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Face the Music - March / April Vignette 2021

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Just like many people, Superheroes enjoy their music to keep them going through the day. Whether its just for their workout routine, or fight music for facing down foes, music keeps them going! So for the next few months we want to hear about your hero's playlist, and maybe more importantly, why they choose the tracks they do.


Being music, we’re doing things a little differently. For 1PP, provide us with ten or more tracks that are either the character's favourites or best define them. With the track and singer you should (if possible) share the love and provide a link to the song. If the song or video is a little NSFW please mark if for those who might browse in a working environment.


For an extra PP (for 2PP total), provide at least 500 words about why the character is being asked about these songs and what those choices mean to them. The tracks you link might not match the character's actual choices, but they should at least match thematically with their reasoning.


Playlist should be shared in this thread no later than the 30th April 2021.

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Lady Horus 


Minstrel Boy

Anna's father used to sing this one to her when she was a very small girl, curled up on the too-short bed that was all an Irish working-man who drank and gave away too much to the boys at the foundry could afford for his son and daughter, and when she closed her eyes she could imagine the Ireland that her grandfather left behind for a better life in America. The world of her mother and father was a brawling, working-class place centered around the tavern and the Church, overcrowded blocks in Bedlam and Freedom City in the Great Depression where everyone smoked cheap cigarettes and drank cheap whiskey. She was born eighty-seven years ago this year and she's the last one left who remembers that apartment, that tenement, that block, that world. 


Calendar Girl

And when she closes her eyes this is the song she hears and it's seventy years ago and she's invincible. She's faster than any cop and most of the supers and she can do what she want, when she wants, with who she wants. For the first time in her life, she's free; poised forever in an infinite now that comes before the regrets that'll come later. Anna doesn't really talk about this much but when you listen inside her head, she doesn't call herself Anna, or Lady Horus, or even Clock Queen. She's been Calendar Girl to herself since she was seventeen and she guesses at this point she'll die that way. 


(AA's note: Yes I know, Calendar Girl was written in 1961, too late for Anna Cline's years as a teenage hoodlum in the last days of the Golden Age but that's Green Ronin's fault, not mine) 


Louie Louie

And then everything was different. She'd gone back in time and forward in time, tried playing the hero for a little while. And what did it get her? Dead parents, that last terrible fight with Tomorrow, and then she'd popped out into the early 1960s with a costume change and a new boyfriend. Bryant was so handsome and so kind even when he was doing crimes, and even stuck with her a little while after she told him she was pregnant. (He loved the pregnancy calendar they got from the doctor, even.) And then he was gone, leaving a note that it wasn't Father's Day so it just didn't make any sense, and then she had a baby and she was on her own, and when she thinks about those days at the end of 1963 she remembers thoughts she doesn't like to think about now. But then one day she turned on the radio and found a silly song that the baby liked, and they danced together in that cheap hotel room with the paper-thin walls with the hookers on the other side of the door, and the next day she tucked her kiddo under her arm and she found August Roman and asked him for a job. 


Off To The Races

This one's an anachronism of course but it's not too bad as a soundtrack for Clock Queen's glory days. The days when she sat around the table with the rest of the Crime League and dreamed big, when she held her own among murderers and psychopaths and went off to fight the Centurion and got away a lot of the time. If you really ask Anna she remembers this as a period when she fought God, a bunch of times, and she won! She was one of the most famous women in the world and she loved it. Things weren't always good. She had to do some things she didn't necessarily want to to put a roof over her head and feed and educate her son, but she did what she did with her eyes open and with no illusions about herself and what she was. Not everyone can say that. 


My Way

She remembers this one from the night in 1980 when they locked her up in Blackstone for the first night of twenty-five goddamned years in goddamned prison, yelling it through the bars, daring those bulls to come in and beat it out of her and damn if they didn't do just that. She really didn't fight so good with her powers nullified by the first generation of technology, designed by that goddamned bastard Alexander Atom, but she fought them anyway and she didn't care they threw her in the hole over it. She'd done it, one last great trick to save her family, and it had worked. She'd told the judge she'd beaten her son, made him do all those crimes with her, and that none of it was his fault even if he'd technically turned 18 while he was in the juvie lockup across town. She was in jail so that her son could be free. Maybe she was a worthwhile mother after all. The song also brings back a lot of good memories of making it with Frank Sinatra back in Vegas back when it mattered, which even Medea never did, so take that ya crazy Greek broad. 



If you sit Anna down and pump her full of truth serum, she'll admit something to you. She did make Dickie a criminal. She never forced him to do anything but he was a boy who grew up surrounded by criminals, with a ma who thought it was funny to teach a little boy to steal and smoke, and so maybe it's no wonder he wanted to steal and fight just like his ma did. Back in the day that one thing that Clock Queen take off the gloves and break your goddamned leg if you were a cape was if you said anything about her son and the way she was raising him. But maybe those smug, judgemental bastards in their mansions were right. Goddamn them. 



Anna burst into tears the first time she held her grandson, the kind of messy, ugly crying she'd never admit to these days. (It ruins your complexion, and she has to work hard to keep that together.) It was 1997 and she'd been out for two years and when she heard her son and daughter-in-law had finally made that baby they'd been trying for forever, she had to see him. Willie was perfect, the spitting image of his father, and when she held him (after much promises of good behavior) she was back in that hotel room holding Dickie again, a young woman with a whole life ahead of her, and suddenly all of it had been worth it so that this little boy could grow up. When she was done crying she excused herself, and stepped out of the room, and this girl with a guitar was singing this on the street corner and she never forgot it. She sang that song on the run home, proud of the choice she'd made and the person she'd chosen to be. She never went back to the Crime League after that. Not to stay, anyway. 


Playing With The Big Boys Now

Not a lot of uptempo songs about the might of Horus and the Egyptian gods, but this is a fun one. I picture Anna and Esperanza in the official music video for the show. She knows Esperanza isn't like her son, that for a long time there was a hole in the girl's heart that nothing was ever going to heal. But maybe they were the right thing for each other. Esperanza wasn't a heroine but then neither was Anna, just two light-fingered girls all too aware that their time was limited and they had to reach out with both hands if they were going to make something of themselves. 



This was playing on the radio the night Anna and her girlfriend went to bed together for the first time, or rather, it was playing on the bar jukebox the minute she made the decision to get up and walk over to the young cutie and offer to buy her a drink, and things escalated from there, and that's all she has to say about that. Things are good. They ain't gonna grow old together but then Anna's already done that part on her own. 


The Parting Glass

They played this at Brian Nisbet's funeral, the last friend of hers who ever died a natural death, just three years ago now but it already feels like a lifetime and like yesterday. This is the song she wants them to play when they put her in the ground. 


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Sea Devil 


Lullay Lullay

This may seem like an odd choice, since Aquaria certainly doesn't ascribe to the Surfacer religion that spawned it. (A god slain by his enemies who returns when the stars are right makes sense, but when He rose, he simply left instead of drinking the blood and eating the flesh of his enemies? This story makes no sense.) I think what attracted me to this song for Aquaria is the tone of mourning and survival, as the singer tells the story of a persecution that her people and her god just barely survived, like a song sung to a pack of sharp-toothed little killing machines ready to be told about the coming war with Atlantis. It may not be true in a historical sense that Deep Ones are the victims of Atlantean persecution but they certainly believe it. A few lines from this, suitably edited, have shown up in Aquaria's threads. "Dagon the King, In His Raging..."


It's Not Easy Being Green

Aquaria wasn't always a frog. If you look back at her earlier threads, she's clearly a human-Deep One hybrid that inclines more to the former than the latter. (What can I say, I wasn't paying very good attention.) Electra and I are going to do a thread about Aquaria and Jessie's early days one of these days. (I also played up her amphibious nature I think a bit more than I wanted to, so when I got the chance I made sure to make her fully aquatic by sheet but amphibious by choice and culture.) I found that I liked the idea of her Deep One heritage, and so stuck with it even after noticing my initial couple of mistakes. Big-limbed and loud of voice, she has a lot of character in and out of threads. She's acutely aware at all times that she is not like Surfacers at all, though; it's always so dry and cold, and nobody ever moves right, or sings right, or smells right. She is indeed a traveler here in the Hell Above 


Fish Heads

Aquaria eats meat! So much about Deep One culture, society, religion, and their relationship with the other sentients of the world of Freedom can be explained by the simple fact that they are obligate carnivores who all have Comprehend (sea life). They can hear the words of their prey (and no, they generally do not want to be eaten!) but they know they need to eat their prey in order to survive. This is why Aquaria has trouble trying to persuade her kin to get along well with Surfacers. Of course food asks not to be eaten. That's what it usually says! Aquaria does like meat, though, and she's always hungry. 


