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[IC] Hyperactive? Coffee helps!

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Sunday, February 12th, 2017

 

Silberman’s Books, West End, Freedom City

 

2:34 PM

 

 

 

It was a fairly busy day at Silbermann’s, Sundays usually were. Still, when all the sudden two people appeared out of nowhere outside, some eyebrows were raised. One of them was easy to recognize, self-pronounced Freedom’s HOTTEST newcomer and occasional guest Bonfire. As usual in streetwear, with his signature smoking head.

 

 

The other one was more of a mystery. A hero in full costume, holding a pizza box in hand. They exchanged a few words before entering the store, with Bonfire (unsurprisingly) making a beeline to the counter, even if he had to wait for a few moments due to the line.

 

 

-

 

 

The police had arrived soon afterwards, and after turning over the two Dragons, and a few exchanged words, mainly the police thanking the two heroes, it was time to get coffee. Bonfire gave a few instructions, and then, he and Hyperactive were in the West End, in front of Silbermann’s Books.

 

 

“There we go. Some of the best coffee in FC, and I know the owner.”

Edited by olopi

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Hyperactive came to a full stop in front of the bookstore. He let bonfire find his feet and took in the atmosphere, retracting his lower face shield. The smell wafted into his nose and he smiled. Ok, Bonfire knew his stuff. This smelled really good. Plus, books. Oh man, did he love books. He'd found a lot of speedsters liked books. They didn't have to load. 

 

The whole run there Hyperactive had mulled over Bonfire's last question before the cops arrived. No it wasn't a secret program. The opposite actually. The Waco Warriors had met through school. Baylor University was part of the life blood of Waco, and well, the Warriors were the white blood cells. But, they weren't there permanently. The Warriors would graduate from Baylor. Then what? The question kept him up. But that wasn't what Hyperactive was mostly thinking about. Did he tell Bonfire? I mean the guy was undoubtedly a hero. There couldn't be too much harm in it. He just had to be sure that it didn't get out. 

 

"Yeah, graduate." he said before he laughed. "It's a fairly mundane thing, but I'll tell you when we sit down." Hyperactive smiled. Oh he would have to come back here when he could really browse. "I love books." 

Edited by Kolohehonu

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The store did indeed smell delicious, as the owner Lynn Epstein insisted on using only the finest roasted coffee beans. There was also the smell of homemade chicken soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, adding to the heady mix.

 

The store itself was composed of two store fronts that had been connected years ago by knocking out a shared wall, creating a series of small, linked rooms, each of which was decorated somewhat thematically. Up front there was a table for new arrivals and shelves featuring magazines and newspapers. There were a handful of tables doting about the store, many of which where occupied by readers and coffee drinkers. Several of the walls bore several posters depicting various performers from the 'Golden Age of Stage Magic', such as Houdini, Blackstone, Thurston and the Amazing Al-Kazar.

 

The main counter and espresso bar were just a bit beyond, but Bonfire was slightly disappointed to see neither the familiar face of Lynn nor her girlfriend Gretchen, which was very uncommon. Instead he saw the beefy blonde Midwesterner Lance behind the bar, the vivacious new girl Merge (colorfully dressed as always) at the register, and perennial sales champ Maddy working the floor. At the sight of 'Freedom's HOTTEST newcomer', Lance smiled and gave the super a nod.

 

"What can I get you started on, Bonfire?"

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Silberman’s always had a pleasant experience, and today was no different. The line was surprisingly short, but still long enough for a few people sitting in the store to notice Bonfire. Some waved, some acknowledge him but then returned to what they’d been doing, some did their best to ignore him. All  fair reactions, all ones he had seen before.  He waved back, then turned over to Lance.

 

“Hey Lance. Quite the busy day from what I can tell, so let’s keep it simple, I’ll take a frappucino for now. As for Hyperactive here…”

 

Bonfire turned over to him, looking at him. What kind of coffee did he like? Bonfire didn’t have an idea just yet. Mainly because, from what he’d heard from Stalwart that one time, Speedsters and caffeine usually weren’t the best combination.  Then again, perhaps it was different with Hyperactive? “I can personally vouch for the dirty chai and the mochachino, but there’s so much to chose from!”

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"I'm feeling adventurous, could I get a Mochachino with soy milk?" He was about to add extra whip cream before realizing he had no clue if it had any in the first place. He just smiled. "I'm Hyperactive by the way." 

