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Mutants & Masterminds: The Indigo Children - Suit Yourself.


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May 7th, 1 am

Tess yawned as she straightened up in her recliner, hitting the 'upright' button and running a hand over her face to wipe the nap away. She didn't really sleep, as such. Just a series of short stints, some of which were even in a bed. The cybermantic Indigo was used to being up at odd hours - liked it in fact. The house was quiet at this time of night - well, usually quiet anyway. Isaac was an unobtrusive houseguest to say the least. His animals, well-behaved as they were, made more noise than him. And Rob... Rob had been quiet ever since the night of The Pulse, as everyone in country was calling it now. If anything, he was nearly as quiet as Isaac, only it wasn't the silence of someone with nothing to say. It was the silence of someone thinking (brooding?) so much that they were incommunicative. The normally outgoing young man had become taciturn.

With a sigh, Tess levered herself out of the chair and made her way to the kitchen, feeling the need for a cup of hot chocolate. At least Rob hadn't run, she mused. She'd been worried that he would, those first couple of days afterwards. Everyone had breaking points, and the strain of that night had been hard all round. Thank god for Apex she thought with a small smile. If the superhero hadn't come by and offered Rob support, the magnetokinetic would probably already be heading to someplace like backwoods Peru. She heard someone moving around in the kitchen before she reached the doorway, but the lights weren't on. Probably one of the dogs, she reasoned. Only dogs didn't run taps.

"Lights." Tess said as she stepped into the kitchen, flooding the room with brightness before stopping dead at the sight before her.

His back to her, frozen with a glass of water to his lips, Rob was - well, dressed was probably the best way to say it - in a shiny black leather one-piece catsuit. Dressed might be too generous a term, though. The garment looked as though it had been through a woodchipper, then strategically glued back together. The motorcycle boots on his feet remained nicely intact though, Tess noted in passing as she tried to find something better to stare at than the expanses of skin on display, reddened here and there with welts. For a brief moment she wondered if Rob was a closet S&M freak, but with something almost like relief and kind of like disappointment she noticed that his flying goggles were pushed up on his windblown hair.

"Umm." Rob said without turning around (and small wonder if the front of his outfit was as badly trashed). "This isn't what it looks like?" he essayed hopefully.

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Tess took a deep breath, eyes still firmly on the boots. "Well, I'd assume if this were...recreational...you'd have changed before coming home. So....are you alright?" Her eyes flicked upward to his, genuine concern warring with unaccustomed embarrassment. She held up a hand before he could respond, "Just a minute."

She padded out of the kitchen and back into the bedrooms area, snagging Rob's terrycloth robe and tossing it to him once she made it back to the kitchen. She gave him a moment to peel off the pieces of...whatever...it was he was wearing and slip into the robe. "Okay, now. What's going on? Did you get jumped again? And what's with the Cat-man suit?"

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"Uh..." Rob made sure he was properly covered before he turned around to face Tess, his boots looking as incongruous below the hem of the robe as his goggles did perched atop his head over it. "Well, it's a long story- Actually no: it's a depressingly short story." he sighed, settling onto a stool and leaning on the counter as Tess began to move about the kitchen on her renewed quest for hot chocolate, trying not to smile despite her concern. He watched her, brown eyes sober as he explained. "I was trying to put together a... a super-suit, I guess."

"A super-suit." Tess stated rather than asked. She had a pretty good idea what Rob was on about, but her statement was made in that uniquely female way which nudges one towards further explanation.

"Yeah." Rob looked down at his water, then at her. "I want to be a superhero. Use this thing I've got to help people. Corny as it sounds... It's what I want to do."

"Because of the Pulse?" Tess asked him gently. Rob paused, then nodded.

"Yeah. Or at least: yeah, a bit. But also because of my stepdad. And also because... well, I saw what I was capable of that night, Ms Romano. I hauled humunguous tonnage of aircraft and people out of the jaws of death. Admittedly, I also kinda put them there... I know! Not my fault, and you're right, it isn't." he held up a hand. "But it was my power that endangered them, and my power that saved them. It's weird knowing that."

"Actually, I was going to ask you to call me Tess." Tess said with a smile as she came over with two mugs of chocolate. Settling down across from Rob, she slid a mug over to him and cupped her hands around her own. "You were saying, though?"

"Oh, uh... Tess. Right. Well, I've been laying awake thinking over and over about what I did. And what I could do. I mean, I could do some serious damage: not just ripping up suspension bridges or swatting planes out of the sky, but real infrastructure damage. 'Bomb people into the Stone Age' kind of damage. But that's not me. I don't want to be that guy. And I don't want to be the guy who's hiding his power because he's afraid to use it: not after I've seen the good I might be able to do. So really..."

"A superhero is all that's left over?" Tess suggested with a wry grin. Rob shrugged and nodded, his own lips quirking in a smile.

"Yeah, that's my reasoning. Thing is, I can't boogie at much past 400 mph without my clothes coming off. So I thought I'd try something... uh... more sheer." He pointed at the ruins of the catsuit. "That was good up to 600, but then started to disintegrate on me." He propped his chin in the palm of one hand and eyed the leather remainders balefully. "Something streamlined and bullet-resistant would be my favorite. Not easy on a budget."

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Tess took a delicate sip from her cup, and regarded Rob with an amused smile for a long moment. "Rob," she finally said, "you're only on a budget if you want to be. Think about it..."

She waved a hand behind her, gesturing vaguely inwards of the house, "...I built Sanctuary literally from the ground up in less than six months. You know what my gift is, at least a little, and we're in this whole...." she waved again, this time vaguely upwards, "...mess of timing...together. Money is easy. For me. And what I have...I share with those I consider family."

She took another drink of her hot chocolate, some of the froth clinging childishly to her lips as she thought. "Hmmmm...well, lightweight and bullet-resistant would suggest kevlar. Would you want a material immune to your powers or one that you could manipulate with them? Or a mix? This might take a while to get right, and we might have to go through a number of different designs, but I'm sure we can come up with something that will work for you."

"I've only got one rule, though," she grinned. "No capes."

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"No capes?!" Rob mock-sputtered, pretending to choke on his chocolate. "But... but... But I have to have a cape! And a big bucket-style helmet. And huge shoulderpads - those are a must!" He continued with a barely-suppressed smile "C'mon, I have magnetic powers - cape and helmet are virtually written in stone..."

"Except you don't want to reduce humanity to the Stone Age, remember?" Tess said with a smile.

"Huh. Oh. Yeah, that." Rob said, acting crestfallen for a moment before grinning good-humoredly. "Okay, well I wasn't going for the cape look anyway, rest easy on that score." He sipped at his drink, his manner turning thoughtful. "I definitely want something non-magnetic as the basis for the suit, but maybe with some detachable metal bits I can use if I need to? What do you think?"

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  • 4 weeks later...

She nodded, looking thoughtful. "We could essentially put pockets in along most of the suit and put different shapes of metal in to act as extra armor and projectiles or whatnot as you needed them to be."

She paced the room for a few minutes, then nodded. "Let me make some phone calls and see what favors I can call in. There are tech firms in several countries that sell to specialized paramilitary and mercenary groups that might have what we're looking for. Or at least a start on it. I'll also put out some feelers to research groups with prototypes that are waiting on funding for full execution." She laced her fingers together behind her back and smiled at him, "We may have to piece this together ourselves, but I'm sure we can come up with something suitable."

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