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Heritage

Some Enchanted Evening

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Lynn pedaled her bike up 52nd, effortlessly weaving between the buses, taxis and pedestrians; Wednesday nights were fairly quiet this late, but Freedom never truly sleeps. In the messenger bag over her shoulder (turned inside out to hide the Fleet company logo) are several bags of decent Chinese food and a few drink options; no one ever remembers to bring food to these sort of things.

I hope this guy likes Chinese. I'd be hate to be stuck with a ton of leftovers; that would be torture. ;)

She zipped into the park at the Hunter Street gate; she glided into a dark wooded patch away from the streetlamps, emerging on the other side in her 'working' clothes. A masked young woman on a bicycle is not the oddest thing you'll ever see in Freedom City, but it's not something you'll soon forget.

At the Heroes Knoll, Grim skidded to stop, leaned her bike against the base of Sergeant Shrapnel's statue and plunked herself down to wait. After she dug out some veggie egg rolls and a wine cooler, she looked up at the Sergeant and raised her bottle in salute.

"Thank you, Sarge; we'll never forget what you did for us over there."

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Wesley remembers the last time he met superheroes on business in a park at night. Hopefully Grimalkin doesn't have a disappearing act. While walking through the makeshift graveyard of superheroes, he sees the woman he's supposed to meet riding a bike. Did she bring dinner? "Good evening," he greets her, "Quite a dynamic entrance ya got there."

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"Good evening," he greets her, "Quite a dynamic entrance ya got there."

Grim's laughs easily.

"What, that? That was me barely trying, dude! I worked all day and I feel like crap; you should see me on the rare days I'm well-rested!"

She hops to her feet, dusts herself off, and then leaps high into the air, flipping over backwards and landing gracefully on top of Sergeant Shrapnel's head. The tiny heroine grins with her hands on her hips.

"See? That's what I could do if I really had the energy; too bad I'm so darned pooped, huh?"

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Truely impressed, Wesley smiles and nods. He thinks about clapping, but thinks that would look ingenuine. "Nice, Agile," he laughs appreciatively. "I'm always impressed when meeting new supers. You never know what they can do. You even got a costume, i know maybe two or three with custumes" A bit of silence, he hopes that didn't sound like weird hero worship. "So, yeah. I'm Knight," he extends his hand, "Just in case you think I'm some stalker or something," he snickers.

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"So, yeah. I'm Knight," he extends his hand, "Just in case you think I'm some stalker or something," he snickers.

Grim nimbly jumps off the statue and lands lightly in front of the newcomer.

"Hi, Grimalkin or just 'Grim'."

She shakes his hand firmly, with some vigor.

"Pleased to meet ya."

The masked girl drops to a crouch and starts pulling steaming plastic and cardboard containers out of her messenger bag, and spreading them out at the base of the statue.

"So, Knight, you hungry? I got some good Chinese here; egg fu yung, Mongolian beef, orange chicken...so, y'know, feel free to dig in. I've also got some black cherry wine coolers and a few cans of Coke."

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"Cool, thanks," Wesley says taking the box, "I didn't get dinner due to work." Grabbing a Coke and some chopsticks, he lowers his weight a bit an jumps up to the sitting position where Grimalkin was. "So, we had business to talk about," he says quickly dipping the sticks into the noodles and processed meat.

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"So, we had business to talk about," he says quickly dipping the sticks into the noodles and processed meat.

Grim nods.

"We do, we surely do, and nice jumpiness, by the way."

She settles herself on one arm of the statue, her shapely legs dangling into space, then looks back down at all the foody goodness on the ground.

"Uh, hmm. Food is down there....and I am up here..."

She shrugs, motions like she's reaching into a pocket that is clearly not on her form-fitting costume, and pulls a nice fishing rod and reel out of thin air.

"There we go!"

Gnawing on her lip in concentration, Grim lowers the hook down to the feast below as she continues talking.

"Yeah, so, business. Me and a bunch of other weirdos live this building, y'know, in the Fens? Ooh, I got a spring roll! Come to momma!"

She rapidly reels in her prize, pops it in her mouth, and casts again.

"Mmm, tasty! So there's this hooligan who runs the joint, and he's a real bad egg, know what I mean? One Mr. Pitt, and he is, in fact, the pits. Hold on a sec."

