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KnightDisciple

Triumphant Meetings (IC)

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It was a rather brisk November afternoon as Gabriel hummed through the air above Downtown Freedom City. He was low enough to be skimming buildings, even weaving around them. He seemed to be clearly enjoying himself as he did so.

He slowed a bit and projected his voice through the air, back to his "patrol buddy".

"I didn't leave you behind, did I Victory?"

His speed increased again, hovering not far below "supersonic" (as he didn't wish to break windows) while he dipped a bit lower, giving himself an extra challenge maneuvering around the buildings.

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Unlike Gabriel, Victory prefers to stay high up in the clouds. Fortunately, his enhanced vision allows him to see everything just as well from way up there as he would in the middle of the city. It also allows him to go full speed, without having to worry about weaving between anything. But sometimes he liked doing that,too.

Looking down to his flight partner for the day from high above the city, he grins. He's still able to hear him calling, and responds in his favorite way. Quickly moving from sight from where he was, Gabriel would find himself nearly smashing into a big mass of silvery metal that appears right in front of him, but stays going the same speed.

"Nah, I'm good."

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Gabriel was not a man who frightened easily. He'd faced demons, zombies, and grim-dark alternate-future heroes. But when you're flying at 500 miles an hour, "sudden crash into metal" isn't a pleasant thought. So it's understandable that he didn't just "flinch" when Victory pulled his little stunt.

Instead, he falters, dropping a good 20 feet in altitude and taking several seconds to steady himself. When he's got an even keel, he pushes his speed until he pulls up even with Victory, albeit about 10 feet to the side. He looks over to the other hero and shakes his head.

"That was a nasty little trick there, Victory my friend. Thankfully, my God-given grace allowed me to smoothly recover."

He rolled in midair until he was flying with his back facing the ground, his chest facing skyward.

"I have to admit, this joint patrol isn't that bad. It's a great excuse to get some good flight time in, if nothing else. I love protecting Southside, but it's mostly just short "hops" around there."

He rotated again, returning to his "normal" orientation.

"But taking a route like this, all over? Really lets me stretch my...well, not my wings, but you get the idea."

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Victory laughs, floating over Gabriel, a casual smile on his face. He floats over to the side a bit, so Gabriel can get back to the relative positioning he had before.

"Ya know, I actually did think you had wings for a second there when we fought the Power Corps.. Wind must've hit your coat just right or something."

Victory checks some readouts on his visor for a moment, but still speaks, his head facing forwards, as he's always trying to see where he's going.

"Ya know, you could probably stand to do city-wide patrols more often. You'd be surprised what sights you could see doing that. But then, you'd probably need to get special vision enhancing goggles or something to be able to patrol high enough in the air that you won't break everyone's windows if you go at those sorts of speeds..."

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Gabriel laughs.

"Maybe that's why I was given the coat; because people might mistake it for a set of wings. Throw my opponents off, give that extra little burst of hope..."

His shrug is lost amidst his course and position adjustment. They were starting to turn, making a large circle around the center area of the city.

"I dunno about constant city-wide patrols. I might do something a couple times a week. But Southside's usually busy enough to need me quite a bit. Even with other heroes around. Plus, I don't know if I could really afford goggles like that. But you're right, I'd need something to help me see; my powers keep my eyeballs from getting sandblasted out of my head, but don't really help my vision any."

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Victory chuckles, with a light shrug (which is tricky to do when you're flying, let me tell you!). "I'll see if we've got anything to spare back at the base. I'm sure we've got some kind of vision-extending goggles that aren't too cumbersome just sitting around."

Doing a quick check of their position on his built-in navigation system, he sends back the "all clear" info he must send every hour. Kind of annoying, he had to admit. But oh well. It beats having to go back and do paperwork.

"I can understand that. Besides, there's so much going on so often throughout the entire city, sometimes it's easier just to stay in one area. Probably the worst part is trying to decide what issues should get first attention. Don't you agree?"

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Dark Star hadn't been home long. And after an extend period of re-acquainting with his fiance, he was out and about again. Zipping across the Earth and near-Earth space didn't really take him long. And there was was so much to catch up on as well. For example, there were quite a few new heroes around. Like those two over there.

He altered his trajectory and course a few dozen miles to drop down to their altitude. Zipping along slightly in front of them, he matched their speed and course as he looked at them. "Good morning. I hope I am not intruding. I happened to notice you cruising along and thought I might introduce myself," he said casually. The fact that they were traveling at accelerated speeds or that he was flying backwards or appeared to be 'standing' while he did so didn't seem to matter much to him. "I am Dark Star."

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As he and Gabriel went about their bit of banter to keep the mood light as they patrol, Victory quickly finds them joined by yet another flyer! Judging by the third super's general attitude, he was guessing this was another hero he hadn't yet been introduced to. Unusual appearance for a hero, though. All-black isn't the most common color choice. Especially when it really is ALL black. But Victory knows heroes come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

With a friendly nod, Victory tries to straighten up a bit, using his half-crouched flying stance to give the illusion of standing while still keeping his boosters pointed behind him. He hadn't quite gotten the "standing flight" thing down like this Dark Star fellow had. But the main reason he adjusted was to extend his hand out in greetings. "Hello there, Dark Star. I go by Victory, and my friend here's named Gabriel."

