Growing Pains

Fathom

Leviathan
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Heidi Scarborough
Missions
80
Ability
Omega Class Water Elemental
Hellfire -- The White Hall

Erika, Heidi and Elena discussed a great many things before calling in all the reinforcements they could muster quickly. When Adriana arrived, Heidi gave her a succinct explanation for what was going on and what they were doing about it. Adriana would be the only one here who wasn’t Inner Circle, but given the fact that the White Queen herself had invited Adriana to hang around the club, and her being the Bishop’s sister, Heidi was interested in seeing what the girl could do.

Erika admitted the truth to Alek, that there was no spell after all. Well, bully for you, going with honesty! Heidi thought with a smirk.

Erika asked Adriana about her powers, and Adriana gave a demonstration as she explained what exactly she could do. Jack posed a follow-up question, and Adriana practically purred at him, which Heidi sharply shut down. They didn’t have the time for introductions, and Heidi didn’t have the patience for flirtation. Erika made the mask offer to Adriana, who countered that deal with one of her own, and then Erika moved on to Calder. Heidi was willing to go along with the plan, up until the point where Erika brought up containment for the Queen again.

“How many times must I object to that? Haleigh and the babies both would be safer if we dropped them in the Aqua Ring than if we stuck them in cryo. It’s not happening, so come up with something else.”

Erika: “The goal here is to keep the FOUR of them safe. I'm open to ideas. Jack should be able to monitor the babies from Haleigh's womb to ensure their safety, but I understand it's not everybody's favorite option, so I'm open to discussion, but keep in mind, we aren't sure how much time we have to figure this out.”

Heidi thought carefully about the puzzle in front of them. The cage would have to be Erika’s problem to solve, but the rest needed to be figured out as well. Interfering at all was risky, if she were honest, but Erika was right, if they unfroze it was going to be ugly. She had an idea, and turned to Alek. Not only was he technically the highest ranking member here, he was the father of one of the babies. If anything was to be done it should be approved by him.

“Let’s go back to Calder. He can sense the babies gifts and tell us what they are, to start, so we know what we’re dealing with. The rest of us can use our powers to intervene, so long as the cage is deactivated, which Erika, Gia and Adriana can team up on. I’ll blast the two apart with a jet of water and catch them so they don’t get hurt. Calder, you can copy Cameron’s abilities and counteract his attack on the Queen. Once we nullify their current attacks on each other, might be the babies relax and release them from their hold. Alek, you’re strong enough to hold Haleigh back from hurting Cameron, and Elena can reach him mentally and coax him down.”
 
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Valkyrie

War
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Ashley Oldenburg
Missions
546
Ability
Ability to instill self-doubt, turmoil and intimidation
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

Ashley wasn't sure if it was reassuring or infuriating that AJ stayed so calm throughout the entire ordeal. Of course he wouldn't agree to go back to the cabin where he could have something for the pain. Fortunately, it was done quickly, and then she searched his face to see how he was really doing while simultaneously asking the question aloud.

AJ: “Better now, thank you.”

And then she noticed the small spotted cat that was wandering over to check out what was going on.

AJ: “Oh, yes. It was feeding on the stag. It would appear the lion had a cub.”

Exasperating.

"Oh, the lion had a cub? What are we supposed to do with it?"

AJ got up and started to put his clothes back on as if nothing had happened.

AJ: “To leave the little offspring here alone would be to condemn it to a slow death. We should at least bring it back to the cabin. Tomorrow or thereafter, I can place it amongst a den with a litter of pups. The pack can raise it until it’s old enough to hunt on its own. Unless my Ashley wants a pet?”

She looked down at the cub, which looked back at her with large blue eyes. It opened its mouth and let out a noise somewhere between a growl and an eagle's cry.

"Will the pack really take care of it? I mean, it is a cat."

Ashley started to field dress the mountain lion, giving sideways glances at the cub.

"Stop looking at me like that!"

She saw that AJ had done the deer already.

"I would have done that. You should rest - I can carry them back."

But first, she went over to the hunter's body and pulled her arrow from his hand. Best not to leave evidence, or something that the pack would get hurt on when they came for the body. AJ came and picked up the rifle. He held it out to her.

AJ: “A souvenir for My Ashley?”

She looked at him incredulously.

"Make a souvenir out of the gun that shot you? I don't think so. You keep it if you want."

She just shook her head as he started eating the dead man's jerky. Not that she begrudged him eating it, but she didn't want anything from this asshole. The arrow went back into her quiver which she slung onto her back with the bow.

The little cub was still tracking her movements, and finally she stooped down and picked it up. She turned to Savage, more than a little bit of concern on her face.

"Why don't you carry the cub, and I'll carry the meat? You shouldn't overdo it."
 

Sparrow

Rising Star
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Elena Estrada
Residence
Colima, Mexico
Missions
43
The White Corridor

Erika and Heidi were still trying to decide who had a bigger dick when Adriana Nefaria strolled in. Elena didn't trust her - Diana had put her in an asylum for a reason, after all - and she especially didn't trust her with Cameron's life. White Court or not the Nefarias were all headcases, which was saying something when Erika King was in the room. BUT if she was able to disable the cage, that would be a great help - and the women in white were going to do it anyway so she might as well go along.

The Red King returned - little the wiser - and with an entourage of his court, minus the queen and knight that were off gallivanting with each other. Elena smirked as she saw how much he enjoyed making a entrance and being "in charge". He held up a stuffed bear, which could never be Haleigh's, so it must be the childrens'. Aw, he had given it to Haleigh when he found out about the boy. The big bad bear had a heart only for Haleigh - how sickening. But useful.

Erika: "Right. So...there's no spell, Alek. I needed a few moments to think, so I sent you away. I'm sorry for that, it's a cute bear and all, but it allowed me to come up with a plan."

Elena rolled her eyes.

"Right, the rest of us are just standing here hanging on your every word."

Alek was about to do something stupid and unproductive.

"Don't."

She said to him, using her power to hold him back from lunging for Erika's throat.

"We don't have time for that."

Her eyes slid to Erika and she nodded.

"Continue."

Erika: "The King and Queen are trapped in The Crystal Cage - it's a forcefield of magickal energy that is near inpenetrable. Not only that, we believe that one of the growing children in Haleigh's stomach has used their power to freeze them in time, likely sending them somewhere astrally. Because it is so early in her pregnancy, we don't know exactly where Cameron and Haleigh are. But before we can get to that, we need to figure out a way to successfully deactivate the cage, and separate them."

She discussed with Adriana the possibility of teaming up to defuse the cage. That would have to be done before Elena could do anything to help, or it would be for nothing.

Erika: "If and when we deactivate the cage, we need to figure out "where" exactly Haleigh and Cameron have gone to. Calder is it? Welcome to the fold, by the way. I'd like to see if you can tap into Cameron's astral project ability, and have Elena use that as a bolster to figure out where he is. if she can contact him, possibly cause a manifestation of his power on this plane to get him out of position."

