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August 20, 2019

A barrier island off the coast of Freedom City

6:00 AM

 

This was it, the fateful hour. The morning fog rolled over the barrier island, the waves calm. Rising up from the island’s rocky surface was the vessel that would take the fateful group up to the Moon: The Peregrine. Standing tall as a building, it looked like a rocket ship out of Buck Rogers, tall and thin and cast in chrome. An extendable stairway lead into its interior, inviting the people on the surface to step inside. In front, a crowd of heroes had gathered, dressed in space-suits.

 

Rachel stood out front of the Peregrine, dressed in a labcoat and holding a datapad that she was going over intently. She paced, occasionally looking at the heroes, then at the rocketship. She sighed sharply through her nose, then nodded to herself. Stowing the datapad, she clapped her hands together.

 

“Alright! So, I’ve quintuple checked everything, and it looks like we’re cleared to go. Just some things to cover. Flight up to orbit is going to take 3 hours, then making it to the Moon will take another hour You won’t have to do anything for the first bit, I’ve installed a guidance system. One reinforced against psychic interference, this time. However, our pilot,” she said, looking over to Black Mamba, “will have to guide it down to the surface. I’ve deliberately made the controls easy and familiar, so you shouldn’t have any problems. If you’re attacked, I’ve installed Photon Cannons. However, I would be careful, if you fire them in our atmosphere you could cause a fireball. The firing mechanism is very clearly labeled.”

 

She gestured at their space-suits, red ones that were similarly retro. “Your space-suits are state-of-the-art and tailored to what I know about your powers so you can use them. For example, Fast-Forward’s suit has been implanted with a reactive graviton array that will allow him to use his speed powers as though he was in normal gravity. Similarly, I’ve developed a field generator that should allow Archer to use his bow and arrows effectively. The same goes for the rest of you. I’ve tried to account for everything. More than that, your suits have a nano-array that should allow them to quickly seal if you’re hit, so no worries about suffocation. There are limits, though. Take too much damage and the nano-array won’t have enough material to repair. Life support is good for 72 hours, so if for some reason you get blown away into space, we have time to retrieve you,” she said.

 

“I will not be joining you up there, sadly. But I have an FTL-communication device set up that should mean I will be able to communicate with you instantaneously with you wherever you are, as long as you don’t all decide to like… visit Mars or something. Please don’t do that.”

 

She paused, and then tilted her head. “Alright. Any questions?”

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Oh God this is gonna suuuuck thought Richard. What he said was "Thanks, looks like a great ship!" It wasn't that he was ungrateful but being cooped up made him stir-crazy, especially if he was in a moving vehicle that was going so much slower than his own running speed. He zipped around helping make sure the ship was packed and everyone's supplies were geared up, and meanwhile he thought to his wife. 

 

Everybody's still secure. He'd zipped over back home during the briefing just to make sure; figuring correctly that she'd keep sending him all the pertinent information. He didn't need to tell her that if things came down to it up on the Moon, he'd back her play versus the one who'd threatened their kids, and f*ck whatever the others thought about it - she already knew that. 

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The Moon. He was actually gonna go to the freakin' Moon. 

 

Connor zoned out a bit, just staring at the spaceship as Rachel explained. He caught the gist of it, at least. Some kinda thing that'd let him use his bow and arrow up there, despite the lesser gravity. Suits should be able to take a hit. Good enough for him. He'd insisted on stowing an extra bow and extra arrows in the supplies. Something to fall back on, if he ended up losing his current gear. He shook his head and slowly stepped closer to the spaceship, holding his bow in one hand, before he turned back to the others, a genuine grin spread over his lips.

 

"C'mon, I can't be the only one here that's excited about going to the Moon," he asked. Stuff like that might be normal, every day events to everyone else, but not to him. Going into space, shooting arrows at bad guys on the Moon. Yeah, not really what he had expected when he signed up to help Corona, but he wasn't complaining.

Edited by RocketLord

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Where the f### did Serena get a moon rocket? Did she have one lying around, or did Rachel throw it together in three days? And of those options, which one was the more frightening?

 

"Yeah, the Moon's pretty cool," Grimalkin stated matter-of-factly as she tugged at the collar of her pressure suit; she wasn't used to wearing clothing she hadn't made herself, and it felt disturbingly like being wrapped in dead skin. "Hey, quick show of hands if you've ever done any sort of space travel before," the changeling asked as she held up her gloved hand and looked around. "I mean, I make no claims of expertise, but I do have some experience. No judgement or anything, just wondering what our baseline is here."

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Facsimile examined the material of his suit, running the thick coarse fingers of the hand not currently grasping kaboola's chain along the stitching.

 

He'd had bad experiences with nanotechnology and programmable matter before, not something he wanted to mimic lest he himself become reprogrammable.

 

"Been to space twice." He spoke up as he rolled his shoulders around testing the flexibility of the suit a little bit more.

 

"Accidentally shot myself through that wormhole near the lighthouse one time when I turned into light." He elaborated as he rubbed his chin.

 

"Then went to go fight dark star with some friends after his goons crashed a science thing we were helping with, good times." He smiled broadly.

 

"Never the moon though to be fair, maybe I should grab a rock whilst I'm there incase I run into lycanthropes again." He half joked. As he hefted kaboola from the ground and began to coil the chain around his arm.

