Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

3 Pages V < 1 2 3  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> The Stormcrow, A Superhero's Tale
Grits
post Jul 12 2019, 12:28 PM
Post #41


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



Catching up with January and Avery has been quite exciting! Thank you for sharing the google map. I’ve enjoyed checking out the locations. Everything I know about Detroit I’ve learned reading Stormcrow! tongue.gif

Ah, there’s the other side of the Lighthammer fight. I liked seeing January’s concern over collateral damage and reminders to herself to stay under emotional control.

Ha, I know someone who wears a Cthulhu 2020 shirt and cargo pants! You picked an excellent nerd uniform. biggrin.gif I love how January’s education and interests come through in her thoughts, like “dry as Tatooine” and bat’leth.

I love how the bathroom scene turned into a selfie-with-meta. The bathroom has been such a battleground for January.

If she gets her plain white furniture from IKEA, January’s bedroom looks a lot like my (same age) daughter’s. The scene with her family did exactly what it was supposed to do for providing background information, perfectly smooth. Also it made real that January is indeed her age and subject to family life. A lot of fictional teenagers moan about their parents but never seem to have any restrictions in the story. Having to smuggle her meta-suit into her room while the internet blew up with videos of her was awesome!

I love the flying parts. January’s skills seem to be reasonable for her abilities, and she’s noticeably growing into them. The same for her Wicca stuff. We see her meditating and thinking about what she should do, so when something like the quick-change or the murder of crows happens it makes sense.

Links: I prefer them at the top or bottom. If they’re in the text I go ahead and click them all first anyway so that I don’t interrupt the flow when I’m reading. I love the links! The only one that hasn’t worked for me is the Cthulhu for President shirt, and I sat across from one on Wednesday so I can guess what that looks like. biggrin.gif

My favorite part of the airport sequence is the exchange between Crowgirl and Lightguy at the end. What an exit with the crows as the sun emerges! Whoop!!


--------------------
Jerric's Story * Darnandex * Morning Star Screenshot: Cyrodiil Meadow
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SubRosa
post Jul 13 2019, 05:08 PM
Post #42


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



Acadian: This two part fight forced me to think creatively when it came to how the bad guys were going to be defeated. January was not going to be able to win on sheer force of hands and feet and elbows. She was going to have to find ways to work around their invulnerable defenses (from the front). I was very satisfied with how it turned out, because again, it meant she won because she outsmarted them, not outfought them.

I was inspired by the teamwork in the fight scenes in this video when it came to scripting out Crowgirl and Lightguy's teamwork at the end of the fight. I wanted that back and forth guarding one another's backs.

We live in a capitalist society, so in the end everything revolves around money. Naturally the lure of all those diamonds was going to be strong on anyone who picked them up. It was what turned Subramanian into a Black Hat after all. So January had to be tempted, because so many of her struggles in life come down to money, and not having it.

Keep your eyes peeled, because in this epilogue to the chapter January will begin working toward cultivating a relationship with the police. She can see the difference between how the police and 'authorities' treat White Hats vs Gray Hats. She realizes how much having a good relationship with them can help her, and how having a bad one can hinder her. So creating an alliance with the police is definitely high on her list of things to do.


treydog: You just hit upon what I think is the most murky and yet most realistic facet of superheroing. What are the ethics of profiting from being a super? The easy way around it is to make your protagonist filthy rich like Batman or Iron Man. But the people like Spiderman who have to actually earn a living tend to be the ones people most identify with. Because they have pay the rent just like us.

That gets us down to money in the world of capes. Is it wrong for a super to take the loot from criminals and use it to finance their operations, to buy dinner with? If they do, aren't they ultimately profiting from their evildoing? Selling drugs, kidnapping, murders, etc... But on the flip side, is it really right to expect superheros to need a day job just so they can get through life? Shouldn't they be spending all their time out fighting crime, or training to be better supers? We don't expect firefighters or police or emts to do their jobs for free. So why should we expect supers to?

