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All the Colors of the Sky


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AEON's lobby was a comfortable place to wait, designed to encourage loitering rather than discourage it with available computer terminals for open use and plush chairs to wait in. Despite the obvious efforts made to make people feel comfortable, the gleaming lobby was clearly expensively designed and furnished with a wide receptionist desk staffed with a small number of receptionists. The individuals on duty noticeably straightened at their posts as a petite red-head stepped off of the elevator, gesturing animatedly to her far taller compatriot. Alex was dressed casually today, wearing blue jeans with be-dazzled patches on her pockets and a bright sweater with alternating bands of hot pink and vivid yellow. Her red curls were drawn up with barrettes. She looked, really, nothing like the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation. Truly, Alex looked out of place in her own lobby as she hustled towards the receptionist counter with a spring in her step, talking animatedly the whole way.


"So, there's a badge here although the elevator's biometrics have already been calibrated to you but good to have it just in case security gets nervous," Alex said to Mike with an animated smile as she turned towards the counter. "Marcia, hello. How's your son doing, feeling better?" She asked before tipping her chin up towards Mike and explaining, "He got a cold that's been going around his school. Have you met Marcia?" 


Alex made quick introductions between Mike and the staff currently working the counter. Perfect recall meant never forgetting a name or face which came in handy more often than not. 

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Mike as usual looked drab next to his diminutive fiance.  The relaxed fit Khakis and slightly too tight polo shirt said IT more than CEO's boyfriend the overall look not improved by the slight slouch he evinced out of costume where he always felt slightly oversize for his environment.  He smiled affably to the Receptionists repeating the names under his breath in hopes of fixing them in memory, "A pleasure."  he replied softly and offered a chagrinned smile, "I apologize in advance for forgetting all of those but I'm awful with names."  He added ruefully which was not entirely true but as always he held himself to an unobtainable standard, in this case his fiance's eidetic memory.


He did turn to Marcia and nod earnestly, "I hope he's feeling better."  he intoned softly as he took the offered badge and examined it for a moment, "Wouldn't want to cause any trouble."  he agreed and tucked it away in his wallet.  He paused uncertainly not sure if he should explain why he was getting a badge and access and determined that Alex like as not had those niceties well in hand though clearly it was some effort not to clarify the situation.  Glancing back to Alex he quirked a brow, "I appreciate the tour and your time but if you're busy you really can go I'll be alright."  he suggested uncertainly.

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Whenever Dancia had something important to think about she’d like to drift on the edge of the atmosphere watching the world drifting below her. Sometime she would listen to what was going on below only to fly down and help someone, but today she wasn’t listening she was instead thinking about things. For the last year or so she had been having weird dreams that felt as if she was viewing things going on in the real world, and most of what she seeing wasn’t the most pleasant things.


This shouldn’t bother her as she knew she wasn’t capable of these kinds of things right now, but she didn’t know about her past beyond waking up a year and a half ago. Had she been capable of such things in the past? Was there a part of her that was doing these things?


She needed to know more about her history, her background, how she came to arrive in Freedom City. And she knew just the place to get some of those answers, having done a piece on the place a couple of months ago. Having made her mind up she shot back down through the atmosphere.


Normally she’d be more subtle and arrange an appointment in civilian disguise before revealing the truth once inside, but right now the whole situation made her jittery and she wanted answer right now. So she strolled through the door of the AEON building still dressed in her iconic costume, pausing just inside the door to see how security would react to her sudden reaction.

She trying not to appear aggressive, but still did a pose with her hand on her hips. Because some things were expected of you after all.

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Marcia had been in the middle of assuring them both that her son was doing much better when Triakosia made her entrance. Alex turned with a friendly smile, already waving down any concerns from her employees in the lobby. Even if the red-head wasn't generally unflappable, her youth at Claremont had pretty much assured that Alex took the arrival of costumed characters in stride. She left the counter, assuming that Mike would probably follow her over to make polite introductions. 


The petite redhead crossed the room with a spring in her step and offered one slender hand, "Good morning! I'm Alex Albright," AEON's young CEO said with a genuinely friendly smile, "How can I help you?"

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Mike turned at the dramatic entrance though he too was unflapped by the iconic arrival.  It took him a long moment to place where he recognized the woman from, if she'd not intimated at the bar her own heroic moonlighting he'd not have likely made the connection at all.  As it was he put together it was the same woman who had maybe propositioned him after his futile attempts to drink his problems away.  He stood behind Alex letting her make with introductions and glancing to the side trying not to draw attention and doing an atrocious job of it.  After a long moment of silence he decided he had to say something and awkwardly blurted out, "Hi, Mike Harris, I haven't met you before."  which was arguably true if one guarded secret IDs carefully but the phrasing was altogether too awkward and even he recognized it wincing at the words and adding, "Have we, uhm I?" 

