rEvolution

Visions and Dreams

For the first time in decades, Baeldan found himself gawking. There was a simple study table with some chairs in front of him, and shelves of books as far as the eye could see. Interspersed with the books were artifacts, electronic tablets, and pieces of art he’d never seen before. As he peered down a hallway, he could see there were more of these “clearings” in the forest of knowledge, equipped with the same austere study stations.

His mentor tapped him on the shoulder, breaking him out of his awestruck stare. “Where would you like to start, professor?” Bael could hear the smirk in Flynn’s tone. He supposed the keeper relished this reaction.
“Ah, sorry.” Bael realized he was still blocking the doorway. “If you can show me how the archive catalog works, I can go from there.”
“Of course.” Flynn sat, placing the gauntlet on the table, and accessed the terminal with his badge. “You will have access with your badge as well,” he said as he nodded toward the chair beside him. “It’s pretty straightforward. We have pieces of art, ancient technology and manuscripts in each section, and the surrounding literature mostly pertains to those items. There are also tablets you can use to search each section without having to come back here each time you want to look for something specific. That was my idea.” Flynn appeared to be in his late seventies, so Bael could see how that idea came about. Flynn stood up and picked up the gauntlet. Bael gave him a wary look.
“I’m sure you’ll figure this thing out in a jiffy,” he said as he put the gauntlet on. He gestured to the chair with his gloved hand and gave a wrinkled smirk again. Bael sat, and Flynn placed his hand on Bael’s shoulder.
“What the—” Bael spat as he attempted to jump out of the chair. He stumbled, catching himself on the table. Flynn burst out in a robust laughter. “Shit. Why would you do that?”
“Didn’t you pay attention to the debriefing? Wait, were you there for that one… maybe not.” Flynn chuckled and knocked the gauntlet on the table. “This isn’t some kind of soulbinding artifact, it’s just a tool. You should already know how that works, after all.”
“Wait, it’s just a focus? So that means the rich collector—”
“—was one of us, yes. Well, not KoA, of course, but he did have a gift. He simply chose to use it unwisely.”
Baeldan hadn’t seen much of the gauntlet since it had been recovered. Most of the work had been done by Gwen and Magic. The operation had been remarkably well planned, and he and Noah had only been there as backup.
“Anyway. I’d better get this to Analysis.” Flynn removed the gauntlet and turned toward the exit. “Have at it. You can always comm me if you have any questions.” Bael wasted no time.

After several hours of skimming subject matter to get familiarized with the system, his hunger caught up with him. He went to the cafeteria, which was mostly empty at this hour. Cydney sat by herself, so he dished up and sat across from her.
“Hey, professor,” she said, barely looking up from her tablet. Rather than annoyance, he felt sympathy. He would also rather be consuming with his mind than his mouth.
“Hello, Cyd.” He ate quickly, eager to get back to the archives. On his way he passed the arboretum and noticed Gwen sitting alone.
“It’s quite beautiful, isn’t it?” He sat beside her on the bench. “Especially given the knowledge that it exists here.”
“Yeah, it’s good. I like to use it to decompress, to think about all this… crazy shit.”
“Ah, sorry. If you’d rather be alone—”
“No, it’s fine. You can stay. What have you been up to all day?”
“Just studying in the archives. You’d find it boring, but to me it is very exciting.” Gwen rolled her eyes. “In fact, I read somewhere that places like this arboretum are created using special fiber optics that channel actual sun and starlight down here.”
“Hmm.” She seemed tired.
“Is, ah, everything all right? You are uncharacteristically quiet.”
Gwen gave a haggard laugh. “I’ll be fine, it’s just this place. It’s so advanced and organized, and you know that places like this exist for a reason. If you even knew half of the fucked up stuff they deal with here…”
“I’ve read about some of it, but you have experienced it firsthand.”
“Yeah. I wasn’t sure if I could handle it at first, but I’ve got good support. Magic’s cement shakes and such.” Bael gave her a puzzled look, but she just grinned.

Baeldan dove back into the archives as soon as he returned. Whenever he came across an unfamiliar rune in his studies, he carefully traced it on a piece of paper in the hope of discovering some new ability. So far, he just had a paper full of jibberish. He felt his eyes growing heavy, but he had just stumbled across a section full of theories about the fate of Atlantis. He caught himself reading pages at a time without remembering anything he had just read. He began absentmindedly tracing runes he had seen in the tomes and elsewhere. He felt his resolve slipping away.

All at once, Baeldan’s focus returned as he turned the page and saw an elaborate rune, surrounded by an ornate border. He didn’t even bother to read the subtext. Without looking away from the page, he traced the rune with his finger onto the table. The completed rune glowed, and the table burned away in a dazzling multicolored light in front of his eyes. As he watched, the light coalesced and formed an image of a skyline filled with tall, impossible spires and floating islands. The buildings seemed to be made of some iridescent stone, as though someone had built an entire city out of precious gems. He tried to focus more, to see if he could find any signs of life, but he was too far away. He couldn’t tell if the expanse that separated him from this wondrous place was water or clouds or something else entirely. He heard nothing at first, but gradually he could make out a woman’s voice in the distance. She was calling to him, and he felt himself shudder. The city rapidly became obscured by fog, but the voice grew louder.

