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Leonida Armel

'Curious, different, and hard to miss. Just how I like it.'

0 · 411 views · located in Portland, Oregon

a character in “Hero Service”, as played by AbsoluteWhisper

Description

Leonida Armel
Who needs super strength when you’ve got science and physics, bitch!

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THE BASICS
CODENAMExxx.xQuantum or Q for short
ALIASESxxxxxxxxLeo is their preferred nickname, but Leon is acceptable.
AGE/ZODIACx.xx18 / Aries
GENDERxxxxxx.xNon-binary/Genderfluid || Uses they/them pronouns
SEXUALITYxxxxxPansexual with a preference for women
HOMETOWNxxxxBoston, MA

THE APPEARANCE
EYE COLORxxxxxDark brown
HAIR COLORxxxxDark brown
HEIGHTxxxxxxx.x5’11’’
WEIGHTxxxxxxxx154 pounds

THE ABILITY
TITLExxxxxxxx.xxKinetic/Potential Energy Manipulation
DESCRIPTIONxxThe ability to absorb and store kinetic or potential energy in the body, and then dispel it at will.
NEGATIONxxxxxCaloric tax, energy capacity, sharp/piercing objects.



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Maybe today I want to be beautiful and tomorrow I want to be handsome, who knows?


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FASHION STYLE
Leo’s style can vary wildly depending on how they are feeling that day. Although skirts and dresses aren’t entirely out of the question, they prefer a more masculine appearance in general, wearing men’s cut button up shirts and pants and shoes most of the time. They prefer floral prints and bright colors over drab greys and browns and blacks. They also occasionally wear a binder or packer depending on how they’re feeling gender wise. Their hair is relatively short right now and mostly untamed, but they do tie it back or braid it down if they have the time or need to be more tactical.


HERO UNIFORM
Leo has never been very good with designs or fashion or… art. When given the option to design their own uniform, they went for tactical over pretty (and they almost seemed to dissuade them from wearing anything with bright colors). Their uniform is completely black, form fitting, and covered in protective padding, specifically made to defend against minor slices, stabs, and blunt force. They also have plates of kevlar on the front and back of their torso, along their thighs, and along their upper arms. The government offered them a full-face mask, but they prefer a small, golden masquerade mask for a little extra flair. They have durable, steel-toed black boots and knuckle-padded gloves for striking. They also have a basic utility belt with some regular tools, a multi-tool, a super bright flashlight, some extra calorie-dense bars, and a utility knife, and then a few pouches with some small shapes made of metal, mostly small balls and cubes made of steel that vary in sizes.


SPECIAL OBJECTS/MARKS/SCARS
Leo is absolutely covered in scars. Their arrogance mixed with naivety leads them to believe they can do things they have never succeeded in doing before, like blocking and absorbing attacks from knives and swords and the occasional bullet. They have two bullet wounds, well, four if you count the entry and exit points, one on their right shoulder and one on their left hip. There are a few large, long slices along their midsection, forearms, and thighs from swords, but most of the other scars are small. Leo is also QUITE fit. To be able to use their powers properly, they need to be in peak physical condition. They are rather muscular and tall with broad shoulders. Well, broader than the average afab person. They enjoy flexing and boasting about their strength and their scars, not being afraid to shed clothing to do so.


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I want to help people. I’ve wanted to help people since I was a kid, and soon it’ll be time. And I can’t wait.


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LIKES
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|| Animals (especially dogs) || Exercise || Eating || Singing alone || Wrestling/Sparring || Telling Jokes || Cute girls || Scary Movies || Kissing || Sex || Romance || Any sort of physical contact || Boasting || Being the center of attention || Playing Guitar || Math || Science || Practicing with their powers || Protecting People || Working with children || Answering questions ||



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DISLIKES
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|| Toxic Masculinity || Undeserved Arrogance || Assholes || Transphobia/Homophobia/Sexism || Awkward Silence || Guns || Violent Criminals || Mornings || Needles || Alcohol || Cigarettes || Orders || Bossy People || The high calorie bars they need to eat daily ||

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I’m stronger than you’ll ever be for a lot of reasons.


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ABILITIES ⟶ KINETIC/ POTENTIAL ENERGY MANIPULATION
Leo can absorb the kinetic energy from moving objects by touching them while they are in motion. This can be any object, but they do best with blunt force, like punching or kicking strikes or blunt weapons like bats or pipes. When these moving objects come in contact with Leo, all of their force is absorbed into them, negating any sort of damage the attack may have caused. As they fight, any force from attacks continue to be stored within them, and they can then tap into that reserve when need be, increasing their physical strength in short bursts. Doing this, they can punch through walls, throw cars, complete many acts of intense physical strength without damaging their body. Leo can also transfer this stored energy into physical objects. They always have a few steel shapes handy, and with enough stored force, they can essentially turn them into bullets. However, to do these things, they must absorb enough energy that is equivalent to the actions they want to do, meaning it takes much longer to complete large feats of strength than to just power up their punches. Sometimes, this means they must go on the defensive for longer, sometimes it means asking their classmates to punch them repeatedly.

