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A Breather on Campus (Open IC)

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'You must be crazy to think you can stop here and just sit on a park bench while you wait for your batteries to recharge.' Henry was berating himself because he had allowed himself to run out of power. He could simply pop open one of the streetlamps and suck some juice from the city. However, vandalism was something that he was trying to stop in this run down part of the city and Henry wouldn't forgive himself if he just started trashing the college campus like some common thug. So he decided to take a breather and let his body do it's thing. He'd be able to move at top speed soon enough.

'Soon enough?!' His mind scoffed at him as he thought the words. 'You'll be lucky to get back home in time for a shower before you have to go to school!' It might have been true... but he was making a conscious effort at this point to stop this punishment and just wait it out. It really was a struggle to do.

He threw his arms over the back of the bench and stretched out his legs so his feet only touched the pavement by the heels. He leaned his head back and exhaled sharply, his purple goggles sliding deeper into his eye sockets. "Whatever..."

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"Whatever..."

"That looks like a good idea."

The voice came out of thin air: female, accent suggesting either Philly or South Jersey, and definitely close by.

"Mind if I join you, champ?"

And now a smiling face appeared, hovering some five feet off the ground, very cute with short spiky hair and a stylin' domino mask; as the head drifted closer to Blitz, a slim, leather-clad athletic body slowly appeared below it, and the pretty young super plopped down on the bench beside him, crossed her shapely legs and idly scratched a pointed ear.

"Some night, huh?" She tilted her head back to look up at the sky, shielding her eyes from the glare of the streetlights. "Too bad you really can't see all the stars here in the big city, y'know? Oh well, it's nice to know they're still there." She closed her eyes and took a long breath through her nose, then slowly let it out.

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"That looks like a good idea."

"Mind if I join you, champ?"

Blitz's head snapped down to see who had spoken. It was a floating head wearing a domino mask.

Henry closed his eyes and shook his head. He was obviously seeing things. Heads didn't just float without bodies. It just didn't happen. When he opened his eyes he saw a shapely young woman dressed in a tight black and blue outfit. She sat down right next to him, crossed her legs, and shaded her eyes while commenting on the quality of the view of the night sky. He was very confused, but Blitz wasn't one for showing it.

He leaned his head back and feigning a calm attitude, he responded, "Sure is." Feeling like that wasn't really enough, Blitz pressed on, "Been pretty quiet tonight as well, except for the party you can barely hear over there in the dorms. Aside from that it's peaceful." Blitz wanted to be ready for anything. He wanted to be on that hair trigger that would make him fly off this bench and into the next zip code in less than 10 seconds. He wanted to be. But he was still running on empty. This woman might be here to take him down once and for all. But there wasn't anything he could do about it. 'Might as well make the best of a bad situation then.'

"So what's your name?" The question was thrown out there with a casual tone, just two people sharing a bench in the middle of the night on the campus. Henry was a nervous wreck.

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"Been pretty quiet tonight as well, except for the party you can barely hear over there in the dorms. Aside from that it's peaceful."

The pretty super cocked her head to one side, and her ear actually shifted slightly, like a cat's.

"Ooh, sounds like they're having a good time! Live band!" She also sniffed the air, and chuckled. "And somebody is smoking weed over by the running track, probably under the bleachers." She shook her head sadly and sighed. "Ah, the thing's I've missed out on by skipping college!" Then she shrugged. "But I guess there's still time, though."

"So what's your name?"

The girl's cheeks went a little pink, as did the tips of her ears, and she covered her mouth in embarrassment.

"Oh God, I'm sorry! How rude and all that!" She held out a gloved hand. "I'm Grimalkin, with the Interceptors? This isn't my usual beat, but I was in the neighborhood, so..." Her handshake was surprisingly firm for one so svelte. "And you are..?"

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Blitz smiled and nodded as he took Grimalkin's hand. "Nice to meet you Grimalkin with the Interceptors. I'm Blitz." His handshake was firm but didn't hold the power that this lithe woman's did. Henry wondered just how long she'd been a hero, but thought that he'd get in trouble if he asked. 'It might be like asking an woman of 30+ what her age is.'