When he awoke, it was Gwen standing next to him, still shaking him. “Earth to Mr. Freeze, wake up Professor Von Germanpants! Bael, seriously, I thought you’d died down here. How the fuck do you sleep so hard?”
“Ugh. It’s a family trait.” His wits took their time returning. “What are you doing here?”
“Well, I hung around in the arboretum after you left, but when it got late and I didn’t see you walk back through I got curious. You know they have actual beds here right?”
“Yes. Of course. I suppose there’s always tomorrow.” He started to stand up and shake the sleep out of his limbs. When Gwen didn’t say anything more, he glanced at her. She had frozen, staring at the table.
Where there had been a piece of paper, there was now a perfectly round hole in the table, about a foot in diameter. The edges of the hole shimmered slightly with a dim rainbow which was rapidly fading. Gwen looked at Bael.
“Guess you didn’t waste any time causing property damage.”

View
Liquid Torture
Some stuff that happens at KoA HQ

Gwendolyn Sondalie adjusted her shaded glasses and sat on a patch of grass in the middle of a wooded area. Surrounded by trees, foliage, and humidity, no one would be able to guess that she was actually thousands of feet below the surface of the Earth. The Arboretum was her favorite place at the massive world headquarters of the Knights of Atlantis. The domed ceiling provided a realistic light that could fool anyone into thinking they could feel the real sunshine on their face.

Laying on a patch of grass, she twisted a ring around her finger and looked through the branches of an oak tree. She was adjusting well to this place (according to her “mentor”) but for the first time in her life, she was battling homesickness. Everyone she met here was awesome and extremely welcoming. She was excited about some Higher Education courses they had recommended for her. She knew that this was the stuff dreams were made of, but there was just no replacing her mum, or her comfy bed, or that favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Midway.

She blinked away a tear and scolded herself for being so stupid. It’s not like she was a prisoner! She could leave anytime, even for just a visit.

“Hey, Gwen! I see you’re getting your 100 situps in for the day!” Alton smiled down at her.

“Hey, Al. Yeah, just finished up.” Gwen wasn’t a great liar, but didn’t think Alton would call her out on her fib. Every new member of KOA got their own personal mentor, if they wanted it, to help show them the ropes around the headquarters. Alton seemed personally invested in improving Gwen’s physical attributes, which was her least favorite part of the training so far.

“Heads up, champ!” Alton tossed a ball at her as soon as she got to her feet. She barely had time to react and got her hands around the ball, but it was so heavy she fell over.

“Al, what the fuck, dude? You just carry a MEDICINE BALL around with you like whatever?! …oh god… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said fuck.” Gwen slapped her hand to her mouth.

Alton chuckled and put his hands on his hips. “No worries! Some of us around here swear like pirates and all that! I just was tossing this ball around with your comrade, Noah. It’s tough to wear that guy down!”

“Al, do you ever say something without an exclamation mark?” Gwen stood up for a second time and brushed herself off. She eyed her friend warily to make sure he didn’t have some other surprise up his sleeve.

“Noah said I should call you ‘Mood Ring’. Cool nickname!”

Gwen rolled her eyes.

“Anyway, I thought I’d find you here. Ashton would like your help with something in the infirmary. Are you available? ‘Course you are, since you already got your sit ups done for the day! Should I let them know that you’re on your way?”

“Sure,” Gwen said. She was mesmerized by the enthusiasm of her yellow friend. “Oh, Al, can you show me how to get there? I still get a little turned around in this place.”

“Yeah! It’s two levels below the general floor. Any of the Arbiretum’s West exits will get you there.”

Gwen nodded and smiled as if she knew which direction West was.

“Come on, we can jog there!”

“Not unless you want me to throw up!”


Gwen arrived at the infirmary, behind Alton, red faced and panting. She doubled over, exhausted by her mentor’s encouragement. A nurse looked alarmed and ran off to get her a wheelchair.

Alton patted her shoulder and asked her if she wanted a drink. “We should add at least mile a day to your fitness training regiment, slugger,” he said.

“Ugh,” Gwen said between puffs. “Can’t we just montage all the training?” Alton looked confused. “You know, like in the movies, with the music. …Nevermind.”

Magic turned a corner and waved to Gwen. “Oh good! We could use your help. Come on.”

Gwen followed her friend down a hall of patient rooms.”Did you get your badge, yet? We’re going through the doors that need special clearance.”

“Uh, yeah. I got my badge. But what’s going on?”

“We don’t really know yet. Hopefully you can help us get a clue. I told them that you were very good at reading people.”

“Them?”

“You’ll see.” Maggie badged them into a heavy locked door. The room had a glass observation window to look into the room next to it, where a patient lay in a bed, hooked up to IVs and monitors. Although extremely faint, her aura was a dark cloud, swirling with flashes of something Gwen had never seen before.

“She’s in a medically induced coma, but we’re going to bring her out. We need to know what’s going on in her head,” said Maggie looking over some medical charts. “Anything you can tell us will be a big help to this case.”

Creepy. But finally something I’m good at.


Back at the dorms, Noah had just finished showering after an intense physical training session. High on endorphins, he collapsed on the bed, giddy with life. A job. Missions. State-of-the-art training facilities. Everything was just starting to make sense. Then he heard a rumble of commotion in the hallway.

“Gwen!! We don’t have time for this shit!” Doors slammed and Maggy was shouting.

“NO! I’M OUTTA HERE!”

Noah heard Baeldan’s voice join the commotion. Something was going down so he rushed to get dressed. By the time he made it to the hallway, he saw Maggie pounding on Mood Ring’s door while Sydney peeked out from behind Baeldan.

“What’s the problem, guys?” asked Noah.

