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J.P. Morgan & Chase Bank, Mcullough-Adams, Bayview, Freedom City

July 2nd, Wednesday, 2.45 PM, 2014

The day had begun like most others on a summer day on the American east coast. For Freedom City it had been even more mundane than usual, everything that made the city such a dazzling gem of multi-faceted weirdness lying low as the sun beat down. As the day had veered into afternoon, hopes had slowly strengthened that maybe today, today nothing would happen.

The bank tellers at Bayview's biggest Chase branch had begun to relax, smiling in relief as the hours ticked down to closing. They were cheerfully helping the last trickles of patrons before the big late-afternoon rush, chatting idly with each other when the burning men crashed through the roof, landing on the floor in a stream of flaming wreckage. One, covered in something like an astronaut's ">suit but red and emblazoned with a yellow lizard on the shoulders and chest, pointed a square black thing vaguely shaped like a gun at the tellers. "Out." his voice was soft as it crackled over a radio, but icily compelling "Now."

"You heard him, gents!" sang out another of the gang, similarly-suited but weaponless save for a flickering heatwave around her "That insurance money won't steal itself! And we don't wanna hurt you, but-" a wave of heat slammed into one of the steel walls as she gestured carelessly with a hand, melting a hole clean through it "-we sure won't cry if we have to!"

The other two were silent, the stocky one in a black suit opening their helmet to release a cloud of smoke that drifted up to the ceiling, starting the fire alarms' screaming wail. The last, a spindly figure in vivid yellow, snapped their fingers. To the terrified eyes of the tellers, guards, and patrons, flames seemed to leap from the floor, heading straight for them!

From outside things weren't much better. A comet seemed to flash out of the sky and hit the bank, the fire alarms went off and the people inside came charging out, screaming and frantically beating at themselves.

It was the kind of sight that made every nearby Freedonian look reflexively up at the sky, and wonder why, just why it always happened here...

Edited by Arichamus
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Valentine, had just finished a luncheon with her longtime friend Celeste who was in town visiting for the week wanting to see the new place her bestie was now calling home. The luncheon had just ended, the two were say their goodbyes for the afternoon, as Valentine need to run some appointments and Celeste was off to the waterfront for a little leisurely exploration.


“I’ll be back at the house in a few hours after I run some errands Celeste, we can get another bite and check out the night scene maybe find you a guy that will make you want to call this place home as well.†With a parting hug Valentine heads off down the road towards her car.


The flash and explosion from up the hill grabs valentines attention, she looks around and see and out of place mix of reactions. Some people shocked and started, others with a slight shake of their head as the look towards the incident and casually back to their business. As she looks around she see Celeste’s frightful look on her face as she holds herself steady with both hands on the streetlight gaze off towards the commotion. Valentine looks in the same direction and sees that the explosion was not too far from where she is. “This should prove to be interesting.†She thinks to herself. Valentine takes one more look towards Celeste and heads to a dead run towards her car to suit up.

Edited by Valcili
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Will had been taking an afternoon run around the city, with no classes for the rest of the day. He found runs like this relaxing and invigorating all at once. And it was good practice for high-speed movement in general.


He didn't really expect to see a freaking comet hit a bank. But he made sure the helmet was up and his speed poured on as he raced to the site, green motes hanging in his wake.


He blurred into the bank lobby as the civilians ran out. His eyes narrowed at the fire and destruction around him, even as he activated his signature twin blades, their green glow all the more eerie in the smoke. The young man thought for a moment...and disappeared from view, his voice going directly into the mind of the present criminals.


--You punks are in for a hurting. No one robs a bank in this city, like this, and gets away with it. You don't put civilians at risk in Freedom, chumps, and I'll give you the hurting so you learn that lesson.--


Maybe the fact that he'd seen a young girl the same age as his brat of a sister, bawling her eyes out while her panicked mother all but dragged her out of the bank was influencing his emotional state. It was hard to tell.

