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Meanwhile at the stately Summers Manor...


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That was Callie Summers, the second Raven! Charlie had met her before, but he was still a bit awestuck whenever he met her. She was one of his heroes, but unlike with Alek, he hadn't quite gotten used to being around her. 

 

Not that it stopped him from talking, when she asked the question.

 

"So, you knew she was there? Why didn't you tell us?" And why hadn't they heard about a Raven running around in New York in the first place? Seemed like kind of a big deal. "You've been here for a few months, so why show up here now? There's gotta be some kind of reason for that, right?" 

 

He paused, looking over at Alek at the request. Time travellers. He was going to look for time travellers. "Already?" He was a bit disappointed, to be honest. "I kinda wanna get to know teen Callie a bit first?" He still moved over to pick up a smart pad connected to the Rookery's computer, looking through the files. Doctor Tomorrow was an option. Some kid at Claremont... not a whole lot available, really.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Madame Raven

Callie, the younger one (though personally she thought of the older one as Calliope), raised her hand looking slightly guilty.

 

That was my fault really I laid really low for quite some time trying to figure out what was going on. But then I found the suit and I couldn’t resist just going out and doing the whole hero thing. And I figured I stream the whole thing, and then she found out and everything kicked off.” she rattled everything off almost without taking a breath.

 

So once the cat was out of the bag I thought I’d check out the old place, guess I should have called ahead really!”

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Alek muttered in his birth-tongue as he rubbed his temples. This was not how he'd pictured his day going when he woke up. 

 

"Charlie, every moment we have the younger version of the Headmistress here is not only a greater amount of up-time knowledge pollution for her younger self, it's a risk of her getting injured in a way that completely shifts the timeline. Even if this is all one giant closed time loop, and we weren't told before because Dr. Tomorrow told the Headmistress it would turn Earth Prime into a bleeding wound in space-time, I'm going to need a really, really, really good reason to not work to correct the massive risk in front of me."

 

He shifted his gaze from the elder Miss Summers to the younger.

 

"Look, Callie, I'm not really upset with you. You are, after all, a teenager, and it sounds like you're just doing the best you can with the situation. I'm trying to get you home because I'm worried about you individually and the timeline as a whole. This is not a normal situation here-" yet "-and I'm trying to correct it as best as I can."

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"Hey, why do she get a pass for being a teenager but I don't?" Charlie's tone was playful, Alek should know him well enough to know that he wasn't being serious at all, but still, why did the time traveller get a pass but he didn't? Ah well, nothing he needed to spend too much time thinking about.

 

"But I'm still curious." He turned from Alek to Young Callie. "You're brand new here, and the first thing you latch on to is streaming? Just what year are you from?" It just felt off to him, for some reason. Culture shock, if Young Callie was from the 80'es, and she latches on to streaming her super heroics? Weird. Not that he was complaining, he'd have to look it up later, but it was just a weird leap to him somehow.

 

"Doctor Tomorrow's probably the best bet, if we can reach them. Fast-Forward's time travelled before, but that sounds more like accidents. Protectron's from the future, right? I think he's moved to Emerald City. Maybe there's some magic types that can help?" He looked to Alek. Time travelling really wasn't as common as you'd think, given Alek's earlier request.

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GM Post

Calliope Summers

 

Calliope looked at Ashley with the patient look of a teacher used to dealing with many different types of students.

 

I only found out a couple of days ago, I was planning to tell you but my younger self seemed to be a little impatient to visit old haunts.” she looked a little wistful for a few moments at her younger self Its pleasant really seeing a younger me unburdened by what happened just a few days later.”

 

The moment passed and the grand chess-master was back as, seeing her younger self was distracted, leaned in to talk to the older heroes.

 

Someone is trying to disrupt my timeline and I do not like it one bit. For now I think it best to keep her here whilst we try and find out who is trying to do such a things. Worse of the worse we can use a telepath to suppress the memories until the timeline is reset properly, I can just about survive having two set of memories of teenage years!”

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Madame Raven

Callie smiled at Charlie either unconcerned or unbothered by the arguments that she was causing with the adults.

 

Its just a knack I guess! Helps that one of use has been through all this before.” she glanced at her older duplicate.

 

And if you need to discover anything about the modern world you go to the internet, once I figured out how it worked it was just quicker and easier to find out how things had changed. The I found social media and that was it…”

 

She must have been half listening to the other conversation as she added.

 

It was a woman that bought me forward in time, she didn’t bother to give me a name.”

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"Mm." Ashley supposed she might have overreacted - though if the old woman was losing her touch that badly...on the other hand, this meant the two of them weren't working hand-in-glove. There were possibilities there. "You can describe her?" She didn't press, knowing a teen would react to things differently than the adult Summers. If it wasn't Tomorrow, she wondered if it was one of the Tick-Tock Doc's groupies - though honestly she didn't know very much about the time-traveling hippie. (Someone more prominent like the Clock Queen, she probably would remember.) Geez, how do I know so much about time-traveling crooks, anyway? She'd learned about it from watching Callie Summers, of course. 

