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Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - [Dawn-aST] Home Violations

Dawn OOC

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June 15, 2027

One of the things that the powers that be in Utopia loved the most about Glory was that she had friends all over the world in all the major organizations. Though some in Utopia thought it wasn't good for her or the organization, others recognized that her connections to others allowed her to represent Utopia in a favorable, personal way. So the practice was allowed to continue.

One of those connections was Greta "Blitz" Orson, a nova of German and English descent. She was an semi-retired Elite, employed by DeVries but with enough pull to pick her assignments without fear of reprisal. The woman had gained a reputation for being a goody-two-shoes because she only took assignments that didn't violate her ethics. She was also a friend of Glory's, having earned the Utopian's respect by showing her to generally have better character than other Elites. Greta lived in New York, in a nice apartment in Manhattan. When Glory was in town, Greta often came to see her, stopping by to say hello. So no one was surprised when Greta came calling to Utopia's offices in New York, least of all Glory.

The two women exchanged warm greetings and started a pot of coffee. As it brewed, they made small talk and caught up on affairs; only when they each had a warm mug in their hands did Greta's body language shift to a more formal stance. Recognizing the change, Glory straightened as well, waiting for Greta to broach the subject on her mind. "As you know, Glory, though I'm largely out of the business, I still have the occasional contract come my way." Glory nodded, her sky-blue eyes patient. "I recently was offered a job, which I refused to take. Moreover... in a very unofficial way, I thought you should hear about it."

Glory's eyebrows rose. Greta had always been circumspect in her dealings, particularly where Utopia and DeVries intersected. Only one other time had she told Glory about a contract she'd turned down, and that had involved a slavery ring in Thailand. If Greta was bringing something to Utopia's attention, it was because it needed attention. However, she said nothing, knowing that the blonde nova was wrestling with her convictions and giving her the time she needed.

"I was asked to kidnap two girls, from here in New York," Greta told Glory.

"I see." Glory set the mug down before she broke it. "Were you given more information?"

"Yes, I was. Most importantly," Greta told her, "I know who has accepted the assignment that I refused. Sekhem." Glory's eyes narrowed at the name of the Egyptian nova. Unlike many of his countrymen, he wasn't Muslim. He was one of those unfortunate people whose lack of religious beliefs caused him to share a lack of morals. Well, Glory conceded a moment later, perhaps he does have a god: money. For the right price, he would do anything, regardless of the price to the victims. He also had a reputation as a bully.

"Who would hire someone like Sekhem to kidnap children?" Glory asked, feeling anger building within her heart.

Greta's lips pinched together, her pale eyebrows plunging downward into a sharp V. "Their father."

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February 16th, 2025

Jonah wrote out his birthday list today. He asked for a dress. Again. And glitter, make up, and the Barbie Mansion set.

Richard ripped up the list in front of him. I sent Jonah to spend the night at Ruth's. She called and said that he was still crying and she couldn't get him to go to sleep, even with warm milk and Cecelia offering to share her bed with him for the night. Richards still drinking downstairs. The girls are tucked in, but they know something's wrong. Again.

This can't go on. Richard can't accept how Jonah is and he's turning into an alcoholic. He was such a sweet man when we got married and now I'm afraid to keep anything in the house because he's not a happy drunk. Nothing's happened. Yet.

Ruth introduced me to her cousin Gerald last week when we had a playdate. Gerald's a lawyer. A divorce lawyer.

I still have his number.

March 12th, 2025

I bought Jonah the dress, the glitter, everything. I've never seen him so happy as when he opened those presents. Some of the kids at the party gave him funny looks, but most of his friends are girls anyways, so there were a few funny looks and then everyone dived for the make up and Barbies.

Richard left and slammed the door hard enough to wrench one of the hinges when Jonah came down after changing into the princess dress. Ruth and I managed to get the party back on track by distracting the kids with cake and ice cream. Then I called Gerald. I just can't do it anymore. Jonah's...different, special, and I know that that's hard for Richard, but you love your child. No strings. No conditions. And he can't. And I can't be with him if he's going to be that way. What would he do if one of the girls decided she wanted to join the Army?

Dammit. I still love him.

Or do I love the man he used to be? Or the one I thought he was?

Dammit. DAMMIT.

How am I going to raise three kids on my own? I don't even have a job.


August 30th, 2025

Richard finally signed all the papers today. He still won't actually speak to me and he missed Heidi's first day of school because he wouldn't listen to the messages on his OpPhone or the ones I left with his secretary.

At least the judge awarded me custody. I feel bad about how hard he's taking this, but a part of me is also happy about the two DUI's and the court-ordered anger management classes from the second one. The officer didn't deserve getting punched, but that probably ensured that the kids went with me. I left it in the agreement that he could have supervised visitations, and he's being a bastard even about that. His lawyer called to set up a schedule. For Heidi and Lily.

Jonah keeps asking why Daddy is so angry at him. I think he understands, a little. He asked me to cut his hair and he wore jeans and flannel shirts for nearly a month after Richard moved out. I think he saw that on TV.

We're going to sell the house. I just can't stay here anymore. Ruth has a rich cousin in Manhattan that's looking for a personal assistant. I think Ruth has an endless supply of cousins sometimes. Or she just calls everyone she knows a cousin. I don't know. Either way, it's a good job. On call, good pay, benefits, a nice apartment not too much smaller than our house included in the deal. The company even has a free daycare for Lily and a deal with a private school for a break on tuition for employees. Ideal really.

I wonder how long Ruth's been planning this. I love her like a sister, but I know her and she's always seemed to know Richard better than me. At least when it came to Jonah and how this all would end.

I still cry at night, but I'm getting used to sleeping alone. I bought a body pillow.

January 13th, 2026

Jonah's still getting bullied. We've had to switch schools again. He wants to be called Penny now, and go to school as a girl. Even in New York I haven't been able to find an elementary school that would allow that.

And Charles is getting....insistant. I like him, he's a great boss, but I don't want to date him. Even Ruth's getting annoyed with him. I really don't want to have to find a new job. And a new house. On top of another new school.

