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Heritage

Slow Night

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The view from the roof was not all that impressive, but then again nothing in the Fens really was; the smells, on the other hand, were almost beyond description. From her perch overlooking the intersection of 61st and Stanwyck, Grimalkin had an excellent view of Petey's Adult Books, a porn shop squeezed in between an abandoned discount shoe store and the greasiest-looking Chinese take-out place she had even seen, the source of the most disquieting of the scents she was picking up. She reached back and gripped the ledge behind her with both hands, allowing her to stretch her legs, which were starting to cramp, then returned to her previous position, the whole time her skin and costume blending seamlessly into the pattern of the brickwork.

After questioning the locals for the better part of the evening, she had determined that a stakeout at Petey's was the best shot she had at finding the vile piece of gutter trash that had cut up Minkie last week; sure, prostitution was illegal, but that wasn't a free pass for sickos to slice up the girls dumb enough and desperate enough to walk the streets in January. A lot of the money Grim earned during her 'day job' panhandling as Lynn went towards a sort of fund she had set up to help the girls buy their freedom, in the form of bus tickets back home. This had not made her very popular with the pimps, but they were too scared of her try to take her out in an open fight, and Grim was awfully hard to sneak up on if you planned to fight dirty.

A few more patrons of ill repute furtively darted out of Petey's, each carrying a plain brown paper bag jammed up into his armpit as they pointedly walked in opposite directions away from the store. Maybe she was wasting her time; maybe the bastard was already in for the night, doing God knows what in the privacy of his own home. The thought of it maybe her quiver with disgust.

"Another fifteen minutes," she said to herself, which caused a Petey's shopper on the sidewalk below to look up sharply towards the sound of her voice; finding nothing, he picked up his pace on his way to the corner bus stop.

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The view from the roof was not all that impressive, but then again nothing in the Fens really was; the smells, on the other hand, were almost beyond description. From her perch overlooking the intersection of 61st and Stanwyck, Grimalkin had an excellent view of Petey's Adult Books, a porn shop squeezed in between an abandoned discount shoe store and the greasiest-looking Chinese take-out place she had even seen, the source of the most disquieting of the scents she was picking up. She reached back and gripped the ledge behind her with both hands, allowing her to stretch her legs, which were starting to cramp, then returned to her previous position, the whole time her skin and costume blending seamlessly into the pattern of the brickwork.

After questioning the locals for the better part of the evening, she had determined that a stakeout at Petey's was the best shot she had at finding the vile piece of gutter trash that had cut up Minkie last week; sure, prostitution was illegal, but that wasn't a free pass for sickos to slice up the girls dumb enough and desperate enough to walk the streets in January. A lot of the money Grim earned during her 'day job' panhandling as Lynn went towards a sort of fund she had set up to help the girls buy their freedom, in the form of bus tickets back home. This had not made her very popular with the pimps, but they were too scared of her try to take her out in an open fight, and Grim was awfully hard to sneak up on if you planned to fight dirty.

A few more patrons of ill repute furtively darted out of Petey's, each carrying a plain brown paper bag jammed up into his armpit as they pointedly walked in opposite directions away from the store. Maybe she was wasting her time; maybe the bastard was already in for the night, doing God knows what in the privacy of his own home. The thought of it maybe her quiver with disgust.

"Another fifteen minutes," she said to herself, which caused a Petey's shopper on the sidewalk below to look up sharply towards the sound of her voice; finding nothing, he picked up his pace on his way to the corner bus stop.

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The view from the roof was not all that impressive, but then again nothing in the Fens really was; the smells, on the other hand, were almost beyond description. From her perch overlooking the intersection of 61st and Stanwyck, Grimalkin had an excellent view of Petey's Adult Books, a porn shop squeezed in between an abandoned discount shoe store and the greasiest-looking Chinese take-out place she had even seen, the source of the most disquieting of the scents she was picking up. She reached back and gripped the ledge behind her with both hands, allowing her to stretch her legs, which were starting to cramp, then returned to her previous position, the whole time her skin and costume blending seamlessly into the pattern of the brickwork.

After questioning the locals for the better part of the evening, she had determined that a stakeout at Petey's was the best shot she had at finding the vile piece of gutter trash that had cut up Minkie last week; sure, prostitution was illegal, but that wasn't a free pass for sickos to slice up the girls dumb enough and desperate enough to walk the streets in January. A lot of the money Grim earned during her 'day job' panhandling as Lynn went towards a sort of fund she had set up to help the girls buy their freedom, in the form of bus tickets back home. This had not made her very popular with the pimps, but they were too scared of her try to take her out in an open fight, and Grim was awfully hard to sneak up on if you planned to fight dirty.