Written in the Stars

Aquaria's gods are terrible in their wrath and her faith foretells a grim apocalypse. Well a grim one for us Surfacemen, anyway! But maybe that makes sense. Though there are a few Deep One cities in the depths of the abyssal plain (and perhaps some in large lakes near YOU), for the most part they're poor and desperate, living in tribes that follow the shrinking pods of migrating whales, raiding Atlantean or Surface settlements, and living lives that are "nasty, brutish, and short." Perhaps it's no wonder they look to gods that promise them a great transformation. Even if they have terrible hungers... 


Will The Circle Be Unbroken

It's a song about faith and a song about a hoped-for reunion with all those you've lost. Aquaria has lost a great many places and people, so many that sometimes she has lost count. A part of her desperately wants to "swim out to that brooding reef in the sea and dive down through black abysses to Cyclopean and many-columned Y’ha-nthlei, and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory for ever" but she knows that wouldn't work because she's not like her fellow Deep Ones anymore, not deep down inside her, just as she'll never be like the Surfacers either. But maybe when the stars are right, the great reunion will come and all those she loves will be reunited. 


We Know The Way

I have at times said Aquaria's aesthetic is this song but over a background of horrific eldritch rituals. And it is, because I think that's the tension at the heart of the character. Aquaria is a cheerful "genki girl", to use the term the kids on TVTropes do, a self-sacrificing hero full of compassion one who wants to save her people and bring them into the future but she's also a cannibal predator who prays to strange gods and hopes for an apocalypse. She wants a world where her people and the Surface people can live together in peace but she doesn't know how that's ever going to be possible. 


What Do You Do With An Innsmouth Sailor

Aquaria has an uneasy relationship with the works of HP Lovecraft. His obsessions disgust her and now that she knows he was a bigot who hated other Surfacers...well that doesn't even make sense to her! That the most famous recent work about her people portrays them as sexual predators doesn't help matters at all, thanks for nothing Alan Moore. It hits especially hard because it's been so long since a male touched her with intent that she's almost forgotten what it feels like. Catchy song, though! 


You've Got A Friend In Me

Empathy can be problematic if you're a monster. To be what she is and to care about other beings as much as you care about your own kind...well, it hasn't made life easier. Speaking of empathy, Aquaria has learned how to make strong bonds with strange creatures; including the strangest creature of all... 


My Beloved Monster

This song is about her and Jessie White, her best friend in the whole wide world. Aquaria met Jessie when she had nothing, a pack animal on her own, 'solitary' an insult among her kind. Jessie was broken in some ways and not like other Surfacers at all, but she didn't fear Aquaria the way others did and that was an excellent start. Aquaria loves Jessie the way she loves all her friends but even more, their bond one that's only grown for her over the years. She worries about Jessie a lot and wishes she could help fix her to be like other Surfacers, but she knows that's impossible. So she brings her fried fish on the nights she can't sleep and sometimes sits with her on the days she sits out on the roof, looking up at the stars together. 


Wonders Never Cease

There's got to be some joy in it, right? When Aquaria looks back on her life she thinks about loneliness and loss, but also about the feelings of singing songs among her friends in the Castle, of making breakfast for Jessie and watching her enjoy it (it took some tries), about the feeling of the naked stars on her skin in the depths of space, about meeting mighty champions from the stars above and realms beyond this ons, about realizing her blood-kin had survived when so many others had died, about this one time when she ate the heart of a shark and rolled around in its insides for an hour, about the time she saw Jessie spend the whole day smiling. When Aquaria looks back on her life, the hell of it is - she wouldn't change it. 







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Jack of all Blades - Songs to Stabpunch To


He’s a Pirate - Taylor Davis Folk Violin Cover

No better song for leaping from a balcony, swinging on a chandelier into a climactic duel! Some of Jack of all Blade's more outrageous mannerisms are Erik egging his opponents on or deflecting his more serious motivations but in the spirit of Dick Grayson and Peter Parker racing along the rooftops of Freedom City is an expression of joy and freedom for him. The ethos of the swashbuckler is about setting ever greater challengers for oneself and overcoming them with style and He's a Pirate's unrelenting forward momentum is the perfect accompaniment.


Wrong - Depeche Mode

This speaks to teenage years and early superhero carrier, when he had a sharper, more confrontational approach. It's the frustration over having to give up a promising athletic future to take care of his family, over the problems plaguing his community, over being talked-down to and dismissed and later over the baggage that came with a father he had no use for. It's the stubborn refusal to compromise on his way of doing things, to play it safe or tone things down or ask for help. It's about feeling out of control and only knowing how to double down.


Working Class Hero - John Lennon

Despite fighting the invading horde of hell and unspeakable horrors from the depths of space Erik will always be a West End boy at heart. I've floated the idea more than once that Jack of all Blades' identity may be a bit of an open secret in his home burrow - how many fencing instructors are there operating out of the Interceptors' turf? But as Erik or Jack he's one of them, protecting their streets or mediating between neighbours; he's tangible in a way the Freedom League might not be. And despite Talya's best efforts it's hard to let go of that feeling of living paycheque to paycheque.


The Duelists - Iron Maiden

Sword fighting! The Duelists is about getting into a fight you can't win for what probably aren't great reasons. Erik accepted a long time ago that his story probably ends violently but the thrill and spectacle of an underdog fight is undeniable for him. As he's gotten older and gainer more reasons to stay alive he's gotten wiser and more judicious about the fights he picks but in the thick of things with the blood pounding in his ears he could never back down.


Kick in the Teeth - Papa Roach

In a similar vein although he's got more than a few tricks, Erik's ultimately no more durable than any other mere mortal and he gets hurt. Like, a lot. Frequently and severely. Is it even really a site event if Jack of all Blades doesn't end up with a gut wound? A more reasonable man would probably have learned something from all of that but Erik's mostly learned exactly how much blood he can loose before he stops being able to throw a decent punch. It's more than you'd think!


Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

Having a deadbeat of a father was bad enough; also having to deal with the House of Swords' $#%@ is something else entirely. Erik can't deny that his powers and probably his natural aptitude for fighting came from Jean Pique but as far as he's concerned he doesn't owe him or the House a damn thing. Like the song, though, you have to have a sense of humour about it when magical musketeers and ninja cults showing up to attack is just a fixture in your life thanks to a jerk you barely know.


Swedish Girl - Lotus Child

When Erik met Willow everything changed, practically in an instant. We had a joke early on that Erik was like candy to immortals and maybe it's because he doesn't just survive, he is undeniably, passionately alive. What should have been a one-night stand turned into a fire that just never went out and together with someone who had seen civilizations rise and fall Erik found himself actually thinking about the future for the first time in years. With everything stacked against them it's tough not to feel like it was fate.


Uptown Girl - Billy Joel

And then everything changed again! Talya is a master of subtly manoeuvring and manipulating unfair systems to her advantage; Erik has rarely been accused of subtly. They share other qualities, including some of the more self-destructive or -sacrificing ones and that makes it easier for them to recognize and call each other out on those. I like that Uptown Girl has a mix of outgoing confidence and self-deprecation that fits Erik well. How'd he ever get so lucky anyway?


My Girlfriend's Girlfriend - Type O Negative

I am obligated to remind you that Min kissed Talya before Erik did. My Girlfriend's Girlfriend is a little on the goth metal side of things for Erik but his wives are indisputably much cooler than him so that works.


Come With Me Now - KONGOS

How is it that Erik ended up the leader of a team and a rallying point even for those who only know him by reputation? He's not a master planner with a million contingencies or an inspiring paragon of unassailable virtue. But whatever the situation, whatever the odds, you'll find him in motion, always moving forward. I like this as a bookend to He's a Pirate because it's got a similar driving momentum with a bit more self-awareness.


Spark - Fitz & The Tantrums

Bonus Track! For me this is the Interceptor's theme song, throughout their many iterations.

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Forever Boy

The overarching theme for the majority of Pan's music is freedom and adventure, some of them with a hint of something a bit darker behind it all.


He's a Pirate - Hans Zimmer/Klaus Badelt

I feel like I'm repeating Gizmo here, but He's a Pirate really is the greatest theme for a a swashbuckler there is. It is climatic, it is bombastic, it is joy and it is freedom, and honestly, that (and a whole lot of trickery and friendship) is what Pan is all about. Climatic battles, swinging alongside a pirate ship while fencing with Sky-Pirates? There's no better theme for that.


