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April 22, 2016 


It's an ordinary Friday afternoon - if you count news of a terrorist attack on Ocean Heights Amusement Park as ordinary. No one on the police scanner is entirely sure what's going on - there are reports of multiple officers down, some sort of massacre, "blood, blood everywhere," but whatever it is, it's very bad! 


If Nina was honest with herself, the main reason she was at mosque today was because she was in costume. The little Kingston storefront mosque wasn't the sort of place she'd go to worship even if she was feeling so inclined - too humble and unadorned, with the sort of simplicity that bespoke the sort of temporal poverty she still wasn't accustomed to. But speaking to the handful of young women at the mosque, most of them black Americans, well, that was a satisfying experience for the princess of Socotra. "From Nusayba to Queen Arwa, women have led, women have ruled, women of the Faith have fought from the very beginning. Never let anyone tell you you cannot be what you are because you are a Muslim." She looked around and struck one hand against another, her voice rising. "And never let anyone tell you that you can only ever be a Muslim - our faith is a finger on the hand that we raise to fight against injustice." 


When her police beeper went off, she reluctantly made her excuses, leaving behind her card before she headed outside to don her shoes and gather up her sword. Looking back as the glass door closed behind her, she waved to the excited young women inside, many of whom were taking pictures on their phones, before she began leaping from rooftop to rooftop, propelling herself towards the Amusement Park that was evidently the scene of some serious crisis. 




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Giang Trang sat along the bank of the Centery Narrows, the young Asian woman finally starting to feel fully rested once more.  Giang was dressed in the costume she wore as Tsunami, a fully body suit of morphic molecules that was colored several different shades of blue that all seemed to seemed almost to flow and shimmer like water.  A small dark blue domino mask completed the costume, although it was not uncommon for Giang to not even wear it. 

Today the Asian young woman had been trying something new with her powers.  Just over an hour ago, Giang had been in the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, California.  She had managed to open a portal from that body of water, over to the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Freedom City.  Of course she had been rather tired after accomplishing that feat, but she had been able to easily make her way into the Narrows and come ashore to rest awhile until she felt up to trying the return trip.

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It wasn’t quite flying but in Cathy’s opinion it was almost as good as the real thing as she sat on her platform of ice. She’d gone out today for a little quiet time so she could get some homework done without any of fun distraction that Claremont offered. As much as she enjoyed spending time in a vibrant city like Freedom, sometime she missed the stark quiet beauty of her home. The time had been fruitful and she had managed to get some quality work done.

She’d packed everything up in her backpack and was about to return back to Claremont for some more of those distraction when she saw from her vantage point that something was apparently happening down at Ocean Heights Amusement Park. Without any pause she began rapidly made her way down to the park to see if she could help out in any way.

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Fridays, for Phaedra, meant leaving the Claremont campus for some field training.  Field training, in this case, meaning going into the public and learning how to interact among humanity.  Generally the fiery redhead treated it as a sort of game, if a deadly serious one, since pretending to be something other than what she was could easily be considered a survival trait both here on Earth and in her home dimension.


Today's field training took her to Ocean Heights, and she had only just arrived when all hell broke loose.

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"You know," said Eliza from the couch, "you don't need to do the laundry."


"There are some cliches I feel comfortable fulfilling," said her father as he hauled out the basket of colors. "Plus, it gives me a chance to kick up on trade gossip."


Eliza looked up from her assigned reading. "They cannot possibly be commenting during the spin cycle."


"You'd be surprised. I mean, they're going a bit too fast to actually have a conversation, so it's... more like eavesdropping."


"Well, I guess Mom has the tea shop and the church group, so you've gotta get your own form of shop talk some --"


The sound of falling plastic and scattering clothes drew her attention. She peered over the lip of the couch to see her father clutching his head, stumbling forward. 


"Dad? Dad, you okay?"


"I'm fine. Just... well, hate to call it a disturbance in the Force, but..."


Her alert went off soon after, informing her as to the emergency at Ocean Heights. "Think I may know why, dad. Lie down for a bit. I, uh... gotta go to work."


A minute later, Temperance was flying out of the backyard on an ice sled, speeding towards the amusement park as fast as she could. 

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The scene that greeted the heroines as they arrived independently at Ocean Heights made most of them doubt their scenes for a moment. The throng of screaming, scrambling people rushing in every direction was bad enough, shrieking parents clutching at wailing children while other stupefied victims staggered aimlessly. But conscious minds insisted that the blood, the sheer amount of blood couldn't possibly be what their senses told them it was. The coppery tang filled their nostrils and competed with the brackish scent of seawater, coagulating puddles of varying size turned every surface from sidewalks to handrails revolting, smeared handprints in dark crimson stained faces and clothes as the amusement park's patrons tried in vain to while themselves clean. Underwriting it all were the not-quite overpowered smells of vomit and urine, heralds of mass panic and primal terror.


