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Cyroa

Lost and Found (IC)

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James was actually amazed that nothing was going on this evening. Not a single magical or dimensional threat for as far as he could sense (which given how far along his training had progressed was pretty darn far). He was actually looking at a night off for the first time in such a long time.

His first thought was to look for Erin, or any of his friends really. She wasn’t in the gym, training room or even in the lounge. None of the others seemed to be around or free either. Ah well…

Well, he’d just have to make to with random parties and an evening dallying with lovely ladies. He’d just have to deal with it.

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It had actually been a great evening. Flirting through a few of the best clubs and parties in the city. Always a fun activity there. And besides the random fun flirting that went with it, he met a gorgeous set of twins. Both of whom could dance and move to make one think they had some professional training.

So of course he had to avail himself. After an energetic and physical evening of dancing, one thing had led to another more private dance party. Sans clothing… Yeah, it was a good night.

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Later as he was not even remotely tired, James slid into a pair of pants while the twins slept. He wasn’t planning on going anywhere. Leaving before morning was rather caddy after all, not to mention missing out on a chance for breakfast and other activities. At the moment, he was more interested in raiding their fridge.

He walked into their kitchen, idly looking around. Opening the fridge, he chuckled at the mostly empty area before him. When a light suddenly enfolded him, surrounding him and taking him, he stopped laughing though.

A moment later, the kitchen was empty and quiet. The refrigerator door slowly swung closed, shutting off the only light.

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The light faded and James found himself standing on a familiar platform that was a little cool on his bare feet. The mild discomfort was a completely forgotten and ignored though as his surroundings sunk in.

He looked around, recognizing the room and not believing it. The transporter pad and room from Hell-ion’s ship? “That’s just not possible…We fixed all that. This shouldn’t be here. It doesn’t exist,†he said half to himself. He didn’t feel any weird dimensional shifting here, so it couldn’t be from a different dimension…though there was an odd feeling about the ship. Like it was dimensionally ‘heavy’ or something. He stepped off the pad wondering what exactly was going on, the twin far from his thoughts now.

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There was a shimming field of light by the door and a cute glowing girl dressed in a futuristic space suit, reminiscent of Hell-ion’s. Though this one had more than just a pair of pants, form fitting material wasn’t exactly leaving a lot to the imagination.

The cute perky girl smiled and threw herself onto James in a big hug though only the faintest touch could actually be felt. It was more symbolic it seemed. “You’re here! Finally! I’ve been searching forever!†She paused as she released her tight hug. “Well, it’s been 1 day, 23 hours, 35 minutes and 29 second. But that’s like forever to me!†She beamed up at him, apparently deliriously happy to see him.

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Being hugged by cute girls, whether he knew them or not, was nothing new to James. Being hugged by cute girls wearing tight/form fitting clothes also wasn’t exactly unknown either. But being hugged by one made of light? That was a new one.

He blinked at her ghostly touch but didn’t flinch. “Ok…I’ve been found. What exactly is going on? How’d I get here? And why is here, well, here?†He was more than a little confused and just trying to fathom an answer.

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The perky little hologram chuckled and ‘hugged’ him again. “I brought you here silly!†She stepped back and looked up at him. “Don’t you remember anything?†She made an exaggerated sigh as she fidgeted on one foot. “Fine. I charge the array with energy there by polarizing the emitters. Locking on to a pattern, I scan and digitize them. Rendering their physical form inert and transmuting said form into component atoms, I transfer them up here to the buffer. The buffer smooths the pattern out, removing possible problems and inconsistencies and resets their code as needed. Then, pushing their pattern out of the buffer and through the array, I rematerialize them by coalescing energy and transmuting it back into a solid state. Easy,†she said with a happy smile.

