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Mutants & Masterminds: Emerald City Sentinels - Issue #3: Unauthorized Withdrawls

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Two weeks ago the Silver Storm blasted the Yellow Brick Row and transformed some of Emerald City's citizens into super powered individuals. In two week's time the City's crime rate has increased tenfold, if not more. Heroes have stepped from the shadows to oppose the new batch of super power neer-do-wells. Emerald City's calm has been shattered...

The midday sun shone down on the city, glinting off glass and steel, casting deep dark shadows that contrasted the brightness of the direct light. The bright sunlight glinted off of something outside the bank; something flying towards the doors. The doors to the First Bank of Emerald City blew inward as a cannonball-like form flew through them. Glass shattered out of the twisted frames and tinkled on the tiles floors as it fanned out from the breach. Behind the teller counter multiple hands immediately went for the hidden alarm buttons sending notice to the police of a robbery attempt.

The cannonball skidded to a stop and stood up revealing itself to be a tiny man. His skin gleamed and shone like burnished steel and his bright red clothing and bandanna contrasted sharply with the grey tone of his apparent "flesh". "Makin' an entrance! Yeah baby!," he cried as he charged the nearest security guard.

The man already had his weapon out and was firing at the tiny metal man but the bullets bounced off, having no apparent effect. The midget slammed into the man with bone crunching force and kept right on going heading for the next closest guard. Their weapons had no effect, and they couldn't withstand the impressive impacts, and powerful punches, that the man dealt out in return.

In moments all the guards were down, most unconscious, possibly dying. "Anvil in da' house! Oh Yeah!" Anvil took a running start and charged the heavy steel door that lead behind the teller area. The door crumpled and flew off its hinges as Anvil blasted into the back area. "Bowling Ball Charge, Baby! Oh, yeah!" He pointed at two of the closest tellers, "Start putting money into bags ladies, an' nobody get's hurt. Yeah!"

OOC: At this point its been a few weeks since the Silver Storm, I'm going to assume that all the characters have police scanners of some kind by now to facilitate easier group gathering during these games. Of course you could also be nearby enough to see the commotion, or even in the bank in your civilian guise doing business...

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Emerald City – the other end of town

Suprema was patrolling this part of town since there had been increased gang activities – at least from what she could hear using her superior senses. She was glad that Incantantrix had offered her a home and she spent a lot of time reading the vast library trying to understand earth’s people. Suprema admired their ability to create art and lyric but her daily experience didn’t quiet match with the idealized version she had in her minds eye.

The people of Emerald city were... less inspired and many were opportunistic or downright evil. From a comfortable 1000 feet height she scanned the streets for any sign of troublemakers, especially motorized gangs – they had been the biggest trouble lately.

It didn’t take long and she made out a possible threat. From one side she made out a formation of 6 motorcycles, going at least around 65 mph and getting faster by the second. They were heading towards a heavily trafficed crossing but had no chance to see the approaching bus.

Suprema dropped instantly hoping to reach the crossing before anyone crashed... unfortunately she was just a hair too slow. The gang simply ignored the red sign and crossed the street forcing the bus to a full stop. The driver tried to avoid a crash and turned the wheel which was a rather bad decision. She wasn’t fast enough to stop the bus but at least she would be able to catch it in mid tumble and hopefully put it down without causing too much damage.

The passengers were screaming in panic as the bus was about to flip over when it suddenly stopped in midrotation. Suprema had managed to get under the bus and was now slowly lifting it up. The driver stared at her in disbelief but the passengers quickly cheered in relief that they had been saved.

Suprema placed the bus down next to the bus stop at the crossing and nodded at the driver giving him a thumbs-up waiting for him to nod back. Then she turned around to assess the situation. Several cars had come to a halt, some standing sideways to the road now while others had bumped into each other but aside from minor damage to their cars no one was really hurt.

Standing on the road Suprema sensed something big and heavy approaching. She lift off getting a better overview from the crossing when she found a heavy cement-mixer truck heading towards the crossing and it was way too fast. Suprema looked down and yelled, “Everyone, get off the street! Now!”

She thrust herself forward at full speed without breaking the soundbarrier and reached the truck in no time making eye contact with the driver. “Slow down but don’t hit the breaks, I’ll help you stop your machine.”

