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Freedom City University - Dormitories 1:03 a.m. The fire alarms should have gone off sooner. The sprinklers should have put out the fire. The fire department, at least, was reacting precisely as they were trained to, but as the dormitories went up in flames, the fire trucks were still a ways out. Most of the students seemed to already have gotten out, quickly filing their way onto the asphalt parking lot. Campus security guards were all ready moving people away from the burning building, as well as keeping gawking pedestrians back. Onlookers watched as flames licked out of the windows of the second floor. The doors on the first floor pumped out black smoke, but was otherwise untouched, for the time being at least. Some of the students cried, but most murmured and whispered, waves of "Did everyone make it out?" and "Where's so-and-so?" and "What started this?" wafting through the air. The flow of startled and sleep-deprived students had ceased, but the flames showed no sign of stopping in kind as fire began to climb to the third floor. The orange and red glow of the burning building shone like a beacon in the night, and everyone stood and watched in rapture as they waited for the fire department, the awaited sirens not far in the distance. Then a scream rang out, a young woman calling, "Micah! MICAH!" The student shoved through the crowd, looking for the absent Micah. Frantic, the girl ran up to one of the security guards and grabbed his sleeve. "My roommate, she's still in there! She's still on the second floor!"
Freedom Hall Monday, September 30th, 10:23 AM For all its international presence the Freedom League could sometimes be viewed as American ambassadors in questions of law and often more importantly public perception. Questions of jurisdiction became very muddled very quickly in the wide and wild world of superhuman powers, brightly coloured costumes and brass tacks politicking. When it came to the Igneous, a thriving subterranean civilization with settlements and tunnels far, far below the surface of much of North America and north-eastern Asia, the question of borders turned suddenly difficult. Thus it was that a team of Leaguers, including their resident Russian liaison, had been requested for a joint mission with the representatives of the nationally funded Canadian super team True North to respond to a reportedly tense and escalating situation deep within the section of the Rocky Mountains that crossed the 49th parallel. Besides Comrade Frost, who had had some dealings with the underground culture when the Kola Superdeep Borehole had found a little more than it had expected in the 1970s, the geokinetic Gaian Knight had been a natural choice, along with the famously diplomatic Fleur de Joie. The team gathered about a conference table littered with briefings on the area's geography, past encounters with the Igneous and the members of True North they'd be meeting with, familiarizing themselves with all of them before departing.