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Kingmaker: Queen's Defence (IC)


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Bayview, Freedom City, USA

July 27th, 10:00am


Rachel Morgan would be a star employee at almost any other organization, but at ASTRO Labs, she was surrounded by all sorts of super-geniuses and was thus just one of many scientists. She had no personal workshop there, so when she wanted to tinker, she had to work at the one in her home. Which worked fine for her, she had many ideas she had no intention of monetizing.


She had been kicked out of a few places thanks to problems with Home Owners Associations and late-night noise, so she had finally given up on attached homes and splurged on a solitary property in Bayview, where she could work in peace. She had the home specially built with sound-proofing in the basement so that she wouldn’t be bothered by any further noise complaints. Now, the most the Home Owners Associations mostly just bothered her about neglecting her lawn, which she promised herself she would fix the robot that mowed it for her soon.


The house itself was unassuming, a fairly standard one-story building, built wide with a green tiled roof and with a cherry red electric car sitting out front. On a flag pole sat an American flag, and beneath it a pride flag. There was a porch, painted white, its front partially obscured by grass growing ever higher in front of it. The front door was protected by a screen in front of it, and a charming little welcome mat declared “I can see your underwear”.


Yet in the place of a doorbell, there was a strange, HAL-looking piece of machinery. As the group approached, it chirped.


“Hello there, I’m Garvey. Welcome to Ms. Morgan’s home. What’s your names, and what’s your reason for visiting?” Those with pop-culture affinities might have noticed it sounded quite a lot like Michael Caine.



@Heritage @Electra @Tiffany Korta @Exaccus

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Paige paused in the middle of the front sidewalk for a moment, taking a deep breath and extending her senses. She was careful; it wouldn't do to go broadcasting when she knew there was a psychic mixed up in all this, but she wanted an idea of what they were getting into. The world around her body faded away as her consciousness spread out into the house before them, images and impressions blooming like fast-motion flowers as she paid attention to them. She found Rachel Morgan in her kitchen, still in her pajamas and making coffee. It was a simple domestic scene, one that didn't hint of any danger or coercion at the moment. It was good enough. 


Still keeping a light touch on her psychic impression, Paige walked up to the door. "Hello, Garvey," she told the machine with careful politeness. "My name is Paige Cline. We were hoping to speak with Ms. Morgan if she's available. It's very important." 

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Merge Trois

Merge stayed back across the street watching the others take the lead, it was often her tactics to allowed the other to underestimate her. It was a tactic that had worked well for her in the past. She’d even downplayed her costume choices, a rather sensible - if short dress and only a slight platform on her heels. Even the tips of her hair was only her natural hair color, or Nicki’s at least.


She wasn’t sure, she’d never tried it in practice, but her nature as a duplicator her mind was shared among the whole, with Nicki being at the center of the web of Merges. Not that she planned to test the theory unless it became absolutely necessary.

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for his part alex was content to enjoy the fact that a hal 9000 doorbell was quite happily conversing with them in its monotone mechanical voice, this was the kind of stuff he loved, the chocolate chips and hazelnuts amidst the weirdness ice cream that was life in freedom city, he would never try to consciously undermine the efforts of other heroes but he was a man of popular and classic culture, ever fascinated by rise of technology and society around him so he couldn't help but playfully pipe up at the end of holograms diologue with the machine.


"and none of us are called dave, so you can't do that."

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Garvey chirped and whirruped, before letting out a sharp little ding! "Paige Cline! How interesting. I will let her know that you're here." Then, the red dot seemed to swivel and focus on Facsimile. "Oh, and don't worry. I am actually programmed to blast anyone who asks me to open the pod bay doors with a small jet of water."


There was a brief silence, before the door swung open, and there stood Rachel Morgan. Much of what could be seen of her was metal - namely her arms and neck, but her face was completely human. Her skin was dark, her black hair in a wild afro, while her brown eyes were warm and full of life. She smiled broadly at them.


