The fabrics and armors of the Daxamite pod's uniform cache were extremely outdated, covered in a pristine nebulous space print that was both startlingly enthralling and unbelievably retro. Q had fallen in love with it immediately, and Mon-El had ignored the twinge of discomfort at the back of his mind as he explained the design was that of the night sky as seen from Daxam. He pointed out nearby systems for his friends, such as the home of the by now infamous Xudarians. They were his go to when he felt the need to poke fun at aliens, it was just so easy to joke about their soft scaled skin, their webbed fins, their snoutish beaks and improbable wings.
When Reep had pointed to the pale spot of Krypton amongst a backdrop of tinier specks, he stopped breathing for a solid ten seconds. Dread built in his chest, and his heart clenched and sped up, it felt like the most horrible inkling of something terrible his memory was just one stray thought away from recapturing. He had pretended not to hear and changed the subject.
Regardless, Reep had torn the uniforms to strips with neat, precise lines before sewing them together with various other materials to create their first supersuit; a tight midnight suit, speckled with deep violet dust and silver spatters of minuscule starlight, adorned by a distinctive gray hard-vest, accented in red. It was very spandex-esque, tight in all the right places, and some of the wrong ones, but they were blast-proof, fire-proof, and the fibers were hard and sterile, less durable than Kevlar, but useful and capable of keeping out contaminants while providing protection from extreme temperatures. They were made from crash-apparel after all, and spaceships came with all sorts of nasty problems when they exploded. The outfit was completed by a steel headband, modeled after his mother's royal diadem, but their design emitted a low energy pulse that disrupted the invisible waves of light around their faces, making photos and videos of their features blurry, but not interfering with natural eyesight.
The first one was for Q obviously, this had all been her plan after all, and she was eager to finally have a hero costume to match her hero alias. Kid Q slipped wore it with pride, using the band to hold her hair back and slipping on a pair of shades, a red and white bomber jacket, matching red chucks, and blowing pink bumble gum through a shit-eating grin. Her statement that this was the coolest look she'd ever sported was extremely gratifying for their chipper Durlan, who rolled out the next suit in half the time.
Mon-El's suit was the same design as Q's in essence, but given his power of flight and the need for maneuverability in the air, his came with a bright red cape. He refused the idea of shoes, for all that the suit allowed for them they were unnecessary and more likely to simply be smashed to shreds from any hard landings. He'd made to take up one of Brin's pairs of shades, but the wolfish teen had told him in no uncertain terms that he would not be putting his laser eyes anywhere near his lenses. Which was honestly a fair point.
Reep promised to finish the rest before the next mission, but he needed to finish the collar and Kid Q and Valor had their own work to do.
"Ready for this Q?" He asked, carefully hovering just over her head-height in the alley outside Amnesia. The steel over his brow was an unfamiliar itch, and the tights were pinching his ass when he walked, but all in all it didn't feel too strange. Mostly he was just nervous about taking Q into a fight against a personified flamethrower. Also a bit nervous that some anti-alien or anti-meta or anti-whatever would shoot them. Jump City was untested, for all that they had aliens and metas neither group had been in the spotlight long enough for public opinion to really make itself known, something that Mon-El suspected the police themselves were helping along. The fact that Lazon had a file at the JCPD but wasn't mentioned in the news at all was pretty telling.
Q popped another piece of gum nonchalantly, but her moment of silence spent glancing from him to the nearest skyscraper gave her nerves away. "Come on Val," she said with a grin, which spread wider at his huff at the nickname. First from Valorium to Valor, and now even that was too many syllables for her. Humans. Ugh. "Don't worry about it, we practiced remember? Just get me up there."
He nodded, mentally reassuring himself he'd be keeping a close eye on her no matter what anyway. Holding out his hands, she took each in her own, and then they were off. He lifted steadily at first, and then quicker and quicker as he shot away from the ground and into the sky, racing pasts the shorter single-digit story buildings around them and towards the top of the glass pillars that stretched over a hundred story's a block over.
