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Freedom City. Southside/Bayview Border. January 22, 2022. 2PM. Jimmy’s Shake Shack.

 

GM

 

Jimmy’s Shake Shack was exactly the kind of dive one would expect. It served burgers, hot dogs, French fries, and milkshakes. All of it was better than you’d expect, but no Michelin stars would ever be awarded. Terrifica picked it because Nevermore ought to know of it, and it was as calorie laden as Miracle Girl liked to eat. Her powers apparently demanded a diet higher in calories than most. There wasn’t a plan, really. It just seemed proper to introduce her new mentee to her old one. They could eat, talk, and then go on their way. She, naturally, had her ways of getting in touch with both of them.

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Miracle Girl

 

2022 was going to be an interesting year for twenty-four year-old Casey Blankeship. Last year she graduated from FCU with her Bachelor's in Journalism, but decided to stay on and get her Master's with a focus on scientific and environment reporting. Most of her sorority sisters were leaving Freedom, including some of her best friends: Lola Carbone was heading back to Boston and into MIT, and Darlene Lampwick was heading to Harvard Law. They were talking about getting a place together. Only Stephanie Kowalski, resident cynic and hilarious oddball, was staying in Freedom for grad school, so naturally she and Casey went in together on an apartment.

 

During a ski trip over the holidays back in Colorado, she told her three best friends about her secret identity; Stephanie had already figured it out (she was always the smart one), Lola suspected something was up, and Darlene was utterly flabbergasted. There were a lot of tears, apologies and hugs, and of course everyone got a brief private flight, but it bonded the four of them together like never before. It was a magical week.

 

But now she faced the realities of grad school; a lot more schoolwork, including lots of group projects that she couldn't just super-speed through. She and Steph hardly saw each other except on the weekends, and she didn't have as much time for hero work. So she was delighted to get the call to meet up with Terrifica and her new protégé, who was somehow part of the Raven Family.

 

- - - - -

 

Dropping out of the sky with a soft but firm thump in her red, white and blue uniform, Casey stepped over to the resturaunt window to take a peek inside. She didn't bother to look for Terrifica (she allowed the super-detective her dramatic entrances), but was instead checking out the menu and decor.

Edited by Heritage
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Nevermore II

 

Charlie was already inside by the time he saw a blonde in red, white and blue dropping out of the sky. He had been sitting in a booth in full costume, after all, that was what Terrifica had asked. It felt kind of odd to be sitting around in his full uniform, but on the other hand, it was a pretty good feeling to not just rush off the moment people saw him. Not quite yet, at least.

 

He looked up from the menu he was studying, a slight smile on his lips. So that was Miracle Girl. He had read about her.

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Noting the very obvious superhero sitting inside, Casey grinned and waved at him before pulling open the door and entering the Shake Shack. Unlike Nevermore, Miracle Girl was a visible presence in Freedom, and while not as famous as some other heroes, she tended to draw some attention; the fact they she was a tall, attractive blonde didn't help matters. So there were a few selfies she needed to pose for before she made it to the teen crimefighter's booth.

 

"Sorry about that," she said with a slight grimace as she approached Nevermore. "But to be honest, they just would have taken pictures of us on the sly anyway." Casey held out a gloved hand to offer a very firm but warm handshake. "I'm Miracle Girl; very nice to meet you."

Edited by Heritage
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Terrifica

 

There was no dramatic entrance for Terrifica. “I’m beginning to feel a little ignored.” She was smirking. In the last booth in the back. In plain sight. Well. She was wearing a domino mask and wig instead of the cowl, but still. However, her tone was amused, not chastising. “You change one thing about your appearance, and nobody recognizes you.” She was teasing, still. “Ah, well. Miracle Girl, meet the second Nevermore. I’m assuming you heard about your alma mater offering mentorship opportunities for the students? Well, I took them up on it.” The rest was obvious. “I thought we could sit down, have lunch and you two could get to know each other better. We’ll likely be working together in the future, so it’s a good idea.”

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"Works for me," Casey said with a shrug and a smile. She joined Terrifica at her booth and idly picked up one of the laminated menus tucked behind the condiment rack. This was going to be challenging, because everything looked good!

 

"It's a little weird seeing you without the cowl, to be honest."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nevermore II

 

"Nevermore, likewise." 

 

Charlie returned Miracle Girl's handshake, a very non-cowl-like smile playing across his lips.

 

Had Charlie noticed that Terrifica was already there? He didn't act like it, at least, but he didn't jump either, when Terrifica spoke up. Shaking his head with another grin, he moved to join Terrica and Miracle Girl at the other booth.

 

"Hey, networking's always good, and I figure I can just as well learn from everyone I can, right?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Casey nodded as she continued to peruse the menu. "Well, yeah, sure! I mean, as weird as it feels to say so, I am a bit of a veteran myself."

 

She paused to look at Terrifica thoughtfully, a wistful smile in her lips.

 

"Jeez, how long has its been since that first team-up? It was September 1st, 2014. I'll never forget it; the day that changed my life. That'll be...eight years this year; wow!"

 

The waitress came by their booth, and Miracle Girl flashed that famous million watt smile.

