Spacer Aftermath 85
  | Asymmetry | Role-Playing | What If | Aftermath |



New concern for a comrade.



    _I don't think this is going to produce anything worthwhile..._ Union thinks, watching the theo-mytho-logical debate brewing between the two most supernatural members of the group. "OK, ok. I don't think you're going to resolve this now, and I don't think now's the time anyway."
    "We don't even know what religion he was. I suppose whatever you want to do can't hurt," Aegis tells Ravdna tiredly. Dead is dead. But there is plenty of time ahead for pondering mistakes made, and a problem to deal with now.
    "Before we do that, though—we were discussing what to do next," she tells the newcomers. "As far as being ready *before* we're needed, if and when the next crisis hits. Where to meet, how to organize things... we weren't getting very far," she admits. "It's been a long day here. But we all seem to agree that we need *something*. Why don't we meet here tomorrow night—it's as good a place as any—and in the meantime we can take stock of what resources we all have to bring, and how we'd like this to be shaped. Then we can put all our ideas on the table at once and make some decisions."
    "Agreed." Dark Angel flies out fifty feet from the deck, then turns. "Does any one require transport? I have no...home to go to and it shall be no bother."
    _What? But we just got here!_ Adrian thinks before remembering that while his groups crisis was three days ago, Aegis and the others had just been through a war this afternoon. "Alright. Tomorrow night, seven o'clock." Laying his hand gently on Duststorm's shoulder to keep her from leaving just yet, Union turns to Aegis, "Do you expect to be out at the Stark Industries compound today? I have some ideas that might be helpful for the formation of the team, but I'll need access to the resources of one of Stark's labs in order to get them together."
    "I suppose," she shrugs after a brief hesitation. "What kind of ideas?"
    "Communications gear, signal devices, that sort of thing. One of our main problems is that we have no way of contacting one another if something does come up—leaving messages for you through Stark's secretaries probably isn't the most efficient method, for example. I've been sketching out some ideas to deal with that, but, like I said, I don't have the resources on hand and Stark Industries does. If you could get me into one of his labs I'd have a better chance of cobbling them together before we need them."
    "Good. I suppose the worst that can happen is Tony kills me, and that'll have to wait 'til he's out of the hospital." She straightens up, forcing herself to project a level of energy she's not feeling, and waits for him to finish his arrangements before they depart.
    "I'll be at the main Stark Industries compound in about an hour. We'll talk more then." After his brief conversation with Aegis, he watches Dark Angel recede into the distance, his helmet hiding a wondering look. _Next step._ Hopefully he can catch Delta V before the speedster makes off for parts unknown. "Delta V, Can I talk with you for a second? In your normal life you're some sort of Doctor, right?"
    The speedster nods, and Union continues, "Dark Angel is experiencing some sort of problem with controlling his powers, and I think it might be some sort of biochemical imbalance or something of the sort. He claims he's hearing voices, and I've seen darkness flow off of him even when he's maintaining his normal form. I'm an engineer—this is way out of my field—but I was hoping you could talk to him tomorrow night, maybe recommend a good biochemist for him to see, so that we can start tracing the roots of the problem."
    "Yes I am a doctor and a biochemist," replies Delta V, "and I would be happy to take a look at Dark Angel. Given my studies, and the particular origin of my superhuman speed, I am probably the most qualified person in the world to examine someone who possesses enhanced abilities. Unless, of course, you wanted to turn to the government for help. I have the feeling that there are scientists in the government who have devoted even more time to this particular field of medicine and biochemistry than I have."
    Union shakes his head, the helmet moving almost infinitesimally back and forth, "Given the circumstances, I think it's best if we keep this in house. Next time you see him, especially if it's in his normal form, bring the concept up to him. I'd really appreciate it, and I think he would too." He shakes Delta V's hand, 'I'll see you tomorrow night."
    Finally, Union looks at Duststorm. "Thanks for staying. I have a few ideas to run past you before tomorrow's meeting—some related to the team, some not—and I wanted to arrange a time to meet in more normal clothes. Is there any convenient time tomorrow?"
    Janet answers quietly back, "I would certainly be glad to meet tomorrow. Probably over lunch." She give Adrian her office number. "I need to check in there in the morning anyway. I'm sure Sarah handled everything there, but she gets nervous sometimes."
    "Lunch is prefect. Oh, and before I forget," he leans over and whispers something into her ear. When he straightens up again, he lifts directly off the observation terrace. He spends a minute looking for Malachi, but is not at all surprised to see that his young friend is nowhere to be found. "I'll see everyone tomorrow night."
    Malachi listens to the ongoing debate, semi-amused and very tired. There's a lot of power here, he thinks to himself, power that can do some good if we can keep it focused. Finally, after arrangements have been made to meet again tomorrow night, he quietly steps back into the darkness and moves away.
    Once out of sight, he descends to street level, shedding the most obvious elements of his costume as he goes. Outside, he hails a taxi and begins his ride home. _I only hope I have a job to return to,_ he thinks to himself, _I had to leave in a hurry._

Setting: Some place and some time unknown to the Avengers
    Dramatis Personae: Entities unknown
    The hall seems to go on forever. High vaulted ceiling, enormous white marble columns, and wide strip of brilliant red carpet stretching from one horizon to the other. Doves fly about, cooing softly. In the spaces between the columns to the left, there is a night sky full of stars and nebulae, with a few comets streaking past. In the spaces between the columns to the right, there is a day sky, richly blue, dotted by majestic white clouds.
    "He will not survive," one entity says to the other. He is tall, powerful. Even standing still, his form is dynamic, taut, ready to burst into action instantly. He wears a white toga. His flesh is ebony. Six raven's wings grow from his back. "He is too weak."
    "Do you doubt the One's choice?" the other entity says. She is also tall, powerful, but there is a quiet grace, a serene dignity to her bearing, as if nothing could affect her and she knows it. She wears a charcoal black toga. Her flesh is milky white. Six dove's wings grow from her back. "He has survived this far, both in mind and body. The adjustment will just take some time."
    "Time," the ebony creature says, as if the word taste foul. "That is a luxury he does not have. Their plot is already being acted upon. Forces which could destroy creation rattle at the bars of their cages in anticipation."
    The ivory creature shakes her head gently. "You should have more faith, brother. The One's chosen agent shall prevail, as always. There is more to this Samu-el than either of us can see. Of this, I am certain."

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