The Shiniest Starr

Summary:
December 8, 2014: Sundog's patrol brings him into contact with Jericho, Angelo… and Booster Gold.

Gotham-Metropolis

Aaron goes everywhere


Characters

NPCs

  • Werewolves

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Monday night is usually a bit of a late night for Dr. Angelo DiLucci. Because it's a Monday and all the sick people who hurt themselves over the weekend have come in. Now, normally Angelo doesn't do the "Zap 'em healthy" trick unless it's someone with something hideous and life threatening, or at least life-screwing-up, so he's not drained but he is pretty tired, for about a half hour, until the Light recharges him and he's antsy. So he leaves his apartment, heading for the gym. Because what better to do?

As he's approaching the gym (on foot of course), a loud growling and barking, as one might expect from a dogfight between two packs of dogs, causes the usual New Yorker Flee! in a number of otherwise brave folks, and Ange finds himself peering down an alley.

If he couldn't see in the dark he'd be totally surprised by the sight of three twelve-foot-tall werewolves savaging … something. It might be an elf? It isn't, or maybe WASN'T human…

"HEY! CUT IT THE FOCK OUT!" … yeah, the Doctor has jumped in.

Jericho is about due for a 'weirdness' incident. He had been relaxing by gardening in Limbo and when K'nert opened the portal to go back to Russia… something fritzed it. Either way he steps out into the alley on the opposite side of the 'dog fight' from Angelo, eyes widening in sudden alarm. It takes him no time at all to produce his sword, traces already glowing blue.

Kill them, or maim them to prove your dominance!"

Shut up, Maxwell.

(From the SundogHero.com blog entry, December 8, 2014)
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New York City! If you couldn't make it in this city, you couldn't make it anywhere.

And if you believe that, there's a bridge I have to sell you. Don't get me wrong, I think it's an awesome city, but in this day and age, you can make it -anywhere- if you've got what it takes.

New York, though, does have its own set of charm. Like big, enormous dogs.

Not the kind you put a leash on, though, these were special. I guess that in New York, the dogs in the alleys are like the gators in the Gotham sewers. I started my first patrol as Sundog ever, when I saw…
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Sundog blazes through his route, a being of glowing energy in his flight form cruising through the air effortlessly. The commotion having drawn his attention, the figure makes a dive at right angles towards the ground. When it impacts the floor, the form shifts into that of a young man with an iridescent green skin, copper-blond hair, a black and gold bodysuit and a glowing aura around him. As he fully materializes, he puts his hands on his hips and speaks, a second after the good doctor shouts:

"I'd stop that right now if I were you guys, or it's the pound for the lot of you."

Three glowing people? Angelo is, of course, glowing like a lighthouse, with feather-of-light wings behind him and with a SNAP! a collapsible staff that unlocks into something a bit shorter than a quarterstaff, also glowing like a cheap 80s special effect. The short but very wide man launches at the three and yells SHIELD OF SERAPHIM once he touches the guy they're trying to slice and dice. The abrupt expansion of the spherical shield throws the wolf-fiends back, but it doesn't stun them. Angelo would be surprised at that if he wasn't focusing on something more important.

The man (?) has been pretty badly mauled, but the sphere of light keeps off the wolfenweres for long enough that the glowing angel-like doctor can touch him and start to chant,
Serum of Seraphim from darkest night
Heal your wounds with unvanquished light!

Meanwhile, there are now a Sundog and a Jericho … the one with the light-blades has a familiar, hated smell, and the closest beastliness howls hoarsely and leaps at him, rather like a freight train with claws and fangs and fast reflexes. The one closest to Sundog turns, and growls a threat.

"Go away or you're next!" … it wasn't English but the meaning bleeds into the ears of anyone who hears it.

The third, well, tries to claw down the Shield of Seraphim. The first four or five slashes fail but the sphere begins to show faint scratch marks, red instead of bright yellow-white.

Jericho's gunblade snaps up as his wolf-armor springs into existance (and the sword, if anyone is paying attention, increases in size proportionally to Jericho). In the past it had been a vaguely werewolfy power field made of blue light. It still is, but now… well it's still vaguely lupine but now also rather demonic since a long lizardlike tail and bony spines have been added to it all.

