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  1. With the winter break over, a large portion of Trevor Hunter's time was once again being taken up by classes at Freedom City University. The bulk of his classes for the new semester were theoretical studies that had little chance of capturing his attention fully, since he'd had opportunity to put most of the principles being taught into practice in his alter-ego as the second Midnight. The dark haired young man wasn't adverse to restudying fundamentals and the course work's exercises were worthwhile, but he found it easy enough to split his focus while taking in a lecture. Telepathic communication was at least more polite than texting or browsing social networking sites in the middle of class. --Wrapping up here. Five, ten minutes. Meet you in the quad?--
  2. Cobalt Templar, the Liberty League, and Eve Martel deal with some bad medicine.
  3. A warm summer breeze blew through the West End street of small businesses and restaurants weathering the times with varying degrees of success. The light wind stirred the gorgeous flowering plants hanging from the second storey windows of one such building, trailing leaves and vines brushing against the top of a bold gold-on-black sign that proclaimed the street-level floor to be home to "The Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship!". The dojo had been open for a little over a month at that point, attendance gradually picking up as fliers throughout the city and good word-of-mouth did their job. The proprietor was a well like native of the neighbourhood if unknown in the city at large and while the more introductory self defense courses were all well and good it was the more specific sword fighting classes which were purportedly worth the trip. Erik Espadas himself was locked in particularly grueling battle with the second hand computer on the reception desk, attempting to bring up the spreadsheet with the list of new students signed up for that week's class. "No, that's the budget," he grumbled under his breath, the annoyed expression on his lightly stubbled face visible from the other side of the large windows that looked out onto the street. "Depressing but not helpful right now. C'mon..." The attendee would be showing up shortly; if he could get this sorted out he was going to have to track down a pad of paper and a pen to take attendance.
  4. The swordsmanship class for Blodeuwedd, Gaian Kight, Myrmidon and Sage!
  5. May 18, 2012 The first thing that Kimber Storm noticed as terribly, urgently wrong as she staggered, coughing from the cloud of smoke was not in fact that she had to cough or even stagger. Neither should have been a concern for the long since deceased poltergeist, but her first thought was that she was wearing absolutely the wrong hood. Rather than the ethereal cowl of her usual reaper's cloak, this was a heavy fabric attached to a sweatshirt with the sleeves ripped off and something scrawled on the front in stylized spraypaint. The jumpsuit underneath she recognized as the Claremont Academy uniform, which she was also sure wasn't right. Raising her hands to pull the hood out of the way, she saw that they were a healthy pink, undeniably solid and beating with a pulse. "Oh, marmalade," the living girl gulped. Thirty Minutes Earlier It took a lot of concentration from Kimber to keep her excited feet on the floor as the group of students entered the famous 'Super Museum' in Midtown, and even more concentration to keep her excitable body language confined to the shelter of the black umbrella blocking the sun's rays from revealing her as a translucent specter. The school trip to see the recently unveiled Lucas Collection had prompted a few significant looks between the senior members of the current iteration of Young Freedom, but the entusiastic Canadian was just looking forward to seeing all of the memorabilia in person. If all of the pieces were half as interesting as the ones mentioned specifically in the brochure, it was bound to be a memorable day!
  6. Power swapping! Whee! We'll catch up with the first bit soon enough, but for now just describe arriving at the museum.
  7. 14 April 2012 The weather is nice today, Eve thought as she looked out across the Great Bay. It was a fleeting thought, and only a momentary distraction from the anxiety gnawing at her, for guests would be arriving soon. Eve was never one for drawing attention to herself--the few friends she had knew she preferred to be the quiet, unseen hand in the background--but there were certain things she was unable to avoid. Unavoidable, perhaps, but not immutable. By floating out an invitation to her friends and teammates, and most importantly Etain, Eve was able to neatly sidestep the preconceived notion of what an eighteenth birthday party for someone of her wealth and status should be like. Taking things into her hands would allow the Martel heiress to do things her way. That thought brought a smile to her face as she slipped back into her room then headed down the stairs, guests would be arriving soon, after all.
  8. When: 14 April 2012Where: Martel Estate (Windrush), North Bay, Freedom City Who: Both YF 1.5 and YF 2.0 have been floated invites, so who attends is up to the players of the cross team PCs. Etain was, of course, invited.
