Status

User has no status, yet

Bio

User has no bio, yet

Most Recent Posts

Very int. In this int check.

Check my high level Int.



Some Years Ago...


The house is chaotic. Helen and Brian Connolly had brought their sons Dennis and Sean to her father's for Christmas and for once the big, empty house was abuzz with life.

"Dennis, get off your behind and help out!"

Or the Connolly family's approximation of it.

Dennis was laying back on the lounge listening to MP3s with headphones on. He rocked forward and pulled out his left plug.


"Where's Sean at? Why doesn't he have to help out?"

"I didn't ask Sean, I asked you. Now get up and set the table."

Dennis got to his feet and trudged into the kitchen to get the plates and cutlery, whilst his mother wrestled with the turkey.


Meanwhile, downstairs in the basement a grandfather and his grandson were in the midst of an historic transition. Fitting, with Christmas being a day for tradition in so many households.

Few like this family, though.

Sean stood silently and respectfully in a long, skin-tight blue, yellow and red outfit with a large gold eagle emblem emblazoned upon his chest whilst his grandfather approached holding an oak box, a little over a foot in length, horizontally in front of himself.

This was a day he'd waited quite some time for. He'd put so much work in, proving himself with years of hard work and an exemplary record of long standing good ethics. Today was the payoff. The perfect 40 yard spiral in the Championship game after months of throwing it through tyres. The beachtime bod after the thousands of situps. The graduation with honours after years of cramming and long nights spents putting in the work.

Goal, hard work, payoff.

His grandfather opened up the long box and removed the Golden Rod with the small eagle emblem which he'd long ago metalworked onto the base of the handle as a younger man. Once more feeling the weight of the powerful item in his wrinkled hands. He smiled, both out of memory for what the pair of them had been able to accomplish over the years, but also out of pride for his grandson.

He held the Golden Rod out and Sean took it in his grasp. He held it aloft and a bright golden light glowed from the end, growing brighter and seemingly sending all shadow in the basement scurrying away, helpless from the seemingly omnipresent source of light in their midst.

The pair's smiles grew wider as they watched as Sean gaped in wonder at the amazing light show the grandson was able to put on. Alan began to wonder if this display was even brighter than he was able to get the Rod to shine, even at his greatest peak...

"HA HA HA HA HA HAAA!"


Laughter echoed from the top of the stairs.

"Man, you look like a tapeworm in that getup. Spandex is NOT flattering, and you can see EVERYTHING..."

"Get out of here, Dennis!" Barked Sean.

"It's not Spandex. It's A-Q-Fiber. An engineered aramid fibre type which combines the external heat resistence of Nomex and the ballistic capabilities of kevlar." Alan corrected, scowling at the black sheep.

"...and the spandex properties which allows you to see the full outline of his meat and potatoes. Ha-Ha! You look skinnier than me in that! What was the point of all those pushups and weights in football just to get around looking scrawnier then I do?! HA HA HA!"

"I DO NOT look skinnier than you!" Sean barked back, pointing at Dennis with the Golden Rod in one hand and cupping his genitalia selfconsciously with the other.

"Sorry 'little bro'." Standing up from his hunched over position at the top of the staircase and spinning around showing off his own snow jacket. "It's why I wear this kind of stuff. Can't tell where the coat stops and the me starts. I could be anywhere in this. You'd never catch me wearing anything like that..."

"Well, Dennis... Nobody's asking you to." Alan spat back venomously. The words stopped the older grandson in his tracks and he turned and went back up the stairs and left the pair alone.

Alan adjusted the suit from where it had bunched up around Sean's shoulders.

Sean opened his mouth to say something to his grandfather, only gor the older man to cut him off.


"I know. I know. It's just a big moment for you and I won't have him--." The older man stopped and composed himself. "He'll get over it."




Later on the assembled family were all gathered around by the Christmas tree. Sean back in his LHU letterman jacket and Brian Connolly dressed in red, with a hat and fake beard years beyond the time everybody in attendance had ceased believing in Santa Claus, periodically firing off "Ho Ho Ho"s (perhaps more similar in delivery to Long John Silver than any traditional portrayal of Father Christmas, as Dennis had noted, to considerably more good humour and mirth than his appraisal of his brother's outfit) and distributing the presents from under the tree.

"Aaaaaand here's one for yooooou, Dennis! HO! HO! HOOOOOO!" His father said.


"Thanks, but now you're sounding more ghost than pirate or Santa... Ahhh you'll hit the right note eventually, Pops." He said, taking the large rectangular box covered in green and red Christmas wrapping.

He tore the paper clear and removed the lid, revealing an old surplus, fleece-lined aviator's flight jacket. It had a set of wings on the pocket, was two sizes two big, just like most of the clothes Dennis chose to wear.


"Awww thanks Ma, this is perfect!" He got up and gave his mother a hug.

"How'd you--? Alright... AND your father. It's a gift from the both of us."


"Sure, Ma." He said, in acquiescence.

The gift giving continued, Alan getting some jazz records from Dennis and some kind of modern newfangled coffee machine which wouldn't see out the year. Sean received a football jersey that had been taken around the lockerroom and signed by 50-odd players of some pro team or another, and socks from his grampa (because his 'real' present came before). Cufflinks which he'd seldom use for Brian, along with a flask which would see only a little more use. And Helen received a vast number of smaller gifts, which somewhat showed who tended to be responsible for collaborating and finding the 'big' gifts.

Christmas would go on a little longer before most of the family would pile into the Range Rover, and head on home. Leaving Alan Coghlan's home as painfully quiet as it had been since Margie's passing some years ago.

Alan made a token effort to tidy up, and then truly feeling the emptiness of the house, decided to go to bed and clean the house proper in the morning, when the absence of family would be less felt.





This Year...


Dennis pulled his fleece-lined aviator flight jacket tightly around him as he looked over Lost Haven from his chilly perch atop the Chambers Building. He'd spent much of the night ensuring that many of the city's homeless safely found their ways to the shelters which were more heavily funded and resourced this time of year. It was plenty cold and nobody should go without a good meal in them at this time of year.

