Jump to content

Aberrant: Infinite Earth - Cosmos Nova - Ciudad de la Ruina


Mech
 Share

Recommended Posts

March 5th, 2013

,,

Connor had had a good weekend. God knows he needed it. It had been nonstop since the new year, as he ran around the world on DSA errands and State Department PR ops. he had seen scarce little of any of his comrades at the office, considering his highly irregular hours. He'd had the first and second of March off, for the gand opening of the new podbay in Houston something he didn't want to miss.

,,

It was back to work though afterwards, as he was now In Mexico City, a guest of the President, who was seeking to improve US-Mexican relations. He'd been a real reformer so far rooting out corruption and on the whole truly helping redeem the Mexican central government's reputation in the eyes of the world. Of course, he made some enemies in this, but for the most part, his economic reforms had helped the nation, and the people were behind him.

,,

Mexico boasted only three publicly known novas, Ming, Mariposa Esposita, and Juan Carlos Camacho, The man working for the Department of Agriculture. It was his work that had helped bring in record crops this past year, the old Ranch owner and vaquero was blessed with a gifted mind, but simple dreams. He had been offered far more money by the US in the early days of the DSA, but had remained in Mexico, much as Mariposa had. "I can do the most good for my people here."

,,

He was in the Northwest, working there, and Ming and Mariposa were at the next stop on this goodwill tour. The Centro Medico Dalinde Hospital was the place where the petite Mariposa worked tirelessly to help diagnose treat an heal the sick in Mexico City, and She met the President and Connor's Entourage at the door. She shook hands with President Lorenzo, who kissed her knuckles lightly. When she came to Connor she seemed torn, and he extended a hand to her, which she took and then embraced him fondly. "I hear the two of you are well acquainted."

,,

Connor smiled. "We are old friends on excellent terms." Mariposa blushed abit and regained her composure. "Gentlemen, please, I have many who would like to meet you, and much I wish to show you." She led them through the hospital into the non secure areas and the President shook hands with those patients they passed. It had all been cleared, and many were more impressed to see him there than Connor, until they came to the children's ward. There were two dozen beds in the largest wardroom, and the curtains were drawn back, they'd been told to expect a special visitor, not two, and certainly not Connor.

,,

The eyes of two dozen children lit up upon seeing their guests, and They were ablaze with excitement. Both President Lorenzo and Connor spent time with each of them, and towards the end of the visit Connor even put on a miniature show for the them between two miniature copies of himself.

,,

They lef and were outside the ward room when Connor felt the first tremble. He moved fast, faster than anyone there, to Shield the President and Mariposa, and then the main force of the quake shook the city to its foundations. There was a thunderous roar as the earth shook, and a high pitch Ringing that cased him actual pain. He went metal out of reflex even as the building was beginning to crumble. The ground shook and pitched, and For a moment his mind almost blanked. The hospital was already falling around him, and soon he and everyone there would be buried in thousands of tons of debris.

,,

Across the city this was replayed. The military base, the refineries, every major building, all succumbed to the force of the 8.9 earthquake as monitoring stations all across the southwest detected the massive quake. most homes suffered great damage if not destruction, and fires raged across the slums and shantytowns of the city.The police were overwhelmed communications were knocked out, and what Emergency Response services that were on the streets at the time were largely all that remained in the city. The Death Toll in that first minute was over a hundred thousand, and would climb much higher by the time things were done.

,,

Beneath 80 tons of stone Connor lay braced on the ground, covering three of Lorenzo's guards, the President, and Mariposa. They had all been knocked out in the fall, and Connor woke them with his tail in his minature Black lion form. "Connor?"

,,

"There was an Earthquake a bad one, The hospital is around us, in shambles. The whole city was hit. Mariposa, we have a huge problem on our hands."

,,

President Lorenzo awoke with a start.."Connor?"

,,

"Yes sir. "

,,

"My people?"

,,

"I only see the five of you..." There was no hiding his sadness.

,,

"More than we have any right to have hoped for. I've never felt one like that." Connor Nodded. "This building was one of the newest, and it was flattened. Sir, I recomend you appeal for immediate international Aid. There are people dying out there, and we have to help them."

,,

The passion with which Connor spoke would have brought a lesser man to tears, he had no idea what brought out this nova's earnest desire to help strangers in a country not his own, but he was thankful to God for it, and He would do exactly as he said. "Your government?"

,,

"Would need a Direct appeal from you sir."

,,

"Do you have a phone?"

,,

"No, it was destroyed in the fall.."

,,

One of the guards held his up. "Sattelite, For emergencies."

,,

"Now, sir, I will be honest. When I break us out of here, We may very well cause casualties. I will be careful, but I wish to state this now."

,,

President Lorenzo shook his head. "There is nothing to be done. If the damage was this bad, then I may be the only one able to make this call and make it stick." Even Mariposa could only Nod. "I can feel Ming. after you free us help me get to her, she'll help."

,,

Connor Nodded, and soon metal began to flow off of him as he shifted forms again. The metal encased them looking almost spherical for a moment but soon became a hand. Then, Amidst the rubble and ruin of the Sprawling Capital, an utterly massive Gundam Strike Freedom in it's gleaming black white blue and golden glory, two hundred and thirteen feet tall towering above everything else that remained.It held up it's hand its fingers uncurling. There was not much smoke around them, only due to the wind blowing it east. "Call quickly from my platform." The call was made, and Connor gave the right number and code to signify it was from him. It went first to Director Horst, The situation was explained, and he then used his clout to pass it directly to the President.

,,


"President Carlson, I respectfully request Emergency Aid for my people. Thousands lay dead, and assuredly your people detected the quake that has ravaged my capital and nearly destroyed it. Please send all that you can, to help stave off any further loss of life. I know these aren't the proper channels, but innocent lives are in grave danger, and pride an bueracracy matter very little balanced against that."

,,

Connor motioned for the phone to be directed to him. "Mr. President this is assistant Director Fontenot, I request immediate preparations to mobilize what personnel we can from the DSA to come down here and help these people. I'm already standing astride a ruined hospital, every building over the size of a house is in rubble, sir, these people need us."

,,

President David Carlson looked to his Cabinet and the Secretary of Defense nodded. "I can have a Regiment in the air in 3 hours."

,,

The Secretary of State nodded. "It will take time to get the red cross involved, and send our own Medical teams in."

,,

"President Lorenzo, I will issue an order for a regiment of troops and Army Engineers to aid you, they'll be there in roughly 12 hours. What medical personnel and supplies I can muster, as well as Fire fighting crews, I will send as well."

,,

Lorenzo shook his head. Twelve hours was a miracle but far too long. "Thank you President Carlson, for your prompt reply. God bless you and the American People."

,,

He closed the phone and looked crestfallen.

,,

"twelve hours, there's no telling how many of us will be dead by then."

,,

Connor looked at him. "Dial the first number again, ask for Director Horst, I may have a sollution.:

,,

He did so. "I can't hurry them any more Connor, even with such a tragedy..."

,,

"I can."

,,

"What?" "Get together all our people, Make Sure Dr. Richardson is there above everyone else. She's going to be the key in this."

,,

It had been thirty minutes now since the quake and the news was starting to get out Everyone wanted to know what was happening, and after Connor's first Call, the Director had already recalled all DSA nova operatives to meet in one of the auditoriums in the compound. "Alright Connor, we'll do it your way I'm having everyone in the auditorium in ten minutes I'll see you then."

,,

Horst Hung up and the Mexican president looked up at him. "What are you playing at?"

,,

"I will save as many as I can, even if it costs me my job." He began shrinking down setting them on the ground safely, as he took a more manageable 8m tall form without the large wings. "Now, Mariposa, lead me to Ming.".....

,,

please assemble all DSA nova characters who wish to be a part of this in the auditorium, and once there Horst will explain why they're there. Once we have everyone, We will move forward.

,,

Those who are not members of the DSA, post as you will. We can and I imagine will be breaking off into smaller groups and threads, but just to get us there this will be one big thing.

,,
,,
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rebecca saw the news on MSNBC as it broke. She also saw the 9.0 trembler on the USGS web page, with the aftershocks.

"Dad... this is Rebecca." Rebecca called immediately to her dad. "You guys got any geologists on this? That's huge!"

"Yes, dear, but not out of the ordinary."

Rebecca got another call on the line, it had a emergency tag to a text message. "Dad... I think it is going to get very busy, very quick. I gotta go."

"Be careful, dear."

"No need to say. I'll call you first opportunity."

She hung up her first call and saw the text. "Report ot Auditorium 1, ASAP."

She flew to the front doors of the building the auditorium was in then right into the auditorium. Already there was sattelite pictures coming up of the situation. She pulls out a iPad and prepares for the meeting. She'd been learning it was a good idea to have some basic stuff in a backpack just in case. Although some of the more grown officials were... wondering why She was there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kei was busy setting up for the day in her home in Minneapolis when the alert came over her phone.

"REPORT TO LANGLEY, AUDITORIUM 1, CRISIS RESPONSE - MAY"

Kei starts to suit up on seeing the text as only she could. Fast. It's been a while since she had been getting messages from her "Operator", May Ewart. She picks up her phone to call May back after getting her hands in the gloves of her suit. "May... got your message what happened?"