"Don't worry, I can guide you. I know Cameron's powers as well as my own."

She suggested Elena's idea of containing Haleigh, which Heidi rejected yet again. Encasing the woman in something that would protect her from Cameron and Cameron from her sounded like more than the puta deserved.

Erika: "The goal here is to keep the FOUR of them safe. I'm open to ideas. Jack should be able to monitor the babies from Haleigh's womb to ensure their safety, but I understand it's not everybody's favorite option, so I''m open to discussion, but keep in mind, we aren't sure how much time we have to figure this out."

"As Heidi said, Cameron is very powerful. If I can reach him, guide him, I'm sure he can override the child's powers enough to bring himself back to his body. The child won't know how to fight him once he knows what's going on."

Gia: “Um, Eri—Princess, suppose your plan does work. What happens if the babies view it as a threat? I mean, we most certainly want all four to be safe but we see this as a rescue mission. What if both babies see it as a threat to their safety? Clearly, the babies have strong powers already. How do we keep them from viewing us as potential threats and attacking us?”

Elena put a finger to her lips in thought.

"They will not have full control of their powers yet, so anything they do will be reactive. I won't say it's not possible, but they would have to feel very real and present danger for their defense mechanisms to kick in again."

Heidi: “Let’s go back to Calder. He can sense the babies gifts and tell us what they are, to start, so we know what we’re dealing with. The rest of us can use our powers to intervene, so long as the cage is deactivated, which Erika, Gia and Adriana can team up on. I’ll blast the two apart with a jet of water and catch them so they don’t get hurt. Calder, you can copy Cameron’s abilities and counteract his attack on the Queen. Once we nullify their current attacks on each other, might be the babies relax and release them from their hold. Alek, you’re strong enough to hold Haleigh back from hurting Cameron, and Elena can reach him mentally and coax him down.”

Elena scoffed at that.

"You won't trust ME with your queen, but you'll trust him with your KING?"

She pointed her thumb towards Alek.

"How do we know he won't accidentally let Haleigh slip through his arms?"
 

Berserker

'bout to show you what Hell looks like
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Aleksander Hallbjörn
Residence
New York City
Missions
993
Ability
Strength
The White Corridor

Alek, Jack and Calder made it back to the White Corridor, and Alek held up the bear to Erika. Step one completed.

Erika: "Right. So...there's no spell, Alek. I needed a few moments to think, so I sent you away. I'm sorry for that, it's a cute bear and all, but it allowed me to come up with a plan."

How dare she. Wasting precious time like that? She'd been lying all along...she had NO IDEA what she was doing. She'd LOVE it if Haleigh were killed, then she could be the Queen she always wanted to be, the crazy bitch!

"That's my child in there you-"

Elena: "Don't."

And it was like he was hitting a brick wall - he couldn't move towards Erika at all. His angry eyes flicked to Elena, his entire body seething with anger.

Elena: "We don't have time for that."

Elena [in Alek's mind]: "There will be the opportunity for punishment later. We must act quickly now if they are to be saved."

He stopped struggling against the force holding him back. He was no less angry, but he got a hold of his emotions. For now.

Erika: "The King and Queen are trapped in The Crystal Cage - it's a forcefield of magickal energy that is near inpenetrable. Not only that, we believe that one of the growing children in Haleigh's stomach has used their power to freeze them in time, likely sending them somewhere astrally. Because it is so early in her pregnancy, we don't know exactly where Cameron and Haleigh are. But before we can get to that, we need to figure out a way to successfully deactivate the cage, and separate them."

Alek gritted his teeth.

"You created the cage, why can't you get rid of it?"

He had been against this magick stuff from the start. And suprise surprise, he was right. He should never have let Haleigh take that crystal...and the poor babies. He wondered which of them was doing this? Probably the boy, though he supposed the girl could have inherited something from Diana through Haleigh...

And then Erika was saying she wanted to use HIS Rook to save Cameron. That was rich. And Elena was offering to "guide" Calder.

"As much as I'm sure Calder would love to be guided by Elena, I'm going to need some assurances that this isn't going to scramble his brain or something. I'm not sacrificing my Rook for your King."

Erika: "The White Queen's current position is a bit harder. She will need to be contained...we were thinking that Diana must have left some kind of containment device for her. I only bring this up because if they are to unfreeze in their current state, they will destroy one another, along with the lives of the children and likely everybody else who happens to be in The White Corridor."

He held up his hands, saying, "We are not putting Haleigh in containment," at the same time Heidi thankfully began to protest the same.

Erika: "The goal here is to keep the FOUR of them safe. I'm open to ideas. Jack should be able to monitor the babies from Haleigh's womb to ensure their safety, but I understand it's not everybody's favorite option, so I''m open to discussion, but keep in mind, we aren't sure how much time we have to figure this out."

He crossed his arms.

"Obviously Haleigh needs to be the priority. She has two innocents inside of her - it's 3 to 1. No question."

Elena: "As Heidi said, Cameron is very powerful. If I can reach him, guide him, I'm sure he can override the child's powers enough to bring himself back to his body. The child won't know how to fight him once he knows what's going on."

"But will Cameron have enough control to not fight the child? We can't risk either of them being hurt."

And of course Cameron would take the opportunity if he could to harm Alek's daughter...

Gia asked whether the babies would attack them, if they saw them all as a threat.

Elena: "They will not have full control of their powers yet, so anything they do will be reactive. I won't say it's not possible, but they would have to feel very real and present danger for their defense mechanisms to kick in again."

"It's a chance we'll have to take."

The children were more important than the rest of them combined. The important thing was for Haleigh and the babies to survive this.

Heidi: “Let’s go back to Calder. He can sense the babies gifts and tell us what they are, to start, so we know what we’re dealing with. The rest of us can use our powers to intervene, so long as the cage is deactivated, which Erika, Gia and Adriana can team up on. I’ll blast the two apart with a jet of water and catch them so they don’t get hurt. Calder, you can copy Cameron’s abilities and counteract his attack on the Queen. Once we nullify their current attacks on each other, might be the babies relax and release them from their hold. Alek, you’re strong enough to hold Haleigh back from hurting Cameron, and Elena can reach him mentally and coax him down.”

Elena made an amusing face at that.

Elena: "You won't trust ME with your queen, but you'll trust him with your KING? How do we know he won't accidentally let Haleigh slip through his arms?"

He gave her a good scoff in return.

"How do WE know you won't let Cameron accidentally overpower you so he can get one in on Haleigh? You'd love that, wouldn't you? At least YOU know what I'm thinking."
 

Siphon

Red Rook
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Calder Henriksen
Residence
New York City
Missions
9
Ability
Power Mimicry
The White Corridor

He followed Berserker and Neptune into the White Corridor. It still felt strange to be there, especially when he saw the number of people congregating there. And they were all arguing.

