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Katastroff Consulting 

A subsidiary of Archetech


The Claremont students had all followed up on the advertisement posted in one of the Claremont common rooms. "NEED SUMMER CASH? CONSIDER INTERNING WITH KATASTROFF CONSULTING! SCIENCE - FOR EVERYONE!" The smiling face underneath was a mostly-familiar blonde in a white labcoat, Eira having been a contemporary of Luke and Leon in her last year and her first year at Claremont. She looked to have aged since then, perhaps puzzling for an android, clearly looking to be in her mid-twenties as she ushered them inside what turned out to be a rather small, hastily-assembled office. 


The walls were bare and painted in a bland shade of off-white, lacking any decor or artwork to liven up the room. The space was lit by overhead fluorescent lights that cast a harsh, sterile glow over everything. The only furniture appeared to be a desk with a chair behind it and a couch and chair in front of the desk. There was a faint buzz from the lights overhead and the sound of recirculated air from somewhere, but the room itself was a little stuffy. 


"Hello!" she said, putting on a big smile for the three Claremont students. "Luke, Leon, and Carmen, yes?" Her Swedish accent was faint but noticeable as she spoke to them, gesturing for them all to have a seat. She gave them all a big smile and spread her hands wide once they were all inside the room. "I am so glad you all are here!" She smiled again, her teeth perfectly white, and folded her hands in front of her, unconsciously beginning to crack her knuckles as she spoke. 


Everything will be fine. We will get this done and they will have a fine adventure. 


"This will take no more than twelve hours," she told them all reassuringly, "are you all prepared to be away that long?"

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Carmen "Puma"


While she would have liked to have gotten more money for working outside of school, an internship that paid was close enough. Besides that, she needed to do something when school wasn't entirely in session, with plane travel back to the island at the moment that she would be stuck in the dorms during the summer months, likely alone with only a few other students. It was fortunate then that she saw the poster and was accepted rather quickly into the program without much issue.


Carmen didn't really know whom Eira was, the Swedish woman seemingly knowing the Luke and Leon, two that she was familiar with at the least... or didn't make her too overtly annoyed. She was still a little bit surprised that this scientist lady wasn't eyeing her like some sort of specimen, especially since Carmen still hadn't gotten anything to alter her appearance yet while in public. She'd assume that it must be the exposure to so many strange and weird powers that a young catwoman was simply just a drop in a single large hat. She was more casually dressed today, and lacking her typical varsity jacket, wearing an old Puya shirt that she had hand me down, a rock band from Puerto Rico that she listened to from time to time. The skirt was out today, instead jean shorts, fixed and stitched from what was before a plain pair of pants.


"Twelve hours, do we get lunch at all, where are we going?" she asks. The details weren't specific in the application that the school counselor helped her fill out.  She had taken the approach to ditch the worn tennis shoes today, always at mercy to claws, opting for sandals to compliment a summer apparel that made her look a bit less sheepish. Besides, with summer weather, it was already getting too hot to wear a thick jacket.

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"I would advise you to eat before you go," said Eira thoughtfully, smelling faintly of peppermint to La Puma's sensitive nostrils. "While food will be present it may not be to your liking, especially if you have dietary needs. I myself am vegan," she added, "so I understand any such concerns and will do my best to meet them." She considered what to say, then said, "None of you are diabetic, yes? The medical waiver was very specific." As indeed it had been. "You will be visiting an alternate plane that has been repeatedly accessed by superheroes, one that is rated completely safe for juvenile organic life by the Freedom League." She eyed Carmen in particular and said, "Does your coat offer you thermal protection? Do you get cold?"

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Leon had seen the flyer in the school’s library and taken it to show Luke. After a little back and forth they had decided it would fun to check in on an old friend and get paid for it. What could go wrong?


Carmen had come with them, Leon guessed she had seen the flyer before he had taken it down to show Luke. It was cool, even if she didn’t seem to get along well with his girlfriend, she was still cool to hang with.


Leon now sat with the others, across from Eira in the rather plain office.

“Sup. How’s your boy-toy?”

He returned her greeting with a raised eyebrow and a grin.

“As long as I’m back in time for my dinner date tomorrow.”


“Good question.”

He gave Carmen a nod. When Eira mention an alternate plane Leon had to resist a ‘Not the bees!’ joke after his last trip to an alternate world.

“Please tell me the cafeteria here is better than the school’s.”

Truth was the cafeteria food wasn’t that bad on campus, but it just hadn’t been the same since that time Queenie came around.

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"He is fine," Eira lied cooly. "His interests...do not lie in technical matters in any event." She smiled, her teeth perfectly straight and white, and said, "If you would prefer to eat here, I recommend the Slutty Vegan food truck parked across the street. The burgers are very good, yes?" She tapped a pen against her chin thoughtfully and added, "I have prepared limited supplies if necessary but this will only be a short-term mission. The dimension does not allow visitors for more than the length of a single night. A longtime ally of the Freedom League, the local monarch, has been the victim of a local political confrontation. We will be liberating him from his confinement. Just like, ah, saving the Atlantean monarch, as the League has done. Are there any more questions?" 

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Carmen "Puma"


"What?"  Puma was caught off guard at the question about her coat. She assumed rightly so that she was referring to all the fur across her body. She wasn't expecting a question like that, especially with how the weather was here, nice and relatively warmer than what it had been. She was still dressed a bit too much for the summer, but that black coat of hers accommodated for that, "O' yea, sure. It should be fine, I don't get that cold, what do you mean an alternate plan?"