Storytime - Nightwish

A song about stories and tales, with references to Peter Pan and much else, with adventurous, yet somewhat omnious music. The song is a tribute to storytellers and their stories, and, well, Pan is a story come to life. The song just sparks my imagination and was one of the original inspirations for Forever Boy that evolved into many of the themes and plans I have for him, even including him coming from another world with lines such as "Searching the heavens for another Earth". A few lines such as "the empty crib of Peter Pan" and "follow the madness" hint at darker undercurrents that Pan has displayed just a few times so far.


Fly - Blind Guardian

Much like Storytime, Fly has influenced many of my thoughts and ideas about Pan. It is quite blatantly about Peter Pan, and well, I couldn't skip a song like that. The lines above everything being make believe fits particularly well with Pan and some of his more meta-conceptual concepts of being a story, and just what he can do and why. 


The Vagrant of Love [Extended] - Bravely Default OST

This music is adventure. From the opening to the melody and instruments, it is one long promise of adventure and freedom. The track is happy and lacks any of the more omnious undertones of other tracks, showing Pan at his best and brightest.


The Greatest Show - The Greatest Showman 

Pan puts on a show. His entire life is one great big show, from start to finish, an adventure unlike any other (at least if you ask him), the greatest show of all. For an alternate meaning, his tactics often involve putting on a show to trick and confound enemies and allies alike, or just when he really puts his charisma to use.


The Greatest Show Rock/Metal Cover - Jonathan Young & Caleb Hyles

An alternative to the above, when Pan is influenced by Eira, with many of the same meanings to the Pan, but suitably different from the changes that their relationships have brought to his life.


Friends - Miracle of Sound

Friends and friendship is important to Pan! In fact, the friendships and relationships he's forged at Claremont has served to make him better than he was, particularly his closer relationships with Micah, current and former members of his squad and Eira. He is there when they need him and he value them more than anything, but with that said...


Friend Like Me - Aladdin

Pan is not quite like the rest of them, and according to himself, they have never had a friend like him! This fits both with Pan's theatrics and flair for putting on a show and his commitment to friendship. 


Run Boy Run - Woodkid

Back to some of the darker themes, Pan's past is not as happy as it might seem at first if you have only seen movies or read books about his counterpart. He ran from Neverworld, though it is unclear how much of it was his own doing and how much was the crocodile. There's darker undercurrents to his story, as events in the Return to Neverworld storyline are starting to show.


Kamikaze Love - Poets of the Fall

Pan has seen his share of love and pain in the past. He is forever, while others are not. Will his relationship with Eira be different? Another song that also deals with themes of imagination and fantasizing about things being different.

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Out of all my characters, Justice is probably the one that I consider the most heroic out of all of them. As such, the majority of her themes deal with her path towards heroism.


Big Heart - Kirby Krackle

Starting out, Justice didn't exactly have a lot of skills or clues what she was doing, taking most of her ideas and initiative from super hero shows and the like. She was pretty much a fangirl with a super suit and a highly advanced gun, she had as many losses as victories when she dealt with anything outside her own weight class, and as a result she was manipulated and thrown into situations where she only her sense of right and wrong ended up saving the day.


The Moment - Miracle of Sound ft. Karliene

The moment Robin finally put on her suit and became a hero was a rush, everything she had waited for and more. She was still learning, of course, but that moment, and so many others, all leading her towards eventually becoming a real super hero.


Harder Better Faster - Daft Punk

Robin learned from her victories and losses. She's become better and stronger, she's learned and improved and expanded her arsenal to help her deal with situations she's encountered. Plus, she likes to listen to Daft Punk while working on her equipment.


Stand Out - Tevin Campbell

Robin noticed that Emerald City didn't have a lot of heroes, and the few that were around were all very recent? So, why was that? And why shouldn't Emerald have some more heroes. The song represents her choice to become a hero with all it entails, standing out from the crowd to do what is right.


Light Up the Sky - Thousand Foot Krutch

If Justice was part of a TV show, this would be the theme that played whenever she transformed into her suit for the first time in this episode, with the full version playing whenever she got into any major battles. Robin's here to protect Emerald City, and she'll light up the sky and make sure that everyone knows she's there to keep them safe.


Superhero - Simon Curtis

Robin's ultimate goal is becoming a hero, and not just that, she is hoping to inspire many more to become active in Emerald City alongside her. The song's an upbeat anthem that follows Robin's own thoughts that anyone can be a hero if they're given the chance and means, depsite what MarsTech has proven so far with the less than heroic Ultio Suit Users.


Falling On - Finger Eleven

There's two reasons for this song being on the listen. Initially, I choose it due to Robin's own feelings and conflict on whether she actually could become a hero early in her career, but as she's grown to become a main part of Emerald City's growing super hero community, I also feel it fits with her aim to be there for any of the other heroes that need her.


The Champion in Me - 3 Doors Down

Another song dealing with Justice's struggle to become a hero. She fought long and hard, trained, planned, built and improved again and again, learning harsh and hard lessons along the way until she ultimately rose to become the champion that she knew was in her.


Hell No! - Mel Senese

Robin's defiance of anyone or anything thinking that she wouldn't be enough, her main theme, that she would rise to become a hero, that she will never back down no matter what hardships she face along the way, be it idols betraying her, grave losses or worse. She's a hero, and she knows it.

Hell Yeah - Rev Theory

How the lyrics can be understood aside, this song is more for the title and music, as the theme for Justice's H.E.R.O. Mode Armor. In H.E.R.O. Mode she goes all out on speed and power, and the title is a nice follow up to Hell No! as her main theme.

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Who I Am - The Score

Ghost has been through a lot. Good, bad, triumphs, defeats, everything in between, but he has pretty much accepted his lot in life and who he is by this point. Aside from his daughter, others' opinion of him doens't matter all that much to him. He might doubt himself some time, he might be on the verge of giving up, but as a heroic career since 2003 shows, he doesn't break.


Ordinary - Train

Casper's love for his ex-wife Jessie and their daughter Carrie is an important part of his character. In an ideal world where he was just an ordinary person, everything might have worked out, but well, he's anything but ordinary, and can't leave his life as a hero behind.


Superman Tonight - Bon Jovi

Casper's romance with Jessie was long, and he thought it would last through everything. He still loves her deeply, and as she seems prone to ending up in super villain related trouble, whether she is with Casper or not, he will always be there to rescue her.


Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage The Elephant

Casper is tired. He's been doing the hero thing since 2003, and despite short failed attempts at stopping, he just knows that he can't slow down or stop at all, no rest for him, no matter how much he might want to. He just have to keep on going, not stopping to slow down no matter what might come his way.

It Won't Be Like This For Long - Darius Rucker

Carrie matters more to Casper than he can put into words. Not living with her since the divorce has hurt him deeply, missing out on a lot in her life. He wants to be there for her, he wants to do all that he can for her, even if he is torn for doing the right thing as a hero and being there for his daughter.


Un Frappe Sur la Téte - D.A.D.

A song that's chaotic, random, snarky and kind of a mess? I imagine it fits a lot of Casper's every day life, going from one disaster to the next, some of his own creation, others not so much.


Last Man Standing - Bon Jovi

Ghost has been an active hero for a long time, longer than some of the newer heroes and students at Claremont have even been alive, even though he, of course, have plenty of senior heroes himself. Despite his insistence otherwise, he is a sight to behold and while usually refusing to do so, he ends up trying to take care of and teaching younger heroes.


Everyday Combat - Lostprophets

Going from fight to fight, Ghost stumbles in and out of trouble every day, fighting villains, robbers, purse snatchers, whoever puts other people in danger, self-preservation be damned. The quick and upbeat song could easily play over a montage of Ghost's life and his day to day heroics.


Give Up The Ghost - Thousand Foot Krutch

There's a lot of experiences mentioned in the song, which fits well with Ghost having gone through a lot so far. And then I couldn't resist finding at least one song with Ghost in the title and lyrics for this list.


Juke Box Hero - Foreigner

A motivational song that fits the planned arc of Ghost getting his shit together and finding balance in his life, becoming a hero that others might look up to for other reasons than how long he has been at it, and who might actually have a chance of rebuilding his family.

Edited by RocketLord
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Nevermore II


Shine - Matt Beilis

Shine shows a lot of Charlie's goals and philosophies: He wants to become the best at what he does. He might idolize the Ravens, but he's not content to just remain in the shadow, he wants to stand out and, well, shine, and he wants everyone to see it as it happens. At some point, Charlie wants to be the one that's called in when you need help, the one that solves the riddles and saves everyone he can.


Spotlight - Saliva

Eventually, Charlie will be ready to take his place in the spotlight, what he has been planning, but that's not enough. This song is more about Charlie reaching out to his friends, pulling them along with him towards the spotlight. He might want to shine, but he wants his friends to step into the spotlight alongside him.

