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House of Marvelous (IC)

Tiffany Korta

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4th March 2013, around 10 am


No one really paid much attention to Nicki as they sat listening to their lecture for the day. So no one noticed that she was dressed in a parody of the traditional Catholic Schoolgirl, a very short tartan skirt and a blouse tied in the middle, and her suddenly blonde hair tied into bunches.


This was because the real Nicki was sat outside the offices of Summit Transnational watching again the video she had been aware off for only a couple of days.


The video beginning with a close up of a teddy bear face who started to speak in a defiantly feminine voice.

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“Hello I reaching out to you my fan because honestly I’m a little bored. There’s just something missing from my life right now.â€


As she spoke the camera zoomed out a little as she removed the head from the Teddy bear suit revealing the face of Madame Marvellous


“The problem is that I’ve just got no-one around to have a proper conversation with.â€

As the camera continued to zoom out it became clear that she was sat on a throne made out of half a dozen people, in a variety of different costumes.


“So I’m holding open auditions to find for myself a little assistant, If you think you’ve got what it takes then I’ll be at Onika studio from 8 am sharp, well thinking about it make that 9 am, on the 5th of March.â€

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Nicki had watched the video a number of times and kept coming back to one detail.


You know that’s where we fought those two human glow worms.


And out of all the Studio’s and even building she could pick she just happened to choose that one. It got to be some kind of invitation, or even a trap of some sort. So I figure I’m going to need some help.


Into the lobby of the building that Summit was based confidently strolled another Merge dressed in a similar manner to the merge currently taking Nicki’s lesson. Leanig ovrer the counter of the reception she took time to blow a bubble before speaking.


“Hi there I’m Merge Trois, I’ve got an important matter to discuss with Asad.â€


Once the poor receptionist had recovered her composure a flurry of calls, along with a couple of Security Guards, Merge was carefully escorted up to one of Summit’s conference room drawing attention to herself everywhere she went. Merge of cause lapped all this attention up blowing kisses and doing little wave to people as she passed by.

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He was really starting to not like Merge.  Not personal, but she was an ill omen every time she showed up.  Amir almost wanted to call her an albatross.  He was there, at the far end of the table, arms folded behind his head, and his legs up, and ankles crossed with his feet on a table that was far less ostentatious than what one would expect.


He waited for her.  And when she came in, he wasn't all smiles.  He didn't care about her attention seeking antics.  He was wondering what was going to come next.

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Megan Howell had been speaking with one of her co-workers when Merge Trois was led through the area by security.  The blonde woman looked over to regard the woman a moment with a neutral expression, her mind racing as she put a name to the face.  Isn't she a supercriminal that has targeted banks and other companies?  She thought to herself.  What in the world is she doing her.


"Who in the world was that?"  Megan's co-worker whispered once Merge had gone past, being led into a conference room where Amir was waiting.


"I have no idea."  Megan replied back quietly, watching for a few more moments before turning back to her co-worker.  "Well, I need to head down to archives for a bit.  Can you let Ms. Van Cleef know that I'm down there?"  She then stated before heading back to her office for a moment to pick up her bag.


A brief elevator ride later, and the young woman was down in a large room in the basement where hard copies of everything Summit was involved with were kept.  Amir, being a bit old fashioned, insisted on having hard copies of everything.  The room was filled with rows and rows of tall file cabinets, with some scattered desks throughout.  Most people in Summit never came down here, mainly the interns, and only when they could not put it off any longer.


So, it made the perfect place to disappear to for a little bit in the middle of the day.


A second later, Megan was in the back of the room and changed into her Velocity costume.  Stowing her bag with her work clothes in a unused draw of a file cabinet, she was then off. 


Not more than five seconds later, the speedster was on the roof of a building across the way from the conference room Amir and Merge were meeting in.  Focusing on the windows of the room, Velocity used the technology in her goggles to zoom in on them to try and keep an eye on things and make sure Amir was not in some sort of danger.  She knew he was a superhero, after all he had not bothered to try to keep his identity secret, but still the young woman could not help but be concerned.  After all, he might be nearly twice her age, but she had been at the superhero thing considerably longer.

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Wow I really don’t think he is happy to see us!


 Well what do expect the first time we met him we robbed him and the second time we bought him to the virtual ghost of his old girlfriend. How exactly would you feel to see us again?


Point taken. So how do we do this?


Well let’s try the truth.


With the door closed Merge whole demeanor changed she was a little less flamboyant around Asad. She pulled her tiny skirt down into a much more sensible charcoal number and buttoned up a better fitting white blouse. Finally she tied her hair back into a simple ponytail.


“Camera’s doing much better now thanks’ to your help, he can even hold a conversation for a minute or two.†She paused and fiddled for a few seconds, she was actually feeling a little nervous “Thanks to you I’ve decided to go straight, and you have no reason to trust my word right now.â€


She got a rather expensive top end Cell phone and put it on the desk.