Maggie shouted so Gwen could hear her from behind the door “I dunno WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. Gwen stormed off in a huff and she has no idea how much we don’t need her drama right now! You know what? I’m done.” She put up her hands. “I have a lot more work to do. Especially if she won’t help.”

Noah stared blankly at Baeldan who shrugged. “Do you know what happened?” Asked Noah.

Clueless, Baeldan shrugged again. “Maybe… Overstressed? I don’t know.”

Noah knocked gently on Mood Ring’s door. “Uhm. Mood… I mean, Gwen? You ok in there?”

The silence weighed as heavy as the miles of earth that surrounded them. Noah knew something was very wrong with his team mate and couldn’t just leave her. He kinda wished he could, though. He was not good at sorting out women issues. “Gwen? …Mood Ring? …Ya there, buddy?”

Something heavy hit the door from the other side. That was all the assurance that Baeldan needed to walk away. Sydney stood there, no idea what to do. She gestured towards Noah.

“Gwen?”

“I don’t belong here, Noah. I’m going home.”

“Well, that seems kind of sudden. Ok. Can I at least come in and say goodbye?”

Sydney whispered to Noah. “She’s not really leaving is she?” The door unlocked and Noah slowly turned the handle.

“Is that Sydney with you?” asked Gwen.

“Yep, just me!” squeaked Sydney.

“You don’t have to be scared. I’m not a violent criminal. I’m not going to hurt anyone.”

It was dark inside her room. Pitch black, in fact. Noah flipped the light switch instinctively.

“AH, JESUS FUCK!”

“Oh my god, sorry! I didn’t think! Sorry!” Noah forgot about Gwen’s sensitivity to light.

Gwen took a deep breath and mustered all the calmness she had to address her colleagues. “I really appreciate you checking in on me. But it’s time for me to go. I don’t belong here and I wish you good luck in your training.”

“Uhm, ok. Can we talk about it?”

“Nothing to talk about.”

Sydney spoke next. “Did you and Maggie have a fight?”

“No. Well, yeah, but not with each other.”

“Then what happened?”

“What happened isn’t important. I’m just going to slow you guys down and get in the way. I’m not built for speed or strength or anything that you guys need. I’m too young for this. And therefore, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Sydney raised an eyebrow. “Let’s just pretend you didn’t say that to the youngest person in the group. Not to mention the least physically gifted person of the group. What’s really going on?”

“I want out. Safe word or whatever. I can’t do it.” Gwen continued mumbling on but neither Noah or Sydney could understand what she was saying.

“Ok,” said Sydney. “But at least help us understand. We care about you and we’ve come this far together. You don’t have to defend yourself, just help us understand. As your friends.”

The silence settled in again.


Back at the infirmary, Baeldan decided Maggie was the easiest person to get answers from.

“What happened back there?” he asked.

“All we needed her to do was give us a reading of a patient. A soft interrogation. Everything was going well until the patient woke up and flew off the handle and got a little aggressive. Well, a lot agressive, but we had the situation under control. I think Gwen got pegged, but she flew out of there faster than I could tell. Obviously it wasn’t a serious injury if she could have her little temper tantrum. But whatever. I have a lot of work to do.”

Baeldan took a minute to consider how he was going to phrase his next question. “So, has Gwen had any formal training in interrogation or reading people?”

“No,” said Maggie. “But she should know how to read people, she does it all the time. She did it for a long time before we came in to the picture.”

“True. True. But up until now, she has only read people that were willing and wanting to be read.”

“Yeah, I know. She’s not trained. I get it. I just thought she could use a good challenge. I thought if she felt useful around here, she would stop moping around about how she isn’t as much of a bad ass as us. I thought she was ready,” said Maggie. She placed an eyedropper of fluid on a glass slide and looked at it through a microscope.

Baeldan nodded. “You had a good plan. She needs to be challenged. She needs training, too. If we take one step before the other, it can result in a fall.”

“Mmmhmm,” said Maggie, examining the slide. “Oh wow!”

Baeldan was pleased his little nugget of wisdom resulted in a reaction in Maggie. Then he realized she was responding to her findings through the microscope.

“Sorry, Bael, I have to focus on this. We don’t have a lot of time. I’ll catch up with you and Gwen and everyone tomorrow. Can you just check up on her for me and tell her I’m sorry?”

That was an easy enough task. Baeldan knew that Gwen wasn’t really going anywhere anytime soon. And according to the new comlink device he and his team were given, she was located in the cafeteria with Sydney and Noah. He found them sitting at a table eating and chatting quietly. Gwen was nursing a cup of steaming hot coffee.

Sydney perked up and waved Baeldan over. “These comlink devices really make those Apple watches look like kids’ toys!”

Gwen smirked. “Well, Apple really makes those Apple watches look like kids’ toys. Sorry, I guess that was low hanging fruit.” She smiled, pleased with herself. Baeldan was relieved to see Her acting like her usual goofy self.

“Feeling better, Mood Ring?” Baeldan asked and sat down. “Would you say you are less… Moody?”

“Oh very funny, Bael,” she said in her worst fake German accent. “Yeah, but I’d feel even better if this was a beer.” She made a sour face at the coffee.

Sydney was still fiddling with her watch. “The things I could do with this software. I once created a database with a whole new querying algorithm. It would probably make load times 8 ms faster. Globally, that would be huge improvement…” Sydney trailed off because no one was listening.

“Have you started your history classes yet, Bael?” asked Gwen, making small talk. No one wanted to address the elephant in the room.

