Masks: Birth of Heroes

Fyrefly's Journal 6
What happened....

So Dad finally got out of the hospital…so that’s good. But then he decides to barely say a word to me and he’s already to go back to his ‘job’.

So we finally have it out. I call him out on all the BS he’s pulling and how He’s disappointing me and Mom’s memory, and he fires back with the most common retort every adult seems to have. “You’re just a child, you don’t understand how the world works.”

Maybe not, but I understand how the law works. And I understand right from wrong. And I’m damn sure going to prove to him how wrong he is.

Then things get….intense.

There’s a kid over at Wannamakers. Apparently he can blow things up. But Thankfully he’s not being aggressive towards anyone. I can help this kid out. Send him on a better path. Ivy Libra seems to actually want to help young people, especially after Chance swaying the public towards the idea of a school for young people with powers.

So I land on the rooftop…and then another girl lands…dressed up like ‘Handyman’…..and I’m looking at her…and something weird is happening..cause she stands and moves exactly like Bash, and for some reason I just know…It’s her.

So that’s upsetting. And when I ask her why she’s dressing up like that murderer….she….She asked me “What’s the matter? Daddy doesn’t love you enough?

And I just break…I can’t help but look at her in shock as she would say something like that to me. I thought we were best friends. Why would she say that? Has she been lying to me the entire time? and then something even crazier happens….I just get all of these flashes of her Killing all of these people. Even that MeDIC that had his head ripped off! And It’s just…..too much. I can’t help it. I break down and cry. and She just leaves me there.

Not only that.. She slams out of the building holding the kid and makes sure to toss part of the rooftop at me while I’m curled up crying for my lost friend. What Frog had done was insane….but with him, it could have just been the one incident…we all knew what he did was wrong..we could have helped him see that.

But She’s been doing this for weeks. And she was going to take this poor scared kid off to the Handyman….induct another remorseless killer into his little ranks.

I couldn’t let that happen. This kid had to know the truth. He had to be taught control. The ‘Handyman’ would just use him like a little bomb. Like a weapon.

Just like he’s using her. Oh Bash…I’d hug you if you would ever forgive me. I get it now. Gentleman always treated you like a weapon and a Soldier. It’s what you’re used to…

I paralyzed her. I just panicked. I was boiling with rage, pain, hurt, and fear, and I just lashed out like I did on Sovereign. Leaving her there, paralyzed.

The Kid was scared…but I managed to talk him down…explain the situation….I told him to trust me…to turn himself in…He seemed to want to be able to control himself better anyway.

The cops and press praised me as a hero for what I did.

Yeah….right. Some hero…stabbing her former best friend in the back.

I certainly don’t feel like a hero right now.

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Kamil's (Mental) Diary 14

I’m going to kill her.

Okay, no, I’m not going to kill her. But if I could move right now, there would be serious repercussions.

I never even saw it coming. Up until tonight, I don’t think I would have believed it if someone else had told me what she’d done. I knew becoming a Medic would change her — it would change all of them — but I didn’t think this would all fall apart so fast. I thought we still had time. And I thought that if anyone was going to betray us, it would be HD just because he tends to get so wrapped up in himself that he forgets about the rest of us. FF has always stood up for what is right — and stabbing (punching?) your friend in the back is not even close. I sure as hell won’t make that mistake again.

And, for what? A pat on the back? Having a bunch of scared and incompetent people tell her she’s a hero? I hope you and Chance are so happy together parading around in front of the cameras and playing fetch for the Medics. Don’t worry about all the little people you’ve stepped on — the only thing that matters is that you’re liked, right?

Bitch.

Oh, good. I think I felt my little finger twitch. What the hell did she do to me, anyway? And how did she recognize me? I didn’t even have a chance to say a word to her…

At least I got Frog to TH. Hopefully, he’ll stop him from doing anything stupid. Then again, if Frog were so easy to stop, someone would have managed to do it a long time ago. I wonder what TH will say when he finds out what happened. I know what TG would say: that’s what you get for turning your back on an enemy, Bash — you should have known better.

Guess I should have.

If things had been reversed, I would have protected her. I tried to protect her — why didn’t she leave when I told her to? I always thought FF followed a code — not the same as mine, obviously, but similar enough that I didn’t think she’d do this to me — not for something so petty, anyway. If it had been me, I would have tried to find out what was happening — and even if I had to fight her, I never, never would have turned her in.

Then again, she’s tried to take out TH too.

Damn, I really should have seen this coming…

Well, the next time I see her, I’ll do what I have to do, just like TH said…assuming I can get out of this predicament. I think I can curl my toes now — oh, good, that’s sure to help.

