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Avenger Assembled

Scene: Fulcrum and Miracle Girl (IC)

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Summer 2019 

 

Suddenly the door to the conference room opened, and a man entered. Well, depending on your definition thereof. Both Miracle Girl and Fulcrum had heard of the fate of Captain Thunder's son Bolt, the electric speedster and Claremont alum who'd recently been the victim of a horrific attack that had left him permanently transformed into energy now possessing a high-end robot. Bolt hadn't bothered with the kind of android features used by mechanical heroes before him; he had a featureless blue face and metallic body, with long blue cape behind him

 

"Hello, Miracle Girl, Fulcrum." He cocked his featureless head, then sat down at the head of the table. "Before we start," he said, his modulated voice serious. "I want to let you know that it wasn't my idea to do it this way, and I hope you won't hold it against me. Now!" he added, his voice suddenly light. "Tell me about yourselves.

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Fulcrum quickly stood up at the sound of the door. She smiled in recognition. The two hadn't met, but the hero grapevine told her of Bolt's fate. Personally, she was just glad he was alive, in some form or another, and her happy expression read as much.

 

The giantess strolled up to a seat at Bolt's left during his introduction. She nodded in acknowledgement, noted Miracle Girl's reaction, and offered Bolt a handshake. 

 

"Bolt I presume? Wonderful to meet you," came her own formal introduction in reply. She would have asked how he was holding up, but best to be polite and stay on topic. As she slid, carefully, into a chair, she added, her voice relaxed, "I certainly won't hold this against you. Although knowing what the way is would be helpful." The statement was punctuated by a light wave of her hand. She seemed happy to play along. Once Miracle Girl was settled, Mona continued.

 

Lacing her fingers together, she leaned forward in thought, her tone businesslike, "Hmm...what can I say that isn't already in your files. We're Team Air. My compatriot and I are bricks of the fluttering variety. Thus our team name is quite fitting I dare say. Heroines like us, sometimes we're criticized as naive or too idealistic. Maybe. Maybe. But all that speed, durability, and strength is put to use...," she glanced at Miracle Girl, then back to Bolt, "not upholding the status quo but making this pale blue dot a better place. Even if only for one person at a time. And that's why I put on the suit."

 

Leaning back, she gazed in expectation at the other heroine.

 

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Posted (edited)

Casey cleared her throat. "Well, let's see. Like Fulcrum said, I am strong, tough and durable, and I can fly. I'm also very fast, mostly good for doing things like all my homework in a matter of seconds, though that has a lot more uses than that, of course. I have a few more powers, but you probably have that stuff on file..."

 

The blonde heroine paused for a few seconds as she tried her best to sum herself up in terms of perhaps her philosophy or work ethic. "I've been doing this 'heroic thing' for a while now; I don't think that makes me an expert, but I'd like to think that's given me some insight. I was raised a fairly liberal Christian in a military family; my dad is also another hero. My mother is a nurse and my grandfather an investigative reporter. And, lastly, I am also a Girl Scout. I think all of these people and organizations helped shape my morality, my sense of duty and service. But it's not until your out in the field, facing danger and saving lives, that those ideals are tested."

 

After a few moments of silence, she shrugged. "I like to think that I'm a good person, and that I'm good at my job; from time to time I've found myself doing some things that my younger self would find scandalous in the name of good, but I don't think I've crossed any lines that I can't go back over. I try to be mindful in my actions, to never be so pragmatic that I miss the point and do more harm than good, but I can't say for sure that I always succeed. But, I think as long as I'm still asking these questions, and not thinking the rules don't apply to me because I'm 'special', hopefully I'll remain a force for good."

 

She shrugged again and smiled sheepishly, hands clasped before her. "And, that's me."

Edited by Heritage

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"Okay," said Bolt. "I...listen," he said suddenly. "I'm not really supposed to be telling you this, but the League wanted me to give the two of you a secret test of character. You know, to make sure that the team pocket Centurions are as good as Captain Thunder." He laughed softly, a distinctly mechanical noise. "But that's stupid. Everybody knows there was only one Captain Thunder, right? So I think we can get through this quickly. Why do you think you deserve to be on the Freedom League?

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Fulcrum gave Miracle Girl a reassuring smile before listening to Bolt. As he spoke, she tapped her chin in thought and gently rocked in her chair. An amused expression crept over her face. This conversation, maybe this whole trip, was obviously becoming quite enjoyable to her.

 

Slick, Bolt. Very slick.

 

Looking around the room in thought was really a pretense. She was really looking for AV devices. But she was gathering her thoughts regardless. Eventually, which was a few seconds at best, a course toward pure honesty was charted. Best not to overthink things.

 

When she spoke, her tone was frank. "I don't. I'm not being facetious nor am I self-flagellating. I could talk up my pros and analyze my cons." At that she held out her hands like moving scales. "Simply put however, I don't know if I can do the job. The League is a lot of responsibility. Responsibility I am not sure if I can handle or want."

 

"You're right. There is only one Captain Thunder. And Bolt. And Miracle Girl. And Fulcrum. I didn't show up here to replace or be as good as anyone. I'm here," she leaned forward and tapped a finger on the table, "because maybe any good accomplished can be multiplied as part of the League. And if I'm not right for the team, that's okay. I'll still be out there fighting the good fight."