  9. Amongst all the drama, be it world-threatening or simply teenage growing pangs, it was often easy to forget that Claremont was first and foremost a place of education, albeit one with a truly unique curriculum. Given the broad spectrum of powers and abilities the students were there to hone, it simply wasn't feasible to have an expert in each and every area on staff. Instead, part of the senior students' own development involved aiding their underclassman peers where they were able. So it was that Eve Martel, the supremely talented telepath and telekinetic better known in some circles as Sage, had organized something of a study group with two of the school's junior students who both hailed from outside the United States and were versed in the application of mind over matter. While Kristin Jones, the redheaded Australian who sometimes went by Glow, had by far more raw telekinetic ability than the spectral Deceased-Canadian Kimber Storm, the gregarious Ghost Girl, the object of the exercise was in fact fine control. Eve had instructed them to meet her after afternoon classes in the campus' zen garden, a secluded and rarely visited spot free from distractions. Unfortunately, tranquility was not one of the words most commonly associated with Kimber, who bobbed up and down excitedly in the air as she arrived, the light of the waning sun washing through her translucent blue form, obscuring her outline from the right angle. Although it was a perfectly calm day, the poltergeist's hair rose and fell as though caught in an unseen wind or current. "Am I early?" she chirped eagerly.
  10. Second Week of January 2012 Christmas and New Years were not a particularly meaningful holiday for Sharl, lacking a cultural understanding of the holiday and a chronological mindset that made the change between one year and the next relevant to his day-to-day life. It wasn't even like he'd gone onto a new grade at Claremont yet, something that made all this talk of school years seem terribly archaic. But things had gone pretty well for him; he'd gotten a house upgrade from Miss Americana that he was still customizing; the incredible, sinful luxury of another five rooms to himself, not to mention a simulated animal to tend to, was still something he was trying to wrap his mind around. Home and how different it was from Claremont had been on his mind lately: he'd managed a trip back home during the school holiday to visit his family in Tronik and to do some more superheroing in his home city, where the "mysterious Citizen" had gotten a chance to pull off some pretty impressive feats of derring-do, culminating in a spectacular rescue of a sinking exploratory ship on its way to visit the new set of islands Leroj had helped raise at the end of the previous month. No one on the outside had seen that, and maybe none of them would care, but he'd still felt good about it coming out. And that, he thought, had been that until Mr. Summers had summoned him and all of Young Freedom into his office the first day they were all back on campus after the Christmas break. Even with Mrs. Harcourt, by no means Sharl's favorite teacher, as their chaperone, Sharl was inordinately happy: they were going back to the Sanctum, the place that held his home, and with any luck his friends would be able to see it for themselves! With his usual laptop as his companion, Sharl put aside his house and went to work studying the school's files on the Sanctum again, heedless of the Arctic winter outside their jetplane window. After all, the Sanctum was one of the great repositories of super-tech on Earth, as well as the home of his home city: he'd better know something about it!
  11. Second Week of January, 2012 Young Freedom 2.0 goes to the Sanctum, and by extension to the Claremont Academy. (This is set after Wraith's return from the Hunter planet, chronologically)
  12. GM October 10th, 2011 The West End, Freedom City The holiday was in full swing, and the kids of Young Freedom were doing their homework. The Columbus Day Parade was an annual Freedom City tradition. While it was nowhere near the size or intensity of the celebrations in New York City, the city's Italian population regularly congregated upon the West End to celebrate their heritage and the long road to America. Like any other city's celebrations, it had its share of controversies - several aldermen had tried over the years to get the parade officially renamed in the face of protests from Native American groups - but Headmaster Summers had put the fledgling superteam on assignment for a different reason. "The police are often overworked at celebrations like this," he had told Young Freedom, "and sometimes, things escape their notice. Especially when the person moving about has talents that go beyond what the human eye sees. Then there are the opportunists. Most supervillains aren't above a simple hostage situation, and a parade is a good opportunity. While it's hard for a single villain to control a large number of individuals, if they have the right powers, they can net enough to issue demands. Stay on observation. Keep to the fringes of the parade, but move through the crowds when you can. Odds are everything will go smoothly - but if it doesn't, I want you to be the first to notice, and the first to respond." And so, the Claremont students moved through the crowd and outside it, trying to keep a low profile. They were ready for if danger emerged... but maybe Summers was right. Maybe today would go off without a hitch.
  13. Young Freedom starts off with a conventional assignment to protect a Freedom City gathering that will soon become anything but conventional. I'll give Young Freedom a few minutes to enjoy the Columbus Day parade before the chaos begins. Sample the cannoli!
