn't quite so obviously a dye job, and her complexion had improved now that she was living somewhere that she didn't get quite so much sun. She had arrived not long after her summoning and had proceeded to pop a tater tot casserole in the oven freshly after walking in the door. It was - well, it was more grandmotherly than she usually acted.
  5. Archetech February 2021 The meeting with Miss Americana's people had gone smoothly. They were professionals, she was a media icon; everybody knew how the game worked and how nobody was going to try and make her look stupid. She'd been the right person to call; a synthetic heroine who herself had been instrumental in defeating a robot invasion, and someone who had been on the show before and knew the ropes. And talking to her was certainly always very pleasant. "It's the damndest thing," Richard had warned his intern Terry, who was new to this particular heroine. "Paige swears it's not anything psychic, and it's not anything biochemical or magic either. Maybe it's just, you know, all that smartness being used to figure out how to talk to people, or...I don't know! Anyway, she's something else." They'd agreed to meet outside of Miss Americana's office, in a small gardened atrium on the Archetech campus that bore the name of a staffer killed in the Deep One attack a few years back. Richard had stopped to smell the flowers already though and was tossing a ball to himself, back and forth, as he kibitzed with the crew in between letting them get set up for the shoot. Miss A's intern was already there, but the grumpy-looking girl with the green and black hair was mostly observing.
  6. February 2021 DuTemps Building "She's a great kid, really," Richard was commenting to David Longfellow as they waited for the arrival of their interview subject. Richard was standing, leaning against the wall and occasionally tossing a tennis ball across the room to himself and back again, trusting the crew to do their jobs and do them well. "She and Will were in the same class back in high school. Which means...she must be, what, almost thirty now? Jeez." He zipped over when his intern Terry arrived with coffee and gave him a million-dollar grin. "Thanks Ter!" A quick sip and "Triple sugar, niiice. " He had learned, a long time ago, under very different circumstances, that you were always, always nice to the people who worked for you, because they were the ones who watched your ass. He zipped back to the windows, looking out from their thirty-story height, and said, "I remember when this place was under construction, back in the day. They tore down a whole block that was mostly these little TV repair shops, but the...jeez." He shook his head. "Damn, I sound like an old fart. Sure, sound check," he said as Kelsey approached with the boom mike. "Let's do this." He was dressed for work, hair slicked back with just a few streaks of grey showing, sunglasses in his hand, wearing a safari vest over a black dress shirt and jeans. "You're not that old," Kelsey commented with a cheeky smile once they were done, "not as long as you sign my paychecks anyway!" He laughed as a ripple of laughter ran through the crew, and watched as the crew finished setting up, trusting them to do their jobs - and sure enough, with the windows behind him shaded enough that he wouldn't be backlit, he waited for Mali's arrival.
  7. GM August 20, 2019 A barrier island off the coast of Freedom City 6:00 AM This was it, the fateful hour. The morning fog rolled over the barrier island, the waves calm. Rising up from the island’s rocky surface was the vessel that would take the fateful group up to the Moon: The Peregrine. Standing tall as a building, it looked like a rocket ship out of Buck Rogers, tall and thin and cast in chrome. An extendable stairway lead into its interior, inviting the people on the surface to step inside. In front, a crowd of heroes had gathered, dressed in space-suits. Rachel stood out front of the Peregrine, dressed in a labcoat and holding a datapad that she was going over intently. She paced, occasionally looking at the heroes, then at the rocketship. She sighed sharply through her nose, then nodded to herself. Stowing the datapad, she clapped her hands together. “Alright! So, I’ve quintuple checked everything, and it looks like we’re cleared to go. Just some things to cover. Flight up to orbit is going to take 3 hours, then making it to the Moon will take another hour You won’t have to do anything for the first bit, I’ve installed a guidance system. One reinforced against psychic interference, this time. However, our pilot,” she said, looking over to Black Mamba, “will have to guide it down to the surface. I’ve deliberately made the controls easy and familiar, so you shouldn’t have any problems. If you’re attacked, I’ve installed Photon Cannons. However, I would be careful, if you fire them in our atmosphere you could cause a fireball. The firing mechanism is very clearly labeled.” She gestured at their space-suits, red ones that were similarly retro. “Your space-suits are state-of-the-art and tailored to what I know about your powers so you can use them. For example, Fast-Forward’s suit has been implanted with a reactive graviton array that will allow him to use his speed powers as though he was in normal gravity. Similarly, I’ve developed a field generator that should allow Archer to use his bow and arrows effectively. The same goes for the rest of you. I’ve tried to account for everything. More than that, your suits have a nano-array that should allow them to quickly seal if you’re hit, so no worries about suffocation. There are limits, though. Take too much damage and the nano-array won’t have enough material to repair. Life support is good for 72 hours, so if for some reason you get blown away into space, we have time to retrieve you,” she said. “I will not be joining you up there, sadly. But I have an FTL-communication device set up that should mean I will be able to communicate with you instantaneously with you wherever you are, as long as you don’t all decide to like… visit Mars or something. Please don’t do that.” She paused, and then tilted her head. “Alright. Any questions?”