Grinning in blind joy at the panicked squeak his friend made below him, Mon-El couldn't keep himself from chuckling. His tight grip around her wrists sent his worry packing into the dust, so he didn't fear her actually falling from his grip, but he did find some amusement at her bluster crumbling as they rapidly gained altitude.
The second her feet touched the ground of the skyscraper's roof she immediately collapsed to all fours. "What the fuck, Mon-El!" She hissed between clenched teeth and making her way to her feet so she could glare at him. "You didn't go that fast in practice! Aw man, I spat my gum..." She crossed her arms and huffed at his smirk.
"Hey, you said you were ready!" Which, yeah, but that wasn't his real reason for deviating from their practice. He was a bit ashamed to admit it, but a split second after taking off an idea to test if his friend was really ready popped into his head. Hit her with something harmless that she wasn't expecting, see how she handled it. Mon-El felt bad about it now, it wasn't his... it wasn't his job to lookout for her, but that wasn't true was it? Out of everyone in their group, he was the most powerful, the only one with any kind of leadership training, and for all that he was new it wasn't until he'd shown up that Reep and Brin had felt confident enough about the hero thing to commit to it. So... he'd have to make it official, maybe have a vote later? They voted on everything on Earth right? Or they pretended to anyway, democracies-that-aren't-actually-democracies and all that.
Q shook off the mini-scare with ease, for all that she was cross with him over it, she hadn't panicked or acted rashly and was already moving past it and checking the GPS attached to her belt to orient herself. He smirked, pleased. She really was ready. All that talk about wanting to be a superhero and gushing over the opportunity and here it was and she just... did it. No hang ups or regrets, she knew what she wanted and she could actually handle it too.
"C'mon, Brin's lead won't last long. I'll be close by." He barely caught the muttered 'asshole' as he took off into the sky again.
With a sigh Q walked over to the edge, peered over the side and considered the sheer height she was at with no small amount of trepidation. IT'd take more than a few practice runs to get used to that. She took a deep breath, and focused her power. The air before her began to glow a light pink, trapped in a flat rectangular shape that rapidly settled into a small platform of 'solid' air. It wasn't actually solid, it was just normal air but their molecules had been frozen in stasis and bound together in such a shape that they couldn't fall without the other molecules also trapped in stasis falling too. It should have increased it's collective weight, and it definitely should have gained even more weight when Q dangled it over open air and stepped on it herself. Instead it simply began to glide slowly away from the top of the roof, only slightly inclined towards a fall, but more or less Q had a hover board. Or, well, a glider-board. It didn't hover so much as slide through the air like a very thin and rigid piece of paper.
Kneeling on her gliding platform to keep her balance, Q kept careful control of her stasis field, adding more of her own weight forward to gain speed. She didn't go as fast as Mon-El, not yet, but she successfully had her own mode of air-travel. Now if only Reep could invent a jet pack for her so she didn't need Mon-El to help her reach the height needed to actually glide from.
Speaking of Mon-El, he flew ahead of her, eyes scanning the ground closer to their destination. The place was in sight already, not too far away from Amnesia, at least not by using this method. It was away from the center of the city, amidst the lower buildings and some of the poorer districts.
She kept silent as she reconsidered her eyewear accessory, she may have looked cool and it may have kept her from being recognized by anyone who might know her face, but it was nearly midnight and so very dark out here away from the digital advertisements and glowing towers of glass and light. With another huff she slipped them off and hoped no one she knew actually lived in this direction.
Then Mon-El startled, his glaring red cape whipping back in a strange sharp ripple as he came to an abrupt halt in the air a short distance in front of her. Just as she was preparing to call to him and his advanced hearing to ask what was up, he shot off like a rocket, far faster than he'd ever flown with her - probably because she had no doubt her neck would snap at such speeds. "Damn it Mon-El," she cursed, hesitantly pouring more weight forward to increase her own speed past her comfort zone. On the one hand, she knew she could stasis herself if she fell, and while it would be jarring it would keep her from dying, or sever injury, but on the other hand if Mon-El was racing off without her she couldn't afford to get trapped on the ground and have to walk to their target.
