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Supercape

Making a Splash (IC)

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30th April 2010

Professor Quentin Quill was taking a stroll by the banks of Lake MacKenzie. He had been in Freedom City for over a year now, but this was his first trip to Port Regal and the lake. He never seemed to have the time these days: sure the chair at the university was fairly quiet. But then there was all the work hie did at the Lab as Supercape. And of course, all the work he did as the hero Supercape.

He paused by one of the cafe's. He had struck beverage gold today, and managed to get a very acceptable mug of Early Grey. And a nice packet of biscuits. The weather was good, and the Lake looked magnificent.

His moment of quiet repose was brought to an end. The scream of a woman, followed by shouts of alarm and "call the police!". He looked around but there was little to see - waves of fog rolled forth from the lake, obscuring all in its path.

At least I can change without anyone noticing... though Supercape, as the fog rolled over him and his Tweed Jacket and casual clothes sparkled into the Blue and White costume of Supercape.

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Gabriel was enjoying the weather on this day; it was finally starting to feel like late spring, rather than late winter. The cool breeze, the clear sky, the fog rolling over the Port Regal area.

"Wait, fog? Halfway through the day? I think we're talking about shenanigans here."

He flew down until he was about 20 feet above the top of the fog cloud. He cleared his throat, then suddenly, everyone within the area of fog could hear him as if he were sitting next to them, speaking in a normal tone of voice in a quiet room.

"Everyone, please stay calm. Try not to run. If you're in a car, please stop it quickly but safely, then put it in park and turn it off. Anyone on foot, try to get inside a building. If you can't get inside a building, try to find a wall and stay there. Failing that, just sit down until the authorities can assist us. Thank you for your patience."

He looked around, frowning. His next words would likely only be heard by his own ears.

"Now where's the guy playing fog machine?"

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Supercape heard Gabriel quite clearly through the fog. There was something quite beautiful about the tones, too - almost unearthly. With the lake and the fog, he could not help but remember the tale of Odysseus and the Sirens.

"I say" he replied, "anyone out there? what's going on?"

He could hardly see the hand in front of him, let alone anything else. Instead, he drew his attention to the streams of esoteric particles that flew across the universe and let them do the work. Supercape was a living sensor, and rarely needed his eyes. Photons were only one particle, and he could see almost all of them.

There were several figures around, most of them (he guessed) the civillians that had been caught in the fog. He hoped there wouldn't be a panic: heaven help them if people tried to Drive under these circumstances. However, they seemed remarkably calm: no doubt the effect of the wonderfully soothing voice he had heard.

He could sense the shape of the speaker, and headed towards him, arms outstretched. At least, he hoped it was the speaker - whilst he could clearly sense the mass and shape of the figure, there was no way of knowing if it was the speaker: or indeed what the speaker was...

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Gabriel managed to hear someone calling out in the fog. He redirected his voice's range to generally hit that person and the area around him. It was strange, because it sounded like the voice was getting closer.

"Sir, I understand your concern, but you need to try to take shelter. I can't comfort everyone right now; I have to figure out what's going on. Just hang on and some other heroes should be here soon."

He frowned as he looked about, trying to see if he could see...anything, really. This fog couldn't be natural, which meant someone meant for mischief to start happening.

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Other heroes?

Ah! some good news! one of Freedom Cities heroes already here.

"Good to hear your voice" he replied. "I am actually one of aforementioned heroes" he said. I guess I am by now he thought to himself.

It wasn't long before he floated up to Gabriel. The guy had to be wearing white didn't he? perfect camouflage for the fog. Well, that might help them, he supposed.

When they were close enough to bang heads, Gabriel's face swam into view. Damn that fog is thick he mused - nothing natural about that. The head in front of him was noble, elegant and somehow reassuring. The speaker no doubt.

"The names Supercape" he said, grasping his comrades hand and shaking it warmly. "Can you see through this fog?"

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"Gabriel. Fleur de Joie and Miss Americana have told me a bit about you; glad to be working with you. No, I can't. Can't see through it, and while my hearing's decent, I can't use sonar or anything like that."

He frowned in thought for a moment.

'I ought to see if I can do that one of these days...No time for that!'

He gestured at the fog not far below their feet.

"I don't have anything that can really clear this away. Any ideas on your end?"

He frowned and looked around.

"Also, is it just me, or do you hear thunder?"

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"What's that? Thunder?"

Supercape strained his hearing, but couldn't detect anything but the gentle lapping of the Lake.

There was some peculiar energy structure in the middle of the Lake, although not something he was familiar with. Powerful electricity - it wasn't a thunderstorm (that would be impossible on a lake.. but it could potentially sound like one.

"No, I can't hear anything..." he replied. "But I can sense something powerful in the middle of the lake. Electrical, and very powerful. Perhaps that's what you heard?" he tapped his head knowingly at Gabriel "the old noddle is full of stuff, I can pick up energy readings".

