Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Electra

Welcoming Committee (IC)

Recommended Posts

Satyr, or John Black as he was now called, had a long final day in Freedom Hall. He'd spent quite a bit of time there since he'd woken up, undergoing tests and answering questions, but never quite so many as today! The interviewers wanted to know all about him, his past and its indiscretions, his hopes and dreams for the future. They were very concerned to make sure he understood the rules of personal boundaries in this modern world, and what he was and was not allowed to do with women. Things were very different in 2011, but he wasn't being cut loose to face the world entirely on his own.

For the moment, he'd been left in the spacious main lobby of Freedom Hall to wait for a League member to pick him up. A guide, they'd told him, to explain what he was to do with himself in this city, and to show him where he'd live. All temporary, just until he was up on his feet, but certainly better than being tossed out on the street. He had new clothes on, white polo shirt, dark blue trousers, and functional black shoes with rubber soles. He'd been given a bag that contained more clothes, as well as some toiletries to get him started. As he waited, people walked by, hardly sparing him a glance.

Suddenly, the potted fern next to him started doing very strange things. It began to grow a long and distinctly unfernlike tendril, then sprouted a yellow flower. The flower grew to the size of his hand, then the size of his head, then even larger. It yawned open all at once, and a woman stepped out! She was pretty in a perky sort of way, with curly green hair that spilled down her back even with much of it clipped up. Her green tunic and trousers were covered by a brown half-coat, half-cape that hung unbuttoned and open for the moment. She was obviously a superhero, with the one jarring note of a tiny green-haired infant secured snugly to her chest in a green fabric wrap.

The woman stepped forward and gave him a warm smile. "Hello, you must be John!" she said enthusiastically. "I'm Fleur de Joie, and I'm going to be helping you get settled in today. Have you got all your things?"

Share this post


Link to post

John listened to the lobby music as he waited. It was no pipes, but it still amazed him. The marvels of modern technology were like toys to him. He learned so much from the Freedom League. But they said they didn't cover everything. The main thing they did teach him was to deny his instincts. They seemed to press that a lot. Sure he could have fun, but not like in the old days. Things had changed and their were different laws of morality. Seeing as he wanted to fit into society, he accepted this prohibition.

A while later, the plant in the lobby opened up! He stood up to watch this spectacle. It was like Demeter herself was going to pop out! Though when a lady DID step out, it was not Demeter. Though the woman was cute. And she was carrying a baby. How very motherly, he thought. He smiled as she stepped forward introduced herself. "Good day, Fleur de Joie," he said boisterously loud with a bow, "I am John Black." He looked to the child and spoke in a tone that was pleasant to babies, "And how are you, young one?" He laughed loud and then looked to Fleur de Joie, "Yes, I have a travel case prepared by your lovely people. They said it would sustain my until I get some currency from my job. I am to hold a sign and talk to people. And they will give me currency for this!" He smiled broad, "I shall enjoy this easy currency job. But first I must meet your acquaintance Harrier. I shall live with him." It looked like he felt the need to correct himself, "As a barracks mate, not a marriage."

Share this post


Link to post

Fleur laughed. "Yes, I understand, don't worry. I know Harrier, he's a friend of mine. He's very quiet, so he should make for a good roommate. This is my daughter Amaryllis," she told him, tugging aside the cloth of the sling just enough for him to see the sleeping baby's face. "I'm not exactly on active duty, for obvious reasons, but I'm still happy to help out. If you're ready now, I'll take you outside and show you the bus system. It's the easiest way to get around if you don't drive, so you'll need to be familiar with it. Let me store your bag away for you."

She held out a hand for his case, then shoved it into the yellow flower. The flower seemed to swallow it down, then shrank to a small and unobtrusive flower size. "It'll be waiting for you when we get there," she assured him, then turned to walk towards the broad double doors. "How do you like Freedom City so far?"

Share this post


Link to post

John was happily surprised and a little bit confused when his stuff disappeared. "Freedom City," John said introspectively soft. It almost seemed out of character for him. The illusion was quickly shattered when he spoke up again, "Fleur de Joie, I am honestly still adjusting. There are things that I do not understand. Like this Pact. Our gods cannot walk the land, but just the other day I heard of two heroes having to take on a giant beast. Not that I am complaining in the least, some of those gods need to be locked away. Others were my friends, confidants, and," he trailed off. He didn't know if this was getting to personal. "Other things? I'm happy that exist. Non magical things for example. Like this thing here," he pulled out a cellphone and flipped it up and down a few times, "This thing lets you talk to people in far off places! Now i know we can do that with magic, but it's pretty awesome that you can do it without magic! It opens up so many possibilities"

Share this post


Link to post

"The Pact is a tricky thing," Fleur agreed affably, not even seeming to notice as the glass doors slid open of their own accord and allowed them onto the street. It was a fabulous world outside, one he'd seen from windows and on the television, but that seemed even stranger close up. Buildings reached into the sky all around them, and the streets swarmed with people and smoke-belching vehicles. It was crowded and loud, but somehow affable as well, with an unspoken camaraderie among all the people trying to get where they were going.

