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Thread: The MetaWar Saga (unfinished)

  1. #21
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    Default Chapter 14



    Olympus was growing, we were making a difference in human society, and even better, they noticed. Overall coverage of our activities was positive despite constant reminders by the US government that we were all technically criminals and traitors. We had reached a significant portion of the MetaHuman population with the Pact, and it was working.

    There were some battles you never heard about of course, but most ended up on the news. A group would pop up somewhere, do some damage, probably kill some people, and disappear. Some of us would arrive in town and hunt the villains down.

    We worked hard to avoid combat on city streets. If one of us saw a crime in progress, regardless of location we would want to respond, but the result of our kind of combat was usually destruction. We weighed the cost of taking action against the danger in front of us.

    It has been alleged that we enjoyed destroying the municipal properties of the very cities we risked our lives to defend. We did not enjoy it. The people we fought, a lot of them took great pleasure in the chaos they could cause. We operated the way we did because it was the way to reduce casualties, to keep people from getting hurt.

    One of the wonders of our times that is not related to my kind is global communications. News travels, anyone can see the news from anywhere, books are published on every possible subject.

    Even books by Murderers, Sadists, Rapists, Monsters.

    Even books by cold, heartless people who died at my own hand.

    Even them.

    History is told by the victors eh? Well not anymore. This is our story, their story has been coming out since Day One actually. The first book that alleged it would tell the true story of the Fateful Four came out 33 days after the actual battle itself.

    Question? How many of the scum that we hunted down like dogs had a best selling book?

    Answer? Too fucking many.

    The only good thing I can say about most of them is that the profits generally go to the surviving families of those lost souls. They have all of the sympathy and compassion that Psyche and Nova have beaten into my head over the years.

    Sadly in well over half the cases, it is only distant relatives who benefit from the posthumous publishing of such a work. Immediate families are most often the first victims of a Meta who goes over to the dark side.

    If you think we had been sailing along at this point, dispatching our opponents left and right without a worry you would be half right. We were succeeding at a great many things. Those like us who went public in a criminal way found our response fairly quick, and very final.

    There are people we have not yet been able to stop. Loki had not played any more games with us but he was still out there. We knew of a few Metas who were gathering forces but had not yet made any serious moves, mostly they were based in Europe or Asia.

    MetaHumans had begun disappearing from North America and appearing elsewhere a short time later. Someone was making money by getting people away from us. One thing it was pretty easy for us to learn was that the people who were leaving had ample reason not to want to meet us.

    Olympus had the advantage of having gotten started first, we were far bigger than any other group could hope to be. I intended for it to stay that way so we did a lot of recruiting. Those Metas who did not want to live at Olympus were offered training anyway, most accepted. I built up a reserve force that eventually turned into some of the independent teams.

    But there were some that we could not catch, or could not beat.

    There was Zippy.

    He calls himself Mercury, but we call him Zippy and worse. The one rogue speedster.

    Speedsters can see each other at about the normal distance. Catching one that does not want to be caught is damn near impossible. So far despite the constant effort of Olympus's speedsters, the bastard is still out there. And if I have been successful in describing how much my speedy friends do, the phrase 'constant effort' should really mean something.

    There is no way to calculate how many deaths Zippy has caused. He ranges over the globe, he kills by accident more often than not, but what does that matter except to make it more horrible. Humans mean nothing to him, what a flat phrase but it is the simple truth.

    If you analyze automobile accidents you can find spikes that represent his movement in different areas. The longer he is in one place, the more people die. We tried to find him this way once, the numbers we eventually attributed to him were too heartbreaking to reveal.

    Three years at supersonic speed. I do not mean to sound flip but, move over Hitler, the new King of the Dead has arrived.

    I should have them delete that last part. I am trying to talk about someone who I hate more than I thought was possible for me. If I am walking along with my shield down and a viper bites me, I would not hate the snake. It might kill me but it is just being a snake. I might kill it, but I would not hate.

    Zippy is a man. A MetaHuman, a superpowered superspeedster, yes, but still a man. He has chosen his path.

    Because of him we built the Wall. Geo, with a team of engineers, designed and created it. Huge, thick and dense, it was meant to keep Zippy out. The Gates of Olympus serve the same purpose, multiple layers, sensors, defenses, we are not kidding around.

    Zippy has invaded Olympus twice, both before the Wall. The first time Speed talked to him and ended up chasing him off. The second time he killed two new MetaHumans, six Security personnel, and two of the Admin people before Speed and Kid Flash could arrive to drive him away.

    After the second invasion we had recruited all the remaining speedsters bring us to the familiar six you all know so well. I decided that I needed to impress upon them how much I wanted Zippy stopped, and by stopped I meant stone cold dead. I don't mess around either.

    I had Geo construct six knives with 12 inch blades. They were made of some of that extra hard metal that he creates and had a special surprise in the handle. The most powerful battery we could find could turn the blade into a vicious weapon for 10 seconds. I know that seems short to us, but to them it was as perfect.

    Speed called 10 seconds “like a hundred round clip”.

    The metal was black and double-edged. The hilt and handle were heavy non-reflective black. And when I make something non-reflective I really do it up right. The knives are slivers of midnight, evil looking things. They matched the purpose for which they were forged and I was quite pleased with the result of the work.

    When I presented the six with the new weapons I kept it short, as was appropriate.

    “I have had these made for each of you because one of the people who was gifted with your power has become our enemy. He is out there right now, killing. He has killed people on our own soil. Take these, find him, kill him. Continue with all your other tasks, but get him.”

    They look, and they keep looking. I've lost track of the number of times they have almost got him but those keep happening on a regular basis.

    We will get him, they will get him.

    But even if it were to happen this very second, it would be far, far too late.

    An angry god has rained death on the Earth for years. Nothing we can do will ever change that.


  2. #22
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    Default Chapter 15



    Philadelphia.

    I remember when it was so raw it seemed like the pain would last forever. It was what Olympus was built to stop. We failed, I failed, what more can I say.

    Nine months after Day One, four MetaHumans decided to take over the city that held so much of American history. Morgan, their female Telepath had no trouble subverting the minds of the Mayor, Chief of Police, key members of the City Council and most of the police force.

    In one day they turned a proud American city into Hell.

    They must have known what had to happen.

    Their leader, Mordred, shared a couple of things in common with me. We were both males, and we were both Energy Masters. The biggest difference between us was our ages. Mordred was 18, and all his companions were under 20 years old.

    You remember the broadcast, some call it the dark reflection of our first press conference.

    I hate that.

    Mordred, flanked by the smiling members of the city government, announced he was now running the City. New rules would be posted, and any unauthorized Meta activities would not be permitted. It went on for quite a while. He did not try to rationalize it, or make it sound legal, the city was his because he had taken it, and would keep it, with force.

