My first night at my new home was both pleasant and refreshing to say the least. We got to know each other in Team Spark and honestly, they we’re all very, very cool people. I learnt Johnny was actually in the Yakuza! (Told you) and that his father had so much money from his time there, that he lives mostly off that, while doing odd jobs around the city. Nothing illegal since he needed a good record to join. “I wanna do good with my life you know? Not easy being a scumbag your whole life”. That’s not to say I don’t condone criminal activities but still, he’s awesome and mafia culture is cool too. Not the crime part but…look you’ve read this far you know what I mean! I learned that Axel and Kyle’s parents had been heroes too but funnily enough they weren’t combat heroes. Their dad helped out the fire department and their mother the police. Pretty cool huh? We even met some of the guys from Hyperion too and they’re pretty sweet. Andreas Visconti was the one who I got along with the most. Calls himself Barricade. Dudes got a sweet looking metal riot shield that extends so he’s fully protected! How cool is that?! Also in case you can’t tell by this point, I’m a hero fan boy. Perks of being the son of one of the most influential heroines to ever live is you get to meet a lot of the people you idolize. I even met the greatest of all time!

Anyway, the night wasn’t anything too wild. We all just talked and got along. Though I did notice Felicity was slowly gettin’ closer to me and seemed to hang on to every word I said. She won’t admit it even to this day but cmon; it was pretty obvious. But back then, I kept trying to push that feeling and that whole emotional spectrum away. I wasn’t here for anyone but me and Alice. But you know, and I’m sure you do, that life has a funny way of sneaking up on you and throwing stuff in your face that you don’t need. Yet.

The next day started pretty chaotic. From King Steel waking up every one sleeping with some dumb ass horn thing that HE DID ALMOST EVERY GODDAMN DAY! God my hatred for that thing probably caused a mountain to be born or some shit I swear. Everyone scrambled to get their outfits on and to our surprise, he said we weren’t gonna be doing anything heroic today. There wasn’t even gonna be any training until later. So of course, Axel voices his disappointment. “YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!? YOU DAMN WALKING OLD SONOFA-” Tyler grabbed hold of him and shocked him a little bit. Just to shut him up. What? Its not cruel, and it certainly wouldn’t be to you if you had to put up with it for as long as we have. Glam finished off for him “we noticed that a few of you have abilities or outfits that seem unfinished or could use some work. So, you’ll be spending some time with the various engineers we have here and they’ll help you tune your outfits to better suit you”. That caught Axel’s attention immediately, “upgrades!? Oh fuck yes!!!”. And so, before we knew it, we were in the engineering deck as we call it, surrounded by machines, gizmos and gadgets galore. Hell some of the greatest heroes ever were down here, with some of the greatest supports too. Oh crap I haven’t mentioned yet, the association doesn’t just have heroes like us. They help the police, the fire service, hospitals, the construction industry; Hell they help with just about everything so its no wonder we get some of the best, and experimental, tech on the planet. Going through all the upgrades would be a bit of a pain so I’m gonna give you a few of the important ones. Or at least the ones that helped the most.

I’ll start with me since after all, I’m writing this. While we were listening to a demonstration of some sort of special hard light projector thing, I noticed that some weirdo engineers was measuring my arms and touching my jacket! Full on creep! “Hey!” I shouted, jumping back. She looked at me and got really excited. Like scarily excited. “OH MY LORD! Its you! The strongman that beat the Bulwark AND Thrash!” She grabbed hold of my arm and almost shook the damn thing off! Well I exaggerated but the effort was noted. “Names Jackie! Jackie Flint! Or you can call me SoundStorm once I get my field agent license!” She was kinda short, with blonde hair that was tied up and kinda dirty from oil and other engineering….stuff. She wore some battered and dirtied up overalls with pockets that were filled with tool, some I recognized some that look like that came straight from Mars or something. She dragged me over to a weird machine and told me to stand still. It made this noise and I think it scanned me? Not too sure what it did, though I assumed it found out my superpower? She won’t tell me how it works and when Jackie doesn’t tell you something, its probably bad and for the best. Trust me on that. Anyway she dragged me out and took some more measurements and asked me stuff like “whats the maximum weight you can hold!?!” And “do you know your punchs maximum force output?!” And “Pizza is awesome dont you think so?!”. The last question I can agree with but the others stumped me. I really did have no idea how much I could actually hold up nor how hard I could actually punch. I had never really thought about it since all I really knew is that if I hit something, it probably wasn’t standing after I hit it. Anyway she pulled me over to a work bench and showed me sone shoulder armour. “This is for you!” She exclaimed as she already began strapping to my shoulder.

“Why one shoulder? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose or whatever?”

“The other ain’t finished! Can’t rush art!”

I was utterly dumbfounded. She only just met me in person, but as she finished strapping the armour to me went away again, it seriously felt like she had been working on this since she heard about yesterday. Stalker much? Probably. I can never get a read on her at all. Its frightening really but shes okay. She gets the job done and she never lets you down. Anyway she came back with these weird looking black sleeve things. They looked like the things you see guys and girls in the gym wear you know what I mean? She told me to roll up my sleeves, so I did and she had them on quicker than I could roll my sleeves fully.

“These bad babys are made outta a new material we’ve been cookin’ up here! These things are built to absorb all kinds of kinetic energy! Oh and these too!”

With that, she handed me some fingerless gloves. I put them on and could feel the padding on the inside. These were fighter gloves, that protect your hands. “There!” She exclaimed once again “now you can throw punches without worry! Go test it!” She led me to a punch machine that looked like it had been used way too many times. By who, I can’t say but god damn I hit that thing as hard as I could and didn’t feel a thing. My arm tingled a little then sensation was gone faster than it had come. “Yeah” I said, clenching my fist “okay. This I like”

Axel was next on the Jackie train. That girl is way too hyper to be an engineer but its all enthusiasm and its pretty sweet watching how fast she can put something together. Her and Axel seemed like a match made in heaven; all that chaotic energy just fell into place like it was meant to be. She gave him some sort of little device on his right hand if I recall. Kinda like the ignitor on a lighter. She explained it way better than I could “with this you don’t need to use your other hand, but the explosion will push out further and be more precise!”. Bet she wasn’t expecting Axel to test it before she had even finished speaking but like I said. Chaotic energy at its finest. Kyle’s was a little freaky since he had a bit of a problem. His skin can turn invisible, but his clothes? You can see where I’m going with this so I’ll skip any details about Kyle and the lengths he’s gone through to try and actually be invisible. Poor, poor child. Anyway, she grabbed his arm and scanned it under some scanner and a nearby machine started popping out cloth. She slapped it on his hand and said “go on! Do the thing!” So sure enough he makes his arm invisible and the cloth turns invisible with him! Holy crap! “If you drop by tomorrow, I can make you a brand new outfit outta this stuff!” He seemed pretty excited and agreed quickly. Johnny didn’t ask for much. Just some of the kinetic cloth I got and that was that. Felicity had to get hers the next day too since she needed a brand new outfit in the total sense. And when we caught sight of it?

It was…..

She looked so damn pretty. Like you wouldn’t believe. Even though the outfit made her look like she’d kick you right into the sun. Still, each to their own eh?

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