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October 2021 

Southside Serbian Orthodox Church (formerly) 


The Southside Serbian Orthodox Church had been a center for the Serbian community in this part of Freedom City since the turn of the last century. But though the Southside was still the working-class neighborhood it had been in 1900, now it was a neighborhood full of immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean, immigrants who had their own community centers and own churches. The SSOC (or St. Stephen's if you wanted to get technical) had stood vacant and abandoned for over a decade, a remnant of what had once been a thriving place. But now good times had come. The long-abandoned building had been sold to a local organization and was about to be refit into a community center and skatepark. In a few months, skilled artisans would come in and carefully remove the art that long-dead craftspeople had laid down on the walls and ceilings to a Serbian-American museum across town. 


But in the meantime, ten years of neglect means plenty of time for a  lot of cruft to accumulate, cruft that a group of young metahumans were just right to handle discreetly. So it was that early one Saturday morning, the teenagers had been dropped off outside St. Stephen's with empty dumpsters, gloves and cleaning equipment, and all anyone could need to clean the place. They had permission to use their powers, even wear their costumes, albeit discreetly. 


"This is such a shame," said Owain, his usually-jovial face solemn as he stood outside the church's side entrance. "A house of God left abandoned for so long, and to lose what it was even if they save the bones of the place. I wot not wither to go with such a task," he admitted. 


"At least you don't have to smell it," commented Neko in Japanese, wrinkling her nose as she looked at the long-abandoned church. She had actually fallen asleep leaning against Owain on the ride over, which meant her ears and tail had been visible the whole time as they were dropped off and given their instructions. 

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“Think of it like this,” Ryder suggested cheerfully, a long handled mop balanced across his shoulders with a bucket loaded with supplies hung from either end. “The important part of a church is the congregation and they’re still around, they just moved. I mean, immigration and housing and the economic components of racial inequity are more complicated than that but, like, now the building can be a place people gather and build community again, which is awesome!”


If Owain seemed unusually subdued Ryder was in rare form, bouncing on the toes of his paint splattered tennis shoes. He’d brought his own set of olive drab overalls, unzipped to the waist with the arms tied around him like a belt. His faded graphic t-shirt had probably been for a local band before being obscured by oil and grease stains and his nail polish, in bright lime green and grapefruit pink, were chipped from working with his hands. Anyone could have told from a glance that he was someone who loved a project and the look he was giving the old church said that he was looking a one big project.


“What we need to do is get you a skateboard, my guy. Modern day cavalry! Neko, you seem like a roller skates gal. Back me up, Nat!”

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Bernadette O'Connell looked up at the entrance of the long-neglected church and could not help but agree with Owain. Although she was Catholic and not Eastern-Orthodox, the abandonment and disrepair of the religious building still bothered her greatly. The Irish teen was wearing a Claremont uniform, although she had a rather worn light grey hoodie over the upper part of the uniform, which helped to make the lower half look simply like a pair of yoga pants.


She was carrying several of the cleaning supplies that the group had been left with as she looked over at the others. "'Tis very sad ta see." She agreed. "But we have a job ta do, so best be gettin' on with it."


Bernadette's eyes focused forward slightly as several of her duplicates popped into existence around her. Each of the duplicates picked up some of the other cleaning supplies.

"Ryder has a good point." One of the duplicates stated. "But it can' begin its new roll for the community till we do our part."

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Natalia did not own clothes that were supposed to get dirty; she'd made do with some older dark jeans and an old shirt she'd bought - bought! - from a second-hand store just for this project. Whatever design it had once borne had long since faded into the black background, lost along with the sleeves she'd cut away before putting it on. The boots, at least, she'd had - she wasn't going to go walking around in condemned buildings without solid footwear.


"Put Neko on a longboard," she said, leaning on a mop like the very idea of the church was exhausting. "With her sense of balance, she could dance on it while she rolls. say that if God wants his house cleaned, God should clean it," she added, pushing her sunglasses up onto her forehead. "But nobody here's going to listen to me, God least of all, so the sooner we get started the sooner we'll be done."

