JO Prologue

Prologue
Occurrences Out of Overton

 

Deep gasping sounds echoed down the alley as the short, rotund man tried to catch his breath while his taller, female, companion practically carried him forward.

“Don’t you dare pass out on me you fat bastard.  Not until you come up with the rest of my money.”  The stocky woman’s voice came out barely over a whisper, almost a growl really, as she continued dragging her employer past a row of dumpsters and towards the parking lot at the end of the alley.

“Where…”  The heavy man’s gasping interrupted his own speech, but he managed to get his feet back underneath him as he continued.  “Where’s James?”

“Bald guy got him.”  If the heavyset woman felt any sympathy for the missing James, it was not evident in her voice.  “Who the fuck are these guys?”

“Don’t know.  Just keep-…”  Whatever else the man had to say was cut off by a pained cry and choking gasps, as the air around the duo suddenly heated well past the range that human lungs, or skin, were ever intended to deal with.

The heavy man barely felt the dirty pavement as it rushed up to meet him, all his focus was spent trying to force his body to keep breathing through the agony of freshly scorched lungs.  Blurry eyes made out the shape of his companion as the much more resilient woman responded to the ambush by sprinting forward, intent on reaching a silhouette that the downed man could barely focus on.  The heat receded as the stocky woman rushed forward, allowing the out of shape man to focus clearly enough to see that this was not actually the case.

The heat was FOLLOWING his companion, and appeared to have intensified at least an order of magnitude over what he had experienced, judging by the way the woman’s clothing had just burst into flame.  A grin managed to work its way onto the man’s blistered lips.  You’ll need a lot better than some burning clothes to slow down Kalie.

The grin widened as his associate reached the mouth of the alleyway, only a few more steps to reach the mysterious, black-clad and hooded ambusher.  It vanished even faster, as the powerful woman was smashed down with pavement shattering force by a comically oversized grey fist.  Fear now dominated the heavy man’s features as he desperately started to scramble and crawl back down the alley, but the combination of exhaustion, burns, and terror left him without enough coordination to even attempt to get to his feet and actually run.

A few seconds later the same massively large hand that had so easily dealt with his last bodyguard was hauling him out of the alley, the muscular man attached to it not even glancing at his catch as he was tossed the last few feet to land painfully in front of the first ambusher.

“Staff Sergeant Mack Bowen, I presume.”  The man on the pavement gasped in both renewed pain and surprise as the voice from the first figure revealed itself to be female.

“No… my name i-…”

“I wasn’t ASKING, sergeant.”  The woman cut him off with a harsh tone, and the brief increase in temperature by a few dozen degrees left him whimpering in fear.  “You’ve been a hard man to track down, you know.  I mean, you were IMPOSSIBLE to track at first, but after a few months it was only VERY difficult.  Almost like you had someone invested in keeping you off the grid for awhile, and then they suddenly stopped caring about you.  What do you think, Mack?  Why do you suppose your ‘friends’ just forgot about you like that?”

The leading tone and content of her statement led the staff sergeant to a quick conclusion; these people weren’t really interested in HIM.  They just wanted information.

“You… Heroes?”  Fear was definitely still the dominant emotion in Mack’s voice as he asked the question from the ground, but it was tinged with a faint trace of hopefulness on the second word.

“We look like Heroes to you, dumbass?”  The muscular man joined the conversation with a soft chuckle.  “You really think you’re lucky enough that it was gonna be the capes that caught up to you first?”

“Shut up, Ricker.”  The woman turned sharply to her associate as she snapped out the order, causing her hood to fall back enough to reveal a few strands of metallic blonde, nearly golden, hair.

“Force Ops…”  Mack’s statement from his position on the parking lot pavement comes out as less than a whisper, with terror now definitely being the only emotion on his face or in his tone.

“Correct, sergeant.  Lieutenant Witt and Master Sergeant Ricker, at your service.”  The golden haired woman offers a smirk as she completes her introduction, before turning to her companion again.  “You check out his friend over there?”

“She’s clean.  Professional bodyguard, no record.”  The report from the muscular man drew a surprised shrug from the golden-haired woman.

“Make sure she’s still breathing and leave her then.”  Lieutenant Witt’s eyes turned back towards the cowering staff sergeant at her feet.  “Mr Bowen here has an appointment with one of our… specialists.  We wouldn’t want him to be late.”