"Well hello there," she cooed, clutching a coffee cup in her right hand and toying with a pen between the index and middle finger of her left. She turned the pen and pointed at Paige Cline.


"Not very often I have a TV star show up to my house. And a whole menagerie! Superheroes."


She paused, then a look of concern crossed her face.


"Nothing bad's happened to Serena, has it? She told me she was doing the hero thing and this looks a lot like when those military folks come to inform next of kin."

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Paige spread her hands comfortingly. "Serena is fine," she assured Rachel immediately. "She wanted to come herself, but she had urgent business elsewhere, so she sent us in her place to talk with you. Richard and I, well, you know we all go back a long way, and Serena has a lot of friends in the hero community who want to help her." She carefully reached out with her senses, just enough to be brushing against Rachel's mind as she continued, her voice quiet. "I don't know if you have been keeping up with your old colleagues, but Serena's very worried about Heather." She waited for any jump of emotion or pull of power, anything that might indicate Rachel's will was not entirely her own. 

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For his own part facsimile did little more than chortle to himself at garvey's response standing to the side and a little behind paige as she conversed with rachel with his hands loosely at his sides.


He'd of course opted not to bring his weapon with him, it rested safely tucked away in the storage area beneath the seat of his motor cycle, he was pretty confident that he didn't need it after all, misplaced as that may turn out to be.


A small part of him twinged to interject with his own little statements at lulls in the conversation but he caught himself each time, volunteering information was not a good idea to an unknown party after all and some of it was not his to give if course so for now he opted to wait and listen politely.

Edited by Exaccus
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For her part, Grim decided to try a little subtlety; she was in her normal, teenaged body, complete with spikey auburn hair. But instead of her full costume, she wore black leather boots, tight black leather pants, and a black and midnight blue motorcycle jacket. Finally her eyes were hidden behind a large pair of sunglasses. To those in the know, she 'read' as Grimalkin while still allowing an element of plausible deniability.


"Yeah, she had some concerns that you might be in trouble, so she asked us to check up on you. Y'know, make sure you're okay."

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Rachel looked at them seriously, quirking her mouth. She looked down at the coffee mug in her hand, apparently looking at her reflection in the coffee, distorted as it was. "Mm," she mumbled.


"Okay," she said flatly. "Ugh. Come in."


For Paige's part, it was surprisingly hard to read anything from Rachel. There was something causing psychic interference. Pressing a little harder, she could find that Rachel's brain was not entirely organic anymore, and something with how it worked messed with attempts to read her brain. Still, she gave no signs of being controlled, yet.


Rachel walked back into her kitchen. It was beyond state of the art, covered in unbranded gadgets and gizmos. On the wall was a photo Lynn would recognize as a picture of Rachel and Mia, albeit a Mia that was much younger than now (about 6 or 7), with Mickey Mouse in the middle and both of them wearing mouse ears hats.


"If you're hungry or thirsty, just say 'Garvey, can you make me x, please?' and he'll make it for you."


Garvey's voice chimed in. "I am sorry, I don't know what X is. Can you rephrase."


Rachel groaned. "I was just... Nevermind." She looked back at the others. "So. Heather. She's back?"


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Merge Trois

With one Merge watching the street a second Merge joined them as they entered the house. Looking around and taking in as much information as she could, she was naturally cautious in most circumstances.


“Oh, so this house is like that thing in that Star Wars movie, Earl Grey hot and all that!” acting the fool, hopefully, would put people at ease and reveal a little more than they normally would


“We’re worried about her and want to make sure she’s okay.” from ditz to concerned friend in one leap, Merge was a good people person when she put her mind to it.

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Facsimile for his part pondered about how direct he should be with these things, clearly there was a lot of trauma in it all and he'd rather not go poking anyone in their old wounds so to speak...but at the same time he felt kinda like all this dancing around was doing nothing but building up on the tension and suspense...maybe it was better to just rip the Bandaid off?


"You'll have to forgive me for being blunt but...well it's quite a story." Facsimile spoke up at last. 