A few more patrons of ill repute furtively darted out of Petey's, each carrying a plain brown paper bag jammed up into his armpit as they pointedly walked in opposite directions away from the store. Maybe she was wasting her time; maybe the bastard was already in for the night, doing God knows what in the privacy of his own home. The thought of it maybe her quiver with disgust.

"Another fifteen minutes," she said to herself, which caused a Petey's shopper on the sidewalk below to look up sharply towards the sound of her voice; finding nothing, he picked up his pace on his way to the corner bus stop.

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Meanwhile, high above the Fens, a new villain is coming down to Freedom City. Of course, from his perspective, he is one of the older ones...

"I don't know why I felt so nervous, flying up there," thinks Sean Parker, now calling himself Icarus. "I mean, I finally got to walk on the moon. Dad's suit could never have done it, and even Talos didn't do enough to the suit to get it that fast. I don't know what he did to me, but I like being able to work the suit myself." He smiles to himself. It's got TV now, too, and not just radio. But he also knows that it's not science, what he did there. He ripped out most of the electronics, replacing them with gears made of different metals, etched with symbols that he dimly recalls from... somewhere. It all seems to work the same (or heck, even better), but he avoids thinking about where all this knowledge came from.

The exterior of the armor is different, too. Instead of a gunmetal-gray copy of Daedalus' armor, the suit is sleeker now, more molded to his body (definitely without the skirt!), and colored a striking cobalt blue. The helm is pretty much the only part which remains the same. The greatest difference, of course, is the two wings jutting out from the back, stylized forms of a raptor's wings. They're too thin to provide any lift, and it's his power which lets him fly, but they just seemed right somehow. Icarus should have wings.

He's flying in at 10000 miles per hour now - not even his full speed. Once he had entered the upper atmosphere, he had throttled back to keep the heat down. Even now, his suit struggles to maintain a somewhat normal temperature. He takes a short moment to look at Freedom City at night. It's so small when he's so high up, but it still has a warm place in his heart. It's been his home for over 50 years, and he wouldn't trade it for anything.

He angles towards the Fens as he descends. There are few places within the city where smashing into a building could actually increase property values, but the Fens is one of them. After all, he is still testing his retrofitting out.

His caution pays off. 10000 miles an hour is still about 3 miles per second. He slows down to 1000 miles per hour about a mile above the city and grows woozy from the sudden acceleration. He leans back at the last moment, hitting the ground at about 100 miles per hour. It's as loud as a car crash would be at the same speed, though the ground and an overflowing dumpster suffer much more than his armor. It did pick up some scratches, for what that's worth, and Sean thinks he can feel a gear or two that got smacked out of alignment, but everything still seems to be in one piece.

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Meanwhile, high above the Fens, a new villain is coming down to Freedom City. Of course, from his perspective, he is one of the older ones...

"I don't know why I felt so nervous, flying up there," thinks Sean Parker, now calling himself Icarus. "I mean, I finally got to walk on the moon. Dad's suit could never have done it, and even Talos didn't do enough to the suit to get it that fast. I don't know what he did to me, but I like being able to work the suit myself." He smiles to himself. It's got TV now, too, and not just radio. But he also knows that it's not science, what he did there. He ripped out most of the electronics, replacing them with gears made of different metals, etched with symbols that he dimly recalls from... somewhere. It all seems to work the same (or heck, even better), but he avoids thinking about where all this knowledge came from.

The exterior of the armor is different, too. Instead of a gunmetal-gray copy of Daedalus' armor, the suit is sleeker now, more molded to his body (definitely without the skirt!), and colored a striking cobalt blue. The helm is pretty much the only part which remains the same. The greatest difference, of course, is the two wings jutting out from the back, stylized forms of a raptor's wings. They're too thin to provide any lift, and it's his power which lets him fly, but they just seemed right somehow. Icarus should have wings.

He's flying in at 10000 miles per hour now - not even his full speed. Once he had entered the upper atmosphere, he had throttled back to keep the heat down. Even now, his suit struggles to maintain a somewhat normal temperature. He takes a short moment to look at Freedom City at night. It's so small when he's so high up, but it still has a warm place in his heart. It's been his home for over 50 years, and he wouldn't trade it for anything.

He angles towards the Fens as he descends. There are few places within the city where smashing into a building could actually increase property values, but the Fens is one of them. After all, he is still testing his retrofitting out.

His caution pays off. 10000 miles an hour is still about 3 miles per second. He slows down to 1000 miles per hour about a mile above the city and grows woozy from the sudden acceleration. He leans back at the last moment, hitting the ground at about 100 miles per hour. It's as loud as a car crash would be at the same speed, though the ground and an overflowing dumpster suffer much more than his armor. It did pick up some scratches, for what that's worth, and Sean thinks he can feel a gear or two that got smacked out of alignment, but everything still seems to be in one piece.

