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Aberrant: 2011 - Night at the Blackburn [Mature Themes]


z-James Walker

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Admittedly, this fiction should have had this tag from the start. My bad. At any rate, this fiction may contain graphic descriptions of sex and/or violence. You have been warned.

Friday, March 28, 2009

Tonight was a special night at the Blackburn, for two reasons. The first reason was known to all; it was Novas' Night Out, that time when all parts of the Blackburn were closed to the baselines. The second reason as a secret special to Hine-nui-te-pō; it was her reincarnation day.

Hina sat on the dressing stool with perfect posture while one of her handmaidens worked her fingers through the short spikes of hair, using gel to get a perfectly styled mussed hairdo on her goddess. It took very little work before the gold, red and orange strands of hair to look presentable, and no makeup adorned the goddess' face. She needed no such help.

Nodding her satisfaction, Hina stood, naked, arms outstretched. A handmaiden brought her undergarments and Hina stepped into them, her face distant and thoughtful. The deceptively simple black dress came next, and Hina allowed them to put it on her. Her high-heeled black sandals were set on the floor, and Hina stepped into them, waiting as the buckles were done.

Her two bearers were called into the room then, kneeling before her. Hina turned and sat down on their shoulders, feeling them adjust their arms until they were bracing her in place. Then they carefully stood, their muscles straining to lift her smoothly.

The only problem with this mode of travel was the fact that most doorways in a modern building were too short for someone to be transported correctly. Hina frowned as her bearers had to duck to leave her room. And it was the same again with the elevator; her bearers knelt so that she would fit.

When the doors opened, her bearers took her out and walked her through the lobby of her building; the baselines stared at her, their eyes drawn to the goddess. Hina smiled, accepting her due.

Her bearers set her down at the doors to the car she'd hired, and Hina stepped inside. "Stay here," she instructed her bearers. "You would not be welcome where I go."

The drive to the Blackburn was mercifully short, and Hina smiled as the car stopped in front of the familiar structure. Though she'd never been here before, she'd seen the picture of the building hundreds of times. And she'd waited until today, until her twenty-fifth anniversary of her reincarnation, to visit.

With a smile, Hina stepped forward and into the doors of the hotel, into a room full of music, debauchery and fun.

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The flight over had been tiring, but Evan "Caduceus" Sigmar was glad to be back in the States. His cover story was that he was hurrying along some data for one of the project managers back in Venice, but the real reason was to sneak off to the Blackburn Hotel and their 'Novas-Only' night. It wasn't that Evan was a racist - far from it. Caduceus ate, drank, and dreamed the Utopian vision, but he really wanted to talk to some novas in a non-laboratory setting. The Blackburn offered this and more.

The taxicab dropped Evan off two blocks from the place he was told the Blackburn was located. He had been a bit surprised how sparce the information on this club was and hoped he wasn't in for a dissappointing time. Around the hotel, there was a small congregation of rather unsual novaphiles. They had more of an anarchist bent and seemed to blend into the harsh light and darkened streets, as if they were part of the landscape, and nto people. At the front doors, Evan saw a large, barrel-chested man standing in front of the steps leading down to the club below the hotel. He was about to introduce himself, explain that he was a nova, outward appearance not withstanding, when the man deftly stood aside to let him pass.

"Thank you," Caduceus hastily managed as he walked past. The bouncer paid him no mind and stepped back in front of the stairs once he had past.

Down the stairs and inside, Caduceus had to squint his eyes to adjust to the shadowy interior. Not what he expected, but then he wasn't a club-monkey, so he wasn't quite sure what to expect anyway. Not sure about what to do, or where to go, Caduceus decided to 'ping' the environment and see what lay facades of the people who had arrived ahead of him.

"Oh ... my ..." he said in ill-concealed awe.

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Bellator gets out of the shower, cursing at the fact that the hot water was out. As he looks at the clock, he realizes that he won't have the time to catch a bus or a taxi to the hotel, and a limo is right out. He sighs and gets dressed, drying off his hair as he decides on which outfit to wear. After dressing, he leaves the apartment and makes his way to the lobby. As he approaches the door, he wills himself to the door of the Blackburn hotel, and he fades out. Bellator's form fades in, not 10 feet from the door of the Blackburn. His outfit for the evening is a black, form-fitting jumpsuit with gold piping on the edges. The bottoms of the legs are tucked into his shiny black combat boots, with gold laces. His sleeves are tucked into a pair of black leather gloves that reach halfway up his forearms. The crowning piece of his ensemble is a painters cap with a logo of a pair of crossed daggers embroidered on it. On his right chest pocket is his nova name stenciled in gold. On his right arm is a patch with the crossed daggers like the design on his cap. As he 'ports in, he looks around, seeing the crowd gathered outside the Blackburn hotel. He grins as he looks himself over, and approaches the door. He nods to the large baseline "guarding" the door, and moves quickly past him. He quickly makes his way down the stairs, not really looking where he's going, trying to make his entrance short, and without fanfare.

Bellator notices the man stopped in front of him too late to do anything much except slow down. He bumps into the man standing in front of him with enough force to knock him forward and off balance.

As he catches himself, he sees the guy in front about to fall down. He reaches out and grabs the man by the shoulders, trying to halt his descent, and succeeding for the most part. "Whoops, sorry. I guess I should pay attention to where I am going. Are you ok?"

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First the wave of quantum life reaches him, followed too rapidly by somebody walking into his stalled form as Evan takes in the the sheer number of novas already here. He is plunging forward when hands firmly grasp his shoulders and pull him back upright.

"You okay?" the black-clad stranger says to him. The stranger looks much more like a nova, or at least what popular culture dictates novas are supposed to look like than he does. Caduceus quickly takes in the figure before him and takes a half-step to the side, as to not repeat another run-in.

He offers his hand to the stranger.

"Hello I'm Doctor Ev ... Caduceus", Evan corrects himself. "I apologize for getting in your way. This is my first night at the Blackburn ... umm Bellator."

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”So this is New York” Josh “Gatecrusher” Brickman thought to himself as he floated above the city.

”Lots of buildings, lots of sharp angles, lots and lots of people… I think I like it. I wonder if I’ve been here before?” Josh tries to find a sense of familiarity… and failed. He shrugged and pulled out his GPS and the Blackburn’s Address, spent a couple of minutes orientating himself and then zoomed off. Finally the coordinates matched, and he floated down and looked for the entrance. Spotting a likely candidate, he hovered and boomed down to the doorman,

“Is this the Blackburn?”

