Rainbows and Pegacorns

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Brief Title:
Rainbows and Pegacorns

Julie Power, aka. Lightspeed, Penny Lane aka. Energy

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
2013/05/27 18:45

The skies above New York

Two high-flying glow-in-the-dark heroines run into one another and make introductions.

Social or Plot:


It is early to mid-evening on a comfortably warm weeknight in late May. Classes, for those who attend school, are over for the day, if not for the week. It is the kind of time when lots of teenagers would be out on the streets, playing stickball or street hockey or just hanging out on the sidewalks or front stoops with friends. Some would go to the mall, whether they had the money to buy anything or not. And those who live in more suburban areas might climb into their cars and ride around listening to their music while riding 'the circuit', whatever that is for their neighborhood.

For Aspen Elizabeth Lane, known to anyone she meets as Penny, now is the time to head home from the library. And of course, she has left this to the last minute, ostensibly because she was so engrossed in the research and study she has been doing, reading up on public affairs and the recent changes in law in the United States, the State of New York, and the County and City of New York. But the truth is, she lets it wait this long, because then she has an excuse to do just this: find an alley, stuff her civvies in her packpack, pull up her mask, and take off, a golden glowing form in the dimness of the evening sky. Not yet dark, she's not quite a beacon, but she stands out. Clad in a night black costume with a golden starburst on her chest, the black continuing up the mask that covers most of her face except her eyes and her hair, she is doing loop-de-loops and barrel rolls as she flies along, headed across the City from southern Midtown Manhattan towards the uppermost reaches of the Upper East Side, skirting near Harlem.

Somewhere, there exists a superhero with the power of flight who is actually afraid of heights. Terrified of speed. Sick to his or her stomach at the thought of aerial acrobatics. Such a person, however, is not Julie Power aka Lightspeed. While Penny Lane wooshes through the air with the greatest of ease, Julie makes up time, moving from point A, which would be Paris, to point B, which would be New York City. When Lightspeed hit the North American coastline she slowed down to just beyond the speed of sound, which means when she flies by Penny, Lightspeed seems to be nothing more than a rainbow streak. A trail of multicolor stripes that would be rather easy to follow.

Holy norts! That was a fly-by rainbow! Penny pulls up and over in a loop and redirects herself towards following the apparently impossibly-fast rainbow. She does her best to pour on the speed, glowing a good bit more brightly in the process. But to be honest, as astounded and fascinated as she may be, there's no way she's going to catch whatever that was unless it slows down. She can keep up with passenger jets OK, but fighter jets and rainbows are apparently out of her league so far. Darned pretty, though.

For a minute, it seems as if whatever created that rainbow might vanish into the distance. However, as Penny flies on, she'll notice that the lead-tip of the rainbow trail begins slowing down. Allowing, intentionally or not, the pursuing redhead to catch-up. It seems the rainbow's being created by a strawberry blonde in red tights (with belly cut out) and silver boots.

Wow, that's neat! Penny continues to fly on, pouring on the speed until she has to drop it off so she can come to a halt somewhere near the much more slowly moving - now - rainbow-producing strawberry blonde. She loops once or twice, big and bright, and waves by way of greeting. Thankfully, the glow around her black-suited self makes her pretty easy to see, rather than blending into virtually nothing against the darker evening sky. "Wow! That's so cool! You fly so fast and you make that awesomely pretty rainbow behind you! I'll just bet you've got an amazingly great super name too, and all kinds of great stuff. That's just great!" Yeah. Cue the gush of words. Penny is excited. Babbling, thy name is Penny Lane.

Little known fact. Fliers? Tend to need to shout because there's a lot of wind when you get above a hundred feet. Still, Julie catches most of that exuberant chatter. She slows down to a lazy pace, the rainbow more surrounding her like a cushion rather than forming a trail behind her now. "Thanks! I'm Lightspeed!" She calls out. "I like how you glow! That's very cool!"

Penny slows down too, of course. Thankfully, she has the lungs for shouting, and isn't shy about doing it to be heard. But it's nice to be able to take it easier, to hover. Her glow seems to 'reorient' itself, then, trailing below her as it keeps pushing against gravity to keep her in the air. She doesn't hover effortlessly, but she can do it. "Awww, thanks! I'm Energy. I know, silly name, but it's the best I could come up with. At least it's not copyrighted or anything, so no one can sue me for trademark infringement. Scary that's a thing, right? Lightspeed, see, that's a really great name, suits you really well. You really buzzed on past me. I'd never have caught you if you hadn't slowed up." It's either adorable, or painful, watching her exude such enthusiasm and energy.

Julie tilts her head, listening to the excitement and the babble. She has to laugh. Apparently, it isn't painful. Or annoying to her. "Thanks! I came up with it years ago. I'm sorry if I moved into your flight path. Sometimes when I'm breaking mach one I don't see obstacles until they're only a little ways in front of me. I always dodge out of the way but sometimes it can spook planes!"