 

"Hi, yes! I'd like the bacon triple cheeseburger, a large loaded cheese fries, aaaaand a large Oreo shake, please, with whipped cream and a cherry. Thank you, Vanessa!" She always made a point of reading name tags.

Edited by Heritage
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"Just the regular cheese burger, fries and a coke for me, please." Nevermore seemed, if anything, more polite than the regular dark brooding vigilantes that dressed up in dark costumes and called themselves bird names.

 

He handed the menu to the waitress with a smile, before turning to look at the other two again.

 

"So... you met in 2014? How'd that happen?"

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Terrifica

 

“Come now, Nevermore. How does any heroes meet in this city?” Terrifica was genuinely smiling, still gently teasing. “There was a case. A break in at the Hanover Institute of Technology. I was rather new in town, but it was almost literally Miracle Girl’s first day. She’d registered for your current school, but had yet to attend.” She paused her story momentarily to order. “One bacon double cheeseburger, medium fries, and iced tea, please. A duplicate order to go, along with a bacon cheese dog and two small fries.” The latter, Miracle Girl would know, was not for Terrifica but for her husband and son. Meilin was currently adhering to vegetarianism. She continued her story. “It was September First, approximately sunset as the sun was red in the sky…” As they waited for their food, she began to relay the events of the Brain Drain casefile. Leaving plenty of room for Miracle Girl to interject if she so chose.

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"Weirdly enough, the most fun part was getting to dress up as someone else; I grew up in a pretty conservative Christian family, so I didn't get many chances to play around with my look growing up." 

 

A look of playful mischief flitted across Casey's face.

 

"I love a chance to go undercover, but it doesn't come up very often. But coming up with a new look or changing my voice is always fun."

 

She cleared her throat a few times before speaking in an amazing replication of the younger crimefighter's voice.

 

"This is one of those tricks that has a surprising number of uses. Especially if you pick up a bad guy's phone or comm."

Edited by Heritage
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"I mean... I met Raven when I showed up at his home and told him I'd figured out his secret ID, so... Lots of ways to meet people?" Charlie mused to no one in particular at Terrica's teasing comment. It was no big deal. He just figured out the identity of some of the most famous and secretive super heroes in town on his own. Yeah, alright, maybe it was a bit of a humble brag.

 

He froze, looking at Miracle Girl as she talked like him.

 

"That's... kind of eerie. Y'know, watching someone talk to you in your own voice." He paused for a moment, a slightly mischievous grin playing over his lips. "So, what do you call that? Your Miracle Voice?"

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At the mention of figuring out Raven's secret ID, Casey frowned slightly; she didn't like the idea of someone showing up at a hero's house and outing them. He was clearly proud of it, too. But she decided to hold her tongue and reserve judgement; after all, it sounded like everything worked out in the end.

 

She cleared her throat and spoke again in her normal voice. "Uh, I don't know; I guess I don't really call it anything but 'mimicry'." She shrugged. "Oh, and I can do more than just voices."

 

She then expertly mimicked a doorbell, a vintage Nokia ringtone and the mushroom sound from Super Mario Bros. Her expressions while making the sounds were fairly comedic, and then she grinned and wiggled her eyebrows.

Edited by Heritage
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Terrifica

 

Terrifica rolled her eyes at Miracle Girl’s shenanigans. “Most secret identities can be puzzled out if you’re persistent. It’s not much different from tracking down a crime lord. I imagine it would be easier, actually. Most heroes aren’t concealing their activities from the law, after all.” She held up a hand to forestall comment. “I haven’t done so, mind. Professional courtesy. But really, between modern facial and voice recognition technologies it wouldn’t take very long.” She smirked. “Unless, of course, one had multiple identities.” This was, naturally, when their orders arrived. “Thank you.”

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"So, what, you go around and make the bad guys think that someone's calling them?" Charlie grinned lightly at his own joke. It wasn't really visible because of his mask, but he raised an eyebrow at Miracle Girl. 

 

He opened his mouth to say something in response to Terrifica when the food arrived. "Thanks, it's looking great." 

 

Charlie took up some fries, before he continued. "Sure, if you got access to that, maybe. But, two points here: I didn't have access to anything like that. And this is the Raven we're talking about, y'know. He's not exactly known for being a social butterfly or being caught on camera. But hey, it worked out, and he decided to train me as his sidekick."

 

If Charlie noticed Miracle Girl's distaste of his pride, he didn't say anything about it.

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Casey wasn't entirely happy with the direction of this conversation; it made her painfully aware of how thin her own 'disguise' really was, and she didn't like what that made her think about. Luckily, their food arrived and Nevermore offered an excellent topic for a redirect.

 

"So what type of things has Raven been teaching you? You're very lucky to be receiving training from some of the best in the field, between Claremont, Terrifica and him."

 

Mmm, this food was good!

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  • 2 weeks later...

"All kinds of things. Detective work, fighting and teamwork, mostly." He picked up a fry and spinning it between his fingers.

 

"But yeah, I know. I've been very lucky. And persistent."

 

He put the fry in his mouth and chewed for a moment, thinking for a moment.

