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Parkside Angels


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The sun was high in the sky and only just starting to past its peak for the day. It was the beginning of summer and getting very warm. T-shirts and shorts were coming out of the winter closets while sweaters and jackets getting put away for next September.

Unusual for the park, a strong breeze had made it past the downtown buildings from the rivers. It carried with it a cool, light feeling that soothed sweat-covered skin. Kiera lay on her back staring up at a slowly moving cloud. She let the breeze blow across her face and through her hair. Near her feet lay a discarded skateboard, scuffed and worn from multiple crashes that day. After a few minutes of trying vainly to fit the cloud's shape into a more meaningful object she sat up and looked around.

A few boys from the nearby college were sitting on blankets by their bikes and listening to a radio. She was too far away for the music to reach her. She briefly considered going over but figured the shadow tendrils floating around her would probably scare off anyone. If anything at least it gave her a wide open spot in the grass.

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"Six-double oh-one, six-double oh-one."

Lynn sighs and activates the radio clipped to the strap of her messenger bag.

"Six-double oh-one."

"I've got two instants and a critical in your area, if you want 'em; otherwise I'm gonna give 'em to Kenny"

The rookie biker takes a long swig from her water bottle, adjusts her wraparound sunglasses and sighs again; from her position perched on the back of a park bench, she currently has an excellent view of two shirtless boys in baggy shorts playing Frisbee, running back and forth across the Grand Lawn.

"Ah, that's a negatory, Gary, let Kenny have 'em; I needs me some grub."

"Ten-four, Double oh-one, gimme a holler when you're done."

"Ten-four."

Lynn has the greatest job in the world; she spends the whole day outdoors, gets to stay in shape, and check out the shapes of the many guys of Freedom City, all while getting paid halfway decent. True, she has no insurance or paid sick days, but everything comes at a price.

Her stomach audibly growls, so she hops off the bench, grabs her bike and takes a spin around the park, eyes peeled for one of the many Sully's Kosher Red Hots pushcarts that work Liberty Park.

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A yellow streak sped through downtown Freedom City, a “WOOSH†of wind following in its wake, kicking up loose newspaper and dust.

Megan Howell, dressed in her Velocity costume, was enjoying the nice summer day, taking full advantage of the speed she could achieve. The young woman had plenty of reasons to be elated. In addition to the great weather, she was done with high school, having recently graduated from North Bay Academy, the prestigious private school located in the highly exclusive area of North Bay. While she was starting college in the fall, she had the entire summer to do as she wanted. In fact, in a few weeks, her and a few friends from North Bay were heading off to Europe for over a month.

Turning onto 52nd Avenue, Megan headed North and was soon alongside Liberty Park. Looking out at the green trees and grass, the speedster decided to turn into one of the paths into the park.

A few moments later, she spotted a group of college boys out on one of the lawns, and came to a sudden halt near them. The sudden stop caused the brunette ponytail that stuck out the back of the mask she wore as Velocity to swish out to the side. “Hey there boys. How are things going?†She asked with a smile as she looked at the boys who were lying out on some blankets.

The guys all seemed startled by her sudden appearance. But that quickly changed as they looked up at her. “Wow!†One commented. “Hey, not bad, how about yourself?†Another quickly said, trying to play casual.

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"Oh dear god..."

Lynn stops her pedaling, her quest for hot dogs now forgotten when her stomach goes sour as she stares across the park.

"She's here."

The sight of Velocity, all shiny and perfect and surrounded by boys, makes Lynn insanely angry for no logical reason; she knows she's prettier than the attention-loving speedster (way prettier), she can probably kick her butt (most likely not true), and her outfit is banana yellow. Banana yellow.

"Oh wait, we're supposed to be on the same team now...yippee." The young off-the-clock vigilante sighs deeply. Maybe she should try a little harder not to be such a hag to her; after all, one of them might have to save the other's life some day. With great reluctance, Lynn rides across the park towards the small gathering, acutely aware of the fact that while Velocity probably does not perspire (one of her most amazing powers!), Lynn on the other hand has been exerting herself all day, has long since sweated away her roll-on, and has considerable amounts of grease on her hands, legs and face from helping a fellow messenger change a flat. Truly, this will be a meeting of titans!

