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GM North End, Freedom City Saturday, October 26, 2019 11:05 AM Dr. Martin Meyer was having a rough day. First, his five year old son had come down with the flu unexpectedly, meaning he had to watch over the poor kid who was busy puking his guts out. Then, he got a call from his job at ASTRO Labs demanding he come in. They weren’t particularly sympathetic when he told them his kid was sick, so he had to scramble to find his son a babysitter. Now, he was running late and getting a million angry texts because some lunatic super had melted the asphalt on the road, causing a jam. “Metas…” he hissed under his breath, trying to ignoring the vibration of his phone in the seat next to him. “Oh, doc,” came the voice of a young man that made Dr. Meyer jump. “I would say I’m disappointed you seem to hate us meta-people, but I’m not really surprised.” Martin wheeled around, eyes wide, to see one of his charges, Gabriel Napolitano, sitting in the back seat. “Why aren’t you at the lab?” Martin asked, his throat suddenly running dry on him. Slowly, his hand began drifting toward the glovebox. “The lab? Why would I want to be at the lab? They’re gonna take my powers away there,” Gabriel said. “You’re going to take my powers away. I don’t think I want that.” Dr. Meyer slowly popped the glove compartment open, one eye settling on the gun inside. “Gabriel, you’re sick. The source of you powers is unstable, you could…” Gabriel barked a laugh. “Oh, yeah, that’s what you keep telling us,” he said. “But somehow, given that you’re reaching for that gun, I’m starting to think you’re just scared of us.” Martin stopped, his hand drifting back toward himself. “Us?” Just then, a terrible screeching noise came from above him as molten fingers dug into the hood of his car and began to peel it away. Within moments, Martin could see her standing above him, her skin glowing like molten steel: Angela Ruiz. “Hey, Dr. Meyer!” she said, still visibly smiling despite the brilliance of her molten skin. Martin, realizing he was in serious danger, quickly grabbed the gun and let loose a bullet right into her midsection. She cried out, and Gabriel rose up to to try and help her. Martin used his chance, and threw himself out of the car, running through the cars to try and find a way to safety. “Help!” he cried. “Someone help me! They’re going to kill me!” Gabriel watched as his girlfriend reverted to her normal form, clutching her stomach and groaning. Despite the residual heat, he threw his arms around her. “Angela!” he cried, realizing then that he might be about to lose her. Gently, Angela pushed him away, and pulled at the bullet hole in her suit to reveal that there was no actual damage. “…I think I’m really durable,” she said with amazement. “…Yeah, there’s no damage. Hurt, though.” Gabriel’s eyes lit up, and he kissed her furiously on the lips. “Oh, honey, I love you.” “Aw, I love you too, Gabe,” Angela cooed, her voice sickly sweet. “Do you wanna go and melt Dr. Meyer’s skin off?” Gabriel grinned ferally. “Yeah, I sure do. Let’s go make him die screaming.” With that, he dissolved himself back into toxic smoke, and rose up into the air, looking down over the maze of cars. “MEYER!” he roared. “COMING FOR YOU, BUDDY!”