 

***

 

“You two clowns are going to cause me a shitload of problems this year, aren’t you?”  The muscular, dark-haired man leaned forward over his desk as he leveled a glare that should have sent both young men shrinking back in their seats.  Neither of them did so.

“I will apologize in advance then, Coach George.”  The tall, bronze-skinned Mexican student was the first to respond.  “Though I must admit, I am not entirely certain how it is my friend and I will cause such a ‘shitload of problems.'”

“I’m with Ramón on this one, coach.”  The heavily muscled black youth managed to somehow sound even more laid back than his fellow student.  “I mean, Lander’s supposed to be the cream of the crop for HCP’s right?  What serious problems could a couple of sophomores cause?”

“Because both of you SHOULD be going into the third year of the program by now, NOT the second.”  George jabbed a finger at Ramón and continued loudly right over the beginning protestations from both students.

“YOU I understand getting fucked by the system, and deciding to fuck with the system right back.  I can’t fault you for that, though I can and WILL make sure that you live to regret all the extra work you’re going to create for me.”

“I look forward to my own rapid improvement from the extra personal attention.”  The hispanic student managed to both sound and look completely sincere.  So much so that George’s train of thought was momentarily derailed while he stared at Ramón and wondered if there was some sort of undiagnosed mental illness in play.

“But YOU.”  The coach gave up his brief analysis of the first student to turn his attention to the second.  “Mr Benjamin Pelley, should have advanced to second year but decided to be a lazy bastard and take some time off instead.”

“Actually, coach, I gave up my spot beca-…”

“ADDITIONALLY.”  George’s glare this time was intense enough that it did cause the black student to shrink back momentarily, and his tone indicated he really didn’t care what Ben’s excuse was going to be.  “You managed to reconnect with a former classmate, somehow got your memory block removed as a result, and THEN managed to get yourself right in the middle of an 11-way Strongman brawl that caused some pretty significant collateral damage.

“And, somehow, instead of ending up on every DVA probation list known to man, or possibly tossed in Sanderson to do a stint for INSTIGATING a Super brawl, you managed to come through that situation without a single charge leveled against you.”

“It was really all self-defense.”

George completely ignored the protest.  “And to top it all off, you weren’t only ALLOWED to reapply to an HCP of your choosing after that shitshow, you were REQUIRED to do so as part of some bullshit backroom dealing.”

“So… I am still really not seeing how we will be creating this ‘shitload of problems’ you mentioned earlier.”  Ramón’s tone was still perfectly sincere as he broke the silence after the coach’s speech.

“Because I have two students, who happen to be outsiders, one with a full year of extra HCP training over the other members of his new class, and the other with more real world fighting experience than ANY HCP student should ever have.  You two clowns are going to end up dropping straight into the topmost rankings in a class full of Supers you’ve never met, and all that just before the Sophomore teams get selected.”

“I still am finding it hard to believe that this is a situation that has never occurred in the HCP before.”  Ramón paused for a moment, before amending his statement.  “That is, having more experienced students joining an existing class and causing disruption among the rankings, not all the crazy shit my friend did last spring.”

“Pretty sure it’s the first time the HCP got loopholed so hard they had to let a Junior repeat as a Sophomore.”  Ben muttered under his breath in response to the Mexican student’s final qualifier.

“I don’t recall saying anything about this type of situation not having happened before.  How the fuck else would I know how much extra work you two assholes just made for me?”

“So… If the extra work is already known and documented, why did you require Ben and myself to arrive on campus a week early?”

George chuckled in response, a sound that was quite a bit more menacing than it should have been.  “Because I need to evaluate what you two can do BEFORE the rest of the class gets here, and I like to get a head start on things like, ‘making dumbass students regret increasing my workload.’  Get your asses down to the locker rooms and change into uniforms, and I’ll see you both in the combat cells.

 

***

 

“Boys!”  The cheerful, female voice called out out into the large warehouse, where it was immediately overwhelmed by a cacophony of thunder and massive impacts of stone against metal.  The middle-aged redhead sighed and offered an apologetic look to the bemused girl standing behind her, then turned to try again.

“BOYS!”  Angeline Gauge’s second shout echoed off the walls and ceiling of the abandoned building, causing her companion to step back with a wince and the two monstrous forms battling in the large, open area to come to a comically rapid halt.

