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A Fistful of Penultimate update -Lincoln and Fae Wree Tale
A Fistful of Penultimate update -Lincoln and Fae Wree Tale
Okay, so there are a lot of Legendary guest shots going on here.
Bella, Jackie, Gil, Eva, LoraLai, Yukiyo, Morgan, Min, Wide Receiver, Superball, Alistair the invisible talking penguin, Numero Catorce, Lincoln Memorial, Fae Wree Tale + some really small cameos.

A Fistful of Let me get my catchers mitt.
It pays to be efficient. Just not very well. For example; I am often told you make it look so easy. Then efficiency kicks in and the complement is truncated to you look easy. Oh course I do. Not only that, I make looking easy look easy. That is the trick.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Eva leaned back in her chair and let a long, relaxed sigh pass her lips. The base was quiet save for the slow hum of the generator and the occasional bleep and ping from the tactical computer. Utter relaxation. She reached for her iced tea and drew a mouthful up through the straw. No crisis. Everyone was getting along famously; several new recruits had been added to the roster; and thanks to some heroic last minute efforts, the base rent had been cleared for another month. Not a single worry. Bliss. Even her invisible, talking penguin was absent; no doubt amusing itself in whatever fashion that invisible, talking penguins were wont to do. Another sip of tea. LoraLai had been busy, going over the myriad of computer code that ran the base, and had uncovered several other interesting bugs that she had gleefully swatted. No troubles.
Eva! Eva! Eva! Look what I found in Jackies locker! Yukiyo dashed in; her eyes bright behind her glasses. Its a magic wand!
Yukiyo. This couldnt be good. Yukiyo was like an extroverted Alice in Wonderland. She would gladly drink the potion, eat the cake, and stick her neck out for the Queen of Hearts just to see what happened next. She had started her early days as a hero by deliberately falling off of buildings, just to see what it was like. Perhaps it was all part of a clever plan; as falling off buildings had somehow taught her to fly. No she still insisted on plummeting after learning to fly; she just did it from higher up. It was impossible to understand; Yukiyos curiosity was painfully insistent, while her means of satisfying it were equally inconsistent.
Yukiyo. I told you not to go through anyone elses locker, and Eva stopped as she saw what Yukiyo was brandishing. Yes. The trouble fairy had returned, left a quarter under Evas pillow and set fire to the curtains on her way out. Thats not a magic wand.
It is. Yukiyo said pointing. See it says Magic Wand right here. I wonder what it does? I tried waving it around, but nothing happened. I think there must be a switch or a magic word, or something.
I doubt it does anything. You should really put it back. Eva tried to project calm disinterest. She had to somehow deflect Yukiyos curiosity; if she made a big deal of it Yukiyo would only be further encouraged.
It has to do something, its a magic wand. Yukiyo held up the device, peering at it from all different angles, trying to ascertain its purpose. Theres no switch; but theres an inscription that says it was made in China. I know some Chinese magic. Maybe its like a puzzle box. If I twist it here and here Oops!
The device whirred to life, vibrating intensely. It shot out of Yukiyos hand and rolled under the table. Yukiyo chased after it, wriggling her whole body under the table. Eva picked up her iced tea in a slightly shaking hand and took a long sip. Why her. Her life had been complicated enough. The whole magical-girl warrior thing; the invisible talking penguin, the supergroup leadership. There were days when it was all too much. This would probably end in a strangely named task force that would get her thoroughly ribbed, again, at the monthly meeting of Paragon Supergroup Leaders.
All hair learless feader. Superball bounded in, a large, insulated cup in his hand. He performed a dramatic flourish, his cape swirling around his body. Can you lead me to tall, blonde and refrigerated? Im the caffeine rabbit and Im latte Im latte for a very important date!
I found it Eva! Yukiyo emerged from beneath the table with the still wiggling vibrator clutched in her hand. It went a lot farther than I thought it would.
Eva closed her eyes, resisting the urge to bang her head on the table. When she opened them again the situation had not improved at all. Yukiyo was still waving the magic wand around, while Superball was watching intently. Incredible. Fully masked and goggled, Superballs face could still somehow project a myriad of expressions. As if the mask itself was a window to his soul. Or his Id; more likely his Id.
Yukiyo! Eva snapped. Put it back where you found it. There was a thud as Superball fainted; or feigned a faint. No. It was faked. He had fallen so that the cup he was clutching remained resolutely upright, the contents un-spilled. A flush crept up Evas features as she realized that she was responsible for the inadvertent entendre that had precipitated the finely faked fall.
Not yet. Yukio said drawing back as Eva leapt from her chair to snatch the device from her. It has power. I know it does.
Bonjour mes amis.
Eva briefly wondered if by some great boon of avian, mackerel-tainted, mercy her magical talking penguin could teach her to become invisible; or teleport; or just die of embarrassment. The tableau consisted of Superball, lying motionless on the floor, cup in hand, while she struggled with Yukiyo for possession of a bucking, thrashing, vibrator. Watching this was Jackie Frost. Jackie had come to the Legendary along with Bella Fuego; they were part of an exchange plan between the United States Government, the Paragon Municipal Government and the International Super Teams. Eva had reviewed the files; and despite her reservations, accepted Jackie.
Ah. My latte Jackie didnt seem to notice Evas struggle and walked over to where Superball lay supine on the floor. Just watching her walk made Eva feel slightly uncomfortable; a reminder that the universe was a distinctly unfair place. Six feet tall with perfect, supermodel features, artfully disarranged short blonde hair, and a body that looked like it was put together by a committee consisting of Hugh Heffner, Russ Meyer and every college football team on the West Coast. Her legs were incredibly long and smooth, with just the hint of muscle playing under the skin. Her hips perfectly rounded and gracefully mobile. Her chest was impressive. That sounded better than mountainous. The only things keeping Jackie and the rest of the world apart were a brief, blue thong bikini bottom and a few strings and patches that some designer, somewhere, insisted were a bikini bra. Completing the ensemble were a pair of comfortable looking, fur trimmed short boots and mirrored ski goggles.
Thank you Superball. Jackie bent over gracefully, lifting the cup from Superballs hand. She lifted the lid and sniffed the contents, he smile widening to reveal perfect, white teeth. A long finger, tipped in a perfectly manicured nail, dipped into the froth at the top, conveying a dollop to her lips. She sucked the finger-tip for a moment. Ah! Just the way I like it.
I live to serve, but I gotta go! Bad guys to publish! Damsels to shave! Superball kipped up from the floor and sat down on the edge of the table, idly kicking his feet in the air. But first I just gotta find out what this is about.
I will admit a curiosity too. Jackies voice carried the barest hint of a French accent. She turned her gaze on Eva and Yukiyo. It would be far better, and much more fun, if you two learned to share.
What? Eva managed. No. Its not that.
Oh. Jackie nodded understandingly. If you dont want to share I will get you one of your own.
I dont need one! Eva managed.
You have one already? What model? Jackie asked. How does it perform? Are you left satisfied?
I but dont Eva stammered. She shook herself for a moment and regained her composure. I am so not doing this. Yukiyo, return that to Jackies locker at once.
But its a magic wand There was a slight whine in Yukiyos voice. I want to know how it works.
Yukiyo. For the briefest second there was a internal struggle etched on Jackies features. As much as I would love to teach you, there are some magics that you have to discover for yourself.
I love you all. I really do. Superball bawled aloud, stumbling out of the room.

* * *
There a friends. Then there are friends with benefits. There are really good friends with full coverage, including dental and several other bonuses.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
You didnt! Bella laughed aloud. Oh poor Eva. That wasnt fair.
Of course not. Jackie laughed, wiping a tear from her eye. The poor petite chou-chou; it was so cute.
It still wasnt nice. Shes sixteen and rather innocent. Bella said with mock sternness.
Cest vrai. Jackie waited until Bella raised her coffee cup for a good sized sip. But as bad as it was for her, think how much worse it was for those Skulls this afternoon. Did you see the report the police forwarded? Yukiyo arrested a half dozen, who were taken to the Zig infirmary with a combination of third degree burns, and contusions from a Passion-Master Vibrating Magic Wand.
Jackie watched as Bella nearly performed a spit-take. The Spanish heroine managed to limit the damage to a wide eyed expression and a slight dribble of coffee down her chin and throat. It would have been to perfect time to lean in and clean things up with a few judicious licks, but Bella was, with one notable exception a decade and a half ago, distressingly heterosexual. It was one of the rules. Every friendship had them. How long had they known each other? Twenty three years. They had both been relatively new recruits, placed under the command of what was his name? Hadrian.
They shouldnt have gotten along. Everything had been against them. Jackie was the utterly soft, spoiled, neophyte, while Bella was a hard veteran, flying about with an Atlas sized chip on her shoulder. It wasnt surprising. After fighting for years as an anti-Franco guerilla in Spain, Bella was entirely unused to the idea of following rules of engagement; following orders in general; and worst of all, being considered a raw recruit from ISTs standpoint. That last one had been pure Hadrian, who had stood resolutely against Supreme Commander Pouliss recommendation that Bella be granted the rank of Captain based on her previous experience. As for Jackie, she was a rookie and Hardrian insisted on riding her hard; and not in the euphemistic fashion that she normally took so well to.
Unlikely allies finding a common cause in surviving a complete le petomaine of a commanding officer. Well that and it was just fun. They had been posted in Italy, and there was always something engaging going on. Not to mention being surrounded by some of the worlds hottest bodies in some of the worlds tightest spandex all the time. Bellas rebellious streak, fiery temper and equally fiery passions were a perfect contrast to Jackies cooler, more relaxed demeanor and barely restrained nymphomania.
There had been rough spots too. Every friendship had them. Money was often a big issue, as Jackie never had enough. Sure there was a nice dividend from the blind trust her mother and father had set up for her; plus the lump sums from the various magazine spreads, the generous IST stipend; but it was never enough. Jackie readily admitted an inability to budget or control her spree spending. Being heroic was life affirming; it made you feel good inside, and it accorded you the adoration, and adulation of the masses. It was also intensely dangerous; put you in contact with the worst sorts of people; often took you to uncomfortable places in which room service was a whispered legend, and did not pay nearly so well as the right sort of crime.
When Jackie had inevitably turned to crime, to support her burgeoning more money, less danger habit, Bella had been disappointed, but not surprised; and strangely enough their friendship might have grown stronger from it. Part of that stemmed from Jackies modus operendi. Never steal from the uninsured and never hurt anyone. Sure freezing someone solid was inconvenient, but it didnt actually injure them in any way. That was important; while she might occasionally give her victims a quick cuddle, teasing their frozen forms, she never hurt them. Jackie had always been finicky that way. Likewise she never associated with criminals with any history of violence. She and Bella had fought several times and more often than not she had found herself facedown in a pool of steaming water; but occasionally she had gotten the better of her friend. There had been one time in Milan; she had managed to freeze Bella solid and then posed with her for the paparazzi. Of course she had ensured that Bella got a copy of the proofs; that was only polite.
