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Vicissitude (IC)

Curious Key

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January 26, 2017


Kat noticed it that morning.


She pushed herself awkwardly up, stretched, yawned, casually waved off her roommate as she tried to fuss and meandered in drowsy laziness to the washroom in a nightshirt, brushed her teeth, rinsed out her mouth, looked in the mirror and . . . Her brush fell out of her hand and into the sink. Her left eye was red. 


But that didn't quite capture the reality of it. Kat's eyes had been red for years, since her power had almost overwhelmed her in the street. Sometimes, people had joked to her about it glowing, and maybe, if she was totally honest, they had glowed a little. But her eye was red, one solid color, and . . . As her heart beat faster, the light got brighter. She slammed hte door and locked it firmly behind her, ignoring the muffled protest of her roommate. She can't see this. Calm down. She grabbed hold of the edge of the sink, breathed hard and closed her eyes. Calm down. You're excited. That's it. 


She counted her breaths, kept her thoughts in an easy circle. She opened her eyes again . . . and her eye was still red. And . . . What was that under her shirt? She pulled it up and saw red-dark lines slowly advancing slowly but determinedly down her body.



Edited by Curious Key
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Alexandra Albright's AEON was not only a relatively new fixture in downtown Freedom but the CEO's commercials often circulated on television.


Finding yourself with strange powers... and in need of answers? Alexandra Albright was a slight young woman with too large hazel eyes, only slightly blunted by the glasses she wore in her television ads. Still, her smile conveyed a genuine warmth as she waved towards scientists in AEON Laboratories, We'll do our best to help. Call our toll-free number....


Or, of course, there was AEON right down town for locals. Most people, naturally, turned towards the Freedom League, especially with Ms. Albright's public status as a Terminus baby herself, but to be entirely honest, Alex had no desire to pull people away from the many other fine institutions. No, it was born out of a genuine desire to provide answers to people who had no other place to turn to. 


The lobby itself was impressive, but remained inviting, with water and comfortable chairs available. Security was increased these days but surreptitiously enough to not make visitors feel unwelcome and the receptionist desk that occupied the center of the lobby had signs denoting various queues. The one with 'metahuman inquiries' was definitely, as it usually was, decidedly empty.

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Back when Kat had still been involved in the theater scene in high school, she'd learned some small things about costuming, alas, there was no real easy way to hide an eye that burned like the inside of the Doom Coil. She spent a long time testing out ways to hide it or conceal it, an eyepatch, letting hair drift over it . . . But all it ended up looking more suspicious. She elected to switch to an outfit she rarely used and wear her hair a little different instead of anything dramatic and just not think about it until it became a problem.


AEON was hardly low-profile; Warp knew exactly where it was. And with Alex as the figurehead for the thing, she'd marked it in her head as something to remember, just in case. She could have been there, whistling out of an alley and looking innocently in either direction to make sure she hadn't been seen. But . . . Her first choice in outfits had arrived half-disintegrated.


She could endure the stares on the bus. (And stares there were) Traveling was nerve-wracking, in a way she hadn't understood in a long time, since that first plane ride to Freedom to go to Claremont. Staring out the window of the plane, wondering whether she and her parents were being used, whether she was going to be used . . . Breathe in, breathe out. She shut her eyes, let the bus wind through the streets and listened as a mechanical voice cried out the various stops. 

Into the woods,
it's time to go,
I hate to leave,
I have to, though.

And there, that was her stop. Kat took a deep breath and hopped out of the bus and through the big, fancy double-doors. It looked fair enough to her, but Kat's blood was up enough it seemed a small comfort to her. She tried for an air confidence and wore it pretty well considering that she was almost as scared as she had ever been in her life. Kat took a quick look around and strode calmed into the metahuman inquiries booth.


"Hello?" She gave a little grin while another her in the back of Kat's head shrieked, spat and begged her to stop go back and hide under something dark and warm until the problem went away and she didn't have to deal with this anymore. Instead, she took a deep breath and said. "I may need a little consulting," Kat considered giving her eye a jaunty point before her body rejected it so hard she almost convulsed. "Okay," Kat reached hands behind her back and rubbed absently at her elbow. "I definitely need some." A pause. Quieter, more desperate, "Now, please."

Edited by Curious Key
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