Character Name: Seer
Alternate Identities: Debra Ange: 'Mother', 'Mom'
Player Name: NPC
|Hair Color:||ash blonde|
|Eye Color:||Heterochromia: left blue, right green|
|Deb has become used to the novelity of not being the smallest in a group though she sometimes resents that fact. Other than that, she has remained pretty much unchanged other the idea of a team costume has left her unsure of what direction to take. The Minutemen generally have a uniform that at least hints at a certain level of patriotism but she cannot bring herself to take up the red, white, and blue of someone like Ranger. The rest of her team, White, tend to dress in a more 'tactical' style including body armor and long coats. At this point she has settled for this basic black on black but would like something more personal.|
Deb landed on her ass for the two hundredth time and glared up at Chris. The damn girl didn't even have the good grace to sweat. Chris offered her a hand.
"I think that's enough for today," she said.
"I'm not getting any better," Deb groused.
"I have been doing this since I was about five," Chris explained. "In a few more years, it won't be so bad."
"After I develop a callus on my ass ..." Deb muttered, rubbing the damage.
"You have to learn to fall, Deb, otherwise, broken arms and legs."
Deb leaned over and snatched her towel up.
"Honestly, Deb, you are getting a little better but ... I don't think hand-to-hand combat is for you."
"Okay, a new type of pain time," Chris began. "You are just too slow. Your reflexes suck and you can't punch your way out of a wet paper bag. But you've got the stamina."
Deb figured that last as a salve for all the burns.
"What do you think I should do?"
Lacing her fingers together and cracking her knuckles, Chris said, "Train with Wren, most of that shit she does is like a dance. I've seen you dance, and that, you are pretty damned good at. Maybe it is a matter of style rather than power."
The towel flipped up over her neck and she used the end to wipe off her face.
"I'm not exactly high on Wren's buddy list," she said.
"But ... she trusts you, isn't it time you trusted her a little?"
Wren didn't even pause as Deb entered the school's dance studio and sat tailor fashion on the floor. In the months that they had known each other, Wren had never warmed to her, nor she to Wren and now she found herself watching the girl, dressed in soft slippers, whirl around the floor kicking and whacking target dummies with a stick. It was amazing to watch, she had to admit. Wren made the moves look easy, as Chris said, like a dance. Dance she could do. Wren stopped and regarded her coolly.
"Can I be of assistance?" She asked.
Deb came to her feet.
"What do you call this?" She made a gesture that encompassed the room. "Wait ... I know it is a gym, but what do you call the exercises you are doing?"
Wren brought the tip of the cane she had been dancing with down to tap the floor.
"Is it a dance style?"
One corner of Wren's mouth lifted ever so slightly.
"No, pet, I merely incorporate my dance into the art of savate. You wish to become a savateuse?"
"I don't know what that is," Deb said, getting a little hot. Damn this girl and her arrogance! Why couldn't she speak English like everyone else?
"Do you wish to learn savate?"
Deb gritted her teeth.
"Chris suggests that I am never going to be any good at her type of martial arts, but I want to be able to defend myself at least a little."
"I am not a master, by any means but I have seen you dance and you are very good, within your limits. It would not be difficult to instruct you on the basics."
Her limits? Her fucking limits?
"Forget it!" Deb snapped and turn on her toe. As soon as she took her next step she knew something was wrong ... the floor was dropping away.
"Put out a hand and stop yourself before you hit the ceiling," Wren suggested.
"Let me DOWN!"
"No, I think not. Not until we come to some understanding."
Without thinking she lashed out, attempting a Mind Lock but nothing happened.
"Get it all out of your system," Wren said.
She tried Blind! on the other girl, then Befuddlement ... nothing worked.
"Are you finished?"
"Let me the fuck down!"
"Is such language necessary?"
Deb began to sink slowly toward the floor.
"You dislike me, not uncommon, or unexpected. I am quite used to it," Wren said as Deb reached eye level. "I have lived my life bouncing from private school to private school, never staying long enough to develop emotional attachments."
"Big fucking deal!"
"This is merely background, not an attempt to garner your sympathy," Wren said.
"Background for what?"
"Why I am as I am."
"I don't fucking care!"
"I am quite willing to teach you savate," Wren said. "I am quite willing to share knowledge on any other subject that might interest you. I am quite willing to put up with your hostility and even dislike."
Wren gave her a flat look.
"One day, I am going to save your life," Wren said. "And on another day, you will save mine. Regardless of your feelings about me, I will always be a staunch ally and ready to respond at your call."
With one finger Wren moved her weightless body.
"Put your feet down," she said and Deb found herself back on the hardwood floor. "If you wish to leave, I shall not detain you ever again."
The girl turned away and walked to a ballet bag. She retrieved a bottle of water and twisted off the top.
"Why do you act like you are better then me?" Deb demanded.
"I do not. If you note, with the exception of Nathaniel, I treat each of my teammates the same way. I must admit that when we first met, I was suspicious of your motivations but your actions on behalf of Janie showed me that you are a genuinely caring person with a good heart."