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Haukea and Kalani were out browsing at the comic store when the explosion happened.  Both sisters turned around towards the explosion, before Kalani nodded to her sister... who quickly made her way out of the store, before ducking into an alley to activate her ring and change.  That done, she flew towards the site of the battle, a frown on her face.  She hoped no one was hurt.  


As she arrived, she saw the criminals, and heard the last part of their threat.  Stronghold glared at the villains as she saw the frightened girl, floating down, the Orange Ring of the Protective Builder shining.  "One chance to give up, now."


If Kalani was there, she'd have pointed out how much steadier Haukea's voice was than her first few fights.  

Edited by horngeek
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      Now suited and in route to the scene; a few moments later Baby Brawler arrives on scene weaving her way through the rush of people heading away from the bank she yells to any would listen. “Get as far back as you can from the bank if you know what’s good for you. Trouble is in there and danger is imminent. Get back I say, get back!â€


     Baby blitzes in past the entry way, cutting immediately to her left putting the wall to her back and assesses the room and it’s lay out. Seeing the wreckage and flames Baby looks for the enemies as well as any remaining civilians too scared to run out.   

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There was a short, high pitched noise, as if something was moving through the air at high speed. With a loud, crashing noise, something hit the ground at full speed, sending a few debris and causing dust to rise as it impacted the ground at full force. After a very brief instant of silence, someone dragged itself out of it, wearing the Claremont uniform. Naturally, Thoughtspeed and Stronghold would instantly recognise her.


"Allright, what's going on here?!" shouted the newcomer, arms outstretched to the, insides glowing with a reddish-orange inner light for a brief moment, outlining the skeleton ever so slightly.

Edited by RobRX
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The scene of hazy havoc that me the heroes' eyes was nothing compared to what some of them had already seen; although the wailing din of the fire alarm, the deluge of the sprinklers, and smouldering patches of fire flaring up gave it an edge. The caved-in ceiling was a mess, rafters and roofing littered across the center of the room, much of it still smoking and flickering, heat waves wafting from it.


With a businesslike nonchalance, the two red-suited firebugs were moving for the imposing slab of metal that marked the vault door. Or at least the door leading to the vault itself. From the hole melted into the wall nearby it was clear that no door, no matter how badass, would stand for long against them, but Freedom-based banks had quickly learned the value of delaying super-criminals for as long as possible.


At the registers, half-hidden by the low wall, the man in the yellow-suit was busily engaged cracking open the cash drawers, while in the middle of the room slouched the black-suited figure, still silently pumping smoke into the air from their opened helmet. The last had sat down on a ruined piece of furniture, its cracked and burning frame something it either had no fear of or didn't care if it had. Not a soul besides the fire-themed foursome could be seen, either the bank employees and patrons had already fled, or they were far better at hiding than most.


Each of them stopped for just a moment as Thoughtspeed's accusing voice rang in their minds, and each of them turned to the door just in time to see the three heroines arrive, the black-suit starting just a little at Cho's landing. The only one to reply was the red-suit with the blocky black weapons, his voice dry and silky as before as he half-turned. "This is none of your concern. If you left now, everyone would benefit."


Spinning on his heel with enough speed that even Will saw a blur, he drew a much larger gun from its holster, two embers burning in the black depths of the visor "But you won't. Salamanders, burn!" he shouted as the other three slid gracefully into ready stances, fire igniting, form wavering and smoke billowing as battle was joined!

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"You get to go first, Miss Stand-in-the-Open"


Suiting action to word, the red-suited Salamander took aim at Cho, currently standing in the middle of the lobby. With a low-pitched rumble, the thing's formerly blank nodes and channels flared to red life, a tongue of near-invisible flame bursting forth from the black block in his hands! Whatever it was, the thing had enough kick that the red-suited man had to dig his heel into the floor to keep steady.


It streaked through the air like lightning, slamming into the young heroine like a white-hot battering ram. As it traveled, the floor under it melted and hissed, sending up gouts of vapor!


"Hey, kid" the Salamander's silken voice rose over the starting chaos "If you're so concerned about our victims, how about you go help them instead of playing Johnny Rocket? Do you want them burning to death?"