Batman 1966 Theme on Electric Guitar - Patricio GC

Charlie might be a member of the Raven Family, but he is not quite as dark as either of the Ravens have been. Attitude-wise, I'm not sure I would even consider him a cowl, and well, what better way to show off his connection to the family, but still being a bit lighter and softer, than with a version of the Batman 1966 theme?


Night of Your Life - WAR*HALL

Aside from his connections to the Raven Family and Claremont, Charlie is still very much an unknown in the super hero world, being "just" the third Raven's sidekick. Like a few other songs, this one follows much of the same principles of Shine, with what Charlie wants to be, but while Shine would be Charlie's main theme, I consider this to be one that would play during fights.

Born for This - The Score

Charlie is nothing if not confident. He knows that he's good, and he makes little effort to hide it. Even before his training and guidance with Alek, he managed to figure out the Ravens' secret identities, even if it took a while. He's struggled through training and fighting and he'll keep coming. He might mistakes along the way, but he's sure that he was born to be a hero, and he's more than willing to extend his hand to anyone else to help them along the way


Mercenary - Panic! At the Disco

Background music for fights! If Charlie didn't have to keep focusing while fighthing, this is what he would be playing.

In This Diary - The Ataris

Claremont theme! Good memories of growing up with his friends and all the crazy stuff they're getting up to at Claremont! Of course, their fireworks and parties are a bit different than what's in the song, like forming super teams, fighting bad guys and so much more. It is just a happy song about growing up and all that you get to experience during that, which is what's happening to Charlie and his friends right now.


Remember, We Got Your Back - Persona Q2 New Cinema Labyrinth

Charlie will be by his friends' side if they need him. He's got their back, no matter what they need.

One Hell of a Team - AmaLee/Divide Music

Well, Charlie and his friends do make one hell of a team! His growing leadership skills have only strengthened his resolve to create an official team with his friends, something that will last beyond just the time spent at Claremont.


Get the Gang Back - Miracle of Sound

Aspirations of what Charlie hopes to do with the team he's been slowly building. They might not be the Freedom League, the Interceptors or anyone big like that, but they'll be together a long while, and they'll be making a difference to make the world a better place.

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Archer II


Me Against The World - Simple Plan

Connor considers himself apart from much of the general super heroic community. He's not someone fancy with powers, he doesn't really trust most authorities, and he's more than willing to let them know that. He prefers to operate in some of the worse parts of the city that he considers below the notice of most of the fancy heroes. Connor very much consider himself and his slowly growing circle of friends and allies to be alone against the world.


Bleed - Divide Music

Archer is just a normal person. Sure, he has received extensive training, but there's is nothing super powered about him. He is a master archer, but there's many of those. Where he stands out from other bowmen is just how tough he is, getting back on his feet even after taking hits that should kill a normal man. He might not exactly be the last to bleed, like the song says, but he'll be the last one standing. And of course, he does have some of the anger issues alluded to in the lyrics.


Heroes - Shinedown

Connor's heroes might not be dead and gone, but his greatest hero is the first Archer and FORCE Ops, with the fate of all but Archer I being left ambigious at best. He feels that FORCE Ops were given a bad rep for their methods during the Iron Age, and while his own differ, he is trying to carry on their legacy, letting them still live on in him.


Everybody's Gonna Know My Name - Matt White

While he might not feel the need to be approved by the wider hero community, Connor is determined to prove his worth to everyone. He's not going to be a nobody, he wants to be somebody that others will know and respect, he will redeem the Archer identity.


Ready Aim Fire - Imagine Dragons

Connor is doing things his own way, he doesn't seek to be accepted by the wider hero community, carrying on the theme of him carrying on the legacy of the Iron Age. And, well, ready aim fire just fits perfectly as a theme for an archer.


Slinger's Song - Bastion OST

Just a cool theme. The kind that plays in the background when Archer is busy being a badass and lyrics aren't necessary. Lawless Western undertones, someone that goes his own way no matter what others might think.


One For the Money - One For the Money *EXPLICIT LYRICS*

That final moment, the decisive battle, it all comes down to this. The final shot, the perfect moment where Archer lines up the arrow to take down the villain.


Defy You - The Offspring

Archer might fall down. He might lose, but he'll keep coming back, he won't give up, and he'll be damn sure to defy anyone that says otherwise. He's not a calm individual, he gets angry, he gets pissed off, and he uses that to keep going, no matter what.


Fight - All Good Things

Fight! Fight for everyone, fight for everything! Fight against anything and everyone that comes to take him down or endanger others! Connor will do it, with just a bow and an arrow. He might not have powers of any kind, but he will keep fighting for everyone, whether they want him to or not.


Six Shooter - Coyote Kisses

A more fun theme! Not something that's come up quite yet, but I imagine that Connor will have some trouble if he comes up against someone that he's attracted to. He's very much the type that'll use a battle to flirt, being more attracted to someone based on their prowess and skills than just their looks.

Edited by RocketLord
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Save Yourself, Claire de Lune

This song from one of the Fury Road trailers helped inspire Woodsman's characterization; the picture of the horrific world where all was lost and the heroes had become the ultimate monsters - but humanity survived even so. "What were the final words of Lady Liberty to the people of your world?" "Run. Save yourselves."


Teddy Bears' Picnic

Well I have looked for ages for one of those creepy, horrific covers of this song and I have not been able to find it. You should imagine it, though! 



So this will have to do! 


The Devil and the Huntsman

This song works great for Woodsman in combat. Honestly combat has been the hardest thing for me to write about Woodsman because it's hard to come up with reasons why he's not more R-rated! 


Old Town Road

This is another song where you can definitely picture Riley in combat, usually with the slow, methodical trap-setting that he'd actually use when confronted with a large group or a metahuman attack. Hard to model "Riley has directed you towards a punji pit" in combat outside of his home though. 


O Death

On the one hand this is not quite right for a young man barely in his early twenties. On the other hand the eerie acapella voice from the grave is another song that matches the narrative of his dying homeworld, and the scenes he sees when he closes his eyes at night on days when it's been bad. Riley understands that sometimes death runs riot and there's nothing you can do but run, hide, and fight. 


Take Me Home, Country Roads

But they never did. 



Riley's world, or at least the civilization that spawned him, died in agony just as December of 1999 ended. The songs of those last days survived on the lips of the survivors, on CDs and records and folktales, and so Carlos Santana's Smooth has survived past all reason as one of the last hymns of a dead world. 


Cornbread and Butter Beans

This is a good song for where Riley is when he's in an emotionally good place and maybe has a girlfriend, a song about being happy with what you've made with your hands and the space you've carved for yourself and your family. This isn't his song very often though. 



I don't know if I was knowledgeable enough to write a trans character, but I certainly gave it a good shot. I generally wrote anything that felt off to Riley feeling like he needed to perform for all these crazy metahumans he was surrounded by, or just being a product of a different world with different values. He's not like other queer kids, and is torn sometimes between wanting to be like them more than anything and wanting to do his own stuff. 




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Little Mermaid II

Under the Sea  - Jonathan Young

It would just be plain wrong not to have something referencing Disney's Little Mermaid movie, wouldn't it? Mette is a bit more rock and roll than the original, so let's go with a Jonathan Young cover! This works pretty well for a main theme, given her generally happy and upbeat attitude to being a hero, on land or under the sea!


Unstoppable  - The Score

Back against the wall, getting ready for the big fight, Mette gives it her all and is unstoppable. She's not satisfied with anything but giving it her all, saving everyone she can. It is a heroic theme that showcases Mette's unstoppable spirit and drive to help.


Jutlandia - Kim Larsen

I had to get a song in Danish for Mette, and this one was a perfect fit. This'll of course be gibberish to most here, so to summarize: The song is about MS Jutlandia, a Danish hospital ship that served during the Korean War. The song references how Jutlandia would arrive to save the wounded, sailing through the war with young nurses tending to the wounded and dying. Generally a rather heroic tune, which fits well with Mette arriving to help and save everyone she can.


Edge of the World - Miracle of Sound ft. Lisa Foiles

Mette goes where she is needed, swimming through the depths and going faster and further. No matter what it will cost her, she will go where she is needed, standing at the edge of the world to protect others. She doesn't back down, even against overwhelming odds, fighting back with all that she got, no matter who tries to stop her. 


Help Is On the Way - Rise Against

Putting aside some of the darker meanings of the song and instead taking the initial hopeful message to heart, Mette will rush to save others, she will come to help anyone that needs her. She will not let anything stop her.


