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H A W K E Y E
H A W K E Y E

"Hydra? Did you see that move? They don't teach moves like that in Hydra school, pal! You picked the wrong team! Hail Hawkeye!" - The Inimitable Clinton Francis Barton
C H A R A C T E R P O R T R A I T
C H A R A C T E R P O R T R A I T
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C H A R A C T E R S U M M A R Y
C H A R A C T E R S U M M A R Y
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Clint Francis Barton
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Team Affiliation:
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6'3" (191cm) | 230lbs (105kg)
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Male, Caucasian | Costumed Hero, Your Sister's Favourite Adventurer, All-Round General Hunk
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Waverly | Iowa | U.S.A

C H A R A C T E R N O T E S
C H A R A C T E R N O T E S
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P O S T C A T A L O G
P O S T C A T A L O G
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C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T
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Born in small town Iowa to local butchers Harold and Edith Barton, Harold liked to drink too much and would take his issues with the world out on Edith, and sons Charles (known as Barney) and Clinton. The drink one day took both parents lives, with Harold driving into a tree whilst heavily under the influence, with his wife in the passenger seat, leaving both boys orphaned. Bouncing around various foster homes, the boys were desperate to find a way to remain together, and eventually landed on the brilliant solution of a ten year old boy.

They would run away and join the circus.

Working first as general roustabouts, it wasn't long before the boys were starting to find their ways into shows in bit parts as extras in clown-work, and learning the odd acrobatic move or stunt. The prodigious young boy's potential and amazing hand-eye coordination was noted by global circus headliner Jacques Duquesne - the Sensational Swordsman! - and he began to train him, as well as convincing amazing archer Buck Chisholm - the Tremendous Trick Shot!

Unfortunately, the pair of amazing attractions had less-than-legal alternative forms of income away from the circus, and after extremely rough falling outs with both men (each incident leading to severe injury, near death on the part of Clint) the younger Barton was left with a lot of skills and questionable direction.

P L O T ( S ) & G O A L ( S )
P L O T ( S ) & G O A L ( S )
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Why do you want to play this character, what is the driving motivation behind both this desire and the character themselves. What do you hope to accomplish and where do you want the character's story/stories to go? For a driving character, there should be enough of an outline present to interest other players along with specifications towards how many players you're looking to involve or available roles. For supporting characters, this should indicate either a plot you've arranged to be part of or the type of plot you're looking to be involved in. Roaming characters have the privilege of doing either or simply stating a roadmap for the character to exemplify how you'd ideally like them to move between plots.

That was the end of this arc for Blue Beetle, felt I should put it up here for completion's sake.

If anyone's at all curious I'll continue the story in Absolute Comics - Variety Hour since we seem to have stalled out here.
I'm... awaiting a person, not in this game.
I know you blokes are closed, I've just recently been following along. Thought I might make a reserve app for you in case a slot opens up later...


| Character Identity |
David Haller - Legion

| Age |
32

| Character Differences |
This is not a David Haller who has to live with a terrible potential and what could happen if he were unable to ever take control.

This is a David Haller who has to live with the knowledge he ended an entire universe, that evil exists and at least temporarily resided in him... and he can see no reason it doesn't still.

| Brief World Background |
David resides in a purely "X-Men" world, devoid of DC characters, and even much of the Marvel continuity. His world's history has mainly been entwined with Civil Rights issues pertaining to the existence of mutants.

In the background of this Civil Rights quandry we also find that a truly evil entity has been fighting a proxy war with Charles Xavier all the while, pulling strings to add to anti-mutant sentiment on both sides and even toying with hidden illuminati like figures in the Hellfire Club.

There is no world for David to return to. Everything has been lost to a force of pure evil, which most terrifyingly of all just up and disappeared one day. Meaning he has to live with knowing entirely what he's potentially capable of, and with no idea if this could ever happen again, or if the evil behind all things every truly left... or did it ever exist in the first place?

If the Devil didn't exist would we have to create it... if only to live with the evils that we ourselves have done?

| Brief Character Background |
This David Haller has been the ruin of his world, his universe and everything. Or at least the final trigger.

He's gone from one nightmare to the next, and to another.

Possessed by an ancient evil entity known as the Shadow King, David was being used as the ultimate revenge by one of his father's greatest enemies.

After being bested once by psychic mutant leader Charles Xavier, the Shadow King attempted to employ a more subtle "long game", whereby he manipulated numerous major figures, ramping up tension and disharmonious sentiment around the entire world. But planning the ultimate revenge meant it had to eventually become personal, to truly make Xavier hurt, and so he decided that the final crushing blow in destroying his dream, his people and everything he holds dear would have to come from Charles Xavier's bastard son.

And so, when he finally possessed the young mutant, with so little control of his almost boundless power, he destroyed Xavier's 'X-Men', then his precious school, the most recent target of his affection - Moira, then the politicians and humans he'd long sought to find a civil solution with... very publicly and by the hand of his mutant son, then Westchester, then the Eastern Seaboard...

And David cried out at what he was forced to do... and suddenly the entire world was gone. And then the greater cosmos.

David was left floating in space, sustained only by his own internal power.

His subconscious splintered and formed a new identity for itself called "Mr Sparky". Mr Sparky produced light for warmth, and generated oxygen for David to breathe. Periodically Mr Sparky would even form food spores and water, scratch-created at a molecular level inside David's own mouth for him to swallow.

He was trapped with themselves... and the Shadow King, floating in nothingness.

For a dozen years he had little else to do in this nightmare existence but seek to find a way to wrest control of himself back.

One day (or perhaps it would be better described as 'one specific endless night'), and David couldn't even remember what he had done, the Shadow King had gone.

Now he found himself floating in the great expanse completely devoid of purpose. But for the friends he'd made along the way.

