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Welcome to The Interceptors, Jill O'Cure [IC]

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Date: Early September, 2010.

Beneath the streets of Freedom City's West End, the swordsman known as Jack of all Blades paced back and forth, royal blue greatcoat flapping restlessly around his legs. His newly reworked costume had refined its colour palate to match his bandanna mask to his coat, while touches of silver added flourishes to his black jumpsuit. Wardrobe, however, was clearly the least of his concerns.

Nearby, his sister sat atop on of the Underground's banks of monitors, legs swinging beneath her. With a deep crimson jacket and matching mask, she looked every bit her sibling's counterpart, her long hair cut short and dyed black. "You sure about this?"

"Little late to change my mind now," he snapped back, running a hand through his wig reflexively. "Besides, it was your idea."

"And a good one, too!" a voice chimed in over the base's speaker system as Vince winked into existence of one of the larger monitors, wearing his own version of the siblings' uniform decked out if black and neon green, flared pant legs and a jaunty ascot making it look more like a leisure suit. "...too much?" he asked, turning his simulated body around to display the back of the outfit.

Jack stopped pacing to place a hand over his face and grit his teeth. "Vince..."

With a sigh and a snap of his fingers, the AI changed his outfit to his more customary three piece suit. "Alright, alright. I called the rest of the team, they oughta be here soon. Loosen up, buddy!"

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And Vince was right. The words had barely left Vince's mouth, when Eli popped into the room, a few residual arcs of electricity on the stairs giving any indication where he had come from. He was decked out in full uniform, having been on patrol/out for a run at the time the call had gone out. As usual, his appearance also lead to a whiff of ozone playing in the air.

"Hey! Just got the call what's the -" Eli abruptly stopped once he registered that there were 3 people in the room. Eli had a terrible poker face when it came to things that surprised him. He was ordinarily so hyper that anything that made him skip a beat became quite pronounced. Well, he didn't just skip a beat, he flat lined.

Instantly millions of questions started exploding in his mind, not one of which made it through the impregnable "Quiet time Zippy" filter. So for once, Eli kept his mouth shut, crossed his arms and waited for the others to get here. He tapped his foot anxiously, and for the most part kept his eyes on the staircase, only occasionally glancing back to the others.

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A thin stream of dark liquid oozed out of a small hole in the ceiling; as it hit the floor, it formed a slender pair of legs in boots and blue-and-black tight leather, followed by a shapely waist, torso, arms and finally the familiar head of Grimalkin, with a mischievous grin on her face.

"Hi guys! Trying out a new entrance; whaddya think, too freaky?"

Suddenly she stopped and stared at the newcomer, head cocked to one side; she sniffed the air for a few seconds, and then a huge smile split her face.

"Oh my God, did you join up?! Welcome aboard!"

Once again forgetting the family's dislike of 'touchy-feely' crap, she threw her arms around Jill in a fierce hug before quickly letting go, eagerly holding up her hand to display her engagement ring.

"Oh, oh, check it out! The big doof finally asked me!" :D

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"Oof!" Jill struggled to remain seated on the console as Grim all but tackled her, putting an arm around the shapeshifter's shoulder and grinning in spite of herself. "Easy, hermana mayor," the coltish teen chuckled, her new haircut bouncing as she leaned to one side to regain he balance. "Yeah, it's been a busy we- wait, what?" Jill's eyes went wide in the holes of her crimson mask as she took Lynn's hand to examine the ring. "Ohmigod! Did you know about this?" she asked her brother, her tone accusatory.

Jack stopped his pacing to shrug broadly, the corner of his mouth turning upward as he exchanged a glance with Dynamo. "She wanted to tell you herself," he explained, some of the stress he'd been feeling slipping away. He was, after all, among family.

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The soft clomping of a pair of boots coming from the direction of the stairwell finally grew to an audible level. Dynamo's concentration on that part of the room allowed him to be the first one to see Colt reach the landing and enter the room.

Colt had already been at home when he was summoned to the meeting. He therefore lacked his coat and usual patrol clothes. He was dressed in his boots, a pair of jeans, a white Aerosmith T-shirt which fit him snugly, and his hat. Jericho hung from it's usual holster around his waist, and he carried Marlin by the barrel just above the lever in his left hand.

