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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. With the team gone an eerie silence settled over the suddenly too large, open, and vulnerable dojo. The children were fitful in their beds the tension in the household penetrating their slumber though not yet waking them. Gina wheeled herself silently around the kitchen completing the tasks left unfinished by the evening's interruptions with a quiet efficiency that belied the worry etching her face. Jill was left to monitor the security systems with VINCE looking for signs of anything out of the ordinary Talyas final advice ringing in her ears, "When they know we've come for them there's no telling what he might do, don't let him draw you out, and be ready for anything." Dimitri sat in the control room at freedom hall monitoring the police and military bands for anything unusual fortunate that he'd been left behind from the rest of the league's mission to free a small town in Vermont from Glaciers grasp when Talyas call for aid reached him. The usual dispatch and report of the police bands suddenly shifted as an evacuation was called for a West End neighborhood, a 'Gas Leak' but no chatter on the utilities and the order sent from some office of public safety the league had no ties to or information about. All too convenient. Across town Klara sat in a parkside cafe sipping her tea when Talyas request to be on alert reached her, perhaps it was for the best after all her wife had been called into the embassy tonight, it seemed date night was destined for interruption this week. She had just finished her cuppa when a caravan of firetrucks blazed past heading east sirens screaming into the night. Ace hunched forward over his desk phone pressed to his ear, "Those were supposed to have burned up over the pacific after the invasion." he sighed very nearly sounding his age as he hung up the phone and stood pulling on his coat and hat with a disgusted glance at the phone before he stormed out of the office shouting orders to the staff.
  4. The OOC for Look What You Made Me Do The assumption here is Talya contacted her friends to be on alert that the interceptors were addressing a threat and the kids et al might be in danger. Vince and Jill will take note of the police and fire activity and reveal that there is an evacuation in progress for a gas leak. Vince however can detect no fluctuations in gas pressure that would indicate any truth to that. The fire trucks passing klara are clearly heading for hte west end. As people spill into the streets they will grow congested making swift evacuation difficult if not impossible. feel free to message me with any other questions or clarifications
  5. Trinity Hospital June 28, 2017 "Another one?" Ellie Espadas asked, watching as a weakly groaning man in multiple layers of worn clothing was wheeled past on a stretcher. Behind the check-in desk Joanne simply hummed an affirmation, focusing on the data she was entering. Ellie couldn't blame her for her laissez-faire attitude. This had to make at least a dozen similar cases over the past few days: people left weak and drifting in and out of consciousness. If this case matched the others after a night's sleep with an IV he'd be up and about with full-body aches and hangover-like symptoms for his troubles that would gradually subside over the course of the day. The prevailing assumption among the staff was that a new recreational drug was to blame, though so far none of the blood work had shown any evidence to support the theory. It didn't help that several of the sufferers had turned out to have warrants out ranging from petty theft to assault; one of them had reportedly collapsed in the middle of an attempted mugging. With the look of a man getting off of a double shift, Hernandez wandered over to join the so-far one-sided conversation, fingers laced behind his bald head. "Picked that one up outside a convenience store. Owner found him in a heap while he was taking out the trash, said something about it being dark or seeing a big shadow? I dunno, guy's English wasn't great in the first place and he was shook over the whole thing, yeah?" The big man rubbed his face and leaned heavily against the wall. "Had a baseball bat next to him so I'm guessing armed robbery. Braugher's all 'don't assume' but what, he's a Comets fan? C'mon." It was Ellie's turn to make a vague murmur in reply, eyes narrowing slightly as she watched the supposed robber disappear behind a pair of double doors. A junkie collapsing in the middle of trying to get money for another hit was a tidy enough story but the patients she'd seen didn't seem like they were going through withdrawal, they seemed... drained. There were stranger things than designer drugs in Freedom City. "Where was that convenience store, again...?" "Hm? Oh, y'know, the one a block down from St. Sebastians, on the corner with the yellow sign. I hear they found a few more like that over in Greenbank, too. Who knows how many that makes now." Hernandez realized a little belatedly that he was talking largely to himself and a still disinterested Joanne as Ellie had already begun to stride purposefully toward the door.
