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Found 7 results

  1. 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.
  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. 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."
  4. The mid-March weather was warming up just enough to make being outside bracingly brisk rather than an invitation to numbness and a lingering ailment. Wildlife had begun to return and become active again, the still largely bare trees home to more chirping birds than layers of snow. As he adjusted the sizeable pack slung over both shoulders and trekked further into the Wharton State Forest, Erik Espadas had a moment of unusual introspection and reflected that the gradual thaw wasn't dissimilar to the slow return to normalcy after his sister's kidnapping by the cosmic villain known as the Curator and eventual rescue. Then again, the wide eyed infant strapped into a harness across the dusty brown haired fencer's chest was a potent reminder that the normal of the day was a far cry from what normal had looked like a year before. He hadn't been camping since well before he'd taken up the heroic identity of Jack of all Blades but given the connection the mother of his child shared with the natural world, it was something they'd intended to do for a while. In the fallout of what the media had insisted on titling the Day of Wrath, however, he'd been reluctant to let Ellie too far out of his sight and had ultimately dragged not only her but her girlfriend and their adopted younger sister along as well. "C'mon, ladies," he called over his shoulder. "Almost there! ...I think."
  5. October 31, 7:30pm Halloween night had not been an especially auspicious night for the last several years in Freedom City. If it wasn't zombies rising from the grave or demonic forces attempting to take over the living world, it was cold, rainy weather that kept the little ghouls and goblins in their homes. Tonight, though, Halloween was crisp but not too cold, cloudy enough to be menacing, but without any actual rain. It was about as ideal as the holiday could get, and the trick-or-treaters were out in force. Tony North Bay didn't have as many wandering children as some newer neighborhoods where the McMansions crowded close to each other and the street, but for those who were enterprising and fearless, the haul could be worth the effort. At the end of one long driveway stood an especially dour and dangerous-looking manor, stark black and looming like a giant animal over the landscape, thanks to a few adroitly-placed spotlights in the backyard. A van full of middle-school children pulled up to the curb outside, disgorging a gangly vampire, an AEGIS trooper, Lady Liberty with most of her outfit obscured by a puffy pink jacket, a very short Midnight, and a yellow Angry Bird. The group milled around for a few moments, checking flashlights and treat bags before turning their attention to the very intimidating road ahead. The trees were thick with spiderwebs, and the bushes lining the lane seemed to rustle even with no wind to stir them. A line of luminescent footprints down the driveway beckoned the brave to continue, past the hooting of night birds and the ominous creaking of invisible wood and ropes. Somewhat hesitantly, Midnight led the way, playing his flashlight over the footprints and making his way down the path with the others close at his heels. It wasn't long before the music started, faraway and eerie, just loud enough to be heard in the still night.
  6. 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.
  7. April 2012 It's a typical day at Hallomen's Advanced Experts. The boss is working on a consulting project sent her way from Blackstone Prison, where a seized artifact from a long-imprisoned prisoner has begun to malfunction. Dr. Gateway was briefly a terror in the early 1990s; a former archeologist whose alien battlesuit allowed him to banish his enemies into the Zero Zone, Gateway actually soloed against the Freedom League for a while before Daedalus succeeded in deactivating his stolen technology and freeing the policemen, bank tellers, and superheroes he imprisoned there. Gateway's been in jail ever since, the death of one of his early test subjects having given him a life sentence. With his suit deactivated and the man himself in jail, he had slipped out of the public eye. Until now. It's coming up on the second time the Gateway suit will become active in Mara's custody, and while she works on it, her two top security guards are hanging around in the event that the formerly dangerous piece of supertech comes to life in an inopportune moment. You can't be too careful when it comes to get sucked into another dimension. Looking confident in his security guard uniform, Steve stood by the door with Erin, drinking break room coffee from his new mug. "Your young man's blend is very flavorful," he commented to Erin as he watched Mara at work. "You should give him my thanks."
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