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New Vindicators Academy of Europe #25: Jeopardy!

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  • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

    Violet Lear
    HP: 9
    Location: C10

    Violet relaxed a little at the confirmation that Bulwark wasn't an enemy. "Well how am I supposed to know what a Bulwark talks like?"

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    • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

      Greystone:
      [Jack Rexroth]
      HP: 2 (-1 for re-roll)
      Condition: Bruised

      Greystone reached under Ursa and grabbed at Brimstone's burning flesh. As he did, Nocti grabbed him--now composed of living lava. With a soundless snarl, he tried to burn the flesh from Greystone's bones.

      Even though Nocti had managed to copy Felsic's powers and get a hold of him, the scales that now covered his body from head to toe protected him long enough to slip away while he let the claws melt back into his hands and the inner glands transform into more muscle tissue. Now sporting a body builder's physique, Jack snarled as he let a punch fly that hit Nocti right in the jaw.



      OOC:
      _________________
      Jack's Will Save (vs. DC 23 [damage of illusion]): _: 1D20+8 = [2]+8 =10, AND THAT SUCKS! Spend an HP to re-roll.
      Jack's re-rolled Will Save: _: 1D20+8 = [18]+8 =26, of course the opposite extreme (as usual). At least he beat it.

      Jack's Other Will Save (vs. DC 18 [realize illusion is fake]): _: 1D20+8 = [8]+8=16. I'm going roll with it, just because I've been dumping HP to beat the illusions so much.

      So Jack will drop the Toxic Frog Skin & Claws, replacing them with Increased Muscle Mass. He'll then "fight Nocti", not sure how you want to handle that honestly but I'll go a head & roll.

      That said....Jack's Attack (PA -2/+2): _: 1D20+10 = [19]+10 =29 of course that'd be a critical on a power attack -.-

      Hypothetically that's a Toughness DC 30.



      Shapeshift Set Up (18 pts):
      Increased Muscle Mass [11 pts]: Enhanced Strength 11
      Dragon Wings [4 pts]: Flight 4 (Flaw: Limited [Winged])
      Dragon Scales: [3 pts] Protection 3

      Comment


      • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

        MILITARY BASE (Blue Knight, Greystone, Imago, Shiver, Ursa; NPCs: Brimstone, Bulwark, The Drifter, Eidolon, Felsic, Maze, Nocti, Tenebrae, Verve, Vestige)
        Greystone reached under Ursa and grabbed at Brimstone's burning flesh. As he did, Nocti grabbed him--now composed of living lava. With a soundless snarl, he tried to burn the flesh from Greystone's bones.

        Frustrated with how his new friends were faring, Imago conjured an illusory javelin. The lance curved to get at the prone woman. If Brimstone felt the bite of Imago's phantasmal lance, she didn't show it: not while the bear-man choked the life from her. Still, not far from where she lay, Bulwark managed to break free from the ice.

        "Back off, Rock Man," threatened Shiver as she skated by, "or I'll put you under a glacier!"

        The newly liberated Bulwark seemed to tense. "You're tellin' me these Armada goons recruit little girls!?! If you people think I'm too much of a Kevin to hit a girl..." Debris pelted the ground as he cracked his knuckles.

        "I ain't Armada, pebble-brain!" snapped a scowling Shiver. "You attacked us!"

        "I attacked the Armada!"

        "He's no longer possessed, Vi!" shouted Imago.

        "They been playing with everybody's mind right?" The English girl looked from Imago back to the rock man. "I'm just making sure it ain't another trick."

        "Vi, only Bulwark can talk (and so much) like Bulwark." Imago affirmed. "And it's not an illusion."

        "You tell her, Den-Den!" bellowed Bulwark.

        The Blue Knight ignored the exchange and focused instead on Greystone. His friend had winced like something had hit him--something the Blue Knight couldn't see. Greystone shifted forms then: he retracted his claws and the alien glands in favor of increased muscle mass. He snarled, turning to hit some invisible foe...

        The illusionist, the Welshman realized. She was in Greystone's head... but not for long...

        Azure wings unfurled behind him as he sped above the ground, hands ablaze with blue flames. He reached for Eidolon, hoping to shut the illusionist down quickly. Since using his powers in the other other dimension, months ago, Gwyn had practiced with his abilities until he was able to use them with no risk to himself. Apart from it being an incredible strain, that was.

        From high above the battlefield, the Blue Knight watched as his attack connected and left the young girl enfeebled. She was conscious, but didn't appear at all coherent.

        On the ground, Greystone slowly came to his senses. Without Eidolon fabricating an opponent for him, there was only one threat to focus on: Brimstone. With a growl, he dropped his fist down into her jaw, leaving her in an unconscious heap and the battle finally over.

        Originally posted by Michuru81
        Brimstone - Toughness - DC 30: 1D20+7 = [5]+7 = 12
        Brimstone is down. We're done. We're finally done.

        Hopefully you don't mind my shifting things a bit, TM. Jack would take the hit from Eidolon in the previous round, but with Harry knocking her mental faculties to about that of a gecko, I don't see her being able to really maintain the illusion, so... I'm having you deck Brimstone instead. As the owies you could get from her aura would go away, don't worry about rolling that measly DC 16 Toughness save.

        I'm going to give everyone a post to dictate what they do to clean this up / when they return to their home dimension. I'm planning to move forward with the next session tomorrow, unless we handle everything today.
        OTHER WORLD (Everyone)
        With all loose ends tied up, the ground below the New Vindicators began to glow with the glyphs many of them had come to associate with the Astrolabe. They were going, but where? For Jack, Harry, and Astrid, the last time the Astrolabe had taken them home, it had made a pit stop in a desolate wasteland first. Even when they got home, they had found that nearly a week had passed since their abduction.

        Perhaps that was what made it so surprising that they reappeared on the grounds of the school on the same day they'd vanished.

        Even stranger, however: Imago was still with them.

        "Dennis!?!" the Drifter exclaimed upon seeing him. She quickly checked her watch. "It's their dimension, but you shouldn't be here!" She clutched the Astrolabe, shaking it. "C'mon! C'mon, you stupid thing! We have to take him back! Take him back to-"

        The glyphs appeared once more and the Drifter breathed a sigh of relief. There was a blinding flash of light and then she--and only she--was gone.

        It seemed the New Vindicators Academy of Europe had just gotten another new student...

        NVAE (Magnitude; NPCs: Verve)
        Patrol was boring. Hardly anything happened. Since the Volunteers had adopted Vienna, mundane crime had been down. Few were willing to transgress the law, for fear they would run into the super-powered teens.