 

"We can probably get something arranged, if we can figure out how she got here." 

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Alek rubbed his temples and all but clenched his eyes shut. Ashley could feel the headache he had coming on from where she stood. 

 

"So at this point, the idea is we keep her here until we determine who was muddling with time. Primary concern being they'll do it again except worse, and drop her over the ocean or in the middle of Siberia or something. Okay. We need to establish a break-point, though. Otherwise we risk her either having to disappear for years from her own timeline, or us having to de-age her, or something, because if she leaves as a sixteen-year-old and comes back twenty-six, that's bad."

 

He sighed.

 

"And to be frank, both of you seem to want to follow that plan, and I'm reluctant to force the issue. I don't think this is a great idea but I don't have a better one, not with a rogue time-traveler out there. But at this point, we should probably discuss some ground rules. I would argue this should include her going to Claremont, if precautions are taken."

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"Yeah, alright."

 

The adults were talking, then. Older Callie thought it was some time travel attack and wanted to keep Young Callie around, at least for now. Cool, cool. Made sense. 

 

"Wait, you're just casually suggesting mind wiping or de-aging your past self? Really?" 

 

Charlie shook his head, then put the tablet down. This was a bit extreme, but it wasn't exactly a normal situation, was it? 

 

Moving closer to Young Callie, he crossed his arms. The grown ups were talking, anyway. "You're handling it all pretty well, how much do you already know about what happens to you between when you left and now?" 

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  • 1 month later...

GM Post

Calliope Summers

 

Calliope watched her younger self innocently chatting away before dropping her voice slightly to talk with the adults in the room.

 

From those I spoke with the timeline so far seems stable, and we can’t count out that she’s from a nearby parallel Earth…” there was a briefest of pause, the closest to reliving a painful memory

 

The fact that she’s from just before our sixteenth birthday suggests that he might be involved in some way. I want to avoid her finding out for as long as possible, in case she decides to do something really stupid.”

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Madame Raven

Callie shrugged at Charlie, trying to explain how things were so much different not than the year that she’d left.

 

It’s hard to explain but when I left the world appeared to be on the verge of nuclear annihilation, with us and the Soviets poised to wipe everyone out. It just nice to find out that we’re not living in the Planet of the Apes future.” remembered what she’d learned from her studies she added

 

The original ones obviously. It also helps I have a good few months to bring myself up to speed on how things have changed through the decades.”

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"You have to tell her the truth," said Ashley, the anger bled out from her voice by disbelief. "I can't-" She stopped and pinched the bridge of her nose, seeming to calm herself, and said, "For God's sakes, Callie," she said, "maybe you have to shield her now, but you cannot keep the truth from her. Not because it's lying to yourself, not because she's smart enough to go out and play detective on her own, but because she's a smart kid who deserves to know the truth." She made eye contact and whispered sharply, "Hasn't there been enough lying? Callie hadn't said who the he was she was talking about. Ashley assumed nobody needed that spelled out. 

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"Eh, I dunno if things are that great. Maybe the it'd be good with some monkey business." Charlie leaned back against a wall. "The new ones with the rise and all that are pretty good."

 

He looked over to the adults. Ms. Summers, Alek, Ashley... they were speaking in whispered tones, doing their very best to keep him and Callie out of the conversation. The adults were talking. He turned back to Callie, rolling his eyes.

 

"So, New York's Raven, huh? You're gonna watch out now, the Ravens here are big on adult supervision." He motioned with his head towards the older group. 

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Alek stood over with the older Callie and Ashley. His eyes moved between the two women as they spoke. He let them get their initial thoughts out; he clearly took the time to mull over what he would say.

 

"There's little precedent for whose 'authority' is paramount in this situation. I...she's you, ma'am."

 

Clearly Alek still held more respect and deference to Miss Summers than Ashley. Which made sense to all involved, all things considered.

 

"It doesn't seem right to lie to yourself. Especially about...about this. You know my stance on speaking the truth about someone's family, even if it's a hard truth. I...if you knew, back then, wouldn't you use that to make the most of the time you had left? Don't you owe that to her?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Calliope Summers

Calliope looked over at the younger her and gave a sad smile.

 

She is me but before everything that happened that made me who I am today, for good or ill.” she paused and thought for a few seconds and added.

 

I know its better if she knows who her grandfather is and what happened to mom, she must know when she died but it not real to her yet. Its not logical but I’d like her to have that innocence for a little while longer. I will tell her but not right now, I can stop either of you doing it but I’d asked if you can respect my wishes.”

