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My Evil Twin (IC)


Huckleberry

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Friday, September 10
Albright Institute, Freedom City

Getting into the field trip to the Albright Institute took a little luck. You had to put your name in and get drawn in a lottery. Interest in the trip was high. As the premier lab researching super powers, the Institute held a special interest for Claremont's metahumans.

So naturally, Bernadette O'Connell, known to the world as the duplicating super hero Multi-Girl, was expecting every seat on the bus to be full when she scrambled aboard. Instead, the back third of the bus was empty and students were crammed up to three to a seat in the rest.

It didn't take long to figure out why. Bernadette's dorm mate, Consuelo (known on campus as "Rot") was sitting in the back seat all alone, the rest of the Claremont teenagers happy to have some distance between themselves and her. Nowhere else to sit for Bernadette, though.

The green-haired outcast in the back sees Bernadette and grins. "Hey, Bernie! You're coming on this trip too? That's awesome! I saved you a seat." Consuelo looks around conspiratorially, slyly opens her backpack, and then whispers: "Dude, check it out, I've got, like, half a case of Mountain Dew in here!"

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Multi-Girl

 

Bernadette had tried a couple times over the years to get a spot on the fieldtrip to the Albright Institute, but had failed to obtain a spot on her prior attempts. She had all but given up at this point, but had decided to make one last attempt and actually managed to get a spot.

 

As the redheaded teen climbed aboard the bus, she was momentarily confused as she saw so many other students crammed toward the front of the bus, but when she spotted the signature green hair in the back she understood. Giving a small nod to a couple other students she knew, Bernadette made her way towards the back of the bus where Consuelo was sitting alone.

 

"Hey, Suelo. Yeah, finally got a bloody spot on this trip." The Irish teen replied with a smile as she took a seat next to the other girl. When the younger girl showed her stash of contraband drinks, Bernadette gave a small grin. "Nice, that should help make the drive through traffic bearable."

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Traffic does prove to be pretty bad, and the students get pretty restless. "Oh my God, why can't we just get out and fly?" Asks the superhuman teenager known as Terra, (on account of her ability to transform into a pterodactyl - notable amongst dinosaurs for their ability to, well, fly). "Yeah, totally. If I could skate, I would have been across the river by now." Adds an arrogant sounding girl with hair made of ice.

Mrs. Tift, the older, white-haired matron serving as one of the field trip chaperones, turns around in her seat at the front of the bus and honks in her impressively nasal voice: "All right, all right! Everyone just settle down. We'll get there when we get there."

Amidst all the noise and confusion, Consuelo whispers to Bernadette, "Hey, I bet I can drink more cans of Mountain Dew than you. And no using your powers either, because that would obviously be unfair, in your case."

And with that, she cracks open a can with a hiss and begins to suck it down with total commitment.

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Multi-Girl

 

Bernadette was soon as board as many of the other students as the traffic ground their progress to a halt. Of course, while the redhead could probably run the rest of the way faster, it would hardly be an overly enjoyable means of finishing the trip, compared to some of the means of getting around other students’ powers provided. So, she tried to make do with just sitting back and waiting for the bus to finally get them there.

 

When Consuelo got her attention, the Irish teen looked at the other girl for a moment before giving her a grin. "As if I'd need ta resort ta usin' duplicates." She replied as she grabbed one of the cans of soda as well.

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It seems both teens have a competitive streak when it comes to chugging unhealthy carbonated beverages. They each drink six of the twelve cans Consuelo brought, Bernadette finishing the last just a fraction of a second before Consuelo and holding it upside-down to prove its emptiness.

 

“Damn you!” Curses the narrowly defeated teen in a yell that turns into a giggle, which turns into an extended cough, and finally a long, loud, un-ladylike belch.

 

“Language!” Yells Mrs. Tift from the front of the bus.

 

Traffic is truly terrible this morning – a bad wreck on the bridge that takes a long time to clear. So, getting to Hanover and the Institute takes way longer than it normally would. The sugar and caffeine buzz helps though, and there’s a lot of laughing, gossiping and trash talking along the way, at least in the back of the bus. Bernadette notices that Consuelo seems to be sitting on one of those lead aprons that they use when you go to get X-rays, which seems to smoke slightly from time to time as the caffeinated teen shifts around.