  8. GM Brussels, Belgium July 27th, 4:00 PM 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
  9. 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.
  10. The West End Silberman's Books June 14, 6:00 PM …For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself Phew, for a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself The smooth sound of Thom Yorke’s voice filtered through Serena’s car speakers as she pulled up onto Pratt, looking for Silberman’s Books. As she spotted the store-front, she sighed to herself in relief. This was her last delivery of the day, and she was looking forward to the chance to finally relax after this. Normally, she engaged in superheroics after work, but today had been a bit of a mess and thus all she wanted to do was get in the shower and sleep like the dead. They sell coffee here, she thought to herself. Maybe I should pick one up. Pulling to a stop next to the store, Serena compulsively double-checked to make sure there wasn’t “no parking” sign to saddle her with a ticket she couldn’t afford. That’d really mess up her week. Safe. She disconnected her phone from the blue-tooth, and stuffed it into her front-right pocket before twisting the keys and yanking them out of the ignition, then headed to the back. The first thing she grabbed was her collapsible dolley, kicking it down to its full size before she loaded the three boxes down onto it. The delivery was a bunch of copies of some weirdo French, In My Name or And Numina or something. Not really her wheelhouse. Her ex, Pete, was into that stuff but he was never really able to get her into it like he was. The moment the math started, she was off into her own little world. Slamming her trunk shut, she locked the car - three times just to be safe - and began wheeling the dolley up the very convenient wheel-chair ramp and into the store. She looked around, seeing the magic posters, and whistled to herself. She used to spend more time in bookstores, back when Mia was younger, but these days she never had time to read. She kind of missed it. Used to be she’d never miss a Stephen King, but these days she wasn’t even caught up on the movies. She headed toward the front, wanting to get things done quickly. She was dressed in a baby blue blouse with the sleeves rolled up, showing off her colourful Bosnian flag wrapped around her right forearm and the cut-off depiction of a fanciful battle on her left. Her jeans had a tear in the right knee, but this wasn’t a fashion statement so much as a reflection of the fact that she needed to make every pair of pants last as long as possible, while her worn Docs had seen better days. She had made the decision to mostly eschew make-up today, wearing only some winged eyeliner, while her hair was tied up in a messy bun. “Hey, I got a delivery for a… Lynn Epstein?” She said, her voice a rough contralto.
  11. Content Warning: Cussing June 18, 2017 5:35AM Bedlam City, Wisconsin Fast-Forward skidded to a halt in the middle of Hardwick Park. Not bothering to take off his helmet, he looked around wildly before declaring "...what the hell?!" 5:37AM Chicago, Illinois Millennium Park Fast-Forward stared up at the statue of the Barnstormers, ignoring the few flatscans in the park this early. "WHAT THE HELL!?" This time he did take off his helmet, never mind the risk when he was away from home, and cast out with his psychic connection to his wife - finding her in Freedom City of all places? She'd probably felt that but she was just waking up - and he didn't have time for her to catch up with him. "Come on, man, wakeupwakeupwakeup-" He ran in a little circle, hitting himself on the side of the head, using the psychic feedback Paige had taught him to break out of an illusion. Nothing. Motherfucker! Finally deciding it was worth the risk, he put his helmet back on and girded his loins for the run into Freedom City. 5:38AM Freedom City In front of the Cline household Staring up at flatscan suburban hell for a long moment, Richard Cline took off his helmet in honest bafflement - and decided to leave it off since whatever was happening had evidently happened right through the helmet's psionic bafflers. He tried the door, found it locked, and banged on it - surprised when what looked like mundane wood didn't immediately shatter under his fist. "Hey!" he called, both out loud and psychically, hot anger and bafflement turning to fear loud in both voices, a second before winding up for a blow that would have knocked a regular door out of his hinges entirely. "What the hell is going on!?"