Violent crime seemed to dry up somewhat immediately around Christmas, but that didn't leave him without people to help. Along with the homeless, self harm situations and suicides were generally high around this time of year. A time for family is often a bitter reminder for those who have lost theirs, or feel they have. As he pulled his jacket tight around himself, Dennis felt his own losses again. He sighed and saw his own breath in the cold air.

So much of this, being the Aquilifer, extends beyond just punching villains and stopping muggers. Grampa started this believing he could be an inspirational figure. A beacon of hope for people, to strive for more. To believe in betterness, both in themselves and the world around them. A sense of renewed hope. And sometimes it was difficult to figure out just how to be that. It took a sort of lateral thinking beyond the normal, the sense to find new ways to use almost inconceivable power and project it with that sense of purpose.

It seldom came naturally.

He looked out over the city. He'd filled the shelters and soup kitchens. No muggers out and about. No world destroying villains. No bankrobbers. Maybe he could call it an early night... or maybe even go down and give some local tourists a thrill. He looked straight down the building at the people directly below and saw the lights.

The Chambers Building had a series of green and red lights all up the side of it, on all four sides. Shaped in the form of great big Christmas trees on every point of the compass, overlooking all the burroughs of Lost Haven. It was another nice little thing the city would do this time of year. He looked up at the telecommunications antenna and smiled.





On the city's streets below, Maria Rodriguez tried to assemble her three kids for a photo in front of the Christmas tree in Sherman Square with the iconic Chambers building in the background. She'd repeatedly try setting her phone's camera down on a solid surface and scurry over to try and wrangle the children with varying degrees of futility.

"You kids! We're never going to get this shot for your Abuela! Now this time, come in and behave!"

She went back to the phone and was disappointed with the results again. A fair-faced young woman was walking past and saw the woman struggling. She reached out for the phone and offered to help.

"Salud! Gracias, oh thank you, Senorita! Thank you so much. Can you get the tree and the Chay-mbers in the background too, please, Miss?"

Maria got back in line with her kids. The young lady had a look at the phone in her hands. It was a good modern smartphone. Unlocked. Possibly even had internet banking attached... Almost certainly had personal details that would have been valuable for--

"Thank you again, Senorita! Now, you kids, don't you waste too much of this nice young lady's time!"

The young woman stopped and smiled, she framed the family up in the photo with the building and tree in the background just as she'd asked, watching the family closely to make sure none of the kids squirmed or pulled untimely faces. She took three shots, just to be safe so that the hurried mother could pick her favourite to send, and then held the phone out for Maria to come and take it.

Maria rushed over and took her phone back to look at the photos and thanked her again, checking the kids were all behaving. The younger woman said "That's more than fine." and turned to leave, before she heard Mrs Rodriguez' exclaimation.

"¡Mis cielos! ¡Un ángel!"

She turned curiously, to see what the older woman was talking about. Then realized it wasn't just in the photo.

There was murmuring all around, and she turned to see what was receiving all of this talk of the divine and saw it almost instantly.

There was a star atop the Chambers Building Christmas tree.

She squinted to penetrate the bright light and recognized it immediately. The same angel who saved her life the day the Hounds came for her. They had killed one sister and the other had selfishly fled without any regard.

He'd saved her and set her down safely without a scratch, whilst he soared over the city luring the killers away.

The whole city was seeing the same angel she'd seen on that day. A tear fell on her cheek.

Far atop the city, Dennis balanced atop the telecommunications antenna, setting the Golden Rod to shine just as bright as he could get it to go and laughing joyfully, his flight jacket flapping wildly in the winter night.

But Dennis didn't feel cold at all. Not this night.



'Twas the night before Christmas, when through yon meth-house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
Apparatus were strewn around, shattered without care,
And the chefs and muscle-for-hire were equally impaired;
Bones fractured, men broken, all unconscious as if snug in their beds;
And doubtless concussions from the bell-ringing delivered to heads;

Whilst up on the roof, wrestling with his grappling gun and poor aim,
Stood a familiar Vigilante, more satisfaction than shame,
The grapple hook missed its target, he curses, as the hook gives its clatter,
With nary a thought for the preceding violent splatter.
The hook breaks through a window with an audible SMASH!
And sighing, he takes it, swinging on the line in a flash,

The moon catches his teeth as he flashes a grin,
Another night's toil; he laid waste to sin,
The scar tissue on his knuckles throbs without feeling,
A meagre comparison to the drug den of felons left reeling,
He swings down to a car; awaiting without plates,
Looks like any other, further attention; it seldom rates,

More rapid than an eagle his car swoops round a corner,
Frustrated and with lane changes, he lays off the horn, a

"Now, You bucket of bolts! You clunker! You lemon!
Let's hightail it out of here! The gas has been stepped-on!"
Came out of his voice with a mechanical twang,
Designed to mask any and all familiar pangs,

He downshifts, now comfortable that he'd put in enough space,
And that 'Cooktown's Finest' had not given chase,
He would park once again and seek the high ground,
Patroling his city for any crime to be found.
Later, another twinkling, can be heard on a roof
The grapple hook followed, by thick-booted hoof.

Once more he aims grapple-gun high, it strikes a skyscraper's gilding,
With a smirk, he hits auto-recoil, and flies up the tall building,
He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all matted with blood, dirt and soot;
A bundle of 'toys' he had flung on his back,
But t'were tools of violence, resting within his pack.

His flashbangs would twinkle! Nightsticks, how merry!
When brought down with a CRUNCH, they'd leave quite a cherry!
His droll little mouth was light up with a leer,
Catching the moonlight when his violence brought cheer;
It would contrast so richly with his balaklava's dark pitch,
He'd attack from the shadows, knock em flat out, but for a twitch.

His head on a swivel, from his perch he surveyed the dark night,
For the other types of malevolence that would feed upon fright,
A mugger, a rapist, or signs of drive-by;
What other's would seek to avoid, he instead hoped to spy.
A flash of his grin and a twist of his head
Gave proof to the fact he saw something we'd dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And checked his pack's presence; then turned with a jerk,
And grasping his line he descended to a more suitable perch,
His eyes flashed to once again find the target of his previous search;
A well practised descent, he dropped; soft, silent as a cloud,
Darkness fell upon muggers like a pitch black shroud.

