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No Accounting For Taste


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October 8, 2014. 10:30 AM. Bayview Mall.

It was one of the pettiest crime sprees Freedom City had ever seen. Men in armor that looked like it was made from turnips and weapons that looked like they were made from various other vegetables had been raiding candy shops, ice cream parlors, convenience stores, and even small restaurants. At every stop, sugar and fatty food were ruined and destroyed, and fruits and vegetables left in their place. Those who objected were clubbed with mysteriously hard cucumbers and white radishes, left to suffer in the wake of an onion fume bomb, or hit with potatoes that somehow could generate enough electricity to shock people unconscious. The police just didn’t know what to do about them. They appeared quickly and disappeared just as fast. Somebody really, really hated junk food. It was when they started hitting supermarkets and the big restaurants that a hero decided to step in. Queenie didn’t want them harming her precious Southern Queen, so she went out looking for trouble. Fortunately, she didn’t have to for too long. This time they wanted to “cleanse†Bayview Mall’s food court. Queenie smiled. Crazy and stupid.

There was no way the Claremont student body would let this go unavenged. Yet, here they were, throwing bombs and ruining food. People running, people screaming, the whole bit. Riiight. Like Maybelle was just gonna stand there and let them do it.

Edited by EternalPhoenix
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Haukea sat, her mouth slightly open at the pandemonium.  


"What is this, the sixties?  I mean... what.  Just... food weapons.  Why?"


Sighing, she stood up, finishing off her chips.  "Not letting you hurt people like this, though."


The Orange Ring shone, the Hawaiian heroine's casual clothing being replaced by a form-hugging orange and black outfit... before glowing, slightly transparent orange armor appeared over the top, covering her torso and limbs- the whole thing was lighter than her fellow Ring-Bearer's, and seemed to be designed to allow quick movement while still offering protection.  Overall, if anyone else from Claremont saw it, they'd be struck by the difference, as Stronghold stepped out.  "I don't know why you're doing this.  I don't particularly care.  You're hurting people for no good reason, so stand down now and wait for the police, or I'm going to stop you."


There, that went well.  To the point, didn't stumble.  Some of that practice during the holidays had paid off.  

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Queenie activated the Ring of Aura, causing a nearly skin tight transparent silver forcefield to form around her. She flew into the air. Like the saying goes, first things first. A silver field much like the one around her formed around a mother and daughter cringing in fear of three of the vegetable clad thugs. With one thought, the same silver energy slapped one aside like so much tissue paper. “That’s enough of that, Casanova. She’s not your type.†The other two charged…and broke their cucumber clubs on Queenie’s forcefield. She smiled. The expressions on their faces were priceless. “Now, now, boys. That’s not how you serve cucumber. Here, let me show you how it’s done.†The two went flying, crashing hard and flipping tables to the ground. “Bon appétit, sunshine!†A few more stepped up, and her smile widened into a grin. Sometimes being a hero was fun.

Edited by EternalPhoenix
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Meanwhile, Haukea stepped forwards, the Orange ring glowing.  A shield of pure energy appeared between a group of bystanders and the thugs, keeping them from harm, before she raised up the Ring.  "I... said... stop."


Bands of orange energy shimmered into existence around one thug, before another was caught up in an orange straitjacket.  "Seriously!  Food weapons?  Can you come up with anything more... insane?"


A third charged her, a baton in the form of a leek swung towards her side... a baton that Haukea didn't even bother to dodge, simply letting it clang off her new and improved costume.  "Yeah, no."


With a thought, the third thug was encased in a solid cocoon of energy.  "Wrap you up, let the police deal with you, sounds good to me.  Who's next?"

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Angie was having a relaxing morning with her boyfriend Mike, probably one of the last days they'd get to spend together before she started at her new school on Monday.

Walking down the mall towards the music shop, they looked like a perfectly matched pair: torn blue jeans and a Metallica t-shirt for Mike and black leggings, denim skirt and a black shirt decorated with little skulls for her.


