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Collab between @ProPro, @Old Amsterdam, and @solokolos


The note was pocketed smoothly as James raised his other hand to scratch the back of his head. He accepted the condolences knowingly, shrugging in an exaggerated manner. Internally he was stunned, but the newcomer hero dealt with the situation as professionally as he could. Moving away, he waited unti he was out of sight to uncrumple the note and read it. James had to read it three times to actually process what was being said. It seemed so. . . Out of character. No not out of character, just contrary to the persona Furnace had propped up.

A breath he hadn't known he'd been holding in escaped him as he made his decision, decided this was wholly worthwhile. He moved his fingers so they were holding the very edge of the note, and moved his hand to let it catch some air. It straightened until it was parallel with the ground and then he teleported towards the nearest wall.

All but the edge of the note was destroyed. James teleported again, disappearing into the ether for a while, before appearing in his home. He changed out of his costume slowly, taking care to organize his clothes properly. No hero work would mean no costume for a bit, but he didn't need a costume to get things done.

Inkscape's stern warning reminded James his role here, taking the action he did was foolhearty. If there was an aspect of Shatterpoint's power yet undiscovered, if it perceived the future in some nature, he would've been seriously injured. James stopped the mental spiral with a quick exhale, letting the situation play out around him. Once Ceramix was captured, the hostages safe, he removed himself from the containment foam. The tongue lashing awaited him, but he shelved his worry. James approached Inkscape of his own accord, his posture steady, but something about his body language giving it away. Motioning towards the door, the signal was clear that he wanted to walk out with Inkscape. He regretted his rash decision, and was ready for the inevitable reprimand, but didn't expect it immediately.


The corner seemed like a great place for Epsilon, as she tried not to panic. The situation seemed momentarily resolved before Ceramix took drastic action. Hostages were involved now, and the frown Epsilon formed stayed that way as it played out. Just when the situation seemed lost, Inkscape intervened and saved the last of the hostages. Shatterpoint was still panicking, something very painful watch/listen to. That also got slowly resolved, and Inkscape started thanking people for their effort. Epsilon avoided eye contact, and stayed silent. She was Master infected, and she didn't know if it could spread. She felt so out of control, so helpless, it was-it was the situation with Chatterbox all over again.

The Visage

The ride back to the Rocker HQ was uneventful, Visage didn't even mind that the taxi stunk of cigarettes. The PRT was becoming less and less of a threat with every employee that saw her eyes. It wasn't quite enough for her to stop being patient, but it was a confidence boost. "Not like you need it." A giggle escaped her lips, drawing the cabi's eyes up to the rear view mirror. Visage didn't explain herself, she just kept looking out the window, not truly seeing the sights.

The driver slowed to a stop, looking a bit confused. "This is a pretty bad neighborhood, you do know that?" His accent was very thick, sounded like he hailed from roundabouts Virginia.

"I can take of myself just fine," Visage said, pulling out her wallet from her purse, and handing over the exorbitant fee. Opening the door, she slipped the wallet back into her purse. Visage started walking, quickly finding her way back into the Rocker's headquarters.

The few goons that were present paid her no mind, her power putting the mask on her face that she was too lazy to actually wear. She found herself at the room with Shatterpoint's laptop, and waited in the doorway. Quickly, she recalled a node that she had recently set, an officer on scene at the charity event. She stole his eyes for a moment, and got a clear image of how bad it was going for the bosses. Shrugging, she sat down at Shatterpoint's laptop, propping her legs up, and disconnecting the headphones before placing them over her ears. A smile was stuck to her face.

Decoy was right, there were more pressing matters, but it seemed a bit dismissive. Maybe Epsilon was becoming too jaded though, after all it was a small thing. Once the citizens were evacuated, she turned her attention to Ceramix. but the situation had changed substantially since she had left the building to help remove civilians. Shatterpoint had been targeted by Hermes, while the heavy hitter of Outsider was targeting Ceramix. It was quite the battle, but it seemed to be over, at least for Shatterpoint. "I don't have the power nullification generator, so I can't do too much to help." She said into her comms. "Also I misreported earlier earlier, it was a master/stranger hybrid. the parahuman appears to be gone, but I can't fully confirm that as I am affected. The power affect made me think that Protean was present, but that's all I know about it."

The news that he wouldn't have to push himself to the point of disability from Decoy was well appreciated. He did the long range teleport again, and was struck by how much the situation had changed in the time he was gone. Slowly, the stone golem buckled, being torn apart by a (seemingly) well coordinated attack by various heroes.

Taking a breath, as pain made it hard to stand, he glanced over at the remaining Rockers. A blink of the eye, and he was outside the containment vehicle. Another blink, and two thugs tumbled into the back of the containment space. "Just stay down. If you move too much, my next teleport might merge your buddies head with your sternum. On accident of course." He wasn't going to teleport into that van again, but it was a good way to keep them still.

