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[PLOT THREAD4.2] DR: Diplomatic Disarray


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Diplomatic Disarray

I

 

With a near soundless whirr, the roller shades began to retract, baring the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up the East and North sides of the master bedroom. Warm, morning sunlight slid across the polished, honed pale grey slate of the floor. It rippled over the textured area rug, crawled up the low bed and the humped geometric-patterned goose-down comforter to caress an exquisite, golden tanned cheek.

 

There was the rustle of magenta silk sheets - not nearly as slippery as people assumed, it depended on how they were woven - and with a luxurious sigh, Sean sat up, sheets and blanket sliding from her shoulders. She twisted around, bare legs extending off the side of the bed and stood up with a fluid lightness, her feet seeming to barely touch the floor. She woke with an instant and energetic vitality that exceeded even the first time she’d been a teenager.

The ravishing, vivacious beauty sashayed through her walk-in closet, a silvery-lilac satin robe slipping over her shoulders with an unconscious thought and the precise manipulation of gravity, the sash tying itself loosely about her minuscule waist. Sean’s enticing lips bent wryly as she continued into the en suite, slate tiles transitioning to travertine.

 

Just over six months a woman and a nova, and her closet was already full to bursting with clothing stitched specifically for her dramatic measurements or tailored to fit. Her personal atelier Seraphine was a wonder. Sean was sure she owned more pairs of footwear right now than she had in the last forty years all combined. 

 

While she had settled into the apartment Karen had found for her, one of the four apartments on the top floor of a residential tower, and had made her own touches on the place, she wasn’t sure it was home quite yet. She was too used to having a detached house to call her own.

In her office and study, she had a large stack of sketches and floorplans for potential dream houses of her own design, both in hardcopy and on her computer. She had to admit, Karen had done well by her, by all of them. With the stipend she earned being sponsored by Chicago, as well as fantastic endorsement deals with luxury brands Karen had arranged - and taking her modest cut of course - along with some contract work for NovaStorm and elsewhere, and some modeling, Sean was nearly earning in a week what she had in a year

 

She could afford to make her dreams real, what limits she’d once had were being left behind. Access to Deezy and her material wizardry offered all sorts of wondrous design ideas as well.

In the bathroom, Sean stopped by the vanity, skipping past the large walk-in shower stall and the deep bathtub. A modest make-up bag contained her limited amount of cosmetics. She hardly needed them, but sometimes it was fun to glam up a touch, and she had found it relatively easy to get the hang of it, just a different application of painting miniatures, really. On the side of the raised sink was a barber kit. She’d learned over the months that she healed extremely rapidly, like, almost Wolverine level of regeneration. As a side effect, it seemed her hair and nails regrew to their new natural length while she slept. So a haircut only lasted a day - she’d gotten used to the nails. If she wanted shorter hair, it was more convenient to do it herself, and she’d gotten handy at it. Deciding on long hair today, she gave her hip-length a few licks with a brush. It rarely tangled and in moments, it gleamed rose-gold in a glorious tail, tumbling down to her ass as she tied it back with a silken band.

 

Humming in self-satisfaction, she sauntered back into her bedroom, following the windows, passing the gap between the windows and the wall separating her room from the rest of the apartment, the frosted glass divider recessed into the wall, like it usually was, unless she had company. And even then…

The apartment had an open floor plan, the modest, one wall kitchen separated from the dining room table and living room by a half wall that acted as an island. It was decorated in muted greys and deep browns and glossy blacks, a typically masculine look, but leavened by accenting splashes of colour and a patterned area rug for definitely feminine touch.

The black leather sectional couch held vividly coloured pillows and an old, well maintained quilt draped over the back that her grandmother had made when she had moved out. Textured walls, glass-topped dining table and coffee table, along with the granite counter tops, stacked stone backsplash and dark wood cabinets and furnishings gave the place a modern, organic aesthetic, but with a few flourishes to lighten the minimalism.

One entire wall was glass that opened onto a terrace balcony that wrapped all the way around her corner of the building. Other walls, leading to the front door and down the hallway to her office and bedroom held prints of architectural marvels  and abstract or minimalist art, and framed posters of classic movies. Bookshelves bracketed a huge, flatscreen OLED TV mounted on the wall, game systems discreetly hidden away.

Keesha, Sean’s four year-old golden retriever raised her head from her dog bed, tail thumping against the glass wall and the slate floor at her excitement at seeing her mistress. Sean grinned, cooing at her dog - Keesha hadn’t been tricked at all by her drastic transformation when she’d picked her up from the kennel, crouching down to scritch her behind the ears and under the chin.

 

“Let’s get you breakfast, Princess,” Sean said, gliding towards the kitchen, a scoop of kibble floating from a cabinet to fill her dog’s food dish, her water bowl floating to the sink, the tap turning on under Sean’s gravitic command. “Alexa, music.”

While Keesha started on her breakfast, Sean sang along to Mister Blue Sky, her hips swinging, her sweet, sultry soprano filling the apartment as she started on preparing her own breakfast, first with coffee. She perused her collection, selecting a pure Jamaican Blue Mountain. 

 

She’d become something of a coffee snob, well a food snob in general, a gourmand of sorts really, her enhanced sense of smell and taste urging her towards quality and variety. It certainly helped that she could make wormholes to collect the highest quality ingredients from the source. From once being an indifferent cook at best, she’d really taken to cooking now, as well as visiting all sorts of restaurants and food trucks, not just in Chicago, but all over the world. It didn’t have to a super high end or expensive restaurant, it just had to be good food. She’d been binge watching Anthony Bourdain shows when she could, and had been on an episode of The Chef Show with Jon Favreau, that had been fun.

That was another thing any house she designed would need a much more expansive kitchen, more counter space, more cooking tops, bigger pantry, bigger fridge and freezing. A true industrial, restaurant quality. Putting together a really good meal was another type of architecture and as much as her interests had evolved, she hadn’t lost the delight in imaginative creation.

 

As her coffee brewed, Sean prepped a frittata, cooking some maple-glazed bacon in the oven, sauteing mushrooms and other veggies in the grease. The stunning woman worked using her mastery over gravity than with her hands, knives and pans and veggies and deftly cracked eggs flying through the air under Sean’s lambent lavender gaze.