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Triakosia gave a friendly smile and relaxed slightly, actually managing to look a time bit guilty with her over entrance. 


"I don't normally make such a dramatic entrance  but I really need you help to discover my origin. It's a rather complex situation that I really need sorting out sooner  rather than later."


She gave Mike a smile she was quite impressed that he recognised her, she wasn't sure how but the headband she wore somehow subtly altered her features. Though Mike was obviously one of the few that see through the disguise.


"Well I must say that this a step up from my couch." She couldn't help but flash him a cheeky grin.

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"Help is one of those things we do here!" Alex said cheerfully, not daunted by the task ahead of her. She cast Mike a faintly quizzical look at his increased awkwardness, rifling through his thoughts as with a deft light touch to ascertain the cause before amusement flickered across her features. She gave Mike's bicep a gentle pat of reassurance before continuing along, "Let me grab some paperwork from the front desk and I'll take you on upstairs to the labs. Don't worry about the entrance, dramatics have their place and purpose. You have timing as this saves them from paging me. I always try to help out on the meta-human aid projects." Still amused, Alex turned towards the desk to gesture for one of the tablets available.

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Mike blanched at Triakosas words and he stared from one woman to the other with growing discomfort.  The well worn grooves of his mind were all to easy for Alex to fish the relevant information out of and he stammered uncertainly for a moment as he was pulled along with her back to the receptionists, "I uh you see...."  he seemed somewhat soothed by his fiances gesture but couldn't manage to meet his fellow paragons gaze for the moment, "I'm sure Alex can help."  he finally settled on speaking mostly to the floor as he took a deep centering breath before regaining most of his composure, "She's the best there is."  he said with confidence and his pride and affection clear.

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“I appreciate the help, I’m sure it won’t be the last time I say thank you to you today.” already she was somewhat relieved to have someone else's help.


Even in her worried state she was still observing what was going on around her, skills she used as a journalist and honed doing goddess knows what. And one thing is was very clear about the relationship between Mike and Alex.

“And I wouldn’t worry, you’re not really my type.” she tried to put Mike’s mind at easy “Beside it obvious that you already taken. And I’m happy for you, you've obviously got something special there. And on the plus side it means we can just stay drinking buddies.”

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"It's what we do!" Alex said with a smile as she turned on sneakered feet, tablet in hand, "First question, of course, is what level of security you're comfortable with. Do you need all data expunged from the system after we're done today or will our security systems suffice for the confidential data? Ethics compels me to also volunteer that my memory is eidetic so it remains in my memory even if all other data and material is destroyed."


She smiled then, not glancing up from her tablet as she gave Mike's broad bicep another delicate pat, "He's often oblivious to social cues and frets over accidentally offending. The byproduct of having my running narrative in his head his entire life, I'm afraid," she offered on Mike's behalf before returning to the topic at hand. Alex clearly seemed bemused by the conversation as affront would have been ridiculous. "We deal with all levels of comfort so don't fear we'll turn you away if you think you have special needs. Really, they're all individual cases with different needs."

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Mike glanced to Alex and shrugged slightly as he smiled to Tirakosa, "Uh yea I guess so."  he agreed though he was pretty certain he was done with drinking it tasted horrid and had none of the numbing of feelings espoused by his less invulnerable brethren.  He however nodded firm agreement with Alexs explanation, "I, uh, don't usually do that either really."  he admitted with a weak smile, "But I'm happy to have you as a friend regardless."  he assured her his tone earnest and in this at least less uncertain than his demeanor around the more fraught topics of romantic entanglements.  He however was happy to move on to more salient topics and asked curiously, "When did your powers develop?"  

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Dancia considered her options for a few moments before replying to Alex’s question.


“I seem to remember that you system set-up is pretty secure, I did a piece on this place a couple of months ago for the Ledger. And I trust you completely not to reveal anything you find out, though a must warn to say it a bit of a mess in my mind is a bit of an understatement.” she tapped her head to emphasise the point.

“And I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, which is only about a year and a half. Sixth months before I just crashed into Conway Street, from apparently nowhere and when I finally woke up all I had was a jumble of memories. The only two words I remember with any clarity was my name and Triakosia.” her tone was a mix of matter of fact and a little sadness.

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"Sometimes lost memories are too fragmented to retrieve. Or the trauma that would cause isn't worth whatever might be gleaned from it," Alex said, a note of caution in her voice. She had unsurprisingly worked with people seeking memories before this. Even some normal folk were willing to risk a T-baby's help when the need was great enough. "But we have many, many resources at our disposal if that avenue fails us. I'll be very surprised if I can't find some scrap of information to help your search. Let's head on up to my office to start."