        As he flew, Wetl's voice cut through his communicator: "I thought you'd want to know that we just heard from your classmates. The others are back..."

        Sure enough, the Drifter had returned the students she'd borrowed and darted off before he could see her. Everyone seemed fine--except for Astrid, whose arm was bandaged up. "It's fine," she told him. "I'm going to see about Lex running Martin over to heal it... I wanted... Okay, a lot... A lot happened over there, and I..." She took a deep breath. "I'm resigning from the Volunteers. You and everyone are so nice and you're doing great things for this city, and I'm in the way, and you're too good of a person to tell me that.

        "I really, really wanted you to like me." She started to blush. "I had a crush on you, and I... I... Well, with Joan of Arc? And in the other dimension? And... Over and over and over, I go out of my way to impress you, and it... It's silly and I'm sorry. I just always made things more difficult for you and being in that dimension? Well, this new one we went to? It made me realize that... I have to stop doing this. I have to stop trying to be something that I'm not. I think I just need to be me. Just me."
        Last edited by Michuru81; 8th December 2015, 07:42 AM.
        Armada Status

        Comment


        • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

          Greystone:
          [Jack Rexroth]
          HP: 1
          Condition: Bruised

          MILITARY BASE:

          The Blue Knight ignored the exchange and focused instead on Greystone. His friend had winced like something had hit him--something the Blue Knight couldn't see. Greystone shifted forms then: he retracted his claws and the alien glands in favor of increased muscle mass. He snarled, turning to hit some invisible foe...

          The illusionist, the Welshman realized. She was in Greystone's head... but not for long...

          Azure wings unfurled behind him as he sped above the ground, hands ablaze with blue flames. He reached for Eidolon, hoping to shut the illusionist down quickly. Since using his powers in the other other dimension, months ago, Gwyn had practiced with his abilities until he was able to use them with no risk to himself. Apart from it being an incredible strain, that was.

          From high above the battlefield, the Blue Knight watched as his attack connected and left the young girl enfeebled. She was conscious, but didn't appear at all coherent.

          On the ground, Greystone slowly came to his senses.
          The image of Nocti slowly faded from his sight Jack mentally cursed as he realized that, once again, he'd fallen for Eidolon's mind games. "Damn illusionist." He muttered under his breath as he turned his attention back to Brimstone and with a growl he dropped his fist down into her jaw, leaving her in an unconscious heap and the battle finally over.

          Taking a moment afterwards Jack quickly rearranged his body again to gain spider's spinnerets, then proceeded to gather the Armada people together under the lights and restrained them with webbing. Once that was done he checked on Ellen and the others, even though he was fairly certain that none of them had taken any serious hits in the fight. When it was clear nobody was hurt the group each began to glow with the glyphs many of them had come to associate with the Astrolabe and the world faded from view.


          BACK HOME:

          The last time the Astrolabe had taken transported Jack, Harry, and Astrid, it had made a pit stop in a desolate wasteland first. Even when they got home, they had found that nearly a week had passed since their abduction.

          Perhaps that was what made it so surprising that they reappeared on the grounds of the school on the same day they'd vanished.

          Even stranger, however: Imago was still with them.

          "Dennis!?!" the Drifter exclaimed upon seeing him. She quickly checked her watch. "It's their dimension, but you shouldn't be here!" She clutched the Astrolabe, shaking it. "C'mon! C'mon, you stupid thing! We have to take him back! Take him back to-"

          The glyphs appeared once more and the Drifter breathed a sigh of relief. There was a blinding flash of light and then she--and only she--was gone.

          It seemed the New Vindicators Academy of Europe had just gotten another new student...
          Jack looked about for a moment, blinking his eyes in response to the transport effect of the Astrolabe. Then seeing that Imago had been included amongst their number he patted the psychic on the shoulder. "Welcome to the school." He said with a smirk since he had known that Imago had wanted to leave with them and apparently the Astrolabe had no problem with him doing so. "Guess we should introduce you to the Headmaster, besides he needs to hear what we learned about Pandora." Taking Ellen's hand in his, Jack led the pair to Newton's office.

          Comment


          • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

            Magnitude
            Kasimir Flaegler
            HP 1


            At Lt. Wetl's call, Kas angled back toward the school. He didn't mind that his patrol had been boring. Boring was what he had been seeking actually. Upon landing, he met Astrid and she gave him the lowdown on her new perspective on things. Kas listened patiently, then smiled broadly.

            "Astrid, I am so happy you haf decided to stop allowing me to diktate your aktions. When I met you I was so impressed mit the fraulein who did such amazing things for the disadvantaged. Then associating mit me changed you, und I kould see no way to say this mitout being a putz."

            "I always liked und admired you as you...und I am pleased that young lady is making a return. Be you Astrid, because you are amazing. I hope you are happy, bekause I am happy for you. Sometimes...this thing that I am...it twists the people around me. You are much better off not being under mein influence."


            Kissing her lightly on the cheek, his smile faded a bit...became more gentle. "I hope we kan still be friends. Now go, get your arm looked after...und thank you for being honest mit me."

            Kas never thought he would feel happy about someone leaving him, but in this case he had to admit...it felt like Astrid was doing the right thing.

            Comment


            • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

              NVAE, NEWTON'S OFFICE (Dennis and Jack; NPCs: Ellen, Fisher, Newton)
              When Jack and Ellen led Dennis to Newton's office, the ageless man looked to the couple holding hands. A smile spread over his face. "So, it was an interesting trip, I take it?"

              With the news that the students had returned, Doctor Fisher hurried to her counterpart's office to hear the briefing. Once inside, she spotted Dennis and raised an eyebrow at the stranger.

              Jack introduced Dennis and the headmistress looked shaken. "Another one?" she asked. "Good grief..."

              "Another?" Ellen asked. Given that they had fought Mister Bradley's double in the other world, she had to wonder: "Have... you met another Dennis?"

              "Not another Dennis," Newton said, "but another refugee from another world.

              "Last night, there was an appearance by a young man Kas believes hails from that Imperial world you all visited weeks back. Moreover, he apparently vanished from his world in their 1990's. He calls himself Prince Napoleon the Nineth and... sadly, his appearance in this world has been interpreted as an international incident. North Korea thinks he's an assassin we trained to attack them."

              "How bloody long have we been gone?" spat Ellen.

              "A little over a day," Newton said. "How long has it been for you? A week? Two?"

              "About the same," Ellen said. She shook her head. "None of that matters. We learned something important over here..." She gave Jack's hand a squeeze. "Tell him."

