Cassie: That could have gone… so much better.

I’m not talking about the bank robbery. I’m not talking about what happened in the vault, and all the subsequent questions that left me with. I’m not even talking about the super great trip through the sewers. I’m talking about my conversation with Superman on the roof of City Hall. Conner and I bicker. We always have. It’s kind of our thing. It just doesn’t typically end on that kind of note, and it was horribly unfair that it had. He didn’t let me explain! I’m not even sure if I should. Because maybe it’s better that he thinks what he thinks, and doesn’t realize what I’m actually doing. And because maybe now I don’t want to if he’s going to be a jerk about it.

Maybe it even worked out, because that little snit meant that once NOWHERE was done and I made sure to not publicly show off my distaste for the rest of his team, he hadn’t actually waited for me to go back to Metropolis with them. Great. Awesome. Fine. I wasn’t done here yet anyway. No. Really. I wasn’t. Slipping out of ‘uniform’ is as easy as pressing a button, before heading in to my ‘meeting.’ My features are different, the clothes are jeans, t-shirt and sneakers now that I’ve put my ‘plain clothes’ back on. Hair’s still blonde though, I’m just looking like…well. Cassie Sandsmark. Who’s appearance wise at least six years Wonder Woman’s junior. But she’s still sporting a row of gnarly crocodile teeth bruises on her arm, and heading unerringly for the booth that Freddy’s occupying.

“I like it. We have places like this in Metropolis but they feel too…new. Not authentic. Call me Cassie, by the way.”

Sticking out my hand across the table for an ‘official’ introduction. Maybe I shouldn’t be playing this card this early. Maybe I should be more worried about my real identity, but the truth is sitting down to a late night meal with Wonder Woman was going to draw more attention to the guy than I wanted to do just yet.

Freddy: I wasn’t sure if she was going to show, but it was no coincidence that she was in the area. I refuse to believe that also she said she wanted to speak with me afterwards. I’m not even sure what that meant, because one moment there was some discussion with the authorities about what to do with the crocodile men and the next thing I know thing quickly got official and I knew when to make myself scarce.

It’s one thing to linger when the boys in Fawcett City blue are about, but when things tend to go above their paygrade it’s probably better not to give them any reason to look at you sideways. Instead we, that is Wonder Woman and I agreed to meet up later at the local diner. We still had those nothing fancy, something that’s been staple for years passed down between generations. It was a stand up place with good people, good music and good food if you didn’t mind 80s classic from the jukebox which I didn’t when it cued up Sweet Dreams from the Eurhythmics to be followed by The Hardest Part by Blondie. Which was released in 79, but hey it was a few months from being in the 80s.

Unlike my mystery guest I had words with no one but myself and thankfully there was no arguing involved that would be disturbing. Instead I was confused as to everything that happened on the vault level. I wish I could say that I had all the answers, but I didn’t. I had half of the answers and I still lacked definitive answers. Answers that would tie it all together. I wanted to question a few of the witnesses, get an idea of what they saw, but with the arrival of the government types I didn’t get a chance.

Instead I played the events over and over in my head while telling the waitress that someone would be joining me. I didn’t want to be rude and start eating before she arrived. It was only a few moments before Wonder Woman arrived. I saw the marks upon her arm it was definitely her.

I hadn’t really changed I was still myself. I did depower so to speak though I carried Solomon with me no matter where I went. Accessing his abilities, his power was easier than Mercury’s. I didn’t need to speak the words. I carried Solomon’s mark upon my skin a boon perhaps for his trial. One of pain and conversation. Flesh and blood. A decision had to be made that day to continue or walk away. I chose to stay upon the path that I found myself upon.

Offering Cassie a smile as she walked over I stood up because it was the gentlemanly thing to do. Sitting when she did I took her hand nodding. A name to go with a face one that was more than just Wonder Woman. This wasn’t the field of battle this was simply two people who were getting to know what one another. Figure each other perhaps.

“We like it. Been coming here ever since I was little. It’s been a while, but it’s pretty much the same. Call me Freddy.” Not that he had given her anything else to call him. He wasn’t quite who he was meant to be and calling himself the champion to be was a little pretentious. Ok more than a little pretentious.