As the last remaining being within his universe it made him an easy target for Mojo, his universe had slim pickings otherwise, and he was easily scooped up as he slept.
So my question here is: Why did everyone (that isn't new/making someone new) decide to take a go at these characters again? Why bring them back?


Because I still have stories to tell, and this continuity is damn near effortless for me... so long as I get the time to actually type away at it.

Plus, if people want to collaborate, this is so central and versatile I can do damn near anything.


T H E ‘ E M B A S S Y ‘

Four Months Ago | Manhattan, New York

“OK… so it says here that you’re a mutant…” Ted started, flicking through the résumé and pausing to look for the name of this new prospect

“Is that going to be a problem?”

“What, no-- No! No problem at all. I’m best friends with mutants. My girlfriend’s a mutant…” Ted stammered.

“Ah-huh.” Came the flat reply.

“Part of why I put this team together. Was to show that mutants and humans can collaborate and work together effectively without any kind of issues or problems at all. No problem. What I was saying though, is that it says you’re a mutant but then underneath ‘Powers and Abilities’ it mentions—” He tried to get the interview back on track.

“I have a beak.”



“Yes. I can see that. But— does it come in useful at all? Like are you able to use it for—”

“Sometimes I open bottles or cans with it…”

“I think what my compatriot is asking is, does it make you adept at all in a fight? Can you just let someone have it with that thing, or..?” Booster asked, shadow-boxing from his seat.

“What? No. It’s on my face. I’d literally be smashing my face into things. That’s not fun.”

“OK. Flight? Can you fly, or?”

“Well, I have got extremely lightweight bones…”

“Uh-huh.” Ted said rocking forward.

“And I used to wear a suit that would kind of help me glide a bit.”

“OK.”

“But that was kind of just the suit. I mean I have some feathers growing—but they’re kind of growing through patchy underneath these clothes. Charles Xavier said one day I might be able to fly though. Without the suit. It seems that’s how my body is growing...”

“Ah, references. Yes. That's good...” Added Booster, flicking forward through the résumé to that part.

“But not yet.”

“No.”

“And you can’t fight?”

“No. In fact, I’m pretty uniquely terrible there. Hollow bones aren’t the best for throwing a punch.”

The three sat in silence for a moment at that response. Ted trying to think about how to address the uncomfortable truth.

“Sooo… how exactly do you plan to be effective out in the field? I mean superheroics isn’t exactly the most forgiving field of endeavour to be learning self defence on the fly.”

“Whoa—whoa—Superheroics? I’m just here to get a job.”

“A job?” Booster queried.

“What exactly do you think we do here?”

“Yeah, I get that. I mean I’m not stupid or anything. But you’re not only hiring mutants to put them on the front line or anything are you? I mean, there’s gotta be other jobs around here that you’d be willing to take on a mutant for… or are we only any good when we’re out there putting our lives on the line for—”

“Whoah!” Exclaimed Ted immediately on the defense, immediately thrusting a palm out as if to stop that line of discussion.. “No! We’re not like that at all!”

Booster watched on, slightly amused at his friend’s response.

“I mean, I can push a broom. This is a big place, I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff around here that needs doing on a day to day basis.”

“That IS true.” Ted considered.

“I mean there seems to only be the two of you here…”

“Alright, hold it right there. We’re not the only two.”

“The others are out at the moment. On patrol or other assigned duties.” Said Booster.

“Then why are you two here doing this?”

“Well, I’m here because I’m supposed to squeeze some sleep in before I have other duties elsewhere in my other life. My other job.”

“And him?”

“I didn’t feel like going out. Patrol’s boring.” Booster explained, stretching out in full recline on the lounge..

“Well, wouldn’t it be good to have someone else here on payroll taking care of the mundane daily operations, making sure the pantry stays full and all the rooms stay clean, who can call you all in if there’s some kind of attack on your headquarters here? So someone like him doesn’t have to stay back to protect the homestead?” The young mutant pointed at Booster. "Because it seems like a waste of manpower.”

“The whole complex has an automated defense system that I designed myself. And he wasn’t joking.” Ted corrected, with a sigh. “He just genuinely didn’t feel like going out and doesn’t do it if he thinks I’m skipping out on something he’d find boring.”

He turned to Booster and scowled. "It’s not something I thought he’d be so open and honest about with members of the public who he’s only just met though...”

“But you make a good point." Ted got to his feet looking back to the young applicant, signifying the end of the meeting. The potential new candidate also got to his feet and shook Ted’s hand.

“We’ll go through your references. Make sure everything in here checks out, and we might get back to you about-- that kind of position.”

The newcomer shook both heroes hands and then walked out the door.

"Man, he figured you out in seconds and played you like a fiddle." Booster derisively said of Ted.

"What do you mean?"

"What do I mean?? Feh nyeh nyeah no, we duh--duh--don't mistreat mutants, we aren't bigots." Booster delivered an offensive imitation of his friend.

"What? We don't."

"I KNOW we don't. But all anyone has to do is throw up the mere suggestion of you being an anti-mutant bigot and you turn into this stammering wet puddle of awkward liberalness. It's pitiful. AND, if anything, it looks like you're overcompensating."

"That's ridiculous... you don't really think he thinks we have something to hide, do you?" Ted looked concerned.

Booster let out a deep sigh. "Ughhhhhhh, Ted! Why do you care?"

"Beeeeeecause I don't want to come across as a bigot?" He replied, thinking that adequately explained his motivations.

"Fiiine. Then just confirm with his references and hire the guy."

Ted looked at the résumé in his hand and clucked his tongue in his cheek before dropping it on the coffee table.

"Naaaah. I think I'll just tell him he's fine and we'll start him this Monday."

"What? Whyyyyyyyyohmygod! You DO have a problem with mutants! I knew it!" Booster exclaimed, pointing at Ted in an "Ah-Ha!" gesture as if he'd caught him in a lie.

"What--? No. It's not that. You know I don't have any problem with mutants. It's-- Charles Xavier. He's not just "a mutant", I've heard the guy's a telepath..."

