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chase last won the day on July 23 2019

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About chase

  • Birthday 01/01/1004
  1. Atlas Park, City Hall A few days later. Tabitha “Treatment was mainly confined to mandatory counseling…” Tabby had finished reading over Psychlone’s file, but that part really struck her. When Tabitha got into trouble, she was sponsored into one of the most prestigious all-girl “reform schools” on the continent, she got personalized counseling from one of the top psychologists in transformation trauma. She was… well, she was TRASH before the change, but they treated her like something special, even if she didn’t appreciate it at the time. It was 4 years of her life, but it could’ve been so much worse. Psychlone got the “much worse”- sure she’d injured and even killed several people who had been trying to help her, but she’d been experimented on, enhanced, and mistreated for so long before that. Could she really be held responsible? And putting a telepath in the zig- the big concrete box of criminally insane- for “mandatory counseling sessions”? They were never going to let her out. She was being warehoused away and forgotten. A 20 year old girl victimized by others and then neglected by the system for the rest of her life. The ridge of fur pulsed up and down along her back, something that didn’t go unnoticed by her caseworker. “Look, I don’t like it either, but this wasn’t a decision made by just one person- there are teams involved in sentencing and treatment.” Miriam had to almost put her chin onto her desk to make eye contact with Tabby, who seemed to be trying to burn the report with laser-eye focus. “It’s the part of this job I hate the most. We don’t have an unlimited budget. Sometimes… sometimes you must cut your losses, let the impossible cases go and conserve your resources on people you CAN help, like you, Tabitha.” “Frankly, some of the team is getting a little worried. I know I wasn’t here to give you proper 1:1 time, but lately- the days without contact…” “…my phone was bricked… and the other phone bugged!” “… the unapproved travel…” “… I… I FOUND THE LOCATION OF THE WARRIOR FOOTAGE. I’M TRYING TO HELP SAVE CAPTURED HEROES!” “the... questionable choices for dining partners…” “… I negotiated the release of three hostages.” “and you let her walk away. Look, you’ve been a model turnaround before this. We might still be able to advocate for early graduation from the program, but you need to avoid this kind of transgression. Okay?” Miriam smiled and contorted herself further in her futile effort to make eye contact, but Tabitha avoided contact. The fact that they pulled Miriam off maternity leave to personally take this meeting should have telegraphed that she was in trouble. The two of them played a short game of catching or dodging each others’ gaze before Miriam had enough. “So, John has something that’s right up your alley. Detective Murwell asked for you personally- something fishy down near Paragon Yacht Club. Do you…” “I’m investigating the Warriors and the missing heroes.” “I know, and the everyone appreciates the intel you brought in. We got it to the right hands, and they’re moving on it as we speak.” “I want in on it.” “We have the right people working that angle, Tabitha.” “I could be the right people.” “You’re the right person for the yacht club investigation, Tabitha. Leave the captured heroes to the professionals.” “We have KIDNAPPED HEROES and the DAGGER OF JOCAS in the wild and you’d have me chasing a boat club’s problems?!” “Tabitha, honey. It’s great that you care. It really is, and there will be a time for that someday, but those are high-stakes cutthroat operations. It’s not safe.” “I’ve been fighting warriors! Freakshow! Carnies! … NEMESIS! It hasn’t been safe for a long time. I’m ready for this.” “Right now, you’re ready for what we tell you you’re ready for. Your community service credits apply to the assignments given to you by a city representative. You need to focus on those, you need to stick to the terms of your release, and… Tabitha,” she leaned in close to emphasize every word, “you need to be mindful of the company you’re keeping.” “I’ll be mindful.” *starting right now.* She thought bitterly as she got up to leave. *I’m going to help rescue those heroes. I’m going to help recover the Dagger of Jocas, and I’m going to make them regret treating Psychlone as a lost cause. I don't care if they don't count as community service hours*. Then in a burst of inspiration she thought *The Vindicators and Phalanx count as city reps! Swan's validated my hours before, and she and Manticore are so busy right now, I bet they’ll sign anything I put in front of them.* She stormed off, only pausing for a moment when Miriam called after her, still smiling, still trying to connect with her. “Don’t forget, Tabitha- it’s donuts day! Lunchroom, 15 minutes. You can have mine too, no need to wait until seconds are called. I’m trying to work off the baby weight…” “Thanks, …but I’ve lost my appetite.”
  2. chase

    Backstory- Leiyu

    Leiyu In-Game Bio Not much is known about the heroine Leiyu except for the contradictions. She battles the Tsoo, but emulates many of their traditions. She exhibits merciless rage one moment, and soft compassion a moment later. She often enters battle with a thunderous explosion, but rarely speaks. The most likely phrase you'll ever hear from her is a raspy whisper that's both a command and a warning, "Stay away." RP Hooks - Those with mage sight can detect the presence of a powerful artifact worn as a necklace. They may also detect signs of spirit possession. - PPD intel is torn on whether her "tsoo" focus is heroically-driven or possibly internal power struggle. - Those that do get her to speak more will catch a elements of an accent but not from anything asian. (If they're really good, its Scouse- she's from the Liverpool area)
  3. Aoki writhed in the ground in agony as the lightning coursed over him, the smell of scorched flesh and shit surrounded him. Lynne felt little sympathy for the Copper Serpent master- how many had suffered from the toxins in his barbs? How long had he stalked and threatened her? As she hovered over him now like a vengeful god meting out justice, ready to launch another storm blast into him, he was almost pitiable. Almost. Tonight the tormenter dies. It came to her as naturally as breathing now- she drew deep into the wellspring of power that hung around her neck, let it flow into her heart to her shoulders, and down her arms- an electric charge that would stop the heart of anyone not shielded from it. She aimed. Then she saw the old lady standing in the doorway of her shop, watching her. All thought of murder disappeared. She glided to the old woman, her feet never touching the ground. “You.” Lynne's hand gravitated to the necklace under her dress. She kept enough presence of mind to keep her voice low and carefully choose her words, lest her accent show through. “You’re the one that gave me...” “… your name.” the old woman interrupted, looking around the alley before gesturing her inside. “Yes. The reporters