“I would ask you how you like our city, but I’m pretty sure it’s left a lasting impression.” Probably not a good one.

Cassie: “Nice to meet you, Freddy.”

No ‘I already know your name, thanks’ because that would be rude. Also it would call more attention to the fact that I know a whole lot more about him that he’s going to get to know about me. Or rather, Red Robin knew more, and Batman before him and I’m just the lucky benefactor of the information, as well as the unofficial mission of sorts. Maybe it wasn’t even what they’d fully intended to do with the files originally but I’m running with the plan I’ve got in my head. Maybe I’m the only one that can, and that makes it the doubly right thing for me to be doing with my night. Besides. It’s not like I’m missing a Football game, or I could be making up with my boyfriend right now. Well. One of those things I could be doing, I just…for whatever reason right now? Don’t want to.

“Impression. Hah. Funny guy, too! It’s definitely…different from what I’m used to. I guess I didn’t really know places like this still existed in the world. It’s not a bad thing.”

I’ve just spent my life in little villages, or living in big cities like Gateway or Metropolis, and while small out of the way places in other countries seemed normal enough, I just never imagined that somewhere so… I don’t want to say time lost because it’s not like they don’t have modern conveniences. But it does feel like somewhere everyone but the locals forgot about a little.

“Sorry to have bailed so quick earlier though, I’m betting you understand why. I didn’t want them to feel like they ought to make ‘friends…'” Complete with finger quotes. “…with you. As far as I know, you’re not on their radar and that’s a really good thing.”

Otherwise they probably would have made contact while they were here, and that’s something I definitely want to avoid. Freddy will want to as well, though I don’t know if he knows that yet. NOWHERE is something of a boogeyman. Not someone or something most people know, or even think about but metas tend to be aware of enough to know they don’t want their attention. At all. Ever.

Freddy: I was smarter than your average bear. It didn’t take Solomon to know that something was a foot. It’s not like Isis and the Crocodile Men (totally awesome band name) had been on anyone’s radar unless they were and that’s why Cassie was in the area, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case.

“I have my moments” He smirked. “Thanks for saving my bacon back there.” I know what I wouldn’t be able to handle all of that on my own. Sure, they weren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack, but they made up for it with brute force and you know teeth and trap jaw strength. There could have been far more casualties then there were. I was grateful for that.

“Oh, there are a few places still existence. They’re just off the beaten path that’s all.” Fawcett City was quite the place, but I was starting to wonder exactly why there seemed to be so many mystical converges. First the original Captain Marvel, now me, then Osiris happened to be stored in the vault here? Again that can’t be a coincidence.
“Then again even the sleepiest towns have their secrets.” Not every day that the god of the afterlife or what’s left of him is found in a vault. I don’t know half of the time I was trying to make sense of it the other half I was making up as I went along and making sure that no one died in the process.
“Nothing to worry about there. They seemed to be a bit intense.” Intense in the way that you don’t want to meet anyone of them in a dark alley or even in a bright one. “They didn’t seem big on talk more on action.” The kind of action that nagged at the back of his mind.

“There was something familiar about them.” I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it definitely felt like there was something there. Perhaps it dealt with my predecessor more than me. The whispers were there, but there were more rumblings than actual words. Still coherent enough for me to know that I should vacate the premises.

I considered how I wanted to approach this, because there were two conversations that we could have right now, but I tabled one in favor of the other. Priorities. Can’t unravel a mystery if I’m looking over both my shoulders.

“So, I’m not anyone’s radar well not theirs at least.” Right? Or was it only a matter of time. Still if I wasn’t on their radar whose radar was I on?

Cassie: “Oh, hey no problem. I have a feeling you would have done the same for me.”

Otherwise I’m not sure that I would be the one that was here in the first place. I’ve only seen a few of the MetaFiles, as I’ve started calling them. Mostly in my own head only, since they turn up at my house in the form of college applications to places I’d never heard of. Like. Fawcett City. There’s still a trend though, and it’s not that hard to make sense of. No, not that they’re vigilantes, or people with powers, they’re also people with certain motivations. Character. If it was a whole lot of tool bags and ne’erdowells I have a feeling that they might be getting left to the other team’s tender mercies. You know. The ones that I just voluntarily called in. Whatever doubts I had, I think it was still the right play. Even if it did result in a Superboyfriend fight.

