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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.

The scent was wrong. Nora was following Creep, and despite the crowd of interesting villains, she was still caught off guard by the scent. She had been to many bars and this didn’t smell right. Purge sitting at the table he was could’ve explained it, but it didn’t seem correct. The next thing she noticed was that no one could see her eyes. Nora was two steps in when she realized her power was not registering anyone present. She stopped the dress swinging forward for a moment before stopping with her.

”The games already begun, huh? Stopping powers. Well I’m out then, I know the risk that carries for everyone present. I’m going, Creep will have to be the sole representative of the Rockers. Please don’t stop me, or the value of this neutral meeting will be underminded further than it already has been.”

Her voice was much more matter of fact than normal, and anyone paying very close attention might be able to tell that she seemed genuinely worried. Even though she was used to not using her power, being without the option even frightened her to her core. It was something too near and dear to her everyday life. She turned around, walking towards the door. Nora’s library of nodes was gone too, not as if the pages were blank but as if there was an empty lot where the library had once been.
Protectorate Headquarters


The young tinker stayed silent for longer than was normally expected, trying to process this all. Half of her wanted to leap forward and say something obvious like ""You're a woman?!" but her heart wasn't in it. Instead she gathered her thoughts before speaking, the flame of anger still burning away deep inside. "Why did you let him use his power?" She chose Japanese this time, as Decoy was the only one she could speak to in her native tongue. It was strange though, connecting this person with Decoy. The image she was used to was not present, replaced by something theoretically more solid.

Before Decoy could speak, she spoke again. "You knew, you knew and you let him use his power while he was with the Wards. We're supposed to be a force for good, and you decided his life was forfeit in every dimension but this one? Who are you to make that decision?" It felt wrong to be questioning her teacher's authority, but she was pissed, and not quite thinking straight.
Protectorate Headquarters


The young girl felt like a weight was crushing her chest, each breath a struggle. Decoy wasn't responding, and the others were chiming in with their own two cents. Ira caught the tone, but not much else. Alessa was mad, Evelyn sounded distressed, but she felt bad enough herself that she couldn't raise her head off the table. The director spoke up, and she caught a small part about official reports being due the next day, but it went in one ear, out the other. The director stood up, and Ira noticed she hadn't heard him sit down. He moved to the door, and slowly the various Wards left. Lillian spoke a bit from the doorway, and Ira stood up, moving to leave the room. Her eyes were crusted with tears, but she felt like trying to wipe them away would break her composure. A familiar voice spoke to her in Japanese through the communicator, prompting Ira to move towards and up the stairs.

Navigating the building was second nature, though she soon found herself in an unfamiliar wing of the building. Ira lifted up her eyes just enough to see the numbers passing by. 4716, 4717, 4718. That was the room number Decoy had said. Ira walked up to the door, twisting the door handle, and the handle turned all the way. She pushed, the heat from inside making the door feel heavier than it actually was. Ira peeked her head inside, her hand reaching up to finally wipe away the dried tears.

The thing that fully woke Ira was being asked for her passcode. The young intern glanced down at his sheet as Ira approached, and struggled visibily. "The prompt is. . . Um I-I can't pronounce it," he mumbled, pressing on the mic clipped to his chest. She sighed, and spoke up.

"Aleph, Dalet, Dalet, Aleph. Stuck between the devil and the sea. Umm one is The monarch of never forgiving? I have a couple more, but I'd need the prompt you can't read." She said, seeming more sassy than usual. He nodded hastily as a voice buzzed in his ear. Ira continued on, arms crossed and pressed against her chest.

"It was in japanese!" She heard him mumble behind him, incredulous.

Zoning out, she came to when the director spoke up. She listened carefully, and then kistened to Lillian's hasty response. Ira set her head on the table in front of her. "Get me out of this. We need to talk, you said it yourself." She said into her mic, just quiet enough that the director would not hear.

Laying the Groundwork

Jaunt groaned along with Inkscape, getting more tired of the quips every second. Ignoring Protean as best he could, he instead focused on the door. "I don't feel comfortable teleporting right inside that door, so we probably should take it head on. I don't wanna get mixed up, if you catch my drift" Jaunt said, glancing between the two of them with vague interest. He moved out of the way, looking at Inkscape's handiwork with a concerned look scribbled across his face. A bit more quesy at the sight than most would expect a former policeman and mercenary to be.

Inkscape nodded, motioning for Protean to open the door and for Hermes to flank the opposite side as he was standing.