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Meanwhile, high above the Fens, a new villain is coming down to Freedom City. Of course, from his perspective, he is one of the older ones...

"I don't know why I felt so nervous, flying up there," thinks Sean Parker, now calling himself Icarus. "I mean, I finally got to walk on the moon. Dad's suit could never have done it, and even Talos didn't do enough to the suit to get it that fast. I don't know what he did to me, but I like being able to work the suit myself." He smiles to himself. It's got TV now, too, and not just radio. But he also knows that it's not science, what he did there. He ripped out most of the electronics, replacing them with gears made of different metals, etched with symbols that he dimly recalls from... somewhere. It all seems to work the same (or heck, even better), but he avoids thinking about where all this knowledge came from.

The exterior of the armor is different, too. Instead of a gunmetal-gray copy of Daedalus' armor, the suit is sleeker now, more molded to his body (definitely without the skirt!), and colored a striking cobalt blue. The helm is pretty much the only part which remains the same. The greatest difference, of course, is the two wings jutting out from the back, stylized forms of a raptor's wings. They're too thin to provide any lift, and it's his power which lets him fly, but they just seemed right somehow. Icarus should have wings.

He's flying in at 10000 miles per hour now - not even his full speed. Once he had entered the upper atmosphere, he had throttled back to keep the heat down. Even now, his suit struggles to maintain a somewhat normal temperature. He takes a short moment to look at Freedom City at night. It's so small when he's so high up, but it still has a warm place in his heart. It's been his home for over 50 years, and he wouldn't trade it for anything.

He angles towards the Fens as he descends. There are few places within the city where smashing into a building could actually increase property values, but the Fens is one of them. After all, he is still testing his retrofitting out.

His caution pays off. 10000 miles an hour is still about 3 miles per second. He slows down to 1000 miles per hour about a mile above the city and grows woozy from the sudden acceleration. He leans back at the last moment, hitting the ground at about 100 miles per hour. It's as loud as a car crash would be at the same speed, though the ground and an overflowing dumpster suffer much more than his armor. It did pick up some scratches, for what that's worth, and Sean thinks he can feel a gear or two that got smacked out of alignment, but everything still seems to be in one piece.

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Out of the corner of her eye Grim caught a flash of movement just before there was a thundering crash that nearly dislodged her from her post; a few car alarms went off in the distance, making her wonder who would bother to have a car alarm in the Fens. She looked from Petey's to the rough direction of the impact less than a block away, and then back; someone could be injured, and it's not like anyone around here was eager to call the cops...

"Damn my civic-minded self."

Grim quickly scampered up to the roof, found her bearings and then proceeded to lightly jump from rooftop to rooftop until she found the spot where the object hit. And by 'object', she meant 'dude in armor', or possibly a robot; a metallic leg was sticking out of a huge hole in the shattered pavement, and a ruptured city dumpster had been split wide open, hurling bags of trash up to twenty feet away.

She dropped down to a fire escape below her, then did a slick back flip that landed her in the street across from the impact site; she was about to cross over and check on Sir Smacks-A-Lot when she remembered all those stories about radioactive stuff falling out of space, which gave her pause. She decided it was safer to merely call out to the thing from a safe distance.

"Uh, sir? Mister Space Robot? Are you fully functioning, or whatever, and do you have some sort of Geiger counter in your housing thing? I'd like to help, but I kinda want to keep my teeth and hair."

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Out of the corner of her eye Grim caught a flash of movement just before there was a thundering crash that nearly dislodged her from her post; a few car alarms went off in the distance, making her wonder who would bother to have a car alarm in the Fens. She looked from Petey's to the rough direction of the impact less than a block away, and then back; someone could be injured, and it's not like anyone around here was eager to call the cops...

"Damn my civic-minded self."

Grim quickly scampered up to the roof, found her bearings and then proceeded to lightly jump from rooftop to rooftop until she found the spot where the object hit. And by 'object', she meant 'dude in armor', or possibly a robot; a metallic leg was sticking out of a huge hole in the shattered pavement, and a ruptured city dumpster had been split wide open, hurling bags of trash up to twenty feet away.

She dropped down to a fire escape below her, then did a slick back flip that landed her in the street across from the impact site; she was about to cross over and check on Sir Smacks-A-Lot when she remembered all those stories about radioactive stuff falling out of space, which gave her pause. She decided it was safer to merely call out to the thing from a safe distance.

"Uh, sir? Mister Space Robot? Are you fully functioning, or whatever, and do you have some sort of Geiger counter in your housing thing? I'd like to help, but I kinda want to keep my teeth and hair."