 

 "Changes In gravity are rough, worth taking time to get yourself acclimated to it before trying anything fancy." He offered by way of advice.

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Paige double-checked her gear with cool efficiency, not exactly a fan of the red color but able to appreciate the engineering under the fire-engine aesthetic. "We've been to space a few times, but not particularly recently. Richard's not a huge fan." I've got Drammamine for you and I've downloaded the entire run of I Love the Eighties to play at 3x speed, she sent Richard. You'll be fine. 

 

"I assume our ship is outfitted with some sort of technology that will give us a shot at landing undetected?" Paige asked Rachel. "Otherwise we may not make it as far as the moon."

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Black Mamba had taken the suit and came back with it a few minutes later, the helmet tinted and the suit filled with someone with certainly more feminine curves than he and his battlesuit could brag of,"This is our pilot, she will be making sure we get in safe and sound."

 

Akhona, rolling her eyes behind her tinted window sighed,"If it doesn't I'm fairly sure we can rig a stealth field if need be."

 

Black Mamba started checking both their gear, ready to get them out of here and take care of this threat to their family.

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GM

 

Rachel nodded at Hologram. "She runs cold so no one will be picking up any heat signatures, and I've taken what I know about Heather's powers and integrated defences into the hull so she won't be picking up your minds, which means the two most obvious modes of detection aren't going to happen. The Peregrine can't turn invisible, but it'd be pretty hard to see you flying anyway unless they knew where to look in the first place. She's sturdy, too, so if they see you, you should be able to land unless they are packing some serious artillery," she said, patting the ship on the side.

 

Looking over at Akhona, Rachel held out her hand in greeting. "As for you, some important details. She has a landing computer to help guide you down, which should be helpful given the condition of the moon's surface. There's an emergency separator on the ship, if the engine gets hit and looks like it will blow, you can pull a lever and separate her and the front portion of the ship. There'll be enough fuel and a small engine in front, enough for an emergency atmospheric re-entry. Oh, and if you need to take off really quickly, there is a by-pass for the start-up procedures but you should only use that if you really need to skedaddle since it's really hard on the engine. Clearly labelled on the dashboard. There's also a digital manual in the computer and dead tree manual under your seat."

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Corona

 

Serena felt sick. Her stomach had been doing loop-de-loops since she woke up that morning, and she didn't expect it to stop any time soon. She had only ever been outside of the United States once in her life, and now she was about to leave the atmosphere of the only planet she had ever known. She felt as though she should be more eager than she was, but the sheer number of things that could go wrong in space kept weighing on her mind. 

 

Of course, there was another reason for her nervousness too. She was going to see Heather and Wu for the first time in decades and do battle with them. She had hoped, when this had started, that somehow she could redeem Heather, but the woman had threatened two families. She didn't know if there was any walking back from that. Her eyes drifted over Richard and Paige, then Black Mamba and his wife. She wondered what they were planning. Despite it all, she hoped it wasn't anything lethal, but she didn't believe she had any right to stop them if it was. After all, what would she do if Heather had threatened Mia?

 

At least Archer was excited. She sighed, craning her neck backwards, then looked over at the group.

 

"Uh, if I can just... Look. Thank you, all of you. You came to help me when you didn't need to and I don't think I could do this without you. And to Fast-Forward, Hologram, Black Mamba and Akhona... I am sorry. If I had known she was going to threaten your families, I would have never gotten you involved. She might have been my friend once, but it's clear she's become someone very different and I am not going to let old feelings get in the way of you protecting your kids. I am hoping it doesn't come to that. But I understand. As for the rest... This is going to be really dangerous. Heather's a real powerful psychic and Wu is one of the smartest human beings on the planet. I don't know what we're going to find out there, but if any of you want to back out, I understand."

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Merge Trois

Merge was fashionably late as should be expected for one such as her, and already it seemed that there were two of them the second with her helmet down and ready already. In fact it was Nicki something the two of them had thought about for a bit as even with the increase in her telepathic power the moon was definitely a little to far for the two of them to coordinate. It meant a rare day off from the Bookshops, but it was worth the sacrifice and besides she had plenty of holidays tucked away.

 

Sorry I’m a little late, it hell to get a spacesuit at this time of year!”

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Connor's excitement died out a bit when Corona held her speech. He crossed his arms, looking around at the rest of the crew. Alright, most of them sounded like they had been to space before, so of course he was the odd man out again. Alright, fine. He was starting to get used to being the newbie here, so fine, he could deal with that.

 

He had his own plans for dealing with Heather. He kind of doubted it would work, but the old man had given him some old arrows that he'd once used to take on some psychics. Might work, might not. Otherwise, he had other things, or he could at least run interference for the others.

 

Connor remained silent. It would be a matter of time, now, then they were off.

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"Just living in freedom city Is dangerous, Corona." Facsimile chimed up as he tossed the heavy head of his meteor hammer in his hand like a soft ball.

 

"As one of southsides's few resident heroes I refuse to be daunted by crooks no matter how grandiose their pettiness is...Wu's a scummy thug, he's just been too successful for too long, time to see him sent to blackstone."

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"Let's do this," said Richard, not wanting to dwell on how he'd been going into space since he was ten (mostly for his ma's work) and it had never been his favorite place. "We've done this dance before, and we've taken  down what's her name too." He shrugged. "We'll play it your way when we're up there," he said, finishing his move behind Paige, though he seemed to direct his words to their guides. 

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