Jump to content

Peace On Earth, And Mercy Mild? (IC) (Open)


Recommended Posts

8:30 PM

City Center

Freedom City



If there was one holiday the denizens of Freedom City loved more than Halloween (hero/heroine costumes!), it was Christmas!


The downtown area had for weeks been slowly massing it's festive atmosphere, bunting and holly hanging from every storefront and lamppost, giant Santas and reindeer and elves hanging hither and yon, mistletoe in convenient places, blinking red/blue/green lights here there and everywhere. The snowstorm had slowed the roll more than a little, but after it's disappearance...


It was like...cake icing. Fresh powder, white as can be, draped over everything; the colors of some lights shining through, the icicles hanging from the power lines reflecting and gleaming and turning the whole of downtown into a sight to behold. Was it any surprise that some store owners decided to make a day of it?


It had just happened organically, if you pressed a bystander. One moment a stall had been opened on the sidewalk. Then two more. Then three more. Then a dozen. Then they were up and down the streets. Cars slowed, then stopped, then parked (illegally). Someone had brought out music players, or blocked doors open and let the department store carols burst out. Office workers found themselves taking their dinner breaks early, then not going back. There were skee ball stands, bottle toss booths, a whole carnival midway had cropped up with 'borrowed' materials from other stores. An inspector from City Hall had even shown up, and gotten handed a mug of eggnog. Apparently there was provisions for 'acts of holiday cheer' in the FC lawbooks.


The fact that a trio of police were seen scurrying along towards a makeshift sled hill in a parking garage, all carrying toboggans, clearly had nothing to do with that.


So that was the scene, when a hero or three arrived. Four blocks of the City Center, turned into one of the biggest Christmas block parties the City of Heroes had ever seen! Frank Sinatra was crooning carols on the breeze, there was eggnog everywhere you looked, and holly wreaths with Christmas lights lining more than a few romantic holiday walks. It was as if the world was making merry, and all were welcome to join in.

Link to comment
  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic



Kat's boots crunched against white snow as she walked over the flat rooftops of one of the surrounding stores. She propped her foot on the roof's lip and peered over the edge. She made a broad, confused circle with both her hands that ended with both palms toward the sky.


Usually in freedom a police radio frequency yelling about blocked roads meant that someone had started throwing fireballs in the middle of the street or at least that somebody had crashed. Kat knew how to deal with those things. This . . . ? was just a block party. Kat said, rubbed her thumbs against her temple. This wasn't really normal, right? She'd spent half a decade in Freedom. She could tell what was normal here from what wasn't. Right? 


The soft sound of Christmas music wafted up to her as her face went from baffled to exasperated to resigned. "What . . . ? Oh come on. It's like an old Christmas movie!" She shook her head and hissed through her teeth. Maybe if she got closer she would understand. 


With a flash of sickly-red light Warp moved through her slip down from the rooftops to the street. 

Edited by Freely Seek
Link to comment

Gargoyle had been flying around the town as he normally does.  The town was always covered in Christmas cheer when this holiday showed up.  He remembered all the fun him and his mom had just looking around the town, seeing how people dressed up their houses and businesses.  Usually, it was just more minor stuff but this year just felt different.  And then Gargoyle smelled something.  Following the smell for around a half hour(it smelled of eggnog and cinnamon and general sickly rich goodness), he found a gigantic Christmas party going on.  He had never seen this before and swooped in, in-captivated by the smells and the awesome lights and games and how many people had shown up.  He even saw police officers playing around on toboggans.


At first, Gargoyle was hesitant to have fun with the rest of them, mainly watching for any signs of evildoers, seeing as this felt like a pretty easy target for just about any villain.  But slowly, the cheer and fun of the party overtook him and he was dancing, having fun and in general, going along with the festivities.  He played skeeball, he danced, and he even saw some other hero who teleported in with these piercing red eyes and red hair and beckoned her to join him for a dance.  "C'mon Fire, join me for a small dance!  I need a partner." He said with a chuckle, and an eggnog cup in his other hand, prepared to give it to her should she say yes.

Link to comment

Sakurako smiled, walking to the scene.


Endeavor's snow-removal drone project that was happily clearing Claremont's sidewalks was at 90% completion, enough where she during the storm cleared out the sidewalks of neighboring houses near the campus. The feed from each drone's GPS was happily dancing along on the HUD of Sakurako's data glasses as she arrived at the blocked off area.


"I guess I could afford myself some fun." She said with a smile as she patted the puffy environment suit she was wearing, it had adapted to the weather sending warm air into the suit, causing the space-themed costume she wore to look even more like a space-suit. Technically though, it was...


