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Dr Archeville

Dok & Thrude & Jack & Willow [IC]

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Date: May 13th, 2011 (Friday), early afternoon. After Blades of Grass and Freyja's Day

Conditions: Mid-60s, humid, windy (~10mph), cloudy. Brief showers predicted for tomorrow, heavier ones Sunday.

Place: The Interceptors' Brownstone

Friday the 13th! An unlucky day for some, but not for the Interceptors, who made their own luck! And they were about to get two new members -- too bad no one knew about it!

Archeville teleported Thrude and himself to the Brownstone's secret basement control center, which had corridors leading off to the combat simulator, infirmary, personal rooms (for their heroic identities), and the garage/staging area. "," he explained after his very full stomach settled, in German since her English was still shaky and he wanted to make sure she knew what was what. "" he indicated a set of stairs going up to the ceiling, ""

I wonder if anyone else is here?

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The giantess known as Fulcrum was indeed in residence. Sounds of exertion emanated from the combat simulator. The main door sat open, and the console simply read "Strength Training". A holographic free weight set sat in the middle of the room, Fulcrum counting off repetitions from the bench. Judging from the weight settings, and her sheer size, the normal gym weights probably weren't going to cut it.

There she was, dressed in her usual blue-and-gold shorts/top, fighting against the evil Artificial Gravity of the combat simulator and making a good effort of it.

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Thrude squinted at the command consoles. Because of Doktor Archeville's rudimentary introduction to the modern world, the nature of the keyboards and monitors was no longer completely foreign to her. But it would take time for basic familiarity to give way to true proficiency. Her gaze raked the room for a few moments, until she found what she was looking for. [bg=#000080]_"Aha!"_[/bg] She held down the intercom button with her index finger and shouted into the microphone. The speakers squealed while she gauged the proper distance. Her words echoed across every room of the Brownstone.

[bg=#000080]_"Attention, Heroes of Midgard! It is I, Thrude, child of Thor Storm-King and Sif Harvest-Queen, grandchild of Odin All-Father and Gaea herself, the very ground upon which you tread, Chooser of The Slain, Daughter of Storms, Princess of Asgard! Lord Viktor Archeville has brought to my attention your courageous exploits and never-ending vigilance, and so I have come to join your crusade! I look forward to meeting all of my new comrades, and fighting to the death by your side to protect the people of this fair city and the realm at large from all who would do them harm!"_[/bg]

Outside the Brownstone, dark clouds gathered over the West End. The wind doubled in speed. Thunder rumbled across the sky, and a light mist began to fall.

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The swashbuckling swordsman known as Jack of all Blades nearly slipped as he stepped out of the shower onto the bathroom tile, short cropped dusty brown hair sending water droplets flying as the abrupt announcement over the apartment building's PA system caused him to whip his head about and catch himself on the curtain rod. Hastily grabbing a towel and wrapping it around his waist, he handed a second one to the shower's other, slender occupant. Looking toward the ceiling as thunder rolled above them, he arched one eyebrow. "What."

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Lynn sat straight up in bed, straight as a board; her pointed ears twitched slightly, and her eyes were wide. Then she reached down and vigorously shook her fiance Billy.

"Honey, wake up! I think we've been invaded by Vikings!" The changeling went all gooey as she squirted out of bed, reforming in a low crouch wearing her full costume. Alert for any sort of trouble, she called out to the team's AI. "Vince, what the hell is going on?"

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Archeville's eyes went wide and his jaw dropped at Thrude's eagerness.

I suppose that is one way to introduce oneself. And, really, it does fit perfectly to her psych profile.

"Not my first choice," he finally said, "but I suppose first impressions are the most important ones. Let me check the internal monitors," he approached one of the consoles, "and see who is to home. Ah, there is Fulcrum, in the gym, right down that hall!," he exclaimed, tone lifting as he indicated the northeast corridor.

Mmmm...

"And it is showing that Jack, Colt, and Grimalkin are all upstairs. Or, at least, their communicators are. Since this is really team business, I suppose we should all meet down here, rather than the 'civilian' housing upstairs." He drew out his Elektromagnetic Scrwdriver and adjusted it to override the microphone in Thrude's hand, so he could now speak through the Brownstone's PA system, "Ah, yes, Archeville here. Please come down to C&C to, ah, meet a new ally!"

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"Huh?" managed Fulcrum before she stopped mid rep and listened. Racking the weight, she hopped up and ambled toward the control center. Concern didn't register so much as confusion.