Unfortunately, the day wouldn't stay relaxing for long. As the two approahed the food court, sounds of fighting came from ahead. They stopped in awe at the sight of a group of people dressed in ridicolous armors made of vegetables; intent on battling a couple of girls covered in forcefields.

When a table was flung their way, missing her by a few inches, Angie snapped out of her surprise.


Mike was already hooked. He had some kind of superhero fixation and witnessing not one, but two in an actual fight must have been a wet dream come true. She scowled in annoyance at how his glare tended to linger over the girls' curves.


"Come on, Mike, let's go before someone gets hurt." Angie told him, yanking at his hand, but the boy wouldn't budge.


Fine. He wants a superhero fight? I'm going to give him one! She thought, annoyed, then slipped away looking for a private place to change into her fairy form.

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Unfortunately, Angie was going to be a bit disappointed. As she popped out in fairy form, ready to do battle with the forces of vegetable based evil…they were all already beaten. Queenie and Stronghold had gotten the job done with a minimum of fuss. The police were already starting to haul the disarmed and disarmored thugs away. Queenie, for her part, was sucking down a milkshake. Or rather, she was until she tossed in the trash in disgust. “This is what passes for a shake? Generic milk, a poor excuse for blending, and the rest doesn’t even qualify as ice milk, let alone ice cream. Who approves this crud? I swear, it’s like there’s a corporate conspiracy to serve bad food to the masses.†Her Southern accent was, well, very noticeable, if not particularly heavy. This was not a woman who grew up in Freedom. She sighed. “Except, they’re all too dang greedy to work with each other. In fact, it’s that greed that makes the them use the cheapest possible ingredients and labor. Can’t wait until I have the…cachet, I think the word is, to do something about it.†She walked up to Stronghold. “Name’s Queenie, sunshine.†She smiled. “Pleasure to meet you.†She flicked her eyes over to where Angie had made her appearance. “Don’t just stand there, darling. It’s a hero meet up. C’mon over and introduce yourself.†One problem with that. Two of the thugs strolled out the bathroom looking awfully refreshed, took one look at the food court and bailed out the doors. Their getaway car roared to life, and they were outta there. Unless the heroes could stop them beforehand, of course.

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Just wonderful. Stuck with heroes wannabies and Mike is there just staring.


Angie tried to stay as polite as possible and hovered closer to the two women. In her fairy form, she was nothing but a glowing, featureless golden silhouette, only a little more defined in her face. Her hair was much longer than normal and it too floated behind her.


"Hello. My name is Trailblazer. I see I wasn't here in time to help..." she said, with a strangely distorted voice, "If there's no more danger here, can we please move to a more private place? I can take you there easily."


With that, Trailblazer began chanting a spell and the doorway to a shop nearby turned into a blurred portal, then she invited the two women to go through.

Edited by souffle_girl
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"The car!  Someone get the-"


Stronghold sighed.  "Great.  Um.  I'm Stronghold, it's a pleasure to meet you, Trailblazer.  There... might not be any more danger, really, but we do need to watch over these guys for the police.  Can't we talk here?"


Trailblazer might have a good reason for wanting privacy, though... "Or at least, talk after the police have picked these guys up.  If they get loose, they'd be able to hurt more people, after all."


There.  Good reason, said clearly.  She actually was getting better at this with new people.  Which was a good thing, given she was getting a new roommate... this afternoon.  


Ooooh, right.  That was also a thing.  She'd have to make a call to the school, wouldn't she.  

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Angie grimaced in disappointment and closed the gate.

Standing there like that was extremely embarrassing. This other form was still new to her and while it felt good - her father told her it was supposed to feel good since that was her real body - it was still very uncomfortable in public. Actually... she didn't even have clothes on like this! Not that there was anything to see, which made her freak out even more.

Not accounting for her boyfriend, who was taking tons of pictures of the three of them.

Sigh. Life as a Fae was complicated.

"Ok, then. But really, I'd rather not talk about myself here. I have... uhmm... privacy issues?"