Only gradually did the hydro and cryokinetics, drawn consciously or not by their connection to that besieged element, come to accept what they were seeing, forcing aside stubborn, instinctual denial. The one outlier, meanwhile, was left to wonder if she'd somehow ended up back in the Red City by accident.

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After she had rested, Giang had taken to the air on a waterspout to make a quick trip around the waterfront of Freedom City.  The Asian young woman had not been back to Freedom City much since she had graduated from Claremont Academy a few years ago, but now that might change now that she was testing the further limits of her abilities.  Still, it was nice to visit the city that had been her home for the first few years since she had fled her father’s criminal organization. 

But she did not get far when she heard commotion coming from the Ocean Height Amusement Park and turned her waterspout that direction to see what might be going on. 

The sight Giang found waiting for her initially shocked and horrified her.  The sight of so much blood was overwhelming and unfathomable.  But after that initial reaction, she realized that there was no way that much blood could have been naturally produced.  She also realized that for a water park, she was not sensing much in the way of actual water, even heavily chemically treated water.  The water that should be in the park would easily account for the blood that was everywhere.  But how could that be? 

Flying down toward the hysteric crowd, the Aisan teen tried to do her best to get people moving toward an exit.  "Everyone, please make your way toward an park exit!"

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Human blood is 92% water. The rest is iron, and... other things...


Before, Temperance had tried to take that fact into careful consideration as a personal barrier. She'd seen Avatar; she knew how easy, and how horrible, it might be to take hold of someone's blood and instill anything from dizziness to an aneurysm. She realized it might not even work, given the nature of her powers -- blood was fairly distinct from water mythologically, if not chemically -- but one day, she might grow so powerful, that didn't really matter. But now, she was tossing the factoid around in her head as a comforting measure, to remind her she was not at all removed from her favorite element.


That measure was failing miserably. 


Mingled with the... other fluids, Temperance was desperately trying to balance her sense of water and foreign matter. But the worst part was how quiet it was. If there were spirits here, spirits of water or blood, they were dormant... or had been forcibly silenced. It happened sometimes; a wildfire invades a forest, and the tree spirits who did not have the good fortune to divorce themselves from their linchpins... well. It wasn't something to think about. Not now. 


The best she could do was join in with Tsunami. Drawing from the camelback, she willed water - probably the only clean source in an acre - out into the air. The water formed thin tendrils designed to catch the sunlight from every angle, which then took to the sky and snaked their way into glimmering strands - strands that pointed the way to each exit, hopefully giving the panicking customers a chance to find their way out. 


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Phaedra walked against the flow of the crowd, deeper into the park and it was only due to her considerable strength that she was not overrun.  She briefly toyed with the idea of taking to the sky, but quickly quashed that notion: uncasing her wings would probably only increase the level of panic.


"This was please," the young half-breed directed as she pushed further into the crowd.  "This way .. oh."  She trailed off when she came to one of the pools of blood.  She had smelled it earlier and a corner of her mind categorized it as a comforting, home-like scent.  Crouching down she dipped her fingers into the red liquid and touched it to her tongue.



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Like the others Cathy had begun to help get people away from whatever was going on, creating little walls of ice to guide them and keep them away from looked to all the world like blood.But first things first get people to safety, then worry about what exactly what was going down.


“Do you really have to do things like that?” She asked coming across Phae “Because I can think of much better things to do with those lips.” She gave Phae a broad smile, though really they needed to focus on the problem first.

“Though as you’ve tried it, is it what I think it is?”

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"How unpleasant," commented Monsoon, carefully hovering just above ground level to avoid actually touching any of the blood. It was hard to tell if she was talking about the gory matter everywhere - or about Phaedra's dining habits. She'd seen blood spilled in her time, blood ripped right out of a man and sent spattering across an ornate marble floor, and didn't that bring up mental images that were best kept swaddled down where she didn't have to think about them? "Everyone out," she called, her Received Pronunciation accent sharp and crisp from the stress, drawing her sword for emphasis and using it to point people toward the exits. "Quickly! The monster who did this cannot have gone far." Despite herself, she was vaguely scandalized that someone would do such a horrible thing on a Friday, and kept talking. "But we will defeat him for you!" she added to the crowd. 

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"Ty? Ty!" an increasingly panicked male voice cried out over the din of the agitated mob. A tall, lean man with blood coagulating into sticky clumps in what was probably usually a very well kept beard was rushing from place to place, straining his neck as he scanned the crowd. It didn't take any keep insight to realize he was searching for a child just from the angle of his gaze and the urgency in his voice. It was hard enough to make of recognizable clothing in the red-smeared throng let alone a specific face; spotting a child concealed among the rushing bodies of adults seemed hopeless.


