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Several of Freedom City's heroic types received a large invitation slid under their door around the middle of June; the cards appeared to be handmade either by someone in their late teens or perhaps merely addicted to clip art, glitter and caffeinated soft drinks.







To a Special Celebration that's Sweeping the Nation!




Fun! Games! Prizes! Other Fun!


Alcohol and other fluids will be present, as well as

foodstuffs in a wide variety of tastes, colors and textures

from around the globe!


Who: Lynn Epstein

What: A party for her 22nd birthday!

Where: The Brownstone (Look it up, scrub!)

When: Sat, June 20th, starting at 2pm

Why: Because life is too frickin' short not to share it with friends!


Miss Epstein herself has personally guaranteed




So bring your swim trunks and

any special snacks you want and

come on down!


RSVP and all that other stuff




*Note: gifts will be welcomed but are not mandatory; times is tuff, kidz!




Some people did not get hard copies at all, due to Lynn's unfamiliarity with their current living arrangements, but she still made sure the word got around.

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Colt was just finishing hooking up the grill to the propane tank. Humming to himself quietly, he began unpacking the assorted meat products that he would be grilling on a nearby table. He'd set out the Hamburgers, Hot dogs (Kosher and non), Sausage, Chicken, and more.

When Grim had asked him to Barbecue, he had happily agreed, on the condition that he be allowed to smoke a real cigar that day. (Not that Grim would actually stop him, but he preferred being nice about it.) He now pulled the same cigar out of his front pocket and ran it under his nose. It had been a while since he'd had a real one. Today was turning out to be a fine day.

With a turn of a dial, and a push of a button, Colt fired up the grill.

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Even though he hadn't known her too long, Dynamo was trying to make this day go smoothly for her. Dynamo actually got up early in the morning and made breakfast for everyone. Wasn't quite as the stuff Grim usually whipped up, but Eli could hold his own in the kitchen. He then spent the next few hours as a blur of static as he went from one room to the next, making sure everything was absolutely perfect. At his speed, it shouldn't have taken more than a few minutes, but he kept redoing things. While his enthusiasm was appreciated the song* he was whistling was likely not.


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The young man known to his housemates as Jack of all Blades staggered out into the yard, rolling the muscles between his neck and shoulder blades with both hands, hair still wet from the shower. The fencer had been out lat the night before on patrol, only getting back the brownstone apartments in the late morning. A quick nap in the Underground had constituted the first sleep he'd gotten in a few days, but nevertheless he'd forced himself back on his feet for Lynn's party. Stifling a yawn, Jack stopped abruptly in his tracks as Eli blurred by, rustling the unbuttoned shirt he wore atop his tank top, eyebrow twitching before he made his way to the barbecue to give Colt a reproachful look. "You're not going to smoke that near the food, are you?"

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"Naw, partner," Colt replied, twirling the cigar around in his fingers. "I wouldn't dream'a it. I know smokin' ain't the cleanest habit, an' I ain't thick 'nough ta smoke near food other people're gonna be eatin'. Reckon that's fer later. I always liked smokin't night'n 'stead'a day."

Colt Pulled a small metal case out of his back pocket. Holding it with his left, he pressed the latch inward with the thumb of the same hand. It sprung open revealing a few more of the same type of Cigar. "It's cheaper'ta buy'em in packs, so I went'n got'a couple. This here case keeps'em from smellin'n keeps'em fresh." Colt slid the cigar into the case next to the others. "Seein's how I don't smoke much no more, I reckon these others're up fer grabs, if'n ya want one. From that there reaction'a yers, I'm thinkin' yer fixin' on sayin' no, but there ain't no sense'n bein' impolite." He slid the case back into his back pocket, giving it two pats once it was there.

"I'm hopin' patrollin's gone well last night? Seein' hows I didn't get no calls, I'm bettin' it weren't nothin'' y'all couldn't handle. Still, y'all don't gotta be out there all night. I reckon thats what we got VINCE'n them new upgraded sensors fer." Colt selected a spatula in his right hand and gave it a quick flourish. He ended by pointing the spatula in Jack's direction, and then bringing it up between his eyes like a fencer's salute. "I reckon the grill's gonna be hot soon. Wanna put'n orders fer th' Jack'n Jill pair?"

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Grim practically skipped as she came out the kitchen door, tore down the back stairs and did a few backflips that brought her next to Colt by the grill.

"Hi hon! Ooh, ya got yer ci-gars? Cool!"

She hopped up to give him a quick kiss and rubbed his arm; though she'd made it clear she wasn't a huge fan of stinky stogies, she also had no desire to be a witch and completely deprive the man she loved of all his pleasures. The look she’d come up with the light as air and very summery, with a swimsuit underneath, and she’d grown her hair out a bit for a change, just so she could feel it on the back of her neck when it got wet.