"Natural Disaster Response that's what. Big assed earthquake just happened in Mexico. It's a full on world-crisis. D0 is impotent and Euronet has no assets reporting. Guess who is the big damn heroes."

Kei grinned as her customized devilion fit to her body. "Awesome. I'll be in langely... shortly."

Kei stepped up to the roof of the condominium building she was residing, and hovered up to a safe height above the city of Minneapolis so she could hit mach 12.

It wasn't long before she was at Langley, reporting to the Auditorium fully bespoke in her suit, cloak, and gear. Seeing that the cute one of the brats was sitting right in front was... odd. Kei quirked an eyebrow at that before taking her seat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roxanne was already there, her eyes wide in shellshock as she watched the news.

,,

One of the upsides of Roxanne's eruption is that she found it far easier to empathize with people, and with a wider sphere of people. Dunbar's Number, for her, was unmeasured and potentially immeasurable. She could empathize with just about anyone, including people she only knew a few details about. Most days it was a blessing.

,,

Today, as Roxanne sat with a device in her pocket that could access the entire wealth of human knowledge, including the details of every single person who was dead or dying right now? Today, it wasn't a blessing at all.

,,

She waited, trying to keep herself together. She'd packed water, protein bars for her metabolism, changes of tail-friendly clothing... everything she'd need for her stay, which would be a long one. At 44, Roxanne had learnt to be patient. As she fidgeted, all that she'd learned about patience was draining away by the second.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shae was sitting in Agent Kora's chair, setting up several different pranks to go off over the next couple of days on Agent Kora's computer, and grinning with Agent Kora's smile when the alert went out. Shae knew she wasn't the most responsible of people, and she was certainly selfish, even elitist. But she wasn't heartless. She closed up her programs, slipped out of the room and out of Kora's skin, and made her way to the auditorium.

,,

There were several novas there already, including another of the teens; Shae made her way over to her and sat down next to her. "Any details yet?"

,,

She gave Horst her 'serious' face. He knew what she was capable of, when she wasn't out clubbing or just messing with people for fun. On her own, she was mostly just whatever pretty face she wanted to be - but when she wanted, she could be whoever she needed to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rebecca smiled to Shae, but there was weariness. "No, everyone is getting here, and we're wasting valuible time. Trust me, the clock in my head is ticking quite loudly." She sighed, starting to fidget. "I hate being stuck here waiting for everyone to get a handle on this. I thought novas were better at this stuff."

She saw Vixen, she seemed just as anxious.

"Seems I'm not the only one that is bothered as to how slow this process is."

She sighed. "At least Miss Nakano is here... she's the seasoned hero type. Seeing Horst here though means this is a far bigger project than realized..."

She adjusted the goggles she always liked to have on her head. "By my calculation, he is going to deploy the adults to the scene of the disaster, with Kei and Connor handling SAR duties with Dr. Richardson assisting any medical efforts. I would suspect Telluris will be used in helping with retrieving survivors and... bodies... with his ability to move earth-based materials. Karrie will probably be logistics."

Rebecca was... observant. But not a detective. But she could read the obvious methods of action.

"More than likely in a few days we will be sent there as a PR thing... passing out water to relief workers and what-not.I doubt this first 24 hours will be safe enough for the adults to stomach having us there. Quite frankly I agree. Although... most of us have abilities what would protect us in a adverse situation."

She smiled to Shae. "If anything from my deduction we will have a role to play none the less."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being as he was, a young man with access to advanced tech and more importantly, up to the minute news, Ross already knew as he came in what had happened. His expression drawn, in recognition of such the disaster that had befallen Mexico City like the wrath of God, showed as Ross came in. The telekinetic only awaited the instructions and order to respond as appropriate.

,,

Although, there were certain thoughts unsuitable to the time creeping into his head. Mainly concerning Lance, the man of his dreams deceitful bastard. More suitable perhaps, was wondering what the teen squad (ironic since he was only a couple years older in general) was doing, unless there was some contained photo op help for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kei saw the nervous Vixen, so she decided to sit next to her.

"Seems all this got you jumpy." Kei observed. "Good... perhaps seeing we're getting all restless that we'll get our marching orders very fast. I really don't like the wait myself."

She stretched out. "If anything, Roxanne, I'll make sure I got your back in all this."

"To be honest... lately... I've started to grow acustom to not being the DSA's big stick."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ground shook beneath Karrie, for the eighth or ninth time today. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the moment, waiting for the trembling stop. After they ceased, Rob floated over her again, his hair brushing her face as he kissed her gently. “How was that?” he asked, his brown eyes twinkling with lust and love and simple contentment.

,,

“Pretty good. A bit rough at some points,” Karrie murmured in answer, reaching up to hold his hair back from her face. She loved to play with it, but it did tickle sometimes.

,,

“Mmm, I’ll have to work on my control.” Rob smiled as gravity released its hold on them and Karrie left the ground. He put his arms around her as their hair floated out in a halo.

,,

Karrie did her part by gripping a handful of his shirt and pulling him to her. “That is why we’re doing this. That and because I wanna kiss you every chance I get.” She grinned just before she kissed him again, savoring the intense connection between them. She’d dreamed of this for so long and even if the reality wasn’t quite the same as her fiction, it was sweeter in its own way.

,,

“The kissing is why I like power practice with you,” Rob admitted with a sexy chuckle. That led to another kiss, naturally, even though Rob should have been practicing making micro-quakes. The hope was that his use of the power could create data for scientific research into earthquakes. He could make the localized tremors, but he was refining his control of how he made the earth move. Karrie loved to lie on the ground while her boyfriend shook it up. The excuse was that she could give him a detailed first-hand report on his results; the reality was it was fun and they took frequent breaks to make out. Given that Rob was making earthquakes, they were in a field in rural Maryland, far enough from people that no one would be hurt if something went wrong. The isolation also meant that they probably made out more than they worked.

,,

Both of their phones rang and both novas broke their kiss with soft noises of disappointment. “Can we ignore it?” Karrie murmured before she kissed his stupid goatee.

,,

Rob held up the phone. “It’s the emergency line.”

,,

“Yeah,” Karrie agreed after pulling out her phone and checking the glowing screen. They parted as Rob put them back on their feet and the two answered at the same time.

,,

The calls were short and both novas wore grim expressions by the end. Funtime was over, even if Rob did scoop Karrie up in his arms to take her back to headquarters.

,,


,,

The two entered the auditorium together, their expressions atypically somber. They quietly found seats near the front. Karrie had a tablet in her lap; she quickly naviageted to the news sites to read about the quake. When Rob leaned close to her, she held the screen so he could read, too. The two novas huddled close and watched the horror unfold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"All those people..." Vixen shook her head. "I hate waiting. I can't help but think of all the people dying from lack of water, or, or being pinned under half a building right now." She sighed. "Hate waiting. Hate it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anastasia had been up for... gods know how long. She ordered SimCity and downloaded it as it came available at midnight. She had bee playing it ever since. When she got the call to congregate for a DSA meeting, she didn't know what time or even day it was. It was still the fifth, but she was tired as fuck. She got dressed in her hoodie and long denim shorts, she almost forgot her shoes!

,,

She gaited towards the auditorium and when she got there a reasonable number of people were there. She didn't even know why they were even here. Taking a seat near the back, trying not to nod off, she waited for instructions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"All those people..." Vixen shook her head. "I hate waiting. I can't help but think of all the people dying from lack of water, or, or being pinned under half a building right now." She sighed. "Hate waiting. Hate it."

Kei crossed her arms, standing back up, her cloak still over her shoulders. She saw the scene on the screen in front and the look on people's faces. She turns to Roxanne. "Doc... we're not gods and goddesses. Even we have limits. This disaster was sudden... that's why it's called a disaster."

She turns back to the screen. "No matter the precautions, the preparations, even having the man-power... people have died and will die."

"You have to accept that, Roxanne, or that feeling you got is gonna destroy you." Kei said with a sigh. "But we all must do what we can in spite of fate, because that's what we do. That's what we all do."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I know. I know. Dammit. I just want to get movie already. Are we all here? Whenever they're ready to go - "

,,

Roxanne stopped, going over her plan. What would she do, being the first one through? Wag her tail at the rubble? She knew why she was here. She was working as a force multiplier. The more novas they had, the more material she had to work with.So they had to wait. Logically, she had to wait.

,,

"You're right. I know. I'm not good at accepting this sort of thing." She sniffed. "Thanks, though. Just... have to wait until we're ready."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I know. I know. Dammit. I just want to get movie already. Are we all here? Whenever they're ready to go - "

,,

Roxanne stopped, going over her plan. What would she do, being the first one through? Wag her tail at the rubble? She knew why she was here. She was working as a force multiplier. The more novas they had, the more material she had to work with.So they had to wait. Logically, she had to wait.

,,

"You're right. I know. I'm not good at accepting this sort of thing." She sniffed. "Thanks, though. Just... have to wait until we're ready."

Kei smiled. "Like I said, no matter what, I got your back, and if you must, as promised I'm willing to volunteer for that power copying trick you got. That way we have another person able to look for survivors."

She pointed to her eyes. "I can read your nerve impulses like a shark can if I wanted to. That and being able to fly over a scene instead of risk injury on the ground is a plus."

