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Sometimes, the heroes are busy with bigger things. Fate of the world things. Sometimes, the police have too much on their hands already.

 

Sometimes, investigations go cold and the bad guys get away.  

 

That's when Hi-Caliber Solutions can help! 

 


We're a private firm with a highly skilled staff of investigators who care about tracking down your property, finding your missing loved one, or seeking out that key piece of evidence that can aid in securing justice. Our security division can arrange comprehensive home or business protection services or provide discreet protective details.

 

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Owner

Angelica Timmons

Investigations

 

 

Our Management Team

 

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Sheridan Zila

Security Division 

 

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Aittera Timmons

Missing Persons

 

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Danica Jordan-Irris

IT Operations

 

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Aliyobi

Asset Recovery

 

Support Team

 

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Kelri Irris-Jordan

 

 

We have offices in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. 

Edited by Aittera
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The Beginning

 

 

“When I said you could help me out, I thought you were going to buy some more furniture.” Angel looked up at the stylized sign on the wall behind the reception desk, her expression dubious. 

 

“I know, but this is what you need, and it's not a loan or charity. It's a joint business venture. I provide the space and the office, and you provide--” 

 

“Alex, I'm not sleeping with you again. It was a one time thing. I told you, I'm not looking for a partner. Of any kind.” 

 

Silent partner. Look, I'm going to keep doing the hero thing, which you think is going to get me and my friends killed--” 

 

“It is going to get you kill---”

 

“--AND you're going to keep doing the PI thing alone, which you won't let me help with---”

 

“---BECAUSE I don't need help---”

 

“BUT you're living over that cheap storefront in King's Row, and you're never going to make any money at it the way you're going about it. I saw a business opportunity, and this way, we can both generate leads for each other. There's even an apartment on the top floor, so you can live like a person instead of a...a...squatter.”  

 

Angel glared at the younger man. When they'd first met, Alexander Knight had been an idiot rich boy playing hero who was interfering in an investigation into a simple missing persons case. The 'simple' had become complicated when she'd found her client's son had gotten involved with a major smuggling ring that trafficked in some fairly nasty illegal items ranging from high tech weapons to experimental drugs related to unethical 'augmentation' science. She would have been in far over her head had it not been for Alex. She'd since come to think of him as a friend, but a friend with perhaps too much money and nowhere near enough sense. He lacked the experience and seasoning that might come with a decade of experience, and while his heart was in the right place, if he lived long enough to get that experience, she'd be surprised. As far as she was concerned, the good ones always died too young.

 

“Think about it. If you run across something that's out of your league, you can give me a call," he continued, "and if I run across something that doesn't need super-powered help, I can toss it your way so I know it will get handled by someone who won't let it fall through the cracks.” 

 

“I suppose that makes a certain amount of sense, but I don't see how that turns into a huge facility with more...” She gestured at their surroundings. “All I need is an office, not a—a---” 

 

“A turnkey, state-of-the-art, multitasking operation.” 

 

“Tell me you're not quoting that old tv show.” 

 

“The security division will generate tons of revenue. Think about it. You can take on all the cases that you won't charge for without having to do the cruddy cheating spouse pictures or wasting time on any of that other crap you use to pay the bills.” 

 

“Who's going to work the security division if I'm running around doing those cases?” 

 

“I know---”

 

Don't say you know a guy.” 

 

“I was going to say an amazing, tough-as-nails woman with tons of experience in everything from bodyguard work to hostage retrieval and threat elimination. She'd be a great asset, and I'd trust her with my life. She's perfect for something like this. You'll love her.” 

 

“Former military? No, nevermind. I'll circle back to the term 'threat elimination' in a moment. I already told you, I don't do partners.”

 

“Not a partner. An employee. You'd be the boss.”

 

“I'd be the boss. Of the whole thing?”

 

“You call the shots, top to bottom. I'm just an investor. Your name is on the business license, and you're listed as the owner.”