    The citizens of Philadelphia were hostages. That obscene list. Assigning the number of lives that would be taken if a whole host of 'infractions' occurred. I issued orders that the speedsters and everyone else was to stay out of Philadelphia until we had a plan in operation.

    Troll, a male Meta with massive strength, and Pandora, a female Telekinetic rampaged through the city to terrify the populace. It worked. With all forces of authority at their command, there was little anyone could do but to hunker down in their homes and wait. People died, fires burned for hours before city fireman were allowed to respond, and chaos ruled the streets.

    Tens of thousands fled the city.

    MetaHumans had been around long enough that plenty of people knew it was time to be somewhere else. Troll and Pandora responded by building barriers across the exit routes. Oddly they did not directly attack those poor fleeing people. Some were killed, but as far as we can tell it those were accidental. In 24 hours Mordred was firmly in control of the remaining 350,000 Philadelphia residents.

    The U.S. Military went in, supported by the government's superteam. A entire armored division, M1A1 Abrams Tanks, Apache helicopters, and all the modern weapons of war stuck at the outer edge of the City. They essentially moved in and called the invaders out.

    Mordred and his team was happy to comply.

    Troll leaped into the leading formation of Tanks and flung them like toys. Pandora swatted Apaches out of the sky. One of the first thing I realized about my new opponents was that Pandora was the most powerful Telekinetic we had seen. We coined the class name 'Black Lantern' because of her.

    Mordred and Morgan killed the government superteam fairly quickly. I may feel they were somewhat misguided, but I wish they had met a better end.

    Is there any sight more chilling than that pair wandering through the attacking military forces? Mordred kept Morgan safe and they killed everyone they saw. She would turn troopers against their comrades. Madness was a byproduct of her wake. She was very creative, men did things that had they lived to remember them, would certainly have driven them insane.

    Nearly 1,000 men and women died that morning.

    The President of the United States called me. He asked for my help, that had to hurt.

    I told him the price was our independence, Sovereignty. Diplomatic Immunity for all of our combat teams, and all the adjacent federal lands. That plan started so long ago finally was complete. He surprised me by saying my request was expected. He agreed.

    The government of the United States rolled over with a whimper, were you really expecting it to end differently? They needed us, it was only a matter of time. I wish it had not taken what it did, that was a high price to pay.

    Now I had to plan how, and who.

    It was 8 am, Friday.

    I was only concerned about Mordred and Pandora. Thor could handle the Troll, and would appreciate the mythic names involved. Speed could tag Morgan if Mordred was prevented from shielding her.

    Pandora was a major worry, her strength was not going to be easy to beat.

    Every MetaHuman at Olympus wanted in, and told me so. Medusa demanded, demanded of me, the right to go in to take out Pandora. None of this bothered me, and I sat for 56 minutes and listened to every single one of them make their pitch.

    When the last was finished, I stood up and began to walk to the exit.

    “I will pick the one other person I need and let you know.”

    What would have been a confusing roar of questions had only begun to build when I flooded the room with energy that neutralized all sound. The room went still, and I left.

    Nobody followed.

    I considered trying to talk to Mordred, to threaten him into giving the city up. Nobody, including Psyche, thought that was going to work. I did not have much confidence in the idea either.

    So I got creative, I lied. I told Mordred that a delegation from Olympus was willing to meet with him. Although we did not approve of their methods we had no choice but to recognize their success. We would consider recognizing their claim to Philly if they would meet with us in person.

    From what you have heard so far you must know this was all bullshit. He believed it because that was what he wanted to hear.

    I took Thor and Geo. Speed would be just outside of town until I signaled.

    Noon, Saturday.

    A ring two to three blocks deep had been cleared around the City Government building. There was damage visible in various parts of the city but once we got close it looked like a war zone. A clearly frightened human clerk had told us over the phone to drive up to the front of the building and enter there.

    We pulled up to the front steps, and sent the car and driver away.

    We knew the four of them had set up court in the central rotunda. Too confining. We stayed outside, walking casually to a group of trees nearby.

    “Think they know we are here?” asked Geo.

    “They do, Mordred and I can easily sense each other. They are all in there.” I replied.

    “Oh, yeah, right, sorry.”

    “Nothing to be sorry about, I am glad you are here. I know you have not been in the field all that much but I know you can do this.”

    “I know what I need to do. It is just not as easy as it is for you two.”

    “It is not easy, it is just necessary.”

    “Where is everybody?” asked Thor.



  3. #23
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    Default Chapter 15a



    “Inside, all four of them.” I responded.

    “No I mean the others, the hangers on, the sleaze of the city, shouldn't they be having themselves a good old time now?”

    “Interesting thought, too soon perhaps.”

    Troll lumbered his way out of the large double doors at the top of the stairs.

    “Hey morons, we are in here.” he roared in our direction.

    I looked at my companions and we turned to face the large Meta. Thor took his place on my right, Geo on the left.

    It seemed to take quite a while for Troll to get the message. When the idea had seeped into his brain he stormed back into the building.

    “Geo, do not play with Pandora, she is too powerful for that. Find a way, and put her down.” I cautioned Geo.

    “Yes sir.”

    “You know my large blond friend, in the myths Thor has a long history with Trolls.”

    “I do, and I hope to add a new chapter today.” grinned my always eager companion.

    The double doors slammed open once again, this time at the urging of Pandora who flew out ahead of the rest of them. They came down the steps and walked towards us, stopping about 50 feet away.

    “Are we playing games Pulsar?” shouted Mordred.

    Shouted, he could not magnify his voice. I could, and I did.

    “No games, people have died, far too many. I am here to offer you a way out.”

    “Yeah right, all three of you?”

    “Olympus offers you a way out, will you take it?”

    “Fuck you Pulsar!”

    Mordred had not shielded Morgan yet. I sent the signal to Speed.

    It was hard to watch, one second she was standing there, the next her neck snapped and she dropped like a stone.

    “Cassy, No!” screamed Mordred. “KILL THEM!”

    My companions took off to the left and right. Thor and Troll thundered towards each other like enraged elephants. He was a big fucker too. Geo running to draw Pandora to him. I waited.

    Mordred was holding Morgan in his arms. I felt pity, and suppressed it, later not now.

    “It does not have to end like this Mike.” I said in a normal voice.

    “It does for you you motherfucker! My name is MORDRED!”

    His first attack was violent, but uninspired. He threw bolt after bolt of concussive force. I deflected most of it and then started to absorb. He showed surprise when I hit him with waves of microwave energy. His shield flared and flickered as it tried to cope with the overload of heat.

