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Tiffany Korta

Starlight's were meant to fly (IC)

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Soo-Tine VII, 7 Solar Days Ago…

Physically Soo-Tine VII could not be described as a small world it was a large gas giant, brown from it strange Bromine atmosphere. Neither could the Tine, the massive Squid like creatures that “swam†in the bromine skies. On an interstellar scale however they were tiny, dwarfed by the mighty Lor Republic and Grue Unity. Both interstellar nations were currently showing an interest in the Tine, the Lor for their violation of a “Protectorate†planet. The Grue had a more insidious reasons, the Tine were masters of genetic engineering and not a single drone, unlike the Grue themselves, had ever gone rogue. This the Meta-Mind decreed that they must have, so for now the Grue fleet was protecting the Tine holding a similar Lor fleet at bay.

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Currently the Grue Ambassador Li’inx was explaining just this situation to the leader of this world Nes-63 a massive elder of the Tine, the size of a Greyhound Bus.

“Might Nes-63 we the Grue wish to help you against the Lor aggressors. But you must show us a sign of faith, to build a trust between us two great people.â€

The Tine was thoughtful for a moment it tentacles undulating as it considered its options. Final it spoke in a booming voice.

“One of my spawn, Nes-456, was on this disputed planet, this Earth. There he discovered one of your own people, a Rogue Grue.†Li’inx face could not hide his disgust at such a thing “Maybe it we bought this creature to you…â€

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Roseus Corporation Headquarters, Freedom City, 22nd May 2012

Nikki was in a good mode as it was, despite the weather report this part of the city was clear and cloud free, and her own personal ward seemed to be masking her presence allowing her to travel outside more often. And to top it all the device had suddenly activated.

They had discovered the device at the offices of Farel BioTech, the only remaining artifact from there alien allies. Any other traces of the aliens had disappeared of the, literal, face of the Earth. She had some of best scientist and technician work on the artifact, and had even made discrete inquiries to other Hi-Tech companies, but no one could figure out how to make the item work. Most agreed that it some kind of Interstellar communication device, an Ansible if you will, but they couldn’t begin to fathom how to make it work. But today it had suddenly sprung to life receiving a signal from an unknown source.

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As she left the elevator to the Laboratories she made a note that the sky had darkened, maybe there would be a thunderstorm after all. The Scientist attention however wasn’t on the device but instead the view from the window.

“Mrs Hawthorn I really think you should see this.â€

Hanging in the sky was a large starship which, to judge by the peoples reaction below, was somehow invisible except to them.

“Yes that is interesting I think I have a few calls to make.â€

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Liz Moya was in the library of Freedom City University, gathering research materials for a paper on different materials to make surgical tools with, when she felt her cell phone vibrating in her pocket. She had silenced it when coming into the library, and fished it out now -- only to find the device dead, and her pocket still dancing. The pocket on the inside of her jacket, where she had stashed the phone from Roseus. Taking a deep breath she pulled that one out and powered the screen on. There was a short text message, the summary of which was: alien invasion.

A few minutes later Starlight appeared in front of Roseus Corporation's front door; floating down to the ground she breezed through and marched up to the front desk. "You have an alien artifact on site," she told the receptionist bluntly. "Take me to it."

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Synth saw the advert over a cup of coffee just prior to work. She had taken up some pretty rubbish job handing out leaflets. Still, it kept her moving, in with a few dollars, and she got to meet people. Sort of.

She sighed, putting down the paper and finishing off her coffee. It took a lot of caffeine to effect her, but she kind of liked the taste.

Damn, no money. Can barely afford the coffee, let alone the rent...

She sighed. She didn't really enjoy sleeping rough.

Later...

Her features were changed, as was her race. She looked like a rather attractive woman, with dark skin and dark (but short) hair. She was still wearing somewhat scruffy jeans and a white t-shirt. But she didn't look like how Nikki had seen her.

She couldn't quite shake off her deep mistrust of the whole situation.

She saw Starlight march up and make her bold pronouncement, repressing an urge to tell the heroine her own identity. She trusted Starlight, but not the situation.

Best follow at a distance...

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The receptionist seemed totally unconcerned by Starlights sudden appearance and outburst.

“Just one minutes I call Mrs Hawthorn.â€

After a few minutes Nikki arrived and Synth couldn’t be sure but it looked like she looked her way and give a faint smile. All around her people were bustling around the lobby in a controlled manner, it looked like the building was being evacuated. She then wandered over to Starlight, stopping herself from a friendly hug and settling for offering her hand, she must realize that neither of the two heroes totally trusted her.

“It’s a pleasure Ms Starlight as always.†She turned to the receptionist “A pass for Ms Starlight and leave one on the desk for Ms Synth she should be here shortly then get yourself out of the building.†She then turned her attention back to Starlight “The laboratory is one the 13th floor if you’ll just follow me."

