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Doesn't look like I'll get to Labor day in "In Everything Truth" by Labor day. Even if I posted multiple scenes per day, Saturday needs work. 

Also I owe Kittie Elfie some other writing.  

Domo A’regato, the Dome 2013-08-30 16:10 UTC -8


Once we got the command post operational, Phoenix chased us out, "Get some food and rest. I'm going to get to work. Don’t spread this shit around." He waved his hand at the data model in the hologram projection.

Carmine headed over to Ops to check on her girls. Dante, James and I coaxed the new Kat out of her lair and headed the other way, to the Dome.

Stick had organized a picnic. Polarity was playing a impromptu concert. The Taser and Matrix had fled to ops, freeing up Seahawk to play drums. We found plates of food, drinks, and split up to join our families. Psike and Selena got in and joined the Ramarez clan. Joyce was hanging out with the Moonglades, so James went to join them too.

I saw Dante show off her new clone to Cathy and the Kitten. And then to the rest of their family of freaks. There were some pretty funny reactions. Eleven turned purple and not from blushing. But she didn’t start a fight in front of Dante’s parents, or more likely, in front of Denise and her family.

I decided to trust them and went to eat. I found Mom, Dad, Uncle Bob, Mickey, Chuck, Robin and (uck) Clone-Mike watching the kids play. I sat at their picnic table and relaxed. “Sorry I’ve not spent time with you, but things got a little crazy-busy.”

Mike smirked. “How so Bobby? You’ve never worked hard before.”

“Mike. I’ve only had about,” I thought for a second, “One hundred fifteen people try to kill me today. And we had other business to take care of too.”

Mom had noticed. “Are there four of FX now?”

“Yes. The new one is from France. Hot tempered little thing.”

“Bob! I only knew of three. And the third only because Robin told me. She’s said to have intellectual development issues.”

“Lucky’s only intellectual issue is the same as all the rest of us. She doesn’t think like Dante or Cathy. Or like this new one. Lots of mystery about the fourth one. Kat from France seems sane though, for a version of FX, at least. It’s Chucks fault she’s here. He patched her up and brought her home.” Charles looked embarrassed, but didn’t contradict me.

“If you want, Mom, I can make you some more clones.” Gee, thanks Robin.

“That will not be necessary dear.” Mom smiled at her. She looked appreciative. Dad looked shocked. Cloning’s illegal. But Robin’s lab is outside any Earth jurisdiction.

“French you say? Tasty looking.” I can’t take Mike anywhere. He’s encourage-able.

“Hands off and eyes front, Mike, they bite.” Scratch, shoot, stab, poison, blast to smithereens. Wait, what the hell was I warning him for? Evolution in action, even if they’re my genes he doesn’t manage to pass on. He should be copy protected, but he’s clever and sneaky. Wouldn’t put it past him to have a work around for that.

I turned my attention from gross thoughts about Mister Mike to Mickey’s Mister. Need the 411. “Chuck, Psike cleared French Katherine.  She didn't find any big brain bombs, or slave programs. You’ve seem more of this girl. What’s your take? Nothing HIPPA sensitive, please.”

“I rather like her. She's confident and mentally strong. She’s was decanted only four days ago, and that was premature. When she woke up yesterday, she could not speak nor stand up unassisted. Within the hour she was hyperactive. Not sitting still, much less being quiet. Her progress is remarkable and rapid.”

“That’s good. It took Catherine Beta’s at least a week, ten days before they could talk sense. It took even longer before they could fight.” Robin has the creepiest dinner table stories.

And I was getting sick of the subject of clones. “Those Catherine Beta clones might have been faking. Dante runs on paranoia. They’re suspicious of everyone and everything, even big momma cloner. And lazy. Look at Eleven. Maybe Chuck has a better bedside manner than you, Robin.“

She frowned, but didn’t argue. I was surprised she had this much energy after treatment today. “How are you all doing?”

Dad looked around the table, “OK I guess. This little retreat is a surprise though. I think there are no problems, except Mike’s standing up his date.”

“The poor girl. I presume it’s female. And human. You all have enough room?” Stick and Amber had thrown up big tents for the overflow guests.

“Sure. Might be a line for the bathroom. No tragedy.”

Mike butted in, “She’s a nice person. Not like those skanks you date.”

“You had better not be referring to the ladies I date. But speaking of skanks and devils, I bought the Andrews twins a drink Wednesday. Mother, your cousins D&D are as awful as ever. They sic’d a pack of werewolves and vampires on us.” Mom shook her head. She doesn’t have anything to do with her mom’s family. Not since her father’s funeral, where they showed up and showed their ass.

“Point proved.” He smirked.

“I don’t meet women like them anymore. You will notice and remember that all the women on my team are high class.  They are brilliant, brave, and several other words starting with B. If you disagree, your life is in your hands. I will not attack you, but neither will I protect you.”

“Boys!” Mom is such a Mom. Mike and I shared guilty looks, then laughed together.
In Everything Truth -- 4.12 Concert Picnic
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It's Friday night, and the World Warriors put some pieces together. And concoct an amoral plan.

But no pimping clones!

Domo A’regato, Team Workspaces 2013-08-30 15:30 UTC -8


The clone looked scared again. Good. I was scared too, and I bet Dante too.

“Well, that’s a lot to absorb, even for Cat.” said Phoenix. “We still have a command post to setup. Why don’t you come along and watch, young lady?”