Richard still won't see Jonah - Penny. He's even come and just gone out with Lily a few times. I asked Heidi what happened and she said that she'd told Daddy he should spend time with Jonah, too. That he was being a big meanie and if he didn't want to see Jonah than she didn't want to see him. I guess he took her at her word. Bastard.

June 21st, 2026

Richard called Social Services on me. I guess he found out that I quit working for Charles. He's suing for custody of Heidi and Lily. No mention of Jonah/Penny, of course. I got him...her...into a school as a girl. I lied. We made it all the way through the rest of the year, and then Richard found out somehow...probably Lily. How can you expect a four year old to really keep a secret?

So, now he's using that against me in court, saying that Jonah's been "abused and turned into a girl" because of me. He wants him institutionalized in one of the brainwashing Catholic "gender correction" facilities. None of us are even Catholic. I don't think Richard's ever been to church in his life. But the judge agreed to a hearing. I don't have a job and now I'm going to have to spend my savings on a lawyer.

Men are pigs. I understand why Penny doesn't want to be one.

August 16th, 2026

I finally got my babies back! I've been crying for an hour since I got the call. They're coming home tomorrow.

Tricia offered me a job at the firm, too. Just a secretarial position, but it pays enough to cover the bills and it has benefits, so no more welfare or temp jobs. And I owe them everything. It'll feel good to help other women being taken advantage of, even if I'm just doing the filing for the lawyers.

The foster family that took Jonah in said that they'd done some research on his...her...condition. They gave me some numbers to call, and the name of the therapist that Social Services had him-her, dammit, her going to. They seemed nice and I did my best not to be upset with them. This wasn't their fault. It's Richard's and if I even get my hands on that man again, I'll cut his balls off.

I may be spending too much time with Tricia.

I will seriously cut his balls off.

And I have full custody now. That bastard is never seeing the kids again.

Tricia says I should sue him for emotional damages. I'm considering it.

March 2nd, 2027

I don't know how much longer I can do this. Becky is great and with the alimony payments, I've managed to cut down to part time at the firm, but I'm just exhausted. I get up, breakfast, get the girls packed and on to the bus for school, Becky gets here and she and Penny get started on school for the day. I go to work, leave at lunch, come home and switch out with Becky, get dinner ready when the girls get home, do homework and play with the kids until bath time, get everyone put down for bed, do housework and then finally get to bed myself.

I think at most I'm getting maybe four hours of sleep during the week. And then there's then there's the therapy sessions and doctor's visits and weekend homeschooler socials for Penny and, and, and....I just don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Becky offered to stay on for full days, but I can't afford it, even with the discount she was willing to offer me. And Penny just turned ten. The doctors say she's going to have to decide about the hormones soon, just in case she's an early bloomer.

But what can I do? You do everything for your kids. No matter what.

March 14th, 2027

Fuck. FUCK!

Becky quit today. She said she'd give me two weeks, but what the hell good is that going to do me? No one worked with Penny like she did. Or for her rates. And she's going to join some nova cult or something. That group that's been all over the news and OpSites for the past few weeks.


What a stupid name. What does it even mean? I mean, the guy running it is gorgeous, but he's a nova, so what's new?

She said I should check it out. That it was about self discovery and reaching your true potential and all that self-help book nova cult crap. I can't believe she's falling for it. She's such a bright girl, so grounded and....and...

Hell, what am I going to do? Two weeks....

April 6th, 2027

What the hell am I getting myself into?

I went to visit Becky today. She's doing her "live-in" with Exalt! I wasn't sure that they'd let me see her. Cults are like that, right? But I've used up all my saved vacation time and I still haven't found anyone that can work with Penny the way she does. I even brought Penny along. A low blow, but I'm desperate.

Penny keeps asking where Aunt Becky went to. She cries at breakfast when I tell her again that Becky's gone. I just can't...

Anyways, I went to the Exalt! place, that hotel. It's beautiful, I'll give them that. Amelia - I think that was her name - she just called Becky down when I asked for her. No questions. No hesitations. She even offered Penny some crayons and coloring book to keep her entertained while we talked.

I've never begged anyone for anything in my life. Not my parents after I got divorced, not Richard when he got the kids put in foster care. Never. I begged her to come back. I broke down in the lobby and sobbed in front of god knows how many people and begged her to come back.

And then I felt arms around me. Holding me. I thought it was her at first and that she was going to say yes, but then I heard this voice. I don't know if I believe in God, but if He did exist and had angels, I think they would weep to hear that nova speak. There's supposed to be an angel that speaks for God. I remember my first boyfriend told me that. He was Catholic. If there is, then it's probably Puck from Exalt!

He held me and asked me what was wrong and I just told him everything. How could you not?

He took me to a private room. I don't even remember where now. Becky was there, and this other woman. Laura. Becky played with Penny and Laura and Puck and I talked for hours. Laura's a shrink. I can spot them pretty well now, after all the stuff with Penny.

Penny. She can pass pretty well right now...most little kids could look either way with the right haircut and clothes, but I'd told them. Maybe Becky had too. Laura asked Penny questions a few times while we talked and at one point Puck just asked directly.

"Are you a boy or a girl?" he said.

"I'm male, but I'm a girl. When I'm old enough, I'll be a girl and female." My darling little Penny. We'd talked about things and there was the therapy and doctors and looking into facilities for when she got older, but I didn't know before then that she'd really understood what she was asking for. Puck just nodded, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Laura looked....thoughtful. It's a hell of a lot better than how most shrinks react to a ten year old telling them that they want a sex-change.

Becky and Puck left for a little bit, and Laura talked with Penny, helping her color the book Amelia had given her and asking her about growing up and how well she got along with her sisters and all the sorts of questions shrinks ask kids when they're getting to know them. Penny knew what she was doing, I think, but she's used to it by now and she seemed to like Laura. I think she liked not having to call her "Dr." something.

And then Puck and Becky came back in and asked me if I wanted to look at joining Exalt! Puck explained what they do there and Becky offered to watch Penny and even the other kids in the afternoons and evenings while I went through their membership process. I'm not sure if I said yes because of Puck or Becky watching Penny again or actually being interested. I think Puck knows that, too. But he didn't say anything. He just took me to their "Launch Center" and had me fill out paperwork. It was like applying for a job again.

