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Sunhi Na

'The secrets inside her mind are like flowers in a garden at night-time, filling the darkness with perfume.'

0 · 394 views · located in Portland, Oregon

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

Description

NA SUN-HI
'you can't make homes out of human beings. someone should have already told you that.'

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THE BASICS
CODENAMExxx.xcyborg.
ALIASESxxxxxxxxsunhi.
AGE/ZODIACx.xxseventeen, virgo.
SEXUALITYxxxxxdemisexual.
HOMETOWNxxxxnew york city.

THE APPEARANCE
EYE COLORxxxxxdark brown.
HAIR COLORxxxxjet black.
HEIGHTxxxxxxx.x5'1"
WEIGHTxxxxxx.x105lbs.

THE ABILITY
TITLExxxxxxxx.xxcyberpathy and supercognition
DESCRIPTIONxxmanipulation of technology & enhanced intelligence
NEGATIONxxxxxadvanced radio jammer to disrupt neural constructs



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'what horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.'


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FASHION STYLE
Sunhi is the picture of femininity. Her hair falls in soft ringlets around her face, her fringe pulled back in half-up, half-down pigtails. Her closet is a pastel rainbow, strewn with skirts, dresses, and soft lace fabric. She despises the restrictiveness of pants and jeans, preferring the soft swish of a floral hem at her knees. Sunhi prances around in a variety of rather impractical heels and sandals.


HERO UNIFORM
While Sunhi hopes to never have to leave the safety of their headquarters, she is in possession of a uniform like everyone else. Because her role rarely involves close combat, mobility is of secondary concern to her uniform's design. Her dress is built of hyper-conductive fibres that wind around her limbs and flow from the bodice. The material is built so that Sunhi can actually control it, and initiate contact with machines from the fibres of her clothes. The skirt is retractable in the rare event she does need to run.

A circular disk rests at her right temple, operating as a communication device as well as enhancing her abilities. The disk projects a holographic sphere over her right eye, improving the ease of which she navigates the cloud database and providing crucial information about the people and objects in her field of vision.


SPECIAL OBJECTS/MARKS/SCARS
Sunhi's namesake comes from the whirlwind of shapes and lines that cover most of her body. They resemble circuits that wrap around her arms, legs, torso, and the right side of her face. When she is not using her cyberpathic abilities, they are nearly the colour of her skin, though faint enough that they are visible to anyone within speaking-distance from her. The lines glow and shift when she uses her powers. The limbal rings around her irises also turn silver and emit a pulsing glow when Sunhi uses her cyberkinetic abilities. Code and electrical circuits can also be seen flitting across her eyes.


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'thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.'


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LIKES
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sleeping // boba tea // desserts // singing // watching television // skincare products // dresses // people with colourful hair // reading // painting // adorable animals // cats cats cats // and kat // naps // dancing // audiobooks // the internet // random facts // the law // legal textbooks // knitted blankets // the ocean // the sound of water // massages // tea // intellectual debates // bookstores // video games // sci-fi and fantasy



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DISLIKES
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sports // ghosts // the supernatural // direct sunlight // cold weather // hot weather // the gym // birds // running // danger // heights // fire // swimming // sound of people eating // the outdoors // camping // blood // violence // subscription fees // anything that smells like tee tree oil // meat that is too hard to chew // vacuuming // washing the dishes // smoke // misplacing her glasses // crowds // walking // exhilaration // food with faces on it, like gingerbread

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'it’s hard to let go. even when what you’re holding onto is full of thorns, it’s hard to let go. maybe especially then'


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ABILITIES ⟶ CYBERPATHY AND SUPERCOGNITION
Sunhi possesses preternatural intelligence, characterised by exceptional cognitive and inventive abilities. She has almost photographic memory and can organise information at a rate greater than ordinary humans. However, while she is exceptional at undertaking complex tasks and developing strategies, she is not always capable of executing her own plans. She is 'booksmart' - supernaturally so - but her brain's natural tendency to leap to the most complex solutions can result in a failure to notice the obvious.

Closely intertwined with her supercognitive abilities, Sunhi has the power to create and manipulate technological constructs, computers, robots, hardware, and other devices. While she is able to control machines and manipulate data from a remote location, this is difficult. The closer her proximity to the machine, the better able she is to shape it. Her ability is at its optimum when she is in direct contact with the device. While 'plugged in,' Sunhi cannot be disturbed, as an abrupt disconnection can result in cognitive scramble, leading to migraines, nosebleeds, memory loss, unconsciousness, and ultimately, brain death. She may also be exposed to viruses and malware present in the device, though she has natural defences against most malicious code.