She rolls to a stop just outside the circle of hormones, and realizes that since she is in fact not on duty herself, the introduction will be weird and/or pointless.

Whatever; just say 'hi' and try to remember she's a human being under all...that.

Still perched on her rough-looking bike, Lynn removes her helmet, tucks it under her arm and clears her throat.

"Ahem, uh, hi! Wow, Velocity, right here in Liberty Park! Who knew, right?" Then she remembers all the girl has done for Freedom City, all the people she must have helped and saved, and she sighs. “Seriously, you’re very cool; it’s cool that this city has someone like you looking out for it.â€Â

I better get a big prize for this some day.

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Kiera watches wide-mouthed as a girl in what looks like a yellow jumpsuit appears from a blur of speed near the boys she'd been watching. It's....yellow? Who is that? She finds she's unable to stop a bubble of laughter from coming out. She sits there giggling for a good five minutes trying desperately to stop.

I have to get a closer look...besides she looks really young and I haven't met many other meta-humans outside of school. Kizzy gets up and picks up her skateboard. She walks across the grass, slowly meandering toward Velocity's direction.

She briefly considers throwing the group into darkness for a laugh, but realizes that's a good way of getting someone hurt...most likely herself. The highschool girl walks up and waves to the group as she approaches, a thin tendril of shadow-stuff crawling along her arm.

Well Hello. I saw you run by and couldn't help but come over. I haven't met many other meta-humans in town and you didn't look that much older then I am. I'm Kizzy, by the way, how do you do? As she speaks, the shadow tendrils floating around her move with the tempo of her voice.

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"Ahem, uh, hi! Wow, Velocity, right here in Liberty Park! Who knew, right?" Then she remembers all the girl has done for Freedom City, all the people she must have helped and saved, and she sighs. “Seriously, you’re very cool; it’s cool that this city has someone like you looking out for it.â€Â

Velocity turned her head over towards the girl on the bicycle as she spoke up (though she had already seen her approach thanks to the new goggles she had from Daedalus). The speedster gave the girl a friendly smile. “Thanks, I do what I can, there are a number of other heroes here who do just as much or more.â€Â

She then noted another girl approaching, and turned to look towards her as she spoke up.

Well Hello. I saw you run by and couldn't help but come over. I haven't met many other meta-humans in town and you didn't look that much older then I am. I'm Kizzy, by the way, how do you do? As she speaks, the shadow tendrils floating around her move with the tempo of her voice.

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Kiera winks at Velocity. Pleased to meet you, So are you out searching for crime today or just looking for some cute boys on this gorgeous day? And aren't you getting hot in that? As typical with any conversation that lasts more then three seconds, Kizzy's natural curiousity and fast-talking habits spill out everywhere.

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As fast as Kiera talked, Velocity was easily able to keep up.

So are you out searching for crime today or just looking for some cute boys on this gorgeous day?

“Can’t you do both at the same time?†Velocity replied with a grin. “And hopefully the cute boys don’t turn out to be the criminals.†She then quickly added.

And aren't you getting hot in that?

At this the speedster shrugged slightly. “It’s not that hot out yet. If I were really exerting myself it would be a bit hot to wear.â€Â

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So this girl with weird black tendrily things has shown up, and eveyone is chatting about superpowers, and Lynn has never felt more stupid in her entire life; true, she could leap into the conversation by totally blowing her cover, but that would actually be pretty darn dumb.

But they're both girl's my own age, and this Kizzy probably has really cool powers, and she could join Team Nightrival if Velocity would just frickin' ask her...

"So!" Much to her horror, Lynn's mouth has decided to take action. "Ah, hi Kizzy, my name is Lynn." She does this sort of stiff wave that's just short of jazz hands.

Dear God, strike me down with a cruise missile now.

Having now plunged into the conversation, Lynn can't help but continue like some lame high school journalism student. "Like many young people, I am...fascinated by heroes; what kind of powers do you have, and do you have any prefered fighting styles?"

Shut up, shut up, you sound like the yearbook staff! :shock:

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As fast as Kiera talked, Velocity was easily able to keep up.

“Can’t you do both at the same time?†Velocity replied with a grin. “And hopefully the cute boys don’t turn out to be the criminals.†She then quickly added.