The redheaded, black-suited teen gapes a little at that, which is really only visible because it changes the shape of her face; the mask covers her mouth, though it seems to do nothing to diminish her voice. "That's awesome. And probably a little terrifying for them. But I suppose as long as you miss, it could be a lot worst. I don't usually have close calls like that; I haven't reached the point of outpacing my reaction speeds." Energy bobs in place a bit, almost like her flight power is 'revving its engines.' "Isn't flying just totally awesome, though? I mean, I LOVE my powers. I never meant to get them, and it was all scary and painful and stuff. But nothing compares to figuring out that I can actually /fly/!" Nothing except someday getting to work for SHIELD. 'Cause SHIELD agents fly all the time! Flying cars. Flying helicarriers. Flying power suits and jet packs and anti-gravity flight wings. And she won't even need one. So they totally HAVE to hire her. Right?

Julie laughs again. "You're high energy. I understand. Seriously. Were you always like that? Or is it a side-effect of your powers?" She flies closer to Energy, perhaps so she won't have to shout so loudly. Not good for the throat. "And isn't that mask uncomfortable? Especially in this weather? Not to mention how wet the mouth must get when you breathe into it and talk and stuff."

Energy shrugs a bit, then bobs her head, meeting Lightspeed halfway as they get a lot closer. At this range it's a lot easier to tell that she is very tall. And there might be something familiar about that hair. "Well, I was always what my Dad calls 'exciteable,' so I'd guess I was always pretty high-energy. But it probably has gotten a lot moreso since I got my powers. Sorry, if I babble too much." She goes quiet a bit, letting Lightspeed continue. "It's not too bad, honestly. I have to get used to things like this, since they're standard issue. This has a special fabric layer, like the inside of gloves, that whicks away the moisture, and the mold is adjustable to fit my face. I can't keep my identity a secret without it." Ask some SHIELD agents, they'd argue she might not be able to keep her identity a secret /with/ it, either. "But I guess that's why you don't wear one, hunh? Does your family know? About your powers, I mean?"

Julie listens, working her brain to keep up with the conversation. Not as easy as it sounds after a few hours in flight above the Atlantic. "Oh, yeah. My siblings and I are a team. Power Pack. We're sort of on a break now. Doing our own thing. Living our lives. My parents know, too. They're very supportive. We were worried they wouldn't be. Kept it secret for a long time but it all worked out right in the end."

"Wow, that's really cool!" Energy gushes excitedly. "Your family is a team. OK, a team on a break. But a team!" Clearly, she is thrilled and a tiny bit jealous. "I'm an only child, though, so that wouldn't work for me anyway. But my Dad knows. He'd kinda have to know, since he was there when it happened. Mom ..." And finally, the hyper train slows down. "... It's hard to remember Mom. I still miss her, and stuff. But she was gone before this ever happened. I wonder, sometimes, what she would have thought of this. Of me."

"Oooh. I'm so sorry." Julie's almost lost her mom. Twice. That was painful enough. Actually losing a parent... wow. She can only imagine. "I'm sure she would be proud of you? Doing good with your powers? You are doing good, right? You're not some super criminal in the making? Because I'll have to kick your butt if you are."

Energy giggles softly and shakes her head. "Nope, I'm not a super-criminal, in the making or otherwise. My Dad would totally kick my butt. And besides, I /want/ to be a hero." She pauses softly. What she said was vehement, but not emphatic, not yelled. Just intense. "I did this, became this, to save my Dad. To save both of us. And that's what I want to do: help and save others."

Energy pauses a few moments, and then she looks up at Lightspeed again. "So ... if it's not too nosy, what are your powers? Speed and flight and cool glowing rainbow trails. Anything else?"

Julie smiles and shrugs. "Nope. That's pretty much it. For a while I had the density powers. And for about ten seconds I had the gravity powers. But I've never had the energy powers." She pauses then says. "My siblings and I. We each have a power. I've got velocity. My brother Mass Master has density. Zero G has gravity. Energizer has energy. They're interchangible. Sometimes."

"Hunh. That's neat." Energy considers that for a bit. "Energizer. Hah. So, together you guys are like ... physics." Smart girl, this redhead. "I didn't get the flying right away. I got strength and some density, durability, reflexes stuff. Eventually, I discovered I could throw blasts of energy. And then that I could push out the energy to fly. Now, the flying is my favorite part."

Energy seems to ponder something quietly for a bit. Then she reaches up to her mask, doing something at her ears and hairline, and then pulling the mask down until it bunches around her neck, and reveals her face. It's a face that might be familiar, especially framed with that hair and that height. "Did you get any new acting gigs, yet?" she asks, both shyly and slyly.