Dark Star....? That name sounds familiar...

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Gabriel blinks in surprise at Dark Star's sudden arrival. Dark Star...wait a tic.

Gabriel adjusted his course to allow Dark Star into their ad hoc flying formation, and waited for his cyborg friend to finish before speaking.

"Pleasure to meet you, Dark Star. I've heard some about you, all good things. I've done some work with-"

He almost said "Stesha", but shook his head and corrected himself.

"-Fleur de Josie. She mentioned that the two of you worked together a lot. But that you were off in space for something. Did that get sorted out, then? I'd guess so, since you're not raising the alarm or anything."

'Interesting. Seems like a nice guy, though the whole "living energy" thing seems like an odd compliment to Stesha's whole plant motiff. Weirder things have happened, though..' he thought to himself.

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Dark Star nodded to them as they cruised along. "Pleasure to meet you both." He looked at Gabriel and nodded in the affirmative. "Yes, we have. Fleur is my fiance. I simply couldn't imagine a more amazing woman," he said with contentment. "But yes, sadly, I have been away for quite some time. There were a multitude of problem, as there always are both here and abroad. They are...resolved for the moment. The 'alarm', such as it is, is on hold for now. I keep abreast of things going on the galaxy at large regularly, so if it changes I will know within a short time."

He gave a little shrug before nodding. "Thank you for asking. I take it you two are...doing a regular partol? Or practicing your flying or some other power?"

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He had not met this other hero they were discussing, but he makes sure to add that to the list of names of heroes he must make it a point to meet. Sounds nice enough! As Victory flies along, he brings his hand back. No one ever seem to notice it, he thinks. Or maybe it's the whole "can crush a normal person's hand without trying" thing that generally causes people to not shake it. No matter. He resumes his normal flying stance, and nods.

"Yes, Gabriel here had decided to join me on my daily patrol. I'm usually much higher up, but sometimes it's nice to be in between the buildings. Just have to be extra careful."

Which is when he realizes that he missed a very important bit of info there.

"Wait...the galaxy?"

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Gabriel raised an eyebrow at that open admission.

'Huh. Didn't think he'd admit the engagement like that. Still, their business, seems like they have things handled pretty well.'

"Normally I stick to Soutside proper. But, last month kind of opened my eyes a bit to the bigger picture. It also gave me a few scars, but I can't complain too much. Fleur actually helped me out. I thanked her before, but pass on my thanks again for that.

I have to admit, though. Half the reason I went on this patrol was to get more than 30 seconds of flight time. It's...really, it's beautiful flying through the air like this. Really makes you appreciate what we're protecting."

His voice fades to silence as he listens to the other two men, also curious about how Dark Star is working on a galactic level.

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Dark Star looked at them both. "It is good to know that Freedom City still has such diligent protectors." He looked at Victory and nodded in agreement. "I have that problem as well. I have to exercise quite a bit of effort and concentration to be careful of my surrounding when not in deep space." He down at the city below them. "It is a lovely sight."

"Yes, I travel the galaxy regularly. It is no more difficult than patrolling the city really. Or country for that matter. It's just a bit bigger is all." He gives a little shrug. "While there is a lot of danger out there, there is also much beauty and many good people. I can be out there to help them, so I do," he said simply.

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"Well we do what we can. For me, I have a team behind me, government intel, all that. It's far more impressive when people like you or Gabriel here do it entirely independently."

As Dark Star talks about going about the galaxy, Victory strokes his chin in thought, adjusting his thruster array to compensate. "That sounds fascinating, indeed! Perhaps one day I'll get the change to move up from just protecting this country, to protecting the even greater scene like that...I'd certainly love to see some of these interstellar cultures..."

Since he was a kid, Lance always saw the sky as the limit. The great stage. But now he thinks....what if he could one day move that step further....?

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Gabriel chuckled.

"I suppose "independently" is a bit of a perspective thing in my case, but that's neither here nor there. And Victory's right; being able to travel to the stars sounds incredible. Even more so if you can do so without a spaceship! Don't think I'll ever manage that myself, sadly. Pretty sure sound doesn't work in space."

He looks around at the buildings, and then his fellow fliers, and a devious grin passes over his face.

"You guys wanna race?"

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Dark Star nods. "Well, there are quite a few culture out there that do not want assistance. Or policing. They have quite a few different views and outlooks than Earth." He looked them both over for a moment. "If you like, I can show you a few sometime. It isn't too hard nor will it take long."

He tilted his head to one side. "Race? Um...would that be fair?" He wasn't sure how fast they were, but at the very least they were solid and he wasn't.

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Gabriel frowned in thought.

"True. You're able to go flying off into space. I know that has me beat, even if I'm no slouch at speed. I just wanted to go a bit higher and crank it up a notch, you know?"

He glances at the buildings around them.