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There was no suddenly-visible speedster boy in the bank as the man throwing fire around tried to trip him up.


Thoughtspeed had heard the man. He simply chose not to respond. Not verbally, anyways. Instead, a mental "message" went out to everyone there, one that they all could tell was one-way only.


--I'm not the guy throwing fire around, buddy. But hey, you just threatened to kill civilians. Just means I get to mess you up more.--


And then suddenly there was a blazing fury of pain against the back of the Red Salamander. The blades weren't visible, but he felt the high-speed kinetic impacts all the same, in two dozen places up and down his spine and legs.

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Satisfied with her quick assessment that all the civilians appear to have successfully retreated, Baby Brawler directs her attention to these four hotties still present. BB quickly prepares her focus, flexing her fists, then her forearms, to her biceps, to rolled shoulders and rolls her neck with an in audible popping. And her focus settles in and the adrenaline surges with the anticipation of battle, the subconscious presence of her father’s appears just at the edge of her peripherals. She has learned to not try and focus on those ghostly visuals as they immediately disappear whenever she tries. She knows they are not real but somehow she feels that they are as they always wisely advise her. Perhaps it is a latent precognitive power that has yet to breakout, who knows. But she listens to it as it always steered her in the right direction. It speaks to her now, “Remember your training Val, to win the fight you must be able to endure the fight, if you can’t breathe you can’t fight.†the ghostly visage of her father smokey and translucent fades, but she is confident it will return again and she looks forward to it as always.


Now concerned with the billowing of black smoke the most as it can cause problems with sight and breath, with clouds of black soot filling the air BB directs her attention to the salamander who is the source. And the smoke comes rushing towards her she takes a deep breath. The wave of darkness washes over her darkening everything. “Once again, thank you father for all your wisdom and training.†The many times you had forced her to fight blind folded doesn’t seem so ridiculous anymore. She thinks to to herself.  Bringing her hands up and readying her stance, “Knuckle up boys it’s time to dance!†BB rushes forward and prepares for her initial opening attack, She charges forward letting her memory of layout and blind fighting instincts guide her through the terrain moving toward the anticipated destination of the black salamander.  Once she has reached her attacking range BB leaps into the air coming down on from above on the shimmering image of the black Salamander utilizing her surprisingly and deceiving heavy frame to crash down her victim with a knee like a dropped anvil to the center of his chest.  

Edited by Valcili
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Dodging invisible psychic blades(let alone ones wielded by somebody as fast as thought) was something few people had to do, so not many had that particular skill. but after Will's initial strike against the coiled Red Salamander, his focused mental energy leaving pain that Thoughtspeed felt across the plane of minds, the man spasming as his nerves clamored, the armored arsonist suddenly pulled himself together, and the synapse-quick young man found himself slashing at air. Ducking and dodging away with incredible dexterity, the Red Salamander regained his footing and composure several feet away, loosely holding the arm Will had hit. "Not bad at all. Red 2! Yellow 5! Black 2! Foreburn!"


At once, the others began moving, the black-suit removing their helmet entirely to emit a cloud of smoke around BabyBrawler, the acrid mass seeming to try and claw into her nose and throat. It didn't do more than make her mouth taste awful, and the subsequent retaliatory smash of her leg to Black's torso sent the creature smashing and bouncing across the floor, rolling to their feet with shaky legs and a badly-dented suit. From the dull fire in deeper pits of darkness in the center of the swirling smoke, however, they were yet unbowed.


With nowhere much else to go, the smoke began drifting lazily through the hole in the floor, spiraling gently up and out of the bank.


A sharp *snap* resounded. The Yellow Salamander had ducked up over the counters long enough to take stock of the situation, and to take action. Before the first echo died away the images appeared. The Salamanders became wreathed in shimmering heat waves, the flickering shapes coiling and coalescing into one another, making multiples and changing place until it was nearly impossible to tell where the 'real' arsonists were standing.


