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Lone Star

Dancin' in the Streets

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KC was playing in the Riverside. More specifically, he was playing his keyboard in the Riverside, in his costume. As a younger boy, he played his old Yamaha on the street when he needed a little extra cash for food or art supplies. His motivation for playing as Kid Cthulhu was simple- he attracted more attention as a squid than as a teenager. He smiled as he went into a cover of "Karma Police", and the notes still sounded good, despite the keyboard's age. Passersby dropped bills and change into his tip jar, and waved at him. Now that he was at Claremont, he didn't play for the money. He played because it was something he enjoyed.

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Not a half a block down empty space twisted in on itself, buckling together in ways the human eye really wasn't used to seeing. The effect only lasted a fraction of a second before reality pulled itself back together...and left a visored young woman with heavy, high-tech gauntlets standing there on the sidewalk. Apparently oblivious to the strange looks of passers by she looked around, obviously not liking what she saw. Some dirt traced out in oddly fractured patterns under her feet got a swift and frustrated kick.

A scowl, a few (very impolite) words in what must have been Russian, and she pulled off one gauntlet to eye it like it had said terrible things about her mother as she reached for the multi-tool on her belt.

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KC stopped playing when he saw reality warp. Hey, that's my job! He thought.

But he saw the figure adjusting her belt and his eyebrows raised. Well, if he had eyebrows as KC, they would have been raised. The tentacles on his face fluttered. What a babe.

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Expertly flicking the multi-tool open and one-handedly pulling out...some odd and probably customized tool or another, Dragonfly gently unscrewed something on the back of the gauntlet and pulled off a large piece of the metal plating, scowling at the complex mesh of wires and widgets inside. thought this was working - misaligned? no no can see alignment's fine - lucky fold didn't destabilize - safeties worked failsafe ready good good - magnitude of error is...is....

She looked around herself, trying to get her bearings. "....Riverside? Riverside. Error of...over six miles. Shouldn't even have been able to...." She winced, shaking her head, and went back to poking around in the device, muttering to herself. "...is...no, fine...wouldn't have...hm."

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KC had already packed his instrument back in his bag, and quickly deployed his wings and swooped down next to her. He grinned as he held the bag on his shoulder. "Hey there. Need some help with that?"

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Dragonfly was terribly glad her visor hid half her face - having a green, scaly, spandex-clad guy show up was...well, 'startling' didn't quite cover it. need to pay more attention - interesting - green skin - makeup unlikely alien magic science? - hybrid accident transformation - wings scales science unlikely - shame She quickly placed the plate back where it went, obviously trying to keep the inner workings out of view, and put the screws back in as rapidly as she'd taken them out. "That isn't...no. Thank you. Minor trouble only; teleportation was...slightly off-target. Spacial refraction or...." She bit her lip, trailing off for a moment into thought before shaking her head. "Will fix it later. Not a pressing issue, highly unlikely to tear holes in reality. Or me."

She stood a little awkwardly, glancing around and apparently catching up to the fact that she'd appeared - and spent a short bit muttering to herself - in the middle of a sidewalk in broad daylight. She flicked her multi-tool closed and cleared her throat. "....so. Green?"

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KC blinked as he listened to her disjointed speech. She was a little odd, but then again, so was he. "Yeah, I'm green. Minor mishap with a big bad book of magic, and now I can do magic. I guess you're into super-science? You ought to talk to Doctor Archeville if you haven't already, he's probably the go-to guy for that kind of thing. But yeah, come here often?" Despite the fact that she might be a little odd, he thought she was kind of cute.

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Dragonfly shook her head. magic - unreliable - so few rules - accident waiting to happen - ironic given present circumstance - reexamine prejudices "Don't...think I'd be worth his time. Lack the reputation. Doubt I make much he hasn't seen. Still, would be interesting to meet." collaboration tempting - don't like sharing - shame - independent projects? - benign uses

"I...no. Was supposed to appear in Greenbank. ...slightly off-target. Will fix that. Have been here once or twice...good shopping, good food. Don't get out much." She rubbed the back of her neck, frowning. "Always things to do. You?"

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He decided to ignore what he thinks might have been her expressing her thoughts aloud. "You don't get out much, eh? I used to be like that, but that might just be because of my present situation.

" KC said, looking at the palms of his hands. "I just started going out again when I started fighting crime, and I've been accepted pretty well. Are you just shy? If you don't mind me asking."

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"I...hmm." She tilted her head, apparently having to think that one over. "Fair question...suppose so. Not used to people, crowds. Friends, social network. Foreign concept. Poor interpersonal skills; getting better, if slowly. Imagine being green would make socializing much harder, my sympathies." possible solutions - hypnosis willful ignorance blindness - short-range projection shaped distortion chemical coating physical cover - difficult to maintain - interesting theoretical challenge

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"It was, sometimes. But I've gained a small degree of fame, so I'm known as a hero, not as a monster. So, umm, want to get some coffee with me?" KC asked sheepishly, scratching the back of his head. "It's been a while since I've really met another hero that isn't totally older than me...and you are pretty cute." KC hoped she would like his boldness. He was getting a lot better with it.

