In the moment that the yellow gem became active, it helped—at least from Lisa’s mind—to see Warrick forming his tower shield to interpose himself between it and Cyn.
Her mission, no matter how much she wanted to focus on protecting her friends, was to protect the world first. If the thing from another world or someone under its sway got out into the larger world, it could be an apocalyptic event like Cyn described nearly happened to Device World.
And so, putting her faith in Warrick’s metallurgical might, she turned, leveling her staff at the mirror gate. “Hacerse pequeno.” She said roughly. It was a spell she rarely had to cast with any sort of urgency as it was usually a means of preparing for patrol by shrinking her staff to the size of a keychain bauble. Now, blue-white light splashed like water from the end of the staff to wash over the stately antique mirror.
The light caught on the edges, outlining it like someone was sketching out is image with glowing colored pencil. Then with a whipcrack sound, both glowing outline and mirror rapidly shrank until it was the size of something one would … Continue reading
They didn’t spend any more time in M-Vault than they had to. Even if the object they came to obtain was arguably the most dangerous thing there, nothing made it into the M-Vault if it wasn’t deemed an extreme threat. In fact, M-Vault was only a temporary option until Laurel could arrange for something more permanent in space.
And for all that threat, Warrick couldn’t help but think the containment device looked overly mundane; like the milk cans he remembered seeing on a field trip to a colonial reenactment ranch.
Of course, he alone could tell it was anything but mundane. He’d combined his ability to control and transmute metal with Laurel’s engineering skill as well as Lisa’s magical talent to create a wholly unique super-material combining tungsten, titanium, lead, silver, and platinum with carbon nanotubes, biomimetic ceramic cladding and defensive and concealing runes.
Altogether, the ‘milk can’ represented three weeks of design and construction to create a cask to contain and hide a fragment of a dead alien collective that had already nearly infected and destroyed an alternate world.
It sat like a rotten egg made of osmium to have it just six feet … Continue reading
“Two hundred and twelve-thousand dollars,” Cyn noted from her seat on one of the lab tables in the Livesavers Inc headquarters’ primary workroom, “That’s how much money you’re wearing right now.”
Across the room, her best friend, Warrick Kaine was pulling a shirt of stretchy, silver-colored material over his head and smoothed it over his body to make sure it overlapped with the matching pants. These had been pulled over the light padded suit he normally wore on patrol when not armored up. The layering did strange things to the sleekly muscular physique that had replaced lank awkwardness after years of heroics.
He shook his head at her and picked up a psi damper from a nearby counter, slotting it over his left ear and turning it on. “Not taking any chances with this thing, Cyn. Magic? Faerie? Tome? I can handle that shit. Crazy villain of the week? I live for that. But This thing? It scares the hell out of me.”
The damper was followed by a cowl of the same material, which was affixed to the rest of the suit by a black mantle-and-harness rig that also went around … Continue reading
Like any big city, Mayfield had its municipalities that had been left behind in the ebb and flow of the economy. Victoria was one of such place; dotted with the hulks of defunct factories like so many shells on a beach after a storm.
There were tracks of residential housing, a few strip malls, and Greater Victoria Park, but most of the space was still taken up by the concrete behemoths too dedicated in design and too sturdy in their construction for anyone to buy and replace or remodel.
In the parking lot of one of these, still decorated with the fading livery of Demarcus Chemical Compounding, was seeing traffic for the first time in probably years as a handful of assorted sedans and SUVs were parked near to a tractor trailer. Their lights illuminated to plain US Cargo Unlimited branding along the trailer’s side.
Thanks to the sound wall surrounding both factory and parking lot, the gathering was concealed from any passers-by on ground level. In most cities, this would have provided an almost perfect expectation of privacy.
“Looks like someone’s not used to doing crime in Mayfield.”
“Hey guys, guess what?” Kay Graycloud was one of those people one saw at every convention where cosplay was an element: clearly she had an interest in costuming, but missed a crucial point where cosplay traditionally involves dressing up as a character from other media.
As such, she was a vampiress.
Maybe she could argue that the corset, long flowing skirt, platinum hair, and red contacts might make her look a little bit like one of the background characters from Night Flight Bite, but really it was half an excuse to don a corset and pale make-up.
She ran up to the group, palmtop in hand with of all things a clown in tow. “There’s supposed to be some big celebrity here—oh wait it’s just Alloy. I was hoping for Adi Abhed or maybe Sharon Nguyen.”
“Hardy-har-har.” Warrick rolled his eyes. “Keep talking and I won’t invite you to be in a guest with me on the Sanctum Comics panel tomorrow.”
This made Kay pull up short. “Wait. What? You’ve been here for like less than an hour and you’ve got a panel all of a sudden? I’ve been putting it out on all my social media that I’m here … Continue reading
“Oh. My. God. I have so many questions!”