"Foreburn has never worked better'n Afterburn, Red One!" the red-suited woman called over the din, her feet abruptly ringed with flames that started merrily melting their way through the floor "But whatever, lake of fire coming up!"


Slamming a foot on the steaming, hissing tiles, the Red Salamander sent her flames roaring around the other four, followed soon after by a blast of heat like the heroes next to the Reds or Black had just wandered into a furnace. The wave crashed into and rolled over Thoughtspeed and BabyBrawler, surrounding them with a world of ever-changing, searing heat! The diminutive bruiser managed to roll with the mass of fire, escaping the worst of it and landing safely on the intact floor, but the psychic speedster wasn't so lucky, and for a few seconds of eternity, Will was surrounded by a world of inescapable pain!


As the sprinklers rained down fruitlessly on the blast, broken pipes spilling water onto the floor that turned to steam or futile puddles, the Red leader commented "Good thing you bunch got here before we had the money. You've saved us a lot of trouble, you know that? Now it'll be even easier to get those brats here..."

Edited by Arichamus
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Smoke and fire filled the room, causing Cho to cover her face with her arm. Grunting she moved to a more battle-ready stance as she surveyed the situation, the mess she was currently in. Gritting her teeth, she crouched and lept, shattering the ground beneath her as she flew through the fire and flame. Clenching her fist, she pulled her arm back, preparing for one powerful leaping punch, one that would feel more like getting hit by a locomotive.


Like a blazing rocket, Cho came crashing down on the black salamander, a terrifying sight, costume and flesh on fire, flames dancing upon it, engulfing her. Her face, twisted with rage, being lit both by the fire and her own inner light, every so slightly briefly highlighting her, With the smoke and the burning flames, it was akin to a flaming skeleton. With a loud, thundering noise the punch landed at full force on the salamander, creating a shockwave that ever so slightly fanned the flames for a moment.

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"Black Two!" shouted the red leader, starting at the sight of Cho crashing into the other Salamander. His earlier air of cool collection rattled, the armored arsonist flicked a few switches on the side of his gun, causing it to thrum menacingly. Aiming it at the ceiling, Red One fired a a wide cone of invisible heat, the roof above melting away like wax and allowing a fresh shower of debris to fall straight towards Cho Lee!

Meanwhile, the yellow-suited support specialist was busy keeping low. A wave of his gloved hand sufficed to keep the wavering illusion going, following it up by a rapid dash across the lobby, dodging the lake of fire with quick hops as it snaked around him. Lunging into the safety of the vault doorway, the Salamander began fiddling with something tied to his belt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haukea looked around, trying to decide what to do.  Cho...


She could probably take the rubble that looked like it was about to fall.  The other girl wouldn't be happy, but...


The money... the money wasn't important.  Or rather, it was the least important thing to worry about next to lives.  Which brought the third problem, as Haukea suddenly saw Thoughtspeed flicker into visibility, right where woman had sent that 'Foreburn' attack, and obviously hurt.  Haukea growled, trying to snap bands of Orange energy around the woman... and failing.  


Only one thing to do, then.  Haukea rushed in towards Thoughtspeed.  "Sorry!"


And pushed him well out of the way.  She thought the Orange Ring's energy could protect her...



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The half-formed circles of Builder energy locked into place seconds after their target dodged aside. Standing back upright, the Red Salamander lit up with cascades of heat and flame, concentrating it into a second inferno that swept the floor!

With a clench of her armored hand, the living furnace kept the swirling mass of fire clear of her allies as it blackened the already melted tiles, smashing into the two heroines like a burning avalanche.

Stronghold was knocked unconscious, both by being flung against a wall by the force of the attack and from the Hellish heat and pain as Red Two's fire tore through even the Protector Ring's mighty forcefields!

As the Salamander turned to the vault door with an air of triumph, the heroes scattered and battered, Thoughtspeed felt something brush the edge of his conscious thought. Even through the muddle of his confused mind, it was clear as one of his dad's old records, and just as musical.