Although their ability can be extremely powerful, it comes with many downsides. The energy from blunt attacks are extremely easy to absorb, but piercing objects have too much force in a much smaller area, so any sort of stabbing or slicing weapons (blades to bullets) are too difficult for them to do anything about. However, this won't stop them from trying (and continually failing) and getting themselves shot or sliced up. Leo's body has a limit to how much energy it can store. If they near that limit, their body seems to have a safe-guard against surpassing it; they lose consciousness, and thus all the energy stored in their body is released in all directions. They've tried fighting against this safeguard, and seemed to increase just how much energy they can store, but if they do reach their limit and continue to absorb energy, all of the energy inside of them will cause themselves to essentially self-destruct, killing them instantly. The act of absorbing, storing, and dispelling energy has a sort of tax on Leo's body. Any time kinetic energy is absorbed, it takes energy within Leo's body. To continue to store it would continue to burn through Leo's energy, like keeping your body tensed for extremely long periods of time. And then dispelling that energy requires more energy. This means that Leo can only ever absorb, store, and dispel energy equal to how many calories they have in their body. And thus Leo must eat large amounts of calories a day, and if they run out of calories that they have recently eaten, their body will start eating away at itself to continue to use these abilities. This entire process is extremely exhausting, meaning Leo can only use their powers in short bursts and then must rest and binge more calories before using them again.

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What, you want me to flex? Yeah sure, but I’m definitely going to take my shirt off first.


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Leo is an open book, through and through. If they’re feeling something, everyone will know about it, because they will talk about it. They’re loud, proud, vulgar, and have a lot of strong opinions, and they are willing to talk about almost anything with almost anyone. For the most part, they don a rather happy, energetic demeanor, often being the life of the party or the center of attention with their size and quick tongue. They’re cocky and bold, but not stupidly arrogant (generally). They know they have flaws, they are aware of their own weaknesses, but they also know just how great they are. Leo doesn’t think they’re better than everyone, they just know they don’t suck (most of the time). They’re fiery and full of passion for the things and people they love, and despise being ordered around and controlled. They’re a hopeless romantic, so the only time they may seem unsure of themselves or how to act is when they’re faced with someone they have a crush on. Which, funnily enough, is quite a lot of people. Leo isn’t very good at reading people and their true intentions, and they’re extremely optimistic to a fault, so they fall in love very quickly with idealized versions of the people they are constantly around.

Leo is clever and intelligent. They don’t really seem it, given their appearance and demeanor. All brawn, no brains, etc etc, you know the tropes. But to maintain using their abilities, Leo has to be smart. Every time they throw a punch or block an attack, they are making estimates and crunching numbers. They are book smart, especially in regards to physics, engineering, and most things math related. They’re persuasive and good at interpersonal relationships. They aren’t scared to take the lead and make plans, and aren’t afraid to take responsibility when things go wrong.

Leo feels things intensely. When they’re high, they’re on top of the world, when they’re low, there’s very little that can bring them back up. This is caused by Bipolar Disorder, but with daily medication, it’s mostly smoothed out. This doesn’t mean that they don't have bad days or good days, but the swings aren’t as bad as they used to be. Leo used to have issues with their anger, but after years of therapy and meditation, they’ve learned how to control their temper. They are now utterly patient and logical, even under moments of stress or anxiety. That is, in regards to everything but themselves. Leo only really gets frustrated or angry with themselves, especially when they fail or push themselves too hard. This frustration can come in the form of talking to themselves angrily or small forms of self harm, like hitting and scratching.

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You may look AND you may touch as long as I say so. Consent is sexy.


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HISTORY
Leo’s was born into the most perfect, normal, and loving family. Two college professors, their mother history (with a specialty in ancient Greek and Roman civilization), and their father physics, had been together for five years before deciding to have their first child. Leo was born, perfectly healthy, and given the feminine version of the name of the powerful Greek warrior Leonidas. They were well off, with a small and equally affluent extended family. After another five years, they had another child, a daughter named Alexandra. Both parents were kind and patient. They nurtured their children in a safe and healthy environment, and their children blossomed.

Leonida took quickly to science and math, while Alex was quickly drawn to the arts, specifically painting and illustration. They hit a few rough patches, like learning about Leo’s mental illness and issues with anger management. But with plenty of resources and caring, affectionate parents, they took these bumps in stride and made sure their children were happy over all else. Leo’s father was rather traditional, so learning about his child’s gender identity and sexuality caused a bit of a rift to form between them. However, with the help of their understanding mother, the two of them managed to convince him that this wasn’t some choice that Leo was making, it was how they were, and being resistant would only cause them harm. Although he still isn’t very knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ issues and identities, he is much more open minded to accepting and learning about then. And, funnily enough, a few years later, Alex came out as a lesbian.