The driver didn’t understand at first but already felt his heavy truck slowing down as Suprema carefully exerted her strength to smoothly stop the vehicle. He started to shift gears making the engine whine under the strain the forces of physics caused. The truck came to a stop a few feet away from the crash and Suprema smiled relieved at the driver. “Can you call 911 and an ambulance? I think some people may have suffered trauma from the crashes, thank you.”

The tall amazonian built alien lift off again and floated over the crossing – it looked like the situation was partially under control now. She touched ground again and helped moving cars out of the way and get people out who got stuck – hopefully the ambulance and firefighters would be here soon since she could already hear another alarm in the distance...

Click to reveal..
OOC – Since I’m going to be a little late for Saturday’s session I wrote this little “fic” to explain what Suprema was doing before she joins the others.

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Ivonne was finishing up the latest glyphs in the Brownstone In-Between, integrating new defensive measures with an upgraded security array to reinforce the recent holding cells she had added. Since the Silver Storm, things had been... hectic, and she was still getting used to sharing her home with Suprema. The local authorities didn't always have a readily available means of containing the empowered beings who were infesting Emerald City, so she had developed a number of cells in the bowels of her extra-dimensionally large Brownstone that could contain them for a limited time.

Since she and Suprema - and a number of others - were so busy trying to constrain the chaotic tide, Ivonne didn't have the time to watch the city with her Unshackled Soul, nor even search for Magnus. So throughout the Brownstone, she had set up a series of mystically linked, intricately carved portrait frames, each holding a flat panel of fine crystal, capable of emitting both sound and sight. It was a substantial means of communication and information... once she was able to attune it to the proper channels. The cacophonous assault of such things as MTV and something called American Idol had been a trial.

Suddenly, the crystal pane closest to her flickered, then showed a grainy image - which slowly sharpened - of a bank being assaulted by another man using newly acquired powers. Ivonne sighed.

Power should really only come with skill and experience and the respect it deserves. Using such power for such venal pursuits is a terrible waste.

"The day is never done," Ivonne muttered crossly as she quickly donned the sigil-encrusted, white longcoat of Incantatrix. "If Suprema should return while I am gone, inform her of this latest development," she instructed one of her attending arcane servants while glancing at an overlay of the city, then strode towards a room holding another new item adorning her mystical home.. "I am off to put a hold on an unauthorized withdrawal."

Incantatrix entered the Room of Doorways. Against one wall was a Door leading to the Faerie Realm, bound in cold iron. Incantatrix faced the opposite wall where stood a archway of steel and crystal forming a perfect semi-circle, deeply incised with arcane runes. She waved her hands in eldritch gestures and the archway flared with cyan light, extending the range of her portal.

Incantatrix stepped through the mystic hole in space onto the front steps of the bank, flanked by its carved likenesses of lions, glyphs flowing across her both her skin and longcoat as an incandescent rune bloomed beneath her feet.

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Blitz often loitered downtown. So long as she didn't look too dirty, she was just another kid hanging out, waiting for a bus or killing time. It was a good place to find things; it was also a temptation. So many of the people walking around here were moderately well-off, and it would be so easy for her to slip a wallet out of a pocket, slip out a few bills and put it back. But she resisted the urge - she was a hero now! There was a blurry picture of her in the papers and everything.

An alarm pierced the peace of the downtown and Val sat up on her bench. Showtime! With a grin, walked casually around the corner, then pulled off her hoodie to reveal her costume. She put on her mask, stuffed her backpack under a dumpster and was gone in a blur, racing for the sound...

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While watching reality TV reruns TUM TUM hears on the radio that Anvil is in a downtown Emerald City bank. He jumps up excited and puts on his Anvil t-shirt and super leaps to the show.

bsi_anvil03.gif

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With a silent flurry of motion, the hooded and masked figure of Trace landed on the edge of the rooftop facing the bank, disengaging his grapple with a practiced flick of a hand and reeling it in as he scanned the area.

He didn't usually patrol in broad daylight - it was mere happenstance that the cowled crusader had been sitting drinking coffee a few blocks away in his civilian guise when the earpiece he kept tuned to police bands alerted him to the superpowered crime in progress.