 

After what seems like forever, the bus finally pulls up in front of the Albright Institute, and Mrs. Tift stands up to take command. “All right, students, when I call your last name, please respond if you are here. Adams.”

 

“Here.”

 

“Anthony.”

 

“Here.”

 

“Brown. . . . Brown?”

 

“Oh, yeah, here.”

 

Consuelo turns to Bernadette in a panic and whispers: “OMG, I need to pee, like sooooo bad! I don’t think I’m gonna, like make it. . . .”

 

Now that it’s mentioned, Bernadette feels just about fit to burst herself.

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Multi-Girl

 

Bernadette had giggle along with Consuelo when the two had finished their drinking game (even if it was just soda), ducking down slightly as Ms. Tift called out about the other girl’s mild curse. But then the ride turned back into the boring slog through the extra heavy morning traffic.

 

When they finally arrived, Ms. Tift began her roll-call, causing the Irish teen to roll her eyes as she whispered over to Consuelo. "Ye would think she would'a done this BEFORE we left, if someone isn' here, not much ta be done about it now."

 

Letting out a small sigh, the redhead began waiting for her name to come up in the order. But then Consuelo mentioned needing to go to the bathroom and Bernadette looked over at her and frowned slightly as she suddenly realized she needed to as well. "Bloody hell, ye had ta mention that, now I need too as well." She whispered back as she looked about, realizing that Ms. Tift was likely going to take far, far too long.

 

"Ye got us inta this, so ye can help get us out." Bernadette whispered again. "Time ta pull a bit o' Senior privilege, just play along." She added before the slipped out of her seat and started toward the front of the bus, making a gesture for Consuelo to follow.

 

"Mrs. Tift, a moment." Bernadette said aloud as she approached the teacher at the front of the bus. Once she drew close, the Irish teen lowered her voice as she continued. "We 'ave a small issue, Consuelo is havin' ah . . . 'feminine' emergency."

 

"As one o' the Seniors on the trip, I can go with her ta a restroom ta take care o' it an’ then make sure we catch back up with the group."

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Mrs. Tift looks at Bernadette skeptically for a moment. “Hmm. O’Connell.” She makes the word sound slightly distastefully as she checks the name off the list. “And . . . Ah, yes, Nunez. Go ahead. Be quick, and then come immediately back to the lobby, please.”

 

Thankful for this mercy, the two teens promptly exit the bus and nearly collide with, well, a woman with bright-green skin. She smiles at the two anyway and provides some guidance. “Hello, did I overhear that you have and urgent need to use the facilities? It’s just off the main lobby. I’ll have to take the students down to the media room right away, so ask Darrel at the front desk to give you an escort.” And she smiles pleasantly.

 

Barging into the front lobby, you notice that Darrel is a shaven-headed man of perhaps thirty years that clearly works out a lot. You also notice that the women’s room is off to the left.

 

Despite the rush, Consuelo can’t help but as Bernadette a question: “So like, I notice you have duplicates do boring stuff for you all the time. Can you, like, have a duplicate, you know, go to the bathroom for you?”

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Multi-Girl

 

Bernadette regarded Ms. Tift with something of a scowl as the woman looked down to check off her and Consuelo, but had a force smile in place when the woman looked back up to dismiss them. "Thank you mum." She said as she led Consuelo off the bus. "Dosen' she 'ave the cherry disposition o' a banshee.' The Irish teen muttered to the younger teen.

 

But then Bernadette was slightly startled by the sudden appearance of the green skinned woman from the institute. "Oh…okay." The redhead managed to get out when the woman directed them to the restrooms and where to find the rest of the group when done. "Thank ye." She replied as she continued on in a hurry.

 

At Consuelo’s question, the Irish teen frowned slightly. "I bloody wish." She replied as she made her way to one of the stalls. "Now let's use the bleedin' loo an' get back ta the group before Ms. Tift loses patience an’ comes lookin' fer us."

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GM

 

The good thing about the ladies' room of the lobby was that there were two stalls. The bad thing was that they were both occupied. And, judging from the sounds issuing forth, still being quite actively used.

 

Forced to wait, the sense of urgency for the two Mountain Dew-chugging competitors was rapidly increasing. To make matters worse, they could hear the rest of the students milling around the foyer now. They could hear the voice of the green-skinned lady guiding the tour: "All right, if everyone could follow me back to the media room, please."