At the mention of this Kizzy looks over at the small group of college kids. When one of the boys looks at her with his mouth a bit agape, Kizzy has one of her tendrils wave at him and sticks her tongue out. He closes his mouth and takes a step back, causing her to grin mischievously.

"I suppose you can. I certainly hope that there aren't too many criminals out and about today. It's much too nice to go breaking into banks or..whatever it is...they would do. Kizzy stumbles over the words a bit before shaking it off and turning to the other girl. She grins at the bike-rider's dirty appearance and can relate. Her own knees and hands are scuffed and dirty from falling off her skateboard a few times already.

"So!" Much to her horror, Lynn's mouth has decided to take action. "Ah, hi Kizzy, my name is Lynn." She does this sort of stiff wave that's just short of jazz hands.

*snip*

"Pleased to meet you, Lynn. Do you go to school around here?

"Like many young people, I am...fascinated by heroes; what kind of powers do you have, and do you have any prefered fighting styles?"

The girl just kind of stands there with her mouth hanging a bit open, one eyebrow raised and a strange expression on her face. She holds it for but a moment before laughing. "Uhm..I..hah. Sorry, just caught me by surprise. I don't think anyone's quite asked like that before. Oh wow.. She gets ahold of herself and tries to wipe the grin from her face but simply fails. Wow now I really hope I didn't offend anyone. But I almost feel like its an inquisition!

"I can do some really fun stuff. I'm still learning though. Mainly anything that has to do with shadows..although I'm not really sure where any of it comes from. I uhm..don't really have much training, just a few martial arts lessons here or there. I did beat up this dryad-villain a few days ago though--although I suppose I should say something more heroic, should't I? Like I apprehended them or prevented their evil plots...she seemed a little unstable now that I think about it. Ugh, stop talking Kizzy, stop talking...

"Erm..I don't have any nifty hero name or anything either so...yea..nevermind. I talk too much. Where do you go to school? Kizzy asks again hoping to cover up her nonstop chatter.

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Lynn looks slightly uncomfortable at the mention of school. "Uh, yeah. Well to be honest Kizzy (and it's nice to meet you, by the way), I sorta dropped out; actually, I just left, since you have to be sixteen to actually drop out. That was four years ago." Her head droops with embarrassment. "But, at least I finally got a job and my driver's license, and I'm gonna try and get my GED pretty soon." She shrugs and grins. "So things are lookin' up, I guess. How 'bout you, you still in school?"

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Well I can't very well tell them about the Academy..so I better sound interested in school studies

"Yes. I'm only sixteen now, but my parents would kill me if I dropped out! I'm hoping to go to college here for...something after I graduate. Still have no idea what though. But hey, you've got a license? We should go out clubbing some night!

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Megan was not sure about telling Kizzy exactly where she went to school. She listened as the new girl, Lynn, talked about being a runaway and having dropped out of school.

The speedster then replied, “Yeah, I just finished up school in North Freedom. In the fall I will be heading off to college.â€Â

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Well I can't very well tell them about the Academy..so I better sound interested in school studies

"Yes. I'm only sixteen now, but my parents would kill me if I dropped out! I'm hoping to go to college here for...something after I graduate. Still have no idea what though. But hey, you've got a license? We should go out clubbing some night!

Lynn's face splits in a wide warm smile.

"That would be beyond awesome!" But it quickly turns into a frown. "Of course, I don't actually own a car; maybe Father Jim would lend me his Oldsmobile...""

After a few moment's thought, she shakes her head and waves her hand dismissively.

"You know what, it's not a problem. I can get us into any club in this town; all I need is-"

The young messenger's cheeks suddenly go pink as she shifts uncomfortably on her bike seat, her eyes flicking between Kizzy and Velocity, the costume-wearing crimefighter.

"Or we can just go to Midnight Hour; DJ Marmalax spins on Thursday nights, and he's the best in the city anyway, so..." :oops:

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Kizzy raises an eyebrow at the abrupt stop and waits for a moment, wondering if Lynn is done. She's one of the first girls Kizzy's met to not be freaked out by her shadows and she's not even a metahuman!

"Father Jim? Do you live at a church? I think that would be fun, I always wanted to sleep in a bell-tower. Although waking up to the sound of bells that near may be annoying and painful, but... Kizzy realizes how easily she got distracted and shuffles her feet a little. "Er...anyway...I've never been to Midnight Hour, where is it? I've only been in town a few months and it seems whenever I go out something bad happens.