A soft, gentle voice was singing ~'...Oh there ain't no rest for the wicked/Until I close their eyes, for gooood...'~

It was gone as quickly as it had come, along with the faint hum of other unfamiliar minds, but it had certainly been heard.

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  • 3 weeks later...


As Thoughtspeed began slumping to the ground, a faint tremor pitter-pattered through the floor, picked up by Will's sensitivity to kinetic force. It was rapid, staccato, like fingers tapping hard wood.

It was also the only advance warning before a spiky black blur tore through the bank lobby, zipping over the still-smouldering tiles up to the baffled teen, halting just long enough for a scratchy, distorted girl's voice to say "Hold still, I'm getting you out of here!" and for a long, slender arm dotted with spikes and spines to slide gently under his waist and fling Thoughtspeed over his rescuer's shoulder, which gave the young man the odd feeling of being painlessly impaled as the blades on it retracted under him.

Then he was outside, being put down next to a pale, willowy figure. "There's illusions inthere, Brainclay" The report got a silent nod and a strong feeling of agreement, preparation.

Meanwhile, inside, Cho had been buried and trapped under the weight of the falling ceiling. Plaster dust choked the close air, and the heavy slabs and twisted metal steamed generously, making things all the worse. The rubble had shielded the mutant strongwoman from Red 2's incendiary barrage, but it also hid the battlefield from her.

So it was a thorough mystery why suddenly a noise of smashing glass, snapping steel and a horrible bestial roar filled the air, followed by a desperate scream of Red 1's voice desperately shouting "Auuuuugh! It's got me! Kill it, kill ighk-!" before being abruptly cut off. Similarly bizarre was the reason for why, just after a deep, guttural voice barked "I'm comin', Red One!" the resulting pounding footsteps were stopped after a sharp, distant gunshot, followed by a dull thud.

The last two Salamanders were shouting over each other now, furiously hashing out a new plan to deal with 'the beast' that had apparently just burst in upon them.

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Without cessation, the havoc above continued to rage, with a crackling feel across the skin as the Yellow Salamander reestablished his wavering illusions, followed by a sharp *snap* that echoed through Cho's very brain, cutting across her muddled thoughts like a knife blade. The roaring, primal voice that had sounded amid the wall being demolished burst out again, groaning and hissing in savage pain. Suddenly, it stopped with a low, contemptuous growl, and an audible gasp from the gold-colored mentalist.

"Well screw this, then!" Red 2's now-nervous voice rang out, a crackling rumble following as a fire shield sprang up around her "I'll bust open the vault; Yellow Five, keep that big guy busy, we can still what the Hell" a growing rumble had started to thrum through the floor, and as Red 2 spoke Cho had felt something pass under her, and then erupt out of the floor mere feet away, the smell of burning tile now nearly overpower!

a strange, crystalline voice rang out in challenge "Hold it right there, evildoer! Taste molten JUSTICE!" followed by a grunt of effort, a cry of surprise from Red 2, and a thump as somebody fell.

Then, dead silence. A faint sensation of searching, and a tingle of satisfaction when the search was successful. A gasp of shock, a few seconds of harsh grunts and snarls. Then, out of nowhere, a high, shrill scream of agony, and somebody else fell to the ground.

One Hour Later

"...And so you see, ladies and gentlemen of the press," explained the young man in the green all-covering costume studded with ammo pouches and with a high-tech rifle slung over his left shoulder, hands clasped behind his back and staring calmly back at the reporters through a featureless mask dominated by a gold Eye of Horus "the regrettable state of the building is entirely thanks to the clumsiness of the World Youth Rescue Movement's wards. We express our deepest sorrow at the destruction our careless zeal and desire to fight injustice has wrought, and on behalf of the Movement's leadership I, Saboteur, as team leader claim responsibility for all damage not caused by the Salamander Gang."