"Many people today don't think of 'gods' as divine beings, but as a specific subset of superpowered beings from another dimension. You might think of it as Mount Olympus. There are other subsets as well, the Norse pantheon, the Voudoun pantheon. All of them superpowered folks who have from time to time called Earth their second home. The trouble is," she explained, "is that over the centuries, they've caused a great deal of trouble on Earth, even when they don't mean to. We have our own superbeings now, and that's enough to deal with! The Pact dictates that beings from these alternate worlds cannot come to Earth without being invited by a human being on Earth. So they can come, but only if someone here wants them. So we still see them, but not nearly as often as we used to," she explained.

Share this post


Link to post

John shrugged agreeably and put his phone back in his pocket after Fleur's first statement. Unlike, and unbeknownst, to her he was staring at the camera type thing that would let the doors open. When he walked out, there were a few hero watching bystander tourists. John took a note of them as their pictures snapped at the green and brown heroine with a baby and the large man walking with her. John was not unmindful of her, it's just that he had been outside once in the modern world and that was when he was being yelled at and taken a way. This time they seemed much more friendly. Then again he wasn't in his true form either.

"Are you saying that they were like super mortals and a court of mortals judged them all into exile? All of them? The good with the bad?" John grunted with frustration, "Like I said I can name a few that i'd like to put under my hooves. But what about the innocent ones?" He sighed loud, "I must let you know, I'm not trying to pass judgement on your people as a whole. But this does seem a bit harsh. I'm just trying to understand it all. I do think it's great they can be summoned though."

Share this post


Link to post

"I'm not the best person to be asking, honestly," Fleur told him apologetically. "I don't know very much about organized magic or the Pact, only what I've heard second- and thirdhand from others. Daedelus would probably know more, or some of the mages who do hero work. My understanding is that the powers that be in those other dimensions weren't doing a good job of policing their own when it came to causing trouble on Earth, so the Master Mage of Earth cast a spell and cut them off. I imagine it did cut off some beneficial contact, but I can't say we don't have enough problems on Earth without the gods of legend stopping by all the time."

Share this post


Link to post

Not defeated, but knowing when not to go on, John shrugged, "I guess I will ask someone else when I get the time. Please forgive me if I put any undue stress on you, Fleur de Joie." He put his and on her shoulder and gave her a light, friendly hug from the side. He let go after that. The Freedom League taught him that you should be friendly, but not too friendly. Well, unless the receiving party was receptive. Though she was taking care of her young and had powers that Demeter herself probably had. He did not want to anger her. Maybe later he would strike up that conversation.

Share this post


Link to post

Fleur gave him a friendly pat on the hand before stepping away to sign autographs for a couple of bold tourists. Her pregnancy had gotten a little bit of press in Freedom City as it had become increasingly obvious, so there was natural curiosity to see the new baby. Even so, the hero fans were generally polite folks, and within just a few minutes Fleur and John were away from the building and into more anonymous traffic.

"I probably shouldn't have come in uniform," she admitted with a laugh. "If nothing else, it's too doggone hot." She pulled the brown jacket off and shoved it in the knothole of a nearby tree. "Much better. The Green Line bus will take us to Lincoln, the stop is right over here." She led him to the bus stop and gave him a quick lesson in identifying buses and using the pass the League had issued him.

Share this post


Link to post

John took in everything as usual. The bus was full, but not quite full that they couldn't have a seat to their own. The ads were particularly interesting. They were bright and colorful and full of useful looking services. after a minute or so of looking around, he looked back to his traveling companion, "Fleur de Joie, this chariot is most comfortable, but are there always other people on it? The Freedom League talked of a shorter chariot that i could buy with currency. Will other people be in my chariot too?"

Share this post


Link to post

"This is a bus," Fleur explained patiently, stroking the back of the restlessly stirring baby. "It carries many people and goes on a set route through the city. If you catch the right one, it takes you close to where you need to go. The vehicle you're thinking of is a taxi, the yellow cars with the white lights on top. You can catch one of those and it will take you wherever you like, but it is much more expensive. Your job doesn't pay very much, so you will want to take the bus whenever you can." Amaryllis let out a plaintive wail, waking up now that she was no longer soothed by the motion of walking.

