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Mutants & Masterminds: Emerald City Sentinels - Issue #1 - The Silver Storm

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Emerald City. From high above the city glitters like a jewel in the spring sunlight. To the east the snow capped peak of Mount Stanley sits atop a blanket of verdant green forest that stretches toward the city slowly diffusing into the steel, concrete, and glass of the city itself. Rising above it all the Emerald Tower, its green glass exterior shining like the jewel it is named after, marks the heart of the city. Beyond lies Malory Bay, and beyond that the Pacific itself, deep blue and twinkling in the sun. Fishing and shipping vessels dot the waters.

Below in the city itself the unseasonably warm weather has brought out the populace in droves. Every downtown street is lined with people out roller-blading, walking their dogs, people watching at sidewalk cafes, or doing a little shopping. Bargain-hunters are drawn to the open air mall known as Yellow Brick Row, where local merchants have set up sidewalk sales to greet them. Food and beverage carts are plentiful, and visitors to the Row’s restaurants find cuisine with an Asian flair. Pad Thai, Teriyaki, and other Eastern delicacies vie for the taste buds of locals and tourists alike along side pizza, burgers, and barbecue.

Elsewhere in the city less normal citizens go about less routine activities, and a plan is set in motion that will change the city...

Just outside of Yellow Brick Row a young man attempts to hawk paintings. The style is modern, or so he claims, but there are few buyers. The painter's stained clothing speaks of his devotion to his trade, or perhaps a low income; either way he does not know that soon his life will change.

A block away a rough looking man walks with a woman; they seem happy as they head toward the Row. Lunch is on their minds, and the smells that float towards them on the breeze remind them of the variety of culinary delights to be had within the market. Likewise they are unaware of the coming storm that no forecaster could have predicted.

Elsewhere in the city a young woman, barely more than a girl, exits the shelter where she has been living since running away from the only family she has ever known. She inhales the fresh air deeply and despite having just eaten within her stomach rumbles. Her metabolism has already made short work of the meal, and she knows that something else will be in order soon. Her search for something to eat will take her life in a direction she would never have anticipated when she awoke this morning.

Down by the water a man walks alone, his cane clacking on the cobblestones that line the waterfront sidewalks. In his head he is working on his lecture notes for a class on Monday, while simultaneously working on a puzzle. Always a puzzle, or case notes slipped to him by his former coworkers, or notes on his own work, for the University, or for his "side project." Though deep in thought he was fully aware and moved around pedestrians and obstacles with ease, without breaking his reverie. Soon that reverie would be shattered, and a new puzzle would present itself.

Half a mile from Yellow Brick Row the section of Emerald City known as "Jadetown" started, and sprawled on for a mile. Though not truly a "Chinatown", Jadetown is an admixture of Eastern cultures; Chinese and Japanese are most evident, but Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean influences are all evident as well. A young woman possessed of great power, her spirit melded with that of an ancient god, walks the street. This place is her domain; she protects it from the unjust, and acts as the guardian of its people. Soon however this young woman will find it necessary to extend her protection beyond the borders of Jadetown.

Elsewhere still, in a brownstone mansion on a cul-de-sac, a woman who looks younger than her true age sits in meditation. Her body sits in a lotus position, but her mind and her senses are elsewhere, cast across the gulf of space and time; searching. She seeks a man she once called Master, and who has now gone missing. Unhinged from time and space her perception could have allowed her to see the coming storm, but she was instead unaware, her four year search continuing in vain for another afternoon.

In the bay a tiny boat bobs. Its improbably large passenger holds a tiny fishing pole and looks into the water. With him in the boat are a large cooler that is being filled with fish, and a small cooler that is being emptied of bait. No thoughts cross that man's mind, no cares crease his brow. He is, for a time, at peace; free of the prejudice that defines his life. That same treatment that drives him to solitude and food, also drives him to help others, and, with hope, seek their acceptance. He has no way to know that soon he will have what he seeks, but like many before him he will learn to be careful what he wished for.

OOC: If you wish you may feel free to make one short post each to introduce your character and expand upon what they are doing at the moment. Don't get carried away or "do" anything beyond what I have already set up. Remember K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid

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The man and the woman were at ease, and showed the clear signs of being a married couple in their attitude and manner. Cecilia had gotten time to have a leisurely meal with Mel, and that was more than welcome in both spouses' books. However, the ease and quiet love of the moment soon passed- once Mel caught sight of the food court stalls with barbecue ribs, burgers and big hot dogs.