Inside was abandoned, a control room full of screens and mechanical equipment. It was a little cold, maybe sixty degrees Fahrenheit, with a slight whirling sound underneath the electrical buzz.

The room was darker than the rest of the warehouse had been, both because of the black equipment and walls. The lights were stunning greens and blues, blinding to at.

In all the mechanical, electrical vibe of the room there was exactly one thing that stood out.

A vanilla envelope sat off to the side, plain as it could be.

Following the hand motions quickly, he flanked, and once the two were inside, took a more aggressive position by teleporting ahead of them. Spotting the envelope, he said out loud "I should bring that to somewhere secure shouldn't I?" he knew most of what people expected of him. He watched his two teammates, power ready on the "mentally push to teleport" phase that would close the distance, then put him in a vacant holding cell at the PHQ, envelope in hand.

"Yes. We're extracting, that's what we're here for." Inkscape said in his calm voice.

"That's it, really? I expected something a little more.... Important looking?"

Jaunt teleported partway through the word yes, appearing in the room after a short pause with the envelope in hand. "Mind if I take a look with you Decoy?" He asked, looking up at the camera over his shoulder. His hand gripped its bottom right hand corner, and as he waited for a response, he studied the plain looking thing.

Jaunt's comm went off. "Hermes, there a situation that we need to address. Good job tonight, go ahead and head home. Protean and I will handle getting that Intel processed."

No fun. Jaunt tossed the envelope on the table, and activited his mic. "Copy that. He said, activating his power again. Gone, he would disappear off the cameras, and three minutes later he was in his home, taking off his new costume. There was an empty spot where his other costume used to be, the safe fully open. He tossed the gun into the closet. Investigating it during his off hours had revealed it didn't even have a firing pin. It made him feel safer that they trusted him not to replace it.

On his bed was a single piece of paper, folded so that it stood up perfectly without falling over from any idle air movements. In flawless script he could see "Jaunt" written on it in black ink.

Picking it up, a short message was wrote in the same perfect script.

You are to find and deliver the man known as Gamble to me.


Playtime was over, it seemed. The chase began. He picked up his cellphone, and typed the numbers quickly. "Hey, it's Jaunt. I'd like to call in a favor.

The young tinker noticed again that her mask was missing, and this time it stuck. A loud sigh escaped her lips. She climbed into the the PRT van, and found herself sitting next to Elliot. He sat down, and slowly fell asleep beside her. It was understandable, it'd been a long day. Ira watched him go from awake to fully asleep, feeling a stab of guilt that she knew already belonged to Decoy. She wanted to tell him, to wake him up and tell him the atrocities he had committed. The fact that she couldn't speak made her respect and hate Decoy that much more. Ira rested her head against the back of the van, her eyes sliding shut against her will. She tried to fight it, forcing her eyes back open, only to have them close a few seconds later. It was in vain, a deep dreamless slumber overtook her.


Sarah Reiter and Amon Relmeral

One Night in Hell

Arc 2, day 1
Time: 7:00 pm
Walking past most of the line, she grabbed a more cute than hot Prae's hand near the front of the line. The cool air cut across and through her dress, and she looked up at him smiling. "Hi there. Do you mind if I pretend I'm your girlfriend for a bit? I'll buy you a drink~" Sarah said, also trying to go for cute. The boy had very light hair, trending towards the younger side, even with the Prae advantage. He didn't seem too intimidating when it came to ambient vis, and she knew she'd be even less impressive to him. The dress fit her even better out in the wild (so to speak) than it did in front of her mirror. Sarah tried to ignore the fact that she had to look down to see the Prae, focusing instead on being overly affectionate.

Amon raised his eyes at the flashily dressed girl, somewhat literally in this case as she was taller than him, and figuratively, because it was quite a surprise. "Well I would ask if we have to pretend but I'm also not an ass. How about I buy you a drink, you pretend I'm your boyfriend and we call it even?" Amon asked cheerily. Frankly she seemed a little clingy, but he didn't really mind much at the moment, after all he barely knew her so it wasn't fair to judge.

She laughed, quietly, while nodding her head in affirmation. "I feel like you're on the losing end of that deal, but I won't complain loudly." Before they could continue, the bouncer motioned them forward, and waved them past quickly. He didn't seem to notice the mismatched couple, and Sarah didn't seem to care either. She gave him a bit more room once they were past the door, walking beside him, as opposed to against him. "What's your name, by the by?" She asked, watching him with a gentle ease surrounding her. The word to describe her was probably comfortable. Sarah was in her element here.