 

When the iron-cast skillet full of eggs, Gruyere and Buffalo Mozzarella, bacon, mushrooms, red peppers and a few other things slid itself into the oven to finish over the next twenty minutes or so, Sean collected her big mug of coffee, inhaling the delicious aroma.

 

Done with her breakfast, Keesha sat on her haunches, looking up at the tall, seemingly young, impossibly gorgeous woman with pleading amber eyes. Sean gave her dog a teasing grin. “I’ll take you for a walk in a bit. Let Mama have her breakfast and then a shower first, ‘kay?”

Sean sauntered over the floor-to-ceiling windows, one panel sliding aside, and stepped onto the terrace. The morning chill brushed against her legs, the stone still cold under her bare feet, contrasting with the warm mug in her hands. She nodded at her other neighbor across the gap to his terrace, offering him a gracious, welcoming smile.

She hadn’t really been friendly with her neighbors at her home back in Ottawa, despite having lived in the same house for ten years. Just a distant acknowledgment, only taking with them if they had to share costs to replace a fence or something. She was a great deal more outgoing and social now. Jack Langston was an old man, a retired service member who ended up as an exec in a number of companies. He’d been widowed for the last ten years, and couldn’t resist catching a glance at the unbelievably gorgeous young woman who had moved in next to him. Sean appreciated he kept his admiration subdued and respectful, and often chatted amiably with him during her morning coffee. His anecdotes from his time in the military and the business world were hilarious, and he seemed to appreciate Sean taking the time to listen to his stories, with his wife having passed on and his kids never visiting.

She leaned on the raised, molded railing, savoring her coffee as she looked over the city. From where she was, she could just see a sliver of the sun rising above Lake Michigan. Dawn still only hinted at the warmth of day, but the sky was already clear and so very blue. Even in the middle of a metropolis such as Chicago, Sean could smell the season beginning to change.

 

The chime from her laptop sounded, and she turned wondering who would be sending mail this early. She settled in her chair and scanned the news feed for headlines before checking the mail. Good, no Brigit or Dauntless sightings overnight, so she did go home like she said she would. That girl just does not know when to stop.

Sean  opened her mail program and saw an e-mail from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Department of the Canadian government. She clicked and read.

Not a lot of information in the text but it certainly looked official. They wanted to interview her on Monday, next week. Nothing about what. Just a date and time and an office in the C.D. Howe Building in Ottawa.

How strange. Then her phone range. Sean’s eyes shifted to the clock and noticed that it had just turned eight o’clock. She picked it up on the third ring.

“Hello?”

“Good morning,” a smooth pleasant voice came through the phone and Sean could literally hear the smile, “ Is this Ms. Sean Cassidy?  My name is Agent Carson with Homeland Security,  I’m very sorry to bother you so early in the morning, and I know you’re a very busy woman but I was hoping that I could have a few minutes of your time?”

 

********

 

Earlier that morning…

 

Brigit had gone home after dinner with Sean last night and after promising to go home and not go on another night patrol. Both Sean and Karen thought it a good idea for her to lay low for a bit until this lawsuit from Rene Espa could be sorted out.

Brigit had gone home where she tossed and turned and when she did drift off to sleep, she dreamed of the fight and what she had done to Espa.

 

Rene Espa had been a champion Boxer possible the best that had ever been,  until she had stepped into the ring with Brigit for an exposition fight. Everything had been going well in the ring at least for Brigit who had not been knocked out, but she was still going to lose the fight, only she erupted and shoved Espa out of the ring and into the seats. The blow and subsequent crash into the stands had left Espa permanently paralyzed. Barring some miraculous breakthrough, the former champ would never walk again and only had use of one arm.  Espa sued and now Brigit had joined the growing number of Nova based lawsuits  crowding the civil court system since the Storm.

 

But Brigit couldn’t sleep so she had donned her Hoodie and hopped the bus to the old neighborhood. After looking in on her folks and sisters, careful not to wake them, she hit she streets. It was early morning after three a.m. and even the bad guys were snug in their beds. Still she had that itch she really wanted to punch something.

 

She made her way along the warehouse district by the river using the roofs to travel. She couldn’t jump as far as Apex but she could easily clear the distance between the warehouses and other building and most were only three or four stories. She had paused watching a tug in the river pushing a line of barges when the sharp sound of a muffled explosion came to her ears. It didn’t take long to locate the source, weird flashes of light and more muffled explosive sounds a few blocks away. She didn’t hear sirens so she leapt off the building and crossed the street at a full run.

 

Brigit skidded to a stop she wasn’t foolish enough to just run out into an unknown situation not with out at least seeing what was what. And what she saw peering around the corner of the deli she had paused at was four men standing guard across the street. They were decked out in assault gear wearing full helmets with facemasks and large backpacks. She wondered about the back packs but then she got a good look at the large futuristic looking weapons that each of them was carrying. They were standing in front of a big hole in one of the neighborhood bank kiosks, the hole was large enough for all of them to have gone through and it was perfectly round with edges that still glowed with red hot heat. There was a sound from inside the four were moving away from the hole but still keeping watch and two more men came out each holding a strange device which emitted a field of some sort. In the field was the Banks safe floating between the two men.

 

Brigit shrugged out of her hoodie which was her favorite put it on the outside window ledge of the delli and stepped out into the street.

“Okay you guys, nice and fancy gear but you had best put the guns down and take a break cause the cops are on their way and I’m not gonna let you get away.”

 

All of the men froze but looked her way then one of the guards raised his gun and shouted, “Blast her!’

 

All four guns swiveled at her and they let loose from the hip. Brigit tied to dodge but the weapon blast were like some sort of cone of red hot energy, she was engulfed and the combined blasts lifted her from her feet and threw her trough the now open front of the deli since the wall and window were likewise blast into shards.

 

Brigit smoke rising from her cloths and hair shook her head and leapt to her feet and ran outside  she was singed and a bit embarrassed but not hurt. She skidded to a stop as she cleared the ruins of the deli and stared up. All six men were rising into the air the same sort of weird energy coming off their bulky back packs, the safe going right along with them. Brigit just stood there watching them get away, in the distance she could hear sirens finally. She took a deep breath put her hands on her hips let it out with a very frustrated sigh, “Well fuck me,” and waited for the cops.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sean glanced out the window at the terrace, but not sign of Brigit joining her for breakfast. Her eyes moved down to find Keesha sitting pretty, tail thumping against the floor, doleful honey brown eyes begging for the some of the other half of the frittata. Sean shook her head with a silent smile, booping the golden retriever on the nose with a slender finger. The dog chuffed a defeated sigh as she sulked over to her dog bed watching the cast-iron pan with the remaining bits of breakfast floating over to the kitchen out of reach.