She made a general sweep of her hand, encompassing the ship. “We’re here because the interfluxing quantum state reality buffers you built protect the ship from temportal and dimensional ripples. Duh.†She paused. “Well not you-you. The other you.â€

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James blinked again, this time at the technical mumbo-jumbo that meant nothing to him. “Sorry I asked,†he muttered. He paused a second. “Wait…you’re… ‘Seph…†He searched his fuzzy memories. “No, Persephone! I, uh, he…, yeah, let’s stick with I for simplicity sake I guess, called you ‘Seph though.†He shook his head. “My memories are kind of fuzzy on all of that. I remember parts of that other life but the details aren’t there.â€

He looked around the room, idly curious, before bringing his gaze back to rest on the hologram. “Anyway, you were looking for me. Found me obviously. And boy I’m glad it wasn’t twenty minutes earlier,†he said with chuckle. “So…exactly why were you looking for me ‘Seph?â€

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Persephone just shook her head, a little pouting expression on her face for a moment. “Boy, you’re slow today.†It was quickly replaced by her happy smile though. “Perhaps it’s the temporal shifting that’s throwing you off. You, the other version of you anyway, made me. Made all of this. We belong to you. We’re yours,†she said, nodding seriously, bright eyes looking up at him.

“So obviously, when I realized the temporal ripple almost certain affected you, it was obvious that you’d probably forgotten all about me.†The pout returned briefly at that. “had to scan the ‘Weave, well the Internet in this here-and-now, for information while I let the ship’s scanners get to work. That certainly helped quite a bit. Since you didn’t have a beacon, finding you was much harder. Which reminds me, we need to get you one of those. I’ll order one up now,†she said absently.

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James studied her for a moment, mentally sighing as he did so. Unless she was very good at faking or his guess was very off, Persephone was in love with Hell-ion, err Hellion…whatever, him. Something he’d have to keep in mind for the future, not that he could do much about it. Apparently he’d have plenty of time to get to know her.

“So…my own ship? Guess I don’t need to get around to making sure I had a place in every major city to crash in,†he said jokingly. “How big is this thing anyway? Care to give me the tour? Not the 5 cent one, but the full thing,†he said to her with a smile. “If I’m going to be here a lot, I should really learn about everything,†he affirmed, already forgetting

Having a giant space ship was definitely a pretty cool thing and certainly never something he’d ever considered. His memories as Hell-ion weren’t too detailed about most of the ship, so this was going to be pretty interesting as far as he was concerned. But already in the back of his head, an idea was starting to form. Something he’d been just idly considering was now growing a bit with this sudden change.

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"Super!" Persephone exclaimed, clapping her hands together. "I'll show you the whole place. I know you don't remember everything now, but you and I have had such adventures together! I'm sure when you see the whole ship, it will jog your memory!" Taking his hand, she skipped (yes, really,) to the door and down the corridor. "We can start with your bedroom! I helped you design everything there for efficiency and your maximum comfort! It's so much better than that nasty little bedroom you were in when I found you." A momentary pout crossed her face, but was quickly cleared off by another smile. "I already started the whirlpool bath for you if you would like to clean up, or I can put it on hold till the end of the tour! Would you like anything to eat?"

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James nodded, not responding about where she found him just yet. "Sure, why not. Maybe I'll grab a pair of boots while we're there too," he said, wiggling his bare toes. "Though if those space clothes are still there, we're going to have to get some regular stuff up here." He didn't particularly care about not wearing a shirt but no shoes in a spaceship seemed wrong. He smiled and let the happy AI lead him out of the room and into a corridor. "Let's save the bath till then end. I've got lots to see and learn after all. I'll hold on the food, though a coffee, or something stronger, would be great." He paused. "Does the ship have coffee? Or even food?" he wondered aloud. Grocery shopping trips for a spaceship had not been something he'd ever contemplated before.

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"We've got coffee," she told him brightly, "and also very strong coffee! I know exactly how you like it." She breezed down the hall to the bedroom, which was a large and very plush affair done up in blacks and reds. It certainly didn't look like a berth on most ships, but like a really nice, if dark, hotel room. "I stock all your favorite foods, and there's a full galley at your disposal. You should remember that I'm an excellent cook, right?" she asked hopefully. "Don't you remember that time we were fighting the evil Galactic Smazmar and we defeated his war chefs together in head to head competition? Oh, that was exciting!"