Once again forgetting the family's dislike of 'touchy-feely' crap, she threw her arms around Jill in a fierce hug before quickly letting go, eagerly holding up her hand to display her engagement ring.

"Oh, oh, check it out! The big doof finally asked me!" :D

"Hey now," Colt wore a smug smile as he approached the rest of the group, "I reckon'a heard that." he feigned an irritated look, and wagged his finger at his fiance.

"Jill," With a nod Colt tipped his hat towards the girl. He was content to stand and watch the proceedings for now.

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Long shadows from the banks of lights drifted across the floor as Fulcrum silently hovered down the stairs. She waved and smiled when the others came into view, "Hi gang! How goes?" Meanwhile, she took in the rest of the HQ and noted a couple of new details. "Nice outfit, Jack. Really a dashing, coordinated look there," she complimented.

In an instant the smile morphed into a grin, and she lightly hovered over to the group. Winking to Jack, she offered a handshake to Jill, and asked with utmost seriousness and pomp, "Glad to meet another heroine. Are you our newest Interceptor?"

That's when she noticed a new gleam, and it wasn't Eli having a static moment. Looking at the shapeshifter skeptically, she asked, "Is that what I think it is, Grim?"

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"Is that what I think it is, Grim?"

The shapeshifter made devil horns and nodded vigorously.

"Hell yeah! We're gettin' hitched right and proper, as Colt's people would say."

She scratched the back of her neck as she looked nervously between Jill and Mona.

"Uh, you guys wanna be bridesmaids? I'm conjuring up the dresses myself with help from my sister Eddi, so they should both look and fit most awesomely. Kosher food, a Klezmer band and Colt smashing a glass under a cowboy boot; good times, ladies!"

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"Better you than me, ol' buddy," Jack greeted Colt with a wry grin, though his tone held no true heat. The swordsman had already gotten his congratulations out of the way and had settled into his customary teasing instead. He turned to Mona, straightening his greatcoat reflexively. "Yeah, well," he replied, a little self-consciously, "seemed like the thing to do."

Jill released Grim's hand to accept Fulcrum's handshake, imitating her serious manner. "Hmm, yes, just transferred in, wot. Truth! Also: Justice!" Smiling broadly, she gave Colt a wave as well before hopping off of the console bank. "I don't do crinoline," she warned Lynn, raising a finger before her dire expression wavered. "...unless I have to. Obviously I'm there."

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"'Ma people?'" Colt raised an eyebrow, and shook his head with a good natured sigh. "I reckon it'd be more like 'settlin' down' woudn'it?"

Colt made a sweeping gesture with his free hand like he was pushing the current conversation aside. "Anywhoo, this meetin' ain't 'bout us," He smiled at Grim, "'An 'ol Doc never shows 'till we git down'ta business, so we mite'as well git started. What'a ya got fer'us, Jack?"

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"Uh, well," Jack answered Colt with a shrug and a nod toward his sister, "her, basically."

Jill folder her arms and shifted her weight, giving her brother a flat look. "Epic introduction there, hermano. Really seizing the theatricality of moment."

The swordsman sighed, by this point resigned to the inevitable but by no means enthused. "Alright, short version: our dad showed up again for the first time since before Jill was born, which led to a whole bunch of exposition and the mother of all throwdowns between the House of Staves and the rest of the Jacks." He pointed to Eli by way of example. "You'd remember Rose, Zip; she took some serious heat. Denari... Coinpurse Jack didn't make it, which ends up being relevant 'cause it turns out a pointed lack of respect for the laws of nature sorta run in the family."

"Introducing!" Jill grinned, raising both hands in front of her, striking a pose and making a pair of fists. "Jill O'Cure!" Her left hand lit up with pale blue light, dappled in the manner of sunlight pouring through the trees of a secluded courtyard. Her right was surrounded by a virulent green glow, flecked with spots of darkness that drifted about like rotted flotsam. "One hand heals, the other one... not so much." She unclenched her hands and the lights faded away. "I can do force fields, too, though I'm still sorta working that one out."