    He was an Energy Master but he did not know enough about his powers. He never had a chance.

    Gravity was beyond his control, I pinned him to the ground. He triggered an explosive burst to try and drive me back.

    That was his last mistake. That attacks drains our shields, in this case down to the point where I could break his. I did.

    His look of shock as his shield vanished was lost on me, but recorded for all time.

    I took the energy that made him a living being.

    I would be remiss if I did not at least acknowledge the battle that Thor waged against Troll. It was worthy of an epic poem in the viking style. And I was once again impressed with the sheer grit my friend could show. At least twice it looked like Thor was going to go down. Both times he fought back liked an enraged bear.

    It was the hammer that made the difference. Thor would have won in the end if events had not intervened.

    Why Geo? I am so tired of that question.

    For the final time, I did not know what was going to happen once we got to Philly. We might have had to play out the friendly ruse, there could have been a hundred people staked out around our enemies. I did not know. If I had taken Apollo, or any other experienced combat Meta, the ruse might not have worked.

    I took Geo because he was good, and I knew he could handle her. He had become known as the 'Maker of Olympus' by then and so seemed an obvious choice if we really were going to make nice with the wackos.

    Geo did his best, I was there and I say it was so. Pandora threw cars at him, she got a hold of him and threw him. His response to the cars was to turn them to gas. His landing point after being thrown became foam rubber the instant before he hit.

    He did attack, several cars exploded just as Pandora grabbed them, one almost got her.

    He did his best, it was not his fault.

    It was mine. Pandora was Mordred's girlfriend, I did not know that. Not sure what I would have done differently but I should have known.

    When I killed him, she lost control of her power.

    She screamed, a long, gut-wrenching howl.

    I saw the lines of force that she commanded turn on her. Gravity began to fluctuate in waves.

    “EVAC” I screamed.

    Pandora imploded.

    Thor, Geo and I stood with Speed, Quicksilver and Kid Flash and watched a city die.

    For a moment Pandora became a black hole. An immense force drawing every bit of matter into itself. Everything for 10 miles rushed to try and fill the space that was once a person.

    Then it was over. The dirt, stone, steel, and bones of the grand city of Philadelphia and her residents became one with the MetaHuman known as Pandora. The two destroyed each other, nothing remained.

    I should have stayed, I should have tried to control it. I am sorry.

    I would have failed but at least I would not have to live with the guilt.

    We did our best, it was not good enough.

    It was a taste of things to come.



  4. #24
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    Default Chapter 16



    This is Thor. I guess I did not talk enough the first time so they have given me a list of things to tell you all about.

    We have never invited a close inspection of our masks, or costumes for that matter. Not that pictures of us are not everywhere anyway, along with endless speculation about what we really look like.

    Our masks started as a simple piece of cloth, they wrap completely around our heads and tie in the back. Our eyes are protected by plastic shields, our mouths by a fine mesh. From the start we added a few extra strips of cloth to change the contours of our faces.

    So far it has proven impossible for any sort of identification to be made of anyone wearing an Olympus mask. We do not eat or drink in public, that requires the masks to come off.

    We never told anyone but just after our one year anniversary, Day 356 as we called it, we undertook a special covert project. Basically we went looking for photos and other identification items for every Olympus MetaHuman. We collected, or destroyed them. After a few months of work it became almost impossible to find a picture of any of us, anywhere.

    License branches all across the country were invaded, photos were swapped. It did mean that most of us lost most of our 'secret' identities, but it did not matter much at that point.

    One unexpected hitch, the impact of this on the families. The desire to bring immediate family to Olympus was not limited to MetaHumans, all of our regular Staff were involved. So a fair percentage of our dependents did end up living at Olympus. Everyone feared for the safety of anyone they cared for. It is a good thing we got fast at construction or we could never have kept up with the demand.

    Olympus was secure, so people living there could keep their photos and such.

    But for those related to residents of Olympus who choose not to live here, there was no alternative but to give up, or allow to be altered, many cherished photos and recordings. It was for their safety, for our safety, but it was hard.

    We have improved the masks a bit, they breathe better, the eye shields react to light and darken when needed, and the communications gear is built right in.

    Costumes, uniforms, we call them both. The standard outfit is a reinforced one piece bodysuit in non-reflecting black. The basic model is very lightly padded, but it can be altered into very sturdy body armor. I refuse to wear anything but the basic, I value movement over protection. Most people opt for a fair amount of protection even when their power offers even more. We try to stress to everyone that in combat you just never know what is going to happen.

    Colors, quite a lot of people have a color, or perhaps two, that they use to trim their outfit. All non-reflecting muted colors, but they do add some variety. The use of different amounts of trim allows even two people with the same color to be distinctive.

    Every Meta is encouraged to develop a symbol or logo for themselves. We have a small department of people who actually produce the clothes, costumes, and uniforms we all wear. They are quite good at what they do and they help even the least artistic to express themselves. If nothing else a stylized version of their name goes above the left breast.

    Pulsar does not have a color, or a logo. But he is pretty much the only one. Even Psyche, who also sticks with the basic black, wears the PsiInt logo.

    Most of the time we try to work behind the scenes, we do not want to disrupt lives we want to protect them. So black and stealth are the standard.

    But of course there are those times when things are wide open, and there are no shadows to be found. So for these moments, some MetaHumans have a formal costume. These are the costumes that have few limits, and the ones that make Pulsar wince.

    More color, reflecting colors are allowed, means that some are pretty spectacular.

    Formal outfits are the ones mostly likely to have a cape. Normally we avoid such things because they tend to get in the way more often than not. But when we are going flashy, they do look nice. Capes are generally attached via break-way snaps. So if you saw The Incredibles and are worrying, don't. Batman figured that one out in the 1940s.

    Pulsar's cape is a story all on it's own. I sat down with a very understanding tech girl and she explained how it works. Took a few tries but I think I have it now. I did ask him if he minded me talking about it, and he did say it was ok.

    It is not really a cape at all but rather a whole bunch of one-quarter inch strips. Each strip is almost a full fifty feet long! Some sort of wire runs through each to carry a tiny current. The current forms an energy matrix that he can control. No idea what an energy matrix really is, but that is how it works.

    When he first got it he could only do some simple shapes with it, but now, wowzy wow wow. He can animate it, form great wings, all sorts of stuff. He says there is a long standing comic tradition of capes that do amazing things and he is honoring that now.

    This might also be a good place to talk about names, Meta names to be exact. Considering the number of people who eventually came to live at Olympus it is not surprising that the ways in which people gained their new names would be varied.

    In the very beginning Pulsar and Speed choose their own names. Pulsar gave me my name, and when Psyche could not decide, he did. So we had those two traditions to go with. Having people show up even before Day One forced us to set some sort of rule about names very quickly.