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Multi-Girl

 

Berandette's face fell as she realized both stalls were full, and did not seem like they were going to be free anytime soon. "Oh bugger." She muttered as she glanced over to Consuelo, who also seemed to be just as impatient.


"Let's go see if…" The redhead had begun as she headed to the door, only to stop as she heard the sounds of the other students in the foyer. Glancing back to Consuelo, she corrected herself, "let's wait till they head down to ta media room, then see if we can find another bathroom."

 

She tried to listen to the door for sounds of the group moving on to tell her the coast was clear.

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It does sound to Bernadette that the tour group is moving on. But, at the same time, there is a blessed flushing, and a glorious stall door-opening, and a burly-yet-relieved-looking UPS driver steps out and begins washing her hands. "Yikes, I didn't know there was a line. Sounds like a playground out there. I thought this was supposed to be a lab or something."

 

Rot looks at Consuelo with a grimace. "Uh, should you go, or should I?"

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Multi-Girl


Bernadette had just been about to lead Consuelo back out to go look for another restroom when one of the stalls was vacated. The redhead looked at the somewhat large UPS driver, giving an apologetic shrug. "Field trip."


She then looked over to Consuelo as the other girl spoke up and then at the now vacant stall. It was only a moment of thought before the Irish teen sighed. "You go ahead, an' try ta hurry." She then looked to the other stall, wondering if it might be free anytime soon. There was no way she could leave now, not with out Consuelo.

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GM

 

Consuelo doesn't put up any argument and frantically hops into the open stall. The delivery driver finishes washing her hands. As she leaves, Bernadette spies through that the green-skinned woman is holding the door while the rest of the Claremont students filter out of the lobby.

 

There is another flush and the other stall is vacated. It's a bit of a tight crush in there, and Bernadette is treated to a very close view of a couple items in possession of the person exiting the stall: a name tag indicating this is Dr. Adamu and a thick binder tucked under one of her armpits with the title: Official Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Symposium on Inter-dimensional Phenomena, New Chicago, April 2076.

 

No more sounds of students can be heard in the lobby, and the second stall is open. 

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Multi-Girl

 

Keeping an eye on where the rest of the class provide at least something of a distraction to Bernadette's urgent problem. And just as the last of the group left her sight and she was starting to debate if she could perhaps leave Consuelo alone, the other stall opened and the redhead found herself facing the scientist that exited.


"Sorry, excuse me mum." Bernadette offered with an apologetic smile as the two maneuvered around each other briefly. The Irish teen caught sight of the binder under Dr. Adamu's arm, but did not really have much time at the moment to give it much thought as she quickly made her way into the now vacant stall.

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GM

 

The two students exit the lavatory feeling twenty pounds lighter and once again able to have thoughts. Unfortunately, neither Mrs. Tift, the Claremont tour group, nor the green-skinned woman are anywhere to be seen.

 

Darrel, the receptionist and part-time bodybuilder behind the front desk waives at the two. "Hey! You're the last two students from Claremont, right? Mrs. Harvest asked me to - oh, shoot! My phone's lighting up. Njinga, do you think you could escort these two to the media room?"

 

The scientist you ran into in the bathroom stops and tenses, having almost reached the main exit. "Ehh. . . "

 

A brief flash of annoyance flashes across Darrel's face, but then he becomes pleasant again. "Please?"

 

"Ehh." Says the scientist apparently named Njinga Adamu as she resignedly turns around, barely meeting your gaze, and moves to open the door into the rest of the institute with her ID badge.

 

"Yes, hello, this is the Albright Institute, how may I direct your call?" Darrel asks with practiced professionalism of whomever is on the phone. 

 

Walking to the door held open by Dr. Adamu, Consuelo gives Bernadette a quizzical look and shrugs her shoulders. 

 

The less-than-talkative doctor guides the students down a hallway and to another door. The card reader makes a little beep and the automated lock makes a little click when she holds up her badge, and she swings the door open to a stairwell going up and down.

 

"Ehh." She comments and leads the students down. The door at the bottom requires another waiving of the security badge. Dr. Adamu shoulders it open and presses herself against it. She points her finger down the hallway . . . possibly towards the left side of the hall . . . , clarifies her meaning with a brief vocalization, "Ehh," and waits.

