Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

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Deus Mortis
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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Deus Mortis » Mon May 25, 2020 3:07 am

Kieran had to admit, a part of him was happy that Rachel was as down with his plan as he was. It showed the level of trust they’ve developed since they’ve met all those months ago. It made him wonder how Kelly, Abby, and Felix were doing, only having kept up recently with the first mentioned.

Interestingly, it also reminded him of that one twelve-year old with the purple hair and dual pistols he saw in Millennium City. Now she was interesting compared to most of the people there. An adolescent like them but sharing some sort of connection with Justice. He already made a few plans to track her down in the future, though it wasn’t very high on his list at the moment. Not very low either. The Superfriends roster wasn’t exactly bustling with life lately.

And now, they waited. Unless Juliana Martins was right by the door, it was going to take more than a few seconds for them to be let in. Enough time to exchange a few words.

”Look, here’s the plan.” Kieran said, taking a conscious effort to not lean on the porch railing or wall. ”We’re just going to talk to her and wait for him to get home.”

Footsteps approaching from the other side.

”I'm sure there's a reason he hasn't just exposed you yet.”

The door opened and it was not Ms. Martins.

"Leave the Amazon package by the mailbox, next time.”

Kieran’s more sympathetic face from talking to Rachel turned into a smirk.

”Oh? You're not here to deliver my boom arm? You're here to ruin my fuckin' life? Wonderful. My ma's making carne guisada. Come in."

”Thank you.” This was far more interesting than what he thought was going to happen.

Not only was Eidolon Martins back, but he was still on the defense playing the victim. He accused them of being here to ruin his life as if they were the ones who sent him to Millenium City, forced him to buy those security tapes, and then spend however much time he had going over them to find Rachel’s face. Eidolon was doing what any good journalist would do. He was trying to chase a story.

Didn’t mean that was their fault.

”Carne guisada, huh?” Kieran asked, looking around the room with visible interest. ”Where’s your family from, Mr….”

Eidolon.

Kieran smiled.

”...sorry, I didn’t get a name.”

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Annasiel » Tue May 26, 2020 7:19 pm

~☀~

"Could be a ton of reasons," Rachel replied, glancing between Kieran and the door. "Like - uh - blackmail? Leverage? I don't fucking know. Just cause he hasn't said anything yet doesn't mean -"

The door opened. It was not Ms. Martins. Eidolon stood on the other side in all his weirdo glory, shooting off a quip about some kinda boo marm, whatever the fuck that was. Wasn't marm, like, Scottish for mom or something? Made her think of that one shitty joke about ghosts - she didn't really remember how it went, but the punchline was 'transparents.'

"Ruin your life? That's fucking rich," Rachel shot back, voice a low hiss. She kept her eyes open for Ms. Martin as she slipped inside with Kieran. Now that the initial shock had worn off, her anxiety was swapping out for - not exactly anger, but something in the neighborhood. Indigence, maybe. She leveled a glare at Eidolon, arms folded tightly. She wanted to be angry. She felt like she should've been. But he'd only caught her doing something she knew she wasn't supposed to be doing, so like a toddler caught with his hand in the cookie jar, the best she could muster up was a poor attempt at scorn. "Do you know what could happen to me if something like that came out? I'm not even sure if - Kieran, what we've been doing is legal, right? It's legal?"

God, why the fuck hadn't she read up on vigilante laws before she decided to run around stopping muggings and punching wolves? It was the sorta thing Ben would know - but it was also the sorta thing she never considered, until considering it became necessary. She never thought about the consequences. Never thought about danger. Did she really think the dumbass mask idea was smart? Did she think that was safe? Fuck, she'd even been wearing the same hoodie she had on now. Fucking reckless.

When she spoke again, the edge to her voice had faded, a little - more tired than anything else.

"You're not gonna let it get out... right? You're not... gonna tell anyone."