A mechanical growl, and before they could flee--

“Ho Ho Ho! Forget 'All'. Merry Christmas to Me!
SO I'm working on porting The Ambassador over here, @nitemare shape @Hound55 @Dedonus just a smol suggestion for maybe adding a section to the character sheets. A bullet point form for RP hooks - where the player can write in bullet form ideas/instances/scenarios where other characters will have an easier time connecting or interacting with the character for good ooc info. Like a quick access info area. It's not heavy on details, and if someone wants to get more details they can, of course, read the rest of the sheet. But ye! Just a suggestion.


I was actually going to do something similar to this and was then struck by a mix of laziness, forgetfulness and distraction...

T H E C O N S T R U C T I O N O F T H E
C O M M O N W E A L T H O F A U S T R A L A S I A



Princes Park, Victoria - 1955


Bob Menzies listened on as George Harris and Howard Houston prattled on about this and that. Usually he’d be well entwined with their conversation, however on this occasion his thoughts were otherwise occupied, rendering him as little more than a mere token presence – as undoubtedly his good man Harold would be losing his positive temperament being left to the harsh elements on such a day, abandoned at a losing football match he’d been dragged out to. Menzies swirled his Southerly Buster in his left hand and tried to pick up the conversation once more, dropping ash off his cigar with a quick tap of his right hand’s ring finger. It would do him no good being ostracized by these men. George Harris was a driven, willful man, it saw him out of Changi during the war, and Bob had little doubt he’d one day be the Club President of this fine football club.



“So did you hear about Ongarello, Bob?” Harris asked, forcing the Prime Minister to break his current silence.

“Fitzroy’s wog full forward fellow? More shanks than Australian Lamb. Sure, we saw them off just the other week, a fortnight ago, right?” Referring to their last home victory, and their player's general reputation for inaccuracy.

Howard had a knowing chuckle seeing where this conversation was going. “Yes, I heard about a few of his goals from last week.”

Harris continued, “Yes. Scored two goals off of placekicks against Geelong down at Brunswick last week.”

“Placekicks?” Menzies queried.

The other pair nodded and chuckled knowingly, waiting to see the response of the elder statesman’s bluster. “Placekicks. Imagine expecting the whole world to wait on you.”

The other pair laughed, as Bob raised his bushy eyebrows, and lowered his glass after draining its contents. He was about to leave when Harris hooked his elbow and asked him with a hushed whisper. “And as for the other thing..?”

Bob drew back and straightened his suit, a smile broadly crossing his face. “Suffice to say, I believe we shall have some ‘Gold’ standard views coming up in our near future.”

This pleased the other men greatly, who shared a knowing nod. "Splendid!"

“In fact if we play our cards right I wouldn't be surprised if we may even be sitting in our own named sections on the outer in a few years. But what could a humble Prime Minister say, to a future President..?”

The men laughed and finished their drinks, watching the politician leave to return to his seat for the second half.

Howard turned to George and got straight to the point, now that Menzies was out of earshot.

“Do you think he’ll do it? Really? Bring the Olympic Games here to Princes Park?”

“I know there’s few things, if any, that man cares more about than our Carlton Football club. As for whether he could actually do it? Who knows? But he’s put his name to it. Carlton will have his guts for garters if he doesn’t pull through. Sounds pretty good though, doesn’t it? 'The George Harris Stand'...”

* * * * *


Bob ambled back to his seat. Carlton down two goals at the half to the auld enemy Collingwood Magpies, courtesy of some free kicks the Princes Park faithful had deemed to be highly dubious. The weather still wet and blustery, the middle of the park churned into it’s trademark gluestick from the state of the first half’s play.

He saw his compatriot Harold Holt still sitting next to his empty seat up in the grandstand, looking about as miserable as the weather. Menzies was in no rush to meet him, he carefully carried back a drink for the other man. He’d abandoned him in this monsoon, to go and check in on his own quagmire with the ‘Members’. Still, the look on his chosen number two’s face wouldn’t do at all. Might give others the wrong idea.

“Scrub the dour look, Harold. You’re amongst your constituents here.” Bob announced, sliding between legs to return to his seat whilst carefully holding out the drink as if it contained the elixir of life.

Harold Holt looked up with a start, at the return of the Prime Minister before looking around himself at his immediate surroundings. He’d recently transferred to the safe new Liberal seat of Higgins from Fawkner, which put him a few suburbs over from Princes Park. This put a furrow across the younger man’s brow.

“My constituents, Bob? A little off there with your geography, aren’t you?” He reached out, taking the drink.

“Higgins, my lad. Henry Bourne Higgins himself, that your seat was named after, was this club’s very President back in nineteen-oh-four.”

"Well, given the circumstances I hope I can count on his vote. Since I'm more likely to get sick sitting around in this bloody torrential downpour, than if I went 'round the traps kissing every baby with cholera."

Menzies laughed and let the younger man have his gripe. Harold looked at the elder statesman and tried to discern if his warmth of his laugh was genuine, or if it were at his expense for having the sway to drag him out here in the first place. Harold decided it wasn't worth the time or effort to think about, and diverted the conversation to what was really bothering him.

"So are we going to get down to brass tacks as to why you brought me out to this deluge, or do I have to be completely saturated to the bone first?"

"Why Harold, I thought you loved a good swim." Menzies replied with a wry grin. "But if you're that bothered by it, I brought you down here to discuss your taking point on a major upcoming development project." He stuffed a fresh cigar in his mouth.

Harold now had an idea where this was going, and raised his eyebrows in surprise. Robert Menzies had this habit of revealing just enough to his ministers that they could figure out where he was going before he actually said it. He found it empowered them and made them feel steps ahead, and up on things. A position Menzies liked, particularly with this young up-and-comer Holt.

Menzies pulled his cigar out between fingers. "The Snowy River Hydroelectric Scheme." He clipped his cigar and lit it, watching the game whilst waiting for the younger man's response.

"The Snowy? But I thought you railed against that when Chifley was pushing for it?"

Menzies rolled his eyes at the the younger minister being so slow on the uptake. "If the Labor Party only ever had stupid ideas it wouldn't be an achievement to get elected, now would it Harold?"

