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Mid-July 2019 

The summons had gone out to a variety of heroes - come to Freedom Hall at such and such a time on such and such a date for a meeting with Comrade Frost in the League satellite. Some had gotten the message personally in intimate conversation with the ex-Soviet, some had gotten it through professional correspondence. A uniformed League employee had shuttled them all inside the Hall and to its teleporter, where now (if Frost's calculations were correct) they were all about to arrive! 

 

When the flash and noise of teleportation were over, Frost spread his arms, producing a slight chill in the air in the metal-walled room that looked a bit like something out of Star Trek - if you ignored the big transparent window to one side that showed the Earth below. "Welcome to space! Feel free to ogle Central America if interested," he declared in his distinct Russian accent. 

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Fulcrum lingered in the back of the group. Being 8 feet tall, 'lingered' wasn't really the right word. But stick to the back she did. She didn't seem unduly worried, but neither did she project her usual confidence. A casual glance or conversation would give the impression that she was focused, ready, professional. A closer look would reveal the slight shift from foot to foot, and how she gripped her purse a bit tightly.

 

Her attire was typical for a 'work' day, consisting of a newer, solid white suit, trimmed with blue and her symbol across the chest. Her ever-present gold bracelets, belt, and anklets shined in the lights. Sans cape, a long braid reached down a good six feet.

 

The interior of the satellite did grab her attention, and her face lit up with child-like enthusiasm. She followed the seams and beams, noting the clean, chromed lines that had serviced world-renowned heroes. How long had she wanted to see the Lighthouse from the inside?

 

After a few moments, she turned her attention to their host and the assembled heroes. She grinned. "Thank you!"

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Volcanic was used to the teleporter as well as the LightHouse. This wasn't her first trip as she was often seen in Comrade Frost's company but often she was sheathed in burning rock. There was no need for her alternate form outside of combat situations. Without the flame and obsidian, Leilani was a short fit woman with tanned skin and short dark hair. The most striking feature were her eyes. One was bright blue while the other was a warm brown. Leilani wore her costume though, really, it was closer to gym clothes than anything. Made of morphic molecules, the orange and red onepiece could withstand the heat of her powers without burning and her feet were bare. 

 

Leilani chatted politely with the employee that showed her to the transporter although she knew the way and stepped out. She followed Fulcrum through and stepped out to the side wincing a little at the feel of the space station below her bare feet. She'd gotten used to the sensation but being separated from her planet wasn't ever an entirely pleasant experience. It wasn't painful, per say, but she was always aware when she was no longer in contact with the planet. Even alien worlds felt vaguely wrong. Rather than watch the view of the Earth below - something that would only make her vague vertigo more unpleasant - Leilani winked once at Dmitri before she bumped the ambient temperature back up just a bit to counter his natural vacuum of warmth before she turned to Fulcrum.

 

"Aloha," the elemental offered cheerfully along with one bare hand. Thankfully, Leilani worried much less about accidentally burning people with casual contact these days. "My name is Leilani though they call me Volcanic."

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Elis Sanford was a relatively unassuming man so his arrival at freedom hall was unremarkable.  He parked, plugged his car into the supercharger and ran his card in the meter.  He joined the throngs entering Freedom Hall for business or pleasure another face in the crowd.  Once inside he broke away to a sufficiently private hall and between steps called for the Raiment of Dreams and it was Sandman who emerged to alert the staff of his meeting.  He was solemn as he was escorted to the telepad and shuddered slightly at the sensation of his being discorperating to be flung to the orbital station.

 

Sandman stepped off the telepad after the ladies and offered Comrade Frost a nod of greeting.  He'd not seen the man Draugr since the unpleasantness with what might have been Baba Yaga and remained uncertain to what end they had been called.  He'd initially assumed another consult but the array of heroes gathered suggested this endeavor was not due to his specific talents.

 

His soft boots left quiet footfalls as he stepped to the window to look down on the globe below, "Quite the view."  he noted quietly, "Offers perspective."  turning from the window he joined the heroes in their greetings, "I am known as Sandman."

