The Tomorrow Legion

The Interview Process
Finding a Public Relations Intern

“Gah! Vicky? Vicky! Victoriahhh!!!!”

(click)

“Yes, Miss Hazel?”

“Ah, you don’t have to use the intercom. I’ll come downstairs.”

“That’s okay.”

“Uh, what’s okay?”

(click)

“Vicky?”

(knock knock)

“Who’s there?”

(muffled)

“Vicky who? Oh never mind!”

(knock knock)

“Gah! Who’s THERE?!?!”

(muffled)

“Are you serious right now?!”
.
.
.
.
.
.
(waiting)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
(click)

“Yes, Miss Hazel?”

“Oh! Vicky! Perfect timing. Come up to my room please! I’m positively drowning in Greg’s List ads!”


“And these four are the cream of the crop? The creme de la creme? The best of the best? The”

(ahem) “Well, Miss Hazel, they were the only resumes that didn’t have Booger King, Jack in the Crack, or McDonuts in the work experience column. That was one of your criteria, wasn’t it?”

“Well beggars can’t be choosers. The FATE of Tomorrow Legion public relations rests in the hands of capable waiters and waitresses!”

“Fast food restaurants don’t have serving people.”

“Vicky don’t get distracted. This is a daunting, monumental task we have in front of us. Handling Tomorrow Legion PR in Spirit’s absence is a job for only the most dedicated, capable, well-spoken, and worldly candidates…who will work for, um what will we pay them?”

“Miss Hazel, without Spirit backing the TL finances I’m afraid we don’t have any Legion money to begin a salary.”

“Then I will nobly pay them out of my own paycheck!”

“Miss Hazel, without Spirit backing the TL finances I’m afraid you aren’t getting a paycheck either.”

“Oh bother! Make a note of it. We’ll discuss as much in the interviews.”


355e52068799c6256ac662c57f4e3086a85c2302da461f62f4a59c91da2f878a.jpg

“So, Mister Nuremberg, it says here that you were in the military.”

“Yes ma’am. Petty Officer Peacock of the USS Luftwaffe.”

“Interesting. And what did you do in the Army?”

“Ah, er…I was an engineer and technician in the engine room for the nuclear sub.”

“I see. So you like sandwiches…well here, we’re only interested in heroes — not subs.”

“Er, no ma’am. I mean, uh, yes ma’am. But I always wanted to be a writer! And I think I have the skills to best represent the heroes of the Tomorrow Legion to the publications and periodicals of Century Station.”

“Do you speak Latin?


ef032f284dd5e5fa0bb80239aaac279e02ad20a42397e6e3df01b2610de62b53.jpg

“Yes, but, ah Miss Snow…”

“Eileen, please,”

“Okay, Eileen…this isn’t that type of job.”

“The ad on Greg’s List said it was.”

“No, dear, I was looking for voluminous assets not voluptuous ass hats.”

“So you’re not going to hire me because I’m a woman? That’s discrimination!”

“Of course not! I’m not hiring you because…because your breasts are gigantic!”

“Oh, well I think that’s still discrimination!”

“If you hadn’t displayed them so prominently…I’d…I mean this is a REAL job for Hablar’s sake!”

“I thought you wanted me to make sure people had a really good opinion of you guys. Isn’t that what P.R. stands for?”

“Ugh you’re so gross! Vicky!!!!!!”

(click)

“Yes, Miss Hazel?”

“Vicky, can we discriminate hiring personnel based on breast size?”

“No. I believe that’s classified as sexual harassment.”

“What if Verge does it?”

“I believe that makes it worse.”

“Oh bother!”


Job-Interview_o_110563.jpg

“Oh, oh my Mr. Whitman. Your resume really resonates with me. You were a collegiate athlete?”

“Yes. Track and field, 200 meter dash.”

“Whoa! And it says you received a scholarship for the national merits in English Literature and creative writing?”

“Indeed. I am a prolific writer who sat on the council of the student governing body and editor-in-chief of the Gotham Herald, our university newspaper.”

“That is most impressive. Well Daniel…Danny, if I may, you’re clearly a good fit on paper. So why do you want this position?”

“I fucking hate black people.”


43027977.jpg

(exhausted sigh)

“So, Xander, is it? Tell me a little bit about yourself Xander.”

“Well, I am intimately familiar with Antarctica.”

“Oh yeah? That’s quite a feather in your cap.”

“Like the plume I retrieved from an Albatross…and it’s spume.”

“Spume? Ah yes! Of course. And it says hear that you collect stuffed animals.”

“Well, a bit. I have this dark eldritch octopus plushie I got at a carnival once. And a pet turtle.”

“How provincial!”

“Wanna see something cool?”

“I’d love to.”

(rolls up his resume and puts it up to his eye) “I made you a free telescope. Wanna look through it?”

“Of course.” (holds up the rolled paper and gazes out the window)

“That’s your first look at the spaghetti conundrum.”

“You’re hired!”


“Vic…toria. Dear. I’m too pooped to pop. I need to get out of this house for a bit and I’m really missing Matt. Don’t tell the others where I went but I’ll be back in a few hours. I made a reservation for visitation with the boss. The hoosegow might not seem like much but it’s a welcome respite from the interview process.”

View
Salvo for President!

SALVO AND THE TOMORROW LEGION… Saving Today.. For YOUR Tomorrow”

That looks good. I set the billboard up here so you could see it.. I know you can’t actually see it, but it seemed the most appropriate. To be honest though, I also hope people in need will see the billboard it when they come here. You should have seen it. I lead the charge, I saved the day, and I had people praising me. All eyes on me. The STAR! You always spoke of salvation.. and I deliver Salvotion. Had that Joany woman on her knees. Probably not going to be coming back her for a while. I am a public figure now, my face is all over the billboard. Let me just say that wherever you are, you won’t be able to miss my rise…

Not many of the legion were around that night. I took advantage of this to mess with the good doctors computer. He has a few surprises waiting for him, nothing grand.. I am just not that good yet but I think I found a side hobby. Also.. I think he has some sort of rodent problem. It is kind of gross.

Any way, it was really just me and the ladies standing around. I jokingly tried to pick up Hazel, you know make her feel good about herself. Not really my type though, a little too little.. She was a good sport about it, though I may have laid it on a bit heavy because I could see that spark of interest. I need to be careful with that power, only want to be breaking bad guys, not hearts. Seriously though, Hazels moral compass is just a bit too rigid. She objected to every one of my plans. Diana on the other hand. She knows how to get a party started.

Lets set bad peoples houses on fire and swoop in to rescue! “No she says”

Lets inform the gangs there is heroin at an orphanage and beat them back! “No she says, I cannot condone that”

She even tried to convince that there were “good people” in the police department. Doesn’t exist, from the top to the bottom it is full of crooks and thugs and worse. Though she did give me a good idea. Not sure she meant to though. If I can’t easily find the evidence I need, I just need to plant some. Create money trails to the gangs and other convicted cops. The evidence exists any way I am just speeding up the process. Will have to research accomplishing this efficiently. I will accelerate the purging of the police department soon enough.

We spent some time discussing what we should be doing with our evening. The girls wanted to pursue some diplomat who could have information about the ship that sank and the villian behind it.. blah blah blah. They wanted to stand watch while they lured him back to his hotel room. BORING! So like a proper leader I pointed them towards the much much better course of action of absconding(word of the day calender doing me good!) with the captive cyborg. You know.. so we can question him ourselves. There was no chance the little piggies were going to get any useful information from it, but I know we could.. one way or another. We all hopped abourd our respective bikes. Turns out Hazel isn’t licensed to fly that hovercraft. Funny she is willing to break the law when she conveniently forgets about it..

We arrive on the scene of a SWAT detention facility. Not much to look at from the outside. Fenced in parking lot, and a big grey building. I like it when the buildings are blank canvas for a bit post modern Salvo artistry. OH! But of course:
“No, Salvo, lets try and talk our way in!”
“They might just hand over the transcript of their interogation, maybe that has info we need!”

Ugh, these two don’t know what a good time looks like. So I wait near the building while Diana schmoozes her way in. Makes up some ridiculous name and schmoozes with the receptionist. To my surprise, it actually worked and she got the transcript. Nothing revealing in their. Because, I was right and these pooplice don’t know what they are doing. ALRIGHT SALVO TIME! Gonna bust my way in and drag him out in chains. Figure a bumpy ride down the highway behind my motorcycle will loosen him up!

No wait.. nevermind. We are going to go.. talk again. See if they will let us just take him. See the girls think that the cyborg may be leaking radiation. Gonna use that as a reason to get him out of there. So once again I am just sitting outside. I start looking around for some alternative plans. Things to explode if a distraction is needed, or this goes on much longer. I let the gals no I plan on knocking the power out to cause chaos to let them slip in if the conversations don’t go well. Well, pretty quickly they didn’t go well. Receptionist was acting suspicious and wouldn’t Diana in until her “team” arrived. I will be honest, I lost my patience. I wasn’t going to lose my chance to get this guy in our hands. If this mission went the wrong way, we may not be welcome in the city very much anymore. So I revved up my bike, and was gonna get speed to take out a pole containing transformers running to the building. Figured I would ram the pole and blast the transformer to take it out.

Right as I was about to gun it, I see the Centurians arrived. In a moment of brilliant leadership I try to let Diana know they are here. So maybe she can use that to work her way in. I figured I would give her another shot at getting this to work. Raise her confidence like a good leader. But she fails. She literally does nothing with the info. So only one thing left to do. PUNCH IT! I get to about 100 before having to leap from my bike at the last second. Sadly my bike did not damage the pole. Not heavy enough, will have to investigate solutions to that. But I was able to nail the transformer and take out power.

I suppose, in hindsight, such blatant destruction and use of my powers for it with the Centurians right there was not the smartest move I ever made. When I opened my eyes, there was a woman asking if I am alright. I needed to play this. I freaked out. Told her I didn’t know what happened. I was messing around with my bike, trying to do some stunts and lost control. She seemed to buy it, but then pointed at the transformer and asked about that. Well I was on this train might as well ride it. I freaked out more. Acted terrified, wondered if I did it. Wondered if this was something I didn’t understand. Buried my face in my hands and wailed. Laid it on thick. Worked like a charm. She left me there and went into the building.. where by the way.. Diana is STILL just standing around. Where did The Tomorrow Legion find her? Hazel apparently had the idea to sneak into the building, or at least that is what I figured, since I didn’t see her again until right before we left.