The gate’s bouncer stared up at Josh. Powered up to fly Josh was solid sky blue and a massive 12 feet tall. His DeVries video resume usually showed him running through tanks. The doorman swallowed whatever comment he might have been about to make about reading signs and said,

“Yeah, this is the place.”

Josh landed lightly and shrank dramatically into his powered down form. Powered down Brickman was obviously a nova with the stereotypical muscles, lack of fat, and good Irish looks on top of that. His eufiber was already configured into his standard black and red ‘clubbing’ outfit.

“Good, Thank you.”

Josh walked inside and noticed the collision, and boomed out a laugh,

“ “Hi there. I thought running into things was my thing. You both OK? I’m Josh. Josh Brickman.”

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At 25,000 feet, the world looks a lot different. On a moonless night, it is even more alien. Below, could be seen small patches of lighted areas swimming against a darkened background, like fished in the deep ocean. On the horizon, a false-dawn broke, where the lights from America's largest city never stopped shinng. Straight below him were a small series of lights that were isolated from the other small groupings. They reminded John of a solitary firefly, who was lost and separated fromt the others. He hoped that the tiny lights far below, were the correct ones. A loud thumping noise from inside his body drowned out the sound of the plane's engines. Jump!

For a second, the rhythmic pounding stopped, as his weightless body sought equilibrium with the earths gravity. Then, as gravity began to take over, the pounding of his heart began to increase. As the wind grew louder and the night's cold air lashed at his face, the pace of John's heart quickened. Bringing his legs underneath him, he felt the friction of the air bite into the snowboard attached to his feet. Using his leg muscles, he began to carve invisible curves in the night sky. His body twisted against the blackness like a small phosphorescent nematode, free-floating in a ocean of pitch black. From below, he was a small glowing missile, hurtling towards the earth. The place he targetted was known as the Blackburn Hotel.

A week before, John first heard of the place, and that it had a Nova's Only night. While not one who really cared about a person's quantum status, Joe was intrigued. He remembered the party a while back in Florida, and he had a great time. This time the crowd was said to include some real characters. He had heard of some of them in passing, and they were very different from what a normal person looked like. But then again, John was not exacly 'normal' looking either. He had lost all his hair, and his skin sparkled with static electricity.

Supposedly, a group called the Teragen were often seen at this place, and John was interested in what they were about. So in reality, he had two reasons for showing up. One was to party, and another was to see what this 'Teragen' was all about. He hoped, that by coming to the Blackburn, he might meet a member or two.

The lights began to morph beneath him. Now the single point of light had a tail of twin pearls. These pearls looked to be moving slowly. Pull the cord!

The sound of the wind died down. Other than the loud, rapid pounding of his heart echoing through his ears, it was silent in the blackness. Looking at his target, John noticed that the twin pearls were a line of automobiles stretching for a hundred yards. Gently, he descended towards a large grassy area in front of the Blackburn.

He rolled as he landed, his chute collapsing behind him like a deflated baloon. When he stood up, there were several onlookers who began to take photos. The paparazzi were there in full force. Unhooking the harness and removing the snowboard from his feet, he waved towards the flashing of the cameras. Quickly, John bundled up the chute and stuffed it back into its pack.

Escaping the paparazzi, John quickly made his way to the entrance. The adrenaline rush of his acrobatic night sky dive was subsiding as he reached the large doorman. With a quick nodd, the man at the door let John into the noisy scene beyond.

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“Hi there. I thought running into things was my thing. You both OK? I’m Josh. Josh Brickman.”

Caduceus smiled as he faced the newcomer.

"Hey, Mr. Brickman. You are with DeVries, right? I'm Caduceus. I'm with the Project."

Evan extended a handshake.

"Its a pleasure to meet you and this here is Bellator. Why don't we go to the bar and head off any further collisions. I feel bad enough gawking here and causing the first one."

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"Why don't we go to the bar and head off any further collisions."

Josh shakes Evan's hand and Bellator's too if he accepts, and says,

"Caduceus, Bellator. Good to meet you. And a drink would be great.

Josh starts walking towards the bar,

"So are those stage names? DeVries insisted I take one, what does the Project do about that?"

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Caduceus laughs at the question.

"I get ragged about my Nova handle by my colleagues at work. See, I worked for the Project before I erupted and now I get teased about being the big, bad nova."

Evan looks to the bartender and orders a double-whiskey straight.

"But I like being a nova. I don't miss being tired and I'm in a hell of a lot better shape than I ever was before."

"Oh ... I'm a doctor, by the way. I work in the Biological Sciences branch in Venice. I also manage an Emergency Response Teams as well, though I have yet to lead a team in the field yet."

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'Let's hope good things come in threes', Ravenshire thought as he parked his car barely a block away from the Blackburn. He had already gotten phenomenally lucky, discovering that his floor's maintance tech's brother-in-law's cousin ran a pay-lot nearly next to the Blackburn. A few judicious $50's and he had a spot reserved for tonight's Novas-Only affair.

Better yet, the insurance company had cleared his claim for his totalled car in record time, allowing him to pick up his brand new, silver jaguar coupe convertable. In theory a four person sports car (if two of the passangers had very short legs), it was all sport. He loved the way it handled and couldn't wait to take his latest toy out on the interstates for some real driving. Maybe if things went real well tonight, he could share the adrenolin rush.

Ravenshire walked brazenly through the nova-junkies and paparazzi and half-jogged across the street. The bouncer/doorman gave him a long once-over before stepping aside and letting him enter, but Ravenshire gave it no mind. He enjoyed being a less-than-flashy nova. Ravenshire carried that air of confidence with him as he glided down the stairs and into the club. He spotted several novas, some not so obvious, and made his way to the bar.

"Rum and Coke, please," he requested of the bartender then he turned around and looked around the club. Good things, he reminded himself, come in threes.

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Hina had found the dance floor, and learned that she was over-dressed. A woman whose body released the occassional flare of glitter wore nothing; a man with the perfect nova physique wore nothing but a pair of tight, worn jeans. Another nova, gender indeterminate despite wearing only a black thong, danced with skin whiter than fresh snow.

