Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

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Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by illirica » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:06 pm

-=Capacitor=-Washington, DC: After Landfall
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Despite the best efforts of heroes and villains, the world was not destroyed. Nor was the city of DC, although it was admittedly looking a bit worse for the wear. Some of the buildings would need work. So would some of the people.

Capacitor sat quietly on a stool in a makeshift encampment. Most of the wounded had been taken away to hospitals, but she didn't like taking metas to hospitals if possible. A lot of them healed just fine on their own, and some of the doctors had funny ideas. She didn't trust civilian hospitals much. In the current situation, it had been an easy decision. The girl she'd taken charge of - apparently self-styled 'Tremor' - seemed like she just needed an out-of-the-way place to rest, and maybe someone to call her parents.

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Teja wasn't going to do that without the girl's say-so, though. Some of the metas' parents had funny ideas, too. Abuse was fairly common, she was well-aware. Half of them had dead parents, and of the ones that didn't, a good number of them wished their parents were dead. That was the world she was trying to fix, she supposed.

Right now, her attention was more invested in the circuitry in one of her charge-armor plates; she had it opened up and was tinkering around in the innards with a screwdriver. It was something to do, while she waited for the kid to wake up and made sure she got to wherever she was going, as safely as possible.

Her COC had pointed out that it probably not her duty to sit there babysitting the kid, and didn't she have better things to be doing? That was the point at which she had muted the headset. Well, after a few scathing words that her Heroic Persona definitely didn't use. You didn't abandon a fallen comrade. And you especially didn't leave a kid behind - doubly so if they were a meta. There were plenty of organizations that would have been more than happy to 'appropriate' someone like young Tremor.

Not with Capacitor there, though. Not today, anyway. She'd keep the girl safe, long enough for her to wake up, and then send her on her way, where she would no doubt proceed to find other ways to get herself half-killed. Teja knew how that one went. She'd been that age once. The age where people considered themselves immortal. For some of the metas, it was even true.

For others... not so much. She glanced to the horizon, where local enforcement was directing traffic around the danger zone. A lot of the streets were damaged... and a lot of that had to do with this girl. Unconscious, she looked so harmless.

Teja knew better.
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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by Mach2 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:27 am

Consciousness teased at the edge of Frankie's mind. She was nowhere, she was nothing. Floating weightlessly in a place where hours and minutes meant the same thing. And then, slowly, her senses began to scratch away at the darkness. An encompassing ache was brought to the forefront of her awareness. A groan escaped her mouth before she'd even opened her eyes.

Slowly, shapes began to swim into focus in front of her. Her helmet sat on the ground near her. And a person, sitting a short distance away. A woman. Green hair. The memory of the woman came back to her, followed a moment later by the fight. Frankie remembered sprinting towards a battle. She remembered clapping her hands together with all the force she could manage. And beyond that, she remembered nothing. It was quieter now. No signs of titans rushing to tear each other apart. The fight was over.

She sat up slowly, laboriously, and almost tipped over again. Right now, even the slightest of motions were enough to make her head spin. Her ears were ringing, her body felt like she'd been hit by a car, and she was not entirely convinced she would make it through the next few minutes without vomiting.

Frankie fixed her gaze on the green-haired woman. Slightly blurry. Slightly less blurry. There, now she was in focus. As Frankie spoke, her words came out slightly slurred, and she could barely hear her own voice over the ringing in her ears. "How long was I out?"

And then, another image from the fight resurfaced. The sight of a villain's fist tearing clean through a man's abdomen. Her mouth twitched, and her nausea grew. "Is...is everyone okay?" she asked hesitantly, not sure she wanted to hear the answer.

