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Avenger Assembled

Scene: Terrifica and Salvo (IC)

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Summer 2019 

 

Suddenly, the station gave a great lurch beneath Terrifica and Salvo's feet, making both women stumble - a moment before suddenly everything in the room rushed up against the ceiling with bone-crushing force, then back down again at equal velocity. There was no glass here in this futuristic station, but there was the sound of crunching metal and plastic as monitors and equipment shattered from the sudden strain of gravity reversed, then restored, then failed!

 

Even an end to the violence didn't bring peace; everything was floating now in the sudden arrival of microgravity, and alarms and a recorded voiceover were clearly blaring "Warning! Systems Failure! Systems Failure! Skinbreach protocol in place!" as red lights lit up around the room's door - which had noisily thunked shut with a sound you didn't need to be a supergenius to recognize as an automatic doorlock. From outside came a distinct rumbling sound. 

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Salvo

 

One second the pair was talking peacefully and the next the whole station had wanted to crush both of them. Salvo, in her buljy armor, was wasn't able to properly position herself before she met the ceiling with a sickening crunch. And then she did the same with the floor a second later, before she felt herself begin to float, her fingers grasping for the floor to no avail.

 

Amid the broken monitors and tech, she swiveled her head from side to side to find Terrifica with what looked to be a space-ready mask. The other hero seemed to have weathered the gravity shifts better.

 

So this was the test. She was hurting inside her armor but she had felt worse and she pushed it out of mind. Now they needed a way out and to find the cause for the structural damage.

 

Salvo raised up her thumb to Terrifica. "You okay? I'm opening the hatch! We need to get a look at what caused this!"

 

Just as she finished her systems had dug their hooks into the protocol for automatic shutdown. They broke it into pieces and found the switch to reopen the spacelocks.

 

She flipped the switch.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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“Magicians aren’t any more difficult than any given meta. First, you-” And then the gravity failed, rather spectacularly. Terrifica rolled, barely avoiding injury. Her brain jumped into action. First, gear. Seal the suit, as she was literally in orbit. Second, find out what was going on. So, the Visual Scanner. Microgravity was a pain. Made even looking around more difficult. To hell with it. Whether this was an accident or sabotage remained to be seen, but she had work to do. The reactors overloading would be bad, and by god would it ever be better if gravity was back online. So, she reached to her left arm and started typing. "Quite fine. Let me see if I can get the gravity back online and perhaps prevent the reactors from overheating and killing us all."

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Salvo flipped the switch, overriding the security bypass outside, and the door flew open wide  - unleashing a tornado in the room as suddenly everything not tied down was sucked violently out through the open door and into a darkened corridor that was itself as free of debris as if everything in it had abruptly just rushed out into space. As the air thinned the air got colder, fast, as if all the light and life in the world was being sucked out through the door! 

 

The two heroes could hear the howling of the room's atmosphere as it was sucked out too, the alarms in the computer room nearly inaudible even as lights frantically flashed a warning about 10 Seconds Until Atmosphere Loss...

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Salvo

 

"C'mon c'mon," Salvo muttered under her breath as the switch was flipped and she waited for the airlocks to open. Her speakers did not broadcast them but she turned to Terrifica, signalling her to find something to grab on to. "No, it's fine! The quicker we do this the better we look in Frost's marks and--"

 

The airlocks opened, blwoing away her next words as she was sent careening down the corridor. She managed to brace herself, tucking in her limbs, before she slammed against the wall. Then she was hurled away and slammed again. Then again and again until there were no more walls to slam.

 

Still dizzy from the ride, she exhaled slowly and shut her eyes tight. When she opened them again the entirety of the satellite was in her view and she was getting farther, spinning aimlessly in the void of space.

 

Though she'd been to space before and knew what to do, she was still inexperienced. Her thrusters flared opposite to her rotation but the counter-force proved too much and she spun hard in the other direction. She tried again, puffing small gouts of flame to slow her spin then to arrest her movement away from the satellite.