It took us about an hour and a half. Dante got the first station up and running, then did integration testing as we brought up the others. These were last quarter’s systems, still plenty powerful. I showed James how to connect power and data up to the modules and verify they worked. Mister and Mrs. Darius took care of the big displays and the printers. The new Kat brought us coffee, tea, and sandwiches, and hung out, watching for a while. She had to catch up a decade and a half of tech advances.

I saw her watching boot messages, “Miss — Mademoiselle Kat, you’re lucky you missed Microsoft ME and Vista, instead you get Smarter OS, an operating system like you would design for yourself.”

“Saw it. It’s OK. But why would I write it? Software’s boring.” Meaning it doesn’t explode. She stayed close to James, watching over his shoulder. Bumping into him every once in a while. Dangerous, dangerous man.
Dante punched twelve keys on the previous workstation, stood back to watch the tests run. “That’s why I got Eleven to do it. Don’t tell her I said that. She thinks it was all her idea. Won’t believe you anyway.”

The clone considered that for a moment, shook her head. Tried to change the subject. “You guys have a messy HQ. This is as bad as the Troubleshooters.”

“Bite me, Kat Clone. We World Warriors are the Troubleshooters. Just changed names for tax reasons.” Dante didn’t sound mad.  “Phoenix is our leader. Replaced Gus, who replaced Jon. You might want to listen to him. You could do worse. But listen to his old lady first.”

Carmine smiled. “She’s born bitting you Dante!” Kat narrowed her eyes, focused on Carmine. Trying to translate the dis.

James had mercy. “She means stealing sound bites, Mademoiselle. Carmine’s recorded a couple of albums.”

Phoenix ran fingers through his long hair. “So, young Earth woman, you’re a Troubleshooter? Buddies with Powerfist, The Investigator and the others?”

“Of course!” She rolled her eyes like we were old people. Punk.

“Then we might find a use for you. And in any event, can help you survive Dante and Eleven’s enemies.”

I told her, “Re-qualification training starts at 8 AM, Pacific Standard Time. Right here. Costumes, equipment, and consumable supplies will be provided. Not Daylight saving time, Domo refuses to acknowledge it.”

“What training?”

Dante smiled with teeth, then looked away from her, back to the monitor he was holding in position for Psike’s nut driver. “Nothing a real Troubleshooter couldn’t handle.”

“Well alright then. That’s informative. You’re double dog daring me. OK. I can take it.” The Kat pranced out, back towards her room.

“What are we going to do with her?” James asked. Straight man.

The “real” Cat smirked. “I saw her scoping your butt. You want her bathed, perfumed, and sent to your tent?”

“No surprise. You check my butt, Dante. But hell no, I ain’t her sugar daddy.”

Dante mimed getting a firm grip with both hands.“You got a pretty good butt, Mister B. I give it an 83. Got a firm base and you can dance with it.”

James blushed more than slightly pink. I hadn’t been sure he could still blush. Good news.

Phoenix smiled but wagged a finger of power at them, “No pimping clones, you sleazes.”

I had to laugh. “Mike too? He always says he wants to be a gigolo when he grows up.”

“No Bob, not Mike either. Even if it’s doubtful he ever will. This Kat says she’s a Troubleshooter, so we exploit her. Either she’ll work out or we’ll scare her off. That OK with you Dante?”

“I am conflicted. It’ll be easier to keep an eye on her, sure. But maybe she’ll get killed.” Dante smiled more. But not with her eyes.

Carmine said, “Keep her away from the real action, give her some shit jobs, work her ass off. She’ll overcome or she’ll run. If we give her a chance and she still runs, it was meant to be.”

I figured something out as we brought up the main console programs. Took me long enough. “Fearless Leader, are you hiding from our guests until they simmer down?”

“But of a certainty. Time for Stick, Amber, and Eleven to step up.”
“Not your kids?”

“I put them in Ops. Mera works too hard already. Selena can help.”

“You’ve got Selena answering the phone? What an interesting diplomatic maneuver.”

“For now. All part of our Mistress Plan.” Carmine told us. “We’re pulling in help, getting ready for war. Support specialists. Doctor Powers and Brick’s doctor family in the clinic. Add the Gene Pool, all the active members. Reality, Scan, and The Brain for intelligence gathering and analysis. Genius Genghis and Spirit are nurses, RNs. They’ll ride herd on the mad scientists in the clinic. Skygirl and Hotrod for combat support, search and rescue, miscellaneous thuggery. And they can help answer the phone. If people are going to freak when somebody new answers the phone, they may as well start now.”

“You’ve staffing the clinic with Mom, four mad scientist doctors, and only two nurses? Doesn’t seem fair. For the nut bars. Robin won’t know what hit her. I bet Mom’s running things by the end of the first shift. She's the only one of those doctors with  a normal practice.”

“Robin’s still in residency. The others are Board certified if that’s what they call it.” Phoenix observed.
“Odd mix of skills. Doctor Mom is good If you need an OBGYN.” Carmine and Dante raised their hands. “My Dark She Bricks, Chuck and Powers are all esoteric specialists.” Carmine raised her other hand. “They’ve all got IQ’s off the chart, but  zilch for patient management skills. Even Robin. No disrespect to Finque, but Robin thinks we’re all lab rats.”

“Dark She Brick? Do you have an ego, or what?” James thought it was funny.