Holt's response had been a sullen jab brought on more from the discomfort than any real news, though, and both men knew it. In reality much of the work had been taking place for some years now, it was a popular policy point electing many and bringing a boosted sense of public confidence for the major engineering feat, even beyond the improvements to electricity and irrigation infrastructure and the widescale employment boons. A poke in the eye before the thankful acceptance and consideration.

"Well of course I'll take it on, although I am curious why this would fall to me. It wouldn't have anything to do with my family's South Australian ties to smooth over their concerns for how it'll affect their water flow downstream, now, would it?"

Menzies and the crowd jumped to their feet with a chorus of "BALL!" as one of the Collingwood Magpies players was tackled from behind and dragged into the growing mudpatch out in the middle.

Harold wondered if the Prime Minister had heard him, but soon found his answer as the older man replied. "Please Harold, these shots really are tiresome. I thought I was speaking to my Minister, not the media. Are you, or are you not, presently the Minister for Labour and National Service and the Minister for Immigration?"

"Well, yes."

"That's why you got the tap, old son. That coathanger they built up in Sydney Harbour has nothing on this in terms of feats of engineering prowess. You're perfectly placed for it. Whoever I put on it from cabinet would have had to work with you both because of your Labour and Immigration portfolios, we're going to have to bring in some top flight engineers. We've already worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to organize training, tech assistance and, in all honesty, we'll probably get the odd engineer from there over here on it. We've pulled this guy William Hudson over from across the Tasman to head the scheme. A lot of the real groundwork has already been done, and frankly, it's solid. I'm handballing you a sweetheart assignment that's primed to make you look good whilst you're still holding those portfolios. The correct response is 'Thank you, Bob. I won't let you down, mate.'"

Menzies took a deep draw on his cigar and went back to his intense focus on the game taking place before them. The margin rapidly expanding against Carlton's favour as poor goalkicking kept costing the Blues, whilst the Magpies remained accurate with their opportunities. Harold thought about what the older man was saying, Menzies had, after all, been a leading figure since both men's days in the Young Nationalists.

"Fair enough. You're right. Thank you, Bob. I won't let you down, mate." Holt breached the gap.

"You're welcome." Menzies didn't take his eyes off the game.

"Bob, what did you mean when you said 'whilst you've still got those portfolios'?"

Menzies sighed deeply, as if every distraction from the game to explain the seemingly obvious caused him great pain. "I thought that much was already clear."

"No. It isn't." Holt pushed for further elucidation.

Another sigh grumbled from well within Menzies' core. "Very well. You're getting given a sweetheart deal, a big public positive assignment because you're, in all likelihood, getting tapped to the Treasurer's seat. And I want you to have a major success under your belt before I send you there."

"The Treasurer's seat? What do I know about economics?"

Menzies screwed up his face as if he was offended with the stupidity he was having to deal with. "The Treasurer's seat is not about economics!"

"Isn't it?"

"No. No, it's not. Bruce, Lyons, Chifley, Fadden, myself... It's a stepping stone that says one is ready for the responsibility of the big chair."

"But what about the portfolio itself?"

"You've got bloody civil servants for that. A staff. Did you think everything I was coming up with from the Treasurer's seat was bestowed upon me from the Lord Almighty on gold tablets or something?"

"I suppose not." Harold said to himself. Thinking things through. Could this really be true? Could he really be that close to 'The big chair'? "Thanks for that as well, I suppose."

"Oh, there is one other thing though." Menzies said, not taking his eyes off of the game. Seemingly throwing it away as an afterthought. "There's this thing I'm going to need help with. The work's already done, though. Just need separation. I'm going to need you to pick up this '56 Olympic Games temporary ministerial assignment as well. Another sweetheart deal. Can hardly screw up something as popular as selling sport to Australians either, eh? We attach your name to a big part of the Snowy and to the Olympics, that'd go a long way on the resume. Should lead to a relatively seamless transition once I'm ready to take the big step down."

"Wow, the Olympics?" That caught Holt's attention instantly.

"Thanks, Bob--" Menzies led Holt along.

"Thanks, Bob. I won't let you down, mate."

Blues full forward Noel 'Nobby' O'Brien got out to a great lead and took a rock solid chest mark forty five metres from goal. He walked back to line up for goal and pulled his socks up and plucked some grass to test the wind.

Harold rocked forward. "You know what, you've certainly given me plenty to think about, Bob." He got to his feet. "I might get on my way and tell Zara the big news. Looks like I'll be pulling some extra hours and long nights for a while."

Menzies wasn't paying any attention anymore though, everything of importance had been addressed. There was only the Carlton Blues, the Princes Park buzz and Robert Menzies. "Hmm? Yeah sure. You go. Go." He absently waved the younger man away.

O'Brien began his run up and pumped a drop punt from fifty metres out over the man standing the mark. The Carlton crowd rose from a buzz to raucous cheering as the ball sailed true for a goal.

Menzies clapped from his so-far unnamed seat in the grandstand, and spoke to nobody remembirng the conversation he'd had with Harris and Houston earlier.

"Placekicks. Huh... Imagine expecting the whole world to stop and wait on you."



T H E ‘ E M B A S S Y ‘

Four Months Ago | Manhattan, New York

Ted rushed the platter of dips surrounded by crackers onto the coffee table between them.

"So... Mister-- Thor..? Son? Mister Thorson? No. That doesn't sound right."

"Thorson would be if he had a kid." Booster corrected.

"Let me try that again, can I get you anythiiiiing, Thor? Mister Odinson? I can call you Thor, right? Coffee? Beer? Mead?"

Thor had picked up a cracker and was holding it up to the light, inspecting it like some kind of a curio. It looked tiny in his huge hands.

"--chai? Coffee? Soup? Ovaltine?" Booster continued Ted's questions, in a mocking tone with his best impression of their mutual friend.

"Hey, you're making me sound like Hank!"

Booster said nothing and just levelled him with a smile. Ted's eyes widened behind the goggle lenses.

"Oh my God I sound like Hank..."

'Thor' ate the cracker, picking up another as he smiled. He picked up another one and eyed it curiously. "Too which God do you refer? I promise you I can put you in good standing. If someone is in need of smiting, then I would recommend myself. I may be the God of Thunder but I may as well be the God of Smiting, for I am mighty!” He chuckled to himself. He turned to Booster Gold. “Servant boy, I will have the largest ale you have. Preferably two, your ale is not very potent.”

