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trollthumper

One Pill Makes You Larger... (IC)

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It said a lot that leaping across rooftops was starting to get boring.

Cannonade looked down on the Waterfront from the top of an unfinished condo complex. One of many attempts to gentrify the docks, turn them into the next Port Regal. He couldn't say he was entirely thrilled about the idea. Sure, there wasn't much housing on the Waterfront, but it was at least an okay place for recent immigrants and dockworkers. He wondered if they'd go if the docks became another playground for the well-off.

Got to get the big picture, he thought to himself. It was something he'd been thinking about a lot these days. It was one thing to make the leap to becoming a hero -- but what did you do after that? Save orphans from house fires? Find out where White Knight was hiding and punch that silly hood right off his head? Rescue cats from trees? It said a lot that he hadn't run into anything yet -- even jumping across The Fens, all he'd found were quiet streets and the occasional bum. He'd tried to lead the guys to a nearby shelter -- the least he could do.

There's got to be some sort of service, he thought. Do they have a Big Brother program for wannabe heroes? Do you have to stand on a rooftop brooding for a certain time before they show up? Then he remembered his surroundings. At least I've got that down.

Sighing, Cannonade adjusted his helmet and hopped down the sides of the scaffolding. Maybe looking at things from the ground would help him figure it out.

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Slick fancied stretching his legs. And stretching his skin. Or what passed for skin anyway. Business meetings at Fassbinder Pharmaceuticals had left him particularly bored. Bored of business, and bored of being Felix Fassbinder.

He stood by the mirror of his mansion and decided he wanted some diversion. Which meant, in his case, a new identity. With some concentration, and a minute or two of skin peeling away and trickling the oily petrochemical that characterised his metabolism, he had decided on a new form.

Slick stood in front of the mirror as an attractive young woman with slicked back short hair, bright blue eyes, and an athletic physique. The woman was dressed in runners garb: trainers, aathletic lycra shorts, and a sleeveless t shirt. In this form, she used a variety of names but often called herself Nell McNameless, a slight joke and testement to the vague celtic look of the woman.

She took the lift down to the garage and picked up a motorcycle, driving into the main part of Freedom. Parking the bike by the river, she started a leisurely jog down the river, to many admirers: some polite, some leery. She had been around long enough to not particularly care one way or another about either.

She had to deliberately run slowly, for her, at least. For observers, it would look almost like a sprint. But she would maintain this for most of the river length, enjoying the sights, sounds, and even the admirers.

And of course, always keeping an eye out for any wrongdoing.

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Dragonfly hummed happily as she walked through Waterside, an unusually large smile below the edge of her visor. She kept mentally poking at her gauntlets' dimensional storage the way someone pinches themselves when they get a really big gift, and every time there they were in the log - four large, dense black boxes, seals intact and contents unused.

random lead - good source - minor expense for such a payoff - who knew? The smile widened for at least the third time that day, and she started humming to herself. SDXCs 012A, 015A, 020A, 021A - idiots didn't know what they had - not even a power source with them - easy fight - weapons off the street - beautiful beautiful day Stretching, she put her hands in the pockets of her jacket and kept on her way. She'd have skipped, if she thought it wouldn't attract strange looks.

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Cannonade was trying to climb up a disused warehouse when a sound like a small explosion split the air, followed by a muffled roar. Quickly, he leapt across the roofs, bouncing off of fire escapes to get closer to the ground as he approached the site of the cataclysm.

With the angle that he was at, the first thing that caught his attention was the side of the building. There was a hole the size of an SUV punched right through it, with girders and rebar trailing out of the twisted wall like branches of a bush. The second thing was the man -- or rather, the behemoth -- standing in the middle of the alley. He towered over Cannonade, even stooped over. His skin was flushed red all over, he was stumbling to gain balance, and the only thing that protected his modesty were the desperately overtaxed remnants of a pair of jeans.

Okay... big, swollen, and almost naked... probably gonna be trouble, but gotta make sure...

"Hey," he called out to the giant, "you okay?"

The giant locked eyes with Cannonade, and let loose a choked-off roar before stumbling forward, his giant fists swinging like pendulums.

"Oh, well. Worth a shot."

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Slick was jogging at, for her, a leisurely pace, down the riverside, and had been doing so for nearly an hour. She was even become slightly sweaty and having to breathe a little more heavily.

Her pleasant diversion was diverted by the sound of a distant roar and twisting metal. It didn't sound pleasant, but it did sound interesting, and worth a look.

She increased her speed, drawing surprised gasps from onlookers. Vaulting clean over large cars was equally impressive. In a few moments, she reached the origin of the noise.

A near naked man was not that unusual in Freedom, although noteworthy enough. The fact he was the size of a Buick was rather more unusual, however. This was clearly not normal. She only noticed Cannonade when the giant started windmilling his fists at the figure.

Ok. Time for action. Her body started to trickle its characteristic oily secretion as she ran towards the two figures. No intention of being held in one of those sledgehammer paws. She thought if he tries that, he will find I am a slippery customer!

