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Moira Morley

Excuse Me, Your Head Is On Fire (IC)

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GM

 

Lots of things happen in a city of heroes and villains. About a month ago the Terminus invaded and left a stamp on the landscape in the form of mutated citizens. Terra, Razor, Silk, and Crush were some of the 'lucky' ones. Friends through the same neighborhood, they looked after each other. These powers made it easier to do. Razor got a voice that could melt minds. Terra was lucky all the time, though she could never hit the numbers. Silk and Crush, the twins, got fire and ice powers, respectively. Things were looking up for Plantation Circle. Except for when their plans started going off.

 

The lure of cheap thrills hit them all too easy. Terra was their lynchpin in getting away scot free. If they got caught theyd slip through the cracks and be out on a technicality. Cops in The Fens were starting to call it the Plantation Circle Clause. So much so when they were called to the scene, they almost gave up.

 

A police call to Cleary's Jewelers? Thats where they were today. The precinct preferenced it with PCC. Plantation Circle Clause.

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When four newly empowered criminals walked into Cleary's Jewelers, Mona Simms wasn’t in the same hemisphere as Freedom City. It was still summer, and online college courses were over a month away. Mona was in Singapore, tasting a bit of the night life. A Western girl could get into all kinds of exciting things in Singapore. Buuuuut…she wasn’t feeling it, tonight. Today. Whatever. So she tossed her wooden skewer (formerly full of street meat) into a nearby trash can, and suddenly wasn’t in Singapore any longer. She wondered, idly, how the reconstruction work was going in Freedom City, and decided to take a look. On a whim, she decided to start with the Fens. This was when she discovered the robbery, already in progress. A block away, with the sightlines blocked, she pulled out her smartphone and made a call. “Hey, Mickey? Wanna punch some bad guys?”

 

Mickey was her twin brother, who had just gotten off work from his part time job. The third one of the summer. He should probably give up on temping and just do construction like the counselor said. But he didn’t like being defined by his powers. So, temping it was. He had just gone out the front door and was considering what to have for his next meal when his phone rang. “Mona? Super crime? Uh, sure. Just tell me it’s on my continent.”

 

“Do you one better. Same city, even.” In an instant, Mona Simms was replaced by the speedster superhero known as Pacer. “Fens, jewelery shop. Cleary’s. You know it?”

 

“Hmm. No, but I can find it. The Fens isn’t that big.” Mickey tapped into his sister’s powers for a moment, and started running. It was the powerhouse superhero Stalwart that arrived in the Fens.“Cross streets?” Pacer named them, and seconds later, Stalwart and his sister were side by side. “Numbers?”

 

Pacer shrugged. “Four. They’re…living a stereotype, I guess? Fire, ice, dunno, and dunno.”

 

Stalwart stretched, his own powers rippling through every muscle. “All right, let’s wrap this up real quick. I have to hit the supermarket.” He was off at a normal human trot

 

Pacer would beat him handily, zipping through the store to stand on the other side of the counter. “Hi, guys. Did you not see that video in school? The one where the Centurion says crime doesn’t pay?” She grinned. “Because wow, would he be disappointed in you.”

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Moira was in The Fens, giving a drunk friend a ride home. Though a woosh of super speed alerted her that something was up. She then saw cop cars passing. "Miller," she said to the slumped over passenger as she pulled over into a parking lot, "you stay here. Keep the doors locked. And please, please don't get sick." Her words fell on deaf ears as Miller leaned againt the window, passed out. Made switching into costume easy as she quietly shut the door.

 

When she got to the jewelry store there were heroes already there. Familiar faces. "Hey. I just wanted to window shop. Fancy meeting you guys here."

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Pacer could’ve waited…but had they met her? They were clearly robbing this nice jewelery store, so she’d super speed bludgeon them unconscious. Still, maybe hold back on the steel cracking force. Don’t know how tough they are, after all. As neurons started to fire in the brains of everyone else in the room so that they could properly react to the sudden appearance and casual banter of a skinny 5 foot girl, she punched each of the four criminals pretty heckin’ hard. The best part? She did it fast enough that it didn’t seem like she even moved from where she was, aside from a slight blurring effect. “But don’t worry, I hear Blackstone has a great rehab program.” She waved at Scion. “Hey, you. Of all the jewel thefts in all the cities of the world, you walk into this one. See, Mickey? It’s the pretty girl I told you about. From that weird dream. I knew it was real.”

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GM

 

The shouts of pain from the group of girls were not the most pleasant of words. Two of them looked like they were totally out of it for a second. But the two who weren't looked like they were about to tear holes in the group of interloping heroes!