"Servant boy..?" Booster muttered, shooting his Blue compatriot an incredulous look, only for Ted to mouth the word "Go" at him. Booster threw his hands up in frustration before the Blue Beetle hissed at him in a harsher whisper, directing him to the kitchen. "Just go!"

Booster Gold sullenly trudged off to the kitchen.

"Ha ha haaaa..." The Blue Beetle laughed uncomfortably to their guest. "Aaaaaanyway, we asked you here today since you've had considerable experience in the heroing field... you know, like Justice League, the Avengers, general... divine duties, I suppose. We were wondering if you'd be interested in joining our merry band of... hup!"

Ted had gone to sit down without looking and inadvertantly sat on the edge of the arm of the chair, almost falling on the floor before regathering his balance, and desperately trying to mask the accident with more fake laughter.

"Ha ha haaaa... Friends. Buddies. Our merry band of Super Buddies."

Booster trudged back into the room with a four pack of brown bottles, still in the cardboard. He took one bottle out, holding it towards Ted, just as the Norse god grabbed the remaining three. Booster watched him and shrugged, deciding this meant the bottle he now held was meant for him, he removed the lid using his gauntlet as a bottle opener and kicked back on the lounge.

‘Thor’ used ‘Mjolnir’ too, surprisingly delicately knocked the cap off the three bottles of beer. Picking up the first bottle he tipped it, and his head back, the liquid running down his throat and into his stomach. The bitter taste lingering on his tongue. Shrugging he took a sip out of the second one. “I have had many offers for many different superhero organisations. While I am intending to stay loyal to my friends among the Avengers. Your group intrigues me.”

Suddenly a man in an exuberant red and yellow costume opened a door and jumped out, making a cliched superhero pose.



"I 'HEARD' you've been talking about me."

Ted's voice resonated with an implied sigh. He'd had to deal with this one far too often, apparently. "No, you didn't. I told you to wait in the other room. Stop doing this."

"Hey? Who's this guy?"

"Don't ask--" Ted warned, moments too late.

"Tis I, The Incredible Phone Ranger! The one who answers the call when innocence rings! The one who--"

"Dammit! You set him off!"

"--scourge of the--"

"Yes, yes... and you always come calling at Dinner time. Look, are you happy with your long distance? Because we're not. Go wait in the other room until we're done in here." The Blue Beetle scolded.

"Oh man... You have beer and crackers in here?" The strange red and yellow hero broke character, his voice reverting to a more natural, but nasal tone.

"Just... wait in the other room." Ted pinched his goggles off of the bridge of his nose, exasperated.

Thor laughed slightly at the figure in yellow and red. “Is he one of your number? Who else numbers among you?”

"Presently, we're otherwise engaged as far as he's concerned. I fear if he tries that again we may just have to disconnect him entirely." The Blue Beetle scowled as the Phone Ranger slinked out of the room, back to wherever beer and crackers weren't.

Before 'Thor' could respond there was a rumble of thunder, a look of panic crossed his face, Ted unable to adjust to this panicked Thor could only watch as the behemoth of a Demigod stood up and stuck his hands into.. pockets? That he apparently had in amongst his mail armour? Out of it, he pulled out several business cards. "I must away! Before I take my leave, here are my contact details. The first number goes through my Avengers headset, the email is held by a S.H.I.E.L.D agent then relayed to me as well as a postal address-" sticking his hand into another impossible pocket he pulled out a small stone with several runes engraved upon it. "-I have enchanted this stone to be able to contact me from anywhere. It will essentially broadcast your likeness before me."

Seeing Teds confusion he flashed a coy, but equally panicked grin. "The Thunder is my Bat-Signal. You know, God of Thunder?"

"Wait-- who else is able to control the thunder in the first place to call you?" Booster Gold asked, for once with his finger on the pulse.

Ted looked at the cards and the rune stone skeptically. He arched a single eyebrow. None of this was adding up.



'Thor' laughed "Clearly other Gods of Thunder." As there was another greater rumble of thunder 'Thor' walked out the door, before it closed there was the brief glimpse of a small coastal town. Before Ted and Booster could react however there was a crashing through the window as a hammer came through the window and crushed the chair that 'Thor' had previously been sitting in.



Shortly after another Thor came climbing through the window. "LOKI! WHERE ARE YOU?"

"He went THATTAAWAAAY!" The pair said, pointing to the door the first 'Thor' left through.

The second charged out being pulled through the house by his famous hammer and an unbridled primal rage.

The pair stood in silence in the wreckage of their own home. They'd lost a wall, a window and the door had seen better days. There was an uncomfortable pause before Ted finally broke the silence.

"How are we going to explain this one away?"

"Kool-Aid Man..?"

"Kool-Aid Man?? Who'd believe that?" Ted replied.

"I think I'D believe that..."

"You? Well, yeah-- maybe you would... But-- Hmmm... Maybe I can-- Ted ran off into another room for a few minutes. Booster walked over to the kitchen and grabbed two more beers out of the fridge.

Ted came back with one of his Doodlebug drones and a small brown box.

"What's in there?

"K.O.R.D. prototype fine tissue nanites. They use 3D printing tech on a microscopic scale. I introduce them to the part of the wall that's still standing, program them to repair the remainder of the wall."

"Whoa... you can do that now?"

"Well, they're still in the testing phase, so I can't legally sell them yet. And they'd be exceedingly expensive if I could. And they're slow... But they'll eventually get the job done." Ted released a nanite spray into the broken part of the wall, he opened up his wrist gauntlet and started programming the nanites to sample the broken remnants and task them with producing the components to repair the wall. He waved his wrist across the gap to scan the task area. And stepped back to watch.

"Slow?" Booster asked.

"Well it's only a small section of wall, not particularly thick... I'd say seven hours?"

"Seven hours?!? We could fix it ourselves in less than that!"

Ted turned and stared at Booster. "No. You couldn't. And they're tiny robots, what do you expect?"

"Well that doesn't solve our problem though, does it Ted? How are we going to explain this?"

