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Found 33 results

  1. Shofet

    Special Delivery

    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.
  2. 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!?"
  3. 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!"
  4. 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!>
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. Raveled

    Savage History

    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.
  8. Okay, here we go. Fast-Forward: 45 Angel of Death: 39
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?" 
  15. HGM

    Child Psi-cology

    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.
  16. February 28th, 2015 Night The Fens, Freedom City, New Jersey Miras stood at the edge of the rooftop and watched the police wheel the body out of the tiny apartment. She knew she really shouldn’t be here, she knew that it was a violation of the anonymity of Narcotics Anonymous, but her brain wouldn’t just let it go. She had missed Allison’s tousled blonde head at three weekly meetings, and after a couple of drinks the woman’s sponsor allowed that Allison wasn’t answering her cellphone, either. It had been a little bit harder to track her after that, as NA didn’t keep membership records, but she found the food bank Allison volunteered at and someone that Allison had taken home one night. That lead Miras to a dinky apartment in the Fens; at least she hadn’t had to break down the door to get inside. Inside it had been, well, the sort of place someone lives when they’re working too many hours at four different minimum wage jobs. The only thing that didn’t fit, the one thing Miras had been dreading, was Allison’s corpse on her bed, a needle still in her arm. She had called the police from a payphone and waited. To give credit to Freedom City’s finest, they responded quickly to an anonymous phone call from the bad part of town telling them that someone had ODed. Now the witch’s eyes followed the police and the paramedics as they wheeled the body away. She rolled an empty glass bottle between her fingers; it was a simple sort that existed by the hundred in any pharmacy. The label had been peeled off, and someone had drawn dozens of tiny ‘Z’s had been drawn on it with markers and fit it with a new rubber cap. It was perfect to hold a sample of intravenous drugs. A drug that had killed Allison. Miras felt something sharp cutting into her palm and looked down at her hand. The bottle was suddenly broken into little glass shards. She took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. Whoever was behind this would pay for Alison’s death, but Miras wouldn’t let the scumbag take her own life and freedom away.
  17. December 25th Continued from >Mind Over Matter Fast-Forward was back on the streets of Freedom City so fast he barely had time to grab a candy cane from a department store giveaway as he made his way to his first destination. It was evening New Jersey time when he appeared at Dancia Devons' front door in Lincoln, where his super-speed knock sounded like a machine gun's rat-a-tat before he slowed himself back down (and sped everything else up) until once again he was in sync with the normal world. Knocking firmly, he called, "Dancia Devons! Dancia Devons!" When she opened the door, the Discovery Channel personality on Dancia's doorstep said without preamble, "Scarab needs you to save the world from robot psychics from space." He glanced around quickly to make sure no one was in the hallway; luckily her neighbors were all still enjoying their Christmas. "How quickly can you get to Puerto Rico?"
  18. November 1, 2014    Frances Psion swore up and down she had nothing to do with the mysterious fire in Blackstone's psychiatric wing a couple of weeks ago - but given her powers and her penchant for scrapping with prison security personnel, the Blackstone authorities haven't been inclined to take any chances. She's gotten into trouble with inmates too, trouble enough that there have been some very nasty threats against her life (and other things) made inside the prison compound. The Psions have been scrapping with villains for years and Ember had always been the Professor's fist; a sadistic brute whose fiery punishments were great at striking fear across the villain community. In jail, in power restraints, she's just a short woman with a strange accent, reddish-blonde hair and skin tanned a faint, perpetual orange.    She's being transported to lockup in upstate New York, where she'll be held for the next few weeks until the repairs to Blackstone are finished and her safety can be guaranteed. After that, she'll start what may be the first of many trials sometime in the beginning of 2015. Surrounded by two heavily armored female prison guards, she's in power-nullification shackles and a Blackstone orange uniform that she wears like a badge of honor. She's not talkative today; instead staring out the open window she can make out past the guard on her left, her eyes hooded as she looks out at the clouds overhead.    Among the passengers on this particular flight is someone very special - the second Foreshadow, a special consultant who has experience dealing with Ember Psion and her ways - as well as an ability to foresee the future. For this prisoner, with the escape attempts that have already happened, that's a very good thing.    -    Stronghold is in the air, soaring high above the clouds! It's cool and crisp this high, with only her ring's power saving her from an icy coating and hypoxia, but that's okay - it's a beautiful day and the clouds are the sort of light, fluffy things that in cartoons would be like big balls of cotton candy. Nearby she can see what looks like a Lear Jet zipping through the sky, but she's an experienced enough flyer by now to know how to handle herself around civilian traffic. It really is a beautiful day.    -   Back in Freedom City, it's Richard and Paige's day off - as well it might be, given that it's Saturday! Holly has begged her way into another viewing of Maleficent, and Will has blessedly volunteered to save his parents from yet another showing of a movie they've seen no less than four times now between the two of them. Christie had pulled some strings and gotten a prison-band radio for them to monitor Frances' flight, and occasionally in between house-cleaning they listened to the check-ins and all-clears from the pilots - who were now safely in the air. 
