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  1. June, 2017 There aren't a lot of things in Sanctuary that look at space. Maybe there should be, after the pirate attack a few years ago, but honestly that was repulsed easily enough that most of the citizens of Sanctuary paid it never-no-mind. They had Fleur de Joie, they had Gabriel, they had Gaian Knight, the giant bees, all their other strange protectors from other dimensions - why worry? And so it was that when the giant silver spaceship descended through the atmosphere on a direct course to Mayberry, close at hand to Fleur de Joie's house, hardly anyone realized it was coming until it had arrived in the upper atmosphere - and the locals weren't immediately inclined to panic. It hovered there visible by binoculars and the sharp naked eye, spinning slowly around its central axis, looking for all the world like a shiny chrome flying saucer from a science fiction movie of the 1950s, even down to extraneous fins placed in each quadrant. From above, with its tall central axis, it might have looked a bit like a compass. When reached by radio, the ship's feminine voice was tinny and old-fashioned too, sounding oddly like it was coming from a vacuum tube radio. "Greetings from the Stellar Ochlocracy! We come bringing gifts to facilitate relations! Where may we land?" The vessel was good-sized, at five hundred feet long, close to the length of a US Navy destroyer.
  2. 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.
  3. Earth-K-Omega/Pastoral-1 (Extinct) Information on Earth-Pastoral is sketchy and has been collected from oral sources only. Thus, all data should be considered unreliable until personally confirmed. The history of this Earth split off from Earth-Prime in the 14th Century CE. On Earth-Pastoral, the Black Death began in the mid 1340s and recurred every decade until the middle of the 1500s. Europe’s population was severely depleted, and stories began to spread that the continent was cursed by God. In the same hand, the Vikings had spread their stories of Vinland far and wide. In the early 1500s a group of Europeans decided that they would rather risk the seas and natives that were described as demons, rather than await another round of plague. They set out, crossed the Atlantic, and found a eastern American coastline that seemed ripe for expansion. While there was plenty of room to expand in the New World, Earth-Pastoral did not have the same population pressures that Earth-Prime experienced and so immigration and colonization was much slower. The expanding European population made treaties and intermarried with the indigenous peoples, and often honored them. Too, less population pressure made the competition for resources less fierce, and while steam engines were invented in the early 18th Century there was no rush for industrialization that marked the 18th Century of Earth-Prime. Altogether Earth-Pastoral was a much more agrarian and less urbanized society, even into the 20th Century. The most important figure of this time has to be a Prussian nobleman who would become known as the Steam General or the Brass General. No subjects interviewed would confirm his name, but they did give a brief sketch of his history; he was the last son of a minor Junker house and inherited very little money. He turned to industry and trade to build a fortune, but the leaders of Europe were aware to the ecological cost of his factories and most denied him land rights. Frustrated and at the end of his ropes, he became an arms manufacturer for the expanding German army. Around this time he made contact with the Terminus; it’s believed Shadian Steelgrave offered him the secret of entropic reactors, and with this the Junker made tireless robotic soldiers. He broke his exclusivity deal with the German army and sold them around the world, and before long every nation was racing to build up robotic armies. When the Terminus invaded, those self-same armies turned on the people they were supposed to protect. It’s hard to get an accurate counting, but it seemed that only one or two superpowered beings survived the first invasion. Before long the planet had been brought into the Terminus, and installed as one of the Hundred Worlds. The last superpowered being, an heir of the Spirit of Liberty, helped form the resistance movement that all the known refugees of Earth-Pastoral came from. Before long, though, she was warped from the Spirit of Liberty to the Spirit of Revenge, and was killed on a raid. Before that, she gave birth to Antoinette Baudin; Antoinette would be enrolled in Claremont Academy on Earth-Prime, and in 2014 she, along with Blodeuwodd, Crimson Tiger, and Kit, would return to Earth-Pastoral and save a large number of the remaining prole population. These refugees are now living on Sanctuary under the protection of Fleur de Joie. Earth-Pastoral has since been consumed by the Doom Coil. This planet is no more. All further inquiries should be routed through the Freedom League, ℅ Auxiliary member Fleur de Joie or known hero Antoinette Baudin. ====Flora & Fauna==== Much of the flora and fauna of Earth-Pastoral was identical to that of Earth-Prime. It can be assumed that many species that have since gone extinct on Earth-Prime endured long afterwards on Earth-Pastoral, but since that planet is now gone there can be no confirmation. There is one species of note, a particular tree found on Earth-Pastoral. This tree integrated a silvery-white metal into its cellulose matrix; the material is metallurgically similar to the Silver Tree of the Furions. Anecdotal evidence indicates that this metal worked in a similar way, scrambling Omegadrone sensors and, in large quantities, could cause them to shut down. Prior to the invasion, the material was primarily valued for its decorative value, and many of the Earth-Pastoral refugees have jewelry or small pieces made of this wood-metal matrix. 7.48 kilograms of the mineral has been voluntarily collected from refugees on Sanctuary, but this amount has no observable or reported effect on known Omegadrone Harrier. ====Notable Natives==== The following individuals are native to Earth-Pastoral and of particular interest to the Freedom League. Antoinette Baudin, aka Blue Jay.
