Character Name: Hellcat
Alternate Identities: Kena Ember
Player Name: NPC
|Hair Color:||Soot Black|
|Kena has reddish orange eyes and short, soot black hair that shifts to red usually just before bursting into flames. Normally she wears a black jacket, over a white tube top, with black jeans. Her uniform is a all black skin tight suit with orange flames on the legs and is flame resistant.|
The sole illumination in the room was the flicker of a 36” TV. In a semi-circle covering approximately 240° eight faces, four female and four male appeared rapt in the movie displayed on the television.
“What’s her name?”
“Calls herself Kena,” Nat replied.
“Miller’ll go nuts,” Josh said with a sadistic grin.
“I am not sure subjecting her to Miller’s attention is a good thing, for her or us,” Wren said dryly.
“It would give her an opportunity to get an education, and give her someplace safe to live other than in the cave,” Slater, Alicia tucked against his side, pointed out. “It would also provide her with protection from her past.”
“You are assuming she has a past to worry about,” Nat replied. “At 15, just how much trouble could she have gotten in to?”
“I can imagine quite a lot!” he said. “From what you’ve said she’s not exactly a model citizen.”
“And you are?” Chris said with a touch of sarcasm.
“Exactly!” Josh said. “And now I have immunity from prosecution!”
“You just wanna pull Miller’s chain,” Zach said with a laugh.
“Cool side effect, huh?” Josh said gleefully.
“I think you overestimate Miller’s reaction,” Wren interjected. “He will probably add her to his little list without hesitation figuring her into his equation as another pawn.”
“I agree with Wren,” Nat said. “Miller would just absorb her like the Borg and be happy to have another of us on his RADAR.”
“We gotta ask her about what she wants,” Alicia said, looking around the group. “We didn’t get much of a choice. Let’s not take that away from her.”
“Who picked this movie!?” Josh scowled.
“Wren’s night,” Slater said.
“I like it,” Chris added. “Very classic.”
“It’s a chick flick!” Josh whined. “A black and WHITE chick flick!”
“They didn’t have chick flicks back then,” Nat observed. He was enjoying it as well.
Josh grumped, folded his arms across his chest and sank deeper into the couch.
“I’m just saying people just don’t start singin’ and dancin’ in the rain in the middle of a street!”
When Kena woke she sat bolt upright in the bed, her hair bursting into flame to provide light. For a moment she struggled to remember where she was then she remember the previous day, the escape from the motorcycle cop and the Hummer . . . and the people that had taken her in, people like her, people with powers.
Throwing back the covers she looked down at the grubby jeans and ratty shirt she still wore. Sated by the excellent steak the guy Nat had grilled for her, she had barely made it to the bed they’d provided before falling asleep. She didn’t even remember kicking off her shoes or crawling under the blanket. Her mouth tasted like garlic and mud. By the light of her flame she crossed to the door and pushed the ‘on’ button for the lights.
She hadn’t notice the room as she entered but now she took a moment for orient. It wasn’t large, perhaps 4 meters across and roughly circular with the only truly flat wall being the one mounting the door. The other walls, the natural rock of a cave, where overhung by what looked like thick carpets. She was later told they where tapestries. There was a bed with a thick flower-patterned quilt, a nightstand and a huge cabinet she could have climbed into. After a second’s thought she surmised that this must act as a closet. There was also a small mirrored stand holding two glasses, a large bowl and pitcher that she found contained water. Gratefully she drank her fill, surprised at the clean cold taste of the water. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand she reacted to a loud rumble in her stomach by pulling open the door and setting out to look for food.
Nat sat in the corner of one of the couches bare feet up on the coffee table, staring off into the distance. Wren was stretched out, her feet in Nat’s lap, apparently asleep. Kena moved silently toward the kitchen area that was separated from the Pit by a breakfast bar lined with four stools. Nat voice made her jump.
“How did you sleep?” he asked looking up at her.
“Um . . . fine,” she said.
“Hungry?” he asked.
“Well, yeah, a little,” she replied.
“From the noise your stomach is making I would say somewhat more than ‘a little’,” Wren said without opening her eyes.
Nat smiled and ran a hand up Wren’s ankle to the shin.
“I’ll get coffee started,” he said gently lifting her legs and sliding out from beneath them.
Wren opened her eyes and regarded Nat.
“You would save my life in doing so,” she smiled.
Kena pulled herself up into the end stool at the counter. She did not miss the long look Wren gave Nat’s back and ass as he turned away from her and walked to the kitchen area. Nat was wearing nothing but sweat pants and the tightest tee shirt Kena had ever seen on a guy. The thing looked like it had been spray painted on and the muscular definition it reveal made she mouth dry. She certainly couldn’t blame Wren for that long look.
“Coffee, or do you prefer orange juice?” Nat pulled open a cabinet and took down a bag of coffee beans.