The wickedly curved folding blade takes the impact on the strike. Well most of it. Some of it impacts off the power field and there's a spark inside. Jeri's going to have another burn. Then he snarls his own claws snap out, low and at the leg.

Sundog isn't terribly amused, namely due to the fact that there are two other glowing people here, which detracts a little from his own personal shine. But one of them has a gunblade, a gunblade, which is very Squall and very cool. If his PR team thought he could get away with it, he would have gone for something like that.

The man throws back his head slightly to clear the bangs from his face and smirks at the wolf who speaks to him.

"Dude, not even gonna happen." He holds out his hand towards the wolf, his aura an intense golden glow as it reshapes itself, elongates and emits two powerful concussion blasts at the beast, "Down, Fido!"

Six seconds. That's how long it takes to put the insides of Mr. Elf-Ears Green-Hair guy back on the inside. The injuries aren't completely healed, and there may be something else happening there, but that's all the Seraph will be able to do for the moment because Twelve Foot Tall Werewolf's Claws have torn apart the Shield, and he doesn't have time to recast, as the thing slashes at his throat.

Not that he'll still be there when the claws reach that spot. A painfully loud SLAP reveals the quarterstaff impacting first against the left knee, and then against the nose of the wolf-thing. It howls in pain.

The wolfnasty on Jericho is also fast, and thinks his immunity to mortal weapons will stand him in good stead; their handlers have informed them that the mortal is equipped only with technology. That, unfortunately, does not seem to be the case, and the slick grey black of Limbo severs the sick green light of the Moon Tree Fruit. Oh, and the tendon on the inside of its right leg. Now there are bookends!

The one on Sundog manages to dodge the first blast, because the neo-hero completely telegraphed it, but the second one takes it quite hard in the side, and it spins in the air, trailing a bit of blood. It heals, though. As does the muzzle of the one which attacked Angelo. (The knee? Not so much.)

All three wolves howl at once, making a horrifying, unearthly noise that aims right at the lizard-brain part of the humans, You are being HUNTED, it says. Angelo whispers, Shield and light spreads over his skin.

Meanwhile, the possible elf has just had his life pass before his eyes, which took a very long time. He'll probably be able to do something in a few more seconds.

Jericho has observed to Illyana recently that since the binding he feels a lot more… 'feral' was the word he used. More aware of what his senses are telling him and more inclined to follow his instinct and his gut feelings. That howl terrifies him beyond reason. And then there's that little voice in the back of his head…

You can't show weakness! They'll run you down! Fight! Maim! Kill!

For once, Jericho doesn't tell Maxwell to shut up. With a snarl he whips his blade back around and begins hacking at the nearest wolf. He's a fair swordsman by this point, getting regular instruction from Illyana but Illyana doesn't 'fence'. She uses her blade in demon wars, fighting to kill and win and that's exactly what the hacker does now in a burst of horrified violence.

The sound of that howl goes straight to the part of Aaron that still remembers what it was like to cower in caverns, huddled around the fire in fear of the things that might be lurking outside of the circle of flickering light. In those days, if the light died, you died.

So the first act of survival panic makes Sundog flare brightly, his aura reaching a blazing intensity as he takes a few steps back. The wolf receives another barrage of blindingly bright bolts, not as well-aimed, but more numerous this time.

Angelo's an agent of what calls itself a slightly higher power. He's not permitted to be afraid, not when he's there to save someone. So the terror that starts to engulf him pops like a bubble bursting and leaves behind that paradoxical calm anger. Wings of light flash. Three feathers fly at the wolf who has been his 'dancing partner' — impaling his feet and his throat. He freezes, transfixed, as he's held to the ground. The one who thinks Jericho is prey? He discovers that unfortunate tactical truth: fight or flight, when the prey is trapped, almost always becomes fight, and the tainted werewolves, while much more powerful than they were before, are still amateurs at murder when compared with the demonic resistance of Limbo; he can only hope that he's allowed time to heal somehow before he becomes a demonstration of how to prepare a werewolf for the exotic meat shelf at your local Bad Butcher's display case.