"Yes, this is Sean Cassidy, and it's no bother, Agent Carson," Sean replied, a smile of her own in her honeyed tones as she stood and glided over to refill her cup of coffee. He certainly didn't sound like a stodgy company man. She arched an elegant brow. "You can have a few minutes, indeed, you can have several. Though, if I can ask, is there some way you can assure me you are indeed from Homeland? As you can imagine, I have many people calling me, claiming they are all sorts. Very few have my direct number."

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"Of course Ms. Cassidy. I am actually downstairs, right now. If you will go to your entry intercom I'll show you my I.D. through the camera and we can get this taken care this morning," said the voice over the phone.

 

Sean frowned but moved into the living room over to the door and the wall mounted intercom with its small cctv screen. Keesha lay for a moment before following her. Sean saw that the screen was on showing and nice looking white male in a suit. She hesitated a moment then continued talking into the phone instead of switching to the intercom. "Alright, can you hold up your Id please?"

 

"Of course." The man on the screen looked down seemed to be doing something out of the cameras range, then held up a card holding it by the edges so she could see it clearly.

 

The card looked very real. There was a Seal which she recognized as that of the United States Department of Homeland Security, a picture of the same man who was holding the card, and text identifying him as Agent Frederick J Carson with the Office of Enhanced Persons Interaction Collective. There were several lines of numbers and a date of 10/2020.

 

Sean had never heard of this Office of Enhanced Persons Interaction Collective, but it looked legitimate.

 

Spoiler

599608374_FredCarson.jpg.864c41846b00964fa9ed1f7f4302fbca.jpg

 

Fred Carson

 

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Americans had way too many alphabet Agencies to keep track of, but this one seemed real enough, if new, considering its presumed purview. She'd have to text Karen or Ryan and Deezy at NovaStorm about it. Even if he was from a fake Agency, she had to admit, she was curious, and it's not like a single man was much of a threat to her. Or would want to be a threat to me, she added with a smirk.

"Thank-you, Agent Carson, you're very accommodating" Sean said. She pressed a button on the intercom, buzzing him in. "It's apartment 12D. If you will just give me a few minutes, I wasn't expecting company so early."

That wasn't entirely true. It was just any company she might have had she would be more than fine being found in just a robe.

While Agent Carson made his way to the elevator, Sean made her way to her bedroom, letting the robe slip from her shoulders as she swiftly got dressed. Agent Carson claimed he only needed a few minutes, so Sean went on the basis that Keesha would still get her walk soon after, so she dressed casually. A pair of distressed charcoal jeans that felt like they'd been broken in for years and a fitted, burgundy turtleneck with cut-outs at the shoulders, the sleeves reaching just past her slim wrists. She was just giving herself a once over in the mirror when there was a knock at her door.

"Just a moment," Sean's unmistakable voice called out, Keesha barking once, paws padding on slate as she trotted towards the door. Sean was just a few moments behind her dog, the golden retriever sitting, almost quivering, with eagerness. Sean opened the door with a welcoming smile, waving a hand to enter. "Please, come in, Agent Carson. I'm certainly curious what this visit is about."

As soon as Agent took a step inside the apartment, Keesha bolted to her feet and circled him, sniffing and snuffling with almost intrusive curiosity, then shoving her snout forcefully under his hand for a pet. Sean inhaled more surreptitiously, her sense of smell even keener than her dog's, her olfactory sense having grown as integral to knowing the world around her as sight and hearing.

Sean might have dressed casually, but the simple outfit still flattered her unbelievable figure and she looked as ready for a photoshoot or a runway as for a walk in the park, the unassailable self-assurance in her incandescent lavender eyes belying her exquisite, youthful features. "And I insist, call me Sean, no need to be so formal. Would you like a cup of coffee?" 

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Bridget was frustrated as she stepped off the bus. Yes she rode the bus, she didn’t like driving and was so used to riding buses, that she didn’t think twice about it, its why she wore the hoodie most of the time so people wouldn’t stare. 

 

The cops had arrived, and she told them what she had seen and described the men as best she could. The sergeant had asked why she hadn’t gone after them. Brigit had just looked at him. They knew who she was and since what she and pretty much every Nova who was known had websites dedicated to powers and skill and images it was pretty much impossible that the cop didn’t know her powers. She had sighed, “Because I can’t fly.” God how that irritated her to say that out loud. 

 

“Couldn’t you have thrown something at them?” That had come from the female officer, short stocky with a cute face and dark hair.

 

“No,” Brigit shook her head, “I have to be careful about collateral damage.” Both cops looked at the destroyed deli but they hadn’t said anything.

 

 Eventually they finished with her, and she walked a few blocks north and caught the bus home.

 

Agent Fred Carson had been waiting for the elevator to arrive when the young woman wearing the hoodie came up and pressed the button. She squinted at him from within the hood and he instantly recognized her. Fred gave her a slight smile for a greeting but said nothing just watched the arrows for one to light.

 

Brigit followed the guy into the elevator, she was suspicious, everything about him said fed. The dark suit, shiny shoes, the haircut, the slight bulge of a gun holstered at his hip. She watched as he pushed the button for the 12th floor her floor, then watched him. He just stood there and watched the floor indicators paying no mind to her even after she threw back the hood. He never even glanced at her. The elevator stopped and he politely let her exit giving her another disarming smile. She went toward her apartment and he, without a glance in her direction went right up to Sean’s apartment and knocked on the door. A moment later the door open and Sean let him in. Brigit lingered at her own door and closed her eyes and listened…

 

“Hi there, puppy,” Fred said giving the dog a nice pet and letting him sniff. “Pleasure to meet you Ms. Cassidy.”  He smiled again, ignoring her request to call her by her first name. Sean believed it was a sincere smile and noted that he didn’t seem flustered by her appearance. “No thank you on the coffee, I stay away from caffeine. Again, I’m really sorry to bother you this early but you know how these things are.” He said that with an apologetic shrug.

 

Sean led him to the sofa in the living area,  “Please have a seat,” she said as she sat in a soft chair across from the sofa, Keesha curling up at her feet. “So what is this all about.”