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Quote:
[suprema]: "Why did you run away, Blitz?", Suprema asks the young woman.
[blitz]: For a moment, it seems like she'll ignore Suprema, but the teen shrugged. "Don't like people like that, government agents and the like.

"Anyway!" she said a moment later, perking up a bit, "On the way to Inca's, we should totally eat. I know a great burger joint called Smashmouth Burgers. They're more expensive than Mick-D's, but infinitely better." She'd only had their scraps from the garbage bin but she betted that it would be much better hot and fresh and served on a plate.

A thought occurred and she sheepishly added, "I'm a little short on cash. Can someone float me this time?"

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"How much?" Relentless asked, heading back to the group suddenly. "Sorry about leaving, but I believe in small government and privacy." He moved over to his motorcycle and checked it over for no damage. "So I heard something about Incantrix's place. Are we finally working out a group plan?"

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Suprema nodded at Relentless, "I suppose that is what we're about to do."

Once everyone agreed to meet at Incantatrix’s refuge in the Brownstone-inbetween she opened a portal and guided the heroes through.

They found themselves in an old victorian style villa with a very old and antique touch – it seemed perfectly authentic including how it smelled and the indirect lighting.

Suprema rubbed her neck as she slowly relaxed, she had pushed herself harder than before and even though she was unharmed she could feel that her body had been brought to its limits.

Incantatrix quickly arranged for a place for them to sit and eat and within a few minutes the heroes where half engaged in conversation and having a nice and abundant meal.

Suprema looked at Blitz who stuffed herself like a starving kid. She waited a moment but had to realize that Blitz wouldn’t stop any time soon so she decided to adress Trace instead.

“You seem to have ties to the local law enforcement and those agents from AEGIS were also familiar to you. I’m still trying to understand how you earth people live and what your customs are, would you be so kind and explain me what they want? I understand they want to learn from us but... but I’m not sure what to tell them, I’m not even human.”, Suprema spoke english without accent now and it was suprising that she picked up the language in such little time...

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Trace relaxed, resisting the urge to rub at his knees. They'd stiffen up a bit, but at least he hadn't been overly exerting himself this time. He might even be able to forgo the ice pack. He reached into his hood and unfastened the lower part of his mask, leaving his mouth free for the glass of water he gratefully sipped.

"Not really ties, but I am familiar with how law enforcement works and with AEGIS too." he answered Suprema. Without the vocal modulator giving his voice a hollow, echoing tone the others realised he had a pleasant voice, confident without being abrasive, the faint touches of a transatlantic accent quietly authoritative as he explained. "AEGIS is an acronym, standing for 'American Elite Government Intervention Service.' Their primary duty is to safeguard this country, the U.S.A, from superhuman and large-scale threats. They're a mix between a highly-trained investigative agency and special forces trained to deal with superhuman threats. Their interest in us is probably due to the good work we've been doing since the Silver Storm happened: AEGIS like to covertly assist public-spirited superhumans." Below the white mask, lips twitched in a smile. "After all, better to help us stop the bad guys than to fight a three-way war."

"AEGIS are a good agency to work with. They tend to have a light touch as long as they feel you're up to the task of protecting lives over stomping the villain. They've got good equipment, good intelligence, and good resources. The downside is that you have to play within the line of the law wherever possible - No judge/jury/executioner stuff." He took another sip of water. "I don't think this group has anything to worry about there." He held up a hand. "And no, I'm not AEGIS, nor have I ever been. But I have worked with them a time or two before."

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Blitz’s eyes lit up at the food put before her; though she tried to play it cool, she was practically wiping drool off of her chin as she waited to be served. It didn’t matter what was put in front of her; the young girl ate like the starved, wolfing down serving after serving of food. She seemed to have a hollow leg, as pound after pound of food disappeared down her throat. She ate fast, too; her fork was a blur as she shoveled.

She slowed after fifteen minutes, but she’d already eaten well more than her share of food. By the time that Trace started to explain AEGIS, she was painfully full, for the first time in weeks. The relaxing feeling of not semi-starving made it easier for her not to show any reaction to his words. I guess that AEGIS shows another side of themselves to the villains, she mused, recalling her encounters with them. She couldn’t help tensing slightly when Trace confessed that he’d worked with them in the past. Then she forced herself to relax. You’re a good guy now. Next time, you’ll remember the hostages, too. She had to remain confident about this; she couldn’t go back and she couldn’t have a normal life. Being a hero was all that she could do.