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James nodded, idly wondering if he was going to have the same tastes as his altered-time line-alien counterpart. "Great, I'll take a cup," he said looking around the large room. "Very nice. Cushy," he said with a chuckle. He looked over at her, grinning. "Defeating some galactic threat and his men in a cook-off? Wish I could remember that one," he said, amused. Of course it sounded bizarre as all heck but that time line had been definitely a weird one. "We'll have to do dinner at some point then. I'm guessing you eat even less than I do though. What do you like to do," he asked, looking at her curiously. "Hanging out in the ship all the time might be important but it can't be everything." He didn't remember everything obviously and he was expressing interest in her. If she was going to be that important to him, he probably should learn a little more than that she was a great cook (supposedly).

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"Oh, I love it here," Persephone told him loyally. She glanced over to a unit on the wall, which beeped twice, then spat out a silver cup and filled it with fragrant coffee. A little robot with clawed servos detatched itself from the wall, picked up the cup, and brought it over to James. "Back in... I'm not exactly sure, I guess, but back where we came from, I liked to get on the comms and talk to other sentient computers, but most of them are not the same anymore. I will have to find some new friends! But I prefer spending time with you," she told him, doing a little twirl in place. "I'm so glad I found you again. It was getting terribly lonely up here, and having to dodge all those ground sensors was such a chore. Now that you're here, we can go on more adventures!"

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"Well that's good," he said watching the little bot. Taking the cup, he took a sip. "That's really good." He looked back over and chuckled. "Least you're not bored. I actually know of this hero group. A lot of the members are jerks or something. But they've got this wacky AI that runs their base I think. I'll have to see if I can get the number for you." He took another drink. "I'll be up here quite a bit I think. And yeah, I've kind of got an idea on the adventure thing. Something on the large scale. Need to see if it'll work first." He shrugged with a chuckle. "Still, I'm sure we'll find all sorts of trouble to get into."

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"I think I know how to handle jerk computers," Persephone told him with a confident toss of her head. She led him down the corridor past a few other sets of living quarters, down to an area where the smell of chlorine was strong in the air. "I had to shock the pool while I was waiting for you," she told him, "We picked up some kind of bacterial growth that I'm still analyzing. It'll be ready tomorrow, but the hot tub and sauna are still fine. You should try the sauna, I added those aromatherapy bricks, and it's wonderful," she said, clasping her hands together rapturously. "It smells like what I'm pretty sure a pine forest smells like, and it will relax and invigorate you!" For the moment, though, she kept on with the tour, leading him to a lift.

"You'll be happy to know all the animals made the trip just fine," she reported, bouncing from "foot" to "foot" in the elevator. "And there's a new baby spacelynx! I had to activate my veterinary subroutine, but everything went well, and mother and baby are just fine. "It's soooo cute! I named him Hellcat, after you!"

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"Of that I'm sure," he said with a open smile. He made a mental note to call Jack at the Interceptors and see about a number for their AI. He nodded. "Sure, I'll give it a try later. Sounds good to me," he said looking around as he walked, trying to take it all in. He'd long since handed his empty cup off to be recycled. The ship was pretty cool with all sorts of neat features. He did blink. "Animals? Spacelynx? Ok..." he said. He did chuckle at the name. "Cute. We'll have to take a look. So are these like pets or a zoo or something? And what else is up here? Am I going to turn a corner at some point and walk into a forest?" Hey, given the other oddities he'd encountered, that didn't seem like too much of a stretch.

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"It's your menagerie, silly!" she told him with a laugh. "Whenever we find creatures who are in danger of extinction, you bring them up here for me to take care of until they can be cloned and repopulated! They live in the habitats down in Cargo Bay Two. It's very nice down there, but it's not exactly a forest. I could program a forest for you in the simulator if you like," she offered cheerfully. Persephone obviously didn't need to breathe.