  14. September 26, 2011 9 AM The first mission of the new Young Freedom, at least upon their return from their world tour, was to guard Freedom Hall during what just might be the end of the world. Headmaster Summers, and the older students, had reassured the new kids that this was in the finest tradition of Claremont's premiere teen hero team. Sharl had been away for the last couple of days, and so he'd missed all those reassurances about what kinds of threats Young Freedom had faced before. Of course, for those students not used to world-threatening disasters, those words were not reassuring. What had been reassuring, in a martial sort of way, was the stern speech they'd all gotten from Lady Liberty before she and the rest of the Freedom League had departed. "Listen, all of you. I know you're teenagers, and I know you didn't sign up for this." She'd paced back and forth in front of all of them, meeting each gaze, even the ones who looked away. "But the world's in peril right now, and that means it's time for all of us who can help to do our part. The world's going to be saved, I can promise you that, but it's going to take each and every one of you to do that. The Freedom League needs to go into space to help organize our defenses on the Moon against the Gorgon. That means someone needs to watch Freedom Hall and make sure none of the artifacts here fall into the hands of supervillains. The last thing we need is a world where we've beaten the Gorgon but lost our homes to supervillains who've seized control of some of the most powerful items in the world. Are there any questions?" she asked them. "If any of you do want to back out now, now's the time." They'd have an adult chaperone for this one; Mr. Archer having left the gym behind to act as their guardian while they guarded the centerpiece of hero history in Freedom City. Things weren't pleasant outside, not with the demonstrators protesting the League's 'inaction', nor the continuing violence in the streets that Freedom City's adult heroes were doing their best to handle. Hell, there'd been an outright battle near the Claremont campus between the Irregulars and a Claremont graduate who'd gone berserk from the stress! Inside the League's briefing room, though, all was quiet as Lady Liberty's question echoed in the room.
  15. September 26, 2011 Young Freedom Citizen, Ghost Girl, Sage, Cobalt Templar, Wraith, and Papercut are left to watch Freedom Hall. What could go wrong? (It turns out a lot)
  16. Once Becky was safely in the hands of True North and Kimber had done all she needed to do at her old homestead, Young Freedom's members young and old crowded aboard the regional jet flight from Thunder Bay to Detroit. Though Sharl could easily have emailed himself straight to the DPD mainframe and searched as he would, he made a point to stay on the plane with his colleagues. He was acutely aware of how alone he was out here, so far from the few people in Freedom City he did know, and the last thing he wanted to do was alienate the people who were supposed to be on his team. He was here to be part of the real world, to make connections and alliances that would give him the tools he needed to protect Tronik; hell, he was here to have adventures in this wide-open alien world! This wasn't the time to get into stupid arguments with his friends. So while the others socialized, he took the opportunity to crack open his laptop to connect to the local satellite network (carefully using a tightly-focused IR signal that wouldn't interfere with the plane's own navigation) to research their target: Koshiro McMillan of Detroit, Michigan, and the city itself in the process. Detroit had once been a center of petroleum-based industry that had fallen on hard times, and looking at his laptop screen, it looked like things hadn't gotten any better. Freedom City was sparse enough, but a city like Freedom that had lost so many of its people was a strange thought to contemplate. There must be so much to explore! When his search came up with something, or rather, something that was nothing, Sharl said "Hmm...it says Koshiro McMillan's record has been sealed by the order of a judge. So I don't know. What kind of things would cause someone to be held in a juvenile detention facility?" he asked, pointing to the address on his computer that matched where they'd been told to go.