"But you talk like you're better than everyone ..."
"I was schooled in British Public schools and French private institutes. I speak as I was taught. I am also one that believes in thinking before speaking so if I chose my words in such a way as to offend you, it is not intentional. If at any time I mean to insult you, it will be quite apparent."
"You're always sarcastic, you talk down to everyone, hell you even correct Nat's grammar!"
"Very well, let us explore these charges. I am snarky, not sarcastic though if it is warranted I can slip into sarcasm with ease. As for talking down to everyone, I refuse to limit my vocabulary for the comfort of others. If you do not understand a word, I may have a dictionary around somewhere. As for Nathaniel's grammar, have you considered that he may have asked me to provide that service?"
"That's what I am talking about! A dictionary? I am supposed to carry a dictionary so I can talk to you?"
"That was snarky, not sarcastic," Wren said, one corner of her mouth twitching.
"Why the fuck do you always talk like that?"
"And why do you insist on using that word? It is subconscious just as my speech patterns. I do not wish to force you to alter your choice of words, do not attempt to do so with me. I believe it to be a fair deal."
"Fuck you!" Deb turned, half expecting to hit the ceiling again but Wren simply sat and began removing her shoes.
Deb jumped and let out a little squeak as she turned the corner and almost ran Chris over.
"Well that certainly went over well," Chris observed.
"Fuck you too!"
"What has happened to the gentile southern belle? Have they succumbed to the carpet baggers of the damn Yankees?"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Chris put her arm across Deb's shoulder, she flinched but did not step out of the embrace.
"Wren is a sweet, generous, and caring person. She is also prickly, snarky and hard to get to know. We have the advantage on you, nearly a year's advantage.
"She is a cold-hearted bitch!"
"Why don't you come with me on a little trip?"
"Just Old Towne, I feel like some tacos."
Chris escorted her out into the school's parking lot and over to a very old station wagon with wooden sides.
"This was Wren's gift to Nat," she said, unlocking the door.
"And you can just take it?"
The engine started only after Chris stepped down on a silver button that stuck up through the floorboards.
"A security thing?"
"A starter thing," Chris grinned.
In silence they rolled down the Point Loma peninsula and out into San Diego proper. It was all very different from Tidewater, for one thing it had a hundred hills.
"Why haven't you been coming to the cottage with the rest of the team?" Chris asked.
Deb shook her head, "I don't feel comfortable there."
"And you never go out into the city, no Balboa, no trip to TJ, nothing."
"I have studying to do."
The car turned into the driveway of a typical Spanish style house, all stucco and red tile roof.
"What's this place?"
"It is called Bird's Nest," Chris replied.
"No, but it is lunch time and I am sure we can get a couple of tacos."
They stepped out of the car and Chris led her to the massive front door. Without knocking, she pushed it open and stepped in, only to be gang-rushed by a small mob of kids, none older than about four.
"Hey, guys!" Chris knelt and tried to hug all of them at once. "Okay, okay, whose mom is here?"
"Mine!" said a tiny boy of about four. He took off like a shot and the rest dispersed into various little clusters.
"What is this place?"
A Latina of about eighteen was towed into the room by the small boy.
"Christiana!" She threw her arms around Chris and kissed her on both cheeks. "You are in time for tacos."
"Juanita, this is Debra, she's new to the group."
"OH! I am so happy to meet you!" She grabbed Deb's hand and literally kissed it.
"Juanita, why don't you tell Deb how you came to be living here?"
"First, tacos, this way."
She led them into a beautiful Mexican kitchen filled with the aroma of cooking.
"You sit, I talk."
As she moved around the kitchen assembling plates for them, she talked.
"We were saved by Christiana and her friends. The vampires had us and we had no will to escape them. Then Christiana came and killed the vampires and we were free ... but maybe not so safe? This house is where we were chained to serve as food for the vampires ... the three of us and the little ones. They saved us but we had no where to go ... the government took the house and ICE came to deport us. It was very bad."
She set a plate before each.
"Miss Wren came with lawyers and stopped ICE, then she stop the government and buy this house. It was wrecked, burned, but we had nowhere else. She bring in men and they rebuild the whole house in seven days! She say we live here all we want and pay her nothing. We get to keep the little ones and we adopted them, Julio is mine now. She got us green cards and now we will become Americans in a few months."
"Prickly and hard to get to know she is," Chris said. "Just look around. This is only one of her and Nat's projects, all on her dime. She's worth hundreds of millions but she lives with the man she loves in a tiny beach cottage. She gives away every dime her portfolio makes and only uses the principle of her wealth to keep an income coming in to fund places like this. She has opened a runaway shelter down at the beach because of Janie. She hires homeless vets to protect that shelter and provide runaway kids with a safe place to live. She and Nat have put together a plan to build a community specifically for homeless vets. It will include a small house, food, medical, and therapy as needed. She will even have lawyers on retainer to serve those vets. Would a cold-hearted bitch do all that?"
Deb wanted to ask what was in it for Wren but she realized, if she had all the money in the world, she would probably be doing much the same thing.
