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Divine Right
The Story Guide

DR: Tropical Stormers

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"She is," Davian said, sidling up to the group after having heard Bastion's suggestions. "Trying to help, I mean. She's been spending a lot of her time trying to figure out how to make new technologies that'll give lots more than just one person at a time those homes, food, medicine, all of that. She just does also sometimes needs a, what did you call it, Deezy, a brain cleanser?"

He pointed over to the drinks. "For example, the whole thing with the alcohol? It's not really about getting drunk. It's about medicine for people that can't take a Tylenol or get anesthetic now. Imagine if one of you all with superquick healing needed surgery to remove an object that got stuck in their body and healed over. Or just needed their gallbladder or appendix removed. Right now, they'd have to do that without anesthetic and with constant cuts to get it done. But Deezy's hoping her bubbles can be used to get anesthetic that will work, maybe even something that could slow down or stop the healing factor long enough to get the medical work done. Or be used for psychiatric medicine, given how much the world is looking to all of you to solve their problems and be their boogie man at the same time."

He pointed up at the mech costume. "She got plans on her work desk for using variations of that to do underwater exploration, search and rescue in caves or forest fires, dangerous places. She's got some larger plans for ones that can function sorta like cranes and roofers on their own, keep people from having to climb up on roofs or beams to do construction. Those go along with these modular home designs she's been working on to use with the souped-up 3D printer idea. Trust me, she's trying to save the world. She just also takes a little bit of time to herself so she doesn't burn out before she makes good progress."

"One person, one blanket, one dose of medicine, it can make all the difference to that person," Davian said with a nod to Bastion. He gave Deezy a look that had hints of both a crush and wonder in it. "She's trying to change the whole paradigm, though. Change the world on a grand scale so that there are always enough blankets, houses, medicine, presents - all of it."

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"Things change, sir, one person at a time.  One act of kindness, one act of decency and one act charity is like a pebble in a pond.  Wars are won by one person saying 'if not me, than who' and then other minds change, people start to self reflect and understand that they are, and always will be the change they're trying to create.  We're just to dang selfish to realize it."  He looked at the two of them.  "But there's not profit in one person at a time, is there?  There's no profit in charity.  You don't need a pebble in a pond, you want a current to sweep through, corner the market, and make you rich.  Any other way and you what?  Violate monopoly laws, destabilize economies?  Can't have free in a world where everyone is trying to get rich, can we?"

Once again Bastion demonstrated his down home, Montana, corn fed lack of a filter.

He extended his hand to Davian, which seemed like a completely fake name one would find in a trashy romance novel written or read by desperate housewives.  Probably contained vampires and werewolves or something.  "Bastion, sir.  Heard you were hiring, and I find myself needing work.  I'm not super smart, but I'm strong, so if you're needing someone for construction or wreckage, I suppose I could do that.  I'm only sixteen, but I can work for less and get it under the table, that's not a problem.  I'm trying to help my folks out, after I got all this," he motioned down his body to imply his powers after the Storm.  "We've sorta lost everything.  Is there an office I come to to fill out an application?"

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"Dude, if I wanted money, I'd just build a skyscraper made of gold," Deezy chuckled. "Money's just a means to an end. And the end isn't 'making more money.' At least not for me."

She shrugs.

"But whatever, it kinda sounds like you already made up your mind about this. We'll prove ya wrong."

Deezy glanced at Davian and added, "And he's not entirely wrong. I mean, helping a billion people in ten years does kind of overlook the ten thousand you could have helped now. Could be worth looking at shorter term projects too."

"Anyway! I believe the lady..."

She reached out to touch the drink Emily had chosen.

"...wanted a drink."

"Oh! And as for the job, yeah! Of course! That's one reason we wanted to meet everyone here. Circulate the flyers, so to speak."

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Ryan had finally finished bringing the last of the attendees to the island Soiree, and head towards the gathering where Deezy and Davian were.   he'd made abit of small talk with each guest, welcoming them, and  answering questions about the facilities.  He caught the tail end  of Deezy's comments, and nodded. They would make the world better together, that much he knew.  He also knew all too well that proceeding quickly would be folly, simply because humanity wasn't ready, and those in power would react poorly if they saw their fortunes and powerbases threatened to overtly.   They'd have to act tactically and strategically, it was something they'd already discussed at length.  

