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Kindness To Every Living Thing

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July 15, 2015

High above Freedom City 

It was a beautiful summer day for Cerulean, a lazy afternoon that reminded her of all the wonderful things about being a superhero. The day was warm enough that she was comfortable despite being nearly a mile over the distant towers of the city below, the sky was "Pixar blue" with a dapple of puffy white clouds in the sky. Her only companions in the air were a distant flight of seagulls, far below her, and the air traffic from Jordan Airport a few miles to her west. She'd learned a lot about navigating the airspace around a major city - but at the height of summer, this was a day for fun, not for learning. 

At least until a man appeared in the air next to her. She could watch his arrival distinctly - the faint circular ripple in the air, the slow appearance of a humanoid shape, the distinct moment when he turned to look her in the eye. With his black mustache, dark eyes, and white lab coat, he could have stepped out of Central Casting for "handsome lead scientist" in any sci-fi movie. Except unlike many of those scientists, this man could not fly. At all. 

Screaming in incoherent terror, waving his arms, he began to plummet out of view even as Cerulean watched. 

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It was, frankly, pretty freaking amazing.  What had, at first, seemed like only a determination in herself to nut up and not be such a pansy about taking a plane home to visit with her mom and sister a couple of weeks ago, then turned into an ability to ignore her fear of heights when the situation demanded it.

In the past week, she discovered it had gone even further than that; she wasn't afraid to fly anymore.  At all.  And the thought of deep water was only reflexively bad, out of habit, not due to any psychosis.  It was amazing, incredible!  And while she wasn't positive, she was pretty sure she could lay that all at the feet of--

Her in-flight introspection was interrupted by the appearance of The Amazing Falling Man, and she was caught so off-guard not only by his appearance and subsequent panicked descent that it took her a shameful couple of seconds before she caught up to him -- even at maximum velocity, which he hadn't reached yet, she could fly faster.

And it was awesome.

"Hang on!" she yelled as she drew along side him and matched pace.  Not too long ago she would have had to watch helplessly as he plunged to his death, unable to support nearly enough weight to rescue an entire human being, but she'd learned a few tricks of late that changed the whole ball game.

Calling up her Light, she shaped it into planes of coherent force, hard light like her shielding, but this in the shape of an enormous hand.  Using her own hand in a concentration aid she reached out and grabbed at the scientist, and the giant, glowing blue hand did the same, enfolding about him in mid-air.  Slowing her descent, it matched pace with her until the two of them, and her giant glowing 'hand', hovered motionless in mid-air.

"...wow, dude, hardcore," she told him solemnly.  "Watch that first step, huh?"

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The man stared at her, eyes wide and uncomprehending, and yelled something in a language Cerulean had never heard before in her life. He didn't seem to know her, where he was, or what was going on. But who would know what was going on, really? "Firangi!?" he yelled again, confused. 

Suddenly, the air around the man began to ripple again in an all-too-familiar shape - the subtle lines left behind by the teleportation device that had drawn him there in the first place. Whatever the effect was, it seemed to be drawing in both the man and the light construct summoned by Cerulean. She was left with one choice - let the man be sucked back to an uncertain fate (he was screaming again, his terror obvious), or go in there with him like a hero. Really, there was only one choice to make. 

The other side of the portal was like nothing she'd ever seen before - she was no longer high above Freedom City but flying alongside buildings that towered impossibly high, huge structures close to a mile in height, gleaming in the sunlight like their marbled green outer skins were covered in diamond! The sky above was all but blotted out by the gigantic machine that hovered overhead; a gigantic flying craft shaped like a tremendous flying cylinder, its green skin glittering with the same diamondal colors as the buildings, words written on the side in a language she had...no idea how to read. It was becoming a running theme. 

Beneath her, the portal was just beginning to close - the man she held was still in her light-based grip. 

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Well.  Snap decisions certainly did have their consequences, didn't they?

So, of course, she immediately made another.  Surrounded by enormous, alien buildings, with an enormous, alien spaceship overhead, a rescued civilian way, way out of his depth (or, y'know, height), and a portal back to her own 'normal' starting to close already?