The third wolf. Yeah, he's slammed back again, and slides up against the wall next to the elf. And it does look as though this IS an elf. He flings a pinch of something at the wolf, and from nowhere, black vines begin growing, feeding on the light in the alley, since it's so plentiful. The vines wrap the wolf in their tender implacable embrace, before the roses appear, and the thorns all suddenly sprout.

Angelo flings another two light-feathers, one at Sundog, the other at Jericho - the antidote to the fear curse, if they manage to hit.

There's an odd ripple effect when Angelo's feather passes through Jerihco's power field. The dark blue light shimmers as if it were liquid. The hacker is knocked out of the sudden terror as much by the shock of Enochian flashing across his HUD as by the spell itself. Maxwell growls in his ear. I don't like him.

You don't like anyone. Shut up.

The wear-wolf's movements become more controlled and precise. One sweep of the flat of the blade low, then a stomp down on the chest and the blade goes right to the neck. "Don't move." Jericho has no idea if the werewolf can understand him. But the blade on the throat is pretty universal.

Sundog totally planned that. Yes. Brilliant strategy, using blinding light to strategically attack. It was partically a maneuver.

The fear is still there, but he's fighting against it now. Mostly because there is an even greater force at work than fear- the power of vanity. Sundog's uniform is equipped with a little camera at his collar, the better to grab exciting action shots for the official Sundog Website. It would not look good if he turned tail and ran now. Especially since there also seemed to be two of New York's vigilante community right here fighting alongside of him.

"Y-you heard 'im, Fido." Did he stutter? No, he did not stutter. He takes a few steps forward, the light around his hands concentrating into a powerful glow. "So- what the hell's going on here?"
Himkay, he needs to work on the banter bit.

Angelo answers, with an unnecessary and theatrical echo to his voice provided by the skin-shield he's wearing.

"Werewolves. Corrupted by some kind of obsolete magic."

The one being fed on by the black roses begins to shrink as the blooms grow larger. The one Jericho has pinned holds quite still, eyes yellow, but he's waiting for any kind of slip or faintness to knock down the human in demon-wolf clothing. The one that Angelo has pinned, doesn't say a thing, because he still can't move.

"What to do with you? Oh, I know," Angelo says. The light around him begins to coalesce into symbols that echo the ones written along his wrists.

Fell and fallen Gaia's child tainted by the curse of Cthon, fetters foul now broken are, freed by light, cleansing won.

The greasy black-green color of the wolf fades to an arctic white; he doesn't get smaller, unlike the one in the rose trap. The one Jericho is restraining panics, and deliberately lunges forward in a spasm that … if Jericho is fast, he can prevent it from beheading itself.

Jericho is fast, thankfully. He's had people try to kill themselves on his weapons before back in the war. Granted he wasn't using a sword back then. Except for that one time. Long story. In any case he whips the tip of the blade out of the way and then brings the flat back in the other direction with a ringing slap across the muzzle. "Hey! I said don't move!" It comes out perhaps harsher than he means it. Adrenalin? Maybe. He doesn't have time yet to spare to look up at Angelo or Sundog, but he's at least aware they're there.

"Werewolves? Awesome." Fighting werewolves sounds very epic. His fans are going to love that. And there's not a hint of that upstart blond himbo who's been stepping into his game. He walks towards Angelo, his aura dimming so it is no longer that intense. "So, who did the corrupting?"

"One moment," the angel-looking fellow says. He snaps a feather into the forehead of the wolf Jericho has held, and it freezes in place.

Fallen and fell, Gaia's stepchild, Cthon has taken thee too far, still thy fetters now are broken, return to what thou truly are.

The werewolf-beast howls and … shrinks. But unlike the other one, it doesn't become a human, but rather a wolf. A rather young one, in it's first year, still rangy and a bit gaunt.

The elf looks up at the three glowing figures, and says in a very British accent, "Oh, I do say, this is a bit of good timing. Well, I'll be taking my payment from just the one, then."