Share this post


Link to post

The youngling was crying. Oh dear Hera this was awkward. He dare not touch the babe, he'd seen others die for that transgression. And then he got an idea! He closed his eyes and tried to remember Aphrodite's singing voice. He opened his eyes and cleared his voice., then he quietly shushed the baby. He began to hum a soft tune in an attempt to put the child back to sleep. Though the voice was definitely not his own deep masculine tone, it was that of what he remembered of his lost love. He looked to Fleur de Joie and whispered, "Well, it always put me to sleep." He then continued with his lullaby.

Share this post


Link to post

Fleur blinked, and a few of the other riders looked around as well, but the baby didn't seem to see anything wrong with the sweetly feminine voice coming from the large man. Amaryllis squalled once more,then settled down with a mutinous look on her tiny face. "She's hungry," Fleur murmured. "I'll feed her once we get to your new place. Murdock should be home today, so you'll be able to meet him right away. I'm sure he has all kinds of tips by now on finding your feet in Freedom City. He's not from the past like you, but he does come from unusual circumstances."

Share this post


Link to post

John picked his head up and cleared his voice when the baby started crying again. Apparently it didn't want to sleep. Hunger was the young one's predicament, it seemed, as her mother said. John spoke with his voice, "Murdock, eh?" He smiled at the cover name. It was much more flavorful than his. He was not envious though. He didn't want to start off on the wrong foot. He had not even met the guy. "So how close do you keep your troops? I mean with your cell phones and all, it's easy to reach them with your voice and with your chariots, it's easy to reach them. But how familial is your army? Do you do anything other than meet together for business?"

Share this post


Link to post

It took Fleur a moment to puzzle through what John was actually asking. "It's not an army," she assured him with a laugh. "More a coalition of people with normal lives who come together when we're needed." She chose her words carefully, conscious of the fact that they had an audience. "I can explain more fully once we get to your new place, but suffice it to say we find each other when there's a need. I myself like to get acquainted with as many new arrivals to the city as I can, just so everyone has at least one point of contact if they ever need a hand. We all have to help each other here."

Share this post


Link to post

"This will be an interesting learning experience then," John exclaimed. He gasped and coved his mouth, glancing to the child to see if she would break out crying again. He let out a sigh of relief when she didn't "If I am too loud for your youngling, I apologize to you and her." He grinned, "It's hard to keep still when you," he noticed the company around and that he should be more secretive about his identity, "when you've just 'gotten out'." He winked knowingly at Fleur. His stomach rumbled, "Now I think me and the youngling have something in common," he smirked playfully at the babe.

Share this post


Link to post

"Don't worry, we'll get you something to eat when we arrive," Fleur assured him. "Not much longer now, two more stops, I believe." She showed him how to watch the digital display at the front of the bus and how to pull the stop cord, then steered him off the bus and back into the heat of the July day. As soon as the sun hit her hair, it turned a darker green, but it didn't seem to bother her. "This way," she directed, "Your new place is in that second tower over there." She led the way down the street to a series of apartment buildings. "Are you excited to start your new job?" she asked as they walked.

Share this post


Link to post

These towers were way different from what ΗÏων saw back in his time. "Towers, huh," John stopped and looked up in awe. He nodded and then continued to follow Fleur, "Towers indeed. They didn't have them that high back in the old world." He saw her hair turn a different color in the sunlight. It was beautiful in it's own right, next to her. If it weren't for the meeting with Harrier (that, and the youngling still around), he'd be talking much more to her. He sighed and smiled crossing his hands across his chest. "Oh, let me get that for you," he said opening the door. It was one of those polite things to do now the Freedom League taught him. "I'm very excited, actually. It will give me interation with the people while earning money. They said I wouldn't be a salesman, but I still would use my 'vibrant attitude' to get customers. Do sign holders carry much weight in your society?"

Share this post


Link to post

That drew a soft chuckle from Fleur. "Not exactly," she admitted. "It's a service job, one that doesn't require a lot of experience or education. But the way things work here, if you do one job well, you are better positioned to get a better job the next time, and can move up the ladder that way. Many heroes find jobs they like, even if they are not influential or highly-positioned, that are just enough to pay the bills. Much of a hero's time and energy is devoted to hero work instead of their everyday jobs."

Share this post


Link to post

John shrugged happily, "Well, I guess it's a living. Though yes, I'll be focusing on other duties!" The inside of the building was a new sight for him. Admiring the architecture took his mind elsewhere. Doors. He still had a fondness for those things. They could completely close off a room! Though he still had to keep his mind on his host. OK, say something impressive to her, compliment her. He smiled, "So, Fleur de Joie. What do you do for a living? I assume with your goddess-like abilities that you want for nothing." But don't make it look too obvious! "But then again, the Freedom League informed me that almost everyone has something to do when not mingling among others like themselves."

