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Lateral Ascension (IC)


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August 3rd, 2016, 2.44 PM

Freedom City South River Waterfront


The last of the Magmin dropped, hissing, back into the water, lumbering into the blazing hole into Sub-Terra from whence the bizarre semi-molten invaders came. A ragged cheer rang from the very terrified and now very relieved crew of the Chang Ping Xian, who had crowded onto the half of the freight ship that wasn't submerged and partially wedged into the cavern. 


"Thank you, thank you!" Captain Wong hollered up to the two superheroes, bobbing on his half-melted cargo container and looking much the worse for wear from the brief, fiery and watery battle. Plucking his charred hat from the water, the lean captain added hopefully "I do not mean to impose, but would you please help get my crew to shore? Those things, well, they burned all the lifeboats."


Meanwhile, the large motorboat festooned with its quasi-religious banners had stopped holding off thanks to the giant waves and the rock and fire being flung around. This much closer, it quickly became obvious that several of the banners had a similar 'pinnacle' shape to that of the self-help quasi-cult of the Pinnacle Path. The bits about "Hail the New Gods!" and "Lead us to the Heavenly Spire" was new.

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Kannunu sprung from the water to land heavily on the deck wincing slightly as the ships compromised hull groaned under the strain.  With a sweeping gesture he set the water around the boat to a glassy calm amid the North Atlantics choppy swells.  "How many crew?"  the large hawaiian asked as he peered off toward the shore and tried to guess if the boat would hold together for him to try to bring it in or if the crew would need to brave the possibly frigid waters, "coast guard should be in soo-"  he broke off as the odd boat made for the foundering freighter, "Well you might just have a ride, but you'll probably have to take some pamphlets."  he suggested with a grin and looked to his Auntie with a shrug he had no real idea what the odd boat was on about but he was pretty sure it was going to be at least mildly offensive Haole nonsense and hoped they didn't set off Volcanics temper.

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Volcanic let her more affable erstwhile partner deal with calming the crew's fears. Surfing through the sky on flames, she double checked that they'd fully routed the odd under-dwellers before turning her attention to the chasm and the rock that the boat was sitting on. 


"Might bounce a bit, going to shore up your perch, there, Captain," she offered the brief warning before her hands began to trace shapes in the air. She'd found that it was easier to shape the rock when she treated it like an extension of herself. Her hand flowed upwards smoothly, and the rock below the ship matched to gently cradle the hull and ensure that it wouldn't sink or slip with only minor rocking of the lopsided boat. Turning slowly as if she were taking the non-existent wave backside, her other hand came up and clenched into one fist, slamming the chasm that the Magmin had used shut behind them. "There we go."


Only with that accomplished did she turn her head as well to notice the approaching boat from her vantage point. "Huh."

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With an awkward bark of surprise, Wong clung to his container with one hand as the riverwater sloshed over the smoothly-shifting rock and mud, the other keeping the still-smoking hat tight to his head. Finally recognizing the sunny surfer's question, the captain squinted at the assembled, shaken men on deck. "All of them if you can manage, Mister Kanunu!" He called across the river "We're in no shape to help with the salvage, and going belowdecks is too risky! 'Least she's still in one piece!"


He waved thankfully to Volcanic. The Magmin had struck entirely without warning or apparent reason, erupting from the South River right under the Chang in a geyser of super-heated water and magma, attacking the boat with blind, single-minded ferocity. Luckily, the two Hawaiian heroes had been close by.


The boat had drawn closer, revealing itself to be a fair-sized motor-yacht named Ascension in Glory. The decks were crowded with people, most of whom looked like middle-class white Freedonians, many carrying signs or banners declaring their allegiance to the "New Gods" and heralding the "Heavenly Spire". Though what exactly the "Spire" was or did was not a high priority for the gathered people's artistic talents.


This close, their mingled voices praising the two elementalists rang out as an indistinguishable throng, but one small family perched precariously on the very forefront of the boat made themselves heard quite clearly:


"O supers, nothing can stand against you!" The middle-aged woman who'd shouted that, her refined and dark face red with the exertion of making herself heard, reached out to Volcanic "Show us more of the fire we need! The passion and strength that will make us like you!" Her much younger daughter, in a white andgold dress and sandals that looked almost more like a cosplay outfit than anything else, hastily wrapped her arms around the older woman to keep her from falling, but beamed rapturously up at the geothermic heroine "Please, speak to us! Show us your way!"