 

It was farther now, as big as her hand, and she hurried back to it in fits and starts. No use panicking that she'd fly off in the distance, alone in the void for miles and miles around her. She kept to her breathing routine as she neared.

 

The last ush from her thrusters made her crash near the compromised section of the hull, but she wrapped her fingers around the edges of the torn away hull before she could be jostled away from the satellite.

 

She took a few seconds to catch her breath then ducked her head inside the corridor. "Terrifica! Are you okay in there?"

 

For a moment no one answered, then she realized that Terrifica couldn't hear her in space otherwise. Shaking her head, she pushed inward, tiny applications of thrusters helping her correct her movement.

 

Then she waved at the other hero as her systems tried to find a communication device to connect to. With her hand, she mimed a phone call.

 

"We need to inspect what caused the hull breach from the outside."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Terrifica swore viciously in Mandarin. She had assumed the two were completely on the same page, but then again Salvo wore a full metal battlesuit so perhaps not. Abandoning the computer link on her arm for the moment (but not cancelin the link, she’d need it in a moment) she whipped out the Terrifi-Staff and used it as a brace to hold her in place. Not all of the debris was light enough for the suction to move, and two points of contact were all she needed. Then she reached back to her arm, keyed in a command, and shut the door. She did not speak, though there was much on her mind. The air had likely diminished to the point of sound being too quiet to hear. She saw Salvo's miming, so attempted to patch her personal commlink (she did carry one, but of common manufacture rather than her own) into the satellite’s comm network. In addition to restarting artificial gravity and letting the reactors vent again. "Why did you open the door? We're in space. When doors lock on space stations, it's for a reason, Salvo."

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Salvo

 

"We're fine, Terrifica. I needed to take a look outside." Salvo said as the artificial gravity returned. Her boots thudded on the ground but she did not remain still for long.

 

The large monitor was bolted to the ground and unharmed so her systems went back to work but instead found Terrifica's own systems occupying where her data hooks used to be. It was a small annoyance but this wasn't the time to wrestle for control so she faced Terrifica instead, looking down at the shorter woman.

 

"The hull's been compromised by something large but whatever crashed through is long gone." Then she looked around the room as if expecting something else to happen. "The sudden hull breach and the artificial gravity going haywire and then nothing. If this was an attack on the satellite then they'd just alerted us for no reason."

 

One glance at the monitors reminded her that Terrifica had already accessed the computers.

 

"Did you find anything? Any sign from the onboard cameras or sensors?"

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Before Terrifica could get off a response, a signal from the reactor came through. "Hello? Computer lab? This is Van Coover." An image flashed on the screen of a portly, mustachioed man who looked to be of northern European descent. "I don't know who's on duty right now but we've got a problem! I've managed to lock down the reactor," and sure enough, a look at the computer systems told them that he had, "but we're looking at a localized meltdown in about five minutes if nobody can stabilize the systems here. Hello, can anyone hear me?" 

The camera panned back to show Coover's crew, the usual multi-national and multi-ethnic work crew that the League's hiring policies performed, and one black-bearded fellow said, "Wait, that's not just the...the ones taking the tour today, is it?" 

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Things just kept getting better and better. With gravity back online, she returned her staff to her belt before speaking. “Hello, Mister-or is it Doctor?-Coover. Terrifica here. For now it’s just Salvo and I. She’s the one in the battlesuit.” Terrifica was beginning to have…doubts about just how real this situation was, but it did behoove her to act as though it was. Because one never knew, and she had children to raise, for one. “It wasn’t a tour, but that’s unimportant now. What are our options?” She cursed some more in her head at whoever had the bright idea to put a nuclear reactor on a station that could be attacked by supervillains. “May I safely assume you can’t access what you need to due to the lockdown?” She worked the panel on her arm. “I’m bringing up the system specs. Tell me what’s gone wrong and I’ll see if I can’t repair it.” Then she disabled speech transmission to Van Coover to look and speak solely at Salvo. “First things first. Let’s prevent the reactor from killing us all in the next five minutes, then rescue who we can, and finally we can focus on investigating what just happened. With any luck, someone from the League will assist us in the latter.” Though as mentioned, Terrifica had her doubts on that score. “For all we know, it was a meteor.” However, on that topic…she worked her panel some more. There had to be a distress signal here, right? If the teleporters were offline (highly likely, given the damage) and the shuttlebay inaccessible (it would be foolish of the League not to have one), they would need help to get both themselves and the civilians off the station.