Avoiding the portal, she streaked at top speed toward the ground, the giant light-construct keeping pace beside her.  She could cover about a mile in only a couple of seconds, accounting for the need to, y'know, stop at the end, and so they were at ground level in next to no time.  Dissolving the construct that had caught the man, she let him drop the last couple of feet to the surface before reversing course with all speed.  She would love the opportunity to look around and check out what there was to see -- was this the future, or an alternate reality, or another planet entirely? -- but she could end up stuck here if she wasn't careful.

And from the look of things, she wouldn't be able to read Tumblr here.  If they even had Tumblr.

So she hauled all possible ass toward the closing portal, hoping to make it in time after delivering her rescue to safety.

"...must go faster, must go faster," she muttered to herself, featureless blue eyes squinted against the oncoming rush of air.  She was pretty sure she'd make it, though.  This was the dramatic last-moment squeaking through that you always saw in the movies....

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Panicked screaming from far down below interrupted Cerulean's flight. Looking down, she realized that her friend was not alone down there. She'd placed him on a walkway near the opening of the building they'd appeared in front of, the nearby pedestrians naturally running far and fast from the oncoming superhero. It looked like her friend had tried to run too, but he hadn't gone far. He was surrounded by a half-dozen humanoids in full-body power armor, their faces invisible behind blank reflective face-plates she could see even this far up. The armored men, green patches on their arms the only sign of decoration, were heavily armed too, carrying large hand weapons that looked like pistols and rifles ripped out of the pages of science fiction. Two of them had pinned down the man she'd rescued, one on each arm, and another had come up behind him - pointing a weapon at the back of his head. 

Suddenly a light flashed on in the hovering airship overhead, a searchlight that reached down and brightly lit up Cerulean herself - and someone shouted something in an amplified voice that seemed to be directed at her. On the one hand, she had no idea what was being said - but on the other hand, beneath that airship that bore the same blank green mark worn by the soldiers below, she could take some guesses. 

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Cerulean hesitated, torn between the almost inevitable likelihood that she was far outgunned here, and the knowledge that if she didn't do something, the guy she just rescued was probably going to get his brains splattered all over the ground in a couple of seconds.

The spotlight spearing her from above seemed almost ludicrously unnecessary, considering the degree to which she was already lit up by her own power, but it did serve to emphasize just how outnumbered and alone she was here, not to mention way, way out of her depth by culture alone.

Still...the only thing that had changed since before she had entered the portal was now she was a little more aware of the odds up against her.  A known danger wasn't much more of a deterrent than a merely suspected one, when you came down to it, and if she fled she'd have nightmares about that poor man and what she'd dropped him into.

Now, she hoped as she hauled herself to a halt to begin to reverse course yet again, the trick was to survive long enough to have nightmares about other things....

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A cannon aboard the hovering craft opened fire, sending a devastating blast of shimmering green energy down that nearly knocked Cerulean from the sky! It was like nothing she'd felt in training, close to what she'd always imagined a space battleship's power might be! At least the fight below was easier - the laser pistols in the hands of the armed goons were as harmless to the light-powered heroine as spitballs, vanishing into her protective force field like flashlight beams being blotted out by the Sun. Her erstwhile partner in 'crime' took no chances when she landed to block the blasts; he took a flying leap and landed on her back, clinging on with his hands over her stomach and yelling something that must have been "Fly! Fly!" But deep in the bowels of an alien-looking city, with no languages in common and no certainty about where she was, where exactly could she go? 

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More importantly, she wasn't about to go anywhere with someone clinging to her back.  She was driven halfway to the ground as he weight landed on her -- sure, she was a little taller than average for a girl, but she certainly wasn't up to carrying a full grown man around, whether it was on foot or in the air.

"Ack!" she exclaimed, an utterance that probably needed no translation as her limbs buckled.  This...wasn't going as well as it might have.  How was she supposed to effect any sort of successful rescue when her innocent was nearly as much of a hindrance as the goons trying to kill them?