  6. Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship! December 16, 9:07 PM "Alright, we're locked up," Erik Espadas confirmed as he rounded the gap in the wall between the dojo's entryway and the training space. With the blinds drawn over the big front windows and a few more sophisticated measures in place the small group gathered were ready for their planned after-hours class. Unlike usual the mats were littered with piled weights, cardboard boxes and anything else that had been handy and looked like it might make for an inconvenient obstacle. "Remember, we're working on mobility tonight," he reminded the deceptively lanky man and the woman with short black hair in front of him, folding his bare arms across his plain white workout shirt. They could have easily been a pair of the college students who frequented his intermediary self-defence classes. "That means something a little different for you two than the rest of us so I figured it was past time you compared notes." The fencer let a lopsided grin split his businesslike demeanour as he stepped back toward far corner where Talya and Steve were watching. "That said, loser has to mop the footprints off my ceiling." In the apartments up above Ellie Espadas held her breath as she tip-toed out of the nursery, hoping against hope that her newest niece and nephew would stay asleep at least long enough to get back to the kitchen. Either one of them crying inevitably woke the other and even with three pairs of hands helping she wasn't sure how their parents were coping. Making it down the hallway and all the way to the kitchen table the med student silently raised a pair of crossed fingers as she sat down between Min and Mara. "And I thought pulling a double at Trinity took it out of you," she drawled just barely louder than a whisper. "Please tell me there's coffee or tea or something."
  7. Content Notices: Violence, Birth Scene Location: Espadas School of Self Defense and Swordsmanship! Date: July 19, 2016 Talya was very good at suppressing the potential consequences for her actions. Leaping off buildings, after all, was much easier if one didn't think about what missing a handhold might mean. Unfortunately, ignoring the eventual ramifications of the biology of how a baby (or two. Two!) would enter the world did not actually prevent the event. The cramps and back ache had only gotten worse despite her refusal to acknowledge that it might not just be late term pregnancy aches and pains. Although, she'd not admitted (and likely never would), it was fairly clear to those closest to Talya that the ex-spy was at least unsettled by the impending birth. Perhaps even frightened. At the moment, though, she was mostly just holding up the relocation to Sanctuary as if not stepping through the portal might some how prevent the next several hours. "I've changed my mind," Talya announced mulishly, her arms crossed over her chest. "Perhaps I could just be unconscious for the entire thing, after all. They still do that, don't they? If we went to the hospital instead, could they just knock me out?" Unlikely to say the least with her magical ability to shake off most things mundane and Talya's mystical biology did not often play well with other magics. Intellectually, she knew that but at the moment, logic was not high on the spy's list. "I'd bounce right back from a c-section. Probably. Almost certainly."
  8. Ellie Espadas was tired, she was sore and she was pretty sure she was going to have to just burn the pants she was wearing rather than attempting to wash out the new stains. As the ambulance pulled into Trinity Hospital she reminded herself that she'd survived punishing superhuman brawls and weeks stranded on an alien world but in the moment it was difficult to believe anything had ever been as exhausting as her first week as an EMT-B. With her three years of pre-med behind her and medical school beginning in earnest in the fall, it had seemed like a good time to finally get her certification. After all her time volunteering and doing odd jobs at Trinity she'd gotten enough of a foot in the door to be hired quickly despite the competition and she had to admit that between her experiences with the Interceptors and her test scores she'd been feeling a little cocky. Patrolling the city's rooftops from behind a mask and with free reign to use her metamagi abilities was a far cry from grueling hours of hard, dirty work on the streets themselves. "Hey rook, you gonna make it? You look like @#$%," the EMT-I/85 driving the ambulance asked, glancing in the rearview mirror and letting out a shout, loud laugh. Hernandez looked more like a bouncer than a medical professional, with a shaved head and heavily muscled arms covered in sleeve tattoos straining the dark blue fabric of his uniform's sleeves but Ellie had seen his big hands administer an IV with the practiced dexterity of a concert pianist. His manners left a little more to be desired. "Still better'n you," the young woman snapped back with a little more bite than she'd really meant to, garnering another laugh from the driver as he parked. The third occupant of the ambulance, a serious woman with frizzy black hair pulled back in a loose ponytail, opened the back doors and hopped out. Braugher was an EMT-P, a paramedic, and Ellie knew she was there at least in part to keep an eye on the newbie. "Go grab a coffee, Espadas, we'll clean up here." It was about a close to praise as the older woman had gotten so far and Ellie simply nodded gratefully before heading into the hospital.