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Salvo

 

She cursed furiously in her head as the signal from the reactor came through, the satellite's crew shown gathered together there.

 

Damn it.

 

Of course the test was to rescue the civilians. It was so obvious she would have hit herself if they weren't on a five minute timer.

 

She nodded,  fired her thrusters and with a gout of flame flew to the room's door, bracing against it.

 

"Terrifica," she said, voice hurried as the clock was ticking down. "We can work through the radio if you give me access to the satellite system, but someone needs to go down there in case fixing the reactor from here won't cut it. I can talk while moving, so open the doors and give me a map."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Van Coover told Terrifica that the problem had indeed been caused by the impact - the asteroid strike had desynchronized the coolant tanks for the station's on-board reactor, leading to the imminent threat of a meltdown that might extend into higher and lower dimensions given the many transdimensional technologies in place on board the station. Right now the risk they faced was a full-on thermal inversion in the reactor room that would incinerate the crew, but the risk was only going to grow from there. 

 

"The problem is, if we push off the inversion, we risk dumping all that heat right back into the system and leading to a full system overload! We're hoping you heroes have a solution!" said Coover, sweating slightly on the visible parts of his face. Like the rest of the crew, he'd donned radiation gear. 

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Salvo

 

Salvo braces against the wall, her fingers digging into the metal and servo-joints placing dozens of tons of pressure on them, yet when Terrifica opens the airlock the whole scenario plays out the same as always. The part of the wall she is holding tears free, weakened from her grip, and suddenly she has nothing to brace against. Down the hallway and out the breached hull into space. Again the spinning and flailing, the stop-and-go use of her jets as she catches up to the satellite.

 

A map blinks on to her mind's eye as she nears the satellite and so does the link with Terrifica and the on-board computers. She flies through the compromised hull and past Terrifica's airlock into another hallway.

 

"Talk to me, Terrifica," Salvo says, as if she hadn't been swearing just seconds before. Her voice comes out between gasps, like she'd just come from an intense workout. "Let's try to isolate the problematic systems and go through the data flows from top to bottom. Maybe an anomalic blip could clue us in to what's wrong and we could reset paths around the nodes for some backup functions."

 

Her eyes were glued on the flashing user interface and in her mind's eye she stepped towards that screen, her movements through the satellite almost automatic. She opens airlocks and locked doorways at will, flies through corridors in a flash of fire. She crashes against sharp corners, pausing only to reorient herself before she flies forward again.

 

Again and again, barely heeding her map as she focuses on her work with Terrifica.

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Terrifica pulled her staff back out and rebraced herself; reactivating the voice line to the reactor room. “Not to worry, Mister Coover. All is well in hand.” She reopened the access door, sending the remaining air out of the room in a rush. Along with Salvo, who was doing…poorly. Well, the plan was for the armored heroine to go that way regardless, so it didn’t matter precisely how. Terrifica, being strong enough (with her suit’s assistance) and well braced, ignored the suction entirely. She swapped out a bit of gadgetry, and broke down exactly how the system worked. Somewhat ingenious, as expected from Daedalus and Raven. Multiple systems working in tandem, so that the failure of one or two would not cause a catastrophic event. Unfortunately, there was but so much one could do to mitigate being hit by a large rock traveling at a few dozen kilometers per second. Salvo got her map to follow, and Terrifica did notice her coding assistance. Resynchronizing the cooling tanks was a breeze, relatively speaking, but didn’t solve the core problem. The emergency vents, as seen…here (she highlighted them on Salvo’s map) would vent the excess heat to space, as they were designed to do. “Salvo, I’ve trigged the emergency vents. Normally, they’d allow the heat from the reactor to vent into space but there’s a problem. The impact seems to have locked them in place. Fortunately, I anticipated this. A little superhuman strength and they’ll fly right open. Do you think you could rustle up a little of that?” A few more taps, and the distress signal was up and running. One last thing… “Mister Coover, I believe I have a path for you and your crew to take to the shuttlebay. I’m sending it to you now.” She did in fact do just that. “You know this place better than I do. Does that look all right to you? You can evacuate after the reactor has been stabilized.” It was going well, assuming Salvo could open the vents. Terrifica’s suspicious nature did not like it. Not one bit.