"Great hair," a voice behind her said, and Hina turned to see a tall woman with a beer in one hand and a cigar in her mouth. "Carpet match the drapes?"

Hina smiled; she'd heard many variations on that joke since her godhood had manifested itself. "Perhaps you'll find out," she said coyly, "perhaps you won't. But in the meantime, would you like to dance?"

"Love to, Sunshine," the woman said, flipping long blonde curls out of her eyes. "Lemme finish." She tipped her glass back and downed the rest of the drink in one long gulp. Turning, she tossed the glass at the bar; without looking, the barkeep caught it in his tentacles.

"I'm Drop," the woman said as they moved out onto the floor proper.

"I'm Hine-nui-te-pō," Hina answered, then laughed at Drop's expression and added, "Call me Hina."

"Will do, cause I'm not sure I can get my tongue around the other," Drop admitted with a laugh.

"You can't get your tongue around me?" Hina asked with a faux frown. "Disappointing." Drop just smiled, an unspoken promise.

They were dancing with Drop suddenly stopped, a grin lighting up her face. She grabbed Hina's hand and said, "C'mon. I see someone I have to say hi to." The bigger woman practically dragged Hina through the crowd, headed toward a completely bald man who had just walked in.

"Hey, Longball," Drop said, shoving forward her hand. "I've wanted to meet you for a bit. I'm a big surfer myself; we need to shread a wave together."

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With the screech of tires on damp asphalt the black gellardo* Gabriel Law called his 'grocery getter' came to a halt at the valet outside the Blackburn Hotel. The valet had to snicker at the vanity plate that read **"IMRCHBCH".

"Have fun." Was all Gabe said he tossed him the keys and strolled inside, ignoring the usual fanfare he received when attended events like this. Tonight, he just wasn't in the mood for the public. He was here for a nova party and a nova party was exactly what he going to enjoy.

With his shiny purple suit and drop dead good looks he strolled into the bar, lookin for fun, lookin for love, looking for a good time, lookin.... oh... pop corn shrimp...

Casually Gabe strolled to the buffet table salivating.

*It is not yet understood how Gabriel Laws Lamborghini Gellardo always seems to be in places that he travels to yet always retain very limited mileage. Scientists theorize Gabriel Law is really Bat-Man.

**I’m Rich Bitch

Quote:
Gabe it attempting a low profile for a few moments, to see it he knows anyone here. Not that Low profile is easy when you ahve M-App 5 with Awe-Insipring.
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After dropping off his parachute with the young gentleman working the coatroom, Longball headed down the stairs. The bass from the music in club was already vibrating his tee-shirt. When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he noticed that his skin glowed brightly in the darkened club. His sparkling skin, in its yellow-blue illumination made him stand out.

He looked at the all the Nova in attendance. Never before had he been around so many. He noticed two young women, obviously Nova in their physique and beauty, approaching him. The tall blond held out her hand and introduced herself as a fellow surfer. He was surprised that others had heard of him.

Longball smiled and took her hand. "That would be great. I'd love to. I was not aware that there were very many Nova-surfing aficianados." He bowed slightly and smiled to the young redheaded Polynesian woman, then addressed the blond again. "You obviously know my name. May I have the pleasure of yours, and your friend's."

,,
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"Damn, you've never heard of me?" Drop sighed melodramatically. "I'm Casey "Drop" Richland. You know - because I always enter a fight from above? Yeah, I know - it's stupid, but I like it." She grinned at his surprise. "I follow the sport closely, especially the novas. They're the ones that are going to give me the most trouble."

As she spoke, Hina studied the man, enjoying the light show coming off his body. Apparently, he had some fame in the sports world, but Hina didn't follow it and she didn't know for sure. But his light show was interesting - she wondered what powers he wielded.

"I'm Hine-nui-te-pō; please call me Hina for your comfort," Hina said, extending her hand. Oddly, she extended her hand, palm down, an awkward position for shaking.

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When Suyin did a job for the Bloody Bitch, she never asked questions, and tonight was another example of that wise creed. The stocky Costa Rican was selling wares best not known, and so long as her rules were overtly kept, Flow remained discreet.

Meili remained in the care of a housemaid that was hired after extensive checking out. Rosario knew that if anything happened to the child, her life would not be worth living, and that was if Suyin was feeling generous. It was safe to leave her for a few hours.

As usual, she wore her khakis, olive-green jacket, tan singlet and brown sneakers. The starkly attractive Suyin dressed much the same as she had in China, and saw no reason to change, even if the clothing was better-quality.

Her face remained blank as she left the person she had carried. The Bloody Bitch had told her someone else would be taking the man home, and good riddance to him. She despised lawbreakers, even if circumstances forced her to help them.

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Gabriel popped a few handfuls of popcorn shrimp into his mouth and a petite baseline female who was part of the catering staff fainted and he shot her a wink and a shrimpy toothed smile, he tried to toss in a flirtatous kiss but couldn't manage it through his jaws exeeded cargo capacity. Oh, he was in a mood tonight. Tonight he was just going to rock out and have himself a grand ol' time.

No worries, no inhibitions, no... oh... imported beer.

Off walked Gabe to sample the fine iced imported beer.

Closer and closer the plum clad sex pistol seemed to be getting to...

...

...

...

...

...

The stage?

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Originally Posted By: Caduceus
Caduceus laughs at the question.
"I get ragged about my Nova handle by my colleagues at work. See, I worked for the Project before I erupted and now I get teased about being the big, bad nova."
Josh laughs as well, and tells the bartender to surprise him, the drink that comes back is green and might be glowing. He says,

"So it's Doctor Caduceus, and you really are a Doctor. Well congrats, if that's a nova name, then Caduceus must mean something... but it's Greek to me cause I don't get it."

Josh nods at Hina and Drop,

"Get a load of them."
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Evan eyes the drink speculatively then chuckles.

"Its just Caduceus. My real name is Evan, Dr. Evan Sigmar. The Caduceus is the winged staff with the two entwined snakes facing each other and ... wow."

Evan's gaze wanders over to the two female novas Josh has pointed out.

"Umm ... they are sure ... exotic looking, don't you think?"

Evan thinks furiously about how he might approach them, but with zero experience with women up to this point, he remains at a loss.