After a few failed attempts, she bags the chicken fried rice, the waxed white cardboard container lazily spinning as it rises up through the cool night air; once she has it, she casually tosses the reel over her shoulder, and it promptly vanishes. She shovels the rice into her mouth with a spork (which came from where exactly?), and continues as she chews.

"I don't know exactly what Pitt is; maybe some kinda robot, or a zombie guy assembled out of dead gangsters or something, but word on the street, or at least in the building, is that he ain't human, not in the strictest sense, y'know?"

The slightly-built heroine, who must also have a way to make food disappear, stops to swallow.

"And now I hear he's threatening my friends, which I don't like, and I think he needs to be stopped. I am just at the early stages of this thing, so we are definitely in the 'know thy enemy' phase, with me not knowing my enemy. Yet."

She clutches the half empty box of rice and sighs.

"Ahh! Nice night, huh? You get cold? I don't get cold, so I sometimes forget other folks get cold. I could make you like a scarf or an Elmer Fudd hat if you want."

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"Zombies, robots, vampires, Necro Kings," Wesley sighs as he twirls the noodles around the chopsticks, "You never get 'Attack Of The Fluffy Kittens'," he snickers at the thought. "Well, I'll help you," he takes a bite of the noodles and chews on them for a second before swallowing, "but I don't know how much help I'll be." Opening a can of Coke and taking a swallow, he sets it on the statue's shoulder. "My powers aren't the type that affect zombies or robots." His eyeballs glow green, checking to see if Grim is alive, "Though I have learned a few tricks."

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"My powers aren't the type that affect zombies or robots." His eyeballs glow green, checking to see if Grim is alive, "Though I have learned a few tricks."

Grim nods distractedly.

"Oh, okay. So what exactly-"

She turns to see Knight staring intently at her with glowing eyes; she yelps, drops her box of fried rice to the ground, and crosses her arms across her chest protectively.

"Hey, you freak! Just what exactly are you staring at?!"

She drops lightly to the grass below, hardly making a sound as she lands, and then vanishes from sight...or rather, from normal sight; Wes can still sense what he did before she activated whatever cloaking power she employed. There's clearly life here, but not true human life, more of a copy or imitation, like some sort of mystical approximation of humanity. He had noted similar motes of energy around magical beings in the past, but Grimalkin seems to be another sort of creature entirely!

Grim remains on the ground, hunched over in a near fetal position, trying to protect herself from view; at length, she speaks, her voice tinged with both annoyance and fear.

"Whatever creepy power you're using on me, you better stop; I don't like people, y'know, studying me or whatever."

She turns her head to peer back up at Wes on the statue, a hurt expression on her face but saying nothing more.

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Wesley watches the whole scene in slow motion after 'freak' is uttered. The word hits im like a bullet. All he can do is sit and stare in shock as the creature scampers off. He remembers the first time he was called freak. He was in sixth grade and the had finally hooked up with a girl who didn't mind him for his color. Her father was a pastor in a small church, they thought he would be at least tolerant of them being together. When she brought Wesley home to meet him they both were chastised for their feelings for each other. The father shouted some bible scriptures and damned Wesley as a freak and told him to leave. Wesley and the girl never spoke to or made any attempts to see each other again. Snapping back into the present, Wesley sighs. He closes his eyes and rubs the bridge of his nose between his eyes. This doesn't stop him from 'seeing' Grimalkin with his second 'sight', but he at least gets some tension away, or maybe builds some? "Listen," he says softly in an apologetic tone, "I won't do that again. I promise. If you don't feel comfortable with me around, I understand. Just say the word and we can get someone else to help you."

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"Listen," he says softly in an apologetic tone, "I won't do that again. I promise. If you don't feel comfortable with me around, I understand. Just say the word and we can get someone else to help you."

Grim stands and turns, for a moment still covering herself, but her eyes are filled with sympathy.

"Hey, no, look."

She lets her hands drop to her sides.

"I shouldn't have called you a freak; that was just plain mean."

The young woman sighs and rocks back and forth on her heels.

"Fact is, you seem like a real nice guy, but you are a guy; I don't know how your powers work, Venger didn't tell me anything, and I thought..."

She can only shrug.