Edited by souffle_girl
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Queenie saw the two run out the mall and heard the car start, too. “What, y’all two not fast enough to catch one car? I mean, I can fetch ‘em, but man, you guys. Say something.†She strolled to the mall doors and paused. “You know…I’ve got a better idea. Seemin’ as the aftermath really isn’t ‘Blazer’s scene…†She grinned. “Why don’t y’all tag along?†A flippin’ frying pan, made of the same translucent silver energy as before formed around both Stronghold and Angie. “Welcome to McQueen Airlines, where we fly with a smile!†The pan (and the pair) suddenly jolted into motion, but stopped just as fast. Queenie vanished her construct with a sigh. “Right, that was rude of me. It’s my first team up, ya see. I don’t quite know how this whole thing is supposed to work, and I’m…kind of used to just taking charge. Comes with running a pro kitchen. Sorry.†She frowned. “I…I can finish this off myself. I mean, how hard can a car with vegetable people in it be to find, you know?†Also, if I let them go now, they’ll hurt other people, and it’ll be my fault. Not on anyone’s life.She walked out the door. If the other two were quick about it, they could catch her before she left.

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Darn. Me and my stupid ideas.


Trailblazer decided that if she was to do it, then she'd make it quick at least, and teleported ahead of Queenie. A moment she was in the hall, and the next one she floated near the woman, only a small and rapidly fading distortion was left behind.


"Don't feel sorry. I'm not even an hero, actually. I mean, there I was, having a precious day out with my boyfriend, and I get tangled up in this stuff." Angie sighed.

"Not that I have anything against your line of work, I'm just supposed to lay low. Any ideas on how to find them?" she asked, tagging along in short teleport jumps.

Edited by souffle_girl
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  • 2 weeks later...

Haukea sighed.  "I can fly, I'm just... not that fast.  I'm Stronghold."


She looked around as they headed out the door, before noticing... "It looks like that's the car to me.  If we head that way quickly, we might be able to keep it in sight."


The teenager shrugged at Trailblazer's question.  "To be honest, I'm surprised they haven't gotten piled on by more angry superhero teenagers.  That shopping mall's popular.  Anyway, uh, Queenie, if you're fast enough, it might be better if you gave me a lift for this one.  That way, I can concentrate on making constructs."

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How did Stronghold pick out the car so easily? Well…it was kind of…a pumpkin. Yes, a pumpkin car. A Pumpkar, if you will. A Pumpkar that was curiously obeying the speed limit as it trundled down the road. Queenie’s voice was completely deadpan. “Well. I don’t think anyone could ever lose that car. Not even if they tried.†With permission given, she scooped up both ‘Blazer and Stronghold in a silver saucepan and lifted into the air. Just as someone in the Pumpkar spotted the heroes. Belying it’s appearance, the Pumpkar picked up speed, shattering the speed limit. Maybelle pursued. She caught up easily and the trio was poised to catch the amateur villains. That was when they whipped out banana rifles and pea pod pistols and started firing. At the civilian cars behind them. Tires screeched and metal crunched. Maybelle glanced behind at the damage. Two cars had collided and a van had gone over a fire hydrant and into a corner store. “Oh, darn it all! ‘Blazer, can you keep up with them? I can’t just leave these people, and Stronghold’s not fast enough!â€

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"Sons of a... I'm on it," Angie replied, teleporting away from the flying pan. Seriously, all of this was getting weirder and weirder. Vegetable armor, a Pumpkar and now banana rifles?

"Oliver, do you think the Fae have an hand in this? It looks like your style..." she asked her guardian spirit. Or was it the other way around, considering how childish he was?


She kept following the odd car, teleporting in a random pattern to avoid the fruit bullets the goons were firing her way, and she considered the idea of teleporting ahead of the vehicle to try and stop it once and for all.


No, she thought, too many people around. If they lose control they could hurt somebody.

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Stronghold nodded.  "You go ahead, I'll follow as well as I can!"


She lifted off, flying after the car- not quite keeping up with it, but still setting a respectable pace at least.  Sorta respectable.  