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Synth caught sight of 'Nikki', and overheard the conversation.

She sighed a litle, but couldn't help smiling.

Turning back to her normal olive skin and white platinum hair, her features distorting slightly before settling on her 'normal' face, she marched up to the desk.

"Guess that's me" she said with a smile to the receptionist, taking the pass.

She got in the elevator alone, deciding to play it straight. Her attempts at prudence, whilst probably prudent, had been a failure. She may as well go in for the whole superheroine look, like Starlight.

She unzipped her bag, and stuffed her outer clothing in, wearing the silver spandex sports gear underneath, complete with a fetching DNA design on the chest. Fitting, she had thought. She had settled on this as her "costume". Whilst it showed a bit of skin, it was modest enough, and more importantly it gave her enough room to grow a few extra limbs without shredding or tearing and leaving her in a far less modest state.

She didn't have any concerns about nudity herself, growing up as she did, and not being technically human. But she was acutely aware that human's (at least in this society) did. Shredding her clothes to pieces when changing her shape would be decidedly ill advised...

Suitably attired in her somewhat makeshift superhero outfit, she stepped out to meet 'Nikki# and Starlight, slinging her bag (with her street clothes) over her shoulder.

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Starlight picked up the badge and, after a moment's hesitation, stuck it to her hip; the metal clip melted into her flesh and the plastic card was held in place there, tapping freely against her armor. She followed quietly behind Ms. Hawthorne. The idea of the 13th floor being a bad omen passed right over her head, as focused as she was on the current alien threat. "Exactly what are we facing," she asked the CEO. "None of the usual alarms have gone off, so I'm assuming that whatever it is, it's rather far away."

She glanced to the side as Synth stepped out of nowhere and joined them. She nodded to the shapeshifting heroine but didn't break stride.

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As Starlight entered the laboratory she felt a strange sensation, like a barely heard whisper, in her mind.

“Well the evacuation is mainly a precaution, talking of which.†She raised her voiced to the collective scientists and technicians “Okay you lot out, it for your own safety so no complaints. Anyway everything being a recorded so you can look at the data later.â€

With a faint mumble of protest the remaining staff left the room.

“The device activated earlier this morning but that not why I contacted both of you. That is.†she gestured toward the windows, not that it was really necessary.

The laboratory was a generous side, taking up a whole floor of the tower block, and was covered from floor to ceiling with massive glass window giving impressive views of the city. Dominating one side of this view was the massive bulk of a craft, hovering a few meters from the building.

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Synth nodded back, a few inhumanly quick strides bringing her parallel with Starlight.

"You spotted me, didn't you?" she asked the CEO politely. "So much for my caution..." she mused, half to herself "...I hope you understand my discretion. With the shape changing that went on last time, it arouses a degree of caution in all but the most trusting of souls...."

They smell the same... she noted for herself, her acute nose picking up characteristic scents. But there was no way of knowing for sure.

For know, all she could do was trust, so she kept her ears open and waited for Nikki to speak.

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Nikki gave a faint smile “It’s your aura, both of you have the strangest auras I’ve ever seen. And I don’t blame you for not trusting me I’m after all a fiend from hell.â€

All this was said while she was still looking at the craft floating just outside the window.

“It started off higher in the sky, but it’s spent the last few hours narrowing in on this floor. And it’s got some kind of perception filter we’ve had the chance, and time, to test and you can only see it if you’ve been near that thing.†She waved towards the Ansible.

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Synth peered at the craft.

"But what is it?" she asked. She was still wrestling with uncertainty about her own feelings towards Nikki. All she knew for sure was that this whole business smelled...bad.

A faint twitch of a smile hit her lips. That was an almost human emotion...

"This...perception filter...that isn't Earth technology is it?" she asked, although in truth she realised she would not know. There were plenty of super-scientists floating around Freedom City, and the world.

"And more importantly, what do we do about it?"

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Starlight glanced at the monitor and did a double-take, her golden eyes opening wide at the spaceship descending on the city. It looked almost close enough to brush the tops of some of the buildings -- why weren't anyone reacting to it!? Then Nikki explained about the perception filter and things started making sense. "It's not Grue," Starlight said, peering at the ship closely, "and it doesn't look to be Lor, either. It's useless to try to classify the Star Khan's ships, because he uses whatever he comes across. Other than that... There are a thousand, thousand empires across the stars." She glanced at the CEO. "As for what to do with it, I would assume the first step would be to call the Freedom League."

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“That would make sense this is well beyond my ken, and my bar…â€

The device silent for so long suddenly burst into life, projecting above it a hologram. The figure was obviously humanoid and female with long flowing hair done into dreadlocks, apart from her four arms she could have pass for human. She was also in the process of putting on some kind of hi-tech body armour onto of an oversized t-shirt bearing the image of a cartoon six-legged horse like creature.