“It’s mine bought and paid for, you can have the number if you want. All I ask is that you watch the video after that I’ll leave if you want.â€


She pressed the play button and Madame Marvelous began her unique sales pitch…

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Amir's expression never changed, he was... well grumpy looking.  His brows knitted together, and a frown on his face as he looked at Merge and gave a slight nod of his head for security to leave.  They were a moot point, there could be an army of her in the building, and it wouldn't matter.


Wordlessly he stared at the image, fortunately that beard of his hid the fact that his jaw was clenching and unclenching.  "And?"  It was terse, from a man known for being verbose.  As he lifted his gaze and looked up at Merge.  As lax as his body language was, it was clear he was not in particularly in a good mood at this point.

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Wow he really doesn’t like us right now. This is pointless

And what do you expect us to do? Fight her all by ourselves?

We’ve done it before, we don’t need him.

Probably not, but let’s at least give him a chance.

“I think it’s a trap, as well of being one of her media stunts, one designed just for me. She a trap for me Onika studio is where I did my first job. I don’t think I can handle her on my own, and you're the only person that trusts me even a little bit.â€

She got out of the chair and made her way towards the door.

“I’m going to be there tomorrow around dawn to do crowd control, I’d like to think you’ll come down there to help...â€

Edited by TiffanyKorta
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"You are her type.  Blowing kisses to the security cameras.  Smiling playing to the crowd.  Making a deal at the crossroads with someone, and then paying the price in debt or insanity.  Sounds all of that would draw her in."  He turned the chair slowly and lowered his legs to press his feet to the ground, and he rose to his full height.  A hand going to the front of his tailored suit, as he leveled a dull look from his handsome face at her.


"I am the head of a multi-billion dollar multinational, and you, my little albatross, my ill omen are once more trying to what... get my help?  Apparently my hearing and my memory has vanished in my old age, because I don't recall you asking."  He moved to her, slowly, unaware of her internal dialog.  He wasn't trying to be intimidating .  Or anything, he just looked at her.


"You would like to think?"  And he barked a short laugh and he pushed off the ground and covered the distance between them quickly enough to be sudden as interjected himself between her and the door.  "No.  You do not get to run away.  Tell me what did you think Ms. Trois.  I want to hear this, I want to listen to you expound as to what your foresight has garnered you."


He glowered at her witheringly, as he spoke again, almost through clenched teeth.  "You want my help you ask, and you understand what you ask of me.  You do not pull this passive-aggressive attempt to guilt trip me into helping you."

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Wait don’t he’s trying to get a reaction...

Merge whirled back to Asad a reaction on her face he hadn’t seen before that of pure anger.

“I am nothing like her I choose this life to try and help somebody, not on some whim because my Q score was slipping.â€

Feel better for that?

A little but yeah.

It’s only because he right you know, and guess what you get to apologize to the him.

There was an awkward pause and then Merge’s entire body language changed, becoming more relaxed, and she her face had a slightly cheeky apologetic look as if she been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. When she was not being abrasive she could be just as charming and sociable as Asad himself, maybe even a little bit more.

“You’re right, and I’m sorry. In my previous career people didn’t ask for help, I suppose I just go into the habit.†she broke into her most charming smile “Mr Asad could you help me in dealing with this potential problem?â€

She then gave a little puff of air.

“And an Albatros? Really?â€

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"Well, you know what they say about good intentions and where they lead.  Especially when the only person you could even think to go for help is angered by your very presence."  And he lifted a hand waving it at the air, in an annoyed fashion, before letting out a tired sigh and moved from her, going to the liquor cabinet in pulling out a bottle of scotch and pouring himself a drink.  "Or that decisions made out of desperation haunt you for the rest of your life."


"It would be Mr. al-Misri.  I do not need my ego stroked, girl.  If it is a trap do not go.  I fail to see the issue here.  Or why all of you need me."  He turned to her and gesturing at her in an expansive fashion as he looked at her over the lip of his glass.  "And playing cheeky does not lend to sincerity, and right now you have an uphill battle for that.  Also, it is killing what precious time you have here in my building.  Given that the police were called the moment the cameras spotted you.  Oh, I should send you the bill for all the upgrades I did."  Of course he was confident she could get away.  Why wouldn't he be?  She had pulled it before, and he knew that the Camera fellow was nearby enough to help her.

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Stood there in that office Merge was almost ready to give up, but she’d never expected that becoming a hero would be an easy transition. With a little sigh she slumped back into her chair.

“People will get hurt,  when the police find out they’ll try to shut everything down. And everyone’s still jittery over the Day of Wrath.†she showed to Asad for the first time what seemed to be genuine emotion “I know what you think about me but I was never about chaos and disorder, it was all just a front. She doesn’t care about people, they’re just extra’s to her. I don’t care about stopping Madame Marvelous only stopping the chaos she'll cause.â€

She sat up straight in her chair and tucked her hand’s in her lap, and look a mix of defiance and resignation.