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Session Summary 2

A day or two has passed since our last session. The news is still focused on Frog and his actions at the rally. A lot of the debate in the media has been about Frog as an underaged minor with powers and whether he should be imprisoned or educated (thanks to Chance’s success at the rally.) Ivy Libra has come forward to say she is working to create an education system but that she will be pursuing Frog to the full extent of her ability as a criminal. (Her deal with the Sovereign will hopefully land him in a school rather than prison.) Ivy Libra has also been pushing for a big press release to announce Chance’s recruitment to the Medics. Frank has also been kept busy becoming a ward of the Medics and being integrated into their system rather than going to school. Harvey Rosenstein has also been perusing Mai’s contract with the Medics to make sure she doesn’t get screwed over, and he’s been trying to take advantage of her good PR as well, which means it’s been getting harder and harder for Mai to get her Fyrefly time. (There’s also been a lot of gossip about Chance being seen with another woman directed at both Chance and Mai. Mai’s soundbyte: “I should have known what I was getting into.”) Frog has been keeping relatively low, but there have been odd sightings of him — and there were some “kid in hoodie” incidents as well. A lot of Bash’s time has been spent trying to prepare herself for the inevitable betrayal of the team turning her in to the Medics. (In her mind, that’s totally a thing.)

A meeting (a mobile meeting in the Chariot!) is called to discuss recent events, and this is really the first time the five of them have had a chance to talk together. Frank brought donuts. (Frog stays as far away as possible, in spite of the donuts.) Once everyone is there, Frank shares his news from the Gentleman with the team: that he knew about the Sevitri and that the fleet that was destroyed years ago wasn’t their main fleet. Continuum City is probably their testing grounds. (There is some pointing fingers as the subject of their escaped prisoner comes up.) Frank also asks if he can speak to the Sovereign to find out what she knows, given her reaction upon finding out about Blazer being a Sevitri. Chance promises to set something up. (They also briefly discuss what is going to happen with Frog, which comes to an abrupt and tense end when Bash interrupts to say nothing will happen to him. Then excuses herself to check who is texting her: it’s the Handyman telling her to bring Frog to their meeting tonight.) Frank shares his goals within the Medics: to unmask the Sevitri with Ivy Libra’s help. He’s concerned the Sevitri may lash out against Ivy Libra, either through killing her or discrediting her. With the meeting concluded and nothing decided, everyone is dropped off (awkwardly) at their various departure points.

Bash informs Frog that the Handyman wants to meet him. He’s hesitant, but he agrees to go.

Mai and Chance decide to be dropped off at the Treehouse. (It’s called that now, because Brendan is so easily amused.) Chance expresses a desire to make out, and Mai says she’s still mad at him for revealing her secret identity to his mom, because she doesn’t trust her not to get angry and unmask her publicly. He promises not to out her identity to anyone else, but that doesn’t score him a make out session. He then tries to butter her up by calling her awesome and saying he’s proud of her…and that finally gets him all teh smooches.

Frank goes to the Spike to start his workday. He has a meeting scheduled with Ivy Libra and the August. (Apparently, the Spike is both a super prison and a corporate HQ.) Ivy Libra wants him to begin working on the “Youth Aquisition Initiative,” which requires him “bringing in” some of the city’s superpowered youth — Frog, the kid that blows things up (Brian Underwood), and a third kid named Rashida Lagos who can walk through walls. Ivy Libra recommends he focus his efforts going after someone he is familiar with, because she believes it will be easier for him, and time is of the essence. Sensing his hesitation, the August gives an inspiring speech about what kind of hero Frank wants to be — because it’s obvious Frog is “screaming for help.” The scene closes with Frank sitting along in the room wearing his patented mournful look.

Chance sets up the meeting between Frank and the Sovereign at the Spike. They set aside an interrogation room for them to use. Frank doesn’t mess around: he asks her point-blank why she tried to run away with Sevitri-Blazer. She claims not to know anything about their presence and was intending to take him away for further study and brings up her “annoyance with Chance’s girlfriend striking her to stop her from doing her job.” Frank tells her he doesn’t believe her because of the “look in her eye” when she grabbed Blazer. She reminds him of her long history of saving the city and says she has no reason to lie. Chance wants to know what information Frank has that makes him think the Sovereign is lying. Frank outlines his problems with her story: the picture Chance sent Frank and genetics (because meta-human genetics are weird and freaky, and Chance’s are closer to the Sevitri’s than the Sovereign’s). The Sovereign demands to know if he’s saying she slept with a Sevitri — and, yes, yes, he is. She tells Frank to call Joyce Melose, who will help him work through his issues — because he’s clearly unstable and Joyce can help him with that. In response, Frank “exudes” a card showing her armor and hands it to her, which the Sovereign crushes into dust. Chance and Frank say an awkward goodbye (Frank apologizes and Chance says that even if it is true, it only matters what he does, not where he came from.) and Chance walks out with his mom. On the way out, she tells him Frank needs some help, and “it’s important that he is there for him” because she’s proud he has friends in the community. He also asks if it’s true about his dad being a Sevitri and makes it clear that he really doesn’t care — he just wants to know. When she looks at him, she is wearing a very intense expression on her face. She agrees to tell him, but only if Chance proves to her that she can trust him with her secrets. To do that, she wants him to help her stop a threat to their family: the Gentleman. He doesn’t understand how he’s a threat, but he says he’ll do it. She advises him to call her when he’s found him.

