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Danica had stopped her scooter when the rest of the group had slowed, keeping her hands locked on the handlebars as she craned her neck around to take in the whole scene. Her body was slow but her brain did all right, and it was going as fast as it possibly could at the moment. She took a couple of deep breaths, trying to keep it from tripping over itself. "Okay," she said aloud to herself, then louder to the group, "Okay. We obviously just went through some kind of portal. Time portal or dimension portal, hard to say. These cars look like cars from when I was little, so that would be the eighties, maybe? First thing to know is if we can get back." 


She carefully spun her scooter around, the modifications Eira and Ryder had put on making the turn radius very small, and trundled back the way they'd just come. It didn't look like anything portal-like was there, but sometimes portals could be invisible. 

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On 12/2/2021 at 11:34 PM, Dr Archeville said:



"this - no - this almost looks like Freedom City... but more decayed.  Did we travel to the future?"

“Wrong direction I’d say.”

Leon corrected.


On 12/8/2021 at 12:36 AM, Electra said:



"Okay. We obviously just went through some kind of portal. Time portal or dimension portal, hard to say. These cars look like cars from when I was little, so that would be the eighties, maybe? First thing to know is if we can get back." 

He pointed at Danica.

”Give the lady prize. Early Eighties I’d say, judging by the cars.”

He glanced back, watching her head back to check her theory.


On 12/5/2021 at 4:18 AM, EternalPhoenix said:

Effigy and Invisigirl


“Yeah, this is definitely Southside. But most of the landmarks I remember are missing. Weird.”

“Cause they haven’t been built yet probably.”

Leon looked back at Wilona as she came back down. He glanced around and nodded.

”Nice work picking out where we are so quickly.”

He had to give her credit for it. He looked back again and saw Wilona had turned her own attention to Naomi, who seemed to be having a panic attack of some kind.


On 12/5/2021 at 4:18 AM, EternalPhoenix said:

Effigy and Invisigirl


“We’re gonna be fine. I promise. I’ll burn any bad guys down, and we can hide like before. Okay?” Anyone watching would see an unfamiliar expression on Wilona’s face. Fear. A fear that had nothing to do with the Terminus and everything to do with not knowing how to help the closest person in the world to her.

Leon slowly stepped over and crouched beside Wilona. He kept his voice low and steady.

”Hey, it’s okay. No one here is gonna let anything bad happen, least of all your girl here.”

He tried to reassure her.

”She’s strong. You’re strong. I’ve seen the two of you together in training. You’re not weak little kids, you’re street tough. And street kids have each other’s backs.”

He glanced at Wilona. He didn’t know their whole story, and he didn’t ask. It wasn’t his business, but every street kid had one. Sure he didn’t care who know his, but others played it close to the chest. He could only hope he was helping.

”Plus, you’re rolling with crew now. We’re gonna watch out for each other, no matter how much be snipe at each other.”


Edited by Spacefurry
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so At that moment, a police car pulled up nearby, its lights and sirens flashing.  It was definitely an older car than the ones Leon was familiar with, certainly belonging to the apparent time period. 


The officers who stepped out were a timeless pair of cops who seemed right out of Central Casting; an older white man with a greying mustache and a younger black officer with a smaller mustache. "Hey!" Greystache took the lead, marching right up to the kids with his hand near his weapon. "Whaddya you punks think you're doing?" he growled, seeming to target Effigy in particular. The officer was hanging back, watching the Claremont arrivals and speaking with some urgency into his radio. 


Meanwhile, Danica's efforts at a physical retreat weren't accomplishing much. But she realized that, standing where she was at almost exactly the spot they'd appeared in, she could distinctly smell the desert scene they'd so recently left behind...