“If it will prove my point I’ll wait here, allow the police to arrest me take me to serve for my crimes. But please don’t allow her to hurt all those people...â€

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He muttered distractedly as he looked away.  "You really do not know what I am thinking."  Shifting as he stood, Amir placed his hands on his hips.  "Go.  I will be there tomorrow."  A frown on his face as he looked back to her.


"So there is no sense in you getting arrested.  No threats, I am going to assume you are smart enough that such isn't needed."  A dismissive wave of his hand happened as he moved to pour himself some scotch from the liquor cabinet that was there on site.

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Merge stood up and look towards Asad one of her usual quips died on her lips, she could see that her coming here had brought back memories he really didn’t want to deal with right now.

“After this I won’t come here, if that what you want. And I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want me around. But if you ever need my help don’t hesitate to give me a call.â€

She wrote down her number on a pad before picking up her cell phone. With merely a shimmer her clothes returned to their less sensible form. As she left the office she couldn’t help but give him a little wave as she left the office.

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Velocity had been able to watch most of what was going on in the conference room from where she had positioned herself, including having been able to see the video that Merge showed to Asad.  But, despite this, she still did not have a clear clue what was going on exactly, as she could not hear what was being said.  Was Merge Trois helping Madame Marvelous blackmail Asad somehow?  Something else?


The young superheroine did not like the uncertainty, and was a bit worried about Asad, he clearly did not seem happy to see Merge Trois.  When Merge made her way out of the Summit offices, the speedster decided she would need to take a bit more of a direct approach to figure out what was going on.




With a gust of wind and a blur of yellow, the speedster appeared in front of Merge in the plaza outside Summit's building.  "Okay, hold it right there Merge Trois.  I'm Velocity from the Freedom League and last I heard, you were committing crimes against banks and large corporations.  So, I would like to hear why I should not be escorting you to the police station."

Edited by Thevshi
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Well I had to be nice to Asad, he’s the closest I’ve go to an ally, but I don’t need to be nice to this one...

Oh no you don’t we need all the help we can get, be nice.

Okay, but at least allow me a little snark.

Just a little then.

“Oh that’s nice, I guess it’s a fair cop.†she held her hands out as if ready to be cuffed.

Then she tipped her head to one side and gave a dumb look, before pointing to her head.

“But wait I can do this.â€

And just like that Merge was gone from in front of Velocity, a voice from behind her ear then spoke.

“I could have escaped any time I wanted but, and I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. I needed help and Asad is the only person this side of the fence I know and trust. Though given his relationship to madame Marvelous I shouldn’t have expected a warm welcome.â€

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When Merge disappeared, Velocity tensed up slightly ready for a possible attack.  The moment Merge reappeared behind her, the speedster spotted her thanks to the three hundred and sixty degree sight her goggles provided her. 


Just as Merge began to speak, the yellow clad speedster turned in an instant.



Her fist broke the sound barrier as it slammed into Merge, knocking the other woman onto her rear.  Velocity looked down at her, a slight smirk on her face.  "Turning over a new leaf huh?  You think you just get to say you changed sides and everything you have done before is forgiven?  I believe I indicated I was willing to listen to why I shouldn't arrest you and you want to play games."


"So, how about you tell me what is going on that involves you, Madame Marvelous and Asad?"

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Ow... Ow...

You know you really deserved that.

No I didn’t... well okay maybe a little. But she didn’t have to be so rough

Welcome to the hero business!

Merge propped herself up, but didn't yet bother to stand back-up. She was deliberately not making any sudden moves, in case it could be seen as the opening for an attack.

“I think I’ve spent more time on my tush, literally and metaphorically, since I’ve decided to become a hero. Go job I decided to wear my clean panties today...†she looked up at the determined face of Velocity and gave a little sigh.

“There’s been a video going around mostly fansites, special blog and tweet’s, from Madame Marvelous. Seems she decided to recruit an assistant, a Marvelous Idol if you will. She sent me a copy and I suspect it’s some kind of trap, so I asked Asad for some help.â€

She held her hand up and slowly opened the little jacket she was wearing.

“I have the video here on my cell, and it is mine all bought and paid for. I’ve even got a receipt.â€

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Velocity relaxed her stance just a bit as Merge began to behave herself a bit more and started to explain about Madame Marvelous' little "audition" video.  The speedster watched as Merge played it on her cell phone, wanting to hear the audio this time.


When it was done she looked back at Merge.  "Yeah, that certainly looks like it could be a trap."  She replied.  "So, what’s your plan?  Go in there and let it be sprung?"  She paused a brief moment and then continued.  "Are you really planning to try to do something about this out of some concern for those people in that video?  Or is there some connection between you and her?"