 

“Alex, you're a sweet guy, but I can't--”

 

“I swear, it's not about sleeping with you. It's about believing in what you're doing, and it's like you said, heroes have bigger fish to fry. It's why Diego fell through the cracks, and there are plenty more people out there who need someone who isn't the police or bound by certain legal restraints.” Alex could see that he was getting through to the stubborn redhead and began to grin. She saw that grin, knew she was losing her resolve, and just began to shake her head slowly.

 

“I hate that I'm thinking about saying yes, but I admit there are a couple of people I could bring in.”

 

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Posted (edited)

“Hello?”

 

“Hey, Dani! It's Angel.”

 

“Angel! How've you been?” 

 

“I'm alright. How about you? School should be almost done, right?”

 

“A couple of weeks, yeah. Need help on a case?”

 

“Well, no, not per say. I'm sort of expanding the business.” 

 

“Did Gary's Bail Bonds move?” 

 

**laughter** “Uh...no, it's still there. A friend of mine had an idea to turn Timmons Investigations into a kind of security firm slash private investigations slash...some kind of merc---I don't know what to call it, so I'm just going with it. We're calling it Hi-Caliber Solutions.” 

 

“Oh that's kinda...that's a dumb name. I mean I get the whole dual meaning behind  'caliber', but seriously, the only way it could be any worse would be if you misspelled part of it.” 

 

“Apparently, the g and h wouldn't fit on the sign.” 

 

**laughter** 

 

**silence** 

 

“Oh crap, you didn't.” 

 

“I didn't! This was not my idea!” 

 

**more laughter**

 

“It's...grown on me actually.”

 

**still laughing** “Yeah, sounds like something Tom would have suggested now that I think about it. How can I help?”

 

“I don't know if you've got a job lined up already, but--”

 

“YES! Wait, no...maybe.”

 

“Those are pretty much the three options there. If it helps you pick one, you won't be a secretary like before. You'd be THE computer chick, full stop.” 

 

“No, I mean yes, I want to come work with you again, but I need one – no, TWO – favors.”

 

“Name them.” 

 

“I want you to drive up for my wedding next week.” 

 

“Way to bury the lead! Where was my invitation before this?”

 

“Oh, we're not having like...a wedding, wedding. More like we had a friend get ordained online, and we're getting together with a couple of friends to be witness-slash-maids of honor. It's a real low-key thing, and we'll have a real one for an anniversary or something when we can afford it.”

 

“Plus your mom doesn't know?”

 

“You know she'd tell me that I'm too young and all that stuff, but Angel, she's amazing, and I've never been this happy. She's super smart, and she's adorable, and she is the best thing that's ever happened to me. You are going to love her. Everyone loves her. I want you to meet her so you can give me the second favor as a wedding present.” 

 

“My blessing as your godmother in lieu of your mother or a job for your fiancée too?”

 

“Okay, three favors.” 

 

**laughter** “Who am I to stand in the way of true love? I'll make it happen. Congratulations, kiddo.”

 

Edited by Kelri Irris
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The four essentials of being a PI, according to Maxwell Timmons, were punching, kicking, drinking, and talking shit. 

 

Angel groaned as she looked over at the empty bourbon bottle that lay among the shattered glass that had once been a tasteful coffee table. “Well, that's one down.” 

 

She pushed herself to her feet with a groan, her head pounding harder with the effort, and found her way to the kitchen perhaps by willpower alone. It had been a while since she'd done something as stupid as attempting to drown herself in a bottle of cheap booze, and she could swear that just made the hangover altogether worse. It was like being out of practice. 

 

She reached for the refrigerator handle to retrieve a bottled water, and several impressions swarmed her senses at once. She was swinging a fist at her sister's jaw, determined to stop her mid-insult, and received a boot to the gut in return that sent her into the wall. There was an overlaying impression from what felt like a lifetime ago with tears streaming down Aittera's face as she tried to tell Angel how sorry she was. And to round it out, another of the smoking wreckage of a council base that the two of them had just managed to get clear of before the detonation of the bombs they'd planted. Each experience played itself out at the same time, and not just sight, but sound, touch, and smell. 

 

Angel wretched and ran for the bathroom. 