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Posted (edited)

Salvo

 

"Facs!"

 

The helmet and tinted visor obscured the wearer's face and the armor itself was sleeker, cleaner lines and plates that belied the hardware inside, but Alex would recognize Nicole, his fellow student from Claremont.

 

They had graduated together, thanks to Alex retaking classes, but the extra year had also meant the two saw each other around the campus. Nicole took what she could before they would meet Comrade Frost. Even if the duo hadn't interacted much beyond the occasional greeting and small talk, they had worked together well and, whatever this summons was about, she hoped for a repeat performance.

 

"The hammer's new," she noted as they were escorted by the League employee. They must have seemed an odd pair; a woman in power armor and a hero whose costume called to mind a construction worker, but this was Freedom City and they were in Freedom Hall. "Seems like you took off running right after graduation. Or maybe it'd be more accurate to say you'd never stopped."

 

That was one thing the duo shared and she could respect. The dedication to being a hero, to taking care of the community and fighting against the criminals of Freedom City.

 

She braced herself as they were teleported to the League satellite. It was neither her first time using the teleporter nor her first time in space, but the view of Earth from above still took her breath away. She took a moment to admire the view before moving her eyes across the assembled heroes. She recognized Terrifica and she raised an armored gauntlet in greeting and there was another who looked like a poster child of a paragon. As the others introduced themselves, her on-suit computers worked overtime to collate information found on the net, shifting through rumors and news, to create a data file on each one.

 

In her mind's eye, she brought up the dossiers and arranged them in front of her, a floating row of electronic sheets.

 

"A curious bunch," her father said from her side. He sipped at his coffee cup, his legs propped up as he sat on his gauche armchair. "Take care not to embarrass yourself and our family. You're in the big leagues now."

 

She smiled to herself. She had no intention of doing so.

 

She finished her sweep of the room and her gaze rested on Comrade Frost, his reflection tinted red on her visor. Out of all the heroes here he was the most famous and Salvo recognized a kindred spirit in the mystical arts and a defender from threats of that nature.

 

"Salvo, Comrade Frost. Your satellite is really nice," she said, then gestured to Alex. "And this is..."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Facsimile had of course rolled up to the freedom league in style on a freshly waxed and polished motorcycle, it was after all an auspicious occasion for a hero to be invited to freedom hall!

 

Even more so for a freedomite hero who had just started up!

 

There was a small part of him that has of course been worried about being summoned to answer for some of his more destructive lapses in control of his powers but the league had never called in a none member for admonishment before now.

 

Once he'd entered into the building proper He'd come across a familiar helmet in salvo.

 

"Hey salvo, glad to see you've been keeping well." He smiled earnestly as he played with the chain of his new tool a little bit anxiously "haha...you know me, gotta keep busy."

 

"Oh "Camilla" here? Yeah I met someone really cool who made it for me as a favor...lotta neat little features; I'll show you once we're done here...if you don't get to see before then, heh."

 

He followed along largely quiet save for a constant exchange of small talk about this and that into the teleportation room.

 

Being teleported was a strange sensation to him, he would compare it to being drunk in all honestly, in the most literal sense of an awkward situation he'd found himself in whilst made of water.

 

His attention was immediately grabbed once he'd recombobulated on the other end by the view of the earth he'd had such a view there times now but it never got any less amazing to him.

 

Perhaps it was proof of a simple mind that he was still open to wonderment from it all but he was content with that.

 

He was snapped from his distraction by Nicole nudging his introduction along after her own.

 

"Hey folks! I go by facsimile; though you might've hear me called Blockhead, caramelgeddon, Fat mummy or hammer hands."

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Miss Grue

Daphne was so excited to get a chance to be here, it took all her effort not to give a little squee. After all this was the Freedom League satellite and it wouldn’t do to embarrass herself like that, though it did take a lot of effort to do so. She’d even kept Mother Unit at home, despite her protests in case her being here cause trouble - after all they’d have trouble with such things before.

