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AWS S2 EP04 - The Ordinary World

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Mizuki Residence, Shelly, Montana

Abel heard the wheels of Sean's Cherokee-Challenger hydrid Little Bigfoot first, and the near inaudible hum of its SLAM-K reactor engine. Moments later, Kia saw its gleaming black contours past byas it came to a stop in the driveway. Kia was already bouncing off the couch when there was two measured knocks on the door.

Kia swung the door wide and looked up at the tall, impossibly gorgeous woman standing there with a smile. Maybe it was because she was feeling more like herself than she ever had, but she couldn't help contrast this veritable goddess of a woman with the boy Sean used to be, a boy that had been even short than she was. But it seemed to her this woman was - or had become - more who Sean was than the undersized girlish boy had been.

"Come in, come in!" Kia gushed pulling Sean into the house, then embracing her with gusto and ending up with a face full of boob due to their disparity in height. "I'm glad you could make it on such short notice. I know, I mean, you all that important science and tech stuff you're doing and-"

"Kia, of course I made it," Sean assured her, hugging her back with unconsciously modulated strength. "I'll always make time for a good friend in need." Sean took a step back, her hands on Kia's shoulders and gave her a thorough, scrutinizing glance, enchanting turquoise eyes seeming to take in all that happened to her friend, then nodded sharply, lips curving into a musing half-smile. "I see."

"Come, I have snacks, cookies, and Abel is already here," Kia said leading Sean to the living room.

Sean didn't say 'I know," swinging her leather coat from her shoulders and hanging it up, and slipping off her short-heeled, low-cut boots , she followed Kia, footsteps soundless on the hardwood floor. Kia didn't seem desperate, dispirited, or disheartened. Indeed, quite the opposite, almost glowing with self-assurance and exuberant serenity.

Sean nodded her greeting to Abel as Kia rejoined him on the couch. Sean took the loveseat on an angle from them, though not before filching a couple of cookies. She crossed her jean-clad legs, tossed her head to shake a lock of dawn coloured hair from her face, and nibbled on a cookie contemplatively as she regarded Kia, and to a lesser extent, Abel, somehow managing to avoid getting a single crumb on her distended shirt that showcased a pair of twenty-sided dice showing the '20' facing and the boast, 'Yes, They're Natural.'

"So. You don't look worried about you're... state, or even really all that concerned, Kia. Indeed, you look pleased, satisfied with the condition. Do you know how this happened? And is there something in particular you want me - us - " she nodded at Abel, "to do about it? Reverse it, if possible? Make sure it doesn't - you - don't unlock again?"

There wasn't any recrimination or condemnation in Sean's melodious voice - though Sean had clearly embraced her quantum enhanced and altered nature - only concern for her friend's desires. She pursed in lips and silently snorted, thinking about Sara, who had dormed down for the day and worked with her dad on a reno project. More wasn't always better - for specific individuals - maybe she should keep that in mind with any home she hoped to have with Sara.

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Kia shook her head. "Not really 'do' about it...I just want to know more. I know why it happened, but not how...and I don't know what happened to the, uh...rest of me?"

She winces a little. "I mean, there was a lot more of me. And I'm just hoping it all disappeared, and isn't floating around in some dimension out there somewhere. That'd be really...yuck."

"And I figured you guys would want to know too, so...yeah." Kia shrugged. "Have at it. Figure it all out."

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Sean looks at Abel and he looks back, if thoughts pass between them neither says anything to Kia about them.

"Ok we'll have to run some tests. I have a few projects I need to clear up then you we'll bring you into the lab and we will figure this out." says Abel.

"In the meantime," chimes in Sean," you said it's something you asked for. Why don't you tell us exactly what happened?"

Spoiler

 Max you can tell them off screen, just let me know if there is anything you do not let them know. this is a good place to finish this section and lets me clear it out. I am relocking the thread so I can now really untangle and get a post getting everyone at the same place. thanks for being patient

 

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Spoiler

This places everyone and everything in the same time frame. for reference Jeane invited everyone to a beach party to be held in a few days Yesterday Kia and pete held their conversation at the same time as that. KIa lost her powers Last night and everything else happened the next morning/day which is where everyone is now. Everything from this point on is occurring concurrently. There will be more posts but i wanted to get this going.

INFERNO AND JEANE

--==[Manhattan, New York]==--


 

“Standby Traceuse , we are going to beam you directly to the source of the information, we believe him to be male, probably in his late teens or early twenties, going by the name Gerry Dorsey . No other identification is available. There has been according to this person three murders and a possible teleportation event. Long range scans do show some Quantum radiation in the vicinity. There is no local access to a transportal network so it is probably a Key. Authorities have been notified.” As the transporter beam took hold Jeane heard one last thing. “Be aware Jeane this is in New York City therefore you have no legal Jurisdiction.”

From the moment Inferno had given a name IS put thing into action via computer command with calls and notifications so that Traceuse was actually materializing a few feet away from him while he was still explaining things to the Reception/AI called Alexa.

“Don't be alarmed Gerry,” she interrupted her spiel about reward/compensation, “but a representative of IS is materializing at your location. They will be taking over as they are on site. Good luck Gerry and have a pleasant remainder to your day.”


 

As the voice spoke Mikey became aware of a slight buzzing hum and when he glanced over toward where the sound seemed to originate he saw the shimmer of a transporter beam just like the ones in that old TV show and a very tall muscular woman materializing within. She was very attractive and he was sure he had seen her on TV before.

 

SEAN AND ABEL

***Irregular Solutions HQ, sublevel 8 Research lab 2. ***

 

Sean leaned back her mind processing what she had just seen from the video recordings of Abel's lab. For safety as much as security all of the IS labs had 100% coverage for video and audio, and today had been the first time that coverage had truly proven it's worth.

“And this is all of the footage?”

Abel nodded he was not happy first Kia then while he was finishing up projects to make space and time to figure out what had happened to her this had happened. “That's all of it, minus the missing images from the cameras that where within the space of the anomaly. All I pulled up were 57 seconds of nothing,” replied Abel. He crossed his arms and leaned back against the desk facing Sean. I can't explain it. The was no Quantum surge nothing triggered anything and from the brief moment he was here I felt no quantum signature.”

Abruptly Sean stood and walked to where the Anomaly took place, her exquisite feature showing her disappointment. As soon as she had arrived and Abel had explained what had happened, before she had even looked at the video she had attempted to use her power of post cognition to reveal what had happened only to find that as far as her power could determine nothing had. Oh she saw Abel's reaction to what he had perceived but not the cause of that reaction and like Abel she too was unable to find any evidence of Quantum energy except for Abel's own signature. She was about to say something when a voice issued from the ambient speakers.

“Abel, Sean, the voice belonged to the AI Alexa, “There is an event which may involve and unknown Key with Teleport or Warp powers In New York. Traceuse has been dispatched but I thought you would want to be informed”

“It never just rains...” muttered Abel.

 

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Abel looked at Sean, and in one of the more growing rare moments, Abel opened his mind via guildchat, and set his memories of the entire incident to the forefront of his mind.  Here, Sean, I'll show you my memories, maybe seeing them will help.  Still, it looks like we have other things we need to attend to.   She got to see the entire interaction between the two of them, how the different Abel looked, everything.  Still it was a mystery to be unraveled later, now that they had a situation involving other Keys brewing.

"Something for later, We should head up topside, in case we need to go back Jeane up."

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19 hours ago, AWS ST said:

--==[Manhattan, New York]==--

As the voice spoke Mikey became aware of a slight buzzing hum and when he glanced over toward where the sound seemed to originate he saw the shimmer of a transporter beam just like the ones in that old TV show and a very tall muscular woman materializing within. She was very attractive and he was sure he had seen her on TV before.

"Materialize?"  Mike muttered at his handset with a look of confusion.

Then Broadzilla arrived in a glimmering shimmer of sparkles and molecular bonding.  Thankfully it wasn't the strangest thing he'd seen this day or he might have said something stupid, instead he went with.  "Jesus lady, what do they feed you?"

There didn't seem to anything out of the ordinary with 'Gerry' save for his eyes.  There were no visible pupils irises, his eyes were just bleached pure, solid white.  Obviously, barring some strange contacts, that marked him as a key, but aside from that he looked like any other guy off the street in a hoodie, jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt that she assumed was probably some local or unknown band considering 'Argyle Snot' wasn't on any of the major labels she'd heard of.

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Jeane couldn't help but snort in amusement at Mike's little outburst. Well, there was only so much a sky-blue hoodie and pair of grey leggings could do to conceal the fact she was a 6'11 amazon  now, and Keys did have a more honest reaction to her than 90% of normal people. The disguised PAM suit, proudly emblazoned with the Irregular Solutions logo, was hoovering up everything around her, hopefully enough for the brain trust to come up with an answer to what went on here. Jeane's priority was the young man in front of her, and she flashed a reassuring smile down at him, trying not loom.

"Dead monsters and optimism mostly, Gerry. It *is* Gerry, right? Anyway, my name's Jeane," she offered, voice still warm, "Did they hurt you? Are you feeling okay? Trust me, we have your back, and nothing is going to happen to you that I won't know about and complain loudly about if needed."

The NYPD would probably take offense if she followed her gut and just took the white-eyed teen with her back to the HQ without asking nicely and providing a contact number, but if they did insist on taking him in on charges or questioning, there would be zero opportunities for Rashoudesque bullshit under her watch. She'd sit on the holding facility personally and make sure the team had the best eyes available on him 24-7 until they let him out again. First crisis with her on point. This was going to go right. It had to.  

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"Chill, lady, jeeez.  You're as intense as cocaine enema," although Jeane was incredibly calm, Mike was not the kinda guy who was sued to twenty questions shotgunned at him right out of the gate.  It didn't surprise him, generally people in Jeane's position were an intense bunch, field operatives had to be to get the job done.  Still, for a New York street kid she may as well had been holding a megaphone and screaming slowly like he was retarded.  Considering he hadn't quit staring at her tits yet, there was a strong argument for retardation.

"How?  Like... that's you?  Wow... there's no like... angry dwarf in there running the show?" He made fists and moved them back and forth like he was working levers.  If Jeane had ever wondered what a blown mind looked like... well, here it was.

"Gerry," Jeane folded her arms and looked at him.

"Okay, okay... sorry, but I'm like... 'holy shit' right now, alright?"  He walked away, finally prying his eyes away from the part of her that was eye level with him.  "So, it's Mike, by the way.  I don't give people my name over the phone.  It's a messed up world.  Rapists and druggies... crazy shit.  So... dude was over here," He stood by where he smashed through the window, which took a decent portion of the wall with it.  There were blackened scorch marks at the point of impact and a lot of the discarded plastic garbage seemed withered and melted.  It smelled like burning. 