"So..?"

"Well, some of us, Booster, value what's between our ears very much. I don't care where he got his powers from. If they came from some other means, a pill, whatever, I'd still be just as unnerved. It's too much power for anyone to have. The thought of it makes me uncomfortable."

"How do you figure? You don't have any problem with Superman. He's waaaay powerful."

"Alright, let me put it this way. If Superman decided for whatever reason, that he wanted to walk up and punt you or me into the sun, he could probably do it--"

"Exactly!"

"--BUT everyone would see him do it, because he's one of the most recognizable individuals on the planet. And if they didn't SEE him do it, there's so few people capable of doing that here on Earth that they'd check for alibis to the people capable, investigate, and there'd be consequences for those actions. A TELEPATH on the other hand, could potentially just give you or me a stroke, and then immediately erase the memory of you from the mind of every person who ever knew you. They could potentially undo your existence. THAT'S the power of the mind, Booster."

"Whoah, that's dark... You've been thinking about this."

"No. Not really. Isn't that much just obvious to people in general?"

"So, you're just going to give this kid the job without checking his references because you think, what, this Charles Xavier guy's going to kill you?

"Well, no. I mean, I hardly think the guy's going to kill me. I mean he's the pre-eminent name in mutant rights. Heh, if he was going to misuse those powers and really drive mutant rights through he could just plant the suggestion in everyone's heads. So if he doesn't want the heat from misusing his powers over something as meaningful as that, I hardly think he's going to use them to kill some guy he's never met before... let alone someone who runs a superhero team devoted to proving that humans and mutants can co-exist."

"Then what are you scared of?"

"I don't know... I have a board meeting later. Public speaking... Imposter syndrome. I don't really like these things in the first place, and just coming back from talking with a telepath it'll be in the back of my mind. 'Maybe Xavier put some hex on me... maybe he's Manchurian Candidate'd me. Maybe he's going to make me drop my pants in the middle of the meeting'..."

"Wow, really?"

Ted jumped up on the coffee table and started, strutting around making wings. "'Maybe he'll make me run around clucking like a chicken' or something dumb like that... in front of the board."

"Alright, I'm starting to see what it's like being on this side of these ridiculous discussions and I'm not comfortable with it..."

Ted was in full swing now, jumping from the coffee table to the sofa and crowing like a rooster. "Buk-- bukk-- BUKKAAAW! BUK-- BUK-- BUK--!"

Then the door started to crack open.



Ted looked from Booster to the young mutant. "That-- wasn't about you..?"

"Ah-huh... I left my backpack."

He slowly trudged across the living room and picked up his backpack, before slowly walking back to the door.

"So... see you when you start on Monday?"

The young mutant turned around, a stoic expression across his beak. "Regular hero salary." He flatly replied.

"I-- I think we can work something like that out." He reassured.

"I wasn't asking." He opened the door and walked out.

"OK! Oh-kay!" Ted said as he jumped off the lounge and raced towards the door, calling out after him. "So we'll see you Monday, right?! Barnell?! RIGHT?!?"

Booster just stood back with his hands on his hips in judgement. "--Tch-- Like I said. Pitiful." Shaking his head at his friend's display.




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

2002 | Oh, are you kidding me??? Still, New Jersey...

Ted sat on the park bench, with a full length tan trenchcoat mostly covering his colourful superhero attire, and the hat from the set of Karl LaFrey and the Plunderers of the Ark of the Covenant perched upon his head.

Skeets floated gently beside him, and the three kids were still gathered around him.

"So how exactly does this work? Will they show up on the hour? You wrote an exact time and date on the car, right?" Jughandle asked.

"I did. But the one who's going to be coming isn't exactly-- perfectly reliable-- so just being in the ballpark wouldn't be out of the question for him. He's--"

"Kind of a screw up?"

"..."

Ted just sighed before deciding not to answer the question.

"So thanks again for the coat, by the way." He flapped open the trenchcoat on one side indicating the new clothes.

"That's fine. My parents own an antique store with a vintage and secondhand clothing section attached. It comes in pretty handy since-- well, I kind of go through clothes pretty fast." Mize replied.

"In fact--" Fateball added, holding up the tail of his own coat and showing him the significant deteriation, tattered holes, and signs of extreme wear on the back of what he was wearing.

"Aww man... I just grabbed these yesterday!" Mize complained.

The trio waited as seconds of silence passed before Jughandle suddenly and abruptly broke it by speaking up.

"Ugh. I've gotta go. My Dad's calling me home."

"Phone on vibrate?" Ted asked.

"Phone?"

"JESSE! Stop messing around with that vagrant and get your butt home, Mister!"

"Ah." The Blue Beetle uttered in understanding.

"Sorry." He said, calling back over his shoulder as he ran off. "I gotta go. I'll see you tomorrow!"

"I hope not!" Ted yelled back at the absent-mindedly optimistic youth, his brow furrowed.

"We should probably get going too." Fateball said, grabbing Mize. "Our parents aren't as hardassed as Jesse's, but they'll still be expecting us for dinner. We'll check on you later."

"Yeah, sure."

"Seeya, man." "Bye."

They left him in peace, and in the sudden complete silence Ted could not only finally hear himself think, but his stomach grumble.

He sighed and pulled the trenchcoat tight across himself. A bitter wind swept through the park.




Three Weeks Later





"Alright. This time when we go back, I leave a specific note marked FOR BOOSTER in an envelope marked to not open it until the year I'm gone..."

Ted looked like Hell. He'd grown a beard, albeit patchy. The others had offered to let him use their bathroom and laundry, but the wiring in his suit made it clearly "Dry Clean only" and the chemicals he used to personally clean his Blue Beetle suit were stuck in his home in the future. As such his body clung to the funk of a man who was trapped in a spandex-nomex-PVC jumpsuit.

