Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Avenger Assembled

Wandering Edge

Recommended Posts

Mark met Erin as breakfast was winding up for their joint powers-training, guessing she'd prefer not to walk down to the Doom Room alone. He knew she had plenty of solo training down there, and probably could use a little company this time. After all, this was the first time they'd be working together as a duo rather than just as part of a larger team. Best of all, he thought as he approached her as they left the cafeteria, maybe she'd have some rumors to pass on in the aftermath of his highly enjoyable date with Alex.

"Hey, Erin," he said cordially, walking up to her as she headed out the door. "You still good to go for powers training? Looks like they're keeping us busy today."

Share this post


Link to post

Erin was walking while reading a review of the timeline of World War II for her afternoon history class, but she looked up and closed the book when Mark approached. "Yeah, I gotta do twenty minutes of warm-up first, so you don't have to come down for that unless you want to. I don't know if you do warm-ups or not." She was a little skeptical of the idea, for all his healthy good looks, Mark wasn't exactly the most physical of heroes when he was working. Did he need to warm up luckiness somehow? She shoved the book into her knapsack and slung it over her shoulder. "Do you know if we're self-directed today, or is Archer going to be there?"

Share this post


Link to post

"A little from Column A and a little from Column B," said Mark with a small shrug. "He's not going to be in the simulator with us, but I imagine he'll be watching. He likes to keep tabs on this kind of thing. And I will do some warm-ups, though I doubt I'll be anywhere near as impressive as you." He snickered. "I've seen you in the gym. I'll lift a free weight; you'll lift a car, and we'll both be ready."

Share this post


Link to post

Erin shrugged. "I don't do weight warm-ups, but I get the drift. We've all got stuff we can and can't do. I don't have any actual powers like you do," she pointed out. "My body just works really well. If we can get some kind of link worked out, the way we've been sort of doing in fights, with your powers and my skills, it could be really useful. I guess that's what this training series is all about." She rolled her neck. "I hate fighting in the doom room, but it beats having to do it in real life." She headed down to the main lobby, towards the brushed-metal elevator. "Have you done much there yet?"

Share this post


Link to post

"You mean you haven't heard?" Edge looked genuinely surprised, and when Wander indicated she hadn't Edge coughed a little. "I, uh, blew it up the first time I used it," he said, a little embarrassed as they headed into the administration building and to the hidden elevator. "They hadn't quite figured out how my powers worked, so when I tried blowing up a simulated bad guy, I actually blew out the whole system." He winced at the memory as the doors closed behind them. "That was quite a day. But luckily no one was hurt and it was easy enough to fix. Daedalus said he had to bring stuff all the way from Ireland to fix up the Doom Room for me."

Share this post


Link to post

Erin's eyebrows went up at that. "I didn't think that was even possible. I've done some pretty serious attacks in that room and never had anything happen. Maybe you can do that again today, and we'll get out of a couple hours of training." With a wry smile, she detoured into the changing room to put on her workout uniform, clipping her hair back and stashing her books in her locker. The simulation was waiting for them in standby mode when she reached the simulator, so she simply walked in.

Share this post


Link to post

Edge had stopped to do the same, changing into his usual field costume as he headed into the training room to join Wander. "They fixed up that little technical loophole on my account," he admitted. "There are filters in the system actually named after me." He'd picked up the roster with their assigned schedule as they came in, his eyebrow raising behind his goggles. "Hey, I don't think I've ever done this one. Do you know anything about 'Is Paris Burning?'" They were in a quiet, unfamiliar alley somewhere Edge didn't recognize, old buildings rising up high on either side of them. "If this is Paris, I want a croissant."

Share this post


Link to post

Erin shook her head. "It doesn't sound familiar. And I don't think you can eat the food here, but I've never actually tried. It's not as fun as the ones on Star Trek." She did a couple of lunges to stretch her muscles, then launched into a more acrobatic warm-up, leaping up to flip over the bars of the fire escapes like a gymnast on uneven bars, tumbling through the space between the buildings and catching on to bits of masonry or windowsills where the ladders and platforms didn't reach. When she got to the roof, she leapt as high as she could and dove back to the roof with a bone-jarring thud, aiming her heels first as though going for someone's head. Since the simulation wasn't active yet, she didn't plunge through the ceiling or anything, but it made quite a loud noise.

With the first wave of nervous tension taken care of, she sat on the edge of the roof and looked through her instructions. "Hey, I'm supposed to have equipment for this one," she called down. "Do you see it where we came in? Some kind of stick or bat, it looks like."