wanted a name for you.. Leiyu. Thunderstorm, in my homeland, though they lost something in the translation.” She gestured her inside. “Come. The police will be here soon. They’ll take care of Aoki.” She didn’t think to ask how the old lady knew his name- or her- or why the raging thing that drove her to hunt members of the Tsoo every night was suddenly silent. This was the woman who gave the necklace to her. The shop was just as she’d expected- crowded and jumbled with both ancient and modern. Part apothecary, part curio, part used electronics with some bicycles hanging from a side aisle. The back wall was filled with faded photos, each in its own hand-carved frame that appeared more timeless than they were. The old lady scanned over the wall before pulling one down and studying it. “You look so much like her. My Leiyu.” It had once been a black-and-white picture, but the black had long ago faded to brown, and then to rust, like blood on a bandage. Soldiers- uniforms suggested Japanese, second world war era. Probably mainland occupation forces. They scrambled- both running to and running from a lady in a conical rice hat and cheongsam, not unlike her own attire. Although an untrained eye would mistake the white extending from her as parts lost to age and wear, she knew that was the blinding glow of electricity coursing off her as she hovered in the air. “He still demands tradition, I see.” The old woman muttered, gesturing at Lynne’s garb. Neither needed elaboration on who “he” was. She forced a smile. “I did my best to convince him of the benefits of Kevlar and tactical garb, but he’d melt or fry anything but silk. Doesn’t really protect much. I was lucky enough to win the argument for the mask and wig.” The old lady had slipped into the back of the shop. Part of her wanted to take the necklace off and leave it there. Just pretend that the past few weeks never happened, but another part of her knew that the only way out of her situation was through the power this artifact provided, and she’d cling to it to her last breath to keep that hope alive. “Why give this to me?” The words came out before she’d even thought them. The old lady reappeared, this time holding a sun-bleached plastic milk crate full pictures, both old and very new. She browsed through, grabbed a few and passed them over. It took a moment for Lynne to recognize her father and uncle at various ages. Another with her grandmother. “When a family has lost its way- lost its honor- it looks to their elders for guidance, but the elders look to the young for action.” A few months ago, Lynne might have scoffed at such sayings. Family- at least in the sense of a traditional Chinese extended family and lineage- was alien to her. On her father’s death, her mother had taken their two girls out of Chinatown and into one of Liverpool’s suburbs, hoping to escape the underworld that claimed his life. She’d been raised with little exposure- even active disdain for the tradition and culture that the crime syndicates embraced. Even the spelling of her name changed to distance herself from her heritage. That was before her uncle came with the proverbial “offer she couldn’t refuse” during the last undergraduate year. He wasn’t just in the crime syndicate- he embodied it- rising to power and building alliances with Tub Ci- folding local syndicates into the Tsoo’s international operations. Syndicates have long built alliances in the same way the great houses did centuries before- through the exchange of hostages. Sure, they called them squires or wards or marriages of convenience- and in many ways those that were exchanged could flourish and grow to prominence in the foreign land, but it also served as insurance that everyone acted in good faith, lest they lose a loved one. Despite being an early and fervent supporter of Tub Ci’s unification wars, her uncle had no family to exchange, so as other groups sent their best and brightest to serve directly under Tub Ci and strengthen their bond, he became marginalized. It hadn’t been a particularly amicable reunion- her uncle didn’t even bother to try to convince her to participate willingly. He just gave her an ultimatum: serve as his exchange to Tub Ci, or he’d send her off with the other girls he trafficked to the states, make the same offer to her sister, and with no more family to tend to, he’d make sure her mother didn’t “outlive her purpose.” It wasn’t a hard decision. Now here she was, in the states illegally, assailed by tradition and hollow honor and toxic family ties, but also driven to persevere for the only family that mattered. “He’s always so angry.” She said, not quite sure who she was referring to- the spirit in the necklace, Tub Ci, or her uncle. “The patriarch spent a lifetime amassing the family’s fortune so they could govern and protect their people, only to see them become predators and abusers. He… he knows nothing but anger.” She’d seen that. For the first few weeks, it just seemed random- go out at night, find Tsoo agents, neutralize them. More recently, it wanted her to gather intel during the day that they could act on at night, dismantling or disrupting operations in a way that made it very difficult to keep her participation secret. She’d come to realize that the spirit cared very little about her own survival- if she wanted protection, she’d have to fight for that herself. “I dun tink” her accent came out heavy as she almost broke down. “I dun think I can change this. I can’t win. Not alone.” The old lady wouldn’t make eye contact, but just stared at the picture of her Leiyu, Her voice was troubled. Lynne got the distinct impression that the picture was the last time she ever saw her Leiyu alive. “Honor is won in the battle, not the outcome of the war.” She closed her eyes. Anger welled inside her- not HIS anger this time, but hers. Anger at being controlled, being betrayed, being trapped in an unwinnable war. Being expected to give up everything for what? For the goals of others. She was trapped in Tub Ci’s expectations that she learn to be a worthwhile member of his crime syndicate. She was trapped by an uncle that kept her family hostage unless she fulfill his need as liasian to the tsoo. Now she’s got the conflicting expectations of an overbearing “patriarch” spirit to fight his war. Any wrong move and she’d be dead, as would her mother and sister. When she opened he eyes the old lady was gone. The shop was gone. She was in an empty storefront with windows so grimy that she couldn’t see more than the flashers of PPD’s finest illuminating the dirt. She could feel the angry one returning, but knew his attention was still not on her. She shook her head. Had she hallucinated it all? Did her mind have some dissociative break to prevent her from killing Aoki? As probable as that sounded, she still held a photo in her hand- her grandmother holding her father when he was at most 6 years old. *Maybe… maybe there’s more to this than one vengeful spirit.* *Maybe I’m not as alone as I thought.* She took the back exit and drifted into the night, searching for another target. The angry one was watching again. More Tsoo would feel the wrath of Leiyu tonight.
