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Double Date [Open]

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Seeing Double Club, Lincoln, Freedom City
20:30 August 1st 2018

Despite everything Freedom City endured! But even though the city itself had more or less returned to normally many people were still affected by the events of the last month and many were raising money to help those inflicted.

One such place was Seeing Double which was nothing special, a warehouse converted into a club for at least a few nights aiming to donate it's earning to such charities. The unique thing about the staff was that everyone running the place, from the door to the bar, was exactly the same person Merge Trois.


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Anna Cline had left her sidekick down in the Rio Grande Valley for the week; Esperanza having to help a "friend" with a problem that she wasn't comfortable talking to her mentor about. With the Hammer of Justice quiet for the moment and Bedlam enjoying a brief period of unity, that made this the perfect opportunity to slip back to Freedom City and check on her family. She'd done that, and been incredibly relieved to find them safe and well - but then she was bored, and Esperanza wasn't expecting her until the end of the weekend. The gods that occasionally spoke in her head even when she wasn't wearing the helmet were quiet here in Freedom, probably trying not to attract Set's attention. Anna had thought about attracting Set's attention too, but Set still had a boyfriend and there'd probably be conversations she wasn't quite ready for. Luckily, she wasn't the only one who'd been called back to Freedom City for a while because of the invasion. 


She'd made Nicola wait for an actual yellow cab to pick them up at the hotel, not wanting to trust "those new-fangled Internet taxicabs, probably try and slit your throat soon as look at you." She wasn't worried about that so much as she was worried about ruining her brand-new dress, a flowing number in green that clung tight where it should and hung loose where it needed to - and a chance to go out on a date in a town full of heroes, where she wouldn't have to worry about anyone except herself for a few hours. The city looked like it was relishing the chance to relax. In the back of the cab, she was next to her girlfriend, hand resting on hers, as they headed back buildings under reconstruction on their way to the club. 

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It felt strange to be back in Freedom City after what was about two years in Bedlam.  There was some business she had to attend to while she was in the city, but she could put that off until later.  They made quite the pair, the dark haired and pale skinned woman next to the older blonde, but the vampire didn't really care what other people thought.


She even secretly enjoyed the cab ride.  It was so wonderfully normal and mundane, in sharp contrast to the rest of her existence.

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Anna was talking a mile a minute in the back of the cab, something Nicola was used to by now. "That's where the Centurion fought the Crime League back in '68!" she expostulated at one point as they headed past what looked like an old bank building since converted into apartments, smoothly editing details so that the cab driver wouldn't think anything of their conversation. She looked old enough to have seen such a fight, if not actually participated in it. "They almost got 'im, too! Clock Queen was hittin' him from behind every time he turned his head, and then Madame Zero was coming in with her freeze ray-but of course he got away, and wasn't that a lucky thing for the good people of the town." She put an arm around Nicola and smiled at her. "But enough about old times for now. This is supposed to be a new place, right? I am gonna show you _all_ the best sights in this town..." 

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Nicki Dee

In a special room in the bar sat surrounding by screens was the brains behind the entire operation directing the various Merges as they went about their business. The screens were just for effect as Nicki was in mental contact with all of her duplicates, well except for her laptop that she used to look up the names, though some people she didn't need to look up.


Merge Trois

One of the Merge's opened the door to the yellow cab only to look at Anne with a brief look of surprise.


"Ms. Cline it's an honor to meet you, and your lovely companion. I used to follow your career with some interest before going straight! Tonight everyone is welcome to our little event." she gestured out of the car into the nightclub.

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Anna stared back at Merge, her eyes widening and her heart racing, and grabbed Nicola's hand for a moment the vampire could barely perceive. "I'm sorry," she said firmly but politely, never breaking eye contact with Merge, "you must have mistaken me for someone else." Ready to bolt if the point was pressed, she began the process of getting her way out of the car, not an easy task in a dress like this if she wanted to stay ladylike - and truthfully because she wasn't as fast or as flexible as she used to be. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nicola rested a hand on Anna's arm, and gave it a little squeeze of reassurance.  The vampire explained to Anna some time ago that she could sense when people were frightened or.. otherwise.. due to the scent of blood and certain physiological reactions that brought it closer to the surface or resulted in it rapidly oxygenating.