"Okay, okay, think, you've got this Jazz- Q, Kid Q, hero who can solve all the problems. Right. Right"
Making a hasty decision to risk it all on a trick she had no idea would work, she threw herself forward off her platform and immediately created another one where her foot was supposed to land. And again. Again. Again. By creating a chain of invisible trapped-in-stasis air-platforms, she was effectively running on air! Who needs a jet pack now nerds! "Whoo! This is awesome! Yeah!" Now that she could run on air (holy shit!) instead of gliding through it, she could move even faster! This was way better than the gliding thing too, the longer she had to hold onto a stasis field the more energy and concentration she needed to keep it going, but here she created one and dropped it a second later! Sure it was just air, so it wasn't hard to freeze it in a 4x4 space-time plank, but it was such a relief she could do this now.
"Hot damn Mon-El, I'm coming for your cape!" She crowed gleefully. Then she saw the blast of fire shooting up into the sky and promptly increased her pace tenfold, sprinting through the air with renewed determination. Damn! Human! Legs! Move faster!
She finally caught sight of them, Mon-El- er, Valor, was standing in a smoking crater in the middle of the deserted street, and across from him an unassuming human shape stood in an orange hoodie and a pair of shades. She let herself have a moment of regret for taking her own off, because whoo boy, that was not fire he was shooting.
Scorching beams of light shot from the guy's hands, leaving trails of smoking tarmac as the beams moved rapidly across the street towards her friend, who was dazedly clutching his head. Q could only assume he'd been shot out of the sky and that's why he was in a crater. Suddenly her plan to follow Mon-El through the air seemed extremely risky, new air-running technique or no. The guy caught sight of her easily, noticed her costume matched his other assailant, and then promptly turned into some kind of freaky light gremlin and shot through the sky right at her.
She gasped and dropped the platform below her, quickly free-falling right out of the gremlin's path and creating another platform to land on a few feet down. Deciding she had enough of being in the open air, she dropped the rest of the way to the ground and ran to Valor's side. "Valor! You idiot; do not go ahead alone, you dumbass oh my god." She punched him lightly on the arm, mostly to check if he was okay.
Mon-El shook the concrete dust out of his hair and fixed his skewed headband, shooting Q a miffed look over her assault but silently agreeing anyway to her vehement request. "So it turns out," he grumbled sarcastically, "our Lazon? Not an alien!" He refocused on the spot of light in the air lining them up for another shot and intercepted with his own attack. The feeling of laserbeams shooting out of his eyes was just as morbidly fascinating/terrifying as he'd imagined, but they tore through Lazon's lightbeam attack with only minimal struggle.
"Oh ho!" Their target laughed with a distorted voice, "You think you can match my light? Hah!" They barely had time to skip out of the way, clambering up the side of the mini-crater together and away from the burst of light that promptly set fire to the place they'd just been stood. "You know, it's actually a good thing you're here! JC needs some heroes, you have no idea what kind of nasty shit is going on right under your noses!"
Q gave Mon-El a look that clearly demanded an explanation, because seriously, what the hell. "Metahuman." He said shortly, still annoyed at being caught off guard by the attack. "His attacks look like gentle little sunbeams, right? They're not. They're just flaming sprocking lasers."
"Uh huh... and the turning into a sparkly light gremlin?" Mon-El just shrugged at her. Great, could they even hurt that? She couldn't trap light in stasis. "Right, you got a plan?" Because she definitely didn't, this was not what they'd prepared for at all.
"Oh I've got a plan all right!" He grunted, sort of shrinking into a crouch and launching himself at full speed towards the flying pyromaniac criminal. He halted in midair and blasted laser eyes at him again, this time they were so bright they left a flashing dark line in her vision as she tried to blink away the spots.
Lazon seemed to have the same problem, blinded by the light and crashing into the ground. As he tumbled across the tarmac he lost his creepy glowing form and became human once more. Now that she could trap.