I'm supposed to go back tomorrow. I'm not sure....it's a cult, right? That's what people are saying.

But people also say that Penny's sick. That she's confused or wrong somehow.

People suck. What's that old movie quote? "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

I'm meeting with someone named Julia Ahns tomorrow.

May 1st, 2027

We moved in today. Live-in...I hope we can make it. Penny loves her new friends, and Heidi and Lily seem to be adjusting well. They have a year-round school that's getting started here and they don't care at all if Penny shows up in pants and wants to be called Jonah one day and is back in dresses and glitter and being Penny the next day. Laura's even working with her therapists and doctors, coordinating Penny's next steps. There's a clinic in Maine that specializes in transgendered prepubescent children. Laura said that once we're through the live-in, which she personally thinks will just be a two-week move-in process, then we'll all go up there for a weekend and talk to the doctors there about the hormone therapies.

I enrolled in the summer semester at a junior college yesterday, too. With the school here, I have the time to actually go back to school. Julia and I talked - I'm going to get my associates, and then...I think I'll look for a good pre-law program in the city. I'm still working with Tricia and she's a little concerned about me joining Exalt!, but she loves the idea of me getting into college and getting my degree. She said that she'd hold an associates position open for me once I pass the bar, if I want it. I'm not sure on that...it's just too far down the line right now, but for the first time in years I think about the future and I smile.

I finally got around to changing my name back. I am no longer the ex-Mrs. Danner. I got the kids names changed too.

Felicia Grace Anders

Lily Catherine Anders

Heidi Ruth Anders

Penny Jonah Anders

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June 24, 2027, 4:33 a.m.

Surveillance had been the bane of many a cop for a long time. The nova age had brought many conveniences to what had once been the most trying duty any officer could pull, such as a remote camera that could watch for the officer. It didn’t get bored or need restroom breaks; federal law permitted them so long as they remained on a public area and didn’t use invasive filters such as infrared.

If you wanted an infrared point-of-view, you had to ask for that in the warrant and be willing to pay the nova man hours for that request. Glory wasn’t willing to ask for that, so a NYPD bot-cop was assigned to watch the building. It had been programmed to scan faces and broadcast an emergency signal to Glory. It wasn’t perfect; she’d zipped out six times in the last week only to find herself staring at someone who looked somewhat like Sekhem. Each time, she’d borne the aggravation with good grace, with only the flare of her delicate nostrils to indicate how irritated she was.

But the seventh time, she felt it was different, even before she’d gotten there. There was a tension in the air, which could have come from her nerves but she knew was Sekhem. He manipulated the very air they breathed and over the years, his control had lessened due to quantum backlash. A report she’d read about him, but never been able to confirm directly, was that the Egyptian nova was subconsciously manipulating the air around him all the time. The constant, abnormal movements caused a wide field of pressure around him; not enough that a human would notice, but it was obvious to someone like Glory. It was doubly obvious to someone like Glory who was actively looking for those changes.

The young Utopian swung around the building once, nearly invisible in the night. Despite the cover of morning darkness, her senses were seeking Sekhem. His manipulation of air allowed him to be utterly silent and hide his scent. Unless she caught sight of him, she wouldn’t know he was there. As she shot past the windows, she looked in each, lit and unlit, just in case. She didn’t see him.

Until the fireworks started, of course.

And then, she’d have probable cause to enter the private building without a warrant.


Heidi stirred sleepily, unsure why she was waking up now. It was dark. She wanted to sleep. But something was wrong, and the little girl became more aware.

Someone was in standing over her. Blue eyes snapped open; the room was too dark for her to really see, but the air was thick and stuffy. “Mommy?” she whispered.

“No, child,” a deep, strange voice told her, just before a hand clamped over her face. Heidi shrieked, but the sound was softer than a kitten’s snore. The hand was big and pressed so hard; she couldn’t breathe at all. Her face reddened under the assault – she’d have a bruise that covered her nose and lower face tomorrow. But she wasn’t worried about that; she cried and struggled, but couldn’t move or get any air.

With a last shudder, the girl went limp against the bonds of air holding her.

Sekhem smiled as the girl sagged against him. She was so innocent, so helpless. He stroked her light brown hair, the details of her fine features clear to him even in the darkness. He took his hand from her mouth and let her breathing start again. It was a fine art, to cut off someone’s air without killing them. Semket knew air, understood its mystery and art.

His fingers traced her nose, lips, ears, eyes and cheeks, marveling at the frailty of the living. He could squeeze the life from her and it’d be so easy. Sekhem restrained himself. The money was good, too good, to indulge himself. So he put thoughts of leaving her with more than a bruise and instead blew lightly on her face. The girl didn’t stir, not even as his breath sent tingles through her. It wasn’t just him blowing on her; his quantum infused her body.

After he had attuned her, Sekhem turned to air, becoming one with his element. Passing under the door, he rolled down the hall and into the other girl’s room. She was also alone and asleep. Setting her sister on the floor, Sekhem bent over this one – and paused. There were two girls in the bed. Quietly, he pulled out his phone, drawing up the picture of the girl. The screen flared to life and even as he confirmed which child was the right one, the other woke up. “Lily… Mommy!”

Sekhem lashed out with a burst of air which knocked the small body into the wall. The other girl woke up and the nova clamped a hand over her mouth. But even as he did, he heard an adult voice call out, “Penny, honey? What’s wrong?” Sekhem scowled, shoving his phone back into his pocket as he pinned the girl by her face. When neither child answered, the woman entered and turned on the light.

Sekhem thrust out his hand. The burst of air from his fingertips threw her back into wall in the hallway, where she slid to the floor. As the woman weakly stirred, the child bit him. It didn’t hurt, but Sekhem was annoyed by all the hassle now. Clamping his fingers around her face, he tapped the back of her head against the headboard. She went limp immediately.

Behind him, he heard the woman say, “Puck… nova… kids” right before she slumped into unconsciousness. “Fuck,” he snarled, knowing he had seconds before the resident nova arrived.