There is no real easy answer to this. April Daniel's duology Dreadnought and Sovereign (I had to plug them, they were not only outstanding, but a major inspiration for me to write this) introduces the idea that supers who have official recognition also receive a stipend. This comes from the level of civil government that sanctions them - citys, states, and federal. So Des Moines might have their own official cape on the city payroll, whose job it is to protect just the city. But they have no authority in say St. Louis. While the Sentinels in Chicago are authorized all across the Midwestern states, but not on the federal level.

I really like this idea, as it makes sense in a world that supers have been a part of for some time. I am also keeping the need for secret identities, partly because it is just the shtick of being a superhero. But also because of reality. When the Columbian government went after Pablo Escobar, he murdered the families of every detective who investigated him. So pretty soon no one wanted to pursue him. When it comes to people who can bend steel bars and shoot fireballs, attacking them in their weakest area - their loved ones - is just pure pragmatism.

I have hinted at this with a former super named Hailstorm whom I have name-dropped a few times. His identity was publicized by a newspaper. All of his loved ones were promptly murdered. He spent his final days in an insane asylum, never even finding out who did it. The reporter who wrote the story committed suicide. That created an unspoken pact between the press and supers, in that they would not publicize personal info on capes, even when they discovered it by accident. State and Federal laws were also enacted afterward protecting the identities of supers who had official recognition.

I will be getting more into this as January's ultimate goal is to gain official sanction herself. Because of that she knows that she needs to be a White Hat, and keep her public perception positive.


Grits: Grits is back!

I picked Detroit because I know this place better than anywhere else. I know all the neighborhoods, in a way that just looking at a map won't tell you. (That is an issue I am now grappling with in using Colonial Boston as a setting sad.gif ). I realize that no one else reading this will have that knowledge. But hopefully some of it will shine through in my writing. I definitely want to make use of the city as a character, which is why I am putting in specific street names and city names. I will also be using local festivals and events to add more to that city personality. I have a whole list of things I can work in (if I can manage it).

Jan is definitely a White Hat, though sometimes her anger and frustrations tempt her not to be. She knows deep down that she has no right to do this super thing, if she is only doing it for her own ego.

I have a Cthulhu tee! So January's nerd outfit was very easy to put together.

I think January got her plain white furniture from Meijier, which is the same as the IKEA stuff, only cheaper. I spent a lot of time working on what her living space would look like. I even googled teenage girl bedrooms to get ideas. All of which I ignored because of the pink overload. In the end I based it off her picture - pale white overall, but with a few splashes of red color.

Her living arrangements and family life will play a central role in future chapters. Down to her biggest arch enemy being one of her ancestors, and her super mentor and teacher being another ancestor. I was strongly motivated by the new Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), who is so superbly done. Her family is a huge part of her life and stories. I want to tap into that grounding element as well, both for good and ill.

January will continue to grow into her abilities as the story goes on. I have a whole set of things mapped out that she will be developing, including wings. Meeting her mentor will be a big part of that of course, as it will really open up her mind to the possibilities of what she can do.

I never thought of putting links at that top! That sounds perfect, I will start doing that. Sadly, I don't think I have any for this episode.



I do have a link! A TERF is an anti-trangender feminist



Chapter 1.13 - Stormcrow Rising

"In the top story today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took custody of alleged conflict diamond smuggler Bhavin Subramanian in Flint, Michigan. Originally making the arrest was Michigan State Police trooper Emilia Mercado, who was injured by a gunshot during the altercation in which Subramanian was captured."

"Of course our friends on social media all saw it happen live, as dozens of bystanders streamed the event as it unfolded. Here we can see new Metro Detroit sensation - Stormcrow - as she shields two men from gunfire. It can be clearly seen that she was struck in the back at least twice in the process. Yet she still jumped into the fray that had erupted between the notorious vigilante Lighthammer and Subramanian's bodyguards."

"And jumped is the word all right, in this video shared with us by one of our viewers, Stormcrow defeats one of the bodyguard's energy shield by literally leaping into the ceiling with him, driving his unprotected back into the quite immovable object. I hope the Sentinels are watching in Chicago, because it looks like they now have some competition for the title of the Midwest's premier superheroes."

"Subramanian's bodyguards were briefly detained as well, but were later released. All claim to have no knowledge of their patron's smuggling operation. Whitewater Security - which employs the men, also publicly stated that they in no way endorse or support the smuggling of conflict diamonds, and had no knowledge that Subramanian was involved in any illegal activities when he contracted their services."