"Why don't you just mail a letter not to be sent until that date, like they did in Back to the Future?"

"...well because, obviously--"

Ted thought about it further. "..."

"...oh my God I just got out movie referenced!"

"Umm..." Fateball nervously wasn't sure how to broach this next subject. Jughandle nudged her forward and smiled reassuringly.

"SHIT! WHY WASN'T THIS THE FIRST THING I DID!?! SHIT!!!"


"I just send a letter! I've been travelling to Boston, risking running into my younger self and screwing up the whole timespace continuum for NO REASON! SHIT! Get me a pen!"

"Well if it makes you feel any better, it wouldn't have mattered even if you had..."

"What do you mean? It couldn't hurt to try, I mean, sure maybe they think it's some kind of prank and don't-- wait a minute. What are you talking about?"

Fateball looked back sheepishly, and dropped her head, not making eye contact.

"What did you do?"

She produced the fateball from her bowling bag.

"No... No, we said we weren't going to do that!"

"Does Blue Beetle's letter ever get delivered to his friends?" She looked down and held up the fateball for the others to see. "'Outlook not so good.'" She read out.

"Hey! Stop that! We said we weren't going to do--!" He got to his feet and ran over to her grabbing her wrists.

"It'd been weeks, Blue. Weeks. I already did it."

"No..."

She repeated her question so he could see the answer for himself.

"Do we ever get a message back to Blue Beetle's friends in the future, for them to come and rescue him."

Ted looked down at the fateball in her hands.



Ted slumped into a quiet depression.




Another Two Weeks Later





"Sir, I don't think this is a good idea..." Skeets chimed in a somewhat panicked state.

"Well, I think it's a fantastic idea and I don't think now is the best time for your pessimism." Ted said, zooming in his left lens and prepping his new bargain-bin quality tools.

"I've worked with fine circuitry before, and I can't imagine 25th Century circuitry is any less finicky, so it would seem this isn't a good time for shaky hands or lack of confidence."

"Couldn't be more straight forward an idea. We cannibalize some of your temporal circuitry, find a way to expand the field... exponentially. Then we ride you back to our friends in the present day, where I fix you up."

"Such an action is almost certain to short out those fundamental circuits. And the components required to repair me won't exist for several hundred years." Skeets quickly replied.

"'Several'. Pfft. Now you're just being hyperbolic, three or four centuries. It's barely more than a few. ...Centuries."

Skeets red light blinked at Ted, as if judging him.

"Alright, I guess it is technically 'several'. But that's still no reason to be a big whiner about it!"

"Sir..." The red light blinked again.

"Alright, alright! Fine. We'll ride you to the 25th Century. Repair you. Buy whatever redundant components we need to fix you up again back in our time. THEN we go home." Ted folded his arms sullenly. "Chronal crybaby."

"Does RadioShack even exist in the 25th Century?" Jughandle asked, referring to where Ted had just bought his new tools.

"Of course it does, Juggy. Some companies like RadioShack, Blockbuster, Sharper Image... Some businesses are just forever. They're too big to fail."

Ted sucked his teeth, sighed and turned to Mize. "I don't care if she has that ball. Don't ever take stock tips from her."

"Is this really the best place to be doing this?" Mize asked.

"What are you talking about, it's a beautiful day. RadioShack was right there. I've got myself some new tools. I'm feeling reinvigorated. Excited to possibly be going home. Where's better?"

"Well it is kind of breezy... And there are birds. What if you're in the middle of doing your thing and a bird flies over and craps in--"

"Yes, alright. Renewed confidence aside, I suppose I am starting to come to terms with the reason they don't do open surgery outside..."

"Sir. Please don't let him anywhere near me when you--- well, you know..."

"Skeets, why are you being so dramatic? This isn't surgery. You're not going to die. I know what I'm doing."

"I suppose I'm just nervous because Mize rapidly degrades matter on a molecular level and I won't be protected by my chronal plating, which is also what protects me from the effects of time travel due to shear..."

"Well, it's alright Skeets, I'll make sure Mize keepes his distance whilst we--"

"...And your use of the word 'cannibalize'. As well as your use of 'find a way'..."

"Ok. That's fair--"

"...As well as your intention to tamper with my innerworkings using cheap tools from RadioShack."

"Well--"

"As well as the seemingly baseless overconfidence in your abilities to figure out technology from the 25th Century, whilst ignoring the obvious comparison of it being akin to someone from the age of the French Revolution figuring out how your Bug works whilst they barely have an understanding of basic muskets and the nature of the orbits of the earth, moon, planets and sun."

"Are you finished?"

"Are you still planning on tinkering with my innerworkings?"

"Of course."

"Then no, I'm not finished... As well as the fact that--"

This was going nowhere fact. Ted was growing weary of complaints, complications and obstacles between himself and his trip home back to friends, family and loved ones.

"--audacity to consider doing this outside, open to the elements where any squirrel might run off with a stray--"

"Look, Skeets. You're not really being fair. Sure, I'm from the 21st Century and the technology that was used in your creation came from the 25th Century. But I'm not just any 21st Century schlub. I happen to be one of the best engineers and scientists of my time. And sure, my own technology might baffle and bewilder the average man from that era, what if it were a Galileo or Sir Isaac Newton who were trying to figure it all out--"

"You did not just compare yourself to Sir Isaac Newton..."

"WHERE LOGIC, thank you very much Skeets, is key. I may only be a twenty-first Century man, but I am a THINKING Twenty-first century man. Am I not? And the most important thing would be to observe and consider things rationally before making any potential moves. Would you accept that? So let's take it slow. Have a look under the plating and see if maybe this is at least a problem that can be reasoned out."

Skeets carefully flickered his red light in consideration, and began to float less eratically.

"Weeeeeell..."

"Fair..?"

Skeets drifted back and floated into Ted's arms. "Fair."




Five minutes Later...