"Vince, is that you? Please tell me you're not wearing that horned helmet again," she called out as she approached the control center.

For all the vast databases at his disposal, Vince apparently favored subjects mentioned by his meatbag team mates/employees. Which made her regret chatting him up over the works of Richard Wagner. His first performance proved quite successful, but now that he branched into mythology proper, things were becoming weird.

Musings aside, Fulcrum poked her head into the control center as Viktor began his announcement, "Vince...," and she stopped dead in her tracks.

The giantess stepped inside and looked back-and-forth between Thrude and Viktor. She smiled, if a little bewildered by this woman/Viking/goddess, "Oh, hello. I'm Fulcrum, but most people call me Mona. Nice to meet you, Thrude," she said politely, offering a good, firm handshake to the goddess.

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Willow accepted the towel with a smile and started to dry herself off. "The walls speak," the dryad noted, eying her surroundings warily as she wrapped the towel around her torso. "And claim to be Aesir." As curious as she was, Willow gathered from the swordsman's reaction that something was out of the norm but he didn't seem to be alarmed so she relaxed.

Glancing through the pile of worn clothing she left in the bathroom the night before, the ancient guardian retrieved the small brown leather pouch.

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"How should I know, Lynnie?" Vince pouted as he appeared on the bedside alarm clock's digital display from the chest up, dressed in a nightgown and cap, rubbing one eye tiredly. "Nobody tells me anything." With a sudden grin, the artificial intelligence snapped his fingers and was abruptly wearing his customary suit, looking well rested and well coiffed. "Could be because they know I'll find out anyway, though. Not to worry, the boss man's just brought round a new hire to say hello." The gregarious computer program made a show of pumping his arm enthusiastically. "I think you'll like her! She's a real spitfire!"

Simultaneously, the simulated talk show host appeared on the wall of the corridor next to Mona, the screens imbedded there projecting the illusion that he was walking beside her. For this conversation he's decked out his avatar in a eye searingly bright yellow and lime green jerkin and a helmet with comically large horns. "Or sure, blame the artificial intelligence," he chided, wagging his finger with exaggerated disapproval. He grinned as the towering paragon rounded the corner, abruptly disappearing from the wall and reappearing on the screen of the computer bank next to Thrude, reclining with his feet resting atop his desk, pointy toed boots and all. "Boy howdy, boss, where do you find all these alluring amazons?" Swinging his feet down, he leaned forward once he had Archeville's attention and coughed lightly into his hand. "Er, by the by, speaking of meeting new people..."

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"Huh? Vikings?! Where?" Colt quickly lifted the cowboy hat from his face where it had been blocking the light. It was tough to take a nap in the day with the sun shining right in your face. His hand went immediately to the desk nearby where his pistol lay. "I swear. Ain't these invasions ever gon' stop?"

"And it is showing that Jack, Colt, and Grimalkin are all upstairs. Or, at least, their communicators are. Since this is really team business, I suppose we should all meet down here, rather than the 'civilian' housing upstairs." He drew out his Elektromagnetic Scrwdriver and adjusted it to override the microphone in Thrude's hand, so he could now speak through the Brownstone's PA system, "Ah, yes, Archeville here. Please come down to C&C to, ah, meet a new ally!"

Colt sighed. A Hero's work was never done, it seemed. "Well, I reckon you heard th'man, Honey." Colt rose from the bed, fastened his gun belt around his waist, holstered his pistol, and struggled into a nearby plain white t-shirt. "Meet'cha down there." Colt pecked her on the cheek, and dashed toward the door, hoping to see what all the fuss was about.

Colt slipped out the door and closed it behind him to give Grim some privacy. Not that it took her long to glamor up a new outfit or anything. He just couldn't break some of his gentlemanly habits. When he turned back to the hallway, he nearly crashed into Jack. "Whooo boy! Sorry 'bout that Jack. I reckon I must still be sleepin', on acount'a th'wakeup call'n'all."

Finally, Colt noticed the other person in the hallway, "Aw, naw who's this pretty little thing ya got here, Jack? Ya sly dog, you." He tipped his hat to Willow "Name's Colt. How do you do?"

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Thrude tapped her knuckles against the screen where VINCE lounged. [bg=#000080]_"Lord Archeville, you told me how these windows look upon far-away chambers, like the Well of Mimir. Where is this man sitting while his image appears here?"_[/bg]

[bg=#000080]_"'Amazon?' ...Oh yes, the Greeks. Lord Archeville mentioned how their stories wove heavier threads into the fabric of Saxon culture than ours did. No, Little Green Man, I am no Amazon, but an Aesir! An immortal warrior, borne of forces you can scarcely comprehend, come down from the heavens to smite the wicked and deliver unto them the All-Father's holy justice!"_[/bg] More electricity crackled up and down Thrude's body as she raised a triumphant fist into the air. The temperature in the Brownstone plummeted about ten degrees, and the sudden drop in air pressure popped everyone's ears.

