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Supercape

In the Blink of an Eye (IC)

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Supercape sipped on his Earl Grey and played on the keyboard. He was down in the Particle Smasher of the Lab, and - as usual, was enjoying every minute with his toy.

Squinting, he noticed a few isolated ping's in the readout. Something he was at lost to explain.Something temporal, spatial, and, well other stuff.

Other stuff interested him greatly. Because other stuff was stuff he didn't know about. Peering over the readouts and plugging numbers into the computer, he concluded that the vague oddities in the readouts were not caused locally. Something was up in Freedom City!

He couldn't do much from here, but his own uncanny senses could. Sitting back and closing his eyes, he opened up a quantum entanglement in the city, and started to search for any unusual electromagnetic disturbances...

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Meanwhile

The supercrook known as Downtime laughed as he walked past another Casino guard. The amazing time belt was working wonderfully. The guards and casino patrons were all frozen. Time was frozen in fact. If he looked very carefully, his surroundings were moving - but slowly, oh so slowly.

The casino's were perfect! He just waltzed in, took the money, and waltzed out again. The security on the safes was good, but he had all the time in the world to crack them. And of course, he would pick up any expensive jewels from the rich ladies on his travels.

So, the casino's knew they had a thief, and tightened security. They were panicking, but powerless.

It was perfect! perfect!

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Wisp enjoyed her "jog", a combination of patrolling, parkour and teleportation, along the rooftops of Freedom City. The wind blowing her snow white hair back while her eyes kept a keen lookout for trouble and she found it. One of the casinos seemed to be in the midst of an emergency of some sort. Being the kind of girl willing to lend a hand, or a fist as the situation dictates, she altered her course and came to a stop a few yards from one of the private security guards the casino employed.

Walking slowly, with her hands at her sides, palms showing she asked, "Is there a problem? I heard the alarm while on patrol."

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GM

The security guard took off his cap and scratched his head. He looked slightly out of shape, but perhaps a little smarter than the average rent a cop. Behind him came the shouts of furious customers, and the desperate plea's for calm amongst equally distressed casino workers.

"There's been a robbery, Miss. Safes was broken into, and cleaned out. Some of the ladies here are also missing rings, necklaces, and jewels. The pricey stuff, you know how we can get some fancy types here, willing to blow some cash for excitement. Well, they are all in uproar now, its getting ugly in there. "

He sighed deeply. "We are at a loss. Called the cops, of course, but they are dealing with another Casino robbery down the road. Someone is robbing the whole business dry today. It beats me how they are doing it. Its like its happening... I don't know... in the Blink of an Eye!"

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Looking past the guard, Wisp tried to find the source of the alarm. While she couldn't find an actual person, she did see an odd blur moving through the crowd, one woman's rather glittery necklace vanished as it passed her. With an annoyed growl and an effort of will, she vanished from the doorway and appeared just to the right of the blur's path, her right arm held out in a clothesline.

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GM

Bang! the arrogant confidence of Downtime just evaporated.

The blur stopped, and for a brief moment, the time-dodging villain could be seen shaking his head. He had spun around head over heels from the force of the blow.

"Wha...?" he mumbled. "Where did that come from?" he clearly had anticipated the instant and precise teleportation of Wisp. He could see people coming from a mile off, but he had no defence against a teleporter who shifted from one place to another!

He rubbed his jaw, wondering if it was broken. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, he darted off again, a barely perceptible blur. Around him, bags of swagger and loot lay scattered, dropped by the battered Downtime, and testifying to the force of Wisp's blow.

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Shaking her arm she let out a grunt. "Wasn't really expecting that to work," she muttered under her breath as her target was already getting back to his feet and making for the exit.

Wisp rushed out the doors behind the blur of Downtime's time-sped form. Seeing the busy street and no sign of a chronological disturbance, Vicky began searching for the subtler signs of a trail. A few minutes after she began, the sight of bills gently moving in the wind and a few footprints in the usual back-ally muck lead her to a closed warehouse, still in quality condition. Oh yeah, that isn't suspicious at all, she thought and began a check for traps while remaining as quiet as possible.

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As she was searching, there was a wobble in the space besides her, and after a period of manic oscillation and collapse, Supercape appeared from it.

"Afternoon!" he said with a jaunty wave to Wisp. He held out his hand in greeting. "Supercape is the name? and you are...?"

He paused, taking in what Wisp was doing.

"Tracking whatever caused the disruption in the m-brane continuum I expect... whatever it was, it was pretty subtle. I only picked it up due to some quantum irregularities in particle disctribution back at the lab. "

He turned his attention back to Wisp. Whatever it was, it was gone now, and he couldn't make head or tail of it.

