Stranger in a Strange Place: Part 2: Freedoms
Jon looked around the room taking in the small living room with the fully set up entertainment center with a couch and a couple of chairs, placed so that whoever was sitting in the would be facing said entertainment center. He’d only been given this room the night before after the guy calling himself the TV Doctor had cleared him of any immediate injuries that would require him to stay in the Infirmary full time. The room was pretty much better than his own home really, the size was almost the same but the condition of it all was well above what he could afford.
He looked out the floor to ceiling window that stretched out halfway across the wall that allowed him to look out at a view of deep space. A low whistle came out of his mouth as he looked out again at the scene of dancing stars, set in their celestial patterns and heavenly bodies. “Man. That’s
seriously cool.” Lost in the scene in front of him, Jon didn’t hear the sound of the door opening behind him.
“That tends to be the normal response I’ve found.” A female voice came from the doorway, soft and friendly but still keeping a tone of seriousness to it. Jon turned and saw Lady Liberty standing just inside his room at the Lighthouse as the door silde shut behind her.
“Hey, how’re you today?” He asked as he pointed towards the small refrigeration unit in what he guessed was something like a half kitchen since there was a small island table and some cabinets on the wall. When she answered his silent question with a shake of her head he noticed the semi-serious look on her face. “What’s up?” Jon felt weird not wearing his costume around another person who was wearing theirs, yet again he‘d wished he could wear it instead of the dark blue jumpsuit he‘d been given.
“It’s been a couple days since you arrived here and helped Captain Thunder and Daedalus before you collapsed.” She took a couple of steps further into the room as she spoke while Jon moved to get himself something to drink. “The TV Doctor has finished going over the results of your tests and is ready to see you.” She paused momentarily before adding to her last statement, “And since you’re our guest I thought I’d accompany you if that was alright.” She smiled, showing the kind of smile that made a man stop and take notice. Though Jon was sure that wasn’t her intention, it was probably something more along the lines of trying to be reassuring. It just didn’t hurt that Lady Liberty was one of the more attractive women he’d seen in his life.
Jon had his own suspicions as to why the few times he’d been out of his room or the Infirmary one of the Freedom League had been present.Unknown super-type shows up and needs “help”, gets taken to base for care, then when least expected the hosts are facing down a foe who’s studied their base and knows how to use it against ‘em.”
Jon fought back a small chuckle as he considered the stray thought. Can’t say I blame ‘em for being careful. Sentry’d be the same way.
Not that he shared his thoughts with Lady Liberty, that would have been pretty rude on his part. Instead he answered with something different.
“Sounds good. I’m ready to get a clean bill of health.” He returned the smile, he was starting to feel pinned up as it was despite the treatment the League had given him. They’d been nice enough, but the silent limits and unsaid restrictions they’d put on him were starting to make him somewhat uncomfortable. What is it Senty’d said before? A cage with a view is still a cage to the one held in it. Something like that.
As he thought Jon finished the almost full can of citrus pop in one massive drink, threw the can into the trash receptacle that was built into the island and moved towards his latest guard.
“Lets go.” He said, the smile still on his face.
After a short walk Jon was sitting down on one side of a desk while the TV Doctor was going over the results of the results of his tests. “Everything seems fine. In fact it’s more than fine, all of your results indicate that you’re one of the healthiest people I’ve examined in a long time.” He flips through a couple of pages as he speaks, “Your circulatory system is highly efficient, if I hadn’t been talking to you when I took your blood pressure I’d swear your readings were taken while you were asleep. Plus your white blood cell count is in what’s considered the upper limits of safe but you show no signs of having to worry about leukocytosis.”
Jon’s eyes narrowed somewhat at the mention of the word. “Hang on what’s that?”
“Basically it means you have too many white bloods cells. It can indicate a few different possible illness, but in your case the high count seems to be very normal. So it’s nothing to worry about.” The Doctor put his tablet down on the desk as he considered what he knew of his newest patient. “Unless Lejkemia and Hodgkins disease runs in your family history that it.” His eyes showed he was questioning Jon on this part.
Jon shook his head. “Not that I know Doc. Course I don’t really know my folks, I was a foster kid my whole life.”
“Ah. I see. Then it would be a safe assumption on my part that you‘ve not had a full medical exam since you became an adult or before you had gained your powers?”
Jon suddenly felt like he was being put on the spot and his face took on a semi-guilty, almost apologetic look before he answered. “Yea, it would be.”
“It’s alright, you’d be surprised at just how many other super powered people are in the same boat as you. It’s not as uncommon as you’re thinking.” The Doctor picks up the tablet, flips through some of the pages and makes a couple of quick notes. “It just means I’ll have to apply some of the standards I’ve established in cases similar to yours.”