Being two normal, human parents, they didn’t expect any of their children have any supernatural abilities. They went along with the government testing and were surprised to find that their oldest did have powers that hadn’t quite manifested yet. Being barely a teenager, Leo agreed to join the hero program, wanting to be like the figures they saw in comics and tv shows. Shortly after, their powers manifested when they tried to save someone from getting hit by a car. The vehicle came in contact with their body as they tried to shield a child who had wandered into the street; it was almost as if it had run into a tree. The vehicle wrapped around them, but they were unharmed. Moments later, they stumbled on their feet, light headed, and then trying to lean into the car, they launched it backwards by several feet. Luckily, the child was entirely unharmed, but the passengers in the car weren’t as lucky. Although no one had died, one of them had been crippled for life due to a spine injury.

It was the wake-up call they needed. Shortly after agreeing to join the program, they were whisked away from their family to begin training. At first, it was hard. Leo’s free spirit and hatred of schedules and authority didn’t help, but they adapted after a while. They work hard and can do almost anything they set their mind to, so the physical and mental training was easy. It was just the early mornings and constant eating that was the most difficult parts. They’ve made friends relatively quickly, like they usually do, and are excited to finally put their powers to use out in the real world.


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It haunts me, what I did. He was 12, and he’ll never walk again because of me. Every person I save is for him. I can never make it up, never make amends, but I’m going to try.


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CHARACTER'S CREATORxxAbsoluteWhisper
SHEET CREATORxxThe Writer's Voice
DIALOGUE CODExx#FFD201
THOUGHT CODExx#FFD201

So begins...

Leonida Armel's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonida Armel Character Portrait: Lucas Halloh
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codename QUANTUM, controller of kinetic energy

An alarm sounded: it was a few rapid tones followed by a pause. After the pause, the tones repeated, this time louder. After a few repeats, the alarm was almost comically loud for the small room that it inhabited. A few feet away, a pile of blankets on a full-sized bed shuddered as its owner moved about. A muffled groan could barely be heard under the blaring alarm and layers of cloth. Suddenly, Leo sat up in their bed, all of the blankets falling off of them in one fell swoop. The alarm clock was across the room to force them out of bed; if it had been on their nightstand, the urge to just hit snooze and fall back asleep would be too strong. Leo dragged themselves out of the bed. They looked as disheveled as one possibly could be with their hair sticking this way and that and their pajamas basically falling off.

With the alarm turned off, Leo went to begin their early morning routine. They combed through their hair with their fingers before tying it up in a small, tight ponytail. If they were meant to train, their hair needed to be out of their face. They prefered box braiding their hair, but they didn’t have the time for it this morning. Then, they peeled off their comfy, fluffy pajamas and pulled out their uniform. And while it was decently comfortable, it wasn’t nearly as nice as their pjs. Begrudgingly, they slipped into their armored pants, buckling up the secure belt. Then came the layers. It was cold out in Portland. They put on their undershirt, regular black shirt, and then the armored over-shirt. As if to test that armor and wake themselves up a bit, Leo tapped the center of their stomach with their fist, and it bounced off as it always does. Then, they clipped on their utility belt, not bothering to check the pouches. They had been fully stocked last night so of course they’d be fully stocked in the morning. They put on their boots, making sure to lace them up tight but not too tight. Their mask came last, which they let hang around their neck as they went about the rest of their morning.

It had only taken a little while to get ready, so Leo was still extremely groggy as they stumbled into the small cafeteria. They surveyed their surroundings, looking between the few breakfast food options, and yet barely took any of the information in. They already knew what that wanted to eat, and stumbled up to the table. They picked up two sandwiches, packed with eggs, bacon, and cheese, and a large carton of chocolate milk. They checked their watch, seeing how little time they had left, and began their routine of scarfing the food down. In less than two minutes, their plate was clear and their milk was gone. After checking their watch again, Leo shot up, darting over to put their tray into the return pile. There was something about eating that filled Leo with energy. Hmm, perhaps it was the calories? Life is a mystery.

Alvarez’s booming voice echoed through their head. They weren’t even close to late, but Leo hated being anything short of comfortably early. And, unsurprisingly, Leo was one of the first to arrive in the control room. They sauntered in, more than 10 minutes early, with hands behind their head, and smiled at the few occupants in the room. Agent Alvarez was there, of course, and Lucas, of course. They walked up to the two, transferring their hands to their hips. “Sup, boss!” They beamed with a playful salute. Leo’s mood had done an impossible 180 in the last 15 minutes. The magic of food. After greeting Alvarez, they shifted their gaze to Lucas. “And you! How do you always manage to be the first one to the party? Do you sleep in here?” They joked. Leo stood next to him, but that didn’t stop them from glancing behind their shoulder at the door, as if waiting for someone to arrive.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jordan Reyes Character Portrait: Leonida Armel
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JORDAN REYES
biological manipulation - antigen - #794044

this is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
the trees of the mind are black. the light is blue.
the grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if i were God
prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.

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Jordan had never been a morning person, and the few months in the service hadn't changed that. If he was being perfectly honest with himself, the only reason he reported in on time every morning was because he'd made the mistake of sleeping in one morning and skipping breakfast. Training on an empty stomach had really not been pleasant. And so he dragged himself out of bed at the persistent, overly cheery chirping of his alarm. He ran a hairbrush through his hair, made sure to apply his usual moisturiser and SPF, and got changed into his uniform. On days like this, he left it until the last thing he did before leaving. Left it so that only a brief glance in the mirror would suffice. He could feel the dissatisfaction at the close fitting clothing, his discomfort with his own body, starting to sneak in. He belted the trench coat around him and headed out in search of breakfast.