 

"We don't get much of you costumes around here," one of them said angrily, "kinna wants to make me give you a... yall got them theme songs? Here's one!" She cleared her thoat and then began to fill the air with a sonorous hum that only Pacer, Stalwart, and Scion could hear in the back of their minds, "three. Three on the street. Three don't know what they messin with. Three about to be burned to !@#$."

 

Another flew straight towards the heroes with an angry yell, stopping right in the center of them. What she did, Pacer saw, was less an explosion and more taking every bit of energy in the area and make it pop. Everyone else saw an explosion.

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Scion steeled her mind and body against the assaults on them. The poor criminals didn't know what they were dealing with. Especially the exploding one. "Well, it could have been better meeting arrangements." She grabbed the fire starter easily and slammed her with a headbutt. "Who's the new guy? Partner?" She smiled, "you got a boyfriend?"

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Stalwart felt a bit down as the woman sang. Obviously, she had sonic powers and needed to sing to get them to work. Easy solution? Put his hands on her and over her mouth. Fire washed over him, but that wasn’t a distraction. It might have been, before he’d had a pair of years in the superhero game. No, the reason he missed was much simpler. For just a moment, the idea of dating Pacer (and the various…things…dating couples might do together) rocketed through his brain like a horrifying nightmare. And that was enough for him to completely misjudge how the girl would move. He whirled on his heel to glare at Scion, pointing disgustedly as her. “Ew! No!”

 

Pacer, dodging a wave of fire as nonchalantly as humanly possible, laughed. “He’s my brother. We’re twins.”

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GM

 

One of the girls staggered around, trying to catch her footing after catching a full wallop of super speed fist against her head. She mumble something about chilling our. At least she thought it was a funny quip, laughing about it though uncertain of how she would get out of this whoopin.

 

Another one, less affected by the beats, looked like she was trying to call out orders. But she couldnt. It was all pointing and jumbled words that seemed to make sense, but were out of wack.

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Pacer kept right on giggling like the teenage girl she was. Somehow she was a legal adult. Terrifying. “See, the thing is, you guys are just.” One super speed punch to the jaw. “too” Another super speed punch to the jaw. “heckin’” And a third, for the third. “slow.” Numero cuatro, for her heritage. Did she move? Well, yes. Was it visually obvious? Heh, no. Speed is a hell of a thing, boys and girls.

 

Meanwhile, Stalwart was still reeling mentally. “No, no, frickin’ no, and furthermore, why?!”

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Scion watched the two siblings bicker back and forth. With a split second, the girl she had in her grip went limp. She assumed that was Pacer being faster than the eye can see at times. Or maybe the headbutt was too much. Who knew?

 

There were two still standing. Luckily the songstress wasn't one of them. "Aw, it's fine. Take your mind off her, man. There are," she paused and looked in his direction with a smile, "other things you could be thinking about."

 

The chilly crook looked to be fresh up. "Alright," Scion said racing - not as fast as the twins, but still inhumanly so - towards her. Unfortunately, she wasn't as ready as she thought.

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Stalwart took a good look at Scion. Lord, protect me from my weakness. “Yeah, that’s a better thought. I’ll give you that.” He focused, and grabbed hold of the one still awake who didn’t have elemental powers. “Okay, that’s enough of that. Time for jail.” His arms made steel seem soft and yielding as they firmly restrained her. He was Strength Incarnate, after all. Not that he knew that, at least as such. He increased the pressure tiny bit by tiny bit until he felt her bones start to give ever so slightly. No superhuman durability. So I have to be as careful as usual. “Or I could actually squeeze. Choice is yours, miss.”

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GM

 

Crush had stared into the face of danger before. The woman had headbutted her sister so hard she passed out. But she was not about to have it happen to her! "Lets make you !@#$&es hold up," she angrily shouted, trying to sound like a cartoon villain in her own mind.

 

Unlike the other who made everything pop, Pacer saw the crook suck every bit of energy out of the room around her, Scion, and Stalwart. Everyone else, however, saw the crystalized ice form around the three heroes.

 

The one in Stalwart's arms laughed, "hey, boy. You like your sister huh?" She couldnt do much more than tease him. Even if her head cleared, she was still wrapped up by him. "Yall do that Game of Thrones !@#$? Heroes that messed up?" She stopped and winced as his grip got tighter.

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Stalwart didn’t flinch. The words were obviously supposed to unsettle him. And also he had Scion to fantasize about block those other thought out. It was Pacer who got annoyed. In an instant, she was in front of her brother and his captive. She’d dodged the cold attack without even thinking. “Only friends get to joke like that. You aren’t a friend.” One nanosecond later, a blizzard of tiny fists pummeled the one who’d actually attacked. “She’s not, either.” It wasn’t quite a million punches but eh, close enough.