She adjusted her suit, smiling, starting to look at the grouping. "That and we all have varying levels of disaster response experience. That..."

She looks to the Nextgen Initiative kids. "...and we gotta set an example for the kids to follow."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lance strolled into the auditorium, looking as fabulous as ever. His black Armani suit was spotless and unwrinkled, his hair perfect. He gazed around the auditorium, eyes adjusted to the light levels reflexively until he spotted Ross slouched in one of the isles. he debated leaving Ross to himself but he knew their current "situation" was having a negative impact on the young man. Lance was not one to shirk away from his problems and from what he'd heard from Horst Ross' attitude was becoming a problem because of him.

,,

He slid gracefully into the seat beside Ross and smiled at him. "Hey handsome, how are you doing?" He sounded genuine; he always sounded genuine. While his primary focus was on the young man in front of him, he was also paying attention to the other people and conversations in the room. It was almost impossible for him not to. From the look on Ross' face it was clear that he was still raw about their 'relationship.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horst came in with a great deal more alacrity than he normally moved. "Alright, some of you are aware, some aren't, but this morning, Mexico City was wiped off the map by an earthquake that measured9.0 on the Richter scale. This quake was felt up to a hundred miles away, making it it much more localized than one of this magnitude is expected to be. We had a small delegation there on a diplomatic visit, and he was caught in the quake."

He looked around, notably absent was the Assistant Director of Public Relations, Connor. "Agent Fontenot survived, and was able to save the lives of five near him as the hospital he was inside collapsed on them. One of those saved was the Mexican President, who has using perhaps the only satellite phone in the area, called and requested immediate emergency aid from our government, and the DSA in particular. The President has authorized for full mobilization, and already SaR, Emergency Response, and EMT's are being prepared and gathered up. A full Regiment of the Army is to be deployed as peacekeepers and to assist with basic needs. We also will have a battalion from the Army Corps of Engineers going in. Sadly it's going to take twelve hours to get them there."

He had brought up maps of Mexico City in all its sprawl, "The Air is toxic, and all basic services are offline. Connor's initial Report stated no building larger than a house intact, and everything was severely damaged. Fires are Ravaging sections of the city, and spreading. Those of you who can extinguish the flames are the priority, Get them under control, while we begin search and rescue operations. I will be taking several of you with me to setup a temporary command post onsite..."

It was in that moment that space Tore to his left, and Connor and the Mexican President stepped through. The gate closed behind him, and he was still metal, looking like a miniature gundam.

"Connor, President Lorenzo.."

"Director, I will be brief, time is lives. " The Mexican President turned to the gathered novas and Psiads of the DSA. "Please do all you can for my people. Connor has a plan that may help us, but it will not function without each and every one of you."

"The fires.."

"I covered that, I have several who can be very handy with putting them out. "

"Thank you."

He looked to Connor. "You know your people best.."

Connor stepped up, and nodded. "My plan is a simple one, as you have just seen, I can open gateways bypassing great distances. I'm going to use that, and my ability to copy myself to move the military and response groups to Mexico city rapidly. Even with them, Mexico City has over twenty eight million inhabitants, and it will fall to us to get to them, and then bring them to safety. Once I get the Military there, They'll establish a Triage area so we can save as many as we can. "

He looked to where Anastasia and Shae, Sean, and Rebecca were. "Director Horst, I don't think..."

"Nor do I, The four of you will not be going on this mission. You will remain here, awaiting further orders, on Call. If there is something you can do, then you will be called, to the command post, but not to the city proper. You are to return to class."

Once he was satisfied, he nodded. "Alright, I'm going to open a gate, and everyone going go through. Once there, you'll find Ming, three security guards, and Dr. Mariposa Esposita, they're going through the hospital looking for other survivors." That he'd left obviously caused pain, but he needed to get here to get them in.

"Director Horst, Which Unit is going to be deployed.?"

"The 6th Infantry, and 2nd battalion from the 5th, They're at Fort Bliss, Texas."

Connor nodded. "That's some heavy firepower."

"It's all that's remotely close, and able to respond."

"It will do, just dunno if I can accommodate all the gear."

He nodded once, and the President looked at him. "It's time to get back."

Connor opened a gate, and for nearly everyone there it was their first time traveling in this manner, taking a step and then ending up in the once capital of another nation. The city was ruin, smoke and fire, and those who possessed advanced senses could hear the dying, and smell those there already.

Those that could went into action to fight the flames, producing results quickly. "No one is to go off alone, everyone buddy up, and remember there are no communications towers yet, Stay in earshot."

He looked to a few. Those of you who can sense, separate and process all the sensations, keep an ear out for calls for help from our people, until the military is here, you are our comms."

As the groups began to form, Mariposa and Ming came up, looking like hell.. "we found no one. The three guards trailed them, dirty but alright. "So much lost..."

Connor nodded. "We are here to help, and more will come soon."

He found who he needed, and strode over to Vixen. "Doctor Richardson, I need your help.."

(OOC, okay guys officially, it's time to go off and do as you will here, save some people help put out the fires, uncover clues to the cause. ALL ADULT DSA NOVAS AND PSIADS have been deployed to Mexico City. Work together or alone it's up to you, just remember to have fun. Any NEW threads taking place in regards to this plot should have {CDLR} tags. The Teens did not get brought along, though this doesn't mean they cannot show up, you all just have to find your own way there.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back at Langley

"Just as expected." Rebecca said. "I'm heading back to my Dorm. I got classes in a hour..."

She sighed getting back up. "I hate being right sometimes." She said starting to head out. "We should leave Horst to his command and control here... we'll get called when we're actually needed." She said to Shae, before starting to walk off. "We could hit the vending machines before we bug out..."

There was a tone of suggestion in Rebecca's voice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the disaster site

Kei looked around. "Okay, what's your plan, Connor? We don't got any radios we can use?"

"I was thinking of taking a high ground for spotting any survivors, using my ability to see on verious portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Everything from electrical impulses to seeing the very bones of an individual."

She looked about, setting the color of her cloak to a red/orange shade. "But I'd like know what the others are doing here so I don't somehow step on toes."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Okay. Okay. Yeah. This is totally normal." Roxanne nodded. "I can do this."

,,

She touched Mech, and then... things got strange.

,,

In a flash, Vixen was covered in metal plating, following roughly the same coloration as her fur, but now stylized as powered armor, much like Mech's. A large power pack grew from her back, and with the sound of compressed air, small capsules were ejected from them. The capsules unfolded, filling out... into exact duplicates of Mecha-Vixen, eight in total.

,,

Vixen looked at her own hands, and then at the duplicates of herself. "Okay. Existentialist crisis later. Portals now. Girls!"

,,

In sync, they pointed, opening portals to the predetermined dropoff points. "Everyone, please proceed in an orderly fashion." Seven of the Mecha-Vixens turned to the eighth, whose portal appeared to be pointing at a patch of desert. "Six," they chorused. "You're off by two thousand miles."

,,

"I am not a number! I am a free woman!" Six replied.

,,

"You are a free woman who needs to suck less and try again," they replied.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"We've got to 'buddy up'." Rob sotto-voce'd to Karrie. She met his eyes from a distance of a few inches away and tried to fight the urge to either snicker or kiss him. "Connor said so." he added earnestly.

,,

"Concentrate, buster." she mock-growled. "People in need of help, so be a horny wise-ass on your own time." She could already feel the faint quantum fluctuations of Rob scanning the earth around and below them, as expected. Telluris might seem like he was being a jackass, but one part of his mind was always on the job at hand. At least one part. He nodded at her, then raised his voice slightly to the others.

,,

"I'm going to try and stabilise the local fault structure and prevent aftershocks. Then I'll be doing a sweep for survivors before creating clear spaces around the outskirts: landing strips, housing and treatment areas." He looked at Connor and Vixen. "Try to set the first response force down on the outskirts until I can get the earth calmed down, okay? Everyone be really, really careful doing any heavy lifting until I've done that, too. One tremor and we could end up with more dead." The usually flippant Rob was composed and calm as he spoke, then turned to Karrie.

,,

"Don't even think about asking me if I'll be okay, bud." Coyote poked him in the chest, but smiled. "I've got some population density modelling to do so we can get people looking in the right places."

,,

"Right." Rob gave her a small, warm smile and kissed her on the cheek. "I'll be back soon." Karrie wanted to tell him to be careful, but this was Rob. Unless an Alvarez-scale meteor hit him, he'd be fine. So she did the next best thing and slapped him on the ass as he turned to go.

,,

"Go get 'em, tiger." she said, loudly enough to be heard by those nearby. Rob turned red, but took to the air and arrowed towards the epicentre of the quake zone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Karrie... I can do an initial sweep of the area. My ability to see through rubble help provide some read on areas that might need help the quickest in terms of rescue triage. That and being able to see if people are pinned or are in a relatively safe chamber trapped under rubble is a way to start stripping down the number of focus areas first."

"We also need a line of communication and fast, it would be a force multiplier for us in terms of logistics. When Karrie gets her program running we can combine that with my search."

She brushes back her cloak. "Also, we should also clear the airports at some point as the first airlifts will probably start coming within a week's time... but we should focus our primary clearing efforts in the city."