"The short version is I came across Serena out on patrol, turns out she was being subtly mentally influenced by Heather to be there and it was an ambush, Dr. Wu it seems is up to his old tricks and sent one of his new delinquents out to grab her." He paused for a moment as he assembled the next part in his mind, he was an outside observer for the most part.


"They weren't ready for Serena and me fortunately so we managed to hold em off." He added reassuringly as he sat himself down on a free chair.


"Serena is naturally concerned that Wu might be coming after the other former delinquents members for some nefarious purpose or another and asked us to make the rounds."

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Suddenly a starry shape a little like the Big Dipper appeared glowing in mid-air just behind Hologram. There was a sudden eruption of arcane energy - and Fast-Forward arrived in the company of someone only Heather had seen before. "Hey kids," he said. "Hey honey," he said to Paige, "we've got trouble. Be right back."


And then he disappeared again through the starry shape on the wall, then re-emerged with Corona. "Almost got it!" he said before disappearing again. 

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Paige, who had come in along with the others and made herself comfortable next to the breakfast bar, spun at the sudden noise and new minds in the vicinity. She relaxed immediately upon recognizing Richard's unique magical signature. "Hi honey," she greeted him calmly. "Do you need any he- guess not." Looking over to Rachel, she offered their hostess a half-smile. "Sorry for the extra intrusion, but I'm sure there's a good reason for it."


She turned her attention to Rachel and Corona. "What's going on?" 

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Serena stared, wide-eyed, at her surroundings. Somehow, she was now in her best friend's kitchen, next to a whole bunch of people she didn't expect to see for another few hours. Her eyes settled on Richard, whole whole body vibrating.


"YOU CAN TELEPORT?!" she said, dumbfounded.


Then, she looked to Paige, not even waiting for an answer from Richard. "Yeah, uh... Turns out some superkids who might have my old team's DNA are coming after us and they sound suuuuper psycho so..." She paused. "...There were two of them... Okay, I don't wanna alarm anyone, but one of those kids also had my DNA, and she could some like... Flying brick stuff, and Wu said he was gonna make her stronger so if she shows up... Be prepared for that."


She looked at Adrian. "Also, hey everyone, this is my friend Adrian. He's a government meta-assassin."


Adrian frowned. "That's probably the worst way to introduce m-- Oh, hey Rachel."


Rachel nodded at him. "Adrian. You look good."


"You too," he said pleasantly.

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With a distinct shriek of metal music, Fast-Forward and Archer reappeared. Fast-Forward considered explaining that they'd maybe just blown up Adrian's house but decided that could wait till later. "Couple of goons were closing in on us," he said, finding a seat close to Paige and plopping himself down on it. "One speedster, didn't catch the other one. Jeez, what a day. Hey there," he said with a wave at Rachel. 


"So people are closing in on us, huh? That's rough." He scrubbed his hand across his mouth and said, "We got a plan? No matter how fast loudmouth back there is, it's gonna take them a minute to figure out where we are and get back here - especially since she can't do magic." 

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Connor barely had time to react when Cline appeared through the portal, then pulled him back in the middle of the explosion. Honestly, he wasn't sure just how badly he had messed up Kombat's place, but he had at least blocked the path. The whole starry highway that Cline carried him through to booming music was just so... He didn't have words. He had never seen anything like this. Kombat, Corona and Cline might have the experience, might have seen things like this all the time, but to him? He didn't have words. He just barely remembered to hold on to the weapons he'd taken before leaving.


And then, they were out. Back in Freedom, with everyone else already there, including who had to be Rachel. He didn't make any effort to hide his shock at what had just happened, didn't even think to try. Just clutched the things, before regaining his composure. "Right. Yeah." Focus already. These people had done this tons of times. "And worst case, they first gotta clear out rubble to find out we're gone." He allowed himself a cocky smile. "Best case scenario? They first gotta dig themselves free first." He felt no reason to elaborate on that, unless someone asked.