Blitz took his hand back and leaned back to look up into the sky once again. He didn't know exactly what else to say. He supposed they could just sit in silence, but that seemed like it wasn't the right thing to do. A troubling notion came to mind, 'What if Grimalkin wasn't a super hero at all? What if she was a super villain?' It was entirely possible. But then another question came to mind, 'Why do you always think that other super-powered beings are potentially villains the instant you meet them?' Once again, the answer was obvious: people were more likely to use their powers for ill than for good. Then again, that was a bleak outlook. As he was debating with himself, Henry became suddenly aware of the fact that he had sat there debating for far too long!

'Say anything you moron!'

He was being a little awkward again and he hated it when he did that... but what did you chit-chat about with heroes anyway? The logical answer, as he saw it, was "other super heroes".

"Do, uh... Do you know Kid Cthulhu?" He asked slightly awkwardly, "I just met the guy the other day, and he seems alright for a squid-man-bat." Blitz didn't move from his resting position as he asked, but a few beads of sweat trickled down his face to his hairline even though the night was cool and pleasant.

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"Do, uh... Do you know Kid Cthulhu?" He asked slightly awkwardly, "I just met the guy the other day, and he seems alright for a squid-man-bat."

The young woman looked like she was about to speak, but then stopped, her mouth hanging open comically. She looked genuinely flabbergasted.

"'Kid Cthulhu'? Seriously? There's a guy named 'Kid Chthulu' who fights crime in this town?"

She leaned forward and rubbed her chin thoughtfully.

"Wow...and here I though I knew every cape and mask in this crazy burg. I have never heard of this guy."

She shrugged. "Oh well! So, what kinda powers does he have?" Then she stopped and looked rather alarmed. "Wait, isn't Cthulhu some kind of evil ancient god or something? I mean, are we sure he's on the level, this Kid person?" :raise:

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She shrugged. "Oh well! So, what kinda powers does he have?" Then she stopped and looked rather alarmed. "Wait, isn't Cthulhu some kind of evil ancient god or something? I mean, are we sure he's on the level, this Kid person?" :raise:

Blitz shrugged at the second question as he gave his response, "He seemed pretty on the level to me. I mean... the magic-hell-fire was a bit creepy... and he did have a squid for a face... aaaaaannnd demonic wings on his back were kinda off-putting... but we stood around and talked about putting the fear into the local baddies for a good while. I'm pretty sure that he's ok." He smiled a bit as he remembered the fact about Lovecraft that he dug up after the encounter he had with Kid Cthulhu. Cthulhu had in fact been an elder evil god in the crazy mythos that that Lovecraft guy wrote about. Nearest Blitz could figure out, Kid had gone and done some fake as hell ritual and accidentally summoned said ancient evil god who then cursed the tar outta him.

He looked past her as he half smiled at his own thoughts, not really thinking about how his pose would surely imply to the lady sitting next to him before he asked, "So, Grimalkin with the Interceptors, since you brought up the subject of powers, what are yours like? I'd give you a show of my own, but I'm a bit low on power right now."

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"He seemed pretty on the level to me. I mean... the magic-hell-fire was a bit creepy... and he did have a squid for a face... aaaaaannnd demonic wings on his back were kinda off-putting... but we stood around and talked about putting the fear into the local baddies for a good while. I'm pretty sure that he's ok."

Grim looked at this young fellow askance. "Wellll, if you say so; Momma Grim always taught me not to mess with Elder Gods and such, but if you say he's cool, I'll take your word for it."

"So, Grimalkin with the Interceptors, since you brought up the subject of powers, what are yours like? I'd give you a show of my own, but I'm a bit low on power right now."

At this question, the pretty brunette merely nodded. "Mmm." From somewhere on her person (exactly where is very hard to tell), she produced a box of orange Tic Tacs, which she popped into her mouth and started crunching. She wordlessly offered some to Blitz, eyebrows raised in inquiry as swallowed hers and popped a few more.

"'Powers'. Funny word, that; all kinds of different connotations." She sucked loudly on her Tic Tacs. "Yeah, I got powers; obviously I got the invisibility thing goin' on, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, my friend." She giggled a bit as she scratched her nose. "Uh, lemme see, how to do this, how to do it...oh, I know!"