Blitz rose from her chair. “I’m not a fan of government agencies. They are way too focused on the good of their masters than the good of the people. Say, does anyone want these cookies?” Her food-sharp eye had caught the Oreo wrapper and she pulled it out, holding it up.

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Ivonne's cyan eyes widened at the sight of the bag of cookies. She herself preferred ice cream and gelato to assuage her sweet tooth, but Oreo cookies had been Magnus' favorite. I suppose the sprites are just excited being able to provide a meal to a whole group, rather than just me. She was fretting a bit, it was years since The Brownstone In-Between had received so many guests, but so far the magical knick-knacks were being quiet and subtle and her servants, both mystically constructed and fey, were being particularly unobtrusive. Food, astonishingly fresh, vividly coloured, and tasty, appeared on the long neglected dinner table as if by magic... which in a way, it was.

Keeping her cowl up, Incantatrix opened her high collar so she could eat and drink as well, giving Blitz a faint, indulgent smile and waving her fingers in assent. "Please, help yourself, Blitz. I don't partake of cookies often at any rate, though some of my... guests seem quite fond of them." She had noted the girl's evident hunger as well, and waved graciously at the table. "Feel free to any leftovers as well. I... very rarely have guests and this is far more than I can get through before it goes bad."

Taking a bite of something that resembled something like chicken salad, but not quite, Ivonne included everyone in her attention. With her collar open, they could see Incantatrix was a young woman, very young, fifteen at most, slender, with large, intelligent eyes and cute features holding the promise of great beauty. Which made the glass of red wine sitting at her elbow somewhat conspicuous.

"I am afraid I have had very few dealings with government agencies," Incantatrix admitted wryly. "On the whole, they have little understanding of the arcane and for my mentor and I, it was better to avoid them rather than risk... unfortunate misunderstandings. Many react poorly to what can't be explained in a manner that is congruent with their understanding of reality."

The youthful-looking sorceress looked thoughtful, reflecting on their earlier encounter with the AEGIS agents. "Perhaps, both Magnus and I have been underestimating what some could deal with..."

She trailed off, pondering, then suddenly blushed, making herself look even younger, an embarrassed expression on her face. "Oh! It has been some time since I have had guests. The closest facilities, if needed, are right out those doors, the second door on the left." Collecting herself, her eyes grew more serious. "Please do not go wandering unattended. My home... it is very... extensive and we would not want anyone to get lost."

The Brownstone In-Between
Inside, the building has a curious mix of quaint Victorian and Vintage Retro styles, but rooms have a tendency to rearrange themselves on a whim, and sometimes doorways appear to lead places where they should not. The residence abounds with minor magical phenomena: talking paintings and statues, clocks that chime thirteen, and books that open or replace themselves on the shelves on their own. The home is maintained by a number of magically summoned Unseen Servants, and rarely, out of the corner of the eye, sprites or brownies can be seen tidying the place up. None of it seems to perturb its sole resident.

*** Feel free to mention any minor magic effects in your post, if you like, though the sprites and brownies stay unseen, other than a possible flicker out of the corner of your eye. The Unseen Servants for the most part are just than, sometimes materializing visible, but spectral hands. ***

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There were flickers of movement out of the corner of his eyes, but Relentless ignored them, associating them with the other little bits of weirdness that seemed to be part and parcel of this house... and magic too, he supposed. To think this was the world he'd entered. What a strange place it seemed when you had the tight-wearing set with you.

Blitz shoveled food in with an alacrity that he'd seen from some unfortunate indigents one tended to encounter in the poorer places of many cities and towns he'd been to. Damn, is this kid homeless? Shame I can't take her in without questions being asked, the problematic ones. Incantrix looked young too, but the wine and some of her earlier comments to Tum Tum suggested she either acted older than she was or... was older than she looked.

Could be that, this is magic she uses. Course I ain't the brains of this outfit, am I?