  17. Sage Power Level: 15 (202/250) [300] Trade-Offs: +3 Attack / -3 Damage, +5 Defense / -5 Toughness Unspent PP: 48 In Brief: Eve Martel is an athletic teenage telepath and telekinetic from an exceptionally wealthy though altruistic family whose psychic members have been fighting the good fight for hundreds of years. Previous version here. Alternate Identities: Eve Alexis Martel, La Renarde Bleue ["The Blue Fox"] Identity: Secret Birthplace: Orléans, France Occupation: Student, Gymnast (former) Affiliations: Claremont Academy (Student), Martel Enterprises (Family Company), Young Freedom Family: Leon Martel (Father), Josephine Martel (Mother), Nicholas Marius Martel/Paladin (Brother), Isabel Jade Martel/Binary (Sister), Faith Martel/Seraph (Cousin), many others. Age: 18, Born 11 April (1994) Gender: Female Ethnicity: French Height: 5'0'' Weight: 110 lb. Eyes: Green Hair: White Description: Small in stature but possessing a powerful, toned, athletic frame, Eve Martel views the world through striking green eyes. Chin-length soft white hair frames a pretty, if otherwise unremarkable, heart-shaped face. Eve tends to dress in intense, rich colors accented with jewel tones, or contrasted with brighter white or icy pastels as these colors tend to compliment her cool complexion. Regardless of the color choices, her clothing is comfortable and well-made, though it tends to be rather understated in design. History: The youngest of three children, Eve Martel was born in France one year after the Terminus Invasion. Though Eve had been separated from her oldest brother Nicholas, she grew up with plenty of cousins her age. On occasion she would visit the extended family in the United States, where she would see her brother Nicholas or her cousin Faith, but she would always return home to France eventually. Enjoying every privilege the Martel family had to offer, Eve was encouraged, and provided the means, to set her own goals and pursue her dreams. As early as the age of seven, Eve took an interest in gymnastics bordering on obsession. That she had a natural talent for it only seemed to make her more determined to see just how far that natural talent could take her. Eve withdrew from school at the age of nine so she could focus on gymnastics, receiving tutoring while she was not working out in the gym. Soon she started to compete at a national and international level, doing well enough over the years that speculated she would earn a spot in the 2012 Olympics, even if she would be nearly two years older than most competitors. The day she turned fourteen was also a day of competition. The beginning of the day had already started on a high note with Eve scoring rather well in both the vault and the uneven bars. Then it all went pear-shaped. Twisting through the air on the balance beam the thoughts of everyone around her, from the spectators to the judges to the other competitors slammed into her mind. In one heartbeat she went from intensely focused to disoriented and confused and the results were tragic. Eve fell, the tip of her shoulder slamming into the balance beam, dislocating the collarbone. Eve screamed as the agony tore through her body and a pulse of mental energy slammed into everyone present in the area. The entire arena was brought to its knees, those present linked with Eve in her moment of suffering, a problem compounded as the link fed back in itself. Mercifully the event was short-lived, as Eve eventually passed out. Eve never fully recovered from that day, the awakening of her psychic voice robbing her of her physical one. While she continued to have the warmth and support of her family, she was officially barred from competition on the grounds that she wasn’t a “normal†human. Not one to sit idle, Eve shifted her focus to more martial pursuits and over the next two years under the tutelage of her father and other Martel family members, learned to refine her control over her mental abilities. Still, Eve doesn’t have complete control over her psychic ability, to those that have the ability to sense it she is like a beacon of psychic energy and those near her tend to pick up on her emotions. In the hope of somehow helping his daughter recover, Leon Martel sent Eve to live with her brother Nicholas, to put her as far away from the memories of what she lost and yet still near family, and it worked. The past year has seen a transformation in Eve, she's regained some measure of confidence, regained her ability to speak and made some deep and lasting friendships. Personality & Motivation: Eve possesses an athlete’s mentality, tackling obstacles before her with a single-minded ferocity. From a young age she has refused to accept limits and failure, and trained her mind and body to push through doubt, pain and fatigue. Eve is a very private individual and tends to keep to herself, presenting a mask of emotionless self-control to the rest of the world. But that's all it is, a mask, for she has a cheerful disposition and a warm, ready smile for those that she has opened up to. As a Martel, Eve holds herself to a high standard. The Martel motto of "I stand between evil and its victims, between darkness and light, between right and wrong. I stand between those I have sworn to defend and death." binds her. It takes only