Yet another problem with these early mornings was that Jordan was never hungry. Not yet. But he needed to get something to eat, and he spent far too long perusing his options. It was also partially a tactic to avoid having to talk to his fellow heroes, because god knows he still wasn't awake enough for that. Eventually, as his time became scarce enough to force him in to a decision, he grabbed some fresh fruit and a chocolate pastry of some kind, eating them on his way to the control room. He wasn't the first there, but he also wasn't the last. He sidled up to Leo and rested his head on their shoulder.

"Leeeeooooo it's too early for this," he groaned, wrapping his arms around them in a hug. Leo always had so much energy in the mornings. Jordan hoped that one day it would somehow magically pass between them and he'd magically become a morning person. One day. Maybe.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonida Armel Character Portrait: Sunhi Na Character Portrait: Katherine Mac Niadh Character Portrait: Lucas Halloh Character Portrait: Kieran Mac Niadh
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Kat’s body hit the ground with a dull thud, drowned out by the taunting voices in front of her. “I didn’t push you that hard! Get up, freak, I’m not done with you.”

”Get up.” Lucas stood above Kat, both slightly panting as she offered her hand for him to help her up. Lucas looks at the hand, then back at her as he folds his arms over his chest. Kat huffs, pulling herself to her feet and charging at him for another attack.

Kat holds her shaking fists in front of her face, wide eyes moving frantically to each of her classmates surrounding her. Their laughter was cruel and deafening. “You’re not gonna use that little ghost of yours, Katherine? You’re too weak to fight us alone.”

”Use your abilities. I want you to fight me at full strength,” Lucas barks as he catches her fist, only letting go when she made the spirit’s armor cover her fists and it burned him. He pulls back, and waits for her next attack towards the edge of the training room. She’d made the first move for most of their training this morning, and would wait for him to strike first.

The teachers never stepped in. Her other classmates never stepped in. The torture never ended until she couldn’t get back up. She curled into a ball, shaking as the bullies surrounded her. “Maybe if we hurt the freak enough those powers will go away-“

”Alright Lucas, Jesus!” Kat finally spits out when he has her pinned to the floor, her stomach pushed into the mat as he held her armor-covered arm behind her. The energy faded once her arm dropped to the mat and she pulls herself up into a seated position. ”Would you stop kicking my ass please?” Kat grumbles as she rubs her arm that he was just holding behind her.

Lucas scoffs, holding out his own arm this time to help her from the floor. ”When you stop making it so easy,” Lucas replies, earning himself a deadly glare from his fellow teammate.

Sometimes Kat didn’t know why she wanted to train with Lucas so much, he only gave her negative criticism and she hadn’t won a training match against him so far. But when she woke up around 3:30AM, drenched in sweat from a never ending nightmare, she needed a good sparring partner that would go back to sleep the moment she woke them up. That didn’t mean she would take his comments lightly.

”Okay hotshot, you’ve been training with two professional heroes. Cut me some slack,” Kat grumbles, grabbing a little towel to throw around her neck so she can wipe the sweat from her face. Lucas rolled his eyes as he walked out the door, calling behind him, ”No villain will cut you slack and neither willI.”

He was not too thrilled when he heard the incessant knocking at his door, waking him up from much needed sleep. The offer of training was never one he gave up, so he dragged himself out of bed without Kat having to ask twice.

The training session didn’t last as long as he thought and Lucas had plenty of time to ready himself for the day. Standing in a steaming shower, he closed his eyes and tilted his head for the hot water to hit the sensitive skin on his face. One month of the Hero Service and he’d been pushed harder than he ever thought he would. Kat was right, he’d been training with his brothers Dom and Rory since he could hold up his fists, but even those on the team without a hint of training before now were giving him a challenge.

He was out of the shower and almost pulling on his usual training clothes when Alvarez’s voice boomed throughout the facility. His uniform had been neatly kept on a special rack in the corner of his room, his mask laying over his boots. The only thing that was slightly disheveled was the bandages he just used in training, thrown on top of the rack before his shower.

Lucas ended up being the first person in the room, even Agent Alvarez came in just moments after him. ”Do you even sleep, kid?” The older man chuckles, tipping his coffee at the young trainee. Lucas smirks back in reply, folding his hands behind him in a proper stance to greet his superior.

The next to come was Leo, who made their place beside Lucas and made a comment similar to the one from the agent. ”I just plan accordingly. I even trained with Kat and got here before you,” Lucas answers matter-of-factly, slipping his mask off once he started speaking with Leo.

He felt a bump at his legs that threw him off balance, stepping one foot back as he looked down. Kibble, little machine that ate sharp objects to give to Lucas as gifts during his boarding school days, was still alive and rolling around as usual. And just behind the little machine, its maker had tripped over her own feet and hit the ground before he could try and catch her fall. ”Sunhi, there wasn’t anything for you to trip on, how did you do that?” Lucas asks in a scolding tone, helping her back onto her feet.