  12. July 2017 Greenbank As the gateway slammed shut beneath Phantom's spells, Fast-Forward reflexively threw a hand over his eyes, shielding himself from the flare of mystic energies that meant that doorway to the Mayan realms were closed - for now. Quiet settled into the warehouse now, minus the scuttling and yowling of the few werejaguars that Ix Chel had created upon her first emergence to the realm of men. Or so his mystic book had told him, when he'd gone searching through it, not long before the beginning of the investigation earlier that week that had led he and Phantom to the same spot. "Thanks for this, Phantom," he said, standing with unexpected quietitude on the burn mark on the floor where the portal had lain. "Maria wouldn't have appreciated this getting out." He sighed softly, almost imperceptibly, thinking of FORCE Ops, El Gato, and how fate had led him to be the custodian of their memory even though he'd spent over a decade as one of their greatest enemies. - There were considerably more werejaguars than Daggers had anticipated. He'd run into them running out the back of the warehouse, the group of half-dozen in what had been security guard uniforms turning out to be formidable foes. "You'll be the first in Ix-Chel's new army! The jaguar goddess will be the birth of a new age!"
  13. April 30, 2017 Freedom City Riverside Park 7PM It was a quiet enough afternoon for the Cline family, or at least one part of it. Richard Cline had always been an involved father (sometimes to Holly and Will's frustration) but he'd made a special point to step in and get involved in their lives after they'd all brought home baby Bryant Cline. Paige hadn't actually objected to adopting his infant father rather than see him put into the foster system - but he also knew her well enough after decades together to know what it meant for her to open their home like that. So he'd made a special point to be the father to Bryant that Bryant had never been to him, and if it was all strange and dysfunctional, well their family had always been that at least a little bit and they'd gotten through all right. Tonight, the day before the big May 1 charity Race for the Cure that he and Will had entered along with some other Freedom City heroes, he and his kids were sitting around a picnic table in Riverside Park, waiting for their fellow racers to arrive. Holly had Bryant out from his carrier and had laid him on his stomach on a blanket on the ground - but he wasn't staying there! Now a chubby nine-month-old full of energy, the bald-headed tot kept 'dashing' his way off the blanket, clutching his lovey in one hand and pulling himself along with the other arm and both his knees. <Go Bryant!> thought Holly, snapping some pictures with the new phone that had been her recent twelfth birthday present. <No more babies in chains!>
  14. April 30, 2016 It had started small - a hemokinetic terrorist attacking Ocean Heights Amusement Park one day, a strange Deep One migration in New England. Then the situation had seemed to grow more serious - a misguided fly monster in Nuevo Laredo who spoke of a day of vengeance and a divine appointment, followed by a diseased specter in the West End bearing horrific diseases where she went. By the time a shambling monster in Sicily had come bringing boils and pain wherever he went, followed by flaming thunderstorms in Washington - the heroes of Earth knew the crisis they faced. By the time locusts blotted out the skies over London, and darkness did the same over Claremont Academy the very next day, they knew who was behind it - August Roman, the once-Emperor of Crime, infused with the powers of the Devil. But where would he strike? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Freedom City Port Regal Fast-Forward was doing magic in the backyard. World-ending threats were one thing to Richard Cline but the idea of something happening, something targeting Freedom City and probably the world, that targeted first-born sons, was his little boy in his arms, spinning him around so fast that they tunneled through the earth was something that he needed to do everything in his power to prevent. The first time Will had tripped and fallen, holding his bloody knees and crying inconsolably. The broken bodies of the victims of the Terminus Invasion, scattered at his feet. Outside in the yard, Richard ran faster and faster, tracing out the patterns of the stars at his feet, trying to find the unholy disturbance in the starry patterns that would mean a fallen angel come to Earth. Across the world, others were watching too, and waiting - ready to defend it.
  15. August 1, 2016 Port Regal The Cline Residence Waiting had been the hardest part. The cancer, slowly eating away at the elderly Bryant Haliday, occasional moments of lucidity amid pain and fatigue. For the decades they'd spent apart, this last gasp of mortality had swept all the Clines together for the last few months of Bryant Haliday's life. Even Anna Cline, who'd spent fifty years angry at the man who had impregnated her, abandoned her, and then escaped into madness, had reconciled with Bryant at the end. She was with him on the last night, a night when Richard, Paige, and Will were home in bed with their memories. When the house phone rang, Richard and Paige woke up almost simultaneously. Richard rolled over and picked it up, guessing correctly who was on the line - and why she was calling. He reached over and squeezed Paige's hand as he heard his mother's voice - but she felt confusion from him like a backwash of the growing wave of grief, the two emotions mixing together. "He...what? Ma, you're not making sense, what-" He hung up the phone, blinking back sleep, and rolled out of bed for his clothes. "Something happened there, with Bryant. I gotta go."