“That’s because they were here on clean-up. Not that recruitment drives are a lot more friendly. Miss Martian’s a mind reader. And wiper. No one’s going to remember anything they don’t want them to know. Except you. And Superman’s…well. Superman. He’s not shy, or covert about what he is and what he can do.”

I’m not really trying to spill all their secrets, I just want to make sure he understands what he’s dealing with here. It’s my honest hope that eventually he won’t have to be on the lookout for them like they’re the bad guys, because they’re really not. But for the time being? Not that he’d necessarily recognize Megan again. She can shapeshift to look like anything or anyone. Usually when I see her? She just looks like my best frenemy at St. Mary’s.

“I’m telling you this so you know what to look out for. If you get on their radar, you’ll get a more directed visit. And it’ll be a very convincing join us or join us speech. I said you weren’t on theirs. There’s someone else who knew about you though. That’s why I was here in the first place. I came to Fawcett to meet you. The bank robbery was kind of … incidental. I think. I sure wasn’t planning on it.”

Leaning back against the booth’s seat, I give an almost helpless shrug as I look over laminated, charming little menu in front of me. The truth is, everything sounds good but that’s because I’m postiively famished after the way my night’s shaped up so far.

“This other …group… has been trying to put me in contact with new metas, or people that have been successfully hiding. I’m hoping that I can protect you guys by association at the least. And… maybe down the line we can help each other out.”

Freddy: Nodding I gave her a bit of a sheepish grin with a shrug. I would have. Now whether or not it would have been the smart thing that’s a different story. I know He doesn’t like when I say it, but sometimes you have to shut your brain off. Sometimes the moment doesn’t allow you the chance to break it down, to seek that perfect solution. Sometimes it’s not about that. It’s about doing what’s right and doing your best. I know that can’t be the creed all the time, but sometimes it’s all you have. It’s what you and anyone around you need.

“Oh that doesn’t sound pleasant not in the least.” The mind wiping business, but it’s not like you would remember either, but a mind reader. Definitely good thing that I left the area. Last thing I need is one riffling through the thoughts then trying to remove them so I can go back to being one of the Shinny Happy People..

The irony of it isn’t lost on me. It’s not that Fawcett City is this place that’s trapped in time where everyone smiles and goes about their business oblivious to the world beyond the city limits. We’re quite aware of what’s happening in the world, but there’s only so much that can be done from here. Besides we have our own problems to focus on. Bad things happen here and while it’s not the type of thing that requires a man with a cape or someone that wipes minds it’s enough to matter to the people who live here. This is there world and when they get knocked down it hurts just as much as it would in the bigger cities.

Idyllic yes, but given what we found just under the surface of the bank were there other secrets that were hidden away in the dark corners of Fawcett City.

I made a soft sound something akin to a grunt of some kind, but it was more of an acknowledgement of what had been said. I wasn’t on their radar, but given what happened I could find myself on it if I wasn’t careful.

“Not the type to take no for an answer.” Which made me wonder if that’s how she got involved with them. She was working it from the inside, but how far would she get before she was compromised herself. Mind readers and what not.

My fingers played along the menu as I thought over what was being shared with me, that and the fact that there were apparently far more players on the field than I was aware of. Not that I was aware of much when it came to that. All I knew was that there were dangers, dangers from man. There was nothing new about the danger that man presented I was told it simply took a new face. New face, old dangers. Control. Greed. New age, old wants in so many words.

“Part of me is appreciates the heads up. The fact that someone is trying to make sure that we don’t run afoul of the men in black.” Let’s just go with that. “The other part of me is concerned that someone else is tracking my movements.” Someone I didn’t know. There was someone always tracking my movements, but this was different.

“Feels all very murky. I see you, but I don’t see them. Is it for their benefit or my own? Can I trust them? Do they trust me? Exactly how much information do they have on me? Are they testing the waters by having you make contact?” Is that the wisest course of action? Sure, she could deflect some of the attention away, but how long before her movements become suspect?