Both the human and cattish side of her was curious now, hearing about some different sort of world. Typically speaking, all she knew about was the regular world, the one she inhabited, but this talk wasn't something she had yet in her more heroic oriented classes. She'd thought initially this would all just be weird tests, learning about powers and so on, but exploring some other reality was a jump in a completely different direction. She was now cursing internally that she should have read the waiver more before picking this as her paid internship.


The mention of vegetarian burgers made her cringe, the cat side of her personality not that interested in eating vegetables, or what she considered funny enough, fake meat. It was nothing against the food, just her nature, "So when do we leave then?"

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"There are regular food trucks as well, if your condition requires you to be strictly carnivorous," Eira told Carmen before she laughed nervously. "It is not a - a combat mission, I could not just send some Claremont students off to fight in some other dimension, yes? Local conditions are somewhat chillier than they are here. But nothing will actually endanger you. One of the properties of certain magical realms is that nothing there can actually hurt a - organisms such as yourselves." She stood up and said, "I will need to grab our gear while you have whatever lunch you prefer. Here is a cash card that the vendors will accept," she said, offering the black, glossy thing to Leon, "but after that we will be ready to leave, if there are no more questions...?" 

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Now, Luke couldn't definitely say no to some extra cash, especially one that he could earn by doing actual hero work. Couldn't him? No way. Plus, he got to hang out with his friends and that for sure beats having to deliver pizzas or do some boring chores for a few dollars an hour. 


"Hey... Nice to see you. It has been a while... How are you doin'?" He had saluted Eira with a friendly smile.


"By the way... do we have to call you boss around here?" He teased. 


As for her questions. "No special need with regard of food." Yep, only that it was abundant, feeding his teenage appetite and fueling his athletic endeavors wasn't an easy task after all.


As for his clothes well, he didn't exactly came prepared for an arctic expedition, to be honest, having picked just his jeans and his best shirt for the occasion (he had figured that his usual sweatpants and a-shirt combo was perhaps a bit too informal for an internship thing). "Not exactly... But I do have my own heating." He chuckled, breathing out a tiny flame between his lips. 


"Another world. Political figure that needs saving. Got it..." Ne nodded enthusiastically. "Wait what? No fighting? How are gonna do this?" Not that fighting was his only forte, of course, but still. 


"I'm ready." Well... after that visit to the food truck at least...



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"You should call me Angelic in the field, yes?" said Eira evenly, "it is how the locals know me." Well - most of them! She hadn't expected Leon to remember Pan so vividly but come to think of it the Forever Boy had always been very memorable. "It will be easy. In-and-out." 


When the Claremont students were out of the room, getting their meals or otherwise exploring the small office complex, Eira took this opportunity to lay her head on her desk and feel the cool of the wood against her skin. When she was done, she got to work, setting up the big, circular electro-dislocator frame against the wall to facilitate rapid dimensional transit. The metal frame was a combination of crimson and achromatic layers, which hopefully would raise no questions when they returned. It was all fine, everything was going to be fine...


When the heroes returned, fed or not, they found their temporary outfits against the wall. The outfits were multi-layered, insulated parka made of waterproof and breathable fabric, with a built-in heating system to keep the explorer warm "in sub-zero temperatures, but the cold temperatures are unlikely to be a serious threat given the nature of this realm", Eira explained as they all got dressed. The parka would featured an adjustable hood, fur trim, and reinforced stitching to protect against "the harsh Arctic winds, but again, those are unlikely to be a serious threat. It is not as if we visit the real North Pole, yes?". The parka also had built-in heating elements, which it sounded like most of them would need. For pants, the explorers wore insulated, waterproof trousers with reinforced knees and seat to provide extra protection against the rough terrain. The trousers would also feature built-in heating elements and adjustable cuffs to keep snow and wind out.


"Here, get yourselves dressed," she said, "see, this one is yours, La Puma, it is shaped to your body like so..." And then she turned, hastily adjusting the control unit for her interdimensional machine. The machine looked a little older than the other machines in her lab, its lines more in brass and wood than the high-tech smart metals and softglass everywhere else. 

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Leon sat with Luke And Carmen as they ate a quick lunch. The Korean barbecue he was eating was good. Never underestimate a decent food truck.

He was replaying the brief greetings they had exchanged with Eira. He had only known them for a short time before they graduated and Tinkerbot wasn’t the easiest to read back then. Pan had been a strong influence on the younger Leon. He’d listened and helped push him towards giving the school a real chance. He respected him for that, and Eira had seemed cool enough. But, something was… off. 

He blow out a breath and took another bite. He focused on what she had said. This was going to be another romp to another world. Hopefully this went better than the bees.

He glanced at Luke, the big kid was working on his second helping. Leon would be jealous if he didn’t know how quickly his friend would burn through it and be hungry again. He looked over at Carmen.

“Have you been to another world before?”

He asked, wiring and nodding at her reply.

“Well, hopefully this goes smoothly.”

Leon finished his lunch and stood. He gave his roommate and Carmen matching grins.

“Tin-man. Lion. Come on, let’s go meet the Wizard.”


Back in the lab Leon caught sight of the circular setup against the wall and eyed it curiously before echoing Luke.

“Good to go.”

He affirmed looking back at Eira. She directed them to their traveling clothes and Leon looked them over.


He chuckled as he slipped them on. He turned back to Eira and waited.

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