 

“Hello Mr Frost sir, thank you for inviting us here. And it is a very nice view I remember it from when I’d arrived here.”

 

She’d not felt the need to hide her true form, it was who she was after all, so it quite obvious as to what she’d meant about arrive on Earth.

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Terrifica was quite literally the last to arrive, for a very specific reason. She really, really distrusted teleporters. Not people who could teleport, mind you, but the technology itself. She had no desire to have her atoms turned into energy, sent far away, and reassembled into her form. It was an elaborate form of suicide, even if the new her would never know the difference. And there were so many things that could go wrong with warping space. Stepping on the pad and then finding herself on the other side of the universe would be…unpleasant. Honestly, couldn’t she just take a shuttle up there or something? Note to self, build flight device just in case she ever has to come back.

 

She quizzed the poor League employee relentlessly (because no, a shuttle was not an option) and then, full of trepidation, stepped on the teleport pad. She did not die or find herself in some unpleasant dimension. Everything had gone perfectly fine, and she was on the Freedom League satellite. Her hands still shook slightly. Perhaps she’d recommend designing and building a space elevator. Yes. Still, time to focus, Professor. She’d met almost everyone in the room. Salvo, Facsimile, Miss Grue, and even Sandman. Volcanic and Fulcrum she knew of. She was, of course, in her gear and wearing the longcoat. The swish as she stepped into the room from the pad was lovely and as always made her feel super cool. “I’ve met most of you already, but for those of you who don’t know. My name is Terrifica.”

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Mona scanned the assemblage, nodded, and smiled. Several of them were familiar. Several seemed to know each other, and Comrade Frost as well. They all had a good vibe about them, and that put Fulcrum more at ease. Mentally, she took a few notes on costuming and general behavior. Made a few guesses as to power sets.

 

A solid group!

 

Leilani drew her from her daydreaming, and the paragon engulfed the short woman's hand in strong shake. "Aloha! I'm Mona. Fulcrum by way of hero name. A pleasure to meet you."

 

Salvo's file on her was large. Fulcrum had been active over ten years and never used a secret identity. Major operations popped up globally, but many keyed to Freedom City, particularly stories about the West End's Interceptors team. Much ink related to her work as an artist, her advocacy for Terminus babies, and her being empowered by that place. Bottom line: she was big and powerful.

 

Fulcrum waved lightly at the group introductions. She offered handshakes to those interested. "Hi, I'm Mona. Wonderful to meet you all. And thank you again, Comrade Frost, for having us aboard."

 

In a lull in conversation, Mona turned to Leilani, "I'm dying to know your powers. May I please?"

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Leilani's  entire heroing career, as well as her identity was a matter of public record, easy enough for Salvo to pull up certainly. The original Auxilary League members had investigated a disturbance on the big island of Hawaii that had turned out to be the geothermic elemental. She'd been frozen in time under the earth's crust for decades and her powers had been not entirely controlled. She was often seen in company of Comrade Frost since her arrival in Freedom City, partially due to the fact that the thermavore could cancel her powers out. 

 

"Oh, of course. I'm actually using them just a bit right now," Leilani replied with a nod towards Comrade Frost and the chill that she was actively relieving in the air. It was certainly just a touch warmer around Leilani than the rest of the room. "I'm a geothermic elemental... I control and sense earth, heat... lava. If you've seen me, it's probably been when I'm armored up. I look a little like a rock monster. At the moment, I'm feeding heat into the vacuum that is Dimitri to hopefully make things a little more comfortable for everyone. It's nice to see you back in Freedom City, Mona. I've seen the videos of some of your exploits. I watched a lot of tv to get caught up on everything I missed."

