May 21, 2022 2:25 PM
Freedom Five Unity and an island of clones
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The visitors are very impressed. They ask a few questions about how many people live in the city, and how long it has been around, and so on.

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Also, about the F-shaped building. What's up with that?

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Megalopolis is home to about 10 million people, Unity explains. "They keep moving here even with all the everything, so there must be something to like. I'm not sure how long it's been here, but, like, centuries? It wasn't always this big, though." 

And the F building: "Oh, that's Freedom Tower! Sort of a live-in operations center for the Freedom Five, that's Dr. Stinson's hero group. She's Tachyon when she's working with them."

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They're dully impressed. "Are the Freedom Five important? I am not sure you mentioned them to me."

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"Oh, they're superheroes! Legacy, Bunker, Absolute Zero, Wraith, and Tachyon. They protect the city 'n' stuff. Ooo, there's the Waffle Top building, see the hexagonal girders?" 

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"We do. How can the five of them protect the whole town? Are they as fast as Tachyon?"

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"Maybe they have apprentices like Unity here." They look Waffle-Top-wards.

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"Legacy's pretty fast and he can fly! Plus he has, like, eagle vision or something. They don't take on the small stuff though, usually. Just like, if a superpowered criminal tries to rob a bank, or a giant robot starts trashing the interstate. That sort of thing." Unity skips a bit as she says this, pleased at meriting the "apprentice" designation. 

The "Waffle Top" is an impressive display of architecture; a skyscraper crowned with an angled plane supported by relatively few girders in a hexagonal pattern. It's vaguely waffle or honeycomb shaped, but if one has never seen a waffle it is hard to gauge the resemblance. 

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They are not in fact familiarized with waffles. Or honeycombs for that matter, while the island had bees, they never got around to harvesting them for honey.

However, they are still impressed by the architecture. Is the entire thing a waffle-based restaurant?

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The rest of the building comes into view as they descend into the city. It is, in fact, a fairly otherwise unimpressive office building. A sign below the hexagons reads MEGACORP. 

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What is the Mega that the megacorp is about?

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"It was founded in Megalopolis? I think it might have been the same guy they named the city after, actually, they changed the name when one of the early industrialists funded a bunch of city projects, like, a century ago. He had some kind of math powers and went by Megonomy, I think? Or maybe it was Megamark..." Unity is briefly distracted trying to recall her middle school history class. Mr. Hill had managed to make even a history of superpowers sound dull. Ms. Long had been better...

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"Math powers, that sounds like the lamest possible powers ever."

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"Well, he got this city and a company named after him, so he put them to good use."

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"Yeah he made a bunch of money. Here's the place!" Devra points to a cluster of restaurants across the street. One has the name Sunnyside in cheery yellow letters across the front. 

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They follow along and let her order food for them.

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They can have a breakfast sampler plate! Eggs, bacon, toast, little breakfast sausages, an English muffin, and waffles. Small waffles, but still. Devra cheerfully identifies the foodstuffs and condiments, then tucks into an English muffin smothered in butter and jam. 

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They take experimental bites.

Henry actually swears with his mouth still full.

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They start stuffing themselves. How does food gets this good?

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Devra is pleased they like it. "Uh, lots of butter and, like, a squillion years of trial and error? Wait 'till you have pizza, pizza is the best." 

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"Oooh, food science." Henry says.

Now that he has taken one, two or six bites, Henry has regained some self-control. He starts crystallizing some food samples. If having crystals extruding out of your body is poor table manners, he is completely unaware of the fact.

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Unity's buzzing Bee Bots may also draw some attention. Their table gets some weird looks, and after a few minutes one flustered quartet of teenagers shuffles over to ask for autographs. 

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Henry is confused by this and asks what is the purpose of an autograph? Is this a custom here? Should they ask for the teens' autographs to be polite?

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"Oh, they think you're a superhero so they want you to write your name on something," Devra whispers. "It doesn't hurt anything, it's just something people like asking popular people to do. So you can go, see, I met this cool person, here's proof! If you wanna be a superhero though you should use your superhero name, which I guess you don't have yet so it doesn't really matter, identities are kind of open secrets anyway." 

She may have forgotten to whisper at some point in this breathless exposition. Teenagers gawk. 

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"Being a super-hero sounds like, too public for me to decide without the other mes around?"

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