Skeets's casing has been opened up on a picnic bench, whilst Jughandle looks on over Ted's shoulder. Far off in the distance Mize stands sullenly, forced to be away from the action because of his powerset, whilst Fateball talks him down from his disappointment. Ted's left eye looks huge from the magnifaction of that single lens on his cowl.

"Whoa..." Uttered Jughandle.

Skeets flickered nervously.

"It's alright, Skeets, calm down. You're in expert hands nowww-- What the Hell is that..?" Ted poked gently at a crystalline component with a screwdriver that was clearly invented sometime in the distant future.

Skeets suddenly closed up, flashed his lights and flew away erratically.

"NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-Nope-Nope-nope-nope..."

The pair watched as Skeets flew across the park in a panicked serpentine fashion, narrowly avoiding trees and a frisbee.

"I probably could have handled that better..."

"We'd better catch him before he gets out of sight, or gets himself in trouble. He's pretty quick. Guys!"

Fateball and Mize suddenly snapped to attention and, recognising the situation, began chasing after the fleeing robot.

Ted quickly boxed his new tools and took off in pursuit as well.

The four chased the floating robot this way and that throughout the park, before they came to an impasse. Skeets floated above a lake in the park and amplified his mechanical voice through a small loudspeaker which was produced from somewhere within. Whilst the other four stood on the bank several metres away, watching on, panting from the chase.

"That's enough! I think it's time we faced some hard facts. I have been more than cordial until now, but we are clearly still experiencing difficulties in understanding--"

"Wait, Skeets-- Look over there!"

"Wow. Sir. That is really insulting. I'm a robot powered by a 25th Century artificial intelligence, and you think I'm going to fall for 'Look over there'..."

"No, Skeets. You're floating over a lake. I can't reach you anyway, just-- Look!"

"Over the course of our mutual adventures you have employed a 'Look over there!' tactic against no fewer than 46.4% of our antagonists. Including an incident when the Mayor of New York City wished to discuss property damage, at which time you slipped through a crowd and tapped Maxwell Lord on the shoulder so that he would look up and act as a diversion--"

"Is that true? Do you really try and make 'Look over there' work as a superhero tactic..?" Fateball whispered.

"Well, now I'm embarrassed to say..." Ted whispered in reply. She shook her head in judgement.

"It's not my fault, I just go with what works..."

"--it's one thing when you're trying that kind of fatuous 'move' against the likes of Blockbuster or the Condiment King--"

"The Condiment King..?"

"Don't ask, it was a very sticky situation..."

"--but to think you'd try and use such a transparent, idiotic ploy against me. I'm not sure if it says more about you or me."

"Look, you're 25th Century tech, floating higher than I could jump, over a lake I couldn't cross without swimming! I couldn't get at you if I wanted to! Just look! Over at the RadioShack!"

There we go! Massive goddamn conclusion post and it leads into a new status quo for the next arc, which will be here...

...whenever the Hell I get around to it.

Enjoy!


T H E ‘ E M B A S S Y ‘

Four Months Ago | Manhattan, New York

“OK… so it says here that you’re a mutant…” Ted started, flicking through the résumé and pausing to look for the name of this new prospect

“Is that going to be a problem?”

“What, no-- No! No problem at all. I’m best friends with mutants. My girlfriend’s a mutant…” Ted stammered.

“Ah-huh.” Came the flat reply.

“Part of why I put this team together. Was to show that mutants and humans can collaborate and work together effectively without any kind of issues or problems at all. No problem. What I was saying though, is that it says you’re a mutant but then underneath ‘Powers and Abilities’ it mentions—” He tried to get the interview back on track.

“I have a beak.”



“Yes. I can see that. But— does it come in useful at all? Like are you able to use it for—”

“Sometimes I open bottles or cans with it…”

“I think what my compatriot is asking is, does it make you adept at all in a fight? Can you just let someone have it with that thing, or..?” Booster asked, shadow-boxing from his seat.

“What? No. It’s on my face. I’d literally be smashing my face into things. That’s not fun.”

“OK. Flight? Can you fly, or?”

“Well, I have got extremely lightweight bones…”

“Uh-huh.” Ted said rocking forward.

“And I used to wear a suit that would kind of help me glide a bit.”

“OK.”

“But that was kind of just the suit. I mean I have some feathers growing—but they’re kind of growing through patchy underneath these clothes. Charles Xavier said one day I might be able to fly though. Without the suit. It seems that’s how my body is growing...”

“Ah, references. Yes. That's good...” Added Booster, flicking forward through the résumé to that part.

“But not yet.”

“No.”

“And you can’t fight?”

“No. In fact, I’m pretty uniquely terrible there. Hollow bones aren’t the best for throwing a punch.”

The three sat in silence for a moment at that response. Ted trying to think about how to address the uncomfortable truth.

“Sooo… how exactly do you plan to be effective out in the field? I mean superheroics isn’t exactly the most forgiving field of endeavour to be learning self defence on the fly.”

“Whoa—whoa—Superheroics? I’m just here to get a job.”

“A job?” Booster queried.

“What exactly do you think we do here?”

“Yeah, I get that. I mean I’m not stupid or anything. But you’re not only hiring mutants to put them on the front line or anything are you? I mean, there’s gotta be other jobs around here that you’d be willing to take on a mutant for… or are we only any good when we’re out there putting our lives on the line for—”

“Whoah!” Exclaimed Ted immediately on the defense, immediately thrusting a palm out as if to stop that line of discussion.. “No! We’re not like that at all!”

Booster watched on, slightly amused at his friend’s response.

“I mean, I can push a broom. This is a big place, I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff around here that needs doing on a day to day basis.”

“That IS true.” Ted considered.

“I mean there seems to only be the two of you here…”

“Alright, hold it right there. We’re not the only two.”

“The others are out at the moment. On patrol or other assigned duties.” Said Booster.