"Show us your way!" Boomed her burly father, sweat pouring from his bald head and into his bristling pepper-and-salt mustache.

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Kanunu looked down at the captain and shrugged, "I can get you foa da shore for sure."  he said with a nod, "But no good put the boat dere."  he implied he'd have to carry the crew to sore on the waves, "You all solid ground here now and might be betta waitin for da guard show up?" he offered but left it to the captain if he felt emergency evac to the shore was in order.  Looking out at the overcrowded ship of fools he quirked a brow, "Don look like they here for an evac tho."  he said and glanced to his aunt then back to the boat full of crazy people.  "Show you what now?"  he boomed incredulously, "Hey dis boat here in a bad way you all got room for rescue or just here to make with the yellin?"

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Volcanic frowned, more concerned with the fact that the family looked perilously close to tipping themselves over the edge of the boat in their fervor than whatever it was that they wanted. As she was airborne already, Volcanic glided closer on the flames she rode to hopefully put an end to the eager shouting. 


"I dunno what you want but you gonna fall in the water, you keep leaning," she warned as she slid to a comfortable conversation range but keeping her flames away from arm's reach. Leilani eyed the banners with some concern. She'd been a young woman in the very early sixties so there was something familiar about the new-age-y-ness of the whole affair but it made her uncomfortable. Even with all the white and gold, it felt a little... cult-ish. "You folks at capacity or got some room to ferry those folks to shore so we can move the boat outta the river?"

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At the voices of the superheroes, the Lateral Ascension grew deathly silent, the upturned faces drinking them in. One, jolted by their question, grabbed a megaphone and hollered over to the drifting captain "Hey! We offer soccer and safe passage, do you take it?!"


The Chang's crew looked at the boat, and then at their captain.

Caltain Wong looked between the boat of weirdoes and his crew, then at the uncomfortably-distant shore and then at the lack of Coast Guard boats coming around yet. "If they can ferry my crew, I have no objection!" He bawled over the water to the superheroes, plenty loud enough to be heard by the people on the boat


To their credit, the cargo of the Lateral Ascension quickly began making room for the crew of the Chang, accompanied unnecessarily by cries of "prepare for the Rescued! Make way for those Blessed and Saved!" Also to their credit, the crew of the large yacht proved adept and competent in their work, swinging around the freighter and maneuvering close enough to be useful but not so much it would have been at risk. They even managed to pick up Wong on the way.


What happened next however, while unfortunate, was hardly surprising.


As the largely grimy and sooty men made their way to the deck below, the other people had to expand even more onto the port side of the boat, and the resulting redistribution of weight, combined with the already top-heavy vessel, very firmly asserted itself. 


Before anyone noticed it in time to do anything about it, the boat contentedly slid onto its side in a sudden flood of screaming, terrified humanity!


Among them were the young woman in the white and gold and her parents, their precarious perch suddenly plunging them into the South River before they could stop looking up at the heroes and vanishing into the silty depths.


<"Oh come on! What the ****! What the **************?!"> Bobbing on top of a particularly buoyant deckrative balloon(also white and gold), Captain Wong hollered furiously at the top of his lungs, while his crew and the now very confused and frightened passengers of the Lateral Ascension bobbed and yelled as they slowly began drifting along the river.


The crew, meanwhile, was frantically radioing for help and trying their hardest to corral people to help right the boat, made much harder by the boat's rotation. 

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Kanunu watched the ship lurch and tip with mingled horror and frustration, cursing under his breath the big Hawaiian swung his arms in a rolling motion commanding the waters to tip the boat upright again.  "Make sure dat no sink."  he asked of Volcanic as he had no idea how much water the boat had taken on, luckily the magmins seamount was still nearby for her earth shaping powers to form something like a shallow bar for them to rest on..  "I'll get the fools fall in."  he added as he dismounted from the flotsam he'd been atop to dive for the family that had sunk into the silty waters below.  Not for the first time since moving to Freedom he missed the clear blue waters of his native land.  Finding anything in the dark waters was going to be a trial.

