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Found 12 results

  1. Gizmo

    Time Out

    Friday, November 13, 2015 Even with Merlin around to help supervise Raina was a little surprised to find herself to be anyone's first choice for a babysitter, short notice or not. Still, Talya had been as difficult to say no to as ever and it wasn't as though the young pyromancer couldn't use the extra income. And so she found herself in the apartments above the Espadas School on a Friday night, armed with a list of contact numbers, money to order a pizza, the knowledge that one of Erik's other students would be downstairs using the training equipment after hours and instructions that, should anything go truly badly she should literally call for 'Vince', whatever that was supposed to accomplish. While little Mia Espadas sat on the carpet in front of Raina concentrating mightily on her efforts to maneuver her own foot into her mouth, her older sister Eden looked up the tall blonde expectantly.
  2. 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.
  3. July 14, 2014 "I'm just saying it's hard to believe the initials were an accident," the figure perched atop the three-storey apartment complex insisted. Keeping to shadows deep enough to conceal his high collared, royal blue great coat and matching bandanna mask, the West End vigilante known as Jack of all Blades spoke in a low voice as he peered down at the community center across the street, noting the comings and goings through the back door. "Hey, don't look at me, fearless leader," the smoothly cheerful baritone in his ear protested. "When it comes to acronyms, well! Those who live on glass hard drives, et cetera, et cetera!" VINCE, the Interceptor's artificial intelligence and dispatcher usually preferred to appear with his avatar when communicating with the team but for covert surveillance and earpiece beat commandeering an ATM monitor. Grunting noncommittally, Jack noticed and ultimately ignored a trio of youths starting up a pickup game of basketball on the center's court. The Vibrant Community Reclamation project had been the driving influence behind a number of similar centers throughout the city, focusing on the West End and Lincoln while making inroads into the Fens, repurposing unused buildings in what were diplomatically referred to as 'at risk neighbourhoods'. If the organization spent just as much time holding banquets and press events to pat its well heeled contributors on the back, well, the plus column still came out ahead. At least in theory. Jack had learned the hard way that looking a gift horse in the mouth was actually a pretty good habit to get into and the increased drug trafficking he and his team had been encountering in the area since the center opened had started to make the hairs on the back of his neck itch. VINCE had explained something about correlation and causation that the swashbuckling swordsman hadn't entirely followed but had agreed that the rising crime bore looking into. Without much more than a hunch to go on, he'd decided to stake out the center itself to see if a lead presented itself.
  4. 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."
  5. May 21, 2012 Erik Espadas was a man who had faced everything from alien armadas to demons from the foulest pits, a living weapon honed to peerless sharpness by talent and training, a hero who risked his life routinely with no regard for risk or fear of failure. None of which helped in the least to prevent him pacing back and forth across the living room of his family home, hands clasped behind his back and shoulders set with stress as obvious as the fretting expression plastered across his face. More than half a year of mental and emotional preparation had evaporated the first time Willow had experienced a 'fake' contraction earlier in the week. Now, as the rest of the house filled with family and friends preparing, the knowledge that he was about to become a father had become somehow more real. Running a hand across his heavily stubbled jawline, the fencer redoubled the speed of his pacing. "Try not to wear a rut into the floor too deep for my chair to get over," a wry, matronly voice requested as Gina Espadas wheeled out of the adjacent bedroom and over to her son. Still inside, his thankfully medically trained sister saw to the heavily pregnant dryad in what, surprisingly enough, was not her first experience with midwifery. Although Ellie had made the case for handling the whole affair in a regular hospital, Willow's fairly obviously more-than-human nature presented a problematic risk to their collective secret identities. Compromising, she'd asked her girlfriend to clear a section of the Lab's extensively equipped medical floor, intending to use Mara's teleportation technology to whisk the soon-to-be mother there once they were sure she was about to go into labour. In the meantime, the West End home had accumulated the eclectic assortment of characters collectively known as the Interceptors, including the artificial intelligence colloquially known as Vince running on a borrowed laptop and the quietly precocious six-year-old girl Ellie and Mara had brought back along with more than three hundred refugees of a recently destroyed alternate reality. Orphaned by the creatures who had devastated her version of Earth, Yolanda had been staying with Gina and Ellie since a few strings had been pulled to have the former expediently declared her legal guardian. While Vince had elected to have his monitor left in the kitchen area with a joke about staying out of the way, Yolanda had taken up a cross-legged vigil in one corner of the bedroom, silently watching the proceedings with wide eyes. Erik gathered that this wasn't even the first time the little girl had been present for a birth and considerably better circumstances. He found himself envying her composure.
  6. The building wasn't much to look at, if one was being brutally honest. Like a lot of structures in the West End, it was two storeys tall, designed to be a place for business on the ground level with small living apartments on the second floor. The space for a sign was empty and evidently had been for a while if the weathering was any indication, not to mention the birds' nest tucked in between the top of the large placard and the window sill above it. The large windows were filthy enough to make them nearly opaque and the hinges on the door were probably going to need to be replaced altogether. Despite all that, the young, dusty brown haired man in the wool-lined coat standing on the sidewalk in front of it, keys spinning around his finger jauntily, grinned broadly enough to show pearly teeth as he regarded the building. "Perfect."