“Wait it’s running, I told you to wait…†The image spoke to each in their own native language, she straightened up and look to the camera “Under the proculation of the GCC I have been tasked to recover the fugitive know as Starlight and her accomplish â€A pair of images of the two heroes appeared below her hologram “To answer against crimes against the occupants of Soo-Tine system. I will give you fine minutes to arrange matters (and finish putting on this armour) before I arrive to arrest you. Be warned the use of force has been authorized.â€

To emphasize this point she hefted an impossibly large gun in her lower arms.

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Starlight narrowed her eyes at the alien's claim. She didn't always respect local authorities, it was true, but she didn't think that she had done anything so bad that a population would have reason to send a starship after her across all of the galaxy. And then there was the question of how they had found her in the first place...

"Is this communication device two-way," she asked, walking over to the ansible. "Is there any way to respond to them?"

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"Do we have any choice?" answered Synth "A ship of that size, armed to the teeth...it's going to blow a whole in the city. Even if Earth has the technology and arms to fight off that ship, and even if it can mobilise in five minutes...it will wreak havok on the city..."

She straightened up. She couldn't see any choice in the matter.

"We will have to surrender. And see where that takes us..."

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“Well the techs say that both devices are linked so it should be possible to use this device to talk back. But I’m afraid I’m not much on the technology side of things I’m afraid.†She looked thoughtful for a few seconds “We can seal this room if necessary against just about everything except teleports, and I could set up a ward for that, but it would take a while. Probably longer than we got.â€

The device on Starlights approach sprung into life giving a floating list of options, helpfully in her own language, including an option to communicate with its twin.

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Starlight ignored the device for the moment. "Surrender is not the end of a fight," she cautioned Synth. "In the right circumstances, it can be merely the beginning. Do you think you could imitate the form of those aliens? Many times cultures with superior technology get overconfident, and a simple approach will catch them off-guard. If I make an appearance on their bridge, they will probably not notice if you infiltrate some area to the rear of the ship. And if you can somehow shut down the perception filter..."

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"It's not much to go on..." muttered Synth, still smiling at the prospect, leaning forward to peer at the hologram. "They look basically human..."

Her features blurred, and changed, her colour and tone matching as best she could that of the aliens. From her sides, bud's appeared, quickly growing into the additional limbs of her model.

She was no expert at this - and it was a tough thing to mimic, but it might do the trick. She concentrated on getting the details as correct as she could - a ridge here, a depression there...

She looked down at her spandex clothes. "These, I cannot change.." she explained. "Perhaps something more fitting, if you have anything you can supply in the next few minutes?" she asked Nikki.

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Nikki looked a little thoughtful for a few seconds gave a little smile.

“Well Sci-fi costumes and post-apocalyptic body armors are beyond me, but they do seem to follow modern fashions so I should be able to rustle something up.â€

With that she disappeared in a flash of light and a whiff of sulfur. After a few second she returned with a large bundle of clothes, a lot seemed to some variant of pink.

“Some of these might do you some good. Luckily you can be my size, the extra arms might cause a few problems so I improvised.†She brandished a massive pair of scissors.

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Synth started to undress, before catching herself.

Not in the station now... she reminded herself. Nudity was, if not exactly evil, still...inappropriate in the society she found herself in. It didn't make much sense to her, but then, it didn't have too.

"Err....pardon me...." she mumbled, her extra arms dancing around to give at least some decorum by holding up discarded and yet to be worn clothes strategically. "Errr...don't look..." she smiled, as politely as she could but looking terribly clumsy at the same time.

In any case, her abnormal dexterity and fast fluid movements soon got her into something that didn't look so quite so silly...

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Starlight didn't comment on Synth's bodymorphing technique or on her choice of clothes; she just gave the other hero a nod and turned back to Nikki. "Now then. How can we make contact with the alien ship? I do not think it would be a good idea to simply teleport onto their bridge, if they are looking to kill me." She turned to address Synth next. "Do you think you can get on board the ship anyhow?"

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Synth looked at the Ship and back to Starlight.

"I don,t see how...." she answered. "I can probably jump or clamber on to it, but getting in is another matter altogether...I wouldn't,t know where to start. If you can spring a door for me, or something that would work, but it's taking a risk. Ithey may find it aggressive. And they have the bigger guns...."

She slammed two fists into two palms.

"But Iam NOT going down without a fight....!"

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Nikki took all this in and looked thoughtful for a few seconds, actually she looked a little reticent, but finally she decided to pitch in anyway.

“Well I could probably teleport you onto the ship, but I can’t go any further than that. I don’t want to go too far beyond my ward and space is very far away. And there are some strange aliens who’d love to get their hands on a bonafide demon. And besides I could probably stay here and imitate you, buy you some time.â€

There clock was rapidly counted down, they only had a minute or two left…

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