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Far from the dance floor and its teeming throngs, or the good-natured jostle of the crowded bar, a lone, unoccupied table stood in a dark corner of the room. The chair was tucked neatly underneath, untouched since before the party'd begun in earnest.

"Hey, Kittie! I think I found a spot!"

A pleasant looking young man with a shock of sky blue hair waved enthusiastically across the floor at his companion as he called out to her with a broad grin. He received an answering wave in response, and a leggy woman covered in tawny, russet-spotted fur began weaving her way through the revelers.

She stopped short, her jade green eyes fixed on something just over his shoulder. Like the cats she so resembled, her senses were sharper than the norm, and as they are wont to do, so, too, did she peer intently at nothing whatsoever.

"Cirrus?" she purred casually. "I've changed my mind. Let's dance."

"Okay," he shrugged, completely oblivious to the direction of her gaze. His grin widened at the thought of being pressed close to the vivacious nova and her sultry feline form. He draped his arm loosely about her waist, and together the attractive couple merged once more with the mass of moving, sparkling, quantum-touched bodies.

Moments later, the darkness... shifted. From the corner, something like a black paper doll pulled itself away from the intersection of the walls and stretched one two-dimensional foot unnervingly into the room. Without a sound, it tore itself from the murk and, as it did so, slowly resolved itself into a shapely, exceedingly petite female form. Nyx strolled casually across the floor, and as she passed the table nearby, the shadows which clung to the area trailed after her, returning to the writhing nimbus of smoky black tendrils that wreathed her head.

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Drink in hand, Ravenshire made his way to an empty table and took in the action on the dance floor. Setting his drink down, he angled toward this exotic nova. Her exposed flesh and hair were licked by translucent, blue flames. Her spandex-style body-stalking shimmered in various hues of blue and green.

"Hello," Ravenshire said. "Mind if I join you?"

She gave him an appreciative look, her eyes undressing his body, and gave him the slightest of nods.

Without further urging, Ravenshire moved his body up to hers, matching her natural grace with his well-honed skills until they pulsed to the music as one. Once the song finished, she laughed into his ear.

"I'm Azul Fuego," the female nova said.

"I'm Ravenshire," Daniel responded. "Argentinean?"

She gave him an inquisitive eye before nodding.

"You have a good ear."

"You have a killer body," he shot back smoothly. Just then, Azul's gaze went past him and she pressed her body up against him.

"I think I just wet myself," she gasped.

Ravenshire managed to allow his head to follow her gaze ... straight to Gabriel Law.

'Oh crap!' Ravenshire thought. 'Damn, but he's the most gorgeous man I've ever seen.'

"I know what you mean," Ravenshire told Azul without missing a beat. "He's Gabriel Law. I don't know him, but I know of him. Want to go over and say hi?"

"Could we?" she whispered, as if they might be overheard by the general din of club.

Fighting desperately to find any way NOT to hand his dance partner over to the Nova Sex God, Ravenshire's mind went into overdrive.

"Hold on a sec, Princesa. I think he's getting ready to perform."

Azul tore her gaze away from the purple daemon long enough to give Ravenshire a questioning look.

"He's a musician."

Azul blushed and as she did so her flaming aura danced brighter. Seeing no condesension in Ravenshire's smile, she gave his hand a quick squeeze.

Sensing the moment had passed, Ravenshire led Azul closer to the stage for what was hopefully going to be one hell of a show.

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Kara sat back in the comfy leather of her car's seat, watching New York slip by. It was much warmer than the last time she'd been here, a fact which made her very happy because she got to wear the new dress.

Dexter was driving; the car jerked as he applied the brakes suddenly. "We'll get there in one piece if you can stop looking at her in the mirror," Rashard growled, sounding almost feral. Dexter didn't respond; he didn't need to say anything. His body language was screaming his embarrassment.

Kara smiled to herself. She had thought that Dexter was immune to her beauty after his long exposure, so this dress must be as good as she thought it was. And it was surprising comfortable.

At first glance, she appeared to be wearing a fishnet dress, but it was really the same material as a football jersey. The only difference was that the holes were about as big around as a dime, and she was only wearing a thong underneath. It was all done in a bright yellow that stood out clearly on her dark skin and matched her singular eyes.

When the car stopped, Rashard hopped right out, opening the door for her and scanning for anyone who might attack his client. Sadly, she had a better chance against anyone who might attack her, but it was still his job to take the bullet - or quantum bolt or super-strong fists or whatever. And when Kara stepped out of the car, Rashard almost vibrated with protective energy.

He shadowed her all the way to the door. Just before she slipped inside, he grabbed her arm and murmured, "Call me when you're ready to leave. Don't wait for me outside."

"I know," Kara said softly, reaching up to touch his cheek. She smiled at his irritated scowl. He didn't like her to get personal like that. "I'll be good."

"Be careful," he pleaded before he pushed her in the door.

Kara shook her head fondly, amused by her bodyguard. He was so sweet; wildly overprotective, but sweet. She flowed gracefully down the stairs and into the bedlam. Scanning the room, her smile exploded into a grin as she saw a friendly face. Slipping to his side, she exclaimed, "Josh! You're here!" as she grabbed him for a hug.

Quote:
This is the basic idea for the dress (not work safe):

Caramel's dress, but in yellow, not black

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The Limo pulled to a stop in front of the remodled hotel that now served as the nightclub called "the Blackburn." Before the vehicle had even come to a halt the door swung open and Lucas Holt, the Texan Playboy Nova known a TeleForce stepped out. Behind him his two companions filed out each looking as fantastic and divine as the other.

Three quantum gods, laughing and jostling there way to the door, oblivious of the baslines outside and dismissive of the bouncer, entered the club where the youngest of them stops in wonderment.

"Oh wow!," Adam, also known as Firefly due to his gossamer insectile wings and his proclivity for glowing, whipered in awe at the sight of the gathered Novas.

"What, you've never been in a club before kid?" The beautiful asian Mai gave the boy a sidelong glace.

"Not one with so many Novas!" he said, his voice filled with excitement and a slight glow began to radiate from the boy.

Lucas slid between the two and flashed them both a warm grin. "Well? Are we just gonna stand in the lobby like a gaggle of wallflowers or are we gonna go play?" He said in his strong voice with the slight sothern drawl. He slipped his arms into each of his companions and led then towards the bar. "Come on, I wanna a drink."