"I was down there," he pointed to the courtyard below.  "There were these three dudes down below jacking some lady, right?  Then BAM, three shots from up here.  Dude begins handing out trepanning discounts all gangsta like.  So I sees it, right?  And I'm all like, 'not in my town', right?  So I flew up here and tackled dude, right?   We tumbled and he said some weird shit in German or Korean or he might been from Philly, cuz those clothes was all kinds of weird.  So he said something and some kinda... I dunno, opened up and sucked him inside."

"Aaaand here we are.  Oh, dude's gun is over there," he pointed to where he set the gun.  "So... you guys like live in mansion or like a volcano or something?"

"Montana." Jeane replied trying to process that barrage of words.

"Oh, yeah?  Cool.  Cool.  I'm a Maple Leafs fan, myself but the Canadien's are doing alright."  He nodded his head.  "Nothing wrong with Canada, it's alright.  I've never been.  I know lots of Canadian people though, very friendly.  Does that zapper thingie like have to pay tolls or anything or do you guys like, have this border agreement or something?"

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The towering blonde held out her hands in a calming gesture. She'd correct him later. 

"Something like that," answered Jeane with thoughts of Pete and her embryonic scheme to sort out the whole 'teleporting across international borders' thing streaming in the background of her mind before firmly shunting her full focus back on the newly dubbed 'Mike', "Here's what's going to happen. We're going to wait for the police to show up, and I'm going to try to get you back to our base with the rifle as soon as possible after that just in case the guy you stopped from possibly killing more people has angry friends, Mike. They get pushy and want to keep you around, we get you a lawyer before you say *anything*."

Sean had given her a few numbers to what she had assumed were good ones for these needs.

"Do you have anyone you want us to call who might worry when you come with me? Shouldn't be anywhere near as interesting as when I ran, literally, into my first Key situation, but it might take some time to sort out. Heh. Sounds like you did better than I did, too, so congrats."

As she waited for his reply, a ten watt grin on her face, she fed the conversation up the link to Abel and Sean, ready to receive feedback if they felt like chiming in.

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"Oooooh," Mike sucked his teeth.  "Yeah, see, the police and me... we ain't on the greatest of terms.  In fact I was running from them when I sorta landed in this.  I may have a warrant out for me."

"Disorderly conduct, defacing property, evading, interfering with an investigation,  suspicion of trafficking stolen stuff, conspiracy to sell said stolen stuff, actually selling said stolen stuff, larceny from an auto, larceny in general to be honest with you." He shrugged and he ticked off the charges on his fingers.  "Or two.  A warrant or two.  Oh, and I slammed my bare ass on Officer Digg's driver side window last month."  He laughed then stopped, shaking his head.  "He didn't laugh though.  Very stoic.  I admire his dedication."

He smacked his hands together.  "So, that said, I was a pleasure, but I can't be here when the 1st Bacon Brigade arrives.  You got this though, totally got this.  You got the glittery thing and the height advantage, y'know, if they try and dunk on you or something... you'll do fine.  These dudes ain't gully like me, I can't be here."

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Jeane had had Abel erase 99% of the memories from Pandora's Box, all but the last loop where they kicked Pandora's ass. And the simmering trauma of that nightmare, how bad humans could be to other humans, looped endlessly in the depths of her mind, driving her forward.

Mike's glib dismissal of his situation plus the sirens and ambulances she could hear from the street outside punctured the control she kept it under for a heartbeat, and in that time, the link was spiked with a single burst of raw emotional static, the towering blonde sucking in an audible breath to rein it back in, cutting off the feed of her senses into the link.

"Okay. Listen, Mike, cause I'm only going to say this once," she started, all levity, all good humor, drained from her manner, "Unless you're a modern Jack the God damn Ripper, the people you potentially pissed off today could do much much much worse to you than what the cops out there would ever do to you. We don't know yet. That's the scary thing. And until we figure them out and bring them down, you're one stubbed toe away from being their fodder. My first crisis? When I was freerunning with my crew and keeping my powers hidden in Norfolk? If the Irregulars hadn't found me, I would have blindly walked into a triple threat of hazards, each of whom could have killed me without a sweat. That was me, then. This is you, now."

She sucked in another breath, keeping her voice low and controlled, "I can be very, very persuasive, and I give you my word it will be okay if you give us a chance to make it okay. Let me make it okay for you. Nothing says you can't drop off the grid afterwards, but for now... Trust me."  

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"Yeah, yeah, I got the whole persuasive thing too.  I had people buying things only worth forty bucks buying it for sixty just because I said the right words. Natural salesman, I get it, I was doing it and making cash like crazy, but it didn't feel right.  If it's worth forty, then it should be forty, y'know?  I wouldn't appreciate people doing that kinda shit to me, it's just wrong."

Jeane shook her head, a bit dumbfounded.  "And fencing people's stolen property, that didn't occur to you as wrong?"

"No, why," he looked at her like she had something on her face.  "Should it?  Look all I'm sayin' is that these guys don't like me, I'm a career offender.  While I appreciate the notion, us going down there and gaggledy-gooking their brains... man, that's messed up.  They're good guys.  A little fat, but good guys, my pops used to know a lot of them."

"Was he a cop too?"

"No, alcoholic.  Used to beat on moms a lot, so they'd be out visiting every couple of days."  Mike shrugged, pacing around.  "Don't apologize or nothing.  People always wanna lead into 'I'm sorry to hear that', bullshit.  She was no angel.  Addict, more like.  She'd bet hopped up, he'd be wasted, do the math, y'know?  My point is, home wasn't an option so here I am and those guys,"  He motioned out the window to the police below.  "I know they're just doing their job, but I'm an easy win for them.  No one saw me not do all this which is as good as 'he prolly did it, lock him up'.  You seem like a great gal, Angry Dwarf Lady, I got much love of athletic women."  He pounded his heart twice and kissed two digits on his hand and raised it high.  "I know I did nothing wrong, but making them see that by messing with their heads doesn't seem like a fair trade.  What if I mess up their childhood, or make their dicks shrink or something like that?  I heard we give off like mad New-trino/Old-trino type radiation or some shit."

He shrugged.  "Well, Diggs is already bald... guess we can sneak that one by him.  I mean still though... you don't go messin' with a dude's dick, y'feel me?  In this economy, that's like all us dude's got left."

"Sucks being broke, y'know?"  He didn't even seem to realize there was a more pressing matter to attend to at the moment.  "Hustlin', survivin'.  Trying to keep a conscience in all this madness out here it's all C.R.E.A.M. mentality.  Then I get these powers, and I can do anything.  First thought?  I'll go turn over a liquor store.  So I'm out there right?  I'm about to do it and I think: 'What if this was my store?  How would I feel if someone came and jacked up my way of life and took from my family?'.  I mean, that's the whole problem... we're people who have nothing out here taking from people who have nothing and... I don't know, Dwarf Lady.  All this power and... a fucking liquor store."

He looked down from the window and sighed.  "I'm supposed to be hard and do what I gotta to survive, but these people getting hurt all day for nothing, it doesn't click right with me.  I'm too stupid to be good at anything, dropped out because eating felt more logical than learning plus hiding the bruises pops was laying on me..."  He inhaled.  "Y'know what?  Fuck it, Angry Dwarf, let's do this shit.  They arrest me, they arrest me.  Three hots and a cot, right?  At least there's that.  I'll meet you down there, and no messin' with their heads, leave their dicks alone, they're just doing their jobs."

He took a few steps back and hurled himself out of the window.  Jeane's 'oh shit' reflex kicked in, especially that depressing as hell monologue, but when she got to the window he was hovering upwards, with constricted flames around his hands and feet providing thrust.  His once white eyes were now exploding to life with living flame that licked up eyebrows and forehead.  "Don't wait up, Shorty."  He shot her a wink and fell backward, free falling a few stories before igniting his thrusters again and soaring down to the police.

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And that had been going so well up until the point he had rushed out at potentially trigger-happy cops handling a crime scene. At least she was guaranteed to beat him to the ground.

Jeane vanished in a burst of lightning, using the extended moment of transition to try and center herself before emerging again from an echoing burst of crimson spark in the street outside the emerging perimeter of crime scene tape between Mike and the nearest police officer. She had her very best 'I'm a Key, and I'm here to help.'  grin in place, hands clearly visible. "Hi. Jeane Hebert, Irregular Solutions. Don't shoot, please," she called,  "Or at least don't shoot him. He's with me."

'Heads up, guys. If they start shooting, I'm grabbing Mike and getting us clear and will explain after. Yell at me all you want.' 

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NEW YORK CRIME SCENE

To say hands went to guns in an instant would be an understatement, however the shock and awe of a flaming youth and an extremely gorgeous amazon pretty much froze all the mortals in place and so the guns, while handle stayed in holsters for the time being. As mike slowly descended Jeane 's hyper perceptions and intelligence took in the situation.

Three police cruisers were there lights flashing parked nose-in in a semi circle around the crime scene blocking most of the street, between the cruisers were two big EMT ambulances. Sirens in the distance indicated more first responders on the way both medical and police. On the ground lay three men, teens really two obviously dead with sheets covering them haphazardly while a pair of EMTs were working over the third who had a  massive gun shot wound to his right shoulder and chest. A second pair of EMTs were checking out and comforting an attractive woman in her late twenties or early thirties who appeared shaken but relatively unharmed except fro some minor bruises and abrasions where she had fallen down during the attack. Around the scene were the six uniformed police who had been setting a crime scene perimeter and about a half dozen more onlooker drawn to the unfolding spectacle.

Jeane noticed that the neighborhood was residential with the street lined with small apartment buildings and brownstone homes, and a few businesses such as cafes and sandwich shops and small boutique style shops. Very upper middle class.

All of the policemen were facing the new comers, five of them as well as everyone else staring at the giantess and one cop looking up at Mike.

"For pete's sake Mikey, tell me you ain't got nothing to do with this" Said Officer Liam Donovan to the flying flaming youth.

Spoiler

EMT - Emergency Medical Technician, Officer Donovan is one of the cops who sort of looked out for mike when mike was still at home and subject to abuse. he is a tough old cop with a heart of gold who is out to save the world and has made it his mission to save mikey before he retires....

TRINIDAD

Devin was drowning his bruised ego with a very expensive and tasty coffee in an outside cafe on Trinidad. Laurie hadn't laid a finger on him yet he felt like he'd geen kicked in the stomach a dozen times. His first thought was to go to Lilly but then even he realized what a dick move that would be so he jaunted around till he found this little spot and settle in for a sulk.