Diane blew my lie, told the woman I was with her. So I followed the woman(whom I find out is Joan) in. I was more than a little suspicious that Joan did not seem to be calling me out on my lie, and was honestly beliving Diana’s. However, we were getting what I wanted and I would deal with the fallout later. On our way down the the basement where the borg is locked up, I got into a discussion with Joan. Tried to make her understand that her working with the police is counter to her goals of helping the people. She defended them, telling me they do good deeds. I tried to explain for every good deed there were two evil ones. She then dropped the J bomb on me. She brough Jesus into this discussion. She was telling me to trust in Jesus and he will bring us to the light and that is the path she is on. She was telling ME this. ME! Like I am some heathen! I was stunned. Partly because I haven’t had a religious lecture in years, and I was not expecting this kind of fervor. I will admit, I was little excited. I think I can convince her to join us. Join me. More on that though later..

I am going to skip ahead a bit. Stuff happened. Some either inept or corrupt guard left the door to the cells unlocked. He tried to play it off as ghosts or something. I threatened to report him. Not that I would, because that will get nowhere, but hopefully he knows I am on to him. We get to the borg, he was actually willing to come with us. I like to believe I convinced him, but I knew deep down that wasn’t true. There was a trick or a trap. I just never expected what was to come. Though it makes my future decisions much much easier. Diana heaved the cyborg over her shoulder and started to walk him out of there(he was missing a leg after all). I decided to go up a floor to retrieve his stuff. I sort of underestimated how heavy it was, so I was slowboat dragging it down the hall when I noticed the elevator that my teammates were presumably on come to a halt and the warning lights start flashing. Apparently, Joan has some sort of sixth sense for danger. She was buggin, and wanted everyone to wait while she checked things out. I am not sure I am buying this sixth sense stuff but I suspected something was probably going to happen earlier so I figured I would work with her to look around and clear the area. We cleared the top floor and went outside. Shit got real.

Shortly after getting to the top floor, Diana and Hazel(I guess she came back from somewhere.. have to ask about that I think..), decided that they were bored of waiting in the Elevator and started walking the captive up the stairs. As soon as they got out of the stairwell… BOOM. Seriously, it was just moments. I saw Joan scream, “NOOOOOOO..” and run back towards the building. Giving me enough time to turn around and see the explosion set off. There was only one thing to do, absorb that explosion. I have done it before.. nothing this big.. no idea if I could take it. But this was MY team after all. Can’t have them die on my watch. What’s a leader without a team? So right as the first shockwave hits me, I just start pulling it in. Pain shredded first through my chest from the actual blast. But then.. IN me. Not my organs.. my veins. The energy, the pain, it became a part of my blood. My blood became energy. It poured through me. More.. more.. more.. I felt alive. I felt like I was dying. It just kept coming in. I could see the cyborg pieces flying through the air as if in slow motion. I think his hand went past my head. I saw Hazel forced back a step, and Diana thrown back into the stair well. I saw they were still in one piece. It was working. I was dragging the energy from them. But there was still more to come.. and more pain. Never felt anything like this. It started first in the tips of my fingers. Like I was being unzippered. Like things were tearing slightly. It moved up my arms. I felt it in my scalp. I wasn’t sure what was happening or how much more I could take. The explosion was done. It had felt like hours, but was probably milliseconds. I felt.. and heard the hum. I was vibrating. I had to do something with this energy. I slammed it through the roof of the building. Punched a hole through it. Probably lit up the sky for miles.
When it was done. I was pure energy again. The pain always brings it.

I did my victory lap around the room. It was when I noticed. Joan looking at me in awe, on her knees even. Hazel was just the same. My vision of the future was coming true. I am the savior, I am the leader, I am Salvo, and these motherfucking cyborgs are going to have their lives ruined. If they are willing to detonate with innocent lives around, if they are willing to let go if their lives so easily, I will help them with that. They are living under our streets, so soon the sewers will be filled with fire. If they surrender and disarm, sure I will let them out. But between you and me, Ma, I hope they don’t.

View
Homecoming Hazel
Finally...

masquerade_3_by_cathleentarawhiti-d52ftll.jpg

Matty,

Well I’ve been putting this off for a while; my return has been a long time in the making. I’ll have plenty of time to think with you in my backpack and the wind in my face. I left…years ago. How long has it been? Five? I rode out of Verde Green Suburbia on an old beaten up dirt bike and I’m returning five years later on a souped-up Mad-Max JetBike. I haven’t called. I haven’t written. But neither have they. Gerhardt didn’t even come to my graduation. I can’t really blame the others. Fredericca hated me, Conrad is a momma’s boy, and Roman and Jesper will just go along with whatever everyone else is doing. But him? Really? That hurt me. But I’m over it.

(sniff)

31bcccb1dddc64b994889330455b057d-d54qkvv.jpg

Awww, Matilda P. Lovecraft, who am I kidding? The tears on my cheeks belie my true feelings. Being disowned sucks…like, hardcore. I’m so tempted to just go stealth-mode, infiltrate, grab the book, and high-tail it with the purloined tome. But that’s not me. Non-confrontational? Maybe in a pinch. In a real fire-fight. But I like to think of it as choosing my battles. And Matty, this is one that I’m choosing. I wanna be up close and personal. I wanna see the looks on their faces. I wanna have this one out. And I wanna leave the better person for having taken the high-road. I’ve grown up a lot since I tossed the Fraulein Fredericca around. I can admit when I need to apologize. But dammit I deserve an apology too. Sigh…that’s what taking the high road means, Matty. Even if I don’t get an apology in return. Even if I get dismissed or told off or disowned…again…I did what I needed to do to make things right for myself. What they do is on them. Besides, it’ll be nice to see Greymalkin and Morgenstern again.

C’mon, just get on the bike and burn rubber. You’re procrastinating.

You again?

Who else?

I still haven’t gotten used to the idea that I’m conversing with myself.

You’re not.

Uh, whatever. So the book I remember in Gerhardt’s possession was actually a rare and really old tome. I have never see another copy — even at The Magic of Books — and I practically ate him out of house and home. In fact, oddly, the only reason I even remember the book was not because it was on my old man’s required-reading list. Gerhardt made me read more books than all his other children combined for my home-schooled arcane education – and I did so gladly. The only reason I remember this book is because it always seemed out of place. The cover was plain. The bindings were worn and old. The leather had stayed remarkably well-preserved. But I’ll never forget that name,“Quoniam in Statera.” It sounded so…I dunno, foreign? And you know how good I am with foreign languages so I immediately checked Goggle and it’s NOT Dragonese. It’s actually Latin and it means “For the Balance.” How odd. I even remember thinking it odd when I stumbled upon it in his private collection in the annex to the library. Why was it kept away from the other books? Gerhardt reserved his private study for only the most special libram and tomes. This one didn’t look special at all! In fact it looked…ordinary.

dreamwalking_dev_by_kuschelirmel-d7u9rj7.jpg

At the time I couldn’t read Latin and didn’t know enough about Goggle and the internet to look for translations but I COULD read my dad’s …ahem, Gerhardt’s notes in the margins. Man! I’ll never forget how strange and crazy it all sounded. Magic powers, wielding the elements, fire and ice and a different kind of magic, infusion with jewelry and special abilities and powers. It sounded so fantastic! And now…it sounds like the missing piece of the puzzle that has become Antipode and Arctic Hellfire’s amulets. Hopefully Gerhardt will accept a “fair trade” in exchange. You don’t mind riding bitch, Matty, do you? This book I’m trading the old man just doesn’t fit anywhere else.


(Ding, dong)

“Who is it?”

“Delivery!”

“Delivery? I didn’t order any…”

(Sssssssyuuurp…Thud) The old man’s jaw damn near hit the floor…with the cup of golden dark-amber liquid.

“Lashe, you’ve…”

“Don’t call me that.”

“But I’m your”

“Not until you apologize.”

(Slump)

“Seeing you. Hazel. I…”

“Can I come in?” She took a tentative step over the overturned glass of whiskey.

“Yes, yes of course. All things considered I can see why you’d feel like you had to ask. Please come in. There’s so much to talk about. It’s been six years. I…I, you caught me completely unawares. Please, come in and sit. I would say ‘make yourself at home’ but I know how trite and superfluous it would sound coming from these lips. I…”

top_hat_by_bugidifino-d4x8b2o.jpg

“Look, I don’t want this to be any more awkward than it already is. And we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. I’ll cut straight to business and you won’t have to dredge up all the emotions and memories and all that happy-horseshit a shrink would love to have shrunk.”

“You always did have a way with words Lashhh, er, Hazel”

“Gerhardt I need a book of yours and I’m willing to give you a very valuable tome in return.”

“You don’t have to give me anything. If you need it, take it. I assume you had already planned to leave with it regardless of my response.” (he almost kept the sarcastic bite out of his response…almost.)

“Gee, that’s the ‘dad’ I remember.”

“Don’t interpret my comment as snide derision when it was born of a very…healthy…respect for your burgeoning talents. I hope the ‘dad’ you remember touted my philosophy on books and education.”

“I remember it well after having completed three older boys’ LIFETIMES worth of homework. Your philosophy on books and education made me an academic machine with no friends, no social life, and a ravenous hunger for knowledge and an unquenchable thirst for adventure.”

“That’s the spirit! Besides, that’s the most valuable lesson I could teach. Friends, family, pets – permanence – it all comes and goes. What you’ve got in this life…the only thing you’ve ever really got is yourself. You are more my daughter than any child to have ever come out of your mother’s body.”

“She not my mother.”

“No. Not anymore.”

“She never was…but that doesn’t make what I did right. I owe her an apology – a REAL apology – and I’m not too proud to admit it.”

“So you haven’t heard?”

“…haven’t heard what?”

“I figured Conrad was lying when he said he had contacted you. Lashe, my dearest, be wary of your brother. He has taken this…hardest of your siblings.”

“Wary? Of Conrad? You’re not making any sense.”

“Come, I’ll tell you on the way. And you may offer your apology in-person. And I will do the same.”
“Ger…dad, you’re scaring me.”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. Come, it’s just a short walk.”


I got the sense that something was off. Gerhardt answered the door looking…shabby, unkempt, and somewhat bedraggled. He was really emotional when I appeared at the door – not the clean, shaven, stolid, and emotionally detached Ubermensch from the Hinterlands that I remember. The Hills are Alive with the sounds of sorrow. When Gerhardt offered me the book for free I could write that off as shock-induced. But when he told me we could take a short walk and I could apologize to Fredericca in person I knew I was on my way to a grave. We strolled out of the back screen door and ambled along a well-worn path. My father had obviously made many such trips. The scene was surreal and…disorienting. So much was happening so fast. Was I ready for this?

I kept pace with the old man and followed in his footsteps. He was in no rush. The thrush chirped a warbling tune in the distance and the last rays of a setting sun my lovely pulse faded away…beating in time with a growing darkness. Twilight…the comforts of night. My mother had died. Somehow. NO! Fredericca had died. My mother died 21 years ago after bringing me into this world so I could be adopted by the man who walked a few paces before me. She wasn’t my mother. She wasn’t. My mantra soothed the savage drops that stained my cheeks and wined and dined my red-rimmed eyes.