              Originally posted by Michuru81
              Despite my saying it would be the same day, I neglected that I had let a day pass in the 137. Sorry for the mix up! Hopefully I get on the ball soon.
              NVAE (Kas; NPCs: Astrid)
              "You are much better off not being under mein influence."

              "When you met me, I was pretty damaged. You were the first person in a long time who showed me kindness, and I... I was smitten. I ... I think... I..."

              Kas leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. Suddenly, she forgot how to breathe. "I hope we kan still be friends," he told her. "Now go, get your arm looked after...und thank you for being honest mit me."

              Astrid nodded, turned, and left Kas behind her...
              Last edited by Michuru81; 8th December 2015, 12:07 PM.
              Armada Status

              Comment


              • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                Imago
                HP: 4

                After the matter of settling the status of the Armada captives, Dennis took a moment to talk to Bulwark. The rock man was as incessant in speech as ever, but in between Dennis got in his desire to head back with his inter-dimensional companions. He asked Bulwark to pass on good wishes to the remaining Vindicators, and had a goodbye hug.

                "Dennis!?!" the Drifter exclaimed upon seeing him. She quickly checked her watch. "It's their dimension, but you shouldn't be here!" She clutched the Astrolabe, shaking it. "C'mon! C'mon, you stupid thing! We have to take him back! Take him back to-"

                The glyphs appeared once more and the Drifter breathed a sigh of relief. There was a blinding flash of light and then she--and only she--was gone.

                It seemed the New Vindicators Academy of Europe had just gotten another new student...
                Oh, right. Dennis hadn't mentioned it beyond Jack. "Actually, Liz..."

                And then the Astrolabe seemed to explain things to her. And then left with her. Dennis let out a breath he was surprised he was holding. "Not much for goodbyes, are you Astrolabe?"

                Come back sometime, Liz.

                When Jack and Ellen led Dennis to Newton's office, the ageless man looked to the couple holding hands. A smile spread over his face. "So, it was an interesting trip, I take it?"

                With the news that the students had returned, Doctor Fisher hurried to her counterpart's office to hear the briefing. Once inside, she spotted Dennis and raised an eyebrow at the stranger.

                Jack introduced Dennis and the headmistress looked shaken. "Another one?" she asked. "Good grief..."

                "Another?" Ellen asked. Given that they had fought Mister Bradley's double in the other world, she had to wonder: "Have... you met another Dennis?"

                "Not another Dennis," Newton said, "but another refugee from another world.

                "Last night, there was an appearance by a young man Kas believes hails from that Imperial world you all visited weeks back. Moreover, he apparently vanished from his world in their 1990's. He calls himself Prince Napoleon the Nineth and... sadly, his appearance in this world has been interpreted as an international incident. North Korea thinks he's an assassin we trained to attack them."

                "How bloody long have we been gone?" spat Ellen.

                "A little over a day," Newton said. "How long has it been for you? A week? Two?"

                "About the same," Ellen said. She shook her head. "None of that matters. We learned something important over here..." She gave Jack's hand a squeeze. "Tell him."
                "No, no. Allow me." Because this had to be said the way only Dennis could - or at least he wanted to say it.

                "This too-good to be true Pandora prison of yours? It is. A guy named Argus basically tricked your UN and the people in charge of several other Earths into sending their worst scum and villainy into his employ. Now they're an Armada of multiversal destruction. Just to keep the ships fueled, no less. So yeah - you need to keep the UN to from making the problem worse and stop sending people over there."


                OOC
                Impeach the peach!

                Completed Games:
                Crinoverse - Avengers
                Crinoverse - Young Avengers
                Crinoverse - Bay City Sentinels
                Crinoverse - Time After Time
                Crinoverse - San Antonio Avengers
                Crinoverse - Honnounji Academy
                Extreme Unction

                Comment


                • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                  Violet Lear
                  HP: 9

                  Violet was elated to be back at the school. She would have been a lot happier if the whole thing had never happened. With all of her best friends still away, all Violet wanted to do was go back to her room and sleep. She gave a quick hug to Beatrice and Astrid and went to get some rest.

                  Comment


                  • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                    Alex "Current" Murphy
                    HP: 1 CND: Normal


                    Hello
                    I've waited here for you
                    Everlong

                    Lex strummed the guitar as he sat outside Kirstie's door.
                    A part of him felt terrible embarrassed. He didn't like showing it, but he was very sensitive about playing in front of people. And now he was sitting there making an ass of himself hoping that Kirstie would like it.
                    The advantage of everybody hating him? He really didn't have to care to much what they thought.
                    Besides, after the Too Fake incident it was a little late to let that kind stuff stop him.



                    Tonight
                    I throw myself into
                    And out of the red
                    Out of her head she sang


                    Lex had survived the trip back. He remembered very little of it. As much as he liked to pretend running at high speeds across the planet was child's play it took a massive toll on him. Adrenaline and anger could only keep him on his feet for so long.
                    He knew that Martin would fix the physical damage if he knew of it, but he couldn't bring himself to ask. The dull ache was a constant companion since his life had fallen apart almost a year ago. It was sad, and strange, but he was used to it. It was familiar.

                    Come down
                    And waste away with me
                    Down with me

                    He felt guilty. In spite of everything else he'd gotten his life mostly back. He had his family back, and nothing France could do would really keep them apart.

                    But Kirstie? She was locked away, her father was missing, and her boyfriend... her best friend was now a world away.

                    He'd held the keys to freeing her father in his hands, but he'd let them go because of his own personal sense of honor. And because, deep down, he was hoping those girls would see what had happened and free themselves.

                    He couldn't help but feel that he'd betrayed Kirstie's trust just a little.



                    Slow how


                    You wanted it to be
                    I'm over my head
                    Out of her head she sang


                    He'd explain the situation to her, share what he'd learned. He'd tell the headmaster, he'd even tell Kas and his team of would-be superheroes. He'd tell them what had happened to the girls, that they were victims, but they were dangerous. He'd explain who was leading them. They'd never learn about Kirstie's father though. Not from him.

                    And then? Then he'd be thrown out of the school again.


                    And I wonder
                    When I sing along with you
                    If everything could ever feel this real forever


                    But right now? Come hell or high water he was going to be with his girlfriend. No force on the earth was going to change that. And then they'd go and have dinner with his family.

                    And for a few minutes his life would seem normal again. Before they were forced to admit it wasn't. Before it'd come apart at the seems.

                    That was when Kirstie stepped out of her room.


                    If anything could ever be this good again
                    The only thing I'll ever ask of you
                    You gotta promise not to stop when I say when she sang


                    He smiled up at her, trying not to feel his heart breaking just a little. He closed his eyes to hide the tears that were welling up and sang. In some small way he hoped that his music could reach her where nothing else could.

