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Supercape

Getting the Story (IC)

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Professor Quentin Quill watered his office plant. It was the only one, and he kept it well maintained. Usually he wouldn't have made the effort, but this was Stesha's gateway to his office should she need it.

Ping! went his uncanny senses. Something pretty major and pretty quantum near the centre of Freedom City.

With a sparkle, his tweed Jacket and clothes, all made of unstable quantum molecules, instantly transformed into the magnificent blue and white costume of Supercape. With a moments concentration, he linked up to the centre of the disturbance, and with the customary wobbling of space and time, he teleported.

Right in the middle of the street, a steel-blue space craft. Or at least, it looked like a space craft. A large circular disc, straight out of a B-Movie.

A ramp decended, and three figures stepped out. They were blue skinned, and as broad as they were tall. Humanoid in shape, with white eyes and arms as thick as tree trunks. All were dressed in suits, or at least, close aproximation to suits, and ties. And all carried a thick notebook and pen in their hand.

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Brian Harris had no business being out in Wading Way. The city's business center was as foreign to him as the dark side of the moon; but it so happened that he had been flying across campus and not looking where he was going, and kinda sorta crashed through the teachers dorms. As punishment, he had been assigned a paper on the city's public transport and was riding the FCTA's elevated rail system, hoping for inspiration. When he saw the silvery disc descended over the city, his heart actually leapt. Here, at least, was something he could do!

The teenager stood up abruptly and moved to the window, moving less-than-tactfully through the crowds. The nearest window had specially designed handles at either corner. They were probably meant for emergency exits or something, but the teen saw them as an easy and quick exit. The folks leaning on the window probably didn't see things that way, but a quick flare of his force field created some elbow room. The teen turned the knobs and pulled the window in; there was surprisingly little air current, at least until Brian hopped outside.

The young hero darted into the air, spotting the flying saucer again just as it touched down. He zipped over but stayed in the air, watching the strange creatures file out carefully.

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GM

Each "spaceman" had, on closer inspection, a metal band on their right forearm, which was clearly highly advanced technology. Its use became immediately apparent. When the "spacemen" talked in a deep, rumbling, and totally alien language, the wristband flashed, and spat out an automatic translation in a rather stiff, tiny, voice.

"Rather boring planet" said number 1.

"Agreed, one. What's the story here?" said number 2.

"Nothing as far as I can see, two" finished number 3. "Look at these natives. Puny little things. I bet they can barely lift ten times there body weight? huah huah huah..."

The crowd had, inevitably, gathered. They didn't get too close, but already shouts of "We come in peace!" and "welcome to planet Earth!" had started.

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Glowstar circled the area in the air, watching the aliens watch the crowds. Coming to the conclusion that heroing wasn't all about blasting folks that wore their underpants on the outside, he set down inside the circle of civilians. He was wearing a plain green shirt and jeans, but he trusted that his glowing force field would command some respect. "Hello there!" he called out, raising his hand in greeting. "Welcome to Earth, and to Freedom City. You can call me Glowstar. Do you, ah, gentlebeings need some help?"

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GM

Welcome to Earth, and to Freedom City. You can call me Glowstar. Do you, ah, gentlebeings need some help?"

"Yeah" said number 1. "This planet is dull! we need something exciting for the press back home. Where's the action? Wheres the Story???"

Number two wandered off too a taxi, picking it effortlessly and shaking it like it was a baby's rattle. The shaken driver and passenger fell (or jumped) out, taking a nasty fall to the road.

"What this?" number 2 enquired. "Do you live in these? they are awfully fragile..." he started bending the taxi in two and eventually ripped in half casually.

The police had arrived, and stared at the three alien reporters, open jawed, wondering what to do.

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With a wobble in the time-space continuum, Supercape and his magnificent cape appeared in the centre of the road. The crowd, somewhat shocked by the torn up taxi, had pulled back as one. The shouts of "welcome!" and "peace!" had become muted and faint.

Supercape turned to face the three aliens.

"Errr..." he started, before shaking himself. "Yes... welcome to Earth bold visitors. How may we assist you?"

Out of the corner of his eye he spied the remains of the taxi. That doesn't bode too well he told himself, but leapt to no conclusions. He also spied Glowstar - a hero he had not met before, and gave the youth a friendly wave, floating his way to the luminous hero.

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Glowstar's eyes bugged out when he saw the alien casually lift up the car and start tearing it apart like wet paper. He waved a hand vaguely at the police, shouting out something about a perimeter, then dashed over to the taxi. He flew up into the air until he was in the alien's line of sight. "No, this is not a human domicile. It's a car, and you're tearing it to pieces! Listen, if you'll put it down I can... I can give you the tour! Of the city!"