 

Hyperactive noticed the magic posters. Maybe they carried stuff on the real thing here. He was pretty sure at least one of those guys did real magic. He loved Emily but he was fairly certain she wasn't letting him see anything that he could actually use. 

 

"Is it all stage magic stuff over there?" Hyperactive asked as he grabbed his wallet out of his sleeve. 

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"Nice to meet you, Hyperactive." The barista wiped his hands on a handy towel, then reached over the bar to shake the newcomer's hand. Noticing his interest in the posters, Lance nodded and shrugged. "Well the store has always been associated with magic, both on stage and the real stuff, ever since Ira Silberman opened the place back in the Forties." He indicated a signed promotional still of Al-Kazar mounted on the wall behind him. "There he is there in his stage clothes; he also dabbled, i guess, and supposedly helped the Liberty League a few times back in the day."

 

He continued to speak as he made the two men's drinks. "Back there," he jerked his jaw towards the rear of the store, "Is the section on 'The Occult and Uncanny', as Boss Lady likes to call it; it's the real deal, but it's more like the, uh, 'training wheels' kind of thing." He smiled and wiggled his eyebrows. "The 'scary stuff' is kept off the shelves; you need the owner's permission to look at any of that, but Lynn's unfortunately out of town for the week. Cash or credit, gentlemen?"

Edited by Heritage

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"Credit." Hyperactive said, pulling his card out and passing it to Lance. Training wheels stuff... Definitely worth a look. He had to start learning somewhere, even learning a single reliable offensive spell could be life or death in his next meeting with Aokuewa. On a totally different level, his speed could probably let him pull off dizzying sleight of hand if he learned some tricks. But he was interested in the real stuff first. "I'll probably go take a look at that later then." Hyperactive smiled. He had spent a lot of money today, and was obviously looking to spend more. Which would mean an eventual trip back to ArcheTech or FCU or BU for more poking and prodding. Some scientists were willing to pay him to get a closer look at his powers and potential applications and replications.

 

"I've been learning some stuff from Emily, my-" Yeah, no, too complicated. "It's complicated but let's say girlfriend. But I think she's afraid I'm going to hurt myself with all the stuff we have at home." 

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“Cash, as always. Thanks Lance. “

 

Bonfire had already put the exact amount of cash on the counter. He had to get rid of all the coins somehow, and these kinds of stores generally liked having some in their register. As Lance mentioned Lynn’s absence, Bonfire turned his head around the room for a second, then returned his attention to the barrista.

 

“Ah. I take it she took Gretch with her? Good on them for taking some time off. “

 

Then, he turned his attention to Hyperactive. He seemed to have an interest in magic, huh. It was quite interesting to hear. Speedsters probably had a benefit on learning the mystical arts, if both what Cass had read, and what he’d seen on Supercrime! And having somebody close to you help with it was probably cool too.

 

“Sounds interesting. I’m not one for magic, but knowing Lynn, there’s probably some good stuff here. Just make sure you don’t actually get harmed and then have to explain yourself. ” Bonfire’s voice suggested he was joking, but part of him still considered that to be actual advice. Relationships were a fickle thing sometimes.

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"Yeah." Hyperactive laughed a little as the two found a spot to sit. "Graduation." He mumbled as he took a sip of the drink and smiled. That was good stuff. Oh man he'd have to bring Kas here. Ok now how best to go about this? 

 

"Yeah, the Warriors are all students. Yeah we sort of met and grouped up so often that we all kinda put it together that we were going to school together." Hyperactive took another swig. He was keeping his voice low. He wasn't usually suspicious or anything, but this wasn't about him. It was hard to kill him. at least harder than the average person. The Waco Warriors were... Fragile. By comparison. "So graduation is inevitable. At least two of them have made it clear that Waco isn't where they want to be permanently. Then you add in the way they treat the reserve? I'll be lucky if there's one hero in Waco five years from now." He took another long drag on his drink before vibrating it to mix it better. "But those villains, Drone master, Ring Master, Noun Master... those guys aren't going anywhere. They will burn Waco down if there aren't successors to protect her." 

 

Hyperactive let out a long sigh. "Sorry, just worried."