Ted smiled and held up a finger. He brought out the Doodlebug and set it to hover in the air. Using his wrist control he programmed the doodlebug to scan the unharmed segment of wall, flew the doodlebug over to the gap, where it then projected a hologram of the wall over the wreckage.

Ted turned to Booster and smiled.

"That'll work."

The pair sat back on the lounge and looked at their work as they heard the front door open. She walked through The Embassy with her head in her phone, completely preoccupied. Ted and Booster quietly stared as she walked through the room, hoping everything stayed business-as-usual. But her head was so deep in her phone she didn't notice the Doodlebug floating there. After a crash she got up furiously rubbing her head and searching the floor for her phone, a hologram of the wall being projected onto the ceiling.

"What did you two idiots do?!?"

"I-- err-- we--..." Ted stammered.

"Well, you see, the Kool-Aid Man..."

"UGH! I DON'T EVEN CARE!!"


Fire picked up her phone and stormed out. The Blue Beetle and Booster Gold watched as she left, green steam rising off her hair.



"BWA-HA-HA!"


R A V E N ' S P E R C H

2002 | Ugh... New Jersey

“So THIS is superheroing..?” Jughandle sarcastically asked.

“In this context, THIS is superheroing.” The Blue Beetle confirmed.

“I had no idea superheroing was done on a bus. Apparently my parents had me superheroing my way to school every morning.” Fateball replied.

“And why ARE we on the bus?” Jughandle asked.

“Because Mize doesn’t own a car.” Ted flatly said.

“Nonononono. I OWNED a car.” Said the Mize. “I just don’t drive because… well…”

Ted inhaled deeply. He was exhausted, and conversation felt like it was draining the last of what he had left. “Because you have next to no control of your powers and you rapidly degraded your car every day when you drove it, until the thing literally fell apart underneath you on a main road. Like a teenage Mister Magoo.”

“What’s Mister Magoo?” Fateball asked.

“It’s before your time. Which *YA-AWN* funnily enough puts it even further before my time.” The Blue Beetle explained.

The bus pulled out of the terminal and slowly trundled down the street.

“But why the bus?” Jughandle asked.

“Because the bus costs us twelve bucks each, whilst Amtrak would charge us over fifty per head to barely get us there any earlier. And because if Mize could do that to his car, I AM NOT getting on a plane with you.”

“And why do we need to go to Boston in the first place?”

“Because we just do.” His patience frayed.

"Because whatever this superheroing we're needed for is needed in Boston, obviously." Fateball reasoned.

"Exactly. Listen to this one boys, she'll see you right."

"Boston. The City of Brotherly Love..." She continued.

"OK. You can stop listening to her now."

"I thought it was the City of Trees?"

"That's Boise."

"Nah, WE'RE from Joisey..."

"Great. I'm stuck on a bus with pre-pubescent Marx Brothers."

"Who?"

"Animaniacs." Ted simplified.

"Ah."

"AND the Warner sister!"

"Alright, that's enough of that, now. Can we have just a few moments of quiet. I't's been a long day, time travel really takes it out on you apparently--"

"--especially without a chrono suit, sir."

"Yes, thank you, Skeetz. So if I could just have a little quiet, I might actually try to squeeze some sleep in before we get there."




Four Straight Hours Without Consecutive Minutes Of Silence Later





Ted stared straight ahead with bloodshot eyes, breathing deeply.

"I think we broke him." Mize said, waving a hand in front of the hero's face.

"I'm a man of means by no means, King of the Rooo-- --hoik!"

Ted moved swiftly and grabbed Jughandle by the collar. Eyes twitching, capillaries about to burst, if the brain in behind them didn't first.

"Whoa, man!"

"I'm OK... I'm OK. Just STOP singing. I am so tired... I can't be held responsible for what's going to happen next if--"

"Oh hey, we're here!"

The other three watched uncomfortably as Ted sobbed gently and deeply.




B O S T O N

2002 | Errrr... Boston, Massachussetts

The four walked around the streets of Boston in uncomfortable silence, the three teens periodically glancing back at the older superhero until he eventually punched through the thick atmosphere.

"It's OK. I'm OK. I'm sorry about before. I'm also pretty sure this is happening out of some weird cosmic karmic alignment because of how I was around my own teachers when I was your age. I am just very tired right now. So very tired. Let us never speak of the bus again."

The other three paused, considering what he said before Fateball finally spoke up.

"So where to now?"

"It's just up ahead here. Just a bit further." The Blue Beetle pointed a few houses further down the street.

"This is just a suburban house." Mize surmised. "What kind of supervillain would live here?"

"Look," Ted said, levelling with the three teenagers at last. "I've just got to get in here and find a way to leave a message with my current location somewhere that the others will find it. So Jesse, jughandle us."

Jesse looked pensive. "I dunno. Isn't this breaking and entering? Like, in a suburban house?"

"First, suburban house, Legion of Doom headquarters where Metallo 'dwells'. Technically it's all B & E." Ted shrugged. "Secondly, what 'Breaking'? The entrance points will all be in tact. You're circumventing the regular dimensional planes to trespass on private property. And finally, I could get us in without you, it's just easier this way."

The three disappeared through space and reappeared on the other side of the door.

"Well how would you have got us in?"

"Spare key."

Jesse wigged out, feeling tricked to sneak into the house. "The key?! You had the key?! Then why'd you have me bre-- make us trespass?!"

"I don't 'have' the key, I know where it is. I'm not as agile as I used to be and it's a pain in the ass to get to. Also it doesn't lock the deadbolts properly. They'd know we were here after we left. This way's better. And let's be honest, more fun too. Just relax. There's not going to be anything we have to deal with here that can't be handled."

"Deal with..? Jughandle didn't like the sound of that. This weird hero talking about killing cats and 'Handling' situations that need 'dealing with'.

"Just relax. Everything's going to be fine." The three teens just stared. The more he attempted to calm them the less he seemed to have their trust. So instead he sighed and went upstairs towards his old room.

Ted let his bedroom door swing open and really felt the emotional side of time travel as his childhood bedroom from eighteen years earlier was revealed before him. He hit the light and stepped inside.

"Whoa... This is a kids room. This whole thing feels messed up." Jesse said, as he looked around the room.

Ted sighed and gave an exasporated look at the three younger heroes.