“So, not too bad for my first outdoor party, huh? I could make serious money doing this stuff for rick kids, y’know?†The shapeshifter turned and sighed as she proudly surveyed the yard. "I think this...is my Sistine Chapel, guys."

Lynn had spent much of the wee hours decorating; she'd been pushing the limits of her glamour recently, and last night she seemed to make some sort of major breakthrough. There were two picnic tables, both covered by canopies held up by wooden poles. She'd conjured a Skeeball game, foosball table (careful observers would note the tiny players were actually the Interceptors playing the various positions) and even a small pool which had taken most of the night to fill with the garden hose. There was a small bar with several coolers parked around it, and she'd bought some party lights and stung them up all over the place. All in all, very impressive work for one little lady.

Lynn smiled as she basked in her work...and then started nervously chewing on a thumbnail.

“I hope people show; I went kinda nuts with the invitations. Y’know, they were supposed be kinda ironic, but then I think I went too far...â€

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"Hey, Lynn," Jack greeted with a tired but genuine grin, giving the diminutive woman a light punch on the arm. "Happy birthday. Anything I can be getting ready?" he asked, stifling a yawn and shaking his head rapidly for a moment to clear it.

There was a knock at the front door, as Jack's younger sister, known to the other Interceptors as 'Jill', arrived, a beaten knapsack over one shoulder and a large bag balanced in her arms. The teenager's dusty brown ponytail bounced back and forth as she tried to peer through the windows to see if anyone was coming to let her in.

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"Happy birthday. Anything I can be getting ready?"

Lynn shook her head. "Nah, I think we're good, thanks. Wait, we need plates and stuff." She reached out and created several plates, cups and utensils with the touch of a finger, tapping out place settings on the picnic tables as she walked around them. "And technically, my birthday was the 17th, but Grimday is always observed the following weekend; it's in the Constitution, you know."

She made a silly face, then suddenly she cocked her head to one side, and her ears twitched a bit.

"Someone's at the front door; I'll get it!"

In a flash, the changeling shrunk down to pixie size, flew through the Brownstone, and returned to normal size before opening the door; she was delighted to see Jack's sister standing there.

"Hi, Jill! Welcome back!"

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Eli finally stopped darting all about the house when the doorbell rang. He wasn't sure how many guests were heroes and how many were civies, he had forgotten to ask Grim about the guest list. He figured he wouldn't have to wait long to get his answer though. In the mean time, Eli had something important to attend to.

"Hey Colt! Old buddy, old pal. How ya doin?" said Eli has he clapped his hands on the cowboy's shoulders. "That's great!" he continued without waiting for a response from him. "Listen, as a present to Grim, I'm gonna make a big sacrifice here, and be the quality control tester for all the burgers, hot dogs and anything else that comes off the grill. Now I know that means that I'm going to eat a few dozen of these things, but I'll suffer through it somehow. I just need to find the strength within myself. Or the ketchup. Ketchup works too."

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Colt chuckled in spite of himself as he sorted out the list of orders that were starting to come in. "I reckon that'll be fine, s'long's y'all don't bite'em'n put'em back'n the plate."

Colt flipped the first batch of burgers on to the grill. He shook a dash of garlic powder and pepper on them as the went on. "Ol' family secret fer makin' the best burgers this side'a the Mississippi." Colt took a second to remember that he wasn't actually in kansas anymore. "Well, either side, really."

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"Feliz Cumpleaños!" Jill greeted, thrusting the larger bag into Lynn's arms and stepping inside. Despite the day's heat, the coltish teenager had an unbuttoned dress shirt on over her burgundy top and had opted for full length jeans rather than shorts. With her hands free, she shifted the knapsack on her shoulder. "Is everyone out back?"

In the yard, Jack sat down heavily in one of the chairs and gave Eli a wry smile. "Way to take one for the team there, Zippy. You're a trooper." The acrobat cracked his neck loudly with a mild wince. "Make sure to leave some for the rest of us; hyper-metabolism or no, I'm starving."

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Moira had a week to prepare. She and Lynn talked on the phone a lot before then. Lynn said she didn't want anything in particular for her birthday, but Moira was the spares-no-expense type. She would have something of a nice gift for her! After making a few calls, she had something she thought was perfect. But now it was time to go meet Lynn and her roommates! She didn't have far to go, The Brownstone was in the same area she lived in. It was a nice place. She'd heard about the heroes's exploits from her many informants, but this would be the first time to their abode. Approaching the front door she saw that Lynn was already greeting guests. She held her shopping bag behind her and greeted the birthday girl with a hug and a peck on the cheek, "[divine]Happy Birthday[/divine]" She held on to Lynn's waist from behind with her free arm and turned to Jill, "[divine]And who might this be?[/divine]"

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"Is everyone out back?"