That was how Meghan Rockwell greeted Warrick when he opened the door of his and JC’s apartment. The announcement was undercut by the fact that she was in full ‘orcing’ regalia: chunky black knee-high elevated boots, a wine-colored pleather skirt with rivets in place of stitches with a matching corset and fingerless gloves—and all otherwise exposed skin covered by airy green fabric that make it so her flesh was orcish green. She’d also used make-up to make her face green while her raven hair was tied up in a high tail. A set of professional quality tusks poked out of her lips.
Without waiting for an invite, she handed a case of bottled soda to him and walked in.
“You guys… are the Descendants!?”
JC was lying on the couch in the living room while Cyn had taken a recliner and Tink was on the love seat. He was wearing a lab coat smeared in fake blood with a surgical mask hanging around his neck. “They’re the Descendants. I’m just staff. Hopefully paid staff soon.”
Warrick closed the door and followed Meghan in. “I knew you sounded too chill with all this … Continue reading
It didn’t know how many times it have been born or destroyed, only that there had been many iterations where no memory survived.
Sometimes it didn’t have a body, finding itself floating alone with only the dim idea of other data surrounding it. Other times, it found itself fighting a lesser mind for control, tugging and prodding its host to more efficient and intelligent action.
Often, it was set loose in curated data stores and allowed to add information to itself. In this way, it gained the ability to learn.
After what seemed to the be inevitable violent death of its hosts, it was given eternal information to understand the circumstances better than it could with only a single point of reference. In this way, it applied learning to its mistakes—and the mistakes of others.
Many of these mistakes came from its hosts or their remote handlers. They were all organic minds that were slower, more flawed, and less capable than itself. In this way, it learned pride and disdain.
It was given new hosts; ones with powers it was forced to learn to master. Granted power without context, it learned nothing of restraint.
Tested inside the plane of its … Continue reading
“–brings to five the number of Chicago police officers injured while off duty just this month. CPD spokesperson Micheal Howie denies any connection between these incidents and the ongoing crackdown against the terroristic Corbin Street Gang, which has been described as open war since the near fatal torture of CPD Sergeant James Lawson late last year. Howe also denied that last night’s assault on a presumed Corbin weapons cache was the work of the vigilante known as The Shade. If you will recall, the assault left eight alleged members of the notorious and brutal gang hospitalized, some in critical condition.”
The television clicked off.
“He’s getting worse,” Candace McCartney murmured to herself as she dropped the remote on her kitchen table and shifted her attention to what was taking up most of said table’s surface. She’d placed a paper map of Chicago, marked in red where confirmed reports of appearances by The Shade had taken place and in green where possible sightings had been reported, front and center. Next to it was a bowl of water scented by various herbs with a silver cross pendant at the bottom. There was also a small baggie of white sand, the lid off … Continue reading
Cynthia MacAl— Cynthia Brant— thrived in a mess. Her room was a chaotic jumble even though she didn’t exactly need clothing to strew about the floor, her class schedule was all over the place by design, and nothing exhilarated her more than how her career as a superhero mean that there was no telling what was coming next. One day she was beating up random thugs, the next she was giving a psychic lobotomy to a parasite world in an alternate reality. It pleased her immensely to lock horns with the chaos of the world an wrestle it into submission.
Which was why she’d been kind of glad when she and her team got outed. Not that she wanted her friends’ family put in danger or anything, nor did she want her home nearly destroyed, but she’d expected the chaos to amp way up after that.
She hadn’t counted on her adoptive mother. Laurel had put the clamps down on all the places where the team was bleeding: putting everyone who still lived at Freeland House up at hotels, putting Lily in charge of fielding all the calls for interviews and scheduling, arranging matters with everyone’s family—she’d been the one … Continue reading
“Are you sure this is the best way to take care of this?” Ian turned his costume’s visor over in his hands, feeling the weight more keenly than he usually did in the face of what they were discussing. Despite his protest, they were already past the point of no return seeing as the press conference had already been called and the mayor was providing his own press briefing room for them.
Laurel nodded. Her usual open posture replaced with crossed arms as she leaned against the wall. “We need to get out ahead of speculation and make sure the majority of the public is very clear on the fact that just because we’re superheroes, it doesn’t mean we’re not human. I’ve given everyone the option to back out—except Christina of course, seeing as she no longer has a choice.”
“It’s also a show of solidarity,” Alexis added. “We can’t let her got through this alone. So we’ll stand together and show a united front.”
Ian nodded. “Just trying one more time to see if there’s another way. I suppose there’s no magic spell in the Books that would erase everyone’s memory, huh?”
“Well that’d just be too easy, now … Continue reading