His shouts had another sound to compete with a moment later, closest to where Cathy and Phaedra were conferring. A mechanical grinding sound followed by a resounding boom of metal slamming into metal in a way that clearly hadn't been intended. With a river running red something wasn't working properly with the nearby log ride, the levels below the 'waterfall' having risen high enough to start spilling over the railings and onto the nearby sidewalk. At the apex of that drop a fully occupied log raft was bucking uncontrollably, about to tip over the edge while directly below it another log had drifted sideways and become stuck, free from the mechanism which was meant to guide its path around the circuit.

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Monsoon looked up at the log ride and immediately sprang into action - quite literally. She vaulted into the air, propelling herself by her own internal water, and landed on the side of the log ride, careful not to put any weight on the stuck contraption herself. "Come on! I'll get you down!" Of course, she couldn't quite keep her word - while she was fully prepared to grab them all before they hit bottom, that kind of exertion would seriously tax her resources. So she took it more slowly. Luckily there were no too-small children here - but of course that meant more weight among those she had to carry. "I'll take the girl," she told one frightened mother with blood-spattered son and daughter who looked to be perhaps six and nine, respectively. "And you hold your son tight, and do not let him go, all right?" She had dealt with disasters plenty of time working with Mark - and this was no different...well, she thought, looking around at the blood-stained park for a moment as she did her best to accomodate both the child on her back and the parent she was supporting down to the ground, perhaps this was a little different. 

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So far the chaos was not getting any better, but at least some of the crowd was getting clear of the park  Then Tsunami focused on the panicked voice of the man calling out for who she could only assume was his son.  Focusing on the water spout that had brought her here, the Asian young woman flew over toward the man, stopping in the air above him as she crouched down. 

"Sir, are you missing someone?  Where did you last see them?"  She asked, trying to get the man's attention.  "I will help you find them." 

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Almost without thinking Cathy reacted to the sound of the the log flume, sending a wall of ice up the flume to provide some support to the perilously hanging car. She couldn’t help but frown at the slightly red tinge to the ice as it formed, not a good sign or a good look.


“I guess we’ve got workhere to for. Remember you promised me a study date later.”


She took to the air forming her ice into a rapidly expanding spiral until she came beside the descending Monsoon.


“Do you need a hand here? I’ve got enough room her for a couple of people if you want.”

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"Like I would forget," Phaedra grinned, calling after Cathy.  The redhead didn't feel the need to spring into action, not when Cathy (and two others that she didn't know) were already involved and not when her own powers might incite more panic.  Instead she stayed grounded, examining the scene as it unfolded around her.


"Too much blood," she said absently, thinking out loud.  Even if everyone in the park were exsanguinated it still wouldn't add up to the amount of red stuff the hellspawn could see.  Her first thought was an errant portal to her home, The Red City certainly had its blood features, so she waded further into the park in search of such a thing.

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Temperance paused for half a second, torn by the cries of the parent and the groans of metal fatigue from the log flume. In that half a second, the others answered, giving her some time to breathe. Realizing that Tsunami was handling the distressed parent, she turned her attention to the log flume, where others still needed help getting down. She thought she couldn't affect the blood, and she didn't have time to try and assert her will over it. But, she did have a nice supply of water, and she knew just what to do with it. 


She called the water back, giving it a purpose other than glittery signpost. It gathered under her feet, forming into a thick, wide platform. She rose into the sky, taking her place near the other ice controller. "If either of you need to share the burden, I can easily lend a hand." 

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Monsoon hesitated for a split-second. Sharing a burden with Mark, who was effectively a living god (not that she would so much as say that to his face), was one thing - but there were many crying children here, and she certainly couldn't carry them all in one trip. "Yes," she agreed. "Come, everyone, let these others  help you as well!" Between ice on the one hand and water on the other and wasn't it strange to be around others with hydrokinesis again, as if she might turn her head and see Farida on the other side the trio of women, albeit at the cost of getting their costume thoroughly marked with blood, soon had the occupants of the log-jammed car on the ground and away from the still-malfunctioning ride. "Thank you for your help," she said with confidence in her voice when they were reunited below. "I am Monsoon." 

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With the weight of its passengers removed the log at the top of the falls bucked and shifted slowly to one side before abruptly toppling over the edge, flipping upside down and colliding with the raft in front of it with a resounding crash. The displaced blood splattered across the safety railing and onto the pathway, ensuring that anyone who had remained reasonably clean up until that point wasn't any longer. Amid the effusive thanks from the rescued riders one lanky teenager went to give Monsoon a grateful hug before looking down at the oversized t-shirt worn over her bathing suit, dripping crimson, and thinking better of it.