Lynn happily accepted the bag as she looked back over her shoulder."Aww, thanks! Yeah, everyone's out back by the pool." She stopped to look down at Jill's outfit."Wait, am I gonna be the only one taking a swim? Aw, man!"

"[divine]Happy Birthday[/divine]" She held on to Lynn's waist from behind with her free arm and turned to Jill, "[divine]And who might this be?[/divine]"

The shapeshifter felt a slight shiver when Moira unexpectedly put her arm around her waist; the touch of the goddess was thrilling, though she did her best to keep her reaction off her face.

Dear God, this woman could have anyone she wanted! :shock:

"Ah, yeah, nice to have you, M!" Wait, hadn't she just asked her a question? "Right, sorry, this is Jill, little sister of our own dear Jack. Uh, why don't, why don't you two come in off the street?"

She leads them into the foyer and indicates the path back to the kitchen door.

"We're all out this way."

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Jill lifted the knapsack an inch off her shoulder with her thumb. "I actually brought a swimsuit in... my..." The coltish teenager blinked several times as the redhead appeared at the brownstone's doorway. "Buh? Uh... hi?" she responded to Lynn's introduction uncertainly, colouring noticeably. When Moira walked past into the apartment building, Jill took the opportunity to give her hostess an incredulous, questioning look.

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When Moira walked past into the apartment building, Jill took the opportunity to give her hostess an incredulous, questioning look.

Lynn said nothing, but as they followed the goddess out back, she turned to Jill with a stricken face and held up a glamoured sign that read, "Try not to stare at her for too long. You'll go BLIND!" The sign quickly melted away into nothingness.

Once they all made it out in the yard, the changeling gestured with a sweep of her arm. "Alright you two, make yourselves at home; the grill is open, as is the bar! Except for you, Jill; you get stuck with sodie pop."

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Eli was about to retort to Jack's "zippy" comment when he suddenly felt a disturbance in the force, as if the party was no longer a sausage fest. He zipped around Grim and the new arrivals, scooping up Grim from behind in a bear hug. "Gotcha! Happy Birthday!" before setting her down though he whispered into her ear. "Thanks for the party favors." with a significant glance to the newest arrivals.

Eli knew better than to hold onto Grim for long or else even he wouldn't be about to outrun the beatings. Grim was a nice girl and all, but don't get her mad. "Welcome ladies, I'm Eli. Pleasure to meet you." he said as he greeted the two new comers. "Took the liberty of warming the pool up a touch as well, should be nice and toasty. Ain't gonna pass for a hot tub mind ya, but it's pretty cash."

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Moira smiled and reached out her hand as a greeting to the confused girl, "[divine]Hi, my name is Moira Morley. Pleased to meet you.[/divine]" As they walked back outside, Moira paid no attention to the sign as she was distracted by the cute speedster. She smiled at his fast-paced antics. Eli, huh. "[divine]Nice to meet you too, Eli,[/divine]" she said with a wink. "[divine]How nice you to do that for us,[/divine]" she playfully hugged him from the side, leaning her head on his shoulder, "[divine]We'll go do that soon, alright?[/divine]"

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Jill rolled her eyes drolly at Lynn's qualifier. "Well, somebody just lost her 'cool older sister' credentials," she quipped dryly as Eli raced into the foyer, the wind from the speedsters entrance sending her ponytail bouncing about her head. Between his transparent attempt to impress the new arrivals and Moira immediately draping herself over him, the cynical teen wasn't sure who to roll her eyes at first.

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Holy crap that actually worked! thought Dynamo thoroughly taken aback. Wait - Crap! What do I do now?! I've never made it this far without being told to buzz off. Well ya better do something dude, you're blowing it!

"Well lets show you around a bit first." said Eli as he slid his arm around her waist. He lead her out into the back yard. "Now you're one of the first to arrive so there aren't too many people about yet. The brosef over on that chair is Jack. Jill's his little sister, you can probably see the family resemblance. And other there by the grill is Grim's squeeze Billy. Nice guy. The food should be coming out in a few minutes. Right Bill?" Eli said the last part a bit louder to get Colt's attention and get some sort of confirmation.

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"Reckon I'll have them patties ready in no time, Eli." Colt responded as he finished flipping a set of burgers. Colt shut the lid of the grill, placed the spatula down, and placed his hat on his head. He quickly wiped his hands on a nearby towel and approached the two arrivals. "It's'a real pleasure ta see ya'gin. We met'a ways back't that there weddin' them friends'a yers had." Colt removed his hat, and bowed slightly to Moira.