    We really did not want a bunch of comic book superheros running around. Not because of the copyright or other legal problems but for more basic reasons. Pulsar did not want people thinking too much about comic books cause like he says, over and over, “Real life ain't a damn comic book.”

    Psyche says that taking a famous name can lead to unfair comparisons, or unrealistic expectations. I do not know about that, I was named after the God of Thunder, and I do ok.

    Secretly, Pulsar had a great deal of fondness for much of the comic book world and he wanted people to be worthy of names like Spider-Man, Batman, or Captain America. Never found the first, the second is something different, and the third you will get to hear about eventually.

    What we suggested was that new Metas not declare a codename at first. This worked about a third of the time. If someone came in and was dead-set on a particular name, that is how it generally ended up. But for most their names came from the people around them. During training you get to know people, and who you are does come out. This is the tradition among groups like military fighter pilots and it has worked pretty well for us too.

    MetaHumans who have been around for a while sometimes help out. Pulsar has given names to quite a few of our comrades. For those of the physical bent, I sometimes make a suggestion that turns into a name. As far as all the Norse-based supermen and superwomen, that is not my fault. I objected, I told them to kiss my butt and find another kind of name. They ignored me, especially Sif.

    Few other rules exist, the name must be something we can say easily, or at least have a short form. We are the good guys so that has to be considered, Blood Drinker was rejected for example. Pulsar has the final approval because as he said once, “I have to use these names along with everyone else. I have to call out to them when lives are on the line and people are dying. I will NOT ask Blood Drinker to do anything. Drinker would be stupid and if he wants to use Blood I know a group of people who would want to have a word with him first.”

    But somehow it all works out.


  5. #25
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    Default Chapter 17



    The first meeting of the Praetorian Guard of Olympus.

    Janice, the President of Olympus started things off.

    “Alright everyone lets get started. Take a look around you ladies and gentlemen, aside from myself you are all looking at the first members of the Praetorian Guard of Olympus. As you are guessing from the name your task will be to protect the most valuable members of our community. Commander Pulsar originated this idea and he, along with the rest of Olympus, knows you will all do your very best in pursuit of your mission objectives.”

    Paul took over from there.

    “I am your new Commander, and I will remain so until one of you shows me that he, or she, has the stuff to do my job. I want to go back to my dojo and training grounds. I am a human, but most of the people in this room are not. There are 102 people here. Our lovely President and myself are the 101st and 102nd.”

    “Of the rest of you lot, 62 are Level 1 MetaHumans. Yeah, you are stronger, faster, and a damn bit tougher than any human I have ever seen but only 15 of you have had military training so you other 47 have a long damn way to go.”

    “We also have 12 Level 2 MetaHumans, yeah you heard me.”

    “I could let them speak for themselves but this is a military outfit so I gonna tell ya. They all have a few things in common. They all have some reasons for not wanting to join the flashy combat teams. It really is their business but to make it easy for the brain-dead out there I will tell you some of them.”

    “Some of our new comrades have purely defensive powers, some just want to help in a different way, and finally some are people who have such extreme powers that the only way they will use them is in defense.”

    “I think everyone who signs up for the Praetorian Guard is doing a noble thing. And the reasons, well, they really do not mean shit.”

    “If any of you monkeys can do math, you will realize there are still 26 people unaccounted for. Well I will tell you. Look around, see the boys and girls who look kinda sleepy? Every one of those jokers is a former special forces op. Stone cold killers who only quit when they are dead. Wake up dickheads I am going to use you as examples of something besides sacks a shit.”

    “These jokers are going to make this force into what it must be. We are going to protect those MetaHumans and others who are vital to Olympus. From this moment on the health and safety of the Telepaths and Scanners of Olympus is our responsibility.”

    “The original Praetorian Guard was formed by the Roman Emperor Augustus in 27 BC. Two thousand fucking years later and we still have the same bloody needs. They were formed to protect the person of the Emperor but also the city of Rome. You monkeys beginning to get the idea?”

    “We are a combination of US Secret Service and military Special Forces. We are going to review every action we take in the field and looks for ways to do it better. I'll bet you are all thinking about firepower, ways to take down some of those Super fucking Villains you keep hearing about right?”

    “Our symbol will be a scorpion, a link back to the Praetorian Guard of the past. Our weapons will reflect that symbol.”

    “Now I got some good and I got some bad. First we do not have any fucking lasers. No super science or any of that kind of crap. We do have some stuff working with armor and blades though, I will get back to that in a minute.”

    “But the good news, when I raised the subject of funding with the Council, I was told, by Pulsar himself, and I quote, 'Buy the very best weapons, electronics, explosives, anything you need that will make your force more effective, period. If they do not make it, build it.' ”

    “We are working on the gear, and you are going to be fucking pleased.”

    “We are going to organize ourselves based on our mission, protection. The basic unit will be three troopers. Our basic doctrine will be that two warriors stay with our principle at all times. This means the third person in the unit can roam to take a more proactive defensive role if needed.”

    “With 100 of you that means 33 squads and a Commander once I get my butt out of here. We run a 24 hour business here monkeys, that means 3 shifts a day, 8 hours on duty, 8 hours off, 8 hours rack time. If you are not in the field or otherwise assigned, you will be training.”

    “Aside from our President here, and a handful of others, most of our assignments will be part of the Olympus Intelligence service, PsiInt. Hey, I heard that. Listen up! Forget every joke you know about intelligence. When you have Telepaths, Mind Scanners, and Invisible Men as your spooks, they know their stuff. Let me put it this way, every other intelligence service in the world spends most of it's time guessing. Then they bet people's lives on those guesses, right?”

    “PsiInt knows, they know where people are, what they are fucking thinking. Never has any military outfit had the kind of intelligence we have. Get used to trusting what they give you, I have yet to see them get one wrong, and I am talking some messy hairy shit.”

    “Body armor and blades. Our primary weapons are going to be what you would expect, the best automatic weapons money can buy. But considering the freaks we may have to deal with I think we are all going to be thankful for the armor that Geo is working on. Geo is a Meta, he can alter matter, any matter into almost anything. He can turn your ass into gas, he can turn your gas into perfume. He likes to say that.”

    “The armor is tough as nails, light as can be, awesome stuff. “

    “Blades. Again, dealing with some of the people we might face we just might find that the best weapon for the job is a good long piece of steel. Geo is creating swords right now. Strongest stuff I have ever seen, bash it full edge on to another piece of steel and it cuts and comes away unmarked. “

    “Alright I think that about wraps it up.”

    “You all have your orders in those envelopes. Room assignments, training schedules, and for those of you who know which end of a gun goes bang, duty rosters.”