  4. Salamanca Day after Brickstown Tabitha (regarding Psychlone) "Hi, It’s me." "Yeah, sorry, I’m on a payphone." "Well, because my phone’s bricked and when I tried to buy another the credit card company flagged two phones in 24 hrs as suspicious, so they tried calling my number to verify, but MY FRIGGIN PHONE IS BRICKED." "Yes, I know availability of contact is a term of my release. Workin on that." "Yes, I know that the budget counseling didn’t have… well, ANY room for charge card payments. Workin on that too." "Salamanca." "Yes, I know I’m supposed to alert you if I’m planning to travel out of city limits. I had reasons." "So you know about that?" "Yeah. I need all the info you have on her." "I don’t care. I’d consider this need-to-know." "NO- don’t say “stop.” No- DO NOT SAY THAT." "First, that’s totally unfair- how many times did Statesman face off against Lord Recluse, and did anyone ever criticize HIM for not bringing Recluse in?" "Really? Man, that IS rough. Anyway Second, she’s been in my mind. She knows stuff and can do stuff. If she detects even the slightest hint of betrayal, and I’ll wake up finding I just spent the last 6 months singing karaoke in a furry-themed hostess club halfway around the world." "Well, she might’ve read my darkest fears." "Is it really up to you to judge what should and shouldn't be in my darkest fears?" "It’s up there." "I don’t really KNOW what she had access to. I’m not taking any chances." "That’s why I’m in Salamanca. I took the rail to the farthest destination before even THINKING this. " "HELP her. Just use that. (mutters to herself) helphelphelphelp. No, that’s not her mind manipulation, I just need to write over those thoughts. " "Look, she’s obviously messed up, but who isn’t? I was a victim of my powers too- not to the same extent, but I totally made a mess of things, too. People HELPED me. YOU helped me." "Maybe putting an impressionable MIND READER in a prison for the CRIMINALLY INSANE wasn’t the best way to help." "I dunno- I’ve NEVER READ HER FILE!" "Look, I just need to know what she’s done, how she was caught, and what her treatment was in the zig. I need to know how to… work with her." "Y’know, it might not be all-bad- having a telepath looking for the dagger of jocas could have its benefits." "I didn’t tell her!" "I don’t think she HAS a plan for it. I get the impression that she picks up on things around her sometimes. With everyone fretting over it, it’s on a lot of minds." "IF she gets it- I dunno, maybe we surround her with bunches of people that want to retire to an isolated island getaway… or want a milkshake… or something, and then when that sinks in we just offer to trade?" "It might work..." "Well, it’s not like possessing the dagger will amplify her powers or anything… Will it? I kinda skimmed the book. " "Ok, work on getting me that stuff. Don’t mail me. I probably need to change all my passwords. I’ll be in touch." "Oh, and is there any chance you can validate my PTA ticket to Salamanca as official business so I can get reimbursed?" "How about if I go punch someone while I’m here?" "Great." "Could you… could you sign me up for the next job fair? I think I’m gonna need to pick up some side work." "Thanks." "Bye." -------------------------------------------- On the rail back from Salamanca, Tabby had a terrible idea. A worse-than-terrible-idea. The kind of idea that only a catgirl would consider a good idea. According to her unnamed contact, her old phone was bugged, probably by Longbow, which means they think she knows something. Also according to that contact, at least one of her potential contacts is out-of-commission. She didn’t know if they were STILL tracking the phone, but bet they were. She still had a few potential contacts in Vanguard- Her short time at the Vanguard base didn’t leave her with the best impression of the organization. Neither group seemed likely to be very open or truthful with her, and even if the Vanguard contact did want to impress her, guys lie all the time to impress girls. ...If only she could stage a meet-up with her Vanguard contact- that’d probably draw any Longbow tails into following her. ...And if only she knew a telepath that could hide nearby, detect them, and pry for the truth. Those were big if’s, but she had very little else to go on. She plugged in and powered up the compromised phone, then logged in to yet another Naughty Neko account. None of the posts Misosazai had taken of her totally dominating the Warriors had a single upvote. Except one- an obviously-altered-in-an-unflattering-way pic taken right before she landed a double-palm shot to a slasher’s groin. *oh, look! it's animated. God, I hate these guys* She flipped back to the shots of her in the Vanguard base. There were 3 of them, so she took the person with the most active login date and sent a tell. Tabby stewed on that. The last thing she wanted to do was give these assholes more material, but she really needed someone inside Vanguard to get the full story on this rogue faction. Maybe he was even IN the rogue faction, which would be awesome, so she needed to be careful. Finally, she went to the bathroom mirror, held out her hand in classic middle-finger-salute, snapped a closely-cropped picture of just that hand, and hit “send.” A few minutes later he replied with a pic of an appendage of his own- not the same as she had shared. *I should have seen THAT com… no, bad phrasing. I should have expected that. This was a mistake. I should just walk away, but I NEED a contact. What to do? Reject him, for sure, but is that swipe left or right. What if I get it wrong? No, not risking confusion there.* She texted back. She logged out and shut off the phone. *Now, I gotta just clear my mind before reaching out to Psychlone and getting her buy-in. Hope she hasn't gone TOO far.*
  5. Brickstown Nighttime Tabby and Psychlone (Collaboration) Moving through the shadows of Brickstown used to be easier, but with the riots going on, most of the shadows seemed occupied by one seedy sort or another. Not long ago, that was driving Tabby to use the streets, but she was in a particularly sour mood now, so she relished in a chance to knock some of those shadow-dwellers into the light. With prejudice. Today she'd tapped out her monthly food stipend, went deeper in debt for a new phone, will now need to get ANOTHER new phone, and learned that her great solution for the dagger of Jocas ended up being a dead end. She SHOULD be really proud of how she looked when fighting the Warriors, but she got there too late to help the kidnapped heroes and couldn't find out ANYTHING to help rescue them. She was a failure . This was NOT going to be a good day. Landing on the rooftop of a warehouse, she saw two stunners crouched in the shadows watching a single PPD officer pass by, waiting to pounce. She slid down behind them, energized a blast to one's backside, then a series of strikes to the second. They never even had a chance to hit back. It didn't make her feel any better. Her belly grumbled. The all-night pizzeria should be right ahead. Normally she'd call for delivery, but no phone, till she could buy a new one. Normally she'd pay cash, but that was in short supply, and since she's gonna have to use the charge card again anyway for a friggin phone, getting some food seemed a rather trivial goal. Unfortunately, she couldn't call it in. She stuck to the shadows, hoping to find the place as empty as possible. It wasn't. Two PPD officers standing completely still, unfocused looks on their faces, while an employee, similarly blank, puts a few slices into a cardboard pizza box. Of course, of more immediate concern is the woman practically bouncing with excitment at her future meal. Pale, shaven-headed, a short, thin, slip of a thing...But wearing a hi-vis orange Zigursky jumpsuit, under what definjitely appears to be an unbuckled straitjacket. "Seriously, do you have any idea how long it's been since I had a pizza?" The cashier, naturally, doesn't respond, not that it stops the woman from continuing. "How long was I even in there...Time flies, I guess." It was pretty clear to Tabby that this wasn't just cops playing favorites and giving a captured prisoner a square meal before returning to the zig. Then again, she might be some high-security criminal chemotherapy kid getting a wish granted... hard to tell, but unlikely. Her first impulse was to duck back around the building and call for help, but that was thwarted by the bricked phone. Impulse #2 was to try to flag down one of the heroes helping with the riots, but she'd more likely draw attention from anyone still in the shadows. Impulse #3 was always the worst impulse. It was time to get involved. She fished an empty pizza box from the trash, brushed it off, then barrelled in to the door, trying to position herself between the hostages and the prisoner, ready to move at the first sign of hostility "I'd like to talk to the manager! My order's all wrong!" The woman turned around, eyebrows raised. "Hello, who're you?" Granted, it didn't sound hostile, just curious. More alarming was the fact that the woman's mouth hadn't moved at all, nor could Tabby be certain she was actually literally hearing it. Tabitha had a momentary mind-freeze as it sunk in... well, a prolonged mental Fuuuuuuu- a frickin telepath!