She was more curious on how quick the sudden festival rolled out. Was this a "thing" with the first snowstorm of the year? Or was it the christmas spirit of the moment?


She then saw the sliding hill and her train of thought derailed completely and totally. "Oooh! lucky I remembered to pack a snow tube. Thought if anyone got hurt slipping on ice or something it would be a good and comfortable stretcher, but this can work too." She said, taking a knee in the fresh snow and hooking up the valve on the snow ring to a line leading to her life support and started to inflate it. "Seems those officers have started to make that slide pretty quality with their use."


She grinned. "I'm gonna be the fastest here." This wasn't a boast... the ring she made herself was high quality enough for ice rescues. The material looked like it would definitely move on the snow. Once the ring was all set she dragged it behind her, looking to where she could start climbing upward.

Edited by Sailor
Link to comment

"Uh." Kat took one look at the literal, actual gargoyle that was asking her to dance. It took some doing, because she had to crane her neck to look that far up. He looked incredibly impressive. He sounded like a kid trying to imitate his Dad on the phone. "Seriously?"


She stepped back shut her eyes tight and flapped her hands a bit before forcing her breath to calm and letting her hands settle in front of her. "I cannot be the only person who thinks this is really super off." Behind her, a pain of children ran in circles, laughing and pelting each other with snowballs before running off in another direction. 


"There's probably some Psychic vampire trying to gather power to down the world in a hundred years of darkness or, or . . ." She made a frustrated sound and turned around, peering in every direction and seeing festive cheer and joy in every direction. "Or something!"




"I'm not a grinch!" She said, in response to no one. "This is weird!"

Edited by Freely Seek
Link to comment

Gargoyle chuckled and came over to her.  "Yeah, it could be.  But look at all this cheer, all this fun!  Anything that could do this has to be doing some form of good, and I say enjoy the good while it lasts.  Good doesn't always last." Gargoyle said, and offered her the eggnog cup, figuring that would allow her to calm down and let loose a little bit.


"Besides, if it is something being used for evil, wouldn't it be better to stay here watching the crowd while also blending in like we are under the same control?  I only smell goodness and I decided to trust the sniffer today, and it says to enjoy the strange party."

Link to comment

Kat put her hands on her hips and stared, narrow-eyed, into the crowd. "I don't trust it."


"And I don't know about you," she said, raising a brow. "But getting me drinking is just a terrible idea." Someone started up a cheery rendition of 'Jingle Bells' in the background. "Also, not old enough. So there."

Edited by Freely Seek
Link to comment

"C'mon, it's just eggnog, give it a whirl!  Just try throwing a snowball.  I'm sure you'll get in the mood then." Gargoyle smiled, unsure of why this new lady wouldn't trust him and join in on the festivities.  He hadn't smelled anything dangerous outside of the cop car, and even then, that's just because the cops need weapons to protect themselves from criminals.  All he sees is good cheer and laughter, no sign of evil anywhere.  He was half tempted to throw a snowball at this lady to try and get her into it, but couldn't hold both the eggnog cup and make the snowball... Maybe if I used my tail? Gargoyle thought idly while his tail did a small twitch.

Link to comment

Mouth forming a hard, irritated line, Warp grabbed the cup of eggnog out of the world-be hero's hand. Instead of drink it, she held it up, clear for him to see, between her hands. She didn't need to marshal her irritation at all; it was already there. Dark lines of power, arced up and down her arm like light-eating electricity. The cupeggnog and alldisintegrated in her hand as it closed into a fist.


"Learn to take a no." She deliberately enunciated each word. "You creep."

Edited by Curious Key
Link to comment

Kwame stepped out into the street and stopped for a moment to take in the sights.  Look at all of this craziness!  Even the cops are getting into the swing of things.  I guess even Christmas gets people to relax. He lifted his head and shifted the air.  Cinnamon!  I wonder if they have some real eggnog for sell.


With a smile on his face, he adjusted the knit black hat upon his head and tighten the red scarf around his neck.  He moved deeper in the crowds looking for a stall that was selling eggnog when he noticed the young lady  in costume and the ... stone creature?!  


Kwame shook his head and moved over towards them.  Perhaps they can point me in the right direction.  Kwame raised his hand to get their attention just when dark lines of power moved about her arms.  Seeing the cup disintegrate in her hand caused Kwame to voice his surprise.  "Holy sh--" he began but quickly caught himself as a young girl ran by.  "--akes!  That was some wicked display of power!"