“Got any Coke?” she said as Nat dumped a measured amount of the beans into a coffee grinder.
“Stuff’s bad for you this early in the morning,” Nat observed.
“A lot of stuff’s bad for you this early in the morning,” Kena replied.
“In the ‘fridge,” Nat replied. “What do you want for breakfast?”
Kena climbed off the stool and pulled open the refrigerator. Shrugging she popped the top of the Coke.
“Whatever you got,” she replied taking that first burning gulp.
“Well, anything from bacon and eggs to cereal,” Nat told her.
“What are you having?”
“Cantaloupe and strawberries with apple crepes,” he replied.
“What the hell is a ‘crepe’?”
The aroma of fresh coffee brought Wren to her feet and she joined Kena at the counter. She was wearing black yoga pants over what looked like a white leotard or bodysuit. Wrapping her hands around the mug Nat sat before her she lifted it to her nose and inhaled.
“I think I shall keep you around just for your skill making coffee,” she said taking her first sip.
Nat, busy cutting a melon grinned at her.
“He does rather well with fruit also,” Wren said to Kena with a small smile.
He placed a bowl of melon and two small plates on the counter then added three forks.
“Um,” she began, setting the empty can down. “Where’s the . . .?”
“I’ll show you,” Wren slipped gracefully off the stool and, still carrying her mug, walked into the dark, Kena scrambled to keep up. “You might want to take a shower as well,” Wren said as Kena came up beside her. “I believe we can find something clean for you to wear.”
Her voice was almost drowned out by a sudden roaring as they rounded a sharp corner in the passageway. Faint light filtered through foliage that covered an opening in the ceiling of the cavern from which a cascade of water fell into a large pool. Wren moved to a door and pulled it open.
“We do not have the luxury of indoor plumbing or heated water down here,” she said. “I believe this . . .” She indicated the closet-sized room behind the door. “Was called a ‘privy’ in medieval castles of Europe though we have made certain improvements involving chemicals that have proven to be rather effective.”
Confused, Kena peeked into the room and found the facilities spotless and odor free.
“I refuse to clean up after men and so have banned them from this particular privy,” Wren explained. “I would not recommend the use of ‘theirs’ except in dire emergency.”
With that she turned and left Kena to her business. A few minutes later, Kena emerged to find towels, soap, shampoo and a robe laid out on a rock near the calm end of the pool.
“The water is not as cold as you would expect,” Wren said. “In fact, I find it rather refreshing after a long workout. And do not concern yourself with prying male eyes, Nathaniel is like a veritable Cerberus when any of the girls are in here.”
“What’s a veritable Cerberus?” Kena asked.
“He acts like Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades in Greek mythology,” Wren explained.
“So, you ALL live down here? Like this?”
“No, Nathaniel and I share a cottage on Mission Beach, while the remainder resides at our school.”
“You and Nat, huh?” Kena couldn’t keep the leer from her face.
“That is not open to speculation,” Wren replied coldly.
Kena blinked then blushed.
“I’m sorry,” she stammered.
A corner of Wren’s lips curled up ever so slightly.
“I suppose you will find out from the others,” she said with a little sigh. “Nathaniel and I are . . . exploring our relationship and I hope very much that it will develop into something very long-term.”
“So hands off, huh?” Kena said with a devilish smile.
Again Wren seemed to give off a chill.
“Very much so,” she said then turned and left the cavern.
While it wasn’t the first time Kena had used a natural source of water to bathe, this had usually involved rain while still dressed. When she stepped into the pool, as expected, the chill of the water was daunting but steeling her nerve and surrendering to a sudden desire to be totally clean, she slipped under the surface all at once. The pool, it turned out, was not as shallow as she’d expected though she found it easy to stand with just her head above the water. The extra benefit of a natural Jacuzzi caused by the waterfall made her feel as if she were immersed in a giant Alka-Seltzer. Sliding up the slope of the water-worn pool to the edge on her belly, she retrieved the washcloth and soap.
“What do you think?” Nat said to Wren as she returned to her stool.
He poured her another cup of coffee.
“She looks worse than she is, I believe, at least physically,” she replied spearing a piece of melon.
Nat spooned batter into the crepe pan and slowly rotated it, allowing it to cover the entire bottom.
“She’s had it bad, I think,” he said quietly.
Wren eyed him then said “Another wounded dove?”
“One I hope we can help,” he replied, placing a plate with two crepes oozing apple filling before her.
Their eyes met and slowly Wren leans close, gently touching her lips to his.
“You will forever be rescuing them, won’t you?” she whispered, her breath tickling his lips and sending a chill down his spine.
“It’s how I am made, Wren,” he replied.
This time her kiss was more inviting and after a long minute they separated.
“I would not have it any other way, Nathaniel,” she said.