The battlefield had shifted again, and now Shatterpoint was here. God damn. The man was an intimidating combat thinker on a bad day. There were more Rocker thugs, but Hermes didn't want to take a pawn when he could mate the king.

Standing, he examined the various players. It could be said that it was only a matter of time until Shatterpoint was captured, but the risk of serious injury was still unreasonably high. Glancing down at his belt, he smiled. It was over. He removed a containment foam grenade, as some creature from the black lagoon looking girl covered the villain's hand in tar. He removed the pin, counting down in his head. "3 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi." He chose a position right behind Shatterpoint, and was now staring at the thinkers back, his hand extended with the grenade held within. He let go, pushing it slightly towards the combat thinker. Here was hoping.

Seeing the figure of the Ward Epsilon rising above the crowd, Nora turned her camera towards her. She was scanning the crowd with something on her head. It looked like welding goggles, but with an extra bit on the top. Very strange. It wasn't actually digital or anything like that though, as Nora's power notified her of the possibility of activating it. Looking at her through the camera, Epsilon's eyes were on her now. Raising her head above the camera, she activated her power. Thinking quickly, she chose to look like how she had last seen Protean. In her place, a bulky Minotaur now stood above the crowd. Gross. Now it was time to leave though, she couldn't keep this up forever.

Moving to the side, she joined a group of civilians who were taking cover behind some of the PRT soldiers. After a bit, they allowed them to exit, and Nora smiled as she left the hall. This was a productive event.


Epsilon shook her head, practically face palming. The person she had thought was the stranger was just Protean. They were still out there, but she couldn't see them. "I don't see the Stranger Tulpa. They might've left. Moving to evacuate civilians." She said into her comm, before pushing herself off the ceiling, back towards the entrance.

Quickly she drifted back to the ground, taking a few steps before deactivating her flight pack. Epsilon had landed just past the protectorate soldiers, and started talking to some civilians. "We're gonna get you out of here don't worry. I can take people one at a time." She said, her voice confident. Being given orders had definitely helped. In the midst of her speaking, she heard Protean respond in the comms saying he was enroute. But she had just seen him. . . "I have been affected by the Stranger, I think. What do I do?"


Always the same orders. He loved it, it was simple to do. Activating his power, he pushed himself back into the group of Rockers, grabbing two of the thugs, and leaving instantly. As floated, suspended in his power, his thoughts raced. This distance was too far, he might suffer permanent injuries if forced to do this another time. Arriving, he dropped them and teleported just beyond the door of the cell.

"This distance is too far. Anywhere else I can bring them?" Hermes asked into his communicator. An intern had dropped some papers in surprise, and Hermes did his best to not embarrass the man.
I vote for Retcon because you can't always win @ProPro.
Half Measures

Epsilon and Hermes

A warning was following by an explosion of stone. A piece of rubble was hurdling towards Epsilon's booth in slow motion before a black curtain hid it. Epsilon fell on her rear, while the curtain hardly moved. The young tinker turned over, and crawled to the next booth on her hands and knees. Lillian called out that it was Ceramix as she arrived, and Epsilon waited for Evelyn's analysis of the situation. She didn't have to wait long, as her teammate opened her eyes and spoke. There was a cape in the crowd that was acting like a civilian, and they should avoid eye contact. That was a lot to ask, it was hard not to look at people's eyes, it was probably human nature or something. Epsilon peaked over the barrier, observing their common enemy from afar.

The nothing opened up for Hermes, the stone figures leg took up most of his vision, its hip just visible. A rocker landed directly in front of him, though he stumbled in surprise at the heroes sudden appearance. Hermes grabbed the man and willed himself away. The darkness consumed him again, stripping him of his senses.

A silent prayer went up from Epsilon that Hermes was on their side. The alternative was terrifying. She took stock of the equipment she had brought with her. She had left the Nullification Sphere on her bed, since it wasn't flashy enough to warrant bringing it to a charity event. She had another flightpack at her booth! "E-Evelyn. I got another flightpack on the floor of my booth. You've used it once before, you know it's not difficult. If you think it's a good time, use it, or-I don't know. It's there."

Color filled James's vision, and he threw the gangster on the ground of the holding cell. He raised his hand to the communicator, toggling it on. "Got a bogey in cell 5," He said, waiting for a response before teleporting back to the convention center. This was a much longer range than he normally used, and he knew he would pay for it.

Epsilon waited for a response from Evelyn while steeling herself. She stepped out into the open and pushed upward into the air, pulling her signature goggles over her mask, while the world changed tones in the process. It was sepia under the goggles, with parahumans lighting up in this dull world. Some didn't count though, for example Outsider and Inkscape, who stayed the same dull color. Just as Evelyn had said, a green light was shining in the crowd, but something was off about it.

