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Park Time Job


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Mona nodded at Claude's explanation. It wasn't satisfying, but she wasn't exactly picking up menace so much as cagey-smartass vibes. But hey, she worked with the Espadas. Those were nothing new. The previous statement though, about the contents of the device, drew a slightly confused glance at Selena. A device was news to her let alone the mechanics thereof.


"Do you want the truth or the bold-faced lie?" answered Mona as she shot a glance to Selena.


"My take: it's a high school for metahumans. Lots of powerful players in the background, and it acts as a feeder to other gigs. Think of it as superhero ivy league. So along with normal classwork, you'll have power training, team building, and enough drama to last you a lifetime. Mind you this is from an outsider's perspective." She shot Selena another glance. "Am I close?"


As she spoke, Mona pulled out her phone, looked at it for a moment, and put it away. Looked like it sent a text, although she didn't appear to type anything. "Excuse me. I may have to use the phone a moment."


Indeed she did send a text:


To: Snugglypuff (Viktor Archeville)

Sweetie, what can you build with psitanium, daka crystals, eridium (iridium?), gromril, and quintessence? Super Science curiosity. Thanks!



Edited by Dariusprime
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Viktor Archeville was in his hangar at the Jameson Airport, rearranging a section of the cargo hold of the Synthia Bower once again.  "I still can't decide if I want these sorted alphabetically, or by frequency of use.  What do you think?"  He'd asked a chihuahua-sized green robotic beetle, which looked up at him, with no change to its expressionless face.  "Yes, I know, frequency would be more useful, but-"


Just then, a message popped up in his field of vision, the text from Mona.  <Hello liebchen.  That's an INTERESTING list.  Gromril?  Unknown!  Lots of things come to mind -- mostly pertaining to manipulation of energies, including psionic energies -- though I would need to see the amounts and purity, how they're configured, to narrow it down.  What's up?  Want me to come over?>

Edited by Dr Archeville
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Continuing to roll the magnetically reactive coin back and forth across her knuckles she nodded to Mona, "The outsider's perspective is pretty accurate.  I mean, you've got teenagers from all over the world, sometimes even off world, given the first taste of freedom from living with their parents, and that's before you add super powers, magic, hyper advanced tech, or alien physiology.  Short version, the drama is beyond superb.  Want to hear about the time a bunch of would-be magic users were convinced by their ringleader to summon a succubus on Halloween last year?"

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Claude sighed at Monas' and Selenas' responses. "Okay, so obviously the boss-man wants me to attend this...school for some reason. It ain't about the knowledge. Networkin'? Bit odd with the people I work for. Anyways, I appreciate the info." 


At the offer from Selena, the Bostonion  proceeded to scoot his chair closer to the pair, with a positively Cheshire grin on his face. "Scuttlebutt? Deal me in. I'll trade you a story about how I got in a throw down with some overenthusiastic reenactors. They had a cannon and everythin'!"


Before she could respond however, the waiter had came back with their food...


Riverside Park


Monica White was just finishing up her circuit of the park, happy that she had cut off almost half a minute from her normal time. The Freedom City marathon was just around the corner, and this year she had vowed to finish it. She was almost to the point where she started her run when she stumbled with the sound of metal crushing and nearly fell. Looking back, she saw a half crushed soda can and cursed. People threw their trash everywhere, she could have twisted her ankle! Angry she kicked the can away, not noticing the dead wasp that had been drinking from the can reanimating then dying again....

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Probably to socialize you. You're obviously smart and capable, but you're still a kid. Those however were her private thoughts.


Outwardly, an incredulous look crept onto her face. She blinked a few times at Selena and looked at Claude. He seemed enthusiastic enough, and she was curious to know details herself.


"A succubus? Sexy-demoness succubus? Huge-tracts-of-land demon? Okay, I'm game too." She leaned back in her chair and waited.


Before the story could commence, her phone buzzed and she checked it. "Would either you mind if my partner in crime dropped by?"


"Thank you, Duncan. You're always good to me," she added as he delivered their goodies. She grinned at her cup of inky black coffee.

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If Selena was able to read minds, she would find her own thoughts mirrored Mona's.  "Trust me, despite what you're thinking, it'll be good for ya.  If nothing else, you'll pick up skills you're going to use the rest of your life," she said, still rolling the coin across her knuckles, "Or at least a couple party tricks."


Accepting her soda she took a moment to collect her memories of last Halloween, only starting once the waiter had vanished once again.  "Well, that was their plan, yes.  Bunch of dumb, horny mage types.  So, after screwing with the wards and misleading his friends, he summons a demon lord, tries to offer his friends as sacrifices, and ends up getting three unrelated supers in the mix.  Fun fact, if you ever meet Salvo, ask her about the toad demon who's tongue she ripped out of his head."