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"A skateboard, eh? I could see myself on one of those...but they would be so unstable in armor!" Owain objected to Ryder's idea, though not unkindly. He certainly seemed to like the idea better than contemplating the task ahead of them. "Now suppose I had one of those gasoline horses, the motorcycles, now that would be swell! "


Neko looked uneasily at Natalia and Ryder, aware they were talking to her and about her but sounding the words out in her head. Natalia could be rude and Ryder was nice, but it could still be confusing. Owain murmured a few words to her quickly in his own Japanese, and she brightened. "Good balance," she agreed, easily standing on one foot to tap the bottom of her other foot. "I can dance on board," she added to Natalia, "I had wood shoes." She was wearing what were obviously second-hand sneakers, the faded colors of the Freedom City Blades showing loyalty to a team she couldn't have identified with a map. 


Wrinkling her nose, she headed inside the church, and truthfully found herself a little relieved. From what she'd heard about conditions inside the place, she'd been expecting all sorts of bodily fluids and effluvia all over the walls and ceiling, but this place was simply very dirty - and dusty. She covered her mouth and sneezed, her tail poofing out behind her, and then again. "Up," she said, indicating that she'd be working on the bird and graffiti-encrusted roof of the church. 


There was plenty of work inside the church for the teens, enough that they all were busy. Luckily the hazmat crew that had come in before them had taken care of biohazards in the church bathrooms and kitchens downstairs, but there was still graffiti on all the walls, a fairly significant mouse and bird infestation (the latter especially where Neko was working), and trash almost everywhere. The inside of the chapel itself was mostly untouched by the worst of the graffiti (and luckily the art looked as if it had survived), but someone had definitely gone through here (and everywhere else) and stripped out the copper wiring and fixtures.


That explained why the lights didn't work. Owain looked at the site, took a breath - and went to work, mop and bucket in hand. 


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"A motorcycle would be pretty cool fer a modern day knight." One of the Bernadettes responded to Owain. The gathered redheads then looked forward as they focused on the task at hand. There was a lot that needed to be done, so there was no real time to waste.


The multiple redheaded teens began to spread out various tasks. A few set to work beginning to collect the trash that seemed to be everywhere. After a few of the duplicates managed to get several buckets filled with water, Bernadette and some of her duplicates set to work on trying to scrub some of the graffiti of some of the walls, starting in the entrance and starting to work their way further in.

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Natalia crinkled her nose at the state of the place, an expression that only escalated to a full lip-curl when she poked her mop at some of the trash. "I withdraw my comment," she said, archly, discarding her mop for a broom. "If cleanliness is next to godliness then this is not any god's house anymore. Isn't this kind of thing supposed to be a punishment?"


She tucked the broom under one arm long enough to pull out a pair of long black handkerchiefs, one of which she tied securely around her lower face and the other of which she sent floating in Neko's general direction. "Scrap fabric," she said, waving a hand; a low swirl of black and gold dust built up in front of her, nearby trash and dirt sliding toward it like it was sloughing downhill. "Old cloth. For breathing. Don't feel bad if it gets dirty while you're...eating birds, or whatever."

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"Armour on a motorcycle, huh..." Ryder mused as he walked inside, almost missing Owain helping to translate for Neko. He grimaced in self reproach - he'd made a mental note to use Japanese when talking to the petite girl but had forgotten in the moment. While his conversational fluency left something to be desired even after a year of practicing off and on with Utsuwa, it seemed like the least he could do to help Neko feel more included.


Resolving to do better going forward he surveyed the interior of the church and set down the buckets he'd been carrying. Out of one of them the Robugs hopped, scuttled and buzzed, fanning out around him and looking about curiously. "Alright! Black, grab some pics of the graffiti before we start taking it off, yeah? We can try to preserve all the art that way. Yellow, if you want to head up to the roof--" Ignoring him Magenta hurried off in a sprint punctuated by hops several times her own hight, following after Neko toward the rooftop. "Or sure, Mag's got it! Uh, let me think... <Neko! You can say to, ah, Pink if you want us.> No, that should be, <if you need our help!>" His accent was pretty rough but at least his thumbs up was enthusiastic.


Cyan and Yellow set about ferrying debris from hard-to-reach places into one big pile, lifting a surprising amount without issue. Strapping on a tool belt he'd pulled out of the other bucket and tugging on some insulated gloves Ryder headed for the closest hole in the walls where the wiring had been gutted, looking for any hazards before they started poking at anything or spraying water around. "Who wants first dibs on the playlist?"