She hoped up on the bench, facing the younger hero, a big smile on her face.

"Who's your favorite actress of all time? Pick anyone; heck, pick your first cartoon crush when you were a kid, I don't care."

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"Who's your favorite actress of all time? Pick anyone; heck, pick your first cartoon crush when you were a kid, I don't care."

Blitz cocked his eyebrow up so you could see it above his goggles and seemed to consider his response for a moment or two. He had always thought that Angela Bassett was pretty hot so he decided to go with that. However, while Blitz was sure this was going to be Grim showing that she could reproduce someone's likeness, he had no idea how this strange woman was going to do it.

"I've always thought Angela Bassett was pretty easy on the eyes. So show me what you got?" He hadn't intended for it to be a question when he had started saying it, but such had been his surprise at saying it in the first place that he had to question what he was saying, while he was saying it! It was definitely not his night.

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"I've always thought Angela Bassett was pretty easy on the eyes. So show me what you got?"

For just a moment, the shapeshifter blinked, but then a big smile spread across her face as she looked at Blitz and nodded with frank admiration.

"Rock on, dude! Kudos to you for having a little imagination and excellent taste."

She leaped into air, did a graceful backflip and landed some ten feet away, where she began to do a few quick warm-up stretches.

"Most guys, you ask them that question? They go pure bimbo; Jennifer, Jessica, Megan or any other top heavy bombshell. So totally obvious."

She rolled the tension out of her neck and waved a finger.

"But not you, no siree! I mean, not that Angela isn't hot, but...well, you know what I mean. You get da pitcha!"

And suddenly her form was surrounded by swirling mist that seemed to seep right out of her body. When the mist parted, Grimalkin was transformed into the spitting image of Ms Bassett, looking damn fine in a deep blue dress.

"Well, well, well, not bad at all, I'd say. And technically? Not my best work."

She laughed, all traces of her Atlantic City accent were gone, replaced by the actresses' rich, deep voice. "So yeah, shapeshifting is really what I'm best at, though I'm pretty handy in a fight, too." 'Angela' took a seat next to Blitz and held out her hand; in a flash, razor sharp talons appeared on the end of each finger, and she dragged them across the bench, leaving deep gouges with seemingly no effort.

"See? I'm downright dangerous!" Then she frowned as she looked at the defacement of public property she'd just committed. "Uh...that was dumb." She shook her head vigorously, and the beautiful starlet's form fell away in tatters, her long black hair drifting off into the night, leaving Grim in her wake.

"Yeah, don't want folks to think Angela Bassett hates benches for some weird reason." Looking back up to the young man, she grinned awkwardly. "So, enough about me and my love of pointless vandalism. What can you do, Blitz? Oh and please, just call me Grim; much less of a mouthful."

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For just a moment, the shapeshifter blinked, but then a big smile spread across her face as she looked at Blitz and nodded with frank admiration.

"Rock on, dude! Kudos to you for having a little imagination and excellent taste."

She leaped into air, did a graceful backflip and landed some ten feet away, where she began to do a few quick warm-up stretches.

"Most guys, you ask them that question? They go pure bimbo; Jennifer, Jessica, Megan or any other top heavy bombshell. So totally obvious."

She rolled the tension out of her neck and waved a finger.

"But not you, no siree! I mean, not that Angela isn't hot, but...well, you know what I mean. You get da pitcha!"

Blitz smiled at the reaction from Grim. It was nice to know that this strange woman approved of his taste and didn't just wonder why he didn't like the more mainstream women of the current time. It's not like he knew why he didn't think that the popular women of the time were as hot as everyone would have you think. "Don't get me wrong," Blitz said, "They're not bad looking. I just don't think they're as hot as everyone else says they... are..." Biltz trailed off as Grimmalkin-

was surrounded by swirling mist that seemed to seep right out of her body. When the mist parted, Grimalkin was transformed into the spitting image of Ms Bassett, looking damn fine in a deep blue dress.