"I wasn't really thinking of racing at this altitude. I don't think I'm quite that skilled of a flier yet...I just wanted to go high and really cut loose."

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"Yeah, I'm not entirely sure it'd be the most fair thing. I'm fast, but from the sounds of it, I wouldn't be surprised if Dark Star here jumps planets like I jump cities." Of course, you know you're dealing with three really fast people when they talk about comparison speeds like that....

"But anyway, I can understand other cultures wanting nothing to do with any sort of authority figure from some far off planet. I would never try to start something like that. But a quick tour would be pretty fun. I'd have to figure out when I have enough time off, though..." Unlike many superheroes, he actually has a specific work schedule he has to keep for his patrolling...kind of an odd situation compared to others, to be sure.

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He looked the fellows over with a blink. "Oh, you just wished to go faster? I can do faster and continue our discussion with ease if you like." He nodded towards Victory. "Indeed. I can get to Alpha Centuari and back in a couple minute if I take a leisurely pace."

He shrugs. "Oh, it doesn't take long. No longer than seeing any other place really. Only takes me a moment or two to get anywhere if I choose to open a wormhole," he said absently. "I have taken others on short tours and such now and again when they wished."

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Gabriel looked to Dark Star with surprise and even...eagerness?

"You can take others with you? To...other planets? Other corners of the galaxy, the universe? That...Do they require space suits, or the like?"

Wonderment is starting to trickle into his voice.

"That's...wow. That's incredible. I've always wondered when humans would reach the stars...Probably not just like they have it in the movies, but still. To reach up, and go beyond where any man has gone before...That's something, alright."

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Victory found it quite fascinating....until Dark Star mentioned a wormhole. He looked a bit concerned with that little detail.

"Wait....a wormhole? Is this anything like a black hole?" Thinking about it a moment more, his expression looks a bit upset. "Don't tell me you open these holes in earth's atmosphere?!"

Granted, he wasn't exactly "up" on that degree of physics, but there's no way a mode of transport like that could be very safe to the environment around it....

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Dark Star nodded easily. "Of course I can. No suits are required. I create a energy bubble with a combination of a energy and gravity field to protect the occupants from the dangers of space. Temperature, radiation, even creating air my rearranging the molecules when necessary. It is quite helpful for moving people around out there. Rescues or just giving them a look at something." He tilted his head to one side. "Well humanity has been growing quiet rapidly and, thanks to Daedalus, there are a few vehicles that are capable of FTL travel. They are limited and little more than shuttles however. In time, humanity will move out into exploring the stars."

He looked over at Victory at the man's concern. "No no no. A black hole is not nearly the same thing. A black hole is an area of space-time with a gravitational field so intense that its escape velocity exceeds the speed of light. Very dangerous and quite troublesome for most beings," he said. "A wormhole is a curvature in space-time that connects two distant points negating the distance between," he said, falling back on his astrophysics knowledge with the ease of old habits. "I have opened wormholes inside the atmosphere often enough, yes. As long as the opposite end is in at a similar atmospheric pressure, there is no danger. Things like disease, microbes or what have you don't pass through on their own, so there is little fear of contamination. I sterilize and clean people or objects going back and forth when necessarily of course to prevent cross-wold contamination though there are many locations where such effort is unnecessary," he said absently.

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Gabriel continued to become more astonished by Dark Star's powers.

"You're able to sterilize folks on your own? That's really impressive.

You mentioned rescues. Do you do that a lot? Interplanetary rescues? How far do your wormholes reach? What's the weirdest planet you've been to? The one most like Earth?"

It's clear that concerns about astronomical catastrophes aren't on Gabriel's mind; only the questions of a curious man. It's clear he's asking with a sincere desire to learn.

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Rubbing his chin, Victory tries to get all that in, more or less with success. And while he's at it, he gives some thought to dark Star's mention of some FTL vehicles gets Victory thinking. He's seen some pretty fancy-looking devices being built in the labs. Big, glowing things. Possibly just such a drive? It's not too out there to think that they may be trying to develop such a thing for their own use....

He brings his hand down, with a sigh of relief. This fellow seemed trustworthy enough to take his word for it. "Well....if you really insist it's that safe, I suppose there's no problem, then. I wouldn't want some sort of alien virus to get loose around here, after all."

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Dark Star shrugs a little. "Sterilization is simple the application of radiation along certain wavelengths. It isn't too difficult to do if precise control is available." He nods. "Yes, I do that quite a bit. I try to mediate disputes, deal with out of control problems when stellar phenomina and activities become more than the local population can handle. I've dealt with a few armadas and the like. But I don't impose myself or my ideology into conflicts too often unless they are rather obviously extreme or egregious. Likewise, I don't particularly view any place or anyone as weird. They are simply different from your point of referrence. And with the variety of life and places out there, some can be significant different while others remarkably similar."" He shrugs a little. "But to answer your question, I've been all over this galaxy. I've criss-crossed and quartered and explored for many, many years. I've taken people to planet to visit, to relax or to learn. Any number of reasons really."

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