---uuuuuk. After far too long of a pause where she looked at the girl, the cops, and the door, she decided she had to answer... or was that someone compelling her to answer... or was that just paranoia... or was it the telepath wanting her to think it's paranoia. "I'm an idiot. I mean Tabitha. Uh.... crazy night to be out isn't it?" "You're the Cat!" She suddenly broke into a grin, then continued, talking rapidly, the words spilling from her without thought or pause. "I saw you! Well, not saw you, saw you...I think one of the cops did though? He keeps throwing that out like it's on a loop, but they said it had something to do with that dagger, and I was all 'hey, I'm interested in the dagger' and now you're here, and you could just be a hallucination, that happens sometimes, or you're here to stop me from thinking." She paused, the silence almost deafening after the stream of babble. "You're not here to stop me from thinking, are you?" Tabitha's first thought was *no, actually, I'm just trying to get myself to think MORE* but figured someone might volunteer to help her, so she scratched that idea. "No, um... thinking is good. I usually encounter people that don't think enough, so it's kinda refreshing. I was just worried that these other people weren't being allowed to think either. It... um... " she tried to think of a nice way to speak on the girl's level, "it seems kinda mean to do that to others." She looked at the officers and the cashier. "I mean, workin retail's tough enough, don't you think?" At the same time, she eyed the door again. *I'm so gonna get my mind fried. so gonna get my mind fried. Please don't make me talk lolcat or anything. Dammit, stop thinking!* "Lolcat?" She tilted her head, like a dog who just heard an odd noise. "And I guess, I just wanted Pizza." She shrugged. "And the dagger. Can you tell me about the dagger? Please?" Tabby cringed at the repeat of lolcat. *Yup, she's in my mind. here comes making every r sound a purr and ending sentences with meow. My life is over.* "Um... ok, but why don't we get the pizza and sit down and maybe let the nice police and cashier... um... rest? Then I'll tell you all I know about the dagger." *which ought to take all of twenty seconds.* "I've been jonesing for pizza too." "I can do that." The trio of hostages suddenly dropped, falling to the floor. Did she just...No, Tabby could hear them snoring. The escapee slid up a chair...Without touching or even looking at it...And sat down. *Well, they won't be able to send reinforcements* Tabby thought as she grabbed the pizza box that the cashier had been filling and took it to the table nearest the chair, opening the box as if presenting a box of jewels for scrutiny. "Grab it fast. It's hard for me to not get hair in everything." "Yeah, fur gets everywhere. And people always stare and want to take pictures for some reason." ...Did she just... She apparently didn't see anything odd about her statement, just eating a slice while looking at the Hero. Tabby grabbed her own slice from the box- she'd pay later, maybe, but really, they should be thankful she's helping defuse the situation. "So, the dagger of Jocas? It's this really old really dangerous artifact that could... well, it could hurt some really powerful stuff, like one time it was used to trap away someone claiming to be a WORLD DESTROYER. That dangerous. It could also be used for good stuff, like magically fixing my fur problem... and tail problem, and you get the idea. Anyway, someone stole it, and then someone else pretended to steal a copy of it." She paused for a few bites, got sauce and cheese in her whiskers, but didn't seem to notice. "Exactly. I want it." The woman says, casually. "We could work together!" She perks up, then frowns. "...No, you want to stop me." "What? no! I... um... well, I want it too, but I dunno. What do you want it for? Maybe we could share? The important thing is to get it away from bad people." She thinks back to the odd comment about the pictures and tries to really sell this hard to herself, hoping it could in some way bleed over. "You want the dagger, I want the dagger- a LOT of people want the dagger. We're all gonna argue over the dagger... eventually... but the people that currently HAVE this dagger? They really shouldn't have it. We... We can agree on that, right? *pleasedon'tfrymybrain*. "Of course they shouldn't have it. I should have it." She said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Ok, well, THEY have it? And I can't even find them. Can you?" "I could..." She put her slice of pizza down. "But do you want to stop me from thinking? They did." She nodded at the unconscious cops. "A lot of guys are scared of women that think. Doesn't mean they can stop us." "I could keep an ear open. Eye open. Brain open. Might get back to you. You seem alright, even if your inner monologue is very rude." "Yeah, I'm constantly fighting with that thing. It's rude to me, too." she shrugged, then looked side to side. Look, the cops... they're not trying to make you stop thinking right now. You can let everyone here go." "Well right now they're asleep..." She moves to stand. "I don't have to erase anything do I? I really don't want to go back." "I... I get it. I was in placement for four years and that was a lot better than where you were. I have no idea what you did to get there, but I'm in no position to stop you. Just... remember, people are scared of women that think- doesn't make them bad, just creeps. Try not to give them something to justify their fears. " She sniggered. "You sound like the doc." Tabitha remembers back to Sister Agatha- her doc, "yeah, sounds like my doc, too sometimes." She wipes her hands on a paper napkin, then says. "Look, I'm kinda between phones, but I'm guessing you know how to get ahold of me, already, right?" "One second." There was an odd sensation, and frankly rather unpleasant. Like static feedback screaming through a speaker, a vibrato whining on the edge of hearing. Tabby got the distinct mental image of fingers raking through her mind and memories. Then all of a sudden, it stopped. "Now I can." "Well, umm... ok." She wasn't happy at all with the intrusion or the sensation, but since she'd already assumed that her mind was picked clean, she decided to take it as a win and let this end with a joke. "I don't know how far back you went there, but ignore that whole emo crap when I was 14. It was a phase." "Your what now?" "Perfect. Now how do I get ahold of you?" "Just think about me and I should pick it up if you're in range. I left a note in there, so I can tell the meat from the static." She tapped the side of her shorn skull. Tabby's eyes widen at the thought. *Ohboy, not only do I get to be paranoid of photos, but of accidentally broadcasting thoughts to an audience, now* "You don't need to worry about that. Probably. Not unless we're real close." Of course she picked that up. "Aaaaanyway. I'm gonna take this." She snatched the pizza box, holding it close, possessively. "You better head out. I'll make sure nobody takes advantage of our sleeping beauties." "Oh, it was Tabby, right?" She paused on the threshold of the door. "I prefer Tabitha, but everyone calls me Tabby, even my annoying inner dialogue. And your name is...?" She thought for a moment, a rather long moment, a confused look crossing her face, then. "Psychlone." With that, she left the restaurant, the civilians starting to stir almost immediately. Tabitha got up, stretched, and walked over to the cops, helping them regain their bearings. "Guess she got the drop on all of us, eh, guys? Hungry? That kinda thing takes a LOT out of you." and to the confused cashier she hands out her credit card., "Look, I got the pizza covered, but I can't cover any damages."