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Out of the corner of her eye Grim caught a flash of movement just before there was a thundering crash that nearly dislodged her from her post; a few car alarms went off in the distance, making her wonder who would bother to have a car alarm in the Fens. She looked from Petey's to the rough direction of the impact less than a block away, and then back; someone could be injured, and it's not like anyone around here was eager to call the cops...

"Damn my civic-minded self."

Grim quickly scampered up to the roof, found her bearings and then proceeded to lightly jump from rooftop to rooftop until she found the spot where the object hit. And by 'object', she meant 'dude in armor', or possibly a robot; a metallic leg was sticking out of a huge hole in the shattered pavement, and a ruptured city dumpster had been split wide open, hurling bags of trash up to twenty feet away.

She dropped down to a fire escape below her, then did a slick back flip that landed her in the street across from the impact site; she was about to cross over and check on Sir Smacks-A-Lot when she remembered all those stories about radioactive stuff falling out of space, which gave her pause. She decided it was safer to merely call out to the thing from a safe distance.

"Uh, sir? Mister Space Robot? Are you fully functioning, or whatever, and do you have some sort of Geiger counter in your housing thing? I'd like to help, but I kinda want to keep my teeth and hair."

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Nanowire was out tonight. Whether simply bored or in lackadaisical search of his elusive cure, he wasn't sure. Still and all, it felt good to be outside. Perhaps he wasn't the best person to carry on a conversation with, or the life of a party, but a little late night flight around the city always cleared his head.

The progress in his search was worrying, but nothing new there. Literally, nothing new. He seemed to have stalled more or less, and that wasn't good. The problem was, he didn't really know where to start. Every possibility seemed to involve hurting people, or at least helping those who did. Nanowire already knew how that would turn out. That drug deal had been a huge bust for everyone involved, and he had nearly been tied to the same type of people that sold poison to people. No matter how bad things got, he would never stoop to killing people to get what he wanted.

But as things got more desperate, he wasn't sure how long he could keep that promise.

Already working on a terrific start to a depressive episode, Nanowire almost missed an armored blur ripping downwards towards the ground at an altogether unhealthy rate of speed. The resulting crash was less than what he thought it should be. At that speed, whatever it was should have smashed a hole through a city block. That meant one thing: the fall had been controlled, which meant flight.

Nanowire followed the angle of decent down, into the city streets below. He spied the impact zone, which was eeriely reminiscent of his own arrival in Freedom City. Same crater, same armored hide shrugging off concrete... same flattened dumpster. One would almost think it was a form of out-of-body deja vu. The armored form itself, however, was familiar. Bad memories, but also learning experiences, floated up out of the recesses of Nanowire's mind as he said,

"Heavy?" Nanowire drifted down next to the power armored supervillain, ignoring the nearby woman talking to him. He'd worked with Heavy before, on a museum job that had nearly gone sideways from the get go. Not Nanowire's best hour. Heavy had changed since then, though. He looked sleeker, even more dangerous than before. Not a good thing, since Heavy had manged to kick his butt the first time they'd met. His armor had ditched some of the more ridiculuos acutriments of Daedalus's design, but had picked up some more along the way. "Is that you, Heavy? You look... different."

It was then that he first noticed the woman standing nearby. "Friend of yours?" he said, jerking his head towards the brown-haired girl.

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Nanowire was out tonight. Whether simply bored or in lackadaisical search of his elusive cure, he wasn't sure. Still and all, it felt good to be outside. Perhaps he wasn't the best person to carry on a conversation with, or the life of a party, but a little late night flight around the city always cleared his head.

The progress in his search was worrying, but nothing new there. Literally, nothing new. He seemed to have stalled more or less, and that wasn't good. The problem was, he didn't really know where to start. Every possibility seemed to involve hurting people, or at least helping those who did. Nanowire already knew how that would turn out. That drug deal had been a huge bust for everyone involved, and he had nearly been tied to the same type of people that sold poison to people. No matter how bad things got, he would never stoop to killing people to get what he wanted.

But as things got more desperate, he wasn't sure how long he could keep that promise.

Already working on a terrific start to a depressive episode, Nanowire almost missed an armored blur ripping downwards towards the ground at an altogether unhealthy rate of speed. The resulting crash was less than what he thought it should be. At that speed, whatever it was should have smashed a hole through a city block. That meant one thing: the fall had been controlled, which meant flight.