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Snapped out of her satisfaction by the sound of destruction, Dragonfly turned the corner and sprinted the last block or so, coming up on the alleyway barely in time to see the big red...something...charge Cannonade. abnormal - mutation accident supervillain victim bystander? - misunderstanding unlikely

Sighing (day was so perfect - always complications) she brought up her defenses, carefully studying the half-naked threat.

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Dragonfly frowned as she brought her hand up to attack in what felt like slow motion, her brain going into high gear as she realized something seemed...off. something wrong - seen size changes before - unknown symptoms? - side-effects? - red skin short breath poor mobility - oh - oh, no

As she fired a shockwave at the guy, she was shouting to her fellow heroes. "Something wrong with him!" yes - obviously - well done "Body can't support his size - need to be careful and fast before he kills himself!"

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The behemoth charged forward, but Dragonfly's blast managed to take him right in the face. He clutched at the sides of his head and tried to regain his balance.

"Whaddya mean?" Cannonade yelled back as he looked over the behemoth. "His heart's giving out or something?" He knew he had to end this now... but how? What if he went for a sucker punch and the guy choked to death from lack of air? What if he hit him in the chest and caused the heart to give out?

Come on, Joe -- the longer you think on this, the worse it's gonna get...

Steeling himself, he charged forward. As the giant seemed to regain his balance, Joe leapt up off the ground and caught him right on the chin with a perfect uppercut. It connected with a crack like collapsing timber as the giant stumbled backwards.

The brain's probably not the issue here. At least, I hope to Christ it isn't...

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The situation was escalating a little to rapidly for Slick, but she was a woman of action at the end of the day. Well, these situations sometimes just arise, and to hell with all the scouting around and spying. She didn't recognise the other two figures on the scene, but they looked capable enough from the way the Giant was staggering.

A quick hop and a jump, and she was in the air next to the giant. Her body contorted with graceful power, all flowing muscles of unnatural strength. Her fist connected with the giants head with a resounding smack.

And she landed by his feet in a crouched position.

If he can keep standing with all of that punishment, we have a real fight on her hands. She thought.

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'or something' - sure why not "Among other problems. Heart's working too hard, lungs can't get enough air, bones strain under the mass." Figuring his head was taking enough punishment, Dragonfly sent another blast towards his stomach. "Body's failing in several ways at once. Need to take him down and get him prone, relaxed, before something breaks or explodes."

big - thick - wearing him down but could be faster - other options? - throw together stasis - poor materials - discharge to stun - induced sleep?

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Okay... just gotta get him on his back...

Cannonade sidestepped the swaying giant and leapt into the air. As he fell to the giant, he brought his fists together and slammed then down on his head. The rapport could be heard throughout the alley, but still the man stood. Quickly, Cannonade opened his hands and wrapped his arms around the giant's nick.

"Come on, buddy... what you need is plenty of rest... and..."

The giant bucked back, breaking Cannonade's somewhat loose hold. Fortunately, he managed to land on his feet. "Doesn't seem to want to nap," he yelled to the two heroines. "Any other ideas?"

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Once again, Slick leapt, twisted, and spun, this time with her fingers extended and slamming straight into the Giants solar plexus.

As powerful as the blow was, it seemed to barely shake the giant.

"This isn't going anywhere!" she shouted. At least the giant hadn't managed to seriously hurt or damage anyone, or anything. Including itself. It looked rather dazed and confused.

What they really needed to do was find out what on earth was happening.

"I can't seem to phase it. I'm going to check that warehouse it came from. See if I can find out what's going on!"

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fight going too long - can't risk organ failure - really hope this doesn't burn out the gauntlets

Holding her arm out in front of her, Dragonfly stood stock-still in the alleyway as space around her right hand...warped. Starting out small and growing until it was a distortion the size of a basketball, a small chunk of the universe just started to look and feel wrong, like it had been cut up into jagged fragments and badly reassembled. For just a couple seconds as it hit full size the entire alleyway seemed to bend inward towards it like some massive optical illusion; running, rippling traces of reality arcing out from the metal to spark against the nearby building walls. hurts - need to rework containment - if this doesn't work I'm just taking a vacation

A few normally light neon blue lights and circuits on both gauntlets shifted to an angry shade of red and she finally released the blast, firing it straight at the creature's stomach.

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The blast hit the behemoth right in the solar plexus, causing him to grunt in pain. It was a tiny grunt, however, and he was still on his feet.

"God, will you just hit the mat already?" Cannonade yelled as he lashed out at the giant's twisted leg with a steel-toed boot. The blow glanced off a shin that felt as hard as concrete, however, and sent a brief jolt of pain up Cannonade's leg. And worse, it drew the attention of the giant, who looked down at Cannonade and roared.

"...oops."

The giant brought a fist the size and color of an underdone ham down towards where Cannonade was standing... and missed by a yard, the pain and exhaustion obviously starting to get to him. Cannonade quickly danced out of the way and yelled up to the slick athletic woman climbing the side of the apartment building. "Ya found anything up there? Like, say, a tranq gun?"