Kena came out of the dark in the thick bright red robe Wren had provided her bare feet silent on the stone floor. Nat and Wren sat across the breakfast bar from one another talking so softly she was unable to discern what was being said. To her surprise, before she even came fully into the light, both turned to regard her.
‘Here it comes,’ she thought. ‘A lecture or rules or demands or something.’
“Soon as my stuff’s dry, I’ll get out of your hair,” she said, hoping to head off whatever they were thinking.
“What gave you the idea you were in our hair?” Nat said.
“Well, nobody does stuff like this for free, and I can’t pay any cash and won’t pay anything else,” Kena replied. “So I’ll just move on.”
“On to what?” Nat said. “Living on the streets and avoiding curious cops?”
“On to shoplifting in another store?” Wren added.
Kena’s hair burst into flames.
“Hey! I do my part,” she snarled. “I stopped some dude from killing a clerk in a 7-Eleven up in Fresno!” She realized her full stomach and need for sleep the day before had made her forget to question her ‘saviors’. “What the hell business is it of yours anyway?”
“I believe the shower has returned a certain fierce independence,” Wren noted.
“I am sure it is temporary,” Nat replied in exactly the same cool tone as Wren.
“Who the hell are you guys anyway?”
Both regarded her for a moment then Nat smile warmly and one corner of Wren’s lips lifted slightly.
“We only want to help you and really, we don’t expect anything in return,” Nat said. He gestured a plate. “Apple crepes?”
Kena had to admit she hadn’t eaten as well for as long as she could remember and neither of her breakfast companions asked any questions nor did they go into lecture mode and berate on her ‘evil’ ways. They talked quietly about, of all things, the ballet, even trying to include Kena in the conversation. She had never seen a ballet though when they did not change the subject and she found out Wren had been dancing all her life and that Nat, for all his great size, was her favorite dance partner. As Wren cleared the dishes then started to wash them with Nat drying, they finally got around to telling her their story.
“So, you guys were drafted just like in the army,” she said.
“Blackmailed,” Wren said in a hard tone.
“We probably would have done it anyway,” Nat added, “If they had bothered to ask.”
“Miller has a bad habit of steamrolling people,” Wren almost growled.
“So you don’t like him?”
“Or trust him,” Wren said.
“He has his own agenda and we haven’t figured it out yet so we are playing along for now,” Nat told her.
“He gave you this place?”
Nat shook his head.
“This is something entirely separate from Miller and the government.”
“Like a secret lair?” Kena said sarcastically.
“Yes,” Wren agreed. “Precisely.”
“We were entrusted with this place, the vehicles here, the technology,” Nat explained. “This is the base of a group once known as the Legacy.”
“Never heard of them,” Kena admitted.
“No reason you should,” Wren said. “They were what were once known as ‘Mystery Men’. A 1930’s style superhero group.”
“So where’d they go? All die?”
“We aren’t sure now,” Nat replied. “Two, at least, were still alive when we first came to the school but whether they still are we can’t say.”
“So those old cars, this place,” she gestured to the mostly darkened cavern.
“And a yacht.”
Kena’s mouth dropped open.
“A yacht? Inside a cave?”
“It’s a big cave,” Nat smiled.
“So what are you supposed to do with all this stuff?”
“What we would do without it,” Nat replied. “We help people in need.”
“So you’re like the Salvation Army?” Kena snorted.
“Nathaniel, it would have been more precise to say ‘we help people in trouble’,” Wren injected.
“What does that mean?”
“It means that the police have their limits, particularly whe it comes to our type,” Nat said.
“We are the one’s the government will be calling on to stop incidents such as the Washington Monument,” Wren continued.
“You work for the government?”
Both of her companions could hear the trepidation in Kena’s words and Nat was quick to reassure her.
“They will never learn of you through us.”
“The last thing we would want to do is subject another to Agent Miller,” Wren said.
“Of course,” Nat said smoothly. “If you would like to ‘enlist’, that would be your choice.”
“What do you mean by ‘enlist’”?
“There are certain advantages to joining Miller’s little circus,” Wren said reluctantly. “It would clear up any past misdeeds.”
“As well as provide you with the schooling of your choice and a place to live,” Nat added.
“What were your past misdeeds?”
“I assure you,” Wren said. “All of our misdeeds have taken place after Agent Miller forced his way into our lives.”
“Generally those ‘misdeeds’ a targeted at Miller,” Nat said with a smile. “The problem is that Miller is only interested in major crimes, like the Washington Monument, and because of that, mundane crimes are not important.”
“If the lives of people are not important to Miller, or the government, they are ignored,” said Wren.
“We don’t ignore crimes,” Nat said.
“So you guys go after those criminals?” Kena looked skeptical.
“Yes,” Wren said.
“Isn’t that what you did over in Fresno?”
“That was different,” Kena protested. “That guy was gonna shoot that clerk!”