"The hydroponics bay does have some trees, if you're more interested in the real thing, but that's more devoted to vegetables and grains and algae, really. Ick, slimy stuff, but it's good for the oxygen you need!" She led him back onto the bridge he'd seen before, lit up with views of the Earth from different angles and illuminations. "All systems are nominal," she reported with obvious pleasure, her outfit morphing now to one that looked like a very fitted version of a space shuttle astronaut's. "We're in standard geosynch orbit over Freedom City, with our next course burn in thirty minutes. Any orders?"

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He raised an eyebrow. "Nice to know. I wonder how many of them down there don't exist in this reality," he said half to himself. "Something to look into later I guess." He shook his head a little. "Nah, I'm good. I'm a city boy after all," he said with a grin. "The call of the wild is not my thing. And I really have no desire to see slime vats!"

He chuckled at her as he looked out the viewscreen. "Those suits looks so uncomfortable," he says with a smile. "That's a great view. Orders? Uh...nah, I think you've got it well covered. But I want to keep this ship a secret for now so if we can hide it, that'd be good. The ship is anchored in dimensional space-time...can it change it's location," he asked idly, letting his thoughts wander with possibilities.

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"Already on it, Hell-Ion!" Persephone reported proudly. "We're hidden from all forms of earthbound tracking, they'd have to get a superhero up her to actually look at us if they wanted so much as a glimpse. And we'd see them coming from miles away. We can go wherever you want, whenever you'd like to leave, just say the word and it's off to Adventure!" She looked terribly pleased about the idea, little sparkly lights appearing along the edges of her images.

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James smiled. "Well, not off anywhere just yet...kind of thinking about what we can do with this. See, here I'm a little different. I'm no Lord of Space." He moved over to the dispenser thing and fiddled with it until he got another drink. "This might take some time," he said, dropping into the surprising comfortable 'capatin's chair' with a sigh. He proceeded to explain to her everything...about himself, his past, his responsibilities. He held nothing back. It was a long explanation really. He paused at the end, letting her process it all. In those few seconds it'd take he spoke up. "Oh, and 'Sept? Please call me James when I'm not 'working' down there. All my friends do."

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Persephone listened carefully to the entire explanation with a look that verged from slight confusion to comical dismay as she realized the extent of the memories he had lost, and what they had been replaced with. She did brighten somewhat at his invitation. "All right... James," she said with a shy smile. "If you really want to continue groundside expeditions on Terra, I can put us into a higher and more stable orbit, one that will let me remain parked indefinitely with minimal fuel expenditure. We can be very useful to you!" she assured him. "All of the ships functions are accessible through my remote linkups. All you need to do is call and I'll be there for you, always!"

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"Yeah, my memories are fuzzy. Only certain things really stand out. But wanted you to know the full story. Most people don't know it so please make sure nothing slips out. That would be probably be bad." He shrugged. "Well, I do have to keep track of dimensional and magical ripples down there. But do whatever you need to keep fully fueled and in great shape." He nodded at her with a smile. "I bet. I'll probably just be crashing up here a lot I think. I've got a lot to learn." He paused. "My comms and phones still pick up signals here right? Just want to make sure the guys can reach me if they need to," he clarified quickly. "Beyond that, I don't think I'm up yet to taking her out for a spin. But there's a good chance this will work out really well," he said quietly, watching the Earth spin.

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"Just give me the frequencies and I'll take care of everything," Persephone promised. "I can link up your communications devices to the ship's systems so that any calls to you come straight up here as well as to your personal comm, and so that you and any of your teammates can call up here if necessary. That's always been a useful trick, like when Kid Midnight got me to use my orbital signaling lights to... but you don't remember that, do you," she trailed off. An eyeblink later, she was bright again, and talking again. "That's all right though, there are always new adventures to be had! If you'd like to give me your clothes and equipment, I'll have them cleaned and synched by the time you finish your bath."

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