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Bernadette and her duplicates waited until Black took a picture of graffiti before starting on cleaning it off. As the redhead started too work, she was humming quietly for a bit. But when Ryder mentioned people picking music for a playlist, the Irish teen stopped humming and started singing, her duplicates joining in:


I got my ticket for the long way run

Two bottle of whiskey for the way

And I sure would like some sweet company

And I’m leaving tomorrow, what’dya say


When I’m gone

When I’m gone

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone


You’re gonna miss me by my hair

You’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone


I got my ticket for the long way round

The one with the prettiest of views

It’s got mountains

It’s got rivers

It’s got sights to give you shivers

But it sure would be prettier with you


When I’m gone

When I’m gone

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone


You’re gonna miss me by my walk

You’re gonna miss me by my talk, oh

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone


As she finished, Bernadette gave a small smile. "Sorry. Someone else can take first choice, though since yer providing the sound system perhaps you should choose first?"

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Neko narrowed her eyes at Natalia and prowled off, her tail poofed open slightly, but didn't say anything until she'd actually made her way up onto the church roof. The stairs hadn't been easy to find with her own eyes, but a quick search through the eyes of cats had spotted it for her with no trouble. Up on the roof, she tied the mask around the lower part of her mouth while audibly muttering in Japanese somewhere in Magenta's direction. "Nya! I am not actually a cat!" She sat down in a particularly sunny spot on the roof and took a moment to calm herself. "This place smells and so do these stupid birds." For their part, the birds seemed to be giving her very little notice, which wasn't really helping her mood any. She closed her eyes where she sat and thought of chasing birds out of the bean fields by sending terrible images against them. "Maybe that's what I need here..." But first, she just needed to rest in this nice warm spot...



Down below, Owain hesitated a moment - then spoke. "I have not our fair Irish lass's gift for singing, but I have a riddle, if you of the future can handle the riddles of old!" He looked around from his work to the others, smiling. "In Latin, it goes "Terra fui primo, latebris abscondita terrae; Nunc aliud pretium flammae nomenque dederunt, Nec iam terra vocor, licet ex me terra paretur..." He stuck out his tongue in brief thought. "Which in your tongue would be...


"Earth-child I was, skulking in ground
Till smelt-flames offered a new name and price:
No longer earth, I can purchase the earth." 


With that he looked at the others in the chapel with him expectantly, a challenging smile on his face. 

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"Gold," answered Natalia; the corresponding part of her gravity-defying dust pulsed as she clenched a fist, and her collected dirt and trash compacted itself into a rough but cohesive solid. She left it lying on the floor as she began to gather another. "Or silver," she amended, "or any other precious metal, but why settle?"


Something that had probably once been respectable furniture, and could be again with some work, was starting to slide toward her little vortex; she poked it with a broom to keep it away while she moved past. "I can't quite self-harmonize and I'm afraid the only riddles and rhymes I know are Russian - and deeply inappropriate - so I think I'll pass on entertaining the group. If the people who built this place knew what they were doing, though, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a sound system built in - or just good acoustics from the pulpit. If it's music we're after, and nobody fully ruined it while making this mess."

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“I’m going to have to say ‘fully ruined’, yeah, sorry,” Ryder called back to Natalia, pulling from a hole in the wall what had once been an AV converter box but had had the cables connected to it unceremoniously hacked off, leaving the frayed ends still plugged into the box. He tossed it into the air where Yellow caught it and dutifully carried it over to a small pile of recovered junk that her creator had deemed interesting enough to inspect more closely later. “Good idea about the pulpit though, let’s see!” 


He jogged to the stage at one end of the church and began poking around and knocking on walls with his knuckles. “Man, singing and riddles, though! That’s stuff’s just universal, love that,” he added conversationally as he jumped up onto a lecture and began climbing on elements of the interior design which definitely hadn’t been meant for climbing. A little less than halfway up the wall he found a panel that sounded hollow and, balanced with his toes on the top edge of a sizeable plaque, he leveraged it open with a flathead screwdriver from his belt.


In the compartment was a largely untouched speaker pointed toward the pews. Unfortunately it wasn’t hooked up to anything other than loose copper ends but Ryder seemed pleased nevertheless. “Hey, Cyan! Showtime, bud!” While Ryder hopped down an inadvisable distance to the floor the little robot cricket jumped up on top of the speakers, bouncing back and forth energetically. “Speaking of precious metals, Eira gave me a playlist and I promised to give it a listen, that’s probably perfect!” He pulled out of his phone and pulled up the list of songs.


On top of the speaker Cyan began rubbing his legs together, initially producing a high pitched chirping sound. He moved about his perch and abruptly gravelly female vocals and rapid percussion came blasting front the speaker, the sounds he was making resonating with the equipment. Ryder gave Cyan a thumbs up and turned around to get the rest of the group’s reactions.