~☀~
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Eidolon » Tue May 26, 2020 8:03 pm

"You're the ones that fucking fought a spirit animal, or-- whatever-the-fuck," Eidolon offered as a thinly-veiled riposte, furrowing his brow and letting a hand fly up to assuage the burning fucking grievances in his mind that threatened to fly out if he didn't physically stop himself from saying something fucking stupid. Besides, he had to keep his voice down or else his mother would hear the plethora of shit spewing out of everyone's mouth right now. "Do you think that I would have shown you if I decided to report you? Do you know how fucking dumb that would-- oh, yeah, legal, definitely. Hey-- got some advice for you. Why don't you go to Chicago, next? Sure the police force would love you there." He gave another sigh, stopping himself once he took note of Rachel's outfit. A scoff replaced his labored exhale, and he turned around to take a step towards the kitchen. "Yeah, nice hoodie, by the way. You gonna fight a giant fuckin' wolf in my living room with that on? Don't forget your mask this t--"

"Eid, who are you talking to? Did your package arrive?"

"NO! No, ma, the-- the package didn't arrive. I, uh-- brought friends over for dinner." Eidolon glanced back at his two guests, the expression on his face showing just how chalk-full of shit he was. "Yeah, it's-- it's Rachel, our neighbor. Isabelle's kid? And, uh, her-- other, uh-- friend. What's your name? I figured-- since you told me to make friends--"

"Oh, no, no. No."

Juliana turned the corner, now, a mitt still on one hand as she looked to her son. Her eyes drifted behind him to the two other teenagers, and she gave a short smile to welcome them both before turning her attention back to her kid. Her tone was playful, of course, but still retained the edge of authority she carried in her voice. She'd been dealing with him for nineteen years, after all-- Eidolon was smart, and she knew that. Their relationship left little room for bullshit, which was honestly preferable to the alternative.

"I didn't tell you to 'make friends', Eid. You're nineteen-- you should have already done that by now. My words, specifically-- and I know this, because I made a note to remember them, because I knew you would say that-- are that you need to 'get out and socialize'. That sounds far less pathetic. Right?"

"Mom, the-- my-- my friends are right there--"

"Of course-- where are my manners?" Juliana stated, moving past eidolon and extending the ungloved hand for either teen to shake. Her smile was warm-- her eyes, warmer, though there was a hint of tiredness that accompanied her gaze. The scrubs beneath an open sweater seemed to provide a clue as to her veiled fatigue; she was a nurse at the Golden Valley General Hospital, and had recently gotten off of her shift to come home and cook dinner. Eidolon... tried not to bother her much, when she came back from longer stays. These days, they rarely got to see much of each other, honestly. He just tried to support her as much as he could, which was why he'd taken a year off school in the first place; times like these made him happy he made the decision. A night where he could sit down with his mother and have a nice meal to talk and laugh a bit.

Fitting that this shit had to happen at precisely the wrong time. His fault, really.

"I'm Ms. Martins, but-- call me Juliana. Please. It's great that Eid's having you over-- he's a good kid, I promise."

Eidolon actually let out a second's laugh at that, the reaction reflexive; Juliana looked over to him, and he shook his head, gaze trained on the floor. "Nothing. You just... think so highly-- of me. Love you."

"... well. Dinner is ready in the kitchen-- kids, you can serve yourselves and take a seat at the table. My plate's in the oven-- I'm going to change into an... actual outfit that's acceptable to wear around company. Have fun."

She disappeared around the corner, again, retreating to the bedroom and the bathroom which lay connected to it. Eid stayed still, eyebrow raised, silent until he heard the definitive click of a door's lock deep within the house.

"I'm not going to release the photo. That'd be really fucking shitty of me, Rachel, and I like to think that you know me better than that in the very short amount of time we have spent together. I-- wanted to let you know. In case somebody other than me found out. People are fuckin'... weird, man." He had experience.

