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Aoiroo

Fair Ladies (IC)

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She hadn't been to this mall before, and she had to admit it was quite homey. It wasn't as big as the malls over in Kingston, but the shops were just as interesting if not more so. She hadn't purchased much since she was on a rather limited allowance after her rather unique request for a gift that was expected to be given for a popular winter holiday in this realm proved a more troublesome cost wise and make wise. Still the displays were very pretty, several of the shops had boxes wrapped in decorative paper and shining lights. It varied greatly from shop to shop, and she was tempted to go back to Bayview to retrieve her camera.

Standing in front of a particularly eleborate display with several manicans dressed in red and white furry coats something caught her eye, well it was someone actually. She didn't get a look at her face but maybe the back of her neck because she moved but Etain stayed in the same place glancing at the place that person occupied. It was probably the shock that kept her in the spot, but that was soon replaced as she went to the nearest door and entered the store. It didn't take long to find the spot, but the other person had left the store just as soon as she had entered it towards one of many doors that lead outside. She started to quicken to try and catch the person but stalled as to hold the door for a woman one two many bags to do so on her own and lost sight of the person all together. There was no disheartenment to her now clear path, after all, the trail of magic however faint was still there.

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Every once in a while, Lynn still liked to hit the stores, just to have a look around and see what everyone was wearing; being a shapeshifter who had complete control of her appearance actually created a huge gulf between her and pretty much every other female in Freedom City, and in fact much of the world. Obviously women talked about all kinds of things every day, but so many conversations started based on some admired item of apparel, shade of lipstick or a cute haircut; when she was young and snotty, she found such talk to be pointless and shallow, but more and more she found she missed this simple shared ritual, and envied the women who participated in it. Suddenly a realization hit her.

I have almost no girlfriends; well, unless you count Ellie and Mona, and they're really teammates first. I haven't talked to Taylor at all since the summer, and I hardly ever talk to Moira these anymore...

This thought saddened her greatly, and combined with her general dislike of the manic Christmastime shopping frenzy, she found her mood turning black as a lump of coal. But then she saw something that rather disturbingly put a little bounce in her step: a pack of young guys in ski masks running out of a video game store, waving guns and hefting bulging backpacks as they whooped like idiots.

“Aw man, we did it, we did it!â€

“Ha ha!â€

Ducking behind a giant animatronic Homer Simpson Claus, Lynn disappeared into the night (or so she thought), her jeans and fleecy parka shifting into her black-and-midnight blue leather costume as she loped after the thieves, effortlessly slipping through the panicked crowd that felt only the wind of her passing.

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Hearing the commotion from the store didn't really concern Etain as she kept on the trail of the person. Though she seemed to be closing in for a second when the person stopped moving as soon as she was close the person rushed past her to the video game store.

Letting out a sigh she picked up the hem of her skirt and started to jog through the crowd to try and catch up.

GM

It was quite a haul they had and they managed to organize it quite well between the six of them. The leader was simply amazed that they had managed to get the guns so they could rob the store in the first place. Though celebrating they were pretty much booking it through the parking lot swag in tow.

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Dashing through the snow, to catch the crooks today!

Through the mall I go, running all the way!

This was going to be fun; various scenario's played out in Grim's mind as she kept pace with the oafish crooks, waiting until the got away from the crowd and into the relative safety of the parking lot, where-

Yikes!

Emphasis on 'relative'; she was nearly hit by a car! Luckily she heard it in time and was able to roll clear with seconds to spare. Suddenly running around invisibly among holiday shoppers seemed like a bad idea, but she still felt the value of surprise was worth the risk; the tiny shapeshifter just made sure to be more attentive from now on.

Once they got to the far end of the lot, which had a lot fewer cars, Grim allowed her voice to echo eerily across the slushy pavement, while she herself remained unseen.

"I know when you are sleeping, I know when you're awake. I know when you've been bad or good, so be GOOD, for goodness sake!"

The six hoodlums stopped dead in their tracks, clearly unnerved.

"What the f*** was that?"

Grim took this time to sneak up to the the biggest of goons, her arm poised to strike...

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Decidedly, Etain didn't like running when it was cold. She didn't like parking lots very much either and she nearly winced when she caught sight of the person she was trying to catch nearly getting run over. This probably one of the reasons she was so glad that Ms. Cynthia sent someone to drive her around. Still she kept pace as best as she could when she went to the parking lot and found the six guys that were about to be attacked.