  19. November 26, 2014  Southside    "Ugh." As the thunder rolled overhead, Fast-Forward stopped under a bus stop to change. "I hate running in the rain," he muttered to himself, "my whole front is soaked!" But it was less than a second, literally, for him to be in a fresh outfit. Sitting on the shelter's bench, he took out his hand-written directions, having as usual spurned advice to put directions on his phone. Don't need to carry that thing anyway. "OK, the guy is right here, and man, this neighborhood went to the dogs!" Southside had been a favorite hangout of his back in the day when he'd been young and stupid (and also awesome!) and this particular street had had the best spots. Vinny's is now a gay bar with no pub food and the old newstand is gone...oh man, this was the place where we got that costume of Paige's that - well, he certainly didn't mind his wife overhearing those thoughts (if she happened to be listening), but they certainly weren't productive for what was supposed to be a business conversation.    "All right," he said aloud, "this place looks a little hinky, but magic people are always a little hinky." Not gonna burgle some guy's house unless he's a bad guy, so I'll wait till I know who's in there before I search the place. Phantasmo sounds like a legit name for a wizard, probably. Rechecking his black and white jumpsuit, cool shades, and high-topped sneakers to make sure he looked not just like a superhero but like a totally radical superhero, he headed over and zipped into the abandoned store at super-speed. 
  20. Bluebound Books Saturday, July 19th, 2014 7:30 PM Joe Macayle considered himself something of an amateur historian. But some times, that could be a broad consideration. There were areas he didn't know a whole lot about - the medieval era, the Civil War, the early American Revolution. But, at the same time, he knew there were areas that he could just tear into. World War II, early labor history, the superheroic record of Freedom City... and the town's punk scene. Which was why he was spending tonight at a bookstore instead of a club. Marc Varren, veteran Freedom City journalist, was presenting a reading from his new book, Screaming Indecency: Punk Rock, Freedom City, and the Moore Era. Joe knew a bit about the era, learned from the veterans of the scene - Moore's efforts to push for order, decency, and ethics (defined entirely by him, of course) pushed hard, and of course, the "disorderly," "indecent," and "unethical" of the city pushed back even harder. It was a time that had given rise to blistering music, a punk scene with enough passion to set the city of fire... and more than a few violent dissidents that almost did, something the papers of the era had been happy to make hay of. Then again, he hadn't lived it. Varren was one of the old guard punks, skin like shoe leather and tongue like fire. It'd be a hell of a thing to hear about the time from someone who'd been there on the streets.
  21.   Freedom City April 2014 The Crime Lab (Remote Site)    Richard Cline was not one for advanced planning most of the time, but then again most of the time he wasn't going back to dinosaur times. "All right, the advance team has been on the island for almost a week, and they haven't run into anything larger than a Great Dane, so I think we'll be all right." He let one of the techs pop a USB into the computer's port (something he had deliberately notmastered), playing what looked like an iMovie recording of a mostly-deserted tropical island, complete with birds in the air and animals on the beach - until the viewer saw the teeth and scales on the feathered fliers overhead, or realized that those weren't dogs fighting over the washed-up fish on the beach. The island looked to be in the center of a small bay, with low hills and a river visible on the opposite coast a few miles away.    "They're almost exactly at the site of Chicxulub, good good. We're lucky that island was there, the ultralights they sent out said it's all swampy marsh on the mainland." Fred Tanzin, the second unit director for Supercrime!, focused on the special guests. "We'll do some footage of you for the promos, either here in the studio once you come back or while you're in the field. We're still on for filming all the way from the 22nd through the 25th, local time. I know you've had a chance to read our briefing packet and be introduced to the on-air talent - but do you have any questions I can answer for you about the show?" 
  22. -Richard Cline, An Oral History of the Terminus Invasion   Summer 1993 First National Bank of Lincoln   Richard Cline stuck out in the crowd of customers waiting in line for the teller for three reasons - his tapping foot, rolling eyes, and general air of impatience marked him as someone eager to be anywhere else than waiting in line, his white skin and flashy clothes marked him as an outsider among the bank’s mostly working-class customers, and his baseball cap and sunglasses were just a little odd for this early in the morning. The other customers gave him a wide berth, when they weren’t glaring at him - just as planned.   It was hot in the bank, but not quite hot enough for them to run the air - instead the music from the lot across the street gently thrummed in through the open windows. “Cause my heart is beatin’ triple time, yeah!” He did a little dance in place, snapping his fingers to the beat, and winked at a little kid watching him from the row behind. Poor little bastard, stuck in these lines with his boring mundane ‘rents. Maybe we’ll give him something to think about. He slid back and forth on his sneakers as he stood there, brand-new rubber squeaking again and again against the green marble floor.   He and Paige hadn’t been back in Freedom City for a while, but they’d kept up their careers in New York and London, and even made the front page in the latter when they’d squared off against Britannia while making off with the Prime Minister’s watch. Maybe we should go to Canada next. Those jerks in True North could be taken down a notch or two. “What are _you_ looking at?” he sneered over his sunglasses at an older man in the business suit before he pulled the shades back up and made a rude face. Stupid old man, thinks he can start something. He yanked his fingers down his vest, snapping it tight, and thought Paige’s way.   Baby, once we pawn the jewels, let’s run up to that theater in Queens and see Jurassic Park again. He knew his girl was already in position, getting the crowd in the bank ready for the show of their boring little lives, while he kept everyone’s attention through his confident demeanor and manly swagger. He tapped his pristine white Air Jordans and thought good thoughts about showing Paige a very good time in that darkened theater. Feeling like a T-Rex today! He was thirty years old, he had the best superpowers and the best girl in the world, and they were about to do what they did best - CRIME!   Guard’s at the door...checking his watch...think he’s gonna go take a whiz. When he finally got to the front of the line, an eternally frustrating five or six minutes later, Richard pulled off his shades and smiled real big at the middle-aged clerk, flashing his pearly whites. “Honey, I got good news, and I got good news - first, you can take the day off. Even better is -” He jumped up and kicked off, speeding up the room and slowing himself as he did a totally, bodaciously badass flip that landed him on top of the counter. Enjoying the shocked faces of the crowd in that one long, frozen moment, he pulled off his magenta vest, bright red tie, black leather jacket, and white tee, and threw on the black and white jumpsuit that he’d been wearing since he was a teenager.   “Fast-Forward and Hologram are here to put a little color in your lives! Everybody get down!”
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