Edited by alderwitch

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Frost moved through the group of young heroes with a warmth that belied the distinct chill the icy hero brought to the air. "Fulcrum! So happy to see you on ground level!" She got a firm handshake from an icy grip. "And the lovely Volcanic, fiery as ever." He winked at her, but did no more - while plans were already in play to make sure he didn't evaluate her performance, it would do no good to make things awkward for her. If people knew they were an item, well, what of it? "Hello, Lady Salvo! What a hard-working young lady you must be." Frost's computer files were long, with an active history stretching back to World War II - Nicole had learned about him in her history class at Claremont as much as hero affairs. "Mr. Sandman, bringing me a dream, eh? And Mr. Facsimile, I will call you by your name.:" Facsimile got another firm handshake, and a distinct touch of something magic from the man. "Miss Grue! Please, is Comrade Frost, I am no mister." He grinned cheerily as he looked over the free Grue, glad his guess that she was trustworthy had paid off. 

 

"Terrifica!" he said when she had finally arrived. "You are here. How - TERRIFIC!" He laughed at his own joke long enough that it became slightly uncomfortable, then wandered to the front of the room. 

 

"Hello! Before any further is gone, I am here to tell you what is coming next." He folded his hands, looked at them all, and said, "You are all here to take on a responsibility, to take on a name, that will be with you all your days. Worse, we are not giving this to you - you must earn it through trials to my satisfaction. Today will be a hard row - and if you choose not to hoe it, you may leave now and not be judged," he lied. "If you choose to stay, you will audition for the Freedom League." 

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Sandman nodded in recognition to Terrifica.  Records on him were sparse.  He'd been involved in supernatural occurrences and disturbances of a cerebral nature around the city occasionally.  His costume was lighter in color but matched the designs of an order of monster hunters long thought disbanded in what scholarly works they were even mentioned.

 

As Frost greeted the gathered heroes and explained why they were here he turned to watch the draugrs speech with a slightly quizzical expression.  When the reason for gathering them was revealed a hint of a smile teased the edge of his lips barely visible in the depths of the cowl he wore.  "A generous invitation."  he looked at hte assemblage with some curiosity before looking back to Frost, "How will this be done then."

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Fulcrum returned Frost's handshake with equal firmness. The cold did not seem to bother her. "Great to formally meet you."

 

As Frost continued his greetings, Fulcrum couldn't help a small smile.

 

And here I thought I was a large ham.

 

The exchange between Leilani and Dimtri made her raise an eyebrow. Once Frost was out of earshot, she leaned toward Volcanic and spoke quietly. "Appreciate it. I didn't realize the temperature difference. No wonder I didn't recognize you."

 

"And thanks. It's good to be home."

 

Then she moved in for the knockout. Mona rarely picked up on things like this and certainly wasn't going to ignore this one. With a small, knowing smirk, she side-eyed the elemental and asked, "Opposites attract?"

 

Only then did Mona notice Leilani's heterochromia. And Leilani probably noticed Mona's own blue-brown eyes.

 

But Frost started his speech, and Mona stood up straight. She just sort of...blinked at his announcement. This wasn't what she expected.

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Facsimile examined his hand once he'd finished shaking with comrade frost,  even under the spike of the chill he felt the unmistakable prickle of magic.

 

He rubbed his thumb along his fingers a little to work the feeling out from his skin.

 

His attention was quickly brought back to the frost when he addressed the room.

 

His eyes widened a little bit when it was mentioned he was here to audition for a place on the freedom league of all things, he felt his grip tightening around the handle of his meteor hammer instinctively in readiness.

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Leilani turned slightly, squinting a little as if it were hard to make out Mona's words before understanding dawned. She wasn't entirely deaf but there were certain sound registers that she couldn't hear and the crowd in the room made that worse. She relied fairly heavily on catching the vibrations but without the earth below her feet, everything echoed a bit oddly. She shifted to the edge of the group to help with the background noise and put one hand against the sleek wall of the space station to better even out the way sound vibrated on the metal and plastic around her. 

 

When she realized what Mona was asking, she chuckled once but neither blushed nor denied the clear insinuation. "We have more in common than most people would guess. Dimitri was my mentor, of sorts. Unfortunately, my powers didn't come with a user manual and mistakes can be... well, highly destructive. Plus, who else would watch the entire run of Cheers and Hawaii Five-O with me?"