"We're going to the Vietnamese restaurant." Cecilia's crisp voice warned Mel. He glanced back to his wife and smiled. "Nonsense, you need to remember the sensation of eating a whole rack of ribs, and hell, so do I." Her eyes narrowed slowly. "That's just not good for you, darling."

"But-" Mel didn't get a chance to respond before being cut off in that same calm crisp manner by Cecilia. "We're going to Pho's House, or I'll be serving you collard greens for dinner for the next week." For the normally firm Mel, his face was struck with horror. "No holds barred I see." Cecilia smiled at his comment. "I learned from you, Mel."

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The line jerks briefly before going limp again. Then slowly the line begins to pull taught and unreel from the line. A grin forms on the behemoth's a grin forms on his salivating mouth. As he leans up the boat shifts, sending ripples throughout the lake.

He picks up the rod and uses a single finger to spin the reel in. He keeps a count in his head, "ONE TWO THREE FOUR-EVER FISH" for each revolution of the reel. He keeps repeating this, even though his tempo increases and his head begins to knock back and forth trying to keep up with his internal dialogue.

The fish leaps out of the water and TUM TUM can no longer hold his excitement. He dives out of the boat, catching the fish as they both break the water simultaneously. He plops up in the water and sees that his boat is quickly moving towards the shore line. His fishing pole floats in the area where his boat was floating, its line going into TUM TUM's mouth.

After a quick swim TUM TUM catches the boat on the bank. As he walks out of the water his cheeks are protruding. He stands there for a moment spitting out water like a bizarre fountain. He opens his cooler and spits the fish in.

His giant hands search through his backpack, searching for something important. His arms reach above his head, like Arthur with Excalibur, holding his loaf of bread. He breaks the loaf and scoops up a few fish onto the bread and into his mouth before anything can get soggy.

"TUM TUM LOVE FISH SAMMICH"

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The young man in paint-stained clothes has yet to make a single sale. Perhaps he looks too much like a beggar for tourists to want to donate their vacation dollars. Perhaps he is too much of a beggar, now.

He had had a comfortable life once, and fine things. It would be so easy to turn on the charm, to compliment, flatter, and convince someone that this collection of distorted rectangles would be a unique souvenir, and the perfect capstone to their time in the Emerald City.

Such tactics had lost him what mere money could never replace.

Hoping to convince passersby of his honest intent, the young man rummages through his duffle bag and brings out a badly worn and paint spattered easel and a blank canvass. Focusing his gaze on the Space needle, he begins to paint.

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The blonde teen walked along the streets of Emerald City, trying to not break into a run. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to run or that she couldn’t run at normal speeds; it was that she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. A teen girl walking around was nothing; one running in jeans and a hoodie, as fast as she could would garner attention. And that was what she needed to avoid.

She was hungry and that wasn’t good. Val sighed and bit through a fingernail as she considered her options. There was stealing… but she wasn’t doing that anymore. She wasn’t a villainess; she was a hero but sadly that meant that she was a hungry hero.

Walking behind the small Asian market, she eyed the dumpsters. There’d be some food in there. Grinning, she glanced around to make sure she was alone, then zipped over and started picking through the bad food for some good food. Nothing shameful about this, she told herself as she picked through things. Just modern foraging.

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Setsuna stopped at one of the small stalls that lined the streets in the heart of Jadetown; the smell of fresh herbs overpowering the general aroma of cooked meats and human bodies of the thoroughfare. She smiled at the young man sitting on a stool in the corner of the stall as she looked through the bundles of fresh coriander, lemon grass, and golden needles. His name was Jinri and he spent as much time tending his mother's stall as he did pickpocketing the tourists traps outside of Jadetown. They'd met when his mother had come to Setsuna's mother to borrow money to pay off Jinri's debt to a local Triad gang for pickpocketing inside Jadetown. That was before her parents had divorced - before everything, really. He'd been eight at the time, he would have lost a hand or worse without the loan.

He must be, what, nearly twenty now? He still looks like a kid. Now I feel old. She chuckled at that. She was old. And very, very young.

