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Infinite by Inches(IC)

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A concealed sidewalk outside Claremont Academy, Bayview, Freedom City, USA, the Earth

May 1st, 2017, 2.45PM

 

"Well, that's a bust" Sharon "Tyger" Sheffield, teen genius, kicked the smoking apparatus moodily, still smarting from its failure. Turning to the other Claremont students who had come out for a good time in another dimension without Mrs. Tragoria breathing down their necks about local customs and protocol, Sharon shrugged "Sorry, guys! Guess I'll have to try again next week." With a wave of her hand and a burst of exotic particles from the gizmos hidden under her gloves, the shambles of what had been a miniature replica of the Atom Family's Gateway winked out of existence.

 

"What? Come on!"

"What a waste a'time..."

"Xerynarrg!"

 

The other students drifted away, in pairs and singly, heading out into Bayview, taking to the sky and otherwise leaving now that the chance had come and gone.

 

Blowing a noisy sigh, Sharon glanced at the last remaining student. "Hey, Annie," she smiled glumy, wiping a streak of oil from her face "still here? I've got some stuff I wanna do before the day's over, could use some company."

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Annie was fabulously curious at the prospect of going to another dimension, she’d missed the field trip earlier in the year and was super excited at the prospect of joining Sharon on her latest adventure. Annie’s late nights of crime fighting under the mantle of ArchAngel, while deeply gratifying as it was fulfilling her true purpose in life, were exhausting her. The stress of saving innocent lives and the violence of going toe to toe with numerous bad guys had started to take it’s toll. The extra dimensional adventure with Sharon offered the promise of real fun and excitement somewhere away from the consequences and reality of crime fighting in Freedom City.

 

She arrived late, with her self only and joined the crowd of her fellow students, she felt a tinge of jealousy at Sharon’s popularity. Sharon and Annie had passed by a time or two in the halls and had even shared a class together, Annie was consistently blown away by her intellect and ability to manufacture objects that were closer to magic than to science. When Sharon with her usual charm invited poor Annie to witness the revealing of a piece of super science, Annie gladly accepted. But on the short walk over from Claremont Academy grounds she felt the sinister grasp of social anxiety take hold, it gripped her stomach like bad food.

 

The crowd dispersed at the failed experiment, and it was that mild failure of Sharon the genius that really made Annie adore her. Her disappointment of the failure itself was out weighed by the idea that Sharon was capable of failure. She had such an idealized version of Sharon in her mind that it took some time to process it all. That was what kept Annie stuck in place as her fellow students, who were mostly strangers to her anyways, departed. 

 

Annie who now had some words jumbled together with her desire for friendship stuck in her throat, stared at Sharon awkwardly. Sharon beat her to the punch, extending a tender offer of sharing her afternoon plans with Annie. Annie cleared the hesitation from her throat.

 

“Uhm, yeah totally.” She said with her usual timidness in these situations.

 

“What.. what did you have in mind?” A shy smile accompanied the inquiry.

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GM

 

Sharon blew a weary breath "Everything that just broke on that piece of junk, for one. That's a few grand and I won't get all the parts in town." She rubbed her forehead with the heel of her palm "But right now I could go for some ice cream and a new shirt." The action showed that a few holes had been burned into the cloth. 

 

"C'mon." With that Sharon jammed a baseball cap on her head, swung on her heel and started marching. It was a long way to Bayview Mall, and Sheffield didn't believe in transportation provided "by the public dole". An oddity in someone from a distinctly disadvantaged British-Pakistani family. 

 

As they walked down the hill between rows and curving avenues of suburban sprawl overlooking the North Bay, Sharon asked, very casually "So, you're an angel, right? From God?" She tilted the cap's brim to catch more of the cheerfully burning sunlight on it rather than her skeptical face "My mother says angels are impersonal emanations of the all-encompassing Divine, rather than discrete beings with wills and identities. That true?"

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Annie walked with Sharon following her and listening intently. Her ears perked up and she paid attention when Sharon asked about her divine-nature.

 

“Yes I am an Arch Angel, but I was born here on earth so I don’t know what heaven is like.” She stated matter of factly trying to pre-empt certain criticisms. She was wary of Sharon, she wanted to be friends with her but Sharon struck Annie as a skeptic. Sharon’s second question caught Annie off-guard.

 

“Uhm, no it’s not true. Sorry. I have a will and an identity. Sometimes God communicates with me, but I’m not an ‘impersonal em-an-ation’.” Annie twisted her face ever so slightly, a display signaling mild offense. She wanted to change the subject and quickly.

 

“Where do your powers come from Sharon? Were you born a super-genius?” Annie kicked a pebble down the hill as they walked, the pebble bounced left and right erratically, all before falling off the sidewalk into the street and then into the mouth of a storm drain, which swallowed the pebble whole.

Edited by Chimeric

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GM

 

Sharon pursed her lips, and Annie could feel the sideways glance. "No, that was cause of the UNISON event in St. Davids. Some sort of exotic energy surge and now I can invent new mathematics."

 

"Really, this whole business of putting everyone who can make things under one label is simply disrespectful. You have people like Miss Americana or Daedalus who honed and developed natural talents until they could reinvent themselves, and then you have lumpen like me who lucked into a little brain-boost. It oughtn't to be allowed and I know just how to do it! Listen, first we separate all the natural talents from..."

 

Sharon rambled on and on for the rest of the walk down to Bayview Mall, outlining with both her extensive imagination and extensive waving of the arms how she would revolutionize the classification of metahumans.

 

"And that, Annie," Sharon concluded as the doors slid shut behind them and the mall's foyer opened up in front "is how we stop this linguistic chaos from perpetuating itself into the future!"

 

She beamed happily "Now, about that ice cream. Got a favourite place?" her feet started leading the pair to the usual Ice Cliff Sweetery, but something else caught her eye and turned them in a very different direction. 

 

As ever, the mall was alive with customers, with stalls and kiosks and booths and sundry other temporary sales locations. One of them was brand new, advertising the "Shrinkaton", some kind of home appliance that apparently made your home items a more manageable size via "a revolutionary new technology out of Kwantum!!!"

 

"You know, Annie," Sharon suggested mildly, her eyes alight "if the cones were smaller we could carry a lot more..."

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