It's a "toff voice" and male, if a bit on the high-pitched side. The elf attached to it seems to have taken the moment of distraction when the second wolf was cured, and used it to draw a circle with a painful-to-look-at glyph in the middle, on the wall he and his plant-captive were leaning against. It turns into a hole, and the elf jumps through while the trapped wolf falls through, and it vanishes just as Angelo's reflexive, "NO!" and a disrupting feather hit the wall.

"Well that sucks."

He looks at Jericho. "You want to explain this? They seemed to know you," and he steps back, allowing his freed werewolf to stand. Fellow would make a great model for illustrating "Crinos" if that game were still around.

Jericho quirks an eyebrow. "I don't often deal with werewolves that aren't also supersoldiers." Angelo will know who he's talking about even if Sundog does not. "Maybe they scented something on me." His scent is a bit… different these days. "Mmmmm… well… I take that back. I've had a few run in's with a werewolf crime syndicate in this area but they're not… er… usually like that. What did you do to them? It sounded like you were curing them of something."

Sundog gets a curious look as Jericho does a net search for this guy. Let's see, oh great oracle that doth not reside in the Gotham clocktower (by this we mean the google search engine). What can you tell us about Apollo's stepchild here?

A search for the man reveals quite a shining star- no pun intended. Pop star, public mutant. A bit of an enfant terrible, the kind that has rumors constantly orbiting him with little to no effort towards dispelling them.

"Whoa… wait. Werewolves are running crime syndicates?" He asks, turning to each to make sure the camera catches everything. This was good material!

"No, they're the muscle," the Seraph replies. "You. Can you talk yet?"

The no-longer-cursed but still somewhat enhanced werewolf shakes off his daze, and says, "Yeah. Yeah, I can. What'd you do to … aww man, he's a dog again."

"His choice," Angelo says. "The elf got your third, I'm sorry."

The werewolf looks at the glowing crew and considers… and decides that it would not be the time to try to save face.

"These guys in fancy bathrobes, called themselves the Brothers of the Worm or something like that, the Boss was given some herbs that we could take on the full moon, make our wolfy part more wolfy. So we took 'em a couple days ago when it was full, and it was like … the whole world was suddenly prey, an' we was the boss wolves. Boss told us we had to do a job for the robes, then we'd get to make some more wolf-brothers for our pack. They wanted we should hunt down some guy name of Modred, that dude we had caught was like his butler or somethin' from under hill."

He growls at the young wolf-pup, who wriggles in submission.

"I ain't gonna turn back in front o' you guys, sorry."

"Mmmm…" Jericho gets off the wriggly wolfy one and lets it up. "Well that's all fun and interesting. No please, don't turn back. Since when do werewolves hunt down Arthuriana?" The wolf armor fades leaving a man with glowing blue circuit traces and a sword. Moments later the traces fade as well and the blade folds up into something that looks like a leatherman which gets stuffed into a leather case hanging at the hacker's back. "We're… near your gym aren't we Ange. Do you work out here or were you just in the area, Sundog?"

"Arthuriana?" Sundog frowns. Clearly not someone acquainted with… well, a lot of things. Perhaps thinking of Booster as a 'himbo' might be a little hypocritical, considering. "Work out at a public gym? Dude, if I worked out anwywhere public I'd have people crawling all over me and snapping pictures. Got a gym at home." He rests his hands on his hips and smirks. "So… we takin' these guys to the poli— pound, what?"

"Yeah, not so much," the angel says. He looks at the werewolf and it's pet, and raises a faintly glowing eyebrow. "You get to decide if you want to tell your boss about what that herb did to you. I recommend against trying to turn the cub back to were for the next month."

The wolf nods, and picks up the "pup" and runs down the alley, somehow disappearing as if it were normal for a nearly twelve-foot werewolf to fade away like that. Maybe it is?

The guy with the wings takes the glowing staff at both ends and twists, and pushes it together into a foot-long stick, then crosses his arms and flexes slightly, giving a nearly evil smile to the glowing kid with the green skin, and nods to the west.

"MY gym, pretty boy. Two blocks that way. Great place to see what real muscle looks like, or there's some hopeful young things there like yourself. You can call me Seraph, or Angelo if you have to. So, Aspect, I see your integration has been going the way I told you it would. You're now officially way the hell out of balance. You want to fix that now, or are you happy with how things are going?"

