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After The Action Talk (IC)

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Evening, January 15th, 2012

Airspace Above Downtown Freedom City

"Right, and I'm not hearing quite as many mini-riots. No villain attacks; I think the whole fiasco has them spooked. We're not quite back to normal, but we're getting closer. I think the whole city is bone-tired right now..."

Gabriel closed his eyes with a sigh, rubbing the bridge of his nose with one hand while holding his other up to the communicator in his ear.

"For the millionth time, yes, I'm fine. I've got a couple bruises. I already got looked at. I'm tired but no blurry vision. Just...Yes, I'm glad you're fine! Why-no, I'm sorry, I shouldn't yell. I was scared to death when I heard about the attack on Freedom Hall, yes. We probably should be careful on the line, Sonya. No I'm not brushing you off. I'll call you later when I'm not 2,000 feet above the street."

He really did care about the woman, but she combined classical doctoral nosiness with a stubborn streak firm enough to shatter diamond.

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Gabriel's last few words have to fight through an intense crackling, static sounds, as all sounds at that elevation got quickly drowned out by the roar of a distant engine. If he were to look up, there would be the sight of the air itself warping in the sky, as though it was an object shooting through water. He wouldn't see it for long, however, as the blue-silver streak inside of it closes distance with Gabriel in the blink of an eye. Behind it, another loud boom is heard, as the sound barrier breaks in the trail.

But for as fast as it is, the figure stops on a dime, as Victory stands in the air, floating in front of Gabriel, his visor down to cover his eyes, and a serious scowl on his face.

"Come with me. We're going to have a little walk-and-talk."

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Gabriel blinks as Sonya asks what's going on. His voice manages to overcome background noise with surprising ease, all things considered.

"Oh, you know. Typical American bravado. I'm not exaggerating. I think I need to take care of this. Yes, we'll talk later if I'm still in one piece. When have I not tried to-wait, don't answer that. Yes, dear."

He gives a slight smile as he lowers his hand from the communicator.

"Women, huh?"

His own expression becomes more serious, and he crosses his arms over his chest.

"We're half a mile up and well away from any skyscrapers. If you want to talk, we can do it just fine here. If there's an emergency, then lead the way. But don't get the idea I'm intimidated by loud sounds or serious voices today, Victory. It has been a very long day and it's not even dinnertime yet. What's going on."

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Victory's expression remains static, as he floats in the sky. Even though he's focused on Gabriel, it could be seen through light coming out from the bottom of the visor that displays are going about beneath it.


"I wanted to keep moving so I could observe my patrol while asking you a few questions, but very well. I don't think the city will burn down if I'm not looking at it for five minutes."


Victory's visor quickly switches modes, becoming see-through, looking like the quasi-transparent plastic it's actually made of. Victory's eyes are visible, plain as day, but around them, Gabriel would be able to see the reverse side of a sequence of screens, showing news feeds, some sort of streaming data analysis, and a small thumbnail of what looks to be Gabriel's face. Maybe a minimized window of what information Victory and AEGIS may have about him?


"You may already have figured out why I'm here, but it never hurts to be direct. The prison. You were there when it went up. And you weren't the only one. I want to know exactly what you saw. And more importantly...what happened to the others who were at ground zero."


During the last sentence, a sharp eye might notice a microphone icon on the bottom right corner of Victory's visor, and next to it, a small network icon like those find on phones. The icon blinks, then turns grey, with a small red slash going through it.

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Gabriel seems unimpressed by the mention of patrol.


"The other heroes can likely manage without us anyways."


He raised his right brow very slightly as he got a glimpse into the world through Victory's eyes, though he was...concerned...about what information he might have rattling around in his network. And he was sure the microphone icon show was for his benefit. It didn't mean he thought what was being said wasn't be recorded somewhere, and it didn't mean he thought he could just speak secrets to this man. Gabriel barely knew him, and some secrets weren't his to tell. 


All of this flashed through his mind in the barest of moments before he continued to speak.