For one moment, the two women found themselves being regarded by a massive obsidian figure and a ghostly white silhouette; the next a pair of young men, both red-haired and obviously related, were offering chagrined expressions to the women.

“Hi mom!”  The younger, heavily muscled, Collin Gauge was the first to find his voice again.  “Guess we lost track of time again, huh?”

“What’s this ‘we?'”  The older, leaner Jeffrey Gauge threw a sidelong glance at his little brother.  “YOU were the one who insisted we had enough time left to get one more round in.”

“‘We’ because YOU agreed with me.”  The younger brother shot back with a grin.

“As much fun as it is to see you two bonding.”  The red-haired woman interrupted her two sons with a long-suffering note in her voice.  “I believe your friend Teresa has better things to do with her dwindling summer vacation than standing around waiting for her passengers to ready themselves.”

Without missing a beat Angeline turned to the dark-haired girl behind her again.  “And Teresa, thank you again for helping out with the travel arrangements.  Not having to listen to either of these two big, strong, Heroes-in-training whine about legroom or traffic is truly one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.”

Teresa Montez giggled in response to the overly melodramatic tone of the older woman.  “Not a problem, Mrs Gauge.”

“If you could be so kind as to take Collin back to the house to pick up his things, and then down to Texas.”  Angeline leaned in close for a moment to add a conspiratorial whisper.  “Give me a couple hours before you come back for Jeff.  There’s a few things that need to be discussed before he’s off to the HCP again.”

The inquisitive look that flashed across the teleporter’s face vanished almost instantly as Angeline produced a pair of hundred dollar bills and tucked them into the younger woman’s hand.  Teresa’s smile brightened and she blinked across the room without another word to vanish with the younger Gauge brother.

“So… what’s up?”  Jeffrey had only caught part of the quietly whispered exchange, but his nervous tone showed he recognized the serious look his mother had leveled his way the instant the other two were gone.  “If you’re worried that I won’t be able to handle it if I don’t make it through agai-…”

“Nothing like that, Jeffrey.”  Angeline interrupted her son with a kind tone, but without the seriousness in her face wavering in the slightest.  “I’m so proud of you honey.  You might not have… dealt with failing to advance at Lander as well as I might have hoped, but the fact that you were reaccepted to the program at all…  Do you have any idea how rare that is to have happen after the sophomore year?  You didn’t just take an unoccupied slot from a program whose freshmen didn’t make the cut, you actually bumped someone established out of the program.  The only way to do that is to genuinely be one of the very best.”

“It’s not anything that special.  I mean, it’s not like I made the cut to get back into Lander, only Korman-…”

Jeffrey let out a surprised yelp as his train of thought was interrupted by a hard smack delivered to his cheek by a woman half his size.  His mother had crossed the dozen or so feet between them so quickly he’d somehow missed her movement entirely.

“Don’t you DARE fall into that bullshit elitism trap, Jeff.”  The kind tone was nothing but a memory as his mother delivered a different speech to her son.  “Your little brother is ONLY attending Overton, afterall, and remind me; how many times did the former Lander, and current Korman, student manage to win your little sparring matches over the summer?”

“That’s hardly any way to judge the program!  Collin’s an amazingly powerful Super and he’s the second ranked fighter in his class!”

“And three years ago if I’d asked both of you which had the better ability, you BOTH would have pointed to YOU.”  Angeline emphasized her point by jabbing her finger into her eldest son’s chest.

“And Collin’s kind of proven us both wrong since then.  He’s the one that inherited the ability from the actual Hero.  Who knows where MY crazy shifted form came from.”  Jeffrey’s body grew hazy and his voice took an an echoing, sepulchral quality; and a second later the young man was fully replaced by a flowing white silhouette hovering a few feet off the floor.

“BOTH of Golem’s sons definitely inherited his hardheadedness.  And his lack of imagination.”  Angeline glanced heavenward with a long-suffering expression on her face.  “And while your younger brother may be the one who inherited your father’s ability…”

Jeffrey’s shifted form floated back in surprise as his mother finished her speech with a transformation of her own, becoming an inky-black spectre far faster than Jeffrey had managed his own shift.  “The ability YOU inherited was the first one to ever beat the Golem in a fair fight.”