”Chill, Mr. Perfectionist, Sunhi’s a brainiac. So what if she gets a little clumsy?” Kat strolls into the room in full uniform as she speaks, grinning at Sunhi as she makes her way towards the pair.

Kat laid on her bed for a while before she finally pulled herself up for a shower, but there was only about half the team there when she arrived in her own full gear. She notices Leo’s already made it in, and waves as her fellow teammate with a shy smile. The two were already becoming close in this short month, and just being around Leo made Kat more confident overall.

Jordan and Riley were already here too. She was friendlier with Jordan, but smiled towards them when she took her place in the control room. It was no surprise that Kip hadn’t made it yet, sometimes he would sleep through half of their morning briefing before finally gracing everyone with his presence. It was a surprise that he’d made it before their mandatory 5:30, but that quickly changed when Kip came in barefoot.

The second appearance wasn’t much better, considering his shirt was inside out and his clothes looked like they’d been left on the floor. Kat butted in before Lucas could make any sort of comment, ”Hey Kippy, your tag is showing. Did you even put your shirt on right?”

These kids amused Agent Alvarez. All of them had a unique personality and powers that influenced how they interacted with their other teammates. Some looked like they’d been dragged out of bed, namely Kip, but others looked like they’d already been up for hours, like Lucas. Some could brighten up after a few minutes, like Kat and Leo, while some would gripe at the early hours, like Jordan. Either way, they managed to report mostly on time and respected him as their instructor. This team was greatly different from his previous teams, but there was something special about these kids that would set them apart from the rest of the heroes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anouk Vervloet Character Portrait: Riley Schofield Character Portrait: Lorenzo de la Riva Character Portrait: Leonida Armel Character Portrait: Sunhi Na Character Portrait: Katherine Mac Niadh Character Portrait: Willow Forst Character Portrait: Lucas Halloh Character Portrait: Kieran Mac Niadh
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”All members of Hero Team Zeta 422 will be in the control room at 5:30 sharp, full gear required."

From the comfort of a bed never made, Anouk groaned and rolled onto her other side. Now awake, she was instantly bitter, having been plucked from a lucid dream. She had spent most of it flying, and, to her delight, she had neither required wings to do so, nor experienced any such pain in the process. Suffice to say, she was far from eager to return to consciousness, where both factors were quite the opposite.

After several minutes of lying in tired reluctance, she clamoured out of bed, dropping her pyjamas to the floor in what had now become an act of lazy routine. For a brief moment, she stood naked in front of her mirror, face sleepy and sheepish. Then, she sighed, and with a grimace, put on her 'uniform'.

It never didn't hurt, but she had grown used to the pain of the scales by this point. They emerged, piercing and sharp, from beneath her skin, and folded to tuck flat against her body. Dark like deep water, they interlocked into what looked like a catsuit of navy crocodile skin. It kept the warmth in, for the most past, but nonetheless she threw on a hoodie before wandering down to the control room, as the morning chill lingered a touch too heavily. Her feet walked bare and scaled across the polished floors, and she winced at the cold, and then winced further, as she allowed the scales on her soles to thicken.

she arrived just in time to hear Kip offering what was, undoubtedly, something both insincere and unconvincing. She smiled at the first, and potentially last, amusing moment of the morning, before sidling over to Kip. In the midst of a stifled yawn, she nodded at Alvarez, concurring with Kip.

"Me too, Al. I've been up hours. 'Rise and grind' and all that."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jordan Reyes Character Portrait: Leonida Armel Character Portrait: Katherine Mac Niadh Character Portrait: Lucas Halloh Character Portrait: Kieran Mac Niadh
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xxxxxxxxxLEO ARMEL & JORDAN REYES
#FFD201 || #794044


“I just plan accordingly. I even trained with Kat and got here before you,” Lucas’ response was curt, as it usually is, and he said it with a twinge of boastfulness. Although Leo didn’t appreciate that, that wasn’t what their attention was drawn to. For a moment, something flashed in Leo’s eyes as they looked, no, glared as they met Lucas’ gaze. Leo likes to be aware of what they feel; it helps them keep control of their emotions and appear more calm and pleasant in general. But for a second there, they had no idea what had happened. They had no idea what they were feeling. They blinked, and their stare was reverted, returning to the usual relaxed smile with a mischievous gleam in their eyes.

“Damn! Without me?” They chuffed, putting on a fake and exaggerated pout. “Invite me to the party next time.” The pout faded back in a wide grin.

Before seeing what Lucas would say in response, Jordan entered the room, and all of their attention went to him. He closed the distance between the two of them quickly, resting his head on their shoulder before whining, “Leeeeooooo it's too early for this,” and pulling them into a hug.

Without hesitation, Leo wrapped their arms around Jordan and hugged him back. “I know, I know, mon coeur.” They cooed, stroking the back of his head with one of their hands. Leo cared greatly for their friends, and Jordan was one of the closest and most precious to them. There was something about seeing their friends in distress that brought out their inner guardian. “Did you get enough sleep? Did you make sure to eat breakfast?” They asked, their voice full of genuine concern.