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Claude actually blinked then scowled momentarily at Monas' question and then rubbed the back of his neck. "Aw yeah, I forgot you and Archie were a thing."


The boy from Boston signed and with a mumbled 'why not' continued on. "Nothin' against you Mona, but I kinda was busted hijackin' a shipment of your boys tech. I'm for bygones being bygones and all, but I'm thinkin' it would be best if we kept this shindig on the down low. Besides, I don't think he'd appreciate my opinions." 


"Still, looks like my assignment at Claremont will be entertainin' at least." Claude took a bite of his wrap. 


Riverside Park


The repeated death throes of the small insect would have been a nonissue, but something was drawn in from the delicious smorgasbord of sensory data leeching through the remaining anomalies. The Shrodingers' wasp was like ringing a proverbial dinner bell as it began looking for lone prey to ambush, widening an reinforcing an out of the way anomaly in one of the larger park trees...

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Mona's grin widened after sampling the alluring elixir. Deemed a health hazard by caffeine levels, the coffee had firmly established itself as one of Mona's favorites. For the moment, she was satisfied with her coffee and a tale of occult foolishness. Which Selena's story delivered in full causing her to giggle. Yes, giggle and almost splash coffee.


After a more few sips, she nodded to Claude's response.


"Fair enough, fair enough." Another sip. Contentment. "We very much are. Forget I asked. Though between us, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that he hasn't heard worse opinions." Her tone slowly shifted from her usual mellow to a decidedly serious one. A tone that spoke more of weary acceptance.


Smile returning, Mona glanced at Selena's coin before replying. "I know very little about magic. My world is super science and cosmic horrors from beyond space. But even by my limited knowledge, those mages sound quite foolish." She said after a pause, and as a massive understatement. "Salvo is another heroine I take it? Sounds like a woman after my own heart!"


In an off moment, she texted Viktor back.


To: Snugglypuff (Viktor Archeville)

No, we can talk later. Thanks, sweetie.


Organize alphabetically.

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  • 1 month later...

"If there's one thing I did learn about Magic, it's that you treat it like super-science.  Tread carefully around it and leave it to people who know what they're doing.  Don't even breath around it if you can.  Doesn't hurt to learn about it but 'arcane runes for dummies' makes my head hurt.  Hell, just trying to dive deeper into magnetism makes me want to rip my hair out but there's a chance understanding Lorentz force might end up saving someone's life," she explained, flipping the coin towards Claude's face before calling it back to her hand with her powers.

Taking a sip of her soda she said to Mona, "Salvo was on my squad last year, she built a suit of power armor infused with magic and whatnot.  Far and away she was the team's heavy hitter.  And widest blaster, sweet girl but she doesn't do 'single-target' well."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Riverside Park


There. A lone prey isolating itself further from the others as it went inside a structure. It decided to eat the little not quite alive or dead morsel before looking for a way into where the prey last went...


Claude & Company


Claude chewed on his wrap thoughtfully for a bit before swallowing. "When you get down to brass tacks, magic much like science, is based a whole lotta rules. Well, yanno barrin' chaos magic. But same thing could be said of it's more scientific leanin' counterpart of chaos theory. Anybody tryin' to tell ya differently is tryin' to sell ya something. Hell, Dedalus made some pointed comments a time or two on the Greek Pantheon bein' a long running scam on their part. I mean, Pers.." whatever he was going to say next was interrupted by the Bostonian going ramrod straight and pulling a bronze object that looked roughly similar to a pocket watch out.   


An insistent sounding alarm was coming from the device that was silenced as Claude opened it. Moments later, he went distinctly ashen as the color drained from his face. A few heartbeats later and he was already vaulting the nearby railing,  headed towards the park. His clothes had changed mid leap from the simple exercise outfit to a herringbone waistcoat with matching pants, a flat cap, and a pair of sturdy work boots. Completing the throwback ensemble was a domino mask if there was any doubt to his bona fides as a card carrying member of the cape and cowl crowd.


Mona and Selena caught the Southie fiddle with his device mid run, before an odd sense of detachment and vertigo hit them before they both noticed that nothing else was moving. Everything was oddly frozen in place from the water pouring from a glass to the birds in the sky. Everything except them and Claude who was sliding across the hood of a immovable car on the street.