The red-haired youth fell to the floor, back in his normal body and mouth working open and closed soundlessly as he tried to process the shock of his mother’s revelation.  “You… You… You’re…  You-…”

“A villain?  For a few years, yes, I was.  Quite successful during my brief run, if I do say so myself.  Even if I still shudder every time I remember thinking that ‘Shade Shriek’ was cool, edgy, or in any way worthwhile as a nom de guerre.”  Angeline also reverted to her human form, her expression now clearly one working hard to hold back laughter.  “Honestly, Jeff.  You know that I was never a Hero.  How did you imagine your father and I met in the first place?  He got lost and ended up at one of my marketing conferences?”

As Jeffrey’s expression changed to a cross between bemusement and the horrified look of any child that just pictured their parents having sex, his mother found herself unable to further contain her laughter.  After a minute or so, Jeffrey joined in, though without anything approaching the full-body-shaking enthusiasm of his mother’s mirth.

“All right, now that we have that out of the way.”  Angeline’s face turned completely serious again for a moment, then her shifted form completely obscured anything that might have resembled a human expression.  “We have about two hours before that nice teleporter girl comes back to pick you up.  Just long enough for me to give you a rundown of all the things you’ve been doing dead WRONG for the past three years.”

 

***

 

“Do you have any idea how COMPLETE of a disaster this is?”  The shout echoing through the West Private HCP common areas would likely have drawn a large crowd of curious onlookers, had there been more than two students in the facility this far ahead of the start of classes.

Barry Jeung tripped backwards over the chair he had started to occupy as he instinctively sought cover from the sudden, emotional shouting his arrival seemed to inspire from his fellow HCP transplant.

“I… I don’t…”  The Korean youth managed to get his thoughts in order after a couple false starts.  “I can honestly say that I have NO idea what you’re talking about, Kaori.  Aren’t we just here for an early evaluation session because we’re transfers?”

The Japanese healer continued to glare at her classmate for several long seconds, before his genuine bewilderment finally broke her angry gaze into an expression of defeat.  “Barry, they’re ALREADY gossiping about us.”

“Tha-…”  Barry managed to bite of his initial response as his survival instincts had matured enough in two years of HCP training to recognize that dismissing a woman’s emotional reaction was NOT the correct choice.  Even moreso when dealing with a woman who was also a powerful Super.  “I mean, what are they saying about us?  If it’s any of that ‘second string’ or ‘safety school’ bullshit…”

“No, Barry.  Not gossiping about Overton.  About US.”  Kaori sighed as she saw her statement once again met by a look of blank incomprehension.

“There’s already rumors floating around that you transferred, and that I dropped out to FOLLOW YOU.  They think we’re a COUPLE!  And that I’m some delusional lovesick heroine straight out of a trashy novel!”

Barry’s expression worked through several varying stages of surprise (and a few other emotions) as he processed Kaori’s harshly whispered explanation.  “Ah, well.  I don’t think that will be an insurmountable problem, as I imagine it will mostly resolve as soon as you find someone you like and ask them out.  Good luck with your evals!”  Barry quickly pulled himself to his feet and started to head in the direction of the elevators.

“Wait.”  The healer’s tone had finally shifted towards something suitable for a normal conversation.  “You came all the way over here to talk to me, sorry to ambush you like that but my roommate was also here early and she spent all last night and most of this morning filling me in on the fairy tales they’ve been inventing about us down here.”  Kaori’s face was slightly red and her expression definitely one of moderate embarrassment as she continued.  “So… What’s up, Barry?  How was the break?”

“Summer was good.  It was weird though without…”  Barry trailed off as an unexpected lump caught in his throat, but Kaori simply nodded her understanding.  “Good overall though.  Yours?”

“Not much of a break, to be honest.”  Kaori’s expression shifted to something halfway between a grin and a scowl.  “Father was…  A bit overprotective.  I didn’t really explain the whole ‘loophole vs loophole’ situation we ended up in and it almost turned into a brawl to keep him in the house long enough to explain things.  I’m pretty sure he was planning on marching into either Overton or the nearest DVA office to start doing drastic things until someone could fix the problem.

“After that got sorted…  Well, I can honestly say that I now know what kind of training an active Hero team goes through in order to keep their edge.”

Barry struggled to keep from laughing as his friend pantomimed wrestling with her father in order to keep him from going off half-cocked, but that shifted to a low whistle and an envious expression when she reached her conclusion.  “Damn.  Forget asking someone out, after you whoop everyone’s asses I doubt any other rumors will manage to hang around.”

