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Horrorshow

 

Davyd had gotten most of his extra sensory organs under control, and focused on the squad's host.  "Well, that sounds like all the more reason to do it now, and get it over with!"  He glanced over at the black tower, "besides, that's the very center of this world, yeah?  Seems like she wants the attention."

 

He then looked to Gideon and Spethia, and extended a hand to both.  "Hi, I'm Davyd!  Leroy calls me a Face Dancer, but," he shifted to be Gideon's twin, "personally, I think that's a bit limited.  I mean," he shifted again, now mimicking Spethia, "it's not just my face, it's my whole body, y'know?  And I don't just do mimicry."  He shifted again, growing larger and scalier, and now looking like a humanoid version of Dio, "I can mix and match, too!"

 

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Soliton

 

Mia's eyes went as wide as they ever had at the mention of meeting Leroy's mom. The amount of reasons even thinking about it was a bad idea was so vast that a list could wrap around the Earth multiple times. But how could she express that politely? She knew Leroy still loved his mom, for all her faults. All eight hundred and eighty-eight trillion of them. But also. This was a terrible idea. So bad.

 

"How about we don't?" Mia finally said.

 

"There's the chance she insults us, sure. But also consider our power set. I can literally make anything from thin air, including anti-matter, not to mention I can teleport anywhere on a planet, or on the continent if I am taking people with me. Davyd is the most perfect infiltrator that could ever exist. Lulu is a gob-smackingly powerful psychic who could, say, rewrite someone's memories. Eira's a super-genius who can also destroy a car with one finger. If I were a dictator looking to unite the multiverse, I wouldn't insult those people, I would forcibly recruit them, or, god forbid, kill them so they aren't a threat to me later. Do you see where I am going with this? Maybe, for once, we don't throw caution to the wind just because something is exciting and instead, we do the sane and sensible thing and avoid that possibility."

 

She gestured wildly. "Sure, we may not be like, powerful in the sense of hitting hard like the Centurion could, but we're useful. And you never wanna be useful to a super-queen."

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The reaction to Davyd's shapeshifting was markedly different than in Freedom City. Spethia and Gideon and the passers-by hadn't been alarmed, but they hadn't looked overly pleased, either. In fact, from the uncomfortable smiles and uncertain body language, it was almost like he had committed a fuax pas. They were lavish with praise, however, and before the party left them they'd agreed he made a much better looking version of either of them than the real deals.

 

When Mia began, Leroy had looked like only his leaning against a shattered arch was preventing his taking flight. When she had done, it looked like the only thing keeping him from sinking into the ground.

 

"Mustafic-Markov, I would not dispute your decisions, yet..." he coughed awkwardly, looking at Dio like he would find answers there, "...your concerns are, I feel, potentially misplaced?"

 

"We don't rate," the dragon said bluntly, his swishing tail carving hemispheres into the sand, "none of us know anything, have anything or can do anything she doesn't have better already. It's why we're sped up, why the guards haven't gotten involved, why we can go anywhere we want. Far as the leadership is concerned, they can just ignore us."

 

"Dio is unkind!" Leroy protested, waving his arms as if to ward off an attack "Obviously, you, Beaumont and Night are fearsome and powerful, yet my mother would never force anyone to do anything!"

 

Coughing as he recollected himself, the boy added, more quietly, "Though I have cause to dread her, none of you do. To set your hearts at ease and assure you of your safety, I will assist in your seeing Amatuken."

 

"Unless, of course, our leader disagrees?" the Dragon Prince of their present dimension bowed to Mia.