 

Leilani wasn't surprised by the announcement but then she'd had the advantage of being around the League as it went through its restructuring. Recruiting was inevitable, even if Leilani hadn't been aware of the roster of those invited. Some of them were surprises, others less so. She nodded to Sandman once at his question, indicating her agreement that it was a solid one.

 

 

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Terrifica raised an eyebrow under her mask as Comrade Frost laughed but said nothing. Yes, she did consider many things about her to be terrific, but was it that funny? Really? At any rate, they were all going to be evaluated. The supergenius was not surprised. She had figured out it was about inducting new League Aux members about a millisecond after she got Frost’s message. The Auxiliary had effectively become the regular League after many (well earned) retirements following the Terminus Invasion. It was a matter of time before the lost numbers would be replaced. Apparently, that was now. Personally, she’d have had surveillance and analysis protocols in place to render testing of this sort unnecessary.

 

 However…that was likely a bit more…Big Brother than the current League membership preferred. So she kept it to herself. “I can do many things, Comrade Frost. One could even say that I’m simply terrific at them.” She smiled. “Just tell me what you need to do.”

Edited by EternalPhoenix

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Salvo

 

"Oh. I just try my hardest, Comrade," Nicole said in a contralto, her voice electronically shifted to obscure even more of herself from the outside world. She had been caught off-guard by Frost's jolly greetings but her armor purred, seemingly pleased for her. Frost's chill did not bother her with her armor, though she did note the drop in temperature.

 

Then when Frost made his announcement, Nicole couldn't help but blink in surprise. She had expected something - one didn't get an official summons from the Freedom League for nothing and even less of a nothing was gathering a whole bunch of heroes.

 

Some of whom were A-listers in their own right like Fulcrum who was a Centurion-hero, indestructible and unstoppable like her predecessor. Volcanic's civilian identity was public, and like many heroes who did not keep secret identities that made her a celebrity to be pursued by the media. What little she found on Sandman painted a picture of a mystic whose methodologies trended towards the subtle, so different from her own tendencies. She also knew of Terrifica's record of wiping Boston clean of organized crime and the hero's continued mantle bringing her to Freedom City's streets. She did not need to read up on her fellow Claremonter's file as she was already aware of his various escapades and his focus on the Southside, which had recently complemented her efforts as a civilian volunteer.

 

Miss Grue's file was the thinnest, the least active hero, or perhaps the one whose exploits were least publicly known. Either way, Nicole was not the judge here. Frost had greeted her warmly and so Salvo gave her the benefit of the doubt, as a free Grue at least. And only just. Nicole gave the alien one last look before returning her gave towards the proceedings.

 

They were a diverse bunch. A paragon, an elemental, a mystic, a powerhouse, a cowl, and one  shapeshifter. Different powers, different skillsets, different experiences and histories, all of them here now.

 

She felt a little bit like a kid with the just under two years she had under her belt.

 

"Before we get started though," she said after Sandman's question. She half-raised a hand to get Frost's attention. "I'd like to know how we were chosen for the trials. What made us stand out from everyone else? Because there are hundreds in Freedom City alone, thousands if you include North America and even more around the world." She gave a nod Frost's way. "You're enough proof the League is willing to bring in heroes from other countries."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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You ever have one of those days? When you're invited to Freedom Hall the same day you promised to escort a troop of Girl Scouts visiting from out of town? And then the tour bus is attacked by Pteranodon Men, who lift it into the air and threaten to drop it into Freedom Harbor? And you have to use super-speed to sneak out of the bus, change into your costume and sadve the day?

 

Yeah.

 

A very late Miracle Girl, who hated being late, was rushed into Freedom Hall and unceremoniously plunked onto a teleportation pad and shot up to the Lighthouse. The blonde powerhouse quickly made her way to Terrifica's side, still adjusting her costume and attempting to fix her hair as she muttered under her breath.