Nanowire followed the angle of decent down, into the city streets below. He spied the impact zone, which was eeriely reminiscent of his own arrival in Freedom City. Same crater, same armored hide shrugging off concrete... same flattened dumpster. One would almost think it was a form of out-of-body deja vu. The armored form itself, however, was familiar. Bad memories, but also learning experiences, floated up out of the recesses of Nanowire's mind as he said,

"Heavy?" Nanowire drifted down next to the power armored supervillain, ignoring the nearby woman talking to him. He'd worked with Heavy before, on a museum job that had nearly gone sideways from the get go. Not Nanowire's best hour. Heavy had changed since then, though. He looked sleeker, even more dangerous than before. Not a good thing, since Heavy had manged to kick his butt the first time they'd met. His armor had ditched some of the more ridiculuos acutriments of Daedalus's design, but had picked up some more along the way. "Is that you, Heavy? You look... different."

It was then that he first noticed the woman standing nearby. "Friend of yours?" he said, jerking his head towards the brown-haired girl.

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Nanowire was out tonight. Whether simply bored or in lackadaisical search of his elusive cure, he wasn't sure. Still and all, it felt good to be outside. Perhaps he wasn't the best person to carry on a conversation with, or the life of a party, but a little late night flight around the city always cleared his head.

The progress in his search was worrying, but nothing new there. Literally, nothing new. He seemed to have stalled more or less, and that wasn't good. The problem was, he didn't really know where to start. Every possibility seemed to involve hurting people, or at least helping those who did. Nanowire already knew how that would turn out. That drug deal had been a huge bust for everyone involved, and he had nearly been tied to the same type of people that sold poison to people. No matter how bad things got, he would never stoop to killing people to get what he wanted.

But as things got more desperate, he wasn't sure how long he could keep that promise.

Already working on a terrific start to a depressive episode, Nanowire almost missed an armored blur ripping downwards towards the ground at an altogether unhealthy rate of speed. The resulting crash was less than what he thought it should be. At that speed, whatever it was should have smashed a hole through a city block. That meant one thing: the fall had been controlled, which meant flight.

Nanowire followed the angle of decent down, into the city streets below. He spied the impact zone, which was eeriely reminiscent of his own arrival in Freedom City. Same crater, same armored hide shrugging off concrete... same flattened dumpster. One would almost think it was a form of out-of-body deja vu. The armored form itself, however, was familiar. Bad memories, but also learning experiences, floated up out of the recesses of Nanowire's mind as he said,

"Heavy?" Nanowire drifted down next to the power armored supervillain, ignoring the nearby woman talking to him. He'd worked with Heavy before, on a museum job that had nearly gone sideways from the get go. Not Nanowire's best hour. Heavy had changed since then, though. He looked sleeker, even more dangerous than before. Not a good thing, since Heavy had manged to kick his butt the first time they'd met. His armor had ditched some of the more ridiculuos acutriments of Daedalus's design, but had picked up some more along the way. "Is that you, Heavy? You look... different."

It was then that he first noticed the woman standing nearby. "Friend of yours?" he said, jerking his head towards the brown-haired girl.

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"Heavy?"

So a giant metal thing landed next to the first thing, and suddenly Grim felt way out of her weight class; she lived in a world of street crime and small change, whereas these guys lived in...some crazy flying robot world.

"Is that you, Heavy? You look... different."

It was then that he first noticed the woman standing nearby. "Friend of yours?" he said, jerking his head towards the brown-haired girl.

The young woman in the sleek leather suit put a hand to her chest and did her best to look innocent, or as innocent as one can while wearing a domino mask.

"Who, me? Noooo, I'm just a concerned citizen, doing my part to help falling people; I would actually be more hands-on with the helping if I knew he wasn't, y'know, radioactive, and might kill my future babies."

She gently patted her stomach with a small gloved hand, then looked back up at Metal Man Number Two with a touch of embarrassment.

"Sorry, that was an overshare; my guidance counselor said have I boundary issues."

Grim cautiously took a few steps closer to the crater.

"Do you think he's alive? I mean, would a guy like you survive a fall like that? I'm not very technical, but I'm guessing a guy with a freaky metal skull for a face might know that kind of thing."

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"Heavy?"

So a giant metal thing landed next to the first thing, and suddenly Grim felt way out of her weight class; she lived in a world of street crime and small change, whereas these guys lived in...some crazy flying robot world.

"Is that you, Heavy? You look... different."

It was then that he first noticed the woman standing nearby. "Friend of yours?" he said, jerking his head towards the brown-haired girl.

The young woman in the sleek leather suit put a hand to her chest and did her best to look innocent, or as innocent as one can while wearing a domino mask.

"Who, me? Noooo, I'm just a concerned citizen, doing my part to help falling people; I would actually be more hands-on with the helping if I knew he wasn't, y'know, radioactive, and might kill my future babies."

She gently patted her stomach with a small gloved hand, then looked back up at Metal Man Number Two with a touch of embarrassment.

"Sorry, that was an overshare; my guidance counselor said have I boundary issues."

Grim cautiously took a few steps closer to the crater.