“Then why are you two here doing this?”

“Well, I’m here because I’m supposed to squeeze some sleep in before I have other duties elsewhere in my other life. My other job.”

“And him?”

“I didn’t feel like going out. Patrol’s boring.” Booster explained, stretching out in full recline on the lounge..

“Well, wouldn’t it be good to have someone else here on payroll taking care of the mundane daily operations, making sure the pantry stays full and all the rooms stay clean, who can call you all in if there’s some kind of attack on your headquarters here? So someone like him doesn’t have to stay back to protect the homestead?” The young mutant pointed at Booster. "Because it seems like a waste of manpower.”

“The whole complex has an automated defense system that I designed myself. And he wasn’t joking.” Ted corrected, with a sigh. “He just genuinely didn’t feel like going out, and doesn’t do it if he thinks I’m skipping out on something he’d find boring.”

He turned to Booster and scowled. "It’s not something I thought he’d be so open and honest about with members of the public who he’s only just met though...”

“But you make a good point." Ted got to his feet looking back to the young applicant, signifying the end of the meeting. The potential new candidate also got to his feet and shook Ted’s hand.

“We’ll go through your references. Make sure everything in here checks out, and we might get back to you about-- that kind of position.”

The newcomer shook both heroes hands and then walked out the door.

"Man, he figured you out in seconds and played you like a fiddle." Booster derisively said of Ted.

"What do you mean?"

"What do I mean?? Feh nyeh nyeah no, we duh--duh--don't mistreat mutants, we aren't bigots." Booster delivered an offensive imitation of his friend.

"What? We don't."

"I KNOW we don't. But all anyone has to do is throw up the mere suggestion of you being an anti-mutant bigot and you turn into this stammering wet puddle of awkward liberalness. It's pitiful. AND, if anything, it looks like you're overcompensating."

"That's ridiculous... you don't really think he thinks we have something to hide, do you?" Ted looked concerned.

Booster let out a deep sigh. "Ughhhhhhh, Ted! Why do you care?"

"Beeeeeecause I don't want to come across as a bigot?" He replied, thinking that adequately explained his motivations.

"Fiiine. Then just confirm with his references and hire the guy."

Ted looked at the résumé in his hand and clucked his tongue in his cheek before dropping it on the coffee table.

"Naaaah. I think I'll just tell him he's fine and we'll start him this Monday."

"What? Whyyyyyyyyohmygod! You DO have a problem with mutants! I knew it!" Booster exclaimed, pointing at Ted in an "Ah-Ha!" gesture as if he'd caught him in a lie.

"What--? No. It's not that. You know I don't have any problem with mutants. It's-- Charles Xavier. He's not just "a mutant", I've heard the guy's a telepath..."

"So..?"

"Well, some of us, Booster, value what's between our ears very much. I don't care where he got his powers from. If they came from some other means, a pill, whatever, I'd still be just as unnerved. It's too much power for anyone to have. The thought of it makes me uncomfortable."

"How do you figure? You don't have any problem with Superman. He's waaaay powerful."

"Alright, let me put it this way. If Superman decided for whatever reason, that he wanted to walk up and punt you or me into the sun, he could probably do it--"

"Exactly!"

"--BUT everyone would see him do it, because he's one of the most recognizable individuals on the planet. And if they didn't SEE him do it, there's so few people capable of doing that here on Earth that they'd check for alibis to the people capable, investigate, and there'd be consequences for those actions. A TELEPATH on the other hand, could potentially just give you or me a stroke, and then immediately erase the memory of you from the mind of every person who ever knew you. They could potentially undo your existence. THAT'S the power of the mind, Booster."

"Whoah, that's dark... You've been thinking about this."

"No. Not really. Isn't that much just obvious to people in general?"

"So, you're just going to give this kid the job without checking his references because you think, what, this Charles Xavier guy's going to kill you?

"Well, no. I mean, I hardly think the guy's going to kill me. I mean he's the pre-eminent name in mutant rights. Heh, if he was going to misuse those powers and really drive mutant rights through he could just plant the suggestion in everyone's heads. So if he doesn't want the heat from misusing his powers over something as meaningful as that, I hardly think he's going to use them to kill some guy he's never met before... let alone someone who runs a superhero team devoted to proving that humans and mutants can co-exist."

"Then what are you scared of?"

"I don't know... I have a board meeting later. Public speaking... Imposter syndrome. I don't really like these things in the first place, and just coming back from talking with a telepath it'll be in the back of my mind. 'Maybe Xavier put some hex on me... maybe he's Manchurian Candidate'd me. Maybe he's going to make me drop my pants in the middle of the meeting'..."

"Wow, really?"

Ted jumped up on the coffee table and started, strutting around making wings. "'Maybe he'll make me run around clucking like a chicken' or something dumb like that... in front of the board."

"Alright, I'm starting to see what it's like being on this side of these ridiculous discussions and I'm not comfortable with it..."

Ted was in full swing now, jumping from the coffee table to the sofa and crowing like a rooster. "Buk-- bukk-- BUKKAAAW! BUK-- BUK-- BUK--!"

Then the door started to crack open.



Ted looked from Booster to the young mutant. "That-- wasn't about you..?"

"Ah-huh... I left my backpack."

He slowly trudged across the living room and picked up his backpack, before slowly walking back to the door.

"So... see you when you start on Monday?"

The young mutant turned around, a stoic expression across his beak. "Regular hero salary." He flatly replied.

"I-- I think we can work something like that out." He reassured.

"I wasn't asking." He opened the door and walked out.

"OK! Oh-kay!" Ted said as he jumped off the lounge and raced towards the door, calling out after him. "So we'll see you Monday, right?! Barnell?! RIGHT?!?"

Booster just stood back with his hands on his hips in judgement. "--Tch-- Like I said. Pitiful." Shaking his head at his friend's display.