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Mutli-Girl

 

Bernadette felt much relieved after she and Consuelo finally exited the restroom and began looking for signs of where to go. Thankfully, the security guard caught sight of them and called over to them. The tall redhead stepped forward from Consuelo slightly and put herself between the approaching security guard and the green haired teen. This was in part Berandette acting as the older student present, but also to hopefully act as a buffer between Darrel and the strange aura that Consuelo gave off. "Yeah, that's us."


Thankfully, he received a call before reaching the two, and asked woman Berandette had encountered in the restroom to show them to the media room. The Irish teen regarded the scientist with a slight bit of suspicion, but she seemed to belong her (Darrel seemed to know her), so she relaxed slightly and followed after the older woman.


When she scientist pointed them down a hallway, Bernadette glanced back at Consuelo briefly before looking back to the older woman and gave her a small smile. "Thank you." She stated as she headed off in the indicated direction.

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GM

 

Consuelo appeared to consider something for a moment before tentatively asking a question"Uh, can you, like, uh, speak English? You, like for sure know we're trying to get to the media room, right?" And she winced slightly, worried that she might have offended the grown-up.

 

Dr. Adamu regarded Consuelo, like she wasn't too happy about something. "Ehh. Yes, I can speak the English. Dammit." She looked at her watch. "Now there isn't time for me to go to lunch." She pulls an energy bar out of her pocket, unpeels it part-way and takes dissatisfied bite. "Yes, the media room is the first opened door on the left." She vaguely gestures with her energy bar as she continues to walk down the hall.

 

The first two doors on the left are clearly closed, and would require pass-cards to enter. The third door on the left is ajar. It looks like the room beyond is dark with occasional flickering lights and a monotonous sounding voice recording playing.

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Multi-Girl


Bernadette almost felt like smacking herself on the forehead when Consuelo asked Dr. Adamu if she spoke English. While the redhead had found the scientist's behavior rather odd, she had not been about to call it out. When Dr. Adamu gave her agitated response, Berandette took one of Consuelo's arms as she started pulling the other teen toward the indicated door.


"Sorry ta have been a bother mum. Thank ye fer showin' us the way." She said as she stared off toward the indicated doorway, letting Consuelo go after a short distance. "Sounds like ta place." She stated as they reached the slightly ajar door.

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GM

 

Whatever video the tour is watching, it must be a pretty boring one. As the two step through the door, a monotonous, almost robotic voice says: "Power duplication subjects acquired." There is a whirring noise, and suddenly it gets very bright, and then very dark. The lights return to normal, but something is wrong. None of the rest of the students are in this room. Just Bernadette and Consuelo . . . and Consuelo? Except one of the "Consuelos" has purple hair and a little less clothing.

 

Both Consuelos look at each other and say, at the exact same time, in the exact same voice: "What the? It's me, except the hair is purple/green, instead of green/purple, and the clothes are a little different. Wow. Weird." Both pause for just a moment before continuing: "Okay, you go first. Um, okay, I will . . . what the heck?!!?"

 

The robotic voice that was heard appears to be coming from a computer attached to some sort of radio antenna-like device"System overload. Shutting down." And the monitor goes blank.

 

Both Consuelos turn to Bernadette at the exact same time, point at her and say: "Hey . . . could you pick one of us to ask a question?"

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Multi-Girl

 

Stepping into the room, Bernadette began looking around for the other Claremont students and an empty seat, only…the class did not appear to be here, nor did the redhead see any seating. She had barely been registering this when the lights suddenly got very bright before going suddenly dark.

When the lights returned, the Irish teen found herself presented with what appeared to be two Consuelo's, identical except for hair color and manner of dress (and if Bernadette had wondered if it was possible to take Consuelo's somewhat edgy style further, she now had her answer). "Oh bugger me." The teen muttered as the two Consuelo's began speaking, both apparently confused by the presence of the other.

 

When the pair turned towards her and asked her to question them, Bernadette paused a moment and moved the hand that had friendship bracelet on its wrist behind her back. "Umm, okay, where was ta first place we met?" She asked, pointing towards the green haired Consuelo. The redhead then pointed towards the purple haired copy. "An' what did ye give me when we first met?"