Relentless took a light sip of the beer Incantrix's hiding servants had scrounged up at his request. A small look of contentment was on the lower and visible part of his face, the mask pulled a little bit up for drinking access. It was amazingly better than Miller Lite.

"Well, I think everyone can make their decisions for themselves as to meet with AEGIS. But right now... it's time we got coordinated. I doubt we've got the resources or official backing to be the Freedom League up here in Emerald City, but what we certainly need is the ability to communicate with each other fast and share information. If we're running into situations where we're going to have to work together from across the city... a leader then too, someone who can make the final decision if we can't agree when we need to."

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Originally Posted By: Trace

"AEGIS are a good agency to work with. They tend to have a light touch as long as they feel you're up to the task of protecting lives over stomping the villain. They've got good equipment, good intelligence, and good resources. The downside is that you have to play within the line of the law wherever possible - No judge/jury/executioner stuff." He took another sip of water. "I don't think this group has anything to worry about there." He held up a hand. "And no, I'm not AEGIS, nor have I ever been. But I have worked with them a time or two before."


Suprema listened carefully to Trace's words since he seemed to be the best source of knowledge concerning AEGIS. She ignored what Blitz and Relentless had to say about the organisation for the time being but made a mental note to inquire about their negative opinion on the subject.

"I need an honest answer - is it better for me to cooperate with this AEGIS or not? From what I have learned in the few days here on Earth I'm not entirely sure how welcomed Aliens are. There's also Sartok who shouldn't be underestimated - at least this AEGIS should know about him and his potential abilities. He could try to buy his freedom in exchange for advanced technology. Your space shuttle programme seems a lost cause - you are nowhere near interstellar capabilities.", Suprema didn't sound arrogant as she stated the latter, it was merely a given fact.

"Maybe someone could accompany me to meet AEGIS, I'd feel much better if I wasn't alone.", she was already considering her fellow heroes as friends and it showed that she would really prefer having some backup just in case.

Originally Posted By: Mel Grimson

"Well, I think everyone can make their decisions for themselves as to meet with AEGIS. But right now... it's time we got coordinated. I doubt we've got the resources or official backing to be the Freedom League up here in Emerald City, but what we certainly need is the ability to communicate with each other fast and share information. If we're running into situations where we're going to have to work together from across the city... a leader then too, someone who can make the final decision if we can't agree when we need to."


Suprema nodded at Relentless in agreement, "The last days I've been flying patrol over the city. The crime rate of this place is unusually high and it feels as if we're outnumbered by at least three to one. Coordination will be mandatory - I don't know how I could've handled this Anvil without your help."

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“I’m down with working with you guys,” Blitz said, grinning. “You all seem cool. For heroes, I mean.” They wouldn’t be cool enough to be friends or anything, but as teammates, they more than qualified. “So… what can you guys do? I mean, besides what we’ve shown each other. And then we’ll exchange num… ways to reach each other. I’ll need a cell phone. Those pre-paid things… they aren’t expensive, right?” she asked, her voice a bit tense as the subject of money rose to the surface.

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"Cell phones are tappable and trackable." Trace told Blitz evenly. "The equipment to do so isn't hard to get hold of, either. Don't use one."

"I can help with communications." he told all of them. "A secure system, not linked to the cellular networks. Encrypted, uses burst transmissions to reduce intercepts, light as a bluetooth earpiece, and can work off a throat-mike attachment so we don't need to talk out loud." As he spoke, he was drawing together designs in his mind. "The basic models are out there already for military and government use. AEGIS can definitely help us get them, and then I can check and alter them for added security. Without AEGIS's help, it might take longer but it's still do-able." Broad shoulders shrugged under the padded suit. "Tactical exercises are something else we need to work on if we're going to be a team, rather than a mob. If I'd had some time at the bank to read that man better, and if we'd gone in with a solid set of plans to fall back on, it would have been over quicker with less damage to property." The lips visible beneath the mask smiled then. "That said, no innocents were hurt, we worked together despite no planning, and the situation came together nicely other than losing the short man. If I'd thought about it a moment or two more, I'd have had Incantatrix's portal open elsewhere. But time was hurried.