As well as being able to access and control technology, her abilities combine to allow her to build mechanical inventions. However, the use of both or either of her abilities for prolonged periods can result in mental 'overheating.' The more tasks she undertakes simultaneously and the greater the volume of data, the quicker she exhausts her stamina. Side effects of her ability include muscle weakness, fatigue, and lightheadedness.

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'life is too wonderful to be upset about the cruelness of others. hang me out to dry and i'll say that i needed the tan.'


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Sunhi is a paradox - impossibly intelligent, yet surprisingly dense. Whoever claimed that knowledge was power clearly had not possessed superhuman intelligence. The myriad of thoughts rattling about in her head is more of a burden than anything else. Sunhi struggles with basic decision-making, despite being able to solve many of the world's greatest mysteries and puzzles.

While she has always loved the adventures found in books, Sunhi does not have the faintest hint of a wild streak in her. She prefers watching heroes fight from afar, behind the relative comfort of a screen. Though she could name every bone in the human body, she did not wish to actually see any bones, especially not ones sticking out of an injured body.

Sunhi is almost as easily scared as she is easily startled. Ironically, she grew up with a crippling fear of the supernatural. She is absolutely terrified of metaphysical phenomenons, especially ghosts and demons. The first and last time she'd ever been dragged into a haunted house, she'd fainted. The tangible world is only marginally less frightening. She avoids open flames, tall buildings, and pigeons at all costs.

While easily frightened, Sunhi is loyal, honest, and willing to go into battle for the people and causes she believes in. Though few anger or upset her, those that cross her friends will find Sunhi willing to hunt them down to the ends of the earth - and with all of modern technology at her fingertips, no corner of the earth is unreachable.


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'and in the nights the heavy earth is falling away from every star towards loneliness.'


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HISTORY
Sunhi was the sole, indestructible reminder of her father's infidelity. Though the sheets had been washed and the stench of alcohol erased, Sunhi had prevailed - like a wash of unwanted colour on a pristine, white blouse. Even the woman from the night had died of an overdose not long after the babe had been left at her father's doorstep.

Na Kwang-Sik had wanted to abandon the girl, but the paparazzi thwarted his plans when they published photos of the child left at his doorstep. He kept her, begrudgingly, for fear that the discarding of his own blood would only worsen the rumours of his extramarital affairs. So he kept her - for the good of his family, but mostly for the preservation of his company's reputation and their place in the New York Stock Exchange.

There was never any room for Sunhi, despite their penthouse's 12 bedrooms. Kwang-Sik already had a family of his own - 2 children borne by his wife, a beautiful woman who had been Miss Korea in her youth. Sunhi's half-siblings were not ordinary by any measure either. Her brother was the charming, handsome heir to Kwang-Sik's corporate empire, and her sister was the brilliant astrophysicist who'd been awarded a fellowship by Harvard University at the age of 22.

Sunhi had been good, but not good enough. A GPA of 4.9 meant nothing when your siblings would never dream of dipping below a 5.0. Though Sunhi tried desperately to earn the love of her family, they shunned her as if she were a stain the bleach had failed to clean. It was alright, she thought. It was fine. She would smile, she would learn, and one day she would be part of the love that she saw. She only needed to be better.

She'd been studying since the sun had winked above the horizon, and daylight had long been laid to rest when she heard the first hum. She'd looked up, and blinked, unnerved by the interlocking lines that appeared to hover over, around, and within the set of computers at the library. She could hear the machines, humming like the parts of an orchestra. Lines of code skittered about, and somehow, she understood it. She glanced down at the words on her textbook, and suddenly, it felt as if she understood everything.

Kwang-Sik had been proud of her, for what truly must have been the first time. He had not bothered to hide her abilities and had in fact scheduled interviews with entertainment companies, magazines, television channels, and journalists. She was ecstatic, and proud of herself too, though she'd done nothing to deserve her abilities - except exist.

Then the novelty faded. She was only another superhuman. Her powers were undeserved, her siblings had told her. Fake and cheap. She faded from their notice, like a stain worn by time, turned into nothing. One day, her father spoke to her. The next day, she was on a plane to a boarding school situated in a small town - far away. She sent a message to her father, letting him know she'd arrived. He did not reply - not that night, and not in the years that passed.