He must have heard me sniffle because my dad stopped, not turning, and offered his hand. I took it out of reflex. It was big and meaty, like Verge’s, but my dad…he had that same sense of permanence he said I’d only feel of myself. Somehow I couldn’t ever imagine him NOT being there…not being around…not being…my dad. Even if he could be a dick.

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive

bleeding_rose___free_high_res_stock_by_somadjinn-d7usfp5.jpg

The headstone was blank. Considering the grave was practically in our backyard it didn’t seem to matter. What’s in a name anyway? There was a lily chiseled into the smooth, solid surface – as if that was all she needed. Perhaps that was all my Dad wished to remember. There was a small cairn built up from river-rocks. Greymalkin was perched there, surveying a landscape littered with kittens on the backside of tumultuous scree. My father stood, silent, stolid, stoically shedding water for the dead with his head bowed. I wept openly. I had so many questions but I couldn’t utter any of them. I knelt on the ground, let Greymalkin remember my scent, and tentatively reached out to the kittens. She gave her approval by not slicing and dicing my hand and I scooped up a fuzzy little ball of fluff and curiosity and nuzzled him tenderly. I don’t know how long I knelt there, crying into the kitten’s now moist fur but after a time I felt a large, strong hand on my shoulder that broke the reverie of my sobbing silence.

“A blood clot caught in her brain. She had a stroke and died last year on Christmas morning. She never spoke about you but I could see forgiveness in her eyes as her life passed from this world. I held a small service here, for family, and buried her alone. She would have wanted that.”

“What about the boys?

“What about them? They each grieved in his own way. Roman and Jesper with booze and heavy metal. Conrad brooded. He didn’t attend the service. He has been reclusive and…distant. The last I heard of him was through Roman who said Conrad had invited him and Jesper to visit him in Century Station at his new apartment. He hinted at having a new employer and making…a better living and more money. Told Roman that he ‘put his talents to better use that that effical old man’. I had to explain to Roman that effical isn’t a word. Poor kid.”

“So how was the weekend? Did the three blind mice enjoy each others’ companies?”

three_blind_rats_by_flewdesigns-d78lokn.png

“I honestly don’t know. The boys haven’t spoke to me of it and I haven’t pried or pressured them to open up. They stop by once a week for dinner with their ‘pops’ but I know they only do it to appease me. They’re busy with their lives and jobs and girls and beer. All I can do is be there for them if they need me or want to spend time with me — and I’m okay with that.”

“That’s very mature of you.”

“How good of you to recognize.”

“Tell me, the blood clot…was it from the incident?”

“Lashe, dear, it’s impossible to know. Don’t dwell on the past. You came here to do something.”

At that moment I gently placed the furry little creature back down besides its brothers and sisters and stood beside my father, looking at the chiseled stone flower. I had lost control and lashed out at Fredericca…at mom. I had hit her so hard that she literally flew like a rag-doll through the air. I couldn’t remember the incident clearly. The memories blur with emotion and time. I remember…very little accurately. But I know I broke her hand. I remember feeling no small amount of satisfaction when I felt it crumble beneath my grip. Watching her slip on a pool of my own blood. The horrible memories flooded back into me. I took a deep breath and began the litany that would set me free.

“I’m sorry that I hit you and hurt you. I’m sorry that a blood clot from the incident caught in your brain and gave you a stroke. I’m sorry that you died so young. I’m sorry that we never got along and that I always felt like you hated me. I’m sorry that you couldn’t have a girl and that I felt like a constant reminder of your failure.”

“Lashe,” Gerhardt murmured in a guarded tone.

“I’m sorry that I was always driven to excel. I’m sorry that I became more educated and proficient with magic than your boys. I’m sorry that I embarrassed the apple of your eye and ran circles around him intellectually and mystically. I’m sorry that I wasn’t what you wanted.”

“Lashe, dear,” he insisted.

orikahn_8_by_tasastock-d32x8fa.jpg

“I’m not finished,” she gritted her teeth. “I’m sorry that am different…that I’m something inhuman. I’m sorry that I have a monster inside of me. I’m sorry that all I wanted was to fit in. I’m sorry that all I wanted was to be loved. I’m sorry that I hung on your every fucking breath for even one…ONE fucking utterance of kindness. I’m sorry…I’m so so sorry that when I hit you, when I crushed your hand and smashed your body, I’m sorry that I fucking loved every second of it!”

“That’s enough!” Gerhardt bellowed with a loud thunder crack. Hazel was taken aback and momentarily stunned by the loud sound and…by the veracity of her own words. The pause gave her a few seconds to contemplate her mother. Time to move on.

“I’m sorry. Mom. I’m so so sorry. All I ever wanted was your acceptance. All I ever wanted was your love, to please you, to make you proud. And the more I tried the more I felt like I was pushing you away. I’m sorry that I couldn’t say this to you while you were still alive. Mom…I’m so terribly sorry.”

Her dad moved closer to stand at her side, took her hand, and pulled her to face him. As ever, she had to crane her neck upward and her tear-stained eyes were glassy and wet like saucers.

“Come now. You’ve said your peace. Let us speak, now, not as father and daughter but as equals. I treated you unfairly. I treated you with contempt. And I wrongly blamed you for things not your doing. I was wrongly swayed by others opinions and not strong enough to trust my own judgement, my instinct. I owe YOU and apology, Lashe’evadne Sycorax-Circe Griselda Duchesne. My daughter. My true flesh and blood. I apologize to you, girl. I love you. And I am grateful to be your father. You have shown tremendous courage, strength, compassion, fortitude, and sage wisdom. You are a good person. And I am honored to have trained you and loved you as my daughter. You have grown into beautiful woman and I couldn’t be happier for you or prouder as a parent.”

“Thanks…dad,” she sniffled and hugged him fiercely. He returned the hug gently and tugged her toward the house.

05a2a9e587ab262801debc27eb7ef36c.jpg

“Come, I will make us something to stave off the sadness.”


Gerhardt always had been something of an alchemist. He concocted a surfeit of food and drink that bordered on edible and managed to keep Hazel from walking straight…or thinking clearly. It was just what the doctor ordered.

(hic) “What is this stuff?”

(grrrr) “It’s the old man’s recipe, it is.”

(eyebrow raised) “Oh really?”

“Aye, you’re not ready for potions, girl. I’ll unearth the cookbook when you’ve mastered your spell-book.”

(grin) “Well I’ve mastered my pocket-book.”

(chortle) “Hah! That you have! That you have.”

(eye open) “Hey, what’s that scratching at the door?”

(grrrr) “Looks if someone follered you home. Still damp where ya wetted ’im with your tears. Refugee, it is. Let it alone.”

“Awww, but dad they’re so cute and so young!”

“They growed up soon ’nuff.”

(clomp clomp clomp. Door opens)

“I’ll feed ’im to yer next ye visit. Pot pie. Count on it.”

(plaintively) “Daaaaad! How can you be so callous?”

(grunt) “Ay got on fine long afore me and ay got on fine long affer me. Ingrates just lookin’ fer hand-outs.”

(shakes head) “You’re a softy at heart. You wouldn’t cook this guy in a pot pie!”

(grrrr) “Watch me. So whens ya comin’ back to visit with yer old man?”

(bright idea) "I know! I’ll take him with me! I’m sure he’ll be fine in the backpack with Matilda and there should be plenty of room now that I’m leaving that giant arcane tome and picking up “Quoniam in Statera”."

(inquisitive) “What did you say?”

“Uh, that’s the book I came to borrow from you. I’m studying these magical amulets that imbue the wielder with the ability to fly and to cast spells and to control the elements. It’s pretty cool actually. My research hit a dead-end and I need that book to finish it.”

“Oh, er, have at it. Anything I can help with?”

“Nah, not really.”

(deflated) “Ohh, hmm, okay. Good luck.”

“Well dad there IS one thing you can help me with. See, I’m not sure who or what I am. I look human – just like I looked human for the first 16 years of my life. But I can transform into this other…Darker, form. And while I’m in that form I feel alive and powerful and stronger and faster and…I fuckin’ know Kung-Fu. And I see weird things in mirrors. Oh, and maybe related…maybe unrelated. I’d say about 70 or 80 percent of the time, whenever I cast ANY sort of spell, it comes with some really weird side-effects that appear to be totally random and weird and…um, unexpected. It’s completely unpredictable and it happens all the time…EXCEPT this one time when I used one of the amulets I’m studying to cast a spell. Oh! And it NEVER happens when I do my special thing in…Dark Hazel form. I’ve taken to calling that my True Form…while this skin you see right now — that’s just a facade.”

dark_side_by_grohsartig-d4wcax0.jpg

“Uhh, um, hmm…let me think on this. The batch is a potent concoction. So what will you call him?”

(purr) “I think I will call him…hmm…ah! I got it! Omen. That’s Augurio in Dragonese-Spanish.”

“A fitting name. May he wear it well. Would that Morgensterm were around to meet him.”

(forehead slap) “Where is the old hooch?”

(solemn) “Passed not long after your mother. Cancer. Conrad was especially fond of him…and of her. He walks a dark path, girl. He has strayed from the teachings and the Legacy of this House. And he has disassociated himself from me. Heed this warning, dear Lashe, for he now lives in Century Station and I fear he bears you ill will…and blames you for the deaths of his mother and his dog.”

“Selfish prick. They were MY mother and MY dog too! I EARNED them! I wasn’t just born with them. Consider the admonishment heeded. Well pops I think it’s time for me to shuffle off. It’s getting late and I’ve got to get back. I’m on patrol duty tonight.”

“Patrol? I thought you said you were working for a web security programming company.”

“Yeah, well I’m moonlighting as a…” (pause)

“If you don’t want to tell me I respect that. But please be careful.”

“Dad, I’m doing my part to help make the city a safer, cleaner, better place. And I’m making a difference. Maybe you should try reading a paper some time.”

(incredulous) “A newspaper? Why ever would I read that?”

“Never mind.”

View
SUPER SAIYAN SALVO SAVES the day
Or...what do you do with a drunken sailor?

Red_bike_by_gondolaend.jpg

Wind whipped long, flowing red tresses into animation like Medusa’s snakes. The helmet insulated her from the world…distance…perspective. Speed melted trees and streetlights into an oil painting that blurred and burned like an Escher. The collage of colors ran wet with the star-slicked melange of bacchanalia. Her thighs gripped the time-machine, steering with a shift in her solar plexus, she was indistinguishable from high-speed steel; a lathe knifing the night highway shot forward with a scintilla spindle on an axis of the stars.