'CLINK"

the sound of a cup meeting a saucer was distinct and overly loud even to his incredible senses as if the single sound had been meant for him and him alone. Then he noticed that all the other sounds seemed muted and distant. He could still hear them but he had to concentrate to make it so. Slowly Devin turned his head to the left , the direction from where the coffee/saucer auditory combo had originated from. There at the table next to his sat a teddy bear, wearing a bright blue blazer with some sort of yachting patch on the left breast, a pair of black framed sunglasses straight out of a nineteen sixties hip movie and topping it off with a yachting cap which matched the jacket.

The bear turned it's head to face him and nodded. "We havn't met yet, Jaunt, I'm Hooli."

THE NIPPON TRANSPORTAL NETWORK GRAND OPENING

TOKYO, JAPAN

THE CENTRAL TRANSPORTAL HUB

Japan had been working with the USA in secret for almost two decades after the initial trans-portals had been created in America. The Japanese saw how this technology could transform lives across the globe and most importantly across Japan. They had embraced it. So in the last year working with their partners in American and by themselves and with the emergence of the KEYs and the Alien technologies which led to the perfection of the Transportal tech and it's improvement and advancement, Japan even more so than the United States was poised to become the leader in Transportal tech.

Today the Network of transportals linking every city in the island nation and Okinawa would go live. Not only where all population centers with more than 1000 people linked into the network but even those whose villages didn't yet have a dedicated portal had access to one within a 5 mile distance. Within the major cities like Tokyo and Yokohama, city wide networks linking the major areas to a city hub which in turn would link tot he central hub in Tokyo and thence the wold. Japan would be the first nation to to have complete nation wide coverage with instantaneous travel to any other part of their nation and connection to every other nation with active transportals across the globe and beyond. A stupendous achievement in a very short time.

Japan had declared it to be a national Holiday and so all school sand most businesses were closed and thousands had gathered at Tokyo's hub as well as the other city hubs to celebrate.

Cade and his sister, at the Tokyo hub with there parents had broken away to try to make it to the central stage. They had heard that along with many national celebrities and dignitaries that some of the important Transportal People from the United States where there including one of the most famous of the KEYs, the Irregular known as Vanguard, Lilly Pryor, one of Cade's sisters Haruka's heroes.

"Oh my god, Cade! There she is!" cried Haruka grasping his arm as she jumped up and down with excitement.

Cade for his part wasn't all to sure this was a good idea since he wantd to keep his own unlocking a secret he willed his own powers to stay off and smiled at his sister then looked where she was pointing and saw the goddess.

 

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5 hours ago, AWS ST said:

NEW YORK CRIME SCENE

All of the policemen were facing the new comers, five of them as well as everyone else staring at the giantess and one cop looking up at Mike.

"For pete's sake Mikey, tell me you ain't got nothing to do with this" Said Officer Liam Donovan to the flying flaming youth.

Mikey dropped to the ground as his flames went from a focused thrust to just... being fire.  Fire that happened to be all over his fore arms, eyes and feet and despite the very real nature of it, didn't seem to be burning him or his clothes.  He looked over to Glamera (giant monster bimbo references were not getting old in his head). "Don't shoot please?"  He asked as he looked at her.  "You realize that's exactly how you get shot in this town right?  Might wanna try approaching from a distance next time, give people time to take you in instead of just popping in like that and scarring the shit out of every one... Christ, this your first time?  Cops're jumpy, girl."

He had no clue that it was actually Jeane's first field assignment.

"Donnie!" Mike walked over as four armed officers all trained their guns on him.  He raised his hands and stopped, taking a few steps back.  "Woah, guys, chill... it's cool, alright?  Donnie, I had nothing to do with this, sorta."

Officer Donovan motioned for the others to lower their guns.  "Can you understand why we might a little jumpy?"  He waved a finger all about the flaming display that was Mikey Jensen.

Jean looked at him and folded her arms while saying dryly, "You're on fire and talking to cops with loaded guns.  Cops're jumpy Mike.  This your first time?"

"Oh!  Oh, shit, I'm so sorry guys, seriously, I keep forgetting and I don't feel it... like a hat indoors, you know?  You forget you're wearing it so you leave it on...," the flames sputtered out as they grew smaller, almost like he was absorbing them back into his body.  It seemed an unconscious effort on his part and he showed no real signs of noticing it was happening.  "Pretty cool though, right?"

"Mikey, two men are dead.  Help us out here, why are you two here and what is going on?"  Officer Donovan asked.

"Okay, so like, obvs, I got powers, right?  So I was just walking over there and stuff and then..." Mike explained the entire situation to Officer Donovan.  His story, minus a few 'likes' and 'rights' was pretty much on par with what he told Jeane just moments before.  From the me men being shot, to him soaring off to where the shooter was perched.  He told them the gun was there and how the guy escaped.  "And that's when I called the mutant people, because, like, you guys don't really give a shit after the first forty eight, and that dude is prolly in like, Russia or some shit and that's like a couple days away, plus lay overs... but they're from Canada so they're closer."

"Mikey, shut up."  Officer Donovan just shook his head, rubbing the bridge of his nose.  He turned to face Jeane.  "Ms. Hubert, I believe I heard?  Officer Liam Donovan, I see you've found our village idiot."

"Hey," Mike shot back.  "I'm right here you know."

"Canada is nowhere near Russia, Mikey."  His long time guardian angel chuckled.

"It's not?"

"I rest my case," He shook Jeane's over sized hand.  "He's a good guy, just hasn't had the opportunities some of us have had."  She knew he meant Mikey who was now talking with the other four officer and showing them fire from the palm of his hand while they asked him questions like if it hurt or not.  He presented her with his card.  "So, anything to add?  I'm assuming you guy handle things like this but, what jurisdiction do you have?  How do we go about setting up a communication pipeline?"

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Violence had been averted. Mission success so far.

"Well, we have a phone number for this sort of thing, and if I can't for whatever reason, someone will get back to you as soon as they can to keep you in the loop. We have federal backing to try and solve these... kinds of problems, but local law trumps federal law, and if you let us have Mike long enough to make sure he's safe and the people behind it are brought in, he'll be back, Officer. Alien rifles, teleporting Keys, and the willingness to combine them in basically untraceable murders are exactly what IS is worried about, though, and a Key reckless as Mike alone after interfering with one of their operations when we don't know why they're doing it..?"

The towering blonde sighed, running a hand through her hair and glancing over at the new Key's antics, blue eyes wistful and concerned before shifting back to Donovan, "Could mean another fight with Mike as the actual target next time, and both he *and* New York might not be as lucky on a second run. I work with some very smart people, but even they'll need a little time to figure this out from nothing. I'd rather be sure he was safe rather than hope he was safe while we work."

She smiled again, "So who do we talk to about making that happen?"    

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He was charming, Tease had to give him that. After ten minutes of meaningless small talk they were in the vette on the road to Great Falls and as he had said "The best shopping and dining Montana has to offer."

Why she had agreed she couldn't say but she had and she also knew that even if he were a serial killer she had nothing to fear.

"Well, arn't you going to pitch me some stupid movie or TV show?" They had just passed through Conrad and the local radio crackled out so that Dennis had to keep hitting the search button. "You'd think the rental agency would put sirrius in these things out here but no...." He looked  over at his way to beautiful way to young passenger and for the umpteenth time wondered why he was here himself, but there was something about her and it wasn't the beauty or the sex appeal, that certainly didn't bother him although he knew from what he read that even he couldn't resit her or probably any of them if they didn't want him too. But still here he was.

"Nah not exactly. I left that studio. Even if i could have convinced you to come do movies for them it would have been a disaster they would have tried to own you , you would have ended up owning them and there I'd be caught in the middle. I don't want to be in the middle. I want to be the partner. I want to be your partner." He looked over at her and saw that look on that perfect face.

"Not that kind of partner... the business kind. Face it any job I could get you  you can get yourself and a ten times better deal. Sure I know people and have connections but if you spend a day in Holly Wood you'll have  more connections and shit than a hundred of me can get in a life time."

Tease laughed, "So why am I in this car with you?"

"Because Marissa, I think you could remake Hollywood, I think you can be so much more than than the super self absorbed little bitch persona you try to project. I research you honey, after we met. and not super you  but the before super you. Your smart, personable and you had drive. I want you to harness that and become the queen of entertainment I want all of the upcoming actors and actresses to bask in your shadow and they will if that what you want. And I want to work with you. You can do everything I can do except one thing. be a shield, a buffer, some one to give you advice whether you take it or not. Be a friend when everyone else is trying to sell you something. Like I said a partner."

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Tease didn't say much else as she pondered what he offered.  Ten minutes later she'd asked him to pull over at a roadside diner, yes Montana roads still had a diner here or there, and this one in particular had one of Tease's biggest vices: milkshakes.  They sat, or 'leaned comfortably' on the hood of his Corvette while they enjoyed a quick bite before continuing on.

Dennis watched her as she wolfed down a triple cheeseburger while other young women her age looked on in abject horror and minor jealousy that she could eat like she did and not worry about calories.  "That's just amazing," Dennis said, shaking his head.  "As much as you want and you don't gain a pound?"

"Kind of," she replied, catching a dab of mustard in the corner of her mouth and licking it off her finger.  "See, Sean ran a few tests and my powers aren't like the others.  I didn't gain their hyper metabolism or resistance to pathogens or extremes.  He thinks it's something to do with my being able to make those same toxins and transmit them through my skin or saliva.  So, unlike them, I still need sleep, can't stand a room of mustard gas, or run marathons anytime soon.  On the plus side, I can get black out drunk, or high as a kite with the bonus that my liver won't rot or lungs or other organs won't fail on me.  We're not sure the science... but I'm not immune to the effects of the stuff, but it can't hurt me if I abuse it."  She shrugged, "I don't know."

"Wait," Dennis chuckled.  "You're poisonous."

She offered him a coy, salacious smirk.  "Venomous.  And, kind of.  It's not poison, or just poison.  I can replicate pretty much anything from poisons to designer drugs.  I could shake your hand and within a few seconds it would be as if you just snorted ten lines in a cheap hotel bathroom.  Your heart would probably explode too."

"That is so fucked up," he laughed, shaking his head.