"I thought the worst. Like, why would you even do that, right? If you were some skeezy guy, you wouldn't do it right in front of me. I'm such an idiot!"

She scampers partway up the statue and lays a hand on Knight's leg.

"Seriously, dude - I'm sorry."

Grim smiles sheepishly.

"So what exactly were you scanning for?"

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"Well, I was checking to see see if you were alive," Wesley says opening his eyes. They are back to his 'normal' green color. "You'd be surprised how many well built robots roam around this city," he chuckles. "But you," he says with a smile, "You're not human. I'm not saying you're a robot, just different." He pauses to gauge Grimalkin's reaction.

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"But you," he says with a smile, "You're not human. I'm not saying you're a robot, just different."

There is a sharp intake of breath, and for a second Grim looks like she's been struck, but then she slowly lets out her breath and she stares down at the ground.

"I, uh...I kinda figured that."

She looks up at Wes, then out across the park.

"I mean, what does it really mean, right? I actually dated a guy who wasn't human; he used to be, but then he changed, and he was like a robot, so..."

The young heroine smiles bravely, and suddenly looks very small.

"So I guess we have that in common now, or would if he was still, y'know, alive...or 'functioning', whatever."

Grim climbs the rest of the way up the statue and plunks herself down beside Wes; she takes a few moments to collect herself, then turns to him with moist eyes, though there is a mischievous grin on her face as well.

"So, you think I'm 'well-built', huh? Lots of fembots preying on cute boys these days?"

She shakes her head in mock-dismay and holds up her hands dramatically.

"When will the insanity end?!"

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Wesley pulls a hankerchief out of one of his pants pockets and hands it to Grimalkin, "Yeah, they don't get much better built," he smiles. He chuckles at her last line, "That's why I'm here. To stop the insanity. Of the robots." Hoping that he's cheered her up a bit, he holds out his hand, "You're not afraid of heights are you?" There is an odd rustling sound, and then suddenly, as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world, two great white feathery wings sprout out of his back.

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Hoping that he's cheered her up a bit, he holds out his hand, "You're not afraid of heights are you?" There is an odd rustling sound, and then suddenly, as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world, two great white feathery wings sprout out of his back.

There are few things in the world more lovely than a look of wonder on a pretty girl's face; Grim's eyes go wide and her mouth forms an 'O' of surprise.

"Oh my god, they're beautiful!"

She reaches up and gently strokes one of the wings, as if to see if it's really real. She laughs a little, still in awe.

"It's so soft!"

Then she looks into Wesley's eyes, and there's a quick magnetic 'zap!' for just a millisecond before it's gone.

"Hell no, I love flying! Let's do this thing, right now!"

Grim hops up to her feet, bouncing on her toes while balanced on the top of Sarge's bronze head.

"So how to we do this? Do you, uh, carry me, or is there like a harness or what?"

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"I was gonna carry you if that's alright with you," Wesley says cautiously as he floats up a bit and towards Grimalkin, "If not, I understand."

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"I was gonna carry you if that's alright with you," Wesley says cautiously as he floats up a bit and towards Grimalkin, "If not, I understand."

Grim's ears go just a bit pink, and she nods just a bit too vigorously.

"Oh yeah, sure, I knew that! 'Cause, y'know, logically, how else could you do it, right? It's all about the arms. It's the safest option, and, uh....yeah! Let's, let's make with the holding."

She runs a finger past her ear, brushing back a lock of non-existent hair, and stands at attention, waiting to be picked up...:?

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Wesley floats to her side, "Well I haven't had any passengers before. But I have watched enough Centurion flicks to know he only carries the lady one of two ways. One way is, well, I'd have to know you better," he hides his blush behind a snicker. "The other one is more of a... cradle? If you will allow me to show you," he slowly scoops her up behind the knees and back with her permission. "For added support they ways held on somehow," he says as he gently lifts off the statue into the night air. "If I go too fast or too high for you just say so," he says trying not to speed above the city.

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Grim hardly weighs a thing as Wes easily scoops her up; she seems a bit nervous though also excited about the flight, yet she puts her arms around his neck as though it was the most natural thing in the world.

"If I go too fast or too high for you just say so," he says trying not to speed above the city.

She smiles and shakes her head.

"Nah, don't worry, I'm an old pro at this; as long as we stay low enough that oxygen ain't a problem, I'm good."