Edited by Ari

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Eira took off her glasses, stared at Leroy and the others - and suddenly burst out laughing. "Ha-ha-ha! What a group we are!" She made a little gesture and suddenly her skin seemed to fall away in a shifting pattern of transparency, transforming her into a silver-chrome version of herself that gleamed in the light of the beach like a mirrored statue. She reached up and undid her dress, letting it fall away to the sand and revealing she really was all robot in this form, minus a skirt of extended metal around her waist. "I am going in the sky." She arched her back as metallic wings emerged from slits in her back, blue-white electricity crackling on them as they unfolded. "Call me when we make a decision." The air around her rippled visibly as she bonded to the magnetic field of the planet - and then with a downward stroke of her wings, she took to the sky - Angelic. 

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GM

cw: the languages again

The ground shrank rapidly, the Littlesea, the Cyclopean ruins and all the rolling grasslands falling away into a bright dot on the inside of a titanic spaceship. The city that seemed so high above it shrank too, a sudden cacophony of music, smells of cooking, burning fuel and what must have been a nightmare of pets. Soon that was a glimmering sea of light, and the white city that seemed so vast before was shrunk out of sight. 

 

The atmosphere was nice. Plenty of clouds, gravity-oriented towards the relative 'down' of the glass shell holding all this artificial yolk. And in the distance, over a continent-sized ocean, a storm rumbled and spat its fury.

 

Right at the centre, as might be expected, they'd placed a tame Sun. It gave off light and heat, a brilliant and warm golden glow. Stable and silent even to Eira's superhuman sensory spectrum. Entirely unlike the real sea of detonating cosmic self-destruction that had made life possible on Earth for so many billions of years.

 

This high up, the world had a distinctly blue haze, and so long as you didn't look at any of the major landmarks you could easily imagine you really were high up in Earth's sky. The keening wind pulling at you with its insistent, soft fingers, the formations and ranks of gaseous water drifting in their lofty splendour... 

 

//Hey Eira!

The voice_\  ################

//I'm Oré, love your look! 

Effer_\ ##############

//It can get pretty boring around here, huh? 

//But I have an idea!

//I'm testing out some new designs.

//Find and defeat them, and I show you where the real action is!

//Don't want you stuck with my baby brother and thinking it's all bleached shit!

The voice was light and effervescent, soft and cool as the wind off mountains, crisp as sea air. As if from the blue itself, a glossy chrome sphere big as a bear bobbed into being, turned one glowing green eye Eira's way.

//Here's one now. No rush, obviously! If this isn't something you can handle, by all means pass it up.

//Lots of other people around here!

//Bye now!

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Angelic studied the sphere for a moment - robot reflected in the sphere, sphere reflected in the robot, in a cycle that seemed to go on forever. Then she brought her wing across the sphere in a slash, the electricity on the edge cutting the sphere along the outside like she was gutting a large fish. As it flickered and died, she hovered in place, wings curled like a falcon's, looking like she was waiting for the next one. 

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The gashed-open shell spilled out crystalline innards, electricity jolting and sizzling across now-opened circuits as it tumbled down.

 

It stopped mid-tumble, red-hot chrome and pale crystal flickering with a minty-green light, lightning stopping mid-strike. There was a flash, and it was whole. Whole, but different. Its once-smooth shell was now studded with projectors, a crude force-field shimmering around the roving eye. 

 

Casting a baleful, silent look at Angelik, the robot turned and fled, a wake of rippling magnetism following it.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"Yep, she's pretty thoroughly gone" Dio remarked, glancing up as their synthetic squadmate launched skyward, "we should probably just go into town, get some drinks and snacks in. I know a great salt place!"

 

Leroy poked his dragon in the belly "I no longer eat, Dio. Insensitive." 

 

"Never said the salt was for you."

Edited by Ari

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Horrorshow

 

"Wait, hold on," Davyd had shifted back to his human form & returned to his squadmates (seeking comfort in the familiar after realizing his faux pas), "I know you don't have to eat, kinda like me --- what was it you'd said?  'Phoros gives me all the sustenance you need'?," he said in a perfect imitation of Leroy's voice, "but are you saying you're incapable of eating?  I know you don't have to breathe, either, but you can breathe, yeah?  I mean, that's how you're talking to us now, isn't it?  Taking air into your lungs, blowing it out past your vocal cords and whatnot, yeah?"