"I met with Harrier outside of Blackstone. We went down to one of the psych wards. Met with a Shadian Steelgrave clone. Miss Americana was present doing some other repairs, and ended up assisting our questioning. Mostly just goading him. Then...at the same time the other replacements around the city went berserk, not-Harrier killed Steelgrave, set off the fire alarm that opened all the cells, and then went down toward the reactor. Killed two guards on his way toward it. Miss Americana and I followed. We struck some blows, but he damaged the reactor. To stop him from destroying the whole island, Miss Americana called down a large-scale EMP burst centered on that room. It shut down the prison, and it shut down what turned out to be a robotic duplicate of the hero known as Harrier. Miss Americana was injured in the process. I went back up to help pacify the prison. I did so. I helped Miss Americana get off-site discretely, as news crews weren't what we wanted to deal with, and I made sure the fried robot Harrier was delivered to some experts. I believe said experts helped trace back the signals on said robots, as well as working on a rescue mission. I thought I saw some odd-looking ship over the Bay earlier, so they've quite possibly gone on their mission already."


He shrugged and spread his hands in a "what are you going to do?" sort of gesture.


"Congratulations. You know what I saw. I'm not giving you a blow-by-blow on the prison  because I'm tired and I don't want to go back through that already, not with you, Victory. The situation was, is, handled. I'd wager the real Harrier will be back in town in a couple days at most, and Miss Americana will be recovered from her injuries soon enough. Oh, and I'm not heavily injured. Thanks for asking, your concern's touching."


There may have been a slight touch of sarcasm to his voice as he spoke the last couple of sentences. 

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The name Shadian Steelgrave instantly brought up another picture and bio, with his name, some vital information, and a list of known information over the last year. Victory very quickly looks it over, before reducing it to a thumbnail, as well.


Victory doesn't seem terribly broken up about not asking how Gabriel is. The thumbnail of Gabriel expanded in Victory's visor, showing


"Well you certainly look it. No noticeable injuries, either internal or external. If you were otherwise, I certainly wouldn't have approached you this soon."


The sight returns to being just a thumbnail, and Victory's gaze refocuses back on Gabriel.


"So an EMP is what knocked everything out just before the explosion? That explains how we lost sight of what went on. From the sounds of it, everything went down pretty suddenly. At least someone was able to make it out. I believe there were reports that you were able to get some people out with you. Well, we'll check the information against whatelse we have, and we're currently working on getting whatevidence we can. Thank you for the cooperation."


Victory stops for a moment, checking...something going on in his head. Once he clears it out, the microphone icon disappears, beforethe entire UI turns off. The visor retreats back into Victory's helmet. Once it's all clear, Victory sighs and rubs his forefinger and thumb against his eyes. The mechanical hand lowers, and Victory's expression isn't nearly as stern and straight, his voice more casual, but with more than a little weariness to it.


"Listen...all that official stuff...I have to keep myself sounding professional for the record when I submit this for investigation. But don't worry. You're not under any sort of suspicion. You were just who was last known to be at ground zero. No one's seen or heard from Miss Americana or Harrier since then. 


And I just wanted to know what happened to my friends."

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Gabriel closes his eyes with a sigh, taking a moment to collect his thoughts before continuing.


"Yeah. We didn't have time for Miss A to jury-rig the EMP to be more directional, so it basically fried or shut off most everything on the island. They managed to get the backup systems online, and so the worst prisoners are locked up in power-dampening cells again. The rest are under guard if necessary. I'm sure they'd appreciate some AEGIS assistance, but things were stable when I left.


As for "getting people out", like I said, I helped Miss Americana get back to her lab; she has the best facilities to care for herself and her unique physiology. The only other trip was a transport chopper taking the Harrier-bot to some other scientific acquaintances of Miss A who were in a better position to analyze things. Not like the prison really had the facilities or time for that."


His expression softened slightly as Victory's visor retreated back.


"I'm sorry if I was a bit snappy with you. It's just been a long day, and I've told this at least a half-dozen times. I frankly want to stop thinking about it. Miss A's fine, she's just taking care of herself. Harrier is one of the ones being rescued by the expedition that left earlier. At this point, we just have to wait and try to contact them again in a day or two."