Kei looked around, feeling like she was taking charge. "Suggestions on how we can make this a reality so I know what page of our playbook we'll be operating from? I should know before I take off."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Focus on the mile around the epicenter.” With Rob gone, Karrie’s brain shifted from 50% work mode to 99% work mode. Her laptop was already in her hands; as Kei watched, a DSA worker slapped up a folding table as if he’d known Karrie would want it. Another one set up a chair for her, while six more where unrolling a large bundle of white canvas. “By the time you’re done with that, I’ll have the next area mapped out. Don’t wait on me, Kei—get to saving.”

,,

In the DSA lab, Karrie was a lone scientist who collaborated with Rob frequently and others rarely. Here, in the field on a disaster mission, she had a small army of assistants, dedicated to supporting her. Their jobs were to do anything they could for her, ensuring that most of Karrie’s focus remained on her work. So as she typed madly at the first of many programs she’d create today, they set up her on-site lab for her, erecting the tent and assembling computers, tables and even an inflatable mattress in the back of the large tent.

,,

Within fifteen minutes, Karrie’s lab away from home was set up: a massive computer hummed on one table, already sending designs to the three-dimensional printer. Another computer was processing the program that Karrie was inputting data into with rapid strikes on the keyboard. Behind her, another table held crates of disassembled iSpiders. The three-inch wide machines were spheres with eight multi-jointed legs; the ‘body’ of the tiny device was loaded with sensors and cameras and a powerful wi-fi device. In Japan, they’d crawled through the rubble and scoured it for survivors. They’d done so well in Japan that the DSA had manufactured dozens more for the next disaster.

,,

Throughout all the set up and fuss, Coyote remained focused on the computer in front of her, working diligently on the population simulation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kei nodded. "When I get back, let me know when we will have our communications established. Information will save lives."

She straightened out her suit as she noticed some media helicopters flying nearby. She turned to a relief worker that looked like they did have a radio. "And clear the goddamn airspace, we got a active crisis going on! We're gonna need as much space as we can get. There's gonna be relief helicopters coming in probably as well, so make sure they get airspace priority."

She started to hover, her eyes glowing their characteristic blue. Then it struck her the moment she saw the site... there were already dead bodies... she could see on the XRay. She landed back on her feet, and covered her face in shock for a moment.

She shook her head. "Right... not helping the living like that..." She hovered up to about 300 feet and began her sweep, easily spotted in the air with her orange and red cloak with "DSA - RESCUE" now stenciled on the back with white letters. Amazing what could be done with the chromatophores Karrie put into the thing.

She starts her sweeps in a methodical fashion, looking for heat signatures, then moving in close to observe where they were and the immediate condition of where they were using a combination of XRays and Infrared and taking note of every detail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A brief look flickered over Shae's face. Unfortunately for Horst, he'd already moved along with Conner and Mexican president, or he'd have done more than just shoo'ed the kids away. She shrugged and made her way to the planning group, sidling in between Conner and the president; she patted them both on the back, giving Conner her most dazzling smile. "Well, good luck with the dead bodies and all. I'm gonna go have some ice cream."

,,

Conner blinked, Horst paled, and the president found himself caught between inappropriate thoughts about a minor and wanting to smack the spoiled brat on the back of her head. She giggled and swung back by the other teens as Horst made profusive, and by now rote, apologies to the president of Mexico. She shrugged at Rebecca's suggestion, more caught up in Vixen's display and watching the portals curiously. "Yeah, food's good," she said absentmindedly as the quartet moved off into the hallways outside the auditorium.

,,

Once they were a few turns away from the responsible adults, Shae turned around, taking a few steps ahead of them and walking backwards. "If we're gonna bug out, though, we should really bug out. They'll," she motioned back to the auditorium, "be way too busy to play watchdog on us, and I want to see what's up in more than a sanitized Fox News sorta way. I can get us there......" She took a slow look at the other three, her eyes glittering with challenge, "...unless you all would rather wuss out and go do homework or something."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rebecca grinned. "Well what do you have planned? Anything to be of use than sitting around here." Rebecca said, crossing her arms. "I mean, all these powers and stuff and we can't even play waterboy... or girl... I'm not choosy. Just..."

She started to look slightly cold. "I don't want to see any dead bodies... last time when I accidentally saw one in the medical department my mom works at... I mean she donated herself to science but still..." She shivered. "And no snakes. I hate snakes."

"Other than that I'm all for breaking a rule or two for a good cause."

"Should we get what we think we'll need? It's not exactly comfortable there, and we do have to consider the possibility some of us aren't as tough as the adults." She then leaned over to Shae to whisper. "And you're pretty good at fooling the Adults to get what you want... I... sort of suck." In fact with the way Rebecca always looked, She couldn't convince a fly unless the presented problem was right in front of them. "Whatcha think?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Then you better keep your ass at home, Rebecca.”  Sean hadn’t said much as they’d left the room, his expression angry.   “I’ve seen dead bodies.  They aren’t pretty, and what you saw in the lab was nothing like a real corpse.  Real corpses are bloody and messy.  It won’t be a cleaned lump of meat formerly-known-as-human.  It’ll be awful.  It’ll be something you see in your worst nightmares for the rest of your life.  If you can’t handle it, then don’t come.”

 

His polarized sunglasses focused on Shae next.  “And this isn’t a game or a sightseeing trip.  If we go, we go to help.  We’re not going to see the Real World, Disaster Zone edition.”  The young man was staring at all three of the female teens, his expression set in a hard scowl.  He was not only serious, he was absolutely adamant.

“You’ve seen a lot of bodies?” Ana asked, looking skeptical.

“Yeah.  I’ve seen dead bodies.   I made most of them, and the cops made sure I saw every damned one of them, even the babies.”  Especially the babies: one of the first officers to respond was a new father had reacted viscerally to the event.  He had sense been reprimanded, but the damage was done: Sean had been given more nightmare fuel.  “So if you come, you’d better be damned ready to see some really fucking awful things.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I can't stay home, Sean... not after seeing the suffering there..."

She stiffened her spine, standing straight, although all she looked was silly, even if she was finding her courage. "I don't think I have a choice in the matter, I have to get through this. If we save lives that'll be fewer dead... I like that math."

"I'll be okay... but I can't promise I won't cry."

She was more worried about overreacting than wanting to retreat. "You'll need me to be strong, because we'll all have to rely on each other there. We might not have the adults to save us either."

She brushed off her outfit. "I wanna prove I got what it takes... The adults have to see the same stuff we do, If I want to be with them on missions I have to know if I can do it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Working with Vixen, Connor and their various copies were able to make massive headway speeding the transportation of the American Soldiers and Emergency response Teams. Still it was a drop in the bucket compared to what actually would be needed, but it gave them a start, and let them establish a staging area as well as field hospital.

,,

Though useful, Connor and Vixen both soon found that keeping the gates open, let alone generating so many, took massive amounts of energy to fuel, and after the last of that first group of soldiers and emergency responders were brought in, Connor had slumped into a chair in the newly established Ops, and was soon fast asleep. Director Horst who knew Connor's limits better than most, and he'd used a good bit to save President Lorenzo and Mariposa already.

,,

President Lorenzo stood with him, overlooking a map of the city, marked with all the hazards they'd found, and looked over to the sleeping nova icon. "When he wakes, he will go out again?"

,,

"Yes."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roxanne, somehow, lasted longer on her feet than Connor did - but willpower only went so far, and when Connor collapsed, Roxanne was not long after, finding a couch and half-crawling onto it before she nodded off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kei pushed herself to the limit. Mapping more of the ruined city, marking spots where she believed civilians were trapped, as well as hazard zones where natural gas was still spewing forth from damaged lines. By the time Kei was spent she had been flying well into thenight, and landed on her feet feeling like she was just a needle-wiggle away from being on E.

She closed up her helmet, and dormed, knowing the air around her was toxic, and even with her normally outstanding stamina and resilience dormed, she would still succumb if she wasn't careful.

She started walking back to the base camp. "Basecamp, this is Kei... completed my rounds and returning on foot... I got the last survey of grid region I-10. Last on the survey sortie. I'm about a half mile out. I'm dormed, as I'm just about spent."

She looked about, she landed right in the center of a plaza in downtown Mexico City. Multiple ruined buildings were around her, as well as old historical ones. Nothing and no one were spared.

She walked over to a damaged fountain in what was the center of a roundabout and sat on the edge. After checking a gas meter detector they handed to kei after her first hour of flight, she checked the air, and everything was green. She re-opened her helmet and started eating some rations she always kept with her. A child walks up near her, looking very much as if she was wandering around, lost and hungry.

Kei didn't even need to be asked, pulling out a spare MRE.

"Don't worry." Kei said, in her best Spanish possible. "I'll show you how to work it... there's others not too far away... you really should have a better place to sleep for the night."

The child didn't need much prompting to figure out how to get the spaghetti packet warmed up. "You're a superheroine?"

Kei sighed, looking up at the night sky, moke covering most of the sky.

"No... Because Superheroines aren't real." She said with a smile. "I'm just here to help."

She put a hand on the child's shoulder. "I think I know a safe route to the base camp. We can handle finding your parents there."

The child looked sad, suddenly. "They... they're part of the..."

She pointed to a fallen apartment complex. The child couldn't articulate the concept of being crushed under several tons of material.