  4. Giant Bees Giant Bees are a result of the selective breeding experiments of Beekeeper II, who created them in order to use them as living weapons against the heroes of Freedom City, and as a tool to aid him in the conquest of his archnemesis and obsession, Fleur de Joie. Though he insists that he used no superscience techniques in creating his bees, the extreme physical, mental, and social alterations of the population would seem to suggest otherwise. Physical Characteristics The average Giant Bee is between sixty and seventy feet long and approximately twelve feet tall, with males slightly smaller than females. They are generally barrel-shaped, covered in fuzzy black and yellow stripes, and have two insectile wings and six legs. Their heads are round and black, with eyes that are visible upon close inspection, and long antennae. The female bees have a concavity in their rearmost legs which are used to store large quantities of pollen while foraging away from the hive. The queen bee is approximately one hundred feet long and eighteen feet tall, and has no wings. Attendants must help the queen move when necessary. Giant bees have proportionately large barbed stingers, similar to more traditionally-sized bees. The stingers deliver a painful and paralyzing venom, though in most cases, the stinger is large enough to cause catastrophic damage without the venom payload. The stinger is better anchored than in smaller bee species, but an incautious sting can still cause damage to a bee. A small subset of Giant Bees are capable of breathing fire as well (Giant Dragon Bees). All of the Giant Bees can speak English, though with heavy accents. Many of them are only somewhat fluent, and will defer to better speakers when dealing with humans. Since relocating to Sanctuary, the bees have begun breeding more frequently, leading to increased visibility of juvenile and sub-adult bees. The newly-pupated juveniles are roughly the size of ponies and are clumsy fliers. They do not leave the hive unescorted by adults, and typically only for short periods of time. Sub-adult bees are closer to the size of panel trucks (20'x 10') and tend to be fearless. Their attitudes are often comparable to human teenagers. Hatching to maturity for a giant bee is a process that takes about two years. Colony Life Currently there is only one colony of Giant Bees, located on Sanctuary, the alternate-Earth dimension headquarters of Fleur de Joie. The original colony consisted of approximately sixty females, twelve males, and a single queen. A mating flight early on in the colony's development began a period of greatly increased reproduction, more than doubling the size of the colony in just a few years. The successful drone was of Giant Dragon Bee stock, and thus many of the new hatchlings have also displayed the ability to breathe fire. Because the bees are intelligent, they have made significant divergences from colony behavior, though instinct still guides many of their decisions. The Queen is unquestionably the leader of the hive, but due to her lack of experience in the world beyond the hive, she leaves many of the day-to-day decisions to her daughter Beeatrizz, the second-in-command. Considerable weight is also given to the requests and suggestions made by Fleur de Joie, who although outside the hive's hierarchy is held in considerable esteem by all the bees, who view her as a savior and benefactor. The Giant Bees make their home in an earthen hive constructed for them by Gaian Knight, with their design input. The hive is roughly the size of a twenty-story building and the length of a city block, and is located approximately ten miles northeast from Fleur de Joie's cottage. The queen's chamber is located underground, specially constructed to protect from bad weather and flooding. The area surrounding the hive is called the Bee Meadow, or “Beedom Valley,” and consists of an area of about one hundred square miles of meadow filled with giant flowers, specially maintained by Fleur de Joie to ensure that the bees have enough to eat. Giant bees fly freely all over the reclaimed territory of Sanctuary, though Fleur has politely asked that they avoid the human habitations unless specifically coming to visit, as the loud buzzing can be disturbing to people and animals. Important and Named Giant Bees Barry: A male bee shot while protecting the Beekeeper. Beeatriz: A female fire-breathing bee, second-in-command of the hive. Beeatriz is much more social with humans than many of the other bees, and often serves as a liaison with visitors. Beearthur: A male bee who enjoys socializing with people and wants a hot tub. Beelisima: The queen bee, matriarch of the hive. Half-again the size of the other bees, she cannot fly, but she exerts tremendous influence in the lives of her subjects. Beelizabeth: A female bee who sometimes interfaces between Fleur and the hive. Boris: A male bee who was wounded by Dark Star while trying to kidnap Fleur de Joie. Curl-bee: A male fire-breathing bee, exiled by the Beekeeper but now reunited with the hive. Ebee-beezer: A female bee with a misleading name. Henr-bee: A male fire-breathing bee with a quick temper. Larabee: A male bee. Super-Bee: Also known as Beeling or Bay-bee, one of the second-generation bees hatched on Sanctuary. Super-bee is the first Giant Bee hero, and a day student at Claremont Academy.