Edited by Semi-Autogyro
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Mona calmly set down her coffee and watched Claude run. No doubt that pocket watch, or whatever it was, had alerted him to more of the "problems" from earlier. Mona had just turned to Selena when she too, stopped. Although she wasn't exactly frozen. A waitress stood in mid stride by a nearby table.


"Interesting. Time dilation? Dimensional desyncing?" she mused while standing up.


Turning to Selena, she smiled and said, "On the clock."


And then she floated next to Claude. One moment she wasn't. The next she was. Her face looked serious.


"What's up?" She scanned the park at super-human speeds for the source of Claude's alarm. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Inwardly, the teen sighed and mentally muttered, 'This freaking town.'  As Mona excused herself, Selena was already reaching for her bag, ready to pull her costume from the canvas container.


A few seconds later, Gauss came rocketing from the cafe and quickly caught up to Claude and Fulcrum.  Hovering a few feet off the ground, her white cape billowing softly in the light breeze, she tugged a pair of gloves into place.  "Good takeoff speed Claude, the car vault was a nice touch," she commented, a pair of steel orbs rising out of a pocket on her belt as her left eye began to glow.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Claude gave a squak of alarm at the unexpected presence of the two ladies, making a misstep as his boot caught the curb. Luckily he managed to roll with it enough that it was a somewhat graceful recovery. Once back on even footing, there was a deer in the headlights look of panic that quickly shifted to a considering look on his face. "Wha? Ya shouldn't be able ta come..." 


The proverbial lightbulb must have happened, because he groaned in frustration as his gaze fell on Fulcrum. "Terminus energy. Shoulda remembered. Dammit, Doc is going to have a field day with this." The last sentence was muttered more to himself.


"Well, the cat is outta the bag. Call me Gnomon. I'm with Guardians of Time and you're now temporarily deputized to deal with a illegal temporal incursion. Judgin' by what my isochronon is tellin' me, it's most likely a daemon. Wathever it is, it's in the park and if we don't stop it it'll drain any livin' things for their quintessence to feed itself. The older the prey the better, so unless if ya have any more questions we need to get in there before it's the size of a Mack truck."

Edited by Semi-Autogyro
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Mona couldn't help but smirk a bit at Claude's surprise. It wasn't a malicious smirk. More a whimsy at having caught, unintentionally, the level-headed young man off guard.


Once his gears turned, she nodded without looking back. "Got it in one. Being a living reactor has advantages. I suspect Dr. Tomorrow won't be much bothered."


She continued observing the time-frozen park as Claude laid out the details. If she was surprised, she took the revelation in stride. Another day on the job as it were.


Amusement still in her voice, she floated after Claude. "Lead the way, Chief. This is your ballgame."


Mentally, she took stock of the situation, the information relayed, and 'Gnomon's' role in all this. The likely conclusion was, indeed, that Claude was a recruit, and sounded like he was apprenticed or assigned under Dr. Tomorrow. It all made sense. As for the situation itself, 'daemon' was something new and sounded very dangerous. Yes, that needed to be neutralized forthwith.


A few seconds after speaking, she popped her knuckles loudly. Sounded like concrete splitting. She smiled.

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"And of course today would be the day I don't pack my blessed steel orbs," Gauss sighed, the balls floating gently into her upturned palm. 


As she hovered behind Gnomon, she allowed the young Time Guardian to lead the impromptu team back to the park through the time-frozen streets.  "So," she started, trying to keep the mood light before fighting the time daemon, "When this is over, do we get sweet badges to commemorate the job?"


Swiveling her head around she suppressed a shudder, "Not going to lie guys, completely silent city in the middle of the day, this is one of the eeriest things I've ever encountered."

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Claude held out his isochronon as he rotated to find the correct bearing, "Day-mon. Not De-mon. From the Greek meanin', so ya don't have ta worry about packin' your holy rollers." He idly corrected as the device began humming, emitting an actinic violet light from what looked to be vacuum tubes. He swept it back and forth in front of him as he continued his explanation. 


"They're basically native to the fourth dimension, but sometimes they find their way into ours. When that happens, they can't literally eat anything here except time to survive. So if we can wrestle this one back to where it came from it should wander off." The device in his hands made a noise like a typewriter return, causing Claude to smack it a bit. "Anyways, there was enough temporal anomalies in the park that it was the equivalent of ringin' a dinner bell. Why I don't know, but don't let it catch you. 'Specially you, Mona. Last thing we need to add to the situation is makin it' a T-baby on toppa everythin' else..." 


The isonchronon gave a two-toned beep and Claude pointed further into the park. "It's lookin' to be by the planetarium...but it ain't movin' for whatever reason." 

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