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Wilona’s head whipped around and she stared holes through Greystache. “Minding our own business, what’s it to ya?” Thank god, something she knew how to handle. She briefly turned to Naomi again. “One sec. Gotta do a thing, okay? I’ll be right back.” She let her partner’s hands go, stood up, and stepped between Greystache and Naomi. She knew this kind of cop. She’d met this jackass several times living on the streets. The type who though a badge and gun made him God. “Kinda busy here, oinky. So let me make this quick. No, we don’t belong in school. No, we’re not showing you some ID. In fact, we don’t need anything from you except for you to go away. That about cover it? Super. Bye.” She turned her back on the cop and crouched back down with Naomi. “See? Right back.”




Naomi had been listening. It was all she could do, at the moment. Since everything was terrible and wrong and awful and no good.

 The scent of burning flesh, empty places where people were, the taste of blood in her mouth

She had to admit, they were being very nice. Very supportive. Like a warm blanket. It kind of made her want to hug them and scream at the same time. They didn’t understand and she didn’t have the words to explain.

Monsters oh god monsters don’t see me don’t see me don’t see me

It wasn’t…it wasn’t about being strong. Or tough. It was about pain and terror. About the universe being very very big and Naomi being very very small. She really didn’t know what to do about that, aside from shrinking the universe.

Fire in her veins what’s happening it hurts it hurts why don’t they see me I’m right here it hurts so much

Just nice close walls and a warm soft Wilona. No troubles. She sighed mentally. But, of course, it wasn’t like that anymore. She wasn’t thirteen. She was sixteen. The universe was still very very big. Mr. James said the other week that one couldn’t live in the past.

Mommy daddy I don’t understand what happened I’m so confused where did you go

Another mental sigh, and a single tear rolled down her face. Lots had changed. Maybe she could too?

I’m scared please don’t leave me alone I don’t understand

Her mental machinery wrenched. It was…sad. She didn’t want to leave the girl who’d had that nice life with the distant but loving parents and no concept of how very very big the universe really was behind. She liked her a lot. She wanted to be her forever. But it wasn’t her anymore. And truthfully it hadn’t been for a long time. And and Leon was right. She rolled with crew now. (who talked like that? :D ) She stopped flickering between visible and invisible. Standing up…okay, maybe in a minute. Knees say no. Baby steps. She pulled out one hand from Wilona’s and extended it to Leon. He was a friend. Because he tried, even though he knew nothing and didn’t understand. And she wanted to get up now, not in a minute. “Help, please. Knees say no.” She spoke to both Wilona and Leon. Greystache was not yet important. Standing first.

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Leon shot the cops a sett look as the rolled up on them with full lights and siren. As they started trying to harass them he could appreciate Wilona’s no nonsense reaction, but hoped they’re chaperon would talk to them before a fight started. They didn’t need to start a tussle with a couple of pigs in the past.


On 12/18/2021 at 3:02 AM, EternalPhoenix said:



She pulled out one hand from Wilona’s and extended it to Leon. He was a friend. Because he tried, even though he knew nothing and didn’t understand. And she wanted to get up now, not in a minute. “Help, please. Knees say no.” She spoke to both Wilona and Leon.


When Naomi seemed to steady herself and offered him a hand to help her up he gave her what he hoped was a reassuring smile.

“As you wish.”

He teased as he helped her to her feet with Wilona. He held her hand loosely once she was standing so he could support her if needed, but she could freely take her hand back when she wanted.

He stood beside the girls as they faced the police again. They were a crew (he’d heard the term in a movie years ago and liked the sound of it 😁), and he’d stand with them and the others.

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  • 3 weeks later...



Heroditus was still trying to process the news that they had traveled about 40 years into the past (the energies required for such a feat stagger the imagination!) and had been sent 2,000 miles away, back to Freedom City (not as nigh-impossible, but still requiring a staggering amount of power!), when the police arrived.  But unlike his compatriots, he still held a (privileged) Atlantean's view of law enforcement officers, and had little experience with the more unpleasant side of Surfacer police.  Especially not the police of Freedom's "iron age."