Mai takes her father out of the hospital. The media are there taking pictures of the brave little girl caring for her wounded father. As soon as they get to the apartment, however, Mai’s father gets out of the wheelchair and says, “I have somewhere I need to be.” She’s disappointed, because he wanted to talk to her when he was doped up…which he says he doesn’t remember. She breaks the news to him that she took out the Sovereign, which prompts a conversation about how she’s been putting on a costume and a wig and going out there to fight crime. If that’s any of his business, she says it’s her business what he’s been doing as the Handyman — but, no, he’s an adult, he says. She hits him hard with the “It’s about having a parent in my life” line, and he says she can’t possibly understand, because this life is “like a fire that gets in your blood, and it boils and boils and boils and never stops.” She asks if killing people makes it better and if Mom would approve — and he says it does, briefly, and that she totes would. (He maybe doesn’t say totes, though.) SHE’S JUST A LITTLE GIRL. To prove him wrong, she decides to suit up and go fight some crime to show him what a real hero does. He is not pleased.

The Handyman, Frog, and Bash meet up in an abandoned warehouse by the docks. Bash tries to apologize for putting him in the hospital, and he says it was necessary to do what they do. He asks if she killed the Sevitri and is glad that she did. He gives Frog the speech about how the city needs soldiers to fight and about how he doesn’t want to have to take Frog down. Frog is a bit afraid of his intensity and backs away a little and says he did it to save Bash. The Handyman says that it’s a good point, and that he’ll teach him how to serve the city responsibly. He also says Bash is a promising recruit, which makes her happy. He turns to Bash for advice, and she agrees that Frog should enlist.

While the Handyman works with Frog, he sends Bash out to find another kid he’s been keeping an eye on. (While he’s training Frog, it becomes painfully aware that he knows his days are numbered.) Bash is sent to find Brian Underwood… Fyrefly, while on patrol, hears about a kid causing explosions. He appears to be running from the Medics who are en route, but he is causing more property damage than anything else. She heads in that direction. They both arrive at the same time — the regular police have him pinned down in a department store. Fyrefly recognizes Bash right away. Bash tries to tell her to leave, but Fyrefly stands her ground and says the kid doesn’t need to be murdered. Bash turns it around and asks if her daddy isn’t giving her enough attention. Fyrefly’s polyglot power goes a little nuts: she suddenly experiences the full extent of who Bash is now (to the point where she actually feels like she’s on the business end of Bash’s fists), and it actually drives her to her knees. This allows Bash to jump in through the roof unhindered. Below, she finds Brian, who mistakes her for an evil ninja. She convinces Brian that she’s here to help him escape and get him to the Handyman, who can teach him to use his powers to protect the city without becoming one of those hero-types. When they burst back up through the ceiling, a chunk of concrete hits Fyrefly in the head…and Fyrefly freaks out and uses her Moment of Truth on Bash. She fires her grappling hook at her and pulls her back onto the roof, then paralyzes the shit out of her. Brian tells her to stay away from him, and she tells him she was trying to save him from becoming a murderer. Fyrefly convinces him to turn himself in to the police rather than go with Bash. She decides to escort him down and leaves Bash on the rooftop with a helicopter’s spotlight on her. The officers congratulate her on diffusing a really dangerous situation and call her a hero and shake her hand.

And once again Bash is captured.

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Fyrefly's Journal 5
Ugh....

It’s been a while. Then again, that’s not really my fault. It’s not like I could have prevented that shooting. That ended up with a hospitalization for a couple of days. The important thing was that Chance spoke to the people, promoted the rally that had been worked on for the past couple of days. And that the rally was mostly a success.

Then of course there was that march on the Spike. Things were a mess, Sovereign showed up acting like some high and mighty judge, jury, and executioner, putting people down for little reason.

Then once we find one of the Sevitri, she actually tries to grab him and fly away? She probably would have, If I hadn’t stopped her. And people doubt my capabilities. Well, not so much anymore.

Things are going well with Chance. Like, really well. We’re actually kind of official now. Though “Officially” he’s dating Ms. McGowan. But we know better.