On the few occasions that Jackie had remained in prison for more than a few weeks, Bella had always shown up for quick visits, and was never farther than a phone call away. Even when Jackies face was on Interpols most wanted list, there were always moments that they could meet up for a cup of coffee; the rules were clear on that; coffee shops were like churches. Sanctuary. When Bella needed a shoulder to cry on, Jackie was there; even if it meant risking arrest. Then there had been that one time after a really painful breakup that Bella had shown up with a bottle of good red, a low cut dress and very specific intentions
Jackie? Whats going through your mind right now? Bella tapped the table with her coffee cup.
The usual. Is it cold in here or is it just me? Jackie glanced down at her chest for confirmation. Both.
That is a diversion and we both know it. Bella said, rising from her chair. Ciao, Im off to Talos; Eva has asked me to assist Shizuru and Superball on a mission.
One second Bella. Jackie dipped two fingers into her cleavage and pulled out a nice sized roll of bills. She peeled off three hundreds and handed them over. Pass those on to Superball for the lattes. He has been very good at keeping up his side of things; I dont want him to be out of pocket.
Bella accepted the money and raised one dark eyebrow. It was an eloquent, wordless gesture stating should I be worried that this largess might be an indication that you have found another source of income that will result in your breaking probation and force me to not only arrest you but explain to our new allies that have accepted your reformation that your recidivism has effectively trumped their trust. As usual Bellas eyebrows were more direct and articulate than most police interrogators.

* * *
The rules are simple. It is not enough merely to follow age of consent; there must also be understanding of consent. Break hearts as gently as you can. No means no, yes means yes, and Oh! Ah! Oh! Means you are doing a great job, keep up the good work. Finally try and limit the number of virgins taken in a season; you are not the only hunter out there.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
LoraLai glanced up at the chronometer. It confirmed what her own time sense had been telling her for the last several hours. It was very, very late. A slight smile played along Loralais lips as the dichotomy of her nature revealed itself subtly. Her unique physiology as a human-kheldian fusion; a being of pure energy, did not require sleep; but the human half of the matrix still carried the memory of needing it. The very concept of late brought an all too human reaction, outside of her bodys actual requirements. Fascinating. She turned her attention back to knotty bit of design code she was re-writing. The base security system needed an overhaul, that was certain; and given recent events, she was not going to allow the Paragon City mandated code to be introduced to her systems without a thorough examination. The new code was full of bugs. No. They were bigger than bugs. Monkeys. Jumping, howling Rikti monkeys with big teeth. Perhaps when she was finished she could offer the patch back to the City in trade for a reduction in rent.
Long night cutie? LoraLai didnt jump at the voice. The security logs had noted Jackie Frosts arrival in the base some minutes ago. They were the only members currently present; unless you counted Minuet MacHine. The diminutive healer had fallen asleep in one of the large, comfortable chairs in the main meeting room several hours ago. LoraLai had shut the door to keep Mins honking, goose-like snores from echoing through the whole base. A hand reached around and deposited a cup of tea at LoraLais elbow.
Not particularly. LoraLai stretched slightly. Noting that the longer she remained in her human form, the more likely she was to develop the various aches and pains associated with the human experience. They would mercifully vanish the moment she shifted her physical body back to energy. Still they were there. I was hoping to be finished earlier, but this update is a mess waiting to happen.
Hold still. Jackie commanded lightly, her hands settling on LoraLais shoulders, the fingers kneading lightly, seeking out the clusters of tension and easing them. LoraLai could feel a slight cooling sensation through her costume that was soothing to the lingering stiffness.
Thats really not necessary. LoraLai said as Jackies hand continued to work their magic.
Hush, you do so much for us, its the least we can do for you. Jackies hands continued the massage, moving across LoraLais shoulders and neck. Consider this part and parcel of Support Your Base Architect Day. Paragon hasnt officially declared it yet; but until they do, well keep the celebration low key. Lower?
Okay. LoraLai leaned forward slightly, resting her arms on the console. Jackies fingers moved down her shoulder blades and back. Spreading a delightful coolness to the stiff muscles.
I wish I had your experience with these systems. Jackie said softly. Ive tried my hand at programming, but Im not sure Im cut out for it.
Its not that hard. LoraLai said, her eyes closing. You just have to apply yourself to it.
Thats a problem for me. Jackie admitted. I have never been able to restrict myself to a single interface. Theres just too many good ones available.
Well, you dont have to use just one exclusively. LoraLai said. There are similar principles that carry through all of them.
Ive noticed that. Jackies voice was closer, and the faint scent of a very expensive perfume filled LoraLais nostrils. The soothing hands continued to move over her back, neck and shoulders. Do you experiment with new interfaces often?
For evaluation purposes. LoraLai felt a shiver pass through her; and it wasnt just Jackies cooling touch.
I was hoping you would say that. Jackies voice whispered into LoraLais ear as she moved closer, her chest pressing against LoraLais back. Right here, or somewhere more private.
Was she still talking about computers? She wasnt talking about computers! For a moment there was a distinct disconnect between her Kheldian curiosity and her human memories. It manifested as panic. With a flash of energy LoraLai assumed her Nova form and rocketed to the other side of the room. The slight energy release from her transformation knocked Jackie backwards.
Incroyable! Jackie said from the floor as she eyed LoraLais nova form excitedly. You have lovely tentacles; and so many of them. I am so there.
Um.. I have to go. LoraLais ethereal voice shook slighting. She wavered in the air and then flew out of the room. Jackie got up slowly, dusting at her backside with one hand to remove any detritus it might have picked up from the floor. How unfortunate. In her haste to depart, LoraLai had failed to lock the console. Jackie expertly entered a few commands, her eyes darting to the door. Satisfied she locked the keyboard and smiled. Things hadnt gone quite the way she would have hoped, but she did get at least one of the two things she came for. Perhaps another time.
* * *
Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and the lube handy.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Archon Lenin Cartney smiled. Such a rare thing these days. He was actually happy; things were going according to plan. He wanted to jump for joy, but that was not to be. He pivoted like a lighthouse to look at his underlings. A cage consisting of a myriad of wires and pins surrounded the Archons head, neck and shoulders; a painful reminder of the savage beating that he had received the month previous. Normally such injuries could be repaired in a few hours; but in the Archons case there had been unforeseen complications. His loyal minions had acted quickly, freeing him from the Ziggurat infirmary. Too quickly. He had been yanked from the succor of the regeneration table prior to the completion of the reconstruction cycle. That had been unfortunate. The regeneration sequence could not be restarted without the possibility of damage at the cellular level. Had it been an arm or a leg, he would have gone ahead despite the possible side effects, but his cracked spine and bruised spinal column could not be risked. He would heal as fully as if he were in the chamber, but it would take several uncomfortable weeks. By his own count he was on week three of seven.
Have we received the transmission? He asked.
Yes. The underling reported back, snapping to a salute. But it is encrypted sir.
Excellent. Revenge would soon be his. It would not be enough to simply move against Bella Fuego and Morgan MacHine. The Maestro had been very clear on that. The loss of Archon Llassa required a much more epic punishment; he was to lay waste to the whole of the Legendary. Their members were to be defeated, or killed if possible, and their base destroyed. It was a daunting order, but several high ranking members of the Council had concurred; offering up all the resources Cartney would need to defeat his foes. The safe in his quarters was bulging with bearers bonds and other portable wealth. He was to hire enough muscle from the Rogue Isles to ensure that the Legendary would fall; and revenge would be his.
But sir! The underling said. It is encrypted.
Archon Cartney took a moment of silent reflection. The modern school of leadership would be served by carefully explaining to the underling why the message was encrypted; how the contact would furnish the encryption key on receiving their payment; and what the unencrypted message would reveal. Another more primitive school of leadership would call for the more direct approach and the severely punishing those who stated the obvious. Archon Cartney shot the underling in the leg; and then regretting the decision, added a second bullet in the left elbow.
Of course it is encrypted. When the contact receives payment, then the key will be provided. We can then decrypt the file, which contains the authorization codes to the Legendarys base teleporters, which means we can move our forces into their base whenever we want. Cartney shot the underling again, aiming low and to the right on the hip. Is there anything else. No? Good. You two, drag Nebula-Elite Joyce down to the infirmary.

* * *
Mae West once said that when presented with the choice between two evils, she would inevitably opt for the one she had not tried yet. Me, I invite them both back home for a threesome.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Wide Receiver considered getting some cover. There was an epic battle underway and the lines were being drawn. In one corner Bella Fuego, making an abbreviated overhand stabbing motion. In the other corner Numero Catorce mimed a particularly nasty hold that looked like it would effectively turn a human body into a pain-pretzel. Both were speaking very quickly in increasingly forceful Spanish. A double helping of MacHines, Morgan, and Minuet were watching as well; Minuet was looking slightly concerned, while Morgans lips were twitching as if a smile were trying to break out from behind his somber facade.
Hi. Eva slid in beside Wide. Bella now had a knife in one hand and Morgans cape in the other and was performing an odd pirouetting motion; while Numero Catorce was delivering a savage flying headbutt to an imaginary foe on the floor. Both continued to shout at each other in Spanish. Whats going on?
Im not a 100% percent sure coach. Wide said. I think theyre arguing over the greatest sports hero of all time. I know my Spanish isnt that good, and theyre going way too fast for me to keep up. I think Bella is saying that Manolete the Toreador with his perfect cape and sword work was the greatest and Catorce is saying something about even Satan fears the Flying Headbutt and Catholic Camel Clutch. I dont really know why theyre even bothering, Bronko Nagurski was the greatest ever.
Youre kidding right? Morgan shook his head. Ali. The mind and the body merged as the ultimate weapon in boxing.
Nagurski was unstoppable on offence and impenetrable of defense. Wide shot back vigorously.
Wait youre forgetting Wayne Gretzky. Minuet piped up, taking an aggressive stance as she stared at her boyfriend.
Santos beat the Blue Demon! He stopped Frankenstein and Dracula. Numero Catorce switched over to English, slapping his chest vigorously with every sentence. Did Ali stop terror at the wax museum? No! Only Santos do that. Why? Because he is Santos!
Bella, can I speak with you? Eva ducked as Wide performed a sweeping gesture with a tree-trunk arm. Um Maybe somewhere quieter.
Si. Bella nodded and followed Eva out, pausing to shout out that Manolete was Spains greatest bullfighter, at least until he met up with Spains greatest bull. They ended up in the main meeting room. Bella nodded a greeting to LoraLai and then watched in amazement as Eva actually closed the door. That was almost unheard of; well except for when Min crashed there. The Legendary by its nature was a very open organization; secrecy, at least between members was almost unheard of.