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Madame Raven

You’ve never gone to a private school then I guess, gives you good practice for sneaking around without being noticed.” she gave a cheeky little grin, enjoying the conversation, despite knowing elder her was probably talking about something grim and serious

 

I wonder if that was deliberate? I can’t help but feel that mom and dad were preparing me for this kind of life, how many parents insist you know how to fly the families jet after all?” she’d had a few weeks to speculate about this for a few weeks with those skills she’d been encouraged to develop over the years.

 

The only bad part of her being me is that she will know all of the best secret ways to move around that school she now runs, guess I’ll have to find some new ones know.”

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"...no," said Ashley softly. "No, I won't lie to another child, not about this. I can't believe that after ten years, you'd still..." She looked away, not willing to finish the argument in front of so many staring eyes. "I won't betray the Raven's trust," she said more loudly. "but I think I'm done here. Call me if you actually need something real," she said cooly. "But I'm done here tonight." She didn't make eye contact with the kids, there was no use dwelling on it - but she did give Alek and Calliope sharp looks before she turned and headed right out the door. 

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"Yeah, nothing that fancy. We'll see what I pick up, Alek insists I start attending the old you's super hero school in the fall," he said, with a small wink. Just a little one. "Maybe they were? I mean, I dunno. I honestly don't know your dad all that well, he seems to give me some weird looks some times, but I'm pretty sure he supported old you when she became the Raven." He stretched his arms. He was starting to feel a bit cold in the cave without moving around. "Planning on going to Claremont, then? Or just guessing they'll wanna toss you in there to keep an eye on you? Its probably not all that bad. I've done some digging, there's tons of exciting things happening. If not, I got my own plans for making it exciting."

 

Of course he had plans. Making plans was pretty much his thing, wasn't it? Then again, plans were made to be broken, right? If Charlie had known he was going to be talking with a time travelling version of the second Raven, he probably would have worn something else today. 

 

And then Ashley ran off, glaring back at old Callie and Alek. He leaned in a bit closer. "I got no idea what you did, but I'm pretty sure Ashley isn't old you's biggest fan."

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Alek watched Ashley leave, and stared at the empty space she'd left behind for several long moments. He slowly turned back to face the woman who'd taught him how to be a hero. His eyes held nothing but sadness and disappointment.

 

"You get one year from today. Then I'm telling her. I'm not lying to a 16-year-old girl forever. Not even for you."

 

He turned, and by the time his face was visible to Callie and Charlie, it was all smiles. He took a few big steps, and laid a hand on each of their shoulders.

 

"So! I think we got off on the wrong foot, and there's only one solution."
 

There was a twinkle in his eye and his smile broadened.

"Cookies."

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Charlie froze as Alek started approaching him and Callie.

 

"Wait. Alek's smiling." 

 

He took a step back, getting into a defensive position. Things had not gone well if Alek was smiling like this. Alek smiling like that was almost never a good thing.

 

Before Alek's smile wold broaded and he would mention cookies, Charlie interrupted. "Not the vest, right? I'm pretty sure the vest wouldn't be a good solution to anyone getting off on the wrong fo..."

 

Ah, alright, cookies. Cookies, yes. That was much better than the vest. "Aw, yeah. Alek's parents makes the best cookies. You gotta meet them, they're great."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Madame Raven

Callie noticed that something had happened more or less at the point it had all blown over, it was always a little paranoid to assume it was about yourself but Calliopes body language screamed that something was definitely up. Though as she caught her younger selves gaze she managed a warm smile, Obviously for now the issue was settled.

 

Cookies seems like a good idea right now, Winnie is all kind of amazing but cooking is not one of her talents. Though she’s been trying, oh how she’s been trying!”

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Alek laughed at Charlie's obvious nerves.

 

"Now now Charlie, you know The Vest is only when you do something wrong. Anyways, I think my mom made her snicker-doodles and chocolate chip cookies today. Dad's better with cakes and brownies, won't get that for a couple of days."

 

He gave an exaggerated slap to his mid-section.

 

"Gotta watch those calories after all. Come, children!"

 

As he worked to shuffle young Callie and his own ward toward the kitchen, Alek gave the older Calliope a speculative look. It quickly morphed into one of sad compassion, and he gave her a light smile. A quick tilt of his head pointed toward the kitchen.

 

"Come on, before your dad steals too many of them to nibble on this week."

 

When Charlie and Callie entered the informal kitchen/dining room, they'd be greeted by Alek's mother (who Callie had already met). She smiled at the eager teenagers and the barely-hiding-his-eagerness 20-something. 

 

"Well now, good thing I've got some snacks prepared!"

 

Two trays piled high with cookies sat on the table behind her, with 5 glasses of milk sitting out waiting for everyone present to grab one. Alek was suddenly next to the table, a chocolate-chip cookie halfway to his mouth.

 

"Thanks, Mom."

 

There were cookies aplenty for all in the room that day...

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