Instead, he felt the two cases he had grabbed up to Corona. The somewhat cocky smile didn't leave his lips as he adressed Corona directly. Blowing the house up? Might have been questionable. Grabbing these weapons before the villains got it? Now that had to earn him some points here. "Hey, boss. Any idea who were those people coming for us were? And what do you want me to do with Kombat's back up plans?" Reverse engineering them could be interesting. Figure out how to make them non-lethal. Or, just smash them. Get rid of the problem.

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So everything just went weird all of a sudden, even by superhero standards, as pretty much everybody started popping in, including Adrian, the one they'd all been previously warned about. Which was cool, Lynn guessed.


"Oh, uh, okay," she said as she scratched her head, a puzzled look on her face. "So we're circling the wagons over here, I guess? Did Belgium get too 'hot'? What should we be prepping for?"


A familiar grey mist swirled around her, and she was in her working suit, claws out and ready to rumble.


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Well things were kicking off it seemed...he'd just sat down too!


Rising without complaint he rolled his shoulders and then his neck a little as he assessed his situation.


"Okay folks, First things first...someone from Belgium,  Tell us what you know, how many, what they can do anything that's relevant." He started as he turned to his own team.


"Next, Anything on psychic radar Miss Cline? I dunno if that's even a thing mind." He added and just as quickly span to address the next load of people in the room.


"Rachel, if you have a secure room or basement get yourself and Adrian there, I doubt they'll stand around to fight if they can just snatch and grab you and they do seem to have a speedster amongst them."


And finally slapping his cheeks a little in readiness he turned to face the last group he'd yet to adress. 


"Those of you who are good at range head upstairs I'd say and keep watch, them of you good at sneaking get yourself into ambush outside...Mr Cline if you'd not mind doing a quick scout of the immediate area I'd appreciate it, not too far out, just enough for you to get back to us in a snap if you see something...if it wouldn't be too much trouble would you mind grabbing my wrecking ball?" He asked with a smlie. 


"The rest of us, front and center, with our rugged good looks and two fisted attitudes let's close ranks and lock horns with anything that comes let the other folks flank and out manuver."




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Serena looked around at everyone. With all of them together, they probably stood a way better chance than they would have split up. But still, she felt a bit uneasy. She had fought what was essentially her own child not that long ago, and now there was a speedster and someone called Rayburst. Were they similarly connected? And Wu mentioned tweaking powers back then too. Just how much stronger would these kids be?


"Okay. We've got a pair of kids called Roadkill and Rayburst, and they sound like they mean business. They called us up in Belgium to let us know they were going to attack us, which... You know, could just be overconfidence but when it comes to Wu, I am really worried about how much damage they could do."


She ran her fingers through her hair. "We got our hands on a chemical that might be able to deal with Heather, too. Apparently, Adrian has been making contingencies. For all the Delinquents," she said, looking sidelong at her old comrade. "It's a chemical that will destroy the part of Heather's brain that makes her psychic. Good chance of brain damage and a chance of death, too. Which means we have to keep it out of their hands, especially since the kids seem to consider Heather their mom and could be... Well, you know."


"I honestly don't want to use it. But we might not have a choice."


She stopped to think, and then her eyes went wide. "Crap! Black Mamba. We need to let him know what is going on, ASAP!"


Edited by Shofet
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Adrian frowned deeply. "This isn't the time for bleeding hearts. It's also not the time for me to run and hide. I've killed my fair share of metas, and if they're coming for me, I can do it again."


Rachel shot Adrian a look. "Absolutely nobody is killing nobody. Hate that word. And besides, Mr. Edgey, you don't have any gear on you and I for one certainly have no intention of arming you so you can go and do your dirty work."


Adrian looked pointedly at Rachel, and knelt down, lifting up his pant leg to reveal a hidden holster strapped around his thigh, freeing a blaster pistol from it. It was pretty heavy duty looking for a holdout weapon, which earned him a concerned look from Serena and an incredibly annoyed look from Rachel.


"Now that gun better have a stun setting, Adrian, or you are leaving my house right now," Rachel said, glaring at him.