She adjusts her butt and grip a bit for comfort, then gives Wes the thumbs up.

"All clear for takeoff, Cap'n!"

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Ascending higher and higher into the night air, Wesley takes Grimalkin high above the park. Everything gets smaller as they keep going up until he stops. "This is where we'll start," he says softly looking to her trying to see if she is comfortable, "If I go too fast for you or you want to stop at anytime, just say so. And now, just a little push." Flying east, he heads towards the the city center.

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"This is where we'll start," he says softly looking to her trying to see if she is comfortable, "If I go too fast for you or you want to stop at anytime, just say so. And now, just a little push."

Grim seems surprisingly relaxed, giving credence to her earlier 'old pro' comment; she doesn't clutch at Wes' neck or seem even remotely tense, and she doesn't so much as shiver in the cool night air. In fact, she eagerly peers down at the lights of the city racing below.

"God, I love flying; I wish I could do it on my own, but I'm always willing to hitch a ride. Especially if it's a good-looking guy in the pilot's seat."

She gives Wes a quick wink before returning to sightseeing; after a bit, she sighs before speaking again, somewhat more thoughtfully.

"As cool as this is, we do need to talk business at some time tonight, though this has been an awesome demonstration of your powers."

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Wesley smiles at Grimalkin's compliment, "Yeah, I could get used to having company up here, especially yours." The sight seeing is pretty laconic while Wesley thinks about what she said. Maybe I can do one more thing before we stop, he thinks. When Grimalkin calls for getting down to business, he nods. "One last gift," he says stopping in midflight, "I'm going to ask you to hold very still and trust me, alright?" Letting go of her legs he quickly repositions her chest-to-chest. "So, you've always wanted to fly," he smiles as he places his hand on her cheek, "Well, I'll give you some wings like mine then."

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"One last gift," he says stopping in midflight, "I'm going to ask you to hold very still and trust me, alright?"

Grim can't believe what Wes is asking her.

You just met this guy tonight, you don't know what his deal is, and you're several hundred feet up in the air; before you do anything stupid, remember-

"Yeah, okay." :shock:

"So, you've always wanted to fly," he smiles as he places his hand on her cheek, "Well, I'll give you some wings like mine then."

Her eyes go wide and she tries to speak, but her voice just catches in her throat, and all she can do is nod vigorously. She closes her eyes, and feels warm waves of energy coursing through her; it makes her feel a little weak, like she hasn't eaten recently, but also all tingly and completely safe.

Wow. Y'know a girl could get used to this.

There's an odd feeling between her shoulder blades, not quite an itch and not quite a twitch, and the area is suddenly very warm. Her costume over the spot dissolves into thin gray mist, and then Grim feels the most peculiar sensation in her entire life, as a set of shimmering dragonfly wings unfurls from her back with a wingspan of about twelve feet.

"Oh my god, they're beautiful, too! I actually think I kinda like mine better than yours, though."

She gives her brand new wings a tentative flutter, and they buzz like toy plane; her eyes widen in delight.

"Neat! They sound so awesome! Don't let me go just yet, though; I need to get the hang of these first."

Her wings buzz a few more times, stronger and more assured each time, and Grim is laughing and crying tears of heady joy.

"This is the coolest thing ever!"

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"I thought so too the first time I found out I could do it," Wesley says as he holds on to Grimalkin like he was told. "Though, I tried to make yours exactly like mine," he sounds a bit confused but his tone lightens up, "but you're happy, and that's all that matters." A short bit of silence follows as he turns. "You see the Rose Garden over there," he asks making note of Riverside Park, "When you are ready we can go there and talk."

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"Though, I tried to make yours exactly like mine, but you're happy, and that's all that matters."

The young woman in Wesley's arms is far too excited to pick up on his confusion, instead focusing all her attention on her brand-new wings; she's figured out how to get a fairly steady rhythm going, and is starting to generate some actual lift.

"You see the Rose Garden over there," he asks making note of Riverside Park, "When you are ready we can go there and talk."

Grim looks in the indicated direct, quickly nods and then looks back to Wes; her eyes are big, her face flushed with excitement

"You know what, I think I can do this; let go of me, but, y'know, be ready to catch me if I screw up, okay?"

She laughs nervously.

"Don't let me plummet!"

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