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"You fo' real?" Volcanic complained at her nephew, twisting towards the boat as the large man dove deep in the water. Automatically, she let the heat that never seemed to stop burning deep inside erupt outward. Skin became molten, sheathing her in black obsidian rock until only her joints betrayed the heat that she was putting out. The flames under her feet cut out at her command, dropping her literally like a rock through the water until her feet hit the raised seamount with a thud. It was always easier to move the ground when she was connected to it. 


Riding a pillar to the surface swiftly, Volcanic gestured upwards, short and sharp as the rock flowed swiftly under her command to steady the boat before it could tip over. Grimacing, Volcanic poured her focus into maneuvering the stone as deftly as possible as the last thing she needed was to punch a hole in the second boat."Hol' on."

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The billows of silt and mud erupting both from Volcanic's manipulation of the river rock and from the chaos in the water made things every bit as murky as Kanunu feared. It was lucky that the people were mostly wearing white and metallic gold, so they stood out pretty well in the gloom. The Chinese sailors, unfortunately, weren't so easy to locate, though far fewer had sunk. Of course, that was the hard part, and as the big Hawai'ian dove at least a dozen arms reached in terror for him to grasp.


The churning rock underneath the Ascension quickly stabilized the vessel, to the cheers and cries of gratitude of both the faithful and the Chinese men.


Things were going so well that the sudden explosion of a waterspout hurtling into the sky right next to the boat was as downright unexciting as it was implausible and dangerous.


But when it cut out as quickly as it had formed, turning into a graceful pillar sinking gently back into the river, things got a little weirder. 


On its summit that quickly slid down into view was the young woman and her family, eyes blazing white and lower body a shifting mass of water bound to her descent. Her parents clutched at her, wide-eyed, but their daughter looked downright jubilant. Letting her parents off at the now-righted Ascension, the girl leaped into the river, plunged in, and burst out again with a squeal of delight right next to Volcanic.


Grabbing the other woman's hands and laughing, the metahuman spun the both of them around in a whirl of waves, shouting "I did it! I can do it! I'm like-!" Suddenly, the girl recognized the pain of holding the heroine by her charring obsidian skin, and jerked away, thrusting her hands into the river with a grimace that turned into a grin and another cry of joy as her hands flooded with a soft blue light and emerged unburnt.


This close, it was obvious to Leilani that the other woman couldn't be older than seventeen. Her various gold(though that was suspect) bobs, bracelets and bangles were also obviously hand-made, and by an enthusiastic and stable, if amateurish, hand. "Er, sorry, hi!" Darting back to the other super, the girl smiled awkwardly, bobbing on the South River's slow current "I'm Jane Brooke, you're Volcanic! I never dreamed I was a New God, too!" 


Meanwhile, the waterspout and its collapse had flung the submerged people into even greater peril. It was going to be a real challenge getting them to the surface in time, and that was if Kanunu could even find them before they were swept out to sea...

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Slicing through the murky water Kanunu was glad the strange garb of the ascension's passengers was at least visible.  Pulling one person after another to the surface he took note of Volcanics makeshift support for the boat and and shifted his hydrokinetic efforts to helping keep the overboard passengers afloat as he gathered the last few.  Emerging atop a rolling wave of his own making he joined Volcanic and the newly 'ascended' passenger with some trepidation.  "Careful dere, don' wanna cause a riptide on accident we got people down dere sill yea?"  he pointed out with care as he took in her waterspout with uncertainty.  "Da watta gotta go foa somewhere righ?"  he tried to elucidate as he watched the currents her efforts created in their wake and prepared to counteract any problematic ones before she accidentally sucked someone under in her newfound glee and inexperience.

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"No, don't-" Volcanic's warning as hands reached for her was swift but not swift enough. "Kimo, boat's stable, take care'a the kiddo, yeah, and settle the waters? Not as good as earth, but I don't need to see with my eyes." Of course, to grab anyone with hands and arms, she'd have to drop back to flesh and blood that still needed air to breathe but she'd been a strong swimmer before the incident and had much more to work with. 


"Jane Brook," she added, trying to enforce some sort of authority through her tone. The god thing gave her great pause but it was a low priority at the moment. "Chat later, save now. You follow Kanunu's lead. Got the same kinda powers, close enough."


With that said, Volcanic dove from her seamount, pulling her heat in as tight as possible although she hit the water still with an audible sizzle as she sliced her way to the seabed floor and stretched out the senses through the soil and rock. Fortunately, she'd already touched and shaped this earth extensively. It knew her, and part of her suspected that it even welcomed her. Help me, she thought, her senses stretching out as her memory fell back through what to her had been months, but to the world had been decades. The dark of the ocean closing above her and the way her chest burned. Drowning is no way to die. Please. Help me. 