 

"But that's pretty much me. What's your story? I know you got the whole tough strong flier power set and the miracle voice, but there's gotta be more to it than that, right? What's your story?"

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Casey shifted around in her seat and got a little pink in the cheeks. "Uh, well, some of my story is actually classified, due to my...relationship to a hero in the employ of the US government." She looked like she'd just eaten a bug. "So I can't talk about that."

 

After a few seconds, she turned to Nevermore and smiled.

 

"But what I can say is that my senses are very keen and I can do this with my eyes-"

 

She held up one of her cheese fries and stared at it; then her eyes flashed an intense white, like you tried to look at the sun during an eclipse, and the fry was instantly charred to a cinder.

 

"Obviously a power like that is very dangerous; you have to train a lot to get precise control, and you cannot use that in ways that threaten civilians or would do undue harm to a suspect. If you get angry and burn off a criminal's arm-" 

 

The blonde heroine shook her head vigorously, disturbed by the implications of her own abilities.

Edited by Heritage
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  • 4 weeks later...

Terrifica

 

Terrifica had been uncharacteristically silent. Well, the point was to let these two talk, after all. So the super genius ate and listened quietly. The food was quite good here, after all, and she was content to not drive a conversation for once. She actually was rather impressed with Nevermore to this point. He had done basic deduction from the available evidence, and figured out who the Raven was. His detective work could use a bit of sharpening, overall, but he was a teenager and one without powers at that. But she couldn’t resist one comment.

 

“Yes. Those of us with genetics different from human baseline must indeed be cautious with our abilities.”

 

This was a bit of a landmark for the super genius as she never, not even to Miracle Girl, had admitted to having superpowers to anyone. She refilled her mouth with food and said nothing more.

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GM

 

The peace of the afternoon was shattered by a loud cry for help from outside of the restaurant. This sound was quickly followed by gunfire (in two noticeably different types) and more indistinct shouting. Then something decidedly inhuman roared so loud even the stock boy from the back of the restaurant poked his head to see what was happening. Something had gone horribly wrong outside. Maybe some heroes should check it out?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Casey's eyebrows raised a bit at her mentor's statement; she knew from past experience that Terrifica's brain operated considerably faster than the average, but she never expected her to acknowledge the fact publicly. She was still considering the ramifications of this information when the sadly all-too-familiar sounds of violence reached her ears.

 

"Nuts," she stated emphatically as her head drooped for a moment before popping back up again. "Okay, see you both outside."

 

There was a rush of wind that sent napkins and drinking straws whirling through the air, and then Miracle Girl was out in the street, arms crossed over her chest. It spoke to her impressive bodily control that she didn't rip the door of its hinges or shatter any glass on the way out.

Edited by Heritage
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"Huh." Charlie stops mid-bite on the fry in his mouth, looking at Terrifica. She can't see his eyes behind the lenses on his masks, but what is visible of his face probably shows his surprise for a brief second, before he composes himself. He wants to dig into it, ask some more, but the noise from the outside ruins that chance.

 

Nevermore is already getting up, but he is nowhere near as fast as Miracle Girl as she moves out into the street. 

 

Still, he's as quick behind as he can be, moving towards the door and pushing out of it, already reaching for his utility belt.

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Terrifica

 

Terrifica wasn’t quite as quick to jump up as the young woman with superpowers and the literal teenager. In additional to her lack of physical powers and extreme youth, she wasn’t the type to wholeheartedly rush into things. This meant that instead of being literally beside Nevermore on his way out, she was instead a couple of steps behind. And because her brain moved so fast, she had just enough time to wonder about the strange colored rippling in the air as the trio burst into the street. She had already drawn her staff.

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GM

 

And on that street a battle was occurring as civilians fled and a few police officers tried to coordinate said fleeing. A cowgirl with a pair of revolvers, a heavy machine gun toting girl with planes for stockings and no pants, one more girl festooned with a dizzying variety of gadgets, and lastly one guy with an axe and ice powers. This was side one. Side two consisted of several twisted looking versions of wolves (with a couple of larger ones in that group), led by a massive bear. The only reason the opposing quartet hadn’t been overrun was 1) three out of four (cowgirl was excluded) could basically fly out of reach and 2) they were all using ranged weapons/powers and incredible teamwork. A few of the wolves lay unmoving on the street already as testament to their skills. The cowgirl spoke in frustration. “When this is over I wanna know how a friggin’ Scourge got past the wall undetected!”

 

As for our heroic trio, well…something was wrong. The temperature had dropped easily 10 degrees, and the buildings were in a decidedly different style from that of Freedom City. But then that massive wrong looking bear roared, and it was the same sound the trio had heard in the restaurant. Fleeing civilians screamed in terror. Good as that quartet was, they couldn’t cover all possible angles. Some helpless civilians were g going to get chowed on. Really only one thing to do here, innit?

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  • 1 month later...

"... Huh. Not Freedom anymore..." Charlie murmurs, as he pulls a small silver grenade from his belt, tossing it up and catching it again.

 

"We gotta get people clear, and probably try to stop the bear and wolves, then, y'know, figure out what's going on." Quick moment, figure out what's going on. "MG, you want the bear or the civilians?"

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