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They say many hands make light work and no place was that true with Merge Trois who was helping out in the café as well as work in the backroom, they tried not to both appear out in the open if the could help it as it tended to confuse the customers. She smile at Lance at as he passed on the order, there relationship was definitely in the it's complicated bracket not quite beyond just friend but definitely nudging that way. The complicated coffee's made she strode over on almost impossible looking platforms heels her clothing practical and sensible to a point, but still managed to draw attention to herself. The one think she didn't draw attention to was her name tag that identified her as Nicki, it wasn't really her name and she preferred her own but she did have a secret identity to preserve. Her blonde hair had brown lines across the lower half that formed a pattern around the back, as if it was a drop hitting the water.

 

"Here's you coffee's." she put down the cup and offered them a warm smile and a friendly voice "If I can get you anything else let me know, Silberman's is a place full of surprises!"

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Cass followed along with Hyperactive as the two went to search for a place to sit. The store was busy, but fortunately there still were unoccupied spaces. Once he sat down, he whipped up his phone again, making sure there hadn’t been yet another attack, but Freedom finally seemed to be quiet. It wouldn’t last for long, but long enough for him to not have to concern himself with it.

 

“Now there’s a coincidence. It occasionally happens here in FC, from what I’ve heard. Having it happen outside is probably even more rare, so that’s quite cool actually. “ A school-based team? That was cool. Even if Cass was glad he wasn’t involved in one, being able to act by yourself was nice sometimes.

 

“People will be people, I guess. Not staying in one place is human nature. So you’ve got a master-epidemic down there? Any connection between them? I once heard somebody say that only because heroes even were in a place the villains arrived. Not sure I agree with it, but if you’re lucky that’s what’ll happen.”

 

All the while, the coffee had arrived. Once Bonfire had replied, he turned over to Nicki. He’d seen her once or twice before, and the parts of her outfit that weren’t the work clothes always were surprising. Was that really comfortable?

 

“Thanks. We’ll let you know. Anything interesting on the news front recently?”

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"Like moths to a flame I suppose." Maybe Waco would become safe again once they were gone. They did attract some bad guys there. Of course it could just as easily be too late for that. Who knows, there was time to get new heroes. Keep Waco Wacko was an unofficial slogan to the town anyways. They would find more heroes. Not like villains were the only ones drawn to excitement and challenge anyway. 

 

"Oh man, if those guys are working together," Hyperactive laughed. "They would be more dysfunctional than my team." Plus they all kinda came at it as though they were going to beat the Warriors one by one. And one on one. As many times as he put them down and humiliated them Tyson wished they would give up. He almost felt bad. Almost. Oh well, if they were connected they were probably better off making each others' lives more difficult. No need to dismantle that operation just yet.

 

"You've been around a while and pretty publicly too. Do you have a nemesis?" Hyperactive asked. "Like a personal rival and enemy?"

 

"Hi, Hyperactive. Nice to meet you." Hyperactive said before extending his hand to the waitress. "Quite the balance with those shoes." 

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Whilst unnoticed a woman sat nearby who looked very familiar, if she allowed others to notice the similarities, began to subtly look up the few snippets that she and Merge had picked up. Not that she was planning anything malicious, she just wanted to know if they represented a threat to the bookstore she’d grown rather fond of the place.

 

“Oh these thing!” Merge looked down like she didn’t even know she was wearing them “They’re no hassle at all, quite comfortable really. Maybe you should give them a try.” Merge gave a cheeky smile, she didn’t need tips but getting them was a bit of a challenge

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“Huh. Well, you never know. Perhaps there’s a Master Master? No idea who those guys are, the news didn’t really make it up here, I suppose. “

 

Being in a team had to be interesting. Cass hadn’t really experienced it yet. It was something he was willing to change, but those things happened naturally, and he’d not really been active long enough for that. Sometime in the future, perhaps? In this biz it was best not to make longterm plans. Never knew what could hit you, and completely destroy your every plan.

 

The nemesis question had Bonfire stop to think for a second. Did he have one? He’d had multiple confrontations with Neutron. But that wasn’t really a rival. Or directly an enemy, even. And other than that, he couldn’t think of any.

 

“Nah, don’t think so. Probably for the best. Means I’ve never given them the chance to escape.” Bonfire seemed to be quite upbeat about that, as he laughed for just a second.