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"I...that's...what?" what - what what what - not - isn't - be polite? "I...thanks, but you're...not really my type. Exactly." Dragonfly grimaced a little at herself, awkwardly pulling the gauntlet back on just to have something to do. so very very awkward - change subject "So...you play on the street often? Don't look homeless." not helping....

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"Aww, I'm not your type? What is your type, then?" He said jokingly. "Hah! Homeless. People do this all the time. I just do covers of old rock songs. I love rock n' roll. Sure you don't want to get some coffee?" he said, inwardly smiling.

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no - maybe - couldn't hurt? - worth knowing more heroes - social practice - could certainly use a cup "That's...okay. Yes, but casual, social, only. My type is more...is less....hmm." She tapped a toe on the ground, clearly at a bit of a loss for words. "Different. Slightly complicated, maybe. Ask again later." plan for being asked in the future - very very awkward - best to have prepared response

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"Yeah, of course it'd be only casual. That's cool. Let's roll." KC said as he walked with her to the local cafe. It was around noon, so the cafe was packed with people, and KC held the door open for her as they took their spot in the line. "So, what do they call you? I'm Kid Cthulhu."

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She nodded in thanks as she went through the door, idly fiddling with the underside of one gauntlet and trying not to think about the crowd. so many people - too many people - don't think about it - concentrate on conversation - and coffee coffee's a good thing to concentrate on "Cthulhu - suits you. No offense intended; it's interesting."

She took a step or two forward as people at the front of the line got served, glad that heroes were common enough they didn't seem to be a huge attraction. "Dragonfly. I am, I mean. Doesn't quite suit me as well, yet...working on that."

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"Thank you, I am a pretty big fan of Lovecraft. Your name is really nice...Dragonfly." KC said, repeating it. "I do like it. So what do you do for fun, Dragonfly, other than tinker with...gadgets." he said, gesturing towards her gauntlets. "I've got to admit, I know almost nothing about science, so what you're working on is magic to me." KC cocked his head and thought about that one for a moment. "Figuratively speaking, of course."

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Dragonfly frowned, holding up a gauntlet to study it. "'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,' hm? Suppose that's true." magic and technology? - could combine them - magic has rules in theory - curious - wonder if it's been done "Spend most of my time building or patrolling. Play music when the mood hits me. Try to catch up on culture...socialize some. Explore. Nothing dramatic, but often interesting. You? Other than play on the street."

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"Well, in addition to busking, I also fight crime, and listen to music." The people in front of them had ordered. "Looks like it's our turn."

The woman at the counter looked very tired and bored. "Can I help you two?" She didn't seem to notice the eccentric appearance of the two.

"I'll have a medium iced coffee with milk. What do you want, Dragonfly? I'm buying."

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strange city - two heroes don't get a second glance "Mocha. Biggest you have."

Stepping out of the way so the next people in line could order, she tilted her head. "Looked like you did well, busking. Decent money?"

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"Yeah, actually. I did pretty well once I broke into the Pink Floyd covers. This one guy gave me a ten. Some fellow named Sid or something. Whatever. Do you play any instruments, Dragonfly?" The two were waiting on the side of the counter. The lines had finally slowed down, and the two could hear each other speak better.

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She nodded, watching the crowd half in analytical curiosity and half like she expected most of them to whip out guns and start shooting. "Violin and the double bass. Enjoy string instruments. Old music, new music...speaks to the soul. Good for relaxing, clearing thoughts. Usually, anyway."

She frowned, turning her head a bit to look at him. "Don't think I know Pink Floyd."

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KC's mouth drops. A few of the lights in the room flicker. "You...don't know Pink Floyd? You've never heard Wish You Were Here? Never heard of Roger Waters? Syd Barrett? You've never heard of The Wall??"

KC breathes in, and pinches his nose. "Okay, okay. That's okay. Yeah. So you play classical instruments? That's actually really cool. Maybe we can have a duet sometime."

Their drinks were waiting at the counter. KC takes his and finds the two of them a table. "Now don't turn around, but I know two of the guys in line. They're onto us. They're Yellow Sign members. Now just stay calm and hope they don't notice us."

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"...no, I don't. Should I? Musical exposure has been...relatively low. Still catching up. Play classical, mostly, yes - not always, but it's easier to do solo." note: look up 'Pink Floyd' - list of things unknown that should be known gets longer faster than I can research - so much catching up to do

Dragonfly raised an eyebrow - not that it could be seen behind the visor - kept herself from looking towards the line. "Green scales and high technology are not subtle." Just in case, she folded her hands in her lap, out of view. "Even Yellow Sign gets coffee sometimes? Hopefully. A little crowded to fight here."

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Sure enough, the two Yellow Sign members saw the back of KC's head.

"IT'S YOU!" one of them screamed, pointing dramatically at him. The whole restaurant went quiet, and KC stood up.

"Why won't you weirdos leave me alone? I mean honestly, I always trounce you guys..." he said, creating a sphere of shimmering otherworldly emerald flames in his left hand. "Dragonfly, these guys are total wimps. Let's take 'em down. But let's take this battle outside, there are too many people in here." He dashed out the back door.

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