Calling forth her Light, she formed a bubble of protective hard light about the pair of them and began prying at his hands clutching her waist.  "Off.  Off!" she yelled, hoping he could see where this was going.  If he didn't let go and let the glowing shield take his weight, they weren't going anywhere....

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The man did as Cerulean asked - and just in time, as the situation around them was changing. The guards she had fought were bidding a hasty retreat into nearby buildings, doors irising open for them like something from Star Trek. The civilians on the street were running too, taking shelter even as the unmistakeable shrill cry of warning sirens rang through the gigantic city. The walls were flashing with fast-moving Arabic writing, over images of fast-moving, lethal-looking airplanes flying over the ocean's surface. She heard a shrill scream of hyper-charged engines and, looking up, witnessed as a squadron of six long, skinny craft shaped like giant silver mosquitos flew past the overhanging airship, blasting into its flank with the hissing whine of energy weapons while their sound of their engines seemed to tear at the very air itself even so far away at ground level. This was a battle, all right, but what were the sides?

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Cerulean had no idea who was doing what to whom, or why, but she did know that the giant green ship had hit her with some sort of painful energy weapon, and so she wasn't about to tear into the little silver guys just for the heck of it.

Of course, she wasn't going to make the mistake of assuming they were her friends, just because they were attacking the goons that had tried to do her in, either.

What she did know was two things, primarily; one, just sitting around here being a standing target likely wasn't a good idea.  Two, even if she was inclined to jump in on this fight without more information, her offensive capability was currently tied up in shielding and transportation, so that was right out.  Time to get out of here, find a place to catch a breather, and figure out where to go from there.

Any, chance, sign? her fingers flashed at her companion-of-the-moment, but she doubted she would be so lucky.  Spinning a finger in a wide circle over her head, she spread her hands and raised her eyebrows inquisitively.  If he had a direction to suggest, she was more than willing to let him navigate.  Otherwise, she was going to just have to make a guess and book it.

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He tried a few tentative signs back - and shrugged angrily when she didn't seem to understand. He suggested they fly east, out over the ocean, which at least got them away from the city and the war going on there. The color was right for this to be the cool grey Atlantic, but looking down she could see a large number of fast-moving watercraft that looked like nothing she knew from Earth, and what were clearly domed cities down along the continental shelf! At least there was no sign of pursuit for now, not with the sounds of battle still raging behind her in a city whose towers were still visible in the distance even as the distance grew into miles. Fiddling around in his jacket pocket, the man produced what looked at first like a large penlight, making by sign and show that it was no threat. Pointing it as they flew, he fiddled with a few buttons before producing what was clearly a hologram of Earth! There were far more cities than she'd have expected, almost all of them labeled in strange languages, but the continents were all right where they were supposed to be. 

"Ird," said her passenger as he pointed to the planet, then to himself. "Siddig. Lor?" he asked her, pointing to Cerulean and then up to the clear blue sky overhead. "Lor?" 

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Well, this was familiar enough, wasn't it, from any number of movies or TV shows?  Nice to be on more-or-less solid ground, when everything was so crazy.

Pointing at him, she repeated what she had to assume was his name.  "Siddig."  Touching her own chest, she enunciated clearly.  "Cerulean."  An exchange of names, communication was happening.  Huzzah.

So...'Ird' was what they called the planet, did they?  And 'Lor' was...what, 'what'?  Where?  You?  She was going to need additional references on that one.

Pointing at the planet, she told him, "Earth."  And then, for good measure, she began glibly listing off all the continents as she indicated them, so he would hopefully realize that they shared common geography, if uncommon culture.

She tried to determine, then abandoned, a way of asking several different important questions.  Without a common language to use, pantomime was only going to take them so far.  She looked over his holographic globe, and picked out the comparatively small island off the European coast.

"England," she told him, pointing at the country.  Tapping her lips, she added "English."  It wasn't where she was from, but if her language was spoken here at all, surely that would be where, right?  Did he know of anyone who might speak 'English'?  Or...whatever it might be called, in his language....

This could take a long time, couldn't it....

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"Lor?" He pointed to the sky again, then shrugged, evidently dismissing the thought. "Firanj," said the man, confused.  He spoke to her in what sounded like a strange dialect of German for a moment; hauntingly close, but not quite. 