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Suyin saw Caramel Bath, whom she knew by sight and reputation, walk into the room and head for that DeVries Elite. The... dress... had more holes than a fishing net in it. Somehow, it was more shocking than the nudes she had come across time to time - the nova beauty was popular. Very popular.

The Chinese woman walked up to Caramel, dark eyes wide, and said in all seriousness: "Miss Bath? I think your nipple is showing."

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"Oh, what?" Kara said, turning to look at the pretty Asian woman, then looking down automatically. She kept one arm around Josh as she said, "Oh, yeah, it's supposed to do that, sugar." It wasn't said unkindly, and Kara extended a hand to the other woman.

"I'm Caramel, or Kara if you wish," she said, smiling warmly.

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Suyin automatically took the nova actress' hand and replied, "Ah - Sue Yin, called Flow." As she shook it, she thanked Heaven that she managed to catch herself in time, and hoped that Caramel would miss her real name.

"I am sorry if I offend. I should have realise that was meant to be the effect."

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Slowly and with all the grace of Steven Hawking having an epileptic siezure Gabriel chewed (choked) down the last of his shrimp washing the aftertaste away with expensive imported beer from… wherever import beer came from. With a skip, a hop, and a flick of his arms to loosen up his jacket’s sleeves Gabriel stood on the stage, beer in one hand, mic in the other.

Dear god Kara… He thought as he caught sight of her. I so should have hit that in Rome.

“Ladies, gentlemen… and… heh, well more ladies.” He grinned and sipped and his beer. “Now, we all know why were here. To have a good time right?” He paused and there was a bit of silence. “RIGHT?”

Cheers erupted through the bar and Gabe sipped his beer once more while he watched the gaggle of novas clap, hoot, woot, snoot and poot. Well, not so much on that last one. And… I don’t know what a snoot is, but I’m pretty sure novas can do it.

“I know what you’re all thinking.” Suddenly the room grew quiet, still, and oppressive. “Not literally, you paranoid… anyways you’re thinking ‘Wow, how can I be cool like him? Gabe is just so awesome!”

“Not really!” shouted a random voice from nowhere.

“Shh… adults are talking. Mating calls are to be performed in the lobby.” A few laughs could be heard. “But, truth be told… I’m not that cool. Frankly… I’m just a big dork. So, before I take all you ladies home with me tonight, I think you should know the truth, because, honesty is important in a one night relationship.”

Music seemed to play on it’s own (actually just activated as Gabe clicked the mic on) “Ladies and ladies… and I suppose the other people here who know who they are but are not as hot as the ladies. I give you… the truth about Law!”

They see me mowin'

My front lawn

I know they're all thinking

I'm so White N' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy

Look at me I'm white n' nerdy!

I wanna roll with-

The gangsters

But so far they all think

I'm too white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

I'm just too white n' nerdy

Really, really white n' nerdy

First in my class here at M.I.T.

Got skills, I'm a Champion of DND

MC Escher that's my favorite MC

Keep your 40

I'll just have an Earl Grey tea

My rims never spin to the contrary

You'll find they're quite stationary

All of my action figures are cherry

Steven Hawkings in my library

My MySpace page is all totally pimped out

I got people begging for my top 8 spaces

Yo I know Pi to a thousand places

Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces

I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise

I'm a whiz at minesweeper I can play for days

Once you see my sweet moves you're gonna stay amazed,

my fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze

There's no killer app I haven't run

At Pascal, well, I'm number 1

Do vector calculus just for fun

I ain't got a gat but I gotta soldering gun

Happy days is my favourite theme song

I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong

I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on

I'm fluent in Java Script as well as Klingon

They see me roll on, my Segway!

I know in my heart they think I'm

white n' nerdy!

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy

Look at me I'm white n' nerdy

I'd like to roll with-

The gangsters

Although it's apparent I'm too

White n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

I'm just too white n' nerdy

How'd I get so white n' nerdy?

I've been browsing, inspectin'

X-men comics you know I collect 'em

The pens in my pocket

I must protect 'em

my ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored

Shopping online for deals on some writable media

I edit Wikipedia

I memorized Holy Grail really well

I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL

I got a business doing websites

When my friends need some code who do they call?

I do HTML for them all

Even made a homepage for my dog!

Yo! Got myself a fanny pack

they were having a sale down at the GAP

Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap

POP POP! Hope no one sees me gettin' freaky!

I'm nerdy in the extreme and whiter than sour creme

I was in AV club and Glee club and even the chess team!

Only question I ever thought was hard

Was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?

I spend every weekend

at the renaissance fair

I got my name on my under wear!

They see me strollin'

They laughin'

And rollin' their eyes 'cause

I'm so white n' nerdy

Just because I'm white n' nerdy

Just because I'm white n' nerdy

All because I'm white n' nerdy

Holy cow I'm white n' nerdy

I wanna bowl with-

the gangsters

but oh well it's obvious I'm

white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

Think I'm just too white n' nerdy

I'm just too white n' nerdy

Look at me I'm white n' nerdy!

Through the song complete hysterics are heard as the collective novas laugh, giggle and fall over themselves as Gabriel butchers several ‘white’ dances, from The Sprinkler, to The Cabbage Patch, to The Monkey and includes a completely out of place session of head banging during the bridge.

After the show Gabriel walks off stage, amending his performance with “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time! So let’s get this party started!”

Quote:
Awe-Inspiring, The Voice.
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"No worries, sugar," Kara said. "If I didn't want it to show, I would have been happy for you to say something. It's nice to meet you Flow."

She turned to look at the rest of the men staring silently. "Bellator!" Kara exclaimed, leaning forward to give him a hug too. "You look great, sweetie! How have you been?" She glanced at Caduceus and asked, "Who's your quiet friend?"

Then Gabe's performance started, and Kara turned her attention to him. God, Gabe... I so should have mounted that when I was in Rome... His voice shot right through her, and Kara realized that she was now contributing the to the general scent of sex hanging in thickly in the air. Gabe... you're murder on my panties, as you should be. Then the song was done and she turned back to the group, patiently waiting for the answers to her questions.

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When Gabriel Law began to perform, Flow just... stared at him, jaw slack and mouth open. She had never seen someone so close to perfect.

At the end of the song, the words of it, and his actions, sunk in... and the jaw-dropping awe changed to vast confusion. She had no idea what he was talking about.