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GM

 

Bernadette's first question to the more-familiar, green-haired Consuelo seems to snap the pair out of their simultaneity sync. "Ah, thank you. That was really weird. You and I met at Kord Dormitory." Then she looks back at he purple-haired version of herself, still a little worried that they might do that weird sync-up thing again.

 

Rather than answer Bernadette's question, the purple Consuelo waives her hands in front of her and asks her own question: "Wait, wait, like where did you guys even come from? Everything just went black and then you were, like, there." She turns around, looking at the room, and then looks a little confused"Uh, well, actually things look . . . a little different than they did a minute ago. . . ."

 

"Uh, yeah, I'm pretty sure you're the one that just appeared here. . . "

 

"Yeah, I think you're right. . . So, who's the redhead? Why isn't she running away from us?" Purple Consuelo suddenly looks excited. "Ooh, ooh - is she like your minion? I've always totally wanted a minion!"

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Multi-Girl

 

Bernadette noted as the green-haired Consuelo managed to answer her question (which was not a particular surprised), while the purple-haired one just ignored it and instead reveled facts that made it all the more clear she was nor the original, at least, not from this dimension. But the redhead frowned slightly as the purple-haired Consuelo continued to talk, seeming to make it evident that her attitude was not confined to her manner of dress.

 

"Minion? I'm her friend." The Irish teen replied evenly to purple-Consuelo. "Anyway, where do ye remember bein' before ye ended up here?"

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GM

 

More-or-less ignoring Bernadette like she wasn't even there, purple Consuelo turns to green Consuelo"I kind of don't like her attitude. You should probably discipline her more. Anyway, I was here too at AI, looking for the power multiplier, like I assume you are too. You don't happen to, like know where it is? This place is a frickin' maze. By the way, what's up with the green hair?"

 

With an expression of shock on her face that's in danger of becoming permanent, regular Consuelo continues the conversation. "Well, heh, I never really told anyone this before, but like, I got the idea for the green color from Mountain Dew, because it's totally my favorite drink. Although, I think Bernadette might like it even more. . . "

 

Purple Consuelo goes dead still mid-hover. "Shut up! That's frickin' brilliant. Now I'm, like embarrassed I didn't think of that. But seriously, how is 'Bernadette' able to stick around and not quiver in fear or attack like everyone else does? Is it like a super power or something?" 

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Multi-Girl


Bernadette felt her self tense slightly as the purple haired Consuelo continued to speak. The more she spoke, the more the redhead did not like her (and that was without any regard to the unsettling effect Consuelo often had on people). But she managed to avoid letting out the retore she wanted to make, which she had a very strong feeling would not have gone over well with purple Consuelo.

 

"Or somethin'." She simply responded as she focused on the purple haired Consuelo. "Or, it could just be that we are friends." She then added, still not drawing attention to the bracelet she had on one of her wrists.

 

"Anyway, what do ya mean ye were lookin' for a power duplicator?"

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GM

 

The purple-haired dimensional-strandee stops and holds her chin in thought.  "Hmm, maybe I'm assuming too much . . .  you disintegrate stuff and people are automatically repulsed by you just like me, right? Like this?" And she looks around, decides on the piece of equipment looking like a weird antenna, and raises one eyebrow, whereupon it is surrounded in black wavy distortions before crumbling into less than dust.

 

"Uh, yeah, kinda, but I think that . . . uh, whatever it was might have been important. . . "

 

"Hmm. Maybe. But seriously, the only really important thing here is probably the power multiplier, when it comes right down to it.  Ha! This is gonna be awesome! Partners in crime, right, Other Consuelo? With both of us looking, we'll find the power multiplier even faster. Then, with two of us powered up, there will be, like, totally no stopping us! I think I'm gonna like this dimension waaaaaay more than my first one! So where have you searched so far?" Without really waiting for a response, she starts hovering toward the door back to the hallway.

 

With an extremely tense look on her face, normal Consuelo turns to Bernadette and whispers: "Holy smokes! This other version of me is, like, super dangerous!"

 

As purple Consuelo gets close to the door, and as if to prove that point, rather than bother to open it by the handle, she just flares her dark aura out a little further and a roughly circular hole quickly crumbles out of the thick concrete wall. She floats out, looks to the left and right, and then turns her head back. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I came from the right. How about you?"

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