  6. Talos Island Tabby Of course, Tabitha's phone buzzed at the least inopportune time- she hadn't had it long enough to figure out all the bells and whistles- like muting all the bells and I-hope-to-god-there-are-no-real whistles. She had just snuck into place with a particularly scarred up hewer who also heard the buzz and turned to face her while she was still mid-cast. What could she do? She smiled innocently, cut the energy-build-up early, and shoved right below the belt buckle. *Note to self: Almost as effective from the front as the behind. May need to re-evaluate retiring this move.* As the hewer crumpled and curled into a tight fetal position, she checked her phone. "Hold that pose, please, this might be important." "F**k! .... What? No NoNonononononononono" (fizzle), "Goddamn, this hero thing doesn't pay." She squatted down in front of the the warrior. "Lemme guess, You don't know anything about the selling off of kidnapped heroes. You don't know what part of your group arranges that stuff, and you've never been directly involved like the others, right?" He sqeaked something in the affirmative. "Ok, if I find out you lied, next time I'm not gonna use claws." Her belly grumbled loud enough for both of them to hear. He flinched. "This is going nowhere. Tell your friends that this is just the start. Until everyone's release and recovered, NOBODY sleeps safe." She turned away, frustrated. Nobody was talking about the kidnapped hero trade- well, beyond bragging that they'd captured some. They wanted to share the glory, but none of the intel. She was tired, hungry, and with her phone bricked, she was already suffering the early effects of internet withdrawl. Her whole plan to recover the Dagger of Jocas was an epic failure. She needed time to rethink- preferrably with some food- and without her phone to look things up for her, the only place she could think of was a pizza joint in Brickstown.
  7. Talos Island After the events of "Whatever Happened to the Warrior" Misosazai and Tabby The strange turns in Misosazai’s life just kept getting stranger. How else could she explain leaving in a warrior warehouse with a catgirl and a hero-hunter carrying a bunch of maybe-magical knickknacks. A hero-hunter that apparently knew more about her mom than she did. She’d had a few days to recover from her last encounter with the warriors. Meditation and biofeedback only go so far- her ribs were still somewhat sensitive with dim green and purple bruising still fading away, but the shiner and split lip were nearly gone and a distant memory. Even the slice on her arm was crusting over slightly. *Mom knew her stuff, I guess* Before the events of the past few days, she hadn’t used the techniques for anything worse than a sprain or bruise, but things did seem to be progressing much faster than they normally would. Someone with an ounce of sense would have shied away from the Warriors after that rather than go hunting for a rematch. Martial combat had been part of her life since she’d been in diapers- something had been off with the way they fought and the results they got with them. I ate at her and she wanted to expose them as cheaters in some tournament. Magic artifacts or not- if you want to be the best, you don’t resort to gimmicks. Yeah, it sounded strange to be hunting them for “cheating” in street warfare, she had to admit, but no stranger than her partner in this raid. The catgirl- Tabby- just said she was trying to impress someone, and that someone held the warriors in high regard. She needed to be seen as better than them. Heck, she even asked M to stay out of a few fights just to take pictures of her besting them. *Some girls do crazy things to impress guys, I guess. Catgirls are no exception.* She had to admit, though, the furry knew her stuff- better at stealth than anything she’d ever done, and turning more than a few warriors to writhing piles of pain and profanity with a single well-placed strike. She was a bit taken aback when she realized that the potent technique wasn’t based on anything more than an inappropriate Japanese kids’ prank. *Cats do love to play with their prey… it probably goes double for catgirls. Not enough to beat them, she had to humiliate them. I just hope whoever she’s trying to impress is into freaky stuff, because she’s a special kind of weird.* Between her own showboat style of combat and the catgirls’ sneak attacks they had made short work of the warriors together, and that was even before they ran into Crimson Revenant. The Revenant had called her Kirasu. Her mother’s name. Said he’d thought rumors of her death were overblown. “Was wondering if I’d ever face with one of South America’s Five Knives. Two, if the rumors are accurate. What’s it been? Ten? Almost twenty years since you abandoned that fight?” After studying her a bit longer, he recognized her error, “No, you’re her whelp, aren’t you?” then paused with a strangely sincere “Condolences on your loss.” During the conversation Tabby had been maneuvering into position to send Crimson a very special present, but she’d waved her off. Crimson Revenant didn’t even turn to face her when he added, “Careful cat. I’ve tamed the Tigress, I’ll do more than that to you. Tabby seemed to ready with a retort, thought better of it, started again… stopped, and then moved to position herself against the next Warrior patrol. It was a strange trio but the three of them swept the warehouse clear, uncovering stolen valuables from the raid and a strange cache separate from the others. One of the warriors was kind enough to explain, enthusiastic, even, once Crimson Revenant suggested he could give the catgirl some pointers to make her sneak attack more potent using the warrior as a practice dummy. He’d much rather talk to keep the catgirl away from his backside: Odysseus had a new relic- some sort of Tarot card deck, and it was believed that the stuff in the reliquary may somehow power the deck further… or the deck would activate the relics… or something of that nature. It wasn’t entirely clear, except that keeping those things away from the deck would be in everyone’s best interest. He also shared that they’d captured some heroes during the battle and already sent many of them to be sold off. To Crimson Revenant, this seemed to be disturbingly matter-of-fact and he didn’t bother to stick around to discuss it further, leaving just Misosazai and Tabby. “I… I don’t even HAVE an medical teleporter to malfunction,” Misosazai nervously admitted. “I’m not registered.” The catgirl seemed genuinely concerned, “Ok, change in plans, rather than me take these relics to the midnighters- YOU haul it and your ass to city hall and give them to MAGI, then get your ass registered, kid.” Misosazai refused- she was too afraid of being wisked away by the system, out of the city and back into foster care. It was still possible that Ryk was out there. She wouldn’t give up on him, nor would she give up on the fight she found herself in now. After a few heated minutes, Tabitha gave up. “Fine, then take mine. I'll deliver the relics, report my teleporter broken, and get another one. Just… just be careful and try not to use it. I’m not sure if that thing’s tied to any biosignature or anything, and you don’t want to wake in the hospital with cat ears and a tail.”
  8. I actually have MORE trouble bringing in characters tied to the lore, honestly. The whole "tying in-game events to real dates in the real world" part of things. I had heroes that BECAME heroes during the events of the first rikti invasion that i made a long time ago but never got to develop as characters in RP. I want them to be struggling with adapting to the new responsibilities-- but in the timeline, that's far in the past. Retcon to the loss of galaxy city. which the in-game experience suggests is more recent, and that's treated as several years ago too.... guess it's time for InsertGenericRandomEvent rather than tying the characters into the game. I think this is part of why I have so little emotionally-invested in my stable of RP characters. They've all had their ties to in-game material minimized to be hand-waved away, if needed. None introduce a detailed backstory that ties heavily to the lore. None are veteran heroes who would have experienced more of the lore or been established as a hero in the community. Most, actually, arise from the bit characters that I made years ago for pen-n-paper NPCs and that were designed specifically to NOT be in the spotlight.