Parlay - Hans Zimmer

A serious situation! Something unforeseen! A powerful, unexpected enemy appears! As Mette eyes the enemy and the showdown begins, Parlay plays! 


Crimson Tide/Deep Blue Sea – Nightwish

Adventure at the high seas! The Little Mermaid crashes through the waves fighting against pirates, terrors of the deep, fairy tales come to life and so much more! She crashes through the waves, showcasing the part of her that enjoys her life as a hero not just to save others and keep them safe, but also for the adventure of it all.


I was the Sun (Before it was cool) - Starbound OST

The fun and more lighthearted side of Mette's personality. She's not just all heroics and being serious about saving people. She gotta have some fun too, which is when this theme will play.


Legends Never Die - Against the Current

Mette has had at least two predecessors that used the powers of the Little Mermaid, Little Mermaid I and a so far unnamed heroine that was active near the start of the second World War. She carries on a proud legacy, only just beginning to understand what it all means, and just what gives her the power to be a hero in the first place. The legend of the Little Mermaid can never die.


Rivers in the Desert – Persona 5 OST

The epic battle theme! The final, decisive battle, as the Little Mermaid stands before the final super villain, fighting to save everything, she does the impossible, bringing rivers to the desert! It's just a great song to get pumped, to get ready for the big fight, going all out and telling the bad guy that you'll do the impossible and win.

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Ghost Girl - Afterlife of the Party


Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monáe

Kimber's cheerful attitude and positive energy seem to be at odds with her disturbing and unnatural existence but those two extremes exist in her character simultaneously. Sure her physical body might be a mouldering pile of bones in a shallow, unmarked grave but that's no reason not to have a dance party! All the more reason to enjoy every moment. 


Born Again Teen - Lucius

Very literally Kimber has given a second chance and a sort of clean slate and dove into her new 'life' at Claremont with both feet. She's quick to trust and make connections with people and wears her heart on her sleeve; being sixteen in an exciting time even if there's an asterisks after the number.


Bulletproof - La Roux

Combining her youthful optimism and the fact they very few things can actually harm her leaves Kimber feeling pretty invincible. Part of that is knowing that the worst has already happened and she's still standing. Well, floating.


Touch - Daft Punk

This song is such a journey and the build up as new sounds are added and the tempo changes feels appropriate for Kimber's rapid mood swings. Kimber's a very affectionate and demonstrative person and the melancholy of being unable to act on those impulses during her high school years was always in the back of her mind.


Monster Mash - The Misfits

There's something really special about a young person finding the people they belong with. Sometimes you just need to be a little loose with the term 'people'. Become friends with Indira is probably the best unequivocally good thing to happen to Kimber, along with joining Young Freedom and moving into the castle.


Ghosting - Mother Mother

Graduating from Claremont left Kimber trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her potentially endless existence. Her friends were growing up and she was frozen in time, the teenage ghost bit beginning to wear thin. Either she was going to fade away or have to do something... dramatic.


Feelings - Hayley Kiyoko

Kimber tends to feel everything at full volume. It makes her empathetic and likeable but it also motivates some of her more questionable decisions and can be overwhelming for the people around her. Some mentorship from Nick Cimitier helped her move past self-recriminations and own her emotional honesty.


Black to Gold - Dear Rouge

Literally everyone told Kimber that getting close to Tarva the Black was a bad idea - including Tarva. But Kimber made up her mind to find a way to make it a good idea, even if that meant breaking some laws of magic, un-kidnapping the occasional baby and fighting anybody who disagreed.


War of Hearts - Ruelle

A dangerous, consuming love may look like a mistake from the outside but a big part of Kimber's character arc was moving past caring about other people's opinions and validation. There are aspects of her life and her love that are dark and strange and those parts are as precious to her as the light and sweet.


Ghost - Mystery Skulls

Well, I wasn't not going to put this on the playlist.

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The title is something on Eira's mind - and she is indeed stuffed with diamonds! It has the right level of teenage angst, especially someone who has learned to compensate for her feeling of weakness by performing strength. Listening to these now as I write this, and why yes, with a mind capable of projecting itself into cyberspace, she is indeed bigger than her body. The hard percussion sounds like a hammer striking work too. 



Another Halsey song, but hey not too many pop songs about machine angst out there. Eira could go out and buy a 100 dollar bottle of champagne if she lived in a civilized country like Sweden and not America anyhow. 



Another good song about being made of metal! Eira's not actually titanium, though. Not yet. 


Paint It Black

This is the song that plays for the Bad Future Eira, that one where she outlives her human friends and mentors and that decided Talos was right about the machine age's relationship with humanity. Not going to go this route with the character, but it's an interesting picture - especially since it's what people might feel about the anti-social machine supergenius. 


Harder Better Faster Stronger

This is Eira's power-up song! This is the one that plays when she's getting one of her season-beginning (or ending) upgrades, or that her fans make as the soundtrack for AMVs of her at work on herself. I can imagine her stepping into some sort of upgrade machine like the device Tony uses to take off the armor in the early movies, then coming out with a new paintjob and glowing eyes. 


Immigrant Song
A classic song for any character from a Nordic country, here with a female vocalist. This is the song that plays as Angelic flies into battle, her mirror-bright body crackling with barely-suppressed internal energies. 


Ocean Eyes

I wanted to get in at least one Billie Eilish song, since that's been Eira's faceclaim for quite some time. This one isn't too bad for her relationship with Pan at least in its bad moments. He is very charismatic and is her first boyfriend; tough times if their relationship runs into trouble! Luckily she has a quicksilver little heart and will recover from any bad blood. Eventually! 


Human (Andromeda Remix)

An obvious choice but I think not a bad one. Eira knows that she is sentient, she is 'human' as anyone else - but she also knows her mind is not an organic mind, without its dreams, its cares, its illusions. And she knows too that she is not the little human girl who laid down in that hospital bed and never woke up. 


Everybody's Fool

This is the song for when Eira is down on herself, not down on the world. Bummer! She's obviously the wrong generation to have listened to a song about as old to her as late-period disco is to me, but they don't always have to be the right music for the character, just for the player! 


The Eagle Flies Alone

Eira loves the band, dresses like the lead singer (who just happens to look like her Aunt Kimber), and has yelled this song at maximum volume in her dorm room. I had to include this one! Eira loves metal music, especially the varieties from her native Sweden. She doesn't really have the voice for it, though. Anyway, if she had actually compiled this list in-character, it would be mostly this band. 


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(an NPC - so I don't get credit for this!) 


Every single song of Judy's can be expressed through the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack. I cannot understate how important this movie is to the history of traditional country music; and what is Judy but traditional country? 


1. Down to the River to Pray

Judy has - more questions for God than she did before her powers manifested and she found the limits of her parents' willingness to sacrifice for her. But she knows she'll see Him, through the faith that's still a rock in her soul. God can't answer yes to every prayer - so maybe you can go answer someone else's.


2. Po Lazarus

Judy had not done much physical labor before coming to Claremont, but you know it's not so bad! 


3. Keep On the Sunny Side Of Life

This is the song for when Judy is feeling confident about her powers and herself, and optimistic about the future. 


4. Angel Band

Judy made it through Claremont, told her secret on her terms, and she made friends she'd never thought possible. She really does have an Angel Band! 


5. You Are My Sunshine

This is the song Judy sings to the mirror when she's thinking about Leroy. Less so this one these days, though. (Trivia note: this song elected troubadour Jimmie Davis Governor of Louisiana, just like in the movie!) 


6. I'll Fly Away

This is the song that plays in Judy's head when she imagines a future where she's outlived her loved ones and she's a Stellarian in truth, a glowing being of pure energy. All the ones she's met are awful, but it can't be so bad to be out there in the stars. 


7. Big Rock Candy Mountain

This is the song that plays in Judy's head when she considers a future on her own in college. It's going to be weird and crazy, but she's been to Claremont. She can handle weird and crazy. 


8. In The Highways

This song was actually an inspiration for Judy and her sisters back when they were just NPCs decorating President Cahill's backstory. They have actually sung this song together, though just in church talent shows and such when it was an interesting trick that the Governor's daughters could do. Judy wishes they could do it again. 


9. Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby

Judy sings this one to the mirror when she's feeling naughty and imagines singing it to Micah - maybe a lot lately. She doesn't want those girls, but the idea of being like those girls is something she wants - at least a little. Just in private, though. 


10. In The Jailhouse Now

It's the O'Connor grandkids who are in the jailhouse now, to which Judy sez "Good luck." 