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Scion was a watcher of shows more than a reader of books, so the reference flew over her head. But she got the jist of it. Meh, low hanging fruit. She was far too focused on the freezer girl. "Fire, ice, mind tricks," she said grabbing the one Pacer pelted, "what's the other one do?" Scion slammed her head into the girl, but it did little to her except make her more angry.

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GM

 

The ones who were conscious heard the cop sirens from outside. The ice manipulator looked over to the girl being pinned. She shrugged, "cool heads prevail?" Looking at Scion and Pacer, she snarled, "don't think you !@#$&es off the hook yet. Come up in here again. In your !@#$in costumes. We'll be ready." She put her hands behind her back as she was handcuffed. It was obvious shed seen this rodeo before. Not even resisting.

 

"Hey boy," the girl Stalwart held wiggled unsuccessfully againt his grip, "you got a hero name? Let me hear it. I wanna know who I gotta follow." She laughed as the police picked her up and cuffed her, "I'll see you around, boy." He could sense a general like in her voice. Like how a person saw a meal ticket.

 

The paramedics tended to the wounded and the cops too questions and filled out reports. Ah, the humdrum aftermath.

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Stalwart handed over his captive. “Stalwart. Mighty Stalwart on both Twitter and Tumblr. You want to talk about how to make better life choices, you let me know.” He said this sincerely, and meant every word. “Of course, you’re probably going to want to fight. In which case…” With one hand, he carefully lifted an empty police car above his head and then gently set it down. “Rethink that. Next time I may decide not to be nice.” He nodded at the surprised owner of the vehicle. "Sorry, Officer. Just making a point."

 

Pacer, meanwhile, was giving the cops their report. Headmistress Summers insisted, during her school days. Saving the day and then leaving lead to bad guys getting out of jail in a hurry. Can’t have that. “And keep that duct tape on her mouth. She’s got the voice powers, or something. ‘Kay, that’s it.” Did Pacer duct tape an unconscious woman's mouth shut? Maybe! (She totally did, yes) She was by Scion’s side in an instant. “So, what’s up?”

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Scion rolled her eyes at the tough talk. Then again, she did take a full on face smash from her. Scion never stayed around for paperwork, and now she knew why. It was tedious. But she got to tell an epic retelling of the events. So there was that. Still, she had to get her drunk friend home. "Wait a second..."

 

As if fate would deign it, Pacer showed up. She smiled slipping her hand into the speedster's and looking her in the eye, "can I ask you a quick favor? If you can, I have a friend across the street. He's pretty out of it. And light touch if you can, I dont know how well he held his drink tonight."

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Pacer shrugged. “You say that like it’s all hard, or something.” She tapped into her brother’s powers (for Mona was a slip of a thing, and had zero change of carrying a drunk man otherwise) and did her trademark disappearing act. A quick search of his pockets for his wallet and home address. Also, keys. Step over and open his front door. Then pick up and carry him in. Bed or couch? Bed…or…couch? Decisions, decisions. Eh, bed. Now what does he have in the fridge? Punching bad guys worked up a bit of an appetite, after all.

 

Stalwart noticed his sister’s departure and sighed. Off she went again to heaven knows where. But, he supposed, he wouldn’t be any different if he could do that. He approached Scion. “Scion, wasn’t it? Let me introduce myself properly. I’m Stalwart. Pacer is my twin sister. I apologize for any trouble she’s caused you.” …and nope, she was still very attractive. Lord, give him strength. Her eyes were up there. Yes.

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Scion was surprised when Pacer didn't automatically reappear. She did it a lot in that shared dream. She did it not a few minutes ago. But hey, Scion could get to know her brother. The more friends the better, right? Right.

 

"Yeah," she nodded, "how about we get away from his scene? I know you're strong - something I'd really like to know your... upper limits on - but are you fast too? I'm saying we blow this place for a more scenic one. Liberty Park? If not I can get you there."

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Stalwart blinked. It was perfectly innocent. And it wasn’t, he could leave. If he wanted to. Which…wasn’t guaranteed. Should probably speak at some point. Right. “I’m just strong. But I can borrow a bit from Pacer. No, I don’t know how it works. Yes, it works the other way too.” He just…did it. Right now. He checked his phone.“I was thinking about getting food before this, but it can wait. Meet you there.” After all, it wasn’t every day a gorgeous woman wanted to hang out with him. He didn’t just vanish the way his sister did. He was gone in a blurry second.

 

Meanwhile, Pacer had discovered leftover pizza and a pint of ice cream in this poor guy’s fridge and freezer. Excellent. Most excellent.

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Ok, so he was a lot faster than she thought he was. At least that wasn't his normal trotting speed. There was nowau she could catch up to him, unless. "Apollo, love," she spoke to the god of, well, many things, "might you turn me into a ray of sunshine so that I may be at Liberty Park right now?"