There were some people he knew, and some he had only heard the names of, and seen around. That Adriana Nefaria was here again, even though she wasn't on a court. Which was strange, because his King had said that Erika was trying to keep this quiet. And Elena Estrada, who was officially attached to the Red Court but was standing in front of him in white and apparently had a child with the White King.

Erika: "Right. So...there's no spell, Alek. I needed a few moments to think, so I sent you away. I'm sorry for that, it's a cute bear and all, but it allowed me to come up with a plan."

Fuck.

Didn't this girl know, you don't poke the bear? Alek was going to go mental. And he certainly looked it, but then it seemed that Elena was keeping him from attacking Erika. Which was pretty handy. Even if Erika probably deserved it. Calder was new, but it didn't seem like lying to a regent was a good idea, or something a person usually got away with. But he supposed there was time for that later. Once their heir was safe.

Erika explained what was happening, which Calder got the gist of even if he didn't understand the particulars.

Erika: "If and when we deactivate the cage, we need to figure out "where" exactly Haleigh and Cameron have gone to. Calder is it?"

He gave her an uncomfortable wave.

Erika: "Welcome to the fold, by the way. I'd like to see if you can tap into Cameron's astral project ability, and have Elena use that as a bolster to figure out where he is. if she can contact him, possibly cause a manifestation of his power on this plane to get him out of position."

"I've never mimicked astral projection before..."

Elena: "Don't worry, I can guide you. I know Cameron's powers as well as my own."

He smiled at her gratefully, then took a deep breath.

"Okay."

Then his King spoke.

Alek: "As much as I'm sure Calder would love to be guided by Elena,"

Calder grinned. He would like that, very much.

Alek: "I'm going to need some assurances that this isn't going to scramble his brain or something. I'm not sacrificing my Rook for your King."

And then he started to really worry.

"Yeah, I don't want scrambled brains."

Erika: " I''m open to discussion, but keep in mind, we aren't sure how much time we have to figure this out."

The others discussed whether the babies would attack them, which just sounded ridiculous, and whether they could contain Haleigh or not. Calder was nervous, but this was what his king wanted, so he was going to do it. Whatever it takes.

Heidi: “Let’s go back to Calder. He can sense the babies gifts and tell us what they are, to start, so we know what we’re dealing with. The rest of us can use our powers to intervene, so long as the cage is deactivated, which Erika, Gia and Adriana can team up on. I’ll blast the two apart with a jet of water and catch them so they don’t get hurt. Calder, you can copy Cameron’s abilities and counteract his attack on the Queen. Once we nullify their current attacks on each other, might be the babies relax and release them from their hold. Alek, you’re strong enough to hold Haleigh back from hurting Cameron, and Elena can reach him mentally and coax him down.”

There was still a strong semblance of fear concerning mimicking the White King's powers and what he might do if he found out about it. But he had never been one to shirk his duty, so he looked to his king with a questioning look. Alek seemed to deliberate a moment, and then nodded to him.

"Okay. I can do this."
 

Savage

Frenzied Beast
Real Name
Arthur John Savage
Missions
120
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

As he worked on whittling a sapling into a suitable rail for carrying the harvest home, they discussed what to do with the mountain lion’s cub. Savage suggested that unless his Ashley wanted a pet, they could leave it with a den of wolves to be raised. She asked if the pack would really care for it, given its rivalry with the species.

“They will if I ask them to.”

He replied simply. Inter-species adoption was not so strange a thing as most people assumed, and even if it were, his scent on this cub would mark it as special to any pack he found to place it with. He made short work of the deer carcass, cleaning out the innards and fixing it to one end of the sapling rail.

Ashley: I would have done that. You should rest - I can carry them back.

AJ stopped to look at her, puzzled as to why she was saying these things. He hadn’t suggested she couldn’t carry them back, but more importantly:

“Only weak men rest while their women work.”

He replied mildly as he tied the mountain to the other end of the rail. She went to pull her arrow from the other hunter’s hand. Waste not, want not, he thought in agreement, as he himself was lifting up the rifle. He inspected it briefly and offered it to his Ashley, who was surprisingly adverse to the idea. AJ gave his wolfish grin.

“When we return to Hellfire, I shall regale our men with the tale of how my guardian angel swooped in during our hunt to save me from the man who wielded this gun, and the ease with which you snapped his thick fool neck — one handed, I will be sure to add — though how sexy you are in your fury might be a detail I keep for myself. And we shall all drink to our great fortune, to be lead by a warrior goddess, the one who watches over us and bestows her favor upon us in battle.”

He said, and then he wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close against his chest so he could plant a kiss on her lips, because the idea made him warm with affection. He held up the rifle again when he released her.

“So I will be keeping this, to prove the veracity of my account. And then we will likely all laugh at the absurdity of it, and drink again, when one of them notices my name stamped on the barrel, and they realize I have been shot with one of the rifles mine own progeny are producing.”

He finished, his grin renewed as he dug through the corpse’s pockets and took everything of worth. He came up eating some jerky, to which she shook her head and turned away, and he looked at her curiously.

“You are still angry with this man? I do not understand why. He saw a great beast he deemed a worthy kill, and took a poor shot at it. Turns out he was not worthy, and should have stayed his trigger. He paid for his folly with his life, this is the way of the wild.”

Ashley bent down to scoop up the orphan cub as AJ slipped to rifle’s sling over his shoulder and stuffed the jerky the pocket of his jacket. She was ready to leave but suggested that he carry the kitten, while she took on the heavier load. He exhaled heavily through his nostrils. He knew better than to argue with her, but when she said he shouldn’t over do it, he stopped in front of her.

“Nor should you, My Ashley. You can carry the meat, but you will tire. In truth so will I. We shall switch off at hourly intervals.”

A Knight did not dare speak that way to his Queen, but she had insisted herself: no titles. If she really meant it, then she would agree to his compromise, and if not, then at least he would know that she had only meant ‘no titles’ superficially. He held out his hands to accept the kitten, and took it into his arms gently before tucking it inside his flannel shirt. Its fur was soft against his skin, if a bit cool at first. It warmed quickly under his jacket as they began to hike back towards the cabin. He tried to pet it, but it seemed more interested in clawing at and nipping his fingers.

“You are a ferocious little hellcat.”

He said through an amused smile. It occurred to him that his hand smelled of jerky, and he fished a piece out of his pocket and held it for the kitten to gnaw on.
 
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Fathom

Leviathan
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Heidi Scarborough
Missions
80
Ability
Omega Class Water Elemental
Hellfire -- The White Hall

The reinforcements arrived, and the discussion of what to do began. Erika started by admitting to her initial deception to Alek, which at least prevented Heidi from having to cover for her, a task she was not keen on. Predictably, the Red King was incensed, but it was better to get this out now that to let it fester, and Elena intervened to prevent a violent outburst. That was a bit curious, as Heidi didn’t think Elena had any stake in a fight between Alek and Erika. Heidi resolved to keep an eye on Elena’s politics henceforth, as her plays may become important.