Mon-El landed beside her, a pleased smirk on his lips. "Weird that our guy controls light, but he's only seen after dark right? And that light form, no way he sees normally without physical eyes." Q filled in the rest easily enough, returning his smug smirk with her own cheery one. Eyes made of light equals light-based vision. Weird, but apparently accurate. She really envied Mon-El his advanced education, she was pretty sure everything he'd just said and implied didn't fit with the human understanding of the universe, and yet he'd deduced a probable solution in what? Ten minutes? Yeesh.
Lazon made his way to his feet unsteadily, blinking rapidly and rubbing his eyes. Q and Mon-El quickly discarded their conversation to get the drop on him while he was still blind. A stasis field trapped him in place for the few seconds it took Mon-El to close the distance and knock him out with a solid elbow bash to the side of the head.
He hit the dirt with a solid thunk, and Q threw her hands up and cheered. "Whoop! Yeaaah! Look out Jump City, you've got some new heroes around to beat that criminal ass!" She laughed giddily at Mon-El's fond scoff as he threw their guy over his shoulder.
"That magical running on air thing, that new?" He asked mildly, and she let out another exuberant cheer as she remembered that yes, she could run on air now!
Reep's collar worked like a charm, with some minor modifications to deal with the fact Lazon was a metahuman, not an alien. Brin's cell was more or less a cage with bars on all sides and some kind of bullet proof glass welded to it. Not exactly aesthetically pleasing, but neither was Reep's collar. It did work well enough for their purposes though, for now anyway, and hopefully they'd have a solution for that soon.
"Nice job," Reep commented, sounding more thoughtful than excited. Mon-El turned to him with a raised eyebrow. Reep didn't like to share his thoughts unless prompted, but everyone knew he always had thoughts to share. Apparently the raised eyebrow was enough of a prompt. "There's a mystery here, a case if you will." Reep explained simply, "Brin's source tipped him off about Lazon carving another threat onto the side of a building-"
"Yeah, some kind of store filled with chemicals and highly flammable substances." Mon-El interrupted, it was why he'd left Q behind moments after coming to the resolution of keeping close to make sure she didn't fall from the sky. If left unchecked the guy was definitely going to blow himself and the entire street up, considering 'carving into the side of a building' for him was done by searing the message in using extremely hot laserbeams.
"Right, a gas station." Reep ignored Mon-El's frown of bemusement at the term and kept going: "A place also marked by our taurus gang, and!" Reep pulled up a picture on his phone of the tattoo the hospitalized taurus goons had, and then swiped to a new picture of the same tattoo, the same taurus mark. "Whoever the Taurus Gang are, Lazon was apart of it." Reep said swiftly, zooming out from the picture and revealing it to be a tattoo on the back of Lazon's neck.
The two looked at each in thoughtful silence. They had their guy, but there was so much more to learn... It'd have to wait until Lazon woke up though, Mon-El had overestimated his superstrength and Reep had determined he'd be out for a few days at least.
"I did have another idea," Reep eventually continued, a mischievous grin stretching his lips.
Mon-El laughed, Reep was quickly becoming his favorite; he was smart, cheery, and secretly a deviant little trickster. "Okay then, let's see it."
When Reep fished out a square shaped leather pocket from a nearby drawer and held it out to him, Mon-El rolled his eyes fondly and opened it. It unfolded and he realized he was holding some kind of wallet, something everyone but him had, and there was some kind of shiny silver badge in it, as well as cards with his face and 'name' on them. The human alias Q came up with; Mike Matthews, and various other inaccurate bits of information.
"...alright, what is this?" He asked, confused but still willing to play along.
Reep tapped the badge; "That's JCPD," he said smugly. "Congratulations on your promotion, Detective Matthews. As the new guy at the station you'll have to earn the squad's respect, but by your resume you've got a good head on your shoulders, and with these new heroes in town more talent is desperately needed." Reep mimed smoking a cigar, imitating a deep gruff stern police captain voice, Mon-El's smile growing wider and wider with every word.
Oh yes, Reep was definitely his favorite. He'd mentioned needing an in with local law enforcement weeks ago, maybe even a whole month, and yet somehow the little Durlan had not only remembered, but solved the problem without any prompting and simultaneously securing him an income and human identity at the same time.
He inspected his new badge, happy gleam in his eyes.