 

“Well, Ms. Cassidy…”

 

“Call me Sean, please.”

 

Agent Carson smiled and nodded, “Okay, Sean.

 

To begin I’m with the office of Enhanced Persons Interaction Contingency which is a new section in Homeland Security. It is our task to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement and other agencies, with incidents that involve enhanced persons, like yourself.

 

One of those other agencies is Immigration.”

 

 

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"Ah, I see," Sean murmured, smiling back, legs crossed demurely, a foot swinging to rub Keesha's belly.

She'd been vaguely aware that immigration had been moved to Homeland Security when the department had been established, and had it confirmed when she'd started the immigration process. She supposed the advent of individuals such as herself and others would warrant the creation of a new division or agency. She hadn't been too concerned with how immigration would go, being Canadian certainly helped, as did having marketable skills beyond being a Nova.

Agent Carson looked like he'd come straight from central casting when someone asked for a Government agent. Pleasant and nondescript, he was perhaps the most neutral smelling person she'd ever met. No cologne, no aftershave, no sweat, just a hint of scentless antiperspirant. She knew the effect she had on men and women, even when she wasn't making effort, and could taste their hormones on the air, but she didn't pick up any particular arousal on Carson's part. Remarkable control on his part, or experience with enhanced persons. Probably both. She was vaguely miffed, a hint of self-deprecation curving her raspberry lips.

"I believe my work visa is in order, and my application for a Green Card is ongoing. There were issues with updating of my identification of course." She gave a dismissive shrug, silently suggesting, 'That was only to be expected.' "But those have been resolved to the satisfaction of my government and yours, as far as I'm aware. Has something been misfiled or clarification in some manner needed? Any 'incidents' involving enhanced persons have been logged with the municipal authorities as per my contract with the city. If this concerns any of those, you should speak with my manager, Karen, and the city, first."

She was coming to love Chicago, true - the food and cuisine were far more extensive than she'd known - and while she gave it her all when on duty for the city, she didn't go on 'night patrols' with Brigit as often as her buff friend did. Partially due to any trouble she might get involved in 'off book,' in case it might affect her immigration status. Which didn't mean she never did anything dubious, suspect, or in the grey areas of legality, but she tried to keep it low key and minimalized.

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Carson nodded right along with everything Sean said, that goofy smile plastered on his face his eyes casually switching between her face and her bouncing foot. "I'll cut right to the chase Ms. Cassidy... Sean, all of your paperwork," he chuckles, " don't know why we insist on calling it that still. All of your applications are in order and there have been no complaints. But your status as QEP puts you under my departments purview. As such and with you being a foreign resident, we have to do a little more leg work.

 

As you know, with Utopia offering automatic citizenship to enhanced persons, a lot of your fellow EPs flocked to them which started a scramble among the nations who had catalogued EPs in their states and those nations began offering EPs incentives to stay with their home countries and even become state sponsored.  We do things a little differently here simple because of the nature of our States system, EPs here are free to pursue their own path as long as they obey the law. Canada falls in to the former category.

 

The Canadian Government has asked all Canadian EPs to register and  have created a state sponsored EP Team, which will be drawing its membership from that register. We here don't have a lot of the details on this but I am here to inform you that your Immigration office has made inquires as to your status here in the US. If they haven't already contacted you they probably will soon."

 

He paused to see if she had any questions?

 

 

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Sean wasn't entirely surprised that the Canadian government would have created a volunteer registry for citizen EPs, not when nearly half the population lived in a single province. She was more surprised by the idea of a Federally sponsored EP team, though she supposed it would a way to more evenly distribute the fantastic potential offered by EP capabilities across the country.

She had also heard of Utopia of course, it was constantly in the news. But while she was curious to perhaps see what the place was like and how the new society was evolving, she couldn't help but feel an uneasiness about it as well. The Utopians had claimed territory and legitimacy with frightening haste and ease. Sean was well aware of how persuasive she could be, even unintentionally, as well as destructive. A whole country of enhanced persons, it was like a new state with nuclear armaments suddenly appearing, and nobody knowing what their intentions where or what they were capable of, despite whatever they might claim.

"That all seems understandable," Sean said calmly. "And while I'll register if and when the embassy contacts me, I'm not inclined towards accepting membership into Canadian Shield or whatever they decide to call the National EP team. Nor am I inclined towards accepting Utopian citizenship. I've grown rather fond of Chicago." Sean smiled with intoxicating warmth. "This is where my life changed irrevocably."

She recrossed her stunning legs and crossed her arms beneath her magnificent breasts, emphasizing improbable proportions that needed no emphasis and just how much she had changed. "And this is where I've decided to start my life anew. I do have to wonder, if my applications are all in order, just why are you here this morning, Agent Carson?"

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Carson was admiring Sean's well formed leg, he looked up and smiled again, "Well Ms Cassidy...sorry... Sean, With the inquiries from the Canadian government about your immigration status. We felt it prudent to make you aware of US policy.

 

We welcome all Enhanced Persons who want to come to America, either to visit, for work, or for education, and doubly so for those who wish to immigrate. However there are some circumstances where full disclosure is necessary. If an Enhanced person is in the service or employ with a foreign state, even an allied state, we do require notification and may, if warranted, impose restrictions on issued Visas.  And in the case where such service is military in origin, we will probably limit any visas issued to temporary visas or deny them outright. 

 

The United States is steadfastly against the militarization of Enhanced Persons."

 

He shrugs, "Just a curtesy call, Sean. We value your presence here in Chicago and want you to have  happy life. Just want you aware of the facts."

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Well, I, for one, am grateful for this curtsey, Mister Carson," Sean said with a honeyed smile, a hand to her bountiful chest. She was much too polite and composed to arch a doubtful brow at his claim that the US was against the militarization of EPs. In her estimation, vicarious and anecdotal though it may be, if other nations were going to do it, the US military would make sure they were at the forefront. "If any more facts arise that you believe I should be made aware, I would be most appreciative if you would take the time for another personal visit."

"It would be my pleasure, Mis- Sean." Carson stood up, Sean following him, and peeled his eyes away from the beauty to give his watch a quick glance. "But, now, I think I've taken enough of your time."

"Time well spent," Sean assured him. She led him to the door, Keesha circling the pair and snagging a few more scratches behind the ears from the agent. "Until next time, Agent Carson."

 

"Miss Cassidy." Agent Carson nodded and made his leave.