She had the road to herself. The 109 was empty at 3am on a Tuesday. The bike begged for more. She was out of gears but the throttle still had a half wrist-turn of fuel-injecting pandemonium left in it. Her skin-tight suit of super-slick cycle armor provided maximum mobility and decent protection; though, some wild part of her psyche begged to feel the air on her naked skin. Dark Hazel. Lurking beneath the surface. Hunter of the Shadows is…rising.

The Mad Max Moto-Bike! Fuck Mel Gibson. Hello Tina Turner! We’re going BEYOND Thunderdome!

The speedometer read 447mph. She blinked.

In the darkness beneath her lashes, in the span of that heartbeat, Lashe saw a human face, a band of metal over its eyes, a sneer curling dark lips, and circuitry and cybernetic wiring peeking out from beneath torn, skin. The rictus of a wicked grin creased the corners of its mouth.

TT__Save_The_Titans___Cyborg_by_sazzykins.jpg

She opened her eyes to see a giant half-man, half-robot standing in the middle lane of the 109 — not 20 feet in front of her. The bike wavered. His smile widened. And she crumpled. The impact was jarring, rattling her bones beneath her skin, jostling her brain inside the cranium. Pain filled her body with the ecstasy of agony as a massive explosion rocked the highway and brutally tore her from the previous trajectory. Like a rag-doll, she flopped around – a large, dumbfounded flightless bird trying to swim the skies, enveloped in a blazing inferno. Her helmet melted, the cycle armor vaporized, he exposed skin caught fire and peeled away like the layers of an onion. The pain was exquisite. Her brain was literally on fire, as if a million tiny ants had crawled beneath her skin to feast upon her marrow.

6e9d0d5f4e953a7a0ef244eb9f43f443.jpg

She didn’t know when she landed. She couldn’t feel anything but pain. Unable to move…anything. She surrendered life and limb to sensation before that too burned away. The explosion clouded her mind and it dimmed her vision. The heat seared her eyes and she could feel them pop like runny eggs. The skin around her face oozed with liquified putrefaction, dribbling into the ocular cavities while her Hazel eyes boiled and popped…like bubble wrap. The air trapped in her lungs expanded until it broke the cavity like a bad balloon and the fleshy sacs shriveled, dehydrated, and burst into flame. She was dying. Burning to death. Fading away into oblivion. The heat from the flames seared through her husk of body and licked her soul; they burned away the disguises and the horrors and the facade. The flames, so hot, burned away her personality and her psyche and everything she had ever been…and everything she had ever known. The flames cleansed while they killed. Darkness reached for her.

Explosin_by_Tigers_stock.jpg

Her scream found a voice. Without lungs, without vocal chords, without air – it should have been impossible. She was dying. And she was afraid.

“Not yet little one.”


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!!!!!”

(sounds of music easily drowned out by her scream)
“…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhh!!!!!”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhh…”

!!!”

“AAAAaah…chgh…ghhhhAaah…AAAaaaahhhghgh! Nngh…”

FUCK me! It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream. itsjustadreamitsjustadreamitsjustadream…holy shit. I can’t keep fuckin’ doing this. I need one of those Native American dream catchers. Or a cat. Yeah, maybe I’ll get myself a nice cat. Shit. Shitshitshit.”

Hazel’s heart raced. It was thumping and pounding in her chest which heaved, sucking air for all she was worth.

(the music got louder – or was it easier to hear now that she had stopped flipping out)

“I know this song. Shit, I must have dozed off and left iCroons playing.”

The darkness comes out of her shell
Yet another cold night in Hell with all the pain
The dying light is losing its glow
And my last glimmer of hope now fades away

It is starting to rain again
I’m coming closer to my end with every breath
The creepy shadows are growing pale
And the rising glow brings along the sense of death

I can feel Her presence now

Dead Moon Rising
Bleeding red light over the sea
I hope this time She came for me
I hope this time She sets me free

“Yeah, you and me both. Time for work.”


“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

mmd_elevator_stage_by_amiamy111-d4rlc72.png.jpg

“What? The elevator is about to hit the ground floor.”

“Pull the emergency stop!”

“Are you crazy Joan? We’re almost out of here!”

“Something is terribly wrong. I don’t know what it is. Stay here while I scout it out.”

“Well I don’t like waiting.”

“Neither do I. Let’s go Diane.”

(from down the hall…distant…)

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!!!!!”

“Uh, Hazel?”


The young woman started abruptly. “Shit,” she blinked, shaking her head. “Um, what? Sorry I was concentrating on this project.” The woman standing in front of her was older, matronly, and had taken to presiding over the resident programmers like a mother at an orphanage…or a madam at a brothel. Regardless, she looked…displeased.

“Hazel, where were you?”

“Uh, what? Right here Alethia. Just trying to fix this algorithm.”

“Oh algorithm was it? Mmhm. Girl you day-dreamin’ about some cute boy?”

“Er…something like that. Sorry.”

“Mmm child don’t go apologizin’ to me. Just get your work done and you can leave for the day. I’ll make sure you get paid for the full time.”

“Aww thank you Alethia.”

“Don’t mention it girl — just don’t make me look bad.”


Matty, my brain has been fucking fried for the last two days. Even Michelle thinks that something is up. I can’t concentrate on anything. I can’t think about anything. It’s like…I had a near death experience or something. Web EmDee says I might have post-traumatic stress disorder. Fuck me! This is the LAST thing I need right now. I should probably go down and talk to Doc Moore…Wendell. Maybe he can check me for physiological abnormalities and even recommend someone for psychiatric care. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I’m not too proud to admit that I might have some issues. As long as we only deal with the…erm, near-death experience. I don’t think I could handle talking about my parents and my childhood and…well, whatever other bullshit a shrink might find rattling around up there. Whatever. I’ll go down to Wendell just as soon as I tell you what the FUCK happened the other night.

So I got some information regarding that Suriname diplomat turned super-villain, Overlord or Usurper or something . Diane and I were gonna dress like hookers and try to make him spill…whatever beans he could spill. We left Salvo in charge of following up the Avant Guard leads but he suggested that we all go down to the SWAT building together and break the prisoner out to interrogate (read: torture) him and get the information we wanted that way. I patently refused but, knowing Salvo’s intentions, I couldn’t allow him to go unchaperoned so Diane and I capitulated and went with him to the holding cells.

wind_on_the_road_by_shadeninja-d47q3bc.jpg

The three of us took our bikes down to the off-site SWAT HQ for detainment. I beat them both down there…by like a solid few minutes. My new bike is AWESOME! So when I got down there I used the time to make myself invisible and to let Dark Hazel out for a walk in the park. I wasn’t sure what we were going to encounter but I wanted to be prepared for it. Diane walked into the station and introduced herself as Esmerelda Yabakowski. I was shocked to see how well she pulled it off. Salvo thought that his blazing blue hair would give him away immediately and, given all the bad press we’ve gotten lately, we agreed and asked him to wait outside…inconspicuously. Esmerelda managed to BS the reception desk lady with some line about radiation but she kept getting hung up on the “team” of hazmat people coming to assist her in transporting the prisoner.

Amazingly! As luck would have it, Joan of Arc from the Centurions arrived in the nick of time to pose as Esmerelda’s teammate and to vouch for her credentials. Then all of a sudden we heard Salvo warn us that his distraction was going to happen. What he meant I don’t know and I couldn’t risk peeking my head outside to check but in the next few seconds we heard a giant crash and some metal tearing and the lights began to flicker. WHAT THE

devil_may_cry_3__hey_you__catch__by_narga_lifestream-d6gw3kv.jpg

SWAT started pouring out of the building and I used that opportunity to slip past the guards and into the stairwell. I’m not so good at this sneaky stuff yet and I accidentally brushed one of the police but he didn’t notice. Phew! I headed downstairs and warned the others that I was going radio-silent. I was again stymied by another locked door and I used Arctic Hellfire’s new trick to “combust” the guard’s hair into a little burst of DISTRACTION. I hope he wasn’t severly injured but his momentary run to the water fountain bought me enough time to get through the door and attempt to hack the holding cell area door. And, it was like, before I knew it Joan and Diane were right there! They were getting access to the prisoner! Shit. Should I go visible and blow my disguise? I am still an unauthorized entrant who just snuck in all the way down there. Damnit, I would have to stay invisible for now. But that didn’t stop me from hacking the door so that it clicked open…accidentally…TOO SOON for the guard’s command to have caused it. Doh! I heard him pass it off as an electrical short. And he was fuming! Hoping to be relieved so he could go to the med-bay.

At the cell the prisoner wouldn’t talk. He was very tight-lipped until we promised to take him out of here. We even promised to get his leg and his personal effects back for him…for the sake and incentive of mutuality and cooperation. I let them talk to him but I used the opportunity to Lightning Ride into his skull and search his memory banks. And lo and behold! He had an internal hard drive for storing important information! I did my best to navigate his memories and the storage device but my presence was too strong an electrical charge and I was actually damaging him while doing my snooping. Oh shit! When I fried the whole hardd rive I took that as my cue to leave.

lady__dmc__by_torremitsu-d7hnata.jpg

Then, while in the elevator with Joan and the Cyborg being hauled by Diane I made him weightless and Salvo returned from hock with all his shit…which I stopped to make weightless also. The, out of nowhere, Joan said she had a REALLY bad feeling about this. Oops! I had forgotten to make myself visible and introduce myself to her. My bad! I went visible and told her she could calm down as I had no ill intentions toward her or anyone else in the elevator. Her eyes went wide and she told us to stay put while she went to investigate with Salvo. Ugh! PATIENCE IS NOT OUR STRONG SUIT!!!! Diane and I said, “fuck it!” And we decided to walk right out the front door with our prisoner. Well as soon as the elevator doors opened, Diane walked ahead of me carrying the prisoner on her shoulder. I could see his face, though his eyes were banded by metal so he couldn’t laser anyone, but he started to grin…wickedly…oh shit. Just as Diane stepped through, the instant I tried to grab her and pull her back, and say something, we heard Joan yell, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” And it all happened so fast…but the explosion might as well have been a mini-nuclear bomb. And we were at ground zero. My entire vision went white and the roaring heat probably seared my eyelashes and singed my dress in the SPLIT SECOND before it…magically diminished.

wtf_boom_by_timebomb12.jpg

Something happened. Someone had channeled the explosion elsewhere. We were rocked to the core, knocked back into the elevator and the explosion still…happened. It was just like…I dunno, Matty, redirected or something. I only found out later that the heroic actions of SUPER SAIYAN SALVO took the blast into himself and saved our lives. Somehow he was able to channel the energy away from us. Man, I’m so grateful and impressed and…sad…and happy…and (sniff) I don’t know why I’m crying. (Sniff) We almost died! We SHOULD have died! Diane…the GODDESS…and I…we both should be dead. We WOULD be dead if not for Salvo. I mean, what if he hadn’t come in that day? What if he had been busy…I dunno, installing child-porn on some cop’s computer or something?