Erika explained some of the circumstance, and asked Adriana about her gifts. The pawn provided a demonstration and the planning continued. It was suggested that Calder work with the King’s astral projection ability, and Elena volunteered to help him. All this sounded workable to Heidi, but then Erika brought up the containment device for Haleigh again, and Heidi had to put her foot down.

She was grateful to hear Alek raise protest as well, because his veto couldn’t be overruled by anyone present. It was a little strange, though, her and the Red King agreeing on something. They really only socialized for business, or in passing. Heidi had never really thought of him as an ally personally, though he was the Queen’s confidant and lover.

Erika at least allowed that the goal was to keep them all safe, which Heidi was a hundred percent on board with. Gia wondered if the twins might perceive their intervention as a threat, but Elena reasoned against that, while Erika said she was open to suggestions and Heidi tried to puzzle out how to apply the individuals present to best serve the group purpose. She gave her own suggestions, which provoked Elena unintentionally.

Elena: “You won't trust ME with your queen, but you'll trust him with your KING?”

“I trust he’s inclined to keep the mother of his unborn child out of harm’s way, and that he understands her making an attempt on her King’s life is quite dangerous for her and the baby both.”

Heidi replied calmly.

Elena: “How do we know he won’t accidentally let Haleigh slip through his arms?”

You’ll know, won’t you?”

Heidi suggested with a sly smile. She hadn’t missed Elena’s intervention earlier, and it was best Cameron’s mistress understood that Heidi wasn’t some oblivious dolt. Alek had a response of his own, and a valid one, asking how they would know that Elena would hold up her end. It was a fair suggestion, Heidi thought, and she quite agreed with his reluctance.

“Which is why Calder is well suited to be copying Cameron’s telepathy. Him and Elena both should be able to overpower my King’s attack, and Calder can be your inside man watching for the double cross.”

She told Alek, before her gaze shifted to Elena.

“Because no, I don’t trust you with my Queen. As I said before, no offense intended.”

Adriana: “Are we going to do this, or stand around debating it until the babies are born?”
 

Valkyrie

War
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Ashley Oldenburg
Missions
546
Ability
Ability to instill self-doubt, turmoil and intimidation
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

The problem of what to do with the cub occupied Ashley's thoughts - even she didn't want to leave the animal out here to die, but she found the idea of the pack raising a cat an odd one.

AJ: “They will if I ask them to.”

That made Ashley smile.

"Of course they will."

Still, it was a cute little thing. Furry with bright blue eyes. Eyes that were threatening to make her feel bad about the mountain lion carcass she was cleaning. When she finished, she saw that AJ had already done the deer. He should have let her do that - she didn't want him to overdo it.

AJ: “Only weak men rest while their women work.”

"No one could consider you weak, my love."

She moved to retrieve her arrow from the hunter, and AJ joined her and started ransacking the body. He asked her if she wanted the rifle as a souvenir, which made her recoil. Of course, this he found amusing.

AJ: “When we return to Hellfire, I shall regale our men with the tale of how my guardian angel swooped in during our hunt to save me from the man who wielded this gun, and the ease with which you snapped his thick fool neck — one handed, I will be sure to add — though how sexy you are in your fury might be a detail I keep for myself. And we shall all drink to our great fortune, to be lead by a warrior goddess, the one who watches over us and bestows her favor upon us in battle.”

His arm came around her, making her smile too, an pulled her close to his body.

"Sexy, you say?"

She looked up at him playfully as he leaned down to kiss her lips. She reached up to push a lock of hair from his face, feeling the softness of it.

"I will always watch over you."

He held up the rifle.

AJ: “So I will be keeping this, to prove the veracity of my account. And then we will likely all laugh at the absurdity of it, and drink again, when one of them notices my name stamped on the barrel, and they realize I have been shot with one of the rifles mine own progeny are producing.”

"It must make you proud."

She said it with sincerity. She had taken pride for a time in her own brother's descendants, but eventually had lost track of them through the years. AJ true to form was happily snacking on jerky he'd found in the dead man's pockets. She just shook her head.

AJ: “You are still angry with this man? I do not understand why. He saw a great beast he deemed a worthy kill, and took a poor shot at it. Turns out he was not worthy, and should have stayed his trigger. He paid for his folly with his life, this is the way of the wild.”

"I will always be angry with anyone who tries to hurt me and mine. They do not deserve forgiveness."

She picked up her things, ready for the hike back to the cabin, then scooped up the cub. It really was a cute little thing.

Ashley tried again to get AJ to allow her to carry their kills back to the cabin so he could rest himself and heal. She didn't want him to overdo it.

AJ: “Nor should you, My Ashley. You can carry the meat, but you will tire. In truth so will I. We shall switch off at hourly intervals.”

She sighed.

"Okay. If you insist. But you tell me if you feel unwell."

Ashley slung the sapling over her shoulders for carrying, and AJ cradled the cat, which she had to admit, was adorable.

AJ: “You are a ferocious little hellcat.”

"Are you talking to her or me."

She smiled at him mischievously. Now he was feeding the cat jerky. She laughed.

"I think you're the one who's wanting a pet now. I'm not sure how Eclipse will take it though."
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,029
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The time allotted for Hellfire worries and discussions was over. Ava didn't bring John on this train to talk shop, she brought him here to celebrate his birthday in the one way that she knew he would absolutely love. So she got up from the table, circling it until she was standing before him. Taking his hands, she guided John up from his seat and began to walk backwards, bringing him with her.

John: “Is it time for dessert?”

Ava grinned just as mischeviously as John, not bothering to answer him, though her hooded eyes were answer enough. Ava turned around, still holding one of John's hands as she lead him out of the pain dining area to the large suite that made up the back of the train. But once they entered, he would realize they were not alone. On the bed was a beautiful Parisian girl laying naked on their bed. Ava turned to look over her shoulder at John, her sexy smile still dancing across her lips.

"I promised you a show at the Bacchanalia....I intend to keep that promise."

They had very unfortunately been interrupted during their menage a trois during the Bacchanalia, and what better place than in Paris to revisit such events? Ava slowly sauntered over to the bed where the blonde girl sat up onto her knees. Ava turned around to face John, the girl going behind her back.

"Sit."

Pointing John to the chair strategically placed at the foot of the bed just as the blonde girl began to unzip Ava's dress from behind. The girls hands began to push Ava's dress off her shoulders, the fabric slipping easily off her thin frame and pooling by her feet. Ava wore nothing under the dress, only her black strappy heels adorned her statuesque frame as she stood in front of John.

"S'allonger sur le lit." [Lay down on the bed.]