Reaching out her hands, Volcanic swore she felt the sea bed pulse in time with her heart beat. There. There was one person still fighting the water's grasp. She dove in that direction. 

Edited by alderwitch
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Volcanic's other sight led her unerring to where the sailor was, struggling with one leg stuck between two smooth, flat rocks jutting up from the riverbed, worn smooth and angular enough by centuries of water that they held the man almost snugly while the river current prevented him from freeing himself.


Leilani's familiar, glowing shape, shrouded in hissing, boiling water, drew his direct and wide-eyed attention.




Jane beamed at Kimo "So! Fellow New God, what's the plan? Are we going to pick up the whole boat and put it on the shore? Maybe make a bridge for them to cross over? Ooh!" She clenched her hands and grinned "What if we split the river so they could just walk right out of here!"


Suddenly, the young hydrokinetic looked very worried"Also...do you already have a girlfriend? Are you and Volcanic cosmic consorts, blending the fire and passion of fire and water in a glorious symphony of bodily love?"

Edited by Ari
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"Uh."  Kimo stared at the enthusiastic young hydrokinetic for a long moment dumbfounded before replying carefully.  "Someone gotta get da boat off da beach den ya?"  he pointed out with a faint smile at least she was interested in helping if perhaps not thinking it through thoroughly, "An even if we can split da watta da mud not gonna be easy walk."  he pondered for a moment about the bridge which may well work if they could manages the range between the two of them and she didn't get over excited and drown someone trying to make it a moving causeway or something.


All of that of course was washed from his mind by the chill waters of disgust as she suggest intimacy betwixt himself and Volcanic, "Whoa wit me Auntie?!"  he exclaimed with the kind of disgust usually reserved for a suggestion bodily love with a grandparent, which wasn't far off really.  "No nononono noooooo."  he quickly refuted the idea.

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Volcanic sped over, stopping short of the man to focus and draw her heat back inside. Without the protection of molten armor and stone, the press of the water became very, very real. With significant effort, she pushed the memory of drowning under Hilo's waves from the forefront of her mind and focused, instead on the vice holding the man's leg tight. With hands of flesh rather than fire, Leilani reached forward to shape the rock away from his body, thankful for the long hours of swimming that had taught her to hold her breath deep in her chest. 


A few bubbles escaped her as the rock melted away under her touch and she reached out to hook her arms under the man's torso, not unlike the lifeguard carry she used on the beach. Focusing, she used the same power that she had in the air to shove them both towards the surface before they truly began to drown. Although the water under her kicking feet was almost uncomfortably warm, it didn't scald the way it might have in her other form. Just a little... more... 

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  • 3 weeks later...



For a moment it was as if the man was part of the rock, immovable and impervious. A lure from the cold, silent stone of the earth trying to reclaim its lost prisoner...


Then Volcanic put an extra burst of strain, and with a jarring jolt the man's trapped boot tore from his leg, and the pair were suddenly rolling head-over-heels in the South River's current!


From there it was simplicity itself to get to the surface, the poor man gasping and spluttering as the welcome air flooded his starved lungs, clinging desperately to his savior.



"Oh!" Jane clapped a hand over her mouth, looking unfathomably embarrassed at her faux pas. "I-I had no idea, I beg your pardon!"


Turning away, Kimo heard her mutter "Well, maybe I still have a chance..."


Dealing with the Ascension was worked out pretty easily, with Jane propelling the boat inside a hard-water shell created by Kanunu. Pushing the vessel full of people either lustily praising the duo with a fervor that bordered on the ridiculous, the young hydrokinetic was at first full of energy and enthusiasm.


However, pushing against the strain of the river, while no big feat for the hunky Haiwai'ian, soon had Jane flagging, the waterspout supporting her wavering under her conflicted concentration. The initial surge of power began to abate, their progress began to slow.


Jane tried very hard not to look obviously, but the glance of desperation to Kimo was hard to miss or misinterpret.

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Kanunu decided to deal with that particular issue later, like never if possible what were the chances of them running into each other after this?  "Hey no bodda me."  he waved off her concerns and focused on the task at hand.  "Geet him da boat!"  he called encouragingly to Volcanic as she emerged with her sputtering charge.