Hablar. We’re sofa king lucky it’s not even funny. Super-Saiyan-Salvo. You’re a little rough around the edges but you have my heartfelt gratitude. I’m lucky to be alive…and even luckier to call you my friend and teammate.

View
Volume 1 - Issue 6
Hazel, Huntress, Salvo... No one will escape unscathed!
  • After the results of their latest escapade and the press it received, Hazel tasked the Tomorrow Legion secretary/receptionist, Victoria Melnitz, to look for some “PR specialists.” Hazel hoped they would be able to find one who could turn around the negative image that the Legion was starting to earn.
  • Salvo spent some time at Doctor Preposterous’ work station computer, installing software and making minor mischief. He also collected information on the police officers noted in the recent newspaper article about the Legion. He started gathering information on them guys so he could work to dig up dirt on these guys. He would prove they were corrupt, or in the absence of such evidence he would create and plant it if necessary.
  • Hazel tried to meet with all the members of the Tomorrow Legion but she could only find Diane and Salvo. Together they discussed the information that Hazel’s programs collected and informed her of the previous night:
    • Professor Harrison Danilek, also known as Emperor Danilek, was scheduled to arrive later that day in Century Station.
      • He, like many other small country leaders, was scheduled to attend a small international conference being hosted in Silver City designed to help arbitrate treaties, land use, human rights, extradition, and other political issues.
    • The Kieromin Iron Company had contacted the Atlas Salvage company to discuss hiring their services in locating the wreck of the Crescent Moon and stripping it of metal for salvage.
      • The Kieromin Iron Company is an ironmaking firm from Waingroh whose origins hearken back to the 1870’s – the early days of Century Station.
    • The Beacon Insurance company has also contacted Morgan Diving and Salvage to discuss investigating the wreckage of the Crescent Moon as a part of their investigation.
      • The claim was filed by the Suriname company that owned the Crescent Moon, ETM (Empresa Transporte Marítimo).
  • Hazel, Diane and Salvo discussed if they should try and sneak into this international conference in Silver City. Hazel was convinced that Emperor Danilek of Suriname bore closer, in person investigation since the ship laden with weapons that they sank came from his country. To aid in this effort Salvo was happy to offer his services to blow stuff up or create distractions (or both) but Huntress and Hazel managed to convince him to hold back those ideas for now. Ultimately they decided this was not a good idea for the present time.
  • The three of them began discussing the events they were all involved in a few days prior, with the Avant-Guard cyborgs. While wondering what that group’s goal was they remembered that one of the cyborgs had been disabled and taken into custody. The three of them hatched a scheme which they hoped would allow them to access the prisoner, interview him, and transport him back to the Tomorrow Legion HQ for further questioning at their leisure. Together they set out on their individual motorcycles toward the C-SWAT building where they knew the cyborg was being held.
  • Getting there first in her souped up bike, Hazel took the time to cast some infiltration spells on herself. Over the radio she let the others know that she was there, but they wouldn’t be able to see her.
  • When everyone arrived they worked out a simple plan: Diane would go inside, claim to be with the Centurions, and obtain a transcript of the police interviews of the cyborg. Hazel would remain invisible but nearby. Salvo would stay outside and provide a distraction or backup if needed.
  • Diane went inside and introduced herself as Sergeant Esmerelda Yabakowksy, of the Centurions. She managed to make enough of an impression that they gave her a copy of the transcript, no problem. Once Diane went back outside the C-SWAT officers had second thoughts and called the Centurions to verify the “Sergeant’s” claims.
  • At the Centurions base Joan of Arc answered the call. When the officers described the woman who showed up Joan immediately recognized her as Huntress from the Tomorrow Legion. Joan decided to “play along” for now and told them she would be on her way to assist the Sergeant.
  • Huntress, Salvo and Hazel read through the transcripts of the interviews but the cyborg revealed very little information. On more than one occasion, however, he did tell the people around him to stay clear of him for their own safety. The three immediately decided that he must’ve said that because he was leaking radiation and was a serious health hazard to anyone near him. They resolved to take him from this place and bring him back to the Tomorrow Legion HQ.
  • Huntress went back inside with Hazel (who was still invisible) to demand to be let in to see the cyborg so she could move him to a safer place due to the radiation he was leaking. The officer on duty was puzzled by this – their own technicians and equipment had revealed no such danger. Huntress insisted a containment crew was coming and that she needed to get in. Confused and concerned, the officer asked why she wasn’t waiting for her crew or her teammate to arrive? This went back and forth and out over their radios. At this point Salvo had enough.
  • Salvo decided to create a distraction. He took off in his motorcycle as a Centurion hovercar landed. He drove far enough away so that he could turn around and build up a good amount of speed before smashing into the pole that had the power transformers which fed the building on it. He leapt off the bike just before the impact but the bike only bounced off the pole before spinning wildly across the street and creating a chaotic traffic mess. And he rolled and came back up Salvo unleashed an energy blast at the transformers that blasted one open, resulting in a small explosion and the loss of power to the building.
  • Joan of Arc witnessed the motorcycle accident and came over to offer help to Salvo. She helped him up and received a vision of his futures that was similar to what she saw with Vigilance. She fought to not let the vision overtake her sight though and once she made sure Salvo was all right she headed inside.
  • Several officers rushed out of the building in order to respond to the events outside. Hazel took that opportunity to invisibly slip past them, through the door into the main building. Over the radio she told the others she’d be maintaining radio silence. She located the stairwell that would take her to the second sub-basement where they cyborg was being kept and went down.
  • Joan went inside and met with Diane. After an initial re-introduction where Joan was also able to read a similar set of futures from Diane, Joan agreed to help and told the officer that this person and her team were with her. She then had Diane call the rest of her team so they could go talk with the cyborg. Diane chose to only call Salvo and have him come meet them.
  • Outside Salvo convinced the officers that he was just an innocent caught up in this strange accident. Once they left him alone he then left to go meet with Diane and Joan. Once the three of them were together they were led inside to the staircase and elevator, either of which would take them to the second sub-level. On the way Salvo started badgering Joan about being a stooge of the police and how all police were corrupt, and she countered with her own religious beliefs and convictions that no-one was too far from salvation. The fervor in her retort caught Salvo by surprise and actually managed to render him speechless… for about 30 seconds.
  • Already downstairs, Hazel was invisibly staring at the guard in the small lobby there from behind the glass of the stairwell door. She needed something to distract him so she could sneak into the lobby and hack her way through the electronic security door leading into the next area of cells… She decided to put one of the new spells she recently learned from Arctic Hellfire to use and cast Ignite Fire on the guard’s hair. It burst into brilliant flame and the flame itself seemed to almost be alive, dancing in the man’s hair and waving little arms around while the man panicked and screamed – just the distraction she needed to open the door into the lobby without the guard noticing. She also snapped a photo of the weird fire-figure to show to her friend later.
  • Hazel was working to hack through the electronic lock. The guard had doused the flames on his head and was angrily demanding to his superiors that he be relieved so he can get treated for the inexplicable burns. When the elevator opened and Salvo, Joan and Diane entered the lobby the guard had little patience for them and was about to send them though when the door opened on its own. Salvo took that opportunity to disrespectfully berate the officer, who just stood there in stunned silence at everything going wrong.
  • Joan, Diane, Salvo and Hazel went down the hallway of the small, heavily fortified prison/cell area and stopped at the only currently occupied cell. Within they saw the cyborg from the Tomorrow Legion’s encounter only a couple nights ago. His metal form was battered and dented. On his face over his eyes was a large metal plate attached by what looked like bolts. His hands were secured behind his back in re-enforced steel hand and arm restraints. One leg was missing, having been roughly torn off by Vigilance in the same fight which captured him.
  • The group began to question him and he smiled, recognizing most of their voices. They questioned him but he revealed even less to them than he had his human captors. Diane entered the cell and used the magic of Words of Truth to make him answer their questions, but aside from being forced to reveal his name was “Cy Eight” he was able to resist speaking the answers to the rest of Diane’s queries.
  • Hazel activated her Lightning Rider ability and (invisibly) leapt into the cyborg’s metal body so she could traverse his circuits and try to pull info out of the computer portions of his brain. She was successful in locating a backup memory unit and she caught glimpses of some data pertaining to the location of the Avant-Guard before the power of her lightning form fried the memory circuits. The cyborg screamed and Hazel (still invisible) exited the body and re-materialized.
  • They decided they would take him with them, and they offered to help repair and rehabilitate him if he’d willingly come with them. He surprisingly agreed and even seemed pleased at the idea. He offered no resistance when Diane lifted him up and carried him out on her back.
  • Salvo went ahead of them to pop on up a level to the 1st sub-floor, where the cyborg’s equipment and leg were kept. The guard there expected him and let him in. Salvo walked past suits of power armor and high-tech weapons before coming to the cyborg’s weapon, armor and leg. Salvo arranged it so he could drag it back to the elevator.
  • Joan and Hazel (who was still invisible) accompanied Diane and the cyborg to the elevator. As they ascended to the ground floor Joan’s psychic sixth sense suddenly went off, prompting her to stop the elevator and look around. She explained to Diane that something bad was about to happen so Diane dropped the cyborg to ready her bow. Hazel, still invisible, cast the spell Float in Air on the cyborg and Joan attacked her, thinking she was the threat. Hazel revealed herself and Diane vouched for her but now Joan was even more worried – her sixth sense went off, but where was the threat? She advised Diane and Hazel to stay where they were with the cyborg while she investigated.
  • Joan opened the doors and was able to exit onto the first sub-level and ran into Salvo had almost pulled all the gear to the elevator. He was filled in and looked around with Joan for threats. They saw and sensed nothing so they both took the stairs to the top floor. The looked around but saw nothing there, either. The expanded their search to include the entrance of the building and the outside.
  • Joan momentarily stopped when her comm started to buzz with a worried call from Thaumaturge. Where was she? Why had she been ignoring their calls? Was she all right? What was going on? Joan answered as quickly as she could and kept looking around. She told him she was underground and that was probably why he couldn’t reach her on the radio when he originally tried.
  • By now a good couple minutes had passed and both Diane and Hazel were getting anxious. They decided to stop waiting and took the cyborg with them up the stairs instead of the elevator. Diane pulled the (now floating) cyborg behind her while Hazel walked behind him. They both were on their guard for an attack or something. Neither were ready for what happened next.

The following scene unfolded in slow motion.

Diane pushed open the stairwell door. Without warning the cyborg floating and bobbing behind her grinned ear to ear. Hazel saw the cyborg’s wicked smile but faster than she could react, the fail-safe explosives planted within his frame received the self-detonation radio signal that up until now had been blocked by the doors and concrete below the facility. The powerful explosion practically disintegrated the cyborg formerly known as “CY-008” and powerfully tore through the building. Joan of Arc was just outside the building, holding the main door open as she talked with her teammates. She stopped talking mid-sentence and began to turn around, a loud cry of “Nooooooo!” coming from her just a split second too late.