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by illirica » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:51 pm

"Take it easy," Capacitor told her, which was good advice but wasn't an answer. She didn't delay further on answering the questions - she'd been on the other side of the equation, and knew how frustrating that was, as well. "You've been out a few hours. Cyrolus is in prison, or en route. Last I heard, Concord was still critical. The others have mostly left, with various degrees of injury. None were regarded as life-threatening at the point at which they left, but we don't have any more information than that right now." It probably wasn't what the girl wanted to hear. It never was. It was always difficult, too, to determine what actually constituted "life-threatening" when meta-abilities were involved. Capacitor had seen men and women shrug off what should have been killing blows, and she'd also seen them fall to light strikes that had triggered an unknown weakness. For those who had fought today... sometimes the only way to know was to see if they showed up next time.

Capacitor didn't bother saying something silly like "I'm sorry." It didn't help, and the girl was young enough to regard it as patronizing. That was the last thing she wanted to do - after all, she'd spent plenty of time being patronized herself. Both for being a girl in the Army, before she'd gotten her abilities, and for being... well, a girl in the Army, after she'd gotten her abilities. The military still had some issues. They'd come a long way, but Capacitor still made a point of looking out for other young women when she could. She closed the panel she'd been working on, and pressed the plate into place on her upper arm. It looked out of place, because the rest of the set was back at base, but she'd wanted to tinker with that one. It hadn't quite been picking up charge as quickly as the others. That, and she'd needed something to do while she waited for Tremor to come around.

"You did well for yourself," she said instead. "It's tough when you're the rookie and everyone else seems to know what they're doing. You've got a lot of promise, though. I'd like to see you live to grow in to it."

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by Mach2 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:03 pm

Frankie's aching brain sifted through the information provided. Cyrolus. Concord. Names were matched to faces. Cyrolus must have been the big guy. The one they were all fighting. Concord, the man who had unleashed that relentless beam of red energy. Critical. Critical meant bad, but it didn't mean dead. Once again, the image of Cyrolus's fist moving through the man's body replayed in her mind. Not dead, even after having his spine shattered.

She smiled weakly at Capacitor's compliment. "Thanks. I guess I've got some work to do on that, huh? That staying alive bit?" She gave a tired laugh, and then winced slightly. The noise made her head hurt, and the abdominal muscles required for laughter felt bruised. All of her felt bruised. "Right now I'm pretty much as good at beating myself up as the bad guys are."

She shifted herself, sitting cross-legged and propping her head up in her hands. "What's that thing do?" she asked, looking at the panel that Capacitor had been tinkering with. She remembered the energy-shield that she'd hid behind during the fight. Did this woman get her powers from the armoured panels? Or did she use the armoured panels to enhance her powers?

Tremor had questions, sure, but she also needed this conversation as a distraction for just a few more minutes. She knew that she was going to have to call her mom soon, but she wasn't quite ready for that yet. The second she said that she was at the Washington Monument and needed to be picked up, she would have some explaining to do. Hopefully the news coverage for the event was lacking. But if any cameras had captured a young woman in a motorcycle helmet running around detonating shockwaves, then Frankie would have a lot of explaining to do.

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by illirica » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:17 pm

"This? It's a circuit-wired armor impact plate." Capacitor pushed it out a little from her body, with a hint of charge. "I use them for tanking heavy impacts. I can push them out where I want them, and then dissipate the force of a hit over the B-field." She wasn't sure how much electromagnetic physics the girl had been exposed to at her age. "Essentially it's like pushing back against a kinetic - physical - force with an electromagnetic one. Since electromagnetic force is relatively very strong, it means I can absorb a lot of energy that way."

Often, metas and heroes weren't very forthcoming about their powers or their tech, but Capacitor had always been fairly open with hers. Admittedly most of the population - sans physicists - didn't really understand her abilities anyway, but she'd gotten pretty decent at giving layman's explanations. As public a figure as the military wanted her to be, it had been assumed that her powers were going to be found out anyway, and she might as well just start off being open and public them. Some of the tech she used was, of course, classified secrets - but the armor plating wasn't actually that technologically advanced, it was just that it required someone like Capacitor to be able to use it - or someone with a power plant in their back pocket.