"Now, now, there's no need to antagonize these constables," he said, walking between Wilona and the cops.  He bowed slightly towards Greystache, "I hope you can overlook my companion's rebellious outburst, sir, but I am sure you know how adolescents can be.  We are... displaced, and could use some assistance in regaining our bearings.  Could you help us?"


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Well... none of this was very great. Danica took in another breath of desert and leaded-fuel scented air, then did her best to stuff down panic before turning to face the police officers. She touched the control of her scooter that put it in its lowest-tech stealth mode as a thin-wheeled unpowered scooter of the sort a kid might ride around. Checking to be sure her physical disguise was in place as well, she put on her most adorable and winsome little-kid manners and rolled up next to Heroditus. "We're lost!" she agreed. "We really need to get to Riverside, but we can't find the right bus stop. We're from out of town and my friend got really scared because it's getting so late." She bit her lip and tried to project only some of the nerves she was feeling. "Can you help us?" 

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"You're lost?" Greystache asked. His tone was gruff, his hand still on his weapon. The younger officer remained by the car, but he had stopped talking, but he still had the radio in his hand as he watched. "It's way past curfew, punks. Being lost's not gonna cut it."


Alexandra finally spoke up, quickly stepping in between the officer and the students. "I'm sorry, officer, truly. I was chaperoning these students for a field trip, and I lost track of time. We were just heading to Riverside. It's all on me, I swear."


Greystache eyed Professor Macedon.


"How about you teach these punks some respect for the law, then? And..." He paused, as he looked properly at Danica and her scooter. "What's that? What kind of field trip takes you into Southside, anyway?" He loosened the clasp on his gunholster, placing his hand on the gun's grip, while he took a single step back.

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Wilona helped Naomi up, same as Leon. No words were required. Then, of course, Hero, Danica, and the Professor had to open their mouths. She stared at them in disbelief. Did they not know that All Cops Were Bastards? Privilege in action. She hated to see it. “Tch.” She started glaring holes through Graystache again. And, of course, he was flapping his gums too. “You’re a pig full of questions. Let’s give you some answers, eh?” Her smile was about as saucy as a smile could be. “Curfew can kiss my ass. I’ll start respecting the law five minutes after it starts respecting me. That’s her disability aid, you dick. And we’re in Southside because I thought I could visit where my parents died without being harassed by 5-0!” Whoa, she was angrier than she thought. Between Naomi’s troubles, a wild cop appearing, and everything else, she was understandably compromised on the emotional control front. She should calm down and stop her arm from smoking. But yanno…he did have his hand on his freed gun. “But noooooo. Mr. Grey Mustache decided he needed to shoot somebody today.” Her right hand sprouted a ball of fire, and that entire arm was smoking freely. She was genuinely furious, if not particularly irrational. “So go ahead, draw your weapon on a bunch of unarmed children. See how that works out for you. Spoiler: It involves the burn unit.”




“Thank you.” Leon helped Naomi up, so he deserved the words. Everyone was doing lots of talking. For once, she wasn’t actually listening all that closely. Because while she had steadied herself, that was not in the same universe as okay. She was still metaphorically shaking like a leaf. Clinging to Wilona’s robes and Leon’s arm (This one wasn’t the right temperature, how weird) like she was half her age. But it wasn’t lockdown. That was important. And-oh, dear. Wilona was about to fight the police again. Not that Naomi had any sympathy for the police. Some of them were nice, sometimes. But they were all bastards. Three years on the streets had taught her that.

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Leon watched as Hero and Danica tried to be more diplomatic with the cop. He wanted to say something snarky, but decided to let them try to defuse the situation. When their chaperone tries to dissuade the police he was hopeful. But when the cop loosen his gun Leon tensed.

He pulled several sheets of paper from inside his hoodie and they stiffened in his hand. He took a protective half step forward to block Naomi from any trouble. Sure he knew she could protect herself, but it was a reflex for him.