It was Kaori’s turn to offer a momentarily puzzled expression, before breaking down into a fit of giggling.  “Barry, that’s not really going to surprise any of the ones with any real brains.”

“Huh?”

“If you, right now, could go back and fight the version of you that showed up at the start of our Overton sophomore year, how would that fight go?”

“It would be short, I mean I’ve gotten a lot bett-…”  Barry trailed off as he realized the point the dark-haired girl was making.  “Holy shit, we’re going to be badasses in this class, aren’t we?”

“Maybe, maybe not.”  Kaori shrugged.  “We’re probably going to rank in WAY higher than we did at Overton, but at the same time; do you think you could take Ames from a year ago?  Or even Collin?”

“Collin maybe.”  Barry spoke slowly as he considered the problem.  “Ames… No way.  I mean you remember what she did, to Collin even, on the first day last year.”

“Exactly.  So like I said, we’ll be coming in a lot higher up than we were, but unless this isn’t a very combat heavy class we probably won’t be vying for the top spots.”

“Well, I guess I’ll say it again for good measure.  Good luck on your eval!”

“Wait!”  Barry froze in midstride at the frustrated command from behind him.  “You still haven’t answered my question you know.”

“Uh, which question?”

“Why’d you come over here in the first place?”

“I don’t think you ever actually asked that in the form of a question.”  Barry’s attempt at a deflection was met with a hard stare that he easily recognized.  He’d seen it, and other similar expressions, often enough in two years of HCP training after all.

“I was going to ask if you wanted to go out after all this crap is done today.  You know, dinner, club, unwind, that sort of thing.  But si-…”

“Sounds great!  Meet me at the dorms at seven?”

“Ba-huh?  But you were just complaining about rumo-…”

Kaori interrupted with a maniacal giggle.  “Of course I was complaining.  A rumor that I dropped out of the HCP to follow a boy halfway across the country?  I don’t know if I could live with the embarrassment.”

“Then…”

“On the other hand.”  The Japanese girl continued as if Barry hadn’t tried to interject.  “If you’re the one asking me out, then I can just change the story and say it was YOU that followed ME out here!  Anyways, it’s time for my meeting with Dr Sanderson and Coach McMillian.  See you at seven!”

Barry remained standing frozen next to the table for several long seconds after Kaori had vanished down the hallway before he managed to slowly resume his trek towards the elevators.  Am I really willing to deal with all this potential rumor bullshit about chasing a girl across the country JUST to get a date?

A wide smile plastered itself across the Korean youth’s face as he reached the elevator, and answered his own question aloud.  “Why yes, yes I am.”

 

***

 

Special Agent Marcus Hughes leaned forward over his desk as he continued to carefully page through the file on it, and pointedly ignored the young blond man waiting on the other side of it.  Usually by this point in the game the new recruit would be sweating nervously or trying to defend their record to the man behind the desk.  Marcus sighed softly as his peripheral vision told him that his newest team member was still wearing the same, confident, smirk he’d had when he walked through the door and delivered the file.

“Please explain to me, Mr Sexton.”  The senior agent looked up as he spoke and shuffled the file closed.  “How it is that you managed to complete your training in only ten weeks instead of twenty.  And then, if you can at least make that story interesting, tell me how the fuck you managed to get assigned to domestic counter-terrorism straight out the gate?”

“I’m not sure about ‘interesting,’ Special Agent Hughes.”  Aaron Sexton’s self-assured expression, and confident smirk, never wavered as he replied.  “Training at Quantico is definitely to a much higher standard than most law enforcement agencies, but I’m sure you’re already aware that I have two full years of training to a MUCH higher standard than even that demanded by the FBI.”

“And let me guess, somehow being an HCP washout also gets you fully qualified for work with an elite unit like mine?”

“No, of course not.”  Aaron’s smirk actually grew wider for a moment.  “Rampant nepotism is what managed to get me assigned to your unit, Special Agent Hughes.”

It was not often that Marcus Hughes found himself staring in speechless shock at something said by a rookie agent.  The silence stretched for a solid ten seconds before he found his voice again.  “That is quite a bit more honesty than I was expecting, Mr Sexton.”

“If you prefer I could probably whip up a pretty credible lie instead.  But we both know that my dad is a senior assistant director and gunning for appointment to THE top spot when Mueller steps down in a couple years.  And of course mom’s a sitting US Representative on both the Homeland Security AND DVA Committees, so there’s that extra bit of weight being thrown around too.”