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Casey frowned at this line of questioning; certainly there were some sort of mind games going on? "Uh, yeah, like Fulcrum said, I certainly don't feel that I deserve to be on this team; I don't feel like I'm entitled to anything, really. I mean, if you all do your evals and like what you see, I'd be happy to sign up. But I've done work on my own, and with other heroes, and I'm sure I'll do it again, whether or not I make the cut."

 

She shrugged.

 

"Now all that being said, I would like to be on the team, just because I think it would be nice to have a steady set of working relationships that I know I can call upon when I need help, or who can call on me for the same. It's more a matter of time saving and convivence, really, and those two things can actually save lives sometimes, you know? So that's what this is all about, for me at least."

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"Don't say that," said Bolt, his mechanical voice firm. "The surest way to make sure you don't get a job is to tell people you don't deserve to have it. And that's what this is - a job." Bolt turned his face to the two women, back and forth, and said, "The Freedom League has plenty of shining gods who can look down on the Earth from their castle in the sky. We're looking for people who can have actual human lives when this is done. Can you tell me about your lives?

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Fulcrum's amused expression shifted to a smile. She offered Miracle Girl a fist bump before addressing Bolt. "Well, let's see. Human life is good, and has been good to me. I have loving parents, a friendly sibling rivalry, great friends and neighbors, and a loving partner. A partner with whom I hope to have a child with sometime in the near future. Here's to hoping the kid takes after dad."

 

"I have a successful, multifaceted career. Inspiration has come to me in all manner of artistic endeavors, and I make a good living at it." Several million by her taxes. Of which all but a modest living went to charitable causes. "I'm grateful to do something I love every day. Meeting fans and critics alike is a joy."

 

"I have the privilege and opportunity to travel the galaxy. Later this week a large alien friend named Jolee will be joining me for lunch. Assuming I don't have to rescue another interstellar squid on the way to CoVic."

 

She laced her hands together again and leaned on her elbows. "'Shining gods'." She regarded Bolt carefully a moment. "Is it really a job, Bolt? Is it a job to you or your dad?"

Edited by Dariusprime

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Casey laughed as Fulcrum went into considerable detail about her heroic life; clearly, there was a difference once you went pro! On the topic of herself, she had to pause for a few seconds; a lot of it would be considered 'classified', but she had a feeling the League probably already knew most of this stuff.

 

"Okay, well I guess I'm technically a second generation hero, since my dad is Vigillant. I grew up an Air Force brat, mostly in Colorado. My mom is an Air Force nurse and my older brother is at the Academy, so it obviously had a major impact on our lives." She sighed and slapped the top of her thighs. "What else, what else...uh, I've been a Girl Scout since I was this tall-" She held her hand about two feet above the floor. "And can recite the Girl Scout Law from memory." Then she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

 

"I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout."

 

She opened her eyes and chuckled. "Wow, haven't said that out loud in a while! And I know just staying words doesn't mean anything if you don't live it. And I know it's kind of, you know, morally simplistic: not all authority is just, and I've had to lie more than a few times when I'm working a case. But, as moral codes go, I still think it's kind of awesome."

 

And now Casey paused, and her brow furrowed in thought. "I don't just want to do superhero stuff, though, partly because it's usually more reactive than active. And that's why I'm studying journalism in school; I want to go places and meet people, and then bring their stories back. I'm studying Arabic because I think a lot of people in this country don't understand the Muslim world, and I want to help shed some light on that." She clapped her hands together and shrugged. "So, that's me, I guess."

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"Oh thank God," said Bolt, sounding as relieved as a man with a mechanical voice could. "Listen, ladies, it's been a day - we could do a little song and dance, but let's just call it even." He stood up and extended his hand. "Welcome to the Freedom League.

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Casey's jaw dropped a bit as she looked from Bolt to Fulcrum, then back again, one eyebrow cocked. "Sooo, that's it? We're in?" And then the enormity of what she just said it her, and her eyes went wide. "Omigod, we're in! We're in!"

 

The blonde heroine leaped up, grabbed Fulcrum in her arms, and proceeded to spin around in the air several times a few feet off the ground, happy tears streaming down her face as she repeated her refrain over and over again.

 

"We're in, we're in, we're in!"

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Fulcrum couldn't help but laugh at the scene. It was a boisterous, good-natured laugh that racked her entire body. Very seldom did Fulcrum find someone who could even lift her, let alone spin her around. She was over 700 lbs after all. Once the initial shock passed, the giantess engulfed Casey in a Mona-sized bear hug as the two spun.

 

"Congratulations, Miracle Girl! You've earned it!" and she meant every word, topped with a toothy smile. Beyond that she just laughed along with Casey's refrain.

 

Privately, Fulcrum still felt some doubts. While she'd never met Bolt, his performance during the interview seemed a bit off. Which raised alarm bells to her, but she had no idea how the League would approach something like this. Maybe he really didn't want to be here, this was part of the test, or he was pushed into service for some reason. Which meant her typical tact would likely be her first choice.

 

In time their revelry spun down, pun intended, and the two separated. Fulcrum gave a Miracle Girl another quick shoulder hug. Landing she shook Bolt's hand, or at least offered a handshake if he'd given up waiting.

 

"Aw, no more? I could go on for hours." She chuckled again and grinned to Miracle Girl. Her tone still light, she added, "Seriously though, Bolt, would you level with us please? This whole exercise feels odd to me. What was the point of this interview?"

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"I had full discretion on deciding who the team's new Captain Thunders were going to be. I just had to make sure neither of you thought you _were_ the next Captain Thunder." Bolt rose, a smile in his automated voice. "Come on. It's time to meet the team.

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