Adrian stared back at her, and the two locked eyes in a battle of wills. After a tense silence, Adrian groaned and turned a little dial the pistol, looking incredibly perturbed all the while. "There. Now it's on stun. Happy?" Adrian said, sounding like a contrite teenager.


"Oh I am still quite annoyed, but you did save yourself a tongue-lashing," Rachel said. Then, she turned to the other group. "This might help."


"Garvey, activate security mode!" Rachel called, and suddenly, a bunch of heavy metal shutters slammed over the windows while everything went dark and then turned back on after a moment as the house switched from the local power grid to a generator. Then, then the telltale hum of a forcefield began to sound from the outside.


"That should buy us time," Rachel said confidently.

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Jesus. Richard shared everything he saw with Paige, as fast as their mutual link could carry it, careful not to overwhelm her impressions of the house and everyone around it. When he ran back upstairs in the wake of his sudden jaunt around the newly secured facility, he was carrying the signal jammer in his arms. "Thought you might need that," he commented as he put the device down in front of Rachel. "You gotta lot of stuff here a psychic could misuse." Geez, this is right by the kids' school. They weren't actually that close to Claremont, and technically it was only Holly's school during the day when she was commuting but still. "You got anywhere in the neighborhood where it doesn't matter if it gets blown up?" 

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Paige, who had zoned out for a few moments in a psychic trance, shook herself alert. "Rachel," she said, very calmly, "please open the back door for me. We've got some people outside, but they aren't in a position to see the back door." She walked with Rachel to the door, waiting while the genius gave the command to open it. As soon as it opened, Paige stuffed a book into the opening behind the hinges, effectively blocking it from closing again. "Your computer system has been compromised," she murmured in a quick, low voice. "There's psychic influence all over it, and in every piece of electronics in this house. I don't know how it's possible, maybe its mind is human enough to influence, but I suspect that we really don't want to be at its mercy if Heather is pulling the strings. There are two young villain types outside with a crowd of minions and some of them can fly, but I think our chances are better on open ground than stuck in a trap. We should go." 

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Grim's ears were extremely sensitive, so she heard what Paige said, but she appreciated the need to compartmentalize information in a situation like this; they were literally standing inside the enemy, or at least an extension of her, so the walls actually had ears. 


She had a new trick to try out that could be incredibly useful in this situation, but she couldn't let the house know what she was up to; this would take some finesse to pull off, and even then, there was no way to be sure beforehand. After all, she had no idea what sort of sensors Garvey had access to within these walls.


It's all smoke and mirrors and sleight of hand, kid.


Step 1. Grim abruptly went invisible; oh, those wacky shapeshifters!


Step 2. Take a five foot step to the right.


Step 3. Conjure up a glamoured duplicate (affectionately known as 'Grim2') in the spot she formerly occupied. Hey look, she's back!


Step 4. Try and reach out to Paige to let her know what was up.


-  Hey Paige. If you can hear me, I just made a glamoured clone, but the real me is invisible and nearby. Just so you know what tools you have to work with, amirite? -

Edited by Heritage
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Everyone was going on about their options and plan, and a whole army of people were approaching from the outside. Because of course those two from Belgium couldn't be alone in all of this. Still holding the two cases with Kombat's weapons, Connor made a decision and held them out to Rachel. "You're a pacifist, right? This is your friend's," he motioned towards Adrian with his head, "contigency plans for you and Corona. Probably best to just break them, but not my call." Was it the right decision? He wasn't sure, but he needed both hands free if they were getting into a fight.


He grabbed his bow, adressing everyone again. "Any place I can go to get a clear shot at the bad guys?"

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Merge Trois
Merge had the pleasure of experiencing things from outside and inside, luckily because without context things looked really bad or at least worse than whatever was going on. Talking of she went to ground and spread out with a few other hers to get an idea of the number of people they were up against. Looking relativity normal, if a little eccentric, one of her could be right in the open hanging around in the area.


Hang on I’m seeing what going on outside.” the inside Merge told the others, she could easily pass on useful information.

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