Sean closed the door behind with a soft click, then leaned her back against it, lips pursed on thought. She was making a new life in Chicago and she wasn't enthused by anything that might disrupt or threaten it. Darker corners of her mind considered how she might employ her superhuman appeal to deal with those disruptions and threats. The more composed part suggested how that might lead to future problems.

She let out a long sigh, tossed her head, then tapped out a quick text to Karen about the visit from EPIC/Homeland, and that she might need a lawyer, lawyers, American and Canadian, in case an issue arose with new laws and protocols being enacted. Not overly concerned, but just wanting to stay on top of things. Then she texted Brigit to see if she wanted to come along while she walked Keesha, sweetening the deal with the other half of the frittata she had made earlier.

When Brigit replied with an assent, Sean waved a hand, opening a portal flush against a bare stretch of wall to lead to a stretch of wall in Brigit's apartment. Completely gratuitous, considering Brigit lived in the adjacent apartment or could leap the gap between their balconies, but it was also effortless on her part. Keesha stood up with alacrity and trotted through the swirling ring of golds and pinks and oranges.

By the time Brigit strode through the portal, a bit exasperated, Keesha at her heels with a big doggy grin, Sean just finished plating the frittata, placing it on the island, along with a cup of coffee and a glass of orange. They exchanged idle chitchat as Brigit ate and Sean cleaned up, and put on a pair of lug soled hiking shoes with elevated heels.

Sean slipped on Keesha's harness, then wrapped her dog's leash around her wrist, but not bothering at the moment to clip it to the harness. She arched a brow at Brigit, who nodded, then Sean opened another portal. Beyond it was a trail bordered by towering trees, the sun sitting closer to the horizon than it was in Chicago.

"Where to this time, Sean?"

 

"Redwood National Park."

Sean had taken to visiting various parks around Chicago, and then around the nation. Walking Keesha was a time of relaxation, of peace and ease, and she didn't want anyone learning her routine, trying to get her attention or just wanting to see and meet an extravagantly and exceedingly attractive Nova when she just wanted to spend some time outdoors with her dog. True, she could exude an aura of superlative self-effacement that could make her less noticeable that most others, including non-novas, but it was the principle of the thing. And besides, when almost anywhere was just a step away, why not take advantage of it.

The golden retriever bounded through the portal with excited enthusiasm. The ladies followed more sedately. While Keesha was busy investigating and sniffing at every tree and rock, through never getting much further than thirty feet away, Brigit glanced up at the tall, young gliding at her side, her footsteps light, sometimes barely touching the ground.

Outrageously curvaceous, inherently glamorous, impossibly gorgeous, after getting the know Sean better and seeing her home, and seeing her in her home, Brigit finally believed the fantasy of femininity's claims she'd once been a man. She seen all sorts of expressions on Sean's face. Irritated, angry, annoyed. Happy, amused, playful. Aroused, wicked, wanton. Sympathetic, mischievous, and even malicious. But the joyful serenity on Sean's striking face as she watched her dog with lustrous lavender eyes seemed to let Brigit see the man Sean used to be and the woman she now was.

Picking up a dry branch, Sean tossed it, Keesha chasing after it, and gave Brigit a brief overview of her visitor from the newly established Enhanced Persons Interaction Contingency.

"... and so, if my country tries to impress me into the national nova bikini team, it might cause issues with my immigration status. How's your morning been, Bri?"

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Brigit listened to her friend as well as watched her play with the dog, teasing her with moving the stick Sean threw with her gravity powers so that Keesha got to chase it more than just straight line. The animal seemed to love it and actually jumped and pranced around when she managed to catch it before bringing it back to start the whole process over again.

 

“E.P.I.C.,” Briget shook her head as she twisted some small flexible twigs she had picked up into various braids, “I wonder how much they pay the people who come up with those names? You called Karen, I guess let her get the lawyers working on it.

 

As for my morning, I didn’t go to bed last night, couldn’t sleep, so I patrolled. I know I told you I would alone, but you were sound asleep, and I didn’t want to wake you. Oh, by the way I seem to have developed some sort of, I don’t know, x-ray vision, I guess, I can see through walls now.

 

Anyway, it was quiet out this morning and I was on the south side and there was a robbery at one of City Banks Automatic Branches. Some guys with some very heavy tech had blown through the walls and levitated the cash vault that feeds the ATMs outside. I tried to stop them with a warning, and they blasted me with some sort of high temperature energy cannon. Blew me into a deli on the corner. By the time I got untangled and back out they were flying away with the money. And there I was flat footed on the ground while they got away scott free.

 

I should have woken you up at least you could have gone after them.”

 

Sean could hear the hint of bitterness in Brigit’s voice.

 

“Anyway, they had tech like stuff Deezy from NovaStorm makes, all super science and very powerful. I doubt this is the last we hear of them.”

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Lavender eyes alight on Breeah's antics and excitement, Sean gave Brigit a nod when she asked about calling Karen. She kept any pity from her expression at catching the touch of bitterness in Brigit's voice. She could empathize with Brigit, but she just didn't feel the same. She might have changed genders, but it was an adventure rather than a detriment. Grace and Brigit both were vastly stronger  and tougher than her, in sheer physicality, but she didn't envy them for it. Brigit's incredibly muscular physique, Sean found very attractive and arousing, but she didn't wish it for herself.

An objective corner of her thoughts found that odd, weird, but whether her physical chrysalis was accompanied by more mental and emotional changes than she realized, or she had simply taken the fantastic opportunity offered her to realign her life, Sean accepted it wholeheartedly.

 

Breeah held the branch in her paws, chewing on it and stripping off the bark, pink tongue flicking in and out as she spit out the flakes. Sean placed a comforting hand on Brigit's broad shoulder, giving muscle stronger than steel a squeeze, a fierce, assuring light in her eyes.

"I hope you always feel free to come get me, even if you have to grab me out of bed." Especially when I wasn't sharing it with anyone last night. Grace didn't even seem to need sleep any more, and Brigit practically nothing, but Sean still did, even if it was even less than what she needed as a teen the first time. It wasn't intended, but Sean's sultry soprano could make a simple hello suggestive. "And it would be we going after them, not just me."