Salvo, who was behind Joan and still in the building, was caught in the blast radius and felt the powerful energy begin to roll around and through him. Instinctively he forced his body to painfully pull this energy into himself, absorbing it and dampening its affect for all those around him. In a sheer effort of will and power he managed to draw in most of the enormous energy released by this blast. What remained of the explosive force was still enough to knock down Diane and throw two of the officers across the floor, instantly knocking them both comatose.

Though hurt, both Diane and Hazel were alive and able to witness the glowing spectacle that was Salvo. As the energy of the explosion coursed through his body it was all he could do to keep it in check. The pain was intense and he felt his body beginning to disintegrate. “All. Most. There.” He gritted out as he took control of the raging energy and directed it all upwards and away. The blast he unleashed burned a hole clean through the three floors above them and out the roof, leaving a cylindrical hole in the building that allowed the sun to shine in and illuminate him. The strain on his powers had been too much and his whole body was transformed into glowing energy.

Joan of Arc watched the scene unfold in horror, then with hope as the miracle she witnessed Salvo perform renewed her faith in everything she believed in. All she could do was drop to her knees in awe at the scene before her.

View
Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of HAZEL
What comes easy isn't worth doing?

_wtf___hipster___ariel_by_marikotanaka-d7rqoqn.png

“C’mon, I’ve almost got it,” Hazel growled through clenched teeth. Her jaw was set. The incantation words flowed through her mind on an airy breeze. They danced just out of her reach. She moved her hands with a series of fluid gestures and began to recite. In all, it only took about 3 or 4 seconds to cast the spell…when it worked. And even when it worked something about her magic was always different.

Poof!

Fireworks___01_by_taeliac_stock.jpg

A small cloud of smoke puffed and fizzled up from her head. She felt a slight burning sensation on her scalp. The Selsun Blue side was working.

“Awww Hazey you’re like…….THIS close. You can do it. Just like I showed you.” Michelle was trying not to giggle but she smiled sadly at the young woman.

“You showed me…nothing,” Hazel huffed. “You showed me wisps of flame and bowls of water. That doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s not your fault it’s just that…I dunno. Maybe I have a learning disability…like dyslexia or something.”

“Hah! Hazel that’s not it. You’re just too stressed out. Look at you. You just barely got home from work, you’re still dressed in your work clothes, and we’ve been practicing for five hours already. And I know you’re slamming your head into this wall on the weekends too.” Hazel began to protest but Michelle held her hand up. “Don’t even pretend you’re not. I know you’re spending a good twelve hours or more on Saturday just…lighting stuff on fire.”

fizzle_pop_by_princesspomegranate-d35p3h0.jpg

“…trying to,” Hazel muttered. She was frustrated. Exhausted she could deal with. Frustrated she was familiar with. Failure was an altogether new feeling and it was bringing her to new emotions. Disappointment, sadness, even a little fear. Casting spells always came so naturally to her. Granted, they always had some unexpected side-effect. Well almost always. If she had to guess it felt like nearly 80% of the time something completely random happened with the spell-effect. Regardless, Michelle was literally spoon-feeding her the spells. They were supposed to be simple. The way in which she was trying to cast them felt horribly alien. Michelle…and her amulet…used magic in a completely different, albeit fascinating, but a very confusing nonetheless way.

“I’m sorry. I wish I could explain it to you better. I’m not a very good teacher, am I?” Michelle looked dejected.

Hazel’s face softened. “I’m sorry Missy. It’s not you. We just practice magic differently. And I’m still learning so much about myself. One of these days. I’m confident though, with enough time — even a hundred hours — that I can learn the spells. This one is just gonna take time.” Michelle put her hand on Hazel’s shoulder and handed her a towel. Her brow was damp with sweat. She was concentrating really hard.

“Let’s put it away for tonight. You’ve worked really hard. It’s time for me to go home, for you to take a shower, and to go to bed on time so you’re not late to work again tomorrow.”

“Okay, Missy. You’re right. Time for bed…”

“Hazel…” Michelle said insistently.

“What?”

“Lashe…” she said more sternly.

Hazel giggle. “Seriously?”

“You can’t just blow me off. I know you’re gonna try to pull another all-nighter.”

“No I’m not?” caught…red-handed! Was she that predictable?

“Promise me you’re going to take a shower and then go straight to bed.”

“Fine. Whatever. This weekend I’m making that silly little spell my bitch!”

“You go girl! Hey, is Matt expected back anytime soon?”

“Who knows? We just hired a doctor — no money to pay him. We probably should have hired a damn lawyer!”

“Oh man! I really feel for him. You guys take care while he’s gone. I’ll come on over tomorrow night after work. That’ll be our last session until I get back from my road trip. I’m going back west to return Antipode’s amulet. I also got a text message that yet another amulet surfaced – very similar to the rest.”
“Well that sounds exciting! I can’t wait to continue studying your amulet after I grab that book from the old man’s library.”

“Hazel, you don’t have to go home. I’m sure there are other copies of that book…right?”

“No, it’s time. Missy, I’ve been gone for a while and I’m ready to face them.”

“That’s really brave of you. I can’t wait to hear about it when I get back.”

“Goodnight Missy,” Hazel yawned and hugged the other girl. “Thanks again for everything. One of these days I’m gonna get so frustrated I might just take you up on that offer of introduction. Teaching myself has definitely taken its toll.”

“Good night Hazey. Get some rest. You’ve got a lot of life left to live. No need to rush through it all.”


You said you would go straight to bed.

And? I’m just checking my email.

That’s not straight to bed. You promised.

Who the hell are you, my mother?

Ugh! I hope not. Well I guess it’s okay. Your hair is still wet so might as well be productive while it dries.

Now we’re talking!

NO! How dare you! You can be very persuasive sometimes, y’know that?

This is creepy.

“Oh shit!”

“Oh shit!”

Hazel flips over to one of the minimized windows on her fourth screen from the top. One of her searching programs chimed in with a notification that Professor Harrison Dannilek (also known as Emperor Danilek, the current ruler/dictator of Suriname), is scheduled to arrive later today for a small diplomatic meeting being held in Silver City over the next few days. Jesus! This was the lead we’ve been waiting for!

Let’s see what Goggle pulls up about current political meetings, committees in session, foreign diplomats coming to town, etc. A quick search returns: Century Station is hosting a small international conference designed to help arbitrate treaties, land use, human rights, extradition, and other political issues.

Okay, let’s see what other messages or notifications I may have missed:

The Kieromin Iron Company has contacted the Atlas Salvage company to discuss hiring their services in locating the wreck of the Crescent Moon and stripping it of metal for salvage. The Beacon Insurance company has also contacted Morgan Diving and Salvage to discuss investigating the wreckage of the Crescent Moon as a part of their investigation.

• The claim was filed by the Suriname company that owned the Crescent Moon, ETM (Empresa Transporte Marítimo).

• The Kieromin Iron Company is an iron-making firm whose origins harken back to the 1870’s – the early days of Century Station.
Alright! I’ll drop everyone an email since I probably won’t see them in the morning…

BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO WORK ON TIME!!!!!

burn_and_fizzle_by_aureliuscat-d3kosff.jpg

Where’s Matilda when you need ’er?

View
Dirty Money and Cyborg Hostages
Do not a Legion make...

raven_by_magicnaanavi-d7rxoey.jpg

Wow Matty…where do I start?

It’s been an eventful week to say the least. Remember that big cargo freighter liner I toldja about? Well after we sunk it we tried to lay low for a few days and I’ve been monitoring all the search and salvage companies in the area. No news yet. Pretty standard stuff like insurance claims. But the country of Suriname down in South America popped up a few times — once in conjunction with the insurance and once in conjunction with some known super-villain who regularly takes asylum (I think his name was Usurper…or something retarded like that) in that shitty little back-water country because of their NON-extradition policies. But what do I know about law? That’s what the DocProp said when we discussed it.

Anyway, I reached out to a few doctors and managed to get a hold of three. The group decided to let Doc Prop make the introductions to Wendell Moore – foremost in the city in superhuman genetics and physiology. I kept Marigold’s business card for shits ’n giggles. She seemed nice…and willing.

What else? Oh! The squirrel left. Little Bogart took his leave of the Legion. I was sad to see him go but I understand his reasons and empathize with him.

Da_Kine_Bail_Bonds_by_FallenElementalist.jpg

Heeeeeeey!!!! I had Verge take a shot of me down at the bail bonds place! I know…I look haggard. I probably should have changed for the pic but I thought this made me look more authentic.

Oh yeah! Spirit was indicted on charges of “insider trading” and he’s being held with bail set at $100,000. Sheesh! And I thought he was such a nice guy! I guess I always fall for the bad boys. Oh well. Naaaaaah! Hah! He’s innocent! LOL! I DO have a tendency to like the low-lives but Spirit’s not one of them…not yet at least. Besides, don’t you think I’d have found out when I did that extensive background and credit check before I joined the Legion? Paranoid much…who me? Who said that?!?!

Is…is that Dark Hazel?

What if it is?

Don’t answer that!

What if I do?

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck…Matty, I’ve gotta lay off the caffeine. This shit is KILLING me! Besides, I’d best get to my reading. I’m supposed to start filling out my collection in the library with a few pertinent tomes and volumes…this recommendation though was an interesting one: So I was studying with Michelle and made a lot of really good headway. I was using the MagiScientific Method or MSM as I liked call it when studying with Gerhardt. And the MSM is methodical and logical and it’s like looking at the WILD magic and psychic energy through a lens of rationality and reason. Call me crazy but inside this mangy mutt girl is an erudite arcane scholar…somewhere. I swear! It’s in there I know it! Anyway, I had figured out almost EVERYTHING I could about Antipode’s amulet except the last…niggling…little…thing. And what bothered me the most was the fact that I remembered something similar in a book I read back at the house. You know, like before I left the Green Machine – Verde. I know Gerhardt had a book that would pertain to this thing and…um, I kinda like the little rush I’m getting right now – just THINKING about breaking back into my parents’ house and stealing it.

Shhh…don’t tell!

I won’t.

What the fuck?

You said it.

Am I really hearing voices? Could that be Dark Hazel…like, for real? The issues with my magic aside…the shadow shit is starting to get scary…and all these signs? They’re impossible to ignore any longer. I gotta get my hands on that book and start reading up. Michelle also said she’d introduce me to her friend — maybe he can shed some light on this situation.