“Then in the spirit of all this honesty, convince me why I shouldn’t just chuck your ass straight out of my unit.  Since we all know so many things, I’m sure YOU know that this is as high as my career is ever going to climb, so I don’t exactly have a lot of motivation to babysit you because you feel like playing real-life Counterstrike in the FBI.”

Marcus allowed himself a bit of a grin as his words finally seemed to penetrate the facade of confidence the youth was projecting, and the young agent seated himself with a far more serious expression.

“Overton.”  The word was whispered so quietly that the senior agent wasn’t quite sure he’d heard it the first time.  “I’m not just an HCP washout, I’m an Overton washout.  I was there when she,” a jabbing finger indicated a small framed picture on the edge of Marcus’ desk.  “Saved all of our lives.  We were on a date, actually.

“And you, your unit, you’re the only ones that are STILL treating that attack as an open investigation.  Even most of the Heroes not directly involved with the program there have moved on, but you’re still looking for everyone else that HAD to be involved.  That’s WHY I’m here, not to play at cops and terrorists.”

“Tells me you’ve got motivation, though to be honest that sounds like the sort of motivation that might be a little too personal.  Doesn’t tell me why you’re worth my time.”

“First off, don’t give me that ‘personal motivation’ bullshit.  You have a composite picture of my DEAD FRIEND on your desk as a reminder or a motivational tool, whatever.  Second, that would STILL only be relevant if I was going to be in charge of anything more than grunt work and coffee runs.  I’m the newest guy on the lowest rung, I’m not going to be leading any charges and I get that.

“Now as to why I’m qualified, ignoring the fact that I breezed through Quantico in half the time it normally takes a recruit?  For two years I went and trained every day with people so far beyond normal humans they might as well have been gods.  My own ability was considered powerful enough to let me compete in that field, even if it ended up not developing fast enough to keep me on even footing with them.  And I fucking DARE you to find any agent in the bureau that can match the physical training I do on a daily basis because of the HELL they put every would-be Hero through.”

“Got anything else?”  Marcus found himself working very hard to keep his expression neutral, as he found himself liking the new kid quite a bit more than he’d been expecting to.  At least when he’s got the mask dropped and isn’t acting like a spoiled asshole.

As if cued by the older man’s silent musings, the knowing smirk returned to the blond man’s face.  “Well, I also have this phone that I don’t remember picking up anywhere that had a note attached to it letting me know that someone inside the Hero end of the investigation would use it to discretely keep me in the loop.  Does that sound like a useful enough resource to put up with breaking in a rookie?”

Marcus couldn’t quite keep his jaw from dropping at the last card the kid had kept up his sleeve, then his expression shifted to a wry smirk of his own.  “Mystery phone on the desk, now.”

Aaron complied by sliding a nondescript pre-paid phone onto the desk.  Marcus examined it for a moment then shot a questioning look across his desk.

“Don’t look at me, it was like that when I got it.  Modified to receive text messages only, and nearly all the keys are fused so you can’t do anything except look at new messages and turn the thing on or off.”

“And it didn’t occur to you that maybe this was planted on you so someone could spy on my investigation?”

“If it was, then we’re all fucked.  That phone was in my pocket when I walked out of the room in the HCP where they blur out all the names and faces of everyone I met in the program.”

Marcus ran an exasperated hand through his close-cropped brown hair before nodding in acknowledgement.  “And if they really had infiltrated the HCP they probably wouldn’t give two shits about anything I’m working on way out here.”

“So, what’s the verdict, Special Agent Hughes?”

In response Marcus flipped a set of keys at the younger agent, noting with some satisfaction that he’d managed to startle the man even if Aaron still managed a flawless catch.  “The verdict is that it’s about time someone goes on a coffee run, rookie.  Make sure not to fuck up anyone’s order.”

 


Welcome to the beginning of the third year! ^_^


But who the hell are these people you ask?

There are definitely some very minor and previously not-formally-introduced characters running amuck in this prologue.  So, for those of you that don’t feel like re-reading all 387,000 words of Freshman Intrigue and Sophomore Siege just to make sure you know what’s going on, here’s a brief rundown!
(I’m going to assume that everyone remembers who all the former Overton students are)

Staff Sergeant Mack Bowen has not previously appeared in a scene, he was only mentioned once as the source inside the military that helped get the modified RCUs for the freshman year final.