Breaking the dubious silence as the various people with cameras, microphones and eve a few scattered notepads, one of the newsmen, head dotted with sweat, called out "'Scuse me, uh..." he faltered momentarily as Saboteur's hidden gaze slid to him, but rallied quickly with "...Mr. Saboteur, but why are you apologizing? Doc Metro should have that place fixed up in no time! And if not, the construction guys will be happy for the work. You and your friends just stopped some-!"

Waving a hand sharply sideways, the teen sharpshooter cut in "Assisted in the capture, yes. Stopped? Hardly. Our comrades in arms" with the same hand he gestured to the nearby lawn, where Stronghold, Cho and Thoughtspeed had been brought after the fray was over "not only stopped the arsonists in the act, but kept them occupied while I and the rest made our plan. They are the heroes here, in my opinion, WYRM's wards were merely the backup. Now, ladies and gentlemen," turning to go, and glancing briefly over his shoulder, Saboteur's lightly Nigerian-accented voice concluded "as team leader, I have responsibilities I must see to. Please contact WYRM's headquarters at their publicly-listed phone number, or see their press representative in person if you have any further questions. Good day to you."

Regretfully, the newshounds turned their noses to other scents, such as the distraught yet stoic bank manager close at hand.

"It's such a shame we could not get here sooner" muttered the gloomy-faced and slightly pudgy young Asian woman under the spiked black carapace who had snatched up Thoughtspeed. Watching the burning wreck of the bank while sitting on the grass, with her arms around her knees and long black hair hanging over the sides of her face like curtains, she seemed the only one there really interested in the building. A muscular African teen girl with a sleeveless, hooded suit of red morphic molecules, broad features and heavy dreadlocks stood watching the reporters and Saboteur with a grim look. So far, the Claremont teens had only learned that they were called 'Racer Khonchu' and 'Bestia Diabo', and that neither were much for talking, Bestia because she just didn't care to talk and Racer because she was painfully shy.

Meanwhile, the fiery crystal girl called 'Magmatic' was talking cheerfully to Cho, unfazed by the other two's restraint "By the Furnaces of Grhu'kkashk, that was awesome!" she beamed, her gemlike body shifting color constantly "I like burst outta the ground and was like "P-FOOM", and then she was all "Nuuuuuu!"and then I was like "KA-BAM!" Hey, you in a super-team, Choie? 'Cause you totally should it's the beeesssst"

As she spoke the bulky crystal girl had danced and careened around Cho, hair like wisps of glass trailing after her, until the last where she eagerly grabbed the mutant bulwark's hands and squeezed them with glee. Her grip was strong enough that even the T-Baby felt it, and the grin on the Magmin mutant's face was downright dazzling. Unlike the rest, Magmatic didn't wear anything like a costume, or even clothes, though she didn't seem to have anything to hide anyway.

"Please excuse Magma's idiocy" Brainclay said to Stronghold and Thoughtspeed, the lithe...person sitting cross-legged in mid air, straight white hair drifting lazily above their pale, androgynous face with its dull red eyes "I assure you, we are mostly quite well-socialized." Extending a to Will hand covered, like the rest of the body from neck to sole, in a crisp white morphic molecules sheathe, he added "On behalf of the WYRM, we thank you for your assistance."

"Me especially. You're tougher than I thought." Saboteur said as he walked up, removing his mask to reveal an African boy with an eyepatch over his right socket, thin lips and a well-managed head of curly hair. Nodding shortly to the three Claremonters he added "Miles Musenda. Don't ask for the other's 'real' names. Some of them have bloodhounds on their trail, the rest just want a new life."

Glancing over at Cho, Miles asked casually "I don't suppose I could invite you to the HQ? Just a quick visit, get a drink of something, get to know the competition?

Edited by Arichamus
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Will had managed to get enough of his wits about himself that he could hold a conversation, even if he was going to be mighty sore for a couple of days. Even with his enhanced metabolism. He gave the "new kids on the block" a warm smile (his helmet having been retracted, though his mask was still in place). He returned Brainclay's handshake, though it was obvious his full strength wasn't back yet.


