Jul 23, 2019 12:28 PM
Jonathan in the Whateleyverse
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She floats slowly to the ground. "Shit. This just got weirder fast. Metahumans have been on the scene since... well, since forever technically if you count pagan gods and the Fae and stuff, but mutants proper started showing up in the thirties. There's no way you wouldn't have heard of us if you're from this world."

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"Okay but that's a thing that can happen?"

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"You being from another world? I'm not Magus or anything, I don't know the details, but I've heard stories about people from other worlds coming to ours or vice versa. And with Weißfrau involved, anything's possible. She's a Devisor and a mage, and pretty high-tier for both."

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"Soooo...can I get home?

"Wait, do I want to? Being The World's Only Superhero sounds like it could go horribly wrong several ways. Ergh. Anyway. Help?"

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"Uh. Hopefully we can get you home, you're like fifteen. Being the only mutant in the world would kinda suck, though. And they won't have the systems in place for superhero work. But, again, you're like fifteen and you presumably have parents." She scratches her head. "I'm not the hero for this kind of shit, man, I'm twenty-three and I run around in tights punching people because my ADD makes it too hard for me to hold down a real job. I guess I could call somebody more competent. Who's competent that I know... Diana maybe?"

Outside the doorway, a man in a tactical vest with a mask over his face peers into the room. Making eye contact with Jonathan, he freezes, then waves awkwardly.

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“Aw, sucks, sorry I had to complicate your punchin—”

Jonathan freezes too, but his second reaction is to summon the now-rather-crumpled paper that was so helpful before.

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The superhero turns to see what made Jonathan freeze. The man in the tactical vest swears loudly and points a gun at her. She responds by setting him on fire. He stops, drops, and rolls, dropping the gun in the process.

She picks it up and examines it critically. "You could really hurt somebody with this. Not me personally, but the kid isn't wearing an armored costume and he doesn't have a PK field. I could get you for attempted murder if you'd actually fired. As it is, we have two counts of aggravated assault by pointing a deadly weapon. Whereas if you'd surrendered, we'd probably have nothing on you except circumstantial evidence that you aided and abetted a supervillain."

"I kinda panicked there," the criminal admits, still smoking slightly.

"Apparently."

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Okay, if they're talking law, he definitely does not know about how to not add any further complications to this situation. And she has this under control. But he can keep an eye out for further trouble maybe? Or also —

“So how does this situation get wrapped up?”

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Nothing seems to be approaching over the horizon!

She zipties the criminal's hands and feet together. "I take this guy to the cops and we figure out what to do with you, pretty much? I mean, I can also take you to the cops if you want the system to handle it, but the system kinda sucks. Especially for mutants. - hey, wait a minute, this is a mutant kid issue, what if I made Whateley deal with it? Uh- there's this big school in New England called Whateley Academy where they teach mutant kids to handle their powers and stuff, and they have this big scholarship fund for kids without parents available. They can put you up, and I bet they'd have some idea of how to get you back to where you came from if you want!"

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“Uh, can't say I like the first option but I've never been scholarship material. Suppose I'm an interdimensional exchange student now though.”

(He may have made a little face at the general idea of school, but it passed.)

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"Yeah, Whateley doesn't need you to be the best and brightest, you just gotta have powers and need help. Also you might be smarter than you were before manifesting, depending on what powers you got; Exemplars have increased processing speed and better memory."

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“— Right, superpowers. Okay!”


“Do you need to collect all the minions or disable all the machines or —?”

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She shakes her head. "The minions have probably all gone to ground, and Interpol's probably gonna get somebody smart in here to check out the devises, so we shouldn't mess with them."

The guy raises his eyebrows. "Interpol? I know she was German, but seriously?"

"You know you were working for a Nazi, right?" she asks with some distaste. "Like, an actual fought-the-Allies-in-1941 Nazi."

"Oh, gross," he says. "She didn't seem racist, though? More 'everyone is beneath me', less 'especially Jews'."

She shrugs. "Still."

"Still, yeah, gross. Interpol, sure."

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...ooookay. He'll just, like, wait for a cue, then.

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Superhero lady claps her hands together. "Alright! So, let's get this guy to the cops who are currently waiting outside. And then I guess we get on a bus to Massachusetts, unless you can fly."