“Haven’t you ever thought about going after some animal that HAD killed the clerk?” Nat asked.
Kena shook her head. “I don’t know nuthin’ about finding people.”
“We do,” a female voice from the dark made Kena jump and burst into full flame, charring the robe to ash.
A blonde girl stalked, a good word for it, out of the dark and poured herself a cup of coffee, ignoring the fiery Kena. Just looking at the newcomer scared the shit out of Kena. There was an aura of barely restrained violence about her that belied the smiling cheerleader looks.
“I’m Chris,” the girl said not offering a hand.
“Crap!” Kena growled. “I’m sorry I burned up your robe!”
Wren raised an eyebrow.
“So you burn up your clothes every time you flame on?” she asked. “That explains the tattered clothes from last night. Nathaniel . . . you look as if you are making plans.”
Nat blinked and looked over at Wren with a sheepish smile.
“Yeah,” he admitted. “Just thinking how we could use someone like her.”
“I would suggest you extinguish your flame and get some clothes on before the other guys show up,” Chris said. “You can’t see any details while you are on fire like that, but I know Zach is going to be looking for a fire extinguisher.”
Kena’s flame surged at the idea of ending up nude in front of a bunch of strangers. It had happened before and it was not an experience she was anxious to repeat.
“Crap,” she repeated.
“Clean clothes in your room,” Wren said.
“Yeah, okay,” Kena replied, heading for the cave where she’d spent the previous night.
“Try not to burn these up,” Chris called with a laugh.
Kena extinguished her flame as soon as the door was closed.
“Jumpy, isn’t she,” Christiana Gilchrist observed.
“You have to admit, Chris, that you CAN appear with very little warning,” Nat said almost scolding.
“Just the way I always move.”
“Maybe we should put a bell on you,” Nat suggested.
“So, that’s our new guest . . .” Chris took a seat beside Wren.
“Yeah,” Nat said. “She sorta hitched a ride with us.”
“By rolling into the back of the Hummer to escape a police officer,” Wren added.
“Was she on fire at the time?” Chris grinned.
“No, dressed like a bag lady,” Nat replied.
“Nathaniel’s latest lost lamb,” Wren told Chris while smiling indulgently at their huge companion.
“What was she doing with the cop?
“Besides melting the tires of his motorcycle to the pavement?” Wren said wryly.
“We didn’t get much out of her last night, she was too busy wolfing down a 16 ounce steak, but I gather the cop was rousting her ‘cuz she looked like a street person,” Nat said.
“It was ‘cuz I shoplifted a couple candy bars and some jerky,” Kena said as she rejoined them.
The transformation startled even Wren. Gone were the sloppy, dirty clothes and greasy hair, the dirty face and beat up back pack. Instead she looked like any other girl in her mid-teens with flame red hair that wasn’t actually on fire and almost black eyes that flashed red in the low light. She was dressed in jeans and a white tank top with a black leather jacket and wearing her beat-up combat boots. Surprisingly, she was quite beautiful.
A low wolf whistle came from the dark just before Zach appeared. At his side, Fuji, looking about as annoyed as anyone had ever seen, ignored Kena and pulled open the refrigerator. She found a Monster and popped the top. She looked tired.
“Been up all night again, Fuj,” Nat asked.
Zach sidled over to Kena with a huge grin.
“Wow! You look GREAT!” he exclaimed.
Kena gave him a hard look from beneath her brows.
“Yeah, whatever,” she muttered.
“Our FB took far longer than I expected,” Fuji replied glaring at Zach. “SOME people forgot what their ROLE is!”
“Hey,” Zach scowled. “We won so what’s the problem?”
“Three of our team died because you could not keep from pulling agro,” Fuji replied.
“Gave you sumpin’ to do besides spamming IH on the tank!” Zach shot back.
“I have enough to do without some dumbass BM going all macho,” Fuji glared at Zach looking as if she wanted to throw something at him. She stopped abruptly. “Do not speak to me until I have regained my center, Zach.” With that, she lowered her head and stepped down into the Pit.
Nat raised an eyebrow. “BM?” he queried.
“Blademaster,” Zach replied as if it explained everything.
“Nathaniel,” Wren began. “If you should ever decide to take up this game I believe I shall disown you.”
“DIS-own, huh?” Nat grinned.
|Kena's powers have increased in power with practice as has her ability to call upon them without a fear of failure. She has also become quite used to their use and as with most things, with pracitce they hace beome less of a strain on her endurance. To start her array of power was formitable and as she has this vast array, she has not made an effort to increase her existing options very much. The one power she has added is a choaking smoke cloud.|
|Kena has discovered the joy of auto mechanics and so has become the first member of any Minuteman Team that has opted from something other then college. She has been through all of the most interesting technical schools Miller could find for her and is now awaiting the proper governemnt backing for a workshop. She is currently working with Q on the mechanical side of his research.|
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