Sean's booted feet left the hard packed trail as she rose smoothly up two feet off the ground. Brigit felt a tingle as gravity distorted around her and she floated up in the air too so that she was eye level with the taller woman, three, than four feet above the ground. The large golden retriever forgot about the stick to circle below the ladies, and jumping up to nudge their feet with her nose. Sean smiled down at her dog, and expanded her gravitic manipulation to encompass her.  Keesha's paws paddled wildly as she was slipped free of the leash of gravity.

She could sympathize wtih Brigit in that regard. Flying was awesome.

"It's not quite the same, but it's better not going alone, hmm?" Sean could share the gift of flight, but she had to direct the others she shared it with, rather than they having control themselves. She was trying to figure out a way to make the gravitic field reactive to the intentions of others, but without success so far, by mostly practicing on Keesha. She was sure the dog had given her more than one reproachful glance. "Care for a jaunt around and above the park?"

Sean took a deep breath of the fresh, redolent air and petted Keesha to sooth her. "And we should contact NovaStorm about the fellows you encountered. Just in case they have someone selling gear or trade secrets on the down-low, or in case they know who else might be capable of coming up with stuff like that. It's a place to start, anyway."

NovaStorm, Deezy, really, might be the preeminent Nova inventor, but that didn't mean she was the only one capable of superlative technical ingenuity. Just like how while Sean might be one of the most beautiful and sensual women on the plenty, she was by no means the only one. TV Tropes might not be entirely right about The Most Common Superpower, but they weren't entirely wrong either, and Sean certainly exemplified it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was after one A.M. Monday morning the two women were on the top of one of the tallest buildings on the southside. Sean was wearing her ‘costume’ and standing on the very edge of the building looking out at the twinkling lights, far off in the distance a jet was taking flight from the airport. Bridget was sitting down on the short ledge her back to the city as she fiddled with the pocket police scanner she had bought to make patrols easier. It had worked for all of about ten minutes now all she could get was static and occasionally what sounding like polka music.

 

“This sucks!” The muscle-bound girl let out and exasperated breath and with a few more curses crushed the electronic device in her fist. She dropped the pieces onto the rooftop and glanced up at Sean silhouetted in the light of the quarter moon, her outfit formfitting and leaving very little to the imagination, she felt a little flutter in her belly at the sight and quickly looked away. She stood up and straighten her hoodie.

 

Unlike her gorgeous companion Brigit still wore street cloths that she got from Walmart since what she wore tended to get reduced to rags every time she got into a scrap.

 

“Maybe I should get a car. I could call it the Dauntless-mobile. Oh,” she added excitedly, “a motorcycle!”

 

Sean turned and looked at her friend, “I thought you didn’t have a license?”

 

Brigit frowned, “We’re superheroes now, do we need licenses?”

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Sean reflected Brigit's frown with a smile, lips upturned with amusement, lavender eyes luminous in the night. With the crescent of the moon behind her, its light flowing over the glossy sheen of her costume, flattering and emphasizing every fantastic curve, hands on her hips and long, glistening hair lifted in a sudden breeze, the woman indeed looked like a superhero who had stepped right out of comic book.

Sean had kept her ten year old Subura CrossTrek, for when she wanted to go out and about 'incognito.' She now possessed a customized, limited edition Rolls-Royce Dawn for when she didn't. She didn't think she would ever have spent so much on a personal vehicle, regardless of how much she made, but it had been part of her endorsement deal as a spokesmodel.

There was something to be said for luxury. It had the power of high-end sportscar, but was so smooth, it was like riding in a cloud. She had pushed it on the Loop the first time she'd driven it. She had blatantly been speeding, but had pulled over when the police lights started flashing behind her. Wide eyes, a negligent smile, and a deep breath, and no ticket had been written.

"Need? Maybe not," Sean drawled. "But why take a chance at a lawsuit thanks to an accident, either yours or another's? I'll teach you if you like." Her eyes twinkled as she added, "Or go with you if we need a specific license or take classes to drive motorcycles. I do love the idea of a Dauntless-cycle."

Her grin widened as she turned back to look over the jungle of towering trees of steel, glass, and concrete that was Chicago. Standing on the edge of such a precipitous fall once would have filled her with balls-retracting vertigo, but when you commanded gravity and could fly, falls of any length didn't present any danger. 

She pictured Brigit riding a gleaming black and chrome motorcycle, powerful physique clad in riding leathers, herself sitting behind her, full breasts pressed against her broad back as she wrapped her arms around her thick chest. Their hair streamed behind them with the speed of their passage, the mechanical beast rumbling delightfully, pleasantly, between their legs. Then Sean had them switch places, she at the controls and Brigit at her back, her impossibly strong hands nearly encircling her slim waist.

"And getting a motorcycle myself is growing on me. I'm sure something could be arranged to expedite getting a license." Sean pointed at the remains of the police scanner with a slender, long-nailed finger, the pieces collecting together in a neatly crushed cube of metal and plastic. "And we should see about officially being granted access to the police bands instead of just waiting for them to call. Or we can see if Deezy can hook us up with something convenient."
 
She tossed her head and looked down at the tiny strip of asphalt so far below. If her senses weren't as sharp as Brigit's, they still topped human limits, but so far up, it was still a strain. "We done for the night, Bri, or do you want to find another vantage point, maybe stroll on foot patrol for a bit?"

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Brigit had been watching Sean instead of the city and her question jolted her back to reality, she looked away and wished she had a bottle of water since suddenly her moth was as dry as the Sahara. "I guess, what time is it," She pulled out her phone and was in the process of swiping it on when she froze.

 

Her super hearing, not as well tuned as her vision but still far beyond that of a base line, heard the loud bang and crunch of metal and the shattering of glass. before she could even focused with her vision to search for the scene she heard a second crash and this time she heard a deep thrumming sound that she had heard before. "Shit, they're back!"  Her she swept her head aback and forth her eyes suddenly glowing with quantum fire as she looked through the building inthe way until she found the scene of the new crime. Her vision adjusted and the location zoomed to such up close detail she felt she could have reached out and touched the mangled police car sitting in the municipal bus!

 

"West 79th and Pulaski, a cop car and a bus it the bank robbers I think there's a Republic Bank there and a bunch a ATMs. I see a couple of the guys with those guns heading toward the wrecks! We gotta go!"

 

 

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Sean could just barely make out what Brigit heard, but not well enough to determine what it actually was. She didn't question Brigit's interpretation and her eyes flared with blue-white incandescence to match her burly companion's. "On it!"