“I’ve mostly been spending a lot of time in the library. A scholar could spend multiple lifetimes in there and never run out of information. I don’t really know where to start. But yes, I have classes starting soon.”

“Sounds interesting,” said Gwen, sipping her coffee. She jumped a little because it was still too hot. Her long hair flitted back when she jumped and revealed a dark purple bruise on her neck. She quickly brushed her hair back in place over her shoulders.

A woman in lavender scrubs approached the table. She was holding a lunch tray filled with food. “Excuse me,” she said. “Sorry to interrupt, but I saw you in the infirmary earlier today and I wanted to make sure you were alright.”

Gwen recognized her as the nurse that ran off to find her a wheelchair when she first arrived.

“Oh, yeah, I’m fine! Sorry to alarm you there. I wasn’t the patient. I was there to see a patient.”

“Ooooh, sorry about that. Are you new? My name is Sandy.”

Gwen offered her a seat at the table. It was a lucky coincidence that this friendly nurse had stopped by, because she had been thinking about getting some First Aid or First Responder type training and had no idea where to start. Medical skills of any kind would be especially useful on the field, and wouldn’t require super powers. If I were to stay, that is.

Baeldan absent-mindedly pushed at Gwen’s coffee cup with his finger. “Does that mean you’re not leaving?”

“Nope, I’m still leaving. Just can’t get a ride back to St Paul until Thursday…GODDAMNIT BAELDAN!” Gwen’s coffee was now a chunk of ice. Noah laughed.

“I’m so sorry,” said Baeldan. “I wasn’t thinking. Well, I was, but not about your coffee. Sorry, I’ll get you a new one.”

“There are lots of classes on Epsilon for all kinds of medical training,” said Sandy, changing the subject. “I even teach a few basic level courses here on site. Too bad you’re not sticking around… Are you leaving for good or vacation or something? I have a one day course I’m instructing tomorrow if you want to fit it in before you leave on Thursday.”

“Epsilon?” Gwen asked.

“Remember, the training and academic catalogue?”

“Oh, I forgot that’s what it was called.”

“Yeah, I can help you get signed up, if you want.” Sandy started tapping on her watch and swiping. “Tomorrow’s class is a First Responder’s class for non-medical personnel. It’s full, but I can make an exception for you. It’s part of an Emergency Medical Responder certification. Do you think it would be something you’d be interested in?”

“Definitely!” Gwen’s wrist-watch vibrated. She saw an invitation to the class on the screen.

Sandy looked up from her watch and smiled. “You’re signed up! I hope you like it. We cover things like immobilizing patients with broken bones, obstructed breathing, and CPR. You know, basic help until help arrives. Sounds like it will be a great start for you, Gwen. Anyone else interested?”

Sydney shook her head but Noah seemed interested. “I have a pretty packed day tomorrow, though, but I might consider taking it in the future.”

Later that evening, Maggie knocked on Gwen’s door. Gwen could tell before opening the door that she was holding something cube shaped and cold. Her shades of red were no longer projecting frustration. Now a deep red, they had changed back to her usual grounded and detail oriented self. “I just came to apologize for being short with you. This case has been really stressful and I thought you’d be able to help. I should have prepared you better for it, though.”

“No big deal, Magic,” said Gwen. “Come on in.” Gwen put on her special shades and turned the light on in her room.

“Got a bottle opener?” The cold cube Maggie had brought was a 4-pack of Gwen’s favorite craft beer.

“I’m sorry I freaked out and ran away. I know that wasn’t very professional of me. I hope those officers don’t think we’re a bunch of noobs.”

Maggie chuckled. “No, just you.”

Gwen grinned. “That’s what you get for throwing me in front of a train with a blindfold on!”

“I know, I know… I wish I had done things differently,” said Maggie.

“What were you doing there anyway?”

“Analyzing the patient’s DNA. Seeing if we could identify her, or find out if she had some indicator of Genome enhancements or…”

“A descendant of Atlantis?”

“Maybe. Doesn’t look like it though. We don’t have enough information yet to make any conclusions. At least nothing that they’re sharing with me.” Maggie sipped at her beer.

“Ashton? You think he has secrets?”

“No, well… It makes sense that they can’t just start speculating before we have a complete picture. That’s how rumors start.”

Even with her extreme intellect, she couldn’t fool her friend. Gwen knew there was a lie somewhere in there, or that she was hiding something, but she decided to let it go. “Sorry I couldn’t help. She really didn’t seem to like me.” Gwen rubbed at her neck, still sore from the attack.

“Yeah, good thing I was there to stop her from choking you out. After what she’s been through, I don’t think she’ll like anything for a while. A field unit discovered her being held prisoner…”

“I know.” Gwen cut her off. “I don’t know exactly what was done to her, but it was so bad… I have never seen someone’s aura so tormented. If I hadn’t seen her before she woke up, I wouldn’t have believed she was human. Ugh, I feel a little sick just thinking about it again.”

“Our guys call it ‘liquid torture’. We don’t know what the purpose is exactly but it’s administered through an IV infusion. Worse than a death sentence and changes a person right down to the cellular level. She is the third victim the KoA have come across and we haven’t been able to reverse the process.”

“We have to help those people!” Said Gwen.

Maggie shook her head and took a drink. “Person. She’s the only one still alive. We put her back in the coma, where we can at least keep her alive for now. They have senior level agents working on a treatment plan, but no one is terribly optimistic. ”

Gwen swallowed hard. It was hard to stomach that what she saw was done to someone on purpose. “Why would anyone do this?!”