    “I cannot believe the rank they have forced upon me, but I will do my best despite that. I expect nothing less from each and every one of you.”

    “As of this moment I am Centurion Paul Adams, and you are the Praetorian Guard.”




  6. #26
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    Default Chapter 18



    To live at Olympus is to accept the extraordinary. Our lives are never what you call normal, but within our own frame of reference we do have normal days.

    This had started out as one of those, a day that was supposed to offer only a small mystery and the usual dangers.

    We had reports of a pair of MetaHumans operating in Houston. Nothing big and flashy but a lot of individual crimes. The business that were hit all handled large sums of cash, and as a result the total losses were in the hundreds of millions.

    As the Mayor of Houston was quick to point out, losses of that magnitude fell under my 'no disruption of human society' rule. The pair had not killed anyone as far as we knew so they were just not a priority.

    The mystery is what eventually drew us to Houston. There were two parts to this little problem. The first were those reports, they conflicted.

    Two MetaHumans was a constant but the powers of the male seemed to vary in a way that made little sense. He was reported growing to 20', flying, and changing into some kind of monster. Shape Shifters cannot change their mass, they cannot grow. And neither that, or Growth, gives you the power to fly.

    The female half of the team had used at least 3 different types of energy, that put her in my category, Energy Master. We had never met a female with that power but that was at least possible.

    The other part of the mystery, none of the Scanners could get even a trace on the two. Even people like Telepaths who can shield themselves leave little traces. The Scanners know they are around, just not where exactly.

    The two we were hunting, zip. No contacts at all.

    The possibility of a rogue Energy Master brought me to Houston, and I brought most of Justice along with me. Psyche was elsewhere and we were just planning on finding the two and attempting to convince them to stop. Since they were not out killing I did not even expect to fight.

    From Justice I had Thor, Nova and our newbie Valkyrie. Val can fly, supersonic when she wishes. She has a low level forcefield that protects her against friction. She and Nova became instant friends. One of the first to graduate from Paul's full 6 week training course, The Valkyrie is good.

    Since we were mostly going to try and convince our two wayward Metas to play nice I thought a little more size might help. To that end I assigned one of the new superwomen to the team, Sif. Yes I knew all about her crush on Thor, not my problem folks. If it impacted a mission I would notice, and people would wish I had not, otherwise, not my problem.

    She is damn near as strong as Thor, and she is quite skilled. She was the best of the new group of superstrong people and that is why I picked her. Not too long after this little event she proved her worth by earning a permanent spot with Justice.

    Kid Flash was also attached to us, I requested Speed but he got tied up in a massive rescue mission overseas. I wanted a speedster to help with the search, and again, to impress the two criminal Metas of the folly of their ways.

    We took one of our jets to Houston. We went to our hotel in civilian clothes, snacked, and got ready to do some work. It was just about noon when we headed out.

    I had a simple plan, since we had no idea where our two targets might be, we would be very public about our presence and see what happened. My back-up plan was Kid Flash's search of the entire city and surrounding regions. But even for a speedster that was a hit or miss proposition.

    We walked out of the hotel, in costume, and put the plan into effect.

    Nova, Valkyrie and I zoomed up into the sky, while Thor and Sif headed generally north. They would draw a lot of attention but they enjoyed it. I do not think anything we did hurt us, but looking back I wish I had been more serious about what we were doing.

    We flew, or wandered, for a couple of hours. Kid Flash reported every 10 minutes for the first hour and then said he would call if he found anything. I made a mental note to tell Speed that the Kid needed to learn to only call me when he finds something, regular updates from speeders are guaranteed to drive you crazy very, very quickly.

    Clouds started to roll in, looking friendly and fluffy. The girls and I chased each other through them.

    About the time I was ready to call it quits for the day the clouds began to turn dark. I could fly around in a lightening storm, but Nova and Val try to avoid them. We headed down towards Thor and Sif.

    They were sitting at an outdoor cafe, drinking from these huge mugs.

    I was not pleased, first they were drinking 'on-duty' and second they had their masks rolled up to be able to do so. Both are against the rules. My rules.

    When I pointed this out to my buddy he replied, “Who is going to see?”

    I looked around, nobody.

    No people in the cafe, nobody on the sidewalks. It was raining, but not very hard, no wind at all. The clouds were black though, thick and nasty looking. That would explain the darkness cause it was only... 8pm?

    No, that could not be right, 5 something, 6 maybe, but 8, no way.

    I had enjoyed flying with my girl and the talented and sexy Valkyrie, but to lose that much time? That was not like me, I was relaxed but the possibility of sudden attack was real and I knew that. I did not forget it when we were cavorting 5,000 feet up either. Nova had even chided me that I was being too serious again.

    8 pm. I checked, everyone else had the same info, Central confirmed it verbally. They also said sure I had been flying for that long.

    Ok, fine, lost some time, no big deal.

    Whoosh

    “boss we got big trouble lots of big trouble on the way”

    Kid Flash had arrived.

    “Specifics kid!” I snapped a little harder than I intended.

    “well i boss really you are not going to believe me but 4 dinosaurs are headed this way”

    “Dinosaurs? Robots, monster trucks, leggoes, what?”

    “no real ones clones Jurassic park I don't know they are alive no machine has breath like that”

    Dinosaurs, I had no idea what was happening, who could create monsters? But it was a threat and I knew how to respond to those. First thing, get the police to block traffic.

    Traffic, cars, I did not see any, anywhere.

    Not on the street next to us, or anywhere up and down it's length.

    “Kid, 10 block radius, run every street, count the number of cars you see, go”

    whoosh
    whoosh

    “none”

    Son of a Bitch.

    “Pulsar to Central”

    “Pulsar to Central”

    None of us could raise them. By now we could feel the vibrations of the massive paws of the monsters headed our way. Thor and Sif had taken positions in the street. She uses one of the swords that Geo and I make. Hers is blood red.

    I was trying to find the people of Houston. I reached out with my senses and felt them, all around me in fact. The feeling was so strong my eyes snapped open expecting to suddenly see some of them standing in front of me. Nobody was there except my team.

    Again I reached out. The people were there but my sense of them was fuzzy. This was not normal, were they cloaked somehow? Invisibility would not affect me like this, and if there were cars running up and down the street they were not hitting my overly large friends.

    A hissing roar brought my eyes open again, the Tyrannosaurus Rexes had arrived.

    Right out of a movie, 20' tall and hostile. The sound was not exactly what I was expecting though, more hiss and less roar. Creepy though, like a really huge snake with too much attitude.

    Thor let the lead reptile take a snap at him and responded with a blow from his hammer that spun the beast 180 degrees into a slide. Not dead but down for the moment.

