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Phalanx's Vignette: Master Tailor

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Mike Harris was no master tailor but with some trial and error he managed the basics well enough to help out with more than set building for the schools small theater department. Thus it wasn't unusual for him to spend some of his off hours assembling or repairing costumes, after all the school made the machines and materials available for just that purpose. With a relatively light class load and some small problems with his roommate earlier in the month Mike had become a regular. So it was not unusual to find him determinedly, if comically given his size, crouched over a sewing machine or cutting table.

This evening found him there later than usual and though the department had official closed hours ago he was well enough known there that he had been left to lock it up when he was finished, he wasn't the only student to keep odd hours after all. He had done so on other occasions as well so it certainly wasn't unusual and he was known to be trustworthy. What was unusual was the odd materials he pulled from his bag shortly after the last of the other students had left for the night.

The fabric was a spare workout suit he had acquired for his updated Doom Room schedule, even these remarkable suits required some time for self repair after being exposed to the kind of punishment he regularly underwent in the sims had been his excuse. Whether or not they had believed the admittedly lame lie the powers that be had provided him with a couple spares. It wasn't easy but with some work he had managed to make most of the necessary alterations.

At first he had found the whole idea of costumed crime fighting ludicrous. But after his time with Young Freedom and the tutelage of the instructors at Claremont he realized he could make a difference, and that when it came down to it standing idly by was not something he could do. Even then the whole costume thing had seemed a little absurd. He understood the need for some to hide who they really were for fear of retaliation against friends and family, but there was no real hope of that for him. He was a known factor to those with the right clearance and there were enough of those that it would never be hard to ID him.

It had been when his roommate dragged him out to the Supers Museum that it finally clicked for Mike. They had wandered the Museum for most of the day, nominally for a history project they were working on together and with Mark that always meant super history. Just before they left Mark took his customary sojourn through the main hall where all the statues of the heroes stood like silent sentinels. Looking at the great heroes of the past and present Mike finally saw the draw. There was more to the costume than hiding behind a mask. It was about being something more, a symbol, a beacon of hope, an icon.

When they returned Mike set to work. Between classes, and interspersed with his homework he worked on a design. He wasn't the most artistic student but he knew what he wanted to evoke. Something for people to look up to and trust, a stalwart defender of justice. But still something that one could identify with. In the end it wasn't hard to find a look that called to what was best in all of us, the tricky part was keeping it unique enough to show appropriate respect for the inspiration.

And so he constructed the form fitting suit with care. A deep V in gold across the chest from his shoulders to his belt, deep blue for the remainder. Simple bronze bracers and greaves evocative of the hoplites from which his super ID had been taken a full cape in blue hanging from his shoulders.

Mike lifted the mask he had made consideringly then set it aside. This had never been about hiding who he was but about showing what he was. Mike had spent enough time hiding from what his powers meant, he wasn't going to hide any longer.

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