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Emily held the drink that  Deezy had magicked, cautiously sniffed it before taking a small sip, then she looked at it again.

"I don't taste any difference, or feel anything."  She downed the rest of the drink in one long swallow, grabbed another from a passing waiter and held it out for Deezy again, then looking at Bastion said, "Hey Superboy, the world is screwed up place, and maybe thats why we are here now. It's shit that some ashholes took advantages of your folks with this..shtuff, " she took another swallow of laced alcohol and draped an arm across Bastion's shoulders, "but we are gonna get your folksh place back and we argonesa shtraighten out all the shtuff that ...is fucked up all over." 

Emily swayed a bit and both Bastion and Weatherman reached out and steadied her.

"Holy fuck, Deezheey," she held up the empty glass she didn't realize she had drained, "whatchufuckputinthisanyway..."

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Ryan chuckled as the drink hit Emily.  "That's a good one.  The first batch put me flat on my ass."   He smiled as he admit to having been the guinea pig for the drinks, knowing that he was like Emily, in that Alcohol and pretty much everything else had little to no effect on him.

He smiled to Bastion, then looked to Davian, who nodded.  "I'm fairly certain we can help your family get your farm back, and for what it's worth, I am sorry that they lost it in the first place.  We can work out the details later if you like, and of course as you're a minor, we'll have to get your parents' consent if you choose to work with us."   It was a good deal as he'd already stated his willingness, and he was already prepared to right this wrong himself if he had to, though he knew his partners already saw the benefits of helping Bastion outweighed any negatives.  

Ryan wanted to help him because he'd gotten a raw deal, and  he knew what that was like.

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Deezy watched Emily with rapt fascination, then burst into giggles. "Oh damn you really drank the whole thing all at once there, didn't ya?"

When Emily started showing signs of inebriation she produced a little flashlight pen from her pocket and shined it into her eyes.

"Dosage might still be a tich high," she concluded to herself. "No one wants to get crap-faced on one drink. Still, pretty good guess for a first try. Lets see how fast you can burn that off before we go to second trial. Still! That's a good result. I was concerned the beads wouldn't get into the bloodstream that fast, but it looks like they're small enough this time around."

She turned to beam at the others. "Beads! Good for getting superpeople drunk, might also cure most forms of cancer someday. Also, archaic form of currency. Who knew, right?!"

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That got a genuine, non-mischievous smile out of her. "That could be fun."

"Definitely." Renata paused thoughtfully, then said, "So...I asked if you and Steve were together, and you said you 'arrived together.' Which is an answer, but not quite to the question I meant to be asking."

She steeled herself against disappointment. Better to rip the band-aid off early though. Kyria seemed like a lot of fun, regardless of her status or orientation. Once Ren knew she was off-limits, they'd be free to just friend it up, no confusion or awkwardness.

"Is he your boyfriend? Fiance? Anything like that?"

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Steve rumbled with laughter as Emily went from distressingly sober to sloppily drunk mid-sentence, though he did ensure that she still had her footing, braced against Bastion though she mostly currently was, as he removed the second drink from her hand and took a swallow to test it.  It was a sweetish cocktail, which made him grimace a little, but this was for science so he endured.

"Hey thas'sh'mine."  Emily protested, grinning up at the well-built Brit even as her hand tested the firmness of Bastion's shoulder and found it not at all wanting.  "D'you Shtormer guys all get ripped n'shit?" She asked, peering up through her lashes at Bastion as she leaned on him.  With effort, she focused on enunciating her thoughts coherently.  "Like, were you ninety-pound weaklings before and then 'bam! muscles for miles!'?"

"Pretty much the same as I used to be, looks-wise."  Steve shrugged as he took another swig from the glass he'd appropriated.  He felt the familiar (though not lately) haze of alcohol interacting with his brain, then took a third swallow, draining the glass.  "Cheeky vintage, that." he nodded approvingly to Deezy.  "Though you definitely want to lower the dosage.  Two mouthfuls for a pleasant buzz is a bit strong.  Lets see how quickly we sober up and I'll let you spike me a real drink."