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Curled up in the sun, Neko opened one eye, then another eye, flopping her limbs for a moment until she pulled upright on all fours. She had been about to go to sleep when she'd heard something coming up from below. What's that noise? She hmmed and rose to her feet, then a little belatedly remembered the job she was supposed to do. Well she didn't have time to actually clean this roof while this music was happening down below, but she could at least get rid of the birds. She closed her eyes and folded her hands - and suddenly there were cats all over the roof, leaping and hissing, throwing themselves at the roosting pigeons with animalistic glee! As a great cloud of startled, squawking birds headed up towards the sky, Neko turned and headed for the steps downstairs. 




Owain listened carefully to the music but decided that it was coming too fast and loud for him to understand, which all in all was probably for the best from what he knew of that sort of music. At least what he could understand _seemed_ to refer to churches. Ryder was a good fellow and obviously happy with his music, so Owain gave him a firm double-thumbs up as was the style of the time. "Very good!" he called. "The speaker makes it very loud!" 

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"Yeah! It really-- uh. Huh." Ryder glanced over his shoulder toward Cyan and the speaker and froze, blinking several times and tilting his head to one side in manner that brought to mind a confused golden retriever. He quickly spun back around, searching the opposite wall for any sign of a projector. Finding none he rounded back to the back wall of the old church and took a few steps forward, gaze locked on the faded painting of a woman with a halo standing in front of buildings with onion-dome roofs.


Who happened to be actively bopping her head along with the blaring music.


Ryder was reasonably sure that the gutted electronics meant that there was nothing to power some sort of sophisticated flat screen. There was so much dust in the air that it would have been obvious if the image was being projected from elsewhere. He could think of other ways to achieve the visual effect but they would have required an investment of some combination of time, expertise and money that seemed like it would have been hard to justify. And so, with his engineering inclinations stymied, he switched to his other main mode of operation: making friends.


"Okay, so... hi!" he called over the music, waving amicably. "Didn't realize there was anyone already here! I'm Ryder, these are my friends. Always nice to meet a music lover!"

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Bernadette thought she might have figured out Owain's riddle, but Natalia beat her to the answer. The redheaded Irish teen focused back on her work as Ryder had one of the Robugs move onto one of the old speakers for the church's sound system. She started slightly as the loud heavy metal began blasting from the speaker, but then relaxed. While not exactly her taste in music, the teen was interested enough in music in general that she was able to appreciate the skill and techniques used by the members of the band.


She had just been about to fully focus on her work when she saw Ryder face off away from any of them and wave in a friendly manner while apparently addressing someone. Surprised that there seemed to be someone there (and partially worried given the fact she had numerous duplicates wondering around) Bernadette turned in the direction Ryder was facing and saw the figure in one of the images of a saint moving her head in beat with the music. The Irish teen froze in surprise at the sight, unsure what was going on.

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Natalia stopped her 'sweeping' as soon as she saw Ryder's head cock; it really was very retriever-like, and just like a retriever it was important to know if he'd noticed something shiny, or if he was going to try to make friends with something that stung or bit. And so she made a fist, crushing the her pile of trash into another compact ball as she strode over to get a better look. "Cricket, what-"


She could immediately feel a headache coming on. "A painting," she said, incredulous. "Cricket. We've been here, what, less than an hour and you've made friends with a painting."

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When the eyes of the visiting heroes fell on the painting, the figure of the saint inside seemed to go stock-still, her eyes widening in surprise, before turning and bolting right out of the 'frame'. And then suddenly, a remarkable series of animated images seemed to play across the sacred art along the walls. A painting of the Holy Family nearby saw the goat looking over the Baby Jesus suddenly turn and bolt across the 'scene'. As they watched, all through the many Biblical scenes along the walls, a figure in the painting seemed to take flight and run away, until at last the action reached the painting on the ceiling - a vast, faded work depicting a choir of angels singing a heavenly tune to a solemn-faced Jesus. An extra angel seemed to appear on the scene then run up to hastily take her place among the others, albeit unconvincingly. 


"....God be praised!" shouted Owain, his normally deep voice actually cracking under the strain of this awesome moment. Devout Catholic that he was he fell to one knee and declared, "Lord, thank you for letting us be worthy of this, this miracle! Alleluia!" 