"Do you think he's alive? I mean, would a guy like you survive a fall like that? I'm not very technical, but I'm guessing a guy with a freaky metal skull for a face might know that kind of thing."

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"Heavy?"

So a giant metal thing landed next to the first thing, and suddenly Grim felt way out of her weight class; she lived in a world of street crime and small change, whereas these guys lived in...some crazy flying robot world.

"Is that you, Heavy? You look... different."

It was then that he first noticed the woman standing nearby. "Friend of yours?" he said, jerking his head towards the brown-haired girl.

The young woman in the sleek leather suit put a hand to her chest and did her best to look innocent, or as innocent as one can while wearing a domino mask.

"Who, me? Noooo, I'm just a concerned citizen, doing my part to help falling people; I would actually be more hands-on with the helping if I knew he wasn't, y'know, radioactive, and might kill my future babies."

She gently patted her stomach with a small gloved hand, then looked back up at Metal Man Number Two with a touch of embarrassment.

"Sorry, that was an overshare; my guidance counselor said have I boundary issues."

Grim cautiously took a few steps closer to the crater.

"Do you think he's alive? I mean, would a guy like you survive a fall like that? I'm not very technical, but I'm guessing a guy with a freaky metal skull for a face might know that kind of thing."

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Nanowire looked at the girl with some measure of incredulity. One couldn't see that on his face, of course. His skull plate wasn't exactly articulated that way. The mask and rather flippant attitude towards the arrival of not one, but two heavily armored individuals pointed towards a super of some kind. Well, perhaps not a super. She could just be a woman in a mask that knew how to handle herself.

["Who, me? Noooo, I'm just a concerned citizen, doing my part to help falling people; I would actually be more hands-on with the helping if I knew he wasn't, y'know, radioactive, and might kill my future babies."

She gently patted her stomach with a small gloved hand, then looked back up at Metal Man Number Two with a touch of embarrassment.

"Sorry, that was an overshare; my guidance counselor said have I boundary issues."

Or crazy. Crazy was a definite possibility.

"Do you think he's alive? I mean, would a guy like you survive a fall like that? I'm not very technical, but I'm guessing a guy with a freaky metal skull for a face might know that kind of thing."

Nanowire turned back towards Heavy, who seemed to be having some trouble extricating himself from the sidewalk/dumpster. With a casual grab, he pulled Heavy up onto his feet and stood him up straight. "He'll be fine," his metallic tenor rumbled. As long as she wasn't going to do something stupid like attack them, Nanowire had no problem with her being there. "I've hit him harder than that before."

"And this is just armor. I'm Nanowire. This is Heavy." He turned back towards the girl, towering above her at a full seven feet tall. "And you are..?"

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Nanowire looked at the girl with some measure of incredulity. One couldn't see that on his face, of course. His skull plate wasn't exactly articulated that way. The mask and rather flippant attitude towards the arrival of not one, but two heavily armored individuals pointed towards a super of some kind. Well, perhaps not a super. She could just be a woman in a mask that knew how to handle herself.

["Who, me? Noooo, I'm just a concerned citizen, doing my part to help falling people; I would actually be more hands-on with the helping if I knew he wasn't, y'know, radioactive, and might kill my future babies."

She gently patted her stomach with a small gloved hand, then looked back up at Metal Man Number Two with a touch of embarrassment.

"Sorry, that was an overshare; my guidance counselor said have I boundary issues."

Or crazy. Crazy was a definite possibility.

"Do you think he's alive? I mean, would a guy like you survive a fall like that? I'm not very technical, but I'm guessing a guy with a freaky metal skull for a face might know that kind of thing."

Nanowire turned back towards Heavy, who seemed to be having some trouble extricating himself from the sidewalk/dumpster. With a casual grab, he pulled Heavy up onto his feet and stood him up straight. "He'll be fine," his metallic tenor rumbled. As long as she wasn't going to do something stupid like attack them, Nanowire had no problem with her being there. "I've hit him harder than that before."

"And this is just armor. I'm Nanowire. This is Heavy." He turned back towards the girl, towering above her at a full seven feet tall. "And you are..?"

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Nanowire looked at the girl with some measure of incredulity. One couldn't see that on his face, of course. His skull plate wasn't exactly articulated that way. The mask and rather flippant attitude towards the arrival of not one, but two heavily armored individuals pointed towards a super of some kind. Well, perhaps not a super. She could just be a woman in a mask that knew how to handle herself.

["Who, me? Noooo, I'm just a concerned citizen, doing my part to help falling people; I would actually be more hands-on with the helping if I knew he wasn't, y'know, radioactive, and might kill my future babies."

She gently patted her stomach with a small gloved hand, then looked back up at Metal Man Number Two with a touch of embarrassment.