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To Slick, the apartment looked like a bomb had gone off. There were craters in the middle of the wooden floor, the simple counter in the kitchen was smashed almost in half, and fragments of cotton, denim and shoe leather lay all over. Amongst the wreckage, however, one thing stood out -- the table in the kitchen. It was mostly untouched, despite the fact that the chair in front of it had been stomped into a pile of splinters. On it lay a simple pack of cigarettes -- though packs of cigarettes didn't usually contain small vials that smelled faintly of antiseptic. The pack had no brand label; instead, there was a simple triangle on the front.

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Slick took up the vial carefully. It looked unfamiliar, as did the triangle. Her skin, laced with olfactory receptors of the most refined type, tingled. She could smell anything, but didn't use her nose. Instead, her whole body was acutely sensitive to odours of any type.

This...

Well, the antiseptic was there, for certain. And something else, something she couldn't place. Possibly organic, but that was pretty speculative.

Well, unless someone was playing a game of deception, and playing it well, Mr. Bigboots outside had taken a swish of this (or injected it), and was now the titan outside.

Helpful? maybe, but it didn't help with how to stop Mr B. Boots esq. running rampage across the city. Unless the fact that he wasn't going to die of an infected vein was of much help.

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GOT to be kidding me - how - why - less and less sympathy for this thing - can't do that a second time - never seems to work as intended - enhanced durability? subdermal armor toughened muscle projected biokinetic.... - fight taking entirely too long

Biting her lip, Dragonfly returned to the good old strategy of firing a shockwave at the Freak...but her hand jerked back painfully, an anemic, half-formed disturbance spinning off into the air and splashing harmlessly against the nearby building. wh - what? Watching it with wide eyes, she called up diagnostics with datalink and muttered foul things in two languages. entire warp engine is off-balance - going to take a few seconds to fix....

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"Now? It chooses now to die out?" Cannonade took a swing for the behemoth's gut, but missed by a few inches, distracted by the whining from the tech girl's gauntlets. The behemoth looked down on him and raised a mighty fist.

"Aw, cr--"

The fist swung down, catching him right in the small of his back. He buckled slightly, and struggled to remain on his feet... but he was still upright. "Gonna have to try harder than that!"

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Strong as Slick was, she wasn't relishing this fight. The giant was just too damn strong, and whilst he was standing, to damn dangerous. What was going on? She had no wish to hurt an innocent. Although precisely how innocent he was had yet to be determined.

Hmmm. Whilst he was standing.

The bigger they come, the harder they fall...

Guided by smell as much as vision, she looked around in the apartment. Olive oil, floor cleaner, bucket. That should do.

Sloshing it all in, and taking some pepper as an afterthought, she went back to the apartment's gaping hole, armed with a bucket full of extremely slippery lubricant. Heck, she even squeezed a small amount of her own petrochemical excretion in, for good luck. Given time, she would have created more, but time was a luxury she didn't have...

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"Now? It chooses now to die out?"

Dragonfly pulled her attention back out of the gauntlet, the device lighting back up and softly whining as it restored its charge. "Not dead. Momentary glitch. Overcharge scrambled...nevermind. Took care of it." hope so anyway - realigned - safety checks - charge could be better - field test She extended her arm and fired again, faring much better this time. "Fixed now."

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"Good," Cannonade said as the blast caught the giant right in the head, even if it didn't seem to do more than muss up his hair. "Now let's get this sack of hamburger on the ground." He struck the behemoth right in the side, causing it to bellow like a choked-off foghorn. It brought its giant fists towards Cannonade again, but managed to miss.

"We've gotta get him down. How long do you think we've got before it's too late?"

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"Slick by Name, Slick by Nature!" yelled Slick, and leapt from the apartment to the feet of the staggering giant.

Staggering was precisely the problem, however, as he danced like a drunken man searching for his balance. With his size, every slight reshuffling of his feet was magnifies sevenfold.

This was actually harder than she had anticipated. One misstep, and she would be kicked like a football. She kept her distance, and gave an experimental slosh at the feet of the giant, but it was nowhere near. She would have to get closer...

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what? "Slick?" gender change - shapeshifter side-effect disguised - should have guessed - annoying

Figuring it was better to ask questions when no one was in danger of being flattened, Dragonfly brought up her other gauntlet and gave the freak another gut full of spacial anomaly. need more weaponry built in - other options - variety

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The blast narrowly missed the behemoth, zooming past and striking harmlessly against the wall of the apartment building. As the giant watched it go, Cannonade brought his fist around... only for the giant to narrowly dodge it, moving with a strange grace. "Damnit," Cannonade said as the behemoth lunged at him again, narrowly grabbing at his jacket. "Slick, you got any more of that potion?"

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"I have Indeed! Here it comes!"

This time, Slick was determined, no matter the cost. She jumped through the Giants legs, upturning the bucket as she did so.

A trail of greasy, oily liquid streaked out, this time right over the Giant's feet.

No shoes to soak that mess up. She smiled.

Well, time to see if the Giant was as nimble as he was strong. He didn't look that nimble... it was probably his erratic staggering that had kept the trio from any semblance of accuracy for the past minute.

Rolling to her feet and discarding the bucket, Slick took a moment to observe the giant...

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