Still…..He’s an idiot. What in the hell was he thinking going and telling his mom who I actually am?! Things are going great, and then he reveals that bit of idiocy?! I know…I get it…he was upset cause of what I did to his mom…worried about her. But….seriously? I thought we already had the privacy talk?

Ugh….and he’s a Marvel guy. (Yes I know, I like some Marvel too…but Come on, Zatanna is way cooler than Doctor Strange.)

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Kamil's Diary 13

You had one job, Frog. One job. Don’t tell ANYBODY I’m working with the Handyman. And what do you do? Blurt it out. To HD. Who is now a Medic. One job!

And, Gentleman, really? You have this whole that’s-on-a-need-to-know-basis-and-you-don’t-need-to-know thing, and you just decide to tell both of them I’m working with the Handyman too? Are you really that mad at me that you’re willing to just tell everyone all my secrets like that? Thanks. Thanks a lot. Maybe someday, I’ll actually get used to being abandoned by you. And disappointing you. Frog kills like 10 people on television, and you give him a hug. I finally give up on you, and you try to pretend like I don’t exist? Really? Well, at least you aren’t pretending to care anymore. At least now I know I’m on my own and that I shouldn’t be surprised when you don’t show up to help.

I don’t even know what I can say about HD becoming a Medic. A Medic! Have we not been trying to shut them down? Are they not using HOG-Tech to capture and imprison the city’s heroes? I know I’ve been busy avenging Mai and trying to convince Frog that what he did was wrong, but did I miss something?? Are they the good guys all of a sudden?

And where the hell did Chance find the Dragon Atomic’s costume??

God, what is wrong with everybody today?? Everyone in Continuum City has lost their minds!

Dear Diary, I guess I’ve gone a little crazy too. I should take Frog, and we should get as far away from HD as possible. He’s a Medic. A freaking Medic. I was just starting to like him, you know?

I knew this day was coming. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hide who I am forever. But I wanted to just a little longer…and I can’t leave until I make sure Frog will be alright. I think Frog and HD came to an understanding, but he’s a Medic now, so I don’t even know what that means. Chance was okay enough with what he did to call Frog for help. I’m worried about FF. She sees the world in black-and-white, and I’m pretty sure what Frog did will fall on the black side of that line. And what if he blurts out to her who her father is? Wouldn’t that just be peachy? Maybe I can convince HD not to tell Chance and FF. Is he even allowed to hang out with us? Is he hanging out, or is he spying? Is he planning on bringing the Medics down here to arrest us? What if we don’t even see it coming? He says he won’t tell them our secret identities and where to find us, but what if he does? FF and TH are still in the hospital. Of course, he doesn’t know TH is in the hospital…

No, wait. He does. Thanks, Frog. Thanks, TG.

But he may not suspect TH is FF’s father…

Should I call them and warn them? HD threatened to track Frog’s phone, so he broke it. (You’re that scared of him — why did you tell him who I am??) I’d have to use my phone. It’s kind of an emergency, right? And HD was the one I didn’t want to know about my phone, because, you know, he could track it! But if they know I have a phone, they might find out about TH. If HD doesn’t tell them first. If he doesn’t have them arrested. There’s an awful lot of if’s. I can’t even remember what I’m writing about. I’m exhausted — still haven’t had the chance to sleep, and it’s not looking like I’ll get to any time soon.

PS, I just looked at what I’ve written. I have a lot of questions, and TG always says that a question is a good place to start. It makes sense to start with HD. I don’t think I can trust him completely, but I need to know he won’t betray us. And have a contingency in place for when he does. What was it B&E’s rally had? EMF’s or something? I wonder how hard those are to make. And he’s a computer. Would that kill him or just disable him temporarily? Plus, he has the internal phone thing. He could call for Medics, and none of us would even know. I wonder if I could find a way to block the signal…

PPS, Wow, I’m still turning to TG for advice after all this time and after what he’s done to us — to me. That’s just so pathetic, isn’t it?

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Session Summary

The scene opens on Kamil and Chance arriving at the Sovereign’s house in a taxi. Inside, Frog and the Sovereign are unconscious on the living room floor, and outside, there are media and cameras everywhere. As soon as Kamil sees them, she slides down in her seat and tells Chance that she’s going to go check on what they left at home. Annoyed, he tells her, “Great teamwork. Thanks for the support.”

The problem is, the cameras catch the conversation, and the media begin to report on this “mystery girl” Chance is with. Is he stepping out on Mai? What did he mean by teamwork?

Chance pushes through the crowd and makes it inside. As they carry Sovereign down the stairs, Chance calls Frog evil in pretty much as many words. Unable to cope, Frog announces that he’s leaving, and he ports back to the Bunker to check what the news says about his rescue of Bash.