 

He glanced up to see where Eira had gone, but quickly lost sight of her, even with telescopic falcon eyes.  "Um, should we go after her?  It's probably not good to have her going off alone around here, yeah?"

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Up in the sky, after another robot was split in half, Angelic paused, floating in midair along the magnetic field of this world. After a moment, Crystal-Gazer's cellphone beeped with a text from Eira. 

 

HAVE BEEN CONTACTED FOR AERIAL HUNT. ROOM FOR MORE. 

 

A hard smile crossed Eira's chrome lips as she took the third robot by piercing it through with her wings, then kicking it away with one quicksilver-fast foot. NOT BAD.

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"Good Davyd, I have not the faintest idea how this works. I can swallow food, yes, but that merely drops it into a gravitational anomaly. The best I can tell you is that this junior star has consumed and replaced some of my internal functions, and will do so until maturity forces it from my body. Sometimes it is unpleasant, though hardly unbearable!"

 

Turning blithely from that subject, Leroy followed the face dancer's gaze up into the clouds. "Oh, no harm can come to her, not unless she wants very much to be hurt. Mother had the Blood Eagle do away with accidents ages ago! Well," he paused, stroking his chin, "in Sky habitats such as New Atlantis. If she somehow got beyond the sphere of influence, then we needs must worry. Be at rest, Squadmates, none here wish you any harm or ill."

 

--------------

 

Again the chrome, glistening mass scattered into the void, and again it flared with a corona of green haze and snapped back whole. Casting an appraising look at Angelik with its one viridian eye, the thing rattled, the colour contracted, and it burst into dozens of whinging, whirling, shimmering spheres!

 

Each hazy ball rocketed in a different direction, one flying past Eira's shoulder only to audibly pancake itself against the miniature Sun. Most of them hurtled through the sky in the general direction of what looked like New Atlantis downtown, a forbidding mass of spires, titanic sculpure and air thick with bodies in flight.

Edited by Ari

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Lulu returned to the group from her floating experiment, but seemed to be distracted, and only tangentially listening. This was because she'd sent her senses out to explore a bit, and then quickly became overwhelmed by the distance-distorting aspects of Leroy's home. Her projected sensorium, having no mass, was unaffected, but things were never where she thought they'd be. After a minute or two of frustration bordering on nausea, she gave up and returned to the various topics at hand.

 

"Look, ah'll be honest, while ah do have some serious reservations about meetin' your momma, Leroy, no offense, ah'll be damned if Judy meets her before ah do." She looked to Mia and shrugged. "She's mah friend, and ah look out for mah friends. That's it; it's as simple as that."

 

Then her phone played Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man's, and she snorted as she pulled it out of her cargo pocket. "Huh, a text from Eira...she's invitin' us to some sort of 'aerial combat party', if we're so inclined." She looked at the others. "Well that's just plain nuts."

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"Hold...hm..." Scuffing the sand with his foot, Leroy looked between the others. "We...Mustafic-Markov, I have a suggestion: what if both you and Beaumont accompanied Night on her hunt? It would behoove each other to engage with our interests, and strengthen our bonds beyond mere like or dislike. If something does happen, the most competent members of the team will be in a bloc, rather than scattered."

 

The slender boy patted his dragon on the flank. "Dio, Davyd and I would spend some time in the plaza before the Nightspire. We could meet there!"

 

"Just so long as we're moving," Dio yawned, "burning daylight here, folks."

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Soliton

 

Mia frowned as the mention of a text came up. Of course Eira was already off to do aerial fighting. Why wouldn't she be? Everything was bananas now. She sighed, looking over to Leroy, suddenly seeming very tired. This was probably fine. Everyone here was competent and sturdy. This was probably fine. This was fine. It's fine.