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Salvo

 

"Finally. Found them."

 

The access to the emergency vents was across the airduct from her. The airduct was large enough for her to fly through without fear of crashing against the sides.

 

Her thrusters shifted and with a burst of fire she propelled herself through the airducts, landing right beside the access. Up close and the access was a circle, as tall as it was wide, and she stood at the base.

 

"Right," she spoke in the radio between her and Terrifica. "I'm sensing some heat further down the vents. It's going to be stuffy here soon."

 

Her fingers found purchase between the shutters, digging through the metal, and with a hiss of her servo-muscles she tore it free. Another set of shutters greeted her several meters beyond and she stepped through the access towards the next vent. She tore at that and the one after that. The heat went up steadily as she made her way further in but the holes she had made seemed to be working.

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The first hint that something was going wrong came from the men in the reactor - "Wait, I don't think that's-" The second hint came as warning sensors of overload and meltdown blared around the control room and inside Salvo's suit. There was a flash of light and a blur of static as the EMP from the meltdown fried the cameras inside the corridor the crew had been fleeing down; and then a rumble as the lower tip of the station erupted in a fireball rapidly contained by vacuum. The bodies flung out into space, already dead, could be easily imagined by superpowered intellects. The men were dead, and the station was wounded - perhaps mortally. 

 

And then everything changed. First gravity returned, everywhere; even for Salvo 'outside', then heat, then the scenery itself faded away revealing Terrifica, Salvo, and Comrade Frost sitting back in the room where they'd begun, this time in three metal chairs arranged in a triangle, with Frost at the head and his back to the wall behind him. 

 

"So." Frost looked at the two super-geniuses before him, then said, "Here we are. Questions?" 

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Terrifica put away her staff and various gadgetry. She crossed her legs, and rested her hands on the upper knee. She spoke calmly, despite the imagery now etched permanently into her memory. “Questions? Always, Comrade Frost. And in plenty. One doesn’t learn very much without them.” She smiled a little. She knew it. “Was there a reason for that last? I’m well aware things can go wrong due to unexpected circumstances. Or was that a Kobayashi Maru thing? To see how we react to utter failure?” She leaned forward slightly. “I will admit, I don’t like it. I like being manipulated even less.” She decided to finally voice her concerns about this entire process. “I have no doubt the League is aware of my general capabilities, track record, and personality. Either they’re in favor of bringing me on board or they’re not. So tell me, what was the point of that little deception?” Did she say that because she was annoyed? Well, yes. One could even say she was quite angry. But she did not permit it to show in her voice or bearing. It would've been a loss of self control. Speaking of control, she hadn’t told the other part questions were useful for. Knowing things made her feel as if she was in control of the situation. If it hadn’t been a simulation, she would’ve been badly rattled by the sudden deaths and utter failure. But thankfully it was just a simulation, as she suspected. Now if only she could get the last look on Coover's face out of her mind...

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Nicole

 

"What. Was. That."

 

Nicole was less verbose than Terrifica in answering Frost's call for questions. Similarly, her body language was more restless, even encased in a battlesuit, and they could easily imagine her narrowing her eyes behind her visor.