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The send across the link was a jumble of images, fear, and pain. Everyone in the link could feel and see it, waking most out of the link in sleepy confusion. Darren, the night security head, though was wide awake and immediately set the building on high alert. A security team and a the night medics were sent to Felicia's rooms, but none of them were as quick as their nova leader - who'd been going over the organizations financials more than twenty floors above the attempted kidnapping.

Sekhem had both girls in hand when the golden-silver glow coalesced in the room behind the Egyptian nova, his quantum-forged blade snapping into existence the moment Puck had solidified. He'd meant to bring the blade into existence with the tip a centimeter or two into the invader's back. In a way he succeeded: the blade had found its mark, but the flesh that had been there was already misting into insubstantial air. Puck snarled a curse in Bodhi, dropped the useless weapon, and flooded the room with his quantum signature. He might not be able to keep the invader from leaving the building, but no matter where he went, even to edge of the universe, Puck could and would follow him.

Combat Rolls
[Malachite] 3:59 pm: Puck attack:

Malachite *rolls* 13d10: 8+1+5+9+7+7+6+2+10+10+6+10+2: 83

7 successes

[Malachite] 3:59 pm: Sekhem dodge:

Malachite *rolls* 10d10: 2+10+2+9+7+3+5+4+3+6: 51

Malachite *rolls* 1d10: 4: 4

3 successes

[Malachite] 4:02 pm: Puck Damage after soak:

Malachite *rolls* 1d10: 3: 3

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“Too slow, too bad,” Sekhem smirked, bending his head to smell the youngest girl’s hair. He knew it would enrage the helpless nova and he smiled at the fires of fury in the pretty-boy’s eyes. The boy’s energies filled the room and the Egyptian nova laughed again – the boy was all sound and fury, and signified nothing.

A light entered the room as a third person joined the party. Sekhem was between Puck and the newcomer; all he saw was a ripple of light as someone passed through the wall. Sekhem turned with a smirk and all that Puck saw was his change in body language that told the nova something unexpected had just happened.

“I am Glory of Project Utopia. Sekhem, you are operating illegally on U.S. Sovereign soil, committing a crime against U.S. Federal law. You will turn the children over to me and submit to arrest, or I will kick your ass from Manhattan to Yonkers and back.” Puck stepped to the side and saw that it was the beauty Project Utopia in her full glory.

“You can’t stop me bitch!” Sekhem growled, taking a step forward. Then his steps faltered. “Wait... what did you do to me?”

She ignored his question. “I hoped you’d resist arrest,” she said, her expression one of malicious anticipation.

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Puck felt the change in the room, the change in the bastard that had hurt his people - hurt three defenseless children and a mother that had suffered enough at the hands of uncaring men. The carefully constructed barriers he had made between his rage and the rest of his mind snapped under pressure. He moved before he'd truly registered who had entered the room, only what she'd done. The sword on the floor blinked out of existence there and appeared in his hand again; a golden-silver sheen covered him in the same instant that his blade arced through the air. A line of crimson splattered against the wall to his right.

He didn't wait to see where the head landed; he dropped the rage-fueled sword and caught the two unconscious girls before they fell completely from the now-limp arms. He laid them both on the bed, checking their breathing and carefully running his fingers over the face of the younger girl.

*Sara, tan'ari? Oran dey - Heidi...teru...*

*Puck, veran kel'es.*

He blinked and a floor above them Saraswati Loshe sighed in relief while grabbing her bathrobe on her way out of her room. *Tonnan, Heidi. Dishan'ai.*

The security and medical details were nearly to the room now; she headed for the stairs at a sprint as she felt Zach with them in the elevators. Ignoring the other nova in the room (mostly as they had yet to make a threatening movement), Puck checked on Penny, his senses still shared with Sara.

*Puck-sul. Vulan trey.* He did as he was told. *Beru. Linay. So'cor Felicia. Penny shah.*

Puck moved from the child still slumped against the wall to the woman similarly slumped in the hallway. Glory could see that his hands were shaking and given the grace of his movement, it could only be from emotion. He knelt down by the mother, carefully touching over her head and neck; if he could heal, he hadn't done so yet and Glory couldn't figure out what he was doing.

*Jur, wún. Belqan. De'ra. Puck....seta...*

*Toç.* Rage colored his sending and in Bodhi it was impossible for him to hide the finality of his words.

*Puck...ayu? The teams were getting off the elevator now and Sara was starting down the stairs.

Puck glanced up, as if finally truly registering her presence. "Glory."

Translated Post
Puck felt the change in the room, the change in the bastard that had hurt his people - hurt three defenseless children and a mother that had suffered enough at the hands of uncaring men. The carefully constructed barriers he had made between his rage and the rest of his mind snapped under pressure. He moved before he'd truly registered who had entered the room, only what she'd done. The sword on the floor blinked out of existence there and appeared in his hand again; a golden-silver sheen covered him in the same instant that his blade arced through the air. A line of crimson splattered against the wall to his right.

He didn't wait to see where the head landed; he dropped the rage-fueled sword and caught the two unconscious girls before they fell completely from the now-limp arms. He laid them both on the bed, checking their breathing and carefully running his fingers over the face of the younger girl.

*Sara, what do I do? They're breathing, but they're unconscious. Heidi...her face is...*

*Puck, calm down. Let me see.*

He blinked and a floor above them Saraswati Loshe sighed in relief while grabbing her bathrobe on her way out of her room. *Just bruises. She'll be fine. Don't try to wake them right now.*

The security and medical details were nearly to the room now; she headed for the stairs at a sprint as she felt Zach with them in the elevators. Ignoring the other nova in the room (mostly as they had yet to make a threatening movement), Puck checked on Penny, his senses still shared with Sara.

*Careful, Puck. There's no apparent bleeding, but there could be fractures or internal bleeding. I can hear her heartbeat. Run you fingers over her head and down her neck, just don't put any pressure on her.* He did as he was told. *Okay, don't move her. I'm waking up Jenny to get another brace up there. The night medics will only have one with them and you won't want to move Felicia either. Check her the same way you did Penny.*

Puck moved from the child still slumped against the wall to the woman similarly slumped in the hallway. Glory could see that his hands were shaking and given the grace of his movement, it could only be from emotion. He knelt down by the mother, carefully touching over her head and neck; if he could heal, he hadn't done so yet and Glory couldn't figure out what he was doing.