'Aspect' sighs. It's not from the tone nor from the use of code names though clearly Seraph doesn't want his actual name or profession know. At least Ange could be short for 'Angel'. Actually it kind of is.

I still don't like him.

Got that the first time, Maxwell.

"I'm not sure the balance problem can be fixed now, actually, though it hasn't hurt me yet so far as I can tell." Beyond, you know, increasing demonic corruption. Angelo can probably see the fact that he's marked as a Familiar now and it won't take much work to guess whose. Which means that his soul is… well… no points for guessing that either.

Sundog smirks at Angelo, flexing an arm, "Nah, dude, I've got way too many sweet suits to do the muscle freak thing. I'm fine at sleek and sexy, everybody digs it." he looks at Aspect and gives him a finger-gun gesture, "Aspect, Seraph, cool names. Sorry I can't stick around, but crime never rests, all that stuff. I should get back to the patrol. You dudes part of a league or group or one of those things? Y'know, for networking?"

Seraph shakes his head at the young fellow flexing what looks like the beginnings of an arm. Not for the flexing, because the kid at least knows how to do the pose, but rather, for the networking thing.

"Nope, sorry, not a joiner. By the way, don't be too upset if your pictures of me are kinda blurry. I don't wear a mask, so."

He looks at Jericho, and smiles that "Mona DiLucci smile" for a few seconds. Too late to do anything, he thinks.

"Yeah, teach your grandmother to suck eggs. I wouldn't offer if it couldn't be fixed, or if I didn't think it'd help. Not just you, it'd help your mistress too. You know, that whole 'limited source of white magic' thing? Your connection means she could take what you pick up without it hurting her, if she just unclenches."

Of course, that means Jeri will need to do some gathering exercises, for when Angelo isn't throwing the stuff his way.

"By the way, tell your friend in there that I didn't erase him when he started out, so he should stop hating me. It makes my wings itch when he does that."

Jericho does actually like and mostly trust Angelo. See Maxwell. He's not that bad.

Yes he is.

Okay you hateful little code-imp. But he didn't erase you so knock it off.

"I'l consult. Things got a little hairy on the other side so there may be a question of timing, but I appreciate the offer."

Sundog gets a curious look. "I run with others sometimes. 'Results Oriented' folks mostly. Traditional capes and I don't see eye to eye on a lot. But you've got my handle, if you ever need anything, check the dark boards on the 'net. Make a bit of noise. I'll find you, even if you don't find me."

Dark board. Aaron knows all about the dark boards. White text on black background, really gives a sleek look. But why would Aspect talk about those?

He was going to have to talk to his PR team, see if they could figure it out. "Sounds good. Well, if you ever need me, just look me up- Sundog will be there to help save the day." He grins and looks at the two men, "See ya!"

In a second, he becomes a figure made of pure energy, and darts off into the sky at an incredible rate, coalescing into an orb and flying off. More than a few people will report seeing an UFO tonight, and afew will even capture an orb that moves around at great speed and at impossible angles.

His PR team is going to have to fix that. Lack of brand recognition can definitely harm you in this business.

"You know where I live," Ange says. He looks around and spots his gym bag over by the entrance to the alley. The 'not yours don't touch' spell is still working; nobody's picked it up. Of course, the dogfight and yelling just stopped, so …

"OK, I gotta hit the gym. Maybe it won't hit back. Hey, how did you even get here? Your bad luck or my good luck kicking in?"

"Not sure. I was headed to Russia." Jericho quirks a smile as K'nert shows up and gives him a 'what the hell man?' look. "Can't say if that was an improvement or not. Anyway see you and your new friend later." He waves and starts to walk. He and K'nert have a trip before they can find the right stepping disk back.

#####SOMETIME LATER THAT NIGHT############

Up in the sky! Look! It's a bird!

It's a plane!

No! It's an UFO!