His voice was loud enough for the young woman and stone creature to easily hear.  Kwame seemed quite normal.  He wore his black knit cap with a red H embossed on the edge, a red knit scarf, a thick down felt winter jacket, blue jeans, and brown construction boots.  The clothes, though bulky, did little to disguise the muscular shape on his five eleven frame.  He smiled warmly at the pair.

Edited by MBCE
Link to comment

The mood on Kat's part was getting downright hostile, but before Gargoyle could react to it Kat's ears caught an exclamation and her head swung to the side.  Kwame  was standing right there, look of open admiration on his face. Warp preened, reached behind her and brushed hair to fall more dramatically over her shoulder. "Thank you," she said, and the smile came easy. "Have you noticed anything strange about all this?" Warp made a broad, inclusive gesture. "Like, everyone just decides to have a party? Out of nowhere? And the cops join in? Being a wet blanket is their job."

Link to comment

Kwame took a moment to look around at everyone enjoying themselves and shrugged.  "Does it really matter?  I'd rather people would have some fun than trying to hurt each other.  It is the holiday season after all."


He raised his hands in a waiting gesture before continuing.  "I admit, it is a little strange.  Nothing like this would every happen in Chicago, but then again, this is Freedom we're talking about.  Where pretty much anything could happen or appear."  Kwame looks towards the stone creature standing next to the woman.  "I mean, where else are you going to see," he gestures to include Gargoyle, Warp, a space suit with a large inner tube running toward the snow hill, and all the people having fun, "all of this in one place?  As long as there are people like yourself willing to watch out for everyone, let them enjoy themselves."


Kwame smiled at the pair and removed his knit cap. revealing his bald head.  He quickly took a bow and said, "Forgive my lack of manners.  The name's Kwame or as most people are used to calling me, Hammer.  I'm new in town and enjoying the festivities before getting to work."  He replaced the cap and adjusted the edge to ensure that the red H was slightly off centered.

Edited by MBCE
Link to comment

If Kat had a tail, would be lashing. Her eyes anxiously scanned over the crowd one last time, waiting for some greater, sinister force to reveal itself. But . . . Kwane's appeal to her ego disarmed her, whereas the big stone brute's overbearing insistence had felt like an insult.


Besides, Kwame hadn't tried to force a drink Kat hadn't seen prepared down her throat where she didn't know anyone.  


"Yeah." Kat grimace, putting on hand on her hip. "I see your point. This is odd, but I can't tell what caused it. But, if it reveals itself . . . there are lots of heroes here." She held out a hand toward Kwame. "Warp. It's a pleasure."

Edited by Curious Key
Link to comment

Kwame took the offered hand in a firm but careful grip.  "The pleasure is all mine."  He smiled broadly as he released the hand.  "Warp, huh?  That's an interesting name.  Reminds me of a fella I used to wrestle back in the PCW.  Oh, that's Pro Championship Wrestling, an independent wrestling group out of Chicago that I used to wrestle for.  His signature move was to fling his opponents into the ropes and as they bounced back, clothesline them.  He did it so fast that it was like warp speed!"


He adjusted his scarf slightly as he added.  "You wouldn't be a speedster would?  That's how you made the cup disappear?"  At the mention of the cup, his eyes widen and he slaps his forehead.  "That's right!  I almost forgot. That's why I came over in the first place!  I was looking for some real eggnog and thought you guys might be able to point me in the right direction."

Link to comment

2016 was one of those years when Christmas and Chanukah overlap; when this happened, the two sides of Lynn's family (the Epsteins and the Silbermans) has a special tradition. The Epsteins, despite their very Jewish name, were essentially Catholic due to Lynn's Grammie Maria running the home, except for Passover which Grampa Bernie insited they observe; the Silbermans were about as Jewish as you could get without going full 'black hat'. But years like this they found a fun way to compromise. On Christmas Eve, the Jews came over with a nice tray of cold cuts, a dreidel and some gelt, and fried up some latkes for everyone; Lynn's mom would not do gifts, but she would do food.


This was the first year the changeling brought a girlfriend over, which lead to a few raised eyebrows from the older generation, but everyone else was very welcoming to Gretchen, especially Lynn's dad Butch, who was already a fan. The snarky barista was unprepared for the 'wall of love' a mixed Italian-Jewish family had to offer, but for once she didn't resist it, although the copious amounts of red wine may have helped.


Someone suggested a jam session; Gretchen and Butch were professional level, but there were several talented amateurs in the family as well. With judicious use of superpowers, instruments were obtained and the finished basement was converted into an impromptu performance space. They were in the middle of the sound check when Gretch got a text.