This is about Jackie, isnt it. Bella said flatly.
Yes. Eva nodded unhappily. LoraLai thinks she might have um compromised our systems.
Is that so? Bella raised an eyebrow, noting that a faint and rather uncharacteristic blush had risen on LoraLais cheeks. Fully compromised or merely a probe?
Im not sure. LoraLai admitted. Im not even sure she even used the terminal. I do know that something was transmitted outside of normal protocols; there are only a handful of people authorized to do so.
And you were going to dust the keyboard for fingerprints but someone had spilled herbal tea on it, and the unusually strong citrus component in the mix effectively removed any trace, and the camera mount had seized so it didnt catch what was going on. Bella said. Did someone spill tea?
I might have when LoraLai paused. Wait a second. How did you know?
I didnt. Bella slumped slightly and collapsed into a chair. I suspected.
Wait a second. Eva managed. Are you saying that Jackie distracted LoraLai and used her access to send the message?
Well, I suspect she tried seduction first and distraction second. Bella said, But yes. A cup of herbal tea and a massage?
Yes. LoraLai admitted. Wait, but if she had she couldnt have
Yes she could. I dont think you want me to get into the details of the mechanics involved. Bella continued as LoraLai and Eva shook their heads. Just how much of Jackies file was sent to you?
Everything up to Security Level 7. LoraLai said as Eva struggled for the answer.
Asquerosos. Bella directed the epithet at the gods of bureaucracy. Eva, I must change hats for a moment. While I am not privy to this information under the tenets of the Legendary, I am privy to it under my IST rank. This does not leave the room.
Um Okay. Eva noticed the change in Bellas body language as she took up what could only be described as the aura of command.
First we are going to dismiss an illusion. Bella said. Jacqueline Marie Antoinette Frost is not a blonde, sex obsessed, soft, spoiled, beach bimbo. She is merely blonde, sex obsessed, soft, spoiled, and partial to the beach. Her mother is Gitte Frost, and she was, in her prime, the greatest spy that France has ever produced. Her father is one of Americas top intelligence agents; dont ask his name, it is not on the file, nor will it ever be. Jackie has been undergoing training in the various arts of espionage since she could walk. Add to this that she was for almost a decade, Europes most successful gem thief. Brazen theft might get you one or two heists, but to do what she did, for as long as she did, you have to be very, very good at what you do. She is that good. Now Jackie is obviously up to something; and that itself should tell us something.
If shes so good at this, why are we even having this conversation. Eva made the connection. Theres something else.
Yes. Bella confirmed; her demeanor relaxing somewhat. You are the boss; how do you want to handle this?
Well, we have the resources to have her watched. Eva said. I think we need to know more about what shes doing. LoraLai will pursue the electronics side of things; and Ill arrange for surveillance.
Surveillance. Bella said. They are going to have to be good or shell spot them.
Well I was thinking about Wide, Min and perhaps Superball. Eva let a small smile play across her lips.
Subtle? Bella walked to the door and opened it, revealing a melee in the hall. Morgan, Wide Receiver and Numero Catorce were locked in some bizarre three way wrestling match, amid raucous cries of Ali, Santos and Nagurski. A single red pony tail protruded from the mess, but Mins voice, which did not carry the same weight as her snores, was lost in the clamor. Bella closed the door.
Not subtle at all. Eva confirmed. Shes going to spot them and know were watching her. Badly. Meanwhile, I think I know someone who is up to the task.

* * *
Someone once said that fidelity is leaving with the person you came with. Im not a big fan of fidelity, but I do insist on coming with the person I leave with.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
When the dame walked in, I knew she was trouble; the type I always seem to find myself in. The type I love. She dont bother to knock, just struts in like she owns the joint. I wish she did. My landladys got a face like an axe. My mind does its thing; sortin the details out for when I need them later. Hair, black. Skin, caf-au-lait, some natural, some tan. Figure, nice. Lotsa muscle there to, but soft where she should be. Eyes, red; and she aint hung over. Shes a cape. No question. Then the kid walks in and I know that trouble has found Momma MacHeaths favorite son. Blonde and cute as a button. Shell break a few hearts before shes done. I pull out the glasses and my favorite bottle of gin and set up two shots. Then the penguin waddles in. I add a third shot and down it myself. I look again. Yep. Penguin is still there. Day just keeps getting better.
Yeah. Im getting ahead of myself. Lets start from the beginning. Gil MacHeath, Private Eye. Gumshoe. Shamus. Private Dick. I keep an office in Kings Row, which is what keeps a roof over my head, and the gin bottle topped up. Aint nothing fancy, but it does. Not bad for a 113 year old man. Yeah, you heard me right. I was born way back in 1893. I kicked around the Row until the great war and then came back home and set up shop. Back in 1933 I was on a case that went sour. Turns out these cultists I was looking in on were the real deal; searching for some lost city under Paragon. Last thing I remember was being dumped ass over hat through this weird glowing portal. It got pretty strange from there, and I cant say I remember much until April 17th, 2006 when I was spat back out. Well I didnt know the time, but I knew the place, and believe it or not, the Row aint changed much, except for the aliens an the capes. Yeah, ten cents and a story like thatll get you a cup of coffee, but you gotta have the ten cents.
So anyway the kid. About a month ago, I was using my back to hold up a wall, an keeping my eye on this guy who is intent on making his secretary happy and his wife angry. Yeah, $100.00 a day plus expenses and all the glory that comes with the job. But I still gotta eat, so Im watching the love doves make nice at the bar and my view gets blocked. A buncha palookas painted up like every day is Halloween. Skulls. Now one look at me and you know that money aint exactly going to be flowing. My collar is a little frayed, the suit is tired, and my shoes are worn thin. Now Im a details kinda guy, its my job to notice these things. These guys aint, but that doesnt stop them from trying to shake me down. I try and make nice, giving them an easy out. They aint buying it, so I know I gotta give em the hard goodbye. As the first one raises his bat I connect the fist bone to the jaw bone; he goes down like his strings are cut. You gotta learn to fight on the Row, and I did my share of that, and got to be a pretty good boxer in the army. His three friends figure I just got lucky so they circle around and wade in. I let em.
You see Momma MacHeaths favorite son came back from the great unknown a little different. You want an explanation. I dont really got one. Lets just say that I spent seventy three years not being alive and not being dead. So I gotta surplus of both. I let him have it with my left, letting a little bit of death flow out of me into him. Giving him a taste of the hard goodbye. He dont like it much, but keeps coming. I see the lights in his eyes begin to fade and encourage him to the ground with a quick right in the guts. The one on the left sees his chance and takes a swing thats gonna send my head over the wall and outta the park. Well he tries to.
The kid. She goes by Evangelia when shes running around town and Raye Langley when shes sitting in school. Anyway, my head stays on my shoulders and the skull is left holding the handle of his bat. The kids got an honest to goodness sword in her hand, and she cut through a couple of inches of hickory like it wasnt even there. Now I told you these guys aint too bright, so when a kid with a three foot razor blade cuts your bat in half, do you think you should be running. Add in the fact that shes glowing and the question kinda answers itself. Not bone boy. He goes for the gold and she lays him out on the alley floor. Flat of the blade alongside his head and then gets him in the throat with the pommel. Lucky guy, she could of gutted him like a fish just as easily. The last guy, obviously the brain trust, just stands there with his mouth open. I close it for him and pile him up on top of his friends.
Thanks kid, I owe you one. I tip my hat to her and fix my eyes back on the bar; Casanovas ready to make his move and I dont need any more interruptions. The kid stands there just looking at me; nice eyes, but I dont rob cradles.
Would you like to join my supergroup? She asks. I figure shes just pulling the other one.
Sure kid. Its a brush off, but she lights up like Christmas came early. I hand her one of my cards and she bounds over the building in a single leap. I dont think anything of it at the time; I get the pictures my client wants. She aint happy, but she pays her tab without blinking; which means at least one of us is happy. Turns out shes got the money and hes off the gravy train. Hell hath no fury like a dame scorned, especially if youre married to her. Anyway, Im renewing my PI license over in Atlas a couple a weeks later and the lady at the desk gives me a different kinda smile when I present my particulars. She hands me back my license and then she hands me another surprise. Apparently the Kid wasnt joshing. She doesnt just have a supergroup, but one of the premier supergroups in Paragon. An Im a member. I dont spend a lot of time there; but occasionally they have a job that needs my particular talents.
This is one of those times.
You all caught up now? I set about pouring the drinks and ask about the job. The kid dont touch hers, but the woman with the red eyes knocks back two fingers worth of rough gin in a single hit. The penguin just watches me and I do my best to ignore him. You couldnt fill the back of a postage stamp with what I know about penguins, but I do know that this one aint normal.
So the kid gives me the job. Turns out one of her own might not be on the up and up, and Ive got to keep an eye on her. The kid says the dame is a pro, so she needs a pro on the job. Thats me, so its time to earn my money.
The woman and the kid take off, but the penguin stays behind, watching me like he expects me to do a trick. I pour another gin and edge it towards it.
Thank you, no. The penguin says. It disagrees with me.
Suit yourself. I toss back mine and his. I know my limits and Im nowhere near them. I kinda wish I was, as my life is weird enough already.
I will admit you have me vexed. The penguin says, giving me the black, birdy eye. The damn thing talks like a British officer. Most people cannot see me at all.
Yeah, well Im not most people. I shrug, not particularly disposed to sharing further details. There a reason youre still here?
Yes. The penguin ruffles his feathers. She doesnt want to show it, but Evangelia is quite upset about the possibility of a traitor on the team. You will try to do your best, wont you?
The penguin deliberately stares at me and then to the shot of gin Im pouring. Now you can question my fashion, my time-centric patois, question my dignity and if youre feeling like entertaining a little chin-music, the sanctity of dear Momma MacHeath herself. What you cant do is question my integrity. Ever. I slowly lift the shot and throw it back.
Blow it out your beak herring wipe. I slap the glass back onto the desk and reach for my coat. Ive got a job to do.
* * *
Anyone can act sexy. Sure it helps if you have a boom-boom body, or a package that could serve as a pommel horse; but it is not necessary. What it really requires is effort and a lot of practice. Most people dont try all the time; it is simply too exhausting an undertaking. Not me. I give it 110% every single hour of the day and night. So it really isnt an act; but it more often than not leads to several very enjoyable ones.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Jackie slid gracefully along Spankys boardwalk; small patches of ice forming under her feet and then sublimating back to vapour as she passed. Talos was one of the few places in Paragon where you could walk around in a bikini and not draw stares. Well for most people. Jackie encouraged stares vigorously. Taken individually each of her subtle gestures could be considered titillating; a little extra bounce on each step; pursing the lips; cocking the hips, serendipitously touching a particularly prominent landmark. Taken as a whole the effect became staggering. Some women glared, most men found a sudden interest in sitting down and at least one distracted individual walked right off the boardwalk itself, falling ten feet down and landing on the sand.