 

Apollo tsked, "We'll talk about payment later. I have some modeling you might be interested in anyway."

 

Scion appeared right next to Stalwart in a flash of light from the sky. Luckily it was daylight enough that no one saw any difference, but people in the immediate area got a btight flash of light. She laughed, "we'll call it a tie?"

Edited by Moira Morley

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Pacer would’ve been annoyed, said something she thought was snarky. Stalwart simply shrugged. “You can have the win if you want it. Makes no difference to me.” Time to look at the trees. Because otherwise he’d stare, and that’s impolite. “You wanted to test something?”

 

Pacer burped. Okay, that oughta do. She locked his door from the inside and phased back out. The crime scene now lacked one Stalwart and one Scion. Where could they have gone? And without texting her? She could search the city really, really fast. But, effort. She pulled out her phone and rapped out a quick message. Where u go, bro?

 

Stalwart pulled out his own phone as it vibrated. The Park. Scion wants to test something. We’ll hit the burrito place later.

 

Pacer grinned. Deal. Have fuuuun. :D

 

Stalwart simply rolled his eyes. “Sorry. Sister. You were saying?”

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Scion looked around, borrowing power from Apollo always made her think of artistic things. Liberty Park was full of so much beauty she could work with. She saw the trees Stalwart was eyeing as a project and didn't want to destroy it for kicks.

 

"Hm," she touched him on the shoulder, "you know what would be even heavier? Junkyard. Lots of heavy stuff there. And we can put thing on top of each other to make them heavier." She smiled and nodded. There was an ulterior motive to lifting and breaking scrap metal. It was art, of course. She just hoped Stalwart was along for the ride. "Meet you there," she smiled and disappeared in a ray of light.

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Stalwart stood there mildly bemused, and then chased after her. Interesting woman. Playful, fun, and yes, very hot. He wondered what she thought of him. He hadn’t left teenage insecurities entirely behind, after all. Women with that much physical beauty made him nervous. He knew on an intellectual level they were just people. No one was perfect. Everyone had flaws and insecurities. The problem was, his hormones and intellect didn’t exactly work in lockstep with each other. He stopped just short of Scion’s location in the junkyard and sighed. Maybe he should excuse himself and go home. He didn’t want to make a fool of himself or worse, hurt Scion’s feelings.

 

As the poor lad was lost in thought like this, a pair of tiny hands shoved him playfully. “I knew you’d over think things, bro. It’s your trademark.” It was his sister, though in civilian dress as Mona Simms. “I don’t know how you get along without me to push you into the fun stuff.”

 

Stalwart snorted. “I don’t know how you get along without me to stop you from being too reckless. Aunt Frankie is the one who’s invincible, not you.”

 

Mona looked away, slightly peeved. “I’ve been workin’ on that, all right?” She hesitated, which was incredibly unlike her. “Look, I had a shot at a boy who liked me. God knows why he did. And then I took him to see Grandma. Stupid, I know. Like usual, I didn’t think, just did it. So I’m tryin’ to think before I act now.” She hesitated again, which was so unlike her Stalwart briefly wondered if she’d been replaced by a Grue. “We’re grown up now, Mick. Our lives are gonna start separating. And they should. You don’t need to be my minder when you can be having your own life.” The words cost her, but she had a bit more to say. “So…I’ll be more like you, and you should be more like me.”

 

Stalwart looked at his sister with new eyes. “Okay. If you’re trying, I can’t do anything less. But still…I didn’t expect you to…” He was suddenly unsure. Grow? Change? Be someone other than the reckless, impulsive image in his head?

 

Mona grinned, a bit weakly. “What can I say? I got depths, bro. Now get in there. A pretty girl wants to hang out with you. Though only God knows why. Ya stiff.” She grinned harder and vanished.

 

That girl…well, whatever. Stalwart was gonna try this out. A second later, he was standing by Scion. “Sorry to keep you waiting. Looks like I needed a pep talk. So…you want me to lift things? It is what I’m best at.”

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While the two were talking, Scion had changed out of her costume into civilian clothes. Some pants that rode her hips and a yellow and black midriff tshirt with a Beekeeper logo on it. The costume, a long toga, wouldn't really work in this place. She started piling car scraps on top of each other in various formations. She seemed to be building something? Nah, the lifting competition was on her mind too. She wanted to see how much Stalwart could smash upwards and down. The innuendo did not escape her. But now? They were having some fun.

 

She looked over to Stalwart with a smile, putting her hand above her eyes to block the sun - maybe Apollo, maybe just coincidence - from blinding her. "Well, we have to start somewhere," she looked to the pile of metal she situated into a semi- idea of a large humanesque figure. "This here is Fred. Should be light work for you."

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