Alex gestured towards the elevator in the very back of the bank and pressed her palm against the pad available rather than any conventional button, her cheer was irrepressible, "And don't worry about messes. I can almost guarantee I've seen worse. I've been a telepath since birth. My efforts actually have to go into shielding rather than reaching out so before I really got the hang of that, I have bumbled through all sorts of things in my nascent years. And then once I started the official super-hero thing as a teenager.... well, let's just say I am notoriously hard to rattle."

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Mike listened as Triakosia elaborated on her problems, "Well I imagine you've already looked into it but I'm pretty sure no one operated under that name until a few years ago."  he offered with a shrug as he was pretty sure if there had been Mark woudl have mentioned it.  Then again Mike had tuned out when Mark began discussing fourth string national teams from alt earth third world nations so might have missed the more obscure options.  He shrugged a little uncertain how much he could really offer on the subject.  


His brow grew knitted with concern at Alex's words, he knew well the impact her nights in Erins mind and worse dealing with singularity among others had left upon the young psychic.  He reflexively offered his fiance a gentle squeeze on the shoulder and looked to Tirakosia with confidence, "I'm sure Alex will be able to help."  he assured the fellow paragon.

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“They seem much more than fragments of memories more other lives that I’ve lived. It would just be nice to know which life was the one I personally lived, even if they’re all true... This kind of things get’s a little complicated.” she gave a bemused smile


Once in the relative privacy of the elevator she pulled off her headband causing her features to subtly shift to the form Mike had met earlier.

“Please call me Dancia, if you going topoke around my brain we might as well be informal about it all!”

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"My friends call me Alex," Alex agreed, watching the process with some interest, "Hmm... You know, Mike's glasses do the same sort of thing. I mean, he's never worn a mask but he just doesn't get recognized with his glasses on. Mike?" She said, turning towards him. Alex didn't have to add the rest of her request to remove them so she could visually compare the process. He was rather used to Alex's unflagging curiosity. Watch Mike's own transformation, she added to Dancia, "Have you ever had a psychic examine your memories before? I'm familiar with many of those who have operated in Freedom City but knowing if there are any other psychic fingerprints might make things easier."


The elevator whooshed open onto one of the higher floors although they were well below the penthouse that Alex and Mike called home. A very professional looking personal assistant sat at a comfortable desk in what looked like a smaller version of the downstairs lobby. "If you could reschedule my plans for this morning, please, Melissa. Andrea can helm the meeting with Finances today if she has time or it can be postponed until next week. I already know what the quarterlies are looking like. I'll let you know if the afternoon needs to be shuffled around before lunch time. Thank you."


Alex led the way into her office, another bio-metric lock opening her office door. Her office was large, with floor to ceiling windows that looked out on Freedom City along the main wall that a rather imposing desk sat in front of. Sometimes, even Alex had use for intimidation. But not today. Today she lead the way over towards large comfortable couches that, like the ones in her apartment, could handle the strain of her heavy-weight significant other. "Please, make yourself comfortable. Would you care for anything to drink?"

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Mike dutifully dipped his head and pulled the glasses from his face at his fiance's request.  As his hand dropped to his side he stood a bit taller still the 'I'm to large for this world' slouch of the very tall vanished as he set his shoulders back and a small confident smile crept to his lips.  Much of his body language was keyed to Phalanx rather than the more mild mannered behaviors Mike normally exhibited.  He Looked down at Alex and Dancia and quirked a  brow, "Satisfied?" He asked in a low rumble and with a nod dipped his head to replace the glasses and hunched in on himself more once again as he peered out through the might as well be empty frames.  


Stepping off the elevator he waited for the ladies before following into Alexs office and motioning for the diminutive psychic to have a seat, "You have work to do I can manage drinks I think."  he joked lightly and looked questioning to Dancia for a response.

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Dancia watched Mike with a certain amount of professional appreciation. 


"I tend to wear glasses as well it fits with the whole reporter look anyway." She then turned her attention back to Alex "I know that the League had me mentaly probed a few times when I first arrived, though I was unconscious for most of the time. I don't think they probed to deeply at the time,  they were more concerned if that I might be a duplicate or trying to trick may way into there trust."


When the elevator arrived she took a few minutes to appreciate the size and quality of the office, she didn't  often get to spend much time in offices quite like this. She then took a seat totally comfortable in her costume, even if she looked a little out of place in the office.


"Just a water will be fine thank you."

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Even if Alex hadn't had perfect recall, she'd seen the transformation countless times. It was possible - just possible - that she merely wanted an excuse to see it again. Her smile for Mike was small, affectionate, but she quickly turned her attention back to their guest. Alex picked a chair comfortably near Danica but not encroaching on her space. She didn't need to touch her, after all, to search for her memories. "If there are fragments you have special interest in, it might make it easier if you pull those up in your mind. Surface thoughts are always easier to touch than deep memory. They're also likely to be of greater import if your memory has spat them out in fragments. Dreams are usually the first place suppressed memories turn up, then in 'deja vu'."