Kei could. She sighed standing up. Then looked at the child's feet. Her shoes were not going to last much longer. She picks the child up. "There's sharp stuff out here, I'll carry you back."

"I thought you could fly."

"Not right now... out of fuel." Kei said, trying to keep things to simple to understand concepts.

"You're a machine then?"

Kei chuckled. "No... I'm just..." Her stomach growled,but the child getting back was a bit more important.

The child laughed... probably the first time this day.

It didn't take long before Kei had her cargo delivered and her dinner finished. Her tablet marked with every spot for rescue teams to get to She looked about as the new tent city was quickly taking shape.

It was then, just as she reached an empty tent set up for her, she collapsed. Crying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Back at Langley

Rebecca had been busy, she had bought up as much bottled water and things like granola bars and fruit that she could carry in a large dufflebag she had also purchased from a camping outlet store as she waited.

She also had a large first aid kit in a backpack. She would have got a portible defibrulator, but she didn't want to tip her hand.

Her allowance was completely spent for now as well... she just hoped her parents would give her an advance. She waited for Shae and Sean at a spot they agreed on. One the adults generally never watched. She rocked back and forth on her feet, every millisecond ticking away was an eternity for her, and possibly another soul going to eternity.

"Comeon guys...." Rebecca whispered. Scared to get caught as much as knowing every moment was a moment lost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Deep below the ground, in the dark crushing depths of rock and magma that made the faultline, massive forces were at work. Two tectonic plates, moving against each other in microscopic increments, had somehow decided to slip a gear, causing the devastation above. The slippage was still threatening to continue, the kinetic energies unleashed measurable on the Richter scale, promising aftershocks that would kill yet more people in the world above. Rob knew that to meet force with force would be futile. Not only would the planet's tectonic shift pack a lot more wallop than he could stop dead, but even if he were able to blunt the impact directly, the slippage was tireless - and he was not. So another solution needed to be found.

,,

He traveled through the earth, the rock welcoming him as water does a dolphin. He didn't rely on his conventional senses, but rather on what he thought of as his 'telluric' senses: feeling the gravity, magnetic and tectonic shift of the world and steering by it. He searched tirelessly, looking for the keystone, the focal point of the quake, which would provide the spot on which to devote his efforts. After maybe half an hour, he found what he was looking for... and something else, as well.

,,

He set his other discovery aside for now, and went to work shaping the rock around him, breaking and reforming the substance of the Earth itself. The first thought was to simply strengthen the plates' grip on one another, but that would lead to a catastrophic 'quake further down the line. Mind racing as he performed the millions of calculations necessary, he smoothed out the tectonic movement of the plates as they ground against one another, making tiny (in geological terms) adjustments in such a way that, as water wears down rock, the aftershocks would be dispersed and their energy spread out harmlessly. It took longer than brute force would have but the experienced DSA nova knew that, in the first place, he had a certain amount of time to accomplish the deed, and secondly that his energy would need to be conserved for more urgent use on the surface where, even now, his fellow novas were expending theirs. His delicate bonsai trimming of the local fault line used relatively little juice: his experience in Japan had served him well there.

,,

The work done, he let the earth buoy him up to the surface and removed the rebreather he carried in a belt pouch. For a human, it was good for maybe ten minutes of air, but for a nova who could hold a breath for twenty minutes at a time, it fared longer. Still, it was all but depleted when he rose to the surface and emerged into the light of day, soaring up into the sky. He keyed his earpiece radio, broadcasting on the frequency all shared for these efforts.

,,

"Telluris to Rescue Team. Aftershocks have been averted. I'm moving to set up landing fields outside the zone for relief efforts." he informed them in a businesslike fashion. Rob's normal jocularity was not present right now, not when there were lives in the balance. Besides, there was that other thing, which he was still mulling over the meaning of. He kept in in mind as he worked tirelessly for the next few hours, pushing himself firstly to set up smooth, solid landing strips fit for landing heavy cargo aircraft and passenger jets on, then to search the eastern quadrant of the disaster zone, his hearing tuned for people trapped under the rubble. He could hear the low-frequency pulses of their heartbeats with unerring accuracy, and with his brain figuring out optimal uses of his powers, it took him relatively little energy to free them. Still, after the second hour since fixing the fault he heard Karrie's voice over the private frequency.

,,

"Rob, how are you doing?"

,,

"Fine." He waved a hand, crushed and crumbled concrete flowing together and peeling back to let another survivor emerge into the daylight. This one had a broken leg, so he gently picked the man up and flew him to the nearest field hospital.

,,

"Fine my hiney." Karrie said in a no-nonsense tone. "Your readings are low."

,,

"I'm fi- wait." Rob frowned as he turned away from laying the man on a stretcher. "De nada." he told the man in response to the gabbled thanks, then took to the air again. "What readings, Karrie?" he asked, a faint smile curving his lips where she couldn't see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Weeellll… remember when I had your pants in at my request?” Karrie’s voice was filled with smug bemusement.

,,

Rob knew that tone; Karrie was about to divulge a secret. He now had suspicions of course, but it was more fun to let her tell it in her own time and way. “Yes, for repairs which I wasn’t sure it needed at all.”

,,

“Oh, did I call them ‘repairs’?” Karrie’s voice was light and flirting; Rob couldn’t know that right now she was helping by increasing the sensitivity on her spider’s detectors. Right now, they could sense that material was organic, but they needed to analyze it first to see if it were human. Those were seconds being wasted while the spider determined if this was a person to be rescued or food-stuff. As she went through various changes she could make, she teasingly continued, “I meant to say ‘upgrades’.”

,,

“You know I don’t like it when you upgrade my pants without telling me.” Rob didn’t even sound upset; he couldn’t knowing that whatever Karrie had done she’d done because she cared.

,,

“I just thought that in Japan, you nearly let yourself get killed, so when you’re during something like this, you can’t be trusted.” Karrie made a few more tweeks and sent a modified spider out for a test-run. “So your pants now monitor your levels – quantum levels, magnesium levels, iron levels, oxygen intake, your electrolytes – you know, the normal stuff for a girlfriend to keep track of on a computer.”

,,

“Uh huh, you’re so normal.” It was clear that Rob was loving it. Not the fact that Karrie was monitoring his health to a level that HIPPA was not being violated but curbstomped and sent home crying to mommy. He loved that she loved him enough to think ahead.

,,

“So you’re coming back to central, eating and taking a nap.” Karrie’s voice was not necessarily strict, but it was clear that Rob was going to have to fight her to get his way.

,,

“I can stay out a bit longer.” His voice was filled with the need to save people, to bring them out of hell alive. Who would die, buried and alone, while he ate and napped with his girlfriend?

,,

“You could, but if you come back now, the recovery time will be maximized.” She paused and her voice became completely serious. “I wouldn’t tell you to come back now if I didn’t think now was the best time, both for you and those you’ll save, shijéi.”

,,

Rob was quiet a long moment. She only called him that when she was serious or making out with him. “Someday you’ll tell me what that means.”

,,

“Someday,” Karrie agreed, smiling. “But right now, I’m offering a tasteless dinner of MREs and an inflatable air mattress for two. Sound good?”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sounds great." Rob said with his voice suspiciously free of irony. "Y'know, they're not exactly tasteless. That would be asking too much of high-protein, high-carb nova-MREs. They have plenty of taste. It's just bad taste."

,,

"Poor baby." Karrie made another slight alteration to the operating parameters of her nanospiders. "Would it help if I spoon fed them to you?"

,,

"It might." Rob's reply made her grin. "You've got to do the choo-choo, though. Or the aeroplane."

,,

"The choo-choo." the mega-genius inventor said levelly. "I think I can do better than the choo-choo." She let a hint of dark flirtatiousness enter her voice, and was rewarded with a chuckle from the other end of the radio.

,,

"Sounding better already." Rob said as he landed outside and walked into her work-tent. He was covered with dust, both from the ground and greyish concrete powder from the wreckage, and looked like a man made of earth and rock rather than a man who moved them. Karrie threw her arms around him anyway and kissed him, feeling his arms go around her in turn and cling to her like an anchor, feeling the way he took several deep breaths as he hugged her close, as though drawing strength from her nearness so he wouldn't break down. She broke the hug and moved back a little, looking at his face with a concerned critical eye. Sure enough, he had a drawn-out look to him, as though he would start burning the caloric energy from his own tissues next. He'd done that in Japan, and spent two days doing nothing but sleeping and eating then sleeping again to recover. Karrie had done the math then, and discovered that two days for Rob was the equivalent of perhaps half a year's recovery for a normal human being, after which she had chewed him out royally. Looking back, she had to smile somewhat at how blind she was to the depths of her own feelings for her friend.

,,

"You look terrible." she told him. "Go shower, and meet me at our tent."

,,

"We have a tent?"

,,

"I told them we'd share space to free up room for others." Karrie smiled with devious innocence as she folded up her laptop. Rob nodded.

,,

"That sounds very noble, and practical, but I think we need a chaperone. Can't have you taking advantage of me."

,,

"Oh, you love it when I take advantage of you." Karrie made a dismissive flip of her hand. "Scoot."

