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GM

 

For Bee and Miracle Girl, it turned out pretty quickly that the Mega Society was not an on-campus club, but instead a society for those who scored in the 99.9999th percentile of intelligence, literal ones in a million. As smart as you could get without being literally superhuman like Terrifica was, with only 27 members in the entire world.

 

However, they were stopped by a young South Asian woman with deep bags under her eyes and ratty hair. She looked as though she might be pretty under more normal circumstances, but stress had made her face greasy and her expression tired. Her t-shirt was stained, and her jeans were similarly in disarray. She was wearing worn flip flops.

 

“Hey,” she said softly. “…You guys are superheroes, right? Are you tracking the people who hurt my brother? Mohinder?”

 

Her voice wavered slightly, and there was both hope and fear in her eyes. This girl had clearly been through the wringer.

 

 

For Corona and Sandman, the first crime scene was located in the universitys greenspace, marked by a cordoned off section near a tree surrounded by police tape. The students seemed to give the area a wide berth, making it seem particularly isolated. Though it had been some time now, there was at least one sign of a struggle in the form of a slash in the bark of the tree.

 

They were now left with an option to either investigate here, or move onto one of the other attack scenes. The scene was the oldest, but perhaps it would turn up something, yet there was a chance newer attack sites would turn up something more fruitful.

 

 

Terrifica found herself near the special care centre, which was ominously flanked by two armed guards. Professor Xiu had given her a pass, but the guards did seem fairly done with things, with stony, almost unpleasant expressions.

 

The sound of frustrated screaming emanated from inside, almost sounding like an argument between a child and an adult, except the child’s voice was that of a grown woman.

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Bee

Melissa was really, really smart, but she wasn’t smart enough to make it into a club like Mega Society, not that she was worried about it she was always busy happily working on her various science projects. One thing she did have was a really good emotional intelligence, which she was pretty sure some of those on the list lacked a little.

 

So with the poor girl losing it she did what she always did when she saw such things, giving the woman a massive hug.

 

“We’ll do what we can to help find him I promise!”

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Terrifica had clipped the pass to her longcoat, and so she didn’t hesitate. Not that she would, of course. She walked right up to the two armed guards with the confidence of someone who knew she didn’t need their cooperation to get what she wanted. “Gentlemen. As you can see, Professor Xiu has granted me permission to enter.” No reaction. Were they chosen for their deafness? “I understand that it has been a…difficult shift for you both. Allowing me to pass is the first step towards easing their distress and yours.” Silence so stony and cold for a moment she wondered idly if the guards were disguised frost giants. But no. That was a ridiculous thought. Focus, Professor. “Is either of you going to react at some point, or are you just going to stare at me from now until the end of eternity?” Perhaps a bit sharp tongued, there, but 1) it was her trademark and 2) they were being extremely annoying.

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GM

 

One of the guards finally broke, and looked over at Terrifica, frowning. He sighed, working his jaw, then looked down at her badge again, before something of a smile spread across his face. Unfortunately, there was no good humour there.

 

"Ah, yeah, Professor Xiu. Yeah, well, the school actually heard about her bringing in your types, and they ain't happy. On strict orders to keep her friends from snooping, even."

 

His smile grew wider.

 

"So why don't you do me a favour and go somewhere you're wanted."

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Terrifica was pleased. Now she had no reason to be nice. “You do realize how suspicious that makes them sound? Goodness, I certainly hope they aren’t hoarding the stolen intellect in the basement.” She smiled sweetly. “Well, not to worry. I’m sure ‘just following orders’ will work just as well as a defense as it always has.” She turned and walked out of their sight lines, then pulled out her Chameleonic Field Projector and disappeared from view. It was not, however, the only thing she pulled out of her utility belt. She so seldom had a chance to use the Permeation Field Projector. And of course, she’d need the Blood Oxygenator. It was effortless, with these three items enabled, to simply walk past the two goons and literally through the front door. Now, to find out what was really going on in here. Were they merely being obstructionist, or did they actually have something to hide?