Sigh…anyway — Verge got a call from Dick Clarxton for help on a hostage situation. Holy shit! They must have been desperate…or maybe our reputation was growing! It was pretty impressive to me but I tried to shrug it off in front of the other Legionnaires. I feel like people are noticing. We’re making a difference and they’re turning to us. However small…it’s a start. Hostage situation? I was ready! Bring it on! Let’s start pla…..

Nope — no planning Hazel — Nice to meet you, I’m Saliva…Salivo. Nice to meet you I’m Haz…oh wait, where are you going? Can’t talk! Gotta run! GOTTA BLOW SHIT UP!!! Uh, okay…I’m coming too! Let me grab the hover-car. Uh, guys? Guys? (echo)

Explosion_by_IndigoSnippy.jpg

Yup, that’s how it went. Dock Prop and Salivo went off to meet their makers. I pulled the car up to the building and let Diane off and then set ‘er down on another nearby building, taking the time to buff both myself and Verge before the fighting started. I also took a moment to introduce myself to the police and to announce to the gathered authorities that the Tomorrow Legion was on the scene and ready to help. And it’s funny because as soon as I got the word “help” out of my mouth the good doctor crashed through a window and the punk kid rode his motorcycle right through the front door. If I wasn’t so busy being upset about their casual disregard for shitloads of someone else’s property…being damaged…I’d have probably given the kid props for pulling off such a killer stunt. I couldn’t see whatever happened when he tore through the lobby and up the main stairwell.
Diane radioed back to me that she was already starting to evacuate the hostages. What the fuck? I heard shots fired and…um, was that an explosion? Hablar J Fucking Popsicle! I told Verge to go on in — he’d gotten as much protection as I could give him. I radioed to the entire team that I was running BACK to the hover-car to start ferrying the hostages to safety from the rooftop. Rather uneventful and anticlimactic for me…but someone HAD to do it. And I don’t mind. Maybe it means that I see less action but I kinda like working from behind the scenes. Besides, it’s enough of a reward for me to know that I saved a few hostages lives – rather than exploding some Cyborg faces. But that probably would have made a better diary entry. Sorry Matilda. And, TO BOOT, the Newspapers aren’t saying very nice things about how much damage we had to cause to get the job done.

Talk soon!

SMOOCHIES!

View
Things are Coming up Salvo

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOO! THAT. WAS. AWESOME!

For months now I have been cleaning up these streets the hard way. Energy blasts and fireballs. That’s it! Who can get anything done with such measly ability? Oh but tonight? Tonight it turned ON, it turned UP, everything is turning AROUND! Fucking make the world spin!

It has been months since I tapped my true power again. Truth be told I was always kind of scared of it. I didn’t know how to control it, why or when it happened or why or when it stopped. All I know is that when it did the world was mine. It first happened that night.. well.. that’s not important, but it happened a few times since then. Haven’t seen it since I started cleaning up these streets. But last night, man, things are coming up Salvo. I suppose I should explain, for the history books.

I hadn’t really hung around the Tomorrow People in a while. I stopped in here and there, but their insistence on working with the pompous porks(PP, HA!) really burns me. However, I heard about the incident with the boat, and well I realized I was missing out on some glory. Opportunities for the normals to see who I am, so I decided to hang out a bit more and see if there were more opportunities. The night wasn’t shaping up well, the group was once again ignoring my awesome plan. I was going to stash illicit pictures of children on this doctor’s computer to get him fired, so he would stop being stupid and come work for us. But nooo, that wasn’t nice, or too risky, or whatever. “Going to ruin his life” they said. Bull, what would be better than working with the Tomorrow Legion? Regardless Precockterous decided to step in and be the center of attention again, and did it his way. If he is sooo smart why do he need us? I wish he would go away, always lording over us. It’s alright, I will show him. It wasn’t long before a call came in. But God DAMNIT if it wasn’t to help those squeelers(and squeel they do!) Vigilance took the call, apparently they needed help with a hostage situation in a building. Enclosed spaces are my friend, so I was all for that! The Doc flew to the building to scout and shit, some new chicks(I miss Flash Fire.. but I understand my power may have scared her..) took off on a hovercraft with Vigilance to the building. I.. I don’t like not having my own escape methods, so I took my motorbike.

Arriving on the scene, Prepoop(fart before the storm..) is jabbering in our ear about all the stuff he knows, Hazel(one of the new chicks, super tiny, a little aloof, kinda scary), was hovering about the building with the other team mates, I guess they were planning on sneaking in from the top. I suppose if pressed, you could say I wanted to make a diversion, but honestly I just wanted some mayhem, some excitement, and to scare the crap out of the cops, so I rammed my bike through the front door. Kept control of it too!(Because I am awesome!) Must have been some wax on those stairs or something, bike slipped and I fell. Just as well though, charged up those stairs ready to start the party. Apparently the party came to me. Slammed head first into the barrel of the biggest laser rifle I have ever seen, carried by the biggest piece of walking metal I have ever seen. The light show started immediately. He brought the lights but oh baby did I bring the music!

Motherfucker tried to light me up. But at the moment that energy came towards me I realized something, I could absorb it, flow it through me, release that money shot on his face. It hurt. It hurt a lot. But with that pain came freedom. My true power awoke. This.. thing, did not know what hit him. I was pure energy. I swarmed around him, I slipped into the plates of his armor. All I found was more metal. No matter though, he could not escape me, and his flailing did me no harm. I shattered his metal from the inside out. BOOM. Pop goes a rivet. BOOM. Dent in the chest plate. BOOM. Oh.. DID I HURT YOU? BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM! He ripped his armor off but it was no good, I just kept pummeling him. The dude thought maybe he could fly and lept out the window. Who was I to stop him?

I think I will call my new move Inner Salvotion, or maybe Defense Defiler..

Chased the dude for a bit, peppered him with energy blasts but he ultimately got away. Extremely resilient. I need to find a way to get stronger still. I need to find a way to deal with that much metal. I have heat, and I have energy. There has to be a way to make this work. Streets are filled with places to practice. I have a feeling I am going to find more of these guys too, something about belonging to the Over Guard. I didn’t stick around for the post interviews. Can’t imagine my handiwork with the doorway, stairway, entire third floor, or the parking lot outside was much appreciated. I am sure doc will have some haughty complaint.. but he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know what this power feels like. He doesn’t know how much you sometimes just need to let loose, ya know?

Any way, I have a path way to pain, and that pain brings out my power. This is bringing about a whole set of possibilities for me. I can find ways to slip through the cracks now, I will shred the corruption from the inside out. No more families lost to laziness, greed, and ignorance..

View
Volume 1 - Issue 5
At the mercy of the AVANT-GUARD!
  • Vigilance, Dr. Preposterous, Huntress, and Hazel discussed the ramifications of the events of the past week:
    • They sunk a ship (in international waters, Dr. P. kept reminding them, so the law shouldn’t come after them) and possibly drew more attention to themselves then they are ready for.
    • After emergency surgery the villain Overhaul was expected to make a recovery. Two police officers and a Tomorrow Legion member stay outside his room 24/7 while he recovers.
    • Hazel had worked with Vigilance to plant bugs in, and spy on, the local salvage companies so she could be notified the moment they even think about going after the sunken ship.
    • The Legionnaires Deluge and Shell Shock sneaked onto the dock the night the boat was scheduled to arrive and witnessed the events in Issue 4’s epilogue.
    • Bogart declared to the Legion that their recent actions would make things too “hot” here for him, so he left. He made sure Spirit knew how to reach him if he was needed, though.
    • A couple days later there was a small newspaper article buried on page 9 of The Century Station Observer which indicated that the details of the ship sinking (as well as its true cargo) were possibly being covered up.
      • It also indicated the ship was from the small South American country of Suriname, mostly notable for being a country which occasionally provides the mercenary/villain The Usurper sanctuary.
    • Spirit was arrested on charges of “insider trading” among a litany of other white collar crimes. He went willingly and is currently sitting in jail with a bond of $100,000.00. All his assets were frozen.
      • The Tomorrow Legion was directly funded by Spirit, so while they have some money still in reserve there will be no more money coming in until something changes. At least one member of the group (Zeau) received a paycheck from Spirit was was audibly unhappy with this turn of events.
    • A few Centurions (Alpha Prime, Apex, Timeline and Joan of Arc) visited the Legion and demanded to see the weapon they have been flaunting. Alpha Prime examines it and declares it to be “Terrestial” and a “waste of time” and storms out. The others thank the Legion but Joan of Arc remains distracted by earlier and recent visions.
    • It seemed to the Tomorrow Legion that violent crime had noticeably decreased in Century Station, and most specifically in Waingroh. It certainly hadn’t stopped, but it seemed as if there were less of it.
  • Both Huntress and Vigilance made it a point to pump the street punks they encountered for information and rumors about Iron Mike’s weapons shipment sinking and who was responsible. Rumors that a big shipment didn’t come in and that Iron Mike was unhappy were floating around, but for now it appeared as if the Tomorrow Legion’s culpability was currently unknown.
  • Huntress paid a visit to the hospitalized Overhaul and demanded he speak to her, or else. She was very successfully intimidating but medical staff made her leave before she adversely affected their patient.
  • Dr. Preposterous became inspired after examining Overhaul’s confiscated gear. Even though it all broke down in less than a day the Doctor gleaned enough inspiration from it to decide to start inventing some more gadgets of his own. He used Vigilance as his test subject.
  • The subject of hiring a full-time doctor for the Legion was discussed amongst the group. Hazel had already done a bunch of research and gotten positive responses from three local, potential candidates:
    • Dr. Stewart Palmer, a physician they were already familiar with from their local hospital in Killgore.
    • Dr. Marigold Sands, a newly qualified doctor fresh from her residency and looking for a permanent job.
    • Dr. Wendell Moore, a doctor retired from general practice and one of the world’s foremost authorities on superhumans.
      • While the others discussed the candidates, Dr. Preposterous decided to call Dr. Moore and use his own notoriety to try and convince the man what a huge benefit to his study of superhumans this opportunity could be. Dr. Moore listened, interested.
  • Virgil received a call from Detective Jim Claxon, asking if the Legion could respond to a hostage situation which involved a group of cyborgs. He felt the police were out of their league and could use trusted superhuman assistance. Virgil didn’t hesitate to agree. Virgil found Hazel, Huntress, Dr. Preposterous, and Salvo and together they all headed out.
    • Though Salvo had been around he mostly had been keeping to himself as he waged his one-man war on corrupt police.
  • Dr. Preposterous traveled to the scene leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Salvo rode there on his motorcycle. Hazel had managed to pick up the basics of flying a hovercraft so she drove Spirit’s hovercar with Huntress riding shotgun and Virgil in the back.
  • As they approached the scene they could see the police surrounding the building and only the third floor lit up. A few windows on that floor were broken. With his preposterous eyesight Dr. P. could see five large robots or cyborgs armed with energy rifles, and a bunch of human hostages in the background.
  • Hazel flew the car up over the building roof, somehow escaping notice, and let an invisible Huntress off so she could sneak into the building. Then Hazel went across the street to land on top of another building, where Dr. Preposterous met them.
  • Salvo, however, sped through the police and crashed through the front doors of the building. He began to ride his bike up the stairs to the third floor until about halfway he lost control of his bike. He continued on foot until almost reaching the third floor, when one of the cyborgs ambushed him. The energy barrage the cyborg unleashed hardly phased Salvo, who used his energy powers to painfully absorb the energy and unleash it back to the cyborg, amplified into a super-blast! This act also triggered an energy transformation on the superhuman, who then enveloped the cyborg in his energy form and began unleashing destructive, explosive energy that also tore up the stairwell.
  • Meanwhile, Huntress had successfully infiltrated and was using her command of animals to get some rodents to help her scope the place out. She was able to locate the hostages and briefly communicated with them her intention to help. She noticed two of the female hostages seemed odd but she didn’t investigate further. She took her invisible cloak and wrapped it around one of the hostages, making him go invisible too, and then ran back to the stairs and the room with him. This drew the attention of two of the cyborgs, who began to fire into the general area but luckily missed her and her hostage.
  • Outside, Doctor Preposterous and Vigilance decided now was the time to enter the scene and both leapt from the rooftop to the building, entering the floor by crashing through the windows.
  • Hazel took the hovercar back to the roof of the building so she could pick up the hostage and bring him safely to the ground. Huntress went back inside to rescue more.
  • Virgil and Dr. Preposterous both engaged the four cyborgs in combat. Despite their weapons, physically imposing size and strength, both superhumans proved to be frustrating opponents for them.
  • Huntress returned into the building and tried to direct more hostages to escape by pointing to the direction they needed to go – completely forgetting she was invisible. Finally she directed a couple to follow and grabbed one to lead him out. The two odd ones followed. When the one she was leading became confused Huntress dropped her invisibility to better communicate and that’s when the odd women revealed themselves to be partial cyborgs! They each grew their nails out to long cybernetic knives and attacked Huntress.
  • None of the cyborgs were up to the task of defeating the Tomorrow Legion heroes. The cyborg which Salvo enveloped was finally panicking as the explosive energy he couldn’t shake was slowly chewing right through his systems. Dr. Preposterous had damaged the ones he was fighting and they couldn’t even land a hit in retaliation. Vigilance was beating the cyborgs fighting him right through the floor into the offices below. Huntress managed to get some distance on the two fighting her and began pelting them with her arrows.
  • Finally, their leader called for a retreat. Using a couple of the hostages as distractions, all but one of the cyborgs managed to flee out the window of the building and into a hail of gunfire from the waiting police below. One of the partial cyborg women was critically injured but she was picked up by another cyborg and carried. They ran through the city streets for several blocks with Dr. Preposterous following them before they finally went down into the subway system. The Doctor decided not to follow them further.
  • The one who didn’t escape was the one which Vigilance had punched through the floor. Quickly Vigilance leaped down the hole and immobilized the cyborg by ripping off his leg. The cyborg tried to retaliate with optical lasers but Vigilance held his head turned away from anyone or anything which those eyes could focus on. Beaten, the cyborg fell silent.
  • Two of the hostages were injured in the Cyborg’s escape, and three police officers were injured as the Cyborgs ran away through them and their gunfire.