 

“Yeah, trying heels once is interesting. Done it, probably wouldn’t wear them. Can see the appeal though. “

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"Might be interesting to learn to run in those." Hyperactive added. That was one thing he hadn't tried yet. He was always coming up with new ways to train. Preferably secret ones if he could manage it. "Might improve my balance, or just send me face first to the ground." Hyperactive shrugged jokingly, and finished off the drink. Wow that was strong stuff. He held up his hand and saw the vibrations, that was bad. Hyperactive forced a cough into his hand and saw the small burst of black mist. The gentle green glow inside the cloud pulsed once or twice before dissipating. 

 

"'scuse me, gimme like ten seconds." He said before walking mostly casually to the door. Both hands were trembling as he made his way out the door. Then he ran. He ran a couple of miles before he skidded to a stop. He forced a few more coughs and let the black mist vanish. His legs and lungs burned, but he would be ok. He turned and ran back to the store and then walked in. His hands had stopped shaking, but he was fairly disappointed that the Mochachino had not sat well with him. 

 

"What's in a Mochachino?" A question better asked beforehand. "And what pastries here do you recommend?" He asked Nicki as he found a five dollar bill in his wallet for a tip, he had to go to the lab anyway now. Good, the hand wasn't shaking. "No Nemesis, want one of mine?" Hyperactive chuckled a little weaker than he had been. 

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They can, and will, destroy your ankles. From everything I’ve heard, it comes down to training. And I highly doubt running like you do would be a good idea immediately.” Bonfire continued to be pretty upbeat, his advice being part joke-y, part serious.

 

Hyperactive taking a look at his hand was a bit concerning, however. Speedsters were more affected by caffeine, yeah. And this looked like just that was happening right now. The vibrations were bad, but not unexpected. The cloud, however? Yeah, that was actually concerning. Whatever that was, it wasn’t part of the speedster powerset.

 

Immediately, Cass was ready to start everything up again. The temperature around him increased just so slightly, his frappuchino no longer being as cool. Hyperactive walking out of the door was probably for the best in this case, get the energy … and whatever else that was … out of his body.

 

“I’ll gladly not deal with any nemesis...es? Nemesi? I dunno. Either way, the less people I have to see multiple times, the better. Fight them once, get rid of them, and move onwards. “

 

“Everything okay? That looked like it did a bit more than just caffeine?”

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"Everyone has their limits, and between the kinetic drain attacks and the caffeine, well I guess I hit mine." Too close. He would be ok when the caffeine left the system, and in the meantime water and staying moving would help. "I can only store so much kinetic energy. Caffeine can lock it in me, and some other things can lower the amount I can store. Most sodas don't have any of those, so I mostly stick to those. Might be something in the rest of that drink." Bonfire looked concerned, so Hyperactive just smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna explode." Yet.

 

"I wish my bad guys stayed locked up! Yeah Texas has some weird super hero laws, at least it keeps most villains from getting executed immediately." Hyperactive wasn't sure if it was a loophole but most villains were treated more like the mentally ill than like criminals. "But my nemesis, those guys are a league of their own. One of them is always prepared for me, no matter what. The other?" Hyperactive still had shivers from watching the bees attack Aokuewa. "He's supernatural, even death is only temporary. I don't think he's truly alive anymore, not after whatever happened to him in the underworld. I'm new to magic though, and maybe there's a solution I don't know." Hyperactive again looked over the books, he kinda wished for magic audiobooks so he could run and listen. Oh of course, he knew exactly why there weren't any, but it was still an interesting thought.

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Huh. Potential weaknesses. Cass did hate himself for it, but by now he had some idea how to deal with many of the people he worked with. Would it ever be necessary? Hopefully not. But knowing this was useful. Even if he wasn’t going to say that out loud. He wasn’t the most heroic to start with (*cough* Reactors *cough*), so he didn’t have to give people more reasons to mistrust him.

 

“Speedsters and caffeine, man. Last one I met wasn’t allowed to touch it. Was the kind of person to run down to Australia all casually, and any more speed would’ve probably done a lot more harm than good.”

 

“So, what happens if the energy stays locked in? It doesn’t sound like that would be bad by itself?”

 

The enemies sounded interesting. Even if so far, they hadn’t been recurring, Cass had certainly faced ones that were prepared. Too prepared. He had to somehow figure out how to deal with that aspect of his powers.

 

“Can’t say I’ve seen resurrection before. It’s never came down to it at least…”

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"Locking it in isn't the concern, overloading my cells? Well, I'd die. At the very least. I think my cells might explode on a molecular level." Hyperactive pulled out his phone and punched in an equation: 1/2*61.2 kg*(26822.4 m/s)^2= 22,014,898,937.856 joules. "That's my energy at a maximum recorded speed. Not anywhere near where my energy would be to die from retained energy." 