 

Was there even a way to win that simulation? They did not have much time and could have merely missed something in their initial scans. Was it a way to see how they reacted to failure? Then if so this was the real test, sitting before Frost, but while the rational part of her noted this fact, the rest of her did not care. She wanted answers and then maybe she would calm down, but not before then.

 

Fingers on both hands scraped across the plate over her thighs, leaving scratches on the plate as they settled into fists. They rested on her legs but she leaned forward as if ready to leap into action at any moment.

 

"Same as Terrifica. My specialties can shore up what the League lacks and strengthen those it has."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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"That was a test," said Frost blandly. "Of your ability to function under stress. All the teams are taking similar ones." He pulled out an old-fashioned fountain pen from inside his jacket and began to write. "As for your record, there are many promising geniuses eager to join world's greatest superteam. I can assure you that there are obstacles greater than this," he added frankly. "So. How would you rate your respective performances?" he asked, having made skritch-skritch notes on the paper before him.

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“If a Terminus Invasion doesn’t count as stressful, I don’t know what does.” Terrifica leaned back in her chair, taking her hands off her knee. “But very well. I followed procedure. I sealed my suit and began to assess the damage to the satellite. When Coover reached out with the reactor problem, I reacted in a timely manner. I identified the fault in the computer systems and repaired it. I sent Salvo to finish that job, activated the distress signal, and provided a safe path for the station’s evacuation via the shuttlebay. Simply, I made the correct decisions with the information I had. And they all died anyway.” She stopped for a moment. She found failure very frustrating, and so needed a second to keep her emotions out of her voice. Calm and rational, that was Terrifica. “Therefore there was critical information I lacked and thus my decisions were flawed.” She uncrossed her legs and recrossed them the other way. “I will analyze the events, find the information I lacked and thus in a real-” despite her eyes and most of her face being covered, her look at Frost was very pointed “-version of that incident, they will not all die. I referenced the Kobyashi Maru earlier. Much like James T. Kirk, I don’t believe in no-win scenarios. There are only scenarios in which the winning solution is not yet known.” She was looking directly at Frost. “It sounds cold and heartless, I know. However I suspected that was a simulation virtually from the start. And even if it was real, if those people did in fact die because I failed…” She looked down for a moment, and then back up at Frost. She permitted a touch of emotion (from her memories of the Terminus Invasion, to be precise) into her voice as she went on. “One cannot continue to be of use as a hero if they are consumed by guilt and/or regret.”

 

She leaned forward again and rested her hands on her knee, calm and rational once again. Internally she was loudly grumbling in frustration; her need for control over the situation, to know what was happening, was going unmet. But that was the point, wasn’t it? That was the real test. League members could not crack under any kind of stress. Which was why one tested potential members in both high pressure situations and followed up with something like this. Heroes were independent sorts, not the type to like having to answer to authority of any kind. It bred a kind of arrogance and Terrifica was not fool enough to think she was immune to it. The League had a reputation to maintain. She smiled, just a little. Very well. Let them weigh. Let them measure. At the end of the day she was still one of the smartest people on the planet. She stopped crime and saved lives. She knew her worth, and it was not small. She was Terrifica. And that mattered to her more than the opinion of the entire League (past and present) combined. “Would you like my assessment of Salvo’s performance as well? I don’t mind providing it.”

 

At Frost’s gesture, Terrifica went on. “Hmm. It would be out of character for me to be tactful, so I won’t bother. I’ll start with the negatives. If I had been say, Bowman, Salvo opening the sealed emergency door on a space station would’ve killed me. If I had merely neglected to bring one piece of gear with me today, I would be just as dead. That was a rash and ill considered action. One must take the environment and your fellow heroes’ abilities into consideration before acting. And on a personal note I did not appreciate my concerns being brushed off.” She held up a hand to prevent Salvo from speaking. “I’m not finished. Both times the door was opened Salvo was sucked out of the room, bouncing through the halls like a ball bearing. The meteor damaged halls. As she mentioned seeing the station from the outside, I imagine she was sucked entirely out into space. A little more control, a little less lost time in a critical situation.” She paused, flicking through her perfect memory. “Ah, yes. The third item. I requested the emergency vents be forced open, not torn off. Yes, the station’s systems noticed and so did I. Tearing them off would put yet more stress on the station’s damaged superstructure. And judging by Coover’s last comment, it is entirely possible that those were not the vents I marked on the map. Finally, I have some concerns about her ability to handle high levels of stress. The prior three items can easily be attributed to being in a high pressure situation and not coping as well as possible.”