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"Careful Miss Thompson," Bastion supported his companion rather easily, if not a bit awkwardly.  Super strength didn't mean everything was easier, it was just not as heavy and people were notoriously squirmy critters.  He slithered an arm around her waist and held her close to him.  "I got ya.  Just, hold on and quit squirmin'."

"An, no ma'am," he replied to her question.  "I was this big 'fore the storm.  In fact, the storm didn't give me muscles, it just let me lift heavier things."

"An the government relocated us, so there isn't any real way to get our property back.  Clear as I understand it, when they move people the land they own become the property of the government, like a kid becoming a ward of the state.  No point in letting us relocate and go into a relocation program if we're just going to keep our old house.  Even if we had it, all our houses are gone, so we got no way of makin' a living."  He shrugged.  "Papers were signed, that means it's all legal and whatnot.  Ain't much to be done, which is why I need work and I don't need anyone's permission.  Child labor laws are for human children written by humans for humans.  Like that old guy said in those movies... 'we're gods among insects'.  Human's can't tell gods what to do, they're too stupid, they just run around in the name of gods and beat up and degrade homosexuals, cut off people's heads and mutilate women.  Frankly, between us and the trees, humanity isn't the most creditable source when it comes to setting a good example of how people should act, let alone rules and guidelines for decision making.  If I wanna work, I'll work.  Way I see it, as long as I'm not destroying things willy-nilly then ain't nobody need be concerned with what I'm doing."

"I want to use my abilities to help people, good people.  The governments and companies of the world have no right to tell me whether I can or can't do that.  If I want to help, I will.  They don't like it, well, they can go cry about it."  He said sternly.  "It's about time this world had someone looking out for it that wasn't owned by a corporation or crooked or just looking to make a profit on other people's misfortune.  I plan to be that guy.  The guy who helps the world and if that bothers the people in power, well, chances are they're part of the problem, and we don't need em' anyway."

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Donald had been making conversation, but somehow the party didn't seem all that thrilling before. Then he caught up with Deezy and heard the phrase, 'real drink.' Something brewed up by walking mad scientist Deezy? That sounded both insane and awesome. "You got an extra glass? I'm in." And just for good measure, he'd set up his everyday body to shrug off all the garden variety boozes.

Would this one leave an impact?

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"Sure, pick a drink off the table," Deezy said, sparing Evo a glance. "Oh cool, you're the...shapechanger, yeah? Conscious control of body structure and function...I shall give you the same dose that Emily got."

She brushed her fingers over the drink Evo picked out. "Bottoms up."

Then the inventor peered up at Bastion.

"I get it, so kind of a natural law thing, right? Thomas Aquinas would be proud! And also probably kind of horrified. But I get it! You and me, we're both kind of going the same way, just on different roads! You're concerned about unjust laws, and assert that such a law ought to be no law at all. Aquinas. Wheras my solution is to instead change the law so that it ceases to be unjust...or better yet, assert enough influence over the lawmaking process that they were never unjust to start with. And, not gonna lie, fully planning on employing some legal realism in pursuit of my goals. A little of column A, a little of column B. I think, especially early on, since there's no established legal precedents for the cases that'll be coming through, legal realism carries the day."

Deezy tapped the side of her nose. "Ideally, by the time people get off their asses and start writing laws, I'll have advocates at the table. And by ideally I mean definitely and by advocates I mean lobbyists at first, and holy cow I think I actually must have drunk something because...sheesh." She fanned herself. "I was only going to have Pepsi, but I think someone musta snuck something in."

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Emily shifted and squirmed out of the arms of those holding her drunk ass up and over to stand behind Bastion. She put her hands on his shoulders and began massaging the hard tight muscles.

"Wow, so tense Suberboy you need to relax." Her fingers stronger than a normal humans kneaded his shoulders and upper back, "I have problems with how things are too, but we don't want to just go crazy, we'll solve the problems, right the wrongs. Let's let Deezy and Davy here work the problem from the inside and we'll do our part on the outside. 