The girl did as instructed, laying down on the bed. Ava stood there for a moment longer, letting John take her in. Her midnight eyes fucking him before her body could. Then, she turned and climbed on the bed, pushing the girls legs apart before laying down between her. She let her tongue immediately go to work, the girl moaning instantaneously. She wanted him to watch until he couldn't take it anymore, just like at the Bacchanalia. The girl was writhing beneath her touch, Ava's's hands gliding slowly over her breasts and to her neck. She could feel the girl tensing, so close to coming. That was when Ava's eyes flicked up to meet with John's, a dark wicked pleasure behind them. Before the girl could come, Ava stopped, licking her bottom lip as she lifted her head.

"Do you want to watch her fuck me....or do you want me yourself."

Her voice husk and dripping with desire, either option sounding fucking amazing at this point. She wanted John, but she wanted John to have what HE wanted in that moment.
 

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
322
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Paris Train

John had loved Ava for so long, now that they were together, it seemed unreal. His whole life had been her since they were teenagers, and that hadn't changed. He always wanted to be with her, wanted her. The feel of her hands holding his was like pure electricity between them, an electricity that spread happiness through his body like a hot fire spreading warmth on a cold day.

He knew what she meant by "dessert" - but also that Ava had something up her sleeve. He followed her giddily to the back of the train which had been transformed into a large suite containing her surprise.

Ava wasn't like other women - in fact she was like no woman he had ever met. She had boundaries in some areas, but in others pushed them. So when she looked back at him over her shoulder, and he saw the lovely girl lying on the bed, the heat began to rise in him. He cleared his throat.

Ava: "I promised you a show at the Bacchanalia....I intend to keep that promise."

A sly smile played over his lips.

"I wouldn't want you to break your promise."

He began to move towards Ava, the girl now behind her as she stood at the foot of the bed. He was ready to feel her against him, and his body was in perfect agreement on the subject. But then she issued as queenly a command as she ever had.

Ava: "Sit."

He licked his lips, the girl already unzipping Ava's dress, but he sat down, relaxing into the chair, unsure of how long he could remain a bystander. Especially when the dress fell from Ava's shoulders and she stood in front of him, her body absolute perfection.

"Ava..."

He said her name huskily, knowing that she would intend him to watch but would not condone his participation. She moved onto the bed, taking the girl with her tongue, her hands on the writhing body under her. Ava's eyes met his, dark pools of midnight.

Ava: "Do you want to watch her fuck me....or do you want me yourself."

If he took Ava now it would be over too quickly, and he wanted his queen to have what she wanted. But his pants were suffocating him, and it was taking everything he had not to move to the bed immediately. His gravelly voice could barely form the words, but managed to form it into a command.

"Let her please you..."

He leaned forward in his chair as if that would give him a better view of what was happening in front of him. He could feel every motion as if it were him doing it - he knew her body so well that he could feel the softness of her skin on his fingertips, the wetness of her mouth on his lips. Her moans only made him want her more, until he couldn't wait any longer. He stood, his focus all on Ava, the girl mostly forgotten except for a passing glance.

"Leave."

He didn't bother to unbutton his shirt before he was pulling it over his head, his hands then moving to the zipper of his slacks, making short work of those as well. His eyes were filled with desire, and locked on Ava's as he climbed onto the bed. His mouth took her's while his hands bent her legs at the knees, opening her to him. He didn't wait, sliding quickly inside her, her warmth enveloping him as he moved between her legs. His mouth moved to her neck as he said her name again, his hips pressing deeply against hers with each stroke. His hands found hers as they moved as one, her body intoxicating him as much as any perfume. He couldn't have stopped then if he'd wanted to, so under her spell was he.
 

Savage

Frenzied Beast
Real Name
Arthur John Savage
Missions
120
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

She still worried over his wound, though he had already forgotten the pain it once caused. She wanted him to rest, but he just couldn’t. He told her that only weak men rested while their women still worked. She insisted that no one could consider him weak. He could debate that he’d think it of himself, but he didn’t care to make an argument of it.

They took what they willed from the body of the hunter. There was no use leaving anything of worth on the forest floor. The animals would scavenge the body until all that was left were ribbons of fabric wrapped around gristle and bone. He offered her the gun as a souvenir, since it was her kill they were standing over, but she didn’t want it. He grinned as he told her that when they got back to Hellfire he would tell the men the whole tale. Of all the compliments he tried to pay her, she seemed pleased by at least one.

Ashley: Sexy, you say?

“Oh yes, My Ashley. Even moreso than usual.”

He said, kissing her quickly as he drew her close with one arm. If he hadn’t been in such pain at the time he might have tried to tempt her in her bloodlust after the kills she’d made. Perhaps he’d have another opportunity after the next hunt. She touched his hair as she told him she’d always watch over him, and he kissed her again, this time with more tenderness. Then he told her he’d keep the rifle for himself, for proof of his claims, and also the humor of having been shot with a rifle that bore his own name.

Ashley: It must make you proud.

He shrugged.

“For a time, it did. Now it only makes me money. I know My Ashley understands what it is to outlive kith and kin for generations on repeat.”

Back when his children were alive, and their children after that, he was proud of their accomplishments, but eventually he grew weary of watching them grow old and die, so he withdrew to his cabin where he was left in peace for many decades. He wouldn’t know his current generation of descendants, though he knew where to find them. They wouldn’t know him, either. He had no part in the company anymore, having passed it down through the bloodline. He held a large share of stocks, but chose not to involve himself in corporate operations.

As they finished collecting what they wanted from the dead man’s body, AJ noticed that his Ashley hadn’t taken anything other than her own arrow, and he found this curious. She’d even declined the jerky. It occurred to him that she was still upset with the man, and so he asked her about it.

Ashley: I will always be angry with anyone who tries to hurt me and mine. They do not deserve forgiveness.

“As you say, then.”

He replied with understanding. Next they discussed would should carry which load on the hike back. His Ashley still wanted him to avoid over working himself, but he wanted the same for her. He suggested a compromise, and was pleased to find she agreed with his terms.

He took the cub from her hands and tucked it inside his shirt, cradling it against his chest. She heaved the harvest load up onto her shoulders. They left the clearing, back in the direction of the cabin. He tried to comfort the cub and got only sharp teeth and extended claws in return.

“You are a ferocious little hellcat.”

Ashley: "Are you talking to her or me."

He looked up to see her smile and couldn’t help but do the same. The sapling was bowing under the weight of its load, both ends drooping from hundreds of pounds of fresh meat, but she was hiking the forest as if it were a walk in the park. She seemed as comfortable here as any animal.

“Her, yet My Ashley is a hellcat in her own rights, mistake me not.”

He held a piece of jerky for the cat to attack, and smiled when the thing purred as it chewed. It was an endearing little creature, regardless of its species. Soft dappled fur and bright blue eyes, with a fierce temperament.

Ashley: "I think you're the one who's wanting a pet now. I'm not sure how Eclipse will take it though.