"Is he alright?" she asked, finally managing to speak.

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The music is fantastic and the company is more wonderous than anything Evan has experienced before. It is with an extreme effort of will that Caduceus keeps his eyes firmly locked with Kara's when he finally get the chance to respond to her. He refuses to look down. Caduceus nods his head slightly and speaks with more confidence than he feels.

"Evan Sigmar, Kara, also known as Caduceus, but please ... you can call me whatever you like."

'God, I hope that didn't sound as desperate as it felt' Evan thinks, cringing internally.

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Working up his courage from his hotel room to the Blackburn was hell.

Robert had come to New York with Liberteen, for a couple of reasons. First of all, Ravenshire had agreed to Interview him to grant him an Internship on his "company", which would mean Robert had basically a set job when he graduated in May.

The second reason for him to take this trip was suggested by Bellator, the Rashound Clinic on New York was much better than the one in San Jose; maybe they could determinate what was wrong with his node and why he had no powers at all.

The third reason, and probably the only relaxing one, was the fact that LiberTeen had agreed to accompany him to the Blackburn, Robert wasn’t sure if he was on a date with the beautiful teenager, but nerves be damned he was going to have fun.

Unfortunately, LiberTeen had insisted on meeting up with him there for some reason, probably going to dress up or some such his thoughts on LiberTeen, Robert finished dressing up. Nothing too bad, picking a couple of tips from Gabe Law and TeleForce, he dressed in a casual way.

He hated it once he looked it on the mirror and got something better, a black suit, a blue button up shirt and black shoes with a leather belt.

Looking slightly somber, he decided to forgo the Tie, and just opened up the first couple buttons of his shirt. Deciding against closing the jacket too, he just went as casual as this outfit would let him.

Time to go hope everything goes all right

----

Arriving at the Blackburn as predicted, he put on his best air of superiority and the guard moved to the side letting him pass.

He entered the establishment, and his eyes were immediately drawn to the stage Why am I absolutely not surprised Gabe is already here AND the life of the party?

Almost submitting to defeat, and to be a wallflower again with Gabe here, he managed to scout a group he was familiar with. Moving with grace and security he silently walked up to them, to surprise them in the last second.

"Bellator! Kara! Mr.Brickman!" Robert appeared seemingly out of nowhere, springing a surprise greeting to all the presents. "Fancy to see you here, I haven't seen any of you since we last met in a party on Florida, how have things been going for all of you?" Turning to look at the couple that was accompanying them, a pair of novas he had never met before, he offered up his hand at them first “Will you be introducing me to this two interesting persons?”

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Bellator begins laughing as the song ends, then he turns to Kara, "I've been well. And I see you're feeling fine." He smiles, then turns to the bartender, and orders a Sam Adams. He nods to the bartender after handing him a ten as the beer arrives. He takes a sip, then nearly loses the drink to a spit take when Robert springs his greeting on them all. Bell then puts the beer on the bar, and extends his hand to Robert, "Good seeing you again. I've been good. What brings you to the city? Oh, This is Caduceus... Caduceus, this is Robert." He steps out of the way for the two to introduce themselves, and to take another swig of his beer. As he glances around the room, taking in the variety of Novas and feeling very plain. I'm glad I didn't wear the camo outfit. I'd feel even more like I blend into the background.

He sighs, and shrugs his shoulders, then jumps back into the conversation flowing around him.

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Lucas led his entorage to the bar chatting and laughing as they immersed themselves in scene. Adam stopped dead in his tracks and the sight of Gabe on stage and Lucas and Mai were forced to drag him the rest of the way to the bar.

"Wow," Adam said in the far off voice of the recently hypnotized. "He's hot. I hope he's gay" His companions rolled their eyes as they finally fought there way past a small knot of what appeared to be octuplets and reached the bar.

Lucas scanned the crowd at the bar and broke out in a wide grin. "Oh my god. Miss Caramel Bath, fancy meeting you here."

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It was about mid-day when Catalyst and Troy arrived in the city. They’d ridden in the GTO for several days now, nearly non-stop, for fear that they might miss the social event of the season. Troy called in a favor and rented a motel room so they could shower, change and hang out for a bit. The week had been pleasant for Troy. He liked being around Patricia, and was happy to spend the week with her.

As day grew into night, and the time for the Blackburn approached, Troy and Catalyst hit a small restaurant for their formal dinner. Occasionally some fan of them would approach them, and Troy would happily speak to the baseline. They didn’t get much alone time, as one might imagine, but they ate none-to-less. They went straight from the restaurant to the Blackburn.

Troy was expecting a small crowd of people in line, and not the mass that was Nova fans. Troy insisted on driving up to the place, and letting someone else park the car. As they approached it, people peered into the car to get a shot at who was coming. A scream drew across when someone saw Troy step out, only a few people recognizing him. He opened the back seat and pulled out two laptop bags, which he strung over his black zipped up sweatshirt, forming an X across his chest. His black hair was fashionably messy, as done by Cat, and he wore the same jeans that he always wore.

He moved to the other side of the car, and opened the door. A foot stepped out, and it was a translucent blue with darker blue lines though out it. As the person stepped out, her body followed the trend. She wore a black PVC shirt and skirt, and her hair seemed to be a solid mass. Troy handed the keys to whoever looked like it was his job to move cars, and walked down the column that was defined by the fans around it. Troy smiled, said ‘Hello’, and even shook hands with whoever liked to, as Cat did the same, but just seemed to be passing time while Troy did his thing. The bouncer watched them, and stood aside as they entered.

“We’re finally here.”

He could hear the bass pumping from the street, and it just seemed to be getting louder as they descended the stairs. When they reached the main room, they found that they had entered mid-performance. Troy looked at Cat as to where to go, and she did the same. He was so out of place. He noticed some kindly fellows, and some partial nudity over by the bar, and decided that was his best chance for socialization. Troy felt under dressed in comparison to anyone else, but didn’t mind. It wasn’t the clothes that made the Nova.

When they reached the group at the bar, he made friendly smile. “I know so few of you by picture.” He holds out his hand, and puts forth a friendly smile. “Troy Campbell.”

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He searched his memory for other Nova athletes that he had heard about. Unfortunately, since his baseball career ended, and he did not follow the sporting world like he used to, he didn't know. He was embarassed that he hadn't heard of her.