There was something about Leo’s presence that always instantly made Jordan feel better. Or maybe it was just their amazing hugs, the type that were the closest thing you could get to hugging sunshine. They were the perfect thing for a too early morning and Jordan felt better the moment Leo wrapped their arms around him, let alone stroked his hair.

“Mm. Never enough sleep, Leo. But I ate breakfast,” he mumbled back in response. “They had those nice chocolate pastries.” He straightened up and released Leo just in time to see Kat come in and returned a lazy smile at her. Kip’s arrival, followed by his departure, followed by his return managed to lure a laugh from Jordan’s lips despite the early morning. “Long night, Kip?” He quipped with a smirk.

Leo’s smile became more warm as they heard about Jordan’s morning. “I know it can be hard, but you need to try and go to sleep earlier. But it is good that you ate breakfast!” They chirped as Jordan pulled back, scanning his face with the usual gentle gaze.

People started to enter the room, including Kat, who immediately caught Leo’s attention. She waved and smiled at them, a simple act that made Leo’s chest feel light. Without hesitation, they beamed right back at her, giving her a small, playful salute. After doing that, Leo couldn’t stop their stare from lingering on her for an almost awkward amount of time. After several seconds, they blinked, realized what they were doing, and tried to act nonchalantly about the fact that they were staring at Kat.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leonida Armel Character Portrait: Sunhi Na Character Portrait: Katherine Mac Niadh
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LEO ARMEL & KAT MAC NIADH & NA SUN-HI
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As the room started to fill with the rest of the team, Kat tuned out the bickering between the teammates and joined the company of her thoughts. Something big was happening, considering they were in full gear and Agent Alvarez had been mentioning the start of field work coming soon. Being out there, where no one knows them other than another uniform trying to protect them, it was nerve-wracking and unbelievably exciting at the same time.

The moment Agent Alvarez mentioned that Kip was on another team, it made Kat worried. As much as she trained to be her own hero, she worked best when Kip was by her side. Even if he could be a bit bratty at times, he was her rock and she wanted nothing more than to be on the same team. But this is how it would be and she wouldn’t always have Kip with her.

She noticed him mouthing at her as they left, wishing her good luck. She mouthed the same back, smiling and winking back at him as they parted ways.

That didn’t mean she was disappointed in the team by any means. The full team covering the West Portland area were people she got along with well, and once they were separated further, the two she was paired with were the greatest luck she could have.

Kat and Sunhi hit it off from the start. The technology girl had taken a liking to her and was an adventure just to be around. She was chatty and clumsy, but also impossibly intelligent and a brilliant strategist that gave Kat tips to improve her combat. Kat found herself protective of the other girl, especially now when there was a chance of enemy attack at any moment. And Leo… well, she couldn’t lie at the fact of being almost alone with her teammate made her heart skip a beat. Leo was someone she looked up to, and wanted to be around all the time. Kat didn’t know the words to describe how she felt about them, but the appropriate actions were usually a blush and giggle when anyone asked, not actual words.

If she was going to brave her first mission without Kip by her side, Leo and Sunhi were the best partners she could have asked for.

Leo’s eyes couldn’t be pulled off of Alvarez if someone tried. The words coming out of his mouth were like music to their ears. It took all of their willpower to not react like Kip, bursting with joy. Instead, they did their best to contain it, rerouting their happiness into a wide grin and bouncing on their heels. They did want to at least try and be professional in front of these professional heroes. I’ll be there one day. The possible visions of their future were positive and exciting just to think about. And today would be the first step of many, many steps.

As Alvarez kept talking, Leo kept getting more and more drawn in and excited. The people on their team were awesome, and they’d heard a few good things about the West Portland Warrior. And now, they’d be able to train under him, a professional hero, with some really cool people on their team! But Alvarez continued to talk, and things just kept getting better. They would be split into small groups, and who was in Leo’s group?

Sunhi and… Kitty? Leo’s heart jumped into their throat. It was so suddenly pounding in their ears, they were sure people could see their eyes as wide as saucers. But they shook their head, pushing past it. Leo glanced over at Kat, almost suspiciously, before realizing that looking away suddenly would have been even more suspicious. So instead they smiled at her, giving her a short playful salute. Smooth, tiger.

Sunhi’s eyes darted between Kat and Leo. Leo was looking at Kat with the sort of intensity Sunhi had only ever seen in movies. Sunhi herself had never looked at anyone so closely, partly because staring was rude, but mostly because eye contact was a skill she’d never mastered.

Sunhi wiggled her way between Kat and Leo, wrapping her arms around Kat’s elbow. She stuck her chin up, and gazed at Leo with what she hoped was a look of defiant suspicion. Sunhi was unsure why Leo was smiling at her best friend, but she had read in a book of animal psychology that predators often bared their teeth before striking. Sunhi would not allow them to coax Kat into a state of false comfort.