Again Jon’s eye narrowed in response but before he could ask any question that could be forming in his mind the Doctor spoke up. “What I mean is I’ll do a comparative evaluation of your results against other superhumans I’ve examined who’ve were suffering from similar problems to your current ones.”
“Oh. Alright. Sounds good with me Doc, so any idea when I’ll be allowed back on Earth?” Jon thought the Doctor would be a good place to start with that question. If there wasn’t a medical reason to keep him up in space then that would help him when he made his argument to League.
“I can’t say anything about that, though I can say that you are totally healthy. No kind of viruses or bacteria are present that I can find, but if you have any more of the symptoms that led to your passing out you should immediately return.” As he spoke the TV Doctor wrote on the tablet one more time before standing up and offering his hand to Jon. “Be safe and well.”
“Alright Doc, I’ll keep that in mind.” Jon said as the Doctor stood, stood up himself and took the offered hand and gave it a firm set of shakes before making his way out of the office.
On the other side of the door Jon found that Lady Liberty hadn’t stayed while he talked with the Doctor, though there was a man in a red jumpsuit that wore a black belt that looked somewhat similar to what security guards used who seemed to waiting on him. He looked to be somewhere in his mid twenties with black hair, slicked back out of his face. On the belt the man was wearing Jon could see what looked like a bulky pistol as well as some pouches that he assumed held a few odd and in that security guard might need. The look on his face reminded Jon of a guy waiting on his girlfriend to come out of the Bath & Body Works store, almost bored and wanting to do anything else but
Taking a few steps towards him, Jon gives a two fingered wave as he speaks. “Heya, Lady Liberty get called away?”
The man nods back in response to Jon’s wave as he answers the question. “Yeah, but nothing bad. Just the weekly League meeting. Nothing serious.” He gestures for Jon to follow him before he turns to walk out the door. “I was asked to walk you to their meeting once you were done with your meeting with the Doctor.”
Jon‘s face blanked for a moment. This didn‘t sound too good. “Oh.”
He fell in behind the man and out into the hallway. The walk was silent; the man didn’t apparently want to be social and Jon was busy wondering what the entire League would want to talk to him for. He was nervous honestly, he’d not met all of them yet. Only Captain Thunder, Daedalus, Lady Liberty and Pseudo, he’d heard some of the other’s names; Raven and someone named Seven. He wondered if there were more members in the League, they already had as many members as the Alliance had. “Course that don’t count former member either, but I doubt they‘d call up part-timers just for something like this. Right?”
Jon half tried to reassure himself but only ended up making himself more nervous about the impending meeting.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Round Table:
The majority of the Freedom League membership was present at this week’s meeting, only Star Knight (transporting Captain Kraken to Citadel for transfer to one of the many worlds he’s wanted on for his crimes), Dr. Metropolis (busy in Freedom City), and Siren (dealing with a problem in New Orleans), were not present.
There was an additional person present the table this meeting; Seven, who’d been brought in to help with possible mystical aspects of their new guest’s arrival.
“All right.” Captain Thunder said, he looked around at everyone sitting around the table as he continued. “First on the agenda. Most of the damage done during the Meta-Grue’s attack during his impersonation of Pseudo has been repaired. The only thing not yet finished is elevator D and that should be done by the end of tomorrow. Has there been any progress on how to prevent that from happening again?”
“Pseudo and I have come up with a couple ideas that should work.” Daedalus said. “They should be done by the next meeting after we get Changeling to help us test them out fully.”
“I can call Claremont and see if I can arrange something with the Headmaster to get her here in the next couple of days.” Bowman offered.
Daedalus looked over at Pseudo for a moment, his look asking for his thoughts. Pseudo’s response was a silent and subtle nod and Daedalus looked at the archer. “We should be ready by that time.”
“Sounds good. Now on to current matters.” Captain Thunder said as he moved things along. “Our latest “guest” here at the Lighthouse has been very
cooperative with our all of our questions. In fact his forthright answers about his powers, background, where he comes from and submitting to the various testing over the last few days leads me to believe that he’s being honest with us. At least that’s what my instincts tell me but I‘ll open the floor to those who have been disserting those tests.” Captain Thunder nods towards Pseudo.
“From the surface psi-scans I’ve done of Vega, everything he has told us appears to be the truth. He has no idea exactly how or why he’s ended up here but I can say this much about him; his mental “feel”, for lack of a better way to describe it, is different from how anyone else’s minds I’ve been in contact with is.” Pseudo’s face was almost a blank slate as he spoke but it was clear to those that knew him well enough that could read the subtle expressions he made while he spoke that he did not enjoy telepathically going through another’s mind has he had done with Vega. It came close to going against many of his personal beliefs but given some previous times where “heroes” had suddenly reappeared and then their true natures became exposed….Pseudo felt that fine line was one he must walk for a greater good.