 

"I can't really fly," Mia said. "But I can teleport and do this sort of thing with my momentum so... Yeah, sure, I will follow. You guys just text me if there's a problem and I will be there in six seconds, tops. Okay? Just... Yeah. We're good? We're good."

 

Mia looked over at Lulu. "Let's go make sure Eira doesn't start Armageddon or just get hit with an EMP and turned into a lawn ornament or get hurt no one joined her," Mia said, considering the aftermath of all three possibilities listed to be equal in severity.

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In the sky above, Eira flew through a glowing metal eye and kicked its mechanical heart through the face of another. She was covered in some sort of mechanical oil, drip drip drip in a dark blue that clung to her face and eyes. Holding aloft a part of the one she'd bisected earlier, she shouted "Är det din kung?!" in a booming mechanical voice that had dropped into a deep reverb. 

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"Alright, well, ah might as well continue mah experiments," the redheaded telepath said with a shrug. She floated a good twenty feet up into the air, arms out her sides, then called down to Mia. "Hey, you want a lift part way? Ah could be like your booster rocket. Or heck, ah'd be happy to carry you, if that doesn't clip your wings."

 

She'd been floating around a lot lately, but it hadn't really been flying yet; this would be her first major test!

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Unlike before, the myriad milling spheres didn't reform, dissipating instead into a green haze...and an almost gory aftermath of shattered metal and splattered grease.

 

"Forlat, forlat," they chanted, synthesized voices smoothing effortlessly over the actual pronunciation, "Snalla, forlat."

 

There also wasn't another explosion after the first burst in numbers. Slowly but steadily, their fleeing was becoming futile. Eira could feel the changes, adjustments in velocity(the magnetic pulses were really getting quiet heady now), in durability, in shape and size and even picking up her language in surprisingly short order...but there didn't seem any real way to bridge the gap between a mindless drone and a sapient super-robot driven by a mind like Angelik's.

 

People on the backs of mythical creatures, on inventions of super-science, or under their own power began to fill the sky. Most of them just dodged out of the way as she came swooping in, laughing and applauding her efforts, cheering her on in the destruction of the drones. Some took pictures, but to most she apparently was just part of, if welcome to, the world they lived in.

 

This close to the maze of spires, Cyclopean hero-monuments and overlapping parks, the drones seemed to be really leaning into the speed. Evidently, they saw it as cover, and not what it really was.

 

The end of the line.

 

-------------------------------

 

"Have fun, you two!" Leroy leapt with more energy than grace up onto his dragon's back, clambering up the neck to sit behind the head.

 

"Let us be off! Hop on if you like, good Davyd, or change to a more avian face. We are going shopping! For goodness!"

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Once she'd destroyed enough of the drones that they didn't seem to be a problem anymore, Angelic sat on the head of one of the largest statues thereabouts like an overgrown metal pigeon and began looking around. An observer would have seen her methodically looking over the statue where she sat, the nearby statues, and then the broad avenues beneath, peering with an intense, unfocused gaze as if she was measuring every square inch of the scenery. Once she was done, she reached into a compartment inside herself and removed a metal thermos - which she cracked open, stuck a straw in, and held the straw to her mouth as she looked around with wide, white blank eyes.

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Horrorshow

 

"Hrm, plaza means people-watching," he clapped his hands sharply.  "I'm in!"

 

Hey, Lulu -- stay alert, yeah?  I've got a feeling there's some stuff about this place that Leroy isn't cluing us in on, though whether it's to put up a nice face or because he himself doesn't know, I can't decide.

 

He glanced at Dio, back to Spethia & Gideon, then back to Dio.  "Ah, sure, I think a ride'll be nice.  Why fly when you can be flown, yeah?"  And maybe I don't want them knowing just how much of a shapeshifter I am.  He hopped onto Dio's back -- with a bit more grace than Leroy but considerably less force -- and settled down behind the prince.  "Onward!"

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