January's smile turned to a frown as she listened to the coda to the story coming over Worldwide Network News. She was not surprised that the mercenaries would find a way to weasel out of their guilt. Whitewater Security was worth billions. They could afford the best attorneys money could buy. January was sure they had grown quite richer from Subramanian's conflict diamonds. Now they were going to get away with it.

The news anchors droned on to relate a similar repudiation of Subramanian from the diamond syndicate that had employed him up until a few hours ago. January wondered if they truly had no knowledge of the smuggling as well. Or had they been in on it too? How many documents were being shredded right now? How many tracks were being erased?

Still, it at least looked like Subramanian himself would go down for the crime. That was something. That would fix what she had messed up. She hoped.

There was still one more loose end. One not so easily repaired. January held her breath and walked into the hospital room where Emilia Mercado lay.

The arm that she had been shot in was now bound up in a cast. Already it was covered with writing in numerous colors and handwriting styles. Her wavy black hair spilled down across her shoulders, and her previously olive-toned skin now looked pale. January hoped that was just from the lights.

She looked tired. But her eyes were open, and watched the news on the television hanging from the ceiling. They moved to January as she entered the room, and widened slightly.

"Visiting hours are over chica," she said coolly. Again, January admired her grit.

"I know," January responded, "I was waiting for your family and friends to leave."

"I suppose I should thank you," Emilia said. "You pulled me out of the line of fire. You pulled that slug out of my arm too. You saved people's lives today."

"You don't have to thank me." January bit her lip as she walked nearer. "To be honest, I was just trying to fix the mistakes I made last night. I'm sorry you had to get hurt in the process."

January stared at the arm in the cast.

"I came to see how you are doing. I'm sorry I couldn't stop that shotgun from hitting you."

"How could you have?" Emilia scrunched her brows in confusion. "It was a ricochet. The gun wasn't even pointed at me to begin with."

"I know, but I need to do better than that," January said.

"Don't we all," the state trooper sighed.

"I was afraid…" January faltered, staring at the cast on her arm. "I was afraid you might… lose your arm."

"I almost did," she replied. "If it had been full force I would have. But they say the slug lost most of its velocity on Lighthammer's force field. So it only broke my arm. I was lucky, getting shot can be a lot worse."

"Does it hurt?" January wondered.

"Not with the drugs they are giving me," the state trooper laughed.

"Have you been shot before?" January asked. She already knew the answer of course. Gadget had gone through her background with a fine-toothed search bot. But she was trying to build a relationship. That did not start by telling someone you were snooping into their history. Granted, it probably did not start by doing the snooping in the first place either…

"No, never," Emilia answered. "It's funny, I never got a scratch in Iraq. But I go to the airport, the safest place you think you could be, and I get shot. By another vet of all people."

"The world's a mysterious place," January said. "Well, at least they will give you a few days off work."

"I was already on vacation!" Emilia exclaimed. "I was picking up my folks. They flew out from New York to see me. And this happens. What about you though? I saw you get shot on the TV."

"Just a few bumps and bruises," January said dismissively. "I've gotten worse in Krav Maga class."

"That's some class."

"My instructor is a bear," January smiled.

"So are you going to keep doing this?" Emilia became serious once more. "This super thing?"

"I honestly don't know," January said. "I made mistakes, I know that. I almost killed myself just flying into the terminal. But I think I did something good. Something good for people. If I can learn, if I can keep doing better, shouldn't I? Don't I have an obligation to?"

"You really are young aren't you?" Emilia narrowed her eyes as she studied January more closely. "I didn't realize it earlier. Are you still in your teens?"

"Are you going to get all ageist on me now?" January prickled. If there was anything that got on her nerves, besides the whole transphobia thing, it was being automatically discounted and ignored because she was only a teen.

"I'm not reading you," the olive-skinned woman explained. "That is the hip thing to say these days right? Or is it throwing shade? I was only twenty when I joined the Army. But there was a lot I didn't know then. About the world, and about myself. Sometimes it takes time just living to learn who you really are, and what you need to do with your life."