Sunhi joined the Hero Service, determined to make something great of this life - that had begun as a mistake.


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'i once heard a woman speak of her loneliness as if it were a small bird. perhaps longing is just the heart changing its colors.'


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CHARACTER'S CREATORxxlayla.
SHEET CREATORxxThe Writer's Voice
DIALOGUE CODExx#E77471
THOUGHT CODExx#E77471

So begins...

Sunhi Na's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorenzo de la Riva Character Portrait: Sunhi Na
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#, as written by Layla
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xxxxxxxSunhi was awake, if only because she had yet to sleep. Night had trailed its fingers across her skin, beckoning her to sink into slumber, but Sunhi had shaken its grasp as if it were no more than a pesky fly. There were too many things to be done and too many thoughts to be thunk to waste a third of her life in unconsciousness.
xxxxxxxSparks zig-zagged from her fingertips to embed themselves in the small machine sitting atop her crossed legs. She murmured soothingly to it as if speaking to a beloved pet or small child. The metal plates squealed like an injured animal.
xxxxxxx'There, there,' whispered Sunhi, as she wiggled her fingers between a narrow gap at its side. 'Got it!' Sunhi grinned, yanking a smoking piece of debris from the depths of the broken machine. She lifted it triumphantly in the air, before screaming and dropping the flaming piece of metal, that proceeded to explode at her feet. The shard was small, but no less scathing to the touch. Sunhi tucked her burned fingers to her chest, which were already beginning to blister.
xxxxxxxThe machine she'd been fixing leapt to its feet, wobbling around on unsteady wheels. It rotated its round head to look up at her, the glass panel across its face showing a series of decimals and punctuation marks that resembled a smiling face. It spun on its wheels and released a happy whirring noise.
xxxxxxx'Aww, don't mention it, Kibble!' The small round robot nudged the side of her thigh. 'Mmm, let's see what I have.'
xxxxxxxSunhi dug through the pouch at her side, pulling out a small screw. She held it out to Kibble, who proceeded to gobble up the little bit of metal into the latch at its midsection. The small creature was the first robot Sunhi had ever made. She'd been only seven at the time, and yet to come into her powers. That meant Kibble wasn't the smartest of all AI, but Sunhi loved her little robotic friend all the same.
xxxxxxx'Burnt toast?' a familiar voice asked from behind her. Sunhi turned to find Enzo waving at the smoke that had filled her room.
xxxxxxx'Oh.'
xxxxxxxEnzo raised a brow and leaned against the frame of her bedroom door, his arms folded over his chest. 'Oh? That's certainly not the usual reaction I get. The "oh's" I receive are usually much more enthusiastic.' Enzo smirked. 'Or breathless.'
xxxxxxx'You're not Kat,' Sunhi said bluntly.
xxxxxxx'Some would argue I'm better.'
xxxxxxxSunhi tilted her head, eyes glazing over with code as she searched the web. The silver faded back to a warm brown. 'No,' she replied matter-of-factly. 'Literally nobody has ever said that.'
xxxxxxxEnzo laughed. 'You're hilarious, little cyborg girl.'
xxxxxxxSunhi frowned. She hadn't realised she'd made a joke.
xxxxxxx'Sunhi,' Enzo continued. 'Sweetheart.'
xxxxxxxSunhi blushed. No one had ever called her sweetheart. Not even her parents. What did this mean? Was he-
xxxxxxxSunhi covered her body with her arms. Her eyes darted to the left and she grabbed a pencil, wielding it with shaky hands. 'I'm not- We will not engage in sexual relations!'
xxxxxxxEnzo pushed from the door and rubbed his palm over Sunhi's head. Her dark hair tumbled over her face, blinding her. She squeaked. 'Don't worry, darling. You're not exactly girlfriend material. More puppy or goldfish.'
xxxxxxx'I love goldfish.'
xxxxxxx'Good for y-' Enzo jumped back. 'What on earth is that?'
xxxxxxxKibble had rolled its away over to Enzo and bumped against his shin. The little robot spun, cycling back and forth as if unsure what was in its way.
xxxxxxxSunhi reached over and lifted the machine, holding it lovingly against her arms. 'His name is Kibble and he's my friend.'
xxxxxxxEnzo said nothing for a few moments, before nodding, as if everything suddenly made sense. 'Of course he is, little cyborg girl.' Enzo held out his hand. 'Come on, we have to be at the control room.'
xxxxxxxSunhi watched him warily, clutching Kibble against her chest. She grabbed a tissue from nearby and placing it in Enzo's hand, slowly grasped it.
xxxxxxx'Wow, I swear I've bathed in the last year,' Enzo said sarcastically.
xxxxxxx'Human hands have five million strains of bacteria.'