"... I should have figured. How many red heads as tall as you can there be?" Julie says with a little, startled laugh. "Its hard to tell height when we're not both on the ground, though." Indeed, Julie is hovering so that she's more or less face to face with Penny. "Thank you for trusting me. I promise I won't let you down." Then she wrinkles her nose. "No new gig yet."

"Well, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have, except you aren't wearing one, and I recognized you." Penny admits, but she's smiling. "Don't think I'd be forgetting that face so quick. Sorry you don't have a new gig yet, though." Sounds genuine enough, at least. "So, can I be nosy enough to ask what you were flying around so fast for? I thought it was illegal for us to fly that fast close to a population center? The FAA regs or something?"

Julie glances around for a moment, as if the FAA might jump out from behind a cloud or something. "Is it? I don't know. No one's ever stopped me before. I was in Paris. There's a clothing store I like over there, so I stopped by and bought a new skirt. Nothing big. Just felt like visiting."

"Parlez-vous Francais?" Penny queries, beaming quite excitedly all of a sudden. "That's AWESOME! I lived in Paris for more than two years, while my Dad worked for Interpol. I did enjoy the shopping." How awesome is it to be a teenaged girl who can zip off to Paris for a quick shopping trip?! "'Course, leave it to my Dad to take me to Paris, and sign me up for a school with strict uniform codes. Hogwarts was better." She makes a face. "Sorry. That's what I call it. Saint Sebastian's. London. The first school I went to, after the change."

"Oh. I imagine they didn't have many girl's uniforms in your size, either." Julie says with a snicker. "I actually don't speak French. Not well, anyway. Just two years of high school. Well, one and a half. And I didn't do all that great. There was that whole thing with getting kidnapped by Snarks for a while."

"You got kidnapped by sharks? Wow." Penny offers, clearly excited. Yeah, she mis-heard that. Super-hearing is not in her powerset, but she tries! "I end up leaning the language wherever I go. A SHIELD agent is much more useful if multilingual, since they're an international operations agency." Right, 'cause Penny told Julie all about how she wants to be a SHIELD agent. She nods, though. "Yeah. Clothes ... I'm pretty much always custom-order. Even athletic shops don't usually carry in my sizes. But they have a lot more custom shops in Paris than the States." Or at least, they're more visible. No custom shops in the Mall, after all.

"SNARKS!" Julie shouts the word, to clarify. "Alien lizard people. Sometimes they kidnap us or something. Sometimes we need to go save their homeworld. Haven't had to in a while, though. My costume actually translates for me. Built in." She switches topics. "I wonder where She-Hulk shops. She's even bigger than you!"

"Snarks. Hunh. OK. Lizard guys, aliens." Penny makes a cute little face, and it's easy to tell she's filing that one away in her mental rolodex. One gets the feeling this girl tries to absorb just about everything she can from the world around her. "Neat. Your costume translates. Mine just covers me and tries to hide who I am." Though someday she will have SHIELD bodyarmor. Just you wait, world! "I know, right? She-Hulk is huge. And gorgeous, too. Totally jealous, even if she is green. Do you think maybe her whole wardrobe is those unstable molecule things, that Drs. Pym and Richards and Stark make? She could do that, I bet."

"Maybe. That's what mine is." Julie explains. "It isn't that big a deal for me but my brother? If he isn't in his costume when he turns cloudy his clothes fall to the ground. Or when he shrinks. And my sister can't accidentally disintegrate her costume."

Penny's eyes get a bit wide at that. "Yeah. Biggest problems I have are getting things to fit, and repairing them. Stuff that doesn't hurt me still ruins my clothes. But I don't just accidentally disintegrate my costume. That would not be good."

Julie laughs. "When we first got our costumes, we had NO idea how they worked. We tried washing them and ended up destroying the built-in communicators. They had to be repaired. Then my sister fell into my pocket and found the other dimension where little Mr. Cleans wash everything for us."

At first, it's clear that Penny doesn't want to believe this. It sounds just too much to be true. But then her eyes get wide, when Julie doesn't then declare it all a big joke. "Seriously?" she finally emits. "Wow. Totally weird. But awesome." Sure, she's a tiny bit jealous. But if she gets her dream and someday joins SHIELD, maybe she'll get something cool like that. OK, probably not /exactly/ like that, but cool nonetheless. "So, do you do, like, patrols for bad guys and stuff, even though the family team is on hiatus? Or not as much?"

"Oooh, no. My brothers used to, when they were younger." Julie motions towards New York City. "When we lived there. Mostly, trouble would find us. You know. Giant robots attacking our friend. A giant alien sea serpent at the aquarium. A guy trying to blow up the baseball game we went to. Stuff like that. Or getting kidnapped by aliens. That happened a lot."