"Ahh...Danelaugh. Dane...stan? He tried a few other words, less familiar for the continents. All of northern Europe seemed to be Firanj - southern Europe was Cordoba. All of Russia was Bulgaria; Africa divided between Egypt, Sofala, and Zenj from the north to the south. The Americas were Talentis, and with a headshake and disgusted look, "Jamahiriya." Following up gave her Mecca, Cairo, and other city names suggesting one major way this world was different from hers. China and Nihon had names that were nearly familiar 

As they flew, he pressed a few more buttons and produced another globe, this one blank, but with those familiar continents. "Earth?" Another press produced Ird, the two planets floating just a few inches apart in space. "Ird." He pressed a few buttons. and a crude drawing of the portal appeared between the two planets. His eyes were a question. 

Edited by Avenger Assembled
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Cerulean clapped her hands, delighted -- yes, that was the portal.  She nodded enthusiastically, but was stumped at how to ask him if he could make another one for her to return home through.

She glanced back at the city, receding in the distance behind them, as far as she knew still a war zone.

That was, if it was possible for her to get back there.

She figured they were probably far enough out at the moment that they weren't going to be inadvertently run across, and slowed to a halt.  At this point, the bright trail she left while flying was likely going to draw more attention than anything else.  Settling the bottom of their bubble into the water, she focused for a moment and reshaped her light construct, forming a broad-beamed, open boat with a deep keel for stability, with a couple of simple bench seats for the two of them.  They bobbed in the water with the motion of the ocean, but weren't quite so obvious as a moving target at the moment.

She bent her brain to the communication problem, wondering if there was something she could do about it.  Her light...made everything she saw clear, for her.  Could she somehow make it so what she heard was clear, too?  It was a crazy thought, but the lessons she'd had in expanding what her powers could do had worked wonders for developing uses of hard light, so maybe she could twist things here, too?

Concentrating, she focused her attention on the light she was shedding across the waves, only moderately visible in the light of day and lack of much of anything to cast a shadow.  She thought about what she wanted to accomplish, took hold of the part of her mind that she used to light up, and...pushed.

The light wavered, then contracted sharply about her, condensing to a pool a mere twenty feet across as she drew power from it in a manner in which it was not intended.  It felt...strange, in her head, but then again, so had the first time she had managed to solidify light into something other than a shield, so hopefully it was working.  A wave of dizziness and fatigue washed across her, and she was glad she was sitting down.

"Okay, let's try this," she told the man -- Siddig -- with a smile.  "Can you understand me now?"

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"Yes!" the man exclaimed, a delighted look on his face. "Yes, I can understand you. This is an impressive field," he mentioned, reaching out to poke with scientific curiosity at the light ball that surrounded them, all without losing his position on her back. "I have never seen a mentant with so many abilities. Of course, if everyone in your home dimension is as powerful as you, that would explain why all your buildings were so deep underground..." He looked at Cerulean and said, "Thank you for saving me on your Earth. You had no idea you were making an enemy of half this one, eh?" He smiled thinly beneath his black mustache. "I am Dr. Siddig el-Qudwa of Cahokia University, condemned to death by the Revolutionists because I would not build the weapons they wanted. I was being...toyed with when we met." He shuddered. "But you must have many questions. Can you fly as far as Reykjavik? Firanj is yet neutral in the Great War - and I may be able to find people who can help you with the return to your dimension." 

Edited by Avenger Assembled
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Awesome, it worked!  Cerulean was very pleased, and not just because the lack of communication had been equal parts frustration and annoyance.

"Not everyone is as powerful, but there are quite a few who are far more powerful," she told him; not at all a bad idea to plant the notion that trying to invade her world would be foolhardy.  Plus, it was true.

"Okay, first things first, you don't have to keep holding on to me," she went on, thankful that he had been, effectively, clinging to her force field up until this point.  Not that he seemed a bad guy, really, but she didn't exactly feel comfortable with the idea of strange men clutching at her waist.  "I'm not super-strong or anything; it's the field that's been carrying you, not me directly."  She flashed him a quick smile.  "Just relax, it'll hold you," she assured him.