But right now," she breaths in the steamy tropical air, "let just have a little fun, and forget about the problems for a night."

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"Well, I'm suppos'n you're right right Miss Thompson,"  Bastion said, rolling his shoulders as Emily kneaded dense cording of his muscles.  "An I know all of you didn't come here to listen to me gripe.  I apologize y'all, I'm just jes so mad about it, it's all I can think about, y'know?"

He sighed and looked out at the ocean.  "Y'know, it's hotter than cheerleader try outs out here and I think Miss Klata has the right of it.  I'mna go on ahead and get my swimming trunks on and try out that ocean.  I ain't never swam in the ocean and I kinda wanna see how long I can hold my breath for.  Why are we all on land when there is a perfectly good ocean waiting to be swam in... swum... swam... whatever, I'm getting changed and getting some sun." 

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Emily leans around Bastions shoulder pressing up against his back. "Emily, Bastion, Emily. Calling me Miss Thompson makes feel like I'm a spinster or something."

Then she breaks into a grin, "You heard the man! Lets go swimming!"

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Donald quirked an eye as Bastion failed to realize Emily was feeling him up and coming onto him. Well, on him. Donald tilted his head back and swallowed the special drink Deezy cooked up. He felt a jolt travel down his throat, through to his nerves, then the tingle faded. Was that it? With Deezy looking at him, Donald shrugged. "So I prepped myself for this, and nothing. If I dialed it back?"

Donald commanded his body to be less liver-efficient and waited. "Well, phats.... that's not all that much different." Aside from the brief hiccup, his body was still running in fine order. It fitted everything so far. "Yeah, only drunk when I want to be." It was both convenient and annoying. Maybe he could get himself intoxicated, and then instantly sober up at will?

Donald clapped the glass down on the bar and met glances with Steve. "I like the sound of surf and sun. You?"

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Deezy narrowed her eyes a little at Evo...not angrily, just concentrating. Breaking him down into a series of smaller, solvable problems. Momentarily distracted by Bastion, she gave him a thumb's up then returned her attention to Evo.

"So...we need an analogue for alcohol maybe," she mused. "Something that has similar reactions with cells, but on a bigger scale. Phew, just don't get it mixed up with regular drinks!" She laughed then, breaking the brief moment of serious consideration. "That's a bigger project than I wanna get into tonight. Sorry 'Evo!' Looks like you're going sober tonight! You can drive everyone home."

As Evo went off with Steve, Deezy looked around and planted her hands on her hips. "Well! I guess...I will just mingle. Or...do things that people do. At parties. Which I have attended many of."

She gave a 'thumbs up' at the few who were left, and headed out to stroll along the tables and say hi to some of the other Stormers who had stormed the beaches.

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The party had proven to be most helpful. Karrie had spoken with six key people, all identified as potential recruits. Karrie had made positive contact with them, and five had seemed interested in further recruitment contacts. Her path -- the last contact had been a walker-talker -- had taken her to the drink table, and she smiled to see her next contact was already there.

“Lucia!” she said as she leaned against the bar, smiling. “How have you been?”

“Sucky,” the younger enhanced said, mustering a smile for Karrie. “Are you Alice?”

“Sure am,” Karrie said with a chuckle, glancing down at the blue pinafore with the white stockings. “It seemed appropriate given the way that life has been.”

“Man, now I wish I’d thought of that,” Lucia sighed as she glanced down at her floor-length white dress. She’d put her hair in cinnamon buns, and even Karrie knew she was Leia from one of the Star Wars movies. 

“So what’s wrong with your life?” Karrie asked after asking the bartender for a coke.

“Crazy people,” the young woman groused. “I keep getting death threats from the religious crazies that think I’m like literally the Beast of the Apocalypse or a demon or something. One guy actually accused me of being the reason he beats his wife.” She looked both utterly disgusted and creeped out; she shook her head and shrugged. “The other people want to worship me as some sort of vampire-thing? I still don’t get it. Mom said she thinks its a game or book or something and Dad pretty much doesn’t care and now we have a P.O. box where all our mail goes and gets sorted by the police. Maybe the FBI.”