Eidolon walked into the kitchen and grabbed three plates, placing them atop the counter and taking one for himself. The food itself was laid out in a nice pot-- it was a stew, after all-- and another pot of rice lay beside it, steam wafting from both and mixing in the air to create a very mouth-watering atmosphere. A few toasted tortillas lay off to the side. Eid took some of each, plating himself with a decent amount of grub before walking towards the table that lay within the same room.

"To answer your earlier question, Loafers McChucklefuck, my name's Eidolon. My mom's Puerto Rican, first-generation. My dad was, uh..."

He fell silent, eventually shrugging. "American? Probably? White. Look--"

A sigh escaped his lips, again, and he looked at them both with a serious expression, for a moment. He opened his mouth to speak, shut it, then opened it again. "I'm sorry if I scared you. I didn't know what to do other than just-- show you. I-- nobody has the tapes other than me, and I doubt anybody will place the tapes under that amount of scrutiny. I doubt most people could, anyway."

He didn't take his seat. Not yet. "Sorry for calling you Loafers McChucklefuck, too. Force of habit. So-- truce? For now? I'm not an enemy here. I-- I get it, guys."

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Deus Mortis » Thu May 28, 2020 11:51 am

Eidolon was certainly not like most people he’s met. His online persona seemed to seep easily into his real one, though with some lost nuances between the two. Naturally, there was a gap that separated the virtual personality we put on and the one we actually have. Eidolon’s gap just happened to be very thinly separated. And what did that amount to? Well, he and Rachel were looking at it.

He wanted to refute Eidolon’s claims, but the sleuth was on a roll. There was not a wasted whisper as he listed off the grievances he had against the duo. The point about the wolf didn’t even make sense to him. They did good killing that thing as they minimized the amount of casualties there were that day. There weren’t even any killed during that exo-event. Just heroes wounded trying to stop that beast from rampaging throughout the city.

Kieran sighed out to himself, a small exhale of air rather than one obnoxiously drawn out. Considering how close they were to the kitchen, trying to verbally defend himself was pointless. The pros of simply holding his tongue until after dinner outweighed the cons. Plus, there was an opportunity in all of this. Befriending Eidolon might have actually been beneficial to them. Although his entire state of existence would suggest otherwise, he seemed to have a knack for getting involved with the bigger players in this world and his journalism in of itself wasn’t too bad.

No more words needed to be said, by the three that is.

Juliana’s words were all that was needed to quell Eidolon’s aggressive commentary. Not completely however, as he got a snarky reply into her before her mere look threatened to send his soul into the afterlife. The entire exchange was weirdly endearing. Kieran himself has never had much of a close relationship with his parents. Even after his oldest sibling was born, parenthood rarely took precedence. There were maids and babysitters to watch over them while they attended to business and kept appearances in various social groups. Seeing a family dynamic like the one, one that was real...let’s just say, it made the small smile he gave Juliana feel more genuine.

”Thank you for having us, Juliana.” He sat down and didn’t really give her another word as she walked off to go change. His eyes wandered over to Eidolon as he began pouring their meals. The smell of the food alone was appetizing.

Inspect: Consumable Health. Line formation.

Microscopic machines trailed out of the “phone” in his pocket. They flew into the stew meant for Rachel and him. He wouldn’t eat just yet, both out of wanting to wait for the results and because he didn’t want to reply to Eidolon with a mouth full of food.

”No one else is going to find the tapes.” The words were carried with a matter-of-factly tone. ”I wiped the recordings they had from that day. The guard who was on duty that day isn’t going to be a problem either. He’s found better work.”

He made it a point to include that last part. The last thing he wanted to accidentally do was sound ominous enough to be threatening. This whole prospect was a wrench in his plans of not having Rachel become worried about her identity but it didn’t warrant resorting to threats. Not yet, at least.

”I don’t see you as an enemy, Eidolon.” He looked over at Rachel, wondering what she thought about Eidolon’s proposal for a truce. He already knew what he thought about it.