Though Leo was as extraordinary as everyone else, Sunhi would not let her respect and awe of them to shake her guard. Though Leo’s face was awfully symmetrical.

Sunhi would have glared at Leo for longer, but she needed to blink, and the eye contact was getting uncomfortable. Her eyes watered with the intensity with which she was staring at Leo, and a tear trickled down her cheek. Sunhi blinked rapidly, and looked away with a huff.

The first person Kat caught eyes with was Leo. Her teammate smiled at her, sending a salute in her direction. It made her giggle, waving shyly back at Leo. Then she felt hands latch around her arm, and looked slightly down to see Sunhi at her side and smiled. ”Don’t worry, Sun. Leo and I are good fighters, so you won’t need to throw any punches,” Kat reassures her, believing her teammate’s sudden attachment to be caused by nervousness toward being out in the field.

And if Kat was honest, she was terrified. More of the citizens rather than the criminals. Miami had been a lot kinder, but she still worried of what people would think when they saw her in uniform. When they saw what she could do.

She was thankful that at least Leo and Sunhi were by her side, if she couldn’t be with Kip. So she put on as much of a brave face as she could muster as they made their way to West Portland. It would be her first time meeting a professional hero, and the first time they’d really be able to wander out Portland, even on professional business. Portland was a tundra compared to Miami, and she activated the internal heaters inside her uniform’s hoodie and boots. ”Man, I don’t know how I’m supposed to kick some criminal ass when I can feel my hands?” Kat makes the joke toward her two teammates as they hit the streets in their few blocks of patrol.

Kat responded to Leo’s little salute with an adorable wave, and it made Leo’s smile only grow wider. As they approached her, Sunhi inched in between them. Her expression made Leo stop on their tracks. She seemed almost… defensive. Is she crying? What in the world? Leo retained their smile, not wanting to upset Sunhi further, but their eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

As they were all wrangled up and shoved out the doors, Leo’s whole body buzzed with excitement. They pushed their mask up over their nose, covering their eyes but highlighting their golden-brown irises. The sharp, cold air bit at their cheeks. The first few minutes in the cold were the worst, but Leo entertained themselves by puffing clouds of steam from their nose as they walked down the street. Although their high-tech heavy boots and padded armor kept their feet and body warm enough, their hands were left to fend for themselves. However, the possibility of needing to react quickly kept Leo from following the instincts to put their hands in their pockets. Instead they balled their hands into fists, hoping people wouldn’t perceive them as angry.

As if she was reading their mind, Kat made a comment about the cold and their hands. Leo let out a curt laugh, turning their head to look at her as they walked. “Hey, that can be a good thing though! If you can’t feel your hands, you can hit harder, right?” They joked, keeping their eyes on Kat as they continued down the street.

Sunhi didn’t like the cold. She also didn’t like the heat. She liked eight days of the year, when the air straddled the narrow sliver between cool and warm. She breathed into her gloved hands, a fog of condensation wafting from her lips.

“You could try head-butting them,” Sunhi told Kat seriously. The hyperbole had flown right over her head. “Low temperatures actually cause your artilleries to narrow, which would reduce the force of your strikes.”

Sunhi rummaged through the giant backpack she carried on her and extracted bottles for each of the trainees on her team. The bottle was small and slick, and filled with a violently green liquid that no doubt tasted awful. “Here, they’re edible nanobots that will warm you from the inside. They’re also full of electrolytes and essential vitamins. I flavoured them with apple extract.” She sniffed the bottle and wrinkled her nose. “I think.”

Sunhi tapped the circular disk at her temple and a hologram floated over her right eye. Her eyes darted across the map. The faint lines that peppered nearly half her body began to glow and shift, like a living tattoo. Sunhi read their assignment on the screen. Her eyes widened. This definitely didn’t seem very safe.

Kat giggled again at Leo’s comment, wanting to kick herself for acting like a school girl any time Leo was around. She was about to reply back when Sunhi suggested other means of attack, which made her laugh louder. ”Sun, I’d get a concussion by the second hit. But the logistics team made me these cool gauntlets so I’ll be fine,” Kat replies proudly, pulling the gauntlets from her pockets and striking a pose with them before they continued to move down the street.

Sunhi still produced two vials from her backpack, offering them to Kat and Leo. Kat took one of the bottles, sniffing it at the same time Sunhi did. ”This smells like death. Are you sure this is edible?” It was partially a joke, but the horrid smell made her wonder how much Sunhi had actually tested it.

She didn’t get the time to ask. They stepped past an alleyway and a man shot out at Kat, knocking her to the ground. ”What the-“ Her exclamation was cut off by a hard punch to the jaw. He gave her no choice but to spit at him, flipping him off of her and scooting back enough that she can hop back up to her feet. ”You’re some of those hero kids, aren’t you? I need the insignia on your uniforms.” The man growls at Kat and her two teammates, getting back on his feet as well.

Kat held her fists in front of her face, ready to fight and forgetting their protocol to notify their team and request back up. Her fear was consuming her, causing her fists to shake and her thoughts to cloud her from proper judgment. ”That’s right, so you better back off! Kat cries out, her voice laced with uncertainty that this would end in their favor.