"My apologies Drop, but I have not been keeping up on the athletic world like I used to. Are you a fighter, or is that a description you use in regards to any athletic competition."

The beautiful red haired Nova offered her hand in a downward position to Longball. It was not the customary 'Western' greeting he was used to, but having surfed in Polynesia and Micronesia, he was confident in how to respond. He reached out and gently grabbed her hand. He pulled it upward towards his face and gave it a kiss.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Hine-nui-te-pō." John said pleasantly. "What brings you all the way to New York?"

As he spoke to the two Nova, John heard the unmistakable singing of Gabriel Law. With tunes this good, he would have to ask one or both of these ladies for a dance. First though, he wanted to get to know who they were.

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Things had been a little awkward between Brittany and Robert since they met up a few weeks back. Awkward, not because it wasn't a good visit, because it was, and not because they didn't mesh well as people, because they did. But the conversation that had followed their night together was a frustrating one, and Robert's staunch refusal to accept his condition (and Brittany's own rather large surprise at this fact) was stifling what she saw as becoming a very good friendship. Maybe more.

They'd taken their flight to JFK together, and stayed at the hotel together, in the same room no less (different beds), but things between them stayed strangely platonic (well, okay, not completely platonic). For Robert's part, he was very probably being shy. Shyness, despite how very adorable desirable he was, radiated off him like she herself radiated happiness. Brittany had decided to let things cool a bit; this trip was a pleasure trip, for sure, but Robert had business, and more importantly, he was going to be visiting the Manhattan Rashoud Clinic, something that she secretly hoped would confirm her beliefs about Robert's dual identity. In the meantime, she didn't broach the subject, and she didn't plan to. Robert seemed to be in denial about the whole thing, and she didn't want to be seen as needling him or waxing on it. Tonight, she resolved, was going to just be a plain old good time. Potentially unpleasant self-discovery could take a back seat for the day.

After spending a rather comfortable morning with Robert behaving as friends, they took a breakfast and spend most of the day walking around the city, seeing sights and waiting for dusk to wash over the city. They returned to the hotel room at about half past five, and Brittany told Robert that she'd meet him outside the Blackburn in about an hour-and-a-half, taking careful measure to give him a long, lingering kiss and a stroke of his chest before she walked out the door.

She knew Robert was going to take him time getting ready, probably a shower and a change into what passed as dressy clothes for him. She was happy, and expectant to see what he came up with, awfully eager to see what metamorphosis her big, bad wolf would come up with. It wouldn't take her nearly that long to change, she realized after she'd already left, and gave a passing thought to flying back to the hotel to give him a bit of a "hand" with showering, but decided against it. First, she didn't want Robert to think she only liked him because he was a great lay. He was that, but he was a lot more, and Brittany had caught herself thinking of him virtually nonstop in the time since they parted. Also, until Robert learned a bit more about himself, he was bound to be a bit wound up, too, and she didn't want him to feel smothered or that he was responsible for making sure she was having a good time. She was a big girl, after all.

Hopping between skyscrapers with carefree ease, aided by her own self-propelled flight, she reached the Blackburn at a relaxed pace about half past six, resting on top of the building near a ventilation unit, listening silently to the clatter and bustle from the street below as she inhaled the cool, night air.

With a bit of mental adjusting, she flexed and preened her eufibre suit into a new shape: the cape would go for the night, she amended. She flared her skirt out to knee length and made it a pleated, sheer red, the kind that could be seen through if you looked hard enough when it was wet or bright out. She tucked her flight goggled into a pocket and made a couple of new accoutrements, a hair band, leg warmers and bracelets. Her bustier turned into a somewhat oversize shroud that hung off one shoulder to reveal a tantalizing sneak preview of what was underneath. Now looking every bit the part of a blonde Molly Ringwald, she sat on the edge, taking a swan dive to the street below, and padded to the pavement with coy grace, where she was admitted in without a word of hesitation.

She took to the air again as soon as she got in, scanning the crowd for any familiar faces. She thought she spotted a couple, but the light inside was diabolically dark, as most dance clubs tended to be. She decided, for a time, to stick to the ceiling, where she danced alone in spectacle, being joined here or there by other beautiful novas who carried her interest for a moment or so and then left.

As Gabe's song ended (something she was decidedly sad to see), she scanned the crowd once more, spotting Robert among a group of other novas. With an impish smirk, she flew down behind him, hovering just over his shoulder, giving a smiling "shoosh" and a wink to the group of novas standing in front of him. With a gentle craning of her neck, she leaned into his ear and incanted lowly and slowly, "Hey there, big boy."

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Lina was nervous about her admission into the Blackburn. Do they let girls as young as her into an event like that? She was a Nova and all, but underage is still underage. Earlier in the say, she shed her mob at a local restaurant. There were so many eyes, but none managed to see her as she slipped away, due in part to the outfit that she donned. She transformed her white robes into red hooded sweatshirt and a pair of tight-fitting black jeans. She raised the hood, and blended in to the crowd until she could slip away later.

It wasn’t until the night that her entourage found her once more, but they were no longer permitted to follow her. Lina moved down the row of empty space towards the bouncer after stepping out of the crowd. She lowered her hood, revealing her milk white skin and brown-black hair. She raised her hand at the bouncer, and her entire body started to glow with a white light. The crowd around her cheered, realizing that it was the Light of God. The bouncer made quick work of stepping out of the way, and Lina made her way in. Easier than I thought.

As she moved down the stairs, she made use of an alcove to reshape her euphiber into a one-shouldered white toga, which nearly exposed her left breast. She left down her shoulder length brown hair, and was instantly a vision to be remembered. Lina removed her bioluminescence, and made her way down the stairs. The bass was almost hurting her ears it was so loud, and she seemed to have just missed a performance. Maybe she would partake of the stage, someone said there would be karaoke. Once she got to the event floor, Lina instantly felt completely out of place, and that coming here was entirely a mistake. She stood still for a moment, taking in the scene of other Nova’s that she didn’t know, almost skipping the ones she did. The latter number was too few to make her comfortable.

Lina was unaware as to if she was supposed to congregate with the others, or simply wait for someone to approach her. She caught a few peoples attention the minute she began moving inward, but managed to not make eye contact. Lina found an empty table, and decided to sit. Hopefully someone would trip over themselves to make conversation with her, so she didn’t have to.