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Lynn laughs from deep in her belly.

"Me, live in a church? Nah, I'm Jewish; Father Jim is just a friend."

“The Midnight Hour is in Riverside, it is an underage club. It is okay, but gets old after awhile.†Velocity replied. “Just be wary when a guy wants to invite you back to a VIP room.â€Â

The elfin girl starts flapping her hands excitedly, her face a mixture of horror and glee. "Omigod, right?" She turns back to Kizzy. "Avoid the VIP rooms like the plague, like something worse than plague, like...vampires with mullets, or something equally hideous." She waves a finger between herself and Velocity. "Trust us on this, seriously."

Lynn sighs and rests a friendly cycling-gloved hand on Kizzy's arm.

"You're a lucky girl, y'know that? You've only been in town a few months, and you've met two of the coolest people you will ever meet in one day."

The young biker gives Velocity a playful wink as she drapes an arm over the dark-haired girl's shoulders.

"We...shall be your guides; maybe not at the same time, but like in tandem, or tag-team or whatever. Velocity with the super stuff, and me with more of the day-to-day stuff; shopping tips and what-not. Whaddya say?"

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The Midnight Hour is in Riverside, it is an underage club. It is okay, but gets old after awhile.†Velocity replied. “Just be wary when a guy wants to invite you back to a VIP room

Kizzy's face goes through various stages of curiosity and shock and finally back to curiosity. "Why's that? If it's an underage club I'm sure it's nothing I couldn't handle. I have a few entertaining tricks up my sleeves...er..arm-warmers?

The elfin girl starts flapping her hands excitedly, her face a mixture of horror and glee. "Omigod, right?" She turns back to Kizzy. "Avoid the VIP rooms like the plague, like something worse than plague, like...vampires with mullets, or something equally hideous." She waves a finger between herself and Velocity. "Trust us on this, seriously."

The girl looks at her and can't help but burst into a large grin at the thought of mullet-equipped vampires. "That thought just hurts, like. I'll be sure to take your advice then!

"We...shall be your guides; maybe not at the same time, but like in tandem, or tag-team or whatever. Velocity with the super stuff, and me with more of the day-to-day stuff; shopping tips and what-not. Whaddya say?"

Kizzy makes an attempt to stop smiling like an idiot but fails. In response to Lynn's statements she just nods her head. Wow I should come downtown more often, people here are nicer then at the school! "Erm..Sure! All of that sounds great. Just to think, I've managed to meet a famous hero and a famous...bike messenger? all in one day. Oh..by the way, do you know anyone around here that will hire sixteen year old's? And like, where the hell can I get a decent fish around here? Kizzy is practically jumping up and down in excitement. "Not to sound, like creepy, or anything but aren't you guys uhm....creeped out by the shadows? At this, Kizzy holds out one hand between them and watches a small, vaguely humanoid shape dance in her palm.

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Velocity smirked slightly at Lynn’s comments in response to her statements about VIP rooms. She then looked over at Kizzy as she asked why it would be a big deal in an underage club. “Just because its an underage club doesn’t mean everyone there is underage. And anyway, I was more making a general statement about VIP rooms at most any club, not just the Midnight Hour. Nor did I say avoid them, just be careful when invited to one.†She shrugged.

When the dark haired girl changed the topic to…lots of other things, the speedster smiled again. “Umm, well, there are lots of places that will hire sixteen year olds I think, more likely a question of what you are looking to do. As for decent fish, there are plenty of places. The Waterfront has some good fish restaurants, as does Riverplace.â€Â

When the other girl asked about being creeped out by shadows, and held out her hand with a shadow dancing on her palm, Velocity just shrugged. “It’s a bit odd, but nothing I’d find overly creepy.â€Â

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Lynn nods in agreement with Velocity. "Yeah, I would hit the Waterfront for good fish; better yet, get a job at one of the places at Pier Two." She nods sagaciously, as though she's offering the wisdom of Solomon. "Get paid in dollars and fish."

"Not to sound, like creepy, or anything but aren't you guys uhm....creeped out by the shadows? At this, Kizzy holds out one hand between them and watches a small, vaguely humanoid shape dance in her palm.