Turning to the ship itself he carefully enveloped the hull in a protective lining of hardened water and rode the waves in close, "kay den you feel da swell and use it don fight it yea?"  he suggested to Jane and motioned to the shore, "Les get this ting movin."  It was tough splitting his attention betwixt the young Hydrokinetics works and his own efforts to secure the ship but they seemed to make good time and a good thing too it looked like their newly empowered companion was flagging, "You all good dere?" Kanunu called as the boat slowed in fighting the current, "You need a breatha?"

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From Jane's grateful smile and change of position she certainly did, giving Kimo a broader area to cover while the younger hydrokinetic and self-styled New God focused her pressure on the Ascension's stern. From the decks the faithful kept up a constant and frankly infuriating stream of praise and encouragement while the crew of the Chang kept well away from the pack of white-clad weirdoes.


With a soft and chunky whump, the ungainly thing settled against the South River's north bank just as the Coast Guard cutters emerged from around the peninsula's bend.


Captain Wong managed to hold off on leaping to shore until his crew were safely ashore, silently bowing deeply to Volcanic when she brought her man up out of the water and glaring at the passengers of the Peerless Path as they swarmed aroud Jane, the young woman all too happy to be the center of their adulation.


"Bad as the Super F***s out West" he growled under his breath, jamming the charred hat deeper onto his head. To Kimo and Leilani he said more politely "Thank you both, again. I have lost ships and crew before, and have no desire to experience the latter ever again. I hope we can reunite before I have to leave for Shanghai. If you will excuse me..." With a nod, the narrow man set out briskly for the approaching Coast Guard officers.

Edited by Ari
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Volcanic saved her breath and adjusted her course simply to let the man drop down onto the deck. Her chest burned; it was harder to be underwater that long when her body actually needed air to breathe but it was well worth the price. The flames around her feet cut out as she gently deposited the man on the deck with his comrades. Like the captain, she eyed the white clad throng with clear, growing discomfort at their effusive praise. "The hell wrong with 'em?" She muttered, mostly to herself before taking to the skies once more to catch up with Kimo. 


She waved at the captain once in acknowledgement before turning her attention to Kimo and his erstwhile protege. "You want I should call the League or someone?" She asked her nephew, her voice pitched low but it certainly would carry to the newly empowered's hearing. Kimo would certainly be able to realize that the worship of supers-as-gods had started to rattle his aunt, and from there it was a short line to her temper, most certainly. Before Kimo could even answer her question, Leilani made a tetchy noise. "Fffft. We're not gods."

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Kimo rode the waves in behind the boat trying his best not to visibly roll his eyes at the nonsense on deck.  "It no bodda."  Kanunu assured the Captain as he made his way toward the coast guard officers coming in, "An warn dem bout da new shoals yea?"  he requested as he stepped into the surf and let a wave carry him up and over out of easy earshot of the fanatics and their incessant blather.


As Volcanic joined him he smiled a wide congratulatory smile, "See good work done."  he complemented her and his own efforts and shrugged vaguely at the crazies below, "Uh yea dat might be a good plan."  he murmured in response, "She gonna need some help or she gonna hurt a body."  he warned as he stared down at the 'new god',  "an she maybe hit her head when dat boat go down."  he smirked as he tried to lighten the mood before his aunts rumbling temper erupted.  "We could just let em know an go yea?"  he asked hopefully though he realized they'd probably have to stay even if her weirdo boyfriend wasn't the one coming out.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Always with a weather eye out for any public displays of superheroics, the Freedom City press was quick on the scene in a hustle of newsvans, jostling cameras and strong opinions. The Peerless Path, eager to show off their new god, was quick to meet them and soon the sunken Chang and her crew were of secondary importance to anyone not the Coast Guard and Captain Wong.


Volcanic and Kanunu were called over for a few questions by the Guard's Captain Jane Sherman, mostly just to ensure the Magmin weren't likely to come back if they leveled-out the South River's new mini-islands. Aside from that, nothing kept them from going back to their respective homes for a well-deserved rest.


The next day both received a letter, on crisp white paper, signed with the name Calypso.


Hello! This is Jane, from the other day. Thank you for showing me what I really am!


842 32nd St., Lincoln


I hope to see you soon. They need us.

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