    Sif did not wait, with a cry of “Olympus!” she charged straight at beast number two. The beast snapped, she rolled and came up just in front of the mighty chest. Her sword came up two handed and cut deeply. Wrenching it out and down gutted the monster lizard. Gore gushed down onto the street, at least it was not red, more yellow.

    I was not worried about my companions for the moment, I was worried about what was going on.

    Ok, examine the pieces, look for a connection.

    Odd MetaHuman pair. Weird reports. Time weird.

    Whoosh

    “boss”

    “Yes?”

    “more weird stuff is happening around town”

    “See any normal people, anywhere?”

    “nope goblins zombies and Nazis though”

    “How many and where on each”

    “south 2 miles zombies about 50 west 6 miles goblins about 5000 east about a 3 and a half are the guys with guns there are about 20 of them”

    Enemies to all four points of the compass.

    We are being played with, and the game sucks.

    “Kid go home, I need Psyche, Talon and Pathfinder, get help and get them here.

    Whoosh

    Whoosh

    He was back, too fast even for him.

    “boss there is a wall 10 miles outside of town forcefield or something I cannot get through”

    Wonderful.

    “Nobody can project a field that big, not even me on a good day!” again I snapped, I had to watch that. But as I said it my senses confirmed it. We were in the center of a huge forcefield, above and below us as well as extending down into the earth.



  7. #27
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    Default Chapter 19



    “Everybody over here.” I called since our local communications were now out as well.

    I explained the situation. Kid Flash found more Dinosaurs north, big surprise.

    “This is a game, keep your eyes peeled for Loki.” was my first order.

    “But how could he be doing this sir, how could anyone?” came from Valkyrie, she knew what we all knew, these events were beyond any Meta, or combination of Metas, that we had ever seen.

    “I do not know Val, but somebody is doing this and we are going to find them. These wide spread targets, each so different, they temp me to split us up. The Kid could handle the goblins, Nova and Val could take the zombies, Thor and Sif of course want to go after the dinos, and you all know how I personally feel about Nazi scum.”

    I paused, time to change the rules.

    “So what we are going to do is stay together. The zombies are closest so that is where we are headed. We will walk, Kid, stay close, lets move out people.”

    “Ummm love, don't we need to deal with these threats quickly?” was Nova at her most diplomatic.

    “No, they are here for us, they will wait.”

    “Wait? I am confused. What do you know that you are not telling us?”

    “Not a damn thing, except that impossible things are happening because someone, somewhere is fucking with us and it is pissing me off.”

    “Oh.”

    We walked on. I expected to have to reinforce my order with the Kid but he stayed almost visible and right with us the whole way.

    Zombies, that was them. Shambling, gross, smelly.

    Nova ashed them in 60 seconds.

    “East.”

    Off we went. We took a break about half-way, it was getting to be a long day. Our wrist units said Midnight.

    We saw the barricades first, piles of wood, barrels, carts and other miscellaneous junk. I could not sense the men we could see behind the makeshift wall.

    “Kid, disarm them.” I ordered.

    Nothing happened. I looked around, where was he?

    “Nova, Val, stay here. Thor, Sif, follow me.”

    We moved forward, they opened fire. Light machine guns mixed with some heavier stuff.

    My forcefield dropped.

    I pushed it back up, nothing. Bullets were flying around me and my shield was down.

    “Get them!” I called to my two companions as I ran past them looking for cover. Nova and Val were waiting just past the corner when I charged around it.

    “What's wrong?”

    “I don't know, my shield will not come up.”

    “What can I do?”

    “I DONT KNOW!” I screamed, at Nova, goddammit. “I am sorry babe, I am freaked and we are in trouble.”

    “I know honey, I know.”

    A scream came around the corner. A sound I had never heard before, so unexpected that it took seconds for my brain to put a name on it. Thor. Thor hurt?

    “Nova, go, help them.”

    “They have guns, I will have to...”

    “I know, this is the job honey, this is what we do, go.”

    A quick kiss and she flew around the corner.

    “Ok you Nazi motherfuckers! Nova is ready to party!”

    That's my girl.

    Val was still looking at me, scared, I should have noticed before.

    “Hang in there Valkyrie, we are not out, just down.” was not exactly inspiring but it was something.

    “I know sir, I just feel helpless.”

    “Go help Nova.”

    “No sir, you need me.”

    “Not your call rookie, go.”

    Off she flew. I could hear the sounds of battle nearby but I felt blind.

    My senses were gone, my power was gone.

    Was I human again?

    Why just me?

    No, this was not happening. This was not real. Something inside me said no.

    “You really are annoying you know” said a voice some distance away.

    I opened eyes that I did not know I had closed to look. He was standing in a door way about 30' away, back lit. A little blinding in the gloom. I idly wondered how long it had been since anything had blinded me.

    “I am told I am very good at that, so yes I do know”

    “I spent a lot of time constructing the perfect puzzle for you. Each part was a clue. If you had let the muscle-brained ones go after the dinosaurs they would have found the nest. If you had let your little slut go after the Zombies should would have found this address. You were supposed to come here together, after you had beaten all my pawns. Very annoying, so I accelerated my schedule. How does it feel to be human again?”

    I was up and walking towards him by the time he wound down. The guy could dress I would have to give him that. An impeccable suit that would do James Bond proud. Complete in every detail right down to the cigarette in his left hand.

    “Feels wrong actually, fake.”

    “Oh it is quite real, reality is my power, and you are caught in it. Fine, come on in, wrong door, but oh well.”

    “Are you Loki?”

    “Who, no. What a silly name, I am Mysterio”

    I swear I heard thunder outside outside right when he said his name.

    What looked like some sort of industrial structure seemed rather different once we were inside. Rich paneling along a wide corridor lead deeper into a huge room.

    The place was rather spectacular. Vaulted ceilings, works of art on the marble walls.

    And a raised dais at the end, with a big chair. A throne room, how nice.

    “You friends are coming, I left the door open.”

    “Nice of you. Any point in me asking you why you are doing this?”

    “You people, and you in particular, are the only things standing in the way of our ruling the earth, asshole. What did you think was going to happen?. By now we should just be squabbing over who got the best piece. We do not all want the whole planet, you know. A lot of us just want a little piece. This city, this city is mine. It is all I want.”

    He continued, the ranting aspect of his speech grew more pronounced. “Some people want whole countries of course, and then there are those other guys. Bet you do not know about them do you Mr. High and Mighty Pulsar? Five powerful men who all want the planet. Know what they decided? Of course you do not, you were not there, but I was. They decided they would destroy you first, all of Olympus really, and then divvy up the rest.”