 

"Hey. What did I miss?"

Edited by Heritage

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Miss Grue

Daphne finally gave in to temptation and clapped her hands together in excitement, this was amazing working for the League just like her uncle did!

She had to make an effort not to broadcast her excitement telepathically, it wasn’t done and humans really didn’t like that. With Casey arriving late it made things even better, she was going to be in the League with one of her besties!

 

She made her way to the beside Miracle Girl and grabbed her by the arm leaning in to whisper, even if she probably didn’t need to do so.

 

“They’re letting us try out for the Freedom League Auxiliary!” 

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"Oh believe me I shall, I shall!" said Frost jovially to Terrifica. He made sure to answer questions. "You shall be tested through various trials," Frost told Sandman cordially, "administered today by myself and various people aboard satellite. Do not worry, is nothing like how we did it in People's Heroes. Oh, those were days!" He smiled at the memory, showing teeth. "But there is no need for dwelling on past." For Salvo's benefit, he said with a wave of his hand, "Oh, who knows how computers work these days - spreadsheets? Apps? Feh. You are here because you deserve it, no?" To the others he said, "This is your last chance - there will be no shame if you back out now," he lied, "but if you think this is too great a burden for yourself, you certainly may walk away." 

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Salvo

 

She would have scratched her head if it wouldn't have scratched the paint. So she just shrugged at Frost's response. He made it clear he wasn't the IT guy.

 

A hero came in late and Salvo turned her way before returning her gaze back to Frost. She punched her palm, producing a heavy clanging sound.

 

"Then I'm ready for the tests. Whatever you'll throw at us. If it's the League we're trying out for then we need to prove we can hold up to the real challenges. "

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Sandman surveyed the other heroes, the questions, the excitement, taking it in silently from his corner.  "As has been pointed out the League has the resources to know what we are capable of."  the mystic stated pointedly.  "By inviting us here they have already determined that we are of sufficient potency and of a honorable and heroic disposition sufficient for membership."  he added to Ms. Grue and the others still convinced this was a try out.

 

He fixed his glowing gaze on Dimitri, "They need to ensure we can work within their strictures."  he smirked slightly, "The misfits and questionable team players yes comrade?"  Of course he followed along with the group ready to see how they planned to test such things.  If nothing else it would be enlightening.  "I'm in."

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Facsimiles excitement was getting the better of him or perhaps it was just the adrenalin and anxiety building up in his chest like the fires of a combustion engine.

 

"What are we waiting for!" He boomed boisterously "let's test our metal!" He added as he touched his hand against the alloy walls of the space station and began to absorb the properties of the metal.

 

"I'm ready to show what I'm made of!"

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Not sure what I expected. Interviews?

 

For those watching her, Fulcrum stood quietly, brow furrowed in thought, and listened politely to each speaker. A glance was thrown to Leilani once she processed the elemental's reply. A clue wasn't really expected though, and soon her gaze returned to the Q&A. She seemed interested in the assembled heroes' reactions. Judging from the others, this wasn't quite what they expected either.

 

Perceptive. Good enthusiasm.

 

She did smile and nod slightly at recognizing Miracle Girl. No need to embarrass the heroine by calling her out with a wave.

 

Sandman's response though gave her pause. She glanced around the group but said nothing. After a moment, she nodded to herself. Whatever doubts she had projected, Fulcrum was standing firm.

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“I would appreciate it if we could get on with it then, Frost.” Terrifica was not a fan of unnecessary waiting. Or, for that matter, unknown rules. “If that is true, Sandman, then there will likely be a clash of values at some point. People’s personalities can vary wildly, and I find that heroes are often the most wildly variable of all. Aside from the ‘saving people’ meeting point, of course.” What she would not say (because people seemed to really dislike it, strangely enough) was that she’d rather just have the strictures simply spelled out for her so she could agree or disagree at her leisure. She mentally sighed. One day she’d be less of a control freak. But until then, she was still (predictably) annoyed.

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