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The New Regimen [IC]


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“Date: Saturday May 18th, 2013

Time: 18:53

Project: Seven – Niner – Foxtrot – Tangoâ€


Uttered Dr. Steels allowed as she began to record her daily report. “Blood cultures are advancing within acceptable bounds as defined in audio log...†she paused as she looked over her notes. “...Six – Eight – Foxtrot – Tango.†She continued finding her spot. “Despite the presence of pathogens and temperature holding steady at 20 C, cultures are progressing at standard rate. Of note however in sample 3, abnormalities have begun to appear. Vacuole size is visibly diminished, whereas mitochondria count seems to have increased. This suggests increased energy use on the cellular level. Result has not yet been determined. Will continue monitoring for additional adjustments. Suggest additional layer of protein analysis, and chromosomal count to determine if mutation was induced from exposure from pathogens at close of experiment in 72 hours. End log.†Finished Cassandra as she switched the recorder off.


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Cassandra leaned back in a stretch massaging her eyes letting out a deep sigh. Standing up she set about gather her notes and cleaning her desk. After having locked her files away in her safe, she made her way over to the kitchen to make herself dinner, humming to herself while she worked. She mentally turned over various hypothesis over what potential variable she had missed for sample 3, or if it was merely the first one to experience the change. Whatever it was, she had to stabilize the formula before she added it to her regimen. Her eyes wandered over to the door she had ripped off its hinges last time she had taken a formula before doing her due diligence; a rookie mistake.


Dinner finished and the dishes put away, Cassandra got changed for her nightly jog around the city. This would potentially be the first night to field test her newest trinket, she hesitated at calling it an invention, as it was modeled on a magician prop. They were a series of plastic rings worn around her joints, waist and bust, and should she Max out while wearing these, they would burst open and deploy her costume and lock away her civilian clothes for later use. The process would reverse should she revert to her normal size. It had held up well in all of the trials thus far, even while under duress, but a meta brawl was an entirely different animal.


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Like most of her patrols to date, for about the first hour or so, there was nothing to differentiate it from a simple jog around the city. As night began to fall however, she was able to move around a bit more freely away from prying eyes, taking the occasional leap between alley ways and onto rooftops. She made especially sure to scope out some of the higher buildings so she could get a bird's eye view of her surroundings. Knowing the city from the street and from the rooftops are two wildly different things. That and people give you really odd looks when you're dressed up like a superhero and have to stop at the corners to read the street signs to figure out how to get back home.


She made her way south as the night went down, first to the City Center before heading to the Fens. All of the “blockbuster†crime took place in the northern parts of the city where all the money and technology was. But a sad fact of life in Freedom City is that there was an omnipresent criminal element in the seedier parts of the city that many of the heroes overlook. Or to be more precise, they don't know where to look. The egomaniacs that raid banks and debut their doomsday weapons want to make a spectacle of themselves. Down in the Fens however, the criminals just want to snatch that purse, make that drug deal or kill that gang banger without anyone being any the wiser.

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Having grown up in Freedom City, Cassandra really disliked the fact that there were streets in her city that she shouldn't walk at night. That's why she made it a point to always have her patrol routes take her to the Fens whenever she had the chance. She didn't have an delusions about stopping all the crime in that section of the city, but the job of a hero was to try anyway.


On this particular night, the first thing worthy of note was another man on the street that she ran past. From afar he looked rather normal. But up close, Cassandra was able to see his blood shot eyes, his jittery hands and the cold sweat on his forehead. It looked like he was going through withdrawal. It could be possible he was just trying to kick the habit, but wandering around at this time of night? Unlikely. After rounding a corner or two, Cassandra Maxed-Out and made her way up to the tops of the nearby buildings. From her vantage point she was able to follow this man for about 10 minutes. She was getting ready to call of her her search when her target suddenly ducked into a side alleyway. “Oh this can't be good.†muttered Maxima to herself as she tried to skulk closer.


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Unfortunately, her cynicism turned out to be spot on this evening.  Shortly after the first man ducked into the alleyway, another man came from the other direction.  There was some quiet and hurried conversation between the two gentleman, who kept looking over their shoulders to see if they were alone.  Do people seriously not think to look up in this town?  Muttered Maxima to herself as she surveyed the scene.  I mean, bad guy 101. 


The two men apparently came to some kind of agreement, as one proceeded to pull out a wad of cash and the other pulled a brown paper bag from inside his jacket.  And that would be my cue. thought Maxima as she took the one step shortcut to the ground floor landing between the two men.  "Evening gentlemen.  Why don't you keep your hands where I can see them?"


That went about as well as you would expect.  The man with the paper bag decided pulled out handgun and unloaded on Maxima at point blank range.  "Bad life choice." growled Maxima darkly before swatting the man, sending him reeling 30ft back when he collided painfully with a dumpster.  Turning around, Maxima saw the other man had bolted off down the other direction while Maxima was distracted.  She caught up with him after a few quick hops before she bodily lifted him into the air and slammed him back to the ground.  Such a waste...