“No doubt she will be jealous. I must confess I have a soft spot for the young of all species. Eclipse does not, however. She will tolerate the little beast, but only just.”
 

Valkyrie

War
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Ashley Oldenburg
Missions
546
Ability
Ability to instill self-doubt, turmoil and intimidation
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

Ashley suggested that it must make Savage proud, that something he began had survived with his descendants.

AJ: “For a time, it did. Now it only makes me money. I know My Ashley understands what it is to outlive kith and kin for generations on repeat.”

She nodded. She hadn't had any children of her own, but she did watch her family, for a time.

"They become strangers."

They decided to switch off carrying the meat and the mountain lion cub - and viewing how it bit at AJ it was a toss up who got the short end of the deal to start with. But as she watched AJ feed the cub, she teased that he had found a new pet, and that Eclipse wouldn't like it.

AJ: “No doubt she will be jealous. I must confess I have a soft spot for the young of all species."

That pained Ashley to hear. She had forgotten in their isolation what was happening back at Hellfire, but AJ's comment brought back front and center that Haleigh's children grew inside her, something Ashley would never know.

AJ: "Eclipse does not, however. She will tolerate the little beast, but only just.”

"Well then maybe she'll just have to start sleeping outside."

It was time for them to switch loads, so Ashley set her's down and held out her hands to receive the cub.

"Time to come snuggles with mama!"

The cub was warm from being against AJ's skin and she cuddled it against her chest. She would have wrapped it in her hoodie - except that it was covered in AJ's blood which she didn't think would do much to calm the cub. As it was Ashley herself only had it tied around her waist so as to not leave it with the hunter's body; as soon as they got back to the cabin it was going in the garbage. It wouldn't be far now, she estimated.

"I can't wait for a hot shower and a hot bowl of stew."

She was not in the mood for any more accidents today. But still, the scenery was beautiful, and peaceful.

"Not that I don't like being outside."
 

Savage

Frenzied Beast
Real Name
Arthur John Savage
Missions
120
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

She said he must be proud of his progeny for their success, and for a time he was, but not so much anymore. He was grateful that he wouldn’t need to explain to her why. She knew what it was like to outlive everyone she knew, and to try to keep up with a bloodline through the generations.

Ashley: “They become strangers.”

“A blessing in disguise. There is no true grief when strangers die.”

They started their hike back to the cabin, with him carrying the cub nestled inside his shirt and jacket, watching her carry the meat. They laughed at the fierceness of the cub, and discussed Eclipse’s probable reaction to it. When he suggested Eclipse would be jealous and only tolerate the cub, his Ashley proposed that the wolf might have to sleep outside.

Savage smiled, his eyes on his Ashley as he noted her response. It wasn’t too much longer before it was time to switch, and his Ashley seemed enthusiastic in taking over with the large kitten. AJ watched her cuddle it close to her chest, and his smile returned, though it faltered when he finally noticed she wasn’t wearing her hoodie anymore, that it was soaked in blood and tied off at her waist.

Ashley: “I can’t wait for a hot shower and a hot bowl of stew.”

She was cold, he realized. AJ slid his jacket off and draped it around her shoulders.

“I will get overly hot, carrying the heavy load.”

He told her to stave off her protest. More truthfully it was because the wind on the ridges was bitterly cold, and he was more worried about it affecting her. He lifted the sapling laden with meat as one might pick up a duffel bag; one handed, sliding it onto his shoulder casually, with the deer in front of him and the mountain lion hanging behind him.

“Well the stew should be ready when we arrive, having cooked all day. The whole cabin will smell of it. And a shower does sound inviting.”

Ashley: Not that I don’t like being outside.

“Yes, the wild has its merits. But the warmth of the day is passing as the sun sets, and tonight there will be snow. Better that we have a cozy cabin to retire to for the night, than to be out here exposed to the storm.”

He replied, as they crested the ridge that allowed them to see the cabin. Another twenty minutes and they were climbing the stairs onto the porch. As soon as they got in, he took the meat through the house and down to the cellar, where it would keep cold until he had time to skin and quarter the carcasses. The first thing he did when he came back upstairs to the cabin was tend to the smoldering hearthfire in the den.
 

Valkyrie

War
Birds of Prey
Real Name
Ashley Oldenburg
Missions
546
Ability
Ability to instill self-doubt, turmoil and intimidation
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

They skirted the topic of outliving their loved ones. That as generations of their families came and went, they became strangers to the long lived.

AJ: “A blessing in disguise. There is no true grief when strangers die.”

"No..."

Her mind wandered to other times and places. When she spoke it was more to herself than to him.

"Until you forget why you avoided becoming close to others...and then you remember..."

She looked off into the distance, seeing other mountain ranges.

They marched on towards the cabin, until it was time to switch what they carried. She commented on the bliss of a hot shower and hot stew when they made it home. She cuddled the mountain lion to her, and in a moment she felt the warmth of his jacket around her shoulders, hot from being against his skin. She turned to look at him and opened her mouth.

AJ: “I will get overly hot, carrying the heavy load.”

She narrowed her eyes for a moment, deciding if she believed him, though she knew he ran hot. Finally she just nodded, deciding not to argue, but she kept an eye on him for any signs that he was cold.

AJ: “Well the stew should be ready when we arrive, having cooked all day. The whole cabin will smell of it. And a shower does sound inviting.”

He then spoke of snow, which brightened her mood. It would be a good night to be by a warm fire.

"Snow is so different in the city. It's almost...man made."

She could see the cabin now, and in a short time they were inside. AJ took their kills down to the storeroom, while Ashley true to plan dumped her hoodie into the garbage, then rooted around in the refrigerator for some leftover meat for the cub. She put some in a dish and placed beside it a bowl of milk, though she didn't know if it drank that. She thought she had seen it on tv sometime.

She set the cub down, giving it a pet while it started to eat. She heard AJ in the den, and pulled a cold beer from the fridge and took it into him. He was getting the fire going again. She held the beer out to him, taking a moment to look around her.

"Have you always lived here alone?"
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,029
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
The French girls moans only fueled the burning fire within Ava, knowing she was close to her climax. Ava's eyes lifted, seeing John sitting on the edge of the seat, watching with eyes that screamed with desire. She stopped her onslaught on the girl, lifting herself up and licking her lips. He was about to come just by watching, she could tell by the strain against his slacks. Ava asked if he wanted to join or watch the girl fuck her, John's answer made her lips curl into a wicked smile.

John: "Let her please you..."

Biting her bottom lip, Ava laid down on her back, her eyes never leaving John. The French girl moved between her legs, her head disappearing behind Ava's thigh as she began to lick her. Ava's lips parted, a soft gasp could be heard. Her chest began to move more rapidly as the girl became more vigorous in her task. Finally Ava couldn't help but close her eyes, moaning out loudly as the girl began to hit the perfect spot. Her back arched, hands gripping the golden silk sheets. She was so close, almost at her completion, when she heard John's husk voice above her.