Penny can't help but chuckle at that, shaking her head. "Wow. And here I thought my Dad and I have an interesting, challenging life." It all sounds crazy, but somehow she knows Julie isn't exaggerating, isn't kidding or making fun. It really was like that. "I guess you still help out whenever something happens, right?" She can't imagine Julie wouldn't. After all, she did threaten to beat Penny up if she was a villain or something. "I've had some pretty crazy adventures, but not quite to your level, it sounds like. Never been kidnapped by aliens. And it was more a trogolodyte than a full-blown sea serpent."

"Xanthan Boulder Crusher. As far as I know, its still sleeping where we left it, in the Artic." Julie explains. "I still help out, absolutely. You have powers like us, you have a responsibility to use them to help. To do good."

Clearly, Julie has met Spider-Man. Not that Penny disagrees in the slightest. "Absolutely. That's why I ... well. That's one of the big reasons why I so want to join SHIELD. I want to make helping people like that my life." And she'd like to be someone her father can be proud of. "And for ourselves, we get the amazing pleasure of actually being able to fly. It is pretty cool." And worth the grief. Penny has never truly, genuinely, wanted to give up her powers.

Julie considers that for a moment. "Wow. I guess SHIELD would have some powered agents, huh? Though, you're obviously doing the superhero thing now." She points to the mask, clutched in Penny's hand. "Plenty of us around. Especially now that the SRA has been repealed." It was just in the headlines last week, in fact.

Penny nods. "I do what I can." she admits, though she has never really thought herself quite worthy of the title 'superhero'. Despite even her training with the Initiative, that mantle has never quite stuck to her shoulders. "I have to admit I'm really glad that the SRA was repealed." Though she is still registered with the government. Once they have your information, they never really give it up, and they knew her long before the SRA was passed.

"Yeah. I never registered. Kept meaning to but never quite got around to it." Julie shrugs her shoulders and smiles. "Pretty sure my brother Alex did. Now it isn't an issue. Look at that. The good guys won. Sort of. The whole thing was a mess. I'm so glad I didn't get drawn into it."

Penny nods. "It helped being overseas for most of it. It was all 'over there' for us." the redhead admits. She feels a tiny bit ashamed by that, though it wasn't her choice. "I was originally in the Initiative. But when Osborn was rising to power, we had to leave." And they weren't around to help stop him, or bring him down.

Julie rolls her eyes. "I'm not going to get into the stupidity there. Just... ugh." She quivers. "UGH. Seriously. My brother actually fought the Hobgoblin once, with Spider-Man. I knew another Green Goblin. He tried to be a good guy but still went stupid insane. Just proof anyone who wears that mask is cursed."

Penny just growls. "I'm not really going to get into it either. I don't understand what anyone was thinking. I'm just really, really glad it's over. And now I'm back in the good old USA, and things are looking up. It's a nice feeling." She'd rather not think about insane green-faced freaks if she can help it. Yuck! "Can I ask you a dumb question, though? How stupid is my codename? Honest opinion."

"My sister's codename is Energizer. My brother's original codename was Gee. So..." Julie grins. "I think Energy is just fine. In the end, you can pick another one down the line. It isn't like you're stuck with the name. Look at how many codenames Ms. Marvel has had."

"Does your sister like bunnies?" Honestly, Penny is teasing. But it's a positively adorable image, and she can't help it. The Energizer bunny. "Well, I suppose. I just wish I could think of a better name." She pauses. "Yeah. Ms. Marvel is pretty awesome. AND she was a SHIELD agent. Still is, I hear." One track mind this girl has.

"When she was little, she loved Goo-Gams. The author of the series is still one of her best friends." Julie answers. "Never much for bunnies or ponies. I'm sure you'll get to SHIELD someday. Just keep working on it."

"Awww. I love bunnies and ponies. Still do." Penny admits. "My favorite is a pegacorn." A winged, flying unicorn. Who doesn't think that is positively awesome?! "Thanks, though, for the encouragement." She glances down and purses her lips. "So, I should ask. Do you have a curfew? Because I do, on weeknights, and I should probably say goodbye for now sometime soon, unless there's going to be big trouble and a worthwhile excuse for being out late."

"I don't. Technically. But I should probably go home." Julie admits. She glances around, as if checking to see if someone is about to call her on being out so late. "... and I love pegacorns, too. They're awesome." She giggles. An honest to God giggle.

"Well then, I guess we should break this up, hunh?" Penny seems genuinely disappointed, but that's life. One cannot always have a world-shattering disaster unfold just when one wants to spend more time with a new friend out past curfew. "It was totally awesome to meet you, again. Hey, maybe we can go flying together sometime? I know I can't quite keep up with your top speed, but it could be fun." Right? Pepper impulsively hugs Julie, quite firmly but thankfully not truly rib-breakingly, and then lets go. "Talk to you later. Have a good night!" And then she's off, pulling her mask back up into place as she goes.

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