Colt turned and addressed Jill. "An' it'sa pleasure'ta fine'ly meet'cha, little lady." Colt gave her a healthy smile and held his hands outward as if offering her their yard, "Be sure'ta make yerself't home'ere. Reckon mi casa es su casa's how y'all say't." Colt gave his best impression of a Spanish accent. Though he meant well, he ended up butchering it pretty badly.

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Elena Guerrero and Natalya Browning rolled up to The Brownstone in a rented limousine. Elena didn't care for the extravagance, but she knew Talya had a love of luxury and assumed she would prefer to show up to any social event in style, no matter how informal. Out of habit more than any actual concern, Elena had used her psychic powers to peek at the party before their arrival. Talya knew her well enough to know exactly what she was doing, and didn't miss the chance to tease her about it.

Elena stepped out of the limo wearing a simple red patterned sundress with a plunging neckline, which came down to just above her knees. Her feet were clad in a pair of gladiator-style sandals, and she wore a golden pendant in the shape of a scarab beetle around her neck (which secretly contained a teleport beacon to her Lair). Her morphic-molecule costume was currently shifted into the form of a red bathing suit beneath her dress. She hefted Lynn's birthday present with one hand, grabbed Talya's hand tightly with the other, took a deep breath, and telekinetically rang the doorbell. [bg=#BF0000]"This is it."[/bg]

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Talya chuckled and gave her fingertips a squeeze, continuing to tease the one-time-monarch with habitual ease, "Oh, for goodness sake, relax. I'm entirely housebroken. I haven't embarrassed you at a party yet. I think I can manage a pool party without anyone having a fuss. As loathe as I am to remind you, I really am the social one."

The blonde was dressed in a tailored halter top dress over her swimsuit, her strappy wedge sandals putting her at a height with Elena. She was wearing large sunglasses and a widebrim hat that blocked most of the sun. "Although, if you like, I could pose as your cousin. Sadly, all my languages are European. Do you suppose you could have a long lost German cousin? What about Russian?"

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Some said that any sufficient concentration of attractive and available people was bound to attract Ace Danger, and while certainly true to a degree this particular event had been penciled in on his calender since the invitation arrived.

Of course with the occasion honoring so distinctive an individual it wouldn't due to arrive in anything but the finest style and being Ace Danger that really left a great number of options but the one for today seemed particularly apt. Of course it helped that he hadn't taken advantage of the carpet in many years making it all the more exciteing as he shot across the Freedom skyline Tasseled edges of his transport fluttering in the wind.

Arriving over the West End Ace banked into a steep dive out of the sky towards the backyard of the otherwise innocuous brownstone complex that housed the Interceptors. Pulling up at the last moment the flying carpet settled gently into a free corner and Ace stood and stepped off with a wave to the gathered guests and an easy smile on his lips, "Greetings and Salutations my friends and where is the birthday girl?" he inquired as he looked around the yard for Grimalkin.

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[bg=#BF0000]"It's not you I'm worried about, Corazón."[/bg] Elena leaned over to kiss Talya briefly on the lips. [bg=#BF0000]"You look stunning, by the way. I think I only mentioned it two or three times on the way here, and I don't want you to forget. I just hope none of them give you too hard a time. The guest list is pretty much all superheroes and close confidantes. Not all of them even know who I am, and most of them are probably too young to know much of anything about you. But after that editorial in the Ledger, I'm sure at least one or two of them will have Googled you. That, and while most of these people are familiar to me, this will be the first time we've met in a social capacity."[/bg]

Of course it helped that he hadn't taken advantage of the carpet in many years making it all the more exciteing as he shot across the Freedom skyline Tasseled edges of his transport fluttering in the wind.

Arriving over the West End Ace banked into a steep dive out of the sky towards the backyard of the otherwise innocuous brownstone complex that housed the Interceptors.

[bg=#BF0000]"And the entertainment has arrived. At least now there will be someone else here who you know."[/bg]

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Derrick was really not good at the social thing. He always seemed to miss the big glaring things or simply trip himself up. He still tried of course and when he receive the invitation, he couldn't say no. Going as Dark Star seemed to be boring as anything. There's only so much social interaction you can have as an insubstantial energy being with no face. So it was that when Derrick and Stesha stepped from the tree in the backyard, he was Derrick. Dressed in nice shorts and short sleeved button up shirt, he did his best to look nice fort Grim's party and still be comfortable. Perhaps he'd simply forgotten who was likely to be here...

He squeezed Stesha's hand with a smile as he began to look around the area for those he might know.

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