GM

It was hard for them to think about what was happening, first they heard a strange echo and then some weird girl in clothing that seemed older then the red clothed Santa Claus came running towards them. She seemed pretty content to close the gap so two of them headed towards her guns at the ready to try and scare her off.

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Grim was just about to put the hurt on these clowns when some goofy-looking librarian came clattering into the scene, holding up her skirt and everything. Wait a minute, was she a friend of Ms Wells? Was there another damn time disruption going on?

When will these people learn the importance of timing?

Suddenly Grimalkin appeared between the thieves and Miss Prim'n'Proper, her claws extended in a most menacing fashion; of course, she was losing the element of surprise here, but she couldn't let an innocent bystander get caught in a possible crossfire.

"Miss, you really need to get your hoop-skirted ass out of here; this is a job for an angry crimefighter who likes to beat people up. Please return to your holiday shopping."

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Etain eyes trained onto Grim even as she appeared the only shift was in the magic around her tipping her off that some sort of concealment had been present. She glanced around at the other guys before looking at Grim,

"Is there one here? I do not see one, usually they have a cape right? Or maybe that's just the ones from the muesum."

GM

It was rather surreal as the two guys who had come try and scare off the girl was scared themselves to see a woman appear out of thin air. The startle didn't last long and they both lifted there guns and began to open fire.

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"Is there one here? I do not see one, usually they have a cape right? Or maybe that's just the ones from the muesum."

The diminutive shapeshifter frowned in annoyance; clearly her rep as a local badass was far less widespread than she'd hoped. But her annoyance quickly evaporated when she saw the muzzles rise.

Oh no, these guys are even dumber and more violent than they look!

A thousand options flickered through her quicksilver mind in an instant, but the one common thread was a need to protect the old timey shopping lady, who upon closer inspection was a lot younger than she expected; maybe she was one of those weird live-action gamers she saw on campus? Finally Grim made a decision.

Screw it, I can take a hit; I just hope surviving a bullet through the neck hasn't make me too cocky.

Throwing out one hand, she conjured up a stone wall between herself and the LARPer, ten feet wide, six feet tall and a foot thick. Still keeping her eyes on her targets, she growled over the wall at the young eccentric, "Run, damn it!"

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The wall was a rather strange addition to the scene. It was certianly the first thing she noticed. However, it wasn't the first thing she remembered. She saw it for a second and knew she had to move. Guns, they were going to shoot the person who made the wall. She didn't know the reasoning, but then again people with guns rarely seemed to have it and as she stood with the wall between them she could hear the persons voice.

"Alright,"

Taking a few steps back she sprinted down the lengh of the wall while a long knife formed in her hand. She finally found the end and turning the corner she caught a glimpse of the one of the guys with the guns and didn't hesitate. Throwing the knife she aimed at the arm of one of the attackers as he raised a gun. She hadn't had much experience with such things but it seemed to strike true imbedding itself in his arm.

GM

The sudden wall and the appearance didn't shake the attackers so much, but the sudden appearance of a knife in one of there arms certianly got one screaming. Turning towards his companion, the first person found the source of the knife in the form of the strange woman whom he turned to and opened fire, missing badly.

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"Alright,"

Grim breathed a mental sigh of relief, delighted she could finally focus completely on beating up these thugs and salvaging her evening. She flicked out her claws and grinned evilly.

"Alright, who wants to take a fun visit to the hospital?"

Suddenly a knife popped out of a goon's wrist and he screamed like a little girl. All eyes turned to the source of the weapon, and wouldn't you know it, it was Little Miss Interactive Storytelling coming 'round the corner; apparently you could buy some wicked toys in the dealer room these days. Grim shouted at the girl, furious that she'd decided to stick around and 'help'.

"What are you doing?! These guys have guns!"

BLAM!

"See?"

Luckily the guy was a lousy shot, and the shock of facing a knife-tossing Bo Beep probably wasn't helping. Now much angrier at the LARPer girl than the gun-packing criminals, Grim viscously lashed out at the one who fired, hoping to quickly drop him to the ground; most punks passed out from the pain of her claw attacks, even though the slashes were much longer than they were deep.

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Pulling up her skirt she made her way over before she continued speaking. Though even as she got closer the woman seemed awfully distressed. The two guys that had guns seemed even more so for good reason and the others seemed to take the hint and readied there guns to try and shoot.

"I am sorry, I am not leaving, and neither are they."