  9. Monday April 25 Trinity Hospital After the events in Ocean Heights, Rhode Island, and Mexico, the heroes of Freedom City (and indeed the world) are aware of the global threat of the Makot Mitzrayim - the Plagues of Egypt. The threat isn't just the Plagues, of course, but the people driven to hysteria (one way or another) by an apocalypse that seems ("but only seems" Seven stressed in her briefing sent to the major superteams) to correspond to that of the three largest religions on Earth. The Interceptors in particular, thanks to Harrier and Echo's report from down in Mexico, have gotten a strong picture of what's going on. But with only one attack in Freedom City proper, it's easy for most people to let life go on. In the West End in the last few days there's been a freakishly rare flu epidemic, one of those bizarre moments that can happen in a city full of people and exposed to all sorts of exotic chemicals, viruses, and other ailments over the years. Things are bad enough that the hospital is nearly full, getting them to send non-emergency cases home, and they've called out volunteer doctors from other hospitals to help deal with the crisis. The flu can be a scary disease for parents, the elderly, the unlucky - especially when it turns to pneumonia. So if the hospital chapel is particularly packed with people praying for their families and themselves, well, maybe it has nothing to do with the Plagues of Egypt. At least until you turn on the news - and catch the continued cleanup elsewhere in the city, the nation, the world. But the heroes of Freedom have dealt with worse than this...right?
  10. "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.
  11. 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.
  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. Between working at the dojo and... other things, Talya was clocking an awful lot of hours at the Espadas School of Self Defense and Swordsmanship(!). Today was no different, except that the dojo was currently empty of students - and most other bodies - save for the blonde currently standing in the main work out area with a decent size ring in hand as she examined the ceiling. Talya was almost always in the 'do what you want, beg forgiveness after the fact' mindset so this indecision was new. New and unpleasant! It was a good idea, Talya told herself firmly. One couldn't have students practice hanging upside down and doing things without having something sturdy to hang FROM. If Erik had only been her employer, Talya would already have had this installed in a joist and been ready to smile prettily when asked about the new addition to the workspace. It was even designed to fold up when not in use. It was a good plan. Muttering under herb breath, Talya resolutely turned towards the wall and within a few seconds had scaled the wall to balance with one foot on top of the stand of practice swords and her palm flat against the ceiling as she began running the stud finder over the ceiling. She was going to be perfectly normal, darnit!
  14. Gizmo

    Interceptors: Mia

    March 20, 2015 It wasn't that Erik Espadas was expecting trouble, not really, but he subscribed to the idea that it paid to be the one carrying the biggest stick. Or to be friends with the people carrying the biggest sticks, anyway. When they'd worked out the rough schedule for Min's pregnancy nobody had been particularly surprised to find her due date landed on the vernal equinox. After the unexpected 'visit' by his extended family in the House of Swords for the birth of his first daughter, though, a whole different sort of planning had seemed in order this time around, just to be safe. Stesha had offered to host them on Sanctuary, of course, but even with one or two super-powered healers on hand the idea of being in a whole different reality from the closest modern hospital made Erik a little nervous. If he were being completely honest with himself there was also the fact that he wanted his second child to be born in Freedom City's West End just as he had. If was their home and he wasn't about to let anyone chase them out. That said, even if they weren't going to an earth goddess, the earth goddess could still come to them. A good section of the first floor of the Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship (!) was covered in toys where Stesha was keeping watch over Eden and Amaryllis laughing and playing, chatting amiably with Gina. Nearby Mara and Liz were engaged in an animated discussion of tweaks and improvements to the building's security over a folding table covered in computer equipment including a laptop displaying Vince's neon-green suit wearing avatar. They'd sent Chris out to get food mostly because it seemed like the only way to keep him from standing watch on the top of the building in full costume while Steve had insisted on standing guard, gargoyle like, outside of the second floor apartment where Ellie was making her sister-in-law comfortable. Yolanda had taken up a position across from Steve, solemnly following the taciturn bald man's example. It was, all told, a small army of love and support. Not that that stopped Erik himself from pacing back and forth with nervous energy, his gaze jumping back and forth between the stairs, the clock and Eden, hands clasped behind his back.