"Anything I can help you with, Ms. Minamato?" He was suddenly just across from her, his question hopeful and a touch timid. He'd reached down to pick up the spices she'd been reminiscing over, but had stopped just short of touching her. After everything.

She put away the sigh and smiled at him. "Thank you, Jinri. The coriander, the cloves, two bunches of lemongrass, and a small bag of the shichimi, please."

While he put the order in the small cloth back she'd brought with her, she fished her wallet out from her purse. "No, please, Ms. Minamato. No charge. Mother would ki- yell at me if I charged y- a Minamato for spices. Please."

"Jinri-" She tried to hand him the cash, but he pushed the bag at her instead. He jumped when their hands brushed and nearly dropped the spices.

"Please," he pleaded, suddenly looking much more the scared eight-year-old than the man.

She took the bag and stepped away. "Thank you, Jinri. Thank your mother for me, please." She said it softly and hoped her irritation didn't show enough to scare the poor man farther.

It was just that way with some people. Between her family, herself, and Kinse's annoying insistence on letting everyone in Jadetown know that she was "off limits" for anything...

At least the twins will be over tomorrow. I'm more furniture to them than anything else. At that cheery thought a smile stole back on the young woman's lips and she headed for home.

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The slight, apparent adolescent hovered a foot above the floor, legs crossed in the lotus position, her hands resting on her knees, forming the jnana mudra. Below, the marble floor was painted in unwavering cyan light, forming interlinked, geometric patterns of circles and triangles, limned in arcane script.

Ivonne's pale skin, dressed in an elegant, pristine white robe of pure silk, prickled with gooseflesh, her face flushed with colour despite its calm, vacant expression. Mastering the arcane arts was a hard discipline, when she had practiced for over twenty years at the side of the Magnum Mage. And yet, her eternally young body prevented her from entering the deepest of trances, where she could unleash her perceptions further and for longer without damage to her corporeal form.

Thus, she had to resort to lengthy and trying rituals to travel ephemeral realms of time and space she could not otherwise reach. Magnus had been lost, but she would find him, regardless of the cost to herself. A fair exchange for her Master, her adopted father... the one she had come to love as something more, though neither of them had allowed themselves to express it as anything more than fondness.

Around her in the dedicated chamber within the Brownstone In-Between, massive tomes were held open at the ready by unseen, incorporeal servants - cohesive patterns of eldritch energy. Throughout the rest of the impossibly extensive interior of the Brownstone, humble brownies and sprites continued their self-assigned duties with unobtrusive competence, keeping the manor clean and organized and the pantry and larder full, clothes washed and pressed.

And for their work, they sought nothing more than small gifts and food, and an unspecified praise that did not draw attention to themselves.

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The clacking of the cane was a pleasant metronome keeping time with his steps as he made his way through the crowd. It really was a pleasant day, the only downside being the rumbling in his stomach no doubt caused by his morning workout eating up the calories of his breakfast and lunch. A pause at a stall yielded a pleasant styrofoam bowl of crab bisque and a bread roll, and the lecturer sat to enjoy his snack on one of the benches that overlooked the harbor, agile mind never ceasing in it's analysis of data he'd uncovered last night.

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[izanami]: Izanami settled down to the ground after the last of the buildings had been stabalized and the civilians moved out of the area. She smiled at the others, "Well, once we get these four where they should be, if anyone wants some drinks and to talk, my mother owns a restaurant in Jadetown." Her smile became a rueful grin, "She's always after me to have friends over, anyways."

[Trace]: Once the crisis caused by Death Magnetic had been averted, Trace quickly surveyed the damage done to the Yellow Brick Row and inwardly sighed before turning and moving over to the fallen painter and checking his wounds. "Anyone else hurt?" he called out in his strangely muffled voice.

[Gamemaster ]: **DC 15 Treatment check will wake Picasso up**

[Trace]: *rolls* 1d20: 13+11: 24

[blitz]: The sounds of combat stopped and Blitz peered around the edge of the bus she'd taken shelter behind. Death Magnetic was a receeding dot in the sky and Beasty-Girl was down. Blitz smiled a little at her participation; it'd been good to do her stuff again. She'd missed that. But now was not the time to go pal around with the heroes; she needed a real costume for that. She had her Blitzkrieg suit hidden away... Ruefully, she shook her head. Probably not the way to start either. With a sigh, she zipped away from the group, ditched her hoodie and wandered back into the zone at a walk, ready to help like a normal teen.