"I've lived a lot since I came out and transitioned." January took a chance, and threw that out there. She had to find out sooner or later, and better sooner in this case. "Being trans made me take a long, hard look at who I was. It made me stop lying to myself just to fit in and be how I was 'supposed' to be."

"You're transgender?" the state trooper looked honestly surprised. "I never imagined. I mean your voice is a little lower, but other than that…"

The state trooper's voice trailed off. Her eyes went up and down over January's armored frame, as if she was seeing her for the first time.

January resisted the urge to bite her lip again. She braced herself for the TERF tirade that she was sure would come. Because after all, why wouldn't it? That was just how the world worked.

"Well good on you chica," Emilia finally said. "I'll bet coming out was harder than taking those bullets. It was for me, when I told my family I was a lesbian."

January was not surprised by the revelation. Emilia's discharge papers said "homosexual activity" right at the top. But she knew from personal experience that hearing someone say it directly to you meant something.

"How did that go?" January stared at the crucifix that laid upon the tray table beside her bed. That was never a good sign. Gadget's digging had found that she was a Puerto Rican born in the Bronx. That sounded incredibly Catholic to her. Did that also mean incredibly phobic as well?

"Coming out was not nearly as a bad as I thought it would be," Emilia smiled again. "Sometimes we don't give the people we love enough credit. Of course with as many brothers and sisters and cousins as I have, we have everything in my family. There's an atheist, a vegetarian, a vegan, a communist, and a witch. One of my younger sisters, well siblings, is now non-binary in fact. Another one's even a Republican, if you can imagine that. Thanksgiving dinner is always exciting."

January feigned shock, and could not help but to laugh. Maybe she was creating a relationship after all?


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Renee
post Jul 13 2019, 06:34 PM
Post #43


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland



Lighthammer has force fields! That's cheating!

QUOTE
Please be bullet-proof, she found herself thinking, please be bullet-proof.


Hee hee awesome.

Oh yikes. She had to do some spontaneous surgery. Yikes.

QUOTE
January realized this would be the perfect time for a witty one-liner. Something like catching up on a good book, or not judging one by its cover. Or course nothing came to mind that did not sound trite.


Hmm... ."I'll be back?" Naah.

............ "Make my day, punk?" Lol no way.


........... "Cats come when they feel like it, not when they're told." Hee hee that's close I guess.



I love the conversation between Lighthammer and January. "I did research on you...." "I did research on you too!" spoken through gritted teeth in my imagination.

Hey I didn't see that coming, that resolution between superheroes. Twists and turns, m'lady, twists and turns.

Okay, what about this: "Am I a bird? Am I a plane? Oh hell no, I'm the Stormcrow!" Hmm... wink.gif

This post has been edited by Renee: Jul 13 2019, 10:18 PM
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Acadian
post Jul 13 2019, 07:46 PM
Post #44


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



It just struck when you referred to January as Jan in your comments what a perfect nickname for her. I see now another advantage of her name change. After all, Auggie would be a terrible nickname for Metro Detroit's new sensation. wink.gif

I love the plays on naming WNN and Whitewater Security. Oh, and ‘fine toothed bot’ was pretty clever as well.

Though her experiences have on balance not been positive with others about being trans, I chuckled over the irony of January silently prejudging cops and Catholics by assessing the odds of a Catholic cop prejudging her. That said, she has been kicked around and prejudged plenty of times so her angst and self-preservation instincts are very understandable. Life is so complicated, isn’t it? tongue.gif

January is indeed reaching out and it is brave of her to do so. I do hope the two women can become friends. Our superheroine is rapidly growing in many ways and it is a joy to follow her journey.

This post has been edited by Acadian: Jul 13 2019, 07:49 PM


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SubRosa
post Jul 13 2019, 11:56 PM
Post #45


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



As an editorial note, given that I have decided to move away from the Case of Charles Dexter Ward background for January's family history, I have changed the name of the author of the Wicca book January was reading in the first episode.