Okay, the Orange Ring might not be the flying one, but she should at least be able to manage faster than a car, right?  At least this car... wasn't exactly hard to miss.  And the bullets they were shooting hit her armor harmlessly.  


So, there were those two things.  

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Sure, enough, between Trailblazer’s teleport flashes and the fact that it was a flippin’ Pumpkar, Stronghold found it hard to lose for good. Oh, it made a turn or two and almost lost her, but then Trailblazer would pop behind them again, or a quick soar above the buildings would solve that problem. Queenie, for her part, busily saved literally everyone who crashed along the way. She never quite caught up entirely, but no one was left trapped in their cars or in their shops. So, pros and cons. The chase led at last to the Waterfront. In particular, between two big warehouses with the water to the rear. The thugs hopped out of their Pumpkar and huddled around their leader. “We couldn’t shake ‘em, Miss N!â€

For her part, Miss N was as garishly armored (turnip armor!) and armed as the thugs, but had the demeanor of a true leader. Also the craziest set of crazy eyes that anyone present had ever seen. “So, then. It is time for the great showdown. The heroes have come to stop my foolish and wicked ways. But I say this to you. It is your ways that are foolish and wicked. All of that processed sugar and fat.†She spat out the offending words as if the syllables themselves disgusted her. “It is all poison, and you fools willingly eat it. I have come to save you all from yourselves. Know my name. Soon it will be hailed far and wide as the name of the savior of humanity. My name is The Nutritionist, and I will save you all even if I must destroy your heroes to do it. To me, my pretty!†At her call, the water heaved, and her creature revealed itself by climbing onto the dock. It was huge, standing at least 20 feet tall and maybe more. It’s just…the intimidation factor loses a little something when it’s a cauliflower with arms and legs. “Destroy them!â€

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As the cauliflower monster- and oh god she was actually saying that- swung at her, Stronghold blinked, before she nimbly ducked under the blow, shaking her head.  "You know, the dedication to a theme's something I can admire, sure, but there is such a thing as going too far, you know."


Maybe she should have brought a hamburger.  Eat it right in front of these idiots.  She'd missed lunch, after all.  "Aaaaanyway... let's deal with this thing."


The Orange Ring shone brightly as orange band of energy snapped around the cauliflower monster, although it managed to dodge a couple, leaving it hindered but not completely restrained.  Haukea shrugged.  "Eh, it'll still help."

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Angie rolled her eyes looking at the silliness of it all, and couldn't help but start laughing at the Nutritionist's rant. Then came the monster and she didn't laugh anymore. Really, how much weirder was this going to get? A cauliflower monster? It was so wrong it was creepy... It was like some kind of... abomination from the depths or something.


"Thanks for the advice, Nutriwhatever. Eat veggies, stay healthy, I'll keep that in mind," Angie smirked, then teleported right behind the monster and summoned her magic blade, striking at it.


"I'll make a salad out of you!"

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The cauliflower monster roared in pain as Trailblazer’s blow struck true. She had somehow wounded the massive creature. The Nutrionist had retreated away from the battle, and her expression was unreadable. Aside from the crazy. Gonzo, gonzo, super gonzo crazy. Her henchmen pulled their banana rifles back out. A quick word from her, and they all aimed and fired staccato bursts at Trailblazer. Something about this woman made them better tacticians than before. The cauliflower monster roared and strained at the bonds Stronghold had placed upon it. It’s strength was such that the orange band of energy showed a hairline fracturing from the monster’s efforts.

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Stronghold blinked as the monster actually cracked her bonds.  "Okay, that's... impressive.  Let's see how you handle..."


After a second of thinking, Stronghold started humming a tune as the Ring shone once more, shackles of orange energy slamming around the creature's limbs- and then, attatching to chains, which finally, she drove into the floor with massive stakes of energy.  The chains pulled tight, and the creature was pulled to the floor.  Immobile.  "This."


Haukea turned, the Hawaiian superhero smiling at the henchmen.  "Now that Big and Tough here's tied down... who's next?"

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