”Instead of a truce, how about we try to start over?” Loafers McChucklefuck was amusing, but it was also insulting. Kieran’s ego wasn’t particularly great but he didn’t enjoy being slighted. He’s heard a number of them from people in his school, some from those he thought were friends. Whispers to ears, hushed judgements. It was tiresome being the center of rumors, especially when they were caused by jealousy or whatever other petty feeling.

He didn’t think Eidolon’s aggressive words were from jealousy though. They seemed like more of a defense mechanism to him.

”I’m Kieran, Kieran Maxwell."

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Annasiel » Thu May 28, 2020 5:44 pm

~☀~
Anger was the sorta thing that worked in stages. When Eid had first shown her the picture, she was angry at him - not exactly reasonable, considering the fact they only existed cause she fucked up in the first place, but her knee-jerk reaction was that she'd been exposed, and he was the one who exposed her. After she'd had a bit of time to cool down, she ended up being angry at herself for slipping up in the first place. That had faded, a little, after Eid said he wasn't gonna take the pic anywhere - he was right, just walking into her house and shoving it in her face was idiotic if he was gonna make it go public - but anger had this shitty habit of never wanting to die. It was addicting, being angry, and cooling down felt - well - uncomfortable as fuck, partly 'cause it meant admitting you were wrong, partly cause it was disappointing to let all that heat simmer down with no pasta in the pot. Didn't help that the guy was doing his best to fan the flames, shooting off snarky remarks about living-room wolves. Rachel opened her mouth, about to shoot off an indignant, defensive reply, when Ms. Martins walked in.

Anger was a kinda hard thing to keep up, after that.

She couldn't help but crack a smile at the banter, suddenly incredibly embarrassed that she'd been so mad in the first place. There was still a little inkling there, begging to get out, but seeing the tiny Puerto Rican lady in nursing scrubs shoot the shit with her kid was far more amusing than it had any right to be.

"I'm, uh - Rachel." She already knows that, you absolute retard. "You, er, you know that already, though. We met once or twice. This is my b - best friend, Kieran. And, uh, thanks, but I already ate -"

Juliana was already gone, slipping out of the room and around the corner. Rachel stared after, silent for a few moments, listening to Eid speak.

Loafers McChucklefuck.

Alright, any pretense of still being mad was gone. She bit back a snort, covering her mouth with both her hands. Why was that so fucking funny? Loafers McChucklefuck. God, she had to call Kieran that sometime, it was so dumb it was actually hilarious. She apologized quickly, waiting for Kieran to finish talking, then took the reigns herself.

"Kieran's right. We kinda - got off on the wrong foot, I guess. Sorry for thinking you were a weird stalker guy tryna blackmail me, I just - my mom and dad don't know I'm doing this shit, right? So if I get found out, I'm 100% screwed." Rachel held out a hand. "Anyway, uh - shake? I guess? Let's do the whole first-time meeting thing, awkwardly shake each other's hands, talk about the weather and fishing, then try to ignore each other the next time we pass in Walmart."

She grinned, weakly.
~☀~
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Eidolon » Sat May 30, 2020 8:09 pm

"Look, if anything, it's my fault for approaching you like a recovering crack addict." Eidolon replied, rubbing the back of his head with one hand as his other took Rachel's for a single shake. Thank God his palms weren't clammy. That was precisely the last fucking thing he needed, at the moment. He moved to wipe his hand on his pants for good measure, realized that it would look like he was trying to clean it as a result of their shake, and recovered the gesture into a soft pat upon the thigh. He sat down, after that, keeping his hands flat on the table. Fucking idiot.

"I don't see either of you as enemies, either. Unless this is an elaborate plot to kill me. Hmh. That wasn't funny, sorry. You-- you aren't here to threaten me, though, right? Actually-- nevermind." He shoveled a forkload of dinner into his mouth and began to chew it, mouth closed. He was raised to have manners, after all, not social skills. A bit of rice followed the first helping, and he took a small drink of water to conclude the awkward silence that rose in the midst of his eating. He'd attempted to use the time it took him to chew and swallow as a bit of a delay to help him figure out what he wanted to say, but-- nothing.