“Starshine and The Investigator came up with that one, I swear. Of course I have an ego, and I have fear, lots of fear. James, I ever told you why I wouldn’t join the old Troubleshooters team? Before Chris, Carmine, Stick, and Amber took over? I was around then, and Powers and Gus asked. I didn’t trust their sponsors, the Council of the Future. Never have.”

“Your sister and her husband are on the Council.” James focused on me, with narrow eyes.
 
“And she’s the Dark She Brick.” I felt like a bug under a magnifying glass. "One of your cousins is also on the Council."

“It’s why we reorganized the Troubleshooters as the Human Legion. For independence.” Psike reminded him.
“I thought the council were a bunch of futurists and philanthropists.” James looked back and forth between us. “That’s why you were talking to them in Vegas.”

Dante ran a finger down the side of his head. “James, James, James, you beautiful boy. That’s what they want you to think. Mickey and Chuck may just be futurist philanthropists. But, Brick is almost right, for once. There’s at least seven other factions on the Council, all up to no good. Alliances change from day to day.” She pointed at the big data model. “Some, maybe most, of these factions are attacking us.”

That was news, had she just figured something out? Dante’s theories are always interesting. Sometimes they’re even right. I noticed James, Carmine, and Chris listening close too. I tickwent down what I know, “OK, we visited at that meeting earlier this summer. When Chris was warning them about Climate change. There’s  Royce Andrews from Borland Oil and a bunch of other rich fuckers. The Euro-trash Tribe super-soldiers, led by the Councilor. And Sultana Hanna who’s like her own army, with another army of fanatic followers. Foresight. Who do you see as the factions attacking us?”

She pointed out icons and relations in the model. “Forsyth is Mister ‘F’. Bought and paid for by the bankers and crooks gunning after us. We’re able to ignore them, but they can’t stand that. Rick and Kevin’s Maxx bank work through Barton Industries’s exploration, exploitation and dirty tricks division. The Maxx paid for the monsters and warlocks. They and Royce might just be two faces of the same coin, but I think they’re allies of the moment, and working at cross purposes. From what we got out of Major Strange, The Counselor and the Sultana back-stabbed the bankers, crooks, and monsters. The Sultana left Earth on an adventure after she got the Empire of Azreal off the game board. The Counselor, as usual, is waiting to ally with whoever wins. We might use Strange to blackmail him. Get him back in line, maybe.”

I doubt it. “Super spies are expendable.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Dante. She had her chin in her left hand, thinking away. “The Tribe don’t think they’re expendable.”

“How about the riots? Those mind control disks.”

“I called Aunt Beatrice. She suggested they’re something Jacko has used. Supernatural shit. Sympathetic blood magic, and traffic with demons. SED forensics is tracing that.”

“Looks right. I got just one question. How can you tell the difference between bankers and crooks?” James smiled. It wasn’t a happy smile, but his never is.

“The Bankers act respectable, got the government tied up, and work through cut outs. The Bankers that matter are the Maxx brothers. They're allied with Royce Andrews, (unless they’re the ones behind kidnapping him) and like Bob said, some other rich fucks. Some industrial and transportation companies. What I call the crooks are: Uncle Jocko, Azreal’s Vampire Empire,  a few other criminal cartels, and Odin’s Telecoms companies. There are a dozen sub factions, changing alliances day to day.” Dante traced the players and their connections in the data model. It made sense when she explained it.

Psike said, “I took a peek at Royce’s memories. He’s still all scrambled up with drugs, but the Maxx brothers were in his mind. He thinks they betrayed him.”

“Something I saw at that conference. Fredrick Forsyth was talking with the Maxx bros, Rick and Kevin. And said something that, in retrospect was mighty suspicious. Look in my mind, Carmine.” I felt her mind touch. She was gentle.

“Interesting. (You naughty boy!) I need to double check with Phil and Cathy. Would all this trouble be because Phil pissed off Rick and Kevin Maxx?”

“Could be part of it, I saw some hate directed at me that evening.” Dante said, while annotating the Data Model like mad. “Didn’t think much of it because assholes hating me is normal. But this all fits together. Maybe it’s time to go kill Hitler. Take a look at this.” She filtered the model, stepped back and pointed to specific highlighted links and entities.

Her view of the model made too much sense. “So we’re up against the Gnomes of Zurich and the Black Forest, half Dire’s family and half the Blackthorns too.  And the Norse God of Death and Madness. And the Mob?”

“Pretty much. I knew I kept you around for a reason.” I thought Dante liked my strong back and fat wallet. Was there more? Naw.

“So, Phoenix. How do we beat them?” James cuts straight to the kill.

“We beat on the crooks as they step out of line. They’ll squash. The Banks are a bigger problem. They’re legit, or at least lawyered and congress-crittered up. And they’re tied into the economy. Break them the wrong way, we wreck the economy and hurt innocent people.”

“They’re business people. Discredit the leaders that are going after us, we can expect other bankers will turn on them. Like sharks with blood in the water. Tear each other up for a generation.” Psike is mean.

Dante folded her hands into a steeple. “They’re money people. We must neutralize their money, in an embarrassing way.”

I have some small knowledge of business. “Think of their attacks on us as a business venture. A project. That’s the way they’d work. They’ve set up a budget and staff somewhere for this project. We need to find that.”

“Then what are you going to do then? Steal their money?” James asked with a smile.