Actually, it is Sundog, flying as he does in his energy shape- a sphere of bright gold light zooming through the air. Probably not the most covert way of patrolling, but Aaron likes to think of it as his Awesome Light Of You'd Better Watch Out. After helping put those werewolves out of combat (and not stuttering or feeling cowardly at all no sirree), he's ready for more. He speeds his way towards Metropolis, to see what the scene is like at this time of the night. Maybe someone will try to take out the Planet building? That'd be some good exposure.

As it happens, there is another flash of golden light in the Metropolis sky, although this one streaks down through the concrete canyons and towards the street, like a comet falling to earth. There is honking, a screech of brakes and some screams, but no following crunch of metal. This is because the horrible accident that was about to happen has not, in fact happened.

One of the vehicles has skidded sideways in the intersection, and there are still some people cowering on the crosswalk and sidewalk, but the bus that was careening to run them over is several feet in the air. Under it is Booster Gold, shining bright with his faint golden aura, holding the big vehicle up over his head. His hair looks great. He is smiling, because he knows this.

The orb in the sky suddenly stops and slows down, turning into the glowing outline of a person. It is impossible to frown when you aren't technically corporeal. Nevertheless, Sunspot frowns.

A streak of gold now flies down to the intersection, coalescing into the glowing figure of Aaron Starr as it touches down on the street. His hir looks great as well, but he's not smiling, which is highlighted by the golden aura that makes his iridescent green skin glow.

"Right, nobody panic," Sundog says, "let me give you a hand with that, Fellow Hero(tm)" Sunspot says, his aura suddenly lashing out into two tractor beams to levitate the bus off Booster's hands, "wouldn't want you to herniate yourself." If Booster lets go, the tractor aura will gently lift the bus, and then set it down on the ground.

His smile is wide, winning, and faker than Dolly Parton's other claim to fame.

Booster Gold's posture is rather dynamic, holding that bus up that way. The impressive tableau is slightly ruined when Sundog lifts the vehicle out of his grasp, making him bob in the air for a moment when he is no longer hefting so much weight. He waves one hand in a casual gesture, saying, "It's cool, dude. It wasn't close to my maximum lifting limit, but I always appreciate the thought." Since there are still people milling around watching this display, Booster points a finger gun in a sweeping gesture and winks, saying, "It's always cool when people help each other."

Floating downwards, Booster leans into the front cab of the bus, asking the driver, "Is everyone okay? I hope no one got shaken out of their seats!" Then, rather belatedly, he turns and says to Sundog, "Oh… thank you, by the way."

If Sundoig's aura could turn any other color, it would turn red at Booster's gesture, but the smile remains in place. "-It's cool when people recognize that," he shoots back. "Pleasure, Booster Gold." The name is spoken on the tip-toe edge of the voice, but Sundog quickly returns to his usual mellifluous affect when he walks up to Booster. At this point he would call for a photo op, but there was no way in hell he was going to have his glory reflected onto the shiny pants of this arriviste.

He looks at Booster for a second and grunts. The golden pants were actually part of a cool designed, and they looked great on the guy.

Note to self: contact the design team in the morning STAT, get them to design shiny pants to his suit to draw attention to his butt. His was nicer than Booster.

(Or so he thinks, anyways)

"Everyone okay? What do you say we join efforts on patrol?" He asks, still smiling. "Of course, you know who I am."

@emit
Once Booster seems satisfied that everyone on the bus is unhurt, and that the citizens who tripped or fell over when they thought they were going to be squished are also fine, he lands on the street corner and gives a cheerful smile and thumbs-up towards anyone snapping phone pics of him. "Sure," he says, turning his head to look to Sundog. From his own point of view, courtesy of his visor, his HUD is giving him a variety of readouts as it scans the area. It is also getting a good read of the other hero, cross-matching, and popping up information in one corner. He finger-guns at the glowing man, as he says, "Sundog. It's an honor to meet you. I'd be happy to team up with you."

"Same here, Booster Gold." Sundog's smile has reached Beauty Queen levels of fake. The only person who was ever able to pull one of those and seem genuine was Lynda Carter, and Sundog simply isn't her. "Shall we regroup over there?" He says, pointing to the Emmerson building, one of the more imposing and tall buildings in Metropolis. Perfectly out of sight from pedestrians. "I'll go ahead and see you there."