This forces Chance to carry her down on his own. He follows his mother’s instructions to open up the secret area of their basement to reveal a sarcophagus. As they approach the sarcophagus, it lights up and opens up like a flower. There are some foreign words, and then it closes with her inside. (He tells it to “execute protocol healing” in the most awkward and adorable way possible.)

Meanwhile, with Frank’s help, only 3 of Frog’s victims are saved, but they’re unconscious and on life support… He decides to go back to the Bunker to lay down, where he finds Frog and Bash. Immediately, he goes off on Frog about how evil he is for killing those people. Frog leaves the room only after Frank turns on some video of the operations. Bash advises Frank to calm down and try talking to Frog rationally.

Back in the hospital room, Mai is watching the newsfeed covering Chance and Kamil’s arrival at the mansion. She gets jealous and throws the remote, and then realizes it’s Chance and it’s Bash, and they probably aren’t together. Just as the remote clatters to the floor, a medic (not in exo-skeleton gear), Ivy Libra, and the August (in a medic uniform) come in. The August hovers over Mai’s sleeping father and looks anguished while Ivy Libra talks to Mai. Apparently, he came to express his condolences, because they’re friends. Ivy Libra also came to express her condolences “in the hopes of helping this city.” It turns out, she watched the rally and was impressed with Mai’s selflessness. She offers to fund Mai’s organization in exchange for keeping in touch with Mai to ensure their organizations are working together. She also tells Mai that Frank has agreed to sign on as well. Mai tells her she will agree only if Ivy Libra is serious about cleaning up the medics.

While Chance is waiting for the Sovereign to wake up, he crosses the room to check out something that is covered by a sheet. Underneath, he finds a costume on a mannequin, but it looks weird — it even has a face mask! The mask looks similar to a dragon’s head, and the costume is reds and oranges and greens. Figuring that Frank is the smart one, he takes a picture and sends it to him. Frank tells him he’s in the middle of something, but he’ll check it out in a minute. In the meantime, Chance tries searching for heroes matching that costume and stumbles on the Dragon Atomic. As he finishes reading it, his mother awakens. She’s doing much better, but she notices he’s revealed the Dragon Atomic costume. OF COURSE, Chance thinks she actually defeated the Dragon Atomic NOT that she was the Dragon Atomic. (Frank, in the meantime, has figured out that the costume belongs to the Dragon Atomic, and he’s concerned that something has happened to Chance. Chance ignores the texts until he’s done talking to the Sovereign. And then he tells Frank it’s a picture of a picture and not to worry about it, but Frank doesn’t believe him.) They go upstairs, and Chance tells the Sovereign both Mai’s secret identity and that she is his girlfriend. She tells Chance that he needs to keep Mai from publicly announcing to the world that there are shape-shifting aliens, because that kind of thing is dangerous. She says she doesn’t hold a grudge but thinks Mai needs to think before she acts. He asks if it would be cool if she came over. Things devolved into an awkward talk about protection. Fortunately, it recovered into a chat about how Frog hurt some people, and they agreed the Gentleman is a dick. Chance asks for her help in giving Frog a second chance, and she agrees to do it…but only if Chance agrees to work with the medics. And he does.

Frank and Bash go to talk to Frog about what he’s done…calmly. Like people do. Frog and Frank have a nice heart-to-heart about the nature of their job, why they do what they do, and what measures should be taken when dealing with humans. Frank admits to signing up with the medics. When Frank says he can scramble their tracking signals, the Gentleman appears to hug Frog tightly and sob into his hair. He apologizes profusely and promises to protect him. Frank reacts poorly to his arrival and tells him the team knows about the Sevitri. The Gentleman emphasizes that they should have left or laid low, as he had told them to do, and tells them they need to stay out of the fight and stop making bad decisions. When he mentions that the Sovereign knew, the Gentleman seems surprised and strokes his chin ominously. He warns them to stay away from her. Bash prompts for an explanation, and for the first time he acknowledges that she’s there. Frank asks if it has something to do with the picture of the Dragon Atomic, and the Gentlemen immediately turns off the screen. Frank and the Gentlemen start arguing, and Bash interrupts to ask why Frank has a picture of the Dragon Atomic. He says it’s from Chance and that he doesn’t know why he has it. He finally agrees to tell Frank — but only Frank — the information, leaving Bash and Frog to sulk in the other room. He tells Frank they didn’t know the Sevitri have been in town for 20 years. He believes they are running Haliwell to run tests on the people of Continiuum City. Now that Ivy Libra has been told, he expects her to be replaced…soon. He tells Frank that he’s fighting a war of shadows and information, and Frank keeps giving up information, and, therefore, weapons. Frank also asks if the Sovereign is the Dragon Atomic, and the Gentleman warns him not to go down that road. He does warn Frank that she may be more dangerous than the Sevitri. Frank wisely backs down from the question. But then the Gentleman decides to tell him Chance’s powers are similar to the Sevitri’s…aren’t they? With their chat concluded, the Gentleman returns to once again try to persuade Frog that he needs his protection. Frog goes off on him a bit and tells him he failed Bash already. The Gentleman says Bash has found someone else to teach her, much to Frank’s confusion. Frog tries to defend her. Sort of. By revealing she’s been working with the Handyman. Bash tells the Gentleman that the Handyman has been there for her, and he hasn’t! The Gentleman gives Frog a card and tells him he can use it to call on him any time whenever he needs him, then leaves. For a moment, it looks almost like the Gentleman might say something to Bash…but then he doesn’t.