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His World - Zebrahead

Fast! Jay is a speedster, not the fastest man alive or anything like that, but he's still pretty damn fast, and this song is just fast. Despite being one of the more calm speedsters around, Rocket is still speeding everywhere, living in his own world of speed that's in many ways very different from the normal world that everyone else lives in. When you can do anything so much faster, you're going to end up just a little bit impatient with everyone else.


Jet Fuel Heart - Miracle of Sound

Happy, peppy, a song about moving forward and searching for adventure and excitement. Full speed ahead, nothing will slow Jay down. On a bit of a darker side, the song references not dwelling on failures and not giving up on a dream, which I also use as a reference to Jay moving on from his past without looking back, perhaps a bit too eagerly.


Yellow Line - REDLINE OST

Getting pumped, starting out relatively slow and setting a nice pace, then starting to get faster as the guitars keep in, this is, to me, an essential fighting speedster theme. The song starts out slower with just keeping a pace. As the song progresses and evolves, so too does Rocket's speeds, becoming faster and more serious, racing towards the finish line.


Roundtable Rival - Lindsey Sterling

Super speedster battle! Coming up against another speedster is something entirely different than fighting someone else! It is intense, it is fast, it is a blur of motion and speed, dancing around each other to try and get that final hit.


I Am The Doctor - Murray Gold

The Atom Academy offers it's members access to adventure and wonder beyond the wildest imagination, facing both miracles and monsters along the way. This is Rocket's theme for the Academy and the friends that he is making there, a some times light and some times darker theme, reflecting all the adventures they will have!


Leaving Earth - Mass Effect 3 OST

Standing on the precipice, staring into the unknown. At once omnious and wonderful, Jay is drawn to explore, to discover, to journey into the unknown, to find the farthest shore and everything that lies beyond. This is Rocket's theme for serious exploration, where he is given pause as he stands at the threshold, simply staring in awe at the wonders before him.


Welcome to the Show - Britt Nicole

Uncle Johnny Rocket's theme. Johnny might have become a more serious hero since his debut, but he still knows how to have fun, and he has done his best to help Jay learn the same. If you're a super hero and everything is serious, you'll be bogged down eventually and everything will be much worse than it could otherwise be. Jay truly treasures all these memories of fun and good times with his uncle.


Driving With The Top Down - Ramon Djawadi

A more dramatic battle theme. The chips are down, Rocket is racing to save everything. Further, faster and better than ever before, racing like a rocket to the finish line.


Jet Set Run - My Hero Academia OST

Rocket's heroic theme! Just, listen to it? That is the music of someone coming to save you, someone that rushing to do the right thing and keep you safe, moving full speed ahead.

Here We Go Again - Miracle of Sound

Jay isn't meant for just sitting still and being bored. He has to explore, he has to make new discoveries, whether it is in the lab or abroad. He is out to explore the wonders of everything, running face first towards adventure and wonder.

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What's Up Danger - Blackway & Black Caviar

As far as Rebellion is concerned, he stands alone against the secret conspiracy that controls all of Emerald City. He faces the danger head on, with little care for the danger that he encounters along the way. He seeks the situations that bring him closer to the truth, no matter how dangerous they might be. Bonus fact: Listening to this song for the first time, before I even knew where it was from, gave me some of the initial inspiration for the character.


Untraveled Road - Thousand Foot Krutch

'cause just one voice is enough, to make sleeping giants stand up describes Rebellion's entire mission statement. He goes where no one else wants to go, he finds the clues, he searches for the clues that others might not even see, all in the name of waking up the sleeping giant that is the people of Emerald City, all to reveal the truth to everyone. The Chamber might be able to silence one voice, but never them all.


Magnum Bullets - Nightrunner (feat. Dan Avidan)

A story of revenge and death. Ultimately, Rebellion's quest is a selfish one. He was not a good person, and unless his aunt had been killed before him, he most likely would have been content to follow in his parents' footsteps. As I've pointed out in past vignettes, it is very possible that Rebellion's quest will ultimately lead to his end.


Tightrope (Infect Bonus Track Version) - Papa Roach *Explicit lyrics*

Rebellion was not a good person before he met the Terror. He was trained to be part of the next generation of villains, learning to fend for himself and not care about others. Even now, as Rebellion pursues an ultimately heroic goal, he is still struggling with being a hero. How does he make the right choice, between his mission and keeping others safe?


Everything Glows - D.A.D.

Elliot keeps much to himself, but the world has been opened to him, so very different from what he once saw. He kept his eyes closed, he didn't care about anything else, now everything is changed, life has grabbed his shoulder and everything glows.


Mad World - Gary Jules

Slow, contemplative, depressing. Elliot stands alone in the crowd, seeing the things that others doesn't. His life is not a happy one, and it probably won't ever be.


Sing - My Chemical Romance

Rebellion is defiant to the end. He stands tall, he will not falter, he will roar in the face of the conspiracy as he goes down swinging. He will raise his voice, he will be heard and he will fight for the people of Emerald City, whether they want him to or not.


Maybe Tomorrow Is A Better Day - Poets of the Fall

One day, maybe, things will be better. If not for Rebellion, then for everyone else. Somehow, he will make sure of that.


You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen

Rebellion's theme for dealing with the Chamber and their businesses. They kill the flame, they stiffle life, they control it all and make everything darker than it should be. It is a heavy theme, not something easily dealt with. If theirs is the glory, then Rebellion is fine with being the shame.


I Have the Power - All Good Things

Rebellion's battle theme. Elliot has a dark power that, along with his upbringing and life, should have made him a villain. It is not the kind of power that a hero wields, just like how the song is rather ambigious about the morality of its protagonist.

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The following songs have special significance for El. She listened to them either on a mostly-broken iPod, or blared from the speakers of her war chariot, Painkiller.


Between the Hammer and the Anvil - Judas Priest

Elena found a Judas Priest CD in glove compartment of a rusted-out Dodge Charger. She made it her mission to fix it up and turn it into a war machine with her sister. This song she would come to view as her personal favorite – hard, rocking drums and heavy metal guitar, what’s not to like? This, along with other rock songs, would be blasted from Painkiller’s speakers to lure Omegadrones to their fate.


Painkiller - Judas Priest

From CD of the same name, this is what El named her car after. As above, she would blast this song at high volumes while screaming through the wasteland. Her and El would shout the chorus above the buzzing of the Omegadrones to keep their wits about them, and distract them from the fear that every new day brought.


Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass

This is one of the few non-metal songs that she really likes. When she found moments to herself, away from the clan, she would dance to this song. She has only seen the ocean in books, having spent much of her youth in the Howling Wolves’ encampment, but she dreams of sailing one day

I Wanna Rock - Twisted Sister

El loves this song! She really likes rock music, and she knows every lyric. In her downtime, she loves to dance and sing, not that she would ever show any of her new friends at Claremont! In the wasteland, it was a way for her to blow off stream and get rid of some of the stress that her daily life brought.

Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

No one know El secretly loves this song. She’ll never tell.



The following are atmospheric songs, or else songs that describe crucial moments in her life:


The End of the World - Skeeter Davis

I imagine this as you see the blasted wasteland that was once Freedom City, the calm music contrasting the massive destruction and desolation left by Omega and his army.


Training Montage from Rocky IV

El and her sister, Stella, had to train practically since they could walk to defend their clan, especially after their powers were discovered. It was tough, brutal, and they both went to bed feeling like they would not be able to get up the next day, but they did. They found the strength within themselves to become the best in their clan, and to live another day.


Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone

The two sisters took the highway to the danger zone almost every day. At first, they were filled with wild bravado, thinking nothing could hurt them. That could not be further than the truth, they soon found out, and though their resolve never wavered, they quickly learned to be cautious in the wasteland. Even teenagers aren’t invincible!


I Can't Drive 55 - Sammy Hagar

El is a talented driver and mechanic, and has taken near-obsessive care of her ride, as neglecting it may be her life. She always lives every day to the fullest, not knowing if one day she would make it back. Always putting the pedal to the metal, this song describes her high-adrenaline way of living.


Changes - David Bowie

Being a refugee to the modern world has been confusing! There are so many things to get used to, and many sights and wonders she has beheld in her short time. Sometimes it’s all very overwhelming to her, but luckily she has great friends to help keep her head on straight.



Edited by Lone_Star
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Sparkler’s Playlist 


1. I Like to Burn Things

The Spades 




I remember when I was just a little kid 

And my dad lit a fire in an old drum 

I pulled off my gold and silver helmet 

Went running out there jumping through the smoke 

Couple years later a good friend of mine 

Found a book of matches, lit a farmers field on fire 

Yeah that was supposed to be a lesson to everyone 

But we were so sick of being taught 

I like to burn things 

Woah-oh-oh-oh yeah

I like to burn things


Raina grew up steeped in magic and magical culture, but every morsel of it was twisted from the start. She never learned to identify energy as “evil” or “demonic,” it was always “dark energy” or “power from under the earth.” Her parents were pleased with the strength of her developing skills and encouraged her penchant for fire. She was being groomed for great things, and only the interference of outside forces changed her fate. 