“Does that mean that you believe his claims he’s from another dimension then?” The Raven asked with her usual directness.
“What it means is that I believe he
believes it. Though there is a possibility that there is something to his claims.” Pseudo responded.
“What about more arcane sources?” Raven pushed.
“Well, from what my scryings have revealed he’s fine.” Seven said quietly from the opposite side of the table. “There are no traces of anything arcane around him at all.”
Raven then looked over to Daedalus then without missing a beat. “What about those twin energy signatures he was emitting when you first met him?”
The immortal inventor pressed a few buttons on a remote he was holding and suddenly in the center of the table appeared two graphs that charted two very different energy wavelengths, one displayed above the other and both clearly different from one another, the bottom display then grew to twice the size of the other. It‘s pattern was sharp with harsh angles from top to bottom, almost looking like a child‘s drawing of sharp teeth. “This is Vega’s normal energy signature, his body generates it at all times from what I‘ve been able to determine. It is very similar to the energies used by the Star Knights to power their armors but Vega’s energy has somehow been internalized and is a very organic variation in it’s nature.” More buttons pushed and the larger image shrinks back down while the upper display grows in contrast. This pattern had a very soft look to it, if was capped on top and bottom by flowing curves. “This is the secondary energy pattern that Vega was emitting when we first met him and apparently it’s from what he calls the Video-Zone
This name brings several quizzical looks from the gathered members of the Freedom League and a raised eyebrow from the Raven. To which Daedalus gives a slight shrug as he answers the unspoken question. “His name for it. Not mine.” And then continued on.
“The second energy quickly began to dwindle in intensity as time went on, by the time we had gotten him here and performed a more in-depth scan the energy signature had dropped in intensity by half. By the following morning it was almost non-existent, only at a fourth of it’s original output.” As Daedalus spoke the display for the second energy wavelength showed the dwindling effect he was describing by shrinking slowly until finally the display was empty. “Then by last night Vega’s body no longer emitted any sign of the wavelength at all.”
“So there’s not a chance it something that Vega generates himself and is suppressing at the moment?” Raven questioned.
“It was a possibility, so I installed sensors in the room he was given. The idea being along the line of what you’re suggesting and the output is the same every time. Nothing. Given what he‘s said about the amount of time he‘d spent in that transitional dimension I‘d say that the secondary energy signature was a result of his time there and something that permeated his body and that once out of that dimension he body began to expel it as a means of cleansing his system so to speak.”
Lady Liberty held up a tablet of her own at this point. “This report from the TV Doctor basically confirms what you’re saying. Plus Vega’s been given a clean bill of health, the energy wasn’t some symptom of a super-disease of any kind so we don’t have to worry about another Legion at least.” Her tone of voice showed her relief in the news as the look on her face showed her concern.
It didn’t go unnoticed by Captain Thunder. “Something else on your mind?”
“It’s just that Vega has been patient enough with us but he’s starting to chaff under all the limits we’re placing him under. I understand that we need to be careful but it’s been a few days and by this point given everything we’ve subjected him to I think we should consider allowing him some more personal freedoms.” As she spoke the Maid of Might looked at all who were around the table, looking each in the eye for a few moments before moving on to the next person. “I’m just remembering something I’ve read before;
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Lady Liberty paused after she finished quoting part of the New Colossus sonnet, letting the all of the gathered heroes take a moment to consider the meaning of those words. “If Vega doesn’t qualify as someone whose is lost from his home and been through an ordeal then let me walk you to his room and let you look at him. It’s plain on his face. He doesn’t need our help so much at this point, he needs friends.”
Several moments passed before Captain Thunder somberly spoke. “Beth, I understand what you’re saying. We all do but we have to be careful given the history of situations like this one. Now I realize that young man is fighting to understand what’s happened to him, and personally I think he’s done a phenomenal job given what he’s dealing with. That was why I had addressed the whole thing during the meeting. I agree he’s already earned the kind of allowances you’re talking about and given what we’ve been able to put together so far I think just proves that we can do it with a clearer conscience now.”
“With that in mind I call for a vote, Seven you vote as well. You helped to deal with this problem so your input on the final decision is valued.” Captain Thunder announced. “All in favor of allowing Vega to operate in Freedom City with supervision from the membership?”
The gathered members of the Freedom League made their choice and raised their hands.
Counting silently for a moment Captain Thunder notes the final vote and nods for everyone to lower their hands.
“All right then. Let’s get Vega in here and let him know how things are going to work while he’s here.”
To be continued…..Next Time:
Really? You’re still going on about this?! Where’s
my copy of the script?!?!
A quick thanks to Janlith (for his Average Joe’s Game
) and Davies (for his World of Freedom 2.5 Setting
[specifically the Olympus Delendam Est! story]). Both of which I used as reference when I originally ran this game and went back to when I added the League’s meeting for this part of the story.