(And, meanwhile, Chance and Mai flirt like the teenagers they are by text message and promise to hang out together without parental supervision. They also agree that working with Ivy might be in their best interests, then try to plan their next move.)

After Mai has been discharged from the hospital, she and Chance make out first thing at his place…and are interrupted by the Sovereign. She says it’s a pleasure to meet her and says she is impressed by her “extracurriculuars” (by which she means Mai being a superhero.) Mai is sort of speechless. The Sovereign tells her not to take it to the medics or to the press, because they don’t know what the Sevitri are doing in Continuum City. She just wants Mai to trust her on this. The Sovereign wants them to tell her where they’re keeping the Sevitri prisoner. Chance texts Frank to find out, and Frank tells him it’s gone. (She is not happy when Chance tells her he won’t divulge the location of his “secret base.” Because “it’s a secret” and kid’s only." (And that makes her much cooler with it, because kids with their secret bases are adorable.))

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Entry two
From the thought record of Frank Patten

They say, “Stick to the Devil you know.”

I’m not sure I believe it.

The rally went fairly well from what I could see. I can monitor the whole city if I wish, there’s always someone with a camera phone looking at whatever I want to see.

Chance [actually intelligent? ] actually has a solid idea. The metahuman community aspired to like the exemplars, until they were broken. A solid learning environment might give the average metahuman somewhere to strive without the “Don’t Fuck Up!” atmosphere of Sovereign or the Medics.

I missed most of it though. I had to try and stop Blazer and Accelerando after they tore up a street and started to march on the Spike. I packed up the machine to bring with me, and followed up out of the hole, just in time to catch them before they did any real harm. Frog has dropped back to get Mei and Chance and Bash are on the way so it’s up to me to try and convince them that this is a really bad idea.

I do try. I think it’s going fairly well until Blazer accuses me of trying to blow them all up with the machine. I can’t explain what it is, so I don’t resist while he kicks the shit out of it. I keep trying to reach them, and I tell them about the Sevitri invasion, and maybe some of them want to believe but they won’t listen.

At this point Frog [Not funny] thinks it’s funny to make B&A look like little green men, which actually starts a street brawl, which buys me the time I need to fix the machine just enough to find out the Blazer is a Sevitri. Sovereign [Terrifying] shows up and starts to kick the shit out of everyone at about the time Bash and I stomp on the little green man. I remember getting pretty rattled so the rest is hazy but I remember that Mei landed the final blow and Sovereign [Find connection!] recognizing what the alien is when it finally can’t pretend anymore.

I remember Mei [Extremely impressive] knocking out Sovereign [Reanalyzing threat level.]

I remember A throwing himself and Bash into the Medics.

I remember getting away.

Then everything falls apart.

I ask Frog to get Bash.

It’s my fault.

I see it on the news and I still can’t believe it.

I’ve seen it now up close.

I don’t want to believe it.

He gets her back. I’m glad she’s back. I can’t look at him. The worst part of being trapped under three tons of rubble for five hours is the fact that five minutes before people were running up to watch the show and you can remember the laughter, and smiles, and jokes, like it’s some kind of game but it’s not a game it’s real life and people are dying and I cannot forgive.

It’s there in his face. He doesn’t understand. Worse, Frog [sociopath], thinks he’s done well.

It’s my fault.

I ask Bash to watch our alien friend while I go to the Medics to try and help the victims.

It’s not hard to get picked up. The room was getting on my nerves the last time I was in it but there’s nothing to be done. Captain Libra [Well-intentioned?/extremist?] is there to remind me how screwed up it all is and I can’t disagree. I try and convince her about the alien menace but she doesn’t really care, unless I sign on.

I’m playing chess against an enemy who is no one except Sovereign and the August really understands and no one takes seriously. I’m losing. Frog gave them everything they wanted today.

It’s not that hard a decision. I’ll have to protect the others, minus Frog, from the Medics but maybe I can help change the organization from the inside. The August [Broken by Grief?/Hero?] is here to help too. Maybe something good can come of this.

I sign the piece of paper. Some will say it’s in blood. Screw the Devil I know.