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
treydog
post Jul 15 2019, 12:19 AM
Post #46


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 13-February 05
From: The Smoky Mountains



A nice bit of calm after the Stormcrow (sorry). But seeing Jan building bridges and making amends is an excellent insight into who she wants to be. Speaking of- had to quote this-

QUOTE
But she was trying to build a relationship. That did not start by telling someone you were snooping into their history. Granted, it probably did not start by doing the snooping in the first place either…


That gave me a smile.

Side note- still looking at early Boston. Did find a history of Beacon Hill that pointed out it actually did have a "beacon fire" on one of the original three peaks (which were later flattened to build upscale houses).

linkage here


--------------------
The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SubRosa
post Jul 15 2019, 02:50 AM
Post #47


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



QUOTE(treydog @ Jul 14 2019, 07:19 PM) *

Side note- still looking at early Boston. Did find a history of Beacon Hill that pointed out it actually did have a "beacon fire" on one of the original three peaks (which were later flattened to build upscale houses).

linkage here

Thanks for the link. I did dig up that there was a beacon up there on the eponymous hill. But not that there were three hills. Nor that they were cut down later! I had noted that it was right beside the common. I have been wondering how long the Common was used for horse and cattle grazing. The Revolutionary War era maps I see still show a big empty spot where the Common is. So I guess it was still grazing land then?

I also noted in an old map from 1732 or so that a lot of the area north and west of Beacon hill was used for rope-making, with lots of these long streets that were specifically for stretching out long ropes along. So they were not for people living there. But when I look at maps from the 1770s there are new streets there, which makes me think the rope layers no longer used those spots. Or maybe they did?

I think if I really want more info I am going to have to just buckle down and make a trip to the library and go hunt through the stacks. The internet has so spoiled me that I just don't think of doing that anymore.


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SubRosa
post Today, 02:03 AM
Post #48


Ancient
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



I bought Boston in the American Revolution: A Town Versus an Empire by Brooke Barbier today. Thankfully it has much of what I was looking for in its first few pages. I still have to actually read it. Hopefully there will be more good info.


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Grits
post Today, 03:28 AM
Post #49


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



Excellent shirt! I’m a fan, even if Freya does not look impressed. biggrin.gif

“fine-toothed search bot” laugh.gif

Detroit does come alive in Jan’s story, it’s definitely more than a backdrop. I wonder if there is a historically accurate TV show or movie set during colonial times that could give you some inspiration for Boston. Maybe something about John Adams. You could build a framework of facts from research and then flavor it with what you know about the times. Oh! I bet there is criticism online that points out the flaws in TV shows and movies, which could be a backwards source of accurate information. Just an idea.

I loved the careful getting-to-know-you between Emilia and Jan. It felt very natural. The hospital setting and Emilia’s injuries underscored that January really is different and the risk of hurting people during super-antics is high. To me that makes the big fights more real. I’m not very familiar with superhero stories, so it’s good for me to see how things work in the story world.


--------------------
Jerric's Story * Darnandex * Morning Star Screenshot: Cyrodiil Meadow
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Renee
post Today, 03:40 PM
Post #50


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland



QUOTE(Grits @ Jul 16 2019, 10:28 PM) *

“fine-toothed search bot” laugh.gif


Ha ha I liked that one too.

QUOTE
"No, never," Emilia answered. "It's funny, I never got a scratch in Iraq. But I go to the airport, the safest place you think you could be, and I get shot. By another vet of all people."


Yes, very true. So many soldiers barely get a scratch during active duty, then they come back here and have to deal with some real battles, right on their home streets.

Is there a lot of homophobia in Michigan? I suppose in central Maryland we're at a minimum these days. I simply never hear of anything negative in this regard. I had a friend who came out a couple years ago, and although most of his family was shocked, a lot of his friends who were not in-the-know simply shrugged it off. "Yeah, I could tell," one girlfriend of mine said. "Can you pass the sugar?" .. like the matter was immediately dropped as a curiosity, not much more.

And thanks for explaining about Michigan accents. smile.gif Yes, we say soda down here too, but my old boss was from Michigan and he'd say "pop."

This post has been edited by Renee: Today, 03:45 PM
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

3 Pages V < 1 2 3
Reply to this topicStart new topic
3 User(s) are reading this topic (2 Guests and 1 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 17th July 2019 - 06:06 PM