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alderwitch

Temple of the Sun [IC]

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It was a solemn affair that was filling up Freedom Hall today, filled with the sort of mixed crowd that only a Freedom City gathering would engender. And this gathering was unusual even for Freedom City. There were a few Golden Agers left but those that were able to, were in attendance. Ace Danger, the newly redeemed Bombshell among others. Then there were also the heroes whose legacies stretched back to the era of the war who were here with relatives or on the behalf of relatives. Today, they celebrated the life time achievement on one of the Golden Age heroes on his hundredth birthday, the charming Spaniard El Fuego also known as Don Leon Montoya de Castille. Now, long since retired and with great grand children. Still the super-science that gave him his amazing abilities had helped preserve his body so he looked a remarkably fit seventy or so.

 

Bombshell, aka Natalya Browning, like many of the veterans was in her dress uniform rather than black tie or costume. She wore the navy blues under a silver sash that stretched from her right shoulder down to her left hip, with several medals adorning the breast of the uniform. It wasn't about showing off. Actually, for the few who were able to read the blonde's body language under her careful facade, she was slightly uncomfortable in the outfit at this point in her life. However, showing up in anything less would have been disrespectful to a man she'd fought alongside so many years ago.

 

The ceremony wasn't overly long and was much more informal than the appearance would suggest, with the old guard that remained going up to volunteer anecdotes and stories. In short order, the speeches were wrapped up and there was simply mingling and some dancing. The music, of course, was to the taste of the guest of honor, as after all - it was the celebration of his life.

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This wasn't a happy occasion for Mark. Well, yes it was, a little. Who wouldn't be happy to be in the company of El Fuego, the Spanish firebrand? The man who, even while fleeing the vastly more powerful Superior, had burned off Heinrich Himmer's mustache as a lesson to the other Nazis, the man who'd given the hotfoot to a legion of European dictators and American gangsters before his retirement. Even Mark wasn't often in the company of so many famous heroes, for all that he'd met most of these people at least once or twice in his family's long sojurn alongside more famous heroes.

But it was hard not to feel bad, too. Here he was surrounded by legions of heroes, people who'd known his family for decades, and what had all that gotten them? No one ever figured out that Grandpa wasn't really Grandpa. And no one was able to help Dad when he needed it. That was his fault, though, so it was hard to blame any of these people too much. Really, his main worry was gossip. Rick Lucas' fate, and what had gotten him there, had already gotten out amongst the older heroes that had been his friends, and his father's friends, for so many years. He didn't need to hear recent tragedies marring his family's good name, especially on occasion of another hero's honoring.

When he realized who he was standing next to, the tuxedo-clad teenager suddenly felt a whole lot better. "Oh wow, Natalya Browning!" He smiled at her, not for a moment holding any of Bombshell's less-than-heroic past against her. If the Scarab thinks she's a hero again, that's fine by me! "My grandpa always said you were the best the old country had to offer." Come to think of it, maybe Grandpa Lucas had had his own reasons for favoring Bombshell over the very married Lady Celtic. Mark wasn't blind to those either. "I'm Mark Lucas," he said, offering his hand.

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Ace Danger too arrived in full dress uniform medals glinting on his breast. He wore it like any other outfit with the same lazy grace that was his trademark. He had worked with the guest of honor helping to mobilize basque resistance fighters against Franco in the early days. He gave his speech and listened to the others with a nostalgic smile creasing his lips, it had been a long time and so many weren't here that deserved to be none the less it was a happy occasion and he drifted through the crowd to greet old friends and comrades before gravitating, as one tended to, towards the lovely Natalya. "And here we thought all of us hitting fifty was going to be the last hurrah." he said with a smirk. He smiled down to Mark, "Ah and Lucas the youngest." he said with a warm smile, "It just wouldn't be a proper party without a Lucas in attendance."

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Perched atop one of the post-modern bracing beams which ran from part way up Freedom Hall's walls to its ceiling, the second shadowy hero to don the featureless, black mask of Midnight watched the proceedings below from the shadows. Though the elder Hunter could have likely made it to the ceremony himself despite his advanced years, there were still those in attendance who were unaware of his secret identity and, with his grandson taking up the mantle, that information was once again to be safeguarded. Even so, it seemed only proper that fedora wearing vigilante be in attendance in one iteration or another, whether or not the other guests were ever aware of his presence.

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"You're just the spitting image of your grandfather. You must be a very popular young man. It is entirely my pleasure, I assure you," Talya said with a smile as she shook the man's hand, her smile crimson and wicked. It broadened despite herself as Ace came up and she pulled a face at his commentary. "Bite your tongue, Ace Danger. I'm twenty-nine and will remain so until the day I keel over. I intend to keep having my hurrah's well into the next century and you, poor sod, will just have to keep coming up with better presents."

"Elena's about but I think she's wandered off for the moment." Talya added in a pause of the well intentioned banter before turning her gaze back to Mark Lucas, "So, I assume you've worked with Ace in the past? He loves to be able to say he's fought along side everyone and, damn his eyes, it's generally true. It's one of his more obnoxious traits, you know. The more outrageous a claim, the more likely it is to be one hundred percent truth."

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"I've been lucky enough to team up with Mr. Danger in the past," Mark agreed cheerfully. "This one time we got together, I met him when he was tied..." He blinked, looked abashed, and put his hand over his mouth. "Oh, I guess I shouldn't tell that story! Sorry, sir, ma'am," he added. "I do most of my work with Young Freedom, the teen hero team I'm on at school. We do pretty good work together. But I've done some solo teamups with Ace, and this one time we hooked up to fight gun-runners! Man, I hate those kinds of people." He grinned. "Sorry, I guess my mouth is running away with the moon here. I just can't believe you guys are both here! I used to have both your action figures. Well, the 1978 Bad Guy of you, Ms. Browning, and...well, all the ones my dad let me play with of yours, Mr. Danger."

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A small smile played across Aces lips at the description of their assorted hijinks, "Well it is a special occasion." he said with a grin, "I wouldn't let Talya miss it for the world." he added with a grin. His eyes focused for a moment on the rafters a short distance off, "If you'll excuse me one of our guests seems to have difficulty dropping his usual idiom." he explained before striding off.

He approached the base of the support where Midnight hid and beckoned him with a subtle wave waiting for the young vigilante to join him on the ground.

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Trevor blinked twice behind his red goggles as re realized Ace had spotted him. Hurm. Guess he really is that good, the teenager admitted inwardly. Stepping lightly from the perch he was crouching upon, the black clad youth dropped silently to the floor, landing lightly next to the immortal adventurer. Rising, he gave Ace a curt nod in greeting, the gravelly timbre of his filtered voice flatly noting, "Danger."

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