"Yeah," she nodded.  She chewed some more and took a sip of her milkshake.  "I didn't get the metabolism, but I did get the appetite.  I have no idea where it all goes, but Sean thinks my body breaks it down and transfers it right to my node for energy."  She shrugged.  "I dunno.  What I do have is what she calls 'Appearance Alteration'.  It allows me to mentally control my appearance, from the make up I have on, to the color of my hair, its length, boob size, and to some extent, my weight.  It's permanent until I change it to something else, or gain a few pounds, but every morning as part of my ritual of getting ready, I adjust my weight and sculpt my muscle tone."

"Pardon my asking," he waited a moment to finish his bite from his burger, but rolled his finger like he was going to say something, he just needed a minute.  "If you can change all that stuff, why you ain't gone... y'know..."

"Bigger?"  She asked.  "Because that's a man's fantasy.  You ever tried running with massive tits?  I've found the gravity defying, perfectly firm, comic book style breast shape is more than adequate.  So, we came all the way out here to talk about my chest?"

"No, no," he shook his head laughing again.  "God, no.  Like I said, I was just asking.  The things you guys can do it's... it's just a head trip is all."

"So, about what you said, about being a partner?"  Tease crunched up the wrapper of her triple bypass burger and tossed it at a waste basket just a few feet from where she as sitting.  She missed and it rolled pretty much back to her, but with a shrug she continued on.  "Just so I understand your proposal, you want me to use my powers of manipulation and persuasion coupled with complete mental domination, to bring the entertainment industry to its knees while you and I are sitting in the thrones they're kneeling to?"

"Well," he leaned his head from side to side like he was weighing her words.  "That's a real immoral, dishonest, and illegal way of putting it.  We probably shouldn't ever-"

"Because I am totally down for that," Tease replied with more enthusiasm than he'd heard from her since he'd met her.

"We can explore those as options, I suppose," his line of thought did a complete one eighty.  "But first... what I'm telling you, Marissa-"

"Tease,"  she corrected him.

"Fine, Tease. What I'm telling you, Tease, is that we won't have to use those sorts of tactics.  I know the people, you have the talent.  We could make it."

Tease nodded, "Yeah, but what's to stop me from just doing it myself?  I mean, it kind of feels like you're just using me."

"It's because I am," his honestly hit her like a slap to the face.  Dennis was a no bullshit kinda guy and his honesty just never seemed to be at anything but a ten.  "I just want the American Dream, Tease, but that's the catch, it's a dream.  We are not entitled to be rich, or have power.  No one is guaranteed to make it in this world.  I've worked very hard, darlin' and I've had my ideas stolen by big producers, I've had talent bought away from me by higher bidders with lower standards for their clients.  Am I looking for a little payback?  Oh, yeah.  We can turn the industry on it's ear.  So, you give me a chance to teach you everything there is to know about Hollywood and I will show you the Penthouses and the gutters.  The high rollers and the low ballers and most important of all: there is nothing but devils and demons in the City of Angels and they all want a free ride to Heaven."

"So, you just thought you'd slip into the Cave of Wonders and steal yourself a lamp," she summed up his explanation with metaphor.

He shrugged.  "Ali-Baba had his 40 thieves, Scheherazade had her 1,000 tales... I have a Tease.  Look, all I'm asking for is a partnership, fifty-fifty down the middle.  I'll be your mentor, your guide, your advisor.  I'll help you with who to talk to, what deals are legit or worth taking, show you where the money is... if I know it, you'll know it."

"Hell of a pitch," the teenage woman said while she smirked and winked at a guy who'd been staring at her for the last ten minutes.  "Say I were to consider it, I'd have rules.  Like first, when it comes to my abilities or powers, I call the shots.  Nobody is charmed, mesmerized, enchanted or otherwise infatuated by my gifts unless I deign it fit to use them."

"Fair enough," he nodded.

"...and the 'bitch' thing?  It's not just an act.  We all pay a price for our power, Dennis.  My brother's ego and desire for glory shot to titanic levels after he gained his powers.  The others, they're all sociopaths or obsessives of some sort.  In a nut shell, we're all a little crazy.  For me?  My competitiveness for popularity and status launched to insane levels.  I can't help being a bitch because I learned everything I know about being a female mogul from 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'.  I don't think I'm better than everyone, Dennis, I know I am.  I'm convinced that every baseline around me is nothing more than a servant or a fool ready to just do my bidding, because they are.  Every time I try to be normal, that attitude and sense of superiority claws and screams at me until I give in.  It's not a switch I just flip and be a regular teenager again and still have my powers."  She seemed a little sad, like there was a self awareness about the fun, all around great young woman she used to be and the superior, raging bitch she'd become.  As the saying went: 'all power has a price'.

"You're not... dangerous, are you?"  Dennis asked.

"Well, yeah... I can coat my lips in cyanide, I'd say I'm dangerous," she mused with a chuckle.  "But, no.  My attitude doesn't make me dangerous, I won't hurt people or anything, at least not physically.  I'm cruel and snobbish, but it mostly pushes people away from me, makes them dislike me."

"Yet your powers pull them back to you..."

"No, I have to use my powers to pull them back to me, but since I'm using my powers, the things they feel aren't genuine,"  she sighed.

"Always alone, even in a crowd."

"Pretty much," she chuckled again.  The young man who'd been staring the entire time finally worked up the courage and approached the pair on the Corvette.  Tease smiled at him as he walked over and that smile swept away some of the butterflies that swirled in his stomach.  To assume Tease was out of his league would have an understatement.  "Hi," she greeted him in a flirtatious tone.

"Hey."  He smiled back, offering her a nod.  "I was uh, well, I noticed you and I was wondering if-"

She cut him off.  "Cool, uh, hey, would you kindly throw that burger wrapper away for me?  I completely missed," her voice took an innocent, ditzy tone.  "I feel so clumsy."

"Y-yeah, no problem," he replied as the dumb smile on his face suddenly seemed plastered there like she was a DC villain who'd infected him with something.  He knelt at her feet allowing his eyes to look up at her in abject wonder awe.  Everything about her was everything he'd ever want in a woman and no other woman in his life after this day would hold hold a cnadle to her splendor.  He scooped up the wrapper and tossed it in the waste bin.  "A-anything else?  Because I was thinking maybe I could give you my num-"

"You can go now."  She cut him off flatly and with a rash sense of jaw smacking reality.  Uncrossing her legs she slid from her spot on the car, swung the door open and offered the strange guy a wink.  "That's all I needed.  Oh, and uh," she gave the guy a once over and winced.  "Don't take this too harshly, but, if I were you, I'd seriously get used to rejection."

Dennis sighed and shook his head as the Corvette sped out of the parking lot and they were on their way again.  "You're gonna be a handful, I can already tell."

She grinned as her eyes cycled through a series of shimmering and luminous colors from purple to blue to green, each one a thousand times more vibrant than a human eyes was capable of.  She finally settled on a sparkling purple, a color she and her brother seemed to fancy.  She grinned as she looked into the mirror of the visor.  "You have no idea."

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Cade throttled his powers not for the first time.  He stood out in the crowd, being quite tall for his age, while Haruka was a foot shorter.  He was actually worried about the portals, in that he'd read some articles that led him to believe going through a portal might reveal him to be an unlocked Key.  It was why, had any other person tried to drag him here, he'd have begged off.  Still he rarely said no to his little sister, So here he was.

A flash of embarrassment went through his mind as she gasped and exclaimed upon seeing her personal hero.  Lilly was certainly an attractive young woman.   He could easily see her playing Donna Troy in a Wonder Woman movie.  Still, she was a Key who was out and proud, something he couldn't do just yet.  He wasn't quite ready.  "She's pretty I'll warrant, and If everything they say is true, She's a hero too."

"Maybe we can get to meet her?"  Haruka asked excitedly.   

Wincing inwardly he expected that request.   "We'll see."  He didn't want to say no, but he didn't want to be found out, or make her go to try see her on her own with all these people around.
 

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MIAMI FLORIDA

FIGMENT

Maria stood in the candy ailse at the corner store looking at all the colorful wrappers, she wanted something , not candy, not anything you could get in a store, but candy would suffice sweets always filled the void when nothing else was there.

She had come home from the dance studio, stepped into the apartment and smelled the scents of her mom's cooking filling the air, the noise of her brothers video games coming from the TV which she could see from the door. She didn't see her brother because of the sofa in front of her blocking the view but knew he would be lying on the floor or leaning on that same sofa maybe with one of his friends from the building.

No one said hi, probably hadn't noticed that she had come home. She closed the door and as if a bell had been rung her moms voice had called out,” maria, is that you?” She didn't wait for an answer just too a breath and continued with out so much as a greeting, “I need you to run to the store we are out of milk. There is some money in my purse.”

Maria had looked toward the kitchen dropped her bag by the door and went and took ten dollars from her moms purse and without a word left the apartment.

 

She picked up one of her favorite candy bars and grabbed one for her brother and went to the counter to make her purchase. The cashier and older Latina didn't notice her in fact the woman also named Maria looked right through her and called the young man behind her forward. The man edged around her without acknowledgment and set a soda and a can of tuna on the counter just then there was aloud noise at the back of the store. Checkout Maria called out and then there was the sound of breaking glass and Checkout Maria cursed wildly in Spanish and said “Be right back” to the customer as she raced to see who had broken what.

Maria watched the cashier race around the counter and disappear down the aisle, then she turned back as the man half hopped up on the counter and pulled something out of his pocket and slapped it on the side of the registrar then the man slapped some buttons, the drawer flew open and he grabbed cash from the drawer, took the thing from the side of the register and was off the counter darting for the door taking the cash, the soda and leaving the tuna.

Maria looked at the can of tuna back at man pushing door open, back toward where Checkout Maria had gone where she saw another man now running toward the door then back at the tuna and the still open register drawer. Maria saw that the man had not gotten all the cash....

Spoiler

all yours maria

 

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Maria watched what was happening before an almost kind of slow-motion as she considered what to do. As the guy began to push the door open she decided and outside police sirens could be head from a half dozen cars pulling into the parking lot, door flying open as police stepped out, guns drawn, surrounding the doorway. 

"Freeze!"  the cops shouted in all manner of deep, intimidating voices  "On the ground! Now! Arms and legs spread!" the continued to bark as more and more cop cars came screeching into the parking lot painting everything in alternating red and blue light.

The thieves stood dumbfounded.

""On the ground! Now! Arms and legs spread!" one reiterated, his voice sounding maybe a little too much like The Rock as several of the officers approached, their heavy footfalls and the rustling of their belts easily heard. Not knowing what else to do the pair each made a decision. One lay down, looking terrified and the other bolted.