The fact that there might be someone who could get her home was a heartening thought, that lifted her spirits despite her fatigue.

"Reykjavik -- that's...Iceland," she dredged up from her capacious memory.  "Yeah, I could fly that far, it'd take..two, three hours," she went on slowly.  "But, I don't have anything like navigational equipment," she pointed out.  "We could end up missing the island altogether."  Or flying around in circles, and wouldn't that be embarrassing.

"So -- great war?" she repeated, wanting details.  "That giant ship was the Revolutonists, and the little silver guys were...?"  There was actually a war on?  One that involved large parts of the globe?  It had been two thirds of a century since such a thing had happened back home....

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On the way to Iceland, Siddig and Cerulean compared global histories - there wasn't much else to do on the way. Neither of them were historians; but they were both clever, and they had a lot of time to kill. They had to go a long, long way back before they found the point of divergence between two worlds - a scientific revolution in the early Muslim world that simply hadn't happened in Cerulean's history. From the sound of things, that had led to a lot of changes - and fast. His world had been going through the Industrial Revolution when hers had been going through the Crusades, and fighting a bloody nuclear war between China and Persia around the time Columbus was supposed to be discovering the Americas.

"And after that, there was peace - oh, our differences didn't end," he admitted, "but when the bombs fell and the sky darkened with ash, it slew Faithful and unFaithful, Zanj and Firanji alike. It brought us all closer together. We repaired the planet's ecosystems, built a just society, and took to the stars. We joined the Lor Republic when my father was a boy, about a hundred years ago." His face tightened. "Then the Republic burned. There was a war in space, just a year ago, and when it was done, the Lor Republic fell. My people have always believed in the arrow of history - that society would continue to grow more and more just until the end of time. With the end of the Lor, came our first war in two hundred years." He told her of the war between the Revolutionists in North and South America, a revolutionary military dictatorship, and the peaceful societies in the 'Old World.' 

"So far it hasn't grown beyond the kind of skirmishes you saw today. But everyone thinks that won't last. Old al-Darsah wants a world he can mold and shape to _his_ liking. Eventually he'll move on the Umma."

Edited by Avenger Assembled
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  • 2 weeks later...

The differences between the two worlds were fascinating, and Cerulean avidly compared bits and pieces of odd little historical curiosities that had been tucked away into her prodigious memory.  The fact that humanity had united into one people here and headed to the stars was...inspiring, if perhaps a little bit of a letdown to learn that everything had come crashing back down in short order.

"I don't get it," she protested as her smooth, tear-drop shaped force bubble sped along twenty feet above the waves.  "I mean, sure, I can understand someone being greedy or narcissistic enough to want to tell a whole world how they should be doing things, but you said that your people have already gone to the stars, and met new people from new planets," she protested.  "There have got to be other worlds out there that can be built up however someone wants; why is this al-Darsah insisting on fighting over this one?  What's this 'Umma', anyhow?" she asked curiously, while firmly reminding herself that this wasn't her world, and wasn't her fight.  She had to get back to her own world, before anyone got really worried that they hadn't heard from her.

She was less worried about losing her part-time summer job for not showing up, but it'd still suck to have to try and find a new one, so that, too....

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A little back-and-forth established that Umma meant 'civilization' for Siddig and his culture - he vaguely remembered the literal translation was something like 'law'. "It was originally a concept of the Faithful, I suppose, but even the Christian and atheist nations have their own versions of it - but they use our terms by historical tradition." The Firanji Emir, for example, was "The Holy Roman Emperor" in the native language of his own people. "And the Revolutionists believe they are the liberators - that they have come to save us from the civilization that held us back from our full potential, the old laws that forbid genetic tampering or cyberization. Many of my fellow scientists are attracted to al-Darsah's vision of the improved, enlightened man - but it seems he sees _himself_ as the enlightened man, and his clone children the next-most, and then everyone else down on the bottom." He smiled thinly. "I will take the old ways of democracy and freedom, even if they mean I spend my life as a man. As for why he does not go into space, well, ours is not the only war torn by strife with the Republic's fall. Even the Lor, it seems, are men like any other - and revert to their natures when pressed." 