  5. Fleur de Joie Fleur de Joie, civilian identity Stesha Madison (formerly Lumins), is a plant-controlling heroine based out of Freedom City. She has been actively doing hero work since 2009 and is well-known in the city. She is very recognizable due to her thigh-length bright green hair, which she usually keeps braided in loops and coils close to her head and wreathed with live flowers. While Fleur de Joie maintains a residence in Freedom City, her home is actually on the alternate-Earth called Sanctuary, which she maintains with her powers as a haven for refugees and giant bees. While Fleur's powers make her an effective combatant in a fight situation, her talents are far more suited to disaster relief and humanitarian aid. She is powerful enough to literally make deserts bloom, given enough time and effort, and has consulted with UNISON on a number of occasions to help alleviate famine conditions and bolster new farming projects. Much of her energy is currently focused on expanding Sanctuary, which exploded from a small settlement to the size of a small town in 2014, almost all of whom were Terminus refugees with no resources. Luckily, one of Fleur's non-powered assets is her vast network of friends and associates, whom she has been able to tap for assistance in getting the money and manpower necessary to make Sanctuary more self-sufficient. In her personal life Stesha is more discreet, though that's come partially as a result of experience. Her marriage in 2010 to the superhero Dark Star (Derrick Lumins) was big news in the hero-following world, as was the birth of their daughter Amaryllis in 2011. Dark Star contributed to this by his enthusiastic new-father reaction of writing “It's A Girl” across the surface of the moon, where it remained for nearly a month. Her distinctive appearance makes it difficult for Stesha to keep a truly secret identity, but her local popularity and charm have persuaded most of her neighbors to accept the polite fiction that they do not know who she is, allowing her to live her life. That fiction began to dissolve in 2015, when she ended her marriage to Dark Star and the tabloid press began to become interested in her life once more, leading her to move to a more secure living space in the privately held DuTemps Building. Expanded History 'Expanded History' <BR> From the time she was a little girl, Stesha Madison loved plants. At a very early age, she put away her tea set and equipped her dolls and bears with little rakes and shovels so they could help her in the garden. It helped that she grew up in a family that was very big on gardening. Dad taught botany at the university, and Mom was a complementary medicine practitioner and midwife who grew most of her own remedies. Mom always that they met on the opposite sides of a campus protest in the sixties. It was true that they argued a lot, but in the way of people who liked to argue. Stesha's older brothers and sisters liked to argue as well, and so did she, up to a point. But mostly she liked to garden. There was always something that needed to be done, and every day brought new growth and new beauty to look at. <BR><BR> It was hardly a surprise, then, that Stesha followed her dad into the university, majoring in botany. She did well, devouring all the information that was presented to her, but it wasn't her cup of tea. Studying flowers and plants too hard took the magic out of it. Once you'd dissected a rose, it wasn't beautiful anymore, it was just broken and sad, no matter how much you learned. She was more interested in the joy that flowers could give. Her parents were very proud when she graduated with honors, even if her father was a little disappointed that, instead of joining her in the lab, she decided to go to work at a florist. <BR><BR> It wasn't just any florist shop, mind you. Chicago had some very exclusive floral boutiques, and with the contacts both her parents had, she got a job in one of the best. Soon she was doing society weddings, making bouttonires that cost more than her entire prom dress had, and putting together elaborate birthday and anniversary bouquets that would gladden the heart of anyone who saw them. It was a great life, despite the occasional Bridezilla, and she loved it. She'd have been happy to go on that way indefinitely, if everything hadn't changed in a most unexpected way. <BR><BR> It all started with a very unusual piece of window dressing. Even with her degree in botany, Stesha had never heard of the Fleur de Joie blossom until the day her boss brought it into the shop. A very rare, extremely exotic bloom, it flowered only once every hundred years, and this one was set to go soon. “I had to call in a hundred favors,” Amy, her boss, enthused, “but this sort of opportunity comes once in a lifetime. Front row seats to history!” That was why Stesha liked Amy, they shared the same enthusiasm for plants. The Fleur de Joie was placed in the front window and monitored like an expectant mother. As its pistils swelled with the coming bloom, Amy began stationing employees to watch it at night, just to make sure they took plenty