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"It's been a long several days for all of us. Every time something this scale goes down, I always see all the capes out there helping in emergency relief. But it gets tiring. We're superhuman. Not inhuman."


Victory holds his hand out very slightly, palm facing up. A small slit appears in his wrist,and what looks to be a business card with the AEGIS logo shoots out.


"Here. I'm relatively easy to get a hold of, but it doesn't hurt to have one of these, right? Actually...now that I recall, you're affiliated with the Freedom League now, aren't you?"


His middle finger pushes the card back in, and Victory turns his hand over. A second slot opens, and a similar-sized hard pushes out halfway. This one, however, was quite different looking, apparently made of some kind of transparent gold material, with tiny circuits running through it. Victory pulls the card out,and present it forward.


"Take this one, instead. This one will let you bypass the directory entirely and patch you in directly to my set. It's specially coded so that it'll only work near DNA or energy patterns that match those known to be affiliated with the League."

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Gabriel starts to reach for the card.


"I'm a Freedom League Auxiliary member, yes-"


He blinks as the card is withdrawn, before comprehension dawns as another offer is made. He gently takes the more sophisticated card from Victory.


"Interesting. So Gaian Knight and Fleur de Joie will be able to use it as well. Which is good, the three of us seem to work together often, and I'm usually the one getting injured. This way they can let you know what went down."


He gives a slightly dramatic wink at that, before flipping the card over in his hand, inspecting it.


"Um. How would I use it?"


He's not exactly Miss Americana, after all. 

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Victory lets Gabriel take the card, and then quickly dispenses two more, holding them in his fingers.


"They'll want to have their own, then. As for how it works...well, I don't know the full specifics of how they make it, but basically what it does is react to the data we have stored, and if you're touching the card, and your genetic data matches our records as being affiliated with the League, a little button appears. Hold a digit on it, and it'll put you on my line. I usually answer very quickly, but sometimes I have something on my plate already."


Victory lowers his artificial arm, and hands the extra cards over.


"So Gaian Knight and Fleur, eh? I haven't had a chance to work with Knight before, although Fleur and I have met. I helped her out with those bees of hers once. It was quite an interesting experience, to say the least. Nice lady, though. I've been meaning to catch up with how things are going over in that colossal hive of hers."

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Gabriel takes the extra cards and tucks them away, holding the original in his hands. He gives it a thoughtful look.


"Right. Touch the card, get a button, hold a finger on the button, it calls you. That's what I needed."


He waggled his gloved fingers with a smirk.


"Hope it works through gloves."


He nods at Victory's next set of words.


"Fleur was, of course, part of the League for a long time. She helped Gaian Knight and myself join up. In fact, it was that mission, the one that secured our place in the League, where we encountered the Steelgrave clone...


Ah, yes, the bees. They're doing quite well now."


As Gabriel wasn't sure how much Victory knew of Sanctuary, and was unsure how much Fleur might be comfortable with Gabriel sharing about it, he refrained from directly speaking about it. 

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"It should. Remember that there are things that carry your DNA that are around you all the time, even if you don't see it."


Victory, with a smirk, raises his hand up to his head and makes a motion as if he were tugging a strand of hair out of his head.


"How do you think we got the DNA data in the first place? Remember, someone has to do cleanup after a big battle."


But Victory stops grinning, and crosses his arms, looking just a tad more business-like.


"Keeping that in mind, do be careful about where your DNA does end up. You'd be surprised how little some of these mad scientist types actually need for their plans. We've got it pretty well covered while within city and country borders, but do be careful on adventures outside the country."

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"I'm glad I won't have to take my glove off to-"


He stopped, and his gaze snapped to Victory's own as the mention of having his DNA on file clicked.


"Right.I suppose AEGIS would have DNA files on heroes...Out of curiosity, where did you happen upon mine? I'm typically pretty meticulous during hero work."


The smile he gave didn't quite reach his eyes.


"Except for when I'm being nearly disemboweled by super-zombies, or otherwise left the one broken and bleeding on the concrete after barely winning over my opponents. Sadly I lack the ability to summon fire when I want to wash away bloodstains."

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