  9. Brickstown Tabby's Apartment Building 1830 “Effin battery” Tabby cursed to herself as she navigated the streets of Brickstown. Normally, she’d be running through the shadows, jumping from shadowy corner to rooftop to poorly-lit alleyway just so she’d be avoided. Today, though, every one of those spots seemed to be occupied by one crime faction or another, lying in wait for something. Staying on the sidewalks was far less likely to draw attention. Normally, she’d use the fire escape to slip into her room, but she caught sight of a silhouette moving under it and opted for the stairs this time. Today, the stairs seemed a more prudent option. She glanced over at the mailbox to see if the sign had changed. Still “Tabby- Alli Kat.” *Still gonna be the butt of that joke.* The mailbox door seemed slightly ajar, though, and she didn’t even need a key to open it. She nearly fell backward seeing the toy truck’s packaging and receipt. She’d paid cash, *nobody could have traced it back to me unless they were wa… * She read the note… well, the first line at least. It’s really difficult not to panic when someone tells you not to. It’s even harder not to look around. She very stiffly gathered up the mail, kept her head facing directly forward, and sidestepped to the stairwell, unlocked the security door, and climbed them with all the grace of a robot until clear of view, then ran to her room, safe. Wait, no… there’s another note taped to her door. They made it this far too? “To Our Little Grey Girl Garfield” Mrs DeMocco. Geeze, that lady was was saccharine sweet and nothing but friendly to the neighbors, but her choice of term of endearment for Tabby couldn’t have hit a more raw nerve. That, and her touchy-feely-friendliness, trying to pet her like she was some sort of cat. She never just left a simple note like a post-it. She reused pretty-pictured greeting cards with the original message crossed out. This one, for example, seemed to originally be for a Bar mitzva. Not only did her nickname constantly reference her diminutive size and catgirl status, but GARFIELD? Come on- a male orange grumpy striped cat? What’d they even have in common, aside from stripes? She grumbled incoherently to herself and opened the card. She was just too much. “Making lasagna this weekend. Make room in your freezer for two trays.” God, she adored that woman. She’d run an Italian restaurant in this town for decades. When she was nervous, she still distracted herself with cooking, and when she was REALLY nervous, she reverted back to her restaurant-sized batches then shared them out to family and friends. With most of her kids and grandkids now out-of-state, her neighbors often got phone calls of “guess what? you’re getting two dozen cannoli! I ran out of space!” at odd hours of the day. Night too. Living this close to the zig made Mrs. DeMocco very nervous very often. She did a little dance in the hall before going inside. Her fridge was so empty she’d considered unplugging it to save the electricity. Should she tell Mrs Democco she could take more than two? Oh, right! The other note! She read it over. Then read it again. She’s being tracked through her phone? Ditch the phone? Ditch it and use what? Buy another WITH WHAT? *This heroing gig is really not good for my pocketbook*. She suppressed her first impulse ( to take a pic of the phone and message her friend RT to see if that crap’s possible). Her second impulse too (to ask her digital assistant where she could buy a burner phone). Instead, she let the phone power down and buried it away. She pulled out two pre-approved credit cards from the pile of mail- just in case one didn’t work, and headed off to the nearest corner store to get one of the prepaid phones. It was hard to NOT worry about being watched though. She did her best to leave the same as she came in (walking more robotically than a nemesis automaton) and tried to behave as naturally as possible, but natural didn’t come to her easily, and her mind kept going over parts of the note. *Make me collateral? I kinda hope my note-writer meant that as a warning- that LONGBOW wasn’t afraid of making me collateral damage, not a threat (“I’m not afraid to make you collateral.”) For that matter, I kinda hope they DO mean collateral damage and not something like using me as partial payment for the dagger… I’ve seen that kinda stuff in the fanfic before and I didn’t think to check if the authors were with Longbow or Vanguard or whatever.* She was overthinking, to be sure. Only so much could fit on the back of a receipt. That explained the wording. That was all this was. Or was it. Is that what someone in the spy trade wanted her to think? Is that what she was doing? It was gonna be a long walk to the meeting point.
  10. Atlas Park, Atop the Atlas Statue 1545, Tabby, The afternoon sun was always the best. The way it envelops the fur with a golden glow, yet low enough in the sky that it lacked noon’s harshness. Up here, atop the Atlas statue, with the bustle of the world below her… she could just melt. Just fade away, lost in the luxury. She could even forget about her belly grumbling and the fact that even ramen noodles broke the next week’s food budget unless she found a buyer for a barely-used remote control car that was now packed in her backpack. She heard the phone vibrate- an email. She didn’t want to move. Couldn’t. “Ok, CreyTek, play last message” “be aware cancel meeting, possible snipers. You'll hear from me.” SNIPERS! Where? At the meeting place? At Talos? DID THEY FOLLOW ME HERE? Who? No, she was overreacting. Nobody would even know she was here unless… she pulled open the Tabby Tracker. Yep. Video footage circling her basking under the sun. The post claimed to be drone footage, but she caught a hint of cape at the edge of a few frames. Some super had submitted this for the daily free pizza prize. Great. But no. the meeting was cancelled. They wouldn’t have any reason to track her here. Her contact’s worried about snipers at the contact site. Outside the midnighter entrance. For a meeting at 9:30 tonight. That’s not exactly a quiet time on a college campus. If she wasn’t there for the meet-up, someone else might be there and get mistaken for the contact. Somebody uninvolved could die. She dialed her work-study supervisor, but nobody answered. She left a Voicemail, “hey, it’s Tabitha. I can’t explain, but please don’t let anyone near the steel canyon campus entrance tonight, 9-10. It… could be dangerous. umm... bye” Now, she could lie low and feel safe, unless curiosity got the best of her. Curiosity got the best of her. She bounded down from the atlas Statue, half cat-landing, half slowing her descent via spell, and darted under the balcony at city hall. She stashed her backpack there, keeping only her phone (in a shoulder wallet) and one earbud on her. “Or… I could sneak around Steel Canyon and see if I can figure out where the snipers may be. I bet there are only a few buildings able to see that entrance from a distance, and stealth IS my specialty.” Well, stealth and slamming concentrated blasts of arcane energy point blank into a bad guy’s backside, but she was trying to cut back on that- but maybe tonight will be an exception.
  11. Talos Island, Big Hill Next To The Tram 11:46 Tabby The email notification came in even before she caught her breath. She’d have laughed at the irony of where she was being sent if she wasn’t so damn tired. She opened the backpack and pulled out he car’s original packaging. “All this trouble… for that. Let’s get you back in the box, returned, and then grab some grub and maybe a nap. Won’t get any sleep back at Brickstown, though, but it might be a good day to catch some rays atop Atlas…” She was so focused on reassembling the box that she didn’t see the toy car roll until it picked up momentum, racing down the hill toward the busy street below, far too advanced for her to have any chance of reaching it. The string of profanity won’t be repeated here. Just use your imagination and then multiply it by ten. Then, as the tiny truck bounced off the curb and moments before certainly being crushed, she triggered a translocation spell- her FIRST translocation spell- she’d been researching it ever since she found herself stranded on a dead ferry- and she caught the car, pulling it back to safety. “Yes. YES! I… I DID IT- it worked. Holy crow mother of dog it worked. Something FINALLY went RIGHT. OH I LOVE YOU you stupid toy.” She started singing, “I’m gonna get to return you… I’m gonna have money for groceries. I’m gonna be able to eattt!” She broke out a little dance, disturbing quite a few passers-by and totally missing it when a gust of wind carried the box and receipt away and out of sight.