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“I can push stuff and when I do it pushes back on me but I don't seem to be able to just defy gravity. And I think I need to charge up somehow to do more. So, no flying.

“Yet.”

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She shrugs, then hefts the minion over her shoulder and starts out the door.

She talks with the cops when she deposits the minion into their custody. In the process she is forced to reveal her superhero name, which as it turns out is "Flambe". Apparently it's kind of hard to get a good fire-based nom de guerre that isn't taken. The cops take a statement from Jonathan; it's not a very memorable process.

Flambe then ducks into a closet and emerges maskless and with normal human clothes on, including a backpack with various band names written on it in White-Out. ("You can call me Jessica when I'm out of costume," she says.) She hails a cab to get them to the Port Authority (Weißfrau's secret base was apparently an abandoned Montessori school in Queens), where she gets a bus ticket to Boston and stops at Subway.

"It's gonna be four hours to Boston and one hour from Boston to Whateley," she explains. "I have energy bars in my bag, but they're pretty gross for anybody who doesn't have superhuman dietary requirements. So even if you're not hungry now, you should get a sandwich."

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If he should get a sandwich, then he will get a sandwich. Especially if she's paying. He'll have a cold sub with two kinds of meat, cheese, lettuce, olives, peppers, pickles, and a non-messy amount of sauce, wrapped up in two separate portions to go, please. And some water and chips which he will open right now.

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He acquires a sandwich!

Jessica also acquires a sandwich. Hers is something teriyaki-chicken-y with onions, plus a root beer. She consumes it immediately, presumably because she was just in a literal firefight.

Soon enough there's a bus to catch. It's 10am, so there's not a ton of people on it. Jessica picks a seat near the back, with nobody in the surrounding few rows. Once the drive is underway, she turns to Jonathan. "So, I've got a phone and can spend this entire bus ride listening to alt-pop if you'd rather not talk, but do you have any questions about, you know." She gestures vaguely. "Our universe?"

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“Sure but where do I even start? Uh, how do powers work, maybe that'll give me some clues to, ha, meditate on while we're on the road. You said something about Exemplars?”

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"Okay, Powers Theory time. Nobody knows exactly how powers work, per se, but they tend to fall into a handful of natural categories. There's Exemplars, the most common mutation by a significant margin; Exemplars gradually shift into an 'idealized' form, becoming more attractive, stronger, smarter, et cetera. I'm an Exemplar, obviously-" (she is very pretty) "-as well as having psychokinesis, which allows me to fly and control flames. Other powers- let me just go down the list, actually."

She closes her eyes and starts rattling off terms. "Avatars channel the power of a spirit. They typically have other powers besides that, based on what spirit they have. Devisors make weird machines that don't function on the same laws of physics the rest of us use. Espers have various forms of extrasensory perception, like empathy or psychometry. Energizers absorb some form of energy from some source or other and can release it in some specific form, often either physical speed or energy blasts. Gadgeteers have an instinctual understanding of technology, and can create things far beyond the current cutting edge; technically they're a kind of Esper, because they're easily capable of understanding and improving on devices they've never seen before. Manifestors can create some form of temporary material, like a suit of armor or physical shadows. Mimics can mimic other powers, regenerators can, well, regenerate, shifters can change their shape. Telekinetics have telekinesis, which can be at range or to enhance their own strength, or both. Warpers affect the laws of reality directly in some way, such as by altering probability or teleporting. Aaaand mages have an easier time using magic, and psychics have telepathic abilities, often along with telekinesis."

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He nods along, almost interrupting a few times.

“Okay, so I'm obviously telekinetic, and maybe harder to hurt at least from like being hit with things like concrete floors, that's —?”

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"Hmm, might be Exemplar, might be a personal TK field."

She pokes him in the forehead. "No shell. You're an Exemplar, then. Welcome to the club!"

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“Yeah well what if I —”

He stops.

“Okay, I was tempted to do a thing, but how, uh, public are things? Like you showed me your, uh, other identity or is it even a secret and how do people feel about the whole thing and is it actually okay to do something while we're sitting in the bus?”

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She nods. "My secret identity is in fact secret, but 'not-very-renowned superheroine Flambe is actually some lady named Jessica' is not particularly valuable information. And it'd be best to keep it subtle until we're off the bus, yeah. The Whateley science team will want to run through your powers with a fine-tooth comb, anyway."

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