It was a really odd thing to see. Suddenly it was Angela Bassett standing exactly where Grimmalkin had been before. It was obvious to the brain that this was some kind of disguise or mystical appearance altering magic. But it was the exact opposite to the visual senses. According to the information that Henry's eyes were giving him, Angela had somehow replaced Grimmalkin in that swirling mist.

Blitz could only stare dumbly, mouth slightly agape, at this... whatever had just happened.

"Well, well, well, not bad at all, I'd say. And technically? Not my best work."

She laughed, all traces of her Atlantic City accent were gone, replaced by the actresses' rich, deep voice. "So yeah, shapeshifting is really what I'm best at, though I'm pretty handy in a fight, too." 'Angela' took a seat next to Blitz and held out her hand; in a flash, razor sharp talons appeared on the end of each finger, and she dragged them across the bench, leaving deep gouges with seemingly no effort.

"See? I'm downright dangerous!"

'Shapeshifting,' Blitz thought, 'Alright, I can dig it. Talons? Blatant vandalism? Not so much' Blitz looked up at Grimmalkin and cocked his eyebrow disapprovingly at this interesting woman.

Then she frowned as she looked at the defacement of public property she'd just committed. "Uh...that was dumb." She shook her head vigorously, and the beautiful starlet's form fell away in tatters, her long black hair drifting off into the night, leaving Grim in her wake.

"Yeah, don't want folks to think Angela Bassett hates benches for some weird reason." Looking back up to the young man, she grinned awkwardly. "So, enough about me and my love of pointless vandalism. What can you do, Blitz? Oh and please, just call me Grim; much less of a mouthful."

Blitz smiled wanly at this question. "Well, Grim, put simply, I'm fast. Put more specifically I've got this electric charge in me that lets me accelerate to, as near as I can tell, 500 miles an hour. I'm actually kinda annoyed that I can't break that sound barrier, you know? Seems like it should be one of those things fast heroes can just do." Blitz sighed in both resignation and frustration. "Normally I'd be able to give you a demonstration. But, like I said earlier, I ran outta juice so I'm resting up so I can get home before sunrise."

Henry lapsed into silence for a moment and leaned back over the bench, much the way he had before Grim had shown up. He didn't feel particularly uncomfortable with the silence, but he knew from experience that others might feel that way given where and when these two heroes were.

" So, Grim," Blitz asked, "Why you decide to head out to the campus tonight?"

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"Well, Grim, put simply, I'm fast. Put more specifically I've got this electric charge in me that lets me accelerate to, as near as I can tell, 500 miles an hour. I'm actually kinda annoyed that I can't break that sound barrier, you know? Seems like it should be one of those things fast heroes can just do." Blitz sighed in both resignation and frustration. "Normally I'd be able to give you a demonstration. But, like I said earlier, I ran outta juice so I'm resting up so I can get home before sunrise."

Grim nodded at Blitz's explanation. "That's cool; we've got a Speedy Gonzalez on our team, too, name of Dynamo. Maybe you guys could race sometime; might be a fun kinda charity event, y'know, get you both some nice press..."

She trailed off, seemingly content to just sit there on the bench, idly running her thumb along the claw marks she'd so rashly made earlier.

" So, Grim," Blitz asked, "Why you decide to head out to the campus tonight?"

She looked up from the bench. "Hmm? Oh, that. Well, I'm thinking of starting college in the fall, in my civilian identity of course, and I was on campus in my civvies, and one of the student counselors invited to like a social gathering, in a clear attempt to woo me to FC."

She smiled and took a deep breath. "I'm still really torn; FCU is much closer to the West End, which is pretty much our base of operations, but FC has got this funky kinda vibe I'm diggin'."

Grim summed three tennis balls out of thin air and began to juggle them, without any visible effort.

"I dunno...I wish there could be two of me, to go to both schools..."

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Blitz was listening to Grim talk about how she was going to maybe be coming to school here in her civilian life. It was something that Henry was gonna have to think about soon as well. With High School graduation rapidly approaching and his parents having been saving, above everything else, for his college fund it was a hot topic of discussion back home. He hadn't stopped here, as Grim had, to check out the campus... at least not consciously. Now that he was thinking about it, it seemed only natural that he would have gravitated towards the campus with his future in the thoughts at the back of his mind.