So, he closed his eyes, sighed, and spoke from the heart.

"I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. I want to help."

They still had a decent amount of time before his mother actually returned, thank Christ, so he could talk to them without fear of anyone eavesdropping on the conversation-- unless the leg was bugged, of course, which it wasn't, because he'd taken apart the glorified fucking doorstop enough times that the warranty on it was expired three fucking times over. He probably knew more about the internal schematics than the fucking assembly line of Chinese children it took to make this piece of shit. Fucking Assurance. God, he hated Chicago.

"Before you-- inevitably reject, let me state my case. I'm-- good at marketing and planning. I'm not saying I want to-- fucking franchise you, or whatever-- but I have audio, visual, recording, surveillance equipment. I have connections. I... have a knack for this sort of stuff. I'm good with software and computers, I'm quick on my feet, I can-- be the dude who provides overwatch for you guys. I have, like, five monitors in my studio." He began, gesturing down the hall to where the actual streaming room was located. It had been his father's old office before Eidolon had renovated it into something approaching a workspace. Part of him hoped that his dad would've liked what he'd done with it.

"Not only that, but-- I... have that vigilante blood in me. I have guides on this stuff. Advice, written my somebody who actually did this for a living. Hell, I could-- I could even help you guys. God, I sound like a fucking idiot when I say this, but I've just been so fucking unsatisfied with my life and this seems like one of the only fucking ways I could feel good about myself. I'm sick of being looked at like a fucking weirdo, or-- or just some kid, or somebody who's in over his head. I want to make a difference. I want to prove people wrong."

He looked at them both, for a moment, and then immediately went back to shoveling food in his mouth.

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Deus Mortis » Sun May 31, 2020 1:01 am

Food Content: Safe

Seeing Eidolon start shoveling in his food helped add a few more degrees of confidence Kieran had about the carne guisada being poisoned or something of the like. He didn’t necessarily believe the Martins were going to be the suburban family that would finally take his life but rather, it was a bit of a standard procedure for him. It reduced the likelihood of him dying by a fair amount, a large enough percentage for him to actually take up as a habit. With the food verified and tested, he dug in.

Eidolon’s jokes managed to get a visible rise out of Kieran, the idea of them having some elaborate plan to murder Eidolon too amusing to not laugh at. It should have been obvious Rachel didn’t have a plan to terminate him.

"I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. I want to help."

Hm.

Kieran’s expression went dead pan, neither cold nor particularly warm. He sat there, listening to every word spoken without a tell as to how he felt about the reasoning. The argument for why he should even be allowed to help soon turned into a why he should be allowed to be apart of the group. After the why, came the want.

That wasn’t entirely unexpected.

After nearly losing his life at the park, Eidolon Martins experienced levels of adrenaline he’s never ever felt before. Near-death experiences were often enough the reason why so many adrenaline junkies started spiraling into a life that was all about seeking the next thrill. After leading a lower, middle-class life, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was a way for him to get into a life where he could really feel alive. Kieran doubt the other man’s reasonings for wanting to be a part of their vigilantism was purely for the sake of being good. If what Eidolon said was true about him genuinely wanting to do some good, then he’d be knocking two birds with one stone.

”Your genetics might make getting into this life easier but what skills do you actually know?” The words were delivered with the same tone as an interviewer would carry. ”How good are you at self defense? If we were suddenly attacked by a man armed with a gun, would you freeze up?”

He paused for a moment to finish eating a piece of carne.

”And when you speak of this “vigilante blood”, what exactly do you mean? Is-”

He blinked once, remembering which of his parents was absent. Deceased according to official files.

”Ah, nevermind.”

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Annasiel » Sun May 31, 2020 6:22 am

~☀~
"Oh, no, we're totally here to murder you. Y'know, cause that's what we do, just - go around murdering people. That's us. The murderers. Doing murder."