"Amon's the name, ligh- well you'll see what my game is later. What do you need a fake bf for anyway, isn't half the point of these things to candoodle Miss... ?" Amon asked casually as they approached the bar to buy each other drinks instead of buy drinks for themselves like normal people. His eyes scanned the crowd for official looking people and also people likely to throw him out. He was planning on doing something flashy to get attention and make his subsequent request for a job more appetizing, it would be a bit of a shame if he got thrown out beforehand because someone thought he was doing something aggressive.

"Oh my god, you actually used the word candoodle" She said, a half-snort half-laugh escaping her mouth as they approached the bar. "My name is Sarah, and I just wanted to skip the line with an excuse to talk to you." The girl said, seeming honest. It was easier for her to get the attention of the bartender than Amon, though she also had a bit more sex appeal. He was lacking a few inches in one of the places it counted. Ignoring that train of thought, she turned to him with the bartender walking over. "What would you like, my white knight who saved me from the cold?" She asked, smiling wide at her own joke.

Amon found himself laughing as well, Sarah's impulsive reaction contagious. "Hey, it's a good word." he said, mockingly defending himself from her unjust mockery! The two of them took a seat and Sarah quickly got the attention of the bartender, albeit not hard to do in that outfit. "I'll take that compliment, though I warn you I'm even more interesting then I look. A martini with a twist will do for me; and what does the damsel in distress desire?" Amon asked confidently, his speech smooth and measured, casual banter like this came natural to him at this point.

She hadn't actually considered it beforehand, but a martini did sound nice. "Your Damsel would also enjoy a martini," Sarah said, nodding at the bartender. Turning back to Amon, she smiled. "You said something about light earlier? You're Prae, so I'm guessing you're a magic man?" Her voice was curious, clearly wanting him to continue that train of thought from earlier.

"Magic man is as apt a description as any. I'm a wandering performer and I've wandered here, looks like it could be a fun place so I'm thinking about putting on a show, to convince the staff I'm a worth hire for however long I'm sticking around for. " Amon said flippantly. His plans were no secret so he didn't mind talking about them, after all the rest of the crowd would be unprepared for his surprise so it wouldn't ruin it to tell one person.

Another giggle escaped her lips. "That's your plan? Am I mistaken, or is it not normal for people to start showing off their talents in crowded clubs? I can play a bit of violin, should I just start preforming over the music?" Sarah asked, clearly not meaning harm by the teasing. "Despite my negativity, I hope you do well for yourself!" She said, the bartender suddenly sliding the two drinks across the bar's top. She slipped some cash out of her pocket, and slid it across the counter. Taking a sip, she enjoyed the taste. Amon's alcohol choice and the drink itself.

"Hm, is it really that odd? I figured it was a good way to get attention. Do you think just applying would be a better idea? Most of the time I just do my thing and people throw some money at me." Amon shrugged and grabbed his glass, taking some of his own money out to pay for Sarah's. He shook his glass around a little and the clear drink swirled around for a bit: then there was a tiny flash of light and it became a swirling vortex of colors like that of a far away galaxy, sparkling purple and blue twined around each other. He took a sip of the colorful concoction and smiled. "I figured I could brighten the place up a little."

Bemused curiosity lit up Sarah's face as she watched the contents of his glass. "Again, the best of luck. I'm going to find a friend, but it was nice talking to you. Do you want to exchange phone numbers?" She asked, then laughed a bit to herself. "Not to sound like a character in a Pokémon game"

Amon set down his drink and it returned to normal. "Of course! I'd be sorely amiss as to forgo the chance for further conversation with such an alluring damsel, though I think I'll drop that nickname for it as I get the feeling its really rather unfitting. " Amon flicked his wrist and his phone rolled up his sleeve into his hand: though it would appear more as though it had teleported there. "I think I'll take you advice and your number if you're be so kind."

Taking his phone, she quickly entered some information into it, and turned off the screen before handing it back. "Text me, I'd love to talk to you again," Sarah said, placing the phone on the bar top between them, before downing her martini. "I'm sure I'll see you again" Standing up from the bar, she moved further into the club without looking back.

The phone returned to Amon's sleeve without him bothering to look at it, "Sounds good, you can count on it." He said cheerily and take another sip of his martini as Sarah walked away. Guess he needed to find the employer of this fine establishment. He waved the bartender over.
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