Maggie shrugged her shoulders. “We don’t know. Some kind of experimental conditioning program, maybe? We don’t know who’s responsible or how or why they would be doing this.”

“I guess I probably should cancel my flight out of here, then. I want to help stop this from happening to anyone else!”

“What?! You were serious about leaving?!”

“Well… Yeah,” said Gwen in a quiet and embarrassed voice.

“You were just going to up and leave the team?! Well don’t let me stop you!”

“Wait! That’s not what I meant! I’m sorry. I just didn’t know what to do. You guys are all really good at this super hero business and I’m just kinda tagging along.”

“Gwendolyn Sonalie!” Boomed Maggie.

“You sound like my mom,” interrupted Gwen.

“What would your mom say if she found out you were going to give up this opportunity to do great things for the world?! How would she feel if her daughter ran away at the first sign of danger?”

“No, you’re right. I won’t leave.” Gwen never thought of it like that and felt so stupid.

“Ok, but only stay if you’re never going to threaten to leave again. I won’t tolerate stupid threats and drama!”

“I won’t! I mean, I’ll stay and I won’t threaten to leave again!”

“Ok, Gwen, drink some cement. ‘Cuz you gotta harden up.” Gwen could tell she meant that as a show of support and comfort. Maggie extended her bottle towards Gwen. They clinked them together like champagne glasses.

View
Prelude to Liquid Torture
Magic's Prelude to Liquid Torture

I was nose deep in some slides comparing different strains of DNA collected from other Atlanteans to find some kind of discernible pattern to help predict what powers may appear, map ancestry and whole list of other things I’m noting down as the results run through the computers.
BANG!
I whip my head around to see some people run down the hallway with what had to be someone on a gurney and Dr. Gordan hustling behind them.
“Magic! Hurry! Follow me!” he shouts.
I hear blood curdling screams that sound so agonizing it’s cuts you right down to core.
" Pin her arms! Watch out! " shouts one of the medics.
I drop my notes and run out the lab door and start sprinting. I pass Dr. Gordan and burst through the doors.
I feel like I stepped into a sensory deprivation tank as I took in the scene. The entire world went silent and slowed down when I made eye contact with the woman on the gurney. The medics were rushing to her side and yelling at each other as she flails around on the bed like a crazed animal. I take a deep breath and concentrate on making my self stronger. I leap in to help the medics by holding her legs. She screams again and all the muscles in her body tense and distort like you see in those movies when someone is possessed by a demon.
" WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!” I yell at no one in particular as someone comes up to help hold her down. It feels so wrong to see someone in so much pain as I help hold her limbs.
One of the medical doctors I’ve seen around rushes in and gives her a shot, within seconds she starts relaxing and passes out from exhaustion. They start strapping her into the bed; I relax slightly and step away.
" What happened to that person? I know enough to help out in the most basic of situations but this is beyond me… she isn’t you know… possessed is she? ” I mutter that last thought quietly. (I feel weird saying that out loud but I honestly can’t put that out of the realm of possibility these days. I also probably should hold off on watching any scary movies for awhile.)
" There is something far worse than a demon in that poor girl. She is the first victim that has been found alive.” Dr. Sullivan explains. (I noticed he didn’t say possession was out of the question, I will have to follow up on that later.)
" The first one alive! How many victims are there? What is causing this? Why is she here? “ I ask.
Dr. Sullivan replies " The number of victims doesn’t matter. What matters, is helping the person who is still alive. We have someone working at the coroner’s office for the FBI in the cities that alerted us to the strangeness of the deaths. When a toxicology report was ran the system returned no results. It was ran multiple times and even sent to an additional office but the same results were found each time. This conflicted with the obvious signs that the every organ in the body went under prolonged periods of high stress, all the various functions of the organs were producing way above average, this over-clocking caused them each to back fire and kill it’s victims.”

“ Forgive me since I’m not a medical doctor but that sounds like some kind of new drug strain or poison, is there something abnormal about that? Besides that it’s horrendous, it doesn’t explain why she was brought here. Is it because she is one of us, an Atlantean? ” I inquire.
Dr. Richards steps in ” It’s abnormal because the blood sample I was sent from another victim displayed changes to basic cellular structure into something unrecognizable… “ A look of pure disgust crosses his face.” As far as being Atlantean, I don’t know… all the information I’m looking at it’s hard to tell what was there before and what this “liquid torture” changed. That’s where you come in, I’m hoping you can make sense of it all and maybe reverse it.”
I must have visibly paled since Dr. Gordan reached out and held my arm
“ Are you okay?”
" What kind of sick mad science is this? How the … ” I let that all process for a moment and say out loud. “ Reverse engineer this madness? I’ve never done anything like this before but I’ll try my best. I need as much information as possible. Is there any way to get the other bodies?” I start forming a plan and talking to Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Gordan about everything they know and every kernel of knowledge. I’m trying to connect the dots and a flutter of a scary thought crosses my mind.
" What if it isn’t random? What if someone is either targeting us or no… could they be…? " I dare not say this final thought out loud until I have the evidence to prove it. I hope for once that the evidence will prove me wrong.