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Merge looked a little disappointed.

“Well if you’ve read my file...†her face scrunched up in thought “... if I have a file, you see that I’d never harmed anyone. In fact I even gave up anyone I worked with who I thought we’re about to hurt people.â€

She carefully picked her up, keeping an eye on Velocity the whole time.

“I think she must see us as kindred spirits, seems everyone still thinks I’m the villain,...†she gave an exaggerated hurt look “... that must be why she invited me. And I plan to use that to try and blunt the usual chaos her plan’s normally cause.â€

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A small frown came to Velocity's face.  "Well, not physically hurting anyone aside, a crime is still a crime."  Her face then softened slightly.  "But it doesn't hurt, especially if you are trying to change as you say."


The speedster's mind began to race as she considered her options.  Now that Merge mentioned it, she did not recall any stories that mentioned anyone being physically hurt by her past crimes.  While it certainly did not excuse her past crimes, it certainly helped with being willing to take her word that she was trying to change and believe her when she explained why she wanted to do something about this.  Merge certainly wasn't the first former supercriminal to have a change of heart, and hopefully would not be the last.  Others that had done far worse had been given second chances, though even they often faced some repercussions for their past deeds as well. 


Merge wanted to help stop Madame Marvelous, and Velocity was certainly not going to begrudge her that.  If she took Merge to the police it would likely be something of a hassle in trying to get her released to her custody to help out, and the speedster tended to not have the patience for dealing with such red tape.  While it was a risk to allow Merge to remain free and go to deal with this incident, it was a risk Velocity was willing to accept, given Merge's past history.


All of this consideration took a mere fraction of a second of course.  "Okay Merge," the speedster began, "I have no real reason not to believe you about this.  So you have asked Asad for help, well, now you have me as well.  So, what is the plan?"

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Merge gave another of her cheeky smiles.

“Well I’m not really good at one with plan’s, I tend to improvise on the spot.â€

It was a tiny lie, Nicki use to plan there heist in minute details, but when trouble went down Merge tended to take over and she tended to make thing up as she went along.

“Though knowing Marvelous she’ll be fashionable late so I’d like to keep things low key, so no backup. We to disperse the crowd or at least keep trouble to a minimum, then go see what she wants.†she waved her hand is a vague manner

Cause the whole thing made up a plan, but she was hoping that Velocity didn’t notice that...

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Velocity listened to Merge, given a small grin as the former villain mentioned tending to improvise.  "I can certainly identify with that.  Usually I just run in and see what's going on.  But then, in the time it takes most people to just glance around a room, I can get a good look at everything and everyone in the room, decide how big a threat they are (or aren't), consider multiple ways to deal with each of them, think about what dress I will want to wear when I go clubbing later in the week, convince myself that I should not ask out that hot guy from the gym (for as hot as he is, he is waaaay to much one of my lamer ex-boyfriends), and think about a couple of dozen other things as well."


"But away," she gave a dismissive wave of her own, "that sounds a lot like a plan, and not necessarily a bad one."

"I more meant when and where were you and Asad planning to meet tomorrow.  That is, assuming he agreed to help."

Edited by Thevshi
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You’ve been avoiding saying anything haven’t you?

Yeah okay Jimmy Cricket, I am capable of feeling guilty you know.

I know we’re are the same person, more or less

So let me guess, tell the truth again?


“Well I’m not exactly sure. I’m not sure if your aware but him and Madame marvelous have a bit of a history, back before she became a villain. It’s a bit of a blind spot for him and he wasn’t his most forthcoming when I showed him the video. It seems that when I ask him for help she tends to turn up like a bad penny.â€

In the background they could hear siren’s growing steadily louder, whilst Merge was now a good guy the police might not understand.

“I’m not sure when he’ll turn up, only that he will be there. I’m going to be there just before door open, to she how many invites she’s got, with her timekeeping that should give me an hour at least.†she gave a little grin “To be honest I was lucky to get a promise he’d show up, you’re welcome to try and get a definate from him.†she waved her cell about “You’ve got my number at least.â€

With only minutes left before trouble arrive Merge began to fade away again, but before she did she help giving a parting shot.

“And thank for giving me a chance to explain myself, i appreciate that.â€

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"No, I was not aware of that."  Velocity replied as Merge mentioned that Asad had a previous history with Madame Marvelous. 


As Merge began to fade away and thanked her for giving herself a chance to talk, the speedster called out.  "I will be there tomorrow morning.  And please don't give me a reason to regret letting you go today."


Velocity was then off herself, speeding away before looping back towards the building and vibrating through a wall down to the archives to change back into being just Megan Howell the intern.  She was feeling a bit more worried about Amir now, given the information that he had some past relationship with Madame Marvelous. 

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