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5:30 PM, December 7th, 2020

Riverside, not too far from Riverside Park

 

The Never-Ending Story was an interesting place to be. It was a small bookstore in Riverside, one that was known to be just the place to go to find rare books. Before his passing, Adrian Eldrich himself had been a common visitor. The book store was rarely busy, but it did well enough. The owner Andrew Orlando let his cats roam free among his book, while the portly gentleman puttered about. 

 

It was a peaceful place to be, it was a happy place to be, especially during Christmas time.

 

At least, on every other day than today. Today, the sounds of struggles and things being pulled apart would meet a trio that just so happened to enter the building at the same time...

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Little Mermaid II

 

When Mette was a kid, her parents had taken her to the trip to California, another to Florida and a visit to New York. She had been to a few other places in the United States, seeing the sights and everything, but Mette had never been in Freedom City before. Compared to home, it was like a whole other world. It was just a short one week vacation, hardly enough time to deal with the jet lag, but here she was, Freedom City. In her first three days she had already seen more super people flying in the sky than the total number in Denmark.

 

It was incredible, but also kind of daunting.

 

It had been the former Little Mermaid's suggestion that she visit Freedom City at least once, and that she should visit a bookshop called The Never-Ending Story. Mette liked the name, so here she was, standing outside the doors to the little shop. She wore a thick dark grey jacket to keep warm, a hood pulled up over her head, with simple jeans and heavy boots on her legs as she admired the store. 

 

As she moved towards the door, she barely even noticed the other two moving together with her, until she took hold of the door handle first.

 

"Ah, sorry, didn't see you two there." She spoke with a slight accent that made it just noticeable that she wasn't from around here. She opened the door and held it for the other two. "Here you go!" 

 

She only registered the sound of struggle after they had entered.

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Oz had been too busy drinking greedily from the venti peppermint latte he'd purchased from a most delightful little coffee shop on his way to "The Never-ending Story" he'd heard so much about amongst his particular community that he hadn't seen the others approaching over his fogged up glasses not that the fog would've impeded them had he been looking through them.

 

"ah thank you very much young lady, please excuse me for the bump i had my nose in this most delightful beverage and I...." 

 

his words stopped dead as the sounds of struggle reached his ears his grip instantly tightend about his walking stick in preperation, this was a place of mystic power and knowledge and though he was long retired his instincts for arcane combat was not yet completely dulled.

 

"Perhaps you two ladies would prefer to wait outside whilst i go an investigate?" he offered in a hushed voice as he pressed his glasses to his face and scanned the layout of the shop, seeking the source of the disturbance.

 

no need to get any bystanders caught up in this matter after all.

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Christmas shopping! It was one of Lulu's favorite things to do, so she tried to stretch it out as long as possible, setting aside one day for each person on her list so she could do it as casually as possible, with plenty of breaks got window shopping and coffee breaks.

 

She had saved the best for last: Adam. This typically involved a nice mix of clothes (Lulu knew all the good Big & Tall shops in Freedom), books and games, as well as silly stuff to fill out a stocking. She'd heard good things about this store in Riverside, one of her favorite neighborhoods, so after dropping off several bags at her SUV at the Millennium Mall parking garage, she hopped on the monorail for her last shop of the day.

 

Once she got there, she smiled at the awkward little dance the three folks did in the door, smiling brightly as she offered a Southern-tinged "Thank you, ma'am" to the young foreign visitor. But once inside, her eyes went wide at the sound of struggle.

 

"Y'know what, don't mind me, sir," she whispered to the portly, well-dressed gentleman. "You won't even know that ah'm here..." And with that, she promptly vanished from view! Meanwhile the now invisible psychic moved closer to the noise.

Edited by Heritage
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GM

 

The sound of struggle from up ahead were broken every now and again by a woman shouting, commanding an answer from whoever was being attacked. 

 

"Where is it? Tell me! Where is it?" 

 

As Lulu and any others moved closer, through the labyrinthine shop (which seemed like it might be slightly bigger than one would expect from the outside), she a portly older gentleman on the floor, his tweed jacket slightly ripped. He was clutching his stomach. In front of him stood a woman with short platinum blonde hair, dressed in an expensive business suit and two men in slightly cheaper business suits. One of them reached out for the man.

 

"Ow!"

 

A cat was standing in front of the man, hissing loudly at his attackers. One of the men pulled his hand back, clutching it where the cat had scratched him.

 

"Stupid thing!" 

 

He kicked the cat away, then approached the man in tweed on the floor again.

 

"Where is the book?"

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Little Mermaid II

 

"Ma'am?" Mette asked, raising an eyebrow. Really? She was 19 years old, she was hardly a ma'am! 

 

She was about to speak up and protest before she heard the sounds and stopped in her tracks. 

 

The old man asked them to leave so he could investigate the struggle, the woman that had called her ma'am did a disappearing act... yeah, alright, welcome to Super Hero City.

 

"How about you step outside and let us handle this, old guy?" she shot back at the older man, before punching her right hand into her left palm, then stepped forward. 

 

It was like a wave washing over her, her clothes being replaced with a green, red and white uniform. The upper body was green with scales, the lower white, separated by a red line. Her short hair grew longer, reaching her waist, a green mask appearing over her face.

 

Mette didn't think anyone here had heard about her, but it didn't matter. 

 

Stepping into view of the attackers, she punched her hands together loud enough to make an audible noise. 

 

"You get one chance to let him go, lady!"

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Ah again? what were the odds of wandering into another cluster of chaos with a group of exemplars of this dimension he wondered at the astronomical probabilities for a moment.

 

he smiled over his glasses of truesight at the "invisable" girl but delcined to say anything lest he give her away.

 

"no need to be rude young lady." he huffed in annoyance "I didn't know you were a secret fish person, much as you don't know anything about me."

 

he strained to keep his temper in check, it was hard, power in transmutation came from being immutable oneself, the fulcrum from which change could be applied denying his stubbornness and emotions was difficult, he had long since supressed his supression after all.

 

he'd been about to speak up and offer them the traditional chance to surrender as demanded by his tradition...then the cat had been kicked and his already strained temper snapped.

 

rudeness he could abide in small quantities, cruelty to animals, magical or mundane much less so.

 

Green lightning began to crackle from his eyes as his personal wards flared to life with the sonorous hum of resonating thaumatons.

 

Perhaps it would've been best to say something witty or intimidating but he was too old and fat to do so convincingly and much, much to angry to try.

 

Raising his walking stick off the ground a good foot he slammed it into the floor of the place with a sonorous boom that resounded around the shop, rattling the windows and blasting the dust from the shelves as he unleashed his powers with an arcane bellow loosed his magecraft in a wave of shimmering silver light that raced out from him in all directions.

Edited by Exaccus
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GM

 

Matter shifted and changed and turned all around the two men. It condensed, turned solid, grey, metallic, and soon the two men were trapped in iron maidens, unmoving.

 

The woman and the shopkeeper gasped audibly, though neither seemed as surprised as one might first expect. 

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