  12. Talos Island, Big Hill Next To The Tram 11:44:33 Tabby Tabby did her best not to trip over her disguise. The baggy jeans, hoodie, and mask was originally chosen to minimize pressure against her fur while hiding as much of her catgirl-ness as possible. It didn’t really succeed at either, instead just transforming her into an uncomfortable clumsy mess with a cat tail working free from the pants, lumps that were clearly cat ear’s, and lots of muffled profanity under the mask. Still, it was all she had available on such short notice. She practically took the janitor’s closet door off the hinges to make it out of the Midnighters’ in time to go shopping AND make the rendezvous. The little remote-control car had sapped away what was left of an already-miniscule food budget, so she really hoped she could get the darn thing in the original packaging and return it after all this was through. Still huffing and puffing through the mask, she stopped, dropped her backpack on the grould, placed the car beside it, and held the remote in her hands. *Batteries! I forgot the goddamn batteries.*
  13. Midnighter’s Club Two Days After “The Incident” Tabby “Keep it cool. Tabby, Keep it cool. Play normal. “ She paced furiously- or as furiously as she could there wasn’t much room for pacing in the Library’s custodian’s closet, but her artifact/nap room was under guard now and she needed somewhere to hide. The fur from nape of her neck to her tail was a full ridge now, her tail was bristled to triple its normal width. It whipped about, slamming into the walls of her small confinement with a thunking that was sure to wake the dead. “Breathe in, Breathe out. Wax on… wax off. Focus. Find your happy place. Find your happy place!” She turned back to the book she’d left propped on the mop sink, “Crafting the Dagger of Jocas.” It was here all along- exactly what she needed- and she’d been too stupid to notice. More than one of the mages she’d consulted told her that she was an amalgam of essences- that her path to a cure was to excise the parts of her that weren’t the original Tabitha Lachann. Well, there’d been more than that, sure, but that was a big part of it. *This is it. It was right here with me, and it was STOLEN.* Worse, it was stolen from the archives. On the first day of Tabby’s student work-study, she’d been told DO NOT GO IN THERE probably a dozen times… which was rude on a number of levels, like they didn’t trust her. Since she quickly learned that most of the stuff that fascinated her about that job was in those archives. she’d spent practically every unsupervised moment back there. And now they’re probably going to be going through security footage, recording every transgression. They’ll realize she’d been trespassing. They’ll fire her and she’ll never be allowed in there again and then she’ll lose her best lead on a cure and then she’ll get expelled and that’ll be a violation of the terms of her release and… and… “Oh, God, I’m gonna puke.” No, there was only one way out of this mess: she needed to recover the Dagger of Jocas. That way, they’d stop looking at the archive access, she’d have access to the scalpel she needed to cut of the non-Tabitha parts of her once she learned how to detect them, and she might even get credited to her community service for such a heroic recovery! It was the only way! Mission defined, resolved set. Now she just needed a plan. Gathering information made sense, but unfortunately, she didn’t have many contacts. The downside of her plan to “lay low until I get cured” was that she really didn’t interact enough with anyone to consider them a trustworthy contact. Of course, the other downside of her plan was it failed miserably when meme-worthy pics, video, and even audio clips went viral, turning her into an unwilling internet star… at least in some dark corners of the web. The great contradiction: she didn’t know anybody, but everybody knew who she was. (Well, everybody WEIRD, it seems. The notoriety didn’t help her at all with the important stuff, like selecting next semesters’ classes…) BUT Maybe that was enough…. Tabby opened her phone and navigated to NaughtyNeko.org’s Tabby Tracker. She saw that the pic of her fighting the carnies with the caption, “It’s not a party till naked catgirls are on the dancefloor” won the monthly prize, but that didn’t matter right now. Flipping through previous submissions, she found what she wanted- uploads of her short visit to the Vanguard command center. A bit farther back, and some from her time in Fort Trident. She had contacts that knew her in both Vanguard and Longbow! She just didn’t know them! Bonus- their uploads proved they were already lax on security. Just a few PM’s away. She logged in under an old pseudonym “notACatgirlButIStalkOneOnline” and thought to click through and do a bit more investigation into her potential leads, making notes as she went. A flamewar in one had @tightsFromLA claiming to have a Longbow rank as captain. Promising. Fanfic attributed to @FurFreak27, though, put him on the block list. “5 more to research…” Then she noticed the frenzy of new posts down in the non-catgirl “sightings” thread. It was usually pretty dead, given the forum’s specialized focus, but something had caught the community attention. Some post purportedly from the dark web of a new female Power, some “Burnt Feather”. Probably photoshopped. The video had almost as many trigger warnings as @FurFreak27’s fanfic—almost, so she figured it was safe to proceed. She’d seen worse. She was wrong. Fortunately, the Janitor’s closet did have a sink to puke into. Shit. That… that’s a horrible way to go. Thank God that’s Praetoria. I don’t want anything to do with…” her voice trailed off as an idea formed. “That’s the Praetorian Dagger of Jocas. Right there. In her bloody hands. How different could it BE from the one in this world? If Ireturned it instead who would be the wiser? PLUS it means I don’t have to deal with a bunch of pervy furry-loving freaks. She played back the video again and took down the email address. After creating a new dedicated mail account and doing her best impersonation of a battle-focused muscle-head, she hit send. Now, time to kill until I get a response. She’d overheard some voices outside talking about turning the zig to rubble or a sinkhole or something like that. It was muffled and hard to make out, but her apartment was within spitting distance of the zig perimeter. *Not like I’ve got much there. Most valuable thing there is the security deposit. Hope I don’t get cheated out of that.* Still, worth learning more, and if she as going to be taken seriously as someone that could be of value to someone like Burnt Feather, she needed to practice coming across as a real professional, not some nervous student worker. If she just slipped out and approached with the calm confidence of a Midnighter, maybe they’d tell her more. With the perfect plan in place, she gathered up the book and left the clos… DAMN, is the door stuck? LOCKED?
  14. eyes Patti's reaction. yeah, that's about right. Caffeine high today. tried to cover as many tangental "missed connections" as could without making a novella.