Patrols were Jackies favorite part of being a hero. Well aside from the invitations to the best parties. For the most part the street level crime was pretty safe; and if your approach was like hers, you got a lot of good publicity for little or no personal danger. Which was a win-win situation. She had made the circuit twice already; and things were starting to heat up. Her contacts hadnt shown up yet, but that was only a matter of time. What was interesting is that she was being watched; perhaps she had played her hand a little too openly to Bella; perhaps it was just coincidence, but Minuet MacHine and Wide Receiver were taking lunch at one of the open air cafes on the boardwalk. That wasnt odd in and of itself, the pair were a known couple and could often be found catching moments together at the finest hot dog stands and taco outlets. What was odd was that both of them were in their civilian attire; and enjoying a meal that lasted longer that 15 minutes. Wide was the only member of the Legendary who could actually put away more food than Bella in a single sitting both in volume and speed; and Min, conditioned by having so many siblings, gobbled her food down in hopes of being first in line for seconds. Therefore a meal lasting longer than 15 minutes was suspicious and warranted further investigation.
Bonjour mes amis. I hope I am not intruding. Jackie slid to a stop next to their table and leaned forward, inhaling deeply as she did. How is the food.
Um really good. Min said, her grin just a fraction too wide. Certainly happier than someone whose date was being interrupted by a woman conspicuously flashing her cleavage at her boyfriend.
Yeah. Wide concurred. Great stuff.
Do they use real cheese in the tostadas or that orrible fake sauce? Jackie pressed. The salsa looks good though. Hot foods are an aphrodisiac you know. I expect you are both feeling that right now.
Um Min coloured red.
Mnot saying. Wide hunkered down.
Oh I have embarrassed you. I am sorry. Jackie apologized. I shall leave you to finish your meal and take yourself to someplace private to let the combination of salsa and young love work its magic.
Were not going someplace private. Min was bright red.
Because you have been asked to watch me and cannot. Jackie prompted.
Yeah, but. Wide stopped suddenly. Min punched him in the arm. Penalty. Bad call.
You two are so cute. Jackie scooped up some salsa with a chip and sampled it. Well I am off. I shall be by again in approximately ten minutes. Min, can you tell Bella that I wish to meet with her at Club D tonight, say just before midnight.
Um sure. Can do. Min was still glaring at Wide Receiver.
And Wide, Jackie shook her head. When you are wearing civilian clothes fashion dictates that you really should forgo the protective cup.
Uh Im not wearing a cup. Wide admitted.
Mon dieu Jackies eyes widened. She glanced at Min again; making a variety of mental calculations. Very well, I shall see you two later.
* * *
My middle names? They were my papas idea. I think he was trying to make a point.
From the Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost
* * *
Damn. Usually when youre dealing with a dame like that, youre undressing her with your eyes. No need here. Me, Im picturing her in something outta the old Cobalt Club. Cool, dark blue, cut low, slit high and hanging on for dear life. I tug my hat a little lower and reach for my drink I dont get to Talos much, and at these prices, I dont see myself doing it often. Fortunately someone else has the tab, so I signal the waiter and collect another gin. My target is doing a patrol of the docks, so Ive positioned myself on the balcony of one of the touristy restaurants with the other hero spotters and spent an hour just watching the traffic pass. I nurse the first half of my slug, knowing whats about to go down; you see, I have a partner this time around, and neither of us is too happy about it.
Forgive me for asking, The damned penguin has decided to get on my case again. But I am forced to admit that I find myself woefully ignorant on what encompasses American detective work. Does it always entail sitting on ones backside and swilling copious amounts of gin, or have I missed out on some subtle nuance, such as the number of ice cubes or the position of the napkin under the glass.
Now, Im tempted to just ignore the herring-wipe, but that accent just brings out the worst in me. I pull out my cell-phone and flip it open. I havent paid the bill, so the damn thing doesnt work, but it lets me have a chin-wag with little lord waddle without appearing like Ive gone off the track.
Three cubes in the first drink, five in the second, an the napkins are from the top of a new package. I recite. Detective work is all about the details Al.
My name is Alistair, Gilbert. The penguin gives me a long look down his beak. And I fail to see how counting ice cubes is going to get to the bottom of this.
Dont be a bunny Al. I give him the stare right back. Its all in front of you. See the two Bulls on the beat down there. Theyre not cops. First off, the shoes are wrong; beat cops wear thick soles; otherwise theyre out of pocket for new shoes all the time. They also scan the whole area. These two arent doing that. Theyre focused on something else, her, and not in the way a guy normally looks at a fine pair of getaway sticks either. The one on the right keeps checking his watch; a cop that knows his beat can sundial on the shadows and know exactly what time it is. Theyre also a little pale to be walking a beat in Talos. Last thing is posture. Too straight. Now one of em might have been military, but both? You can sell it, but Im not buying. Im betting Council.
Ol flipper feet isnt so quick to come up with a comment to my elucidating on the art of investigation. Hes watching the street, and maybe actually looking for the first time. Apparently ya can teach an old bird new tricks. Im watching too. Looks like our ladys found a little action and not the kind Ive been spending the afternoon imagining. The Council dont much like hanging in Talos; an its not just the perfect weather. The Tsoo dont seem to mind them, but the Warriors are always looking for a challenge and the Freaks love stealing their streetside fascist posing stands. That usually means beating the guys on them up. So ya dont often see the Council in Talos, but there they are in plain sight, like ugly on an ape.
Now coincidences are lovely things, but this one is anything but. The fake bulls actually look relieved; real cops in Paragon would be beating feet; as the Council dont feel bad about letting the daylight through anyone who gets in their way. Now the lady is a cool customer; shes facing down three of them; theyre got their roscoes out and aimed and shes still smiling. Either shes confident they wont hurt her, or confident they cant.
Arent you going to help her? The penguin asks. I shrug. The lady isnt in any danger that I can tell, but I want a better look. Ive been wrong before. I slap a sawbuck on the table and add a few singles for the waitresss time and step elsewhere. Yeah. Seventy four years in the elsewhere and Im stepping back into it. Another little trick Ive picked up. Slip into the elsewhere, picture where you want to be, and then step out. Simple as pie, but dont leave it in the oven too long. The elsewhere is too big, you stay too long, youll have a real hard time finding your way back. I step out behind the blonde and make sure theres a good, thick, early model American car between me and the action.
Now, the lady has more class than I gave her credit for. She takes a slide and gets her back to the ocean. Any shots that miss her are going to the fishes, not the bystanders. Then the Chicago lightening starts up and things get busy fast. As soon as they jump the trigger the lady is ready, she waves her hand and a wall of ice appears between her and the gunzels. While theyre trying to adapt to the situation, shes over the wall like an gymnast among them. The sidewalk gets all frosty and I can feel the chill from where I am. Two of the three go down hard, trying to balance on the streetside skating rink. Next second theyre a pair of fascist ice cubes as she freezes them in place. Now the last guy gets it in his head that his friends are nearby, so maybe the gats a bad call, so he slings it and tries to get up close and personal. He thinks hes got her right where he wants her. So does she, and I think I know which one is right. He goes for the punch, she grabs his wrist and its all over. Put a stick in his mouth and call him a popsicle. Then my jaw drops.
The lady is all over him; forget the soapboxes, if those Council lugs could guarantee this sort of treatment the line would stretch round the block. I can hear Momma MacHeath telling her favorite son to look away, but this is a job, an I keep my eyes where they belong. Hes frozen solid and she treats him like a brass pole in one of those clubs that you deliberately dont recognize no one in. Now my blood is as red as the next guy, I should know, theres been enough of it on the concrete, but the jobs the important thing. So Im watching close; shes good, and Im not talking about the dancing. Shes doing this inverted split with a twirl an her left hand makes a quick detour from cleavage to the frozen Councils lapel. Shes made some sort of hand-off. Then the fake bulls are on their way in and she gives popsicle a quick kiss on the cheek an skates off.
Thank you so very much for the warning. The penguin waddles up, looking none too pleased at having to do the legwork. His problem, not mine. If you could manage to get your eyes back into your head, perhaps you can continue doing your job.
Jobs here Al. I whisper without wagging my lips. Its a good trick to have in your repertoire. The fake bulls are going over the frozen threesome. The bigger one pats popsicle down and I see him slip the something into his pocket. Thats the payoff. Shes made a drop and I wanna know what this is all about. Those three were pawns, but these two arent.
So what are we going to do? The Penguin asks.
When did this become we flipper feet? I shoot back. My job.
Okay, so maybe I was hard on the little herring wipe. Maybe Im getting soft in my old age, but the damn penguin looks up at me an I feel like a class A heel. For such a clever guy I can be three different kinds of dumb when I put my mind to it. Now everyone Ive ever known an loved has done the hard goodbye; but Im not exactly hurting for company. Alistair dont even have that; this world pretty much ignores him. Now I know Evas a nice kid, but if shes the only company you ever have, its going to get a little lonely, no matter how nice she is.
Tell you what Al. Im not going to apologize. Itll embarrass us both. My phones out, go tell the kid that our job has made contact with the Council and is slipping them sweet nothings.
Jolly good. Al nods. And while I am doing that?
Im going to follow the fake bulls and see what she slipped em. I crack my knuckles an a tight smile. Course things might get a little messy ifn they dont listen to reason. I may have to give em a Broderick.
Marquis of Queensbury style I hope. Al turns to go. Cheerio.
See ya in the funny papers Al. I touch the brim of my hat and pull a fade into the crowd.

* * *
Seduction is as much an art as a science. It can be approached so many different ways. Whether fast and direct, or slowly built up over time, it is a wonderful undertaking, a useful tool and the perfect way to eliminate job-related stress.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Rain. It was rare in Paragon, but not unheard of. The war walls tended to really strange things to the local weather, but occasionally a cloud front would sweep into the bay, ionize from all the energy thrown off by the walls, and condense violently. This resulted in downpours that would soak you to the skin in a moment; sometimes accompanied by hail; and always accompanied by lightning. The lightning was never a problem as the war walls soaked it up completely. The rest was merely an inconvenience. Still Jackie couldnt help feeling just slightly guilty as she watched the hail smash down and then ricochet back upwards. She uncurled from her immensely comfortable white sofa, taking a moment to ensure that her short, white silk robe was perfectly adjusted to look like it was in imminent danger of falling open, and padded into the bathroom. She emerged a moment later with two thick, fluffy towels. She set them down in front of the balcony door and then slid the glass panel open. The view was spectacular. It should be for what she paid for the condominium; a penthouse suite that looked out over Talos Bay. Lightning flashed across the sky, sparking multi-coloured explosions as it was absorbed by the war walls.
Superball. Jackie called out. I know you dont have the sense to come in out of the rain; but you should come in anyway.