"It's my son!" the terrified man explained, confirming Tsunami's assumption. "He's-- he's not good with-- He was supposed to meet me here by this lamppost is we got separated but with everything going crazy he must have gotten lost or be hiding or-- I don't know!" Without regard for the red staining his hands he ran his fingers through his hairline, expression bleak. "What the hell's even going on? I've lived in Freedom all my life, I've seen things but this... I can't even understand it. Who did this?"

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"I do not know who, or why, but clearly someone has somehow turned the water in the park to blood.  But we will find them and find out why."  Tsunami replied.  "Now how old is your son and what does he look like?"  She asked.

Once the man had provided the description, Tsunami gestured toward the lamppost the man had indicated had been their meeting point.  "I will go look for him.  Please remain hear in case he comes looking for you.  Once I find him, I will bring him back here."

With that, the water controller started off on her water spout, looking for the lost boy.

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“I’m Frostbyte.” Her voice was warm, friendly and hopefully reassuring “Hold on tight I’ll get you down to the ground.” She made sure her passengers were safe before taking them back down to the ground “I suggest you all get out of here as quickly as you can. Don’t worry we’ll sort this all out.”


With hopefully everyone safe from whatever going on her attention turned to what had caused this tide of blood. It was almost something out of a biblical tale.


“We should try to find out what causing all this, it’s not coming from the air because I’d be able to tell.”  

One thing she’d learned at Claremont, though she’d suspected it before, was that she drew moisture from the air. And she really didn't think a blood red colouration would look good on her, though it might work on her hair...

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Nina indulged a few thoughts about the land of giants she'd emigrated to - and despite herself, missed Socotra's society where all lived under the watchful eye of Typhoon and the authorities. "There is a missing child!" she declared, leaping onto the top of a lightpole, then onto another down at the other end of the 'block' made by the log ride, trying to let her impressive voice reach as many people as possible. "His name is Ty and he is lost! Ty, your father worries for you! He-" She swallowed unaccountably, wondering if it was starting the day at mosque that made her so emotional today. "He is waiting for you! You are in no trouble! Everyone look for Ty!" 

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It said something about Freedom City's citizens that even ankle deep in unexplained human blood many of them rallied to fan out and search for the missing child. It Tsunami who came across him first, even her pillar of water turning viscous and crimson nearly as quickly as she could summon it under her feet. Ty had gotten himself up on top of an electrical box wedged between a gift shop and the adjacent restrooms, too scared to hop the short distance down for fear of the red puddles that had pooled beneath him.


The sight of a real, live superhero gave him courage enough to jump into the hydrokinetic's arms, however, doing his best not to sniffle after having obviously cried himself out before being found. One arm wrapped around Tsunami's neck the boy pulled his shoulders together as though trying to make himself smaller. "I saw her," he whispered furtively, using his other hand to point down the pier toward the open water.


Meanwhile, Ardent's search for a portal of some kind hadn't turned up anything of the sort but the further she moved into the horror the water park had become the more she felt something naggingly familiar. Eventually the trail became strong enough to allow her to see a winding path of infernal energy winding its way in the same direction the rescued boy had indicated, malevolent and toxic. It wasn't the stuff of the Red City, not exactly, but she'd seen enough dark powers bestowed to know somebody's idea of a twisted boon when she saw it.

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"Thank you Ty."  Tsunami stated as the boy mentioned seeing the one responsible for turning the park's water into blood.  The dark haired heroine glanced the direction Ty pointed, concerned with the implications of the culprit now being near the water along the Narrows.  "We shall deal with this woman, but first I need to get you back to your father."

Moving as quickly back to where Ty's father was waiting as she could, Tsunami dropped the boy off with his dad, giving both a small smile before the turned back to the situation at hand.  "Temperance," Tsunami stated, addressing the other hero she knew, but speaking loudly enough for the others to hear as well, "apparently the one responsible for this is down on the pier."

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"They are?" said Temperance as she lowered the ice sled towards the ground. "Then we shall --" She paused as she noticed the hue of Tsunami's column. "One second." She leaped off of the sled when it was a few feet above the ground, then melted it back into water. Most of the water went back into her pack, but a lone tendril remained coiled in the air. She brought the tendril down on the ground, tapping it to the earth like Tsunami's column. "If this individual has laid a curse on the earth, I want to see how it might affect our resources. I'd like to know how long our water can stay pure, how it might become 'impure,' and if our powers affect it if it becomes 'impure.' You seem to be good, Tsunami, but we all have our own ways of affecting water. And, most importantly, if our target is a hemokinetic, I want to make sure they we do not give them more ammunition than they already have." 

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