"I think we're the ones who owe you folks a thanks. I was sure I was gonna have a sunburn for weeks after that. Anyways, way I see it, all us heroes are in this together. Sometimes that means we swoop in to our own rescues, right?"


He turned his attention to the quiet young woman who had saved him.


"As for your timing, Racer, I'm not going to complain."


As Saboteur introduced himself, Thoughtspeed gave a respectful nod. 


"Wasn't gonna ask for names. Kind of against the "rules", you know? Anyways, sure, I'd be up for an HQ visit. Check out your digs, see what I should put on my wishlist. Don't think of us as competition, though; just another part of the team."

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Stronghold nodded at her friend's statement, sitting down on the ground and catching her breath.  


Pulling that stunt had... not been the best idea.  


At all.  "Um... we'd be happy to visit where you're staying... get to know the people who..."


May well have saved their lives.  Even if their color schemes were a little...


Um.  How to put it.  Didn't exactly seem heroic.  That didn't matter, what their actions were did.  Still, Haukea was curious.  


"Um... you're a new team, right?  I don't... um... think I've heard of you before."

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"Um, yeah, sure. Awesome." Cho said, overall not pleased by how the whole thing had turned out. It really wasn't the worst thing she had done or endured, however. This was one adventure that would require some to heal from, at the very least. As for the magma creature, it seemed more than able to outdo Cho in terms of energy. At least, Cho on a good day and not one like this. "Well, team-wise I sort of am with Claremont." the teenager tried to explain, althought she didn't want to push away Magmatic right away. "But hey, it's not like Claremont has me doing anything every day!"


At the name part, Cho shrugged as she looked at Thoughtspeed. "Meh! I don't really have a secret identity." the young mutant pointed out. It didn't matter at this point because she hadn't created a secret identity.

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With a curt nod and a signal to Racer, whose gloomy face had a brightened a little at the approach of their tall green-clad leader, Saboteur explained himself to the Claremont gang.

"We're some of the WYRM's students, an-ah, that is, we're wards of the World Youth Rescue Movement. It was founded only a year or two ago to prevent children or teenagers with powers or exceptional skill from falling into the hands of warlords, supercriminals or those traitors to mankind in New Freedom" Spitting on the ground at the word 'Freedom', Miles cautioned Racer as an insectile mask started growing over her head "Just a quick jump, Khonny, don't overdo it." The warning got a light chuckle from the armored girl as the horns on her mask and feet flared with murky power.

As a globe of darkness flashed into place around the teens, Saboteur went on idly "Me and Bestia were the first they found and rescued in central Africa, then Magmatic and Racer in the Pacific," the globe locked shut with a feeling rather than a sound, a sensation of sudden, cold isolation, like being in a diving bell "with our latest member, Brainclay, discovered in South America. The Movement trains us, gives us room and board, and provides us with an excellent education, but our purpose is not to become mainly crime-fighters. No, our purpose is to become teachers, examples and rescuers ourselves. Learning to do battle with super-criminals and trying to soften or avert disaster is but one part of what the WYRM hopes to achieve through us, so while we may do things similar to the great super-teams, like your justly vaunted Freedom League, we do not merely copy their ethos. Our mission and methods are our own."

With a jolt, the globe receded, admitting a flood of light that dazzled unprepared eyes. As they grew used to it, a large, starkly Modernist room materialized before the young heroes, immaculately polished steely walls, a floor and ceiling so white they seemed to vibrate. Close by was a circular table with a holographic projection of the Earth rotating above it, orbited by the words 'No Anomalies Detected'. The room was square and high-ceilinged, leading off in the north to a short passageway with seven doors, five of them marked on the right with an LCD display with one of the new teen's names. And the very end of the hall were a pair of doors marked with the universal sign for 'restroom'.

To the south, a heavy electronic door marked 'HVOC' stood shut, while to the west a softer, more naturally-lit room with windows overlooking Midtown's skyscrapers was set up with exercise equipment and a dais bearing substantial amounts of print and electronic media. The sheer number of Castle Comics books alone was staggering.