,,

"Yessum" Rob scooted, heading outside and towards the central area of the camp. He considered flying - briefly - but the weary ache from his node warned him that he might be better off walking. Though he was essentially tireless in a purely physical and mental sense, Telluris still needed rest and food, especially when he had burned the flame of his power levels down to the nub it currently was. He waited patiently to use the bank of showers that had been set up with the aid of another DSA nova and rinsed himself off in the lukewarm water, taking a moment in cleaning off his suit too. He was in and out in a matter of minutes, his hair towel-dry and feeling better already without the dust coating what had felt like every square inch of him. He paused for a minute, relaxing the blocks he usually put in place and letting the auditory world filter through his sensorium. It was a meditative exercise he had been working on for awhile, letting the sounds slip over and through him rather than overwhelming him.

,,

He heard children and women crying, heard medics talking in terse, clipped tones as they worked to save a man's life, heard soldiers cursing as they wrestled supply crates into place. He heard the distant roar of aircraft and the chattering thunder of helicopters, tens of miles away.

,,

Deeper.

,,

He heard the sizzle of radiowaves, the tinny electronic voices speeding through the air. He heard droplets of water condensing on the sides of cooled containers and running down. He heard the tiny vibrations of hundreds of people's footsteps.

,,

Deeper.

,,

He heard heartbeats, hundreds of heartbeats. Their thunder drowned out the world. People, living people. Some lived because of him, and that was a comfort, but the greater comfort was the dark thundering of hearts, a pounding of waves on the shore of his conscious mind. He floated in it, connected with it, was one with it.

,,

People wondered sometimes, on forums and in the Twittersphere, what it was to be more than human. How power corrupted, and how could any nova be trusted, ultimately. After all, if you had a hyper-intelligence, could see the dance of atoms, and could lift a city, what did human life matter? Why should a nova with such power care?

,,

Robert Lehnsherr failed to see how any nova with such power could not care. How could anyone see the dance of atoms and not marvel at it? How could anyone hear the neurons firing in a human being's nervous system, realise that this seemingly random evolution of cells had produced the Sistine Chapel, formulated beer, come up with pizza and rock music and automobiles and space travel and, yes, even the Twittersphere, and fail to appreciate the sheer beauty of the whole thing? Why would anyone voluntarily extinguish a universe?

,,

The thunder of the ocean of humanity was threatening to overwhelm him again, and Rob concentrated, picking one heartbeat, one unique signature out of the noise. He ruthlessly blocked out the others, hearing the deep calm pulse of the only heartbeat he knew as well as his own. He moved off, and went to find Karrie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karrie wasn’t having deep philosophical revelations. Instead, she was testing the spider that had come back. She still didn’t have the algorithms right; the spider was doing readings itself and sending back the data. Karrie then compared them to each other. And the spider was only right about ninety percent of the time. That wasn’t good enough – not to stake human lives on.

,,

A soft ping caught her attention and she looked at another window on the computer. “Dammmmmm-ittttttttt,” she growled, typing away madly as she tried to figure out why the communication node in that square was going out again. She’d been out there three times in the hours since the crisis started, and replaced the node each time. They kept burning out, and she had no idea why. For now, she was just going to take it offline remotely, and deal with it later. She was already tired from hours of endless computations and calculations. She needed a nap, too.

,,

The tent flap opened and Karrie turned, then grinned when she saw it was Rob. As he made sure the tent was tied shut, she closed her laptop again and all-but danced over to him, her hug and kiss more enthusiastic now that she wasn’t having to smooch through layers of grime. “Hi, honey, welcome home!”

,,

“Where’s my dinner, woman?” Rob asked, picking Karrie up just for the joy of cradling her in his arms. “I’m ready for my choo-choo.”

,,

“I believe I promised better than the choo-choo.” Karrie waggled her eyebrows at him as he carried her to the table and claimed a chair. He arranged her on his lap, settling back as she ripped open the nova-quality MRE. Karrie broke off a piece and put it between her lips, her smile coy as she turned to him. Rob grinned and took it from her, their lips brushing in the exchange. So she fed both of them two bars apiece, feeding him with lips and fingers. There were brief kisses, too, moments with the teasing dance had to be temporarily be sated with resolution. For Rob’s last bar, Karrie undid the top of her shirt and let him pluck nuggets of the terrible food out of her cleavage. Never before had someone actually relished the acquisition of a MRE the way that Rob did today.

,,

“You have crumbs in your bra,” he murmured as his fingers traced the edge of her bra – and completely accidently pushed a couple of crumbles of MRE into the cup.

,,

“You need to get them out, clearly. You can’t let food go to waste.” Karrie giggled happily as he picked her up and carried her to the inflated mattress. Stretching them both out on it, Rob leaned on one elbow while unbuttoning her shirt and flicking both sides open. Karrie wiggled out of it before Rob went hunting for the rest of his dinner.

,,

It took a while to find all the crumbs – he got a little distracted by other things Rob found in her bra. By the time he was done, Karrie was half-naked, delightfully disheveled and straddling him. Part of her wondered if Rob was going to ask for more, to ask her to take that final step in the relationship and stop taking things slow. She didn’t think she was ready, or at least, she didn’t want her first time to be here, in a tent, on an air mattress. But if he wanted it, she’d do that for him.

,,

Rob gazed at her for a moment before stroking his fingers over her cheek. “You’re beautiful.” It wasn’t the first time he’d told her that and Karrie knew it wasn’t the last.

,,

Still, she blushed and deflected the compliment. “You’re prettier,” she told him, tracing the contours of his bare chest.

,,

“It’s my eyes. They’re my best feature.” Rob grinned at her, shifting her weight slightly so that she was higher on his torso.

,,

Karrie snorted. “They’re just brown. I personally like your brain the best.”

,,

“You’re going to keep it in jar if I die first, aren’t you?” His hands rested on her hips, playing with the seams of her underwear. That gentle touch made her shiver.

,,

“Until I can’t handle the urge to dissect it anymore.” Karrie planted her palms on his chest and leaned forward, enjoying the way his eyes predictably dropped to her breasts. She didn’t mind at all. “It’d be a shame to never figure out what makes you tick.”

,,

“I’m sorry, I forgot what you were saying.” His eyes were locked on her chest and this time Karrie did blush.

,,

“White pig!” she scolded, slapping lightly at him.

,,

Rob caught her hands and pulled her close. “Mmm-hmm, your white pig.” His kiss didn’t allow for a response; once they were done with that, she was on her back, half-under him. He sighed and touched her cheek again, regretfully murmuring, “We should sleep. I’m tired and you look pretty worn out, too.”

,,

“Okay.” Karrie’s sigh was a little regretful, too. “I hope you don’t snore.”

,,

“Not as loudly as you.” Rob dodged another teasing slap by getting out of bed long enough to remove the super-pants. His underwear strained to keep the scene from an NC-17 rating as he pulled her close. Together, they drew the blankets and pillows around themselves, then flounced and bounced a little to find that comfortable position together. It was a mark of their mutual exhaustion that both were soon deeply asleep, resting until Karrie’s alarm signaled that their rest-period was over.

,,

It was a new day in Mexico City.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sean landed on the rooftop a moment after Rebecca’s nervous mutter. He was dressed in black clothing and would have looked faintly melodramatic save for the darkness that shrouded him. “Shae’s not coming. Horst literally assigned her a babysitter minutes before we would have slipped out.”

,,

“And they weren’t watching you?” Rebecca asked as Sean dropped his duffel bag on the roof.

,,

“Ha, no, I don’t warrant one. Yet.” His grin was grim as he opened the bag and showed her some camping equipment. “I have a feeling I’m earning one right now.”

,,

“We probably both are.” Rebecca nodded at his gear. “Did you camp with your dad?”

,,

“No, my dad’s still out getting cigarettes.” At her confused look, Sean said, “My father ran out on Mom. She raised me. No, this is from the Boy Scouts.” Rebecca didn’t make a “being prepared” joke, thank God, and Sean zipped up the bag before looping it over his shoulder. “The plan is to carry you up above the city, have you open a warp to high above Mexico City, and then go through there. Is that a plan?”

,,

Rebecca smiled. "I can fly, you know." She said, suddenly blushing. "Unless... you want to carry me... I'll just need a minute as I look at a location... so perhaps carrying is a... good idea."

The thought of being carried by Sean was... daunting. "Yes, let's go with your idea."

She didn't have time to dally. She pulled out a tablet from her bag, Sean catching a glimpse of various bits of food, and some of a first aid kit. "I can extrapolate a location, and it'll take roughly a minute. More or less. It takes that long for me to quantum-entangle two locations in time-space."


She takes her bag up over her shoulder. "Would you mind... taking the lead then? You probably have more training than I... I mean... I did go through that month at Langley learning some survival things and emergency response stuff... typical "what to do in case of a terrorist attack" stuff."


She did it more so that her parents wouldn't worry about her. "I digress... What's important is that we get there. We can work on the details as we go. Our plans will probably fall to pieces."

She starts getting herself organized. "I'm ready."

,,

“I don’t have any training.” Sean shrugged at her expression of dismay. “I’m just a Boy Scout who wants to get some red off his ledger.” Needless to say, Sean had watched The Avengers a few times too many. “So you’re actually the one with all the brain-stuff that we’re going to need. I’m the brawn. And if you want to fly yourself, that’s cool. I just… uh, manage to forget that you can fly. Because I’m a self-centered jerk, ya know?”