She sighed and muttered, “I shoulda gone into witness protection.”

“That does suck.” Karrie frowned sympathetically and took her drink with a smile for the bartender. “Do you want to do WitSec now? It wouldn’t be as effective, but it’d be something better than what you have now.”

“My parents don’t want to uproot their lives, even if it means dealing with the letters and having to chase off people from the neighborhood on a regular basis. The police are handling most of that,” Lucia frowned and shook her head. “I don’t know that it would do any good at this point. It’s just. . .creepy. And if the government wasn’t just taking care of most of it, we’d be going broke trying to pay for protection and mail sorting and all of that. I mean, my music and comic sales have gone up, but not into that kind of money.”

She gave Karrie a curious look, “What about you? Same kinds of problems or did you go into witness protection?”

“My job was largely unaffected,” Karrie said, “I was fortunate that my enhancements enabled me to do my job better. Though I’m changing jobs now because of the Storm.”

“Oh? What’re you going to do now?” Lucia asked curiously. She motioned for Karrie to follow her so they could keep talking, but the grumbling in the young Stormer’s stomach was demanding another plate from the buffet. 

“My family is with the government, and I’m putting together a quick-response team to deal with enhanced-level threats,” Karrie said, falling into step with Lucia. “I can’t share many of the details right now, but if we have another monster arise, we need a better response than ‘hope someone’s around who can deal with it’.” She shook her head as they aligned on opposite sides of the table, picking up plates. “We can’t be caught unaware if there’s another enhanced-level threat.”

“So, basically, you’re gonna go beat up the monsters that might beat up the world?” Lucia asked. “Or Stormers that go bad or something? Or is this more like being a Stormer Navy SEALs team?” 

“Some Stormers are already the Navy Seal team, effectively,” Karrie noted quietly, bypassing the pasta dish to pick up a kabob stick of meats and vegetables. “This will be a group meant to deal with enhanced-level threats that threaten to cause harm to innocents.” She paused, unsure how much to share with Lucia, before adding, “Whatever form those threats may take.”

Lucia paused, thinking that through. “Yeah,” she said with a bit of a swallow, “that seems like a good idea. I mean, every time I get mad or upset, I have to be real careful not to lash out with. . .” A black tendril formed through her dress, flick it itself like a ink-stained whip, “. . .these, even if I don’t mean to.” 

“You interested, then?” Karrie asked, smiling. “We’re still in the formation stages, but the more names of interested enhanced I can bring with me to the table, the better funding we’ll get.”

“Um, I mean, I’m not really a fighter,” she said a little nervously. “Not really. What happened in the Storm was just me panicking.” Lucia bit her lip, thinking it over. She was an artist, not a soldier, but at this point people were buying her music and getting on her Patreon because they wanted to have a piece of this ‘Losambra’ persona the crazies were building around her, not because they just liked her stuff. “Let me think it over?”

“Of course. I still have your number from quarantine, and I’ll call you later.” Karrie took a bit of shrimp and added, “If you don’t mind, I’ll just call to see how you’re doing, too. If I’d realized, I would have reached out sooner.”

A look of relief and gratitude swept over the young woman’s face. “That would be great. It’d be nice to talk to someone that knows what it’s like to go through all of this.”

“Not a problem,” Karrie assured her. A little ways down from them, she spotted a familiar face. “Hey, let me introduce you to someone I met in Europe.” She headed toward Kyria and the beautifully costumed woman with her.

As Lucia tagged along, Karrie headed toward the lovely redhead. When she got close to Kyria, she called out her name and waved. “How have you been?” she asked as they gave each other one-armed hugs. “This is Lucia, Lucia, Kyria.”

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Renata, having just asked Kyria if she was involved with anyone, looked over at the new faces with an annoyed expression that suited her Sith visage unintentionally well. It only lasted a moment though as she saw who it was.

"Oh hey," she said. "I remember you two from..." and then Renata trailed off, realizing that the whole point of her getup was not to be recognized, and identifying herself as someone who'd met Karrie...and literally shared a room with Lucia...was kind of going against that premise. "...the news," she finished lamely. "Hey."