*Damn, I can feel two fractures at least. Do not move her until the medics get there and get a brace on her. She's still breathing, so there's hope. Puck....I felt...*

*It's taken care of.* Rage colored his sending and in Bodhi it was impossible for him to hide the finality of his words.

*Puck...who's with you?* The teams were getting off the elevator now and Sara was starting down the stairs.

Puck glanced up, as if finally truly registering her presence. "Glory."

Mechanics and such.
Willpower Roll for self-control:




2 successes, +3 difficulty, failed

Quantum Weapon (w/1 Power Max on Damage) Roll, 1 Mega last as always:




Flexible quality does not apply.

7 successes, +3 difficulty for Precise Targeting shot (neck), 4 net successes, +3 to damage

Damage roll: -1 from soak




[8 - 9 soak] + 4 for targeting + 11 rolled = 15L = One Decapitated Sekhem

Power Max is not in archetype. Instinctively using LC - Channel:




4 successes, 1 tempt taint channeled to 1 temp chrysalis.

Medicine roll for Heidi, 8 Mega last as always:




Discerning quality applies.







13 successes

Medicine roll for Lily, 8 Mega last as always:




Discerning quality applies.




10 successes

Medicine roll for Penny, 8 Mega last as always:




Discerning quality applies.




20 successes

Medicine roll for Felicia, 8 Mega last as always:




Discerning quality applies.




20 successes

qp: 99/125 [Quantum Awareness, Bodymorph – Living Quantum, Bodymorph – Quantum Living, Quantum Weapon, Quantum Weapon w/Power Max, Living Chrysalis – Channel]

Willpower: 10/10

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“Puck.” A slight smile curved her lips as bold blue eyes studied him from below thick lashes. “Move away from the suspect please.” The smile faded slightly. “Perhaps I should say corpse.”

Puck stared down at him for a moment, then stepped back. Glory was right; the man was dead. But he’d wanted to be sure before he gave her the change to heal him. Had he been thinking clearly, he might have remembered that she was effectively a nova cop. Lifting into the air, she hovered upside down over the body, avoiding the pool of gathering blood as she looked for a pulse. It was a gesture. She couldn’t hear his heartbeat, or the blood rushing in his veins.

That ascertained, the angelic nova moved to kneel next the older woman. Her expression was gentle as she touched the woman, her powers telling her the same thing that Sara had told Puck. Another pulse of quantum flared through her body and the fractures healed. Straightening, she started to go to the child when the door opened.

The rooms were well insulated, yet there was no surprise on Glory’s face when the medics arrived. “Two recently healed fractures,” she said calmly, moving out of their way. “I haven’t handled the soft tissue damage.”

“Thank you,” Sara replied, her voice uneasy.

“My pleasure.” The warmth in her voice assured them that it was a pleasure. Turning fully away from the medics, she approached Penny. Another touch and the bones of the child’s body healed. Rising, she glanced at each person in the room before addressing both Puck and Sara. “There will be no permanent damage to either one. Please let me know if you require further emergency assistance.”

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Sara shook her head. "We can handle it from here," she said, trying not to feel overwhelmed.

"Thank you," Puck said quietly to the white-clad Utopian.

Jenny came in and joined the medic team; the children and mother were all moved to gurneys. The chatter between them was odd, like interrupted Morse code: only half of it was spoken, though Glory could feel that she, Puck, and Sara were the only novas in the room. Everyone left, leaving Glory alone in the room. She blinked, not quite used to being so easily ignored.

She sighed, eyeing the headless body, and pulled out her OpPhone; she dialed the Utopian CSI team in New York and gave them a quick rundown of the situation. Several minutes later Puck was called down from the Wellness Center to the main lobby of the buildings. Three novas in the team looked angry and offended, the six baselines simply looked tired, half-awake, and most were clutching mugs of coffee. All of them were standing outside the doors, while a dozen Exalt! security personnel stared out through the wall of glass. Puck stepped past them and opened the doors. "Come on in, ladies, gentleman; please follow me. For the record - I decapitated an intruder after he injured several residents - a mother and her three young children - and attempted to kidnap two of them."

The group had just made it through the doors, but stopped short at the frank confession, staring at him. One of the novas, a Latino woman dressed in a police uniform with a Utopian patch instead of an NYPD patch recovered first and nodded. "Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Puck. If you will please tell us the floor and room number, we can proceed on our own." She smiled sharply, obviously used to having others snap to attention and follow directions.

Puck sucked in a breath and stepped up to her, speaking softly enough that only the other novas had a chance to overhear. "I am cooperating with you. You will follow me and I will take you to the room. That cooperation will end if you try something stupid like that again. I will call my rather large pool of lawyers, cut off access to this building, and use every legal loophole and bureaucratic piece of red tape I can stitch together to keep you and your team sitting on your ass from fifty feet away, unable to do anything more than glare at me for years. All because you decided you had to push buttons and try to throw your quantum weight around. You are outclassed in ways you don't even understand and this was an attack on my people. On children. Step. very. carefully. Understood?"

The woman swallowed, tasting the venom from his words. She managed to nod and Puck stepped back. The rush of quantum from him as he became an angry swirl of energy sent the three novas into defensive action, but the lobby blinked out of existence before any of them could act and the room they appeared in smelled of fear and blood. A severed head stared at them from a few feet away. One of the novas, a large man with intense green purple eyes and hair to match, reached for Puck as he re-solidified.

"Gary, hold." Glory stepped into view and arched a brow at Puck. "You could have taken the elevator."

"They could have been polite," he snapped. His eyes caught on the head and he closed them for a moment. "You have a job to do. Do it."

The CSI's spread out through the rooms, recording everything and uploading it to Utopian analysts via the Latino nova who'd taken up a spot as far away from Puck as she could and tried not to look like she was glaring at him. Glory stepped over to the pale nova, hearing the enforced slow, measured beats of his heart and watching him curiously as she noticed he still hadn't opened his eyes again. "I may have to arrest you," she said gently.