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Kamil's Diary 12

The rally went well. Chance gave a nice speech about how the city should support its young heroes by building a school to teach them how to use their powers instead of locking us all away. He even convinced me it’s a good idea — for them, anyway. We had a school — a good school — until the Medics wrecked it, and I doubt the Gentleman is going to volunteer to teach somewhere new. Kind of late for a curriculum change. For both of us. And besides, I don’t think they’d like my extracurriculars, as Frog puts it.

B&E’s rally started up towards the end of Chance’s speech. They climbed up through a hole in the street and disabled the Medics that were waiting for them. HD tried to intercept them — I was worried they’d disable him too, but all they did was try to break his HOG-tracker. Frog tried to stop them by making them look like aliens so that their followers would panic and turn on each other. He’s a devious kid sometimes. So devious it’s kind of scary. It delayed them long enough for me and Chance to get there and for HD to fix the tracker. Turns out Baxter’s a HOG. (Too bad Enchilada doesn’t have the excuse of being an alien — he’s still just an idiot.) And, from there, it was business as usual right up until the Sovereign showed up.

Things get a little hazy at this point. I hit my head pretty hard when we crashed into the building. Plus, I was busy fighting Baxter. I think FF decided to stop the Sovereign, and I remember thinking that FF was probably in trouble if the Sovereign got free… FF tripped Baxter, and I caught him just right to send him flying into her. And then she found out he was an alien and tried to fly off with him for some reason…and so FF knocked her out. I knew FF was tough (she just got shot yesterday, and she’s acting like it was nothing) but I had no idea she could do that! It was awesome. (Way cooler than me dropping a building on TH.) Enchilada sees us take out Baxter, and he charges towards the group. And I, stupidly, get in the way. He crashed into me…

…And the next thing I know, I’m waking up in blue manacles with Frog jumping around, teleporting Medics into each other (somehow?) and mangling them. He got me out of there, but he hurt people to do it. He killed people. And if those other guys survived, they’ll probably be in hospital beds for the rest of their lives.

The rest of the team was pretty harsh to him. And they had a right to be. But they all pretty much acted like they couldn’t deal with it and left me to talk to him about it. I’m glad they did. Out of all of them, I’m the only one who won’t look down on him for it…but I wish he hadn’t. I wanted to make him understand how I felt — how I’ve been feeling — and what TH taught me. I tried to remember what TH said to me (it was a great speech) but I couldn’t come up with anything. And to make matters worse, it’s like he doesn’t understand that what he did wasn’t right. He doesn’t understand why everyone else is upset with him, because he got the job done. I wanted to make him see that heroes don’t kill people or hurt them like that — and that’s why FF, HD, and Chance are upset. They’re good guys — they save people. HD just turned himself in, because he thought he could help those people. FF and Chance held a peaceful rally to try to stop the violence. They’re good at being good.

And then he hit me.

We wrecked the base, but neither of us really got hurt. I’m not proud that I tried to hit him back. He just wouldn’t listen… And then I got angry and carried away — like I always do — and we didn’t even realize anything was wrong until Baxter got up and ran away. I’d forgotten that we were supposed to be watching him.

As we were standing there staring at each other and the dropped manacles where Baxter had been and the tunnel he disappeared into, Frog got a text from Chance. So, now Frog has “kidnapped” the Sovereign from the hospital. I told him not to say anything about Baxter escaping — HD did say the manacles might not work, and we can pretend he escaped while we were busy helping Chance. And wrecked the place on his way out. They’re already so mad at Frog, and what are we supposed to do with the HOG without HD anyway? This was his idea. Are we just going to leave him laying around the base? Feed and water him? What do HOGs eat? I don’t even know when FF or Chance will be back, and Frog and I aren’t exactly the brains of the outfit…

That’s okay too, though. I need to try to teach him what TH’s been teaching me. I need to make him understand that there’s a way to do this right and that you only hurt people if they really deserve it. If he keeps hurting people like that — out in broad daylight in front of the cameras — he’s going to end up in jail. Or worse.

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Entry one
From the thought record of Frank Patten

The damage is extensive, but mostly cosmetic.
My self-repair systems will fix everything that’s not.
Mostly everything.

The Sevitri are here. That much is obvious. Halliwell is either collaborating with them or is under their control.

I remember waking up on the street after my reboot to Frog [John / too flashy / occasionally brilliant/ Friend] helping Bash [Kamil / hostile personality? / trained combatant / Friend] up off the street. The three of us manage to limp to the the Chariot, and I try to explain it to them that we’ve given the Sevitri a second opportunity to create chaos in the city.

Then I try to explain it to them again. Then we get Chance [Chance / smarmy / stealth master / Friend] and Mei [Fyrefly / no powers / tactician / team leader / Friend] on the phone so I can try and explain one more time. I know she’s hurt but we’re out of time.