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Kyria grinned at seeing Karrie and reminded herself not to squeeze the woman so hard an eye popped out or something; she gave the dark-haired Lucia a friendly wave. "Hullo! This is Mask. Mask, Karrie and Lucia. Karrie was in Hereford with Steve and I. And yeah, we're dating. Not fiances or anything, we just live together and destroy furniture together." 

Her eyes wandered from the small group as she caught site of movement on the edge of the beach. "Hey, it looks like people are stripping! Wanna go join them?" She was clearly pointing to the group getting down to their bathing suits to go for a swim and was probably being tongue-in-cheek on purpose. 

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Karrie nodded at Mask. “It’s nice to meet you,” she said politely, smiling at the newcomer and wondering who the hell she was. She spoke with a U.S. accent, but Karrie was having trouble placing exactly who she was.

Then Kyria started talking, and Karrie quirked an eyebrow at the spew of information from the redhead, wondering how many times the woman had been forced to intercept someone interested in Steve. That of course reminded her of Brady, and Karrie felt a pang of desire for her absent fiance. They’d talked about him coming, but the invitation hadn’t allowed for non-Stormers specifically, so he’d stayed home. It was too bad; he’d have made a cute Mad Hatter.

“We could go swimming,” Karrie agreed, glancing at Lucia. When she’d heard island, she’d guessed swimming would be a thing. “I’ll just want to finish my plate though.”

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Well shit.

It wasn't unexpected, but Renata still felt a little pang when moving someone from the 'maybe' box to the 'no' box on the shelf. Ah well.

She nodded at Karrie, rather pleased in spite of everything that the change in her appearance was effective. Karrie had seemed pretty sharp in quarantine.

"It's short for Ski-Mask," Ren explained a little sheepishly, waving her hand over her face. "Me and Evo were the ones that took out the zombies in the Storm. Turns out I can do more than just throw people around with my powers."

Then she nodded at Kyria. "I'm gonna pass on the swimming. Didn't bring a suit, and I'm not really into the whole running around naked in the middle of a bunch of strangers thing."

If she hadn't been dating Steve would she have gone with her, Renata wondered. It was a brief thought. The answer was hell, yes. If you had a shot at spending the night with someone like that, you took it.

Still. Backing out didn't feel very 'badass space warrior queen.' She was way out of character here. Damnit.

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Ahh, Karrie thought, keeping her smile in place as Ski-Mask mentioned the zombies and Evo. Karrie wondered why Renata wanted to hide her identity here, but mentally shrugged it off. That was Renata’s business. Plus, that costume was amazing.

“I’m sure someone brought an extra suit,” Karrie said, smiling at her. “I have a nightshirt that would cover you, and I’m sure we could find shorts. No one’s going to mind if you’re not in a suit, and it’ll be fun.”

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"STOP!"

Deezy, still out of her armored costume, stomped up and pointed at Karrie, then Renata. "I may not be in my skin, but I am still opposed...in a broad categorical sense...to HERESY! And shorts and a nightshirt..." Here she paused and gave Karrie a look. "...wait, nightshirt? You brought a nightshirt? Huh." With a shrug she fixed her glare back on Renata. "...swimming in them, here and now...definitely heresy!"

She cracked her knuckles.

"I gotcha covered. I spent like an hour memorizing the chemical structure of lycra literally just for this. Whatcha want? Sexy? Two piece? One piece? Three tiny pieces? Full bodysuit with just like, holes for the eyes?"

Renata looked down at herself. It wasn't like her costume left a lot to the imagination anyway.

"You know, if I just had a place to put the cape and skirty thing, it's not like I don't have underwear on. That plus this top basically make a swimsuit."

Deezy blinked, looking crestfallen. "Yeah but...but...you can have anything," she said plaintively. "Bikini made of diamond beads? I can DO that. It's actually easy because it's just CARBON."

"That...sounds like it'd fall apart the second it hit water," Renata pointed out.

"Yeah but..." the inventor sighed. "So what, just a box then? For your things?"