Quote:
Awe-Inspiring
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Originally Posted By: Caduceus
Evan's gaze wanders over to the two female novas Josh has pointed out.
"Umm ... they are sure ... exotic looking, don't you think?"
Evan thinks furiously about how he might approach them, but with zero experience with women up to this point, he remains at a loss.
Josh says in an experienced, friendly predator tone of voice, ”Exactly!. Noticing Evan’s discomfort then guessing it’s source, Josh says, ”Order two drinks then bring them up to them. Make sure that they’re strong, and be ready to get shot down."
Originally Posted By: Caramel Bath
Kara shook her head fondly, amused by her bodyguard. He was so sweet; wildly overprotective, but sweet. She flowed gracefully down the stairs and into the bedlam. Scanning the room, her smile exploded into a grin as she saw a friendly face. Slipping to his side, she exclaimed, "Josh! You're here!" as she grabbed him for a hug.
Josh says ”Kara! and hugs back, and attempts to steal a kiss.

Then he looks down and says, ”Love the dress.”

Originally Posted By: Sue 'Flow' Yin
Suyin automatically took the nova actress' hand and replied, "Ah - Sue Yin, called Flow." As she shook it, she thanked Heaven that she managed to catch herself in time, and hoped that Caramel would miss her real name.
Josh says,

“Flow. Right, you’re a teleport. We talked over the opnet. I’m Josh.” Josh offers his hand, but if Flow allows he will kiss her hand rather than shake it.

Josh finally notices Gabriel Law and says in an annoyed tone of voice, ”Good grief. He is here. Josh looked like a fitness model, peak baseline… which was a distant, plain showing in comparison and he knew it. It’s a lot harder to score with a sex god in the room.

Josh gets over his brief indulgence of envy and says, ”Ah well, we might as well catch the show. He’s very good.”

Originally Posted By: Robert J. Lambert
"Bellator! Kara! Mr.Brickman!" Robert appeared seemingly out of nowhere, springing a surprise greeting to all the presents. "Fancy to see you here, I haven't seen any of you since we last met in a party on Florida, how have things been going for all of you?"
Josh mumbles something. His last mission had been something of a fiasco but he didn’t want to talk about it.
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Drop laughed, waving her cigar around as she used her hands to talk. "Nah, fightin's my hobby; extreme sports is my job," she chuckled. "Gotta love the rush, and while the rush from fightin' is pretty good, I think that going up against nature is a better rush. I mean I'm pretty sure that I can kick some guy's ass, but you never really best a wave; you just survive against it. BASE jumping is kinda dull, ever since my 'chute failed to open and I didn't break a bone." Drop grimaced as she scratched the tribal tattoos on her arm. "You know, knowing that you're not going to even get a bruise kinda takes all the fun out."

Drop was just as interested in Hina, and turned her attention to the smaller nova. "I am here to see the Blackburn," Hina said softly, "and to meet other Elevated Beings."

Drop's eyebrows rose. "You mean novas, right?"

"Yes," Hina answered with a firm nod, "that is not the best name for them, in my opinion."

Turning to Longball, she asked, "What sports do you play in? I'm afraid that I haven't followed them extensively."

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He listened to her as she described her activities. When she mentioned extreme sports, his interest heightened.

"I used to be a baseball player." John said to Hine, with a longing expression on his face. In the off-season I surfed at Mavericks. It is a spot just outside San Francisco. Now that I can't play baseball, I do extreme sports...snowboading, skydiving, streetlugeing, big wave surfing. Stuff like that. I enjoy the rush. It is my addiction in life."

He gave Drop a slight chuckle at her bruising remark. "I have recently discovered, that there are other things, more dangerous than hitting a reef or impacting the ground. Last month I almost drowned, when the leash of my surfboard became tangled on the bottom."

"I had not been much of a fighter before my 'Elevation', as was so elegantly said. I can swing a weapon, and throw an object...it's the baseball thing...if I need to."

Longball looked over to the bar where several familiar faces were sitting and chatting. "Would you two like to accompany me to the bar, for a drink? I'm a little thirsty from sky-surfing."

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Kara has to laugh and mockingly wag her finger at Josh, but she does let him steal his kiss. And the compliment from him certainly stroked her ego. She was here to party, and hopefully the dress communicated her intentions clearly.

To answer Flow, Kara had to lean down and put her lips close to the Chinese woman. "He's fine, it's just a cover song. Gabe can be really silly, when he's not being so romantic that you melt right into your shoes."

Straightening up, she nodded as Caduceus introduced himself. "Caduceus?" she said, trying out the word. "I assume that means something?" Kara studied him carefully. He was very shy, and that brought out the extreme extrovert in her; she now wanted to pull him out of his shell. The poor man was doomed, if Kara had her way.

Robert got his hug and a light kiss as well from the smiling nova, who was almost starting to glow from all the excitement and attention. "Glad you're here, sugar," she murmured to him before seeing another familiar face.

"Lucas!" Kara called out, moving through the crowd to take his hands and kiss each cheek. "How are you? I see you have friends!" She put a provocative emphasis on the word, giving Teleforce an approving smirk as she did so. Clearly, they shared some taste in men - besides Gabe. In all fairness, Gabe was everyone's type.

A young man caught Kara's attention, but it was his companion who gave Kara the clue she needed. "You're Troy," she said, shaking his hand. She gave him a once-over, but unlike every glance she'd given men tonight, there was nothing lecherous in her gaze. "Cat has told me so much about you." As she said this, Kara slipped her arms around Cat for a quick, platonic hug. "You look wonderful, sweetie," she whispered to the teen nova.

The hovering nova behind Robert could only be one woman; she would also be the second woman in the growing crowd whom had probably been seen naked by some or all of the group. You have to be LiberTeen, Kara grinned, averting her gaze from the buxom blonde long enough for her to sneak up on Robert. This was someone Kara had really hoped to meet tonight, but she'd let her do her thing with Robert first. Whatever thing the two might have going.

Reminded that she was meeting someone else, Kara scanned the room casually. She didn't see her contact yet, which was fine with her; Kara was more than happy to turn her attention back to the group.

"Ok," she said, hands on her hips in mock disapproval. "I came here to have fun and dance, and while I'm getting one, I can't believe that none of you guys wanna dance. Do I have to beg? I hope not - this dress is not made for kneeling in."

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