"I don't...I don't think that is...it," said Neko, looking up at the ceiling. "It is not..." She waved her hands, a look of frustration on her face as she fought for the words, and said, "It is not...not a god, no, it is a...a kami. I have seen kami." 


Up above, a scene seemed to be playing out amid the images. Rays of light came from the mouths of the celestial choir, forming a glowing orb at the top of the ceiling's dome, that seemed to radiate a happy contentment. But gradually the singers stopped and the orb seemed to look more and more downcast, until at last only its own glow was outlined in the light above, radiating from the extra angel that strongly resembled the saint they'd seen earlier. 


"Well if it is not God himself," said Owain reflectively, not looking embarrassed about his position, "the spirit of a church personified must be a blessed spirit indeed. What does it want?" 

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"A spirit, huh. Kinda like a one-building Doc Metropolis?" Ryder mused, scratching his jawline with one finger as he considered their next move since his initial greeting seemed to have been coming on a little too strong. "That's a good question, Owain." He watched the brightness of the glowing outline dim gradually and made an intuitive leap.


Cupping his hands around his mouth he called upward, "Sorry, didn't mean to startle you! You hungry?" He turned to look sidelong at Natalia with a preemptive shrug. "Everybody's gotta eat. <Do you know what she would eat, Neko?>" He was gambling that the shy church spirit didn't eat friendly teenagers.

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"<Rice and sake,>" said Neko immediately and with some authority. "<But that's the diet of a Japanese spirit.>" She folded her hands in front of her and frowned up at the hovering spirit. "<I have no idea what an American spirit would eat, much less one from a place like this.>" She hesitated a moment, her yellow eyes unfocusing, and there was the distinct sound of the rapid movement of small feet elsewhere in the building. 


"Methinks she checks the building for food," offered Owain, who'd been following the conversation as best he could with his limited Japanese. The encounter with the soul of the place had been unsettling, but now that he knew he faced neither angelic visitation nor demonic impersonation, he could take the moment as the surprise it was. "Your pardon, gentlefolk," he said with a nod to his team, "I will take a closer look."


Folding his  hands before him in a gesture that mirrored Neko's, he spoke aloud "siâp aderyn" and underwent a miraculous transformation. Without the sound of bones crunching or flesh melting, his body changed shape and size into that of a glossy black raven. "Hup!" he called, flapping his wings up until he reached where the spirit lurked in the ceiling. 


"<There is some canned food and beer in the basement>" said Neko, looking up from where she'd been looking through the eyes of cats, "<but I don't know if even an American spirit would like that, the cans are dusty and long-abandoned.>" 


Up above, the angelic 'singers' were glowing slightly, the glow seeming to feed into the hovering shape over their heads. "I say!" called down the avian Owain. "This close I can hear the echoes of their sweet song!" 

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Bernadette watched with a small bit of shock as the figure in the painting seemed to react in almost a panic at the fact they had noticed her moving and somehow moved out of the image she had been a part of and moved through other artwork throughout the church until she ended up in the paintings on the ceiling. While not exactly ready to accept a miracle as Owain seemed at first to be, the Irish teen was still a practicing Catholic, so made a sign of the cross as she watched the scene before her for a moment.


All the copies of Bernadette continued to watch the scene as the rays of light stretched out above them and formed a glowing orb up at the top of the dome. She was vaguely aware of what Neko stated about the painting, not initially recognizing the word which Owain and Ryder clarified as a spirit related to the building.


The redhead was quite as Neko began seeing what sort of food might still be in the old building and Owain indicated his intent to take a closer look at what was going on above, as he turned himself into a raven and flew up toward the ceiling. When he called down that he could hear the echo of a song from the images of the celestial choir, Bernadette looked over at Ryder.

"Maybe they were reactin' ta the music?" She suggested. "Like, it somehow helped give them energy?"

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"It would make sense." Natalia had kept calm pace with the spirit as it fled through the pictures, with a posture somewhere uncomfortably between 'studying' and 'stalking'; when it fled upward, she simply turned and walked straight up the wall, stepping where she wouldn't disturb anything worth preserving and stopping a healthy distance from the roof. "Ryder did notice it because of the music."


"If it is part of the church, I suppose collective song would be...filling? Magic is not my area," she added, waving one hand in a dismissive gesture, "but that sounds appropriately mystical. If it isn't actually a part of the church, but it feeds on song or prayer or whatever, a church isn't a bad place to live. It would be one of my picks." A beat, and then, "Not my top pick, of course," she said, as if admonishing the spirit. "I don't know who would pick a church over a concert hall, but I suppose you go where you need to."