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Upon their arrival Sandman began to survey the site.  He glanced at the gash in the tree and shook his head forensics were not his forte.  "Can you make out anything from that?"  he inquired of his companion uncertainly as he began to gingerly examine the rest of hte scene trying to feel any tears or slits in the veil.  "Something terrible happened here."  he mused almost to himself as he traced out where the aftershocks of the attack were strongest.  He crouched to examine the ground and drifted toward the tree as well, "Nothing crossed over here but the attack has left it's mark,"  he sighed heavily looking for a moment tired, "Whatever did this brought great terror to it's victim."  This was a vicious attack, no simple ambush or crime of necessity.  "Unless you can make more than I from the physical evidence we ought examine a more recent site."

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GM

 

The young woman sighed as Bee hugged her, and she forced some measure of composure onto herself. She looked at Bee and Miracle Girl, rubbing at her eyes, but took a moment to speak, as if gathering her thoughts.

 

“Mohinder was so smart,” she said. “I don’t… I can’t… imagine why anyone would do this. Everyone liked him. And his poor girlfriend, too, she had to watch as his brains got…Got…”

 

She broke again, crying into her hand.

 

 

The guards blinked, then started to scrambling. “Hey! HEY!” they cried, turning and looking around them. One of them snarled. “☠☠☠☠ing supes, man!”He looked at his partner. “You check inside there, I’m gonna go look down the hall.”

 

He pulled at the radio on his chest. “Hey, we might have a security breach in here. Might wanna keep an eye out for a young woman, about 5’5”, 5’6” in height. Blue costume, orange T on her forehead. Hard to miss.”

 

Inside the room, it was surprisingly colourful. The floors were coated in multi-coloured foam, while the walls were painted a warm and inviting blue. Light filtered in through the big windows, but it was marred somewhat by the white metal bars over-top them. Small benches sat around grey, long tables, many of them covered with flash cards and puzzles.

 

There were two kinds of people inside the room. The first, and more numerous, were young men and women dressed in plain grey sweats, many of which were stained, wearing velcro shoes. The other were men and women, looking very tired, wearing all sorts of different clothes. The most interesting of these two was a normally-dressed man sighing and staring down at a young blonde woman in sweats, whose face was redder than a cherry tomato.

 

“Maggie, I get it,” he said in a soft voice. “We don’t have to do any more flash cards, but I need you to calm down.”

 

“NO! I DON’ WANNA CALM DOWN! I WANNA BE SMART AGAIN!” she bellowed.

 

The little scene was interrupted when the guard burst in, hand at the taser on his belt. He looked around, frowning.

 

“Any sign of a woman in a blue costume in here?” he asked.

 

“No, and close the door before one of th-- HEY! Ruthie, away from the door! Yeah, I see you!” Replied one of the normally dressed women.

 

The guard frowned. “Well, tell me if you see anything,” he said, closing the door.

 

 

It seemed as nothing else would happen, until Sandman got too close to the Scar. Suddenly, within the dream realm, an echo of the material world formed.

 

A great, swirling black form took shape, marked only by white eyes that flashed like lightning storms, looming over a young, brown haired man who brandished a pocket knife in his hand. “Stay away from me!” the young man cried, swinging the blade wildly and cutting into the tree. The black humanoid form watched, seeming to grow larger.

 

“Gustav Ingleson… You have wasted your mind…” the form replied, its voice intermingling with psychic static. It reached out, and placed its hand on the young man’s temple. Then, suddenly, everything became fuzzy, less defined.

 

 

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Hmm. So they weren’t as dumb as they looked. Interesting. Terrifica watched him go, being completely invisible as she was. Tell me if you see anything. If ever there was a straighter line…more’s the pity. Well, whatever. She wasn’t here to talk to the victims, tragic as they were. She put away the Permeation Field Projector and Blood Oxygenator for now. What she needed was a few scanning devices. One for magic. One for psionics. They were basically fancy goggles that fit over her cowl. A fine place to start. Ruthie was the furthest from everyone in the room, so Terrifica would start with her. Step one was finding out what kind of attack had done this.

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Bee

Melissa held the hug for just long enough to be comforting before stepping back and giving what she hoped was a reassuring smile.

 

“It may not be anything personal, apart from he was very smart, and we’re going to try very hard to fix this situation.”

