We're not superheroes, okay?

Codenames are for people who play games, and we're done being somebody's pawns.

pos: chill
Gertrude Yorkes arsenicmauls
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Hideout Under the La Brea Tar Pits | Los Angeles, California | Wednesday Morning Fandom Time
After about nine hundred delays that had had Gert anxiously tapping her foot for so long that she was starting to develop blisters, the portal finally dropped off Gert, Bay and Old Lace at the top of the stairs at the new and improved hideout under the La Brea tar pits, where a cacophony of arguing voices awaited them.

"You don't know what you're talking about, Victor!" Chase snapped. "The dude who attacked us was in his twenties, tops. And along with being an old dude, Alex Wilder's dad is also dead. Trust me, I saw him get blown up before watching an entire ocean get dropped on his corpse."

That was chilling, but Gert only raised an eyebrow, motioning for Bay to follow her down the stairs toward where her friends had gathered.

"Trust me, I saw a portrait of the guy when he was younger," Victor said impatiently. "And I have a photographic memory. Literally."

"He's right, Chase," said Nico. "I'd recognize Mr. Wilder's baritone anywhere. I don't know how, but he's definitely the one who kidnapped Molly."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Gert said, holding up her hands as she descended the last stair and stepped into view of her friends. "Is this actually a mirror universe, or did I miss something big?"

Chase and Victor

"Gert!" Chase said, head swiveling in the direction of the staircase. "And Gert's guest."

"So that's Gert," not-Victor muttered.

Chase cocked his head in Bay's direction with interest. "Who's your friend?"


"Hey, I'm Bay," Bay supplied, with a casual little wave. "And I'm going to guess you are probably Chase." She hesitated, slanting a glance at not-Victor because doubles were always a little freaky. "Should I apologize for crashing this party?"


"If you should, maybe I should too," Gert said slowly. "Can't say I was expecting this level of cheeriness."

"That's Chase, Victor, and Nico," she introduced, nodding toward each one in turn. "Although I guess you already know two of the three." To the group, she noted, "Long story."

Nico, Victor and Chase

"Normally there's one to two more of us, but as we were just saying -- sorry, I mean blaming -- we have a situation on our hands," Nico clarified. "Molly's missing."

"Or to use the more common term, kidnapped," Victor interjected. "By your friend's dad, apparently."

"That's former friend, and his dad is dead," Chase added.


"What?" Gert demanded, and then she quickly shot Bay a look, a little self-consciously. "Sure you don't want to change your portal ticket in for someplace a little more fun, like an active war zone?"


"Dude, I'm in for this," Bay promised. "I wanted to come here. This is me, being here. Besides, if I went to an active war zone they probably wouldn't let me help."

She couldn't keep herself from feeling a little freaked out, though. She hadn't exactly had to deal with a lot of kidnappings back in Kansas City, and in Fandom she'd been able to leave the scary parts to people ... well, to people more like Nico, Chase and Victor.

"So, how is a dead guy kidnapping people?"

Chase and Nico

"He looks pretty young for his age," Chase commented. "Has to be time travel."

"The same way that older version of Gert showed up a few months back," Nico agreed, nodding. "Chances are he doesn't even know who he's messing with. Literally."


"Apparently time travel is the new business class," Gert quipped. "So, wait, what are you guys doing here when Daddy Dearest has Molly? Last time I was here, we had way faster turnaround service on abductions."

Chase and Nico

"Leapfrog's down," Chase said succinctly with a nod toward the large green frog-shaped vehicle taking up a large chunk of the room. "It's going to take a few hours to fix her up."

"And unluckily for us, public transit in LA hasn't gotten any better since you left," Nico said. "So we're waiting it out."


"So none of you are the kind of superhero who can fly?" Bay checked. "I thought that was kind of a prerequisite."

Chase, Nico and Victor

"Never got my flyer's license," Chase said mock-seriously. "I failed the written."

"You make a good point, though," Nico put in. "If we ever try expanding this team again, we should aim for people who can diversify our skill set."

"Thanks," Victor said dryly.


"Chase is on gadgets, Victor does technology, and Nico's a magic user," Gert explained for Bay's benefit. "Molly's your basic eleven-year-old with mutant super-strength, which I'm sure she's already impressed upon whoever abducted her. Forcefully."


"And the difference between gadgets and technology is ..."

Not the point, Bay, and her heart wasn't really in the quip even as she made it.

"Look, this is way beyond most of what I deal with? But that seriously sucks, and if I can help at all, just let me know. I have, um ... a sketchbook and a credit card." (You have your superpowers, Bay had hers.)

Nico and Chase

"Two things we're in short supply of around here," Nico commented. "Feel free to stay a while."

"I miss credit cards," Chase lamented. "Does anyone else have weird dreams about the glory days of being a trust fund kid?"


"No," Gert said flatly. "But Nico's right, Bay. If you want to stay at least until we find Molly and possibly fight a dead guy, this'll at least be more interesting than tearful goodbyes back at Fandom. Plus, you can be on my team if we decide to play Pictionary."


"Then it's settled," Bay decided. "I hate sappy goodbyes, so you are stuck with me."

She paused, took a good whiff of tar pit air. "Even if this place does smell a little rank. Can I buy some fancy incense?"


"If that's a serious suggestion, yes please," Nico said promptly. "I'll come with. There's an incense place in Fairfax I haven't been in forever. And something about the increase in testosterone in this place has really complicated the odor."


"Yeah, you can't even blame dinosaur droppings anymore," Gert tsked in Chase's direction before he could object. "But yeah, this place could use some fragrance if you really don't mind. Field trip?"


"Field trip," Bay agreed. "Maybe by the time we get there and back, the" -- she waved a hand vaguely -- "... Frog thing will be fixed."

It felt weird to be shopping while a little kid was kidnapped, but Bay wasn't sure what else she could do.


Gert hadn't meant now, necessarily, but they seemed to be stalled anyway, so she glanced over at Chase. "What do you think, are we getting anywhere in the next half hour?"

Chase and Nico

Chase shrugged helplessly. "I don't even know what's wrong yet," he confessed. "You guys might as well get out of here for a while. Toaster Boy and I will call you as soon as we get her up and running."

"Good enough for me," Nico said. "This place is pretty close anyway. Thanks, guys."

It wasn't necessarily the best decision for a team leader to be making, but Nico wasn't exactly dealing perfectly with the pressure on her lately. "Ready?" she said.


Bay nodded. "Sure. It'll be a bonding experience. Nothing like a good time-traveling kidnapper to set those, up, right?"


"Sounds like the Fandom official motto," Gert quipped. "Let's go."

[[preplayed with the amazing justbeingbay. taken and adapted from runaways volume ii, issue 16. nfb/nfi, ooc-okay, and part one of five today!]]


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