Brigit could feel a subtle twist and pull as Sean bent gravity around herself in a protective field, her dramatic silhouette snapping into sharper distinction. Her full lips tightened for a moment as she considered. She was learning the city well enough, though several months still wasn't nearly enough to be familiar with every street. She was more familiar with the various street trucks and diners and restaurants of note, in truth.

She thought she could make a portal to get them close enough to the action. But it was hardly subtle, especially at night, the glowing ring of dawn-coloured light would be a beacon. They weren't far from the action, flying would get them there fast enough, and give them more time to assess the situation before throwing themselves into it.

The subconscious sense of gravity fell away from Brigit and she and Sean slowly floated off the roof side-by-side. Then they were flying, up, then diving down, wind rushing by their ears in a roar as Centerpoint circled them around the city block. She could have gone faster, but breaking the sound barrier would be too much of a giveaway for a few seconds it would save them.

Sean slowed them as they turned onto Pulaski, barely twenty feet above the ground. Brigit braced, powerful legs already pumping as Sean let gravity touch her once more. Brigit landed on the run, back in control of her movement while Sean kept to the air, taking in the scene as quickly as she could, heart hammering with excitement and danger.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Brigit, legs pistoning dashed past the wrecked bus and police car making straight for the two high-tech armed attackers.  The two were cool headed, as if they had done this sort of thing before or at least trained for it.

 

One of them shifted into a firing stance bracing himself with legs spread wide and let loose a blast of gravitic energy at Brigit she attempted to dodge but the blast was too large and just like the other morning it slammed into her and picked her up knocking her back with  the force of about six Gs', into the building on the corner shattering the brick facing!

 

The second had dropped to one knee and swiveled his weapon toward the sky and let loose a blast at Center Point!

 

Spoiler

Bad guy gets only one sux so i assume it will be a miss

 

 

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The hourglass-figured heroine floated serenely above the chaos, a faint smirk on her exquisite face, no more disturbed than if she'd been entering the grocery store. Eyes burning orbs of blue-white fire, Center Point casually, but precisely, shifted in the air as the criminal fired his futuristic cannon at her.

The gravity beam grazed her gravitic field and Sean arched a curious brow as the interaction of energies caused a flare of coruscating neon blue light. Her eyes narrowed menacingly as she focused on the robbers, then stretched out an arm in a dramatically imperious gesture, than out of any actual necessity.

"My turn," Center Point declaimed, sultry soprano cold with promise. Simmering anger pulsed behind her inhumanly composed expression, forcing herself to believe Brigit wasn't particularly hurt. If she was, well then, Sean would be less composed and a good deal more destructive.

Her slender fingers snapped close into a fist as she attempted to collapse crushing gravity around the grav-rifle that had been fired at her - and if she crushed a hand and arm with it, so be it. Forming a fist flowed into a hammer blow in seemingly the same motion as she brought down a force approaching an orbital strike on the fucker who had shot Brigit.

"I advise you to surrender now, lads," Center Point purred with terrible mirthfulness. "I'm not terribly angry yet, but Dauntless will be far less kind when she gets her hands on you."

 

Spoiler

Two actions - 1 Gravitokinesis Quantum Strike on the rifle, 1 Gravitokinesis Quantum Strike on the guy who shot Brigit. Scale 5 attack with Brutal, Destructive, Piercing, and Smashing tags

!roll 10d10t7e10


Asarasa Roll: [10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 7, 6, 3, 2, 1], [6, 3] Result: 6 successes.


Apply 3 successes to each attack

 

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Gravity, already in a state of flux in the vicinity, twisted at Counterpoint's command. The weapon on the would be assailants hands bucked and then collapsed in upon itself like an aluminum can being crushed by an industrial compactor, sparks flew and the man scream as his right arm up to his elbow was caught in the titanic grip of the unseen force.

 

The second thug actually fared better, under the circumstances, the concentration  of gravity Sean sent at him was  more of a bolt that flashed down from above like lightning and smote the man and was gone. For a bone crushing instant the man  experienced about 6 gravities  in a slap that planted him on the ground dazed at the sudden shifts in weight he experienced, the only real damage was strained muscles and burst capillaries and a full body bruise, but other wise he was able to shake off the attack in a few moments to reorient himself. Unfortunately his day was about to get worse.

 

For the second time these asshats had blasted Brigit with their sci-fi super weapons and that really pissed her off. Leaping up  from the rubble Dauntless charged out toward the miscreants, her rage visible in the glowing electric fire which raced along her arms and engulfed her clenched fists. at the same time the rest of the robbers, four more, exited the hole in the bank branch wall, drawn by the sound of the conflict outside. Three of the new comers leveled their own futuristic weapons at the two supper women while the fourth step back in the the cover of the bank!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Through her unflappable, enticing confidence, Centerpoint noted how the robbers pointed those weapons at them, at her, without hesitation. That was unusual. Even those who disliked her, who resented her, who were even actively hostile, usually couldn't help but be affected by her superlative attractiveness, even if it didn't stay their hands. These people must've had more experience with Novas than most.

Sean glanced casually over her shoulder, then flew down to street level, as Dauntless rushed passed her, a booted foot only a few inches above the ground, making sure the way behind her was relatively clear to mitigate the collateral damage offered by the futuristic rifles aimed at her and Brigit.

Lavender eyes burning with quantum fires, long rose-gold hair floating around her in a weightless corona, Centerpoint waggled a disappointed finger at the robbers.

"Ah ah ah! Boys and their toys!" Centerpoint crooned with seductive mockery. "We tried to play nice. But since you aren't, we won't either. And bad boys don't get to keep their toys."

The currents of gravity twisted once more at Sean's command, the inexorable force that kept planets spinning in to heavens wrapping around the weapons of the three newcomers as she attempted to rip them from their hands.

 

Spoiler

Three Gravitokinesis (Scale 4) Actions, going for the Seize Stunt under Close Combat (p. 104 Core). If there are extra Successes, either move the weapons further away, or if possible, pull the robbers off balance/trip them.

!roll 10d10t7e10
Asarasa Roll: [8, 7, 7, 5, 4, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1] Result: 3
One Success per action, then applicable enhancements for difference in scale.

 

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Centerpoint warped gravity into arms and easily grabbed onto the futuristic weapons ripping them from the men’s grasps and sending them flying in three different directions. But that was the least of the men’s worries.