2. My Monkey

Jonathan Coulton 




My monkey gets busy sometimes

My monkey's got a lot of stuff he's gotta think about

My monkey gets tired sometimes

My monkey wishes he was something you could live without


Cause every monkey needs alone time

To eat bananas in the sunshine

It's feast or famine it's a fine line,

Doesn't mean my monkey doesn't love you


Raina and her familiar Merlin are buddies, but that doesn’t really describe the scope of their relationship. When a witch makes a familiar, she basically puts part of herself into that animal, and she doesn’t always have full control over what part that is. In Merlin’s case, he seems to have gotten more of her intellect and common sense than she was necessarily planning to fork over. He is definitely smarter than she is  and makes no bones about it. Still, they are best friends and near constant companions, and both of them like it that way most of the time. It’s just that it can be a little bit hard to spend all your time with someone who is so very much a part of you. 



3. Once Upon a Time in New York City

Huey Louis 




If it’s always once upon a time in New York City, 

Why does nightfall find you feeling so alone?

How could anyone stay starry-eyed

When it’s raining cats and dogs outside, 

And the rain is saying “now you’re on your own?” 


Oh Oliver don’t be scared, though yesterday no one cared

They’re getting a place prepared, where you wanna be

Keep your dream alive, dreaming is still how the strong survive

Once upon a time in New York City 


She’d always dreamed of going to the big city someday, but the way Raina arrived in Freedom City was not exactly what she’d hoped for. With her parents in jail, her grandparents washing their hands of her, and a single suitcase the only remains of her worldly possessions, her dreams of chasing success met a reality of trying to keep her head above water. Turns out that in the big city, if you hold onto who you are, you can get by with a little help from your friends. 



4. Stray Cat Strut 

The Stray Cats 




Black and orange stray cat sittin' on a fence

Ain't got enough dough to pay the rent

I'm flat broke but I don't care,

I strut right by with my tail in the air.


I don’t bother chasing mice around,

Slink down the alley, looking for a fight, 

Howling in the moonlight on a hot summer night


Raina’s name was mud when she arrived at Claremont. Not only was she broke and alone and new, everybody who mattered already knew that her parents were evil magicians and she probably was too. She was used to being a queen bee in every social circumstance, but that was completely impossible here. The only thing worse than being shunned by the mean girls would be letting them know it bothered her. 



5. Popular

Kristen Chenowith 




Popular, I’ll help you be popular! 

You’ll hang with the right cohorts, 

You’ll be good at sports,

Know the slang you ought to know! 

So let’s start, cause you’ve got an awfully long way to go! 


Don’t be offended by my frank analysis,

Think of it as personality dialysis

Now that I’ve chosen to become a pal, a sister and adviser

There’s nobody wiser, not when it comes to 

Popular, I know about popular! 

And with an assist from me to be who you’ll be,

Instead of dreary who you were (are)

There’s nothing that can stop you

From becoming popular! 


What’s a queen bee to do when she’s been cast from the hive? Assemble a new swarm, obviously, even if it means picking up a bunch of outcasts and weirdos and molding them like particularly difficult balls of clay. Raina’s weird blend of constant heckling, sharp-edged humor and strange noblesse oblige succeeded in getting her an eclectic but useful group of friends by the time she graduated. 



6. Firework

Katy Perry 




Do you ever feel already buried deep?

Six feet under screams, nobody seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you?

Cause there’s a spark in you


You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine,

Just own the night 

Like the Fourth of July 


Raina hated her code name from the moment she chose it. ‘Sparkler’ was nothing more than a tepid name for a captured flame, a burning toy that burnt out quickly and produced nothing. But it was also about as benign and harmless a name as she could come up with, an advantage when it seemed that any wrong move could land her in nullifying cuffs down in Blackstone with her parents. As time passed, though, she figured she might as well own the damn thing. A sparkler, after all, is impossible to miss when it’s burning. Raina is determined to be unmissable. 



7. Double Helix

Knuckle Puck 




Can I? Can I rewrite my code? 

Retain the good and purge the bad? 

You’re fraying at the fabric,

I’m pulling at the strands


Take, take, oh please just take it back

I don’t want your double helix 


It took an embarrassingly long time for Raina to come to the conclusion that literally everyone else in Freedom City had: her parents were villains and they’d been doing evil magic for decades. Despite her cynicism on nearly every other issue, she held onto the belief that they’d been wrongly accused and would one day be vindicated right up until the point where enough overwhelming present evidence was shoved in her face that she couldn’t look away anymore. The loss of her illusions was painful, but not as hard as the long process of cutting her blood family out of her life entirely. If she could’ve rewritten them out of her very DNA, she would have, but instead she lives with the knowledge that evil is written into her blood and bones. 



8. Teacher, Teacher

38 Special 




Just when I thought I finally learned my lesson well,

There was more to this than meets the eye

And for all the things you taught me, only time will tell,

If I'll be able to survive, oh yeah


Teacher, teacher, can you teach me?

Can you tell me all I need to know?

Teacher, teacher, can you reach me?

Or will I fall when you let me go? Oh no


With her parents out of the picture and her grandparents sure she was some kind of demon child, Raina was left with a dearth of role models and protectors in her life. Despite talking a good game about her own independence, she’d never had to fend for herself in her entire life, it was a pretty daunting prospect. Her first real stroke of luck in a long time came when she got sent to the Espadas dojo for training in unarmed combat and general sneakiness. Her teachers at school weren’t much good to her, but Erik, Talya and Min became not only teachers, but the family she needed so badly. 



9. High School Never Ends

Bowling for Soup




Four years, you think for sure,

That's all you've got  to endure

All the total dicks, all the stuck-up chicks

So superficial, so immature.

Then when you graduate

You take a look around and you say, "Hey, wait!"

This is the same as where I just came from,

I thought it was over, oh, that's just great! 


The whole damn world is just as obsessed

With who's the best dressed and who's having sex,

Who's got the money, who gets the honeys

Who's kinda cute and who's just a mess


Raina got kind of caught up in the whole “parents on trial for serious magical crimes, being forced to testify for the prosecution, whole family structure crumbling for the last time” thing at the end of her high school career, so she didn’t pay a lot of attention to that supposedly major transition. It’s just as well, because not that much has changed. Other magic-users still don’t want much to do with her, lots of people still suspect she might be evil, and most people are just annoying. Talya convinced her to go to college, so she’s even still got homework! It’s downright depressing, is what it is. 



10. She’s Always A Woman

Billy Joel




She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes

She can ruin your faith with her casual lies, 

And she’ll only reveal what she wants you to see, 

Yeah, she hides like a child, 

But she’s always a woman to me. 


She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel,

She can do as she pleases, she’s nobody’s fool,

And she can’t be convicted, she’s earned her degree,

And the most she will do is throw shadows at you

But she’s always a woman to me.


Now that Raina’s a legal adult and (sort of) autonomous, her overall approach to life hasn’t really changed that much. Never show weakness or pain, that just lets folks know how to hit where it hurts. Get the first shot whenever you can, whether the combat is magical dueling or just a barbed conversation. Most of all, take care of yourself, then take care of what’s yours, then worry about everything else after that. It’s kept her alive so far, so she’s gonna roll with it. 



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  • 3 weeks later...

Singularity's Playlist 


1. Eleanor Rigby

    The Beatles 




Eleanor Rigby
Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window
Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?


Jessie no-middle-name White, formerly Erin Keeley White, formerly the villain Singularity, now sometimes the hero Singularity, lives in a strange little niche in the world. Not just a double but a triple, she's lost her name and her past, and has a front row seat to two alternate versions of her future playing out for people who are not her. She is learning, inch by painful inch, how to carve a home for herself in the ground neither of her counterparts have staked out, but most of the time she's easy to miss as a pale shadow of the women she might have been. 



2. The Mirror Song

Thomas Dolby 




Memories of things that never happened

These are always the hardest to forget.

All the old friends and the loved ones,

These are the people you haven't even met. 


Looking forward, into the old days, 

Looking back at what there's gonna be.

There's no reality, there's just an illusion,

There's no real sanity, just plain confusion.