He let out a huff, something like between an annoyed sigh and an incredulous laugh. He held out his hands, wrists together. "You should arrest me. That's standard procedure. Protocol. English has many words that mean the same thing. It is very...inefficient." He paused and took a breath before continuing, his tone deceptively matter-of-fact. "I committed murder, justifiable or not."

His eyes opened and flicked to Sekhem's head again, then to some space of wall unburdened by blood. "I think..." he whispered, still staring fixedly at that space of cream colored paint, "I think it is a dangerous thing, to be angry."

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“Put your hands down,” Glory said softly, eyeing the young Terat and noting his difficulty with the head. “I don’t arrest men for defending children.” It was hard for her to think of arresting when she’d long wanted to cut off Sekhem’s head. Though she might have aimed for a lower head than the one Puck had taken. And she wouldn’t arrest him now, either; if it was given to her to be done, she’d ask Alpha.

“Glory, what do you want us to do?” Gary asked.

“That is a good question,” Glory mused, looking up at the big man. “What are you doing here? I asked for forensics.”

“You said a nova cut off another one’s head. What’d you expect us to do?” the man grunted.

“I told you I had it under control, too,” Glory replied coolly. “I know I don't work with the New York office much, but I have earned the right to say I have a situation in hand and to be believed.”

"Wait," Kevin said, stepping forward from where Puck's security had been watching with a cool eye. "What are you saying?"

"That Team Tomorrow members took it upon themselves to come in with CSI," Glory said coldly. As Exalt! security scowled at the novas with the forensics team, she added, "Merely Gary and Ellen." That said, she turned to Puck, putting her hand on the slim nova’s shoulder. “We do not need to be in this room,” she said with that serenity that was neither forced nor fake. “Come to the other room until they’re done.”

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Neither man spoke or even looked at each other, but Glory peered at them and felt the connection between the two of them. Teleporting, an energy form, a weapon formed of quantum, and now telepathy. We need to find out more about him. Like anything before Exalt!.

Puck nodded and let himself be led off by Utopia's princess of purity; she could feel a small amount of the tension bleed out of him once they were in one of the bedrooms. The mother's she thought at first because of the single large bed, but the pop-star posters and two kid-sized dressers revised her opinion. Puck opened his eyes once they were inside, stooping over to pick up a stuffed unicorn with a plush glittery horn. He sat down hard on the bed, running his fingers through the long fur of the toy. "I made this for Penny," he said quietly.

"Penny?" Glory asked, taking up a seat next to him.

"Felicia's eldest daughter." His hands clenched involuntarily, "The little girl that...creature...threw into a wall." He carefully set the unicorn down on the floor before he ripped it. He eyed it like it might suddenly come to life and try to escape. "I should take it to her. She'll want it when she wakes up."

"Is this...." Glory hesitated, but decided to push forward, "Is this the first time you've...had a confrontation like this?"

Puck looked over at her, giving her an irritated look. "Yes, Glory. This is the first time I've murdered someone." He stood up and paced around, muttering, "Even after Cyndi asked."

Glory blinked. "Cyndi asked you kill someone?" Who's Cyndi?

He stopped and rolled his eyes. "Yes. Her. She's immortal, as far as anything or anyone can determine and is extremely bipolar. In her down swings or if she's feeling particularly artistic, she likes to be murdered. She was....in-between partners and I had just started studying with Chang. She suggested that I might find it instructive and she'd find it relaxing."

Glory blinked again and swallowed. He's a Terat. "Relaxing? Instructive?"

He ran his hands through his hair and stopped pacing, staring at a poster of Harmonic. "She finds dying relaxing and usually comes back completely out of her depressive stage. Even manic, and always feeling spiritual and artistically inspired. She thought that planning and carrying out her murder might have a similar effect for me." His tone dripped exasperation, "I declined. She found a new partner, far more suited to her moods and her artistic tastes."

The room was silent while Glory went over that. Puck interrupted her thoughts with a question: "Who was he?"

She shouldn't tell him, but watching him, he seemed so lost. Vulnerable wasn't something Glory ever associated with Terats. "His name was Sekhem. He wasn't a good person. He-"

"You knew he was here."

It wasn't a question and Glory folded her hands in her lap. "There will be an investigation into his death. I can't-"

"Glory," there was a warning growl to his voice. "I couldn't care less about an investigation. I'm not a lawyer, but I know enough to know that he invaded Felicia's home in a building I own and attacked her and her children. Even if Utopia or the city of New York decides to press charges against the scary Terat that- ...that-..." He steadied himself, still staring at Harmonic on the poster. "Charges that will be dismissed due to New York castle laws. You were here almost instantly. Even with your abilities, even if you had the perfect set of powers to get here, you had to know there was a reason to have those powers to be able to get here or be here waiting for it to happen."

He finally turned to look at her. "Either way, you know more about what happened here than I do. You've had my cooperation. I want yours. Who was he and why was he here?"

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Glory stared at him, her lovely blue eyes troubled. On one hand, she had no proof to back up what she knew to be the truth. Greta’s confession to her was only proof that she’d been asked by the father to do what had been done – damning proof to be sure, and likely to hold up in a court, if Greta would testify. With Sekhim dead, she’d likely be unwilling to appear in court and talk openly of betraying her Elite handlers.

On the other hand, if he knew, he could protect the children.

“Give me your word, your promise, that you won’t go after him,” Glory requested softly. The words startled her slightly: why would I trust the word of a Terat?I

“I can’t give you that,” Puck replied immediately. His rage was still so thick about him that she didn’t need emotional empathy to read him. “I can promise you that I won’t take violent action against him.”

Glory’s eyes narrowed. She debated that against what she knew about Puck, about what he could do to a single baseline man. But it was the children that swayed her: Glory was a sucker for the little innocents, and their father could do a great deal of damage to them if he were allowed to continue to try to grab them. “Their father tried to regain custody of his daughters forcibly,” she admitted. “He tried to hire an Elite with more morals than Sekhim and she told me about the plan. I’ve been waiting for him to act, though your building made it a bit difficult for me to get here in time.”