“You heard Red, slink back to your car and bugger off. We didn’t come here looking to start a fight, but we’ll damn well finish one if we have to.”

Okay, so he wasn’t helping the situation, but like Wilona and Naomi he hadn’t’t had the best encounters with the police. Sure, was usually because they were trying to stop and arrest him and his siblings but that was beside the point.

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  • 1 month later...



Ah, this proliferated rapidly.


Heroditus hoped he was fast enough to act before either his teammates or the police started opening fire.  His hands flew to his bandolier of pockets and drew two small golden rods, one topped with a sphere of alabaster and the other with a cube of black onyx.  He uttered a few quick words of power as he joined the two together into one longer rod, then knelt down and touched it to the ground at his feet.  Lines of blue light appeared along the rod, and the pavement buckled and warped, then rapidly swelled, like a rising tidal wave!  In moments a  semicircular wall of asphalt and concrete had formed around the two officers and their car, covering the front and sides but leaving the back open.


"I suggest," he said, standing, "that we move on to less... populated area."


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  • 2 weeks later...



The cop with the moustache visibly froze the flames appeared, his eyes fixed on them. "Supers..." Greystache muttered. His hand was moving to the gun when Artificer stepped forward to wall them off. By the time he had drawn his gun, it was too late, and they were separated from the group.


Greystache's fellow officer dove into their car and reached for the radio. "We need a FOP squad in Southside, right now! We got teenage supers breaking curfew and attacking officers!"


"Oh no, this is bad. This is really bad." Doctor Macedon hadn't been fast enough to step in either way, but she was now gesturing wildly. "Come on, we gotta get out of here. We do not want to get caught up in all this!"

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Leon saw the officer getting ready to draw his weapon. He was tensed, ready to react at the drop of a hat when Hero’s wall erupted out of the ground. He was genuinely surprised and looked back and forth front one end of it, around to the other.

He glanced over as both Hero and Dr Macedon suggested they retreat. He hadn’t been lying, he did want to start a fight if he could help it. He back at Naomi.

”They’re right.”

he said begrudgingly.

”We should get outta here. Think you can talk her down enough to go?”

He asked the girl quietly, nodding towards her fiery friend. He really hope she could talk Wilona into retreating. 

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Effigy and Invisigirl


Naomi tugged on Wilona’s left sleeve. The pyromancer blew air out in irritated fashion. She pointed at Hero and Leon in rapid succession. “You both suck, and I’m mad at you.” This was the same hand that had the ball of fire on it (as Naomi had a hold on the other one), which Wilona visibly realized was still there and extinguished. “Wasn’t threatening you guys. I just…” She huffed, still irritated. “Libertas! Let’s just get the hell out of Southside.” She looked at Macedon. “You need a lift, Doc? Invisigirl or I can carry you.”


Naomi nodded vigorously, both at the idea of leaving and helping someone who needed it. “Do you?” Was she okay? Hell, no. Could she keep it together long enough to get the hell out of Southside? Hell, yes.

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"You can be mad with us later," Heroditus replied to Wilona, "and I am sure we can find some better targets for your flames.  But right now, we need to go!"


I was told Surfacers were prone to aggression, he thought, especially their adolescents.  I had assumed it was just stereotypes, or propaganda, and I have met many who were... tolerable.  But this one...  A few unkind words ran through his mind.  So of course when I am caught in some mystical effect that hurls me through both space and time -- a phenomenon I would give dearly to study -- not only is it with my most choleric classmate, it is to one of the most barbaric times in Surfacer history!


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"Ugh, I really thought that was going to work for a minute!" Danica abandoned the little-girl-lost persona and began moving her scooter faster. "I actually do think we should go to Riverside," she added. "If we can get to the Master Mage, maybe he can help us figure out what's going on! I know sort of where he lives in this time period, my parents took me to see him a few times when I was little and they were trying to figure out my powers. If we can get close enough, he'll probably notice us first anyway, right? Unless somebody else has a better idea, or a line on the time machine that might be in Freedom City in the eighties?" 