"Sorry, that was an overshare; my guidance counselor said have I boundary issues."

Or crazy. Crazy was a definite possibility.

"Do you think he's alive? I mean, would a guy like you survive a fall like that? I'm not very technical, but I'm guessing a guy with a freaky metal skull for a face might know that kind of thing."

Nanowire turned back towards Heavy, who seemed to be having some trouble extricating himself from the sidewalk/dumpster. With a casual grab, he pulled Heavy up onto his feet and stood him up straight. "He'll be fine," his metallic tenor rumbled. As long as she wasn't going to do something stupid like attack them, Nanowire had no problem with her being there. "I've hit him harder than that before."

"And this is just armor. I'm Nanowire. This is Heavy." He turned back towards the girl, towering above her at a full seven feet tall. "And you are..?"

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Nanowire turned back towards Heavy, who seemed to be having some trouble extricating himself from the sidewalk/dumpster. With a casual grab, he pulled Heavy up onto his feet and stood him up straight. "He'll be fine," his metallic tenor rumbled. As long as she wasn't going to do something stupid like attack them, Nanowire had no problem with her being there. "I've hit him harder than that before."

"And this is just armor. I'm Nanowire. This is Heavy." He turned back towards the girl, towering above her at a full seven feet tall. "And you are..?"

She trembled just a bit when she saw the two of them standing there on the shattered pavement, but as was often the case, her mouth started moving first.

"Much smaller and more breakable than you, apparently. Oh, and I'm Grimalkin, or, y'know, just 'Grim' if you're being attacked and don't have time to yell out the whole thing. Not that there's much I could do to help you, if someone bigger and nastier came along and decided to pound your face into atoms."

Grim looked around at the empty street, and then back to the two metal monstrosities before her, and flashed her most winning smile.

"Ah, technically, I fight crime, but if you two old buddies are criminals, I...suppose I could look the other way this time. Though I guess Heavy here's only crime would property damage-"

She looked up into the night sky.

"Unless the FAA was somehow involved."

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Nanowire turned back towards Heavy, who seemed to be having some trouble extricating himself from the sidewalk/dumpster. With a casual grab, he pulled Heavy up onto his feet and stood him up straight. "He'll be fine," his metallic tenor rumbled. As long as she wasn't going to do something stupid like attack them, Nanowire had no problem with her being there. "I've hit him harder than that before."

"And this is just armor. I'm Nanowire. This is Heavy." He turned back towards the girl, towering above her at a full seven feet tall. "And you are..?"

She trembled just a bit when she saw the two of them standing there on the shattered pavement, but as was often the case, her mouth started moving first.

"Much smaller and more breakable than you, apparently. Oh, and I'm Grimalkin, or, y'know, just 'Grim' if you're being attacked and don't have time to yell out the whole thing. Not that there's much I could do to help you, if someone bigger and nastier came along and decided to pound your face into atoms."

Grim looked around at the empty street, and then back to the two metal monstrosities before her, and flashed her most winning smile.

"Ah, technically, I fight crime, but if you two old buddies are criminals, I...suppose I could look the other way this time. Though I guess Heavy here's only crime would property damage-"

She looked up into the night sky.

"Unless the FAA was somehow involved."

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Nanowire turned back towards Heavy, who seemed to be having some trouble extricating himself from the sidewalk/dumpster. With a casual grab, he pulled Heavy up onto his feet and stood him up straight. "He'll be fine," his metallic tenor rumbled. As long as she wasn't going to do something stupid like attack them, Nanowire had no problem with her being there. "I've hit him harder than that before."

"And this is just armor. I'm Nanowire. This is Heavy." He turned back towards the girl, towering above her at a full seven feet tall. "And you are..?"

She trembled just a bit when she saw the two of them standing there on the shattered pavement, but as was often the case, her mouth started moving first.

"Much smaller and more breakable than you, apparently. Oh, and I'm Grimalkin, or, y'know, just 'Grim' if you're being attacked and don't have time to yell out the whole thing. Not that there's much I could do to help you, if someone bigger and nastier came along and decided to pound your face into atoms."

Grim looked around at the empty street, and then back to the two metal monstrosities before her, and flashed her most winning smile.

"Ah, technically, I fight crime, but if you two old buddies are criminals, I...suppose I could look the other way this time. Though I guess Heavy here's only crime would property damage-"

She looked up into the night sky.

"Unless the FAA was somehow involved."

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Nanowire had to restrain himself from chuckling as "Grim", as she liked to be called, went on. It felt good, talking to people... about pretty much anything. Sure, they might be on different sides of the crime equation, but as long as she didn't decide to take permanent leave of her senses, and he didn't decide to rob anything in front of her, they were just two people. Plus, she was really funny. In a bizarre world, a sense of normality had returned to Nanowire's life.