View
A change of plan
Noah's journal

So it turns out that the mysterious group that detained us is an international secret society with plans to prepare the world for the return of Atlantis…Yep, that looks as crazy in print as it sounds spoken out loud.
Anyway, They asked us to join them after explaining that the source of most super powers was Atlantean heredity and technology. They promised to tell us more once we decided to sign up.
We were a little overwhelmed and decided to remain independent, working with them as an outside contractor for the time being.
It didn’t take long for them to give us a mission; to ‘recover’ an ancient Atlantean artifact called the Infinity Gauntlet that was said to have the power to turn things to gold.
I won’t go into the details here so as not to incriminate us if we’re arrested and brought up on charges, but we ‘recovered’ the gauntlet and turned it over to Natalie, who was acting as liaison between us and KoA. We also informed her that we decided as a team that it would be in everyone’s best interests to sign on fully with her organization.
We were flown to one of their secret facilities and given the tour after signing the paperwork – which was surprisingly mundane corporate lawyer-ese. The place was like a college campus only underground, and we were given the option of living there or ‘off campus’ – and holy sh*t, we’re getting paid something like eighty thousand a year with medical!
Speaking of medical; a Doctor at the facility gave us physicals and I was right! I AM NOT A ROBOT – I’m human, and the Doctor said I was treated with Atlantean technology due to a birth defect. I think Bael and Gwen are Atlantan descendants but I don’t know about Magic yet. I’m sure I’m right about her too; she’s a cyborg like me!

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Gwen's recap 5/14
A Golden Glove Heist

Life has been such a whirlwind, lately. One minute, I was a nobody, reading fake fortunes for poor desperate souls. The next minute, I’m stealing an ancient artifact for a secretive group called the Knights of Atlantis. But I’m not exactly a hired thug. I don’t think. Well… Ok, I’m still a little confused by it.

Since my last update, the team has been pretty solidly formed. We even gave ourselves a fancy group name and uniforms. We figured that we would make a name for ourselves by being the vigilante(ish) group of do-gooders. Stopping bad guys in their tracks and all that what not. Turns out bad guys have bombs, and shit got real when they tried to blow up the minneapolis convention center doing an auto show.

We didn’t have a great plan, but we were there. I tried to raise the alarm and save as many lives as possible by throwing a fire alarm as soon as we spotted trouble. But then we were detained by a mysterious group that acted like the police, but wasn’t exactly the police. In fact, they seemed to have higher authority than the police.

The Knights of Atlantis

KoA claims to be a group that supports the descendants of some Atlantean people – where super powers come from. So maybe I have some long lost Atlantis family? I’m not sure because I haven’t gotten the results of the DNA test yet.

Our first official job for the KOA was “retrieving” (and by that I mean stealing) a golden jeweled glove that apparantly has the power to turn things in to gold. Some rich weirdo in a big fancy house bought it for his private collection. Although, he must not know much about the history of the thing because he didn’t seem to have it properly protected. In fact, the dumbass answered the door wearing the thing.

We handled the situation pretty well considering we don’t have any formal training in this kind of thing. We worked together to form a plan and we used everyone’s (newly discovered) talents to sneak in to Dudeface’s house and steal the glove. It was weirdly not hard. But I guess we’re just more awesome than I gave us credit for!

Dude, Maggy can change her face. How awesome is that?! She also is super smart and super strong…. man, I must be a real distant relative of those bad ass Atlanteans.

Baeldan can write a symbol and turn things in to freezing. Noah is a beast (in the athletics department) and Sydney has a connection to computers that is straight out of the Matrix.

Natalie is this chick we met at a bar. She was about to kick some jerk’s ass, and then she ended up being a member of the Knights of Atlantis. She must be super strong and fast, too.

Oh yeah, what can I do? “I see living people.” Well… and their emotions and heat signatures. It can be useful sometimes, but I’m worried that I won’t be as strong of a team member as the others. I could end up holding them back… or get kicked out. Hope not, I like them. They’re better friends than the losers I used to hang out with in high school.

Anyway, after a successful mission, KOA brought us to their world HQ to finish all the paperwork and stuff that makes us official employees. Mom will be so proud to hear that I have a real job that pays regularly and offers MEDICAL BENEFITS.

tl;dr: Mission successful. Job acquired. Hired by KoA (Knights of Atlantis, not the nationally renowned family friendly campsites.

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Mission Recap - The Gauntlet of Midas
Magic's Mission Log

So, after much deliberation we decide to take on a small item retrieval mission for the KoA. An Atlantian artifact has turned up in a private auction and bought by a private collector. We’re informed that the person that wears it can turn to things to gold with their touch. A..K.A The Gauntlet of King Midas that’s what I’m calling it anyways. Perhaps Midas was real and an Atlantian? I can’t put it out of the realm of possibilities at this point.

Anyways, I have no clue where to even start on this mission. We have Cydney start pulling information, where it was sold and who bought it. We got that information but we couldn’t agree/come up with a feasible plan to get into the guys house. I hesitated to bring it up since I honestly find it kind of embarrassing and it’s gross but I know I could change and look like one of the house workers.

I bring it up to group and they don’t really understand they ask if I can show them. Cydney is super anxious and I close my eyes and let it happen. I make my face change into Cydney’s. She feints and Baelden leaves the room. I am trying to not freak out and I leave and turn myself back to normal. I try and apologize to Cydney but she can’t really look at me right now. Baelden asks for me to do it again while he observes me, I hesitate and do it. He doesn’t freak out this time and asks how it works. I told him I don’t quite understand it myself and it’s pretty new to me.

Noah comes up with the plan to have me look like the house keeper since there is reason for her to be there. Baelden comes up with the idea of creating a replica and doing an Indiana jones type switch. He knows a contact and can have it done in just a few days! We form the plan to scope out the house to get a look inside and the house keeper. Gwen somehow gets the housekeeper to let her in! She is so awesome at acting and persuading people it’s pretty cool. She manages to get a good enough picture of the house keeper and not so good look around. She saw a study which looks like a good possibility for the artifact to be located. We figure out the cleaning schedule and decide to show up on a "day off ".

