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"Yeah! Go on, git!"

 

Elizabeth's attempt at a southern accent was atrocious, but her enthusiasm was genuine as she shook her staff at the vanished foe. "No mind-controlling Micah! You'll have to find someone else, and good luck with that in, uh." She paused, deflating a bit; her staff dropped to hang loose from one hand, and her doppleganger - mirroring both the expression and pose - dissolved away with atypical fanfare. "....in a whole school full of lovesick students. That's really bad, isn't it."

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"Oh my God!" said Judy, sounding appalled - and grabbing automatically onto Micah's hand. "Is she really gone? We need to-

 

"Get you to safety," said Watchdog, pulling Judy away from Micah (albeit gently) and leading her away from the garden. "We're going off-campus," she told the others, "I'll hit the panic button once we're in the car. The two of you are welcome to come with us," she offered, "but you're probably better off here..." 

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As Alice disappeared into light, Micah's face morphed into a snarl. In a whirl of wind and light he was outside the greenhouse, and his head whipped back and forth in a frenzy even as the sky continued to churn. A rumble of thunder rolled across the ears of everyone on campus. But then, he fell to his knees, his glowing eyes clenched shut. A single fist slammed the dirt, and a thin bolt of lightning cracked down from the sky.

 

"SHE USED ME!"

 

The other fist hit the ground, and another bolt fell.

"SHE USED ME!"

 

His fingers clawed dirt as he wept tears that evaporated before they could fall, such was the energy leaking from his eyes. Tears of St. Elmo's Fire began to fall up toward the clouds. His wings of lightning flapped and scraped at the ground.

 

"She used me...."

 

Then his head snapped up and he looked around, his face almost manic. He almost seemed like a hound, intent on something. A web of lightning snaked across the dark clouds above them. 

 

"Where is she? I won't let her use me, use anyone!"

He knew that Elizabeth, Judy, and Ashley were there, his question seemed half-directed at them. But he clearly hadn't quite processed or responded to anything they'd said, not quite yet. 

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"We should...try to find her," said Elizabeth, moving toward a wall - and, not coincidentally, putting a little extra distance between herself and Micah. Her hand was near her mask. "You know, before she hurts anyone else? You should probably...take a minute...to deal. You've been through a lot, and right now you're kind of terrifying."

 

She flashed a tight, apologetic smile and disappeared, teleporting off to who-knows-where in search of who-knows-who before they did who-knows-what who-knows-why.

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GM

 

Leroy, Abby and Felix had been stuck inside the library for a while now. A joint assignment from a teacher. Something that had been taking forever, with their noses buried in the books. Research into the founding of Freedom City, long ago, they needed to have a report ready by tomorrow. The teacher expected minute details, cross references, the works. 


Of course, that meant they had completely missed the storm that Micah was conjuring outside.

 

They had been alone in the library. After all, it was a nice day, and it was Valentine's, so everyone was busy, but now someone entered, slowly walking up behind Felix.

 

She was short, with short dark hair. She looked Asian, maybe Japanese. She slowly walked up to them, stopping in front of Felix, with a little smile on her face. It was like she reminded him of someone, even if he couldn't quite place it. There was just something about the way she looked. Try as he might, he couldn't quite tear his eyes away from her. The assignment didn't really seem to matter all that much anymore.

 

She reached up and brushed a few stray hairs away from her face. "Hi, I'm Alice, I'm new here. Any chance you wanna show me around?"

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Outside, Micah shook as he knelt in the grass. He could feel the energy inside of him lashing, attempting to get out. He knew that if he didn't do something now, he might seriously damage the campus. So he turned to Elizabeth even as she began to fade from view.

 

"I'll be back. If you find her, call for me."

 

Then he turned his gaze skyward, and he was gone. Within moments, the storm-clad teen was high in the sky, and in under a minute he was well above any commercial airliners or even military craft in the area. For just a moment, he slowed down and cast his gaze around himself, ensuring it was clear skies.

 

Then he pushed himself even harder, quickly reaching his maximum speed and becoming a crackling green blur. A Mach cone formed in front of his outstretched hands, and then broke, as an enormous explosion of sound, light, and storm-bred fury lashed out at empty air all around him. To those on the ground of Freedom City, it would sound like a distant roll of thunder, promising potential rain later on.

 

Above the Claremont campus itself, the air was clearing up, only dark wisps of cloud suggesting things had nearly gotten very, very bad...

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Legatus

 

Felix looked up as he heard the footsteps arriving. Valentine's Day had been news to him, more or less - Dr. Syagrius had not been especially interested in filling in his... subjects' educations with such superfluous information as minor holidays. As he did so, his breath caught in his throat and a name slipped from his lips. "XX?" But no, this girl was different, while being eerily similar. Shaking himself from the dark imaginings of what his sister's ultimate fate was, he stepped back. "Uh..." A niggling sense of responsibility compelled him to feebly point something out. "I was working with a couple people... for an assignment..." He paused, flushing.

 

"Sorry. I'm XVIII- I mean, Felix. Nice to meet you." He stumbled over his words, before shaking his head, trying to clear it.

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"How wonderful to see you, Alice! Your face is marvelous!" Leroy beamed, though he hadn't even looked up from the book, his eyes watering as he torturously decoded one of the passages. 

 

The crackle and booming outside had gone largely unnoticed, especially by the elegant boy in silver and green, his robe bouncing with maritime monsters rising from the deep amid wild, psychedelic bends and swirls. His long, previously well-tended head of curls had come into frazzled humps from poring over the inscrutable squabbles and trials that had gone into populating a spit of land a few miles long and fewer wide.

 

"Felix, if our mutual friend Alice requires escort, would you be kind enough to do so? I have these dates and events sorted out, and now I merely need to put them in chronological order and properly affix the cause of one to the effect of the next." Rubbing his aching neck, Leroy stretched and arched backwards over his chair, grimacing at the pop and tug of muscles and bones too-long hunched over.

 

"But please, please do not tarry. We need you more than ever, I cannot keep a one of these names straight, they hop and jumble about worse than frogs!"

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GM

 

"Hello, nice to meet you," Alice responded to Leroy, but her eyes quickly returned to Felix. She slowly reached out, gently taking hold around Felix's biceps. "Yes, that sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea. It might be a good idea to get your head out of the books for a moment, right? Get some air and clear your head with me a moment?"

 

Her voice was sweet, like music to Felix's ears. There was still some kind of recognition there. She reminded him of someone, but the question was who.

 

Alice tucked gently on Felix's arm. "C'mon, I'm sure a big strong guy like you can show a girl around? Already been to that garden in the house, so maybe somewhere else?"

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