Hermes reappeared in mid air, falling where the Ward across the room was floating upward. He reoriented himself, and chose his destination; an empty spot on top of the table he had been previously sat at. Standing there, he waited for Decoy to give him orders, if they had any. The situation hadn't changed too much in his absence, but he still took the time to take it in. There was a dragon in the corner, which he hadn't noticed before. Made him feel a bit daft to have just noticed it now.

The door shook as Nora ripped it open, the taxi driver glancing back as the young woman entering his car was trying her best to contain her own shaking. "The convention center. I have a pass, it won't matter that I'm late," Visage said, stuffing her mask into her bag. The reversed design of the top half being broken as opposed to the bottom meant it was slightly smaller. She took out a small spray bottle and cloth, getting it moist enough to wipe her eyes clean of the black makeup that darkened them. Then she redid her eyelashes and did the foundation that was previously missing. To this end she used a portable mirror, the entire procedure being a relatively simple one.

Upon arriving, she handed cash to the taxi driver, and thanked him, before getting out of the car. Nora stretched a bit, being careful to keep her dress decent, before removing the Kodak camera from her bag, and attaching its small lens. The building should be evenly lit to increase the amount of photography done, but it would probably be a very neutral light setting. To help counter this, as she walked to the entrance she adjusted the color settings on the camera. It was a slight adjustment to the white balance of the camera, but it would make the subjects appear more natural. That was important, as any oddity of the pictures would be discussed AdNauseam on the various forums.

As she arrived at the security checkpoint, she flashed her press pass, and was promptly let through. She didn't actually have a job at any local newspaper, but they provided the pass at one point in exchange for some high quality photos she had taken, and the promise of first pick on future shoots they would be interested in. As soon as she entered, Outsider filled up her vision. She quickly scrambled to get a good angle, framing him with adoring fans. Her various customers would love to see a rare picture like this, framing him in a positive light. There would be hundreds of pictures of Outsider floating there with a neutral background, but much fewer of this more human perspective.

After she took the third picture a voice called out a warning she couldn't quite understand. Outsider shifted first, moving to keep more people from getting in, while PRT veterans assisted him. Nothing about Outsiders form registered as eyes, but the soliders were less lucky. She activated her power, convincing them she was Inkscape, and slipped under Outsiders tentacle. His attention was more on the people who had just destroyed a wall, which was understandable. She slipped off to the side, just out of sight of the PRT personnel before shifting back, though she didn't fully remove her power. Ceramix was the one entering, with other members of the Rockers, and Nora got a great candid shot of its entrance. It was a very good day for her, in more ways than one.

Nora kept taking photos of the heroes getting into place, and generally getting ready to fight, while the Rockers began what she considered a feeble assault.

It had been her idea, and it'd been hard to approve. Decoy had taken a long time to satisfy, in showing the device was completely safe under a myriad of conditions. Epsilon even had to radiation proof the damn thing. Putting it on had been another worry, so she hid it under her normal hero attire, just over her undergarments. It was shaped like a heating pad that covered from the top of her back to right above her backside. Rt did inflate a little bit, but that was a subtle change. Epsilon was flying by the seat of her pants when she was making it, so to speak, and as such it had taken her much less to make it than her other tinker devices. It had a battery that could last around thirty minutes, but it had a lot of excess 'heat.' It wasn't actual heat, in fact it got very cold during normal operation.

Pressing the button on the remote caused a bit of lift, and made her feel very light on her feet. If she gave any amount of push to the ground, she would continue upward until stopped, or until the atmosphere got too thin. It reminded her of when you pushed all the oxygen out of your lungs, and stayed under water. The lack of buoyancy would keep you at a near neutral level in the fluid. Epsilon had practiced with the machine extensively, and now she pushed every so lightly to lift herself off the ground, grabbing the edge of the booth above her to bring herself right in front of a very confused little girl, and her equally confused mother.

The little girl had a small mask hanging off her head, reminiscent of Narwhal's. "How are you? Are you enjoying the event?" She asked, trying her best to seem like the bubbly superhero that she would often see on TV. Epsilon twisted her hips, switching what hand was held onto the booth above her, so that she was upside down. The girl giggled, and the mother decided the appropriate reaction was to smile, happy that her daughter was getting the fun she came to the event for. It didn't last long though, as the daughter pulled on her mothers leg, trying to get her to head towards the table with Furnace and various other members of the protectorate. A long breath escaped Epsilon's lip, as she brought herself back to ground level, and deactivated her flight pack. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Sylph approaching a different set of booths, and waved frantically at the woman.

Not so Fun(draising)

Furnace was quite the diplomatic fellow, not once mentioning the history between him and Hermes while they sat next to each other. Hermes answered questions that were thrown to him every so often, but more than that he sat and listened. This was probably one of the last places he would've liked to be, but the PR lady had been very clear that it was important he go. He had conceded, and now gave his best approximation of someone who really didn't enjoy public events. He, at least, sold that.
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