    “But when I kill you, kill all of the mighty Justice. No one will ever contest my claim to Houston. I suppose I should claim the whole state, just to have some room for later.”

    I would love to say that at this point I had figured it all out and was just waiting for the others to make my move. Sorry, all I had was a nagging doubt. I was waiting for the others, but just because I wanted to know they were alright. It turns out that going from being a god to being mortal is just as mind-bending as the reverse.

    “Here come your people, bet they are covered in blood.” jeered Mysterio.

    The team arrived. Everyone was covered in blood, everyone.

    Something is wrong with this picture. One rule too many violated. It finally clicked.

    Nova could not be covered in blood, her flames prevented it. Because of her I know what blood steam looks like.

    “We came here to find two MetaHumans, they don't exist do they?” I asked.

    “Of course not, they were just the bait to get you here.” taunted Mysterio.

    “Thanks, I always like to tie up loose ends.”

    I did not enjoy what I did next, necessary or not it was going to cost me. I turned to Nova.

    “Well this just sucks!” I started. “Why the fuck did I bring you along anyway? You just get in the way, and you burn more than you save. Do you still visit the little girl from Chicago? Yeah, thought not. I mean look at you, what made me think you were a fit consort for a god? Short, flat-chested, what did I ever see in you?”

    Nova was confused, it was so sudden and harsh. I could tell she wanted to say 'What the fuck is wrong with you' but I did not give her time.

    “At least you have not bored me to death today. Every time you go off about those insipid old languages I want to kill myself. Don't you realize how much I DON'T want to know that crap?”

    That did it, she was confused but I had pushed too many buttons. She was pissed, holding it in because there were people close, too close. The intensity of her shield started to climb.

    I had her right at the limit of her control. Hopefully.

    Mysterio had crept up to the edge of his little dais.

    I pitched my voice for him alone, “I know this place is not real. I know none of this is happening. I think you are doing all of this in our heads. And there is one more thing I know. Energy is energy and everyone has their limits.”

    With that I turned and slapped Nova as hard as I could. My hand burned on impact but that was lost in the

    E X P L O S I O N.

    Blackness.

    Light.

    Pain. Oh, my head hurt. Where the hell am I?

    Lying on the floor with my friends, inside some sort of warehouse. Empty warehouse.

    Not alone. Off in a corner lay our attacker. His eyes were open, he was singed, and dead. I raised my right hand and squeezed, power flowed into it. The blue glow of electricity crackled.

    He was not dressed all that well anymore.

    Nova stirred and I moved over to her. When her eyes opened she pushed me away, tears were visible. I stood up, I knew what I needed to say but I was in no rush. She looked around.

    “What was he?” she asked.

    “I am guessing this is what they meant by Mental Illusions. Psyche did not think it could really be done, guess she was wrong.”

    “Oh. Thanks for saving our lives, and you are a dickhead.”

    Probably shouldn't have, but I laughed.

    “Yeah, and a sorry one at that.”

    She grinned at me, but there was still a shadow. Some things, no matter why they are done, leave a mark. I hoped this one would fade with time.

    “Do you really hate my languages so much?”

    “No, none of what I said was true, I. Hated. Every. Single. Word. Domina Novus, Amor omnia vincit.”

    “Lady Nova, Love conquers all.” she translated.



  8. #28
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    Default Chapter 19a



    Central had been going nuts. We had been missing for hours and they had everyone looking for us. Houston had more MetaHumans in residence than Olympus that day. Home sounded like a great idea and we headed there as quickly as we could.

    Later I had time to ponder the feeling of being human again. It still felt real although there was a touch of dream about it now. I had not liked it. My team was in trouble and I could not help, that was part of it. Nova was in danger, that was part too.

    But it was more than that. I resented being human, I felt cheated. Did I now feel I deserved my powers? Was this a step down the road to godhood?

    I did not like that thought.

    And yet.

    What was I doing if not fighting a god war? I was Zeus of Mount Olympus as much as I complained about that title. I could throw thunderbolts, sound and fury signifying what?

    If I was going to win did I not have to step up, all the way up?

    A thought came to me that you might not be able to understand. If your life becomes too hard, if you see no hope of getting through, perhaps you might consider ending your own life. Don't, there is always a better way.

    When I feel that way, I consider ending all life.

    I could never do it, it is not within me to do such a thing. But I think about, I could, probably.

    That night I thought about it. A part of me always believed we were going to lose. A tiny part, I considered it my realistic side and it helped to keep me from growing too cocky. But if I did lose, if the Earth did fall to chaos, I could stop the suffering.

    Was that to be my final role, to end existence?

    And if that was what fate had in store, then why not do it now, get it over with quickly?

    Think of all the pain I could spare so many people, billions of people.

    Oh hell, I was tired, my brain felt like Thor had worked it over with his hammer. I needed sleep.



  9. #29
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    Default Chapter 20



    Day 357

    One year since the opening of Olympus.

    So much has happened it seems like a decade not just a year.

    We lost Webs and Brawler. I will let someone else tell the tale of how they died but they went out as heroes should, in battle doing what is right.

    Geo quit Apollo's team, it was just not for him.

    Philadelphia.

    And I met Sif.

    She was 19, I was 29. Problem #1

    She was super strong with no combat knowledge, and I was her teacher. Problem #2

    Within one week of meeting me, she announced that we were going to be together,
    MetaBabies were mentioned! Damn Big Problem #3

    Don't get me wrong, I love kids. I am not a bad guy so someday sure. But now? In case you had not noticed we were in the middle of a war.

    About every other week someone tried really hard to kill me. So far they had all failed but who knows? Did you know I have a special solvent that I use to clean dried blood and gore off of my hammer?

    I am on my third jug.

    My plan was just to avoid the whole thing. I trained her, spent time with her as part of a group, and figured she would get over it.

    Like that was going to work.

    She is a natural, ever since the first day she picked up a sword people have said that. As far as the science boys and girls can tell we have the same basic strength. Since I have 4 inches of height, and about 50 pounds on her, I am stronger, but not by much.

    It came time for her to take a name, or for us to give her one. Heimdall, Balder & Freya had been using their new names for some time.

    She announced she was going to be Lady Sif.

    Sif, the Norse Goddess who was the wife of Thor.

    No fucking way!

    I ranted at her, I feel bad about it now, but I did it. I told her she would have that name over my dead damn body. I said I was sick of this stupid crush. It was a big scary Meta-filled world out there so deal with it. I was not her daddy, and I was never going to be.

    Now you would think that would have made her cry right? Wrong.

    She laughed.

    Grabbing her sword she headed out of the gym. She was cinching it over her shoulder when I asked her where she was going.

    “To find Pulsar.”

    Damn. I followed.

    Pulsar was in his office off of Central, Psyche was with him.