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Maxima had her hands on her hips as she paced on the sidewalk for a few moments.  She need that time t clear her head.  She was still pretty new to this hero business, and getting shot at still got her adrenaline pumping.  She needed to be calm and collected for this next part, and she couldn't have her heart beating out of her chest.  Her first order of business was to assess the wounds of the two criminals.  She began with the buyer she had slammed to the ground.  He likely had some bruised ribs, and would have a massive headache the next day, but would otherwise be fine and dandy by week's end.  The seller on the other hand... well she probably hit him harder than she needed to.  His ribs were heavily bruised, and probably had one or two cracked ones.  Reel it in Cassie.  Reel. It. In. she chastised herself for being overly aggressive.  She planned on heaving these two up on her shoulders and bounding her way over to the police station.  That wasn't really a possibility with their injuries.  They weren't in any immediate danger, but they likely couldn't take the impacts of Maxima's leaps in their condition.


Alright, the nearest police station is about 20 minutes away on foot.  And even if I found a way to transport them, they really need medical attention before then.  It is about this time that Maxima spots a pay phone across the street.  Oh this should be a riot.

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"911, what's you're emergency?" came the curt female voice over the line.


"This is Maxima, one of the heroes in the city.  I'm at the corner of 113th and 43rd, and I have two suspects in custody in need of processing and medical attention.  Shots were fired but no one was injured."  Rattled off Maxima matter-of-factly.  She wanted this conversation to be over as rapidly as possible.  Both because it was one of the most inane and quite possibly awkward conversations she was going to have, but also because she had to get on her knees, hold the phone between her thumb and pointer finger and use a stick from a corn dog she found on the ground to dial.  She did not want a picture of this to wind up online.


...But there was quite a pause at the other end of the line. 


"Sir you are aware that its--"


"Ma'am." interjected Maxima. 


"I-I'm sorry?"


"You said 'sir'.  It's 'ma'am'.  The name is Maxima, not Maximo."  To be fair, sight unseen and through a public telephone, Maxima's voice could be mistaken for a man's, but she really was in no mood for this debate. 


"...This isn't a prank is it?"


"No.  No.  This really is happening."




"We just got a report of gunshots in the area, I'm sending a squad car over."

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Maxima took it back.  Calling the police from a payphone was not the most awkward thing she would do this night.  As it turns out, waiting for them to show up is much more awkward. In this giant metabrawls, the police are always in the nearby vicinity.  Whether they were setting up a perimeter, or just helping the civilians get out of harms way.  Soon as the big bad went down, the police were right there to whisk the villain away, so the hero could get back to kissing babies and interviewing reporters.  But when that same hero takes down some anonymous drug dealers?  You got to wait your turn like everyone else. 


On the upside it did give Maxima time to think about what she could do differently on her patrols to avoid this sort of thing, as keeping an eye on two unconscious guys isn't particularly difficult (though she did have to bend a street light a bit to get it to shine down into the alleyway).  For starters she needed some way to contact the police reliably.  Her own cell phone was obviously out of the question because of how easily it could be tracked to her.  Perhaps a track phone, bought and paid for in cash?  Of course, she could just ask the police if there was some method she was unaware of.  Probably one of the fringe benefits of being a member of the Freedom League is having a phone number you can call police from without awkward questions.  She also needed to start carrying some basic crime scene gear.  She had the training to start collecting samples and handling evidence, but couldn't do any of it without the materials.  Granted police probably didn't want a super to be mucking with the crime scene too much, but seriously some basic stuff could really help out here.  She could tape off the area at least. 

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Mercifully Maxima soon heard the sound of police sirens in the distance.  After another moment squad car 16 rolled around the corner and came to a stop a short distance away from Maxima.  There were two officers in the vehicle.  Both appeared to be Latino.  The driver appeared to be rather young, likely still in her twenties, and had a rather athletic build.  The officer office was male, likely in his mid forties, and looked a bit past his prime physically.  As Maxima stopped leaning up against the wall, and stood up to her full height to greet the officers properly, she saw the female officer say "Jesus..." to which her partner who retorted "You ain't seen nothing yet."


The two officers got out of their car, with the older officer taking lead.  As he and Maxima shook hands he said "I'm Officer Ramirez, and this if Officer Black.  And if dispatch was right, you're Maxima.  Correct?"


"Yes that's correct Officer.  Pleasure to meet you."


"Alright, bring us up to speed."