Share this post


Link to post

"Around here...uh, yes!" Edge wandered over to a nearby corner, where a large, oddly-shaped bat hovered in midair like a video game powerup. "I guess, they're trying to speak to us," he muttered. Scooping the bat up with one hand, he used his grapple gun to ascend to the rooftop with her. "I think this belongs to you, Erin." He handed her the bat, taking a step back to let her get the feel of it. Looking around, he noted, "Hey, there's the Eiffel Tower! I guess this is Paris after all. Weird." He put his hands on his hips, studying the scenery complacently for a moment, before he started doing his own exercises. He was much less dramatic than Wander about everything, bending and stretching, cracking his back as he stood up high, looking more like a Tai Chi student in a cape than anything else.

Share this post


Link to post

Wander took the bat and played with it for a minute, collapsing it down to pocket-sized, then expanding it to nearly five feet in length, more like a staff than a bat. "It feels weird," she commented, taking a few practice swings with it. Setting it aside for a moment, she looked at the specs on the instruction sheet. "Huh, it's padded, or something like that. It's got shock absorbers, so I can hit harder and do less permanent damage." She snorted. "That's good, I guess. Won't kill any simulated bad guys today." She practiced with it for a few minutes, fighting invisible enemies while Edge did his exercises, then collapsed it again. "That's enough for now. You ready?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Yeah," agreed Edge, "I am. So I guess we-" He broke off talking as suddenly the sky changed. As the two teenagers watched, a large silvery disc came lowering itself out of the sky, slowly descending downwards towards the park near the Eiffel Tower. It looked exactly like a flying saucer from a 1950s monster movie, except it was very real (for certain values of real) and descending towards their city. "Well, that's new. Grab me," he suggested, "you're a lot faster jumping than I am swinging."

Share this post


Link to post

She nodded and boosted him onto her back, then began leaping across the rooftops towards the park, keeping an eye on the saucer. "Neither of us can fly," she pointed out, "so something's going to have to land out of that ship, or the disc itself will have to come down. We should stay close to each other, and try and get onto the ship if it comes down. If they've got guns, try and stay behind me, and use that "everything goes crazy" trick to try and disarm them." Her last long leap took them into the park itself, and a quick jog had them over to the field where the saucer was descending. Wander set down her passenger and twirled the bat back to its full size again, holding it in both hands while she watched the ship come down.

Share this post


Link to post

"Good strategy," said Edge, who could always appreciate someone else's insight even if he couldn't do the same thing to save his own life. "If they're hostile, try and keep them from getting back to their ship," he murmured. "Letting them leave sans weapons is one thing, but the last thing we need is for them to hover out of our reach and mess with us." As the simulated tourists kept a very discreet distance, the flying saucer hovered a few feet above the ground, a shiny silver ramp lowering right out of the chrome-polished saucer. The opening exposed a bright white interior with some distinctly visible shapes inside, those shapes slowly resolving themselves into grey-skinned fungoid humanoids, each one wearing a white spacesuit with bubble helmet, carrying large, gleaming cylinders in their hands as they marched down the ramp in unison.

Share this post


Link to post

"Go, go!' Wander told him, breaking into a run that was right at the limits of her partner's foot speed. She ran up to the ramp that the aliens were descending, blocking the ramp with her body. "You're not allowed here!" she told the creatures, her bat held ready. "If you're not hostile, leave immediately and contact the Freedom League from your ship. Otherwise, we'll make you leave." She didn't like having to stop and talk, but she knew Archer was watching somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post

The aliens gabbled something in French at Wander, pointing the cylinders they were carrying at her in a rather intimidating way. Edge used his comm-link to quickly relay their signals to the "Freedom League," quickly getting a concerning reply. "They demand to be taken to our leader to see if she can be converted to the One True Faith," he reported to Wander quickly. "They say our planet has continued its sinful ways for too long. Personally, I suggest we introduce them to the First Amendment."

Share this post


Link to post

Erin looked around at the civilians nearby, the historic monument in the background, the dense city all around them. "We can take you to our leader," she told the first alien, "but not here. We can show you where to go to get in touch with the Freedom League, if you take us on your ship." She looked to Edge for backup.