  7. It had taken a while, given the hectic schedules involved, but with her brother's insistence, Ellie Espadas had finally managed to find time for her girlfriend to come over to the Interceptor's underground base for a combat training session. Erik was adamant that Mara have at least some fundamental hand-to-hand fighting skills just in case she was ever caught without her inventions. Mildly annoying as the overprotective streak was, Ellie was grateful that her older sibling evidently liked her partner enough to be concerned in the first place, and if in the process the petite engineer ended up in sweaty workout gear, well, that was just a consequence they'd have to live with. While Erik got things set up below, the younger Espadas waited on the steps outside the brownstone apartment building's front door, already changed into shorts and a dark grey vest top and enjoying the sun while she flipped through a textbook she'd brought out with her.
  8. Date: June 17th, 2011 (Friday), later afternoon/early evening Continued from ArchEvil: Revelations The Brownstone! Home to the Interceptors! Dynamo, Fulcrum, Jack of all Blades, and Jill O'Cure, plus newer members Geckoman, Thrude, and Willow, were in the basement training hall, joined by former members Colt and Grimalkin, who had stopped by to pick up some forgotten items and were roped into the exercise by Jack. Some blocks away, a new potential recruit, Ferros, approached, having been told by Archeville himself -- secretly the founder of the fabled team! -- to come by for a tryout with them. ArchEvil appeared in the basement of the Interceptors' Brownstone, next to Vince's computer core. "Hey, boss-man, the gregarious AI's upbeat voice greeted, appearing in mechanic's overalls on the monitors along the walls. "Whatcha do- yeow! What happened to-" "Attend: Stratus. Nietzsche. Wave. Neper. Tornado. Shark. Venus Flytrap. Viktor. Vince. Viktor." Vince's image froze, the eyes went fuzzy, then his entire form flickered as the long-buried overrides were activated and hidden subroutines booted up. Now the AI was dressed in a very crisp, black uniform, with hobnailed jackboots and a leather trenchcoat. "I obey, Herr Doktor," he said, all trace of his jovial nature gone with the click of the back of his heels. "As shall you all, Vince. As shall you all." ArchEvil walked out of computer core chamber and towards the training room, as a hunchback!Vince began pulling on virtual cords, locking down the Brownstone. He entered the training room, using his Belt's intangibility function to simply bypass the door, so as not to interrupt their session.   Eventually, of course, the Interceptors did notice the strange bare-chested fish-man in a labcoat and khakis standing in their danger room.
  9. 10 am, September 21, 2010 Interceptors' Brownstone, West End "Everyone is looking forward to meeting you," said Mona as she and Erin landed, "Even Jack. Well, here she is: the Brownstone." Sweeping one arm wide, she indicated...a large three story house on a tree-lined street. "Really beauty isn't she?" she added while heading up to the front door. She hoped everyone was available. Yes, officially this visit was for a tour, but frankly a base was only as awesome as the team that dwelt therein. She wanted to provide the full tour! Not to mention she didn't know the nuances of the place as well as the long-time residents. Grim, Colt or Jack, on the other hand, were the go-to people for the full package tour. Not to mention the decor was their handiwork. Opening the right side doors, she motioned Erin inside and peeked around, "Anyone home?" The entrance opened into a perpendicular hallway running the length of the house. Just ahead, the archway to a large living room loomed, and on right, another hallway, stairs and a large, open room.
  10. The Freedom City Medical Center was seen as a safe haven to many before the announcement earlier today. Its staff was measured in the thousands and had state of the art medical equipment; there was no where in the world where you could get better attention. As violence swept the streets, the hospital was soon filled to the point of breaking. Now if Atlas's threat comes to pass, the hospital could very well turn into a feeding ground with a death toll measured in the thousands.
  11. Date: June 2010 The monthly Interceptors meeting had gone well enough, for all that no one on the team cared overmuch about the business side of things. What really mattered was that their financing was going well, their publicity was at an all-time high, and in the wake of the Grue invasion, things were going very well indeed for the defenders of West Freedom. Avenger had been bored through most of it, though he'd missed a couple of minutes to slip away and take calls from Phantom from that other dimension. Getting her and Jack Jr. out of the house but for their daily visits had been the right safety precaution after Dracula's attack, but it had given him free time: perhaps too much free time. You know what they say about idle hands... When he'd approached Dr. Archeville about testing the brownstone's security for him, he'd originally only planned to stay a couple of hours, but truthfully the sheer excitement of the moment had kept him around longer than he'd intended. It beat looking at a barely-used nursery. Wonder if that means he'll pay me more...or _less_? Truthfully, maybe lurking around the Casa del Interceptor for a whole day and a night had been a little unethical. For Avenger, at least, it was really hard to sort out what was and what wasn't the right thing to do when it came to matters of privacy and watching people at night while they slept. He decided to split the difference and just let them know. Don't need to tell them who I'm working for, I guess. Appearing in one of the empty seats at the table just as the meeting was wrapping up, Avenger waved. "Evening. Just popped in to let you know you need to fix your security systems. I'd recommend something that can monitor air movements."
  12. Every now and then people wake up with that feeling in their stomach that the day is going to suck. They’ve got no reason for that belief. As far as they know, this is just another ordinary day, and most of the time it really is just a normal day. Other times however... you wish you had stayed in bed. Today will fall into the latter category. The early morning passes just like any other day. People get up, say good bye to their families and head off to work or to school or run some errands. But then, right before 11 o’clock things turned real sour, real fast. Monsters were lose in the streets, seemingly appearing out of no where. Heedless of the danger, the heroes sprang into action as the first explosion broke the early morning silence. The scene before you was one of wanton destruction. It was a rampage, nothing but the after effects of brutal savagery. And judging from the roars and shockwaves, there was still something out there hell bent on destroying everything it came across. Smoke was already billowing high into the sky, and you could taste the ash in the air.
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