Jack sighed wearily. "And since she's way to stubborn to listen to reason-"

"Pot, kettle?" the younger sibling interrupted.

"...I figured if she's going to be out taking names might as well be where I can keep an eye on her."

Jill snorted, placing a gloved hand on her hip. "Yeah, you're the wind beneath my wings, here."

"You're breaking my heart," Jack drawled, rolling his eyes. In a moment's pause, he glanced between his teammates, expression growing difficult to read. "There's, ah, one other thing, too."

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Eli let out a pained groan as he stamped his feet and spazzed his arms out a bit like he just wanted to shake Jack. "ARRrrrrgggghhh. Dude, not a story you condense into a short version. 'Our dad came back, the first villain you ever fought was involved, big turf war throw down, a guy died, sister got powers, ta-dah!' doesn't really do a story that could be made into a graphic novel justice man. You totally just broke like, every rule of drama, and then made some more up just to break them. And then you cap the story off with "Oh, there's something else too." after just casually dropping a half dozen bombs. Just - ragggghhh!" exclaims Eli raggedly as he practically starts pulling his hair out.

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Mona just laughed wholeheartedly and patted Jill on the back before focusing on Grim, "I'm so there too, Grim. Thank you. Wouldn't miss it for the world."

Stepping back from the now official meeting, Fulcrum stood with her arms crossed and listened intently to the daring introduction. Okay, every bit of willpower also went to refraining from laughing. She loved that family so much! No villain worth their salt would miss the similar personalities and mannerisms. The Espadas siblings were too much fun, biting wit and all. Ah, the memories...

Enough reminiscing though. The other, probably more painful, boot was about to drop, and her face lit up at the new information. "Yeah, Jack, I missed this story too. Don't keep us in suspense, or at the very least, tell us what the other thing is please," she said, her tone even and patient.

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At first Grim could only think of how fabulous Jill and Mona would look in the outfits her and her sister would come up with, but then she zeroed in on Jack's rather ominous statement. Her eyes nervously darted between the faces of the two siblings; this did not sound good at all. She stepped to Colt's side, found his hand and gave it a squeeze.

"Uh...yeah, why don't you go ahead and drop the other big shoe."

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Jack shrugged in subdued contrast to Eli's manic frustration. "Well, it's not like it was a whole thing-"

"It was so a thing," Jill interrupted, leaning forward with her hands clasped behind her back.

Her brother gave her an annoyed look and pressed on. "I just mean, compared to the stuff we deal with every day, it's all relative."

"Yeah, our relatives, the nutbags."

"No, I meant-"

"I know what you meant, dummy, it's called 'a pun'."

"It'll be called 'a punch' if you don't cut that out." The bickering siblings eventually remembered that there were other people in the room and composed themselves to a degree. Jack coughed, clearing his throat awkwardly. "Right, anyway. The other thing." He exchanged an uncertain look with his sibling before taking a deep breath and pressing on. "You know I like to play things pretty close to my chest. I'm hoping you know that's never been about not trusting all of you; it's just, when it comes to my family, I can't take any chances, y'know?" The swashbuckler rubbed the back of his neck with one hand and gestured openly with the other. "But seeing as my family is in all this now, and you guys are part of... I mean, well... aw, nertz to this."

Deftly removing his wig and mask, Jack tossed them onto the console bank next to him, revealing the angular features and dusty brown hair his teammates were already familiar with. "My name is Erik Espadas," he said bluntly, "and this is my sister Ellie."

Beside him, Jill removed her own mask, though it turned out she'd opted to dye her real hair black rather than don a hairpiece. The coltish teen grinned at the gathered superheroes. "Pleased t'meetcha!"

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"D'awww." says Eli pouring on the sap, any frustration he had towards Jack had just evaporated. "Does that mean that you wuv us Jack, err Enrique, not wait, James, not uhh.. Erik yeah. That's right right? ... Shaddup, names are hard." says Eli a little flustered. Eli peeled off his own mask, though his face was red enough that it didn't make an immediate difference. "Seriously, you're gonna be Jack and Jill for like another 3 weeks, easy." reinforced Eli with a weak shrug of his shoulders. "Anyways, back to the matter at hand: hurray! We're all family like now! And you know what that means? Taser Nuggies!" says Eli cackling as some electricity playfully balls up in his fist.