  16. June 29th, 2016 McNider Memorial Hospital, Freedom City, New Jersey Afternoon Miras flinched as bullets chewed away at the ceramic tiles at the corner she was facing, chips and shards of pottery slowed and deflected by her magic. The intermittent roar of gunfire echoed and rebounded through the underground parking garage, setting off several car alarms as the terrorist kept the superhero pinned down. After a solid minute of deadly shots the gunfire fell silent; Miras peaked out of cover and noted that the terrorist, a young woman in a bright red tee-shirt, Kevlar vest, and bandanna, was fumbling with her gun. The musical magus didn't know much about guns, but she knew that they eventually ran out of bullets and that this might be her only attempt to talk the other woman down. "This is your best chance to surrender," Miras called out. "You can't win anymore. We found the anesthesia you swapped out with nerve gas, every hospital in New England is checking their supplies. You're pinned down here, and Fast-Forward is upstairs taking care of the last of your super-suit back-up. You're not going to win here, give up and come quietly!" "Shut your bourgeois mouth!" the woman shouted back. "This hospital is a monument to capitalist greed, a place for sick people to be bilked of more money. If the doctors here really cared about people, they'd be out on the street! Saving lives! Not stuck in board meetings arguing for funding." The terrorist loaded another magazine in her weapon and aimed at the pillar that the superhero was hiding behind. "And you really believe that I shouldn't be here, then come out and stop me, pig!" Miras rolled her eyes at the notion and settled in as more gunfire streamed her way. Bullets were a finite resource; she just had to muster more patience.
  17. Okay, here we go. Fast-Forward: 45 Angel of Death: 39
  18. For here. And FF has done a take 20 on his Search check for the whole city. Popping him out of the thread for about ten minutes in game.
  19. April 1st, 1:45 PM. "The Cline's huh? I watch their show." Came the cheery sounding tones of Det. Kirkendahl. A small smile on his face as he pulled up the rather nice house of the famous super powered couple in the unmarked sedan. He combed his hair back as he looked up at it. The partner, Det. Boyle, was checking his phone and frowning. "You would watch their show. You want to take the lead? I mean, these people aren't precisely the type we can buffalo easily, and they are going to be hiding things." The more severe looking dark haired detective frowned, and squinted as he looked up from his phone at their house, the unseasonably warm and clear day had him lifting his arm to blow the glare. "God, it is too sunny." "Probably not, so I guess we be as honest as possible, and hope they actually have something. It isn't like these types keep tabs on each other extensively." Rubbing at his chin Kirkendahl looked to Boyle, and then nodded. "Let's give it a go." He reached back to grab at the tablet, and he moved out of the car and up to the front door of the Cline's place. Boyle followed after him, a bit slower, having to get his jacket from the backseat as well. Moving after Kirkendahl, a bit of a quickened pace to make sure they made it to the door together, and he made a gruff sound. "Try not to be a starry eyed fan boy, eh?" And he hit the doorbell, before stepping back and shaking his head as he regarded Kirkendahl. "I will keep my gushing to a minimum, if you can stop being a cynical bastard." A smirk on his face as he glancing at Boyle, while waiting for the door to be opened.
  20. Thanksgiving 2015 Freedom City Things were changing in the Cline household. Will was dating a nice girl out in California, a very pretty UCLA cheerleader and aspiring athletic trainer named Stormy Allen. The Clines had met the Allens, a lovely couple who worked in the back office of the Los Angeles Clippers, a few weeks earlier and it had been a very pleasant conversation. Stormy came from a big family, with three older brothers and two younger sisters, and so she'd invited Will to her traditional family Thanksgiving. He'd said yes - a big moment for Will and his relationship with this girl! This meant it was the first Thanksgiving for the Clines without the company of their oldest son. It was hard - but one thing about having a lot of hero friends was that they never had to be entirely without company. Richard was up first, as usual, especially thanks to all the work Paige had been doing the night before. His morning run took him around eastern New Jersey and almost to Baltimore before he came jogging back with coffee and doughnuts, about the time he saw the light coming on in Holly's room from outside. Holly had been getting up earlier too lately - just like her dad.