[izanami]: ((I think we're on to feedback, unless Relentless has a post, Jer?))

[Gamemaster ]: **** END OF CHAT SESSION ****

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Izanami shook her head in response to the masked man's question, "I'm fine. It looks like some of our other helpers have wandered off."

The wail of sirens could be heard now, heading in their direction. "I can stay here and help look for more survivors." She waved at the other masked or concealed metahumans, "Give everyone a chance to make it out without awkward questions, if you want. I'm already know for being...different...so it really doesn't matter to me." She shrugged, "I meant what I said, though. My mother owns Asa no Bara.* Just come by and say you're a friend of mine from the storm. She'll give me a call and I'll come over. Free food and drinks, someone to talk to."

She blinked and belatedly introduced herself. "I'm Izanami, by the way. Well, I'm Izanami and I'm Setsuna Minamato."

*Morning Rose

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Picasso woke up in pain. Not the respectable, artistic sort of pain that supposedly served as inspiration to many, but a sharp, stabbing pain that managed to wrack your entire body despite originating only in one small spot. In this case, his guts were the source of his agony.

He looked down and saw strong hands tying off a bandages wrapped around his stomach, and he remembered the ripping sensation of the beast lady's claws as she slashed at him.

"What happened?" the painter gasped, and instantly regretted it as his face went white and a slight red spot appeared on the bandages.

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"You've been mauled. Luckily your insides are still inside: the damage seems to be confined to the muscles and surface tissue." was the reply as a firm hand rested on Picasso's shoulder, preventing him from sitting up. A hooded man in some kind of padded ninja costume was crouching beside him, blood on the gloved hands that had just finished tying off the bandages. From behind the featureless white mask under the hood, a muffled voice continued "That won't last if you start tensing and jumping around. Lie quiet and wait for a stretcher." It was unmistakably a command, not that the artist needed much encouragement in that regard. Trace straightened up a little stiffly and looked over at Izanami with a nod, his expression hidden behind the blank mask.

"Trace, and I'll certainly stop by later on." he said. "Thank you for the invitation." As he spoke, the masked man ran his fingers over his own ribs, assessing the bruising from Death Magnetic's blast. It was sore, but he'd live. "For now though, I'd better go. Broad daylight and inquisitive police aren't the best combination for me." He half-turned, looking around at the devastation, and those watching could see he was hesitant to leave with work still to be done.

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With the battle over, those uninjured and injured citizens who had not evacuated before now clamored for help. The sounds of emergency vehicles and rescue workers could be heard outside of the Row. Officer Brown appeared with a pair of young children and their mother in tow, "You guys did great work. I hope all them are OK." He indicated the tied and bound villains, "I saw the squid guy and the feral woman change, it was like some kind of monster movie. Wonder if it had something to do with the storm?"

TUM TUM, not really astute enough to clear the debris out of the way, lifts a pair of ambulances and a fire truck over the rubble and into the area. The medic quickly set up a trauma center and get to work while the firemen tackle the remaining fires and begin to look for people still trapped in buildings. With the heroes help, and with the police keeping order, and keeping the media at bay for now, the heroes quickly make short work of rescuing the remaining trapped citizens. Many calls of thanks go out to each of the heroes, some loudly by groups of citizens, others a simple impassioned embrace and tearful thanks.

As the heroes go about their rescue operations they all notice that near the main road access to the Row is a crater and the remains of an exploded truck of some kind. Witnesses in the area say that the truck exploded just before the silver clouds appeared and the storm began. Already people are starting to call the whole event the Silver Storm, and the primary questions being asked are "What was that?" and "What caused the Storm?"

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Originally Posted By: Izanami
Izanami shook her head in response to the masked man's question, "I'm fine. It looks like some of our other helpers have wandered off."

The wail of sirens could be heard now, heading in their direction. "I can stay here and help look for more survivors." She waved at the other masked or concealed metahumans, "Give everyone a chance to make it out without awkward questions, if you want. I'm already know for being...different...so it really doesn't matter to me." She shrugged, "I meant what I said, though. My mother owns Asa no Bara.* Just come by and say you're a friend of mine from the storm. She'll give me a call and I'll come over. Free food and drinks, someone to talk to."