EPILOGUE

Deep beneath Century Station is a network of active subway tunnels, abandoned tunnels, half-excavated systems, and more. It was easy to get lost if one wasn’t familiar with the way they all connected. Through the twists and turns the group of cyborgs deftly maneuvered, making their way to the hidden facilities of the Avant-Guard.

This group’s leader, the Cyborg who went by designation CY-003, was distraught and angry. Their plan and set-up were perfect, so why had they failed? He had been arguing with CY-001 for weeks now about being ready to face the superhumans, and his stunt tonight was supposed to show that he had been right all along! Instead, it would only show failure and reinforce CY-001’s decision to remain hidden longer and build up more strength.

They traveled in silence most of the way. Finally, one of them spoke. “Cy Three” the Cyborg carrying the gravely injured partial ‘borg spoke up. "I don’t know if she’s going to survive this."

“And now you’re a doctor of cybernetic medicine, Cy Sixteen?” CY-003 barked back at him. “She’ll get all the help our illustrious leader can muster once we arrive. There’s nothing you or I or any of us are capable of doing right now. So shut up.”

“But I don’t understand, sir.” The other partial cyborg said. “You told us our upgrades were sufficient to kill the superhumans.”

CY-003’s mechanical eyes widened as the machines correctly responded to the flesh-and-blood being’s emotional state. He was about to say something when a new voice from up ahead of them spoke up. “And I told you they weren’t.”

The group fell quiet as they came up within sight of the speaker; the leader of the Avant-Guard; the cyborg designated as CY-001. He looked up on them with stoic disappointment. Silently counting the number of bodies among them he came up one shorter than expected.

“Where is Cy Eight?” He patiently asked.

The others all looked at each other, wondering how to answer. But CY-003 answered in a low voice with only a small pause. “Captured. By the superhumans and the human authorities.”

“Then let his soon-to-be sacrifice be a reminder of the rest of you about the gravity and seriousness of our cause.” He looked at all the cyborgs in the group as he spoke, and each one refused to meet his eyes. Except for CY-003 who stared back at him. If mechanical eyes could burn with hatred and loathing then his eyes would be on fire. But CY-001 continued speaking, oblivious or uncaring. “Your actions tonight have exposed our noble organization to unwanted scrutiny. The coming times will now be especially trying as I adjust our timetable and plans accordingly.”

“But we still got the information we were sent to-” CY-016 began to say, before he was cut off brusquely.

“And what good will that information be to us now? Now that we’ve been exposed all our operatives will need to pull back with whatever recruits they’ve managed to gather. We must hope they are enough to strengthen and ready ourselves so that when the proper time comes to announce our true, glorious cause to humanity we can stand behind it. And not as villains,” CY-001 looked straight at CY-003 as he said that. “But as the heroes we know we are. Enough talk for now. Bring Cy Twenty-four to the doc before she dies. The rest of you, go get patched up. I’ll deal with you formally later.”

They all scattered to follow their leader’s commands leaving CY-001 and CY-003 alone in the passageway.

“We should’ve been able to do it,” CY-003 protested.

“Fully upgraded, I agree,” CY-001 replied. “Once everyone has been appropriately enhanced we will be ready to destroy the superhuman infestation. We will use the power and legacy of humanity- true, pure humanity in order to cleanse those impurities from the gene pool. You and your followers, you feel ready because the upgrades you have received have made you powerful. But think back on tonight, Cy Three. Were you powerful enough?”

CY-001 turned away from CY-003 and let that question linger. CY-003 finally looked down, in anger and in shame. “Not yet.” He thought back to the way that superhuman who called himself a Doctor had effortlessly danced around his attacks and then humiliated him. “But I will be soon enough.”

View
Don't Quit Your Day Job
Really...don't.

computer_generated_reality_by_meu_of_m-d4ss5km.png.jpg

Mild-mannered Lashe by day, Witchhazel by night, and sluggish all the time. Matty, we knew we couldn’t keep this up forever. Something had to give. Maybe that something is a little bit of my sanity. Maybe it’s my wallet. Maybe it’s just my prescription for pizza and HeroCOLA. I’m so tired. I just…I wish I could fight crime in my dreams. Or maybe, pushing a pencil behind a desk and programming as a mid-level dev just isn’t in my future. I think someday — perhaps sooner than I expected — I’ll be taking a permanent sabbatical from my alter-ego. Yes. Alternate…Ego.

TMNT__It_s_my_day_job_by_RaTamer.jpg

There’s no denying it. I know my Facade’s purpose. I know it’s important to live this lie. But for how long? My Morphus is clawing its way out! It screams to be let out of this flesh cage! It’s only a matter of time before I leave Hazel behind and become Witchcraft. I will always BE Lashe’evadne Sycorax-Circe Griselda Duchesne. Hazel…she’s just a facade. I’ve grown fond of the name. I’ve grown fond of myself — I accept and love myself just as I am, the person I’ve become and the little girl I came from. The name Hazel will always be with me in some way. I love how it fits with Witchhazel — that’s the duality of my nature. Facade and Morphus. Two halves of the same name. I’m discovering such wonderful things about myself! About the Spawn of Night. It’s all so clear to me now.

Maybe that’s the caffeine talking. It kinda wasn’t clear a moment ago. GROOOOOAN!!!!

all_about_computer_science_by_aanniimmaakkss-d4buif9.png

Hablar! It was ridiculously tough to get out of bed. Now that I made it to work — rode the ELECTRIC EXPRESS — I’m not even doing my job. I’m just sitting here writing. No offense Matty. I love you and all. I honestly am not even ashamed of myself. When consciousness hit like a freight train my first thought was, “shit, I hope Lighter Than Air goes off without any side-effects.” And y’know why? Because I can’t even fricking walk to the shower. I’d rather snooze and air-surf the currents down to the bathroom. If that’s not tired I don’t know what is. It’s certainly not lazy! Remember last Monday when I accidentally cast Light It Up instead of Lighter Than Air? Holy Smokes! Literally! I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast in my LIFE! It was like my nightie was literally doused in gasoline! Sigh…I’m just not thinking clearly. Though, on the bright side, I think Michelle would be super excited that I got the spell right. And it even went off without any unexpected affects! Unless you consider casting the WRONG spell…um, unexpected. Er…wait…

Computer_Programer_by_Tehelee.gif

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I even have a job. Just the other day Simpson pedantically elucidated my good fortune…if not sheer luck, that I am gainfully employed by his magnanimous company! Oh the fortune! SWOON!!!! It’s a good thing I’ve gotten good use out of those sick-days. I mean…it’s a good thing my immune system kicks ass or I might actually need to use them for being sick! Er…I guess I shouldn’t laugh. I wonder if anyone is watching me right now. The IT department kinda owes me a favor but they’ve been sly before…bugging my computer, monitoring my activity. I’m wily! Like the Coyote! But I’m not infallible…not when I’m Chez Tres Exhausted.

Working girl by day, hero by night. I imagine some mornings it’s tough to get out of bed. There’s only so many sick days and tardies that can be excused. Hazel’s bosses will be more than happy to point out that in this economy she should feel very lucky to even have a job. I don’t know if you thought of this as something to write about, but it was a thing that occurred to me. I’ve got to get back to work. I’ll chat soon. I’m not coming straight-home tonight because I have to follow up on one of the salvage diving operations leads. It might come back to bite me in the ass…Yay!

Codeish-v1-0-lightblue.jpg

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.