John: "Leave."

Ava's eyes opened seeing him pulling his shirt over his head and unbuttoning his pants. The girl scurried away, Ava panting out with heated desire. She was wet and ready, needing to feel him inside her so he could be the one to bring her to her climax. He climbed onto the bed, mouth taking hers like he owned her as he moved above her. John slid inside without hesitation causing Ava to break the kiss and cry out to the Gods. He felt perfect and warm, filling her so completely it made her head spin. He began to thrust rapidly against her, hard and quick, Ava's body already brought to the precipice by the French girl and now being pushed off the edge by John. She began to cry out as she came, her body shaking under his as he kept fucking her without pause. Ava's fingers linked with his, gripping them tightly as she bit his shoulder to try and contain her screams of pleasure.

"Don't stop!"

She needed him again, like a drug. Hooking her legs around his back, Ava's hips met with his again and again, taking him just as hard as he was fucking her. She broke her hand away from his, her arms wrapping around his body and pulling him close against her. Her breathing was rapid, moans and cries never stopping, until she came again, feeling him spill inside her in unison. Ava's heart beat rapidly, her breathing labored and just as fast. Lifting her midnight eyes to meet with his, Ava was in a state of euphoria, completely drunk off John.

"I love you. I love you so much."

She whispered before her lips met with his. This was his first birthday they were spending as a couple - as lovers. She wanted to make it the absolute best, and she wanted him to know in no uncertain terms, that her heart was his.
 

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
322
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Paris Train

When she bit his shoulder, he almost came.

Steel had dismissed the French girl when he couldn't stand it anymore, when he saw Ava was almost there. They didn't need anyone else. He didn't need anyone else. Making love to her felt like praying, the way she felt, the way even now she seemed untouchable. Her hand squeezed his as she cried out, telling him to keep going.

Their bodies pressed close together, her legs and arms clamped around him as tight as other places in her. He could feel her heartbeat in his own chest, fast, until his own moans and cries joined hers and he finally found his release. In her. Only her.

Her eyes found his, dark pools of midnight. And so beautiful he could have cried.

Ava: "I love you. I love you so much."

Her lips pressed against his, and he poured all the passion of his heart into it, because words had failed him, so in awe of her was he. But then finally, he said what he had be thinking for all the years he had known her.

"I've loved you since the moment I met you."

And it was true.

He moved onto his side so he could cradle her against his chest, planting kisses on her lips, not cognizant of time or surroundings. He stroked her soft skin, whispered to her words of love.

"I could lay here with you forever."

Nothing else mattered but her. Not Hellfire, or Kings and Queens. Only Ava.
 

Persephone

Treacherous Bitch
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Ava Cassadine
Residence
New York City
Missions
5,029
Ability
Weather Elemental, Animal Control/Communication, Enhanced Senses and Strength
Their bodies stuck together with sweat, Ava clinging onto John as they both reached their completion. She felt perfect and completely content for the first time in a very long time. Even before the regents from Europe came, Ava had been happy with her status and power at Hellfire, but personally she was anything but. It wasn't until she finally let John into her heart that she realized what real happiness felt like...she just hated herself for being without him for so long.

John: "I've loved you since the moment I met you."

Ava looked up at him, his eyes so filled with love. She wished she had seen it before, all those years ago. Maybe things would have been different...

"I did too. I just took a while to let myself feel it."

She said regretfully. John rolled off her and pulled her into his arms, Ava laying her head in the crook of his neck and shutting her eyes. Everything was perfect. Her in his arms, the gentle swaying of the train as it sped down the tracks, being away from everything that cause stress and pain. She never wanted to leave.

John: "I could lay here with you forever."

"Me too, my love....me too.."

Her voice trailed off, relaxation and contentment taking over. She slept for the last couple of hours of the train ride wrapped in John's arms. It wasn't until the train began to slow to a halt that Ava's eyes fluttered open to see the golden hues of the sunset through the large train window.

"Mmm...you wore me out."

Ava teased softly as she leaned her head back to look up at John. Smiling, she gave him a kiss.

"Not that i'm complaining by any means. Please continue to wear me out this trip."

Chuckling, Ava sat up, brushing her mass of chocolate hair away from her face. Looking out into the horizon, she could see the train pulling into the Parisian station until it finally came to a stop. Looking over her shoulder, Ava's smile broadened.

"Ready for a stroll along the Eiffel Tower, monsieur?"
 

Savage

Frenzied Beast
Real Name
Arthur John Savage
Missions
120
Adirondack Mountains — The Forest

They grazed the topic of mortal family, and what it was to outlive them all and grow apart from one’s descendants. AJ observed that once they became strangers, there was no grief when they died. He knew she would understand, and she did, though she seemed to be lost in thought.

Ashley: “Until you forget why you avoided becoming close to others...and then you remember...”

He nodded gently.

“Eventually we must each choose for ourselves which heartache we will suffer: that of loss or that of loneliness.”

He replied. In his time he had seen both. He had grieved for his wife and children, and his children’s children, and afterward he had pulled back to live alone for decades. Over time, the pain of bereavement lessened, but loneliness seemed everlasting. He found wisdom in the quote that it was better to have loved and lost.

They hiked for a while, talking about the cub and how Eclipse might receive her, and in time they stopped to switch loads. His Ashley mentioned a hot shower and hot stew, and AJ wrapped her in his jacket, realizing she was cold. Thankfully she didn’t try to protest, though he saw the doubt in her eyes when he declared he’d overheat while carrying the meat. He moved the conversation along quickly, mentioning the snow that would fall tonight, and they continued on towards the cabin.

When they got home he took the meat down into the cellar while she took care of the cat. He came back upstairs to stoke and revive the hearthfire right away, as nightfall made itself fully realized in the wilderness outside the cabin. His Ashley very thoughtfully brought him a beer. He smiled as he accepted it.

“Thank you.”

Ashley: “Have you always lived here alone?”

He was in the middle of a long draw from the bottle when she asked, and he nodded as he finished.

“When I was younger I struggled to resist the moon-shift. I built this cabin so I could come here when the moon was close to full, To stay and shift, safely away from my wife and children. And then after they were gone, this became my solitary retreat from the world for decades. You are the first I have shared it with, My Ashley.”

He replied, and then there was a loud ruckus from the kitchen. The clattering of dishes on the wood floor, the hissing and spitting of the cub mixed with the guttural snarling of a wolf. The mountain lion cub came hurtling out of the kitchen to hide behind Ashley’s legs, while Eclipse stalked after it, a menacing growl.

“Eclipse, no!”

AJ barked, and the wolf stopped in her tracks, still eyeing cat behind Ashley’s ankles. She stopped growling but bared her fangs.

“Out.”

He told her, and she looked up at him, her snarl dying. He repeated the command, and she turned back for the kitchen, no doubt to bolt down whatever food the cub hadn’t finished.
 