a handful of years to make a Martel, it takes far longer to create a civilzation worth defending. Amelie Dutemps, the Rogue Fox ["la Renard Rogue"], Eve's late Great Aunt is a prominent example of the Martel commitment to this ideal. Powers & Tactics: Eve possesses a great deal of psychic power in addition to being in phenomenal physical condition and leverages her telepathic and telekinetic abilities in a multitude of ways. In a straight up fight Eve will use her excellent physical conditioning to approach a target quickly and quietly, flanking and harassing her foe before retreating back into hiding just to repeat the process. Complications: Age: Eve is seventeen years old, a minor, which places numerous restrictions on what she is allowed to do without the consent of her guardian. And, honestly, sometimes adults simply don't take kids seriously. Enemies: Sage has spoiled the plans of numerous villains across a number of worlds. Fame: Eve is a former elite level gymnast and Olympic hopeful before injury forced an early retirement. In addition she is the youngest of the Martel's, a family internationally known for its philanthropy and social activism as well being the private owners of one of the world's largest biotechnology companies. Sage on the other hand enjoys the reputation being a member of Young Freedom. Identity: It's a constant struggle for Eve to keep her private and hero lives separate. Prejudice: Eve is a young, gay, Frenchwoman. Relationship: Eve is extremely fond of Etain Maher (Changeling) and thinks with her heart rather than her head where Etain is concerned. She also had a sibling like bond with Trevor Hunter (Midnight II), as well as a literal telepathic bond to the concealed crusader (a result of continual mental contact.) In addition, Eve maintains relatively close ties to former and current members of Young Freedom. Reputation: Sage helped take down an incarnation of Omega, Lord of the Terminus, an event guaranteed to bring the mortal teenager to the attention of other cosmic entities (let alone the Terminus!). Responsibility: Eve is a student at Claremont Academy and hero work is no excuse for missed class or late assignments! She is stubborn and will, if allowed, ignore injury and fatigue to place herself in harm's way and protect others be they her family, her friends, her teammates or an innocent. Abilities: 4 + 14 + 8 + 2 + 8 + 4 = 40PP Strength: 14 (+2) Dexterity: 24 (+7) Constitution: 18 (+4) Intelligence: 12 (+1) Wisdom: 18 (+4) Charisma: 14 (+2) Combat: 12 + 12 = 24PP Initiative: +15 Attack: +16 Psionics, +6 Base Grapple: +13 Defense: +18, +3 Flat-Footed Knockback: -4 Saving Throws: 3 + 3 + 6 = 12PP Toughness: +8 (+4 Con, +4 Defensive Roll) Fortitude: +7 (+4 Con, +3) Reflex: +10 (+7 Dex, +3) Will: +10 (+4 Wis, +6) Skills: 88 Ranks = 22PP Acrobatics 18 (+25, Skill Mastery) Concentration 6 (+10) Escape Artist 8 (+15, Skill Mastery) Knowledge (Business) 4 (+5) Languages 2 (French [Native], English, ASL) Notice 16 (+20) Sense Motive 16 (+20, Skill Mastery) Stealth 18 (+25, Skill Mastery) Feats: 48PP Acrobatic Bluff Attack Specialization 5 (Psionics) Beginner's Luck Benefit 4 (Status [Martel Heiress], Wealth 3 [Filthy Rich]) Challenge: Fast Task 1 (Acrobatic Bluff) Defensive Roll 2 Dodge Focus 12 Eidetic Memory Evasion 2 Grappling Finesse Hide in Plain Sight Improved Initiative 2 Jack-of-All-Trades Leadership Luck 4 Power Attack Quick Change 1 Set-Up Skill Mastery (Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Sense Motive, Stealth) Teamwork 3 Ultimate Save (Will) Up The Wall Powers: 24 + 11 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 5 + 9 = 56PP Psionics 11 (22PP Array, Feats: Alternate Power 2) [24PP] BP: Strike 8 (Extras: Penetrating 5 [Damage 15], Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2 [100%], Improved Critical 2 [18-20], Knockback 2, Mighty [+2 Damage], Split Attack, Subtle) (Psionic Blade; mutant, slashing, piercing) AP: Strike 8 (Extras: Alternate Save [Will], Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2 [100%], Improved Critical 2 [18-20], Mighty [+2 Damage], Subtle) (Psionic Blade; mental, mutant) AP: Move Object 7 (STR 35 [Heavy Load: 1.5 tons], Extras: Range [Perception], Feats: Precise) (Telekinesis; mutant) Psionics 5 (10PP Array, Feats: Alternate Power 1) [11PP] BP: Communication 6 (Mental [Range], Feats: Rapid [x10], Subtle) linked Mind Reading 1 (Extras: Action 2 [Free], Effortless, Mental, Flaws: Duration [instant/Lasting], Limited [surface Thoughts]) (Networked Telepathy; mutant, mental) AP: Move Object 3 (STR 15 [Heavy Load: 200 lb.], Extras: Range [Perception], Feats: Precise) (Telekinesis; mutant) Comprehend 2 (Languages 2 [understood by All/Understand All]) [4PP] Super-Senses 1 (Communication Link [Mental, Trevor Hunter/Midnight II]) (Telepathic Conduit; mental, mutant) [1PP] Super-Senses 2 (Danger Sense [Mental], Uncanny Dodge [Mental]) [2PP] Super-Senses 5 (Normal Mental Sense [Accurate 2, Acute, Radius, Ranged]) [5PP] Telekinetic Augmentation 1.8 (9PP Container [Passive, Permanent]) [9PP] Leaping 2 (x5 [Running Long Jump: 60 ft.]) [2PP] Speed 1 (10 mph, 100 ft./rnd) [1PP] Super-Movement 1 (Slow Fall) [2PP] Super-Movement 2 (Wall-Crawling 2 [Full-Speed]) [4PP] Drawbacks: -0PP None DC Block: ATTACK RANGE DC/SAVE EFFECT Psionic Blade Touch 25/Will Damage (Staged) Psionic Blade Touch 25/Toughness Damage (Staged) Unarmed Touch 17/Toughness Damage (Staged) Abilities (40) + Skills (22) + Feats (48) + Powers (56) + Combat (24) + Saving Throws (12) - Drawbacks (0) = 202/250 Power Points Notes: There is a bunch of stacking going on with this sheet. Both Leaping powers combine to form Leaping 2 (the combined effect is noted on the Leaping inside the Telekinetic Augmentation container) and Move Object 3 and Move Object 7 stack to create the following: Move Object 10 (STR 50 [Heavy Load: 12.8 tons], Extras: Range [Perception], Feats: Precise)