She didn't do so much as raise an eyebrow as chains shot up from the ground and surrounded them. Only two were fast enough to avoid it's bind while the others struggled as the chains tightened around their arms holding them to there sides and preventing them from pointing there guns.

"I see that they have guns, but I do not see how that is a threat to either of us."

GM

Those caught in the chains struggled but failed to get free. The two decided it wasn't worth getting caught and started to run.

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"I am sorry, I am not leaving, and neither are they."

She didn't do so much as raise an eyebrow as chains shot up from the ground and surrounded them. Only two were fast enough to avoid it's bind while the others struggled as the chains tightened around their arms holding them to there sides and preventing them from pointing there guns.

"I see that they have guns, but I do not see how that is a threat to either of us."

Normally Grim was pretty quick on the uptake, but this time she realized with some embarrassment that she'd completely misread the situation; this girl wasn't a LARPer, she was some sort of superperson, which explained her being drawn to the fight instead of fleeing like a sensible person. Her speech was kind of odd and stilted, so maybe she was Amish or home schooled.

"Oh okay, now I get it; nice work with the chains there." Noticing the two dudes running, she shrunk into her pixie form with a sharp intake of air, then zoomed after the fleeing figures.

"Be right back!"

She balled up her fists like a pair of hard angry peas and made a beeline for the back of the nearest crook's head.

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GM

Grim knocked the guy onto his butt as she hit him on the back of his head. Falling over, he got a mixed reaction from his chained comrades,

"Ha, that's what you get for ditching us."

Etain walked over and in a single fluent motion spun to a halt with a rapier set level at the person who spoke throats.

"Why are you content to think that you do not share his fate because you failed in your attempt to do the same."

GM

Looking at the blade he nearly gulped,

"Like you would actuall..."

He was cut off as she dug the rapier into his shoulder,

"I would."

She glanced over at the other three and through them a smile,

"I am quite irritated today after all."

GM

Looking at there companion get stabbed made them attempt to break free from there restraints, however they failed quite miserably.

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To Grim, there are few things in life more satisfying than knocking some criminal on his ass, and she paused for a moment to enjoy the sight of her quary sitting there dumbfounded as the slush slowly soaked into his pants. Looking up, she saw that the home-schooled heroine appeared to have the situation well in hand, complete with a very nice looking pig sticker!

Wow; unless she was somehow hiding on that on her person (eek!), she must have created it like me and Edge make stuff. Interesting!

Trusting that either herself or the strange girl could catch Mister Soggypants if he made a run for it, the shapeshifter quickly turned her attention back to the last of the not-so-smooth criminals who was still hoofing it for freedom.

Oh I'll give him something to run from!

The tiny faerie dropped to the ground like a stone, and an instant later a massive black panther was in its place! Bounding after her prey, Grim let out a savage growl just so she could see the punk's terrified expression as he looked over his shoulder and began running for dear life. An idea bubbled to the surface of her scheming little brain, and the cat adjusted the angle of her pursuit slightly, ferociously growling once again; eyes bugging out of his head, the guy screamed bloody murder and put the pedal to the metal, until with a final burst of speed he ran smack into the side of Barry's Pottery Shack, and fell to the ground, nursing a bloody nose.

Ah, now that’s one for the scrapbook!

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Etain took a second when her eye caught the shifting of magic to see the form of a large cat scaring one of the escapees badly enough to make him smack straight into a wall. It was rather peculiar but also an amusing sight indeed. She glanced quietly at the fallen escapee and chains wrapped around his stunned form before he could make a move. Taking a few steps out, she produced a couple of knives which she pulled the rapier out and shook it so slightly so that the blood flew off the blade and onto the face of one of the nearer robbers as she said,

"Would either of you like to continue to struggle? If so, I can promise pain, and there are several ways that may be delivered. Any chance of escapee disappeared long ago, and it is only through submission that you may no longer be harmed."

Burying the rapier into the ground she quietly reached into her sleeve and produced a few knives,

"However, if you would still like to try to escape, I do not have the best aim long range and might hit vitals without intending to. That is of course you think you can outrun the one who has taken herself to be a beast of longer stride than any human."

GM

Though not visible through the masks all the gang members went pale at the seemingly endless armory they were being threatened with from the small girl in the old fashion clothing. The large cat certianly didn't help them as they tried but failed to break free of their restraints. The guy who found himself smacked into the wall had a bloody nose and was quite dizzy because of it.

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Grim rolled the thief with the bloody nose onto his stomach, then bound his wrists and ankles with a set of conjured handcuffs; technically there werent as hard as the real thing would be, but they would do for now.