For several long seconds nothing happened. Then a shock of damp, blue hair and a pair of goggles appeared over the edge of the balcony. Superball rose slowly, hailstones bouncing off his repulsion field in wildly erratic directions. Jackie crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her foot impatiently, turning slightly to offer him a better view of her legs. Superball grasped the top of the railing and flipped over. He shook himself violently and briefly scratched behind his ear with his left foot. Jackie nodded and pointed to the towels. As Superball bent to pick one up, Jackie turned and adjusted a tray on her low coffee table, knowing that when she bent over the robe would ride up to the barest millimeter short of utterly scandalous heights. She glanced at the framed print on the far wall, the reflection on the glass showing her what was happening behind her. Superball was watching; as he should be, but there was something else in his body language. He certainly wasnt used to properly laundered, luxurious towels either.
I thought you might be hungry, so I laid out some snacks. Cheese, grapes, crackers; Ill go fetch the wine. Jackie headed towards the kitchen. As soon as she was far enough from the tray Superball moved in on it; strangely enough he jumped the coffee table and turned his back to her, lifting his mask for the barest moment as he crammed a handful of food into his mouth. He also hunched his shoulders deliberately, so she could not see the reflection of his face in the balcony windows.
Here we are. Jackie turned back with a bottle of white wine and two long stemmed glasses. Superball turned back towards her. He had actually managed to empty half the tray and his cheeks bulged out like a chipmunks. She bent over to set the glasses down on the table, displaying a monumental expanse of cleavage. With casual skill she filled both glasses without spilling a single drop, picking one up before gracefully settling back down on the couch.
Mmmpphhh. Mmmpphhh! Mmmmphh! Superball attempted to make small conversation with his masked face bulging outwards.
Oh no need to thank me. Jackie ran a finger up and down the stem of her glass. I know youve been asked to watch me. Im such a bad girl. Do you want to keep watching me?
Mmmmphh! Mmmmphh! Mmmph! Superball made a dismissive gesture. He was trying to appear nonchalant but there was a slight stiffness in his spine that Jackie could readily perceive.
Really? I hadnt thought about it that way. What a splendid idea. Jackie took a sip of her wine, ensuring that it washed over her lips so that they glistened. So you would like me to grab a bottle of scented oil and a few of my favorite toys and amuse myself while you watch?
It was spectacular. Superball swallowed involuntarily, the entire contents of his cheeks moving downward. Jackie could almost see his neck bulge outward as he did it. He made an abbreviated choking gesture and stamped one foot several times as he attempted to move the impressive wad of brie, crackers and Calmeria grapes to his stomach.
Wha.. What toys. Superball managed to regain his voice. Lego and Lite-brite? Please tell me its Lego and Lite-brite! Those are my favorites.
No, I was thinking a pair of action figures. John-Thomas and Roger. Jackie purred rising off the couch with a sinuous motion that caused her robe to open even more. But we can play Buckeroo or Twister if you would prefer; or Risk if there are particular territories that you wish to invade.
Really Miss Moneypenny, we dont have time for these games. Superball rasped into a passable Sean Connery. Every moment we waste here the villains get closer to destroying the world.
Thats fine James. As long as it ends with a long, sustained bang. Jackie moved closer. Is that a Walther PPK 7.65mm with muzzle flash suppression and an extended eleven bullet clip in your tights, or are you just pleased to see me?
Its like this Money Superball faltered, realizing that he had been expertly maneuvered into a corner and Jackies hands were tugging at his costume and the belt holding her robe closed had somehow come undone and... I just Superball rule three is Phoenician.. Ah Wardrobe Malfunction! Wardrobe Malfunction! Run Away! Run Away!
Jackie sighed as Superball slid away with breakneck speed, ran three laps around her couch his arms flailing madly and then dove out over the balcony. What a shame, he seemed to have so much energy to spare. With a shrug she scooped up the towels, noting that on the third pass Superball had snatched up the rest of the cheese, crackers and grapes. That was annoying. There was nothing to go with the wine and the vintage was too good to waste; re-sealing the bottle wasnt an option, the essential humors would already have fled. Jackie reached for her cellular phone and dialed Emilios. While not a perfect match, their fettuccini alfredo and veal medallions were excellent; and though Emilio would not normally consider sending his creations take out, Jackie had come to an arrangement shortly after arriving in Paragon. She briefly wondered who he would send. Sean had been a bit of a disappointment last time, but Gina had a charming, if slightly clumsy enthusiasm. She couldnt take too much time though, she had other plans for later.
* * *
I abhor violence, unfortunately there are far too many opportunities for it when you are a heroine; both on the giving and receiving ends. It is sad to say that the same thing cannot be said for spankings.
From the Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost

* * *
The last thing I remember is this big hand grabbin the back of my head and then introducing my face to the front of a steel dumpster. Twice no three times. Course, the last thing I remember aint too much use; its the stuff leading up to it thats interesting.
Now, Im not one to grouse too loud that the universe is entirely unkind to Momma MacHeaths favorite son, but just once Id like to wake up to the face of a beautiful woman. If Nick Charles caught the fist-city end of a freight train, Norad be waking him up all gentle. Even Dick Tracy had Tess Trueheart to cradle his head in her lap. I wake up, an what do I get? Seabird. Flightless seabird at that.
Gilbert? Can you hear me? Al is perched on a stool looking about as concerned as a bird in natures own formalwear can.
Yeah. I mutter; cataloging a variety of aches and pains. There is a big blank space where the fight was; but Im still waking up, so the details will fill themselves in.
I am so sorry. Al says. We tried our best; but we just couldnt manage to fix things. The damage was too extensive.
Im fine Al. I pull myself out of the medical unit. Im in the Legendary base. So far so good. Somethings wrong though; but I cant quite put my finger on it.
Yes, I am well aware of that. Now Ive been around Al long enough that Im startin to get a read on his body language, hes leading me on. You have pulled through famously, but I am afraid that we could not save your hat.
Yeah, I knew something was missing. I run my hand through my hair. Damn, gettin thinner by the day. The herring wipe isnt done with me yet though.
Fortunately I put the call out for assistance and one of our own rose to the occasion. Al continues, grinding the knife in my side. Adrianne. You probably know her as Space Mage. She has one she can lend you.
He pulls out a fedora an its all I can do not to wince. Bright purple with a red band and a couplea springs with plastic eyes on the end. Now my budget really limits the sartorial splendor that I might rise to; but ya cant beat the classics, and this aint them. I let my eyes wander around the room. Yep. My pins are a little unsteady, but I make my way to the garbage bin and fish out my fedora. Ive seen worse; so has it.. A little steam and a few judicious passes with an iron and itll be ready for duty. I pass this on to Al; he tells me that Adrianne will be heartbroken. Nah. Anyone whod own a hat like that is used to a little pain. Shell live.
So what happened? Al asks as I set the kettle to steam.
I have to think about that one.
Im following the fake bulls through Talos; theyre both making tracks for the tram, an Im stuck to them like a ugly on an ape. Two apes as if happens to be. Now in this day an age of heroes, people going all invisible is not great shakes, but for those of us who cant theres always the old school method. You just stay where they arent looking. Its a whole lot easier to say than it is to do, but Ive had plenty of practice. Not only that, but a quick step into the elsewhere and I can watch em from ahead or behind. I dont need to though, these two mooks arent too good on the details. What they are is in a hurry. They hop the tram and I follow a car behind. These guys are afraid theyre being tailed and take the long way round, with several different stops. Its dark by the time we end up dumping the tram in Independence Port. I keep with them, but its getting a little hairy. Lot of Council in IP and these two breeze past them without so much as a glance. I dont have that option, so I play it tight an smart and keep my distance. We make it to the shipping docks an I spot the signs. Now you can say a lot about the Council, and most of it amounts to theyre a buncha low-rent chopper-squad Brunos; but they got a Teutonic efficiency about them. If they set up shop, the area is going to meet certain criteria, an theyre gonna have scout posts, cameras and sensors about the place. Now for a details guy like me, this is all money in the bank; it also means I gotta stop em before they get in there; cause theyre like cockroaches if you see one, theres at least two dozen of his friends waiting to leap out an jump you.
Tradition says I start with the big one; cause hell go down fast an leave me more time to deal with the really big one. I step into the elsewhere and pop back out ahead of em. I get my back to a wall, an tug my hat down low. Time to earn my pay.
Okay. I tell them, flipping a coin. We can do this smart, and no one gets hurt, or I gotta give you the hard goodbye.
Were police officers. The smaller one pipes up. Dont make a mistake.
Tell it to the shysters kid. While hes watching the coin, Im gathering up a great big handful of the hard goodbye, and I let him have it straight up. He stiffens as the darkness pours into him; his own little brush with mortality. I dont give him too long to ponder it though. I step up and give him a hard, fast sock on the jaw; hes a roundheel and while hes seeing stars I put him away with a cross. That leaves his big friend.
Bad idea hero. The big guy knows the score. I hate it when the bad guys are on the ball. He drops into a fighting crouch an I say a quick goodbye to my teeth; cause this guys about to knock em out. I get my elbows over my ribs an move in fast and hard. He takes my punch an gives me one in return that spins me right around. Before I can get my guard back up hes in on my with a hard kick to the guts. My lunch tries to surf out on a wave of gin, but I hold it together. Now as I was saying before, I got a surplus of death; well I got an equal measure of life, and I let a trickle of it out. The pain fades from my gut an I feel a wash of fresh strength in my arm. I launch an uppercut that comes right up from the deck and hits the sweet spot on the point of his chin, snapping his head back. Get a guy like that an its like hitting an off switch, the brain shuts right down. At least thats way its supposed to work. He takes the hit, he dont like it, but he takes it. It just gets him mad. He grabs me and wraps a mitt the size of a manhole cover around the back of my favorite head. Now dumpsters in Paragon are the property of Rabinowitz Waste Removal. I know this cause I got a real close look the first time my face hits the side of one. Second time I find out that there is a 1-800 number to report loss or damage. By the third time Ive lost all interest in Rabinowitz, his dumpsters and waste removal in general; I slump as the world goes a grey around the edges; next thing I know Im looking up into black beady seabird eyes.
Fascinating. Alistair says as I run the iron around the brim of fedora and give it a few quick twists to get it just the way I like it. So we are no further ahead than we were.
Naw, we got the goods. I flip a small envelope out of my sleeve. I lifted this when muscles got a grip on me.
And then let him get the better of you so the medical transporter would bring you and the package to the base. Very clever Gilbert. Very clever. Alistair says.
Now I dont feel the need t to tell the Lord Waddle that I didnt take the beating voluntarily; and would have preferred to walk out of there on my own two feet. Truth was that the bozo was a straight up better close in fighter than Momma MacHeaths boy.