 

She reached out and touched the girls hand reassuringly, this was she knew a rough time for the poor thing.

 

 

“I know it rough right now but we need to know what was going on just before this all happened. Anything you can remember could really help us find who did this.”

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Sandman froze as the vision overtook him seeking out every detail he could place.  When it came to a close he ran a hand along the gash, "Inflicted by the victim"  he stated quietly.  He paused considering the creature he'd seen and let out a sigh, "I've seen entities like this but not with this sort of targeting."  he mused aloud and nodded to his fellow hero. 

 

"Whatever this is isn't just attacking randomly or feeding."  he revealed, "It's almost vengeful and it is intelligent."  the mystic guardian frowned deeply considering the implications and possibilities.

 

"We should see what can be found at the more recent sites."  Sandman suggested, "I'll brief you on what I saw on the way."

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Posted (edited)

As soon as Bee released her hug, Miracle Girl stepped in and offered one of her own. "It's going to be alright, miss. I promise you thst we will do everything in our power to restore Mohinder to his old self." Then she reached down and pulled out a reporter's notebook and a pen. "So for starters, can we get your full name, and Mohinder's as well? And then, if you could tell us the time and place the attack took place. Oh, and if his girlfriend was a witness, we'll need to speak with her as well. Any bit of information could be helpful."

Edited by Heritage

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GM

 

The young woman sniffled, and rubbed at her eyes. The hugs seemed to have worked to some extent, calming her down. She stepped back, and nodded at the two women, straightening up as much as she could as she gathered herself.

 

“I am Naisha Chaudhary, and my brother is Mohinder Chaudhary. The attack, it was… About a week… Maybe a little longer, ago. It was around noon, I remember because I got the call when I was just about to sit down with my boyfriend. It had been in his room, apparently. He was taking a nap after morning classes. His girlfriend, Joanne… She saw it climbing out through the window, and my brother was just… staring with these… empty eyes.”

 

She rubbed her temples, and then fished something out of her pockets. “Here are the keys to his dorm. I… Hung onto them for him. For when he gets better. And here’s Joanne’s number, she’ll be able to talk to you.” She hastily scrawled down a number, and handed it off.

 

 

What Terrifica discovered was that there was no magic, but there was plenty of psychic residue. It took the form of glowing blue fingerprints, ebbing with ethereal psychic ‘smoke’ off of her temples. It had faded some, but was still pleasant. Looking around, she could see it on all of them. It was potent, too, coming from something that clearly possessed potent capabilities.

 

 

The next area brought them to an area around an on-campus drinking establishment, for those students who were of age. The foot traffic was, at the moment, fairly relaxed, but there was no obvious sign of a struggle here, either. The pub itself seemed to have a fair few people inside, mostly eating and relaxing.

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Terrifica smiled. Psionics it was. A strong one, at that. Interesting. And a motif to go with it. Figurative fingerprints. Time to take a small risk. “Excuse me.” She was whispering to the closest one, which remained Ruthie. “I hear your name is Ruthie.” She was out of arm’s reach. “When I heard about what that man was doing, I knew I had to come and stop him.” She pulled out something new and different from the belt. It was a subtle bit of holographic work. It projected an illusion of a friendly and kind woman that only one person could see. Like someone’s grandma who liked to bake cookies for the neighborhood kids. “Do you remember him? He took your smartness from you. If you tell me what face he’s wearing this time, I can get it back for you.” The illusion held a finger to its lips. “But be careful. Only you can see me, Ruthie. Please, let me help.”

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Sandman pause in front of the establishment and double checked hte list of locations before nodding to his cohort, "Why don't you go ahead and see if anyone inside has noticed anything."  he suggested and paced out the area trying to get a feel for any similar reverberations as the last locale.  "I'll see if I can track down the site of the attack."  One hero inside would be enough distraction.

 

He began to pace out the area where the victim had been listed found looking for any evidence of even minor struggle or signs of the entities powers being used lingering still in this realm.

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"It's very nice to meet you, Naisha," Miracle Girl said as she gently took the keys from the traumatized young woman. "All of this will be very useful in helping restore your brother to his old self. How can we reach you if we have any other questions?"