“That’s exactly what we’re going to do.” Phoenix declared. James started. I could see something had clicked for Phoenix. “Screw grabbing this little project’s operating funds. That’s just a slap on the butt. Instead, let’s go deeper, steal all those bastards off the books money. Dante, we go with your idea. Work up a briefing for Matrix, your dad, and your cousin Scan. When we find them a target, they’re going to rip them off. Of everything we can pry loose.”

“Will that work?” I asked.

Dante had already worked it out that far, “Might as well try it. Dad is mad we didn’t invite him along to pirate that yacht. Let’s keep him busy and out of trouble. Relatively speaking.”

“You’re using Montague as our cut-out in a global economic battle?” I asked Chris. “Great Depression, remember?”

“And our targets are responsible for today’s recession without end. It’s Montague’s sort of crooked game. But we watch him like a hawk.”

“You mean, like a pair of Hawkgirls.”

“Exactly.”

Dante pulled up the Paris police report in the Data Model. “Look at this. This is Little Miss Thinks She’s Me’s home clone lab. It must be connected. Somebody building a slave army, copies of us. And somebody else violently preempting them.  That somebody tagged the crime scene.”

There were pictures of writing on a concrete floor. “DIE HH BLACK AUGUST”.

Phoenix asked, "Hanna Hazard, you think?” That's what I wondered.

Dante answered, “I bet somebody thinks so. She could set up a clone lab. And she would use clones. For the common good, of course. Or it could just be ‘Heil Hitler’. I need to get a closer look at that. It looks like somebody burned or blasted into the floor.”

“I need to check it too.” James said. “Auras.”

Carmine said, “Just don’t sneak in. I’ll get in touch with Paris and ask first, see what and when they can let you look at it.”

Dante shook her head. “Don’t take too long. Things are moving fast. Faster than France can act.”
In Everything Truth -- 4.11 Coming Together
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Domo A’regato Work Module 2013-08-30 15:10 UTC -8


“Then I should have more bucks. Dammit.” FX’s gone smoldering hot. Working up a full head of steam.

We walked on, talking about what Powers told Psike 3. Outside the French Kat’s room, we stood around looking at each other awkwardly for a moment. Dante and I pointed at James, while Carmine and Chris glowered in character. If I didn’t know them I’d be scared. Heck, I was scared anyway. A little. Dante’s clones are unpredictable. Three in one day is too much. Three much. Four much.

James shrugged and hit the buzzer. “Miss Alexander? It’s James Blackthorn. May I come in?”

“Sure, come on in!” Chicks dig the Olympic gymnast. Even super genius punks. If James realized how hot he is, he’d be lethal. She opened the door and blanched. “Oh. All you?” She tried to look resigned. But I saw her eyes were active, scheming a mile a minute. A thousand miles a second, maybe.

“We all need to talk to you.” James tried to sound apologetic. He’s not up for an Oscar.

“Well, um, come in.” She went wide eyed, glared at me for a moment, then focused on Dante.

“We don’t want to violate your privacy, but I’m afraid we have some questions we need to answer, together.” I tried sounding cheerful.

Dante told her, straight up, “Yes Katherine, there are clones. As it happens, I am not one of you.”

They looked each other over. Not the mirror images you might expect. Dante’s a couple inches taller, maybe thirty pounds more weight, most of it muscle, some of it boobs and hair. And a great ass. Golden hair, golden tan. Powerful limbs. Wearing boots, gray cargo pants, paramedic cut and arraignment of the pockets. On her torso, she wore body armor, her own formula, non-woven, sealed stitches, cut like a leotard. Looked like pink and green neoprene, but hundreds of times tougher. Half our team wears something like it, Psike for one, but hers has a black leather-like finish. Dante had a big pistol on one hip, a smaller one on the other, cargo pants filled with gear and ammo. Big chunky heavy metal style jewelry — concealed bombs and worse. Her nails are trimmed short but shine like glory, five different colors on each hand. Little skull and heart contrasting designs. Vermilion glasses pushed back on her forehead. A thin smile appeared.

The clone, not as flashy. Not as strong or tough looking either. She'd found the light green drawstring pajamas we stock in all our guest rooms. Bare feet. Skinny as a rail, no muscle tone, but no fat either. Hair’s brown, but looks like she’s washed and brushed it since we brought her here. It’s when I looked into her steel gray eyes, active eyes that miss nothing, that I was sure they were the same woman. Or as close as her makers could get. She frowned at Dante’s smile. Kat broke eye contact with her and glanced over at James, “Aura’s huh?”

“Auras.” We’d formed a circle. James was to her left. Me to the right, then Dante, Carmine, and Chris.

“James has many special talents,” Dante told her. “I’ve never been able to see auras myself, but Mom can.” She stood easy, cat stance, thumbs in her gun belt. Sounded friendlier than I expected. Maybe she should be the actor, give old Stick a rest. I’m sure there’s a role for her on Orphan Black.

“Start with basics.” Phoenix was cold as ice. “What is your name? Where are you from?”

“My name … is Katherine Dante Alexander. I-am-from-France.”

Jokes. Lines from old TV shows. Well, she hasn’t the latest jokes nor catch phrases. I smiled and noticed James looked a bit confused. He’s too young for Coneheads nor To Tell The Truth. Figure he was busy. Did gymnastics and wizardry during after school reruns.

“I see you have a sense of humor. We do not.” Psike told her in a flat voice without affect. She’s channeling her inner psycho-bitch. Using her disappointed mom voice, not the crazy biker bitch voice. All frowns and narrow eyes, focused on the Kat. I stood straighter, hoped my boots are clean.