“I’m all for helping each other out.” That was an easy sell. Baseball was my first love and that’s a team sport. There is no single star on a team no matter what anyone says. In baseball, you work as a unit supporting one another and making sure everyone is pulling their weight. Hard to steal a ball from someone and when you do try to one up one another it never works out well for the team.

Cassie: “I kind of imagine it’s not. I mean, it’s entirely possible that you don’t feel a thing and don’t remember a thing after but… I don’t actually know.”

Or…know if I know. Has that ever been done to me? I’m kind of leaning towards ‘no’ because I’m sure if that were going on, there would be any number of things I know about now that I wouldn’t anymore. Little situations and details that an enterprising boyfriend might talk his squadmate into helping me to ‘get over.’ He’s a lot of things, and done a lot of things, but I don’t actually think that’s one of them. His life would probably be a whole lot easier if he had.

“They aren’t, no. I just want to extend some of my …shine…I guess to other people that can use it. And no offense, but I kind of get the impression this is all fairly… newto you. And I know what that feels like, too. Even if all I can really do for you is be an understanding ear at some point? Believe me. I’m happy to. I can’t imagine what it’s like to do this solo.”

Actually I can, because I’d had my powers for a little bit before I go my own shoulder to lean on. How lonely, confusing and scary it was. Not knowing what I was doing, or what I was meant to be doing if anything. I’m not actually a part of NOWHERE myself, though I don’t clarify that detail. It’s only because of Conner that I’m not, and that only lasts so long as they feel it’s handy for me to manage him from the position that I’m in. Huh. Maybe this mission of mine isn’t as entirely selfless as I thought it was. But I still mean it. All of it. I don’t like NOWHERE. I hate what they did to Conner, what they continue to do to people like us. If I’ve found a way, and can work out a way, to tip things away from their favor without endangering anyone? I’m going to do it.

“They don’t know you, Freddy. Trust isn’t really a current factor. Maybe that’s why I’m here, too. I just get names. Background. And then from that point it’s kind of up to me. And I trust you enough right now to show you my real face. I guess it’s kind of only fair. I know yours. ”

Folding my arms and bracing them on the edge of the table, I lean back in again. It’s important that he sees how earnest I am about this, and not just from a selling it standpoint. I don’t want him to feel like he needs to bolt. Or like I want something from him. I mean, I guess I kind of do. Tim had made a point of reminding me that yes. I do have an agenda. It’s just not NOWHERE’s. But I’m also not going to armbar and coerce people into it.

“What I saw in there? The bank? And what I’m getting now is someone that’s just starting to shape up into something big, and important, but more important to me than that is I see someone that wants to do what’s right, no matter if that loses him something in the process. That’s the kind of people I want to meet, and help.”

Freddy: Rather than respond immediately I took the opportunity for what it was, a moment to listen. To truly listen what was being shared and consider all the immediate possibilities. The fact that while Cassie was lending me her shine so to speak that she was also putting herself in a dangerous position. Not only was she doing her best to deflect attention away from me, she was also working to subvert the activities of an organization that people had a passing knowledge of.

That in itself spoke volumes. Was it all together altruistic? Only time could tell. Still we all had our motivations didn’t we? We only shared as much as we felt was necessary. We all had our reasons for doing what we did right? My own as silly as it probably sounded is, because I wanted to make a difference. I want to help people. I was asked before and I don’t know if I gave the best answer I could, but I gave the most honest answer I could and it must have been good enough because here I was in the middle of something I never thought I would be a part of.

“New. More or less.” More less than more. I wasn’t sure if I could get into everything that’s happening and what I’m doing, but she’s seen parts of it and it’s obvious there’s a bit of a schtick to it all. On one hand it’s not complicated, but on the other hand the idea of a someone attempting to acquire the powers of gods…that definitely puts a wrench in it all. Was it over? Was Isis dead? Or..or.

Focus Freddy. Leaning a little myself I considered everything that led me to this point. “Not easy, but you don’t get into this. You don’t accept what’s offered because it’s easy. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.” I try not to take myself seriously, but this. This means something to me. It’s the most important thing I have ever done in my life. I know the score and I don’t want to get all corny, but it’s reads clear on my face.

The danger’s real and ever present. Perhaps that’s the real lesson that Fawcett City teaches. Danger is closer than you think.