To the east was a generous kitchen, and a well-stocked, exceptionally clean one at that, adjoining a sumptuous dining room heavy on the mahogany and red cloth.

The only sign of the benefactors was a simple sign, a white globe with the organization's initials on it in red, on the central room's floor. Nearby was a simple metallic elevator.

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As the Claremonters were being shown around, Magmatic quietly approached Cho Lee, Saboteur playing the tour guide at the front with the rest chipping in with various bits they knew. Unusually soft-spoken, the crystalline Magmin said "Hey, uh...Cho? See, Miles is gonna ask later, but I thought it would be better to just come out and say it. Do you...well, would you like to join us? Just for a little while, to help show us how this superhero thing works? You said earlier that Claremont's not really got you doing stuff full-time, and it'd be nice to have somebody around who isn't as scary as Bestia or as creepy as Racer to talk to. Not like most of us know much about this country, either, I wouldn't mind having somebody who knows what's going on around!"

Smiling hopefully, the gemlike princess waited for Cho's answer.

Edited by Arichamus
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"Wait, what? Why me, exactly?" asked the teenager to the crystalline being, confused as to why they would specifically want her. She certainly wasn't the most experienced of the bunch, even if she had come quite further than where she initially started in her career. "Are you sure he wouldn't be better asking the others? I mean, they still have a little bit more experience than me. Beside, out of the entire bunch I'm the one without a secret identity or codename; not really the best at being a full-fledged superhero here! N-not that I wouldn't want to join!"

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"Do you have a set psi-frequency?" Brainclay was asking Thoughtspeed as the gang was being shown around, the colorless teen watching Will with an unwaveringly steady gaze "In future crises, it could be useful to know. Mine is categorized at phi-kappa. Although variances of up to phi-xi have been recorded. Distance is a known factor, is it the same with your Gift?"

"That is quite true, Stronghold." Saboteur admitted, the straight-backed young man looking downright resentful to the Hawaiian ring-bearer "We do not actually get many calls to action. Our work 'in the field' has been kept to small cases with superhumans relatively low on the power scale, in places without much political volatility. This series of dotted lines" Miles gestured to the holographic globe slowly revolving above the main room(the Coordination Centre) "shows where we do and do not have permission to act. It's...difficult, when we see a signal and it is outside our bounds. I've been pushing for freer reign ever since we started. Since that Gorgon asteroid hit Mali in 2011, and then the robot chaos last year, they've been getting a little more receptive to the idea."

Magmatic looked anxiously at the others nearby "Well..." she began tentatively "You said yourself that Claremont doesn't have you as much other than a student, right? And...well...we don't have any normal people-" catching the look on Cho's face the jeweled Magmin hastened to add "I mean, normal compared to us, we're not really used to having lives here, and this whole culture is still kind of alien. But you're used to it. You know how this works, why people think red means 'stop', why Miles shouldn't just shoot people working for our enemies, why Clay shouldn't just read people's minds if...uh...if Clay feels like it, you're grounded. I still have a lot to learn, we all do, but we know we'll need a grounded place for new recruits, something stable. You don't even have a mask, and you're a...an entropic."

Glancing over to make sure nobody had overheard her subtly rising voice, satisfied at the sight of Bestia turning into an antelope and starting to chase Racer, the crystalline caryatid added in a whisper "We've been watching how you and the other student vigilantes act, and Saboteur thinks you might even be team leader material."

Edited by Arichamus
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Thoughtspeed tilted his head to one side at the question, clearly a bit confused.


"Well, I mean, yeah, I don't have unlimited range. I'm lucky to get much more than a mile or two. But, um, I've never really thought in terms of "frequencies"? I just kind of..."


He shrugged, and now his voice echoed in Brain-Clay's mind.


--I just pick who I want to talk to and think at them. It's like...flipping a switch, I guess? My, uh, teachers focused on making most of my power use pretty instinctive. When you operate at the speeds that I do, that's practically a life-or-death lesson, you know?--


Despite the almost morbid topic, the young man seemed cheerful enough.

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