“Some of us do not.” I soften Psike 3’s implied threat. Gotta get this Kat confused. Won’t be easy.
“They are afraid of me.” FX told her, “And thus, of you. Please show them you are not a threat. Not a ‘Menace’.” That sounded pretty good.

“You’re playing good cop, bad cop.” So little miss genius caught on right away. Shouldn’t matter.

“Do you think we’re the police? We are not, and outside the jurisdiction of any Earth law.” Phoenix tossed it back, even colder than he was before. Not giving the Kat an inch.

“My husband is not of Earth. Do not try our patience. Just answer our questions.” Psike added.

“I haven’t heard any more questions.” She had a point.

“What would you like to tell us, Katherine?” FX asked her.

“I know what I know.”

“I expect I know what you think you remember,” FX replied. “They’re my memories, or they should be.” She kept smiling.

“Should be? What do you mean?” For a split second, she looked terrified. Maybe that’s when it hit her, she’s a clone. Then she tried to show an emotionless mask, like Carmine. Dante’s never been very good at projecting a lack of emotion. This clone is worse. Her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.

“All my rotten little clones seem to be copied from the same brain tape and gene samples. You look typical, Miss Nineties refugee. Of course, the others are customized as slave whore assassins. How about you?”

James touched the clone’s arm. “Cloners program clones, along with the memories copied from their prototype. Compulsions, triggered behaviors. Some the clone won’t even remember. That’s a big reason cloning is illegal. Cloners are scum.”

“No one should be born a slave. We need to make sure no one can make you act against your will.” I added. It took her a second to step away from James. At least she didn't bite.

“’I’m no slave! No whore! And if I kill somebody, they’ll know coming, and know why they’re going to die! No one tells me what to do!” She tried going backwards around the kitchen table. We followed.

Dante walked past me,to  just out of each other’s arm reach. “No one tells me what to do.” FX echoed her clone, but without hysteria. “Well, actually they do all the time, but I just do what I want anyway!” She laughed her happy laugh not her mean laugh.

“Do you want to hurt anyone?” Phoenix pointed at the clone. With a hand that can launch nuclear fire. He sounded tired of our chatter. He’s had plenty exposure.

“No! Why would I want to do that? I want to find out why somebody tried to kill me! And bring them to justice or something. They killed twenty-one clones! And kidnapped two other clones!” The clone glared at all of us, flinching as we made eye contact.

“We’ll find them and ensure justice is done.” James said.

“We will find them, and remove their threat,” Phoenix repeated and escalated. “Do you want to blow something up, Miss Alexander?”

“The clone lab. It stinks! I mean, stinks like dead people. Whatever else I can find needs blowing up.”
“Or you’re no clone of hers.” I pointed to Dante. “Boom Boom here, that is.”

Dante didn’t argue. She had a big grin. Her face didn't even try putting on an emotionless mask like her young clone. Her eyes shined, fascinated.

“How do you know she’s not the clone?” Kat pointed to Dante, wildly glaring around at the rest of us. Her control slipped more. She almost snarled that.

I’d expected that question, “I don’t. There have been so many clones of her, and for that matter, myself. We can never be sure any of us is the actual original. Identity is such a lonely, scary word in this world.” Sounds like bullshit, best I can do though.

“And how do you know I’m not a time traveler!”

“And how do you know you won’t go back in time, and become me? Let’s not get crazy here. If you were a time traveler, Domo would warn us. And they wouldn’t have found you in a clone tank.”

“But.” Psike’s voice and stance softened as she stepped back. “I’ve read Dante and her other clone’s memories, and now I’ve read yours. You are young, and Dante is much older. Much, much older. As far back as you can remember, she also remembers. She remembers remembering, over and over, again and again. Forever and ever, amen. Team, she’s clean. No dangerous compulsions or traps. Not big ones anyway. I’ve never seen a clone like her. Kat, I’m glad to meet you, and I’m sorry we acted rough to you.”

Phoenix relaxed and smiled, which completely changed his appearance. He almost looked human. “I’m sorry too, young lady. You’re quite formidable. Dante, you’re right, being the bad cop is harder.”

“Of course, I’m right. I’m always right. If I discover I’m wrong I change my mind, so I’m right again.” Dante rubbed her hands. “You sure she’s safe?”

“I am fucking dangerous dammit!”

That loss of control was what Psike had needed. Now we could chill her down. James and I exchanged smiles but managed not to laugh. Though Dante was close to splitting a gut.

Psike stepped back up to offer a hand. “Of course, you are, dear. But not to us. I’m Carmine, and I really am married to this flaming lunkhead. Kat, Phoenix. Phoenix, Kat. You know James, and Bob, and Dante needs no introduction. Kat’s not safe, Dante, but she’s not planning anything against us either.”

The clone pushed back again. And bumped into the wall. “I wasn’t two seconds ago!”

Dante was ahead of her, of course, “Pee pee filed condom bombs don’t count, Mademoiselle Kat.”

“You guys played mind games so I wouldn’t notice you reading my mind!” She tried edging further away from us. Room wasn’t big enough.

“I’m disappointed it worked.” FX sounded serious, not angry. “Beware. I am as smart as you, more practiced, know everything you know and so much more. I know your innate proclivities for greed, violence, and mischief perfectly well. I am the last born daughter of Black Belladonna and the pirate Captain Montague! I know evil! If you aim to misbehave, make it something I’ve never seen before and would never think of! The best surprises I had from the Eleven and Kitty clones  are strip club dancing, and riding horses western style.” She smiled as if that was a joke.