 

Once they were on their way again, Casey shook her head. "I don't like this; what if we can't undo the affect? It's such a cruel thing to do, especially to gifted young students!"

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Bee

Melissa was a woman of science, as well as being a superhero, and her first thoughts were always to a scientific solution. Even if a world with supers meant you had to cast a wide net in what you had to study.

 

“If it biochemical it should be relatively easy to correct the imbalance or if it psychic nature Freedom City has some of the finest in the world. And the brain is a remarkable thing that can recover from a wide variety of conditions.”

 

She flitted around considering her word before adding

 

“But first we need to work out what's happening to them. Should we go check out his room for potential clues next?”

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Corona

 

Serena nodded to Sandman, and headed inside the pub. Immediately, she was hit by the tacky, super-pseudo-Irish theme of the place, and she felt her eyes roll involuntarily. She had played a lot of venues like this and they were always the absolute worst. 

 

She headed up first to the bartender, a young woman with blonde hair all done up, a red flannel shirt and a curious eye that followed Serena as she approached. She seemed older than most of the clientele. Late 20s, definitely. Probably a contractor.

 

"Hey there," Serena said. "Was wondering if you had any information on the attack that happened here."

 

The woman sighed, shaking her head. "They've asked me not to talk about that. Freaks people out."

 

Serena analyzed the woman, and watched where she was looking at her. She decided she was going to go ahead and take a chance. Only a minor chance this could backfire.

 

"Ah, I get it," Serena said, holding up her hands placatively. "I don't want to cause you any trouble. Us working girls gotta stick together."

 

She paused, and then smiled at the girl. "You know, that's a really cute shirt. Where did you get it?"

 

The woman looked at her quizzically for a moment, before looking down at it. "Oh, uh... Second hand store."

 

Serena nodded, then smirked. "Hey, I got this outfit at second hand store too. We might shop at the same place."

 

The bartender snorted and giggled. "Wow, okay, super corny," she said, rolling her eyes and smiling.

 

Serena's smile grew wider, and she locked eyes with the younger woman. "Got you to laugh, which is all I needed," she said with a little shrug.

 

The bartender sighed, and leaned down, bringing her face close to Serena's "Okay, it's super clear what you're doing."

 

Serena giggled. "I am pretty sure it's working though."

 

The woman sighed dramatically. "It is," she said, before her voice got low. "Okay, look. I was there that night when it happened. It was just after last call, and this chick was stumbling out, pretty drunk. I was just getting ready to clean up when I heard some screaming. I, and some of the other people on that night, ran out to find her just sort of looking around, big wide eyes. I didn't see it, but one of the waiters, Nick, he said he saw someone all in black running away. Campus security wasn't able to get him, though."

 

Serena nodded, writing all this down on a little notebook she kept in her jacket pocket. Once she was done, she pulled out a twenty, and handed it to her. "A tip for the tip. And if you can point me towards Rick, I would really appreciate it."

 

The bartender nodded, pointing over at a young man with wild brown hair and massive sideburns serving a group of students and checking one's ID.

 

Serena nodded. "Thanks, and have a good afternoon."

 

The bartender nodded. "You too."

 

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GM

 

Ruth looked around, confused. Then, as the woman materialized, she stared. Her mouth hung open for a moment as she worked her jaw, the gears slowly grinding in her head. She squinted for a moment, before finally relaxing.

 

"Kay," she said warily. "He was... Like... Ink. Inky. Like a big swirling thundercloud, with white eyes... His voice sounded... Different. Uh... Like... Like he was on the radio."

 

She nodded to herself, content with her answer.

 

---

 

Once again, the dream force came forward and reached out to the Sandman. Pressed against the wall was a familiar scene, a young woman with curly brown hair desperately struggling against a dark figure. Yet immediately, there was a problem. The figure was much shorter than the previous one, standing not much taller than its victim, and under the distortion of its voice, there was something sounding... Feminine.

 

"You think you're so smart, Ruth... But not smart enough..." It said as it pressed its fingers up against the drunken woman's temple.

 

---

 

Mohinder's room was typical of a young man's dorm. Clothing lay strewn about, and the smell of adult man was strong in the air. A computer lay in the corner, untouched, while a window on the far wall remained crossed with police tape. It seemed as though the lock had been... Melted, or something strange.