"Don't worry, we don't hurt people for a living or anything," he said, then played it back to himself in his head. "Let me rephrase that - we don't hurt people. Period. Well, at least I don't. I can't speak for Heavy here."

"Grimalkin... Grimalkin..." Nanowire rumbled, seemingly thinking about something. "Hey wait, I know that name! From Macbeth, right? The witch's cat." he looked her over then nodded approvingly. "Pretty apropos. So, are you a witch or something? Maybe a shapechanger?" It had occurred to him that this might not be something she would want to discuss, especially not with two villains. But what the hell, Grim was the first person he'd talked to seriously since Japan.

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Nanowire had to restrain himself from chuckling as "Grim", as she liked to be called, went on. It felt good, talking to people... about pretty much anything. Sure, they might be on different sides of the crime equation, but as long as she didn't decide to take permanent leave of her senses, and he didn't decide to rob anything in front of her, they were just two people. Plus, she was really funny. In a bizarre world, a sense of normality had returned to Nanowire's life.

"Don't worry, we don't hurt people for a living or anything," he said, then played it back to himself in his head. "Let me rephrase that - we don't hurt people. Period. Well, at least I don't. I can't speak for Heavy here."

"Grimalkin... Grimalkin..." Nanowire rumbled, seemingly thinking about something. "Hey wait, I know that name! From Macbeth, right? The witch's cat." he looked her over then nodded approvingly. "Pretty apropos. So, are you a witch or something? Maybe a shapechanger?" It had occurred to him that this might not be something she would want to discuss, especially not with two villains. But what the hell, Grim was the first person he'd talked to seriously since Japan.

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Nanowire had to restrain himself from chuckling as "Grim", as she liked to be called, went on. It felt good, talking to people... about pretty much anything. Sure, they might be on different sides of the crime equation, but as long as she didn't decide to take permanent leave of her senses, and he didn't decide to rob anything in front of her, they were just two people. Plus, she was really funny. In a bizarre world, a sense of normality had returned to Nanowire's life.

"Don't worry, we don't hurt people for a living or anything," he said, then played it back to himself in his head. "Let me rephrase that - we don't hurt people. Period. Well, at least I don't. I can't speak for Heavy here."

"Grimalkin... Grimalkin..." Nanowire rumbled, seemingly thinking about something. "Hey wait, I know that name! From Macbeth, right? The witch's cat." he looked her over then nodded approvingly. "Pretty apropos. So, are you a witch or something? Maybe a shapechanger?" It had occurred to him that this might not be something she would want to discuss, especially not with two villains. But what the hell, Grim was the first person he'd talked to seriously since Japan.

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"Don't worry, we don't hurt people for a living or anything," he said, then played it back to himself in his head. "Let me rephrase that - we don't hurt people. Period. Well, at least I don't. I can't speak for Heavy here."

"Grimalkin... Grimalkin..." Nanowire rumbled, seemingly thinking about something. "Hey wait, I know that name! From Macbeth, right? The witch's cat." he looked her over then nodded approvingly. "Pretty apropos. So, are you a witch or something? Maybe a shapechanger?"

Grim claps her hands, points at Nanowire with both hands and gives him the thumbs up.

"Yes! See, no one gets that!"

She begins to pace about the street, gesturing and becoming more animated as her New Jersey accent becomes more pronounced.

"Here I am, trying to be original and avoid possible copyright issues, and everyone's like, 'Your name is Gray Manikin?'. Pisses me off no end! I mean, I know I'm not the only one who read that play in sophomore English, and it's not like I even got an 'A' in that class."

The young super pauses to catch her breath and runs a hand through her hair as she grins sheepishly.

"Sorry, clearly a sore spot for me. Um, am I a witch? I'm not sure, though I think my powers might be magic-based; my origin story, which you do not get to hear because you're a 'bad guy', was kind of vague and confusing. I don't mind talking about my powers, though, because I kinda need to work on my rep, and if say you're in a bar, talking amongst your fellow bad guys and my name and abilities happen to come up in casual conversation, they might learn to fear me."

She stops and looks sharply at Nanowire, as though expecting him to be smiling somewhere behind his skull face.

"What, it could happen!"

She holds up her hands and shakes her head.

"Okay, fine - yes, I am a shapechanger, and I use my abilities to move undetected through the criminal underworld, protecting the people the law doesn't seem to care about; I'm thinking of printing up cards that say that. Like the guy I was trying to find before the two of you showed up? That sicko cut up the face a girl I'm trying to get out of 'the life', and when I find him-"

She flicks out her hand and each finger sprouts a wicked claw; when she speaks, her voice has lost all of her usual humor.

"I plan to do unto others."

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