  18. The growing group of young metahumans and aliens found the flight to Canada considerably less eventful than the one to India, but their reception was equally less warm. There was no one to greet the four teenagers as they disembarked at Thunder Bay International Airport after a brief stop over on the west coast, walking through the long corridors of shopping establishments before finding a local map and a set of hastily scrawled directions left for them at the information desk. The path marked for them in ballpoint pen left the city and traveled northward, into what looked like a wooded area. The desk attendant's sunny smile flickered briefly as she glanced at the location of the broad X indicating the route's destination, but she was evidently too polite to say anything unbidden. At the bottom of the written direction, on a page that had clearly been torn out of a journal, the scratchy penmanship finished, DON'T stray into the woods. And thanks. --DS
  19. Feel free to make any Knowledge, Gather Information etc. checks you think would be relevant!
  20. After the excitement of their last flight, the final leg to India was likely a terrible anticlimax...but boring isn't always a bad thing. Still, after nearly ten hours of peanuts, recycled air, and terrible movies the rest of the passengers certainly looked like they were ready to be on the ground and stretching their legs. That plus a little more time to get through security and claim whatever luggage they'd brought and a plane's worth of tourists and natives were stepping out into a warm but overcast Mumbai summer day. The city was busy and streets were even busier, but as fortune had it the collective of heroic envoys didn't have very far to go: right there at the sidewalk stood a tall, dour-looking man in a button-up shirt and what could only have been his daughter. Both were standing almost unnaturally still, like metal rods against the shifting tide of the crowd, but they were clearly watching the groups leaving the airport. The daughter, an attractive teenage girl in fairly conservative clothes, was holding a sign that read only: CLAREMONT.
  21. Ashton June 7, 2011 A couple of days after the Claremont kids finally had their graduation, the general word went out in the superheroic community that Richard Milhouse Lucas, the long-time sidekick to the Freedom League back in the 1960s and 1970s, had perished in the line of duty. Rick had been a difficult man for many of his old friends to get along with in the last few years as his bitterness towards the current generation of superheroes grew, but he'd stayed in touch with everyone and always been there when they needed help. He'd regularly played host to various parties and fundraisers for that generation of heroes as they got older, using the celebrity he'd gained from his time with the League and his best-selling series of 'men's super-adventure novels' to help his old friends who'd never gotten a dime from their work stay financially comfortable even in retirement. He'd gone into seclusion some months earlier, and hadn't been seen much sense. Only a select few heroes personally associated with the Freedom League and the upper tier at Claremont knew about Rick's descent into madness after his son's short-lived death; what he'd done to rewrite the world and how he'd nearly abandoned it in disgust before giving his life to keep Omega from attacking it again. All superheroes invited to the service were invited to come in full costume, while in lieu of flowers Rick's testament asked that they donate to his son's alma mater: Claremont Academy. And now that a long life had come to an end, if too early for those who'd loved him, it was a time for the memorial service Rick had requested: a memorial service was all they could have, since his body was now somewhere beneath what had once been another version of Freedom City cast deep into the Zero Zone. At the Lucas house, Mark was studying himself in his bedroom mirror as he adjusted his suit and tie, trying to keep his emotions in check. Downstairs, his mom was entertaining Duncan Summers and his daughter Jasmine, the headmaster and his daughter being the first to show up for the service despite it being some time away. For Mark's part, after some consideration, he'd sent invitations out to all his schoolfriends, even those who he knew had had little use for his father while he was alive. If they didn't show, that was fine: he trusted them enough to know they wouldn't disrupt what the moment was about. It was about family...and when he thought about Young Freedom, he decided with a nod to his reflection, that meant they belonged there too.