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"Dogone it, Jack... Eh... Erick!" Colt scolded, though his face showed a large happy smile, "Reckon Eli's right'a 'bout that three week thing." Colt mumbled, "Anyway, here ya gon'n got me all riled up'n I thought't was gon' be bad news!"

Colt took a few aggressive steps forward, and heartily shook Erik's hand. "I been waitin' fer this fer'a long time. Congrat'lations." He turned to Ellie, "An' thanks fer makin'em see't through. I'm sure't wasn't all his idea," Colt winked at the teen. He was almost sure the infamous Jack of all Blades, man of mystery, would never have given up his secret without a little coercion.

Colt took a step back from the pair, "Me, I ain't got no mask ta take off. An' y'all already know ma name's Billy. Still," he held his arms wide, "Y'all c'n use whichever name y'd like." Colt was beaming at them. He felt like this was a huge step forward for the team. One thing was for sure. Trusting each other with their identities certainly couldn't hurt their teamwork.

"I reckon we outta celebrate." Colt smiled, "What'a y'all say ta'a night out? We haven't had one'a them'n far too long!"

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Mona just grinned and clapped her hands, looking just as elated as Colt. "Congratulations, Erik! And welcome aboard, Elllie." No difficulties distinguishing their names on her end. "Thank you for sharing something I know is very important to both of you." She put her hand over her heart.

"I'd be honored to work alongside you, just I'm honored to work alongside every one of you. We have a great team and it shows itself right here," followed by a wide sweep of one arm, "but Billy is right, it's time for a night out to relax."

"Suggestions?" she asked before winking at the Espadas siblings.

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Grim's eyes went wide with delight at the siblings' revelation.

"Oh my God; Jack finally came out of the closet! I mean Erik did, or whatever! Oh man, I just knew you had a last name!" She turned to their newest teammate. "And I'm gonna tell you right now, I will call you 'Jellie' from time to time...mostly as a mistake, but sometimes just to be a pain." ;)

The shapeshifter stroked her lower lip thoughtfully.

"So are you gonna move in? We've got plenty of room and nice comfy beds."

"Suggestions?"

Grim laughed.

"Well to be honest, my first instinct is for us to stay in, drink sangria and watch Mamma Mia! on the bigscreen while we all sing along at the top of our lungs, but somehow I don't see that being the popular choice."

She idly scratched the bag of her head.

"I dunno, pizza? Sadly a night of drunken debauchery might be less than fun for Ellie if she has to wait outside."

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"I dunno, pizza? Sadly a night of drunken debauchery might be less than fun for Ellie if she has to wait outside."

"Well, I reckon there's lot'sa place in this here town that'll let underage people in, but just won't serve'em drinks. We could hit up one'a them places. Still, Ellie's the new one, an' Erik's just told us's big secret," Colt mused while stroking his chin, "It's on'y right if'n we let them choose where'ta go, ain't that right, gang?"

Colt looked expectantly at the pair of siblings.

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"So are you gonna move in?"

"Over my dead body!" a familiar and rich tenor voice echoed.

Doktor Archeville, the secret benefactor of the Interceptors -- who had only barely been heard from by Mona in the past week, and not at all by the others in that time -- appeared in the doorway, though the lack of a light show or any feelings of vertigo indicated he had not teleported in, but came in through more conventional means. Had he been standing there long? Who knows!

What was clear, though, was that he looked royally ticked off. He stomped towards Erik and Ellie, gesticulating wildly, "this is a tactical command center for extranormal police & rescue operations, not some college dorm where you can just have friends and family in whenever you want! The only way she is staying here..."

His facial features and vocal tone did a 180, and he looked upon Ellie with a very kind and welcoming look, "is if I am here to help you move in! That is, if you even want to, of course. You are more than welcome to, given how highly I regard the two who could vouch for you."

The super-scientist cocked his head to Erik, and smirked, "'bout time you told them."