Of course, had you not been swimming in gin and suffering from an overabundance of macho pride, you could have called in Eva or one of the others and saved yourself the utterly humiliating thrashing. Alistair gives a remarkably human shrug. Still, you came through famously, so musnt grumble too much on that account.
Just when I was starting to like the little herring wipe. I wonder if hes doing anything for Thanksgiving; cause I bet he tastes like chicken. I pop a shiv and slice the envelope open. Some sort of computer doohickey drops into my hand. Now, Im still getting caught up on this new tech, in my day the typewriter was the rage, so I know its time to bring in an expert.
What say we hand this over to LoraLai and then get back on the case? I flip the doohickey up, but before it drops back into my hand the penguin makes a jump for it, catching it in his beak. He makes a fast break for it and waddles towards the main computer room. I wait for a slow count of five before he reappears.
Of course. She cannot see me. Poor little guy looks crestfallen. I had rather gotten used to being noticed.
Yeah. I commiserate, taking the doohickey back from him. Tell ya what though, Ill tell her that this was obtained through the selfless actions and untiring labour of Evas magical, invisible, talking penguin.
Shell think you are either crazy, drunk or making fun of her. Al says.
Well, two outta three aint bad. I give him a grin. But Im not about to tell her which two. Lets get going Al, we can split a tin of sardines on the way.
* * *
If dance is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire, then Tango is its purest evocation. That is quite incorrect. If you are tangoing properly there is no need to get horizontal.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Bella waited patiently, occasionally refilling her cup from the carafe of excellent coffee that the waitress had placed on her table. There were worse places to wait. Club D was often frustrating, sometimes pretentious, but never, ever, boring. In the raised platform at the center of the dance floor, the DJ spun around in mid air, manipulating invisible controls that created musical re-mixes on the fly, his face rapt with the utter joy of his art. He was currently working his magic on Aquas Cartoon Heroes; not that it needed much. As the song reached the line we learn to move at speeds of light and fall down from any height Bella was forced to smile. That sounded like at least one person in the Legendary; as did the line about our friends are so impossible. She let her gaze wander over the patrons. The song inevitable drew heroes to the dance floor, and there was enough finely cut, spandex sheathed muscle on the floor to provide all the eye candy a heroine could want.
Bonjour Bella. Jackie materialized out of the crowd; moving with a relaxed, easy sway that Bella always admired. Jackies expression was equally relaxed, with just the barest hint of cat-who-just-ate-the-canary. The canary was undoubtedly very pleased with the results; as was Jackie.
Jackie. At Bellas gesture the waitress came over and deposited a carafe of iced coffee on the table. You wanted to see me.
Always. Jackie purred. But I thought we would begin with some small talk first. You have become suspicious of me. After all we have been through together; to think that even for a moment you do not trust me.
Of course I dont trust you. Bella said sternly. She managed to hang onto the expression for a long moment before they both dissolved into laughter. And you know it, so what is this all about? You have LoraLai up to her ears in the computers trying to figure out what youve done, and Eva is beside herself because she thinks youre up to no good.
I only wish I had LoraLai up to the ears. Jackie sighed dramatically, Perhaps I do not know how to appeal to alien life forms.
That has not stopped you in the past, but the line is Take me to your leader. Bella said dryly. If you stop at Take me they become confused. You are attempting to change the subject.
Oui. Jackie confirmed. But you do trust me, despite what you say.
Yes. Bella waited several long moments before answering. I dont trust you around money, my boyfriends, or large stacks of untraceable currency or gems. I do trust you not to betray a teammate, or let one come to harm through your illegal actions.
Merci Bella. I will never let you down in this regard. Jackie smiled sadly. She regained her devilish expression. Of course the question now arises. What are you willing to trade to find out what Im up to?
Not that. Bella said instantly, knowing exactly what thought was foremost in Jackies mind. And I will not show up with Morgan to be part of an ice-cream sandwich either.
Then I cannot tell you everything, but there is always room to negotiate. Jackie sipped her drink. Ice-cream sandwich. I like that, even if I am far from vanilla in my tastes.
Or I could just hold you over a hot flame until you talk. Bella growled.
I melt just thinking about it. Jackie shivered dramatically, squirming in her seat. Well?
Fine! Bella slapped the table. What can I get for a tango?
You must lead of course. Jackie considered, running a finger around the rim of her glass. About two weeks ago a little bird flew out of the Rogue Islands and told me that a certain Archon Cartney was hiring heavy and expensive muscle for a move on the Legendary in general and you and Morgan in specific. I made certain arrangements and came to an understanding between the parties; and I expect things to be resolved in the next day or so
And? Bella asked expectedly.
And you should change into something more appropriate, I will get the DJs attention. Jackie rose and summoned a wave of ice to carry her up to the DJs floating booth. Bella tossed back the last of her coffee. Get changed into something more appropriate? Bella fumed. She should have flash-fried Jackie. Fine. She triggered her costume crystal.
Bella Flash! Her black slacks and jacket vanished in a wash of flame. Bella made a slow, deliberate pivot as her bikini materialized around her. She briefly considered using her new Legendary uniform but decided against it. This would be plastered over the internet by morning; at least a few degrees of separation would make it easier on Eva and the others. Besides, she had promised a Tango. She grabbed a tablecloth off one of the unoccupied tables and wrapped it around her waist, cinching it so that one side fell open, displaying a great deal of leg. The music was just starting as Jackie slid back down. Jackie was about to say something, but Bella never gave her a chance. She moved in with smooth, deliberate speed, her arm slipping around Jackies waist, the other snagging her wrist. Bellas leg lunged between Jackies as she pressed in, meeting the much taller womans eyes. In deference to the dance, Jackie had removed her mirrored ski goggles and her cool blue eyes met Bellas smoldering, red, gaze.
The Tango was not a particularly difficult dance; Bella allowed herself a very brief moment of contemplation as she waited for the music to reach the starting cue. She had been teaching Morgan; who was a very apt pupil. Morgans naturally athletic nature and exceptional martial arts skills made the physical side easy for him and he was rapidly mastering the mental discipline as well. The trick, if it could even be called a trick, was to be completely oblivious to everything else except your partner, and communicating solely with ones eyes and body. Longing, and passion were all wrapped up in the Tango, but it really came down to raw, unfiltered, sexual desire. Come to think of it, Morgans only problem was that he has yet to finish a Tango, the more private venue of their practice sessions allowing the dance to progress immediately to its natural conclusion.
And then they danced. Bella drove Jackie across the floor, their bodies pressed tightly together, caf au lait against porcelain. The catcalls and whistles started, but then faded quickly. There was too much intensity pouring out of the couple. The audience watched raptly, save for several more puritanical heroes and villains, who resolutely turned away, catching clandestine glimpses in the mirrors over the bar. A hot, thick mist began to cloak the dance floor as fire and ice met, merged and sublimated.
Merci Jackie managed, small spasms still shivering her body as the dance concluded, she reluctantly pulled away. Je reve a toi.
Bella watched as Jackie left, weaving through the crowd with a slow, satiated, pace; she shook her head and keyed her communicator.
Morgan. Yes I know what time it is. Bella said, her voice catching slightly. The base. Five minutes! No, you do not have time for a shower. Now!
Perhaps the base was not the most private place. Bella mused as she dropped the tablecloth and headed towards the doors to the club, but if Jackies plans went to hell, it would be prudent to have a backup in place. As long as it wasnt needed for an hour or so.
* * *
Truth. You cant handle the truth. Fortunately for you there are several more exciting handling opportunities available.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Gilbert, we should be following her. The penguin on the stool next to me is looking a little agitated. Me Im going over every set of baseball statistics Ive ever known; theres no way Im standing up this very second. The bartender makes to refill my glass, an I wave him away. Damn. I gotta remember to thank Eva for this job when its all over. The torcher is leaving one way, an the Ice Queen another, and Im stuck in the middle with Al.
Ya gotta take a second Al. I buy time with information; its the only coin I have. I wasnt able to get the whole conversation, but Im beginning to think that our lady is playing both sides of the game.
Very astute. Al says dryly. What gave it away?
Different game Al. Its safe to get up so I do. I think shes got a con going on the Council; but shes also playing a little fast and loose with her friends too.
Was that an innuendo or a particular bit of your delightful chronologically impaired patois? Penguins. No pleasing em.
Patois, though Im not about to discount the other. I pass the bartender a fin an take my leave. Ice Queens taking a lot of risk for not a lot of payoff.
Which means that we dont know what the payoff is yet. The little flat-foot is pretty quick on the uptake. So we need to find out what it is.
Yeah. I echo. Shes gotta sting going on, but Im just hopin it dont sting back too hard.
Al an I pick up the trail. We take the door to the Row. The smell of trash an fried onions hits me an I know Im home. We pick up the Ice Queen easy enough and follow for a couple of blocks. Now Im watchin the dame, an shes watching everything. Shes good. She never lets on, just makes her way through the streets without a care. That means shes more nervous than shes willing to admit. No beautiful six foot blonde in a bikini made out of bad intentions and not much else ever walks through the worst parts of the Row without a care; so its an act. I find out why. Payoff time. I mentioned Council bases are easy to spot if you know what youre looking for; well shes walking right into one. She pauses at the door an looks back; for a moment I think shes having second thoughts, but she heads on in.
What now? Al looks up at me, an I give him a tight grin, turn and punch. The mook thought he had the drop on me, but he was makin more noise than a soup job in a concert hall. Now I dont like to think I carry a grudge, but the last guy in Council blacks worked me over pretty hard, an I return the favor with a little extra, just cause. I open up with a few bars of chin music an its pretty clear that hes a weak sister.
You gonna play it smart Joyce? I get a good grip on his collar and show him a fist that Im hoping not to have to use; his name is on a tag on his chest, so I use it. He turns pigeon so fast I want to check him for feathers.
Yes. He manages through a busted lip an a few less teeth.. Okay. Maybe I do carry a bit of a grudge. He spins the story, and I compare it to what I know. Looks like we got a match. Ice Queen gets the money to open up the Legendarys base to the bad guys. Then he drops one on me. The dame goes in, but she wont be coming out. Seems like the boss man knows shes close to the torcher; an wants to add a little more juice to his revenge. An they say no good deed goes unpunished. Nah. It aint that simple an I know it.
Gilbert. Al is looking at me like Im crazy. You are not about to do what I think you are about to do.
Yeah. I am. Re-enforcements might, might get here in time, but Im not counting on it. I think the dames on the up and up, but Momma MacHeaths boy has been wrong about dames before.
* * *
Be adventurous. Some girls wait for their knight in shining armour. I prefer having more choices. The Knight. The Girl. Or even the Dragon.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Archon Cartney pivoted, the harsh sodium lights of the base reflecting off the metal halo that held his head in position. The traitor was making demands of him. Him! His fingers twitched but didnt grab his pistol. Yet.