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"Oh, like food food? That's easy!" Ryder exclaimed in pleasant surprise before being distracted by Owain's transformation. "Huh. So, did everybody else know he was a sword guy and an animal transformation guy? That's two whole things!" He tilted his head further and further to follow Natalia's path up the wall, transferring his weight to one foot and lifting the other off of the ground until he was practically parallel with the ground. As the conversation continued he spun about like a figure skater to right himself and face Bernadette, pointing an approving index finger toward her. "Also doable! Music we've got! Lemme make a call!"


Pulling out his phone he tapped on his most recent conversation and waited for a beat while it rang. "Hey! Yeah, all good but listen, can you swing over with Elena now instead of when we were thinking? Oh, and pick up some beer or... Wine, maybe? On the way?" There was a pause and he rolled his eyes. "Not for us, there's a painting lady. No, not a lady who's a painting, they are the painting." Another pause. "If I was already drunk I wouldn't be asking you to get beer!" This time he rolled his eyes with such force he bent over backward. "Because we're not in Japan! It does too make sense! Fine, whatever, just the food then, please. You suck. Love you." 


Putting his phone back into his pocket he told the others, "Jenny was already on her way with Elena anyway." Cupping his hands around his mouth he called up to the ceiling, "Could you let the bird know if you have any dietary restrictions?"

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El drove this time. She had just gotten her provisional driver's license, and it was time to test it out! Well, she already knew how to drive, but her idea of driving was apparently very different from the way most people from Freedom City drove. Concepts like "right of way", "traffic lights", and "pedestrian safety" had not been taught to her, but she adapted quickly. So El drove Jenny to the church, her heavy metal music blasting! It had not occurred to her yet that perhaps some people didn't appreciate loud music as much as she did.


"SO ANYWAY, THIS IS LIKE MÖTORHEAD'S THIRD BEST ALBUM!" she shouted over the music. "OH WAIT, we're here," she said, turning her music down to an appropriate volume as they rode up. She helped Jenny carry in pizzas, breadsticks, and two-liter bottles of soda.


"Hey everyone, pizza's hereeee - uhhhh" she said, her mouth dropping in surprise. She nearly dropped the food and drinks as well, but her superhuman reflexes kicked in, and she precariously caught the falling bottles on top of the pizza box. 


"Now, I haven't been here for all that long, but are paintings supposed to move like that? I mean, I'm no art expert, or anything."

Edited by Lone_Star
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Neko blinked in surprise at the new arrivals but mastered her shock quickly. If there is a kami in this place, we can't stand here talking to each other about it - we need to do something before it flees for the spirit world or shows its anger at our presence. "<Hello,>" she said to Ryder's sister in rapid-fire Japanese, "<Thank you for bringing the food. I am Neko Musume. These will help us with our spirit work.>" She moved quickly through pizza, smoothies, and alcohol, pulling off lids and opening boxes without actually making a mess, wrinkling her nose from time to time before she wound up with what appeared to be an acceptable amount of food - a few slices of pizza here, a vegetarian fruit smoothie, and two bottles of beer.


She knelt down on the floor with her prize and admitted in awkward English, "I don't know...for a Christian spirit," she admitted, calling out in English "Owain! I need help!" 


Up above, the Owain-bird quickly wheeled around and ducked low over the heads of his fellow students before disappearing into a dark enclosure off to one side of the sanctuary. A moment later he stepped out, big as life and very human. "Here!" he said, jogging over quickly to sit down beside her. "Hello!" he added to the new arrivals. "Thank ye for the food." 

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"I know next ta nothin' about magic as well." Bernadette responded to Natalia. "But as fer choosin' a church over a concert hall or the like, well, I guess it really depends on how they ended up here in the first place I suppose." She stated, continuing to watch the scene above as Owain flew up near where the first image Ryder had spotted had gone.


The Irish redhead (and her duplicates) remained quite as Ryder called his sister to try to request some alcohol with food.


When El arrived with Jenny the redheaded teen made her way over toward the food with a smile. "Indeed, thank you for bringin' the food." She added to Owain's thanks. Taking some pizza, Bernadette looked over where Neko was trying to set out some food choices to see if any of the figures in the paintings would be interested.


She glanced back over toward Ryder. "Any thoughts on what music ta play next if they are not interested in food?"

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