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Writing Prompt #12: Defining moments.

Crystal Dragon

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As a normal citizen we go about the day through a usual normalcy. But there are moments that force us to take a closer look at what we are doing, and question whether this will change the world we live in. 

What inspired your character to take on the cape or mask? How did this define them? Was it an event, or personal experience that motivated them?


Crys' taking on the "cape and mask" was sort of accident, truth be told. Her arrival here was something of an unexpected event in her life, and dragged her through five dimensional layers into a dusty, moldy smelling summoning chamber and had immediately attempted to protect herself - she didn't know she had completely laid waste to a novice seer studying an old book and mumbling out phrases unknown to them, nor did she know that it was a human that had called her out between the universes. But what she did know in that moment, was that the person calling her had powerful intentions to enslave the one answering the calling summon, much like one would bind a daemon. Dragons don't make that great of servants, too free willed and often times too powerful to be chained to a single being for long. Especially the kind that Crys' is. That moment was what set her on what Crys' could do to help this city and the world tied to it, she hadn't realized it then, but she knows it now. That spell chamber she had been summoned into? It lays encapsulated by arcane barriers, and layers upon layers of wards to prevent anyone from disturbing the remains of the novice that had called out to her, out of guilt...and out of triumph.

Edited by CrystalDragon
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Cat's ... kind of had her string of them. From becoming a cop, to being blocked while investigating corruption, working with the FBI (and no longer being a cop) to put an end to it, that leading to her meeting Allie and bonding, moving to Paragon and her current situation dealing with several people she cares about having questionable "personhood" status and determining she's going to make *that* right... she's going to be worn out by the time she's in her 30s at this rate, but she'd probably say she could at least look back and be proud.  (And then trying to figure out how she's going to pay rent *now.*)


Pri: Having  her last sets of testing objectives also happening to list her vivisection, inspection and recycling (they wouldn't have loaded *that* into her mind if they'd thought she could actually do anything about it, or cared, after all.) So as soon as she got a chance (and some help,) she broke free... but made it a point to keep those orders.


Rez: Having a nurse realize she wasn't fine, just ignoring the agony she was constantly in through sheer will, putting her name in for an experiemental program that helped her - and gave her the ability to help others - is probably tied or a close second to having a *life* again, and really having it come home by her and her boyfriend having a place of their own to move into.


Ish: Would probably find it hard to decide between losing her family, her time fighting, or being rescued and gaining a new one as "a" defining moment. And now she's learning so much more...

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.


I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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Roboko: After her lack of success in her primary programmed mission of blending in with young people to extract information for marketers, the corporation behind her creation was forced to try and recover some of the R&D funds sunk into her. They decided to make use of her dangerous design flaws and shoddy workmanship to militarize her for Hero duty. This results in a generous tax write-off for the corporation and positive PR. The various Mk's of her body have different characteristics and slightly different powers as a result. Due to low fund allocation towards her development program, she only has enough server resources to run one at a time though. 


Vampire Bro: He has a lax attitude towards "job schedules" and "shift start times" so as a result is unable to hold down his part time jobs for very long. To continue funding his lackluster studies at Cap University, as well as providing his beer/pizza/4loko/xbox/jaegerbombs/longboard/drip money, he started taking "advantage" of the many "opportunities" in the Rogue Isles to earn some cash. 

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I'll start with Chase Arcanum's for once.   Tabby's will take longer (surprise)


For him, it came down to one argument... and the rikti war.


The hero Arkane of the midnight squad had tried to recruit the young college professor when he realized the young man's potential, but after his deployments to the Persian Gulf and his time under the command of the legendary Cole Mackinnon, Chase Miller was ready to return to civilianhood and seek out a "normal life." Chase explained that 'd paid his dues, and was determined to reap the reward- both for himself and for the friends that paid far more but would never have a chance for the same.  Just a few years past legal drinking age, he'd seen, experienced, and felt things nobody should have.  It was time for someone else to pick up the fight.


Arkane offered him knowledge- the surest lure for an academic- but didn't want just another researcher for the effort, he wanted more than that.   Chase consumed the knowledge but seemed determined NOT TO apply it.   In one confrontation, Arkane broke his normal emotionless demeanor to confront Chase, 


"Why did you join the army, Chase- and don't give me the shit that it was for the money.  You could have had any scholarship you wanted.   You did it because you believed- and tired as you are- you still believe.  Someday, maybe soon, maybe years from now, there's going to be a moment and you won't be satisfied with standing back and letting someone else pick up the fight.  You WILL join it.   It's who you are.   The question is, will you be ready enough to do anything more than add your name to the body count."


That was a week before the first Rikti invasion.


Chase helped organize the evacuation of students on the PCU campus and joined in their defense.  He saw his mentor and friend fall in battle.  He saw student heroes- just kids- pick up the fight, disorganized and unprepared as they all were.  He stood with them and did everything he could.   It wasn't enough.  It would never be enough.   He'd learned that day that there is no chance for a "normal life" for believers- There was just remaining vigilant for the next threat, and protecting others from seeing the world he sees.