Ren shook her head. "Look, this...I don't know, this isn't even my scene, you know? I probably shouldn't even have come. I've spent almost every day since we got out of quarantine just trying to be normal. To fit in? And now this and...I have no idea what to do or...anything."

"Wait!" Deezy squawked in alarm. "Don't go! Nonononono! Okay. Okay." She took a deep breath and slowed her speech. "I've been told. By...reliable sources...that I can sometimes come on a bit strongly. When I am invested in the thing. I'm sorry about that. I don't want you to feel like you don't belong here. No one should feel that way. One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to get someone where we could all belong."

Another deep breath, and she continued. "You can swim in whatever you want. Or you don't have to. It's all good, R...Ski-Mask. None of us have any idea what we're doing here, believe me." Deezy grinned. "I've been completely off script since the gates opened. This whole thing, and other things like it later one...this is where we figure out what we're doing. Who we are, compared to who we were and who we want to be. No one's judging you here. The world won't know. As long as you don't hurt anyone, go nuts."

Remembering the events of the Storm, she quickly added, "I mean, figuratively."

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People talked and they drank and the mingled as Bastion snaked his way through the crowds to a small cabana where he could change into his swim trunks.  A few minutes later Bastion was on the beach in a pair of black shorts that reached his knees with a red stripe down the sides.  He set his pack near a tree and withdrew a few frisbees and football.  The moment he'd heard 'tropical island' it practically demanded a football for the beach and water.

He'd been partially inaccurate about his quantum transformation, however, but people are always they're own harshest critics.  Maybe he didn't notice it, but his eruption had toned him slightly more than he was a few months ago.  'Comic book bod' wasn't quite accurate, but the boy was cut and looking good, no doubt about that.  He gripped the ball at one end and tossed it up a few times time, letting it spin a few times and drop back into his palm.  The view over the ocean was amazing.  He gazed out at the crystal blue waters and took in the fresh, clean air.  Maybe he needed some fun to keep his mind off the madness that was his life at the moment.

"Steve," he nodded to the large pirate.  "Y'got an arm on ya?"  He tossed the ball up and down and a few times.

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Sitting in the shade, Steve had removed his boots and socks, followed by the coat, jacket and shirt, leaving himself wearing just a part of old-fashioned trousers that ended just below the knee.  They were reasonably light and practical to swim in, though he had trunks underneath too if need arose these would do for arsing around in the water on on the beach.  Sighing as he straightened, glad to be feeling the breeze take away some of the heat of the day, he heard Bastion call out and turned, grinning... well, piratically.  His torso was desert-tanned and adorned with tattoos - most of which had a military theme - along with more than a few scars showing up pale and twisting against the taut bronze of his flesh.  He was large bones overlaid with solid functional muscle,  a warhorse in his prime.

"Not one like yours, lad."  he rumbled with a laugh.  "I can't heft boulders around.  Bear that in mind, eh?"  

"I'll take it easy on ya."  Bastion grinned.  "Go long!"  And he sent a long pass, mindful of his strength so the pigskin didn't end up in Tahiti or wherever.  It was an almost lazy flick of his arm, but the oval ball soared through the air practically the full length of a pitch, arcing high over the Marine's head.

"Cheeky bastard!"  Steve swore, already running like hell.  He was notably fast on his feet even on sand - fast enough that he was able to get under the dropping football and catch it, though he had to slide the last half dozen feet to do so.  Bastion cheered as the blond man rose, holding the ball aloft like a trophy.

"Nice catch!"  Bastion yelled.  Steve dusted the sand off his breeches and grinned, shading his eyes with one hand as he measured the distance between them.  He knew how to throw - playing pickup games in the Middle East with some U.S. troops had been one aspect to an enriching cultural exchange - but he wasn't sure about throwing well at that distance.  Fuck it, he mused.  Worse that can happen is I look like a twat, and I already showed up to a tropical island sweating my tits off.  He took aim, squinting against the sun, took a few quick steps forwards and let fly.  The ball arced back towards Bastion, the distance looking decent though the accuracy was not so comforting. 

"To you!"  Steve called back, watching as Bastion ran to get under the pass.

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