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

2002 | Oh, are you kidding me??? Still, New Jersey...

Ted sat on the park bench, with a full length tan trenchcoat mostly covering his colourful superhero attire, and the hat from the set of Karl LaFrey and the Plunderers of the Ark of the Covenant perched upon his head.

Skeets floated gently beside him, and the three kids were still gathered around him.

"So how exactly does this work? Will they show up on the hour? You wrote an exact time and date on the car, right?" Jughandle asked.

"I did. But the one who's going to be coming isn't exactly-- perfectly reliable-- so just being in the ballpark wouldn't be out of the question for him. He's--"

"Kind of a screw up?"

"..."

Ted just sighed before deciding not to answer the question.

"So thanks again for the coat, by the way." He flapped open the trenchcoat on one side indicating the new clothes.

"That's fine. My parents own an antique store with a vintage and secondhand clothing section attached. It comes in pretty handy since-- well, I kind of go through clothes pretty fast." Mize replied.

"In fact--" Fateball added, holding up the tail of his own coat and showing him the significant deteriation, tattered holes, and signs of extreme wear on the back of what he was wearing.

"Aww man... I just grabbed these yesterday!" Mize complained.

The trio waited as seconds of silence passed before Jughandle suddenly and abruptly broke it by speaking up.

"Ugh. I've gotta go. My Dad's calling me home."

"Phone on vibrate?" Ted asked.

"Phone?"

"JESSE! Stop messing around with that vagrant and get your butt home, Mister!"

"Ah." The Blue Beetle uttered in understanding.

"Sorry." He said, calling back over his shoulder as he ran off. "I gotta go. I'll see you tomorrow!"

"I hope not!" Ted yelled back at the absent-mindedly optimistic youth, his brow furrowed.

"We should probably get going too." Fateball said, grabbing Mize. "Our parents aren't as hardassed as Jesse's, but they'll still be expecting us for dinner. We'll check on you later."

"Yeah, sure."

"Seeya, man." "Bye."

They left him in peace, and in the sudden complete silence Ted could not only finally hear himself think, but his stomach grumble.

He sighed and pulled the trenchcoat tight across himself. A bitter wind swept through the park.




Three Weeks Later





"Alright. This time when we go back, I leave a specific note marked FOR BOOSTER in an envelope marked to not open it until the year I'm gone..."

Ted looked like Hell. He'd grown a beard, albeit patchy. The others had offered to let him use their bathroom and laundry, but the wiring in his suit made it clearly "Dry Clean only" and the chemicals he used to personally clean his Blue Beetle suit were stuck in his home in the future. As such his body clung to the funk of a man who was trapped in a spandex-nomex-PVC jumpsuit.

"Why don't you just mail a letter not to be sent until that date, like they did in Back to the Future?"

"...well because, obviously--"

Ted thought about it further. "..."

"...oh my God I just got out movie referenced!"

"Umm..." Fateball nervously wasn't sure how to broach this next subject. Jughandle nudged her forward and smiled reassuringly.

"SHIT! WHY WASN'T THIS THE FIRST THING I DID!?! SHIT!!!"


"I just send a letter! I've been travelling to Boston, risking running into my younger self and screwing up the whole timespace continuum for NO REASON! SHIT! Get me a pen!"

"Well if it makes you feel any better, it wouldn't have mattered even if you had..."

"What do you mean? It couldn't hurt to try, I mean, sure maybe they think it's some kind of prank and don't-- wait a minute. What are you talking about?"

Fateball looked back sheepishly, and dropped her head, not making eye contact.

"What did you do?"

She produced the fateball from her bowling bag.

"No... No, we said we weren't going to do that!"

"Does Blue Beetle's letter ever get delivered to his friends?" She looked down and held up the fateball for the others to see. "'Outlook not so good.'" She read out.

"Hey! Stop that! We said we weren't going to do--!" He got to his feet and ran over to her grabbing her wrists.

"It'd been weeks, Blue. Weeks. I already did it."

"No..."

She repeated her question so he could see the answer for himself.

"Do we ever get a message back to Blue Beetle's friends in the future, for them to come and rescue him."

Ted looked down at the fateball in her hands.



Ted slumped into a quiet depression.




Another Two Weeks Later





"Sir, I don't think this is a good idea..." Skeets chimed in a somewhat panicked state.

"Well, I think it's a fantastic idea and I don't think now is the best time for your pessimism." Ted said, zooming in his left lens and prepping his new bargain-bin quality tools.

"I've worked with fine circuitry before, and I can't imagine 25th Century circuitry is any less finicky, so it would seem this isn't a good time for shaky hands or lack of confidence."

"Couldn't be more straight forward an idea. We cannibalize some of your temporal circuitry, find a way to expand the field... exponentially. Then we ride you back to our friends in the present day, where I fix you up."

"Such an action is almost certain to short out those fundamental circuits. And the components required to repair me won't exist for several hundred years." Skeets quickly replied.

"'Several'. Pfft. Now you're just being hyperbolic, three or four centuries. It's barely more than a few. ...Centuries."

Skeets red light blinked at Ted, as if judging him.

"Alright, I guess it is technically 'several'. But that's still no reason to be a big whiner about it!"

"Sir..." The red light blinked again.

"Alright, alright! Fine. We'll ride you to the 25th Century. Repair you. Buy whatever redundant components we need to fix you up again back in our time. THEN we go home." Ted folded his arms sullenly. "Chronal crybaby."

"Does RadioShack even exist in the 25th Century?" Jughandle asked, referring to where Ted had just bought his new tools.

"Of course it does, Juggy. Some companies like RadioShack, Blockbuster, Sharper Image... Some businesses are just forever. They're too big to fail."

Ted sucked his teeth, sighed and turned to Mize. "I don't care if she has that ball. Don't ever take stock tips from her."

"Is this really the best place to be doing this?" Mize asked.