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GM

"Tour of the City, huh?" queried number 1, who loosely speaking appeared to be the leader, or at least the brains of the trio (although it didn't look like it was particularly stiff competition).

"What do you think, guys?" he asked the other two. Number two had pulled off a fire hydrant and was rattling it around. It looked like he had a thing for dismantling things and peering inside them. The curious one.

"Yeah, sounds good" replied number two, putting an eye inside the crushed hydrant and getting rather wet from the water.

"Whatever" sounded off number three, who looked the most bored and, curiously enough, the most malign. Number three kept a beady eye on the crowd and every now and again started forward menacingly. He seemed to get a kick from the crowds scared reaction.

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Supercape floated up to Glowstar and whispered in the young heroes ear.

"Nice talking" he started off, keeping his extraordinary senses attuned to the three aliens. "...but are you sure that's wise?. They seem a bit, err... unpredictable to say the least. "

He gulped as he saw number two rip off a manhole cover and fling it several hundred yards. It collided with the side of a skyscraper and tore right into it.

"Oh goodness" he exclaimed. "Well, at least we can help try and minimise the damage...where too first? somewhere unpopulated?"

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Glowstar winced as he watched the manhole cover arc through the air and impact with a crash of breaking glass. "Somewhere uninhabited," he muttered. "Lonely Point, maybe? The naval base?" The young hero shook his head. "I don't know, the state park? Maybe the Sentry Statue?"

He turned to the aliens and motioned to their ship. "Okay, back in the air! Follow me and we can get this tour started!" He walked back to the uniformed police officers and caught one by the arm. "Can I get a radio or something? If this turns south, I don't know if I'll have time to call 911, you know?"

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GM

"Sure thing..." said the nearest police officer, handing a walkie talkie. His face was blank with shock. After all, it wasn't every day one saw three alien reporters land in the middle of ones beat. Police Academy didn't tend to cover those kind of things, even for Freedom City.

"Neat!" said number 2. "Lets go!" With a mighty leap powered by legs that were used to gravity ten times that of earth, he propelled himself to the top of the highest nearby building, crashing into a satellite dish as he did so. "Everything's so flimsy here!" he cursed, hurling the wrecked dish into the horizon.

"Well, we still need a story" mumbled number 1. "But a tour might be good way to start!"

Numbers 1 and 3 leapt into the air to follow Glowstar.

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Supercape leapt into the air besides Glowstar. The three visitors seemed to take precious little effort with regards to safety or property.

"Lonely point sounds the best bet" he whispered to Glowstar.

"Come on chaps!" he called out to the threesome. "We can take you to the best view in Freedom City... plenty to see there!" he beamed as cheerfully as he could.

He sped off to that isolated and unpopulated spot, the three reporters bouncing along to follow him, each landing leaving a wake of destruction.

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Glowstar gaped as Supercape led the aliens away. He'd suggested Lonely Point as a joke. He didn't want to think what would happen if these creatures, who were so blade about collateral damage, got close to the naval base. He barely remembered to grab the police radio before flying off after the group.

Glowstar caught up easily and tried to direct the aliens' landings onto parking lots and grassy medians, rather than busy streets or the tops of apartment blocks. He stopped them all well short of the actual Lonely Point, almost at the mouth of the South River. "This is Bayview, where we are right now. It's a pretty good place to live, more upper- than lower-middle class, ya know?" The hero chewed his lip and wracked his brain for something else to say about the sleepy little community. "Up in the Heights is Claremont Academy, but I think where we should go next is Lake MacKenzie."

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GM

"The Lake?" replied number 3 glumly, and kicked a chimney on the roof he landed. It flew a few hundred yards before crashing into another building.

"That sounds a bit dull..." he continued.

Number 1 seemed to share his counterparts view, although he wasn't quite so churlish about it. "What's so special about a Lake?" he asked Glowstar directly, his forehead furrowed. In all fairness, he continued scribbling on his notepad as Glowstar spoke - the audience had not been lost yet.

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Glowstar narrowed his eyes as the aliens continued their destructive journey through the city. "The Lake's pretty," he said. "And very uninhabited. Which means that I won't have to worry so much about you guys destroying someone's home or work. Speaking of which, you need to have more care with where you land. I protect this city, and you're endangering it. So be a little more careful, or there will be consequences."

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GM

"Pffft" said number 3, in a bit of a Sulk.

"Pretty?" sighed number 1. "Well, I suppose we should see what you organisms like to see. It might have cultural value. Explain why you are all so precious about this stuff. And so puny too. "

Signalling the other reporters, the three aliens started bouncing off with huge strides, Supercape following them from a distance, scratching his head at the sheer insanity of the situation.