I expect to be paid Sweetie. Jackie said sternly, crossing her arms over her chest and returning the Archons poisonous stare. We had an agreement. The incompetence of your men is not my concern. I was hired for a service. I performed that service. I get paid for the service. What part of this is your miniscule fascist brain tripping over?
What! The Archons hand closed over the butt of his pistol. Did you just say?
Cute but dumb. Jackie chided. Do I have to use smaller words?
I understood what you said. A red wash flooded over the Archons face. Do you think you can insult me?
No. Jackie admitted. I know I can insult you. In fact I just did again. If Im going to quickly let me know; youre probably still figuring out the first two.
Give me the transport keys to the Legendary Base. The gun came out and was pointed between Jackies eyes. Or I will shoot you right here and right now! Men! There were numerous clicks as slides were pulled back and safeties released.
Okay..okay Jackies resolved collapsed as her eyes darted around the room, taking in all the weapon barrels that were pointed at her. Its going to take a few moments though.
Why is that. Archon Cartneys eyes narrowed dangerously, his finger tightening on the trigger.
Its hidden. Jackie winced as the gun continued to threaten her. She lowered her voice. In a private place.
Well get itoh! Archon Cartney was brought up short by the realization.
Oui, cest ca. With an outfit like this my options are limited. Jackie confirmed, she glanced around again. Mes amis. I would ask that you listen carefully. Things are about to get very interesting and I might need a little help.
Get on with it! Archon Cartney prompted.
You have the key. Jackie slid her hand down the front of her bikini briefs. If you dont know what it does, now is a perfect time to find out.
Ive had enough on this! Cartney snapped. Kill her!
* * *
Die with my boots on? Look sweetie, if Im about to die, the last two things Im going to be worried about are fashion and traction.
The Wit and Wisdom of Jackie Marie Antoinette Frost.
* * *
Lincoln Memorial paused in his writing, raising the oversized pen from the yellow legal tablet; the distractions were too great to continue. The brief he was compiling was nearly complete and could wait on the morrow. He rose from the re-enforced chair and ran a hand down the lapels of his jacket. Well hardly a jacket. Him. A smile quirked the white marble features. What a fine jest of the universe that he should find his poor Kentucky soul back among the living under such unforeseen and incredible circumstances. One President emeritus escapes from the fiery pits, another descends from the blessed place. Balance in all things. How fortunate that a suitable vessel was available; it would be a poor show indeed to be running about Paragon in a reproduction of the Venus Dimillo, compensating for a lack of arms by head-butting the criminal churls into submission. Even Michelangelos David would be problematic; one hand on the axe, the other keeping the railsplitter covered up. No this stone facsimile of his former six foot four frame served admirably. He had even obtained a railsplitter of his own, an oversized maul with a wicked sharp blade on one side for robots, zombies and other such ilk, and a fine, flat bludgeoning surface on the other. Robo-Nixon would have no more fear of phlebitis after he was cut off at the knees.
For such a late hour, the Legendary base was a bustle with activity. Just a scant twenty minutes ago, the base had been as quiet a church-mouse in a cathouse. Well perhaps not quite that quiet. Superball had arrived about an hour ago and spent some fifteen minutes repeatedly banging his head against a wall. All efforts to comfort the poor lunatic had been futile, only drawing pained cries of Blue! Blue! Blue! There was something wrong with the boy, of that much he could be certain.
The current set of distractions were making a fine time of things in the common room. Well perhaps they werent that distracting, but man, even a rather unique homo-lithic, was at heart a social animal, and it was conversation that raised him above the common beast. It had started with an open call through the communicator that a pizza would be arriving in some thirty minutes and would someone please meet pick it up at the Atlas portal. The woman on the line was Bella Fuego, who he fought alongside several times. She could hardly be called a woman of modesty, but in this day and age that was not to be considered a surprise.
Minuet MacHine and her paramour Wide Receiver had shown up shortly thereafter. Minuet struggling with a stack of cartons half as tall as she was, while her gentleman easily hefted a half dozen cases of beverages and several large paper parcels. Even to cavernous stone nostrils the aromas had been delicious, rich in tomatoes, oregano and all manner of good things. Well the world it seems had not changed; offer a soldier a meal and he or she would come running; and come running they did. Superball pulled himself away from the wall; while the teleportation beacon thrummed as member after member materialized and descended upon the extensive foodstuffs. Lincoln recognized most of them; Shizuru, Syndesis, Yukiyo, Australis, Emi Arizona and Space Mage, while others were a mystery to him. Such as the, well he wasnt quite sure what she was, who was crouched protectively over an open box, eating greedily with both hands. The pizza, if it truly could be called that was composed of a gingerbread crust, bright red icing, and dotted with lumps of licorice.
Mygingerbreadlicoriceicingpizzamine! The creature said in a single sugar-fuelled burst of noise. Fae is having happy sugary ever after!
Mr. President. Wide Receiver came to his feet as Lincoln entered. With a fond smile, Lincoln waved him back down; he had been mostly successful in weaning them of the habit of treating him like the president, but the lad still insisted on it. Can I get you something.
I do confess a hunger. While he didnt need the sustenance, whatever processes animated his stone body allowed him to enjoy both food and drink, without the unpleasantness of passing it. Which was a blessing as the stone pants were as much a part of him as his head, and he was quite unable to remove them. Perhaps a slice with pepperoni; I shall help myself to a drink.
As Lincoln settled down, popping the cap off of a bottle of beer, Evangelia arrived. He heaved his heavy frame back up; as was proper. If anything, she looked more embarrassed than he must have when Wide Receiver had shown the same courtesy. The lad wasnt the only one having trouble breaking certain habits. Eva offered an embarrassed half nod as she accepted greetings from everyone in the room.
Um, I didnt expect everyone to be here. Eva looked around at the crowd, most of whom were waving slices of pizza around like miniature pennants. Well except Superball. He had built a small fort out of empty pizza boxes and was safely ensconced within, only his boots and the sound of enthusiastic chewing noticeable.
Its the glutton task force. Minuet managed around a mouthful of cheese. Grab a slice Eva.
Ah Eva. I need to speak with you. LoraLai emerged from the computer labs, a small widget in her hands. Ive been over this device that your friend dropped off. It contains the coordinates and access codes for a teleport beacon; just not ours.
Do you have any idea where it goes? Eva asked, accepting bottle of iced tea from Yukiyo.
No. That part is deliberately encrypted. Lora Lai admitted. We could find out, but that would require us to enter it into our own teleportation beacon, and I am not prepared to do that without further research.
Gaahh! Pizza boxes flew in every direction as Superball exploded from his fort.
Bonjour mes amis. The voice emerged from Superballs groin.
Its never done that before. Honest. Superball said. I didnt even know that it spoke French.
Calm down. Theres a rational explanation for this. Eva said.
I would ask that you listen carefully. Superballs groin continued. Things are about to be very interesting and I might need a little help.
Or not. Eva made a face.
Wait, thats Jackies voice. Emi leaned forward. Whats Jackie doing there?
I dont know! Superball wailed, turning in several small circles. Its possessed!
Sure mate. Australis grinned. But if you want us to beat the demons out youre out of luck.
You have the key. If you dont know what it does, now is a perfect time to find out. The sound abruptly cut off in a rattle of gunfire. There was a moment of silence as everyone exchanged puzzled glances.
Well it is obvious. LoraLai said. Jackie slipped a small receiver into his belt and is sending us a message. I can see the signal going back and forth.
So shes in trouble. Minuet waited a long moment. Do we have to save her?
Yes. We do. Emi said. Do we know where she is?
Eva. This is your call. LoraLai held up the device. I think we have a pretty good idea who it leads to. We dont know where. The question is do we trust her?
Yes. Eva said after a moment. Yes. Shes Legendary. We never abandon our own.
Task Force Save my Crotch is go! Superball pumped a fist in the air.
Wait. How did she get the transmitter there? Emi asked, raising an eyebrow.
No time for that! Superball enthused. Danger stalks my very sta We better go.
Oh wait, I have to get Bella, I think shes in the shower. Min ran out of the room. Moments later there was an angry yell. Min returned, her cheeks slightly reddened. Theyll just be a second getting dressed.
Ive entered the codes in. LoraLai said as the base transporter flared into life. Are we ready?
Task force. You know Is go! Eva drew her sword and raised it above her head. We fight for Love and Justice.
In my pants! Superball added as the Legendary deployed.
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Lovely. But I figured Bella for a soccer fan, given the surplus of sweaty young men in shorts.
Ebony the Black Dragon
Senior Editor, Living Room Games
Ebony the Black Dragon

"Good night, and may the Good Lord take a Viking to you."
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Eva- I dont watch enough anime does the penguin have any mystical powers that I should be aware of invulnerability, etc.
Honestly, I haven't come up with any, other than the invisibility and the intelligence, and whatever he used to gift Evangelia with her powers. Oh, and a very dry British wit.
I basically was thinking of him as a cooler, avian version of Luna from Sailor Moon.
-- Bob
...The President is on the line
As ninety-nine crab rangoons go by...
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Superball How easy would he be to seduce. 1.) Like a rat up a drainpipe 2.) I must resistno Im weak 3.) Im saving myself for porridge.
Oddly enough, 3. Or something between 2 and 3. It comes back to the fact that...he's a guy playing a role, and he's terribly paranoid about it.
He, frankly speaking, doesn't know how to deal with someone like Jackie. She'd unnerve and intimidate him - that is, the guy behind the mask. And he's not really developed any methods to deal with such things "in-character"...he doesn't know how SUPERBALL should react. So that leaves him at a bit of an impasse.
So...he'd evade. Maybe he'd play along, make innuendo...which is in itself a kind of deflection; humour her, so she, y'know, doesn't keep prying. Or maybe he'd play dumb. Pull a Yukiyo, feign complete ignorance.
If that doesn't work, if push comes to shove, if he's trapped in a very small room...
He'd do something like, I dunno, flail his arms. And yell:
Then he'd run away.
-- Acyl
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
I've only gotten four paragraphs in and it's already glorious. Will post more when done laughing.
Very enjoyable. As a side note, is there some place that all the Legendary Fic is being archived?-Terry
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint Exupery
"Luge strategy? Lie flat and try not to die." - Carmen Boyle (Olympic Luge Gold Medal winner - 1996)
Mary Sue's theme music
"so listen up boy, or pornography starring your mother will be the second worst thing to happen to you today"
TF2: Spy
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Okay, I've just finished the latest stuff, and I do like that last scene quite a bit. I can't wait to read it to Peggy.
As a side note, is there some place that all the Legendary Fic is being archived?
Not yet, but give me a chance. I'll probably do up an entire branch of my website just for the Legendary.
In the long run maybe I should contact Offsides about setting up a domain, but for the moment, I think I'll work off of my account.
I'll just have to design a new interface -- something that suits the group.