"Appears to be a simple drug deal I wandered upon.  Buyer." said Maxima indicating to the man unconscious on the sidewalk.  "Seller." she said as she pointed down the alley way.  "The two were in the midst of their transaction when I dropped in on them." explained Maxima, indicating to the rough middle point between the two suspect where her two boot prints where imbedded into the ground.  Nearby was some scattered cash from the buyer as well as the seller's drugs and gun, dropped when Maxima had clobbered him.  "Seller pulled that gun, while the buyer bolted.  I subdued the seller, then chased after the buyer, subduing him when I caught up.  I called 911 shortly thereafter.  Neither individual has come to yet, and I have not materially interacted with the crime scene since these events transpired." finished Maxima. 

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The senior officer nods.  "Alright Black, you bag and tag.  Make sure to get a few pictures of the crime scene.  How banged up do you reckon these two guys are?"  he said aloud to nobody in particular.   "Initial prognosis of the buyer indicates extensive blunt force trauma to the back as a result of being slammed to the ground.  Trauma does not appear to have caused any fractures in the individuals ribcage.  Pupils dilated as normal.  Concussion unlikely." 


"Seller suffered from blunt force trauma to the sternum from initial backhand.  Additionally subject's right arm caught a significant portion of the impact, and likely received a fracture and/or sprain.  Subject received additional injuries from secondary impact with the dumpster.  Pupils did not dilate with exposure to light.  Concussion likely.  Secondary impact also likely cause minor fracturing in individual's ribcage.   Agitated motion will likely result in further injury." 




"...Thorough." responded Officer Black flatly after a moment.  "Ok dispatch, this is Officer Black responding to that hero activity down in the Fens, we got a code 783 here.

"Kicked the stuffing out of them huh?" 

"Uh.. dispatch?" 

"Standing right next to you aren't they?" 

"That's an affirmative." 

"I've got an ambulance headed your way."

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The two police officers went about their business collecting the evidence, marking off the crime scene and all that mess.  Maxima for her part took a back seat and just hung back and let them work uninterrupted.  The suspects received medical attention when the ambulance arrived on scene.  Maxima's diagnosis appeared to be pretty much spot on.  The seller's arm was going to be in a sling for a couple of weeks, but he would otherwise be fine.  Maxima breathed a sigh of relief.  She felt sorry she had hurt the man so much, but she's glad he was going to be alright.  Soon after another squad car appeared on the scene to lend a hand.  One of the new officers escorted the suspects to the hospital.  The other stayed behind to keep watch over the crime scene and to deliver statements. 


Officer Black got off her radio and approached Maxima.  "Just got word in from the station.  They want you to head in so they can get an official statement from you on record.  Pretty standard procedure for new heroes.  Chief likes to put a face with the name; meet you in person.  That kind of thing.  Precinct 12 down on 23rd street.  Know the place?"


"Sure do.  I'll be there in a few." replied Maxima shaking the officer's hand.  "Thanks for cleaning up my mess."


"Hey, you got them off the street.  That's the kind of mess I don't mind cleaning up.  But uhh... before you leave, can you take care of that?"  asked Officer Black pointing at the bent over street light. 


"Oh uh right."  said Maxima sheepishly as she straighted the light again.  She gave a small wave to the officers before she bounded off to the police station. 

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It didn't take Maxima too long to reach the police station, as she had memorized the locations of all of the police stations in Freedom City for this inevitable situation. She did however wait a moment or two so that the people at the front desk would be warned that she was coming. Strange person who obviously has super powers wanders into any place unannounced and people are going to be a little on edge. You only got one first impression, and Maxima wanted to make it a good one.


Officer Jennifer Sparks had been catching up on some paperwork this evening. There hadn't been too much activity in the past couple of hours at this police station; just a few drunks who got thrown in the tank for the night. Then she got the call that some super was coming down to the station to get their testimony on record. “Just when I was getting some work done too.†she muttered as she hung up the phone, determined to get at least some of this done before the super came and killed a productive night shift. If she had been paying more attention to her surroundings, she would have noticed the ripples in her glass of water.


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Hopefully they want me on the first floor... thought Maxima to herself as she scaled the concrete steps to the police station.  She had learned a long time ago that Maxing out and the second floor don't always mesh so well.  She gingerly opened the door and stooped to get inside.  The lobby in front of her immediately reminded her she was in the bad part of town.  The officer at the front desk (and by extension the rest of the facility) was behind what looked like concrete walls and bullet proof glass.  The only doors she saw were obviously metal, and had rather impressive looking deadbolt locks on them.  Then there were all the cameras.  Maxima counted at least 5 in this room alone, and then there had to be just as many outside. 


So that's why Maxima was so puzzled when the officer didn't even so much as acknowledge that she was in the room; she did take up a rather sizable portion of it.  After a moment of standing there awkwardly, she reached a hand out and knocked softly on the glass. “Um hello? My name--†and that was about as far as she got. The officer's head jerked up, her eyes wide in shock and she shouted “Get behind the yellow line!†almost reflexively.