The goddess grasped Fulcrum's offered arm firmly, halfway between her elbow and her wrist, and shook it with vigor. [bg=#000080]_"Fulcrum! The mightiest of this band of champions! Hail and well-met! Lord Archeville tells me that, despite my first impression, you are not descended from the jotun. Was your mother or father a Titan, then? One of the southern giants usurped by the Olympians? My hunts have seldom taken me as far as the Aegean Sea, but you have the look."_[/bg]

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Stepping out into the hallway, Jack slid back a step to avoid colliding with Colt, keeping a hand on the towel wrapped around his waist to hold it in place. "Heeey..." he greeted with a rueful grin, rubbing the back of his damp hair with his free hand as he turned to look at the graceful immortal as she followed his out into the hallway. The fencer wasn't really embarrassed by being discovered as he was chagrined by the potentially awkward introduction she was about to get to his teammates. "This is Willow," he told the cowboy, adding after a beat, "She's a dryad." Coughing slightly, he took a half step to stand a little closer to the white haired woman in a vague show of solidarity. "Aaand I should probably find you some pants or something, huh? Yeah."

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Whether she was aware of the awkwardness of the introduction, or simply decided to ignore it, Willow deliberately closed the remaining distance between her and the swordsman and placed a lingering kiss on his cheek. "Pants would probably be wise. A top as well," she demurred with an impish smile.

The dryad turned her amber gaze to Colt and gave him a slight nod in greeting. "If you will pardon us a moment, Protector Colt? I will happily greet you formally when I am properly attired."

"This," she indicated the towel with a sweep of her hand, the other ensuring that the concealing cloth remained in place, "Is not for you to see. Please understand."

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On the computer monitor, Vince's hair was blown backward as if from a sudden gale as Thrude raised her voice in triumphant pronouncement. "Woah-ho! Gotta love that enthusiasm!" the artificial intelligence laughed, clearing one ear out with his pinkie. "Actually, Trudy m'dear, I'm a bit of a special case," he explained, sliding his feet from his desk and standing up with an exaggerated stretch that caused his jerkin to ripple into a more contemporary outfit. "I really am in the computer. Well..." Sauntering off to one side, the avatar disappeared for a moment before stepping into view on another screen nearby. "In all the computers, really! The proverbial ghost in the machine, donchaknow."

With a grin from ear to ear, he popped out of view once more and came walking large as life around one the corner of one of the underground base's corridors, though his image remained a few inches shorter than the statuesque goddess as it wrapped oddly around the right angle. "Fifth Iteration Networked Computer Entity, very much at your service, m'lady, though you may - and I sincerely hope you will - call me Vince!"

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"Oh, why, of course." Colt said, bowing slightly. "Y'all do what'cha gotta do. Though Doc wants's downstairs on th'quick." Colt waved as he squeezed by them in the hallway and made his way to the stairs. He added as an aside to Jack as he passed, "Reckon this'd mean y'all got'a date fer th'weddin' don't't." he added an approving smile.

Colt very nearly stampeded down the stairs, thinking as he went, A Dryad? Reckon I should be count'n on ma fingers th'number'a times I been saying' 'I seen everythin',' lately. Good fer Jack though. I c'n tell'e looks happy.

Colt pressed the release on the hidden stairway that led to the basement, He galloped down those stairs as well, though nearly tripped when the sudden blast of cold air hit him. "Whoa boy. Vince! That A/C unit actin' up agin? I...Oh, hello!" Colt stopped himself at the bottom of the stairs. This guest was far more clothed than the last one, and from the sounds of the yelling he'd heard, far more outgoing as well. Somehow, Colt didn't think she'd take very well to the usual 'little lady' greeting. He'd made that mistake a few times before. "Well now," Colt removed his hat, and extended his hand, "Name's Colt. Who might you be?"

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"Could be because they know I'll find out anyway, though. Not to worry, the boss man's just brought round a new hire to say hello." The gregarious computer program made a show of pumping his arm enthusiastically. "I think you'll like her! She's a real spitfire!"

Grim frowned melodramatically. "Another girl on the team? As if the lines to the bathroom weren't long enough! Fine, I'll play nice."