  15. April 4th, 2015 The door to the convenience store swung open with a chime from the bells hung above it and the resounding impact of the boot smashing into it. "Hey! I need a hand over here!" In her customary crimson and black, Jill O'Cure burst into the store in enough of a hurry to almost knock a rack of corn chips over, a boy of about ten or eleven unconscious in her arms. The heroine set the child down of the counter in front of the shocked cashier, unceremoniously sweeping a display of novelty butane lighters to the ground. "He got hit with some sort of fever," she explained, losing patience as the teenager behind the counter stared at her blankly, mouth agape. "Hey! Pay attention! I've got him stable and he shouldn't be contagious but he needs water and an ambulance, got it?" "Ah, r-right, I'll call for one right now, right," the cashier stammered, snapping her mouth shut over braces and reaching for the yellowing corded phone with chipped nails. She took a second look at Jill and worked up the courage to blurt, "Is this, like... a super thing?" The masked EMT-B paused for a moment, her shoulders dropping slightly in her dark red jacket. "...not sure. Maybe. This is the fifth case I've run into tonight and the symptoms are getting worse." She looked down at the unconscious boy for a moment before heading back for the door. "I need to get back out there. Take care of him, alright?" The teenager nodded more resolutely this time and Jill was out the door again in a sprint.
  16. Jill O'Cure Placeholder Text History Placeholder Text Costume and Appearance Placeholder Text Powers Placeholder Text Allies Placeholder Text Sidekick, HQ, Etc Placeholder Text Timeline 2009 Fall Carnival in the Park: The carnival is in town and Ellie attends with her brother and a less than successful date with a classmate she characterizes as 'nice'. The woes of her social life take a backseat to metahuman shenanigans, however, running into Dead Had, All-Star and more! Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-Legged Beasties: Ellie convinces her brother to let her tag along to the Hallowe'en party being held at the Interceptors' brownstone. He agrees only on the condition that she adopt the alias 'Jill' to help maintain his secret identity among his teammates. 2010 Spring 8 Simple Rules... For Working With Jack: Lynn invites 'Jill' to the brownstone to discuss how best to deal with her brother, a sometimes difficult prospect, Ellie has to admit. After a few misunderstanding they manage to have a good talk... though Ellie's not entirely sure how to feel about a sweaty Lynn parading about in a sports bra. Summer Me Like Hockey!: Ellie attends a Freedom City Blades game with her brother but when the Crime League arrives and Erik is pummeled and shot in the process of taking them down alongside the Scarab and Valkyrie her medical skills are put to the test! The Legacy of Al Kazar: Happy Grimday!: 'Jill' attends Lynn's birthday party and finds herself feeling a little out of place among a who's who of powerful heroes. Stesha Madison, the florakinetic Fleur de Joie, helps her feel better and get back to enjoying the festivities! Fall The Church of Swordology: The Espadas siblings attend Sunday mass with their mother only to wind up helping Freedom Angel fight of a supernatural menace!
  17. December 25, 2014 South Pole Basin  Lunar Farside    It is not true that Farsiders never leave their city, merely that such events are rare and usually for a purpose. The construction of the South Pole station by Farsiders had been one such purposeful occasion, one launched over a Terran century ago by a Farsider monarch concerned about a recent Terran visit to the Moon. (Some Terran visitors to Farside City have pointed out that the Apollo missions took place over six decades later, but the Farsiders have the records of earlier 'interlopers' to show skeptical visitors of today.) With its neutrino detectors and concealed telescopes, the South Pole station is well-placed to directly monitor doings on Earth. Or for that matter, as Lady Lunar proved in the early 1980s, to strike at it.    A collection of intellects vast and furious on Earth had realized the station's potential not long after the Communion crisis began - concealed as the station was, it was the perfect place to strike at an enemy in Earth orbit by surprise. What had been a location for observation could become a location for misdirection; a notion that appealed to the ruling government of Farside City, which liked the idea of saving the world they orbit without their true role ever being known. (Farsiders do love their secrets!)   And so, for much of the last two months, the greatest minds of Earth have come to its only natural satellite with a singular purpose. To build a machine to protect the planet from the Communion! Steve Murdock had offered what advice he could during its construction, but his experience with dimensional technology was all practical. It had come down to Dragonfly's specific genius and Miss Americana's vast storehouse of general knowledge to put the great work into practice. Caradoc, and the other non-scientists in the party of heroes guarding the weapon (as Steve was not allowed to call it around his employer) had rapidly found another role in the small lunar colony.    Lunar soil ashy beneath his feet, Caradoc raised his gleaming blade to the sky, the shining tip above the heads even of the tallest Farsiders in their environmental suits. A new group of Farsider militiamen had been deployed that week - and their usual trainers were busy with an Earth-Prime holiday, an important one, but one that he could miss while Gina Evans was safely ensconced in the tiny pre-fab quarters that she had occupied for the last month. There would be time enough for celebration when the work was done.    He spoke over the radio.    "Your enemy will target your environmental suits first! They are not pirates, or conquerors, or enslavers. Your dead flesh will feed their ever-growing armies." He lowered his blade as the group shifted uneasily, and for a moment there was dead silence on the lunar plain besides the domed Farsider military base even on the radio frequencies they used to speak with each other outside the dome.   