And he becomes an energy being and zooms towards the top of the building in a golden streak.

Booster starts to respond, but Sundog is fast. Very fast. Without losing his cheerful attitude, he hovers into the air, and says to the lingering crowd, "Have a good evening, everyone! Drive safe, and remember, always look both ways before crossing the street!" He winks, giving a jaunty sort of salute as he turns to fly after the streak of light.

Once he gets to the top of the Emmerson building, Booster comes in for a landing. He still looks bright and happy, so either this attitude is not an act, or it is one he maintains at all times.

L'enfant Terrible of pop isn't as amused as Booster is. He is normally someone prone to smiling, but he also clouds up quickly when his whims are thwarted. And currently, he's being thwarted. Even vexed.

But he keeps it cool, leaning against the spire at the top of the roof as Booster makes his landing. He makes sure it's a cool pose, too- arms crossed to show off the biceps, leaning against the spire with a nonchalant air and an insouciant smile (now you know why he doesn't know what 'Arthuriana' means, he spends way too much time looking for adjectives that can apply to poses and attitudes), one leg casually crossed before the other, feet touching.

"Smooth flying you're doing there."

"Dude. Flying is awesome." Somehow, Booster seems to light up even further when he enthuses about this particular power. "Being able to fly around without a car is like pure freedom," he adds, lifting his hands, before he makes a dismissive wave with one. "But you know that, I mean this is just uh…" Booster glances upwards, rubbing his chin as he lapses into thought. "Telling the congregation." Ehh. Close enough.

Resting his hands on his hips, Booster gives Sundog another thousand-watt smile. "So, I thought you wanted to team up for a patrol? Oh…" he snaps his fingers. "Or did you have something to tell me?"

"Preaching to the choir," Aaron corrects. "I figured that before we Team Up-" he snaps his fingers in the same fashion that Booster did, "- that we should probably talk about some stuff. Just, you know, make sure we're on the same page." He kicks away from the spire and walks to Booster, and then around him, evaluating him with a critical gaze.

"After all, we've got branding to think about, you and I being so similar and all. How long have you been doing this already, Booster?" He doesn't need to ask, he knows how much, but asking the question puts him in a position where he's the one asking the questions, defining the relationship for the moment.

"Oh, gosh." Booster is rubbing his chin again as he thinks about this, as if he had to remember the date. Then, he says, "Well, that depends on whether we're going by my personal temporal reality or the awareness of me in this specific continuous era." He gives an airy roll of his hand and says, "It's easier to just go with the latter, though. Still not a year. But I've made a lot of headway." Booster is enthusiastic as he says this last thing, beaming again. "Especially since I've been recruited into the re-forming Justice League: Avengers. It's awesome." Turning, his expression becomes more compassionate as he says to Sundog, "Dude, if you're worried that I'm trying to step on your toes, that's not what I'm about."

Wait. He got recruited into what?

Somewhere, a Diva Dial cranks up a little more. But Booster comes at him with the direct approach, which is not something he's ready to do just yet. Evasive maneuvers engaged!

"Oh, no, nothing of the sort. Just figured that since we're rather similar in… several ways- golden light, great hair. Terribly good looking," he mostly meant himself, but he's not telling "Might cause a little confusion. You know how it is," Aaron shrugs, smirking slightly, "Recruited into the Justice League already? That's impressive." Secret seething.

"Man, it's like a childhood dream coming true," Booster admits, and there is something in the wistful expression that briefly visits his face that suggests this is a genuine sentiment. "However. I see your concern," he adds, more seriously. Gesturing between himself and Sundog, he says, "But our costumes are pretty different. Also, when you fly you are hella fast." This comment is said in a tone suggesting it is a compliment. Giving himself a pat on the chest, Booster confides, "I went with this color scheme because it goes perfectly with my eyes and my hair." He is clearly happy to admit this act of vanity.

Sundog's ego is slightly mollified by the compliment, and he is reluctantly forced to admit: "It's a good look." But it is followed immediately after by "Who is your design person? I mean, the concept is great, but I'm not sure I'd have the blue star if your name is Gold."