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"Says you, Grim. Sangria and musicals sound..." started Fulcrum before Mr. Science made his grand entrance. She waited patiently for him to finish, a bemused look on her face.

Walking up behind Viktor, she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, "And it's a wonderful extranormal police and command center. One staffed by a very dedicated, competent and trustworthy team, new members and all."

"Sounds like the Big Boss is happy with the situation. Make yourself comfortable," she said, looking up at Ellie, "So where to then, Jack and Jill? Stay in? Go out? Musicals?"

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When Dr. Archeville made his grand entrance and began making accusations and admonishments, Colt simply set his rifle down against the wall, folded his arms, and regarded the doctor with a cool look that bespoke his thoughts: What's your game...?

Finally, Dr. Archeville revealed the joke. "Aw, Doc. Don't scare th'newbie, now. I reckon I should'a known, but she's on'y jus' got'ere."

"Sounds like the Big Boss is happy with the situation. Make yourself comfortable," she said, looking up at Ellie, So where to then, Jack and Jill? Stay in? Go out? Musicals?"

Colt waited quietly for their decision with a smile on his face.

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Ellie matched Eli's crackling fist with a virulently glowing fist of her own. "Little man, I will end you," she warned through a smirk. Turning to Billy her grin broadened. "Well, most of his good ideas are mine."

"Funny lady," Erik responded with a brotherly shove. "Easy with the closet stuff, Lynn; that's how rumours get started, huh?"

His sister snorted and rolled her eyes. "'Rumours', right. Anyway, I appreciate the thought, seriously, but I'm going to kinda be all over the place this year, taking some classes at Claremont, helping out at the hospital, everything. Plus, don't want to leave our mom totally on her own all of the sudden either, so."

"Pfft, you just got used to not having me up in your business all the time," Erik scoffed. "Anyway, the family house is pretty close by, so she'll be making a nuisance of herself regardless." The swordsman grinned. "She's like my intern!"

"I'm not your intern," Ellie refuted flatly.

"So my intern," Erik reasserted, throwing an arm around his sister's shoulders. "So, what's it gonna be, hermanita?"

Considering for a moment, Ellie hands went to play with the ends of the ponytail she'd only recently cut off. A little embarrassed, she decided, "Staying in actually sounds, y'know, good."

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"Staying in has my vote too," replied Mona, a little relieved, "Means I can enjoy the evening too, but don't let that stop you." Obviously going out in civilian clothes didn't really work too well for Fulcrum. She'd rather wish them all a good time and let them enjoy their evening then derail the party with her complications.

Sliding up next to Ellie, "Now we just have to figure out what we want to do. Suggestions?" she solicited from the team. "I'm easy to please. Pizza and movie works for me. Assuming we do stay home."

She whispered, albeit deliberately loud, to Ellie, "I need to stock you up on embarrassing babysitting stories," and grinned at Erik in that humorous Cheshire Cat way.

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Archeville returned Mona's peck on the cheek with a quick hug and a quick kiss on her cheek (which required him to float up a foot or so in the air), then turned back to face the others.

"Dinner and a movie sounds fine to me; I think there is some sporting event at one of the nearby colleges and the roads would be a nightmare to navigate. The skyways, too, given the number of fliers this city has."

"But then the topic of which movie must be decided. What is everyone in the mood for? Action? Horror? Mystery? Romantic Comedy? Sci-Fi?"

On a monitor set into the wall, Vince's image 'blinked' and he was now in biker's leather... and half his face missing, showing a chrome skull with a glowing red eye.

The Doktor turned back to Jill, "which hospital do you volunteer at?" He already knew, of course, but he figured it was polite to ask.

Colt, Dynamo, and Fulcrum -- being the only ones who both know Dok and have any ranks in Sense Motive -- can easily pick up that Dok is in an abnormally good (one might even say borderline manic, if he didn't seem so at ease and relaxed) mood. Grim and Jack'll pick up on it eventually; they're probably focused more on Jill anyway.

JoAB also notices that there's something subtly different about the weird feeling he gets when he's around Dok. Almost as if there's a small part of him missing.

Oh, and his accent isn't completely gone, just mostly gone.

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