She blinked and belatedly introduced herself. "I'm Izanami, by the way. Well, I'm Izanami and I'm Setsuna Minamato."


*Morning Rose


Relentless slipped over, having quickly scanned the area to ensure that Cecilia was okay. Once satisfied- though he would be having a talk with her from now on, undoubtedly- he came up to the flying young woman and the masked man called Trace. "Call me Relentless. And I too can slip by, provided I can stay out of attention for the next bit. I tend to feel the same way as Trace here."

Considering that his dark blue and gold costume was full-body and held a fully covering mask with only eye-holes, and his tense body language, there was plenty to corroborate his words.

Admittedly, he appeared at odds with leaving for secrecy or staying to help, but then Relentless made his decision. "See you and the others around, Trace, Izanami. If that Death Magnetic bitch pops up, I'll be sure to come and deal with her." Then he headed for one of the buildings, thankful for the police keeping the media away. Entering one of the ruined but clear of victim areas, he clambered over and through the wreckage, working through the alleyways and side streets to avoid notice.

He would get changed back into Mel Grimson, meet up with Cecilia, and lead her back home for now. And tell her that he didn't want her to risk herself like that again. EVER.

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Unaccustomed to hard work of any sort, Picasso had no ambition beyond lying there and resting. Unfortunately, the pain in his guts made resting problematic at best. Perhaps he would be lucky enough for an attractive EMT with strong pain killers to wander by and donate them to the starving artist.

To try to keep his mind off things, Picasso tried to focus on the conversation the others were having, something about stopping by and Trace, and Relentless and Izanami. That wasn't making any sense.

Then there was something about an exploded truck. Maybe that was important. Picasso tried to locate it without moving and see the there was a license plate, make and model, anything to help track it down.

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Blitz - Valentine - came back later, picking her way through the wreckage. She'd walked straight in, having ditched the hoodie and stuffed it in her backpack. It was a tight fit, mostly because she'd put a lot of her stuff in the backpack already. She made every effort to blend into the background at first. Then she felt brave enough to actually approach one of the lingering heroes. "Um, hi," she said the pretty Asian woman, "where can I help?"

She waited nervously, hoping she wouldn't be recognized, even as she hoped she would.

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Picasso wasn't the only one of the heroes interested in the exploded truck he noticed. The slight, petite young woman he had collaborated with to take down the Octo-man, dressed in the voluminous longcoat of white leather trimmed in vivid cyan sigils stepped passed him, her heeled boots clacking on the cracked pavement.

Ivonne frowned behind her high collar. As far as she could tell, it was a mundane truck. Looking for some tell-tale residue, and reflecting on what she had seen when the Silver Storm had bloomed into being, she felt a stab of disappointment. It had been an extraordinary event, but not a fantastic one. For some reason, the possibility of her Master being lost due a mere accident, rather than his or their past coming back to haunt filled her with melancholy.

Shaking her head, Ivonne walked back to where Picasso was reclining, recovering from his wounds. She arched her back in exhaustion, vertebrae crackling, then smiled faintly, placing a fingerlessly-gloved hand on his shoulder. Under his wan colouring, and without being more concerned about others mad with their own power, she noticed he was very fine looking, indeed, if a bedraggled. To her annoyance, she felt her body responding to the flood of teenaged hormones, glad her flushing skin was hidden behind her collar.

"That was quite serendipitous, us having the same thought to freeing those poor citizens from the tentacled-man's grasp. Even better that our tactics meshed so well."

The woman's voice was high and youthful, though a mild, raspy burr lent it an intriguing maturity. She raised her voice, addressing the others Heroes as well. "You may call me Incantatrix. And truly, I look forward to meeting you all again, under considerably less exciting circumstances."

Since Magnus The Magnum Mage mysteriously went missing, she had felt rather lonely facing various mystical malefactors on her own. Perhaps, that would no longer always be the case. Undoubtedly, the Storm had created or masked the arrival of more than just the five villains they had faced.

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When the arriving cops seemed to decide (rightly in his opinion) that they had better things to do than arrest costumed adventurers, the hooded and masked man moved in his unobtrusive way to the edge of the crater surrounded by the ruins of the truck. Crouching there, he studied the blast marks on the surrounding road surface, then the debris that had scattered from the explosion, careful at this stage not to disturb anything. Seemingly uncaring of others watching him, he began turning in place and sighting along his arm at various angles, appearing to use his thumb as a reference in a manner that the painter, in particular, found familiar.