"As for my abilities, nothing superhuman. I'm trained and experienced in handling superpowered conflict, however. What I mainly bring to the table here is technical and investigative know-how. I have unrestricted access to a top of the range lab, contacts in a variety of fields, and a hidden base of operations we can use in emergencies." He looked at Suprema. "I'll also come with you as advisor if you want to talk to AEGIS. Same goes for all of you. I know some of you are nervous because they're the 'Government', but rest assured I won't be going into any place I can't walk out of just as easily." he said with utter confidence. "To be fair, it won't come to that. Emerald City has a supercriminal problem - AEGIS would be stupid to add to the issue by trying to strong arm or control the only locals capable of dealing with it. My guess is that they want to fund us, set us up with official status, then stay out of our way."

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Originally Posted By: Trace
He looked at Suprema. "I'll also come with you as advisor if you want to talk to AEGIS. Same goes for all of you. I know some of you are nervous because they're the 'Government', but rest assured I won't be going into any place I can't walk out of just as easily." he said with utter confidence. "To be fair, it won't come to that. Emerald City has a supercriminal problem - AEGIS would be stupid to add to the issue by trying to strong arm or control the only locals capable of dealing with it. My guess is that they want to fund us, set us up with official status, then stay out of our way."


Suprema nodded and smiled at Trace obviously glad that he offered his help.

"I'm mostly worried about my lack of knowledge about your Culture and Government. I read as much as I could from Incantatrix' Library but I feel it is not the same - not enough... I don't want to make any decisions based on lack of knowledge and experience - all I can do is apply my own sense of justice. I'm still trying to adapt.", she had shrugged off some impressive attacks like they were moskito stings but right now Suprema seemed most vulnerable.

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Incantatrix blinked at Trace with her large, cyan eyes, all the technical jargon passing right over her head, to her annoyance. She might have known a lot about rewriting the laws of physics to suit her whims, but making those laws work for her was something she had not spent much time studying.

Incantatrix flashed Trace a quiet smile. "All that about the secure communication networks sounds very fine," she agreed, then turned to include everyone in her gaze. "As for tactical exercises, I would like to offer my home, as a place for group training." She gestured at their surroundings, her grin turning sardonic, rather mature for her youthful features. "I have more than enough room, I'm sure I can arrange something suitable for our needs. As well, since the finding of Suprema at the crash site, I have been working on a series of cells that can contain the meta-empowered."

Incantatrix reached over and patted Suprema on the arm. "And you have been doing a very good job at adapting too." She gave Trace a somber nod, though he thought he might have seen an interested light in her captivating eyes. "I too, would like you as an advisor when I go speak with AEGIS. They are not an agency I have much experience with."

Blitz got a wry, enigmatic smirk by the young woman that if anything, looked younger than she was. "As for what I can do, well..." Incantatrix snapped her fingers with a flare of eldritch light. "I command the mystic arts and am able to call upon a variety of effects at will. Given time, I am also able perform rituals for more specific or unique tasks."

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"Du meinst, ich fand sie," Blitz muttered under her breath, annoyed with Incantatrix for all of a second. The annoyance faded as the woman revealed she was magic-user. Blitz's green eyes lit up with a spark of curiousity and wariness. There had been a magi in the Razers, too. Blitz had been both fascinated and terrified of him.

"What about you?" she asked Relentless, quite forgetting to tell everyone what she could do.

Click to reveal..
Du meinst, ich fand sie - You mean, I found her

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Relentless' mouth curled up in a wry fashion as he heard Blitz's question. He seemed to be gauging what to say, before a smile broke out. "Super-stubbornness. Really though, I'm just a man, except for the skills and fighting ability I've picked up through an eventful life. That's all to be said. Now, you can fire energy blasts and run like there's no tomorrow apparently. Anything else, Blitz?"

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“Yeah, I can pop locks like no one’s business and I make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” the girl said, just before two oreos disappeared at once between her lips. “I’ve got an advanced metabolism, so I burn through poisons and the like pretty quick, I’m bilingual and I make it look good on the dance floor. I can hide, I’m good with computers and I get the concept of playing for the team.” She grinned unrepentantly and added, “And I’m a very modest person.”

“I see,” Incantatrix replied, smiling.

“An absolute saint,” Blitz assured the mage, even as she inhaled some more cookies.

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