“Dante’s modest.” I added.

“I noticed! I’d never dance like a whore! Nor ride a horse like a cowboy! What are you saying about my parents?” The young clone was still wound up, glancing around wildly, but she relaxed some when Dante stepped back with James and me.

“Mom and Dad are more amazing than even you can imagine. Clones are individuals. I don’t know who cloned you yet, or for what purpose. You take after the alpha or beta clones of me in the slightest way I will slap you down hard. Any worse and I will put you down and you’ll never see it coming. My rep doesn’t need more negative hits. But, be nice, and I won’t treat you any worse than my other clones and sisters.” For Dante, that’s a declaration of eternal friendship. What’s up? But we all nodded agreement.

“And just how worse do you treat them?”

“Verbal and physical abuse, occasional death threats, as needed. Gotta keep Evil Clones in line. But I haven’t tried to kill a clone in days, and Cathy had it coming.”

We could see Kat regain control of her emotions. But now she was wide-eyed amazed. “What did she do?”

“Told me she loved me.”

“Ha! As if! That’ll never happen!” Kat blinked her eyes and turned on the smiles. “So what do I need to do to get a drink around here? Are any of you any fun at all?”

I tried to return her smile, I hope more sincerely. “Dante’s tons of fun. Act nice to her, and just doing that’ll blow Cathy and your Aunt Destiny’s minds!”

Probably not, but the kid needs to do some science experiments or she’ll never grow up. She needs to hit the ground running around her relatives. The elder evils won’t cut any slack. Dire’s Family exploits relatives and clones as their devil given right.

“Aunt Destiny? Oh wow, that’d be great to mess with her, she’s so smug.”

Dante told her, “Our family are in the Dome. You’ve never heard about Witch Bitch’s shotgun wedding? Come along and I’ll tell you about it. For starters, Mom and Dad are about three hundred years old each and…”
“No way!”

“Way. They didn’t tell me family secrets when I was a kid. They figured I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut. Which was true. But I knew they were wacky compared to other kid’s parents. You know that too! Now, listen, important stuff: Mom was never a vampire, but she was Dark Eyed Belladona, Mati Hari, and Lola Martinez. No crap. Also, she’s behind at least half the anarchist gangs that ever existed. Dad is the Dread Pirate Captain Montague,no crap. He triggered the great depression during his feud with the All-American. Uncle Nigel is one of Mom’s exes and Aunt Valarie’s dad. Oh! He’s a tattooist, we can get inked up while He’s here!  Denise is Ben and Witch-bitch’s kid. And I regret to report, Valarie and Destiny are just two of mom’s bastards. Others are older and worse. They think that makes them my big sisters. As if. For starters.”

I saw the new Kat’s wide-eyed look. OG Cat had overloaded even her super brain , abet temporarily. “The whole family tree is non-Euclidean, young lady. James can’t even figure it out. He’s our scholar of esoteric lore. Twisted shit, like Dante’s, your family tree.”

Blackthorn said, “I determined we are not related. That's good enough.”

“I wish I could say that. We’re shirt tail cousins, through the Barton billionaire  bastards.”

“How would you know that James? Marko Dire and Jocko Roman have about a thousand kids. Each. Those old villains are related to everybody. Except Me. I think.” Phoenix tried to smile. He’d asked a good question, one that I wondered about myself.

“Auras. I have read auras and you will not tell me different.”

“Who are they? Mark Dire? Jack Roman?”

“Mom’s dad and brother. They’re badmen from way centuries back! Dire’s dead, and Jocko’s on our top ten list. You have to watch out for our family! We. Are. Dangerous! And most of us are evil!”
In Everything Truth -- 4.10 Clonefrontation!
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Chapter 4 Friday's child is loving and giving fav.me/dadogau
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Chapter 1 Tuesday's child is full of grace fav.me/da4euun
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It’s about Clones and the Superheroes who loathe them.

In Everything Truth: In which our heroes fight Wizards, Mercenaries, and worst of all Banks. (Draft)

Pain Itself: Our heroes fight Aliens and Government Conspiracies. (Draft)

The Life of the Dead: Our heroes fight more of the above and an Immortal Sorcerer King. (Under Development)

The World Warriors of the Human Legion are the world's premier super team. They’re the most powerful, the sneakiest, the most cunning, best equipped and supported supers in their world. They have fair to good relations with most governments and with most rival teams. They are, however, highhanded and ornery. Many people fear them and this does not seem to bother them a bit.

Their world resembles ours, but with significant differences. There are alien space ships visiting Earth. As of 2013, Obama is President of the United States. Hillary Clinton is Vice President. Some nations and national borders are different. Technology and science are more advanced than in our world. SSTs and reusable space craft are common. Human Cloning is advanced, including memory copying that would be magic to our science. Cybernetics and artificial Intelligence and robotics are also advanced. Psionics and Magic are scientifically observed if not well understood. There are several methods for obtaining superhuman ability, some well understood, others not.

Trends & Themes

Regional conflicts: Colonial regimes, resource wars, ethnic and religious conflicts are as least as nasty as in our world. The US still has a huge armed force actively engaged around the world. To a lesser extent, so do Russian, China, the UK, France and other powers. Most of these military powers have quiet but significant super soldier programs. The UK and China have perhaps the largest and most successful super programs.