 

A few minutes later, she found herself sitting on the cool tile, looking down at the ripped glove on her left hand. It was pretty shitty to experience someone else's memories through her “gift”, but to get a blast that was full on the reason she'd gotten drunk in the first place was just...

 

“A reason for another drink?” she asked the empty bathroom in a gravelly voice, wincing at the volume and harshness of the sound.

 

Punching and kicking. Check. There had been lots of both.

 

She did her best to erect some basic mental protection on her way to the bedroom to replace the torn glove, then spent the next hour getting herself cleaned up and re-hydrated. The unpretentious apartment had only been hers for a few weeks, but clearly, she'd made an impression by way of psychic imprint. She might think of that as impressive, but she imagined it was a product of putting together her “management team” and her determination to make the new company a success. 

 

Aittera was the natural choice for chasing down missing persons cases, especially in those situations where leads were not easy to come by due to things like lapsed time or the desire to stay missing. Her attention to detail and ability to produce a workable – and often accurate – profile on the fly was uncanny. As a hero, she had aided in capturing criminals thought long gone, and luckily for Angel, she had a soft spot for missing kids (which would likely be a large part of their caseload). It was that last angle that she had used to get her sister to the door. 

 

Then, the long overdue reunion had gone pretty much the way she had figured it might go. There was a reason it had been over a year since they'd spoken. Angel had lost her best and oldest friend. Aittera had lost her fiancée and the ideals that came with putting on the cape. Despite the history (and blame) between them, the previous night had resulted in Aittera agreeing to work at Hi-Caliber after a complex negotiating process that involved trading insults, fighting, and an alcohol-fueled pseudo therapy session she could barely remember. 

 

Talking shit. Check.

 

Dad would be proud.    
 

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  • 3 weeks later
Posted (edited)

The sound of a knock at the door drew Angel's attention from the paperwork she had been struggling to focus on. “Come.”

 

The door opened, and her head of security stepped in. Alex's “tough-as-nails”, experienced friend had turned out to be a woman who worked as a bodyguard of considerable reputation named Sheridan Zila, and someone Angel had come to like. She had traveled to Earth from another world – a common enough occurrence in Paragon City with companies like Portal Corp poking around – and her story about her history with a mage and an inhuman lover had come across as a bit lacking, but it had a ring of truth to it that Angel had found entertaining. Some girls had all the luck. 

 

“I finished the security analysis we talked about, and there are a couple of members of your 'management team' that I'd like to discuss,” Zila was saying. 

 

“Let me guess,” Angel replied. “Ali.”

 

“Number one on the list, admittedly,” Sheridan nodded, taking a seat opposite the redhead. “Not that I don't appreciate the use of a thief to catch a thief, but are you sure you want someone with this kind of temperament representing your company?”

 

Angel shrugged as though the question was irrelevant. “Ali's fine, as long as you know the rules.”

 

“You realize her image keeps mysteriously erasing itself from every database we have?”

 

“I have a theory that she found a way to get a virus running loose that somehow sniffs out every mug shot and surveillance photo she's associated with and liberates it from PD records,” Angel said as if the thought itself amused her. In truth, she'd had Dani write such a useful bit of code, but Sheridan didn't need to know that. “Protecting her identity works for us, though. She likes using her little personas in confidence games.” 

 

“She's violent,” Sheridan asserted. “What are the rules? Don't be on the wrong side of her fist?”

 

“Rule number one: No touching without permission unless you want a broken hand,” Angel answered flatly. “I suspect abuse in her background. Which brings me to number two: Don't let her think you might be doing a psych profile of her. I think she had a bad run-in with a shrink somewhere along the way.” 

 

“So, is Aliyobi the only psychopath we employ?” Sheridan was suddenly asking with a grim look. 

 

“Have you met my sister yet?” Angel asked, whether to change the subject or answer the question intentionally left unclear.  

 

“Aittera is the only reason you have paperwork clearing your company to function under a hero organization license. Please tell me you're not suggesting--” 

 

“No,” Angel laughed, raising a hand to stop Zila mid-sentence. “No, I'm just...sure she has her own opinions on who has a screw loose around here. Besides, I thought we were covered on multiple fronts for that angle. My license should still be valid, and then, there's Alex...”