'Shit!' Maria thought to herself and made a snap decision, running the same direction at the runner, but invisibly running right through the walls shelves, displays, salon chairs and so forth of the various business of the strip mall to cut the guy off, snagging a bag of zip-ties that vanished off the shelf of the small auto parts shop. What she though would have been a tough footrace, even running through the walls, actually turned out to be easier than she expected, as she was still not full adjusted to her physiology.

She passed through the wall at the far end of the strap mall just before the runner rounded the corner. With a mental decision she re-solidified, though remained invisible, and stuck slid her invisible leg out, bracing it as best she could. The runner, looking back over his shoulder at the police that were, for whatever reason, not giving chase, probably would not have noticed Maria's leg, even if it were visible and went face first into the sidewalk as soon as he hit it, unable to really make an attempt to keep his balance.

Surprised, the guy turned around, wiping some blood from his face. Maria assumed that he would not submit to being bound without a fight, so she decided to give him one. The exchange was very brief, given Marian's newfound strength, just a couple of blows, but he had managed to get in a lucky blow as he punched wildly around himself before finally going down. Maria pulled out the bag of zip-ties, tore it open, and bound his wrists behind his back. She hefted him up with surprising casualness as he vanished from sight as well, and ran back.

The thief on the ground in front of the store was confused. The cops were surrounding him, and yelling at him, but not a single one had made a move to handcuff him. Just as he was beginning to get some courage, his accomplice just appeared on the pavement next to him, unconscious and bleeding from his face, his wrists bound behind his back. He blinked at the newly appeared young man and placed his hands out to his sides, pushing up to rise as one of the cops stepped close and put his knee in his back.

"Where are you going, punk?"said the cop who sounded maybe a little too much like Norman Reedus.

As the cop pressed his knee into the guys back, Maria, still invisible, stepped into the image of the officer and pushed him down with her knee, grasping his wrists and pulling them behind his back to bind them and his feet with the zip-ties.

The clerk stood inside, watching the scene with the cops through the glass, and the guy just appear on the ground, with a phone in her hand, having already dialed 911 for help. Maria could hear the sounds of sirens, real ones, approaching and rose up. When she judged they were just a few seconds away, the cops and patrol cars all just.. vanished. Maria the clerk dropped the phone and stood there slack-jawed as a police car pulled into the parking lot. Maria, still out of sight watched as the cops approached the two bound men and the clerk, who began to babble  about she saw, or didn't see.

Maria smiled and walked in, collecting her bag, which promptly vanished, and walked home. The least they could do give her a gallon of milk and a few candy bars for all she did for the store...

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Shelly, Montana

On 3/22/2019 at 3:38 PM, AWS ST said:

“Abel, Sean, the voice belonged to the AI Alexa, “There is an event which may involve and unknown Key with Teleport or Warp powers In New York. Traceuse has been dispatched but I thought you would want to be informed”

"Thank you, Alexa," Sean replied calmly to the Semi-autonomous Intelligence. The Alexa Proxy Program had a limited ability to evolve and adapt within its own purview and had ended up one of her most polished and successful Proxy Programs. "Keep us updated with anything on this matter than warrants our attention."

Sean rolled her shoulders in a way that would make anyone with eyes have their heart skip a beat or ten as Abel sent her his memory of the encounter with his doppelganger. It was intriguing and disconcerting that nothing registered to her vast and incisive perceptions. And while Abel's mental information packet let her witness what he did, she couldn't use her own extraordinary senses on the memory. She studied the playback, noting every detail she could - perhaps Abel had seen something without inferring any particular significance.

"Let's trust that Jeane can deal with the growing situation in New York for now. We have our own investigations to look into at the moment Abel." She arched a brow at Abel as they walked through the halls of IS HQ. She couldn't actually read his mind, but she was familiar enough with his expressions and micro-expressions to know what he was thinking. "Yes, it is highly unlikely that all this happening at once is a coincidence. Jeane can stay on top of NYC."

Sean pursed her lips musingly. She had seen the subtle, but deep, changes in Keys since their return from the Quantum Realm. They had evolved, expanded in every manner, physical, mental, even social. There was a subtle change in the way they held themselves, how they looked and reacted to things, even their looks had improved. The qualitative improvements had affected The Irregulars, and every other Key she had encountered.

Every Key had changed, every Key but herself. Her quantum expression had already enhanced her every attribute. She didn't feel any different between before going to the Quantum Realm and dealing with the Titans, and afterwards, except for a tinge of regret that it had come down to destroying entities that had existed since near the beginning of the universe.

Perhaps her friends would have a better understanding of how she had changed since unlocking, now that they had enhanced in much the way she had, if not to the same degree. In self-reflection, Sean didn't think she was precisely jealous, but there was... something. It wasn't ruefulness, but after the encounter on the Quantum Realm, every Key, current and future, had been granted a gift, while she had not, having already been enhanced in the same way.

She sighed. Reality, this one or any other, might have a certain balance respective to it, but it had no injunction to be fair.

"Abel, you focus on what happened to Kia." Sean flashed him a quick grin. "She is your girlfriend after all - I'll help with anything on the biology side, if needed, while you back up Jeane with anything on the technical side. I'm going to look into your doppelganger, which may require a completely new way of detecting his... proximity. I have a couple of hypotheses on that. He might be from a universe or continuum where the laws of physics operate differently, or he might make use of some manner of 'anti' quantum, something that operates on a completely opposite wavelength, making it invisible, intangible, to our senses, and possibly other powers."

They got updates from Jeane as they reached the ground floor. <Abel will handle initial tech support if needed, Jeane, but right now, you're on site, so it's all your call. We're not going to yell at you if don't handle things the way we would have.>

"On that note, I'm heading out for lunch, with my girlfriend, if I can get her away from work." Sean nodded towards the front doors. Unlike the vast majority of the Irregulars, she still needed sustenance. It was kinda funny that was one of the few things she had in common with Tease, along with a few other similar or comparable quantum quirks, which she discovered running a few tests for the trying woman. "I've been out of town for a few days and Sara and I need to talk. I'll be back later, Abel."

She gave a rich, melodious chuckle. "Probably. I still need a vacation and there's something I'd like to look into, purely for my own curiosity."

Sean strode out of IS HQ and towards her car, typing out a quick text to Sara.

- In Shelly. Lunch? -

Sean was seated behind the wheel of Little Bigfoot, powering it up. She was about to text again, when her phone chirped.

- Sure -

- Kk -

Jack Cassidy called lunch and Sara straightened up, stretching her back and pulling off her work gloves. She opened and closed her fingers, working out the kinks and aches. It was a good ache, the ache of honest work. She set the gloves aside and saw the gleaming black Little Bigfoot parked across from the worksite, the unmistakable form of her girlfriend perched on the edge of the hood.

Even dormed, Sean was an eye-catching sight. Supermodel tall, long of leg, impressive of endowment. Her deep red hair - the colours of dawn faded away with dormancy - hung loose past her shoulders, but her remarkable turquoise eyes were almost as vivid and enchanting as when she had quantum energy coursing through her.

Sean gave Sara a small wave, her lips curved in an inviting, half-apologetic smile. She didn't think she was in the wrong in their argument, but she regretted that it had descended into actually shouting. Hopefully, they could work out a compromise that suited them both without so much histrionics this time. Maybe Sara needed a vacation too - likely not where Sean had in mind, but it might interest her too.

Dormed herself, Sean didn't feel the need - or rather wouldn't intuitively over analyze every permutation of how their conversation might go, wouldn't unconsciously try to direct it as she wanted. They could just... talk.

And maybe make-up later, if Sara didn't mind being late getting back to work.

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NEW YORK

"We'll have to wait for a detective to get here ma'am, shouldn't be long." said Donovan in answer to Jeane's query.

On 3/24/2019 at 1:09 PM, Inferno said:

"Mikey, two men are dead.  Help us out here, why are you two here and what is going on?"  Officer Donovan asked.

Mikey had been looking at the scene of the crime from the second his over attached guardian angel cop had said that, taking in the details and sorting them unconsciously. "Only two of them are dead." He muttered and stepped over to where the EMTs were still working on the third.

Jeane followed the Key's direction with her eyes. "Do you need help getting that guy to a hospital?"

Mikey didn't understand, what was going onin his head as he looked at what was before him and played back what he had seen. "The shooter didn't miss, he meant to hit him in the shoulder. If he had taken the kill shot," he looked where the round had hit the sidewalk and ricocheted into a nearby car, "it would have killed her too."

Everyone looked at the woman sitting on the back of the ambulance.

 

TRINIDAD

Devin just stared.

"Really. You have nothing to say? That is a universal first." said the teddy bear picking up his cup of tea and taking a slip. "Beautiful view by the way, you do know how to pick a good spot to take a break or run away to."

 

 

SHELLY, MONTANA

[now]

Sean's back hit the wall, she felt hands on her breasts through the fabric of her shirt, felt fingers fumbling with buttons as Sara pressed her mouth against hers in a full blown passionate kiss, the first in what seemed like weeks. This was much better than lunch had been.

[an hour ago]

Sara hadn't waved back she said something to her dad, who had waved, that Sean couldn't hear dormed down as she was, then Sara had grabbed her jacket and sated walking toward the heavily customized SUV. The short haired blonde walked up to her gave he a half hug and a quick kiss that told Sean that Sara was still angry, then went around to the passenger side of the car and looked at her over the roof as she slipped a pair of sunglasses on. "Where we going to eat?"

 

IS HQ

SHELLY MONTANA

Abel collected some gear and then texted Kia. He hadn't broached the subject of reestablishing a psychic link with her yet but he planned too.

>Kia, somehting has occured at the lab and it might be best if we do the scans elswhere. How about I pick you up do the scans remotly and while the computers are doing there thing we grab some lunch?<

 

 

 

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NEW YORK

Jeane's eyes narrowed in thought. She had done a lot of free running the last few years, and she could count the number of actual violent crimes she had had to deal with on her fingers and toes. Even now, with her newly expanded awareness since Pandora's Box, she hadn't run into a whole lot of them. A shooter that good with access to that tech and teleportation just happening to be on hand when a girl was getting mugged..? Based on what she'd been told, a half-dozen theories as to the 'how' were dancing through her head. The possible 'whys' outnumbered those by a lot, if; thens forking off into useless infinity. Okay. Stop thinking. Just do.  

The towering blonde shifted her gaze from the woman back down to Donovan, "Who was she again, Officer?"

"Tamara Shemylok, Ms. Hubert, Graduate student from Columbia by her statement," he offered back, the wheels turning behind his eyes as well. The beginnings of a media circus were taking vigorous root outside the parameter, hastened no doubt by the presence of not one, but two, Keys. Jeane could picture the chatter bubbling out into the internet as she spoke with the officer. 