Pathfinder

White Princess
Hellfire Club
Real Name
Erika King
Residence
Newport Beach, CA
Missions
201
Ability
Witch
Alek: "You created the cage, why can't you get rid of it?"

She shook her head.

"I didn't create it, Alek. My family did. Magick did. It's supposed to PROTECT them from EVERYTHING, and it did. So you're welcome."

She watched with pervase pleasure as Adriana entered the room and immediately began to flirt with Jack, much to Heidi's chagrin. Perhaps her abilities as a potential new Bishop were deeper than just her combat prowess. It would be good to have somebody get under Heidi's skin. She was a bit too coveted by both Haleigh and Cameron for her liking. This was also the first time she had ever seen Jack in a formal capacity doing his job, and she had to say she was impressed. And Adriana was right, the man was hot.

Adriana: "I'll get my mask back, but thanks for the offer, and I'll still do you this favor, if you agree to owe me one in the future."

The White Princess smirked.

"I love a good favor. Deal."

Hopefully the favor would be turning Jack towards her favor, but that would be a conversation for later.

Elena held Alek back from her which she appreciated. She was fullfilling her end of the bargain and Erika would fullfill hers when it was time. She actually felt relieved to have Elena here with her in this moment. She brought up containment of Haleigh, to which Heidi and Alek both vehemently disagreed, though she attempted to quell their fears.

Alek: "Obviously Haleigh needs to be the priority. She has two innocents inside of her - it's 3 to 1. No question."

Elena: "As Heidi sad, Cameron is very powerful. If I can reach him, guide him, I am sure he can override the child's powers enough to bring himself back to his body. The child won't know how to fight him once we knows what's going on."

Alek: "But will Cameron have enough control to not fight the child? We can't risk either of them being hurt."

"Cameron used to communicate with me before I was born. And he was a child then. He knows what he's doing."

Gia: "Um, Eri- Princess, suppose your plan does work. What happens if the babies view it as a threat? I mean, we most certainly want all four to be safe, but we see this as a rescue mission. What if both babies see it as a threat to their safety? Clearly, the babies have strong powers already. How do we keep them from viewing us as potential threats and attacking us? Also, what can Heidi and I do to help?"

Elena: "They will not have full control of their powers yet, so anything they do will be reactive. I won't say it's not possible, but they would have to feel very real and present danger for their defense mechanisms to kick in again."

Alek: "It's a chance we'll have to take."

"Elena is right. We have to operate under the assumption that the children stopped this from happening before disaster. If they have that kind of sentience, I feel like they would be able to detect that we are helping..and quite honestly, this might act as a very thorough lie detector test. If anybody has ill will towards these children, they will protect themselves."

All of this talk was beginning to drain Erika, and she had half a mind to just say fuck it and book a private jet to to The Hamptons and let them all figure it out. But this was what she wished for - to be a part of Hellfire. So she had to stay, she had to show them all that she was worth working with and for.

Heidi: “Let’s go back to Calder. He can sense the babies gifts and tell us what they are, to start, so we know what we’re dealing with. The rest of us can use our powers to intervene, so long as the cage is deactivated, which Erika, Gia and Adriana can team up on. I’ll blast the two apart with a jet of water and catch them so they don’t get hurt. Calder, you can copy Cameron’s abilities and counteract his attack on the Queen. Once we nullify their current attacks on each other, might be the babies relax and release them from their hold. Alek, you’re strong enough to hold Haleigh back from hurting Cameron, and Elena can reach him mentally and coax him down.”

Calder: "Okay. I can do this."

She eyed Calder up and down for a moment, taking a minute to appreciate his rugged good looks. He was quiet, and that was enough to give Erika ladywood in a place like this, especially now with everyone tripping over themselves to try and be the one to figure this out, or sew doubt into each other. She made note to get to know him better after all of this, especially since it seemed like The White and Red Courts were bleeding together deeply.

Elena: "You won't trust ME with your queen, but you'll trust him with your KING? How do we know he won't accidentally let Haleigh slip through his arms?"

Alek: "How do WE know you won't let Cameron accidentally overpower you so he can get one in on Haleigh? You'd love that, wouldn't you? At least YOU know what I'm thinking."

Heidi: "Which is why Calder is well suited to be copying Cameron's telepathy. Him and Elena both should be able to overpower my King's attack, and Calder can be your inside man watchin for the double cross - Because no, I don't trust you with my Queen. As I said before, no offense intended."

Adriana: "Are we going to do this, or stand around debating it until the babies are born?"

Erika agreed and intervened.

"She's right. Look, the level of distrust here? It's what caused THAT..."

Erika gestured towards the crystal cage and The White King and Queen frozen in time.

"We all have our reasons. We all have our agendas. But from all this talk it's clear that we all want to protect these children. Despite what ANY of us think about their parents, those kids need their parents. And they will be good parents. You wanted a new Hellfire, well? You got it. So for now, we just have to trust the fact that we all have the same goal in mind. And we are all goal oriented people. I'll need some time to figure out a spell that can even attempt to broach this forcefield, and we need to see if Adriana and Gia are even capable of affecting that energy. Jack, certainly there has to be some kind of science machine you have around that might be able to allow them to test their abilities on said energy? If not, can you please help figure out a way to test this? We only have one shot, and we can't fuck it up. Alek, since your so untrusting, might you assist me with my research? I think I have the type of magick I'll have to channel in mind, but another set of eyes might help in the library."

[she looked to the others]

"I hate to say to everyone else to sit around and wait, but until we can figure out this forcefield, there's not much for everyone else to do. But don't stop coming up with ideas. Research, see if you can figure out something we aren't seeing yet. We need the brain power if we are going to pull this off.."

[pausing]

"Does that sound good?"
 

Steel

Mutant Policeman
Birds of Prey
Real Name
John Steele
Residence
New York City
Missions
322
Ability
Body tranforms into organic steel
The Paris Train

John listened to Ava's breathing slow as she drifted off into slumber. He lay awake for a while, just listening, enjoying the feel of her beside him. The contentment of a perfect afternoon, the perfect birthday. Eventually, he slept as well, lulled by the movement of the train. When they woke it was sunset and the train was nearing the station.

Ava looked like an angel. She made a joke before giving him a kiss.

Ava: "Not that i'm complaining by any means. Please continue to wear me out this trip."

"As you command."

He smiled warmly, a teasing tone to his voice.

Ava: "Ready for a stroll along the Eiffel Tower, monsieur?"

"Always, mademoiselle."

He dressed quickly, then exited the train, helping Ava down after him before giving her his arm. They strolled at a leisurely pace, taking in the sights and sounds of Paris. They took the route through the park, and he stopped to buy them both crepes from a vendor (he figured she couldn't object too much to berries and fresh cream) and as they ate he began to muse.

"Maybe we should spend more time here. There's nothing that says we have to be in New York all the time. We could buy an apartment - or a townhouse even."
 
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