Rachel's voice dwindled towards the end as she came to terms with how utterly not-funny the bit was, and how awkwardly long she'd let it drag on. Coughing into her arm - more to hide her face than to actually cough - she let Kieran take the lead, listening to his questions. He sounded like a manager doing an interview. Er, at least, she assumed that's what he sounded like. She'd never actually had a real job before, save for the occasional bake sale back in middle school.

His talk about genetics, though - was Eid a meta? She didn't think fighting was, y'know, a genetic skill, so what the fuck else could he mean?

Ah, yes, Eidolon, my archnemesis - agh! You have your mother's eyes! my weakness!

Rachel snorted, turning the snort into another impromptu cover-up cough. Fucking ninja with that shit.

"Y'know," she finally said when she was certain Kieran was done, "I don't mind him - like - helping out. You do that - that vlog stuff, right? My brother was really into you at one point. Couldn't get that fucking opening song out of my head for a week. So if you're, y'know, used to doing investigation type stuff, you could really help us out figuring out when big shit's going down. You're not really gonna get punched if you sit at a computer all day, so knowing how to throw a punch won't really matter, right?"

She nudged Kieran in the side with her elbow.

"Right?"

Worst case scenario, he'd not really help, but get out of their hair. Best case scenario - he'd give them leads, help them keep track of things. There was only so many nights she could ride her bike for four hours, find nothing, and head home feeling useless that she could take. Having a guy who knew how to keep his finger on the pulse was, well, pretty fucking useful.
~☀~
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Eidolon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:24 am

Eidolon's expression contorted into one that conveyed disbelief upon hearing Kieran's question. "I-- you know I ran towards a guy with a gun in a park, right? I mean, sure, I lost my fuckin' leg, but that should tell you everything you need about how willing I am to act." A part of him felt a little offended that the kid would even ask him that to begin with. Hadn't he seen the news?

God-- no. He sounded like a fucking asshole when he said that. He had, after all, really only been in a situation like that once-- his little stint in Duskburg didn't quite count because he'd booked it before he could actually get involved in anything violent. Truthfully, he didn't know what he'd do if faced with that same situation again.

"I wouldn't freeze up." Eidolon stated, doubling down. "For about a year, now, I've been teaching myself self-defense and martial arts. I'm trained in boxing-- my dad made sure to get me into programs at a young age, and I've been continuing that even after he was gone." A slight pause. "In addition to that, I've been practicing taekwondo. With a prosthetic leg that has a bit more striking power than my regular one, it... makes sense, I guess. I know how to defend myself. I know how to attack someone."

He took another mouthful of food, chewed it, swallowed it, and continued.

"And, look, not to be an asshole, but do you guys know how to fight? That fight with the wolf, uh... could've gone better." From what he could see on the security footage, Rachel's little bedazzled shields were shattering faster than Eidolon's chances of actually teaming up with the pair. Far be it from him to criticize them both, sure, but it seemed a bit hypocritical to just launch themselves at him and conduct a formal inquiry like he was being subpoenaed.

"Look, all I'm saying is-- you're new to this. I'm new to this. We'd be better together than we would be separated. We're practically bargain bin vigilantes, right now, but I have a feeling we have a good chance at relevancy. Hell-- we could even go with the angle that I'm a cripple, you know? I'm an amputee, and I'm a better hero than blah, blah, blah, or-- whatever. Actually, nevermind. That's-- that's pretty offensive. Hm."

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Re: Hi, I'm Eidolon Martins. I know you're a vigilante. Can we talk?

Post by Deus Mortis » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:19 pm

The nudge from Rachel elicited a glance over at her, along with a smile.

”Sure.”

Just as before, Eidolon went off. This felt much more personal to him than before as before, there was nervous energy in his words. Now, there was none of that. It was passion of a struck nerve, all signs leading towards an ego. As the journalist defended himself at every turn and point, Kieran ate his food completely undisturbed by the zealousness thrown their way. The guisada was tasty enough to make remaining unoffended easy.