The target is wearing the gauntlet when he answers the door. I’m not so good at mimicking voices so I try my best at it sounding like her and explain I lost an earring while cleaning the other day. I realized this was probably where I left it. I noticed right away that he is wearing the artifact. Internally I’m freaking out, since I don’t know if he knows what it does and if he does can it turn people to gold like in the story? He let’s me in and I got the kitchen straight away while keeping an eye on him. Luckily, he wanders off to some space in the house. I keep snooping around while my thoughts are wheeling on how I’m going to retrieve the artifact. I make a show of looking in the office and I ask Gwen to keep an eye on him for me so I don’t miss him. She informs where he is and I head up there.

I knock on the door and let him know I have searched every room except this one. Target informs me that I don’t clean this room and before I can even think I sucker punch him and he’s out cold. I have no idea what came over me but I pin him down and remove the glove his is wearing gently and replace it with the replica. I book it out as soon as possible. We return to base and I let Baelden examine it since he is fascinated with all thing magic. We set up a meeting to give the item back to the KoA.

I am so surprised at how well this went considering how it went completely sideways. I hope the cleaning lady doesn’t loose her job and we seriously need to give our selves more credit. I don’t know how we pulled this off but it was pretty freaking awesome!

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The KoA?
Magic's Journal Entry

After the convention center fiasco the group meets back up at the base. I’m glad it didn’t turn into a hostage rescue because I seriously have no idea how we could pull that off with just me and Cydney.

They told me that Natalie belong to this organization The Knights of Atlantis. They are trying to find out what caused Atlantis to go away and bring it back to the current plane of existence. Yeah, you read that right ATLANTIS and CURRENT plane of existence! I.E. It’s real and exists in another realm. When did the world get so strange? At first I thought we got pulled into some kind of cult but the more questions I ask the more I am intrigued. I agree to hear Natalie out and set up a meeting.

We set up a meeting with her boss Ashton O’Neil. He explains briefly that all of us are descendants from Atlantans which is why we have powers of varying degree’s. Obviously our blood line has been watered down with our ancestors breeding with humans over the many generations but something is causing our hidden gene’s to re-activate. I knew it! I knew that genetic anomaly I found meant something! I don’t share this quite yet since I still don’t really know if I trust these people. Ashton seems to be telling the truth but if you honestly believe something is truthful it won’t appear that you are lying.

Apparently all these talented people from around the world helping build atlantis since they were being persecuted. It’s interesting that atlantis wasn’t a naturally occurring island. Apparently there were many great wars and trust issues to put it simply. Eventually it got so bad the King of Atlantis decided it would be better to just move to a different plane of existence.

In the end we are split on whether we really trust these people or not… Noah is all on board but how do we know these aren’t the people who are kidnapping our people? A shadow agency? Hydra? We ask to be given time and maybe do 1 job as contractors to see how their organization handles things.

Honestly, I am kind of freaking out. The amount of things I believe are science fiction and fantasy that I’m finding out are actually real is a bit overwhelming to say the least… Next thing I know we’ll be suiting up to go on The Voyager or something.

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Mission Log - Convention Center
Magic's Mission Journal Recap

Our team seems to be really coming together. We are getting more solid footing each time we try out this “super hero” thing. If I could tell the 8 year old me that one day I would develop into this super human she wouldn’t believe it, yet here I am with other individuals in a similar situations. We have a themed look now which solidifies it even more; we’re full blown vigilante’s now.

We had Cydney use TED to look for possible issues coming up and it reported back something was going to go down at the convention center.We got badges and reasons to be there. We split up to cover more ground. Natalie and I are assigned to the upper floor where the more elite clients are going to be showing. Soon after we arrive Gwen and Natalie noticed the odd movements of groups of people. They planned on bombing the place. We tried to com each other to communicate what was happening but we were being jammed. I’m assuming Gwen flipped a fire alarm and chaos ensued. Guns we’re going off and Natalie seemed to have everything under control up here so I ran to go help downstairs where the team members were being scattered. Gwen was trying to herd people and held the fallen. I saw Baeldan trying to corner some bad guys and Noah burst through the window! That guy is crazy but I have to admit that freaking awesome. I wasn’t wearing any protective gear and I’m still unsure how well I could take bullet damage (not exactly something I have tested in the lab) so I was trying to sneak around for a good angle on the bad guys. Then swat came in and started sweeping the place.

I was unsure if they saw us “super-heroeing” since the whole abducting people like us business is still mysterious so we all split up and hid. I went into a group of people that we’re all huddled together trying to blend in and over hear what is going on when they start corralling people and checking everyone’s i.d. I don’t know why but I got a sick feeling in my stomach when I noticed they we’re comparing it to a list. I step out of line and ditch my wallet in a plant. I step away into an alcove and change to look like a random person I saw just a few moments ago.

I try to look upset almost hysterical. When asked for my ID I start almost crying telling the officer that I lost it in all the chaos. I can tell he is skeptical and I give them a generic name as they pass me through. I at least know where I’m at and start walking away towards Steven’s square. I finally get through to Cydney who is freaking out and says everyone else is being held in locked room! I start hustling away and tell Cydney I’ll try and find a way to get back so we can form a plan. I get across the bridge and try and get a hold of Natalie. I ping her and while I was waiting I took a moment to concentrate and get better control of my body. I sprint out to meet her and she starts going back to the convention center. I panic and roll off the bike and start taking off running down the on-ramp of the highway. I can’t believe natalie either betrayed us or someone has powers like mine impersonated Natalie.Either way it was not worth sticking around to find out.