"Any clues? what happened here?"

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As she was searching, there was a wobble in the space besides her, and after a period of manic oscillation and collapse, Supercape appeared from it.

"Afternoon!" he said with a jaunty wave to Wisp. He held out his hand in greeting. "Supercape is the name? and you are...?"

He paused, taking in what Wisp was doing.

"Tracking whatever caused the disruption in the m-brane continuum I expect... whatever it was, it was pretty subtle. I only picked it up due to some quantum irregularities in particle disctribution back at the lab. "

He turned his attention back to Wisp. Whatever it was, it was gone now, and he couldn't make head or tail of it.

"Any clues? what happened here?"

Stopping her search she turned and while shaking the offered hand she nodded, "I'm called Wisp."

She listened to what she could call technobabble, not exactly Star Trekian in quality but a few mentions of chronotons would do it, come from Supercape she answered, "Well, somebody started screwing with civilians in a couple casinos while I was patroling/jogging. I clotheslined the guy, which caused him to drop most or all of the loot before taking off in a blur. I managed to find enough of a trail to lead me here. Now, I'm looking to make sure he doesn't have the place trapped before I head inside to try and arrest him."

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"Ah yes, good thinking!" replied Supercape, raising and rotating his finger in encouragement. "Splendid!"

"Sounds like somebody is acting with great speed - side-stepping out of the normal time flow, if you will. Which means..." he furrowed his brow. "It's going to be a devil to catch him. Need to catch him unawares...hmmm. I'm not much good at that kind of thing, to be honest. "

His huge cape, and bright colours, were, it must be said, indicative that the stealthy approach was not a natural one for Supercape.

"However!" he continued. "I may yet be of some assistance. Do you have a radio by any chance?"

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"I'm afraid not. My 'team' and I have some equipment shopping to do still...," Wisp muttered, feeling like an amateur.

Looking over Supercape's costume she nodded at her own red and white costume. "Oddly enough, despite my costume color choices, I've actually got a bit of practice at the whole remaining unseen thing. I could slip inside, maybe try and knock him out quickly. I already gave him a solid clothesline back at the casino, I think he literally flipped when he slammed into my arm."

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Supercape arched his eyebrow. He was no expert in stealth, of course, but it didnt strike him that a red and white costume was ideal camouflage. The woman must be really talented in creeping around.

"Well, sounds good to me..." he said.

He pulled out his mobile phone and gave it to Wisp. "Here you are..." he said. "The, er... the cape phone!"

It looked remarkably like a normal, albeit good quality mobile phone, albeit in matching blue and white colours.

He closed his eyes, and without moving his lips, the phone sprang to life, with a distorted, flat, but still comprehensible voice.

"See? I can communicate to you on this whilst I remote view the place..."

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Wisp slipped the phone onto her belt, nodding her thanks. "Well, with that covered, I'm going to slip down that ventilation shaft, see what I can find."

Wisp moved over to the indicated vent grating. Her fingers closed around the slats and with a jerk, ripped it out its frame. Looking at the wall and the now scrap metal in her grasp she sighed, Shoddy maintenance. Very sloppy Guy, very sloppy. Silently she slipped into the shaft, wriggling down the tin until she got to a point where she could see inside.

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"Hello!" came the scratchy inhuman voice from the 'Superphone'

"I say, can you hear me?" in continued. "Nice work down the hatch, so to speak. Good show. Now, I think I can detect Downtime just twenty yards from you. Medium sized room, two doors, one window, and ventilation shaft overhead. He is sitting down, or lying. "

He paused. "At least, I presume its him. I can only detect radar signatures. Man-shape, lots of odd energy floating around. Its a pretty good guess..."

"And the room seems full of boxes, crates, and bags. No idea what's in them".

"Anyway, for the moment, he looks stationary. Licking his wounds. Unconscious for all I know. Best be careful however. From the sounds of it, he could make his escape in the blink of an eye"

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Wisp held the phone against her ear, adjusting her hair so the white locks wouldn't be pressed between the plastic and her skin. In a whisper she answered, "I can hear you. I can see a trail of dropped swag on the floor but not him. I'm going to observe for a few more minutes. If he moves, keep me posted. Until then, I'll get to know what a TV dinner feels like."

Holding completely still, Wisp waited patiently, her eyes and ears keen for any noises.

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GM

Wisp could not see anything, but she did hear some cussing that wafted through the shaft she was crawling in.

