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Aberrant: Nova Reality - Opening Day

Greg Frist

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Windy City Knights Headquarters, Chicago,

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The headquarters of the Windy City Knights is decked out in finest regalia for this occasion, as a crowd of Chicago natives is gathered at the front steps. Despite the incredible cold, the streets are packed, with the entire block surrounded by police barricades, as the crowd shivers expectantly. This day has been much anticipated in Chicago, and many claimed that it would be delayed forever by legal entanglements. But eventually, the determination of the Governor and the generous donations from N! made this day possible.

Greg Frist stands behind he Governor as he wraps up his speech. No one in the audience is particularly interested, but everyone here is too excited to be bored. Behind him, what once was an old factory had been turned into a cross between a modern office building and a mideival castle. The architects had pulled it off better than Greg had expected, but not so well as a nova would have. No one here seemed to mind that shortcoming, though.

Finally, the Governor finishes, and the crowd applauds him politely. Greg moves to the microphone, and begins his own speech. "Thus far, it has been an honor serving with the Windy City Knights. They have each made contributions to this city, and soon they will extend their aid to the surrounding states. Now, without further delay, let me introduce your new defenders!"

After waiting for a moment for the short burst of applause to subside, Greg calls out, "Joining us from Louisiana, with supernatural control over the OpNet and a mind set to warp speed, J.C. 'Bandwidth' Thomas!"

Bandwidth, steps from his place on the sidelines and heads for the podium, looking mildly nervous. Greg smiles encouragingly at Bandwidth and says, "Tell us about what you'll be doing for the team, Mr. Thomas."

Bandwidth turns to the podium, and states, "My job is mainly logistics and research, as well as the computer security of the Headquarters. I can also provide fast transport for members of our group, and in a last resort I can assist in a combat role, although I'm more fragile than most of the other members of the group."

Having said his required lines, Bandwidth retreats to the top steps, looking greatly relieved. The crowd applauds, not particularly caring that this nova isn't used to their attention.

"Hailing from Connecticut, with mastery of matter and an unending supply of gadgets, Glenn 'Alchemist' Roberts!"

Alchemist exits the front doors of the headquarters, wearing his habitual lab coat over a grey jumpsuit. He smiles at the crowd and steps up to the podium. Greg continues with, "Tell us about your role on the, Mr. Roberts?"

Alchemist shrugs and replies self deprecatingly, "I will be providing equipment for the group, as well as assisting during emergencies to the best of my abilities." Alchemist turns and walks to the top of the stairs and stands next to Bandwidth, while Greg suppresses a wince at the brevity of the answer. The crowd's applause masks his pause.

"Coming from our very own Chicago, she can move you from afar, and she's got Telekinesis too, April Rice!"

April swoops in from the roof of the building, landing with pinpoint precision behind the podium. She has on a charcoal black jumpsuit with the stylized letters 'WCK' over her heart. The crowd gives a burst of applause for this display, and for the native girl. Greg allows it to go on for a moment, and is about to ask April about herself when she beats him to it. "Hi! I'm April Rice, and I'll be with the field team. I can help out in disaster relief and the odd fight with random kinds of telekinesis, and when a problem pops up, I can move fast enough to be there in moments. I'm really glad to be here, everybody!"

She jumps backwards and floats to her place in the lineup, then grins shyly at the explosion of applause.

Greg, more amused than annoyed that he had been pre-empted, moved on with his announcements. "A former elite and founder of an international aid organization, our very own International Man of Mystery, Jager!"

Jager steps out from his position at the Governor's elbow, dressed identically to the Governor's actual bodyguard, and startling them both. His eufiber melts into a black jumpsuit as he stands in front of the podium. "Mr. Jager, what will you be doing for the team?"

"I will be a member of the field team. I'm just here to help out."

Jager takes up his position near the entrance to the building as the crowd applauds politely.

"Next, we have for you the newest recruit for the team, entering as an auxiliary member, I give you Damanor."

There is a bit of confusion amongst the applause now, as the news of a new member reaches many for the first time. However, this is quickly dismissed as a blue-black streak becomes visible in the sky, resolving itself into the shape of a tall, bearded man in a black jumpsuit, surrounded by a blue transparent sphere. The nova stops above the crowd, taken aback by the size of the reception. After his initial hesitation, he lowers himself to the ground, the force bubble fading at the touch of his belt. Hiding his fear behind what he hopes is a calm face, the nova approaches the entrance to the headquarters. The crowd parts, allowing him access to the podium.

"As the newest arrival to the team, many here don't know much about you. Tell us a little about yourself, Damanor."

Damanor speaks, taking a deep breath. "I’ll be an auxiliary member of the Knights, working as a fact-finder and researcher to support our novas in the field. If necessary, I can also help out with fieldwork. I’d like to do some technical work on the side, though with novas like Alchemist and Bandwidth, I’ll be a minor part of the technical team at best."

Greg flashes his PR smile to the crowd and asks, "Is there anything you look forward to, Damanor?"

Damanor simply answers, "Well, Greg, I look forward to serving alongside my fellow Windy City Knights. We have a good team, and we’ll be able to help people and make a difference in the world."

The crowd's applause now is definitely genuine as Damanor moves to the end of the lineup.

Greg looks around for the last member of the team, decidedly annoyed that he had made no previous arrangements for an entrance. He speaks to the microphone, "Well, we do have one more member, but he seems to have not turned up. I'm sure you would have liked to meet DigiGeist, our recent import from Minneapolis, but he still seems to be camera shy..."

Just then, a man steps past the police barricade. His ears become obviously pointed and his hair turns white, and his features become noticeably more recognizable. As he walks past the podium, he turns momentarily to grin at the surprised Greg, and say into the microphone, "Sorry, I had a hard time with this crowd here. It's an honor to be on the team."

So saying, he joins the rest of the team as Greg looks mildly peeved and the crowd laughs and applauds.

"So, people of Chicago, I now present to you your new defenders! The Windy! City! Knights!"

Massive applause breaks out from the crowd and continues for several minutes, while the police keep a watch on the gathered citizens. The Governor resumes his place at the podium and, after a few attempts, manages to get their attention back.

The grand openning ceremony continues, with the Governor cutting a ribbon with a giant pair of scissors, Alchemist creating a WCK symbol above the doors, and an openning party in the reception hall. All in all, Greg measures it a good day, and looks forward to his spot on N! News later that night where he will explain everything, while footage from the ceremony plays in the background.

Definitely a good day's work. And perhaps, the start of something very special.

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