  18. "Stories?" Eden Espadas inquired with a hopeful inflection as she ducked her head under her aunt's elbow and pulled herself up onto Ellie's lap to get a better look at the medical text open on the table in front of them. With a small laugh, Ellie shifted the toddler about into a safer position. "Not exactly, Edie. Y'know how tu papa teaches people here? This is how I learn how to be a doctor." She'd set herself up at a deck on the dojo's first floor partly so that she could take advantage of the light coming in through the large front windows and partly so she could keep an eye on her niece as she played on the pads covering most of the floor. Chris had also mentioned something about coming by to work on the security systems in the headquarters hidden in the converted bomb shelter under their feet and with her brother and sister-in-law out celebrating their anniversary she wanted to watch the door in the meantime. Eden looked equally skeptical at the idea of a book that wasn't for stories as she did about her aunt being a doctor. She liked Ellie, after all, and she knew she didn't enjoy visiting the doctor much at all. She could only assume it was another case of an adult trying to be funny. They did that a lot.
  19. Lynn's apartment over Silberman's Books. August 3rd, 2014. 7:54pm A letter had arrived at the Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship from Lynn Epstein, with a familiar West End address. Inside, was a handwritten note; the penmanship was graceful, almost archaic, but the writer's voice was unmistakable. The changeling was pacing again; it was humanly impossible to prepare for an evening like this, but Lynn had given it the good old never-finished-college try. The furniture was warm, earthy and inviting, she'd been scooting back and forth between the shop and her kitchen all day working on dinner, and she'd cycled through looks for a good half hour finding just the right balance of relaxed and respectable: a nice understated green summer dress, open-toed wedges and small pearl stud earrings (her current thing). As always, the lanyard with its ring was around her neck, and she fidgeted with it more than usual. Her curly shoulder length hair was gathered up, showing off her graceful neck and the points of her ears. Lynn's eyes flicked over to the clock on the mantelpiece, where it dully ticked down the minutes. Soon. Very soon.
  20. Let's get some initiative rolls for Chris and Baxter! troll, hit me with whatever rolls you think would be relevant to Eliza's plan.
  21. Thursday, November 28th "How's the oven looking, Vince, dear?" Gina Espadas called as she pushed her wheel chair into the front room of her family's home, lap piled with brown and orange seasonal decorations which she began placing about the shelves and cabinets. In the adjoining kitchen one of the most advanced human-designed artificial intelligences on the planet native to that era interpreted data from a webcam jury-rigged to a computer monitor yellowing slightly with age to gauge the temperature inside the closed oven opposite it with precision worthy of laboratory testing. To an outside observer, however, an enthusiastic man wearing a cameo pattern apron over a bright green suit appeared on the monitor, raised a comically long telescope to his eye and snapped a salute as he shouted back, "Operation Bird is the Word proceeding full steam ahead, General Ma'am sir!" "Sure, you she trusts with the turkey," Erik Espadas sighed with exaggerated ire as he methodically worked his knife up and down on the cutting board, rapidly turned fresh vegetables into piles of thin slices. Sweet and hot peppers alike joined a bowl of other ingredients as the chef briefly looked over his shoulder to grin at the monitor. "To be fair, Jack-O," Vince countered, pulling a firefighter's helmet and an extinguisher out of virtual space, "you've set a lot more things on fire than I have." "Don't set things on fire, please," came an earnest requests for waist height as the precocious Yolanda set out plates and cutlery at the table with deliberate precision. The stout eight year old scampered back to the counter to retrieve another stack of dishware, moving with the care of someone entrusted with a precious cargo indeed. "Careful, Yoyo, don't carry too many at once," Ellie cautioned as she returned from retrieving the last of the folding chairs from the attic, one tucked under each arm. Pulling them open, she set them down in front of the place settings before inhaling through her nose. "Mm. Alright, that does smell pretty fantastic." Her mother finished arranging a trio of small gourds on the end table next to the couch in the front room and rolled over to the window to peer outside. "Well it had better! Everyone should be arriving soon."
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