 

"It's not really a problem I just have to keep moving around. Some powers burn more energy than others, so I can manage it almost all the time. The uhhhh smoke means that I should be thinking about it and dealing with it. I don't think I could lock my body down to the point of neutralizing my powers that way, I imagine whatever amounts I'd need would poison me." Yeah that's not the way to shut my powers down. 

 

"Yeah Aokuewa, the guy who comes back from the dead? He didn't have powers until he got killed by his siblings." Hyperactive shook his head and shuddered. "His lover is Milu, goddess of death or maybe god of death. From what we learned, don't ask how, he's mentally hundreds of years old and most of that is torture and sex in the underworld. Often at the same time. His mind and soul is broken. If I could fight him on my terms, I'd try and capture him and put him in a place he couldn't kill himself." But he never got to fight on his terms did he? "I'm worried if I die without an 'heir' the gods would do the same sort of thing to me. Break me and make me their puppet." 

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“I have ankle’s of steel, and beside I have a volunteer to give amazing foot rubs.” she flashed Lance a little knowing smile “And it’s Nemeses, if ever you need to deal with more than one, but more importantly...” she listed off the quite impressive range of pastries that the place offered

 

Merge had obviously seen a vast amount of super related things, and Silberman’s seemed more open to such things anyway. Her nature made it difficult not to be noisy about such things, but she was really trying not to as this job was important to Nicki. And she was starting to quite like the whole things as well.

 

“Well I think it might be time for you to switch to decaff. I hope you don’t mind me interjecting, you’re being very open about your experiences. And I’m just simple service staff.”


Though privately Merge would never consider herself anything close to simple.

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"Thanks Nicki." Hyperactive said a little embarrassed at running his mouth. He hopped up and smiled. "I'm gonna go grab some pastries I'll be back." 

 

Good Job Hyperactive. Go ahead and blab all your secrets. That won't come back to bite you at all.

 

When Tyson got to the front of the line he smiled. "Hey Lance. Can I get some of the lemon Danishes? And a blueberry muffin. Please?" Hyperactive again started looking at the books of magic. He would definitely give those a look over when he got his pastries. 

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Lance nodded and smiled "Sure thing, Hype...oh, is it okay call you that?" He grabbed a pair of pastry tongs and deftly began to fish out the items. "Is two danishes enough?"

 

He put everything on a plate and rang him up; seeing Nicki near their table, the blonde barista smiled and winked. "Better keep an eye on that one; she loves trouble!"

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"Most people shorten it to H.A. But you can definitely call me Hype. Hopefully two danishes and a muffin will hold me over to dinner." Hyperactive said smiling, he threw a glance back at Nicki. "Yeah I can  kinda tell. To be fair, I'll take that kind of trouble over someone seeing how many banks they can hit in a week any day." He looked between them a few times before just smiling. "Thanks for the pastries and good luck with trouble."

 

He grinned, picking up his pastries and with super speed placed them on the table, in another burst of speed he did a quick look through what had been pointed out as beginner magic, made note of what looked interesting, and headed back. 

Edited by Kolohehonu

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“Secrets are what make our job interesting. Interesting, scary, dangerous, but also thrilling. They’re pretty much the thing our job has. Your secrets, those of people you meet…”

 

Bonfire stopped for a second, before laughing out loud, taking a sip of his frappuchino, and then continuing onwards.

 

“I just realized I sound like some old man mentor type dude. Sorry ‘bout that. I’m really not qualified to give advice. Especially not on my own secrets…”

 

Yeah, that was one thing that Cass had to work on. Sure, it was one thing for a few people to get suspicious. It was another for a group of mercenaries to break into your house and kidnap you, all the while informing AEGIS of your identity. He could still spin that one around a bit, but it was a bit troubling…

 

“…I’m good at keeping others’ though. And that’s what really matters, isn’t it?”

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"Ha ha! I don't mind advice. Especially because I'm still so new to Freedom." Hyperactive said slowly munching on his danish. "I appreciate that you keep secrets." 

 

"I guess I grew up always keeping secrets. Seeing as I'm a legacy to tons of heroes. Secret identities and all you know?" He smiled. Man it had been weird not being able to say what his parents did growing up. He would just say business. 

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