of pictures and didn't miss a thing. No one knew for sure if it was a day or evening bloomer, and they weren't about to miss out. <BR> <BR> After a few days and nights of anxious watching, Stesha's turn came up in the rotation. She staked herself out just a few feet from the plant to make sure she would catch so much as a twitch, then started reading a catalog. A sudden motion caught her attention, and she saw a leaf begin to curl back. Eagerly, she called Amy and told her something was happening, then got ready with the digital camera. As the petals began to uncurl themselves, revealing a beautiful mother-of-pearl color the likes of which Stesha had never seen, she leaned in with the camera and began to take pictures. Suddenly, when her nose was bare inches from the flower, it released a large puff of pollen into the air, right into her face, right into her open mouth. “Yie!” she yelled, reeling backwards in surprise, trying to wipe her face. The whole room seemed to take a long, lazy twirl, and then she passed out. <BR> <BR> She woke a few minutes later, sputtering at the glass of water Amy had upended over her head. The flower was still there, huge and immensely beautiful, and Stesha was still covered with pollen. “What happened?” Amy demanded. “Are you all right? Did you see it open?” <BR> <BR> “Yeah,” Stesha replied, dragging a sleeve across her wet, powdery face. “It was beautiful! And I think I'm allergic,” she added wryly. They took hundreds more photos from every angle, and so did the newspaper, and the local news channel. It was a cute local interest story that brought publicity to the shop, just as intended. After a few days, it closed again, and Amy returned it to its owner, and things seemed to settle into their normal routine. <BR> <BR> Only it wasn't exactly normal. Stesha started noticing that things were getting a little strange around her. Plants seemed to… respond to her in a way they hadn't before. Her African violets grew to twice their normal size in a week, and the rest of her houseplants quickly followed suit. After that, it was the potted plants in the shop. Soon, rosebuds were blooming at her touch. Something very strange had happened to her, and it all had something to do with that plant. She was afraid at first, but that passed quickly. All of her powers seemed good, seemed helpful, and they let her do what she loved better than she ever had before. She started small, learning to control the growth of plants around her, making sick ones healthier, growing seedlings into mature plants with a thought. It was cool. <BR> <BR> As Stesha's control grew, so did her boldness in experimenting. She began to try more things, more heroic things, and found she could do a lot more than she'd thought. When she concentrated hard enough, she could sort of become one with the plants, seeing through their flowers and leaves, even traveling along their vines and coming out somewhere entirely different. (The first time she did that, she nearly wet her pants, but the fear soon passed.) She could even make first dirt, then ceramic pots full of dirt, in which to place her plants. One memorable day, she even managed to snake out a vine and trip a purse-snatcher in Grant Park, sending him flying and letting the victim reclaim her belongings. She was like a superhero! She found that she needed to eat and sleep less, and that just laying in the sun made her feel totally refreshed in ways it never had before. <BR> <BR> It wasn't entirely without its drawbacks. One morning after an especially exciting evening of practice, Stesha woke up to find her hair had gone entirely green. Since that wasn't something she could hide, she decided to flaunt it, curling it up in a bun and sticking a wreath of flowers on it. Amy was a little skeptical, but the customers thought it was adorable, so she didn't give her any trouble. Stesha hadn't figured out a way to tell Amy about any of this. It just seemed so unbelievable. As she mastered her powers, though, the florist business began to seem very small. She still loved it, but she felt like she could do more. She wasn't up to the standards of, say, the Freedom League, but she could be a small superhero, she was certain. <BR> <BR> Moving out of Chicago was a real leap of faith. Amy was sorry to lose her, but she gave her a great recommendation that landed her a job in downtown Freedom City at another exclusive boutique shop. Stesha took some time to settle in and get the hang of her job and her neighborhood before she tried anything else. After a few months, though, she knew she was ready. Stesha thought about donning a domino mask, but in a city full of costumes, it seemed like it might be asking for trouble. She came up with a name for herself, Fleur de Joie, after the plant that had made her and the idea she had in mind, and set out to make the world a more beautiful place. <BR> Timeline 2009 A Starlit Date: Moira sets Stesha up with a friend, Derrick Lumins (Dark Star), sure that they will get along fabulously. It turns out she's right, and the two enjoy dinner, dancing, and some very unpracticed flirting.