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Blazed's city appointed attorney suggested it to her. Blazed has never had an easy time controlling her powers - to the point where she has to check all her clothes for a fireproof label (little flame with a strike through it) before she buys - but heroes get training and help supplied by the alphabet agencies (GIFT, in Blazed's case) in exchange for their service to the city. Blazed hasn't actually ended her association with the Outcasts, she works smuggling artifacts for Quickfrost, but she still tries to stay out of trouble and is taking full advantage of what heroism offers her.


Chrono-Bot was designed from the beginning to be willing to wade into danger for the sake of knowledge. They knew they were sending her to one of the eras of heroes, so she was given much more than simple survival coding to help her really explore this time period. For her own part, without curiosity she wouldn't do much heroism (or villainy) at all - everything she does, she does it to add to data. She has no noble higher calling. She's friendly enough people don't really pick up on that amorality. 


Beloved Emily doesn't know why she became a heroine, that knowledge died with her body, but whatever it was was compelling enough that she continues as a ghost, sometimes simply repeating actions she would have done in life to rescue people from muggers and in more lucid moments under her own direction. Whatever Emily was in life, it was someone who cared very deeply about the people of Paragon and she'll continue that in death.


Icestreak just wanted to be someone cool, pun not intended. And it's hard to be cool when you're stealing someone's purse. But if you're wearing a costume? People look up to you then! And if Amped-Up could do it, why couldn't Icestreak? She just wishes Rock-On hadn't joined in too because Rock-On is just... embarrassing. The fact that Icestreak gets a bonus from Quickfrost for every cache of goods Icestreak comes across while going from heroing party to heroing party, well, that's icing on the cake.


Alce wanted to be a hero. A PROPER hero, from the Greek epics. She wanted to do amazing deeds, conquer cities, destroy monsters. All of that. What she did was end up with the Warriors and realize she was basically trapped with a bunch of men who didn't bathe and talked more about honour than actually performed it. She didn't leave them, but after finding herself allied with heroes more than once she started realizing that maybe there was the nobility and honour she'd been seeking. As well as opportunities to become so much more.


Lykossia's heroism came with the body he stole and everyone seems to have 'her' phone number and he hasn't figured out how to cut ties yet, so he has taken up the cape through sheer social ineptitude. It turns out he's pretty good at it, but 'Needlecraft's' old friends aren't sure why 'she' suddenly has powers from the netherworld as well as her plant powers.

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I am @Chrono-Bot! SGs: Girls Gone Rogue Isles, The Helping Hands, The Orange Bagels, Paragon's Perfectly Normal Heroes. Server: Everlasting! See my characters, now with photos, below!




I'm not NOT here to make friends.

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Chelsea went through a rough time after her 14th birthday. The Swimming Pool Incident where she discovered her powers was bad enough, but then she spent weeks locked away in isolation in fear that if anyone got too close to her they'd be electrocuted too. As the tech to control her powers got easier and easier to manage and she was able to rejoin society, she realized if she didn't use her powers to help people, they were just a horrible thing that happened to her and her friends. Now they're a horrible thing that happened to her and her friends turned into something good for her (and her friends), Paragon City, and the world.


Tori is a superhero gadgeteer. The sale of one of her custom order gadgets fell through, and when she tried to auction it off, the only interest she got was from Arachnos, Crey, the Council, the Sky Raiders, etc. So she decided the smart thing to do was to "sell" it to herself and step up as a hero.


Jeni had a superhero webcomic and decided to drum up interest by cosplaying as her main heroine and going around Atlas Park taking on some Hellions and such. She turned out to be good at it, and her blog about her adventures became even more popular than the webcomic.


Cat is the sole survivor of her planet's destruction and her adoptive parents were murdered in front of her. When she was bitten by a radioactive kitten, she decided if the universe wanted her to be a superhero so badly, she should go along with it before she turned green or went blind or something.


Fel just wants the money that SHE WON, FAIRLY AND LEGITIMATELY, back, you GOOD-FOR-NOTHING [unintelligble].

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Playing on Excelsior. Champion forever.

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On 12/19/2021 at 8:59 AM, CrystalDragon said:

What inspired your character to take on the cape or mask? How did this define them? Was it an event, or personal experience that motivated them?

I don't really have a defining moment that first initiated him, but he retired for eight years after the game shut down (from Shutdown to Homecoming, or just about) and was pretty content being a Lumberjack Hermit. Well, lo and behold he catches wind of a doppleganger messing things up in the multiverse. So, for a brief time, he puts on his armor again and helps put a stop to it. Only, he finds that doing good things fills the void he had for eight years. He enjoys helping others, protecting others, and putting bad guys away. His initial thoughts were that he was "far too old for this shit.", but it dragged him right back in.

He's had defining moments that drove him to stay a hero, or stick around - such as the birth of his daughter Emily.