"Okay, big guy, let's go see your friends."

For the sake of expediency, she shrunk down to pixie size, took hold of the ruffian's collar and easily lifted him up before flitting over to deposit him next to the rest of his posse. The sight of such a diminutive creature carrying a full-grown man was quite bizarre. The tiny shapeshifter flickered back and forth surveying the area.

"Is that all of them? Are we missing anybody?"

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"Yes, I believe so,"

Looking over her shoulder, she saw some lights in the distance,

"I think the security is here."

She looked over and frowned as some she heard some words in the distance as the sound of a vehicle backing up,

"I think the wall is blocking them."

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"I think the wall is blocking them."

"Oh, right."

Grim returned to full size, then dismissed the wall with a wave of her hand; it melted into vapor and drifted off into the night. Once the security people arrived, she sheepishly dismissed the manacles as well after one of the officers scowled at her.

"Sorry."

As the captured thieves were being escorted into vehicles, the shapeshifter casually sauntered over to the girl in all the lace and corsets.

"So, not bad for our first team-up, eh?" She extended a hand wrapped in a fingerless leather glove. "I'm Grimalkin, with the Interceptors. Nice to meecha."

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The theives cursed, but only caught a glance from Etain and the former cat before quieting. The officers thanked Grim, though didn't seem to really acknowledge Etain's presence, given it was not like they could. When the woman called Grimalkin extended her gloved hand Etain met it with with her own in white cotton and a smile,

"I am Etain,"

She thought for a second with the additional name the woman provided,

"I am with Claremont. It is very nice to meet one such as yourself, it surprised me when I saw you."

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"I am with Claremont. It is very nice to meet one such as yourself, it surprised me when I saw you."

At the mention of the high school for metahumans, a dozen different expressions flickered over Grim's face, including recognition, interest, amusement and guilt.

"Oh wow, you're one of those crazy youngins from across the river, huh? Heh, you kids today, with your powers and your rap music..." Suddenly her face clouded with concern. "Wait, what do you mean, 'one such as yourself'? And when exactly did you see me?"

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She was curious what rap music had to do with anything, but focused more because she said something that seemed off.

"I saw you in a store and than followed the trail. It surprised me when I did, I have not seen a,"

She took a second to remember how she was suppose to word it. She had promised not to give out any specifics,

"A resident from my home since I arrived."

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"I saw you in a store and than followed the trail. It surprised me when I did, I have not seen a,"

"A resident from my home since I arrived."

Grim's eyes went wide, not in an entirely friendly way, and she took a step closer to Etain.

"Whoa, whoa, back up a sec; are you telling me that you're fae? As in from Faerie?"

Color rose up in her cheeks and the tips of her pointed ears.

"How did you follow me when I was faded out?"

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She involutarily took a step back, if only because while she might invade other's space freely she herself found it a bit uncomfortable.

"No, I am human. I cannot answer your second question properly, I have given my word not to give specifics about my home. Though I am not from my home, I was taken from here past remembering and returned under unusual circumstances."

The next question was easier so she let out a breath,

"Beings of magic cannot hide their forms from my eyes, nor can beings who interact or use it and your form especially magical."

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"No, I am human. I cannot answer your first question properly, I have given my word not to give specifics about my home. Though I am not from my home, I was taken from here past remembering and returned under unusual circumstances."

"Beings of magic cannot hide their forms from my eyes, nor can beings who interact or use it and your form especially magical."

The masked shapeshifter considered the younger woman coolly, taking all of her in with her dark brown eyes.

"Huh...in a weird way, it sounds like we're polar opposites. I was born human, but at the moment of my death I was resurrected as a faerie beyond the Veil, in the Court of the Winter Queen." Grim stroked her chin thoughtfully. "So you're a changeling, huh? Very interesting."

She looked over her shoulder across the parking lot towards the rest of the mall, then looked back at Etain. "You wanna get a cup of coffee?" She jerked a thumb back towards the holiday shoppers. "There's a great little cafe near here, and I have like a thousand questions, of which I'm guessing you will answer maybe five, tops."

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She let out a light laugh,

"I see you have indeed dealed with beings of my home."

Looking over the woman, she smiled once more,

"Changeling is a strange descriptions considering my return but it does fit. Coffee would be nice, since my home is always warm I refer to stay so. Would you like to change back first though? I do not know, but your attire seems strange for getting coffee."

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