Singularity wasn't always the person she is today. Or the person she was didn't always turn out to be Singularity. Something like that. A bad thing happened, and Erin White, who'd already had quite a few bad things happen to her, was suddenly an extra copy of an extra copy. She didn't even have an alternate universe to call her own. None of the people she remembers from her past actually existed, and her memories of them are largely borrowed copies replacing what got destroyed. She's made it work for her, but it's really better not to spend much time thinking about it. It's not good for her to start questioning how much of her is real. 



3. Nothing to Remember

    Neko Case 



I owe you nothing, that's all I've got for you, 

You'll borrow nothing, that's what you expect of me.

And you send me your love tied up in sailor's knots 

And I fear underneath the weight of your thoughts 

My footsteps now, they don't echo too loudly.


You told me something that scared me to death

Don't take me home, I can't face that yet 

I'm ashamed that I'm barely human, 

I'm ashamed that I don't have a heart you can break. 

I'm just action, and other times reaction...


Singularity might have had a short and unremarkable life as a tormented weapon of evil people, except that her less-unfortunate-although-still-fairly-unfortunate double took pity on her and rescued her. They are forever connected by the past they share, and by the sticky bonds of obligation that bind like family. It took years of rehabilitation and therapy before Singularity became Jessie, became someone who could interact with the world in even the most careful and fragile of ways. Even now, years later, Erin is still taking care of her despite the fact that they cannot get along, because some ties are stronger than love and hate. 


4. Be Okay

    Ingrid Michaelson 



I just wanna be okay, be okay, be okay, 

I just wanna be okay today, 

I just wanna feel today, feel today, feel today

I just wanna feel something today 


Open me up and you will see 

I'm a gallery of broken hearts

I'm beyond repair, let me be 

And give me back my broken parts 


It took two years in the psychiatric ward of Blackstone prison before Singularity was deemed ready to move even so far as the halfway house of Project Freedom. Ordinarily she might have been there much longer, might even have been destined for a life at Providence Asylum given the layers of intense psychic trauma she'd experienced. Fortunately for her, her double had access to incredibly power psychics who were highly motivated to help her get better as quickly as possible. Huge portions of her memories were damaged beyond repair by Pathos' maliciously playful hands, and there was nothing to do but excise them entirely and replace them with duplicates from the Erin who had once been her. Most of the memories she'd created while being used as a weapon were similarly damaged, freely changed and overwritten by Pathos, or simply a confused and chaotic whirl that was impossible for even an intact consciousness to parse. There was so little salvageable, and it caused so much pain and instability, that eventually the decision was made to wall away those memories until such time, if ever, that she could sort through them without anguish. Whether that time will ever come remains an open question, but secretly Jessie squirrels away every bit of memory that pops up, hoping against hope that someday the gaping void in the center of her consciousness will be full enough that she stops noticing it. 


5. Cowtown

    They Might Be Giants 



We yearn to swim for home, but our only home is bone
How sleepless is the egg knowing that which throws the stone
Foresees the bone, the bone, our only home is bone
Our only home is bone.


And so I'm going down to Cowtown, the cow's a friend to me

Deep within the ocean, and that's where I will be 

Beneath the waves, the waves, and that's where I will be,

I'm gonna see the cow beneath the sea 


Jessie, and she was Jessie once she left Blackstone, never to be Erin again, was fortunate to meet her new best friend on her first day in the new big world. Aquaria can be hard to live with, and she's dragged Jessie on way more scary adventures than she would prefer, but she has also been Jessie's most stalwart champion in a world that is often harsh and unkind. The only home Jessie remembers is imaginary and coated in fuzzy textures of fear and death, but Aquaria has been the weird and offbeat anchor that's let her start to build a new home on Earth Prime. 


6. Painting (Masterpiece)

    Lewis del Mar 



The walls are boring me,

Paint it like you always dreamed it'd be
Turquoise, neon green
Paint it like you always dreamed it'd be
Throw like Pollock, 
Fuck the apartment
Oh, paint it like you always dreamed it'd be

If you want it, you can have it, every color that you see, see, see
If you want it, want it bad,

Then build yourself a technicolor masterpiece


Jessie missed out on many of the benefits Erin had gotten from not being kidnapped and brainwashed by evil supervillains, but there were a few upsides. Nobody expected her to be a superhero, for one thing. Instead, Erin bankrolled Jessie's apartment and sent her to college for a degree in whatever she wanted. It was hard to decide, hard to catch up even with the general education classes, but she'd been drawn towards art therapy since her earliest days on Earth Prime. She was never going to be a therapist, but she loved art, loved learning about it, and making it, and surrounding herself with it. Since it seemed unlikely she'd ever be able to get and hold a regular job anyway, she majored in fine and studio arts and spent her time studying and making beautiful things. Erin is skeptical but happy that Jessie is mostly staying out of trouble, while Aquaria is her biggest booster. Aquaria likes it when Jessie gets a wild hair and redecorates a room or most of the apartment, and Jessie likes the way that filling her space with rich, sometimes wild colors keeps her mind far away from the terrifying white walls she doesn't remember. 


7. Her Morning Elegance

    Oren Lavie 



The sound of water makes her dream
Awoken by a cloud of steam
She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up


And she fights for her life as she puts on her coat,
And she fights for her life on the train.
She looks at the rain as it pours.
And she fights for her life as she goes in a store

Where the people are pleasantly strange,

Counting the change and she goes 

And nobody knows.


Jessie leads a pretty normal life most of the time these days. She lives in a big apartment arcology and does her own errands, goes to classes, pays her bills and does her laundry. There are still days when she can't go outside. and weeks where she's been dragged away on heroic shenanigans, but for the most part, she is just.. living. The gaping holes in her memory bother her, but they don't keep her from being able to buy cereal or take her dog to the park. Her superpowers combined with her occasional flashbacks and frequent night terrors make it too dangerous to try for a relationship, but she has some friends. Some days everything feels hard and raw and painful, but she's getting by. 


8. Bodies

    Drowning Pool 




One, nothing wrong with me, two, nothing wrong with me

Three, nothing wrong with me, four, nothing wrong with me! 

One, something's got to give, two, something's got to give, 

Three, something's got to give, now! 


Let the bodies hit the floor, 

Let the bodies hit the floor, 

Let the bodies hit the floor,

Let the bodies hit the floor 


There's another side to the coin of Jessie's so normal, so quiet life. Something about having superpowers in Freedom City, or about being Wander's doppelganger, or about being Aquaria's friend, something is always dragging her out of the quiet and into a world filled with violence for the sake of keeping peace. Most of the time Jessie can handle it. She's had a lot of therapy, a lot of conditioning, spent years making sure she's got the scariest parts of herself locked down. Even when she's answering to her code name, most of the time she is always Jessie. But sometimes when things get too scary, when something brings the memories of zombies and white walls and screaming little girls roaring to the surface of her mind, Jessie slips away and Singularity is there for real. Singularity is not the mindless monster she was when she was controlled by Pathos and Hex, but she is cold and merciless, and very, very efficient in making the bad scary thing stop by any means necessary. 



9. Tears in Heaven

    Eric Clapton




Would you know my name,

If you saw me in heaven? 

Would it be the same, 

If you saw me in heaven? 

I must be strong, and carry on

Cause I know I don't belong

Here in heaven 


Jessie doesn't know what she believes about the afterlife. Erin's been to heaven, she knows that her parents and sister are waiting there for her. Jessie knows that too, and she knows in the bottom of her soul that those people are not waiting for an extra copy from a failed spinoff of a universe. There is nobody and nothing waiting for her on the other side of this life, and that in itself could make a hell of heaven. There are lots of other possibilities; she knows of people who have reincarnated a thousand times, people with immortal human lives, people who become ghosts and just hang around the places they loved in life. Aquaria has offered to put in a good word for her with Dagon and Hydra, so that's maybe a backup plan too. But she doesn't like to think very much about the possibility that one day she will die and her eternity will be empty streets of gold. 



10. Secret For The Mad

     Dodie Clark




I've got a secret for the mad
In a little bit of time it won't hurt so bad
And I get that I don't get it
But you will burn right now but then you won't regret it

You're not gonna believe a word I say
What's the point in just drowning another day
And I get that I don't get it
But the world will show you that you won't regret it


Little things, all the stereotypes
They're gonna help you get through this one night
And there will be a day
When you can say you're okay and mean it


Things are not always okay for Jessie. She's been crushed by bad things over and over again, spent a lot of time in holes so deep that there didn't seem to be any way out. Even though her life is objectively much better now, those pits are still there and it's depressingly easy to fall in them again when new bad things happen. But now she has people who will help her climb out, or who will at least sit there with her when she's not ready to move yet. She knows she may never be all the way "cured," and she will probably never be normal. But she's got hope that things are going to keep getting better, and it's enough. 



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