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Jun 18, 2019 12:42 AM
of daemons and superheroes and dead gods
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“Sounds good to me!”

Zeph puts in: “I wouldn’t say no to Ilmari coming along, but Seven and I can’t keep up enough distance to convincingly pretend I’m not his daemon, I don’t think.”

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"Well, I can put off my thing, then. Going in groups shouldn't hurt, anyways..."

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"Eh, there's probably ways we can make it work.  He couldn't hover out of sight but you could get on the other side of a door, around a corner in a shadowy alleyway.  In a dumpster if you needed to."

Zeph turns up his beak and chirps haughtily at the mention of hiding in dumpsters.

"Oh, hush, this is the sort of thing we both signed up for."

"I suppose," Zeph says affectionately.

"I still think going solo would draw less attention.  Send Ilmari along if you're still up for it, Zeph can make himself scarce."  Scritch scritch.

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"Alright. Solo's fine, too."

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“Guess I’m off, then.”  He stands.  “If Ilmari is tagging along I’m gonna stay in costume at least at first.”  He turns toward Ilmari.  “You ready?”

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"Sure."

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They depart.

"Gonna start by heading back to the scene of the crime and asking around to see if anyone saw anything," Seven says.  "Sound good to you guys?"  (Holy fuck is it weird to talk to someone else's daemon when their person isn't around and you're pretending they're your daemon.)

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"I perceive no problem with that."

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So Mach Seven returns to the site of the (murder? kidnapping? disappearance?), heads into the nearest apartment building, and, with Zeph lurking out of sight of the doorframe, starts knocking on doors.

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Most people are thoroughly not interested, but there is one person who answers - an old lady, scowl fixed firmly on her face, squirrel daemon perched on her shoulder. "What you on about, boy?" she demands.

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By now, he's pretty sure he's figured out a pose to strike that looks confident and a shade superheroic without actually looking like he's striking a pose.  Gotta look the part if people are gonna take you seriously.  "Ma'am, my name's Mach Seven.  I'm looking into reports of a strange event that might have occurred near here some time in the past few days."  (sound confident, sound official)  "It probably involved at least one superpowered individual."  (sounds better than superpowered person probably)  "Did you see or hear anything strange outside your building recently?  A fight, or perhaps one or two people on the street seeming to vanish?"

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"Always strange things, these parts. None of you heroes ever seem to worry about us. Some bigwig got himself nabbed, huh?" she asks, voice scathing.

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Audibly sighing at her would be a bad idea, probably.  "The person who was kidnapped might not have been superpowered themselves.  They could've been one of your neighbors.  I don't want to alarm you, but I need to track this guy down in order to protect you."

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"Don't know of no one missing."

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"All right, if you're sure.  You say a lot of strange things happen around here?"

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"Powered sorts coming and going, teenagers doing things they shouldn't. None of my business."

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"Well, if you see anything that you think might be a superhero's business, I have a work phone - "  He gives her the number of the burner phone he bought before his first patrol.  "It's not an emergency number, I'm not gonna be on call day and night or anything.  But if you see anything suspicious and want a super-person to be paying attention to it, feel free to give me a call."

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She'll accept the phone number with a squint, then say, "I suppose I can keep it around."

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"Be safe," says Mach Seven.

After he closes the door he turns to Zepharthalin, where he's hiding out of sight, and says, "Okay, you can stop glowering at me now."

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"You wanted to snap at her," Zepharthalin says primly.

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"She lied, a few times. She knows of several people missing. Mostly those less likely to be missed - the homeless, the socially disadvantaged, the mentally ill. She's more interested in the strange happenings than 'none of my business' indicates, but I couldn't get more since she technically listed some true things."

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"Hmm.  If it's just that she likes rubbernecking, maybe one of us could try getting chummy in a civilian identity, but it'd backfire if she's into something sketchier."

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"And she doesn't seem easily chummed.  ...By knows of, do you just mean she's seen people around and then conspicuously stopped seeing them around?"

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"Not enough information. Currently my power mostly gets 'what someone would say, if they were inclined to be truthful.' She was not the sharing type."

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"For my part, my gut tells me she's just gawking, but we probably won't get much else out of her either way.  Meanwhile - if several people have disappeared recently, then more people might disappear in the near future, and that, I believe, spells stakeout."

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