 

“You didn't want to use his license,” Sheridan supplied. 

 

“No, I didn't want to rely on it. There's a difference. Besides, he led me to believe that he could bypass any basic legalities with that whole floor of lawyers that I keep avoiding upstairs.”

 

“Yeah, I'm not comfortable with that part of whatever this business is supposed to be,” the brunette admitted. 

 

“Pretty sure that means you're one in the not-psycopath lane,” replied Angel with a smirk. “You realize that your little ride-along would make you a security risk for a lot of people in your position. How would you like that addressed?”

 

Sheridan's expression soured. “I was hoping that disclosing the existence of the essence of my former associate would be seen as an act of transparency. I signed the papers assuming responsibility for it and intend to keep it under control so that it does not become an issue.”

 

“And my motley little crew of misfits are my problem,” Angel asserted. “Like your ex-boyfriend, they can be managed, and that's something I am confident that I can do. Ali is a thief, but she has a very specific way she sees the world.” 

 

“So, what happens when you want her to recover something she would like to own for herself?” 

 

“She would return it, because she wasn't the one who stole it in the first place,” Angel answered matter-of-factly. 

 

“So, she'll return it so she can steal it herself?”

 

“Now, you're catching on. In Ali's world, the theft is the fun part, not the possession.” 

 

“I'm beginning to think you employ psychopaths because you understand them best,” Sheridan observed in a quiet, almost appreciative tone.

 

“I wouldn't put it past me,” came the boss's response.  

Edited by Kelri Irris

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Interoffice Memo System

 

To: Aliyobi

From: Aittera Timmons

 

It has been brought to my attention that the term "midget" is politically incorrect. Pursuant to getting that reaction out of Kelri, may I suggest "munchkin" instead? I used it in the hall just now, and the look on her face was priceless. Enjoy. You owe me a bottle of whiskey.

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  • 1 month later

Jackson caught his reflection in one of the generic paintings hung along the hallway, noticing a clump of his dark brown hair sticking upward. Scowling, he stopped and lifted his hand to snap his fingers above his head. The rogue hairs fell back into place, and he continued down the hall until he reached the decorative oak doors that marked the entrance to his boss's office. He took a moment to compose himself, then knocked. 

 

Jackson heard a brusque, feminine voice in response to his knock. "Come."

 

Jackson opened the door and stepped in, closing the door behind him. His discerning hazel eyes took a quick inventory of the surroundings before settling on the woman he had come to speak to. "Good afternoon, Ms. Timmons. Jackson Frost, from your legal team. I have some documents that require your signature."

 

The redhead looked up from her desk with keen blue eyes that gave one the impression of being looked through as much as being looked at. "Drew the short straw, I take it?" she asked with a smirk.

 

Jackson could not escape those piercing blue eyes, but countered with a smirk of his own. "It seems you work just as hard at avoiding your legal team as you do with your company ventures. My lack of resistance has started a rather interesting office pool as to how this goes."

 

"Oh yeah? What's the over/under on escaping unscathed?"

 

He cocked his head slightly to the side in thought, "Unscathed?" He chuckled slightly. "Actually, that wasn't an option. It runs the gamut on how, though I have no intention of telling you, as that may give you ideas. I do notice a lack of office supplies on your desk, so having a stapler thrown at me is out, and your contract lawyer has already lost."

 

Angel took a quick inventory of her desk and her eyes drifted to her lap. "Are heels or knives in the pool? I could probably make you a few bucks."

 

"Those would be in the pool,  but why would you assume I'd put my money on something so small and readily available? If you're not throwing something like an office chair or a desk, I'd say it'd hardly be worth the effort of pissing you off."

 

"Are you planning to piss me off?" she asked, amused.

 

Jackson could not resist staring at her that moment, noting how pretty her mouth was, set in that almost smile, and how the humor seemed to make those blue eyes shimmer a little brighter. "As the pool would dictate, that is supposed to be inevitable."

 

"Are you a contract lawyer?"