Share this post


Link to post

Edge nodded at that, giving her a thumbs up. "Good advice." Hey, she's doing pretty well about thinking about collateral damage! I knew she'd get better at this. Too bad I'm terrible at giving orders, he thought irritably. As usual he didn't stay irritated long, though. I'm sure I'll get it right next time. Edge relayed the message to the aliens through the translator, putting all his effort into the discussion, and then nodded. "All right, they're willing to take us on board." The aliens nodded too, waving at Edge and Wander to join them up inside their spacecraft.

Share this post


Link to post

Erin dropped back to walk next to Edge as they entered the ship. "It might be a test," she murmured. "Archer loves them. We could flunk if we fight when we shouldn't. If we can get in touch with the Freedom League, they might take the problem off our hands. How are you at falling into water?"

Share this post


Link to post

"I can handle that," said Edge confidently, glad to see Wander handling this so well. "But hopefully it won't come to that. If we get them as far as Freedom City, maybe the League can handle it all themselves." The inside of the alien spacecraft turned out to be a massively ornate bejeweled series of passageways, almost too bright and shiny even to look at. When the door closed, the two teen heroes were alone with the glow and their alien compatriots as they headed...somewhere. The aliens were still talking, and Edge still translating. "They ask if we know the embrace of the Great Mother. I've told them that we don't understand such things yet, but so far they've taken that as encouragement to tell us all about the Great Mother and her Children."

Share this post


Link to post

"We don't want them over Freedom City," Wander pointed out. "Over the Atlantic somewhere would be better, less targets to worry about. But it could mean some swimming." She looked around at the sparkly ship, trying to assess how strong those decoratively painted bulkheads were. "Is it any kind of religion you recognize, or something unique they came up with? And can we get access to their radio so we can contact our leader?"

Share this post


Link to post

"If the craft sinks," Edge pointed out softly, "we don't want it going down in open water. You and I might be able to stay afloat until the League tracks us, but we don't know what'll happen with these guys. Hostile aliens or not, that's no way for us to act if we can help it. I don't recognize their religion," he admitted, "but that Great Mother stuff is pretty common in a lot of religious movements." He hmmed. "It sounds like they're mostly talking about meeting leaders who are girls. They think I'm your translator," he added. "I don't know how much that helps us, though." The crystal walls were tough to judge; the alien architecture looking far more fragile that it probably was.

Share this post


Link to post

"This is not really the kind of training I was hoping for," Erin muttered, rubbing her forehead with one hand. "I mean, you and Psyche should be handling this kind of thing. I thought we were just fighting bad guys. Can you tell them I need to call my leader so she can come to meet with them over... over the Great Mother Ocean?" she improvised. "It's the best place for meetings to be held. If we can summon the League, get them locked onto us, we can get out of the ship and let the experienced types handle it, so we don't become hostages or provoke, I dunno, an interstellar incident." She jerked her shoulders in an irritable shrug. "Otherwise we just start beating on them and take the risk of flunking the exercise. What do you think?"

Share this post


Link to post

Edge relayed her translation, adding a few ideas of his own as they went. He looked even more concerned as he talked to the aliens through the translator, finally turning to Wander with his eyebrows furrowed. "They'd be happy to let us use their radio, but they're very worried we should accept the worship of the Great Mother now. They say the Destroyer is on his way here right now and that if we're not careful, he may sweep us all away in his fury. I have no idea what that means, but you'd better believe I'm getting on the radio right now. Can you get up into the glass bubble dome they have, the one with the telescope looking thing, and see if you can see anything?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Yeah, I guess..." Erin said dubiously, jumping up into the observation bubble. "Don't mind me," she told the alien sitting up there in English, "just looking for Satan, I guess. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing anymore." With a broad fakey grin, she bent her head to look into the telescope, trying to focus it on anything that looked very destructive. She wished something would just attack them already. She was probably supposed to feel like that, she realized, because Mr. Archer loved to do that to her, get her all wound up and then send in the bad guys. He was an old-school sadist. At least in big group training, he rarely picked on her individually anymore.

Share this post


Link to post

Peering up through the depths of space, Wander was able to make out a large, murky form like an asteroid cast out of black fog approaching through space. With a little help from her alien friend, she was able to adjust things to tell that the large body wasn't quite as big as it looked: closer to several blue whales than a whole city. Of course, that meant it was considerably closer than was any idea of safe. When she came back down to give that news to Edge, he'd already had time to contact the Freedom League for instructions. "They've been in contact with the alien mothership, and they just picked up the Destroyer. They're going to be meeting us at Lonely Point to figure out what we're going to do." He gave Wander a quick half-smile. "They say good work on making friends."

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×