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"Most thunder is the result of lightning. So yeah, that sounds like a reasonable assumption. Hm. Perhaps we should fly up a bit more, get right above that spot, them maybe try to clear just a little bit of space? I'm not sure how much help I could be there, but I've taken to understand you can do all sorts of interesting things with your powers."

He frowned.

"So, we've got very atypical fog, plus lightning or some other form of electricity gathering over the lake. Sounds like a weather controller..."

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"Excellent! and how is your vision? regular or super?"

I think I will need reading glasses myself soon sprang the idle thought as he asked. He didn't need good eyesight himself of course, but all his super senses would not help him read.

The fog was not only dense, but huge. It covered the entire Lake, and beyond. It was a good thirty feet from the ground before it showed any signs of thinning, and twice that before a reasonable line of sight could be had.

He surveyed the vast ocean of fog in front of them. Nothing evident from this point, but he could still pick up the energy discharge near the centre.

"Over there" he pointed once Gabriel had risen. "Its in the centre, if we get closer maybe we can see..."

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"I have some night vision goggles I bring out on occasion, but other than that, my vision's normal. No x-rays or microscopes in my eyeballs."

He gave his fellow hero a wan smile at that, before looking in the indicated direction. He studied it for a moment, before giving up on seeing details at this distance.

"I'll try to get a bit more height; if nothing else, I can zoom down quick enough it shouldn't be an issue. Don't know if you want to stick to the edge of the cloud, or go higher yourself. Just thinking it might be good not to bunch up too much."

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"Good thinking" replied Supercape, hovering. There was no wind, and to his mild vexation, his cape hung limply and without splendour.

"I'll keep close to the ground myself. If you take the higher ground, so to speak, that might suit you better. "

"How far though?" he said, drifting off. "I mean, if we get to parted how do we communicate? do you have any radio or something? I can transmit quite easily if I concentrate. "

He paused. "And whilst we are about it - what can you do, other than talk with a tounge made from solid silver?"

He still remembered Gabriels lilting tones. Politicians around the world would kill for half of Garbriels presence. And if they did, they could probably get away with the killing...

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"Just the two ears God gave me. I can talk to you out to a fair distance...Well, unless you can talk straight to a cell phone, I guess. I do have one of those on me."

He reached into a pocket in his voluminous coat and pulled out a fairly simple-looking cell phone.

"Set up especially for "business" calls."

At Supercape's final question, he just gave a small, knowing smile.

"Miss Americana has the whole list of items, but in short, I can manipulate sonic energy and vibrations to achieve a wide range of offenseive, less-than-lethal effects. The gift of blarney is just one such manifestation, as is my ability to fly. Now, let's go. Time's wasting."

With that, he took to a higher altitude, moving towards the center of the lake in fairly rapid order.

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"Don't stray too far then" smiled Supercape. "From what you say, you can probably shout loud enough for half the continent to hear, or burst my eardrums. Talking back to you might be more tricky!"

The two heroes swooped towards the centre of the lake. As they approached, from their respective angles, an intemittent flashing light could be seen through the fog.

"Well, look at that!" shouted Supercape. The electrical discharge was bright enough to see, and his extraordinary senses could easily pick up the massive arc that was being unleashed. If he had to guess, it was some kind of metal spire on the ground that was pulsing with power. He could understand most physics, but he was no engineer. Building these devices was largely theoretical for him.

"Cant see much more..." he shouted at Gabriel. "I think we need to get down closer to have a look. Any way to clear the fog?"

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"At some point, maybe I'll hear as far as I talk. We'll have to see."

With a low hum, Gabriel gained a bit more altitude, trying to follow Supercape as well as he could. He was trusting this fellow a lot, but Fleur and Miss A had nothing but good things to say about him.

'Well, they said he was English. But no one's perfect, I suppose.'

With a smirk, he flew on, slowing to a near-hover when he heard Supercape's shout. Indeed, even his regular eyes could see the energy flickering at the heart of the lake. He frowned, then spoke with his strange form of ventriloquism.

"Not without flattening the whole area, and even that's not a sure thing. Most likely it'd just move aside for a moment, then reform. Too much risk if there are bystanders down there."

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"Guess we are going in blind then..." sighed Supercape as he descended into the Midst. The dense fog was no match for his extraordinary senses, and he could soon find the device: a 3 metre high, thin, metal construction. Every now and again it pulsed with a huge arc of electricity, the water around the lake steaming as it did - presumable that was the cause of the fog?

The device itself seemed to be built on a relatively shallow part of the lake, in the middle. Fairly crude support structures at the base elevated it to its current position.

"Some kind of mechanical contraption..." yelled Supercape at Giain above. "I don't know what it is, or does, but I am inclined to disable it..."

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Gabriel made a few circles of the center at fairly high speed, before slowing down some to quickly drop down to the same altitude as Supercape, before getting close enough he didn't need to shout or use ventriloquism. He lacked the other's enhanced senses, but even then the lighting was visible at this distance. Getting closer, the tower itself started to loom in the ground-level clouds.

"I've got no idea what it does either. But I'm fine with that. You care if I turn it into crumbled scrap metal?"