Alex offered a small smile, "Did you have any questions before we begin? You might be able to sense Mike's presence as a faint echo, just as a bit of forewarning. Some people do. Some don't. It just depends how my psychic link resonates down the 'line' so to speak."

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Mike filled a glass with ice and pulled a chilled bottled water from the mini fridge to place next to the cup as he brought it over as well as a tall glass for Alex not sure how long either of them might be under for this endeavor, sometimes these things took a while.  Running a comforting hand over Alexs shoulder her flashed a smile at Dancia, "It'll be the large hollow space should you wander there."  he joked self deprecatingly.  Taking a seat a bti apart form the ladies he pulled a textbook off the table and began to leaf through it skimming though only at normal speed for the time being so as to be less distracting.  He spent enough time at her office it was worthwhile having some of his books here for such eventualities.  With his schedule he really did need every spare moment for studying.

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“To be honest it’s nice to have someone else around.” Dancia gave Mike a little friendly smile “Not that i don’t trust you Alex.” she added quickly


She sipped her drink to cover her potential faux pas, it wasn’t a good idea to irritate someone who was about to poke around in your mind.


“I try to summon up the more vivid memories but none seem particularly important, they tend to bubble up depending on the circumstances.”


She took a few breaths and tried to center herself the best she could, a skill she’d learn pretty early on to be able to filter out all the sound she could hear from thousands of miles out.

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, so when your ready.”

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Don't worry. I'm not offendedThis time, Dancia heard the voice in her thoughts rather than out loud, although she saw Alex's smile curve alongside the words. The pressure against her thoughts was very gentle, deft. It was very likely that with how sensitive the presence in her head was, Alex might very well have been able to slip in without much to notice at all if she had been that sort of person. Fortunately for everyone, Alex was extraordinarily ethical in her power use.


We can stop at any time. I know you want answers but the last thing I want to do is add additional trauma on top of whatever's causing you memory loss. Let's go back to the first memories you have, waking up. Dancia's mental landscape changed, the memories of her crash brought to the forefront since those were the ones that immediately after whatever had caused the initial trauma. Dancia's experience of these memories was all just a little muffled and she had the sense that the potent young psychic was somehow shielding her consciousness from whatever sensations came along with the memory.

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Alex speaking in her head didn’t bother her particularly as she’d had dealing with psychic’s before, as she thought about that the memories of the battle with the Communion at Arecibo came flooding into her mind. She caught herself before they could both get lost in that particular memory, she’d have to be much more careful that her mind didn’t wander.


Sorry about that, let’s see I don’t remember much about before I woke up...


She was asleep, yet it wasn’t quite sleep, a blackness that seemed to go on for a very long time.


Then light, she was falling.


Words that seemed strange came to her falling and ground. And falling was bad and the ground wouldn’t be her friend so she tried to stop falling. And somehow she float touching safely to the ground, and then she slept again.

I can’t be sure if that the memory as is, as soon as I could I read the eyewitness report of what happened.

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Its alright. I'm used to memories. Dancia could perceive the potent young telepath's presence now, a feminine outline glowing pink with the distinctive radiance of Alex's own powers. She hovered slightly above the ground plane of Dancia's mental mind-scape. And how does it relate to the eye-witness reports?


Alex was familiar vaguely with the reports of Triakosia's arrival, she followed the news of the super heroes of Freedom City, but her own thoughts and memories were less important than Dancia's perceptions of events. What sort of fragments come to mind first when you think of 'before'?

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Dancia though for a few moments various memories bubbling just under the surface for a few seconds, until a memory seemed to form itself


Freedom Ledger, 1918


For a few moments the Editor didn’t realise she was sat there, he must have thought she was a cleaner or something. The woman sat there was the spitting image of Dancia, or at least that’s how she remember her, dressed in what was apparently her best clothes.


“I’m sorry to barge in like this but you receptionist wasn’t returning my calls. I believe you looking for a new reporter, and I think I’m perfect for the job.”


The editor just sat there almost open mouthed, stunned by her confidence.


“If I got this far it wouldn’t hurt to give me a try right? Just a nod will do.”


The still stunned man just nodded as she leant forward and offered a hand.


“I’m Dee Devon by the way. Now I have an angle of that weird shooting star that was spotted last night.”


The scene seemed to freeze and Dee, apparently now Dancia, looked up at the Alex


I remember her entire life as if it was my own, to all extent it is my own. She seemed so like me, I’ve got all my journalism skills from her, it’s why I adopted her surname as a mark of respect.

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