  21. Date: September 19, 2015 Taylor hadn't exactly given Elis all that much choice really. Oh, she'd promised that it was a nice, normal meeting with nice, normal people who just happened to have super powers. Other than that it was just a barbecue with friends who happened to be super parents, at least that was what she'd conveyed on the phone. In Taylor's defense, she really did feel that it was important for the relatively new super hero to have something like a support network. She certainly would have appreciated having had more of a network when she'd first started. Also, her definition for 'normal' might have gotten steadily skewed over the years. After all, Stesha was the most normal person that Taylor still knew - she just happened to be a goddess running her own nature planet preserve these days. Taylor's lack of sympathy for any attempts to cry off might have also been in part in her expectation that it took some strong arming to get people to attend parties. Jack certainly wasn't ecstatic about Taylor's 'we're all going as a family to this barbecue on Stesha's planet before dark hits. No, really. It's important to me' explanation for why everyone was being rousted on a Saturday, side dish in tow. With a soft 'pop' of displaced air, Taylor showed up in Ellis' living room. Huang had his after school job to keep him busy and Taylor didn't think that he'd enjoy a barbecue with mostly adults and the under ten crowd in attendance. Jack and JJ had already been dropped off with Jack entrusted with delivering the side dishes of potato salad and a cooler full of steaks for the barbecue. That she showed up inside the house rather than on the porch was in difference to Ellis secret identity but he might not see it that way. Except for the sudden appearance, Taylor looked normal enough - at least she wasn't in costume. With her hair pulled up in a bun and in a light shirt and denim shorts she could have been any fresh-faced college student. Well, except for the fact that she was still translucent.
  22. September, 2015 Nicholson School After some consideration, Richard decided the best to track down Taylor Chun would be through their common bond - the school. And so it was that at Parents Night, a couple of weeks after the formal start of classes, Taylor and Jack Jr. (the younger version of her son, anyway) were approached in the hallway at the school by a smiling man in an expensive track suit and a bored-looking girl of 10 in an LA Clippers jacket. "Hi! You must be Taylor," said Richard, the celebrity instantly recognizable even before you saw the nametag all the adults were wearing. "I'm Richard Cline, and this is my daughter Holly." Holly gave Taylor and JJ a polite smile and wave. "Hi, nice to meet you." She looked at JJ, who at the moment was hanging onto his beloved, albeit battered, school backpack, and gave the little boy a puzzled look. "I hate to talk business here, but I think our better halves are at the thing in the cafeteria. Can we walk and talk?", he asked, pointing towards the hallway down and awa from the kindergarten corridor. From inside that rather old-fashioned track suit jacket, the man was radiating somebody's magic - something old and scholarly that felt as out of place around Richard Cline as one of her own sigils would have been on TLC.
  23. Thursday April 16, 2015 The Cline House Port Regal Don't make it sound like a creepy sex thing - don't make it sound like a creepy sex thing. Fast-Forward reminded himself as he finished tapping in the number for Starlight's drop phone, having exchanged contact information with the heroine after they'd finished their unpleasant encounter with the city's drug trade. Normally he was much more confident about phone conversations, but he'd picked up on some hints in conversing with the young woman that her situation was pretty dire - and he was familiar enough with poverty and desperation to know how the 'optics' (to use a phrase their PR guy Tony liked to use) might look shady to someone who didn't know him well. With his kids playing on the Wii U downstairs and his wife 'listening' to the phone call while she read a book on her iPad across the bedroom, it was easy to forget just how far up he'd come. Until he thought about the look in the eyes of kids like Starlight - and remembered it on his own face. When Starlight picked up, Richard said in a friendly voice, "Hello, Starlight - it's Richard Cline. Are you busy?"
  24. Cline Home Port Regal, Freedom City, New Jersey 7:22 PM Saturday, February 21st, 2015 During Next-Gen's weekly training sessions, which had increased to bi-weekly since alien robots failed to destroy the planet, Will had expressed to his teammates that his parents needed a babysitter for his sister. Professor Psion's recent bout of being alive had left the family on high alert. Though before their teammate could spit out the request in full Thaelia had already gleefully volunteered. It went without saying that there was a moment of relief when Errant volunteered afterwards to help the overly ambitious demigoddess. The ever optimistic Glamazon was many things. An experienced hand at watching children was not at the top of the list. The fact that her mind was an open book was equally a mixed blessing in that she'd be someone not bothered in the slightest about watching over a telepath. As her telepathic partner in arms could attest. The princess of Atlantis had neither the patience nor the inclination to wait for a taxi, Thaelia had sped alongside traffic from the academy to the private Cline estate. A blur charging in an out of traffic without even the slightest notice of the below freezing temperature. Upon arriving she gave the premises an excited visual scan from the outside. Thaelia's familiarity with the living situation of her friends was mainly limited to the academy dorms. The Cline house was no dorm room for sure. The powerhouse babysitter would take a rare moment to wait for the other youth before starting a trek to the front door. Despite his lack of ability to encroach upon the sound barrier, Thaelia had never known Errant to be anything less than punctual.
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