Taking a smartphone from one of the pouches of his harness, Trace then snapped a number of shots of the crater, the debris that had scattered from it, and the blast patterns on the road and buildings. A zip and whir of a grapple-line, and he was on a relatively stable perch atop one of the buildings still (mostly) standing. Snapping a lot more photos, he once more dropped down into the street near the crater and began examining the detritus there, picking up a piece of twisted metal from the truck in his gloved hands and peering closely at it, then poking around the rest of the rubble with a patient, contained air about him.

Click to reveal.. (Investigating the wreckage (Hero Point))

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Trace sets to inspecting the demolished truck. He quickly locates burned and twisted segments of the sides of the truck. Despite the damage from the explosion the company logo can be made out easily enough; Redshift Industries. Trace notes that for later investigation, taking several photos of the logo before moving on. As he does he mentally reviews what he knows about Redshift, and quickly recalls that the company is a local research and development firm that works in the area of energy generation, storage, and efficiency. Redshift recently made headline news when their fuel cell technology was licensed by a major automotive manufacturer for use in hybrid vehicles.

Inside the wreckage of the truck itself is the horribly burned body of the driver as well as the remains of several ruptured tanks of some kind. Looking closer and inspecting the tanks directly Trace notes the presence of a fine metallic dust. The substance glistens in the sunlight and Trace quickly deduces that this is likely the same material that made up the strange silver cloud.

As Trace scoops up a sample of the powder he is approached by an older African-American man. He is tall with noble features, and though he looks to be only in his mid forties he wears the uniform of the Chief of Police. "Excuse me," he says from the edge of the blast area, clearly falling back to crime scene protocol. "My men have said you and your freinds did fine work helping to save those people and subdue these unfortunate victims of this ..." he waves his hand at the general area of the disaster, clearly unable to find the word he finishes simply, "This."

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Izanami blinked at the teen, mostly because she was so calm and willing to help. "Um, well, I'm not sure. Where you here when the storm happened?"

There was something off about the girl, Izzy was pretty sure; for one, she was pretty calm for a teen in the middle a disaster zone. She motioned her over to a an area of sidewalk that was still mostly intact and had a bench on it that managed to come the chaos with only minor scratches. "Did you see what happened to start all of this?"

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“Nah, sure didn’t.” The girl had a strange hint of accent, the slightest clue that English wasn’t her first language. She seemed pretty fluent in it as she continued, “I was just out and about when I saw the storm thing.” She followed Izanami over to the bench but didn’t sit down. “After that, hiding seemed like a good idea and then I walked over here, after all the excitement was done.

“You need some help? Or should I go home an’ play some Dragon Age Two?” Man she wished she could have access to Dragon Age, first or second, and a computer to run it at speed comfortable for her. That’d be sweet!

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Quote:
As Trace scoops up a sample of the powder he is approached by an older African-American man. He is tall with noble features, and though he looks to be only in his mid forties he wears the uniform of the Chief of Police. "Excuse me," he says from the edge of the blast area, clearly falling back to crime scene protocol. "My men have said you and your freinds did fine work helping to save those people and subdue these unfortunate victims of this ..." he waves his hand at the general area of the disaster, clearly unable to find the word he finishes simply, "This."


Trace finished securing the evidence he'd collected, then stepping carefully approached the Police Chief, being sure not to disturb the scene any more than he had already.

"There's more still to do, sir." the hollow voice said from behind the featureless mask. "I've never met these others before today, but I'm sure they'd agree with me on that." The hooded man glanced around, noting who was present and who was absent. The speedster and the other costumed man had disappeared, Izanami was talking to a blonde girl nearby, the huge man who referred to himself as TUM TUM was hoisting vehicles over the blockages in the road, and the young female mage was talking to the artist who's brush had saved so many lives. He glanced back at the Chief and nodded at the blast area.

"Your forensics team will find a silvery residue all over the debris there. I believe that to be related to the storm cloud we saw. With your permission I'd like to perform my own analysis on it, then perhaps compare results with your boys." He glanced over at the triage area he'd started, noting that it was bustling with EMT's now. "There are still wounded that need attention and rubble to shift, but I think I could be of more use in my lab right now." He readied his grapple-line.