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She could feel the spike of rage in him, and the blade she'd seen before jumped back into existence in his hands. He let it fall from his hands without a comment; the tip buried itself into the floor and left it quivering there. "Thank you," he said softly.

For a moment there was just the sounds from the other room, the forensics team moving around, making comments to one another. A small ruckus occurred as Greg announced, "I don't care who he is, this is a crime scene and he's not coming inside."

"Yes, I am." The tone was light, with an East Cost accent and the utter authority of someone who knows that they're going to get what they want. "I can make my way to the bedroom without passing through any area currently being inspected by the CSI team." There was a half-moment of silence, and then, "Think carefully, Gregory Stands. Put hands on me in my own home and you will be charged with assault. Given your abilities as a nova, under UN law it will be considered aggravated assault."

"This is an active crime scene. That means you're not in charge. Whoever you are."

"That area over there, with the blood and decapitated body, is a crime scene. The rest of the room is just a room. You have a statement from Puck and Glory witnessed the entire altercation. Are you doubting Glory's ability to discern the course of events taking place directly in front of her?"

Puck groaned in annoyance and pulled out his OpPhone. He pressed an icon and a phone rang in the other room. "Stop baiting him, Eric."

"You wanted to talk to me."

"We're talking."

"You wanted to talk to me in person. He's being an ass just because he can."

"Let it go. He can play petty tyrant over the room for now. The investigation would be considered compromised if they let you walk through the rooms. He might be an ass, but he is doing his job."

"Are you coming out, then?"

Puck glanced over at Glory. "No," he said to the phone. "Not yet. I want you to pull the file on Richard Danner. Ruin him. I don't want him to be able to show his face in public or buy a bus pass, let alone hire another nova-" he said something that Glory didn't understand, but she caught the drift from his tone of voice.

"Done." The phone clicked as the connection dropped.

She frowned, lines creasing her beautiful features. "Puck-"

"I said I wouldn't take violent action against him." He tried not to snap and the blade flickered from the floor back into his hands; he tossed it this time but it winked out of existence before it hit anything solid. "But he sent someone to kidnap two of his daughters because he can't handle that Penny - his oldest child - was born male and is becoming female. He sent someone that would suffocate those supposedly beloved daughters in order to keep them silent and nearly killed their mother and elder sister." His voice hardened, "I will not touch his body. I gave you my word. But I will strip everything from him in any way I can. He allowed harm to come to his own children out his selfish spite. He invaded their home, our home, and shattered their sense of safety and the happiness and healing they had found here. He will live because I have killed once and I do not wish to make that a part of who I am beyond tonight, but this man - he will live miserably."

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“They will heal,” Glory said softly. “There is nothing that was done to them tonight that they will not recover from, given time and love. There was no permanent damage done to them, Puck. With the right care, they will know only joy from their father’s selfishness. Yes, he should be punished, but it should be in proportion to the damage done. Their lives aren’t ruined, Puck.” A slim hand, gentle despite the strength she possessed, curled around his arm. “Let their father suffer, but only as much as is merited.” She would watch the situation. If it became excessive, she would step in and rebalance it. She’d much rather give Puck the chance to make the right choice on his own, though.

He didn’t answer, which she thought he might not. They fell into silence, her hand on his arm in comfort. After all, he’d been hurt to, tonight. He’d killed, and by all his statements, he was suffering from the normal reaction that anyone would have to that moment. So Glory remained, silently waiting with him.

It was hours before the forensics team was done; Glory knew they were being meticulous, but it still grated on her nerves. She could only imagine how much worse it was for Puck. But finally, they were done and left the building, leaving only Glory. She sensed that people were curious about what she was doing here, but she said nothing to them. Instead, she said to Puck, “If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Perhaps about what legal recourse you can expect? Or about what your feelings regarding Sekhem. I, too, have been where you are.” The offer was sincerely made; Glory knew what it was like to kill someone, even in defense of another.

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"You decapitated a-" he started to snark, then stopped himself. "My apologies. I'm distracted and...still upset."

He sat up on the bed, running a hand through his hair to clear away the non-existent bedhead. "I know the law on this now. Unless you're willing to perjure yourself, the worst I can be charged with second degree murder with mitigating circumstances. If the law is applied correctly, then I won't be charged at all under the..." he paused "...New York justification statute of 1968, which allows for deadly force against an intruder in the defense of another when retreat cannot guarantee the safety of those threatened by the intruder."

He stood, cradling the stuffed unicorn under an arm and picked up another stuffed animal - a dolphin this time - and tucked it in with the unicorn. He held his hand out to Glory in a gentlemanly gesture. "There's a lot more formal language that goes into it, but that's the basics of it. Of course, if I were willing to ignore legal procedure and engage in politics, this entire incidence could be me made a non-issue and never reach anything as formal as charges and trials." He shrugged at her frown. "Simply stating a fact, Glory, not necessarily describing my intended course of action."

He walked out of the room, glancing back to see if the winged nova would follow him; he tracked his way though the apartment, stopping in the smallest bedroom to pick up a plush turtle. Glory followed him out into the halls and into to the quiet of the elevator. He punched one of the buttons despite juggling the three toys.

"Where are we going?" Glory asked after a moment of only the hum of the elevator between them.

"To the Wellness floor. The girls and Felicia are all sleeping now; I want the girls to have something familiar from their rooms to wake up to." He leaned against the back of the elevator and sighed. "It would probably be the best if I did take the political side-step."

Glory frowned again and her nostrils flared in reluctant irritation.

Puck huffed half a laugh. "For all involved, Glory, not just myself. I have no recognized citizenship, which will complicate legal matters greatly."

"You're...you're not an American citizen?" He just quirked a brow at her. "No then. And you don't have a passport? How in heaven's name did you open a business?"

He shrugged. "No one ever asked for any citizenship papers. Honestly, I'm only now learning what a legal mess all of this is. A trial...well, there are some things that will be considered required information that I simply will not provide-"

"Such as?" she interjected with honest and only slightly calculated curiousity.