"Forget their story, this is a quite a tale to tell my granchildren!" he commented to himself.

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The te4en hero threw Supercape a hopeless look. He couldn't understand why the senior hero was letting him take the lead on this, but he kept pushing on.

Glowstar led the thumping, leaping aliens to the lake, trying to shoot the difference between the Southside and Bayview neighborhoods, still focused on keeping the collateral damage to a minimum. Before long they were standing on the beach, looking at the boaters and being watched in turn. "This is Lake MacKenzie. One of the biggest lakes inn the city, so it's a very popular place to go for a day, you know?" He paused, and coughed into his fist. "So what do you guys do for recreation?"

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Supercape decided to step in. He was speculating, of course, but he presumed the three visitors came from a high gravity world. They were certainly built that way, and possessed extraordinary strength.

"How is the water on your world?" he asked politely. "Must be very still, I imagine. But, here, it flies everywhere! we have all sorts of fun with it..."

He sighed. He felt like a three your old boy as he splished the water this way and that. To add an extra fizz to the spectacle, he released a pulse of microwaves nearby, causing an eruption of steam from the lake.

"Pretty spectacular huh?" he added, giving Glowstar a look that screamed "show em' something!"

I feel like a child's entertainer he thought to himself. For a moment, he had the urge to change his costume into a clown.

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Glowstar caught Supercape's look and shrugged helplessly. His powers were certainly flashy, but he didn't think the aliens would enjoy seeing him create craters on the beach. "People like coming to Lake MacKenzie," he said, "especially in the summer months. They fish, or go out on a boat, or even just sit out on the beach for a while. It does folks good to get out of a the city for awhile. I, uh, take it that your species doesn't really go out for nature stuff?"

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GM

Number 1 started writing down Glowstars words. Whilst not exactly enthusiastic, he was paying attention.

Number 2 started kicking up some water half-heartedly, muttering to himself.

"Boo-rrrring!" complained number 3 as he looked around for something to do. It certainly seemed he was the youngest and least experienced of the three. With a slight grunt, he reached to the ground and pulled out a huge clump of earth and rock. He proceeded to hurl it with all his might upwards.

And what comes up, must come down...

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Glowstar stood back and shook his head at the three aliens. "You know, you guys are terrible reporters. You're supposed to be here, observing how humans live, but all you do is complain about how boring it is! A real reporter doesn't care if something's boring, they report what they see! The truth, man, no matter what!"

He craned his head back and stared at the clod of dirt, already at the limits of his vision. "If that comes down on a boat or something, I swear I'm gonna blast the heck out of you."

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Supercape looked up and gulped. There was indeed a small rowing boat in the Lake, right in the path of the falling rock.

He wasn't sure if it would hit or not, but he wasn't going to take a chance. He stretched out his arm and a floating sheet of quantum material formed over the boat. The large rock smashed into the sheet, tilting it, disintegrating, and bouncing off to cause a rain of rocks and soil around the centre of the lake.

Supercape wiped his brow and turned to Glowstar.

"I can't believe these guys!" he whispered. "I'm going to check on that ship we found, see if I can't work out whats going on? Can you babysit them for a bit? Do you have a radio communicator?"

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Glowstar tapped the police radio, now clipped to his belt. "I'll stay in contact," he said. The teen hero watched Supercape fly away, then turned his attention back to the alien 'reporters'. "So what exactly did you expect to see here? I mean, from your reactions I'm guessing Earth's a pretty boring place compared to the rest of the universe, so why come here?"

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GM

"So what exactly did you expect to see here? I mean, from your reactions I'm guessing Earth's a pretty boring place compared to the rest of the universe, so why come here?"

Number 3 turned to the other two. "Yeah, why did we come here. This place is as dull as hell! Should have gone to Ani-Earth!"

Number 1 gave him an unpleasant stare.

"'Cos that's our assignment. Go to Earth, bring back a story, said the Boss..." he put down his electronic notepad.

"And we gotta have a story. Or we are out of a Job. And now we are on the dullest planet in the multiverse!" he growled, angry - at himself and the universe.

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Supercape flew off until he was a safe distance, then distorted time and space as was his customary way, appearing bang outside the Alien Spaceship.

He tapped the ships outside - it was made of an undefinable metal, and his extraordinary senses could see it was perfused with some energy-field that made it almost impenetrable. Fortunately, however, it did not block his senses, and within a minute he had got the layout of the ship inside.

And once he had done that, he transported himself inside, to the control hatch. He was no technical wizard, but he was still a certified genius. As soon as he arrived he started looking at the controls and the computer readouts...

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