    Sif did not waste much time, “Sir, I have requested the codename of 'Lady Sif', short form 'Sif'. Thor has refused. I contest his refusal and request approval of my choice by you. Sir this is no whim, this name matters to me. It has mattered since I was 10 years old and I first read her stories. Somehow I knew that name, that example, would matter. And here the fuck I find myself with a sword on my back and arms that can juggle cars.”

    “Sif is my name, and if Thor really objects then I have a suggestion. We go outside, he draws his hammer and I draw my sword. If he wins, he can pick my name. If I win, I am Sif. But I must warn you my God of Thunder, I will kill you to be her.”

    Damn.

    “Psyche, would she really do it, kill him?” asked the bossman.

    “Are you kidding me?” replied Psyche with a hint of surprise.

    “Ok, she wins. Sorry Thor old buddy. Log the name Lady Sif.”

    So she won that battle, and stopped talking to me for a while.

    I refuse to live my life in confusion, and I had no idea what was going on with her. So I put it out of my mind and focused on the job. I saw her, we trained, all neutral, even mildly friendly at times.

    Pulsar was running a small mission and I had something I had to do. He asked me to suggest one of my new superstrong companions to fill in for me. Without thinking I suggested Sif. She was the best, and this was the job after all.

    Mistake. Big big mistake.

    She did well, of course. So well that the next time Pulsar felt the need for some extra strength, he assigned her without asking me. Sitting on the plane and she plops down next to me with a big smile on her face.

    I was glad she was next to me with the Dinosaurs were charging down at us, I cannot lie about that.

    Then came the big day. Pulsar was expanding the ranks of Justice and all the strong boys and girls were going to compete for a slot. Gloves, pads, yeah, but real fights, trust me. Everybody wanted that job, and we watched very closely from the sidelines to prevent, well death.

    It was a hell of a day, a good day for people like us. Sif won her early fights easily, and it came down to her and one other.

    Eventually you would come to know him as Orion.

    He is not nearly as strong as Sif, but he had mastered Jeet Kune Do before he became a Meta. For those non-martially inclined people reading this, that style of martial arts was created by Bruce Lee.That power combined with that skill was simply amazing to see. Everyone always assumed he was an Acrobat but he was not. He was like me, a superman.

    Sif and Orion faced off.

    They engaged in three rapid exchanges. She hit him once, he hit her five times.

    They circled, at that moment I thought she was going to lose.

    My fears seemed to materialize as Orion drove his next attack home. A hard spinning kick sent Sif down to the ground.

    She did an odd thing then, she rolled and kept going until she reached the edge of the mat.

    She lay there, panting, obviously hurt.

    Orion waited.

    The Lady Sif got to her feet. I really wish I could describe the look on her face. Not angry, but so fierce. Determined. I guess that is the best I can do.

    They engaged again, he was still in command of the fight but she pulled one hell of a tricky move that changed that.

    I have watched this from every angle, zoomed and slowed, so I know exactly what happened.

    Sif threw a blow with her right hand, a full on attack properly balanced and executed. She had put her whole body behind it as one is taught. Orion had to, and did, block it, shifting his body to absorb the hit and not lose his own balance.

    Following a split second behind the first blow she struck out low with her left fist, aiming for his body.

    Now everybody will tell you that the second blow cannot do much. All your power is focused in the first and there is just nothing behind the second.

    Except MetaHuman strength, and the determination of a Goddess.

    The blow connected, 2 ribs cracked, Orion went down.

    I pronounced her the winner, Pulsar welcomed her into Justice, and that was that.

    She and I became friends again. Not really close, but we were on the same team, she was helping me to train other Metas, we saw each other quite a bit.

    Day 357 arrived, the one year anniversary of the opening of Olympus.

    We planned a party. Well when I say we I mean Janice, Erin and a small army of other people.

    I taste-tested a bunch of stuff, they said that did help.

    Beginning at 12 Noon on 357, and continuing until 6am 358. Held in a special structure that Geo created that was dubbed Valhalla upon completion. I am sure you have seen pictures of it, it is a stadium really, with the world's largest stage.

    He found the largest performance stage in the world, and made his three times larger. Put it this way, Atlas, at his full height can not only stand on the stage, he has room to move around!

    We were celebrities at this point, and everyone who was anyone wanted to go to this particular party.

    So what Admin did was to list every performer, every traveling show, every band, everybody that offered to play the party in a database. Any resident of Olympus over the age of 15 could vote on a selection of choices. We picked the music, the handful of shows, and even the famous people who would be in the audience along with us.

    It was really something. No cameras, no reporters. Just friends.

    Everyone who came to the party who was not already a regular visitor to Olympus had to agree to a telepathic scan. We minimized the depth of what the PsiInt people would be seeing I must admit. It is a scary thing to have happen if you really understand it.

    Oddly, most of the people who wanted to perform or attend did not seem to be all that worried about having someone poke about in their brain. Psyche told me that most of them really did not have any idea how much was being read.

    Most famous people in the world, and they know less about us than a kid on a street corner.

    We ate every six hours but there was plenty to munch between times. Drinking, we did a lot of drinking.

    Pulsar and Psyche got together and planned a little special security. The speedsters would have one of their member running missions off of their List. We did not want to completely interrupt their rescue and other helpful efforts. One speedy boy or girl would be on Olympus patrol. Looping around our entire territory, and inside the walls. They would rotate these positions every 30 minutes.

    Psyche laid down the law for the whole group. “If you are not on duty, you will be at the party, and you will be VISIBLE. Stand, sit, talk, whatever, but visible.”

    They did pretty well.

    Over the course of the 18 hours they collectively snuck out of the party 137 times to run a quick mission off of the List, or to join whoever was patrolling to just run.

    Psyche was pleased, so I guess it was cool.



  10. #30
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    Default Chapter 20a



    Sif was there of course, enjoying her still new status as a member of Justice. We danced.

    You have seen us fight, but you have never seen us dance. We had a whole section of Valhalla set up for our kind of dancing. People who could fly, or jump rooftops, played for once. It was a scene from days long past. When gods lived on the real Mount Olympus, or when the rainbow bridge still lead to Asgard.

    I did not make any sudden decision, it just happened.

    Sif and I kissed.

    The music stopped, the people stopped. I am not making this up.

    Speed had been watching, and when our lips met he stopped the music.

    The kiss did one of those forever things.

    When we did finally realize that others still existed in our universe we both blushed.

    They clapped, and cheered.

    We ran.

    And that is all I am going to tell you about that.

    The party was great, long, and few people made it all the way, but it was without incident.

    Best damn day of my life.



    The End.





    The tale of the MetaHumans continues in MetaWar: Changes.


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