                    ♪Breathe out
                    So I can breathe you in
                    Hold you in♫

                    Lex almost missed playing when she started singing. Her voice wasn't the best, and it sounded rough and heavy with emotions barely restrained. And it was beautful.

                    He looked up at her and almost broke into a giggle as she smiled back through watery eyes.

                    ♪And now
                    I know you've always been
                    Out of your head
                    Out of my head I sang♫

                    She sat next to him in the hall and together they sang.

                    And I wonder
                    When I sing along with you
                    If everything could ever feel this real forever
                    If anything could ever be this good again
                    The only thing I'll ever ask of you
                    You gotta promise not to stop when I say when



                    And for awhile, things didn't seem so bad.

                    Comment


                    • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                      OTHER WORLD (Everyone)
                      Greystone spun webs around Tenebrae and Brimstone. "Care to help me set up some more lamps?" the Drifter asked, looking to Beatrice and Astrid. The two girls moved to help surround Nocti's sister, while Greystone left to bind the group's lone male.

                      Not far off, the Blue Knight and Imago filled Bulwark in on what had happened. "We'll need to find the others," Bulwark said. The Aurelius and his mother were immortal. "It takes a couple of days for them to resurrect," Bulwark said, "but we'll be back on our feet soon."

                      Once the New Vindicators had helped to ensure that the Armada was secured, the ground below the New Vindicators began to glow with the glyphs many of them had come to associate with the Astrolabe.

                      When the light faded, the Drifter realized they had a hitchhiker...

                      "Dennis!?!" the Drifter exclaimed upon seeing him. She quickly checked her watch. "It's their dimension, but you shouldn't be here!" She clutched the Astrolabe, shaking it.

                      "Actually, Liz..." Imago trailed off, wondering how to explain that he'd actually wanted to abandon his dimension.

                      The Drifter paid him no mind. "C'mon! C'mon, you stupid thing! We have to take him back! Take him back to-"

                      The glyphs appeared once more and the Drifter breathed a sigh of relief. There was a blinding flash of light and then she--and only she--was gone.

                      It seemed the New Vindicators Academy of Europe had just gotten another new student...

                      Imago stared at the spot the girl had just occupied. "Not much for goodbyes, are you, Astrolabe?"

                      "Welcome to the school," Greystone said, smirking at their newest friend. "Guess we should introduce you to the Headmaster, besides he needs to hear what we learned about Pandora." Taking Maze's hand in his, he led the pair to Newton's office.

                      When Jack and Ellen led Dennis to Newton's office, the ageless man looked to the couple holding hands. A smile spread over his face. "So, it was an interesting trip, I take it?"

                      With the news that the students had returned, Doctor Fisher hurried to her counterpart's office to hear the briefing. Once inside, she spotted Dennis and raised an eyebrow at the stranger.

                      Jack introduced Dennis and the headmistress looked shaken. "Another one?" she asked. "Good grief..."

                      "Another?" Ellen asked. Given that they had fought Mister Bradley's double in the other world, she had to wonder: "Have... you met another Dennis?"

                      "Not another Dennis," Newton said, "but another refugee from another world.

                      "Last night, there was an appearance by a young man Kas believes hails from that Imperial world you all visited weeks back. Moreover, he apparently vanished from his world in their 1990's. He calls himself Prince Napoleon the Nineth and... sadly, his appearance in this world has been interpreted as an international incident. North Korea thinks he's an assassin we trained to attack them."

                      "How bloody long have we been gone?" spat Ellen.

                      "A little over a day," Newton said. "How long has it been for you? A week? Two?"

                      "About the same," Ellen said. She shook her head. "None of that matters. We learned something important over here..." She gave Jack's hand a squeeze. "Tell him."

                      "No, no. Allow me." Because this had to be said the way only Dennis could - or at least he wanted to say it.

                      "This too-good to be true Pandora prison of yours? It is. A guy named Argus basically tricked your UN and the people in charge of several other Earths into sending their worst scum and villainy into his employ. Now they're an Armada of multiversal destruction. Just to keep the ships fueled, no less. So yeah... you need to keep the UN to from making the problem worse and stop sending people over there."

                      Newton and Fisher exchanged looks. "Who is Argus?" Fisher asked. "The warden at Pandora?"

                      "Pandora's not a place," Ellen said. "Well, I mean, it is, but it's... okay, you know how the Drifter keeps taking people to other dimensions? Turns out that's what Pandora is--another dimension. It's like Australia: it's an uninhabited place where we've been sending our criminals. So have other dimensions. Right now, I've got two of these criminals in my maze. Pyre and Bile."

                      "Bile?" Fisher asked. "Wasn't he a student here?"

                      "Jordan Frazier," Newton said. "He was before our time."

                      "Pyre is Mister Bradley," Ellen said. "Seriously. It's... It's Kiln. Only evil."

                      "So, criminals from other worlds were brought together and... what about multiverse destruction?"

                      Greystone explained how the Armada was traversing the multiverse, not unlike the Drifter. Each of their jumps culminated with the destruction of whatever world they departed.

                      "Laputa was sentenced to Pandora," Newton said. "Ironside, Cleave, Ogre, Blackguard and Caballero... Everyone we've fought is now together, along with criminals from other universes, and they're just wandering the cosmos?

                      "I think I'd like to talk with Bile and Pyre."

                      The group made their way down to the Wreck Room and Ellen finally expelled the pair from her extra dimensional labyrinth. Once they had them secured and separated, Newton went in to interrogate Pyre first.

                      He tapped a button on his tablet and summoned images of Erudite, Therianthrope, Confectionery, Vociferant, Zehirli, and Basilisk. "Do you know these people?"

                      Pyre nodded. "Yeah. I know 'em."

                      "They're your compatriots?"

                      "Some. A couple of them tried their hand at mutiny."

                      "Which ones?"

                      Bound as he was, Pyre couldn't point. "The three on the left. The man and the two women."

                      "They tried to mutiny?"

                      "Yeah, they... well, they... They tried to take over the Elpis."

                      "What is the Elpis?"

                      "It's the flagship of the Armada. The ship my group took to that world? That's the Kurbash--smaller ship, but... not like the scouters or the mining crafts..."

                      Fisher groaned. "We'll come back to that. Tell us about the mutiny."

                      "I don't know a whole lot about it. I know they tried to take over the ship. Admiral Chen Lei took them down. The women were locked up in our brig. The man... He was left behind on the world right before we left it."

                      "And when you leave... You destroy the world?"

                      Pyre sighed. "The mining crafts? They're ships that we deploy after arriving. They make a connection with the planet and tap into it's energy. The Elpis uses that energy to shift."

                      "And shift... That's what you call moving between dimensions?"

                      Pyre nodded.

                      "And when you shift," Newton said, "everything on the planet dies?"

                      Pyre nodded again. Ellen gave Jack's hand a squeeze. Fisher looked to the American. "I'm sorry, Jack," she said.

                      "So, Incubus was right?" Pyre asked. "You did know him?"

                      "Tell us about the others," Newton said. "What do you know about the other three?"

                      "The one is a captain of another ship... Nocti and Tenebrae captain the Kurbash. Ron, I think... He captains the Catherine. Scott's with him." Pyre chuckled a bit. "It was trippy. We went to school with Scott. Then, we get to Pandora, and there he is... only it isn't our Scott, you know? Anyway, Jiro found two dimensions without resistance. Nocti took one, Ron took the other. For all I know, they took it over.

                      "And what about the last man?"

                      "He's still with the Armada, as far as I know."

                      Newton hit another button. Ironside, Cleave, Ogre, Blackguard, and Caballero were displayed now. "And them?"

                      "I recognize them," Pyre said. He nodded at Cleave. "That one's bloody insane. You talk about trippy? Day one! We all arrive on Pandora and there's three of him, right? He goes nuts! Just starts fighting himself!"

                      "Wait," Fisher said, "you said you all arrived on Pandora?"

                      "Yeah," Pyre said, "it took us all a while to figure out. It didn't matter when or where we were sentenced--we all arrived at the same time."

                      "I see," Newton said. "Thank you, Mister Bradley. Your cooperation is invaluable. Is there anything I can get you?"

                      "Food would be nice," Pyre said. "This is the NVAE, right? You... you all got a Siege here, too?"

                      Outside of Pyre's cell, Newton addressed the trio of students with him. "I imagine you've all had a rough time and will understandably want some rest. For now, Jack, give Dennis a tour of the campus. There are spare rooms in the boys' dorms. Help him get settled. If he needs anything, have him reach Missus Murphy in administration. I'll instruct her to handle it."

                      "I'll go before the UN and let them know about Pandora," Fisher said. "The question is, do we tell them about our guests? Not that I want to harbor dangerous criminals and jeopardize the students' safety, but I fear what could happen if we're forced to hand them over."

                      "There is another option," Newton said, hesitantly. "I have some sources I'd like to contact... Let me see what I can find out."

                      With that, the group went their separate ways...

                      Originally posted by Michuru81
                      I'll close it there. +1 PP to everyone. New session to start soon.
                      Armada Status

                      Comment


                      • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                        Interlude 2

                        Lex looked out at the crowd from the stage in the nightclub.



                        Somehow, some way, things had gone completely off course.


                        ****


                        It had started out pretty standard. He'd been using his powers to travel Japan and a store had finally caught his eye. The store sold all sort of costume pieces, makeup and other theater or "cosplay" materials. He'd gotten lost in the store just looking at all the unique items they had available.


                        On a lark he'd bought himself a big bushy mustache that matched his hair colour, figuring he could have some fun with that as a Halloween costume, or a funny picture with his Dad, or even to see how much Kirstie liked the look of him with a mustache. Honestly he was just a little depressed and the concept of a little retail therapy appealed to him.


                        A little while later he'd found himself in a shopping district with an idea coming to mind. A pair of cheap aviator sunglasses were his next purchase, then a new T-Shirt which had had a swarm of insects drawn across the front. He snagged a couple of hair clips for Kirstie that he hoped she'd like, a set of light up headphones for his brother's birthday, a swanky looking cosplay sweater vest for Doug, and added that to a bag that already held some blue hair dye and blue handlebar mustache he'd grabbed for Gaspar from the costume shop.


                        It'd been a fun diversion, and he'd lost track of time. By the time he realized how late it was it was already too late. Unless he moved at top speed he'd miss curfew, and his bag of goodies he couldn't move nearly as fast as he normally could.


                        He missed his bomber jacket. Even before Martin had rebuilt it the jacket had been resilient with a few good sized pockets. He'd been pretty sure that the Frenchman had improved upon the design, but Martin had never said anything if he had. Either way it was a continent away, and so his best option was simply tucking it under an arm and moving at a much lower speed than normal.


                        Running in the dark, at high speeds, wasn't something he liked doing for one very good reason. It was hard to see things on the ground, like small holes, loose rocks, or small red dogs.


                        For the second time in such a short time he found himself going head over heels, trying to avoid killing a hapless mongrel. Unlike the first time, however, he couldn't just roll with the fall, not without destroying most of what he'd just bought. He twisted as best as he could to avoid landing on the bag, and swore as his knee cracked into the concrete hard. He ducked his head and curled forwards, and after a slight roll, his shoulder and back dragged along the sidewalk before he came to a complete stop.


                        He laid there for a minute, staring up at the starlit night with a scowl on his face.


                        "Dogs, youse so stupid," He growled in a Yosemite Sam voice.


                        He forced himself to sit up and discovered to his relief that his shopping bags had survived the worst of it. The rest of him was pretty beat up. His pants were torn at the knee and he could see blood through the hole to go with the sharp aching pain coming from the joint itself. His shirt was a complete loss, it'd been torn mostly off and he was bleeding from road rash.


                        That would have put a serious crimp in anybody's day.


                        But Lex wasn't just anybody, he was a neosapien, a man with powers beyond those of mortal men. Where most people would be pulling out a cellphone looking for help, Lex was looking for an unattended power socket, or an easily accessible light bulb. A few minutes with access to the power grid and most of the wounds would heal up as though they were never there. The pain would persist, but it was a small price to pay.


                        He glanced around but everything in the area had been shut down for the night, except for a busy looking nightclub. He grimaced. No way he was getting inside there unless..


                        He looked down at his bag and smiled.


                        ***


                        Lex was glad nobody had been watching his aborted attempt at getting into the club. With his hair done up in a pony tail, a fake mustache, and a set of aviator glasses (which made him look like a jackass in the middle of the night), and his new shirt he figured he be able to pass for being old enough to wander in.


                        Sadly the bouncers weren't idiots and were checking for ID.


                        He quietly exited the line, pretending he'd forgotten something before wandering down the back alley. His second failed attempt came when he realized the side doors were using the old style of latches, not electronic locks.


                        He'd almost given up when he heard noise from further back and noticed a group of people carrying musical equipment into the building. He waited until the group had gone inside, picked up a speaker and carried it inside. He just hoped that if he acted like he was supposed to be there nobody would question what the white guy was doing. He hid his face behind the speaker as the group came back. A couple of them said something to him to fast for him to understand, but he just coughed and grunted a "yes" in Japanese, continuing on his way to the stage. They looked like they weren't about to simply walk away but they were distracted by a girl calling from outside and he didn't question his luck.


                        The stage was quiet and dark. The only sound was somebody plucking at a guitar, and swearing quietly. Lex set the speaker down, drawing the man's attention. He looked up at Lex, blinking away tears.


                        <Who are you supposed to be?> The man demanded, pointing at him with a bandaged hand.


                        Lex grinned, unable to fight the response of "Bugs Potter."


                        The man didn't get the reference and Lex just shrugged, <I help carry. Exchange student.>


                        The answer didn't sit well with the man, who looked like he was about to start calling for somebody, so Lex picked up a guitar and plucked the same notes as the guy had been playing, <Play good, must, you hand hurt.>


                        The man started to say something Lex knew was nasty in Japanese then hesitated. The man muttered to himself, then looked at his bandaged hand, swore, and asked, <Do you play?>


                        <Yup,> Lex nodded.


                        <How good are you?> He asked.


                        "I'm the best there ever was," Lex said with a smirk. It wasn't true, but modesty didn't help much in the music world.


                        The Japanese man didn't respond, he just pulled out a phone and turned on a music file. It sounded like some kind of Japanese pop/rock music. Then he paused the song and pointed at Lex, <Play.>


                        Lex shrugged and aped the song as best he could from the quick clip.


                        The man just smiled and Lex suddenly got the feeling he should have ran when he had the chance.


                        ***


                        "I should have ran when I had the chance," Lex moaned, looking down at his silly outfit. The sparkly suit jacket looked silly as heck, along with the pants. He'd convinced them to let him keep his shirt and glasses, due to his injuries, but otherwise he was in the same outfit as the rest of the band.


                        They had somebody in the audience who was a big name in the music industry, so the band had gone all out in the hopes of getting signed by a label. But at the last minute their guitarist had been injured in an accident. The guy was unable to play, and they'd lose their big chance if they couldn't play. And Lex had stepped right into it like an idiot.


                        He'd gotten a crash course in their songs. He was good, but learning an entire set of music from hearing it a couple times, and some cribbed notes from the guitarist was hard as hell. He'd done the best he could and improvised where he'd been unable to remember. He'd gotten a few quiet looks from the rest of the band, but nobody had complained. It hadn't sounded bad, at least to Lex, but he could tell it hadn't been what they'd been expecting.


                        Either way he let out a sigh as the set came to an end.


                        The band leader walked over, <What do you say, one song of your choice, then we end with our last song.>


                        Lex just laughed, <Drummer know> "Cliffs of Dover?"




                        ***


                        Lex let out a sigh of relief as the van dropped him off a block from the school. The band had been entirely too excited after the show to let him go. Apparently the guy from the music label approached them for a meeting. The rest of the night, and some of the morning, had been them celebrating. And any time he tried to sneak off he was dragged back by an increasingly inebriated band. Eventually their designated driver helped Lex pour them back into the van, along with their equipment, and offered him a ride.


                        And now he was back outside the school, in the middle of the night wondering for the first time how he was going to sneak in without being noticed.


                        Normally he could move fast enough it wouldn't be an issue, but with his bag of stuff.


                        "God dammit, I need to think these things through," Lex swore at himself.


                        ***


                        The woman shook her head and laughed as she slinked away.


                        The lightning god had been easy to manipulate. A word here, and a voice there, and eventually he'd been curious enough to explore Japan to find a store. After that all she had to do was draw his attention to a new store, then another as the time rolled by. The hardest part had been getting him to where she needed him before he noticed he needed to leave.


                        His failed attempts at entry to the bar had made her laugh. His poor disguise and ill conceived plan to sneak in, his inability to find an open door. Had she not drawn his attention to the band, and then distract them, he'd never have made it as far as he did.


                        Once he was in she'd been forced to rely on dumb luck, but the lightning god had that in spades. Never had she seen a being who's existence was so dependent on the kindness of cosmos. The important part, though, was that things had worked out. The band had their chance.


                        Another prayer answered, and another step closer.


                        She disappeared into a shadow and from the shadow a small red fox trotted away in to the darkness.

                        Comment


                        • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                          Martin helps transport the unconscious Explosive mage girl. When she is secured in a cell he checks her vitals once again, transforming her clothes back from titanium, glad that the sedative did not result in her voiding waste.

                          He watches as her possessions are confiscated and catalogued, including her ever-present gaming unit.

                          He assures whoever is in charge of her incarceration that the sedative would wear off in a half hour or so and all that he knows of her powerset then leaves to make a full report. Should Astrid find him during this time he'll of course heal her injuries though he'll wave off any explanation though this is likely the first time he's heard that students had even been missing this past day. But he resolves to find out more later.

                          He'll send a communication to Jason. The American had been concerned that Elle was possessed by his sister when the two of them last spoke and Martin wanted to reassure him that was not the case. He'd allow the man one less loose end in his crusade to find all the insidious Lacuna copies.

                          He'll also send a text to Gwen and Rembrandt, telling them of his encounter with Chuck's cabal-mates and the suspected disposition of Chuck (Australia/New Zealand) and even the house in suspected Brazilian moors. He'll tell them that Tallemaja is actively working to counteract the Abjurer's efforts at mayhem though he'll keep to his promise about not revealing her ruse.

                          His report to Administration contains all the details above as well as the interaction with the Avalonian combatants and their Headmistress.

                          It is then, finally, that he allows himself to follow his nose to Tatjana's room. The Hall Monitoring in the gender-separated halls was a bit of a joke to someone who can walk through walls and appear like anyone. He knocks on her door and cant help but wonder if she'd lost weight even as he enfolds her in his arms. He glances breifly to the bed where the plush 'Martin' doll, crafted of his own mass (with accompanying scent and warmth) lays seemingly well snuggled. He asks if they could lay together and he does nothing to stem the outpouring of words and tears as he both explains and mourns the loss of the sister that he knew.
                          Last edited by flynnarrel; 9th December 2015, 12:53 PM.

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                          • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                            Interlude 3

                            Once is happenstance.
                            Twice is a coincidence.
                            Three times is murder.





                            The third time Lex saw that damned red dog he knew something was up. And this time he wasn't surprised, it wasn't dark, and this time he was ready for what was going to happen. He leaped over the beast, only just barely clearing it with his feet, then spun, dug his heels in and started chasing after it. In his own head it made perfect sense. There was no way this thing was anywhere near as fast as he was, he'd be able to catch it only a few seconds.





                            The reality was far less easy than he'd imagined. For starters the creature had already managed to get around a corner, and was going another as he cleared the first. Then it would frequently duck under holes and cover, slip under fences, duck into tiny spaces, forcing Lex to circle trying to figure out where it had gone. Every time he was sure he'd caught it, he'd find it had slipped away yet again. He'd go left, it'd have gone right. He swung around a corner and found a dead end waiting, him, barely coming to a stop in time to avoid hitting the wall. He frantically scanned the alley, completely empty with no possible exits, then charged out to the mouth of the alley to find...


                            Nothing.




                            "Dammit!" Lex yelled, slamming his fist against the glass window of the building he was standing next to. He closed his eyes, sighed, turned his face to the sky, "Stupid, Murphy. Real stupid. If that wasn't reinforced glass you'd have a bleeding hand and owe somebody a window."


                            He let out a long sigh of frustration and turned to the window to bow as an apology for scaring the people on the inside but stopped dead at the tableau before him. Inside the building, which appeared to be a bank, was a group of three men all wearing black masks and carrying what appeared to be pistols. Leading them was a man in a mascot costume fashioned after a panda, with the wearer's fat, freckled face sticking out of where the Panda's mouth would have been. The customers, and staff all stood with their arms in the air, but everybody including the robbers was staring at him in shock and amazement.


                            "You!" Lex yelled, pointing at the man in the Panda costume.


                            The man looked confused, pointing to himself, then his brow furrowed as something dawned on him and he pointed back yelling frantically. The gunmen inside looked bewildered, then charged outside to face off against Lex.


                            <Get down, or we'll shoot!> One of them yelled in Japanese as they cleared the door. The pedestrians scattered at the sight of the guns but Lex just raised an eyebrow. The paint was bubbling up and peeling off of what should have been black metal.


                            <Lots of Guns where from, but not here,> Lex noted in broken Japanese while raising a hand and letting it glow with electricity, <Mine real. Yours?>


                            The three men looked at the glowing hand, spun and ran dropping their guns as they fled.


                            "Yeah, that's what I th-"


                            The sound of exploding glass was his only warning as the Panda-man flew through the glass, plush claws reaching for Lex's face. He'd learned the hard way last time that taking the costume for granted was a mistake. He dropped down, and rolled to the side as glass bounced off his face and shoulders. The Panda-man's attack went high, hitting a lamp post and cutting it in two.


                            "I knew it, you're that idiot in the Elephant suit!" Lex yelled, wiping away blood from a cut on his face. He made a note to dodge the glass next time.


                            "Fool! I am not some pitiful pachyderm, and I never have been! You face the PANDA!" He costumed man roared, his cheeks turning red and his jowls shaking in rage, "You may have escaped me once, but you stand no chance against the apex predator of Japan!"


                            Lex just gave him a blank look, "What?"


                            "THE PANDA YOU FOOL!" The man shrieked as he charged forward, swiping with the plush claws on the end of his "paws".


                            Lex dodged, making an effort to look like it wasn't taking as much effort as it actually was. It was basically dodging normally, just without the wide eyes and exclamations of surprise when he was successful. Instead a bored expression and a lazy stance. It was actually a lot harder than he wanted to admit because those claws, plush or otherwise, were moving pretty damn fast.


                            He moved out of reach, leaned up against the stone wall of the bank and rolled his eyes, "Panda's are Chinese, dumb-ass!"


                            “What?”


                            “Pandas are Chinese. They’re from China,” He gave the man an incredulous look, “And only China.”


                            “Lies!” The man yelled, his jowls shaking in rage, “You will regret enraging a blood thirsty predator!”


                            “Pandas. Eat. Bamboo!” Lex yelled waving his hands in the air, “Everybody knows that!”


                            “Shut up! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!” The costumed man shrieked lunging for the American. Lex ducked as the claws slammed into the cement and stuck.


                            “What the…” The man grunted, tugging at his arms as Lex slowly stood up in front of him.


                            “Hello,” he smiled evilly.


                            Uh oh.”


                            Lex punched him in the face three times in rapid succession, once in the eye, once in the nose and once in the lips, before blasting him point blank in the chest with a bolt of lightning. The force of the blast launched the man in the panda costume into the air and tumbling down the street.


                            “So, you going to surrender?” Lex asked popping the knuckles of his fist with his other hand, “Or am I going to have to get rough?”


                            “Fool!” The man sputtered through a split lip as he scrambled to his feet, “You made one mistake.”


                            “Uh-huh,” Lex sighed, knowing what was coming, “And what’s that?”


                            “Forgetting that the Panda is the world’s FASTEST LAND ANIMAL!” He declared, gleefully, before spinning and running slowly down the sidewalk.


                            “That’s the Cheetah,” Lex cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, “You dumbass!”


                            “You aren’t going to stop him?”


                            Lex jumped, startled to find the little old Japanese had exited the bank and somehow snuck up behind him, “Jeez, give me a heart attack why don’t you?”


                            She simply smiled then pointed at the idiot in the panda suit who was slowly getting away.


                            “Can’t do it,” Lex shrugged, “Fought this idiot a couple times before. Whatever his powers are they make that damn suit indestructible. He yells like he’s getting hurt, but he’s not. I can’t even singe the damn suit.”


                            “His face, though?” Lex grinned, “That’s very destructible.”


                            “And yet…” She paused, “You let him go?”


                            Lex shrugged, “If I zap his face I might fry his brain. And punching him hard enough to knock him out might kill him at the same time… And honestly I don’t think he’s too dangerous. You can’t even find him in the news.”


                            “I think people are too embarrassed to admit they got robbed by an idiot in a mascot outfit,” He whispered conspiratorially.


                            “So you let him run?” She asked watching as the man stumbled and hopped on one foot trying to maintain balance as he made his way around a corner at ‘high speed’.


                            “He tries taking hostages if he thinks he can’t outrun me,” Lex shrugged again, “Let him run. One of these days I’ll have backup. I have a friend. He’s really handy with sedating bad guys.”


                            The old lay looked at him for a few minutes before smiling, “You’re a nice boy.”


                            Lex burst out laughing. He held up a hand, “Sorry, sorry. I mean, thanks. I just don’t hear that much. Usually the exact opposite.”


                            “I know what he was after,” The old lady said quietly with a shrewd smile.


                            “Oh?


                            The old lady pulled a small rectangular lacquered block of wood from her purse.


                            “So… it’s a stick?”


                            “A dagger and sheath,” She shook her head slowly at his ignorance, “It’s an ancient blade. It’s said to be magic, to grant unimaginable power to the wielder should they be true of heart.”


                            “Neat. And if you’re not?”


                            “You die, and your power is added to the blade’s,” She considered him for a long minute, “Would you like to try?”


                            Lex burst out laughing again, holding his hands out to ward away the offered knife, “No way in heck. You want a pure heart, go find Magnitude. None of that stuff here.” He gave the blade a sour look, “ ‘Sides, I hate knives.”


                            The little old lady swore in Japanese then sighed, sticking it back in her purse, “I’ll be guarding this thing forever, I swear.”


                            “If you change your mind,” She said, passing him a card, then paused and handed him a second one, “For this… Magnitude.”


                            He took the cards, and watched as the old lady walked back into the bank.


                            “Japan is so weird.”

                            Comment


                            • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                              The Blue Knight

                              Later, Gwyn had showered and dressed when he arranged to "bump into" Pirjo. It was a trick Robert had taught him.

                              "There ya are!" He said. She looked at him somewhat puzzled.

                              "Ah, forgot already? We made plans, remember. Proper careless, innit."

                              Her eyes lit up with sudden understanding. "Oh! You mean yesterday...er two days ago, when I told Meyers I made plans with you."

                              Gwyn smiled at her cute Uralic accent. "Yes. Don' worry, I won't hold ya to that, but I just thought...well..."

                              She nodded. "Is that why you were mad at me?"

                              Gwyn shook his head. "I wasn' mad, really, its...Matt's an alright guy. He deserves the truth, especially if it hurts. Next time, just tell him you don't want to get dinner with him."

                              Pirjo tutted. "You sound like Yavorshak. Pretty mature for a junior, giving me..." She searched for the word. "Unsolicited advice."

                              Gwyn shrugged sheepishly-she had a good point. "For a long time my best friend was an adult. Rubbed off, innit. Anyway, there's a lesson here."

                              She poked him in the shoulder, speaking as though it was obvious. "'Don't lie?'"

                              "Don't include' anyun else in your lie. I mean, if I didn't lie..."

                              She smirked. "Everyone would know your real name?"

                              Gwyn sputtered for a moment before he quieted himself and paused. "Ya."

                              Pirjo walked past him a bit, waving for him to follow. "Well, come on then. You can tell me about it over dinner."

                              Gwyn looked down at his shoes before popping his sunglasses on, muttering. "Well, that got away from me."
                              [I]Any sound can shake the air. My voice shakes the heart![/I]

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                              • Re: New Vindicators Academy of Europe #20: Love Connection

                                Magnitude
                                Kasimir Flaegler

                                Kas was well and truly depressed. He fiddled with the stein of beer in front of him without lifting it toward his mouth at all. Nothing was like it should be. Well...not nothing. His career as a super-hero was almost exactly as he imagined it would be, but that simply meant it left him little time for anything else. He was struggling to keep up with his school work and he felt bad because he was jealous of his fellow students that had a social life. Doubly jealous of those who were romantically attached. And he was angry at himself that he couldn't stop himself from feeling that way.

                                Of course, he could have had a romantic involvement with Astrid once upon a time...like a week ago... but what kind of harm would that have done to her? She had her own problems to face and her attachment to him was simply a crutch. He could also have a relationship of sorts with Agnes, but something about her inability to understand that using her powers uninvited was an invasion of another person's privacy made hackles raise on the back of his neck. No, at the moment Agnes was a problem best avoided. At least until he came up with a game plan for dealing with her.

                                Over the past few months crime, at least visible, in your face crime had diminished in Vienna to the point where between his patrols and the rest of the Volunteers, it was near non-existent. Kas was certain things like human trafficking, the drug trade, the weapons trade and the like continued unabated. His type of heroism really wasn't good for combating those sorts of things and unlike the comic books, the likelihood of stumbling across it was about zero. Of course that allowed him to continue his "Peter Pan" days at the hospitals, which were tragically joyful. Ilsa was the one who'd coined the the name Peter Pan Day because of all the flying. Ilsa had loved those days, but the flaxen haired girl had succumbed to her cancer while Kas was busy dealing with the North Koreans. He'd cried a lot when he found out and the other kids had comforted him. It was kind of ironic that in an entire ward full of dying children, he felt he was weaker than all of them.

                                "Kas, are you going to drink that or play with it all day?" Gitta's voice shattered his reverie.

                                "I was thinking uf keeping it as a pet." He said, lifting the stein to his lips and taking a swallow. He had gotten so caught up in his own self-pity he'd forgotten he was having lunch with his older sister. "So, you said you had something to speak mit me about?"

                                "Ja. I wanted your opinion on how I should deal mit this." She said sliding a fork across the table.

                                Kas was baffled until he tried to pick up the utensil and could not. "Ach. Your powers?"

                                "Ja. This week when some friends und I were out partying und we got a flat tire. We had no jack, but I was able to lift the auto mit mein mind."

                                "Did anyone freak out?"

                                "Only me. Eferyone knows who you are...at least eferyone from Dresden. You are the hometown hero Kas."

                                Kas's face showed his discomfort with the thought of being idolized, but he didn't allow the feeling to derail the conversation.

                                "That is unimportant. So...what did you need from me?"

                                "Advice. Should I embrace these powers as you haf or ignore them like mater?"

                                Kas chuckled. "Who seems happier, me or mater?"

                                "Mater definitely."

                                "Und there is your answer. While I vill not say these powers haf brought me nothing but misery, I vould trade them for mein vision back in a heartbeat. You wish for mein advice? Find something worthwhile to put your energy into, whether it is diplomacy like mater or engineerink like papa or somethink kompletely different. Let your powers go the way uf the Dodo bird und you vill be much happier...und for god's sake, do not kome to the akademy."

                                "Why not? Don't you think you kould stand the kompetition?"

                                "Nein. It is not that. The akademy is a trap that vill suck all the joy from your life, und in the end...it may klaim your life as well. Choose a normal life. It is a hundred times better."

                                Gitta nodded thoughtfully, then joked; "You better not let that kind uf talk get back to the boys in Dresden. They're all konvinced movie starlets are banging down your door to get a piece uf you. You vould destroy all their fantasies."

                                "Well, I wouldn't want to do that now would I?"

                                "Well they might not build that statue in your honor, und the money is already earmarked."

                                Gitta's delivery was so deadpan, it took Kas a couple seconds to figure out she was teasing him. the look on his face made the older Flaegler sibling laugh out loud, which brought curious glances from around the tavern.

                                Just then the waitress appeared at their table. "Are you ready to eat?"

                                "What haf you got that will make her fat?" Kas said sourly. Gitta laughed even louder.

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