The biker just shrugs. "Not really; it's actually kinda cool. You live in Freedom City, after a while nothing really bugs you." She grins. "Speaking of, I know a guy who actually is one; y'know, a giant bug? Freaky as all get out."

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“Just because its an underage club doesn’t mean everyone there is underage. And anyway, I was more making a general statement about VIP rooms at most any club, not just the Midnight Hour. Nor did I say avoid them, just be careful when invited to one.â€Â

"Okay, I'll keep that in mind."

“Umm, well, there are lots of places that will hire sixteen year olds I think, more likely a question of what you are looking to do. As for decent fish, there are plenty of places. The Waterfront has some good fish restaurants, as does Riverplace.â€Â

"Waterfront, I've got to head down there some night, the food at school is just awful. "

“It’s a bit odd, but nothing I’d find overly creepy.â€Â

At this she just smiles and agrees, "I know, right? There's so much weirder stuff out there that I just don't see why it's so out of place, like? Seriously some people.."

"Yeah, I would hit the Waterfront for good fish; better yet, get a job at one of the places at Pier Two." She nods sagaciously, as though she's offering the wisdom of Solomon. "Get paid in dollars and fish."

Kizzy laughs at this and nods. "That sounds perfect. As long as I don't have to go home smelling like them."

The biker just shrugs. "Not really; it's actually kinda cool. You live in Freedom City, after a while nothing really bugs you." She grins. "Speaking of, I know a guy who actually is one; y'know, a giant bug? Freaky as all get out."

At this, Kiera just looks at her with a disgusted look which is swiftly changed to one of pity. "Wow that...that really sucks. I mean talk about getting the short end of the power-stick there. Where does he...live? I mean can he get an apartment and stuff or is he forced out to the streets? I can't even imagine..." She lets out a shudder and then shakes her head.

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At this, Kiera just looks at her with a disgusted look which is swiftly changed to one of pity. "Wow that...that really sucks. I mean talk about getting the short end of the power-stick there. Where does he...live? I mean can he get an apartment and stuff or is he forced out to the streets? I can't even imagine..." She lets out a shudder and then shakes her head.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have brought up this particular friend of mine.

The various boys who've been hanging around admiring the three lovely ladies are also making faces and off-color remarks at the mention of Carmine, her squat neighbor back at the Imperator Hotel. Lynn starts picking at a piece of electrical tape on her handlebars with a thumbnail.

"Uh, he uh, he has a place, where he lives; it's nice, he really...keeps it clean."

The young biker makes a big show of looking around and checking her watch. "Y'know what, I am technically on lunch right now, and I was hoping to snag some pushcart dogs and a Diet Coke; do you guys want to join me?"

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The young biker makes a big show of looking around and checking her watch. "Y'know what, I am technically on lunch right now, and I was hoping to snag some pushcart dogs and a Diet Coke; do you guys want to join me?"

At this, Kizzy nods enthusiastically. "Just point the way. I haven't eaten yet today, come to think of it. A few cheap hotdogs would fit the bill. All this falling has made me hungry. "

Kizzy will head toward the nearest vendor after unsteadily pushing off on her skateboard.

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“Hot dogs? Eww, no thanks, I try not to eat those things.†Velocity replied with a slight crinkling of her nose. “I’ll probably finish a few autographs here,†she indicated the nearby boys, “and then get back to cruising around to see if there is anything going on.â€Â

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“Hot dogs? Eww, no thanks, I try not to eat those things.†Velocity replied with a slight crinkling of her nose. “I’ll probably finish a few autographs here,†she indicated the nearby boys, “and then get back to cruising around to see if there is anything going on.â€Â

For like a millisecond, Lynn looks rather sad, but then she smiles and nods. "Yeah, sure, okay. I'll, uh, I'll shout your name if I'm in peril, alright?" She tries for a goofy grin, but doesn't quite make it. "I'll see you around, okay?" Then she pushes off with her bike and catches up to Kizzy, shouting out to the dark-haired girl as she approaches.

"Hey Kizzy, wait up!"

The spritely biker stops on a dime in front of the skateboarder and grins as she indicates the back of the bike with a nod.

"Here, grab onto the rack, I'll tow ya."

I wonder if me and Velocity could ever be friends, not just teammates but real girlfriends? It's like we're from totally different worlds. :(

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