 

Terrifica rolled her neck and leaned back in her chair again. “Now, the positives. Aside from the initial problem, we worked very well together. We were on the same mental wavelength, so to speak. Salvo clearly understands how to work as a team.” Even if she wasn’t necessarily good at it. “She is ready and willing to perform at a moment’s notice. She was reacting to stimuli as fast as I do, which is saying something considering she lacks my superhuman gifts. Her suit is a marvel of magic and technology, she has knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas, and she demonstrates the ability to adapt to changing situations. To ‘think on her feet’, as the saying goes.” She paused for just a second. “If I were to judge her performance on a strict pass/fail basis, it would be a fail. However, I don’t like doing that. It’s too binary. If this was say, a college course and I the professor?” No reason she couldn’t amuse herself a little, now was there? “I would pass them, but just barely. Then I would advise her  to find an internship over the summer and get a little more practical experience because she would not receive such kindness from me twice.” She looked rather satisfied with herself. “I don’t think she’s bad at being a superhero or bad at working in a team. I do think she’s not old enough to legally drink in the United States and a bit too comfortable in that armor. She's just not ready. But she will be, sooner than most might expect. I think that about covers it.”

Edited by EternalPhoenix

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Salvo

 

Terrifica's self-assessment brought no outward reaction from Salvo. Instead she quietly formulated a response to Frost's question, sitting still while Terrifica spome. She had commited her own mistakes for sure, but the exercise was done in good faith, the best that she could have given.

 

Then Terrifica offered to give an assessment on her. Frost gave a go-ahead gesture before she could do anything but eye the super-genius from the corner of her visor.

 

The fists she had made before only got tighter as Terrifica continued speaking until she could have bent metal from the pressure if she were so inclined.

 

"You don't get to do that," Salvo said, her voice in a low growl by the time Terrifica had finished. Her visor glowed darker as she faced Frost, Terrifica able only to see the side of her helmet. "You don't get to throw me under a bus and wave that I'm under twenty like a damned flag to the world, whatever your super-intuition told you."

 

Her head snapped towards Terrifica and the visor glared like live eyes. "No. You don't get to hide behind your rational and logic either, putting all the blame on our failure on me but neglecting everything you've done wrong."

 

She brought her hand up, with the index finger out, and struck it like a gong with the fingers of her other hand. "You negated my efforts on opening the airlock the first time, slowing our efforts as we had to open it a second time. You even went so far as to question me. You lack the trust needed when a split-second decision needs to be made like I did." She struck her second finger. "You stole control of the on-board computers from my systems. If I didn't let it go we could have been stuck there wrestling with each other while the clock ticked down." Third finger. Third strike. "Then I was the boots on the ground and you were mission control. That you didn't guide me well enough to do as you like or, hell, even where the vents were shows a failure in coordination. A controller's one job!"

 

The sound of her struck fingers receeded in the silence.

 

"I did just as well as anyone else, including Terrifica."

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Comrade Frost looked down at the notes he'd been drawing, carefully kept hidden from the eyes of either of the two heroes in the room. To the untrained eye, they might have looked like an armored figure and a cowled figure wrestling. He looked up and commented, "The exercise is based on events that happened on the station, oh, about twenty years ago now. I was not here but I heard tales. If you are worried, all involved were fine. Daedalus and Mr. Coover solved meltdown problem, he is nuclear professor of physics at some American institution with name of a city and state in it. The test was to see if you would find solution, and then to see what you did afterwards." He went back to his writing and commented, "Okay, here is problem as I see it." 