,,

“It’d be good if I can focus on the warp,” Rebecca insisted, even as a pretty blush rose on her cheeks.

,,

“Right.” Sean cleared his throat and considered how you politely picked a girl up and carried her. He doubted it’d work like in that old Superman movie. Just holding her hands might result on her losing her grip and falling. Everything else seemed way too invasive, but he finally made a call between possibly fatal and possibly embarrassing. “Uh, sorry about this.” He bent over and scooped her up in his arms, like a groom carrying a bride. Soon, Rebecca was not the only one blushing, and they were high in the air.

,,

Rebecca got quiet. The distraction of needing to get this right the first time was starting to take over her youthful impulses. In fact was she old enough to even have impulses was a thought she entertained for a moment before being taken high above the city.

"Now note once we get the tesseract open, as soon as we're through I can fly under my own power."

She finally sees a spot where there was a park. It was just far enough from the DSA base camp that they wouldn't be noticed, and that it would make a good spot to land. There wasn't any satellite intel she could access without getting caught, she she was making an educated guess with Google Earth and knowing she should pop out at about 500 feet to have some time to switch from warping to flying.


She closed her eyes. When she opened them again, she could sense herself starting to connect the threads of reality between where they were to where they were going. She started to sense on the other side the ruined city that awaited them. Nothing was mofing except for trash in the wind and the occasional loose dog.


"We should be careful when we arrive... there's some loose dogs."

Her ability to see things on a "holographic level" as she started to get her warp in place was quite a asset for her. She took a deep breath and even Sean now could see a bluish haze as quantum energy began to swirl in front of them.

Rebecca held out her free hand and focused on a small point in each dimension... 1st... 2nd... 3rd... 4th...

Her eyes began to glow... 5th... 6th...

Reality seemed to waver and quake as the Witch of time and space commanded her servant that was reality itself.

7th... 8th... 9th... 10th... 11th...


Every dimension now aligned. "Gates of Reality! Gates of time! Open your doors! Let us through to help those that need us! Serve your mistress AGAIN!" She commanded, snapping her fingers.


And the warp opened. A swirling cloud of white energy formed a defined ring wide and tall enough to allow the pair to fly through easily.

,,

Sean blinked in confusion behind his glasses. Does she really need to say all that? That is… weird. After a second, he let it go mentally. They had bigger things to worry about right now. He zipped forward and through the warp, reflexively closing his eyes as they passed the threshold. Once he felt the change, he opened his eyes and dipped lower, getting below the point where they could be seen.

,,

He didn’t go all the way to the ground; hovering about ten feet up, he told Rebecca, “We shouldn’t land unless we know the ground is stable or we need to help someone. Why don’t you fly around and find us someone to save?” Sean wasn’t sure if that was how it was supposed to work, but he didn’t have the first clue what to do beside start to dig into the rubble to find someone.

,,

"Right."

Rebecca started to hover, looking around, her eyes starting to glow as she turned on every sensory trick she could.

She could see the electromagnetic signature of radio and wireless waves transmitting like a cloud of noise from the DSA basecamp.


"At least I got a bearing on the base... I'll need a minute to reconnoiter. As I can't access the DSA's crisis network to rely on their data without getting caught, I'm a bit blind as to their plans in this spot."


She adjusted her jumpsuit-like outfit. "I am very much not trained for this... but I'll try... just give me a moment. Gotta take in the X-Rays and other electromagnetic... Ah..."

Rebecca was starting to see the situation, being able to see through materials, soaking in the various types of electromagnetic radiation that marinated the landscape and turn it into an almost wall-hacked overview of the scenery. But then... the X-Rays kicked in.

"Oh.... oh my god..."

Rebecca hovered down to a cement slab that was a solid portion of their wrecked surroundings. The scene she had a hard time relaying.

"It's... Horrible... most of the... dead here... were pulverized..."

She looks around and sees a huddled group of people not too far from them. The skeletons were moving. She points towards the rubble.

"Wait... there is a van over there, but it's covered with debris. A couple of I-Beams are keeping the rubble from putting their weight on the Van, crushing it, but I am not too sure that this is going to be easy to extract them."

Then Rebecca's eyes widened. "I can open a warp, I think I can hopefully get you in there so they can be retrieved."

"There are two adults, Male and Female, and Two children, both female. The male seems to be lying on the floor of the back of the van."

The creak she heard worried her. "We'll have to move fast. I think the I-Beams supporting the rubble are compromised."

She didn't wait, she started concentrating to open a warp. She knew she had enough time to get it done right, and it had to be done right. That, and she had to make sure Sean could get in, assess the situation, and evacuate the survivors.

She could see the 11 dimensions of reality begin to swirl to her will.

,,

“Don’t spend your energy on that.” Sean closed his eyes for a moment, and called one of his own powers. Reality appeared to twist and shift around him and his body swelled. Finally toned muscles matured more, filling out more. Then he flew over to the rubble, seized a large, flat wall of concrete, and used it to scrape rubble aside. When he reached the supporting I-beams, he used more chunks of concrete to support them. Then he was able to reach the van and rip the back doors open. “Everyone out, let’s go!” Remembering that he was in a Spanish-speaking country, he added, “Vamos!”

,,

Regardless of his proficiency or lack with the Spanish tongue, the people seemed to understand. Or perhaps, he considered, this was a situation that surpassed language. The children scrambled out before he was done talking, and the woman said something to him and pointed at the man. “Injured, unconscious, got it.” Sean leaned in, seized his shoulders and hauled him out.

,,

By that time, Rebecca was there, looking a bit annoyed with him. “That wasn’t the best way to do that.”

,,

“Look, how many warps do you have in you? Five? Ten? Twenty? We’re going to need your power more later, when my brawn can’t reach them.” Sean motioned at the guy at his feet. “Does he have any broken bones?”

,,

Rebecca frowned and peered at him. “No, I think he’s concussed.” She kneeled next to him and gave him a more thorough exam before using smelling salts to revive him. “Yeah, there’s a build-up of heat in his skull that means bruising, but the bones aren’t broken. He should be fine.” She explained that he was concussed and needed to stay awake, and seek medical attention soon.

,,

Sean pulled a roadside flare out of his duffel, ignited it and handed it to the mother. “Wave this around. Help will come.” He made a note to come back and check on the family later today. “Next, Rebecca?”

,,

The young woman peered around and spotted another group. This time they did have to use her warps to get the five elderly sisters out of their house, and one of them had a compound fracture. Rebecca bandaged her leg and Sean flew her to a Red Cross relief station. They tried to question him, but Sean just flew back to Rebecca. After telling the four sisters where to find their sibling, they move to the next rescue.

,,

The night turned into a nightmare of injured and dying people, all of them pulled from the greedy earth. The people they pulled out were all the same – haggard, in ripped clothing, with dull eyes and gray dust and mud clinging to them. They stopped looking like people at one point, and more like strange dirt-monsters. Sean had a horrible thought at one point: they all looked like mole-people, climbing up to the World Above for the first time. He choked back hysterical giggles at the thought. He also missed the fact that he was on the verge of a meltdown at that point in time.

,,

Near dawn, Rebecca’s x-ray vision found not one but two groups. After pointing them out, she asked, “Which one is first? That group has twenty in it, and that one eight.”

,,

Sean rubbed his eyes and mumbled, “Bigger one. Save the most people. Can I dig ‘em out?”

,,

“No, they’re way down there.” Rebecca wearily began to align the dimensions again. “Wow, I’m about out of juice. These two might be my last.”

,,

“Sure.” Sean was too tired to think very clearly; the only thing in his head was the desire to sleep. “We should rest anyway.”

,,

“Sean, wait… the other group, the smaller one? I think they’re children.” Rebecca’s voice was tinged with sudden doubt.

,,

Sean hesitated, torn. “No, the bigger. More people.” His hands were clenched in tight fists and his arms trembled. Every part of his being demanded that he should go for the kids first, but he was here to rescue as many people as possible.

,,

“They’re kids, Sean.” Rebecca pleaded.

,,

“They’re all people. Save the most, Rebecca.” Sean’s body was shaking and his vision blurred. Blinking helped but he wasn’t even aware that he was crying. “You warp the others out while I start digging the kids.”

,,

Relief flooded her features. “Okay!” she said, turning her full attention to opening the warp. As Rebecca did that, Sean started to dig. He moved with mechanical precision: grab the top-most rock, lift and move. He repeated this over and over, giving himself over to moving the heavy debris. He opened the room they were in when the building shifted.

,,

Sean screamed and braced both hands on the tunnel, trying to hold the structure up through his strength. It didn’t work, and he saw the room he’d so carefully excavated to collapse on itself, shooting a plume of dust and blood into Sean’s tunnel. For a moment, the boy was caught in shock; then the anger and grief set into his soul. His man-made entrance was largely gone and he began it dig his own way out.

,,

When he broke the surface, Rebecca was waiting, shaking and crying. “Sean! I thought you’d been crushed! I would have opened the warp but…” Her eyes darted away in shame. “I had already started to make a warp the room.”

,,

“They’re gone.” Sean’s voice was ragged and he was seconds away from a breakdown. “I saw it fall on them.”