Lieutenant Susan Witt first appeared in the Sophomore Siege prologue, where she was introduced as the DoD liaison where she delivered the warning that Oversight needed to go through HER if they wanted to ‘acquire’ military hardware.  She also appeared in Fallout where she delivered the news as to exactly what kind of horrible stuff was involved in the attempted campus bombing.

Master Sergeant Ricker met briefly with James Rachd over beers as his point of contact with his old Force Ops buddies.

I hope that everyone remembers Coach George, seeing as he was a rather prominent character in Super Powereds Year 1 (reminder for those who didn’t catch it previously, timeline-wise this would still be two years before the start of Super Powereds)

Angeline and Jeffrey Gauge have never made direct appearances in the story before, but hopefully this scene does an adequate job of establishing their relationship to Collin Gauge, who is hopefully remembered!

Dr Sanderson and Coach McMillian are only mentioned by Kaori in passing, but they are a reference to another of the SP fan content authors’ work as members of the HCP Staff at West Private.

And lastly we have Special Agent Marcus Hughes from the FBI’s Domestic Counter-Terrorism Task Force, though I really don’t think he’s quite so easily forgotten since he appeared in quite a few more scenes than any of the other minor characters.

Anyways, that’s who the hell all these people are!


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18 thoughts on “JO Prologue

  1. do you have a character sheet page setup? It’s been a while since i read your serial and would love to see the character specs and background info on a few people.

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    • There’s a class list for the junior year (one page back from the prologue) but I don’t have a complete cast page posted anywhere (and my reference pages contain both a ton of spoilers and a ton of outdated info, not to mention they aren’t really set up for readability) and with a cast this large (and so many minor and major interactions to track) I don’t know that it would be worth the effort to try to make one. If you have anything more specific I could probably answer quick questions in the comments!

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  2. Now that I had some time to digest the prologue and think about it I wanted to add some commentary.

    Excellent job, really caught the interactions with Coach George well. Nice to see what is happening outside Overton with the characters we lost.

    I wish we got to see where Lisa and Susan ended up as well (I think those were the other two members of the five who audited the year) and how they were fitting in. I also have this funny desire to know what happened with the now graduated seniors’ scheme to all intern with Subtlety Heroes to address the problems Overton has been going through.

    Knowing Oniwasabi, I’m sure both of those will eventually come to light.

    Again happy to see SSS start up again…. made me spend a few hours writing yesterday to try and get my next chapter done….

    MDS

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  3. A great job as always. I just wanted to start off with: I want to thank you for taking the extra down time to get this third year setup properly. It was a long wait, but I hoped it would be because that would infer a lot of thought in the plotting of this year’s fun. So again, thank you for the effort and time you’ve put in.

    I loved all the tie–ins to the other programs (and yes, I did remember this is before SPY1). It’s fun to see where some of my favorites ended up. Of course, I expect nothing less than these ‘new’ sophomores to kick some serious ass. Otherwise, the Overton program will look really bad.

    I loved the intro to Collin’s family. I liked that you got his brother back into the HCP. Mom is a real surprise of a kickass.

    P.S. I tried to enter my comments into the Super Powereds page, but it wasn’t accepting any comments at this time, so I out mine here.

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    • I haven’t been able to post comments to the SuperPowereds.com stuff for the past couple days either. I think I’ll shoot Drew an email and let him know that the comments on the site might have gone wonky on him.

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  4. Man… now I really feel lousy about how little writing I’ve been getting done on my stories. Nice to see SSS back, glad life has calmed down enough for you to get back to writing.

    So just to be sure I’m figuring the timing on the story right, this is still the year before Angela would be a freshman at Lander… so no chance Ramon and Ben would be bumping into a wet behind the ears version of the future Hero Charon….

    MDS

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  5. Hooray, Hooray, and there was much rejoicing. But seriously, its nice to get a look at other people in other places who will be trying to deal with the attack on Overton.

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    • Seeing as how some of these characters did not appear in a whole bunch of scenes (or actually appear previously in ANY scenes), and since it’s probably a nicer option than simply telling people to reread the whole thing, the Prologue has been edited to include a “Who the hell are these people?” segment at the bottom ^_^

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  6. Wooo, Year 3 has arrived! Glad you gave a little detail on those who didn’t make it. It’s a nice to see where they’re going. I hope you can thrown in bits of their advancement throughout the year. Eagerly awaiting more.

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