"You'll get better at knowing your limits," Capacitor assured her. She'd overcharged herself a couple times when she'd first been trying to figure out her abilities, resulting in a burst discharge that had been dangerous for anyone around her, and a three-day hangover. She'd had to practice and learn what she could do, and when, and how much - just like any other meta. Just like young Tremor was going to have to. "Then you can leave the beating-you-up to the 'bad guys.'"

She considered that for a moment, then added, judiciously, "Although once in a while a solid well-placed, unexpected self-nuke can have extremely useful results. The trick to that is to make sure you've got people with you that you can trust to get you out when you do it. That's what I wanted to talk to you about, actually. You seem like you've got one of those abilities that's going to do some self-inflicted damage. The best way that you can work around that is to work together with some people who know you. Who know what you can do, and when they need to step in and help."

"I'm willing to give you pointers where I can, but I can't really take you on in an official capacity unless you're enlisted... and I don't know if that's the route you want to take." She didn't think Tremor was necessarily old enough to enlist, either, but she wasn't going to earn any favors by pointing that out. "Honestly, if I were you, I'd think about looking in to some of the heroes your own age. Meeting up with a few of them, and trying to get some reciprocal defenses arranged."

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by Mach2 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:04 pm

Circuit-wired impact plate. B-field. Kinetic. Electromagnetic. Even if Tremor's brain had been working at full-capacity, she wouldn't have understood those words. She'd more-or-less failed physics class last semester. She suspected the teacher had boosted her grade up to a pass out of pity. But even so, the plate looked cool and the hint of electrical charge when Capacitor moved it away from her body looked even cooler, so her eyes didn't completely glaze over during the explanation.

She took her time to process Capacitor's next words, staring idly down at her helmet while she thought. "You mean like making a superhero team?" she finally asked, her tone bordering on sarcastic.

The idea wasn't actually completely terrible. The only reason she had survived this fight was because there were people on her side, looking out for her. If there hadn't been shields for her to hide behind, Tremor would be likely be a corpse right now, filled with bullets and burned to a crisp by Concord's energy blast. Not to mention whatever had happened in the hours she'd just spent unconscious. The idea of having someone around to watch her back like that all the time was appealing. Especially someone her age. But Frankie had never been so great at meeting people. She and her mom moved around too much for her to put down roots, and she'd stopped trying years ago. Even at their current home in Detroit, she kept to herself. "Do you have anyone in mind? 'Cause I'm from the sketchy part of Detroit, and all the kids in my grade are real idiots. And I don't think anyone has powers."

Even as she grumbled against the idea, it was growing on her. Not just the potential for a team that she could fight with, but maybe even friends that she could talk to. A few others who understood the frustrations of trying to figure out high school when the only thing you were good at wasn't something you could show off to your peers. "Is there like, social media for superheroes?" she asked, mostly joking, but just the slightest bit hopeful. "That'd be cool."

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by illirica » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:02 pm

"Detroit is..." Capacitor didn't have a lot of good things to say about Detroit. She let that sentence trail off, deciding she didn't need to finish it. It wasn't like anything she could tell Tremor would be a surprise. That explained a little bit about her willingness to throw herself headlong into danger.

"There's a few superheroes with a social media presence. A lot of them are... 'interesting characters.'" Somehow, the way she said it seemed to translate to bloody idiots. "Try 'Rainbow Report' though. It's run by kids, but they seem like decent sorts - and despite the fact that it sounds like it was named by a kindergartener, it's got some decent stuff. I think they're based in Solar City. That's where I'd go, if I were you. If your powers can handle it. The dampener is weird for some people - it affects everyone a little differently, but if it doesn't bother you too much, Solar City can be a little bit like special-abilities-with-training-wheels, from what I've heard. I know that's not much, but hopefully it's a starting point."