,,

“Oh, god…” Rebecca hugged him fiercely and told him, “We got the others… we saved the twenty.”

,,

The hug was comfort he didn’t want, and that was because it ripped away the last of his self-control. Rebecca staggered slightly as Sean half-collapsed, clinging to her and breaking down into heaving sobs. He was only vaguely aware of Rebecca talking to the rescued people in Spanish. He didn’t pay any attention when she walked him over to the bags, and she had to loop his duffel around his chest. She was the one who found a place to set up Sean’s tent and got it set up; the only thing that she couldn’t do was get him to eat. Sean adamantly refused and cried himself to sleep, curled on his sleeping bag.

,,

Once Rebecca was sure Sean was asleep, she walked away, making sure she couldn't be seen, particularly for what she was about to do next she felt such a show of unrestrained rage and emotion would bring too much attention.

Near an already gutted building, she stood dead center in the already marked clear rubble, her eyes glowing with her last shreds of quantum. That rage built on itself, twisting and churning. She felt betrayed by the very thing that was hers to command. Time. She put on a respirator she had in her bag she had been using to protect herself from breathing in dust, as her glare transformed into a contorted expression of confused, adolescent frustration.

She unleashed a primal scream. Her very mastery of space and time cutting through the building like an array of trillions of blades of compressed space-time. "DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!!!"


All that remained was a cloud of dust and carefully sliced debris, falling round her, but not on her.


She couldn't do it all... she couldn't halt time for one moment to give her time to think... to act...

Those children died because she wasn't good enough to cheat time... not wise enough to have made a better plan. There was no such thing as no-win scenarios and this was all her fault, and Sean... Sean was paying the price.

She climbed out of the perfectly carved crater she left around her. When she reached the mouth there were shocked survivors looking at her.

"Leave me be..." She mumbled in Spanish wearily making her wak back to Sean's location.

Then her phone rang.

"Fuck..." Rebecca muttered. Of all her precautions she forgot to turn off her cell phone... Oh god, that means that her phone accessed the DSA network that was...

"Ohhhh.... shit..."

Out of energy to warp and now her smartphone's ID has to have been logged on the DSA network.

She looks at her smart phone. It was her Mother.

"H... Hello?"

"Where are you, young lady? I stopped by Langley to give you some cupcakes I made for you before I go to that Neuroscience conference in Dubai. You weren't anywhere to be found! I was about to send DSA security to look for you!"

"Sorry... I'm out with Sean tonight."

Her mother's tone took an interested, playful tone. "Oh? How is he?"

"He's... not well... I think we'll be heading back soon."

"I hope so... it's late."

"Don't worry, I can get us home pretty quick when needed. You know how I can't be held down."

"Well, I left your cupcakes in a covered dish in your dormitory. Please call when you get back, alright?"

Rebecca nodded. "I will."

When the phone hung up, she muttered a number of curse words she knew from every language she understood.

She didn't know that the DSA had her Mother keep enough of a conversation going on to triangulate Rebecca's GPS location.

Rebecca heads back to Sean, wishing she had packed her tent. Or even a air bed. The ground was flat enough...

She sits down, setting her duffle bag on the ground near Sean's tent, and lays her head on it.

"I'm sooooo screwed."

,,

* * * * *

,,

Horst jerked out of a “power nap” on the air mattress that had turned into full-on sleep, complete with drool and a head full of cotton. His phone continued to ring without mercy, the brassy noise cutting through his headache like a drill. Still, he managed to pick up and answer without much sign of his weariness. “Horst.”

,,

“Director, we have picked up Rebecca Rathbone’s phone in the disaster zone.” The technician sounded tired, too; the support crew had been up all night offering help from Langley.

,,

Horst sighed and a curse word slipped out with his weary exhalation. The technician was professional enough to pretend not to notice. The director considered for a second to who send; Kei was still up. “Send the coordinates to Kei.” Hanging up before he got confirmation, Horst dialed the super-jet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kei was still curled up in her air-conditioned tent. She stared at the front flap. She hadn't even taken off her suit and gear. She had no real way to shake off what she had seen today.She couldn't really talk about it. Nate was unreachible...

*BEEP BEEP*

Kei quickly answered.

"Hello!" She said with an exited tone, hoping it was Nate calling her to let her know that he was in route.

"Sea Eagle... we need you to pick up a spare. Seems our little wayward witch has gone off the reservation and is in the disaster zone. Get her and bring her to base. We'll figure out what to do once you get back."

Kei groaned to her feet one more time. She felt some of her quantum was back. "Okay... what is the current register of any toxic gasses and hazards in their last known location?"

"There was some reports of natural gas, but I was reported to by the gas company here that it had been turned off and our last foray through there was that it should be safe for rescue teams, well, after sunrise. They wanted to give time to let things subside..."

"Right... I'll get the little twerp. Should I confine her to my tent?"

"Don't be rough, Kei. I think she had been saving people in that very grid area. I think Rebecca has seen far more than enough. But she did violate my orders. Rebecca is grounded to your tent if you're offering. Until we've got enough rest and mental energy to handle this properly."

Kei stepped out of her tent, closing the visor on her helmet. She took off at her cruising speed, the slowest she could fly so she still had a small bit of her energy remaining. When she landed she wandered around, seeing the crater that Rebecca left.

"That has to be Hogwart's finest's handywork..."

Sighing, she continued until she saw Sean's tent and a sleeping Rebecca.

She walked up to the snoring girl and sighed. "She does look cute, even when being a juvenile delinquent. So tired she fell asleep before getting in her tent..."

She turns on the flashlight on her helmet and shines it at Rebecca's face. "Wakey Wakey!"

She crossed her arms. And she was not pleased. "You done goofed... big time."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rebecca whimpered a little before shielding her eyes from the light on Kei's helmet.

Once the glare was gone and she could see Kei's trademark blue and white suit and red-orange vest, she identified her immediately.

She sighed. "They sent you?"

"Yeah. We figured out your position off your cell. We had to ask your mom to stay on the line long enough to trace..."

Rebecca stormed up to kei and was able to look her almost eye to eye. "What?!"

Kei grinned. "You thought you had every base covered, little witch?"

Rebecca downcast her eyes. "Who has time."

"What?"

"You're worried about PR and shit and I and Sean were trying to save lives! How can you understand how it feels. All the power and having to keep on the sidelines!"

Kei's right hand twitched. It was balled up into a fist and the one thing that restrained her was the fact Rebecca looked like such a child.

"What you don't understand, little Miss Rathbone, is that we have a certain way of handling things. Your foray here put things in jeopardy. What if we had to put our taxed resources to pull your carcass out of the rubble..."

"Wait... Sean is here?"

"Yeah, I didn't come alone. That would be stupid."

"No what is more stupid is that you put someone else's life in jeopardy, Rebecca."

Rebecca hissed. "It wasn't my idea. we both came up with it!"

Kei re-positioned near the front of the tent, pointing at Rebecca. "Doesn't make this any less wreckless."

That wasn't what Rebecca wanted to hear... not after what happened. "Not like you've not had to watch people die."

That was a telling remark from Rebecca. "What?" Kei asked, returning to a confronting posture in Rebacca's face. "What was that?"

"I just watched a group of children die, Kei. Because of a decision I MADE."

Kei stumbled back. She had just not witnessed just a few die today, but thousands. In a way, that put things into perspective.

"Kei, I don't know where that chip on your shoulder comes from but right now I am very much not in the right frame of mind."

Kei realized that Rebecca was a 'Hyper-Competent', but a child more that able of making mistakes, and the rare kind that knows when they make them.

Kei looked at the ground. "I'm here to take you two back to camp. You're... confined to my tent until Horst figures out what to do about this. You guys were definately not supposed to be here this soon."

"And get the sanitized situation for PR purposes for the program?" Rebecca said, accusatory.

"No... to make sure you and Sean were safe when we could bring you here to assist."

The Witch and the Weapon stood with just a couple meters between them yet they might as well be light-years. Kei could see the fatigue on Rebecca's stance and expression. Rebecca wasn't in any right frame of mind right now and Kei knew it.

"This isn't a place for teenagers. For no one really... Yet this sort of thing happens. More than I would like." Kei said. "If you want to really help, I heard the Japanese are sending a group here... we could use another warper, and the camp seems secure... But I will make it clear, I can't make any guarantee you'll just be sent back. I don't really know what Sean can bring to the table either... In a way, my role in all this is pretty much done other than handling security for right now..."

Rebecca sighed. "Right now I am hungry, tired, and very... very upset."

Kei nodded. "So am I, honestly... but I got a fair bit on my mind too... I'm just sorry you had to see all this so quickly."

"Is this what it's going to be like in the DSA? Being so... helpless?" Rebecca said... there were some tears forming in her eyes.

"Sometimes... but sometimes you will be at the right place and the right time and that will be all the difference. I've been there for people and have saved many, many lives. By my own hand. You can't take this as a defeat. Rebecca."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

It is my plan/desire to wrap this thread in one week from today. Anyone who would like to post more here at the first days after the disaster, please do so before then. Once I wrap, we will move forward to June 1st, a little under three months in. Details will be made available and we'll start moving into the second part of this story, Rebuilding Mexico, and finding those who did this..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...