Puck just smiled at her and continued on, "Which will muddle what laws actually apply to me. I'll honestly be spending more time keeping Geryon and a number of others from taking unnecessary and unwanted actions on my behalf if any of this becomes a matter of public action." He slumped against the wood paneling, "An actual trial will be even more irritating. I'll have dozens of Terats making a public spectacle of what a 'jury of my peers' actually is and anti-nova groups up in arms about...everything, more than likely." He sighed, "And some of their complaints will be true, which will muddle things even further. Can you imagine what a trial with me sitting in the courtroom would be like?"

He looked at her, his intense blue eyes pinning her to the spot. "A fair trial for me in the American justice system is in all practicality impossible. Really, just imagine it. Me in a court room. Everyone else in the courtroom attempting to be impartial."

The elevator dinged before Glory could respond; Puck pushed himself off the wall and made his way to the room where the family was sleeping without any apparent directions. It was a double queen room; the mother was sharing one bed with the youngest daughter and the other two children were curled up together on the second bed. Puck tucked the toys in with each of the children and kissed the mother gently on the forehead. He retreated from the room, pulling the Team Tomorrow team leader with him. Out in the hall he continued their conversation in low tones. "So, any suggestions on what to do? I know the laws, I know the other usual avenues that people most often use successfully to avoid dealing with the legal system, but I lack experience."

To her shock and surprise, the question seemed entirely sincere.

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“I don’t know that you should avoid the laws,” Glory said, crossing her arms and leaning against the wall. The first impulse was to call her attitude naïve, but she didn’t seem innocent. “Avoiding the legal process will only make the cries of you circumventing the law stronger, regardless of whether circumvention is the right call or not. There are nova judges, who have a far better chance of remaining impartial.” A corner of her mouth quirked up. “Despite what the Teragen likes to tout, the system we have in place isn’t completely helpless.” Her smile faded a touch before she added, “Even for one such as you.

“You are slightly incorrect about your assessment of the law, as well,” Glory added. “I was on-scene, so it would be very questionable that your retreat would result in the girls being harmed. That aside, the spirit of the law applies, and it will be my judgment about how to spin this so the correct spirit is applied.

“My advice to you is to not leave the planet for a while until it clears up,” she added, smiling at her choice of words. Beautiful blue eyes focused on him. “And it will clear up. This was a violation of your home. I ask that you have patience with the legal system and let it do its job.” Even as she offered assurances, Glory wondered at this strange nova. He was a Terat, yet seemed to have a non-Terat's love for baselines. It was a paradox, and Glory found herself wanting to unweave the puzzle of Puck.

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He considered her words for a moment, then nodded. It was a heartbeat later before he spoke though, and odd distance between the movement and the words. "Sound advice. It will be interesting to see how the United States legal system handles a person that refuses to claim a nationality." His lips twitched into a grin, a pale ghost of his usual puckish self, but dazzling even so. "I cannot give you my word not to leave the planet, though."

He held up a hand to forestall her reaction, "I have reasons that are more important to me than this issue and it would be insulting to lead you to think otherwise. I will make as certain as I can that I can be reached quickly if I am away and needed back on Earth, but that is as much as I can promise you. I do not intend to abandon the planet for something like...this...but I also will not allow it to rule my life until some judge or other decides if murdering that man was justified in the eyes of others."

He didn't loom over her - he wasn't tall enough, for one thing - but his presence was suddenly looming all the same; that tug of a grin was still ghosting across his lips though. "And despite what Utopia likes to tout, you are neither omnipotent nor omniscient." His expression became more somber, that presence losing it's flirtatious air as he continued. "My family was in danger. You provided a means to end that and I did so. I didn't honestly notice you until afterwards. Tell me, if someone had broken into your house, hurt your children, and was trying to kidnap them, would you have taken the time to think things through? To leave any chance at all for that person to kill your children or disappear with them forever?"

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“Which is why my assessment of the situation will support you, Puck,” Glory told him bluntly. “Your position is good, and my recommendations to you are to keep your status there. You have the upper ground, which is why I recommend that you don’t act in a way that would be deemed suspicious. I want you to remain above reproach in this matter.”

“You do?” Puck asked, raising an eyebrow.

“You’re not a murderer and therefore I don’t want public sentiment to sway the case negatively,” Glory replied. “I know that it can happen, and I know what sort of reputation you already hold. I want to see justice done.”

“Won’t that get you in trouble with the bald man in Spandex?” Puck asked, a hint of teasing tone in his voice.

“Only if he deigns to notice my existence,” she said with a chuckle, realizing belatedly that perhaps that wasn’t something she should have said. But since she was in for it already: “It seems a win-win to me – either he ignores me and nothing happens or he finally has to talk to me.”

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"What an idiot." At her look, he shrugged. "One of the few men in the world that could demand that you spend time with him, and you're telling he's been avoiding you? The man is an idiot. Or a eunuch. Possibly both. Or worried that you'll make him jealous, I suppose."

"Jealous?" She blinked.

The grin, wicked and truly Puckish, flashed again. "Surely you've used in a mirror at some point as something other than a door, Glory. Mr. Spandex probably doesn't want to face the truth that he's no longer the fairest of them all."

Glory flushed and laughed, trying to cover up both with a hand over her mouth.

The first rays of true sunlight pierced through the window at the end of the hallway that they'd been walking down and Puck considered them for a brief moment. "Glory, I will not give you my word that I won't leave the planet. I can't. I will leave if there is a need. I will give you my word that I will act in the best interests of Felicia, her daughters, and Exalt!, all of which have vested interests here on Earth and in the United States particularly. To that end, I will do my best to be available or present for the legal course that this situation takes, as well as ensuring that this entire situation does not become just another pissing match between Utopia and the Teragen. Trust that that will consume far more time and resources for me than anything else and that it is a far greater boon than my continuous presence on Earth." He gestured to the sunbeams playing across the hallway, "It's morning. Would you like breakfrast? Most of the members are up now anyways, so the kitchen staff have been getting a buffet up and running for the past couple of hours. The food is always a mix with the apprentices and chefs all cooking, but most of it is quite exquisite."

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