  15. Tabby’s Probably-Not-Canon “Self-Conceit” Tie-In Tabby missed out of the whole first round of tasks for the Self-Conceit Story arc. Why? What was she doing? This phone call might hold the answers. ----------------------------------------- Tabby lurched awake to a terrifyingly loud Klaxon coming from everywhere, surrounding her, so powerful it resonated in her skull… deafening … no, it was just the ringer in her earbuds. Stupid phone. “H- hello?” “Yeah, um… hold on.” “No…” “Yes, I should be able to hear the zig alarms from my apartment, but I’m not AT my apartment. apartment. I’m… whereami? I’m at my work-study.” She looked around. More specifically, she was on a makeshift bed hidden behind a crate in the midnighter archives. Magically climate-controlled for optimal artifact preservation also happened to make it a cozy spot for a quick nap- so much so that if she hadn’t had her earbuds in place, she may have been able to follow the faint sound of snoring to another more elaborately-done secret spot occupied by an anthropomorphic rat. “Four Hours! I mean, I know my shift ended hours ago, but I’d been caught up in some research and…” “No, I really am at the work study at the Midnighters Library.” “No, I’m not ‘with someone.’” “Why does everyone ask that?” “Well yeah, statistically speaking it probably is a good assumption with most catgirls. Not me though.” “Hostages? Really? I mean REALLY! Of course, all that. Y’know had to keep a low profile. Let others in a better position work through it, but it’s over.” “It IS over, right?” She peeked out of the archives doors into the Steel Canyon library. The coast appeared clear. Some dangerous looking dude in a brown trenchcoat and a girl- probably her age- in a kickass white mage robe seemed to be engaged with the rest of the midnighters, wrapping things up, so she slipped past them to the exit. “I’m so gonna copy that look once I get human again.” “What? No, sorry, just talking to myself.” “Ok, I’m heading out. They can take care of that. How about I detour over to city hall and you can brief me on the zig thing over donuts?” “No donut day?” “CITY HALL TOO?” “So… did the hostage-taking start before or after the donut delivery? Like, is there a lunchroom full of just-delivered uneaten donuts?” “Ok, fine, I’ll drop it. So, brief me on the Zig.- but if they are there, can you pop a few in the freezer for me to pick up later? ” Darting through Steel Canyon, she came across several mobs of hellions terrorizing the city and heroes rushing to engage them. An Asian girl spouting what appeared to be Spanish profanity taking down one group of arsonists. She seemed to have things under control and was kinda terrifying to watch. Just a building over, a kinda thin mage type seemed to want to talk down the hellions. “Someone’s gonna get flattened. Hold on” … then she saw the hellions listen and follow his command. “Nope, he’s good. Moving on.” “No, he’s mental- I mean a mind controller or something. Not risking anyone doing anything with my head. Never.” “It’s the only part of me that’s not changed, and I aim to keep it that way.” “Last thing I need is some hypnotist making me speak nyancat or start n end every sentence with a meow or something humiliating like that. Not. Gonna. Happen.” “Ok, so back to the zig. Fill me in” “Who the hell breaks INTO a prison?” “Ok, so break into AND break out of. They’re covering all bases there.” “Well, power suppressors aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I was in this bar with them and it totally didn’t suppress my transformation spell at all. Wasn’t just me too.. there was this overly-handsy invisible tentacle guy that tried to impress me with a huge..” “… wad of money. Where was your mind?” “Sorry I asked” “No, I wasn’t drinking.” “I know the rules of my release.” “I’m not on house arrest, you know. I’m allowed to go out on occasion?” “I’m sure you could, but I’m really not interested.” “No, that’s not why I was in a bar, but… ok, thanks. Just… If I do decide to date, I’ll consider going to one of your mixers, OK? Happy?” “Ok, back to the Zig, right? You were telling me about the tunnels…” “What? You need me at Peregrine now? Seriously?” “Portal? No offense, but should I really be your first call for potentially EXTRA-Dimensional incidents? I feel like you should have someone a bit higher on your rolodex.” “Well who were you trying to call?” “Flamb… REALLY, you’d call HER before ME?” “Now, I’m hurt.” “Don’t try to explain it. You’re making it worse. I’m on my way to Talos. “Wait, What was that about the warriors?” “You gotta be effin kidding me!” “Is there any part of the city that ISN’T melting down?” “Nope. Just got texts about a troll raver and a Lusca sighting, so those two are out, too.” “Ok, I’m in the rail, on my way to Talos. If I catch the ferry, I should be eta maybe 20 minutes.”” “Yeah, I hate that thing.” “No, I hate boats, not water. It’s not a cat-thing.” “Grew up along a lake. Swam all the time, but once when I was about six I was playing on an old boat on the docks and it got unmoored. No oars, not that I’d know how to use them. Just stuck out on the lake for hours. Too far out to swim or be heard. It totally scarred me.” “Because I’m not part of any supergroup that would have teleporters to zap you to problem spots..” “Maybe they’ve met their quota on catgirls.” “Look, it’s a trope but it’s true. Every supergroup’s already got at least one temperamental crittergirl with daddy issues and an overactive libido. They don’t need another” “Not that I… I mean, that’s what they SEE when they see me, not that I have… Damn, why couldn’t this monorail car have been empty. We’re hitting the tunnel. I’ll call you back when we get to the other side.” It seemed like forever before reaching the Talos station, particularly with some creepy older dude asking her if she’d like to talk more about her father. She certainly proved the “temperamental” part in the interim, though. “Ok, back at Talos now. Heading to the ferry.” “Look, do you want me fighting Warriors or defending Portal Corp, I can’t be in both places.” “Wait, they’re doing WHAT at the zig? I heard that in the background? My apartment’s near there. Everything I own…” “Yeah, all 75 cents worth of it. Thanks for rubbing it in. Geeze, these streets are practically abandoned.” “HolyFuckWhatWasThat?” “Some crazyfreaky crittergirl just dismantled a bunch of Warriors in the alley. Yeah, I meant dismantled. Warriors.” “I’m wasn’t sticking around to find out.” “Ok, I’m at the friggin Ferry.” “Battery’s low. Gonna sign out. Should be at Peregrine soon, then I’ll check in.” “Don’t Jinx it.” Just as Talos Island became a distant blip on the horizon, the hum of the engne turned into choking gasps. Black smoke belched from deep within the ship and all the lights went out. “Goddamn, she Jinxed it.” Tabby spent the rest of her night and most of the next day trapped on a darkened Ferry with the ship’s captain, two crewmen, and two tour busses of attendees to a hentai otaku convention. They hooked up the bus batteries to a projector and played a marathon of “Neko Neko Ninja Princess” anime against the inside wall of the ferry. Subbed first, then again dubbed. With all the events going on, nobody could be spared to come out and get the adrift vessel. Fortunately help arrived before the “dubbers” vs “subbers” went all lord of the flies on one another. Tabby, for her part, spent most of her time on the roof avoiding all of them, pleading with God for forgiveness for whatever she did to deserve this.
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