He seemed a combination of fascinated and horrified by Cerulean's stories about her own world, asking several probing questions as the flight went on. He was as curious about the mighty superheroes of Earth as he was about the Christian-descended civilization that produced it - both were evidently a novelty in an Islamic-descended world whose superhumans were (with a few exceptions) evidently rather less super than they were on Cerulean's homeworld. 


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On one hand, Cerulean was somewhat relieved that superhumans were a relative rarity here, and lower powered to boot -- that meant that she was unlikely to run into any one individual that could give her much of a problem.

On the other hand...

"Wait -- you're not talking about Amir al-Darsah, are you?" she demanded in not quite a squeak.  "Goes by Typhoon, ruler of the Kingdom of Socotra, incredibly powerful hydrokinetic?"  Surely he couldn't be -- with centuries of divergent timeline, surely the same man couldn't have come to exist here at this time, could he?

Not by coincidence, anyhow.

The news that the Scandinavian Emir was 'The Holy Roman Emperor' boded well for being able to communicate with them, although if she remembered her history correctly, that could just as easily mean they spoke German, French, or even Italian.

Mind you, that was pretty much what English had been cobbled together out of, so there was still a decent prospect.  As long as there wasn't going to be some sort of ridiculous inverse parallel of her world that would get her caught up in an extremist Christian terrorist movement that wanted to use her abilities to strike a blow against the Capitalist Islam....

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Iceland was, in Cerulean's home timeline, a nation of farmers, tourists, and volcanoes - the Iceland of Ird seemed broadly similar. But she could pick out differences from the air as she went - the towns covered with translucent domes, the nearly-trackless countryside crossed by cattle and horses roaming free and passed overhead by flying cars, that told her she wasn't in Kansas anymore. If there even was a people who called themselves the Kansa that had diverged nearly 1500 years from her own. Reykjavík turned to be built in about the same place as in her home universe too,  a city in southwestern Iceland tucked away in a lovely bay. Reykjavík was covered in a dome too, looking to the eyes of someone from Earth-Prime rather as if someone had taken Iceland before human arrival and plunked down a domed city from a science fiction novel. As she flew over the bay, a squadron of fighters peeled down from a high overflight to offer an escort, and for a moment or two, as the X-shaped silvery craft took up a position on each side, everything seemed to be going well. 

Until the oceans rose up before her! The fighters peeled off wildly as the pristine waters of the bay erupted into motion and a single humanoid figure clad in an armored blue costume arose out of the ocean just a few hundred yards in front of her. She didn't immediately recognize the woman inside the costume, but she could see her power; the water that hung from her hands like long, deadly whips, the curling wave of ocean beneath her feet that supported her in the air, and the amplified voice that came from the armored figure certainly sounded powerful. 

"Surrender, outlander, in the name of the Jamahiriya! You and the criminal scientist who brought you here are the property of the Revolution!" She punctuated her words by lashing out at Cerulean, 'cracking the whip' against the sphere of light that surrounded her with a blow made from hardened, focused water. The sphere fractured, but didn't break, making her antagonist's eyes widen in surprise.

Edited by Avenger Assembled
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Cerulean's jaw dropped in surprise as a figure rose out of the ocean before them, and the demand to surrender -- property?? -- caught her off guard.

"But...I have to pee!" she exclaimed nonsensically, having tried to ignore the urge for about the past forty minutes.  The ocean rising up to slam at the bubble of hardened light as they rushed toward the woman made her flinch and yelp inelegantly, and the sprays of icy ocean water that penetrated through the stressed fractures turned her yelp into a squeal as they washed across what to her felt like bare skin, regardless of what it looked like.

"Oh man, now I really have to pee!" she protested -- perhaps it was for the best that her opponent couldn't hear her responses, all things considered.  Unfortunately, words pretty much were her response for the moment, for she couldn't return fire without dropping Siddig into the ocean at speed.