I can’t reach them. Worse, they’re giving me the look. The look Sister Ignatius gave me when I first arrived at the orphanage, when she said “You poor thing!” with an extremely trite poor and underlined and capitalized Thing.

Chance is with Mei, so the rest of us stay in the hideout. It gives me the time to try and build a device to track the Sevitri. I tell myself that Mei will know what to do when she wakes up, but deep down I’m afraid of what I’ll see if stop. Maybe I’d look in a mirror and survey the damage, but then I’m not sure I could keep going.

Mei has to know what to do.

I’m glad Frog came through with the VHS tapes and acetone. I use the Ferro-fluid to tune into the Sevitri brain-patterns that I experienced. The device will search every cellular and wifi network in the city and then translate every Sevitri location. It’s beautiful, to a certain perspective, but it will probably only work for a few minutes.

It’s 7:38 am when I finish. I call Mei and Chance. Then I keep calling them. It’s important but no one picks up. Frog comes with breakfast. Thank you, Frog. Bash is not here when we look around. I haven’t stopped calling Mei and Chance.

She picks up and she’s angry?

I tell her everything and ask for her advice, and all she can tell me is walk in to the trap basically. The Sevitri are planning to completely destablize the city, and have been planning this for years after the Exemplars kicked their asses and we are going to stop them by waiting until they attack and punch them until they stop.

Wonderful.

I don’t know what else to do.

Frog leaves to go run errands, and I start to pack up the device. I text Frog to see if I should visit Mei before we go to the rally, and he tells me to do it.

I think it was probably the socially expected thing to do and I’m just an asshole.
Frank Patten [asshole].

I accidentally catch sight of my face when I get on the Chariot.

It’s worse then I thought.

No one has even asked me if I’m ok.

Bash [asshole]
Chance [asshole]
Frog [asshole]
Mei [asshole]

I have to choke that down and keep going. I meant it when I said that if I could save one person from the coming disaster I would. No matter what it costs me.

First I’ll go see Mei.

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Encrypted Text 03
Folded paper tucked into the crevice of a water tower

paper lined with a familiar series of letters but the frog in the right corner seems to be covered with a bird’s dropping

Whew, I am a prick sometimes. A secret and a request for help. Gah I should have stopped for a sugar boost or something before picking up that first aid kit, or perhaps I should have snuck myself a shot of something, but then I do like to remember stuff. Forgetting would probably be bad. So, B calls ask for help and not to tell anyone, but then when did she get a phone. And why did I have to call Chance last night if she had one. Get on scene and boy can tell B was here. Poor building has water running out a busted window as a dust cloud slowly wafts from the window. I cast a small illusion as I glance around the building looking normalish while a fire connector on the building shows signs of leakage masking the running water, that and a kid running on down the street and not into the building. A quick stop as I scratch a small symbol to power the illusion outside for a couple minutes though no cops or Medic sirens so maybe I won’t run into any issues. Call out for B and hear her calling from the upper floors third to be precise. Jump up the stairs, thank you for porting. Get up there and hear her up ahead shift something about, and BAM. There is B wearing a mask. Why does she get a mask. granted I guess I can make my own, but still. She is hovering over someone. Takes me a moment or two to process as she begins speaking and then my phone chirps and I get a snarl from her when I reply to the text telling HD that yes he should probably go see Mai, tis what friends do after a fashion. But the sound of her voice and something in her eyes has me plucking the battery out and spiking the phone at the wall. Grr was just getting used to having it around. Then she swears me to secrecy as it finally dawns on me who is lying on the ground evidence of a recent removal from the rubble. Could this be why, but then does this mean G knew and was trying to help or wasn’t around. Ug, his hand, I don’t want to know why the bandage is a darkening red color or slightly shapeless. Then it just goes a blurry kinda fluid way to much in the scapes and that hand is just freaking me out a little, strip TH out of his uniform, and B goes a bit pale when she removes the guy’s mask. He looks familiar can’t place him til B murmurs something about Mai. Ya more secrets gah my head hurts to many secrets or half-hidden truths. I manage to get him to the hospital’s emergency room without getting caught myself, but he was so heavy. Went back to where B was and slumped onto a pile of debris. And I’m not sure what came over me, but boy did I light into her. Poor B. well not so much gah making me worried, and then she has a mentor or something and is out doing stuff and I’m left to do the errands while G wants me to pack back off to tiny town. Then I don’t know she is looking guilty or something, but that was the thought yes/no, maybe? And then I just add that extra dig about not visiting Mai. Am I happy or sad, exultant or depressed as her face crumples? I’m not sure. She has saved my skin so many times, why did I say it. Hey Mr. Pigeon am I jealous of her, perhaps?

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