  6. Stesha's House, Sanctuary December 26, 2014 12:30pm Local Time Between the late hour of the Communion's attack on the Lighthouse, the time the fight had taken, the cleanup, the debriefings, and a quick power nap, it was well into the day after Christmas before Gabriel had a chance to head to his second home. He'd debated coming immediately after the debrief, but he needed a shower, and when he got to his apartment he ended up sleeping for a fair bit of time. The up side was that not only did he come out of it more rested...Stesha would hopefully have had time to calm down. He'd missed all the "drama"; he'd been in the medbay getting patched up and looked over for his collection of minor wounds. There had been a metahuman healer present, so he shouldn't get any scars. From this fight, anyways. No way to ditch the other scars at this point, not without actual surgery, and he didn't care enough about that. But as soon as he'd walked into the debriefing and seen Dark Star in his energy form, a complete absence of Fleur de Joie, and the incredibly awkward atmosphere in the room as the meeting started, the young Irish man knew something bad had gone down. It turns out, no one else knew many details, either. So that is how he found himself, dressed in civilian garb, with a thermos in one hand and a bottle of Bailey's in the other, knocking on Stesha's front door and deciding if it would be blasphemy to curse being the most gifted diplomat on the planet when your ability had been granted by an Archangel. Even if it would be it was starting to look mighty tempting.
  7. December 5, 2014 2:00 pm Village of Mayberry, Sanctuary There was a light dusting of snow on the ground of Sanctuary as the visitors popped out of the hickory tree-shaped dimensional portal their host had conjured up for them, but the weather this afternoon was clear and cold. The place where they'd arrived looked like the edge of a large garden, with rows of berry bushes still fruiting nearby, and nut trees clearly ready for harvest all around them. Stesha was waiting for them as they stepped out, her cheeks pink despite the puffy brown fleece jacket with matching knit hat and mittens she was wearing. It looked a little like a cold weather version of her costume, if one squinted just right. "Hi guys!" she greeted them cheerfully. "It's so good to see you, feels like it's been forever! Ammy, come say hello!" There was a rustling behind a nearby tree, whose branches parted to allow Amaryllis to come rushing through them without so much as slowing down. She was bundled up like her mother, except all in pinks and purples, and her hat was askew on her green curls. "Hi!" she chirped, finally slowing down just before she plowed into Erik. "Merry Christmas!"
  8. It was a brand-new day in every conceivable use of the word. The sun had risen barely an hour earlier, but Tona Baudin had worked hard the other day, saving her entire homeplanet, and so she had celebrated by sleeping in for a time. Of course, there was even more work to do this morning, and a lot of special people to visit. One person in particular had been her priority. Tona walked through the front door of the infirmary carrying a large mixing bowl, covered with a dish towel, lovely smells drifting out from under it as the girl's movements caused it to flutter in the breezes. She hummed a light, tuneless song to herself as she checked the various beds, until she found the one containing a slim redhead still curled in sleep. Tona set the bowl down on the nightstand next to the bed and crouched down so that her head was level with Sam's. She watched her girlfriend slumber, marveling at the look of peace on her face. Just yesterday this (beautiful, brave, clever) girl had teleported a few thousand people many miles out of danger, and it had cost her mightily. But looking at her now, Tona couldn't imagine that there was anything wrong with her, anything wrong with the entire world. She reached out and brushed Sam's hair back, resting her hand on the other woman's cheek. "Bonjour," she said softly, not wanting to disturb the rest of the patients in the infirmary. "Time to wake up, mon amour."