I eventually get back Cydney and she says the group contacted her, something about wanting to meet us with Natalie. There is some major news we have to hear.

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Ramping Up
Noah's Journal

So after the bizarre encounter with Cupid at the swinger party, we got back to our plan to show off our abilities as a team.
We were alerted by TED that a terrorist attack was imminent at the car show in the convention center. We came up with what I thought was a pretty good plan to infiltrate the venue and search for the terrorist/s as employees of the convention center or car company reps on the show floor.
Bael mentioned that he would bring a gun! I had a private talk with him and I think I convinced him that using a gun would work against our goal of gaining public support.
Cydney worked her techno-magic and got us the credentials to blend in at the show. I was assigned to the maintenance staff and reported to a guy named Frank who seemed too busy to bother with me because as it turned out, he was one of the terrorists!
After I found a trash bin with suspicious equipment in it, I ran into Frank as I was wheeling it outside away from the public. He saw what I was doing and ended up sucker-punching me, knocking me to the ground, and was tying my arms behind my back before I finally had a moment to concentrate on activating my super strength. By the time I finished moping the floor with Frank and discarded the cover-alls that were hiding my suit, all hell was breaking loose inside. I heard gunfire and jumped through a window to find Bael ice-blasting a couple of terrorists holding assault rifles.
Magic and Gwen were taking out terrorists in another part of the building when full-on SWAT showed up and told us to surrender! I kind of freaked out and ran. I got to the sky-way exit before I realized that I’d be leaving my team behind and I’d have to shove my way past some police officers which would’t be cool anyway, so I surrendered.
I was cuffed and escorted to a room where Gwen and Bale were already being held. Bale informed us that some of the authorities were wearing patches that seemed strange and he thought they were from another agency not know to the public.
Yeah. It turns out that Natalie is part of an organization that has members throughout the government and believes that Atlantis is real. Thy believe that the surge in Powered individuals is related to the return of Atlantis and they want us to join them.

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Occult stuff really?

I honestly feel like I’m just going through the motions right now. This new life is exciting but how long can we keep this up without being caught by those guys who were looking for all of us in the first place? Did they just disappear? I’m waiting for them to show up when we least expect it. I hope everyone else doesn’t get superhero goggles and forget what brought us all together in the first place. I’m still pretty shaken about this situation and wake up pretty frequently not just because of the cot situation but I keep thinking one day when I wake up I’m going to wake up in some foreign facility like a specimen in my lab… I hope that doesn’t happen.

On that note Noah is convinced that I am also a robot/cyborg and I keep telling him I’m not but he remains unmoved about it. We do have similar powers and they are activated kind of the same but it’s like deadlock and dead pool more or less the same character but different origin stories. I understand where he’s coming from though, when I first realized I’m different I felt so alone and alien…. I was always questioning if people knew or could tell I was different and if it wasn’t for some deep web friends and who knows now if they were really friends after the incident; it at least kept me sane.

Anyways,
This week has been pretty interesting overall for a superhero. Oh, we’re calling ourselves the guardians now!

TED sent us on a couple of adventures and man a couple of them we’re straight up out of a comic book. The first one I’ll mention feels like something straight out of Saints Row IV crazy level. We get notified that some cops went to a noise complaint and didn’t get a response back meaning a potential hostage situation?

So we decide to roll up to this house and investigate and like I said it was just crazy. The house seemed to be throwing a rocking party. When we walked in through the garage there was (the best as I can describe him) a cherub cupid guy we see around valentine’s day but tween size. There was this weird vibe going on like super pheromones and the officers almost seemed to be love drunk if that makes sense. For the most part I could tell they were in control of themselves but something obviously happened to make them forget their duties.

I was insanely curious about this cherub guy but my gut told me to keep my distance plus Noah, Gwen and the Professor were going into the room anyways. My thought was if that guy does something to them I’ll hopefully be out of range of whatever and get us out of here. I headed upstairs which now that I think about it could have been a bad idea to do alone. I came across this old man getting it on with this lady (not what I wanted to see) and then I found the culprit. There was this sobbing old lady with candles, a strange looking book (kind of like the stuff I’ve seen the professor playing with) and it just read bad news bears all over it. I hollered for the team and Bael came up stairs I knew better than to touch stuff that looks out of the ordinary because well that is just common sense. I showed him the room and we heard this sob story from the lady who summoned, (did you catch that? SUMMONED! As in something straight up from buffy or supernatural or whatever!) that freak downstairs who turned this into a free love fest. How am I the only one not freaking out about this? I mean how, I just I don’t know… I just can’t even right now… I’m going to Bael sometime to get his thoughts on this because WTF! Anyways, she cried that she just wanted some love back in her life and she found this book and it said something about love ya da ya da…. Long story short her husband is the old man in the next room getting his freak on and somewhere along the line Gwen was calming her down and we’re now taking her on a girl’s night out thing? One thing is for sure Gwen is way more compassionate about this kind of thing than me. I feel for the old lady but summoning a straight up whatever that thing was is just too far! I wonder if Cydney has information on occult stuff. This was something I defiantly didn’t plan on getting involved in but after found out about “supers” this isn’t that far of a stretch I suppose.

Anyways, I’m exhausted and need to rest.

Until next time my friends!

Excelsior!
Magic

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