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alright buddy, it's time to shit yourself
casts earthquake, activates dispersion bubble

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((A defining meeting between the Lady Cobra and Rei Mizuni – it marked Emily’s first flirtation with the slippery slopes of vigilantism and may have inspired Rei’s interest in the costumed hero community such as her subsequent “friendship” with the enigmatic Avenging Angel.))

Each and every idol is nothing more than this. All the idols we once obsessed over have disappeared one by one. Who offended the heavens?

 (Wang Fei/Faye Wong – The Last Blossom)

The meeting took place in Mizuni Tower.

Emily Chang was dressed in her full blue, red, white, and golden Lady Cobra regalia and attracted some attention as she strode through the lobby. Despite the changes brought about since Rei Mizuni’s assumption of power, masks, tights, and capes were clearly still not an everyday sight at corporation headquarters.

After presenting herself at the reception, she was led to a futuristic elevator. Almost before the doors had closed behind her, she was launched towards the penthouse with the acceleration and speed of a space shuttle.

Exiting the elevator, further progress was blocked by a figure that would make André the Giant look diminutive in comparison. It had to be the legendary bodyguard, Mouse. For once Emily stood faced with an opponent she did not feel convinced she could take down. Eyes, throat, knees, or balls would probably be her best bets, she thought, but wouldn’t like having to chance on it. Fortunately, the giant was all gentle smile as he bowed and asked her to please follow him.

Rei Mizuni was wearing a simple ivory dress with bare arms and high collar. Emily had seen glossy magazine pictures of her of course, but even the most beautiful ones did not do her actual justice. Normally, the ceremonial Lady Cobra costume gave Emily confidence, but now she felt more like a bag lady.

The young CEO crossed the room like a prima ballerina and executed a perfect combination of a polite Japanese bow and a traditional Thai Waai.

“Cobra-sama – it is most distinguished honor.”

They exchanged courtesies for a while and spoke about their mothers. Emily’s, who still assumed the role of the Lady Cobra from time to time, had worked with the deadly Kumiko Nagasaki on occasion and it was their connection that had allowed Emily to arrange this meeting.

Rei Mizuni directed her towards a beige sofa. A scent of peppermint rose from a steaming tea cup, and Emily had to wonder if it was just coincidence or if Rei had inquired about her preferences. The heiress sat down crossing her mannequin legs and Emily did her best to mirror the elegance of Rei’s movement and posture.

“And now may I ask please, how I may be of most modest assistance for you?” Rei looked at Emily and smiled.

“It’s somewhat….delicate.” Emily paused. “But you know about the new Chang Industries warehouse in Port Oakes?”

Rei nodded and her eyes darkened a shade or two as she waited for Emily to continue.

“William Chang is my…my ex-husband…” She had to pause again.

“I must apologize to say…my impression about Chang-sama is of most unfavorable nature. He is most…how do you say…unscrupulous…business rival.” Rei Mizuni’s eyes were now pure obsidian.

“I know…he…” Emily jabbed a fingernail into her arm painfully in the effort to forget the knot in her stomach and focus. It worked at least a little bit. “I think he is working with Ngo Damh. I think you know about them. My family have fought against this ruthless ang yee  for generations. And now, according to our sources, they are trafficking girls to Port Oakes. Together with W-…together with my ex-husband and to that location. To help those girls, I need access to that warehouse and information about it.”

“Of course, I see.” Rei nodded. “And it is how exactly that I may help?”

“There’s a man…Sawat…he works for William and Ngo Damh. I need to…question him.”

“I see…I think…” Rei shifted position on the sofa, her eyes still sizzling and dark.

“There is a bar he frequents. The Black Hound. I have been working there these last nights as a waitress, to get close to him. I am sure he wants to take me to his private room upstairs, but it is hostile territory and a rough crowd, and I am not completely comfortable about my…um…exit strategy…”

“I am familiar about this establishment. It is the favorite bar for Mouse and more of my men to go, I think.”

Emily nodded. “I overheard Sawat and his friends talk about Mouse. They sounded terrified of him. So, what I was gathering the courage to ask you…”

“You will like to bring Mouse for support, ne?”

“It would be a tremendous relief to have him as back-up. And maybe…”


“I was thinking that maybe Mouse could help…persuade…Sawat to answer my questions? The Lady Cobra does not have a lot of clout there. Mouse does. I wouldn’t normally…but…I must rescue these girls…some of them are just children.” Emily’s gaze dropped and fell to the floor.

“It will be, needless to say, our most distinguished pleasure to help.” Rei Mizuni’s eyes were now flaming. “I will ask Mouse to bring, let me see…Makarov, Matsuda-san, Mbida, and Michel I think…as well, just to make sure the signal is clear, ne. In fact, when I come to think more about this, I rather believe I will fancy to visit that bar myself too. Do you wish we shall come already tonight?”

Emily smiled gratefully, suddenly a lot less weighed down by trouble and worry. Yes please, she thought. Tonight would be perfect. Time was of the essence to rescue the girls, and she was anxious to leave the skimpy waitress disguise and the recurring MeToo moments following in its wake behind her. Khun Sawat could well be in for a very rough evening.

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