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Sandman took a step back as the vision washed over him unexpectedly.  Trying to focus through the dream like qualities he examined the scene inquisitively searching out what hints he could.  "Two then."  he said to no one at all, "Or more."  he tilted his head curiously as he considered the ramifications of revelation.  Making his way back around the front he waited for his fellow here to return and let out a heavy sigh, "It is not a single entity."  he offered as she approached, "Or perhaps takes on qualities of the victim but I would wager it's a pair or coterie."

 

He looked down at the list of other locations then back to Corona, "Were your investigations productive?"  he inquired hopefully.  His visions were relevatory but had thus far gotten them no closer to knowing what or where the attackers might be.

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Miracle Girl

 

"Yep, it smells like boy in here," Casey said she waved a hand in front her face. Then she began to sweep the room with her eyes, using her microscopic vision to look for clues. She was especially interested in the melted lock, but there could be other things the police might have missed. Her super-speed allowed her scan a lot in a short amount of time.

 

As she stood in the middle of the room, eyes darting here and there, she tried to get a bit more information about her diminutive new 'partner'. "So I'm guessing you've probably taken a college class or two; what's your major?"

Edited by Heritage

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Bee
Melissa flittered around the room seeing she could spot anything that miracle Girls had missed, even though she was aware that her partner had senses she couldn’t comprehend. Then again sometime even the most observant people would miss the smaller items, which was her domain.

 

It does have that particular odour, luckily I get less of it at my teeny tiny size!” she smiled at her own terrible joke before concentrated on the important question

 

I’m a student of all the sciences really, but I specialise in the chemistry. That’s how I came to study Dyne particles, which is why I can do this now!”

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Terrifica frowned. Of course they disguised their self. “Thank you, Ruthie, You’ve been very helpful. You’re doing very well. Did he say anything to you?” Anyone who would do this to normal civilians had a vendetta of some kind. The theatricality of their illusory self (or the manipulated memory thereof) could indicate something else about their psychology. One last tidbit, and she’d call Corona and see what that woman had learned.

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Corona

 

Serena had quite a productive talk with Nick, going over what he saw and the details on the victim herself. It took her about ten minutes, after which point she emerged to talk with the Sandman about what she had seen.

 

"Yeah. So the victim's name was Ruth Cohen. Apparently she had been drinking a LOT when it happened. According to the waiter I talked to, she had some sort of falling out with a friend over a project, and came there to forget it. She had been drinking alone, no one with her."

 

Then, she received a call from Terrifica. Answering, she relayed the same information she had just given to the Sandman to the other heroine. Once that was done, she asked a question to both of them.

 

"You have any working theories yet?"

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GM

 

Mohinder's room, to initial observation, seemed barren of any obvious clues to the nature of the attack. However, the lock revealed much. The area around it was scorched, and the metal itself seemed to have run and deformed, suggesting that intense heat had been applied to the area. The ceiling above helped confirm it - smoke stained the particle board, turning it from bright white to a mixture of blacks, browns and greys. 

 

Miracle Girl, with her speed, also came across several small pieces of work, all marked late. Angry comments in red marker chastised him for this, though it seemed as though his marks were only deducted because of how late they were - they were otherwise perfect. Miracle Girl also found a small blue glass pipe, a lighter, and an empty plastic baggy still full of tiny green crumbs.

 

Meanwhile, Bee merely managed to find a tiny pill bug gawping up at her. 

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Bee

 

Melissa was determined to find the clues to help solve this case, but she couldn’t help but smile at the little Pill Bug. It wasn’t her favorite small creatures, insects and obviously members of the Anthophila were her first choice, but she still loved those little Armadillidiidae. Landing in front of the creature she carefully reached out and patted the creature on it head before giving it a friendly little rub.

 

It was strange to find them in these kinds of locations, they loved decaying wood, so something must have bought it out here and there was a chance that it could be helpful.

 

I wonder what you’ve seen? Shall we go find out?”

 

She gently reached out with her powers and subtly encouraged it to go and find food, as it wasn’t a true insect there was a chance it wouldn’t work. But it never helped to try.

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