“It’s needs to be.” He said honestly. “Has to be. Without trust we have nothing. Not when it counts. Not when we need it to count. I know it takes time and well, it’s not like we’re going to see each other every day, but if we’re headed in that direction where we’re going to be helping one another I’m hoping that we’ll find our way there.” It just needed to be said.

“And trust me I appreciate that. You didn’t have to show me your real face. You could have kept it hidden. You could have done a few dozen things that would have changed the course of this conversation.” I sigh because I’m being far too serious for someone my age. I don’t know.

“The world is full of what happened in the Bank. Something went wrong. Terribly wrong and I wish I need to figure it out before It gets worse. I wasn’t the first. I won’t be the last, but the one before me. The one who should have walked this path he was lost some time ago and I think when that happened it opened the door to something bad. Something that if it can’t be contained, can’t be stopped will upset magic far more than it already has been.” Oh, look at me. I used the M-word.

Cassie: He doesn’t have to say it out loud, and it has nothing to do with me being a mind reader, because I’m not. I mean, not that I know of. The parts that he did put words to I know though, because I’ve felt them. It means I can read the expression on his face. I grew up on the stories of myths and legends far more than I ever did on Disney Princesses and cartoons. By product of who my Mother is, and what her job is, and hell. Maybe it was on purpose because of who I was going to be as well. I wanted to be a hero when I was little, then I grew up and saw them just as stories. Only to have the rude awakening that I had more in common with those figures in the stories than I did my own classmates. And the fact that they weren’t just stories. I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of it. The power. I’m only just figuring that out, honestly. I’m seventeen though, and by all accounts I’ve gathered so far?

I’m going to have a really, really, really long time to sort out that stuff.

“Wonder Woman’s kind of… overt. And… sparkly.”

Man, that outfit. I mean. I don’t hate it as much as I did the first time I got tricked into putting it on, and I’d worn it a good number of times before that press conference of Luthor’s, I’ve just never intentionally drawn that much attention to myself before. Shrugging my shoulders again like it’s not any sort of big deal, but I know it is and I think Freddy does, too. I can count on one hand including him the number of people that I know that know.

“I don’t know a lot about Magic. I do know a little though. The other person I know that is…well. More with the NOWHERE payroll unfortunately. So I don’t know that she’s going to be a good resource. I’m kind of assuming that a lot of this… and what you’re doing.. has to be a you thing though?”

I mean. They’re trials. It seems heavily implied. Still. I’ll help as much as I can.

“I actually have a question for you. That. Lightning at the end. Did that read to you like… she was calling that? Or like someone was voicing flashy disapproval?”

Freddy: Fawcett City was my life. The circumstances on why I would leave the city probably would have been different, but I would have eventually ventured beyond the city limits to see different parts of the nation, but now everything had changed. My world had become so much larger. Larger than I had ever dreamed that it could be. For someone that had aspirations of probably hitting the majors all of that seemed so distant now. It felt like another life and it was a little scary, because it was incredibly intimidating, but I managed not to let it overwhelm me.

“That she is. I mean you can’t help but notice the outfit, but I suspect that’s the purpose. Associate the hero with the outfit. They’ll see it before they’ll clearly make you out, but seeing the outfit knowing that its headed your way means something. It brings people hope that someone is coming for them, to help them. Sometimes you just have to stand out.” You need to.

“Still learning about it myself, but I have a good resource I can turn to when needed.” That I didn’t need to worry about.
“Oh?” A question for me? With a twist of my lips I hoped I would be able to provide an acceptable answer. “I…in the moment I thought it was a smiting. That someone was pissed, but in hindsight. I don’t know. It’s…a storm had been approaching the area it seemed all very out of place and now that I have had some chance to think about and think about it could have been the former.” I admit.

“Think about it. If someone had been cross with Isis I don’t think it would have taken so long to smite. I think it would have happened in rather short order. The problem with that is if that’s the case and she did call the lightning I have a very big problem because that means another Lord of Magic has been compromised.” I didn’t get the feeling that she was hunting the Lords of Magic just any god that she could use to help her achieve her goal.

I didn’t answer her question about it having to be me. I don’t know if that was the case. I could believe that, but it was more along the lines of, I had chosen to prove that it could be me by completing the trials.