"Damn broad!" came the voice, after the expletives had died down. "How did she swipe me? Came out of nowhere! I don't understand it! Nearly bust my head open with that fancy move. Gotta be more careful..."

A few groans punctuated the furious monologue.

"Where's that asprin?"

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Vanishing from her hiding spot she reappeared in a puff of her smoke behind Downtime. "In the Blackstone medical wing," Wisp said before clocking him in the back of the head, following up with several more strikes in the kidneys.

Watching the criminal drop like a sack of potatoes Wisp pulled out the phone, "You still there? He's down. Like a drunken promdate. Any suggestions on how to handle him until the police get here?"

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"I think I may have a solution" came the crackled voice.

"And good job,by the way..."

With the 'normal' distortion of time and space, Supercape reappeared next to the teleporting victor. "Aha!" he proclaimed, as he saw the unconscious down time.

"As fast as he is" he continued "it doesn't appear he can teleport, or is super strong, or anything of that sort. So, all we require is a cage!"

He stretched out his arm and furrowed his brow. With a click of his fingers and a stare into space, a sphere of semi-translucent crystal-like substance appeared around Downtime.

Supercape gave it a tap with his finger. It chimed slightly.

"Quantum matter" he said. "My own invention. Stronger than steel and twice as pretty!"

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"Very impressive," Wisp said as the villain was encased. She pulled the phone he'd converted out and passed it back to him. "I took the liberty of dialing my own phone so you'll have my number if you ever find yourself needing a hand," she said with a smile. "You mind watching him? I know where there are some conveniently placed officers who would be more than happy to place this criminal under arrest."

In a plume of her red and white smoke, she was gone. A few moments later, she was back with a pair of cops. "Again, no hard feelings officer. My fault for sneaking up on you like that. Besides, the bruise is already almost gone," she said smiling.

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"Very good, officers!" Said Supercape as the Police looked bemusedly at Downtime in the sphere of Quantum Material.

"I have, err... put him in a sphere, for, err, ease of transportation. You can, um, roll him to Blackstone..."

He coughed and shuffled his feet.

"That was my brilliant plan, all along of course!" he smiled helpfully.

The officers had brought out their handcuffs, but obviously could not use them. Being pragmatic sorts, they read the crook his rights, and with a thank you to Wisp and Supercape, they wheeled the man out of the building.

"Nifty little trick, that teleportation of yours. I can transport myself like that, but its rather bothersome, rather clumsy. You seem to do it in a jiffy, like taking a little step! how do you do it?"

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"It's hard to explain. I just kind of think about it and poof, a couple clouds of multi-colored smoke I'm there. Granted I can only get a couple hundred yards out of one jump but short of being Johnny Rocket, how many people can move across three football fields in seconds?" Wisp explained, trying her best to answer honestly and informatively.

"I can say for the split second I'm removed from reality, it's like stepping through a bead curtain that's been left where a could wind could keep it chilled."

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"Lucky you" said Supercape, somewhat jealous. "I have to shifted quantum events, calculate entanglement of two points on 11 dimensional m-brane space, and then fold the p tunnelled over q squared..."

"*ahem*"

"yes, well, suffice to say, its not as easy as just thinking you are there and its all fine and dandy. How does it actually work.. that's the question?"

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"That's a really good question," Wisp admitted. She had no real clue how it worked, if she tore realty a new hole every time she teleported or if each time he conscious mind was sent to a new body while her leaving form was broken down into smoke. Stop it, you're thinking too hard on this. It works, that's what really matters.

"If I had anything more than a smidgen of knowledge of the arcane, I'd say 'magic' and rest on that. But, I don't. I dunno, maybe sometime I can drop by the lab and we can try some tests?"

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"If I had anything more than a smidgen of knowledge of the arcane, I'd say 'magic' and rest on that. But, I don't. I dunno, maybe sometime I can drop by the lab and we can try some tests?"

"Arcane?" replied Supercape with a hint of cynicism. "Well, I'm not certain the Lab can help you there. But don't be in any hurry to label things magic. To often that word gets bandied around when it just means 'I don't understand it'..."

He softened a bit.

"Pardon me, my own view is that magic is just science we don't understand. Everything is understandable eventually. Even what people call magic has its own rules - its just that the rules underpinning the rules haven't been quantified yet. So we are left with, well, hocus pocus stuff really. Not that I understand it. But one day we will. "

"The Lab, however, well, we can pretty much track any thing scientifically understandable. And you are more than welcome to come if you want to have a look. We have had a few students from Claremont anyway, just for education. If you want to have an examination of your powers, all the more reason!"

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