He just can't resist giving a full compliment to someone whom he perceives as a rival. Inwardly, though, he is upset with his design team for having taken so long in designing his suit- they could have gone with the prominent gold thing, but they liked the black. Admittedly, the suit was beautifully designed- the golden lines and spreads were in all the right places to compliment him, but it was subtle. Superheroes don't do subtle. Superheroes glowed and were covered in gold. Or blue. He suspects that his design team might have intentionally gotten the better of him after years of badgering them for flashy designs for his concerts.

They got this one past the approval process, they even convinced him it made him look elegant. Which it did. But you didn't want elegant, you wanted memorable.

"Well…" Booster lifts his hands in an almost comedic shrug, a gesture of 'what can you do' as he says, "'Booster Gold' wasn't supposed to be my superhero name, it's just the one I ended up with. And once you gain traction, it's a bad idea to change your branding… name or look. Eh, you know that, though." With the edge of one fist, he mock-polishes the gold star gleaming on his chest. "I actually did the suit design myself. I was a history major, and spent a lot of time around classic hero-costume designs and I wanted something that evoked that era. Er, this era, that is. I mean, heck, I even have a cape, but that's just for special occasions." Outstretching his arms, Booster says, "Anyway, everyone likes gold, don't they?"

"It certainly does attract attention," Aaron muses.

Was the world big enough for the two of them? Yes. He had spent most of his career with the knowledge that the world was big enough for everybody: as long as he was onstage and everybody else was in the audience. He has come to take a look at his competition, the man elbowing into his territory… and the guy almost comes across like some sort of teddy bear. He's grown up in an environment where you either learn how to smell deception or you're up next on the record company's chopping block, and the impression he's getting is that Booster seems almost incapable of guile or duplicity.

There's something wrong there, something deeply wrong, because if Aaron is getting that kind of a vibe from the man, then it must mean that the dude is even better at it than Aaron had anticipated. And that is dangerous.

He needs to get close, close enough to discover where the strings for the mask are. What are his options?

Sundog grins, "Tell you what, after patrol, why don't we go to my penthouse for some drinks afterwards and decompressing, trade stories, that sort of thing? Superhero bonding." Wink.

In Vino Veritas, as they say- maybe if he can get his guard down, he might get to see the real Booster Gold, discover what kind of agenda the man has. "I've got a great view of the river and some stuff. You're a history major? Then some of the stuff I've bought over the years might interest you. I've got a Hendrix guitar in the trophy room."

Not THE 1968 Fender Strat one, though. When that private sale had gone on, he had just been five years old, and Allen refused to ever part with that thing come hell or high water.

Some people just didn't know when to get out of the way.

"A penthouse? Nice!" Booster looks pleased at this. Not envious, just enthusiastic. "I wouldn't mind a penthouse, one day. Or a big manor. Or both. I mean…" He shrugs. "I want to be enormously rich. Rich and famous. But who doesn't, right?" This time, Sundog gets two finger-guns his way, and a cheerful wink. "That sounds cool, I am completely in for doing that. Especially since I like classical music. I'm still learning a lot about it, but I've loved what I've heard."

Sunspot smiles, mostly to himself. "Well, my dear Booster Gold," he says, walking up to the man and putting an arm around his shoulders, "I've got both. Money and fame. Let's talk about it after the patrol. Couple of beers, the hot tub. Think I might be able to share a thing or two with you."

He could always assert himself as a mentor figure, and that way always make sure Gold was associated with him as a mentee. Aaron doesn't see anything wrong with reflected glory, provided the light is pointing in a very specific way. That may be another possibility- one that ensures that the more Booster's rising star shines, the more it adds to Sundog's own brilliance.

"But enough chit-chat for now. We've got a patrol to get on with."

Putting an arm around Booster Gold is like trying to hug a statue. Not merely because he has a chiseled form, but he actually seems to be made out of unyielding marble; a side effect to the powers he has active. He does not seem bothered at this buddying up by Sunspot, however. "Awesome," he says. And then, "Oh… although I'm not musical." Perhaps this is some comfort for Aaron? Then again, autotune exists, so who knows.


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