"So what are we doing in here?" Fateball asked, whilst her and Mize walked into the room. Ted started to inspect items on the shelves.

"I'm looking for something I know they'll look at, so I can send the others a message to know where I am. So they can come back and pick me up."

Toys, DVDs, books, Ted swept across each looking for the perfect thing. Then he was distracted by something else. "Oh. My. God!"

"What? Whaddid you find?" The Mize asked, picking up the LaserDisk player to look behind it.

Ted had a big grin on his face, before he slowly paced his way across the room. He picked up a fedora and slowly and gently put it on his head, before pointing at it with a look of amazement and joy which was completely lost on the others.

"It doesn't match your blue suit."

"You're not going to take some kid's hat are you? That's busted."

"I haven't seen this thing since 2002..." He said to himself. "This all actually kind of makes sense..."

"C'mon man. You're not really going to take this kid's hat are you. I mean, how would you feel if somebody did that to you?"

"I'd feel confused, angry and frustrated over the issue for the next eighteen years of my life, until I had a moment of absolute clarity and found myself getting a hat." Ted replied.

"Alright, well that was oddly specific, but yeah. It'd suck. Don't take the kid's hat."

"Do you STILL not realise what's going on here, Jugs? It's HIS hat, this was HIS room, all of this is HIS stuff."

"Whoa... So we're IN a superhero's bedroom?"

"Well, I wasn't a superhero when I was--" He stopped, seeing the new joy in Jesse's starstruck eyes as he walked all around the room, seeing it in a new light. "--sure, whatever. Soak it up. Superhero's bedroom. Don't break my action figures."

Ted went back to looking around the room for something to leave a message on when it came to him. The Scarab. He still had the replica model car in the future. Even when most of the other toys and things were boxed up and left to dust. The Scarab sat in pride of place on the mantle of the Embassy. Super Buddies Headquarters. He'd leave a message there, on the car. Heck, maybe he already had and it was already there. Like his hat. How often does it get closely looked at really? All it would take is one glance, though...

And he'd told Booster to never touch it.

If there was any way he could possibly guarantee that Booster Gold would get his - probably unwashed - hands all over it, the second Ted wasn't around to tell him not to touch it... it would be to tell him he can never touch it.

"The Scarab it is."

Ted walked across the room and grabbed the model car in it's perspex display case and set to work figuring out how to crack it open.

"I think I've just found my ticket out...
Gotta say, @Eddie Brock... It feels odd writing Flux in a game that you're in. Looking forward to the next big Miss Megaton post though.


Dennis snored deeply, gravel crunched increasingly loud outside of his bedroom window.

A fist banged loudly against the outside of his thin wall.


"Get up." An old voice said abruptly. "Today's the day. Every second is lives. I need you airborne in less that ten."

The Day.

Words so simple, for a situation so crazy. There'd been a number of conversations about this since the day the man in black had suddenly dropped into their house and turned their lives upside down, but really he hadn't done anything. Just forced the old man to actually be open with the truth.

Dennis pulled his arms through the sleeves of his flight suit jacket.

Truth meant nothing now, though. Only action would matter. Gravel scattered under heavy footfalls as he ran back to the main house.

The old man tossed him the golden rod. Dennis snatched it out of the air with one hand.
"Icon just caught a giant rock that was going to level the city." The old man briefed him.

"And the carriers have dropped the drones? And the destroyers are getting into position?" Dennis asked, clearly they'd since been open about the general tactics his grandfather had observed in the Pocket-Dimension of Concordat when he had accepted the Golden Rod.

"Yes to the drones, no to the Destroyers. At least not yet."

"Well that's something, at least..." Dennis pulled a pair of goggles from his flight mask over his eyes and connected his bluetooth earpiece.

"Dennis... The old man opened his mouth to say something.

"Yeah..?" Dennis had the door open and was about to jump clear.

"..." Alan hesitated, not knowing how to say the thing that regularly went unsaid.

"Me too, grandpa." He took three steps out the front door and took flight.

Alan Coghlan watched as his last grandson soared to the city center, where growing billowing clouds of smoke marked the frontline of the invasion he signed off on all those years ago.






Isaac Fontaine was punching a teal creature into oblivion with rights that packed the weight of Formula 1 car accidents, courtesy of the gravity gauntlets wrapped around each glove. Off coloured blood squelched in coagulated blobs upon the city's bitumen. He stopped, looking up to survey the skyline for any allies this fallen alien might have, before walking over to his fallen craft.

He tore the buckled rear panel off, revealing in full the fuel tank he knew would be there from his own world. With no small struggle he pried the tank out and lugged it over to his vehicle, opening the car's boot up with the latch by the driver's side. He slung it in the back and slammed it shut.

He jumped in behind the driver's seat and went to start the car... and it wouldn't turn over.

With an annoyed grunt he tried again, and still it wouldn't start.

His mind raced with thoughts of instances where this world's destiny proved hard to push against. He thumped the steering wheel. What were the chances none of tese other cars would get him out of here with the can and his stuff either?

He got out of the car with a slam of the door and looked the street up and down, pulling the mask off of the bridge of his nose to alleviate the pressure. They were probably rallying the Guardians somewhere else in the city. Best of luck to those guys. Fate had him pinned down here.


"Looking for help?" A voice he instantly recognized called from above.

The Aquilifer landed gently beside him.


"I took that one down easy enough." The Vigilante responded, pointing to the fallen craft and the pummelled carcass of it's alien pilot.

"Whoa. You... you really let him have it." He commented on the man in black's work.

"Her. It was a her." The Vigilante said hollowly, through his voice modulator. "And this isn't what we do. Not normally."

"Ah-huh. The Aquilifer agreed, not really knowing if he believed him. He remembered the fate of Nightmare and his villainous cohorts, afterall. And the chunks Dennis threw up afterwards. The Vigilante wasn't there then, but the others...

"I mean it. The Vigilante doubled down, hearing the doubt in his voice loud and clear. "This is an invasion force. A war. The rules of engagement. It's different."

"So what are you doing down here anyway?" He asked, looking to change the subject.

The Vigilante snorted out a laugh.
"If I told you, you wouldn't believe me."