"Hmmm," Jeane replied noncommittally, already opening up the mental link to her mentor and friend, 'Abel. What can you come up with on Tamara Shemylok? Our shooter and his friends didn't want her hurt in the mugging they interrupted. Very not sure why yet.'

Adding the apparent victim's face to the tail end of her spurt, Jeane chuckled softly, "Ballistics aren't my strong point, so how good of a shot would you have to be to know that you'd hit her and shift targets in a hurry? While killing two others?" 

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NEW YORK

Donovan looked up at the tall Key then at the building that Mikey had flown down from where the shooter, alleged shooter had apparently made his three shots. "God would have had to be guiding those bullets ma'am."

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>Kia, somehting has occured at the lab and it might be best if we do the scans elswhere. How about I pick you up do the scans remotly and while the computers are doing there thing we grab some lunch?<

Kia had to laugh to herself when the text came through. It was just like Abel to frame meeting for lunch in terms of getting scans made. It wasn't a mocking sort of laugh though...she actually thought it was cute, even if it did underscore some of the tensions between them. She hoped he wouldn't take any of what was happening personally. She didn't want him to feel like he should change.

Having already ridden her bicycle out to a little secondhand store she really liked, it wound be easy enough for Abel to find her.

>Sure. I'm over at Cedar Closet. Might be at Jacobsen's by the time you get here though. It's practically right next door though.<

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Abel frowned.   it wasn't so much that he didn't trust Jeane, but she was alone, and Sean seemed so utterly unconcerned.  Alone the Irregulars were vulnerable.  Pandora had already proven that once.  Still, short of going there himself, which was akin to telling Jeane he didn't think she could handle it, his options were limited.    So he fed the information Jeane sent him into Alexa's search parameters, and let the AI go to work, with notes to alert him, and Jeane when it was done.  Having heard her question mentally, he sighed.  There is tech that would allow them to make such a shot without being a key, though, an actual  Key could.   I know I could make such a shot, as could Sean.


Done for now, he packed away everything and made his way topside, His Pam suit shifting to resemble a simple jeans and Tshirt like he used to wear so often.   Though still relatively young, it was impossible to miss the looks he drew from some of the staff, heading out actually looking somewhat like a regular teenager.   What seemed even more abnormal was that Abel still drove the same jeep he'd had before, unlike the custom monster Sean had.   Some habits and preferences died hard.

The drive to the Cedar Closet shop wasn't long, and sure enough,  She'd already moved on.   Parking in front of Jacobsen's Abel went inside, quickly finding his way to Kia, that warm friendly smile genuine.  "Sure enough, you were right."  Kia seemed smaller to him now, though she hadn't changed really.  He'd grown used knowing there was so much more going on with her after that first hand look at her powers, and now, seeing her without them...  The big thing he'd seen after she lost her powers, her very status as a Key,  was that Kia was happy.

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On 3/31/2019 at 1:07 PM, AWS ST said:

Devin just stared.

"Really. You have nothing to say? That is a universal first." said the teddy bear picking up his cup of tea and taking a slip. "Beautiful view by the way, you do know how to pick a good spot to take a break or run away to."

Jaw slightly agape Devin focused his power.  His node swelled and pulsed and charged with very might that made him akin to gods...

Nothing.

"Ugh!" He broke off his gaze before his head hurt too much or he ruptured a vessel.  "Damnit Creepy Bear, how do you do that?!"  He fumed.  Jaunt, the unparalleled master (his words) of co-locative subjective temporal phenomena (Master of Time of Space) had thought there was nothing he didn't know about manipulating the time stream... but this damn bear... no matter how hard Devin tried he could not breech the temporal null-zone (stopped time) the bear created when he appeared.

Frankly, it was unfair.

So, Posh Bear with his Brit-Flair Stare just smirked as Devin kept trying.  Finally he conceded.  "Okay, fine, yes... Trinidad is beautiful.  What do you want?"  He grumbled angrily.  He got up and walked away a few steps.

Wait for it. Posh Bear thought...

"And I'm not running."

There it is.

"I'm searching," Jaunt tapped his chest.  "I couldn't protect the world, Lil' Dude.  All these brains, all this power... and she... she wrecked like me, man."

"I'm not like the others.  Content to be normal when normal people don't do what we do.  Normal people are what have been messing this planet up for thousands of years and Sean wants to give them better tech to do it with.  I need more power.  Somewhere there has to be a way to train, to learn, to become more..."

"More than?" Asked his stuffed companion.

"This.  This weak thing that got dropped by a Titan like I was..." he paused, his fists clenched as he searched for the words.  "Normal."

He looked at the bear and sighed.  "Don't give me that look, I'm not crazy, I'm guilt stricken.  I failed.  I failed myself, I failed the world... I failed them.  All in different ways... but still, I failed.  I just don't want this weakness anymore, y'know?"

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THE NIPPON TRANSPORTAL NETWORK GRAND OPENING

TOKYO, JAPAN

THE CENTRAL TRANSPORTAL HUB

Lilly had packed for the trip a bit sullenly. She looked forward to it, but was bummed that Kia, her BFF would not be going. It was Tokyo! Kia would have loved it. Despite that, when Lilly got there with her parents, she could not help but be almost overcome with the city. She had been in cities before, of course, but having lived in Shelly for the last several year had gotten her more used to small town life. Tokyo, on the other hand, was a true city, in every sense of the word. People on top of people along towering skyscrapers, a never ended flow of cars and more lights that Las Vegas. The city also had its balance of new and old though, which Lilly found captivating. Ancient temples, shrines and gardens nestled among the urban landscape, bring moments of calm and serene beauty to a place that was so busy and full of concrete, neon and glass.

And then there was the people. Lilly had never seen so many people in her life. With it being a national holiday and a huge celebration for the opening of the network taking place (and the rumors of one of the Irregulars being in attendance), the populous had turned out in force. Lilly was not there in any sort of official or formal capacity. Just like her mother, she had really just accompanied her father who was the formal guest. Lilly was one of the two most well known faces of the Irregulars though, and far more approachable to the average person than Sean, since, though she was certainly beautiful and amazon-esque, she did not have the unearth beauty of Sean, nor the matching intellect that could make some of the most intelligent people on the plant feel like bumbling undergrad students. So even though she was not there in an official capacity, she had come to accept she was pretty always in a de facto official capacity.

For her part, Lilly was all smiles and remarkably polite and well mannered, even by Japanese standards. Social situations like this seemed to come more naturally to her now, she would intuitively know just what to say or do, and on the rare occasion she did commit a faux pas, it was quickly and easily overlooked. She would bow, shake hands, pose for selfies with people and generally served as an ambassador for Keys to the general population, trying to humanize them, trying to stop ant possible rift from form between them and regular people. Despite her all her power, and the fact that she and her friends had literally saved the planet several times now, and was even an athletic prodigy before her Unlocking, she was still supremely humble, down to earth and approachable, never quite being fully comfortable with the terms like "hero" or the attention and even praise and idolization that she received, which only proved to bring in turn because of her humbleness.

Some of the Japanese fans could be a little... overzealous... if Lilly were being honest, some showing up in what were basically cosplays of her, with their hair back in her all but trademarked ponytail and wearing some of the exact same clothing and athletic apparel (or extremely close versions of them) that she would wear, some even with fake, prop weights or I-beams tied into knots. It was flattering on one level, but on another level it was kinda creepy. Still though, Lilly was nothing but friendly and polite, seeming to find the time everybody, which may or may not have to do with the fact that due to the crowd, people did not realize there was more than one Lilly there. Normally she was hesitant to use her powers for something like this, but she thought it would be a nice change of pace for the other Vanguards to get to enjoy the more fun side of life, rather than just serving as battle reinforcements.

Still, with a crowd this size and so many people being in proximity throughout the day, the Lillys could not help but to 'ping' the crowd searching for other Keys. With her node likely being the largest on the planet, it would be difficult if they were trying to hide, but she assumed it a good idea to at least get a handle on the number of them there as the various Lilly's greeted and took selfies with the crowd.

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Shelly, Montana

[Now]

Sean felt the stacked stone veneer of the bathroom wall dig into her back as Sara pressed her against the bathroom wall, but hardly cared as she fiercely kissed Sara back, their tongues wrestling. Sean's fitted button-down shirt lost most of its buttons as Sara nearly ripped it open, a small sound of frustration escaping their locked lips when Sara found a lacy black v-necked camisole underneath, deep, fair cleavage on full display.

Sean's muted moan of delight joined Sara's frustration as she felt the stiffened, rounded points crowning her breasts being teased. Sean tangled one hand in Sara's short blond hair, the other cupping her ass and lifting Sara off the ground, enough that the shorter woman had to tilt her head down slightly to maintain the breath-taking kiss. Sean arched her back and Sara wrapped a leg around Sean's hip for more leverage.

So much better than lunch and the food had been more than good enough. Still, Sean's lambent turquoise eyes cut to the door to the bathroom, then to the other side towards the wooden doors of the stalls decorated with wood burned crescent moons. This was considerably more public than Sean preferred... she also didn't want the genuine, passionate need to end.

Sara could feel Sean trying to smile through their kiss and opened her eyes to see Sean arch a questioning brow. Here or elsewhere her gorgeous eyes asked, as long as it didn't end.

[Then]

On 3/31/2019 at 2:07 PM, AWS ST said:

"Where we going to eat?"

Sean glanced away, hiding a wince at Sara's terse and tense tone. A few days apart hadn't mellowed things out and Sean bristled, realizing she had hoped that it had and it hadn't. She wasn't even sure who she was irritated most by, herself or Sara. Sean rapped the silvery rings of her Savant Multitool on her left hand on the roof of her vehicle, then turned back to look at Sara over the top of her car, her half smile brittle and forced.

"There's always Bunnie's, but I'd thought we'd try a new place that just opened up, The Big Sky Dive," Sean said, faintly feigned cheer in her melodious voice. "Source and cuisine all from Montana. I hear the food is great, even if the place is a bit, hmm, hipstery."

"Fine, that's fine." Sara's tone was neutral, and with her sunglasses, Sean couldn't see the expression in her eyes. The door slammed just a touch too loudly as Sara settled into the passenger seat.

Sean sighed, then climbed in behind the wheel and put Little Bigfoot into gear and started driving down Packing Plant Road.

When they pulled into the small parking lot of The Big Sky Dive and walked through the front doors, even without her nearly peerless senses, Sean could practically hear Sara's eyes roll. To be fair, some of that eye-rolling, might have been her own. The place was decorated all in stone and hardwood, like picturesque hunting lodge. The guy behind the bar was the very archetype of a hipster, with the glasses, beard and curled mustache, plaid flannel and beanie, stark black tattoos on his forearms.

"If this is a vegan only place, I might have to kill you, Sean," Sara muttered up at her taller girlfriend.

"If this a vegan only place, I'll let you," Sean admitted.

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On 3/31/2019 at 4:38 PM, AWS ST said:

NEW YORK

Donovan looked up at the tall Key then at the building that Mikey had flown down from where the shooter, alleged shooter had apparently made his three shots. "God would have had to be guiding those bullets ma'am."

God or something like it Jeane almost voiced aloud, stopping herself at the last second with a grunt. One of her teammates could have made the shots or made a gadget to let a trained shooter make those shots. Not that the shooter was probably a Key based on how quick he ran without stopping to grab his... 

"...Shit," Jeane cursed, not catching this one annoyed with herself and scowling at the oversight, "Officer, were you able to get someone to secure the room where the shooter was? Last thing we need is the rifle walking off on us." 

"Not yet, Miss," the cop responded, "Given how short handed we are until the Detective gets here, I'll take the heat for letting you secure that scene. Just don't disrupt it more than you have to."

The towering blonde chuckled, smiling again and fully conscious of the flash of cameras outside the crime scene tape, "I won't. Try and keep Mike in one piece while I do that okay? I don't think they'd get some retaliation together this quickly, but you never know."

She didn't wait for his answer, reading the unspoken affirmative reply even as she let the lightning disassemble her in a heartbeat and reverse the miracle on the other side a few blocks down and a few stories up. Room unchanged. Alien rifle still present. Good. The sleeves of her PAM suit turned molten at the end and flowed into a pair of gloves that matched her leggings, just in case... Jeane settled down to wait for the Detective, a not-so-unseen guardian angel standing in the hole in the wall drawing off a chunk of the media circus, keeping one eye on Mike and the other on the rifle. Let them try and send someone to grab it. She'd be ready. 

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"Keep an eye on me?  I don't need a babysitter," Mike said.  As Jean disappeared Mike shook his head.  With all the teleporting she was doing, it could have been her for all Mike knew.  "Well, s'all good Donnie, you got my number, so gimme a call if you need anything else.  Cool?"

"Mikey, you're a witness to a double homicide-" Officer Donovan tried to point out but Mike cut him off.

"And I gave you a statement, bro.  Unless I'm a suspect and you're charging me, you can't hold me here... and I got a serious hankerin' for Mrs. Esposito's empanadas."  Mike was right, unless he was being charged he couldn't be held and since Glamera seemed to have it all under control, it was empanada time.  "Seriously, if they need me to, I'll fly down and make another statement for the detectives, but bro, I totally hooked you up." He motioned to the building he confronted the shooter in.  "She sees everything, knows everything, can be anywhere you need her to be.  She's got this, Donnie.  You're welcome."

He smiled a flattering smile like it spoke volumes for all the favors he'd done for the people of New York today.  "You got my number, bro'."  His body ignited and flames shot from feet and hands and in a moment he was launched like a rocket into the sky soaring towards the building where he hovered just outside the hole in the wall.  His eyes were burning orbs of scorching fire as flames consumed his arms and legs.  How his clothes were not on fire was one of those science things Sean would have to explain at length later.

"So," he hovered, using his hands and positioning his legs to balance the thrust.  "Yeah, good to meet you n' all that, but you seem to got this covered.  I'mna go get an empanada and a coffee or something.  I'm like totes starving all the time.  You got my number, right?"

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NEW YORK

The her before the aftereffects of Pandora's Box changed her mind would have been yelling and making dramatic gestures with a crackling lightning axe graduating up to straight up violence and kidnapping the burning idiot in front of her, regardless of the media presence. As it was, the first Underversan monster she could lure away from it's mob was going to have a very, very bad, very, very short, day.

"Yeah, we do," Jeane answered, pausing to suck in a breath and hold up one hand, "*But* if  you hang around as long as it takes for the cops to get someone else up here, I can take you to meet some fun people back at the HQ, get some free food that's to die for, and hang out for a couple days until we figure out if the guy you stopped will settle this beef with more friends and bigger guns. Two days, all I ask, Mike. Give me that, and you'll never have to see me again. Well, much as that's possible."

She chuckled, running a hand through her hair with a hopeful grin, blue eyes shifting down to street level as the first of several more cop cars streamed into view down the road, reinforcements to Officer Donovan, "...Looks like it won't be long at all. Your call, Mike, but I really hope you say yes."

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"Oh, really?!" He cupped his flaming hands into fists and pressed them to his cheek once again demonstrating that he was immune to his own flames, and spoke like he was young kid.  "You'll take me to meet fun people?  Oh, goodie."

She could see his eyes roll, but his expression told her he just rolled his eyes.  "Lady, do talk to everyone like they're six or are people just something new for you?"  He looked down at the ground where police were converging on the scene.  "So, what makes you think I can't take care of myself, hm?  Because so far you've been treating me like I'm helpless, useless and need handouts.  I don't.  I called you guys because you seem like this is up your alley but you're turning out to be no better than police or feds, you come into my town and start talking down to me like you know it all."

"Dude's not gonna come for me, Lady.  I wasn't his target.  He just happened to be in a building with a perfect vantage of a mugging that was going to take place?  He was gunning for those muggers because he was protecting that lady down there.  I think I'm good.  And if he does come after me, I got big guns too."  "He sighed and continued to hover there outside the building.  "Alright, look, you got five minutes, then I got shit to do."

He didn't have shit to do.

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TRINIDAD

(or is it)

On 4/1/2019 at 5:44 PM, Jaunt said:

He looked at the bear and sighed.  "Don't give me that look, I'm not crazy, I'm guilt stricken.  I failed.  I failed myself, I failed the world... I failed them.  All in different ways... but still, I failed.  I just don't want this weakness anymore, y'know?"

Hooli sipped the tea, set his cup down and scooted around in his seat so he could completely face Devin. “Did you?”

“What?” Devin had been staring out over the rail at the incredible view now he looked at the bear and was startled. Hooli was standing in his chair casually leaning on the table stubby arms folded across his chest. He looked so ludicris that Devin should have been laughing yet he wasn't.

“Fail. Did you really fail? After all your 'failure' led to the capture of the rest of the Irregulars, which in turn led to the defeat of Pandora and gave them the key to the destruction of the remaining Titans.

Not every victory is caused by direct confrontation.”

The bear hopped over onto Jaunt's table.

“You cannot force growth, you cannot find enlightenment by turning over rocks in the garden. Growth comes with time and enlightenment will find you.” The bear plants his hands on it's hips and looks solemnly at Devin eye to eye, then doubles over laughing.

“Okay, I'm sorry, it's just...never mind.” The fuzz ball straightens up waving his arms around as if shooing away his just uttered words.

“Look, feel sorry for yourself, don't feel sorry for yourself, mask your feeling in whatever bullshit or psychobabble you want, the Titans were just the beginning. A huge problem has been removed but now come the corrections.

The universe hates a vacuum, something has to fill that void. So get your shit together, stop worrying about what you can't do and concentrate on what your can. Your friends are going to need you, and this world is going to need your friends.”


 

THE NIPPON TRANSPORTAL NETWORK GRAND OPENING

TOKYO, JAPAN

THE CENTRAL TRANSPORTAL HUB

LILLY AND CADE

The crowd was huge. Not at all like other Government events where there had been a few thousand at the most maybe ten or twelve thousand, the HUB center was filled to capacity and it had been designed to handle one hundred thousand travels at any given time. Lilly looked out at the PlasSteel walls were translucent currently so that Lilly could see that there were even more people outside. Lilly guessed that there could be at least a half million people within the immediate vicinity.

It was a bit overwhelming to be honest.

Haruka grasped Cade's left hand and was puling him through the crowd trying to get closer to the stage, in her right hand was clutched her autograph book. She desperately wanted to get an autograph from her hero. Cade wanted to stay as far away as possible from the beautiful Key.

Lilly and her clones had made several node scans but nothing significant seemed to be present al thought there was a good deal of energy being put off by the Reactors which powered the multitude of portal rings. Luckily those reactors where very safe and not a danger to anyone, plus they were placed under ground and not readily accessible.

Haruka zigged and zagged and Cade careened along behind her zigging and zaggin in an attempt not to run anyone down in the throng. Lilly's node pulsed she didn't know why but she was suddenly alert and her eyes began a precise visual search pattern scan of the crowd...there she saw a young girl running through the crowd she was holding what looked like a common Autograph book. When the girl saw Lilly she screamed her name and Lilly could hear the joy. The little girl was about sixty meters away trying to push through the crowd her other hand, the one without the book was grasping the hand of an older boy, the boy was white. The girl had Asian features. Just them she zigged to avoid a man that was also moving through the crowd and the young man she was puling along zagged and ran into the man.

Cade was calling for Haruka to slow down but he girls excitement had taken over she had seen her hero and was pulling harder Cade dodge an elderly couple who gave them a grin but at the same moment a thing Japanese man with a scraggly beard stepped between him and his sister and Cade barreled into him. Both men spun and stumbled Cade lost hold of Haruka who kept right on going except now she didn't have the burden of her brother to hold her back.

Cade steadied himself and grab the mans arms and held him upright to keep him from falling. Then Cade looked at the man closely and saw fear in his eyes.

It was as if everything around Cade and the man receded into the distance all Cade saw was the man. About thirty, Japanese, bearded, he was un-bathed and there was a strong chemical scent wafting off him not not him but from a backpack which Cade could see the top of behind the mans shoulder. Cade's vision dropped took in the dirty jeans the bare feet and the torn hoodie and the wires coming from the backpack disappearing into the pocket of the hoodie the pocket where one of the mans hands was.

Lilly saw the collision saw the boys preternatural reaction she focused on him saw the symmetry of his bone structure the unblemished skin... instinctively she pinged and felt the muted return pulse. The boy was a key and he was dormed.

 

SHELLY MONTANA

[Then]

On 4/6/2019 at 10:39 AM, Sean Cassidy said:

"If this is a vegan only place, I might have to kill you, Sean," Sara muttered up at her taller girlfriend.

"If this a vegan only place, I'll let you," Sean admitted. 

 

Quote

They had perused the menu for a good five minutes and Sean couldn't help but smile and the deeper and deeper furrows her lovers brow took on as she tried to make heads or tails out of most of the menu. It was decidedly much more higher end than Shelly was used too Sean had to admit. In the end Sara had just tossed the menu down and told Sean to get her a hamburger then she had stared out the huge frosted windows at the picturesque Montana landscape.

Sean ordered for them both.

“How was ...Europe?”

The question caught Sean off guard “It was okay I spent most of the time at the conference until Abel called with a problem and he needed me back here.” She didn't mention Kia yet. The food came and the ate and made small talk then out of the blue Sara hit Sean with the fireball.

“I want a home. Not a house. Not a work place or a lab. A home were we can just live. I know your brilliant Sean, that your mind runs at a hundred miles a minute even when you r turn off. That your constantly thinking up new things to make. You were like that before we ever got powers. And I know your going to be like that forever. Before I had a hard time turning it off, It was like if I turn it off and I miss something thats on me. But I know thats not true. And you need to learn to turn it off too. all of it. I want a home where a=we are nothing but Sean and Sara not Avenger and Savant.”


 

[Now]

Sara pulled her lips away from Sean's luscious mouth and looked into her eyes reading what she was trying to tell her. She glanced around at the sinks and the stall then back at the beautiful woman in her arms at her supple neck down to the shirt that was now open to the waist and the amazing cleavage and those breasts encased, barely in a sexy lace bra. “Fuck them.”

Sara crushed her mouth back onto Sean's her tongue pushing past her lip at the same time she grabbed Sean's buttocks and lifted he bodily. Sean instinctively wrapped her legs around Sara as the shorter stronger woman carried her into the nearest stall...


 

SHELLY MONTANA

JACOBSON'S

ABEL AND KIA

Kia shopped and Abel observed. She was normal in every sense of the word as far as he could tell. And happy.Tthe loss of her powers was not a crisis to her, instead it seemed it was a remedy. Still he would have to do some physical test.

“Pardon me Sage.” Alexa's voice came over the small transceiver her wore. Only he could hear the tiny voice that was broadcast directly through the structure of his ear at subsonic levels. “I have collected and collated the Data on the mugging victim at Jeane's location.

“Give me the salient points.” Abel instructed via subvolaization.

“Tamara Niena Shemylok, Born in 1996 in The Ukraine. Immigrated from the Ukrain in 2006 with her parents. Naturalized United States Citizen. Resided in Carthage New York, Attended Carthage High School Graduated 4th out of 189 students. Attended Columbia College at Fort Drum. Holds bachelors degrees in Sociology and Political Science. Currently Enrolled at Columbia University Manhattan as a Graduate Student Working on her Dissertation. Her over all grade average is 3.97 maintained from middle school thru her current enrollment.. She has no Arrest record, No Traffic Tickets, and no outstanding Warrants. There is a large degree of biographical and anecdotal information available but that is the requested salient points. Do you wish me to transmit the full data file to Traceuse?”


 


 

THE BIG APPLE

TRACEUSE AND INFERNO

On 4/6/2019 at 5:02 PM, Jeane said:

She didn't wait for his answer, reading the unspoken affirmative reply even as she let the lightning disassemble her in a heartbeat and reverse the miracle on the other side a few blocks down and a few stories up. Room unchanged. Alien rifle still present. Good. The sleeves of her PAM suit turned molten at the end and flowed into a pair of gloves that matched her leggings, just in case... Jeane settled down to wait for the Detective, a not-so-unseen guardian angel standing in the hole in the wall drawing off a chunk of the media circus, keeping one eye on Mike and the other on the rifle. Let them try and send someone to grab it. She'd be ready. 

Jeane had just reappered and saw that the room where the assassin had made his attacks was undisturbed She looked down at the rifle still lying on the floor She had never seen one before but her mind still told her exactly what it was an M21 sniper rifle used extensivly during the vietnam war retired in the later part of the 20th century but saw some service in the first Iraq war. She crouched down to get a closer look the scope was definatly not vietnam era it looked like some thing Sage or Savant would have cooked up. But what really caught her eyes was the engraving. There were no regular numerals every number she could see was romen numeral and the other writing was also odd she couldnt read it but she did recognize some of the letters as being from the Greek alphabet.

On 4/8/2019 at 10:26 AM, Inferno said:

"You got my number, bro'."  His body ignited and flames shot from feet and hands and in a moment he was launched like a rocket into the sky soaring towards the building where he hovered just outside the hole in the wall.  His eyes were burning orbs of scorching fire as flames consumed his arms and legs. 

Suddenly a woosh sounded from the direction of the window and she turned to see Mike hovering there.

Spoiler

the stuff jean and Inferno have already post above followed and you may continue from there


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

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8 minutes ago, AWS ST said:

“You cannot force growth, you cannot find enlightenment by turning over rocks in the garden. Growth comes with time and enlightenment will find you.” The bear plants his hands on it's hips and looks solemnly at Devin eye to eye, then doubles over laughing.

Devin was lost.  His eyes glazed over as his thoughts moved to elsewhere beyond the temporal bubble that Hooli was holding him hostage in.  He waggled a finger lazily at Hooli as his thoughts became ideas and those idea became words.  "No, Hootie, your right."  Hooli rolled his eyes as Devin once again butchered his name.  "When I got into gymnastics and later free running I was good at it, I had a natural talent for it.  I was fit and flexible.  Then when we moved my dream of the Olympics was over but I still practiced everyday.  These powers are no different.  I may have had a natural talent for awesomeness, because, well, look at me..."

Hooli rolled his eyes and folded his harms.  "Oh, here we go..."

"But we gained a ton of power very rapidly.  We evolved faster than our human genes could endure out necessity for a threat we had to be ready to face.  Just like gymnastics, even after I mastered the moves, I had to keep at them, to master them more until everything was nothing more than muscle memory and reflex.  That gain of power blinded me, Loogie, I've forgotten that there are no shortcuts.  Mastery of my power is no different than the hard work and effort I put into myself before these gifts to compete in the Olympics."

"It's gonna hurt, Devin," Hooti said.  "These powers aren't like training for the Olympics."

"There is not greater pain than the remaking of ones self, for we are both the marble and the sculptor."  He booped Hooli on the nose with a smirk.  "Thanks for the pep talk Yoo-Hoo.  It all kinda makes sense now.  I've trying to hard at trying to hard.  "So, I've been dying to know something."

"What's that?"  The little fuzz ball looked up at him, arms still crossed.

"What's it like in Lilly's underwear drawer?"  Devin asked with a devilish smirk on his lips.

Hooli chuckled and waved him closer.  "You really want to know?"  Devin nodded.  "Well, first off it's..." Trinidad came to life around him and all the people began going on about their day as if nothing had happened because for them, nothing had happened.  Time moved forward in it's ever flowing state and Devin pursed his lips as he bit his lower one in frustration over being swindled... by a teddy bear.

Jaunt chuckled.  "Sly little bastard.  Well played, sir.  Well played."

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"Send the complete file to her, and contact me if any emergencies arise."   He effectively signed off after that,  Turning his attentions back to Kia. He forced himself to shut down some of his senses, and just be Abel, not Sage.   He was out with his girlfriend and she deserved his full attention.

More shopping followed, and finally once she had what she wanted and paid, It was time for Lunch.   Abel smiled, and asked, "So where would you like to eat Lunch today, Kia?"

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Having lost his hold of his sister, Cade managed to not look totally like an idiot, in that he kept himself and the other man from taking a tumble.   His quick reflexes gave him a moment to consider the man he'd bumped into, and while he didn't frown externally, he did inside.  This was bad.  "You Don't really want to do this man, do you?"  His tone wasn't that of a threatening bully, despite being taller and more intimidating in every way.  "That collission was my bad.  How about I buy you lunch, as an apology, and you take your empty hand out of your pocket."

His clear blue eyes spoke of understanding, and honest intent.  He was trying hard to calm the man down, not just because he had no idea if he really had the bomb it looked like he did, but he was trying hard to protect not just his sister, but everyone there, without revealing himself.  He vaguely felt something, a sort of ping, and knew what it was, so while he didn't transform, be began lifting some of the restraints that kept his power tamped down, hoping whoever sent the first ping, likely Vanguard herself, would read it as an alarm.

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NEW YORK

"Thanks, Mike. Appreciate it."

It would be nice if the universe could be counted on to be as simple as Mike thought it was. But Jeane doubted it, especially with a sharpshooter armed with a keytech rifle and a warper in play. All three of those things were rare or expensive or both. And whoever was in charge of them wouldn't just deploy them on a whim if they were sane... Still she'd take her five minutes of leeway in victory.

The towering blonde zoned out a little and started crafting a keyhole, half tuned into the quantum fractals that surrounded her and memorizing them in case she'd need to come back to this part of New York under her own power again. They might have time since the cops raced past their position to the original crime scene... 

Of course, this was when her phone went off, vibrating in her pocket. She snapped out of the trance, and turned it on, skimming the message from Alexa. Uh huh. Okay. Fine... Great, right. So it maybe wasn't her, but who she knew? How would you even ask someone if they knew any recent Unlockees? Jeane had hid it for six months, and that was before all keys were genius liars... Okay, maybe not all of them, to take Mike for an example, but still. Trying to find a needle that could turn into itself a piece of hay in a thousand haystacks. Maybe she was lucky though.

'Keys in New York City' was entered into her phone, dumb enough to work. 

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Like most people in... well, today's entire world.  Jeane seemed to give Mike a half answer while she took out her phone and began reading it.  Probably checking her Instagram or Facebook or something.  Mikey sighed and he hovered too and fro, seemingly having a little fun as he swayed about in the afternoon breeze.  "Oh, c'mon already.  If you can play on your phone this can't be too important.  C'mon, let's blow all this off and we'll go get some grub?  Mmm?  I know this city like the back of my hand.  Pick anything, the most obscure the better, and I bet I can find a place that makes it.

"Speaking of... do you have to open up in order to eat?  Or can your robot body just shovel in the food and you eat in your little control room or whatever?"  The sad part was everything about his tone implied that it was a serious question.  "I don't wanna use the term 'cockpit' because, yeah, that totally implies you built the control room in the v'jay-jay, and be kinda twisted, y'know?"  He flew around, spinning in little circles and to soaring into small back flips like an impatient kid waiting for his mom to check out at a grocery.  "So, what's yer jam, hmm?  Pizza, burgers?  They say we got some of the best pizza in the world, except for Chicago, which I'm gonna fly there one day and put that shit to the test.  Soon as I get Google Maps, that shit's going down.  My phone doesn't have it, it's a cheap little burner, y'know?  I thought of maybe trying to just make the trip, but when I looked down, all I recognized was Manhattan.  My geology sucks, I'd like end up in China or some shit, I just know it."

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