"Got a hit on the website. A mysterious spontaneous block party downtown has been reported."


Lynn peered over her shoulder to look at her phone. "Does it sound sinister? Are there clowns in the area?"


Gretch shrugged. "Unclear." She looked up at the 'band' that was tuning up with a pained expression. "I...can go check it out. You should stay with your family."


The changeling snorted and slapped her lover's shoulder. "Are you nuts? I see these idiots all the time! Stay, rock out and be merry."


Thr barista smiled a smile so big it made Lynn's heart grow ten sizes that day. "Thanks. I love you!" There was even a hug. Truly, it was a Chanukah miracle.


- - -


A few minutes later, a pixie descended out of the winter sky, only to form into the distinctive shape of the lovely and lithe Grimalkin in her black and midnight blue leather suit, although tonight her regular outfit was topped with a red and white Santa hat. She stood there for several seconds with her hands on her hips, surveying the crowd with confusion.


"What the hell...?"

Edited by Heritage
Link to comment

"Well, this was higher than expected..." Sakurako said, looking out on the scene. She might have gone up a little too high, as she was at the very top of the seven story structure. She settled herself into her ring and gulped looking at the curving incline. She wagered she could use her suit's own flight ability to change her course and heading and manage to shoot out the back like she steered the whole way.


She wasn't cheating per-se... this wasn't a competetion. She really wanted to see how accurate her anti-gravity flight stabilizers were.


She closed the helmet on her suit and pushed off. The sudden speed from the slightly iced surface was a shock and she panicked, sending a burst off her flight system sending her careening off the side as fast as a race car! A meep left Sakurako's lips then she instinctually shouted. "ACTIVATE CHUTE!"


Her parachute on the vest that was part of her kit deployed, using the speed of her forward momentum to fill out and catch her. She swung under it for a few moments, carrying on the light wind combined with her own momentum. She pulled up her ring under her and landed flat on her butt, using her snow-tube like an airbag, near where a crowd of different heroes where starting to gather. Sounded like an argument.


"Hehe... would you believe that was all part of the plan, everyone?" She said with a blush, trying to get everyone's attention. Although the orange and white parachute landing over her head, with her head sticking out the round hole at the top was just as much an attention-getter... "What's this about Egg-Nog? Is it alcoholic? I've never had that before."


She was grinning like crazy with a blush redder than the international orange sections on her round chute. Any landing I can... eventually walk away from... she thought.

Edited by Sailor
Link to comment

Kat shook her head. "No, not a speedster. It's a little complicated, but it's simplest to say I'm a teleporter, and—"




Sakurako skidded over the snow toward them after her landing, kicking up some of the White Christmas back into the hair. A chunk of it landed on top of Warp's head. She stopped talking, closed her eyes and took a deep, long-suffering breath. "This is it." The snow slowly slid out off her head and fell in a lump on her shoulder.  "This is my life, now."


Eyes still closed, she pointed her finger back toward where she'd heard the familiar noise. "This is Endeavor. And I've never actually heard of eggnog not being alcoholic. And you," she said, turning her head toward her old Claremont underclassman. "Are definitely not old enough."

Edited by Curious Key
Link to comment

Kwame listened to Warp's explanation and was caught by surprise when Endeavor landed near them.  The wrestler twisted his upper torso to avoid most of the snow that fell atop of Warp.  Turning back to the young hero, Kwame laughed aloud.  "Looks like the snowy weather is having its intended effect upon you!"


Kwame turned to the newcomer and held out his hand to help the spacesuit clad youngster to her feet.  "I think you need to work on your landings.  If you have twisted slightly to the left, you could have landed on Warp's shoulders.  Now that would have been impressive!" He gave a playful wink towards Warp before turning his attention back to Endeavor.  "As for the eggnog, it can be made both with or without alcohol.  Grandma Harris had a recipe that tasted great both ways.  Of course, now, I prefer the alcohol version a tad bit more."


He stopped and took a moment to look at the newcomer and the stone creature.  He then took a moment to look Warp over carefully.  Too young to drink alcohol? Wait a minute, are these kids?  There are kids protecting this city?  "Hang on a second, how old are you guys?"

Edited by MBCE
Link to comment

"Me? 17, going on 18 in Early Janurary." She said with a grin, getting up and starting to work her way out from under her parachute. "And I don't protect this city as much as get into yet another misadventure that is bound to put me in the hospital again."


"Also, Alcoholic... Non Alcoholic... I think I'll pass then if there isn't a sure thing." She said, looking over to Kat. "Ah... you're looking a bit annoyed... trust me it wasn't my intent to make this sort of landing, but science took a U-turn into some excitement."