xxxxxxxEnzo was about to step into the control room when Sunhi tugged at his dark shirt. He turned around and looked down, further down, and farther down, before his gaze rested on the little cyborg girl. Interconnected lines decorated one side of her body, giving her the appearance of a computer that had been shaped into the form of a girl.
xxxxxxx'Yes?' Enzo mused.
xxxxxxx'It's 5:27,' she said, as if that told him everything he needed to know. He waited and she continued, 'We were told to be there at 5:30 sharp.'
xxxxxxxEnzo took her wrist and adjusted the watch she wore so it read 5:30. 'And now it's 5:30.'
xxxxxxxSunhi frowned. 'I have access to all the world clocks in my hea- Kibble!'
xxxxxxxKibble had rolled forward without them, spinning itself into the control room and bumping into a fellow member of Hero Team Zelta. Sunhi rushed over, somehow managing to trip over flat ground.
xxxxxxxEnzo looked on and yelled out, 'Don't fall! There's bacteria on the ground!'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorenzo de la Riva Character Portrait: Sunhi Na Character Portrait: Kieran Mac Niadh
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#, as written by Cloud
A snort left Kip's mouth, the sound slightly muffled against the mattress of his bed. He groaned, shifted and cracked his eyes open, blearily staring at the white colour of his sheets. He closed his mouth, and groaned in protest again, wishing he could block out the noises indicating it was time to get up and start the day.

"Too… early" he complained to himself, curling momentarily back under the blankets. His feet twitched and in his head, Kip knew he should get up. His body, however desired a few more hours of rest. The body, as always, won out and it didn't take long before Kip was once again drifting off to sleep.

He jerked awake only moments later… or perhaps ten minutes later. He wasn't sure. Though Kip knew by the booming of his alarm that he was well overdue to get up and leave. He looked at the time.

"Shit"

With a start, Kip jumped out of bed, flinging the blankets aside as he did. They joined the pile of clothing on the ground, among which his uniform was stored… somewhere.

"Shit.. Shit…" Kip groaned again, flinging off his pyjama shirt and kneeling down to quickly search the pile of discarded clothing for his uniform. He found the pants, what he assumed to be a fresh pair of underwear and socks… "Where is the shirt?"

Kip kicked aside more piles of clothing as he simultaneously started to change into his uniform. He had a foot in the leg when he found the top of his uniform and rather than waste time changing in his room, Kip instead, with clothes on his arms and hopping on one foot to fully pull his pants on, left towards the control room.

He arrived almost dressed. There was a sock trailing behind him and his shirt was only attached by one arm. It was also inside-out. Kip glanced around, attempting to slink in without being noticed as he righted his shirt.

"I'm on time! I'm perfectly on time" he announced once the shirt was on… only then realising that he had forgotten his shoes. "...shit."

A quick retreat was made, with Kip racing through the corridors, skidding in his socks as he rounded the corners. One shoe was beneath the bed, the other was hidden beneath a poster of Goldmine. Kip grabbed both and pushed the poster carefully beneath the bed, he didn't want anyone to know he was deeply obsessed with Lucas's older brothers.

He made it to the control room again in record time, jumping on one foot as he pulled his shoe on. Glancing around, Kip hopped over towards Enzo. "I'm not late, am I? Alveraz isn't here yet, is he?" Kip looked down at Sunhi, noting the slightly red impression of floor on her face. Had she fallen again?

"Maybe you could do your computer beep Boop thing to make the time go back so I'm not late anymore." Kip asked Sunhi, unaware of her and Enzo's previous encounter.

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: Lucas Halloh Character Portrait: Willow Forst 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: Leonida Armel Character Portrait: Sunhi Na Character Portrait: Katherine Mac Niadh
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LEO ARMEL & KAT MAC NIADH & NA SUN-HI
#FFD201 || #E2A76F
|| #E77471

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.