Leo took the vial that Sunhi handed them, hesitantly putting it up to their nose. It smelled pretty dreadful. However, being the idiot they are, they went to take a small sip before being rudely interrupted. A thug shoved Kat onto the ground, striking her, and immediately pointing out their outfits.

In moments of combat, it’s hard to keep control of emotions. Rage bubbled up, mixing with excitement, adding a dash of nervousness. Leo was waiting for this, waiting to try and stop the bad guys and help people, and the first one that pops up roundhoused the girl they like. They furrowed their brows, lowering their stance to enhance balance. The vial of strange liquid had fallen from their hands the moment Kat had been struck; they would need to apologize to Sunhi for that later.

They took a few steps to the side, flanking him slightly, using movement to draw his attention to them. Leo was sizing him up; he wasn’t dreadfully tall or well built, perhaps even a bit smaller than them. “You got a problem, buddy?” Leo asked loudly, their tone firm and steady. They maintained eye contact with him, as if daring him to try anything. Right on cue, he swung at them again, but Leo was ready. They caught his fist in their palm, absorbing all of that lovely energy, and grabbed his wrist. They redirected his momentum, sending him stumbling past them with a turn of their torso. This only seemed to make him more mad, and that was exactly what Leo wanted. “Oh, good try! You almost had me with that one. Wanna try again?” They taunted him, allowing a devilish smirk to crease their lips.

With a grunt, he charged them again with a flurry of attacks. A few punches and some knees, all of which Leo blocked with their hands and forearms. It’s coincidental that someone so cocky had to spend some much combat time playing defensively. They let him do this, charging over and over, and Leo danced with him, utterly relaxed and comfortable. This wasn’t even a fight.

After about sixty seconds of attacks, the man stepped back, out of breath and confused about what was happening. “God damn it, hit me you pussy!” He exclaimed, clearly frustrated.

“Are you sure that’s what you want? Think you can handle it?” Leo almost laughed, their grin never fading. Their whole body felt warm and light; that’s what happens when enough energy is stored within them. He charged again, fist wound up for a wide swing. Instead of redirecting it, Leo ducked, and his fist swung right over their head. With their stance even lower and his middle exposed, Leo planted their own fist right into the center mass of his torso. They stood as they striked, releasing all of the stored energy into that one attack. By the time their arm straightened, he had been launched a few feet into the air. He came crashing down moments later, landing on his stomach on the cold sidewalk. He was coughing, the wind clearly knocked out of him. He tried to get to his feet, but before he got far, Leo grabbed him by the shoulders and lifted him off his feet. They threw him against the nearest wall, their forearm against his throat. “Get lost, and don’t make me say it again.” Their voice had shifted from that playful, almost taunting tone to an intense, vicious one. They let him go, and he stumbled at first but eventually scrambled away.

Leo watched as he disappeared down the street, metaphorical tail tucked between his legs. They turned back to their team, their eyes full of worry and concern now. Leo approached Kat, “Are you alright?” They asked, looking over her face where she had been struck. They placed their fingers gently under her chin, tilting her head up slightly to look over the side of her face. Leo waited a few seconds before tearing their gaze off of Kat and looking at Sunhi. “You too, Sunhi. Did he hit you, are you-” They didn’t even get to finish asking the question before their stomach growled loudly. Boy, were they hungry already. Instinctively, they reached toward their belt and into one of the pouches. Generally, their snack bars were in there. But, as of right now, it was empty. They blinked a few times, puzzled, and reached around in the empty pouch as if maybe it was hiding in there somewhere. It was empty. “Ah, fuck. I thought I put more in there yesterday...”

Another side of Leo came out when Kat was attacked, and she was almost relieved when Leo took care of the attacker. She was frozen, trying to convince herself that she didn’t move for Sunhi’s safety, but she couldn’t make herself join the fight. She was glued to Leo’s movements up until her teammate came up to her and made sure she was okay. She nodded, more for herself than for Leo. She was highly aware of Leo’s hand against her face, her eyes meeting with Leo’s for a moment, and only looked away when they checked on Sunhi.

Kat had put a snack bar into her hoodie pocket, which she remembered at the perfect time. ”Oh here,” Kat rummages in her pocket, pulling out the bar, ”I packed one just in case you needed it- and thank you, for saving me.”

The tightness in Leo’s chest dissipated when Kat nodded. They were so glad that she was ok. But they hesitated to take their hand away from her face. “It doesn’t look too bad. I can ice it when we get back, that should help a bit, alright?” Their voice was gentle, kind, revealing just how much they cared about Kat’s well-being. Their doting was interrupted by Kat holding out a snack bar. Leo stood there, blinking in surprise, before finally saying, “Oh! Oh, thank you, thank you so much.” They took the bar, immediately tearing it open and biting into it. They had eaten more than half of it in a few seconds. They started walking down the street again, waving at their teammates. “Cmon, let’s get going! We’ve got a lot more area to patrol. More baddies to beat up.” They smiled widely, pleased with the food in their mouth and the friends they were with.