She peeks out from under her parachute and sees Grimalkin. "Oh hey! Nice seeing you again!" She said with a grin.

Link to comment

Gargoyle snapped back out of the daze of the perfectly good eggnog disintegrating before his eyes "Awww... that was good eggnog though..." He whimpered, sad to see his good buddy, Eggnog, come to an unsatisfying end.    He finally noticed all the new people around him.


"Oh hey, sorry I was completely thrown off.  I never have seen eggnog disintegrate before, or have someone so mad they would.  And as for alcoholic or non alcoholic, the stuff I had is just straight eggnog, no alcohol added.  And my age?  Only 16 about 5 months ago, nearly half a year.  Heck, only became a superhero around the same time." Gargoyle grinned, and pointed off over at a stand a few feet from where they were standing, his tail doing a happy little flick, God I love eggnog.


"Over there is where I got it from, it's the kids version of the booth so I was guaranteed non-alcoholic beverages."

Link to comment

Kwame couldn't believe his ears.  17? 16?  These are kids!  Is this all that Freedom has to offer? He shook his head ruefully.  Stop thinking like that.  It's not like I'm full of experience.  For all I know, they've had their powers their whole lives which is longer than I have.  Well, maybe the stone guy and I are more on even terms.  Still, Grandma Harris always said it's best not to judge a book by its cover.  Who knows, these kids could surprise me.


 The wrestler looked over at the mentioned booth and smiled.  "Thanks, kid. I owe ya one."  He took off his glove and reached into his pocket for his wallet.  "Anyone else want a cup?  I'm buying."  He looked at the small group to include everyone present in the offer, even Warp who seemed hell bent on suspecting the worst to happen.  His gaze lingered on Grimalkin, not sure whether she was interested in eggnog or not.  Her stance and festive Santa hat were at odds with each other, making it hard for Kwame to read her.


Link to comment

Sixteen? Was this another Claremont kid? Kat had barely known Sakurako a semester as Kat's underclassman before graduating. Any newer kids and, well, Kat would have never met them. He sounded like he would have squeaked, but Kat had honestly written that off as the way he sounded. He really had been trying to growl his voice? She couldn't help but smirk. "Twenty," she allowed, though part of her asked why anyone needed to know. Kwame seemed . . . Unimpressed by their ages.


Tough luck, guy.


It felt awkward to go after eggnog after literally disintegrating the last one she touched. Instead she wandered off, toward the new arrival. "I don't suppose you can tell if there's anything sinister behind this . . ." She made a circular gesture with her right hand. ". . . Thing." Kat was beginning to give up hope that she would ever know for sure.

Edited by Curious Key
Link to comment

Kwame nodded slightly as Warp gave her age.  That explains a lot about her reaction to this whole situation.  Old enough to have had a bad experience, but still young enough to believe she could stop it from happening again.  Ah, youth. 


He looked back at Gargoyle and Endeavor to see if they wanted to partake in the offer.  While he waited for an answer, he looked around at the various people enjoying the festivities.  He watched as one of the police officers coming down the hill almost hit a young boy who was running to one of the food booths.  Hmm, maybe Warp is on to something.  Could this all be related to that freak storm the other day?

Link to comment

"Oh, hey Endeavor," the changeling said as she smiled and waved. "Figured that was you under there. I'm Grimalkin, by the way." She waved to the others. In response to Warp's question, she sighed and shrugged. "I mean, it could just be innocent, spontaneous fun; I'd like to think we live in a world where that can still happen. But I've been working this gig a long time, and I can say it never hurts to be at least a little bit paranoid."


She indicated the various winter fun activities with a wave of her hand. "The big question you have to ask yourself in a situation like this is, 'who benefits?' Like, is this all supposed to be a distraction from a crime? Is there an evil faerie who feeds on happiness nearby? Is this holiday cheer caused by a toxin, or is it contagious? Or, y'know, is it caused by superpowers but it's entirely innocent? I mean, who knows?" 


Then Grim recognized the Gargoyle from the Freedom Hall holiday party, and she greeted him with a nod. "Hey."

Edited by Heritage
Link to comment

Gargoyle's nodded towards towards Kwayme "I'll take another cup if you're offering.  Just love me some eggnog."  It was at that moment he noticed Grimalkin.


"Oh hey Grimalkin, fancy seeing you here.  Enjoying the impromptu party?" Gargoyle chuckled as he said the last part, tail swishing this and that way.  "I honestly just feel like this is a good thing, no bad coming from it.  Just people enjoying the weather."

Link to comment
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...