Cloning: Human cloning was introduced by Criminal Supers, most importantly the slave trader, gangster, and pimp known as Clone Master. Many governments and wealthy individuals took advantage of his market. A savage war of Clone Liberation occurred circa 2000, marked by many terrorist acts. Eventually, clone's human rights were recognized. Cloning is currently heavily regulated if not outright illegal. Many clones are in poor health and/or exploited. Others are celebrities, or well-regarded experts: Clones of Artists and Scientists.

Superhumans: Superhumans have been publicly known since World War 1. Secretly, they’ve been around far longer. By World War 2, the UK, Russia, the US, Germany and Japan had successful government sponsored super-soldier squadrons. Most had terrible causalities during the war; however, the scientific infrastructures supporting them remained in Allied Governments. Cold War period featured nationalistic posturing and occasional deployment of Metahumans. No major direct conflicts occurred, mirroring the Nuclear balance of terror. Independent super teams had arisen even before WW2. Most were of short duration; It’s commonly believed, based on considerable evidence, that super humans have super egos.

Common Origins of superhumans:

Aliens: Best known are the Exiles and the Arnor.

Supernaturals: Monsters, sorcerers, Enchanted champions, mythical beings.

Mutants, including members of the secretive ‘Dire’ family.

Psychics, both natural and triggered.

Cyborgs

Super Technology users

Super serum alterees. (Such as the Genepool). Certain experimental (and poisonous) drugs can induce mutant like superpowers. If the subject survives. Used in several Supersoldier programs. They are thought to be more effective the younger the subject.

Uber machine: invented by Zing, the Chinese ‘Dragon Doctor’. Widely copied. Has effects much like super serums, but more effective. And more lethal. Most ubers are strong, neigh invulnerable, and can fly, but other powers are common.

Major Characters:

Bob “The Brick” Langford. The unreliable narrator. Uber. Bodyguard, leg man, and leg breaker for the World Warriors. Eagle scout, but has problems about half the Scout law. Specifically, with “Trustworthy”, “Courteous”, “Obedient”, “Cheerful”, “Thrifty”, and “Reverent”.

Dante “FX” Alexander. Mutant/Tech user. Brilliant. Immortal. Maniacal. Vexed by clones. Senior World Warrior, tech miracle worker, and gun bunny.

Amber Moonglade: Supernatural, Champion and Acting Goddess of Love. Muscle girl and magical miracle worker.

Recap of In Everything Truth

I’m Bob Langford, the Brick. Alleged hero. A junior World Warrior. The World Warriors of the Human Legion. I wasn’t here when they picked that name. They’ve told me cybersquatters took all the good names. I still bet they were drinking.

Most of us Warriors are too old for costumes and secret identities. No time for bullshit. We are powerful, nice, mean, and work smart. And we have the best toys.

I'm not the smartest nor the strongest, so I try harder. Out of combat, I work training and logistics. I plan and execute disaster relief operations. When things get violent, I thug for a sub-team. They call us, or rather my partners, the Cute Ones. Amber the Goddess, Dante the immortal genius gun bunny, and big old dummy me.  They are cute, sure. Like cobras or baby tigers. The women keep me around to haul stuff, hit people and to stop bullets. And for the laughs. Fear the Cute Ones.

Labor Day week 2013 sucked awful. Hundreds of people tried killing us. Plus, some things not what you’d call people.

There were cyborg necromancers, sorcerers, psychic super soldiers, mutants, evil clones, robots, vampires, werewolves, goblins, and trolls. Things I can’t even name. And we fought mercenaries, hit-men, run of the mill crazy gun bunnies. Bad guys.

They used hexes, super powers, super weapons, plain old rifles and pistols, freaking 4.2 inch mortars, French tanks, volcano machines even, anything that might kill us. The bad guys hit our team over and over. Of course, we bounced them off, but they hurt. Driving us crazy. Which we finally figured was their strategy. Pin prick us to death, until we screwed up and screwed ourselves.

Big money men, the Society of Cincinnatus, filthy rich egomaniac nut jobs, paid for the attacks. They hired a man who can foresee the future. They supported and recruited our other enemies, providing money, transportation, target locations, and equipment. They picked at us, our stress increased. Sooner or later, they’d get lucky and hurt us serious bad. Or worse, goad us into a reaction that got innocents killed. We live and die by our reputation.

They attacked at our weak spots, out in public with innocents and those we love around. Nasty.

    ·       The Hawkgirls went swimming. Ninja frog men sorcerers mugged them and stole their jewelry.

    ·       Feds called for help. Shoggoths captured their people.

    ·       Vampires have a yacht. We go to take them out. When we get there, somebody else already pirated them. Wasn't even Dante's crooked daddy. But some James Bond wannabe. WTF?

    ·       Nut with a volcano machine attacks Naples. That one was easy to beat, but death and destruction happened before we dealt with it. Made a hell of a mess.

    ·       Phoenix sent me and the James Gang, (super thugs r us) out cruising around. Mostly to get us out of his hair. We went to a bar, a horde of monsters attacked us. Rude of them. Seems they’d been hired to hit us before we even thought of going there. Double WTF. Who’s this “F” that fingered us?

    ·       Dante and I took family members to a hospital for routine treatment. We got swarmed by mind controlled rioters. Dante saved my ass when I got gassed.

    ·       The Darius family appear before a California Legislative committee. A nut with a gun was waiting for them.