That aside I considered the nature of the question. “Why do you ask? Did you feel something? Sense something? Familiar?”

Cassie: “Huh. I guess I wasn’t really looking at it that way.”

The considering way I tilt my head and purse my lips says that I’m putting some thought into his opinion on the matter. And maybe he’s actually right. I just originally assumed it was something bright, shiny, and tight that Conner’d had them whip up for me in order to make me maximum degrees of uncomfortable, just because he likes to push my buttons and get me out of the comfort zone. Sometimes just to be a jerk, but occasionally it’s actually for my own good even I don’t see it at the time. Did he actually have that much forethought this time? I know he meant for me to be a symbol, but the outfit as well?

The storm had been there brewing when I got to town, but at the time I hadn’t thought of it anymore than I did any other bit of crummy weather that was going to crop up and ruin someone’s picnic. Or stargazing. Whatever. There wasn’t anything for me to connect it to, yet and I just hadn’t paid it any mind. Tim probably would have. He’s better at this than I am.

“I did. Something familiar. And it actually made me kind of angry because…”

My hands shift along the edge as I purse my lips once again, fingertips drumming absently as I think through what I’d felt since I’ve had a rash of distractions up until right now and hadn’t really put that much energy into puzzling it out. What had it been? I’d felt that familiar feeling, but it hadn’t just been about the lightning had it? It had come before and I’d taken it to mean perhaps I’d met this Isis before that moment. Maybe that wasn’t it at all.

“Because either someone else is using Zeus’ power. Or if there was smiting going on, was it him making himself known…and why then? Why not anytime in the last…”

There’s another pause and my cheeks color just a little because I’m babbling a little, and getting a hair heated about it, without any real background information and for once? It might actually be pertinent to what’s going on right now.

“Sorry. Issues. He’s. Well. He’s my Dad.”

Freddy: I didn’t know the history of the costume, but it was the assumption that I made. That and the fact that if someone was up to something nefarious they would probably think twice about doing so when they saw her coming. Nothing wrong with a glass half full approach to life.

Which is what I was attempting to do right this moment when thinking about what happen moments before Cassie pulled me out of the basement and into the sewers. The crocodile man was far more afraid of Isis than Cassie. Terrified even. She possessed the strength of Hercules which is considerable. It could have used against him, but the power of Zeus his lightning is something terrible to behold.

“Made you angry?” That was an odd reaction, but then as she explained it became clear. “” That was completely unexpected. I don’t know serendipitous? That was the only way I could explain it at the moment.

“That definitely puts things into perspective.” So many questions flooded my mind, but I didn’t instead I kept them to myself trying to put together why Cassie would be angry.

“When I touched her I sensed something and that something is what she used to toss me like a Raggedy Andy doll. She possessed strength that I’m familiar with. Hercules’s strength. It’s why I immediately thought that Zeus had come to smite. She acquired his power somehow and to Zeus had appeared to put an end to it or slow her down. I don’t know. Perhaps and maybe it’s the optimist in me. If that is what happened perhaps he was there because of you.” It’s possible. To protect her because Isis may have eventually sensed the power in Cassie.

“Right now I’m just spit balling. I need to speak with someone who might have some insight into what’s happened.” She could be gone she might not.

“That said if she is still alive or someone else is doing she is we both could be targets. I am able to use the power of Solomon and Mercury. You are the daughter of Zeus. I’m not sure how she acquired the power but whatever the means. She is a goddess of magic.” And healing. Anything is possible.
“Still in that area I have more questions than answers.”

Cassie: “It’s…not really the most logical or sane emotion. I don’t know. Just at the time all I could think is he was opting to step in then, when he more or less ignored me the last seventeen years.”

Spreading my hands wide as I shrug my shoulders again. This should be right up my alley, but at the same time I feel totally out of my depth. I just don’t know enough. I haven’t had time or opportunity to learn, and I don’t know how to even reach out to something like that and find out. Maybe all I have to do is ask, or maybe there’s a whole lot more ritual to it than that. And then…would I even want to? I’d been perfectly, and completely happy not knowing who my Father was. Not having him be a factor or a thought. Then he ended up being the cause of everything changing. Unasked for. Unwanted… and yet…?