"Why is she so mean to me?"
"You are asking the wrong question. You need to ask 'why would she let me into her mind to share the connection?' Look, Wren is not what she seems to be, and her offer to teach you? That was real. She will work your ass off, just like she does Nat when she is teaching him to dance. She will expect you to be better than you think you are, because those are the standards she sets for herself."
"Miss Wren she come here to read stories to the little ones. She brings them something every time, not just toys but clothes and shoes. She tell us if we cannot use what she brings to give it to the people in the neighborhood that need it. She always bring too much," Juanita added. "And Mister Nat come and help fix fences and roofs, and Miss Wren help that too. She up on the roof right next to him pounding nails. They are good people and help anyone that need it. Now eat, tacos not so good cold."
Deb was not a huge Mexican food fan, in fact, she hadn't had much beyond Taco Bell but this was an entirely different food.
"This is really good," she said.
Chris grinned, "Best tacos in Old Town and that's going some."
An hour later Chris pulled up in front of the beach cottage.
"Time for you to socialize with your team a bit more," she said.
"Beach party?" Deb asked.
"No, I think tonight is dance night."
From up the street a cluster of young people, a few she almost recognized, in a party mood approached the cottage. Several waved at Chris.
Deb never did figure out how so many people ended up in that tiny cottage but it was packed pretty tight. It seem, though, that there was always room for several couples to dance and dance they did. At one point she found herself partnered with Nat and was amazed that such a big guy could move so gracefully. There was none of the random gyrations she expected from just about any male, and when the music changed to something she'd seen her parents dance to she got quite a shock. Nat was a very accomplished jitterbug dancer. She took it as a challenge and five minutes later the room erupted in cheers and applause.
"I see I was mistaken," Wren said from just behind her. "You had been hiding your light under a bushel. That was very well done."
Wren handed her a tall glass of what looked like ice tea then turned away. Deb took a sip. It tasted just like her mother's and she had to wonder how Wren had done it.
"I'll bet she called my mother ..."
"Of course she did," Nat said. "That's what family does."
Deb stepped into the school's studio the next afternoon and found Wren waiting for her.
"Are you ready to begin?" The other girl said.
Where Wren was dressed in leotards and slippers, all Deb had available was sweat pants and a sports bra with sneakers.
"If you are willing to teach me," she replied.
"Then I suggest you get rid of the sneakers. They have too much traction and I do so hate the squeaking sounds they make. Barefoot will be better but we shall go shopping for more appropriate footwear this weekend. Also, I think leotards, and of course a cane."
At the last she picked up a stick from the floor.
"For now, I shall be the sole controller of this cane and should you fail to accomplish a particular move, I shall use it liberally on some tender portion of your body."
Deb's eyes went wide.
Wren half smiled and tossed the cane on top of her bag. Damn, the girl did know how to joke, even if it was scary as shit.
"Let us begin with the basics ..."
The most important power that Deb has developed over the last few years is sort of a combination of
'Mind Lock' and 'Befuddlement' in that is freezes all targets in time over an area some 40 meters in radius. While she does not effective stop time, it appears to do so as it blocks most normal senses for anyone within the area, including the sense of time. Once released those affected do not realize a period of time has elapsed and as the power blocks normal senses, during that time frame they receive no external stimulous. For them it is like a pause between seconds. This is a very new power and she has yet to master it making it unreliable (Activate on 8-). There are an number of other limitations with the most dangerous one being that Deb must actually be physically in the area for it to work making her a possible target should an enemy realize she is the source of the power.
Another power she has developed is 'Mental Fog'. This is a larger scale 'Befuddlement' that she can use to make those affected unable to remember events, think clearly or do much more than drool. Most normal people, i.e. non-meta, are effectively reduced to the mental level of infants. While there is no lasting effect once she turns off the power, those effected have a difficult time recalling events. Think of it as trying to remember your four birthday party and who was there and what you got as presents.
The rest of her powers have improved markedly in power, particularly her 'Stealthy Read'. She has also been able to increase the coverage of her "You Can't See Us' to up to 3 other people now. The 'Mind Lock' is stronger, the 'Mind Finding' is now more reliable and is no longer tied to her location. 'You're Blind! lasts a bit longer.
On the skills side, Deb has finally begun to master Savate though she is not much of a threat to most people as she is still not very strong and, compared to her teammates, slow as cold molasses. Of the White team all but Brit could out muscle her and all are considerably faster. Over on the Red team only Q is pretty much normal, like her.
Academically, she has taken up her one goal in life, criminal law. Her already existing skills that require a good presense and quick mind not only compliment her as a lawyer but give her an unfair advantage in the courtroom. Once she passes the California Bar, she is destined to become a district attorney as the idea of defending someone she knows is guilty is repugnant to her.
|"Though she is but small, she is fierce." This has become much more appearant as her teammates get to know her. Once she has passed the Bar, there is not one of them that would not beg her to represent them should some situation place them in court. She will fight, not until the battle is over, but until she has won her point, or case.|
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