"Unless there is something else, Chief, I'll be in touch."

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The chief took a breath, "You understand I've got my eye on you. The two officer's who were here said you and the others did good work, so for now you've got my trust. I don't need to remind you that vigilante work is illegal though, so if you step over that line consider this your warning." He moved closer and held out his hand, "Off the record though I'm glad to know that this city has some heroes ready to step up. Chief Marcus Toliver. You got a name son?"

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The masked man took the offered hand firmly and shook it: a single shake, then release type of shake. Lucas had decided some time before when creating his alter ego that if Trace needed to shake hands, he would do it in a different way to how Lucas Norris usually did it. It was an old piece of tradecraft he'd learned working for UNISON: when creating a 'legend', or false identity, it was good to walk, talk, shake hands and do as many of the ordinary things differently as you could. Lucas walked with a cane, talked in a clear voice with the accent of an Englishman who'd spent a lot of time in other countries, and shook hands in a friendly, warm fashion. Trace was a different man: he had to be, or all hell would break loose.

"Call me Trace." he told the Chief in his hollow, featureless voice. "Good meeting you, Chief Toliver. I'll be in touch - count on it."

With that, the hooded man cast h is grapple line and arced his body with the grace of a professional athlete, swinging up and away over the rooftops.

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Originally Posted By: Incantatrix
Picasso wasn't the only one of the heroes interested in the exploded truck he noticed. The slight, petite young woman he had collaborated with to take down the Octo-man, dressed in the voluminous longcoat of white leather trimmed in vivid cyan sigils stepped passed him, her heeled boots clacking on the cracked pavement.

Ivonne frowned behind her high collar. As far as she could tell, it was a mundane truck. Looking for some tell-tale residue, and reflecting on what she had seen when the Silver Storm had bloomed into being, she felt a stab of disappointment. It had been an extraordinary event, but not a fantastic one. For some reason, the possibility of her Master being lost due a mere accident, rather than his or their past coming back to haunt filled her with melancholy.

Shaking her head, Ivonne walked back to where Picasso was reclining, recovering from his wounds. She arched her back in exhaustion, vertebrae crackling, then smiled faintly, placing a fingerlessly-gloved hand on his shoulder. Under his wan colouring, and without being more concerned about others mad with their own power, she noticed he was very fine looking, indeed, if a bedraggled. To her annoyance, she felt her body responding to the flood of teenaged hormones, glad her flushing skin was hidden behind her collar.

"That was quite serendipitous, us having the same thought to freeing those poor citizens from the tentacled-man's grasp. Even better that our tactics meshed so well."

The woman's voice was high and youthful, though a mild, raspy burr lent it an intriguing maturity. She raised her voice, addressing the others Heroes as well. "You may call me Incantatrix. And truly, I look forward to meeting you all again, under considerably less exciting circumstances."

Since Magnus The Magnum Mage mysteriously went missing, she had felt rather lonely facing various mystical malefactors on her own. Perhaps, that would no longer always be the case. Undoubtedly, the Storm had created or masked the arrival of more than just the five villains they had faced.


Picasso shook his head slightly. He hadn't been trained for forensics and had no clue what to look for, aside from the lack of an obvious license plate. He supposed he'd have to wait and keep playing the wounded hero while others did the real work of helping people.

A gloved, but still feminine hand on his shoulder interrupted his thoughts. Looking up revealed the lady magician (perhaps sorceress suited her better?), face still red from her recent exertions, checking on him. Picasso's own face colored slightly, as he realized how much of a slob he must look. He resolved to find or make a more suitable outfit as time and resources permitted.

Considering what sort of outfit might be suitable for this type of work, he almost missed the sorceress' words entirely. To cover his near lapse, Picasso instinctively flirted back at her, smooth words long a specialty of his.

"I would rather say, fair Lady, that those with Sight and Skill make their own luck. Our tactics doubtless meshed for little other reason than that we both thought first to rescue the helpless."

Waiting until she had finished addressing the other heroes, he briefly grasped her hand and added in a low, clear voice tinged with honest admiration, "You may call me Picasso, and I do find it serendipitous to have worked with you."

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