-- Bob
...The President is on the line
As ninety-nine crab rangoons go by...
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Shizuru How old if >=18 same question. (Again, I dont watch enough anime, so I dont have that good a grasp on the character.)
Well, surprise surprise, They never really gave an age in the source material (Mai Hime, go watch it! You'll get the Back back story) so I'm running off of the age of 19, as she was a Senior during the series.
For the seduction question, well, hmm. Tough question. Well, she does swing that way, but I'm working with the fact that she's still holding a torch for someone back home (grr you not having watched the series) but she would take any advance and counter it. If anything, she would know that she was being seduced and take measures to stop said attempt, or if she's bored (which happens surpriingly alot in Paragon City) she may go along with it to its end, though if though this the seducer tried to get her to do anything against the SG, well, lets just hope the seducer has her brain in a jar somewhere.When I say Jump, I want you out the window, you got that Demon-boy!
In the epic rage of furious thunder
legends create their tales
when the twilight calls and the dark lord falls
our glory will prevail

[Image: strikersetcfinal9_th.jpg]
In the epic rage of furious thunder
legends create their tales
when the twilight calls and the dark lord falls
our glory will prevail

[Image: strikersetcfinal9_th.jpg]
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
well, lets just hope the seducer has her brain in a jar somewhere.
Oh, yeah. Canon HiME Shizuru is seriously kick-ass. And just a little... unrestrained at times. (Which is a kinder way of saying something that might be a spoiler.)
-- Bob
...The President is on the line
As ninety-nine crab rangoons go by...
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Nice work!
On the surveillance thing, this is probably a good time to mention that Obsidian Heart has an invisibility power which she hardly ever uses around other people. She did show it to Eva a while back, though.
Re: A Fistful of Part 1 complete- I have some questions.
Indeed she did. I'd almost forgotten that.
-- Bob
...The President is on the line
As ninety-nine crab rangoons go by...
Ebony: Yes Bella is a huge soccer fan; but the focus is national rather than personal Bullfighting is more on the individual, and Manolete was great (well up until the last bull.)
Bob, please let me know what Peggy thinks as I hadnt really intended to use Gil until I wrote the first paragraph. I love the noir detective feel, which makes Gil such fun to write (and play). Although I fear that he and Alistair have gotten off on the wrong foot/flipper, and that the conflict is only going to escalate.
Yukiyo Betrayal. Yes it certainly does look like it doesnt it. Will Jackie become hoist to her own petard (or roughly beaten with her own toy.)
Acyl I will run with option number three I am about halfway through the seduction scene, and you will be happy to know it includes both Lego and Lite-bright.
Khagler I still dont have a good enough handle on Obsidian Heart to write her (with proper reverence I really try to get the other players right.)
Re: Replies
Yukiyo Betrayal. Yes it certainly does look like it doesnt it. Will Jackie become hoist to her own petard (or roughly beaten with her own toy.)
Hah. I'm amused by the thought of...well, how Superball and Syndesis would react to that.
Supes is paranoid enough to suspect that an order to watch Jackie...might mean someone upstairs doesn't trust her - he might even realise she's not as airheaded as she acts. Takes one to know one. Still, he'll probably not catch the fact he, Wide, and Min are meant to be seen. 'course, whether he does or doesn't, makes no difference, he'd still try to theatrically snoop around on tippy-toes making little 'poit' 'poit' 'poit' sounds as he moves...
...inwardly, tho, he'd probably take potential betrayal very seriously. Again, y'know, since that hits close to home. He's got extremely strong feelings with regards to that sorta thing, though he'd prolly hide 'em a bit better than Yukiyo.
Syndesis, on the other hand, wouldn't be concerned at all. She's got the whole former supervillain thing going herself, but she's never been ashamed of it...and informed of Jackie selling them out, she'd be fairly oblivious. Prop her feet up on a table, stretch back in her seat, and go "Enh, really? Oh. 'kay, cool. Good fer her." (pause) "What? No, I don't see anythin' wrong wit' this picture. But if she's leavin', can I have her locker?"
-- Acyl
Regardless of anything, Wide will be seen. Between the sparkles of his recently acquired aura, his sheer size, and the innate glowiness of his powersets, stealth is not really an option for him.
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
Re: Replies
Bob, please let me know what Peggy thinks as I hadnt really intended to use Gil until I wrote the first paragraph.
The Legendary fics are the next things I'm reading to her, starting the next opportunity we get. I'm reading them in order, inasmuch as they have one -- "A Day In The Life" first, then that little 1-pager about Yukiyo, and then this one, followed by the Superball fragment. So it might be a little while until I get back to you on that.
I love the noir detective feel, which makes Gil such fun to write (and play). Although I fear that he and Alistair have gotten off on the wrong foot/flipper, and that the conflict is only going to escalate.
Definite genre clash there which is only going to worsen things. And it's just odd that Alistair's first appearance "on-screen" was so serious and somber... Not that I'm complaining! I want to see more!
-- Bob
...The President is on the line
As ninety-nine crab rangoons go by...
Re: Replies
Ebony: Yes Bella is a huge soccer fan; but the focus is national rather than personal Bullfighting is more on the individual, and Manolete was great (well up until the last bull.)
Numero is a fan of "futbol" as well, but of course has grown up surrounded by luchadores. The argument of wrestling vs. bullfighting is entirely plausible, since Mexican bullfighting is pretty tawdry (as I understand it) and has all but dropped off the radar since the gringos no longer come across the border to watch it. Numero's also a decent fellow who finds the sport terribly barbaric.
As opposed to the noble and exciting sport of two sweaty men in masks and their underwear grabbing at each other in public. [Image: smile.gif] Ebony the Black Dragon
Senior Editor, Living Room Games
Ebony the Black Dragon

"Good night, and may the Good Lord take a Viking to you."
Re: Replies
And it's just odd that Alistair's first appearance "on-screen" was so serious and somber...
I wanna feature Alistair, myself, if I ever get round to writing a Space Mage story. Space would probably be able to see him too, see. Since she's Space Mage, after all, and her magic's fueled by imagination.
("CUTE!" "Oh, I say, madam...please...unhand me..." "CUTE!")
I picture her trying to cast spells over plates of herring. To turn them invisible. Because an invisible penguin needs invisible fish.
Definite genre clash there which is only going to worsen things.
And culture clash! Classical Brit penguin, I'm imagining. Hard-boiled American private eye.
The whole bit with Alistair and Gil just cracked me up. Yes, this HAS to escalate! >_<
-- Acyl
Re: heh
Regardless of anything, Wide will be seen. Between the sparkles of his recently acquired aura, his sheer size, and the innate glowiness of his powersets, stealth is not really an option for him.
I dunno Foxboy, the Paladrone is 9 feet tall, weighs nearly a ton, and is made entierly of metal, but when he pops on his cloaking device, nobody ever seems to notice him...--
Instead of playing the role of a super hero, one degenerates into a strange bum luring villains to their doom in a trash dumpster. -Statesman
If you become a monster to put down a monster you've still got a monster running around at the end of the day and have as such not really solved the whole monster problem at all. 
Re: Replies
The number of people who can see the penguin seems to be rising quite rapidly...
Alexis probably couldn't see him, but she might be able to tell that *something* was there, and it wouldn't take long for it to start getting on her nerves... ("Evangelia-san, I think you have a stalker...")
-Morgan."I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, time travelers, or espers here, come sleep with me."
---From "The Ecchi of Haruhi Suzumiya"
-----(Not really)
Re: Replies
And then there's Naoko and Hiroshi's non-invisible mascot, Reflected Light, who takes the form of a small blue hamster...
(He was surprised by their parents and had to pick something inconspicuous quickly, you see...)
Re: Replies
The number of people who can see the penguin seems to be rising quite rapidly...
Well, to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of supers who can somehow perceive him was significantly larger than the percentage of normals who can. Something inherent in being super, I suppose.
-- Bob
...The President is on the line
As ninety-nine crab rangoons go by...
The update is in the first message in the thread.
No new cameos, but I really want to try and get Lincoln Memorial and perhaps Space Mage into at least one scene.
Re: A Fistful of New update! Superball Seduction!
My Lovely Wife really wanted to hear Acyl's reaction to the Superball seduction scene, so here it is.
And after I read that I had to reply. But really...
Uh Im not wearing a cup. Wide admitted.
Mon dieu Jackies eyes widened. She glanced at Min again; making a variety of mental calculations.
THAT bit cracked me up most of all. I just about choked on an alarm clock. Yes, an alarm clock. I was fiddling with it around face level as my eyes roamed the screen...and when I read that, I snorted and pitched forward...
Dear Lord.
The Gil-Alistair interaction was just brilliant, too. I've always been fond of the whole...private detective gumshoe thing, and you pull off that particular brand of purple prose extremely well. It makes Gil cool...
...and Alistair, well, damn, I never thought about that. It must get pretty lonely for him. PENGUIN ANGST. o_o
(well, yes, Space Mage can see him too, I decided on that for obvious story reasons, but I doubt Alistair can actually hold a conversation with her)
Superball grasped the top of the railing and flipped over. He shook himself violently and briefly scratched behind his ear with his left foot.
...yes, he would do that, wouldn't he? Second I read that, my mind instantly filled in the smell of wet dog. Made me smile.
I love how you painted the setting for that, really. Can't 'xactly pin it down, but the whole background description of Jackie's apartment, the luxuries and all that. Stage dressing. The whole Superball awkwardness and mask-paranoia was great, really spot on for the guy...and his total, utter, COMPLETE collapse in the face of Jackie. Or, y'know, other bits of the body aside from the face. Bwahahaha.
With a shrug she scooped up the towels, noting that on the third pass Superball had snatched up the rest of the cheese, crackers and grapes.
And that was just golden. Yes, yes he WOULD. I'm guessing you threw that in for comedy value, and it IS a great throwaway gag...but Superball would do that for serious reasons, too - his body burns a lot of food, and he can never really afford enough on his grocery budget.
(Largely 'cause he pulls a Sam Vimes and sends most of his income to folks he hurt when he was a crook - and, consequently, he prolly doesn't feel bad about ripping off Jackie... u_u)
-- Acyl
I figured the food thing was very important with Superball after your original story, hence the cheese'n'grapes grab - it seemed funny and accurate.
The update is in the first message in the thread.
Re: Update/Reply
I picture her trying to cast spells over plates of herring. To turn them invisible. Because an invisible penguin needs invisible fish.[/quote
I can -so- see Tachiko going for that. Because it's just so logical and appropriate. [Image: wink.gif]
Great story so far, kee
"I give you the beautiful... the talented... the tirelessly atomic-powered...

Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.
Re: Update/Reply
An excellent bit of Lincoln-ing there. [Image: smile.gif] And eerily identical to my unwritten thoughts on his senses and digestive processes...
"Don't worry. Ninja are more afraid of you than you are of them."

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