“Or worse, that someone else is slinging his power around. Maybe the storm was because he was keeping an eye on her. Or maybe she already had that power and was getting ready to use it for whatever she was trying to do. I wish I knew… sorry. I’m kind of thinking out loud myself here.”

Offering Freddy a chagrined smile across the table.

“Well. If you need my help, I’ll give you my number. That seems like a …really mundane way to get a hold of me all things considered… I’ll work on it. But it takes me fifteen minutes to get here. Probably could do it faster if it was an emergency. I should be okay in Metropolis. I’ve got more than a little backup there.”

Freddy: “It’s family. If there is anything in the world that produces the least sane and most illogical of emotions its family. It’s pretty par for the course. Family always pushes us to the extreme at times.”

Not that I had that problem, but when I was younger I used to get angry, angry that I was left alone. I was angry at my parents. Sure, they had no control over it, but it couldn’t be helped. Family. Logic didn’t always factor.

“It’s possible and that’s what makes this so perplexing. There are so many what if scenarios. I mean think about it. Isis was in the body of an old frail woman. She had Hercules’s strength, but how did she get in that body and who placed Osiris in that pendant she was searching for.” None of it made any sense.

Returning Cassie’s smile, I nodded in agreement.

“Something’s rotten in the various pantheons.” We needed definitive answers and the only way that was going to happen was through investigation.
“I’ll take any help that I can get. I mean this helping each other out has to stop somewhere and it’s best if I keep you in the loop especially if someone’s nicked Zeus’s power. I’ll give you mine and if there’s anything you need I’ll provide as much support I can.”

Cassie: “Whoosh. Tell me about it…”

Because, boy, don’t I know it? Two years ago I wouldn’t have understood that concept. But two years ago it was just me and Mom and generally speaking we’ve always gotten along like two peas in a pod. There were the occasional parent/child spats but it never really went beyond that. Certainly not the point of making me feel quite so crazy. Unfortunately, she seems to be trying to make up for all of that lately and I’m not even sure if it’s her and not just me.

“I don’t know how likely I am to get any sort of response but… I’ll see what I can do there. And I’ll let you know. Maybe there’s some chance of finding out whose pendant it was in the first place? There has to be some sort of record. It’s just a matter of getting a hold of it.”

I’d ask Tim, but I don’t know how …sophisticated the record keeping is in Fawcett or if he’d even be able to access it. Well. It can’t hurt to ask. I’m not sure if the same is true about asking my other parent what on Earth is going on. But again, this is at least a reason to try that isn’t revolving around me or my life.

“Thanks Freddy, I appreciate that.”

Freddy: I don’t know how much information I would find out, but I could try and see what I could find out around the city. See if I could get in contact with one of the hostages. There’s another avenue of questioning I could pursue, but that involved me locating one of the assailants. He’s probably long gone, but then again with his gang being taken into custody he might not have anywhere to go, but that I would have to consider carefully given the fact that you know he could be looking to snack on someone.

“All we can do is try.” Better to try than do nothing. “Just have to keep it the hope saddled with realistic expectations. See what we can find out.” Can’t ask for more than that. Ask the questions see if they get answers if not move on and keep trying until they do get answers.

“You’re welcome. Now how about we get the best burgers in the Midwest before you have to take off? I guarantee you they definitely don’t make them like this in Metropolis.” Can’t come to Fawcett City and not have a burger that’s a crime.

Cassie: “Well if that isn’t the most pragmatic thing I’ve ever heard someone with superpowers say, I don’t know what is.”

Because having powers seems to tip your perception of a lot of things, or at least set you up for a scale far beyond what most people can expect to experience. Or maybe even want to. But I like it, and I find myself smiling again. Effort. Hope. Realistic expectations. That’d make a heck of a bumper sticker.

“That’s the best idea I’ve heard all day. And fries. And a milkshake…”

What? I’m a growing demi-goddess that hasn’t eaten since lunchtime and after the day and night’s events? That feels like a lifetime ago. Then I need to fly myself back to Metropolis. Which might be a slower trip than necessary in order to figure out what on Earth I’m going to say to Conner.