On and on. Stressful. Pissed us off. We make mistakes when we’re angry. Our mistakes are destructive. Deadly.

Our first counter strategy was Operation Turtle, as in turtle up. We tucked our families, our friends, and a few special dear enemies away in the Dome. Our base and our home. The safest place we know, on our host starship, Domo A’regato. Fifty thousand miles out in space.

It reduced our risks, but the Dome became a zoo. I get along pretty good with my family, even my Evil Clone. Some of the others, not so much. Our teammates’ relations and our relations’ relations are a mixed lot. Labor day weekend wound us tight enough to break. If we turtled up for another week, we might kill and eat our own.

We worked our asses off to get things back to normal. As bad guys tried to draw us out, we squashed them in detail. Like the sorcerers, the with killer robots and gigantic monsters from the center of the Earth.

The Cincinnatus knew they'd never match our brute force, so they fought sneaky. But they forgot brute force wasn’t all we had. We have other talents. Science, magic, and old-fashioned skulduggery. And friends.

Our second strategy stuck at the real problem. We need to neutralize the money guys in the most humiliating and painful manner we could conceive.

 Amber and a coven of witches, Cat’s relatives, hexed the prognosticator. Meanwhile, Phoenix plotted with a financial crook, another of Cat’s relatives, the dreaded financial pirate Captain Montague. 

Our telepaths stole account numbers and passwords. Then our super hackers stole their hidden war chest. Almost a trillion dollars. The screams from the Cincinnatus were beautiful.

New problem now. Money corrupts. What do we do with a trillion bucks? That’s apocalyptic money. With the best of intentions, we might relive the Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Recap of Pain Itself

…  Well, we spent a few weeks dealing with that and other fall out. Life calmed down. Then went completely went to hell again. Alien Invasion. You should have noticed it. Lucky for Earth, our base ship Domo A'regato got huffy. They scratched her paint and she blew most of the invasion fleets away. Domo and most of the World Warriors took off to counter attack the invaders. Leaving Earth under the not particularly capable protection of me. And The Cute Ones, thank Goddess.

We worked with other supers, governments, and the odd gun toting angry farmers (and a Dentist with a spare NO2 tank, no kidding) to whip some alien ass. Governments worked out deals with various super criminal prisoners to fight for Earth. Many of them assholes we’d had a hard enough time catching in the first place. But times were desperate, and most of them behaved. OK, some of them like Warp and Woof behaved. Those two looneys stepped up to darn socks, defend Earth and smoke weed.

The Troubleshooters and SED’s old enemy, MJ12 rose up. Couldn’t tell if they were for or against the Aliens. Not sure they knew either. Every secret agent with a Federal contract or a Civil Service grade was busy hunting each other. That lead to Worse; Shoggoth problems and Dhole problems.

Shoggoths are a very alien race that’s been living on Earth since forever. Slug people. Smart. Weird. You know what a Dhole is? It’s a nuclear-powered magma worm the size of a squadron of battleships. Or bigger. They work for Shoggoths. At one point seven of the damn things attacked Earth cities. Worse day of our lives, and the last day for way too many people.

I got my family in danger and I got them out. When I got hurt they tried to push me around. Got no time for Mom and Sis’s Doctoring crap. And I got women problems: Amber and Cat. I know, everyone should have such problems. But they’re my responsibilities, not my harem. Supposed to be anyway. We got more and more unprofessional. I rode an emotional roller coaster while I rode my friends. Hell of a ride.

We fought for weeks, then spent more weeks trying to help the injured and other victims. Even more hell of a ride. It was like one step forward, two steps back. Endless alien attacks. Endless casualties.

Anyway, we finally busted MJ12 command. Maybe. Turned out the bosses were Dante’s boyfriend's ex-wife. And her family. Nothing’s easy around family, Da? Shouldn’t complain, I scooped up Cat’s broken heart on the rebound. I am such a bastard and a loser. But I’m not crazy enough to turn down a good thing. Like Amber adopting me as one of her pet boys. I expect to wake up dead, dead of an overdose of Cute Ones, any day now.

Speaking of Cat’s crazy relatives, and bad guys that didn’t behave: Her uncle Jacko Roman had helped the Cincinnatus. He was their liaison with the Supernatural community. We, or rather our buddies at SED, busted his ass for the attack on the hospital if nothing else. During the Swarm Invasion, they let him out of SuperMax to help the war effort. Didn’t work. He went snake, killed everybody in the lab, except his daughter Tiger. He only maimed her and left her bleeding out next to a bomb, what a sweetheart.

War's still on and now we got real family problems. Foo.

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RobertJEdwards
Robert Edwards
United States

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:iconmidnightowl07:
midnightowl07 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Artist
Thanks for the watch man :D
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Matt--Hatter Featured By Owner 5 days ago
Thanks so.much for watch and fave, it's greatly appreciated 
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ShadowMere28 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2016
Thanks for watching, AND getting me excited for Superhero Saga again!
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terminus70 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
and thanx for the fav!!!
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RobertJEdwards Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2016
Thanks for your art!
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RODCOM1000 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thanks for watching!
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wonderfully-twisted Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2016  Professional Interface Designer
thanks for the fav
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johnnyharadrim Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2016
AM Thanks for Watching! by johnnyharadrim  
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Szigeti Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Hi Robert, thanks 4the watch!:D (Big Grin)  Rrrock!!
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RobertJEdwards Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2016
Donkey Shire!
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