Grim was juggling at this point, and doing a fantastic job of it given that she wasn't really paying attention to what she was doing.

"I dunno...I wish there could be two of me, to go to both schools..."

"Pfft," Blitz uttered, "I heard that. I'm not sure what's gonna happen when I start college next semester. Part of me just wants to stay in High School." Henry was really showing his age through his costume at this point, his "Blitz persona" starting to fade away as he thought more on the impending changes in his life. "After all, I'm just a kid in a ridiculous costume, what the hell do I know about college anyway?"

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"Pfft," Blitz uttered, "I heard that. I'm not sure what's gonna happen when I start college next semester. Part of me just wants to stay in High School."

"After all, I'm just a kid in a ridiculous costume, what the hell do I know about college anyway?"

Grim shook her head as she effortlessly added a bowling ball and rubber chicken to her juggling.

"Hey, at least you were smart and stayed in school; I left at fifteen, and now I'm busting my ass studying for my GED. It's literally the hardest thing I've ever done."

She sighed, her big brown eyes never leaving the cascade of objects under her control.

"God, I hated high school; it was agony every day. I used to cut myself-"

Suddenly she blinked, and all her zany props fell to the ground, the bowling ball making a loud 'crack' as it hit the concrete and then wobbled under the bench.

"Oh crap! I lost it..." The rubber chicken melted on the sidewalk, and the tennis balls evaporated as they rolled away. Grim stared at the spots where the mist rose up, her body slumped forward.

"I feel so damn old sometimes."

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Henry's eyes locked on Grim as she let her past slip through her words. The objects fell to the ground, but the younger hero didn't really care about them anymore. It was the confession that Grim had made that really got to him. She was an adult. More importantly she was an adult who had gotten through being a teenager herself, probably with more trouble than he was having currently.

"I feel so damn old sometimes."

At that Henry smiled and belted out a great gale of laughter at the irony of the situation. Here was Grimalkin wishing that she was young so she could get a re-do on her childhood, while Henry sat next to her wishing that he was older so he wouldn't have to deal with this teenager crap anymore. He pulled himself together, still smiling and said, "Well would you look at us. I don't suppose you see the proverbial coin metaphor fitting into our situation as well as I do, do you, Grim?"

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The teen's sudden laughter caught Grim off-guard, and she jumped up a bit. Then she rolled her eyes and grinned wryly, equally amused and annoyed.

"Well would you look at us. I don't suppose you see the proverbial coin metaphor fitting into our situation as well as I do, do you, Grim?"

"Shut up, you little punk! Why I oughta..."

She gave him a playful shove and chuckled a bit herself.

"Oh, man! 'To bitch is human', am I right? It's what we do best, when you really think about it, y'know, complain? It's like an art form or something."

She stood up and had a stretch, seeming very catlike for a second, especially when she yawned. "Oh dude, I'm starting to feel it, and I've still gotta fly home. Crap!" She stuck out her tongue and makes an unhappy face. Then she stopped and looked around, a thought hitting her.

"Wait, are you vulnerable right now? Do you need..." And now she turned to Blitz and grinned evilly. "Protection? Because I'd be happy to walk you home, little lady. Why it ain't right, leavin' you out here by your lonesome."

She twirled a pair of six shooters around her fingers, and jammed them back into their holsters. Wait, what the...? What's with the little cowgirl outfit all of a sudden? Grim just tipped her Stetson back on her head and smiled.

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Blitz laughed as Grim shoved him and continued to smile as she philosophised right back at him. As soon as she pulled out her "I'll protect you, little trailhand," routine though, Blitz started to chuckle again and was laughing outright by the time she was tipping her big hat at him.

He collected himself and replied, "I'll be OK, Grim. I walked the streets plenty when I didn't have any super-powers, I'll sure as hell be able to manage now that I've got 'em." As if to prove a point, Blitz got up, stretched a little, and felt about how charged he was: enough to get home at about half-speed.

"If you're not gonna be the one to get going first, then I'll sure beat the hasty retreat first." He turned away from Grim, looked over his shoulder, and waved. "See you Fall Semester then, huh?" A small aura of electricity played around Blitz just before he tore off down the walk, a blur in the night.

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