”It could have gone better.” To be better was the simple principal common between all living things. It was the basis of evolution, to adapt to be better at survival. To be more efficient. When it came to vigilantism and heroics, wanting to be better was the most common source of depression and angst. No one wanted to be a symbol of the people and be weak enough to be felled. No one was perfect, unfortunately. Many strived for perfection, few rarely fit to reach that level. They weren’t like him, after all.

But, with all things considered, Rachel was more efficient than most newer heroes. Her defensive capabilities were utilized creatively to both provide protection and synergize with the other on-site heroes responding to the threat. Without her, there would have been at least two casualties, both likely dead considering the threat's physical levels.” His tone was even, self-assured without emotion. It was more akin to someone reading an article than having a conversation.

”She used her abilities as best she could, considering the situation. There were other people there we had to account for. I think she did good.” He gave her only a momentary look before looking back at Eidolon. ”Like you did by getting into taekwondo. A kick-oriented self-defense system mixes well with your prosthetic. Whether we could use you being an amputee is...hm, well, it’s a double-edged sword. Some people will think you’re more enhanced than crippled but…”

He swirled the guisada with his fork, thinking of how to phrase his words.

”...I think more than enough people will see it the way you intend on making it look. That is assuming you integrate your leg into your costume or if your identity is compromised...” He stabbed another piece of meat and ate it. ”...the latter isn’t something you’d want happening now, is it? Your mother doesn’t know about some of the things you do, like your off-the-record journalism.”

”I know how to defend myself. I don’t enjoy getting into hand-to-hand but I’m more than capable of doing so.” His lips rose on either side into a smirk. ”I’m more well suited to being in the back. I assume you saw that well enough. The tapes did have a pretty good view of me firing my rifle.”

Another hint that Kieran had accessed the security footage too. He didn’t linger on it, eating as if he said nothing of relevance at all.

”I like that you’re not naive.” Naivety was a disgusting trait for someone to have. Rachel wasn’t technically intelligent or socially gifted but she had something that trumped both: common sense. The common sense to know when she was out of her element or when there was something more going on in a situation. Many first starting out as heroes rarely did more research than seeing videos of their favorite superheroes or surface-level google searches about the “big bad” they wanted to go after. It was this...lack of knowledge and awareness that made situations worse and ended up getting more people killed than is needed. Kieran understood necessary losses. What he didn’t like were unnecessary deaths.

”I’m leaning towards having you join us instead of just helping on the sidelines.” The decision was almost inevitable. The pros of having Eidolon with them outweighed the cons of denying him and possibly having him become a nuisance to their work. That and he would probably get along well with Rachel. Barring the shining social talent they shared, there were other similarities they had. Eidolon was probably going to end up offending Kelly at some point though. Not something that could be helped or should, really. Kieran was interested in seeing how everyone in the team behaved with one another. He could help change things from there, if they were particularly detrimental to their efficiency.

”Either way, if you help or join us, I can help make sure you’re as well accommodated as possible. I shouldn’t need to tell you but, there is going to be a lot of work needed to make sure you are as effective as you can be. Schedule reforms are at the top of the list, right under advancing your skills. I can hire martial arts instructors to make sure you’re getting the best lessons and greatest amount of attention during your training.” Kieran tapped the edge of his plate in a rhythm that almost seemed melodic. ”Hm...any maintenance regarding your prosthetic would be done by me. Optimizations as well. I don’t trust anyone else with this sort of thing. Speaking of, that reminds me.”

His attention actually perks up a bit more, looking over at Rachel.

”I wanted to talk to you about equipment and possible costumes, for the both of you now, actually.” He points his fork at her afterwards. ”You specifically though, we need to get you a mask. A real one. The hard light mask you have covers your face well enough but it isn’t consistent. If it breaks again in the future, we might end up with problems greater than a journalist knocking on our door- er, your door, rather.”

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