"Well, I reckon you heard th'man, Honey." Colt rose from the bed, fastened his gun belt around his waist, holstered his pistol, and struggled into a nearby plain white t-shirt. "Meet'cha down there."

"'Kay." She quickly kissed him back and watched him leave. With a sigh, she looked around the room they shared, knowing that things were about to change in oh so many ways. "I'm really gonna miss all this."

Feeling a little blue, she allowed herself to collapse into a liquid state and let gravity carry her downward, flowing through a familiar network of vents and gratings until she coalesced in the Underground; legs, hips, waist, chest, arms, neck and finally head. She blinked as she found her bearings, quickly noting the rather impressive new girl.

"Hey, wow, look at you!"

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Fulcrum did what she did during strange encounters. She just went with it. Gripped Thrude's arm in a warrior's embrace and shook back with equal vigor. Little arcs of electricity danced up her arm, but she didn't seem to notice or care.

"Err...," Mona didn't know how to respond. Momentarily, the pieces fell together and she replied with a smile, "Hail and well met, Thrude! I wouldn't call myself the 'mightiest'. We each bring exceptionable abilities to the mission. Despite my size, my parents are normal people. I was empowered by a battle between Omega, the Lord of the Terminus, and Earth's mightiest hero, The Centurion. You're right though, I am originally from the south."

How badly she wanted to pull Viktor aside and find out what the hell was happening. She wouldn't put it past Thrude to be an actual Norse goddess. The lightning, the gear, the demeanor, everything matched their mythology flawlessly. Angels, Vikings, oh my!

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Archeville looked about the C&C a bit nervously, "ah, Thrude, could you, ah... see, all these devices here," he spread his arms wide, "are a bit sensitive around electrical surges. And while they are all shielded, I am concerned they may not withstand the full force of your... exuberance, and you may accidentally damage our dear friend Vince here."

That aside, so far, so good! Yay!

"Ah, Colt, Grimalkin," he greeted the cowboy and the resolving puddle, and clapped a hand to Mona's shoulder, "excellent! Now we just need Jack, and we can all make our introductions. Did you see him on your way down? And where are Jill and Dynamo?"

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Colt waited until Grim was whole again, then placed his arm around her.

"Ah, Colt, Grimalkin," he greeted the cowboy and the resolving puddle, and clapped a hand to Mona's shoulder, "excellent! Now we just need Jack, and we can all make our introductions. Did you see him on your way down? And where are Jill and Dynamo?"

"Reckon I did see'em, Doc." Colt cracked a wide, wide smile in spite of himself. "He was, aw, how should'a put this without'barrassin' no one? Busy? Naw, 'temporarily indisposed'." Colt smiled and nodded a confirmation. "I ain't seen neither Jill're Dynamo t'day. Ya paged'em though, right? Jack'll prob'ly Know where Jill's been. Responsible one't'e is." Colt added.

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Jack gave Colt a brisk nod at the suggestion to be quick, clearing his throat lightly at the mention of the wedding and leading Willow back to his room with his free arm sliding around her slender waist. The swordsman felt something akin to warm satisfaction at the ancient plant manipulator's polite but firm explanation that she wasn't putting herself on display for just anyone, not due to any sense of competition with his rustic friend or possessiveness toward Willow, but stemming from underlining that she'd chosen to share the night with him.

Once he'd closed the door behind them once again, he returned the light kiss on the cheek, an almost shy gesture from the outgoing Interceptor, and turned to the sparse dresser and closet. "Well, help yourself," he told Willow as he retrieve a pair of jeans and a tight, slate grey t-shirt for himself. Anything in the athletic young man's size was going to be a little big on the white haired woman, but she was tall enough that they would do in a pinch. "Sorry for the sudden hustle; didn't know the Dok was going to be bringing company by today."

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"Actually, Trudy m'dear, I'm a bit of a special case. I really am in the computer. Well...In all the computers, really! The proverbial ghost in the machine, donchaknow. Fifth Iteration Networked Computer Entity, very much at your service, m'lady, though you may - and I sincerely hope you will - call me Vince!"

[bg=#000080]_"VINCE."_[/bg] Thrude turned to Viktor with a quizzical expression. [bg=#000080]_"I thought you specifically told me that these machines were not possessed by spirits."_[/bg] She turned back to the wall-monitor, walked up to it, touched the screen tentatively. [bg=#000080]_"I offer my condolences for whatever fate befell you, and my admiration that you continue to serve our mysterious benefactor in death as you did in life."_[/bg] She held her arm out to offer a handshake, but stopped herself halfway. Then she just brought a fist to her chest in salute and nodded to the image of VINCE on the wall.