Even as he asked, energy was building up around his hands and forearms.

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Supercape smiled warmly. "Be my guest!" he replied. "A blast of radiation on this thing might make it explode or something equally nasty. "

Unlikely he acknowledged to himself, but a straightforward sonic blast from his companion was probably a safer bet. True, he could turn the device to gas, or disintegrate it, or just melt it. But the kinetic power of sound waves was a more direct and sensible route.

As a precaution, he put his hands to his ears. He hoped Gabriel would be relatively precise with his voice power, but he never liked being deafened. He remembered the difficulty he had with Dragonfly and Etain when an explosion had deadened his senses.

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Gabriel moved a bit closer, minding the lightning arcs as he did so. He seemed to be evaluating the device, judging its construction, deciding where to strike. Finally, he nodded and backed up a bit. The hum over his hands got a bit louder, but it wasn't worse than the sound an electric razor might make.

"Just give me a minute here..."

With that, he unleashed three quick blasts of energy. At first glance, they did nothing as they struck the metal of the structure. But if Supercape took a moment to examine it, he'd notice the integrity of the metal was greatly compromised in that location. Gabriel didn't give it much time to sit there, though; he followed the previous attacks up with three more, these composed of regular concussive force. It utterly shattered every point it struck.

Ironically, the metal of the structure itself made more noise than his attacks.

"Tim-ber!"

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Supercape felt the surge of electricity as the structure collapsed. It was, indeed, very much like felling a tree. The shattered remains tipped to one side, and sunk in the lake, fizzing sparks and electrical arcs as it did so.

"Nice work!" said Supercape, taking his hands away from his ears. He was relieved not to have been deafened. Gabriel did seem to have exquisite control over his vocal powers.

As the structure died, so did the fog. No immediately, but it became apparent that the mist was generated by the mysterious artefact. It started to thin and roll back from the epicentre.

"Hold on a moment..." frowned Supercape. He could detect another major electrical surge. From deep down in the lake.

"There's something down there... moving up fast..." he shouted.

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Gabriel flexed his fingers for a moment, shaking out imaginary cramps. He then made a show of dusting his hands off.

"Nothing to it. I've had some practice with that trick for a while; first tried it on some over-sized robot made by "Doctor" Otaku. That was a nasty little episode."

He sighed in relief as the fog started to clear. Of course, then Supercape noticed something in the water. Gabriel looked, but saw nothing at the moment.

"Let's get some altitude, maybe?"

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From the depths of the water arose... well, it was hard to describe.

More water?

A human shaped watery form would be more accurate. A human shaped watery form crackling with electrical energy, and arc's of blue-white lightning would be more accurate still.

"Prepare to die, fools! Nobody will stop my feeding! muahahaha!" came the faint voice, all bubbles and froth in its tone.

As well as could be determined from the figures watery features, it looked both angry and not a little bit insane.

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Gabriel immediately gave himself more altitude.

"I was expecting someone else, really. We already have a few crazy weather-controlling types in this city. Now we're throwing in an electrical water-man? I think this guy needs to sleep the crazy off."

Suddenly, his right arm lashed out, and a concentrated wave of sound blurred through the air, striking hard and fast against the watery foe of the two noble superheroes.

"Let's take this punk down."

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GM,

The mighty sonic blast almost ripped the watery beast in twain.

"AGraghlllgh!" came the spluttered cry from the watery beast as it sank to what could best be described as its knees...

"I can't fail!" it wailed, as it rippled, trying to reform itself. "I am the new form of life, the next step! Your disgusting human bodies, full of carbon..."

It paused, as it tried to stand.

"...they are history! I will transform you all... I will... rule you all! muahaha!"

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Supercape felt the drizzle of water all around him as the soundwave exploded into the creature. The whole lake seemed to ripple with the force of Garbriel's voice. It would shatter concrete or steel without effort, he judged.

To be frank, he was astounded the creature could do anything, or was still in once piece. Even so, the might voice of Gabriel had reduced it to a quivering wreck on its knees.

He wasn't entirely sure what this new life form was, or where it had come from... but on the other hand, its intention to transform humankind into watery slaves was hardly to be condoned.

He focussed his mind, releasing a powerful burst of microwaves that bathed the creature. It was having a hard time keeping itself together after Gabriels shout, and the creature steamed and disintegrated before his eyes.

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Gabriel hovered there, arm still extended, a curious expression plastered on his face. After several long moments, the arm fell to his side, as he tilted his head in confusion.

"Did...our foe just turn into steam and blow away in the wind after proclaiming it was the next phase of life on the planet? Huh. That was refreshingly short, really. Most fights typically involve at least a bit more effort. Not that I'm truly complaining, mind. Just seems odd."

He dropped altitude until he was hovering about even with Supercape, his gaze wandering around the area as he spoke.

"So. I hear tell you're a bit of a scientist as well as a superhero? Must be interesting trying to juggle both. I mean, most of us juggle a job and heroing, but still."

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