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Maxima jumped back in shock, smacking her head against the ceiling in the process.  "Sorry!  Sorry! I didn't mean-" stammered Maxima as she back peddeled.  There was indeed a yellow line on the ground, she had been so preoccupied on not hitting her head on the ceiling, she didn't even look at the floor and missed the line entirely. 


"Sorry.  I didn't see you come in.  You scared me."


"You're not the only one who just got scared I mean-" Maxima stopped as several more officers came into the room, guns drawn.  She instantly put her hands in the air. 


"Don't move!  Hands where I can see them!" shouted one of the officers.


"Its ok!  It's OK!  She's the hero who was coming down, she just startled me." said Officer Sparks hastily, trying to restore order before things got any further out of hand. 


"You sure?" 


"I'm sure.  I'm sure right?" she replied, directing her question at Maxima.


"Definately.  One of the good guys here.  Same side." said Maxima softly, trying to look unimposing as possible. 


"Alright then." said the officer slowly, as he took a final look around, before holstering his gun, the other officers following his lead.  Maxima slowly brought her arms back down.  "Good to meet you.  I'm Seargent Patterson.  I'm the one who wanted to meet with you." he said extending his hand. 


"Maxima.  Pleasure to meet you sir."  she replied shaking his hand. 

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"Alright.  Lets put this little scare behind us.  We just brewed a fresh pot; want a cup?"


"Absolutely." said Maxima as she followed him into the station proper.  The other officers made their way back to their desks, doing whatever it was they were doing before Maxima showed up.  Well they didn't do it quickly, there was quite a lot of lingering going on.  A lot of craning of necks, a lot of conversations in areas that just so happened to give a good vantage point of the room, a lot of people asking if they got that email they sent you, etc.  Maxima for her part shook hands and introduced herself to anyone who bothered to do the same with her. 


Coffee in hand, Sergeant Patterson lead Maxima to one of the rooms in the back.  "This is one of our interview rooms." said Sergeant Patterson, stating the obvious.  "It has all of the recording equipment we'll need to get your testimony on record.  We've got another officer on the other side of that double sided mirror there monitoring the equipment.  On for the record, assume everything in this room is being recorded.  Why don't you have a seat?"  he said motioning to a chair on one side of the table in the center of the room.


"Because I'd break it?" answered Maxima wryly.  She moved the chair aside and kneeled on the ground, sitting back on her feet. 

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"Alright then.  Hang tight for a moment, and I'll get you the paperwork you'll need." said Seargwent Patterson excusing himself from the room.  He came back a moment later with a manilla folder full of the oh so wonderful standardized government forms.  "So, you being a hero, you're likely going to have to testify a lot in the coming years.  And since tracking down heroes can get rather cumbersome, there have been a few pieces of legislation passed to facilitate getting testimony from supers.  Namely, you're always treated as if you were sworn in when communicating with a police officer involving a crime.  This is most useful if, due to extenuating circumstances, you can't make your court date, the whole case doesn't get thrown out.  Ideally, you'll be there as it does add credence to the case, and only certain parts of your testimony are counted if you aren't there."


Patterson sat down across the table from Maxima.  "Now this part is very important.  This legislation is a bit of a double edged sword.  If you give your statement to the officer at the scene of the crime, and you lie, it becomes a serious offense.  It's akin to lying under oath, and interfering with a police investigation.  Furthermore, it can call into question your past testimony as well.  Furthermore, if you are found at the scene of a crime, you are required to make a statement to the police in the next 24 hours."


"So I want you to read this information packet over; it's got all the details you'll need to make this decision one way or the other.  If you decide not to go through with it, you can still testify, but it'll be as a regular witness, no special conditions one way or the other."

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And that's pretty much how the rest of the night went for Maxima.  She read through the information in the packets, asking questions as she had them and Seargent Patterson would answer them.  It's about as exciting as you would expect navigating seas of red tape through paperwork would be. 


So long as she was there, she also picked Patterson's brain about some of the do's and don'ts of super heroing, especially around a crime scene.  Generally speaking, the police and lawyers are fine with truested heroes taking evidence from a crime scene to do their own analysis, so long as they're kept in the loop.  They learned long ago that the heroes tend to have superior equipment and experience in these weirder fields.  If Daedalus says he wants to run a sample through a chronomagnetic spectral analysis to check from quantum instability in the lower UV wave lengths, you let him. 


By the time she left the police station it was nearly midnight, and it really felt like it.  She barely remembered the leaps back home.  She set down a couple of blocks away before changing back and jogging the rest of the way back to the apartment complex.  If it hadn't been so late by the time she stumbled into her apartment, she would have taken a long bubble bath, possibly with some red wine relaxed.  But she had to be at work tomorrow, so it was a quick shower before falling face first into bed and passing out.  I have no idea how the other heroes do this every day...  she mused before sleep took her away. 

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