 

He pointed to Salvo. "You forced open the door in middle of decompression emergency - the fact that Terrifica was clever enough to put on a mask and not die in middle of space was to her credit, to yours." He turned to Terrifica and said, "And you, what is matter with you?" He gave Terrifica a frankly baffled look. 

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 “I don’t understand.” Terrifica was thrown off track. Thrown off to the degree that she sounded just as confused as she felt. “You asked me to assess, so I assessed. Should I have lied? Softened the truth of it? What use is that?” She adopted a kinder maternal tone, which wasn’t difficult. She was a mother, after all. “How can anyone learn from their mistakes if they don’t know what they are? What motivation would they have to improve without that knowledge, delivered in that manner? I think Salvo has enormous potential. What I saw during the Terminus Invasion was genuinely impressive.” And just like that, she was perfectly rational again. “What I saw today was not. I would be doing both her and you a grave disservice if I lied or sugar coated it. And besides, I am willing to help her learn from them directly. I would be a poor teacher if I was not.” She glanced at Salvo for a moment. “With that said, I can see how it looks like I am sabotaging her. This is not the case. What I said earlier also applies to her. I have no doubt the League is aware of her general capabilities, track record, and personality. All three Ravens are likely available to consult should you call, not to mention Daedalus and AEGIS. If you completely agreed with me she would not be here.”

 

She rested her hands on her crossed knees. “Allow me to be perfectly clear. The Salvo I met today isn’t ready at all. She is impulsive and reckless. She does not think before she acts. She simply acts. I suspect the allure of the Freedom League has something to do with it, as does her age.” A few seconds passed, purely for effect. “However, the Salvo I met the first time was ready. She saw that blindly acting would not work, and answered the call to use her mind instead of her fists. She was frightened, yes. Traumatized, certainly. But she was one of the finest heroes I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. If that young woman was here today, I’d recommend her without reservation. I don’t know which one is the real Salvo, or if the truth of her lies somewhere in between.” She looked Frost directly in the eyes. “What I do know is that, once again, you know who I am. You know what I am like. And you bade me continue anyway. Did you expect me to compromise who I am for the League? Don’t be ridiculous. I do a lot of good both on my own and with Miracle Girl. I do not need the League to continue to do that. I remind you that the League summoned me, not the other way around. You chose me, out of all the available supergeniuses in the world, to come to this station and take your test. I am not an idiot, Frost. Please do not treat me like one.” She'd met the current Raven back when he was Nevermore, after all. She'd worked with AEGIS on numerous occasions. If the League didn't know her, they were the type who didn't do their due dilligence. And there weren't words for how highly she doubted that.

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"Enough with my age," Salvo growled, her voice low, even for the program that brought made her sound like a woman more mature than she really was. She towered over most women and could make most grown men cower in fear, yet when she folded her arms and faced away from Terrifica a hint of the lanky teenager inside could be seen. Miffed but mostly mollified by Terrifica's comments, Salvo looked at Frost. "Terrifica's correct. I'm almost nineteen but that doesn't matter when I'm wearing my armor and so I don't broadcast it to the world." Her arms still folded, one hand made a vague gesture at herself and the battlesuit that covered her from head to toe. "And I'd appreciate it if none of you do going forward."

 

"Fine. We both made mistakes. I own up to mine and maybe Terrifica owns up to hers," though from the tone of her voice it was obvious that she really doubted Terrifica had even registered them when she had pointed them out. "But like Terrifica said, you know what we've both done and are capable of."

 

Her visor rested on Frost. Unblinking, faceless.

 

"Do your worst."

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Frost tried not to roll his eyes. "Okay. Okay." He stood up, pushing his chair under the small desk he'd stolen it from. "I can see this did not work out exactly according to plan. Listen, I will let two of you continue discussion. I have other interviews to observe." And with that, he turned and walked right out of the room, leaving Terrifica and Salvo alone with each other. 

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