  22. OOC thread for Conspiracy Theory. 'cos we're gonna need it!
  23. Continued from >There Won't Be A Next Time June 1st, 2011. 8:05 AM Young Freedom missed graduation, but then again, so did everyone else. The ceremony had been postponed the minute the five young heroes had disappeared from view, for all that they'd reappeared only five minutes later on the other side of town with the broken chestplate of Omega's armor and a wild story to tell. There were debriefings to come, no doubt extensive ones that would exhaustively pour over every detail of the fight at the end of reality and all that had come before it: the death of the multiverse, the trip to four worlds, the appearance and disappearance of Rick Lucas, and finally the seeming destruction of the Lord of Entropy himself. But first, Bolt's speedy trip back to Freedom Hall after the reappearance of Travis, Martha, and Erin's cat on the Claremont lawn had meant the League teleporters were already working. By the time the Young Freedom kids had given their hasty explanations to the startled Captain Thunder and headed inside for their debriefing, their missing loved ones, even Quo-Dis who was holding a very familiar orange cat, were waiting for them inside. For their part, Mark and Martha took a look at each other, Mark's look confirming what Martha had already known, and they simply embraced, the moment too sharp, too painful, coming after too much overwhelming emotion even for weeping. "I'm proud of you, Mark," Martha whispered fiercely. "So very proud."
  24. Continued from >The Earth Died Screaming Earth-EZO1 was a stark world of grim horror and sere beauty. Redbird's fast flight over the western United States showed them a world of dead cities and empty ruins beneath. Most cities had burned by now in their long untended period; Boise, Denver, St. Louis, and the rest were shells of what they'd once been. Streets were clogged with the rusting shells of cars and debris, and even unburnt buildings had begun to sway and fall. They were, at least, too high up for any lingering smells from beneath, though most of those had faded with the years of quietude. On another day, they might have appreciated the natural beauty beneath: the Misssissippi free of man's pollution, trees growing where cities had once been, a herd of bison stampeding beneath them in Missouri, what distinctly looked like a lion watching them as they skipped through Appalachian peaks in the Carolinas. But there was no time for that now, not with where they were going. Undersea was all quiet darkness as Redbird, with Midnight's skilled hands on her handlebards, took them beneath the waves. The ocean was dead of people; the Atlantean genocide having been one of the first outbreaks of the hero flu, but here too there were fish at play and the sunlight passing through the waves. There was life here, if no human life, and a vast universe beyond them. This world was more than just a tool for saving all reality; Earth-EZO1, for all its horror, was a world worth saving too. As they passed under the water, lit only dimly by the glow of Redbird's lights and the shimmering blue of Corbin's cold fire, Mark looked around at all the faces of his friends, thinking about the people underneath the masks. Erin, Trevor, Corbin, Eve, and their new friend Red Falcon, who with his plasma rifle would be defending Redbird even if they all had to leave it behind. They'd all come so far, over so many years and so much time, and now they were about to face their greatest challenge yet. They were approaching the river now, Edge riding behind Sage in one compartment, Cobalt Templar and Red Falcon on another side, and Midnight grim and determined behind the wheel with Wander behind him. For just a second, Mark closed his eyes and saw his mother's face, then his father's. Goodbye, Mom. Goodbye, Dad. And then they were erupting out of the water and Freedom City was given over to the forces of Hell: grim Terminus towers rising where once the Pyramid Plaza had stood and on the site of where City Hall had been, the downtown of Freedom City transformed into a Terminus hellscape of firepits and belching machinery: and as Redbird roared towards the battered bulk of Freedom Hall, he saw the Omegadrones beneath look up. "Let's do this! For Freedom!"
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