Granted, it wasn't described in such clinical terms and the context at the time was far more intimate, but the point stuck.


Smiling, Nicola climbed out of the taxi after her girlfriend.  She flashed a curious look at Merge, but inclined her head in greeting while thanking her for the compliment.  She looped an arm through Anna's and waited to be escorted into the club.

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Without skipping a beat Merge just smiled at Anne


"I'm sorry I must have mistaken you for someone else! Please follow me!"


As she turned she also stayed stood there another copy of Merge leading them towards the ad hoc nightclub.


"As an apology, we'll happily upgrade you to our VIP area, with a bottle of champagne on the house." she smiled and added "It's not the best quality but of a quite good vintage! I can also assure you that there are no recording devices or press in the building so you're free to be yourself."


She left off of cause that everything she saw all the other Merges, and importantly Nicki, knew everything they saw and heard. Not that she was planning to use anything she found out for nefarious purposes.

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So you want me to swipe yer wallet, honey? came Anna's hard thought, her internal monologue still rattled by the near-miss. "Thanks so much fer the welcome," she said with a sharp smile. "We'll try not to drink up all the good liquor." Sassing the host let her distract herself for a second or two, but the remaining seconds left her with a lot to think about. All right, so you and yer girlfriend are out on a date where people can see you in a town where people know what you look like - why the Hell did I think this was a good idea? Determined not to ruin the evening, she made a point of reaching down and taking Nicola's hand again as they went inside - all chase gal-pals while they were out in public on the street. Her heels were short, the kind that wouldn't make her ankles hurt at the end of the evening, and cut to let her step right out of them at speed if she needed to. 

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  • 1 month later...


Merge Trois

The bar was busy but not packed, not as full as you would have expected on a night like this. And whilst the VIP was designed to allow some privacy it was apparent that not many people were attending.


Her job complete there Merge collapsed into one of the chairs, apparently deflated about something, she popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and took a large swig straight from the bottle.


"Apparently no one trusts me enough to come tonight, everyone thinks that this is a massive scam or a set up for a robbery. Like I was that kind of mastermind supervillain!" she took another gulp from the bottle and added


"That was never how I did things, I only took from those that deserved it and they were well-crafted things of beauty!"


Remember something she offered up them up the bottle


"Did either of you want some?"

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Anna studied the former supercriminal for a while, then took the bottle from her and set it between them. "Drinkin' too much isn't gonna lead you anywhere good, honey, even if you've got thirty livers." She smiled at the younger woman and said, "You have a nice place here. Not anything like I expected." Truthfully she was rather glad there weren't too many prying eyes on her and Nicola tonight "Goin' legit can be hard. That's the real reason a lot of us go back to the life. What made you stop?"

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"For me, prison," Nicola answered.  "Afterword I joined a convent."


"That didn't last as long as I expected," she continued after a moment.  "Later I went back to stealing so I could eat."


She glanced at the bottle of wine and sighed wistfully.  She couldn't drink that and keep it down.  Curse her peculier diet.

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Merge Trois

Merge like many in her field found it difficult to share, oversharing lead to all sorts of unfortunate trouble. But that was then and now things were different, the few gulps of champaign helped as well.


"My brother got himself in trouble and I needed the money, really serious as in completely catatonic. So I made a deal with a dubious source so I could raise as much money as quickly as possible."


It had taken a lot of introspection and soul search, from Nikki at least Merge wasn't about things like that, to get to that point and it felt pretty good. Or maybe that was the champagne...

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"I just liked stealin'," said Anna with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. After some careful consideration, and a glance at Nicola, she poured herself a drink - she'd never had much of a head for alcohol. "And once I started, it was fun. That was back when people just stood there and stared atcha, or hung back and took pictures - like they were watchin' the opera." She swirled the champagne in her glass. "It was like being on stage all the time, and we were the ones who got to play the best parts. 'No gods, no masters'," she quoted.. "A'course both of those things were a lie. But it was nice to say." 

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