 

He crossed the space from the door to her desk, offering her the folders he had been carrying. "No. While I do have a few contracts for you to sign, that would not be my specialty."

 

Angel reached for the files, noting the absence of a ring on his hand or a watch on his wrist. "I still haven't decided if I can trust Legal yet. What was your name again?"

 

"Jackson. Jackson Frost. And if trust is an issue, I'd be the type of lawyer that would be the lowest on your list." He couldn't help but laugh. "Though I hardly see why you'd not trust the people in your employ. Or is it lawyers in general you don't trust?"

 

"Well, Jacks from Legal, let me put it this way... I don't recall hiring any lawyers, and there's a whole department of you."

 

Jackson bristled as she used the shortened version of his name. "Well, Ms. Timmons, my research would indicate that you and I shall be seeing a lot of each other. So yes, I expect the likelihood of pissing you off to be rather high. Probably not today, but I've been surprised before."

 

"Smart man, I'll give you that," she smirked, looking through the folders. "Anything that needs to be signed right away?"

 

"Yes. The top one would be urgent. The other two you can look over at your leisure. Mind if I ask what you have against lawyers? Or is it the magical way we just appeared in your company?"

 

"Don't get me wrong, that last one is a bit on the unnerving side, but I used to be a cop, and in my experience, it's rarely a good sign when the suits show up." She signed the topmost document next to the little tags shaped like arrows and handed it back to him. "No offense."

 

"None taken. I can see why you keep that floor at bay. My job would be to keep the other suits out of your.." The scent of her perfume and his proximity to her gave him pause, and he found himself taking a moment to appreciate her beauty, his gaze wandering unbidden to her long red curls. "...hair."

 

The lift of an eyebrow made it clear that the change in his demeanor had been noticed. "How are you with international law?" she asked.

 

"My specialty covers a wide range of categories. Why don't you tell me what it is you need help with, and I'll tell you which lawyer would be best suited to assist you."

 

He watched her reach into a drawer on her left and withdraw a file folder to hand to him across the desk. "Problem with a custody case from Missing Persons. Our agent kidnapped the children back without consulting local authorities."

 

He noted that she was wearing full gloves as he accepted the folder. "Hmm. My specialty would cover that. Exactly the reason I was hired for your firm." He motioned to the chair. "May I?"

 

She nodded. "I promise not to throw anything at you for the first five minutes."

 

He adjusted his slacks before sitting down. "How very generous of you." He studied the documents, a brow quirking when he noticed the name Aittera Timmons. His eyes moved back and forth as he scanned the rest of the folder's contents. "Was the identity of your employee discovered, or linked to your firm's direct involvement?"

 

"If they have evidence, I haven't seen it. But he knows the children are back with their mother."

 

"Is he a citizen of the United States?"

 

"No, but she is."

 

He smiled as he came across a particular document. "And the children are as well."

 

"Yes. To be clear, we were supposed to locate and collect evidence."

 

He cocked his head to the side. "Whose directives were those?"

 

"Mine. It looks like the father has some cartel connections, and I wanted to loop local law enforcement in. My sister made a call based on instinct, and it was probably the right call. It looked like he might relocate again."

 

"So they don't know who did the actual extraction, but they do know you were involved."

 

Angel shrugged her shoulders. "If they don't, it's a matter of time."

 

"If you looped in the local law, I am sure they would be aware by now. I will be on a plane first thing in the morning. As my boss, I need to ask you what methods are at my disposal."

 

"Shouldn't you know that? Aren't you from Legal?"

 

He smiled. "As far as I can tell, you have very little legal exposure from this. I intend to go and find out if the government is pursuing any actions, as well as inquire as to the intent of this cartel and the gentleman in question. Consider the matter handled."

 

"Damnit."

 

Jackson looked up at her quizzically, "Problem?"

 

"Why didn't Legal send you down here sooner?"

 

"Because you have been avoiding us?"

 

"Okay, fair point, but do you know how many staplers I could have saved?"

 

He laughed heartily. "That explains where they all went!"

 

She laughed.

 

He gave her a genuine smile in return. "You know what was not in the pool? Making you laugh."

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