  9. Monday, January 6th, 2014 10:34 AM Wharton State Forest It almost hadn't happened. The weatherman had called for unseasonably warm temperatures through the end of the year, and the people behind the festival had talked about how to keep the ice from melting. Then everything changed when the weather blew up cold and windy; the Freedom League rallied metahumans and were managing to keep the worst of the 'polar vortex' at bay, but it did mean ice and snow for Freedom City and the Winter Festival was on. As the King family van pulled into the well-plowed parking lot of Wharton State Park, Gene King tried to remind himself that all that was good news. He should be happy that the heroes were keeping snow and cold to a manageable level -- but part of him couldn't help but think that this was precious extended Christmas vacation time being taken away from video games.
  10. February 1st, 2013 Freedom City, United States Liberty Park Late afternoon Tona Baudin made her way through Liberty Park, choosing a path to avoid the few determined joggers and dog walkers. The boles of the leafless trees didn't provide much cover, but the young woman didn't want to be around people very much just now. It hadn't even been a month ago that an artificial duplicate of hers had a rampage just south of the river, attacking her friends and a group of young Terminus mutants, even killing a few. While most citizens didn't know to connect Blue Jay with Tona, she still felt a twinge of guilt at walking around free after something modeled after her skills had killed people while she was stuck an unimaginable distance, captive to an alien intelligence. It didn't make a lot of sense. Tona knew that, admitted that it didn't make any sense. That didn't make her feel any less guilty. In almost no time she came to the center of the park, near where the lake split into two tributaries. She hitched at the pack carrying her bow and quiver (Headmaster Summers had reminded her to bring her gear) and looked around. She had been told that she was to meet someone here, but she seemed virtually alone.
  11. A thread for finding folks with rarely-applied skills. OOC for thread.
  12. Hours after word had reached Sanctuary from Earth-Prime of the Gorgon's defeat and the ended threat, the relocation of the evacuated populace was in full swing. It would take days to return everyone to their homes, but thanks to significant foresight and high spirits stemming from relief, thing were going as smoothly as could be hoped. Overlooking the procession from hill nearby Stesha's cottage, Erik Espadas sat on the grass divested of his alter-ego's costume and generally trying to stay out of the way. While the world's greatest scientific minds and space-borne heroes had faced the planet-killer head on, the street level swordsman was forced to admit that the threat had been well out of his own weight class. Instead, he'd done what he could in keeping Willow away from the influence of her 'elder sister' after the controlled dryad's nearly disastrous rampage through the West End. Looking over to the slender, white haired woman, he was silent for a moment before beginning, "So. We should probably talk, huh?"
  13. September 21, 2011 Freedom Hall Under normal circumstances, Freedom Hall might be evacuating through the teleporters rather than through the garden, but then it was only recently that Freedom Hall had gained the services of the famous Fleur de Joie. Lacking the power to journey into space, and having freshly returned from his unsuccessful visit to Heaven, Freedom Angel was focused on the people now, moving through the small crowd of citizens who had been called up as part of the League's emergency evacuation program: there were heroes' families here and dependents, a sampling of survival experts and doctors, anybody who could help set up a camp on an alien world and maintain it long enough for the heroes of Freedom City to save the day. "God is watching everything we do," Freedom Angel assured the small group of families; mostly Navy families from Lonely Point, who were next on the list, "and He watches over us even now. Have no doubt that with His guidance and with the courage and skill of the Freedom League and the other heroes of the world, we will save this planet and everyone on it." "So why do we have to go?" asked a combative-looking girl of about 12, giving the angel a suspicious look. "If everything's going to be okay, why can't I stay with my mom?" Her dad was holding her, hands on her shoulders, but it looked like he had questions for the angel as well, and even as he heard the little fwoop that signaled a successful transfer of the other group, the angel knew he had to say something to satisfy these frightened people. "Because we need your mom to help save the world," replied the angel seriously. "The base at Lonely Point is helping coordinate the League's war with the Gorgon and her creatures in the depths of space. And if your mom knows, and if all your families know," he added, speaking now to the larger group, "they'll be able to concentrate on helping save the world, not just worrying about the ones they love. It's a tough duty," he added. "I know you would rather stay here with the ones you love. But this is a sacrifice we have to make the world that we know and love can be guarded. Sanctuary is a fine, green place," he promised the others as he opened the garden door. "You will love it. Fleur, are we ready for the next group?" he called.
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