"What are you talking about, it's a beautiful day. RadioShack was right there. I've got myself some new tools. I'm feeling reinvigorated. Excited to possibly be going home. Where's better?"

"Well it is kind of breezy... And there are birds. What if you're in the middle of doing your thing and a bird flies over and craps in--"

"Yes, alright. Renewed confidence aside, I suppose I am starting to come to terms with the reason they don't do open surgery outside..."

"Sir. Please don't let him anywhere near me when you--- well, you know..."

"Skeets, why are you being so dramatic? This isn't surgery. You're not going to die. I know what I'm doing."

"I suppose I'm just nervous because Mize rapidly degrades matter on a molecular level and I won't be protected by my chronal plating, which is also what protects me from the effects of time travel due to shear..."

"Well, it's alright Skeets, I'll make sure Mize keepes his distance whilst we--"

"...And your use of the word 'cannibalize'. As well as your use of 'find a way'..."

"Ok. That's fair--"

"...As well as your intention to tamper with my innerworkings using cheap tools from RadioShack."

"Well--"

"As well as the seemingly baseless overconfidence in your abilities to figure out technology from the 25th Century, whilst ignoring the obvious comparison of it being akin to someone from the age of the French Revolution figuring out how your Bug works whilst they barely have an understanding of basic muskets and the nature of the orbits of the earth, moon, planets and sun."

"Are you finished?"

"Are you still planning on tinkering with my innerworkings?"

"Of course."

"Then no, I'm not finished... As well as the fact that--"

This was going nowhere fact. Ted was growing weary of complaints, complications and obstacles between himself and his trip home back to friends, family and loved ones.

"--audacity to consider doing this outside, open to the elements where any squirrel might run off with a stray--"

"Look, Skeets. You're not really being fair. Sure, I'm from the 21st Century and the technology that was used in your creation came from the 25th Century. But I'm not just any 21st Century schlub. I happen to be one of the best engineers and scientists of my time. And sure, my own technology might baffle and bewilder the average man from that era, what if it were a Galileo or Sir Isaac Newton who were trying to figure it all out--"

"You did not just compare yourself to Sir Isaac Newton..."

"WHERE LOGIC, thank you very much Skeets, is key. I may only be a twenty-first Century man, but I am a THINKING Twenty-first century man. Am I not? And the most important thing would be to observe and consider things rationally before making any potential moves. Would you accept that? So let's take it slow. Have a look under the plating and see if maybe this is at least a problem that can be reasoned out."

Skeets carefully flickered his red light in consideration, and began to float less eratically.

"Weeeeeell..."

"Fair..?"

Skeets drifted back and floated into Ted's arms. "Fair."




Five minutes Later...





Skeets's casing has been opened up on a picnic bench, whilst Jughandle looks on over Ted's shoulder. Far off in the distance Mize stands sullenly, forced to be away from the action because of his powerset, whilst Fateball talks him down from his disappointment. Ted's left eye looks huge from the magnifaction of that single lens on his cowl.

"Whoa..." Uttered Jughandle.

Skeets flickered nervously.

"It's alright, Skeets, calm down. You're in expert hands nowww-- What the Hell is that..?" Ted poked gently at a crystalline component with a screwdriver that was clearly invented sometime in the distant future.

Skeets suddenly closed up, flashed his lights and flew away erratically.

"NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-NOPE-Nope-Nope-nope-nope..."

The pair watched as Skeets flew across the park in a panicked serpentine fashion, narrowly avoiding trees and a frisbee.

"I probably could have handled that better..."

"We'd better catch him before he gets out of sight, or gets himself in trouble. He's pretty quick. Guys!"

Fateball and Mize suddenly snapped to attention and, recognising the situation, began chasing after the fleeing robot.

Ted quickly boxed his new tools and took off in pursuit as well.

The four chased the floating robot this way and that throughout the park, before they came to an impasse. Skeets floated above a lake in the park and amplified his mechanical voice through a small loudspeaker which was produced from somewhere within. Whilst the other four stood on the bank several metres away, watching on, panting from the chase.

"That's enough! I think it's time we faced some hard facts. I have been more than cordial until now, but we are clearly still experiencing difficulties in understanding--"

"Wait, Skeets-- Look over there!"

"Wow. Sir. That is really insulting. I'm a robot powered by a 25th Century artificial intelligence, and you think I'm going to fall for 'Look over there'..."

"No, Skeets. You're floating over a lake. I can't reach you anyway, just-- Look!"

"Over the course of our mutual adventures you have employed a 'Look over there!' tactic against no fewer than 46.4% of our antagonists. Including an incident when the Mayor of New York City wished to discuss property damage, at which time you slipped through a crowd and tapped Maxwell Lord on the shoulder so that he would look up and act as a diversion--"

"Is that true? Do you really try and make 'Look over there' work as a superhero tactic..?" Fateball whispered.

"Well, now I'm embarrassed to say..." Ted whispered in reply. She shook her head in judgement.

"It's not my fault, I just go with what works..."

"--it's one thing when you're trying that kind of fatuous 'move' against the likes of Blockbuster or the Condiment King--"

"The Condiment King..?"

"Don't ask, it was a very sticky situation..."

"--but to think you'd try and use such a transparent, idiotic ploy against me. I'm not sure if it says more about you or me."

"Look, you're 25th Century tech, floating higher than I could jump, over a lake I couldn't cross without swimming! I couldn't get at you if I wanted to! Just look! Over at the RadioShack!"

<Snipped quote by Hound55>

Ah okay that part I got. I just wasn't sure if there was a hip and trendy page on Urban Dictionary for it.

When does Red look up his own name on Urban Dictionary?


You'll know, because he'll lock himself in his room and won't come out.
<Snipped quote by Hound55>

Okay I don't get the 77 thing is that an actual thing or a red thing?


It's another number where it's factors are two primes (7 and 11).

It's a joke that Red doesn't get it.
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