 

Brigit fist wreathed in Quantum Fire arrived and with one punch sent one of the armored crooks flying back into the banks wall where he fell to the ground amid a cloud of concrete dust from the impact of the body and wall. A second roundhouse sent another spinning away like a top before he too crashed to the ground.

 

The third bad guy was in a state of panic as Brigit spun to face him, he fell to his knees throwing up his hands in fear. At just that moment a light on the mans armor blinked twice and then glowed steady…and red. The man noticed, looked down and said “Oh shit…”

 

All five of the bank robbers, the two Centerpoint had initially attacked and the three who had just been disarmed, as well as the three weapons Centerpoint had taken from them now flew back together with a loud crash which Brigit had to dodge to keep from being hit again. The ball of bodies and weapons spun and started to collapse as the gravity around them increased at a rapid rate going from  standard one gravity to forty in a five-meter sphere centered on the rapidly collapsing bodies and weapons being crushed into an ever-increasing artificial gravity well!

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Centerpoint's fiery eyes widened, for an instant concerned that her own gravitic powers clashing with their mechanical counterparts were responsible for the terrible, condensing ball of meat and metal... But no, the man's expression at the sight of the blinking red light on his armor, he'd known what it meant. Whoever was in charge of their operation was very serious about operational security.

Wedge-heeled boots integrated into her eye-catching bodysuit landed lightly on the asphalt as Centerpoint dispersed the gravitic field enwrapping her, preparing to focus all her gravitokinetic prowess to a singular endeavour. The quantum fires engulfing her eyes receded until only pinprick stars of bluish-silver made her wide, lavender irises glow. She glanced towards the hole in the bank's wall, then quickly up and down the rest of the building, looking for the silhouette of a watcher.

She took a deep, controlling breath, the synthetic material of her outfit making a muted creaking whisper, palms pressed together below her breasts. "Dauntless, someone did this, triggered it remotely, rather than it being an automatic safeguard," Centerpoint remarked with calm, emphatic analysis. "That fellow that retreated back through the hole in the wall, likely, wanting to make sure we don't get answers." Her enticing, raspberry lips curved up in a small smile as she turned towards Brigit. "Why don't you chase him down so we can ask him some questions. Not so politely."

Her resolute gaze went back to the whirling, screaming sphere of men and steel. "I'll see what I can do for these fellows."

Not that Centerpoint was overly concerned for the lives of the robbers - they had tried to harm her and her friend with extreme lack of considering for their surrounding. But no one deserved to be crushed alive like that - Sean conveniently disregarding that her own powers could deal very similar damage - and those men and their weapons might be the only ones they could glean some clues on who they were and what they wanted.

She exhaled as she pressed her hands downward, trying to ease smooth the tight knot of the gravity well so that Earth's regular gravity was once more preeminent in the area.

 

Spoiler

Using Gravity Control (Environmental Anima) to counter/reduce or otherwise overcome the gravity effect she's witnessing.

!roll 10d10t7e10
Asarasa Roll: [9, 9, 8, 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 2, 1] Result: 6 successes

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

While Centerpoint wrestled with the growing gravity well Dauntless dashed into the hole blasted in the mini banks wall looking for the last bad guy. The bank was empty but there was a another smaller hole big enough for one person burn through the wall on the other side. Brigit lept through just in time to see the last of the high-tech robbers floating away.

 

Brigit screamed and incoherent scream of frustration and in a childish act of defiance  swung her glowing fist at the completely out of range miscreant. Something astonishing happened. At the top of her swing the energy surrounding her fist shot away from ir arm  and  wildly careened away  until the blue-red energy caught the corner of the building across the street blowing chunks of concrete to fall .

 

Brigit stared at the building and then her fist and then the building then with her hands still glowing pointed both at the fleeing criminal and willed the energy to strike him! Twin bolts of blue-red energy shot from her fists and flew toward the fleeing felon but they passed harmlessly to either side as he cut across and flew around the building blocking Dauntless from further attempts.

 

Back on the other side Centerpoint had gained control of the deadly gravity well, unfortunately saving the men was impossible they had already had the life crushed from them. Using her innate sense to detect and understand the force of gravity she pinpointed the center of the well and detected a small mass incased in a shell this mass was miniscule if size yet was producing gravity at a prodigious rate. The energy fields which had contained it were gone and the mass was collapsing into a singularity, only Centerpoints power was keeping it from further collapsing and creating and even bigger gravity well in the middle of the city!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The attentive observer might have picked up the faint boom of thunder on a rainless night, and spotted a small speck flinging itself upward from the Chicago skyline in an arc towards the embattled bank and it's no-longer-quite-micro-singularity. A controlled arc by something roughly the size and shape of a human being. This hypothetical observer wouldn't have had much time to process this as the shape crashed onto the roof of a building across the street from the bank. They hit with a faint upwelling of dust, at the center of a spiderweb of cracks, landing in a perfect three-point landing, the so-called super hero landing. The figure, blonde-haired, female, and quite-unscathed from her dramatic arrival, exhaled and straightened.

 

Grace "Apex" Williams was on scene, dressed in a blue t-shirt, leggings, and sneakers as if she was out for a jog and not a potential Stormer fight.

 

There were a lot of reasons she'd been making news on the Society pages rather than the front pages. Meetings helping Karen Gayle put together the organization behind the trio of Stormers. Charity fundraisers to turn her fame into something good for her adopted city and beyond that may or may not have her running across a certain pryokinetic criminal. Learning first hand just how much time it took to settle and take care of a child, let alone a child Stormer with a rougher start than most. She'd have to apologize to her parents for all the bad things she'd thought about them someday. A phone alert from Karen had brought her into the loop that the other two had ran into an escalating problem, and a second message to, a blessedly-free, Temple, had Konami in the best hands she knew of.

 

So Apex was here, and a glance over the edge of the building to the chaos below lent her more urgency, vaulting over the edge to the street several stories straight down.   

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Just as Apex lept, twin beams of energy from right below blasted the corner of the building, looking down as she glimpsed Dauntless, hands crackling with energy, as two more beams erupted from her fists at an armored man flying rapidly toward her!

 

The beams missed, and Apex twisted changing her trajectory the man and the Nova crashed together and flew around the corner out of Dauntless' view.

 

Dauntless with a curse, watched her quary vanish around the corner of the building, was that Grace? Brigit spun on her heel, and raced back to where she had left Centerpoint, fists still alive with energy!

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