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"I'm fine, but thank you," Alexandra replied to Naomi, giving her a reassuring smile. "Riverside sounds like a good idea, but we should move. If I remember right, we don't want to deal with whoever they're calling in." 


While they moved, Alexandra seemed to be deep in thought for a short time, before finally speaking up.


"I'm not sure the Master Mage would be able to help. I'm pretty sure we stumbled into the Magic Mesa. It's... how do I explain this... It was a previous Master Mage's sanctum, and it sorta has a habit of sending people through time and space. I think it wants us to do something, set something right or something like that. The cave should open up once we do... whatever that is."


Sirens were starting to cut through the night, but they were not heading in the direction of the group. Instead, they seemed to be heading past them, in the direction they were already moving. Up ahead, an explosion rocked an apartment building.

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Effigy and Invisigirl


Wilona opened her mouth to complain some more about Magic Mesa, the Universe, and Everything, when a building freaking exploded. There were no words, no shared look. Hell, it didn’t even look like they thought at all. She and Naomi simply moved. “Fortius!” Wilona’s right hand reached for flames. Not to sear her foes with flame, but to control what was already burning. “Aerus Servinius!” While her left sought to blow smoke out of line of sight. Naomi too, was acting. Turning walls invisible to see who was behind them and if they were injured. She did not need to speak to activate her force field.

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Leon was more then ready to bail as the group turned to make a break for Southside. They hadn’t even covered a city block when the sirens reached them. Leon started to worry, but he quickly recognized that they weren’t heading towards them.

‘Good, maybe they get distracted and leave us alone.’

He thought briefly.


Then the area rocked by an explosion in a nearby building. Leon cursed the universe. They were totally gonna get blamed for this, he knew it.


Wilona and Naomi had a head start and Leon followed after them. He watched Naomi as she used her power to search for victims and smiled. She was smart.

“Hey, Effigy!”

He called ahead.

“Can you put out fires as easily as you start them?”

There was no sarcasm in his tone as he used her code name. An explosion in a building could easily rupture a gas line and start a fire. This had just turned from a field trip to a practical exercise.

“If not, focus on search and rescue. Chelone can help. Artificer?”

He called back to the Atlantean.

“Got anything to fight fire? If not, think you can make sure the building isn’t gonna come down on our heads?”

Artificer’s transmutation abilities could really make a difference either way he thought.

He wasn’t trying to sound like he was giving orders, Leon was just confident in his teammates’ abilities and knew they would stay focused. He was sure he could cover any gap the others couldn’t. Wether it was controlling the fire, reinforcing the structure, or helping with rescues. He’d let them take what roles they felt comfortable with and pick up the slack.

Edited by Spacefurry
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  • 4 weeks later...



Heroditus instantly responded to Leon's words, finding comfort in the orderly instructions.  "My people have not seen flames in 12,000 years," he called back, already rifling through his pouches, "but I may have an idea on how to deal with it!"


He had, in fact, several ideas, but what he didn't have were an abundance of time or resources.  Too far inland to bring the ocean in, any wind-generating devices would just as likely spread the fire as it would snuff it out... ah ha!  He drew out a small bit of crystal, dull orange in color, about the size of a fingernail.  A bit of ignaetium, crystallized fire.  If I can construct an elemental inverter around it, so that instead of emitting heat, it draws it in.... yes, that could work!


By the time he reached the building, he'd constructed a cylindrical cage of fine wires and thin metal plates around the tiny crystal.  The plates were etched with a variety of Atlantean runes, for drawing and releasing elemental power, but he had installed them backwards, along with a few other hasty modifications.  He considered telling his comrades that there was a slim chance that his kit-bashed device might project flame, or simply explode in a massive fireball, but no, they have enough on their minds already.


He sent a pulse of magical energy into his device, and hoped.


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