Capacitor had information on a lot of heroes- dossiers created by the government, carefully studied just in case - but she didn't tend to interact with them if at all possible. Mostly they didn't click well. Heroes were very... individually minded. Out to save the world. Not a lot of them liked the idea of taking orders from the government. They liked to decide for themselves where they were going to be and what they were going to do about things.

Sometimes that worked out. Other times... other times it got messy. She'd done enough post-ops to know how that went, as well.

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by Mach2 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:32 pm

Frankie nodded. There was a slight smile on her face now. The green-haired woman hadn't given her much to work with, but she still felt like she was leagues ahead of where she'd started. She made a mental note to check out the Rainbow Report. And Solar City. Her mother had travelled there for interviews before. She could probably be convinced to drag her daughter along again. "Rainbow Report. Solar City. I'll look into it. Thanks. And thanks for...y'know, everything else. Making sure I didn't get my ass kicked too hard," Frankie said, sincerely. She inhaled, and let her breath out in a deep sigh. "All right, I guess I should call my mom..."

She reached into her pocket, pulling out her cell phone. It had a protective case, but her shockwaves had still managed to crack the screen. She'd have to invest in something stronger, especially if she planned on getting more involved with the whole 'superhero' thing. "What's your name, by the way?" Frankie asked, as she started to dial her mother's number.

She put the phone to her ear, trying to brainstorm up a series of excuses as it rang. As long as video coverage of the event was spotty, she could lie her way through it. She was a bystander, got knocked into something when everyone ran. She was getting really good at coming up with excuses for concussions.

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by illirica » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:57 pm

"Don't worry about it. Everyone needs someone to watch out for them." She glanced down as the girl pulled out her cell phone, noticing all the cracks in the screen. Hmm... So, the girl's shockwaves affected things on her person as well - that, or she'd just landed hard when she'd fallen. Either way, it seemed like phones probably weren't going to last particularly long around her, if she kept throwing herself headlong into danger like this.

"Teja Docesznik," she answered the inquiry, choosing to give her actual name rather than her alias. Since both were public, the girl could look them up later if she wanted - and presumably Capacitor was going to have to talk to the media about everything, so that information would be available as well. "Military R&D," she added, with a hint of a smile. "I'll see if I can tinker up something for your phone." For all the danger she'd put herself in, trying to help... Teja figured she'd earned the little amount of R&D time it would take to try to figure out a protective phone cover for her.

She leaned over to one side for a moment, writing her name and contact information on a piece of paper in green ink, in the neat, precise printing of someone who did a lot of technical specs and needed others to be able to read her writing without error. Folding the paper, she passed it to the girl who was making her call, and stood up to give her a bit of privacy.

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Re: Aftershock (closed: Tremor, Capacitor)

Post by Mach2 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:16 pm

At the offer to 'tinker up something' for her shattered phone, Frankie's eyes went wide. "Really?" she asked, not bothering to hide her excitement. "That would be-"

She didn't get to finish her sentence, though, before her mother's voice came through on the other end of the line - loudly enough to make Frankie cringe at the noise. And probably loud enough that it would have been heard by Teja, had she not stood up to give Frankie some privacy for the call. "Francine, where the hell have you been? I've been trying to call for three hours!"

"Yeah...I'm sorry. Mom, can you come pick me up? I'm at the Washington Monument," Frankie explained. There was a quiet gasp from the other end of the line, confirming that her mother had seen at least some news coverage of the event. "I'm okay, there were heroes around and someone got me out. I just hit my head is all, and I couldn't phone until just now."

The conversation devolved quickly into stream-of-consciousness rambling from Joan Southam - Are you sure you're okay? I'm going to take a taxi. Where are you now? Oh, I knew that Washington wasn't a good idea. Are you sure you're okay? I'm on my way now, I'll be there soon - occasionally interjected with reassurances from her daughter. Frankie stood up, laboriously, and mouthed one last "Thank you" to Teja before walking off to go find somewhere to meet her mother.

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