Fortunately, speed was still something she had on her side.  Still moving at a rate a little over the speed of sound, she blew past the perhaps-overconfident Aquabitch and streaked inland, homing in on the nearest shoreline and dropping until she flew up a few hundred feet past the shore -- she didn't really want to fight this woman over the water if she could help it, all things considered.  Decelerating rapidly, she unceremoniously dissolved her damaged hard light field, dropping Siddig a short distance to the ground.

"I'm gonna suggest you run now," she told him, and split into half a dozen identical copies of herself as she turned back to face the bay.  She and her duplicate images all gathered brilliant light about their hands -- if Aquabitch pursued in person, or sent a wall of water or something after her, she was ready to reply with excessive force.

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Her pursuer, evidently made of canny stuff, floated at the water's edge, her eyes on Cerulean. Cerulean could hear, and see, Reykjavik in action behind and around her - but so far, even with the city awakening, she was the only person in the air. No surprise, if superhumans were as far and between as she'd heard on this world. "That's one of al-Darsah's clone-daughters; the youngest, I think. I hope you're as powerful as you look!" Siddig called as he sensibly ran for cover behind a hovercar currently resting on a gleaming, self-cleaning sidewalk. "Because no one's been able to stop them before!" A voiceover in a language that sounded a little like German and a little like Norwegian broke in at that juncture, its sonorous voice instructing all citizens to take shelter, coming from a European-looking face that had appeared on the wall monitors and windows that seemed ubiquitous in this civilization broke in. At least until a new face broke in. 

"Attention, citizens of Reykjavik! This is Tempest, daughter of al-Darsah, and general in the armies of the Revolution. Your city has taken shelter one traitor and one invader to our beloved lands." She was young, and pretty, and wore the sneer on her face like a glove. "Firanj's fleets are tens of minutes away - but I am here, now! If our enemies do not present themselves soon - then I promise a great tsunami to smash the place that dared offer aid and succor to our enemies!" 

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Cerulean didn't particularly want to have to go head to head with such an unknown quantity, most especially one that had by reports never been defeated before.

Most most especially before she had a chance to deal with an urgent need.

But...well, she couldn't exactly lead a supervillain to these people's doorstep, let their cities get flooded, and expect them to help her, now could she?  Plus, she'd feel horrendously guilty about all the little things, like millions in property damage, the loss of life....

And, well, hadn't she just been told that she was far more powerful here than she was back home?  And this from a man who had only seen what she could do defensively.  Nobody here yet had seen what she could do when she cut loose, and if there was one thing her powers seemed to be designed for, it was dishing out the punishment.  High DPS, as it were.

"Well, she'll just have to be content with only one 'enemy' for now," she muttered to herself -- now that Siddig was afoot and hiding, she wasn't about to encumber herself again.  She was not built for ferrying passengers about, and certainly not in combat conditions.

Letting the massed power die away from her hands, she took to the air again in a streak of blue, still dogged by her extras in a confusing swirl that made it next to impossible to tell which was the real her.  She came in at a higher altitude than this 'Tempest', wanting to make it more difficult to use the ocean against her, and was ready to blast away at her if she looked to be readying a killer wave to unleash upon the domed city.

"All right, here I am, now what?" she shouted down to the gender-swapped clone, stopping perhaps a hundred feet away.  "I'm pretty sure you don't want this to turn into a fight, if that was the best hit you've got," she added conciliatorially.

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That earned Cerulean a blast to the center of her body mass - and prompted a return strike from the light-wielding heroine. Both of their aims were true. A searing blast of light hit al-Darsah in the face, making her gasp and curse in obvious surprise. It wasn't hard to guess that pain wasn't something the genetically-enhanced would-be conqueror had much experience with, from the look of anger on her now sun-burned looking face, it wasn't something she enjoyed either. Still, a blast of water struck Cerulean in the midsection, Nina's 'ripping' gesture with the free hand she used for the strike making it appear she was going to rip out something vital from the younger woman. The problem was, despite al-Darsah's excellent aim, evidently she had no way of telling the many Ceruleans apart. That earned another curse. 

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