Share this post


Link to post

"I'm a florist," Fleur told him with a laugh, leading the way to an old and somewhat sketchy-looking elevator. She didn't entirely like the look of it, but she wasn't walking to the fourth floor when Ammy was already whimpering again. "In this culture, people often use flowers and plants as part of the celebration of important events. When they hire me, I provide them with beautiful floral arrangements and whatever else they need to make their day special. It doesn't pay as much money as might be useful to have, but we have all we really need."

She guided him into the elevator and showed him how to work the buttons, then nudged him out again on the fourth floor. "We wan the second door on the left," she instructed, "Number 404."

Share this post


Link to post

At John's knock, the door opened to reveal the occupant of the apartment. Murdock had a Scythian's brown skin and a barbarian's bald head, his hands and face covered in lines like scars or tattoos, but of course none of that meant anything in the new world in which he'd found himself: or rather, it could mean anything and he didn't yet have the clues to discern it. With a slow deliberation like a preying mantis, Murdock tilted his head up and looked John in the eye. "Hello. Welcome to the apartment. You must be John." He spoke in a low, if friendly voice that was nearly a monotone. Murdock smiled and offered his hand to John, with slow pauses in his movements like he was trying to remember what to do. "And hello, Fleur de Joie. Your daughter is as lovely as ever." Behind Murdock, Stesha could see the living room of the tiny one-bedroom apartment (living room, kitchen/dinette, bathroom and bedroom) that was what the League had given Murdock on his arrival on Earth.

Share this post


Link to post

"I'm a florist," Fleur told him with a laugh, leading the way to an old and somewhat sketchy-looking elevator. She didn't entirely like the look of it, but she wasn't walking to the fourth floor when Ammy was already whimpering again. "In this culture, people often use flowers and plants as part of the celebration of important events. When they hire me, I provide them with beautiful floral arrangements and whatever else they need to make their day special. It doesn't pay as much money as might be useful to have, but we have all we really need."
"Truly I would like to see this in action one day," John said with a smile, "I'm sure the flowers are something to behold in arrangement." He'd never seen flowers grouped together for the purpose of just being arranged.

She guided him into the elevator and showed him how to work the buttons, then nudged him out again on the fourth floor. "We wan the second door on the left," she instructed, "Number 404."
The elevator was something to him too. It's not magic, he told himself, but how else do you explain how it works? He kept the goober comments to himself. He counted the doors on the way at the fourth one he too a deep breath and knocked.

At John's knock, the door opened to reveal the occupant of the apartment. Murdock had a Scythian's brown skin and a barbarian's bald head, his hands and face covered in lines like scars or tattoos, but of course none of that meant anything in the new world in which he'd found himself: or rather, it could mean anything and he didn't yet have the clues to discern it. With a slow deliberation like a preying mantis, Murdock tilted his head up and looked John in the eye. "Hello. Welcome to the apartment. You must be John." He spoke in a low, if friendly voice that was nearly a monotone. Murdock smiled and offered his hand to John, with slow pauses in his movements like he was trying to remember what to do. "And hello, Fleur de Joie. Your daughter is as lovely as ever." Behind Murdock, Stesha could see the living room of the tiny one-bedroom apartment (living room, kitchen/dinette, bathroom and bedroom) that was what the League had given Murdock on his arrival on Earth.
A handshake, he'd learned this. He reached out to Murdock and shook his hand firmly. "It id finally nice to meet you, Harrier. I am ΗÏων, but you may call me John Black, as that is the name they have given me here."

Share this post


Link to post

Murdock's hand felt decidedly odd in John's; his flesh just slightly askew from the bones beneath, as if he'd been taken apart and put back together by persons unknown. With slow deliberation, Murdock put a finger over his mouth and smiled. "Call me Murdock now, just as I will call you John. You are tall," he commented as he gestured for the two of them to come in. By 21st century standards, Murdock's apartment was small and spartan: the only furniture in the living room was a small television and solitary couch. There was no sign of dirt or dust anywhere, though the kitchen looked used: Murdock was a man who evidently kept things clean. "I have the new bed installed in the bedroom. It is not much, but it is from the League. So it is comfortable." He kept his eyes on John as he talked, his voice slow and deliberate.

Share this post


Link to post

Murdock's hand was something John was slightly confused about. No worries, he thought, yet. I could be over thinking it. There are many strange beings in this time. He smiled and nodded happily to Murdock's comment about his height. His race was made to be physically appealing to the standards of his day. Everyone liked the scholar for their minds, but the warriors is what they wanted to look at. Looking around the small apartment, he was impressed by the couch and the television. "Yes, the League of Freedom is quite generous," he said boisterously. He looked to Fleur with a smile and mellowed his voice, "And quite helpful." Looking to Murdock again, "I would like to get a look around. Though are we bound to our barracks until we are needed for work or duty?"

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×