Archeville looked about the C&C a bit nervously, "ah, Thrude, could you, ah... see, all these devices here," he spread his arms wide, "are a bit sensitive around electrical surges. And while they are all shielded, I am concerned they may not withstand the full force of your... exuberance, and you may accidentally damage our dear friend Vince here."

[bg=#000080]_"Hm? What's this?"_[/bg] Thrude raised the eyebrow above her good eye and turned back and forth, looking around first at the room, then down at herself. [bg=#000080]_"Of course, yes, my apologies, Lord Archeville. My connection to the storms is something of a...what was that expression you taught me earlier? A 'two-way street.'"_[/bg]

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"Err...," Mona didn't know how to respond. Momentarily, the pieces fell together and she replied with a smile, "Hail and well met, Thrude! I wouldn't call myself the 'mightiest'. We each bring exceptionable abilities to the mission. Despite my size, my parents are normal people. I was empowered by a battle between Omega, the Lord of the Terminus, and Earth's mightiest hero, The Centurion. You're right though, I am originally from the south."

[bg=#000080]_"Of course, Ragnarok. Lord Archeville told me that tale as well. I regret that none of my family were here to fulfill our ancient oaths. I can only hope that, next time, my axe will stand between this 'Omega' and the people of Midgard."_[/bg]

"Hey, wow, look at you!"

"Whoa boy. Vince! That A/C unit actin' up agin? I...Oh, hello! Well now," Colt removed his hat, and extended his hand, "Name's Colt. Who might you be?"

The goddess greeted each of the Interceptors in turn, in the same manner as she had Fulcrum. [bg=#000080]_"Hail and well met, Brave Defenders of The Realm! Lord Archeville has already shown me moving paintings displaying your heroic exploits. I would be honored to call you 'Comrades!' As I said before, I am Thrude, Daughter of Storms!"_[/bg]

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Making a happy little sounds in the wake of the kiss, Willow tossed her towel onto the bed and started to poke through the the offered clothing. She ran her fingers across each item, assessing the range of color and getting a feel for the fabrics. The dryad noted that everything was a bit large for her which wasn't much of a surprise, she reflected as she glanced over at Jack and smiled warmly.

"So, these are the house friends of yours, yes?" Willow asked slipping into the clothing she picked. The selection wasn't that varied, Jack clearly didn't keep an extensive wardrobe here in the Brownstone, but it was enough to keep her modest. She did, however, opt to go barefoot.

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"Yeah. We're... an odd little family," Jack admitted, trying not to make too much of a show of appreciating the view. "Strays and misfits, mostly, gathered together." Stepping toward Willow, he held out his hand to her. "We're the Interceptors. We stop the bad guys."

With a flash of pearly white teeth, he took the dryad by the hand and led the way down to the ground floor and the spiral staircase that most certainly had not been their the previous evening. Descending into the underground base, Jack leaned forward to peek his head down first while the rest of his body caught up. "Hello! Hi! Sorry about the wait there, was sort of in the middle of something when you, well, bellowed." Making it the rest of the way to the floor, he waved and grinned at Thrude. "Well, you're tall and blonde and covered in armor and interesting electrical fields, aren't you? I'm Jack." Turning back up the stairs for a moment he indicated the woman behind him. "Speaking of new people, this is Willow. Ah, was planning on doing this a little more gradually, but direct and to the point seems to be the watchwords lately."

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"Hello! Hi! Sorry about the wait there, was sort of in the middle of something when you, well, bellowed. Well, you're tall and blonde and covered in armor and interesting electrical fields, aren't you? I'm Jack. Speaking of new people, this is Willow. Ah, was planning on doing this a little more gradually, but direct and to the point seems to be the watchwords lately."

[bg=#000080]_"Jack of all Blades, the swordsman!"_[/bg] Thrude grabbed Jack's arm enthusiastically. [bg=#000080]_"I'd heard tell that the Iberians produced some of the most fearsome warriors in all of Europa. But from what I've seen in Lord Archeville's moving paintings, the Roman tales of Hispania don't do your people justice! You fight like a hungry tiger! I would love a chance to examine your weapon up close! It looks to harness the power of the elements, as mine and my father's do."_[/bg] She waved a thumb up toward the enormous battle axe hanging from her shoulder. [bg=#000080]_"Was it forged by the dwarves as well? Or did the elves of Grimalkin's tribe craft it for you?"_[/bg]

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