"Yeah. Yeah, I get it. Because all of this." Dennis gestured to the alien wreckage, the billowing column of smoke and the mothership hanging over the city. "Tuesday."

The Vigilante smiled and shook his head. "Nope. Still not weird enough."

"Yeah. I bet it was just a day in the life when my Grandpa used to get off the bus and walk down to work just over there." He pointed down the street to a renovated construction site. "He'd just tip his friendly neighbourhood Arlaaekian doorman, and walk into the office."

Isaac followed his finger down the street. Then he looked up and down the street. Skyscrapers enclosed the streets. It was one long corridor. The street only had small one way alleys funnelling in and out on the sides. An idea wormed its way into his head. A strategem.

"Your grandfather used to work down there? Alan?" He clarified. Maybe the reason he was stuck here could be a positive one.

"Yeah. The old Coghlan Cogs factory used to be down here. They moved when he stepped down from the innerworkings of the board. I think they said it's going to be turned into some kind of a bottling factory now." Dennis explained. A wry grin crossed the Vigilante's face through his balaklava.

"What? What'd I say?"

"Don't worry about it. Help me move some of these parked cars..."






It was horrible. Chrissy Jones blinked around the city, her natural response to the fear and anxiety that she was empathically picking up on, but there was no escape. It was everywhere! She was drowning in it! She flickered between being visible to the naked eye and a ghostlike chameleon. She desperately wanted to stay visible. People were distrustful of the invisible. But they would be distrustful of her regular form as well. She just desperately wanted people to not be afraid. Just to allow some semblance of control to resume.

She cried out and blinked to the top of the Chambers building. Far above most of the people it was as close to peace as she could get and still it was a far cry.

Cry.

Flux wept. Had she brought her people here? Had she brought her father's avarice down on them? No. That wasn't how they operated. They had their ways. They used--

The Rods?

Down on one of the streets below. One of the Rod-wielders. Moving cars down on a street below, she could see the glow from the top of the skyscraper. But he was far too young. Probably a descendent. That was generally how these things worked. She felt paradoxical guilt as she felt her guilt relieved that her people had not been sent here after her.

No. Their collection of her would just be a 'pleasant coincidence' for her father. Ugh. The thought sickened her.


"The ones with Rods tend to be leaders of their planets." Chrissy reasoned. "Perhaps if I go down there I may find myself an ally?" She tried to hold back her hopes, and embraced the fear of getting them trampled on. She would need that fear to blink to the street below.

The lone friendly Arlaaekian teleported to the street below.
"Hello, Your Excellency. I wish to assist you in the fortification of your rebellion force!" Chrissy said, as cheerily as she could muster with fear overpowering every part of her being.

"Aaaaaaaa--" Dennis shrieked out in fear at his first sight of one of the aliens.

"What the--? Flux?!?" The Vigilante turned, recognizing his world's old ally, from Dennis' loud - and possibly somewhat girlish - squeal.

"--aaaargh!" His squeal began to contort and become more of an aggressive warcry as the Aquilifer regathered himself, and levelled the Golden Rod towards her.

"Wait-- Hooold up!" The man in black quickly stepped in front of the teal girl. "This one's with us." He calmly explained, looking to de-escalate the situation. His voice hitched slightly behind the voice modulator. The effect of Flux's empathic powers funnelling the anxiety and fear from around them into him, and presumably the Aquilifer as well. This called for as much calm as he could muster.

"But-- How--? How could you possibly--?"

Isaac shrugged. "If I--" "If you told me I wouldn't believe you... Yeah, yeah. So where do you want this car? That alley?" The Aquilifer finished his sentence before getting back to the task at hand.

"Doesn't matter which. We need all of these alleys blocked. Triple stacked. Hell, four if we've got enough cars. And double stacked on either end of the street, up there, and just this side of the junction with Chester. And we need it now."

"Your... Excellency..?" Chrissy queried as the Aquilifer flew past.

"Not quite, Chrissy. But if you tell him what I'm feeling at any point in time here, you'll kill us all and your father will snatch you back up. So... you know. Try not to do that."

"You know my name-- you know my fath-- You know who I am?" She stammered. She had no idea who this man was. She'd never met him before. How could he know so much?

"Yes. And I'm also one of the few people on this planet who knows you aren't some alien spy who sold us all out... so, let's just keep on keeping on. If you could move some of these cars that'd be great."

"I-- I can't. I can only move cars like that when..."

Isaac cut her off and grabbed her face by both cheeks. "Yes, yes. The fear's overwhelming right? Well don't worry about that. Because I've got this in spades..."

The Vigilante pulled Flux's face close to his until they were touching nose to nose and let her have it. All of it. All of the bottled anger, boiled up frustration and pent up rage he'd held back for so long. He thought of a moon broken in three pieces, a hero's sacrifice, burning buildings, the rage he felt because of the needless fear they'd put in others, he thought of Verseilles and Shenzen and the Western Seaboard. Then for good measure he added his rage about this world's version of himself being such a disappointment and the destruction he'd caused. The rage came easy and once he started it was a torrent. An unstoppable wave of concentrated fury.

Pebbles from the street began to levitate and swirl around the pair, and fire hydrants blew. Chrissy's eyes seemed to go blank briefly and her brow dropped to a firm furrow.


"Huh..?" The Aquilifer noticed as broken glass from the lower cars windows circled dangerously close. He quickly through up a shield construct.

"Alright... I may have given her a little too much to start with." The air started to feel thick and heavy.

"Yeah, Chrissy, if you could help him move some of those cars now, that'd be great..."
Chippin' away. Hold tight, posts are coming.

I may have slowed down, doing research (r.e. reading a bunch of comics)
Sorry for the lack of activity- real life has been, well, insane. I lost a job, got a new one, started having panic attacks, and only just recently started to normal out, only for it to start back up again thanks to all the fun stuff on the news. And on top of that, I'm so far behind in posting that I feel guilty about even checking in on it, let alone trying to pick up where I left off a month ago. Excuses aside, I could use a little escapism, so if I still have access to Spidey and the Titans girls, I will try to get posts up soon.


Your absence has certainly been felt. Hope things are starting to level out for you some.

I'm fresh off probably the biggest rollercoaster two weeks of my life as well.
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet