2019-09-07 - Self-Apparent Issues


A trio of Runaways talk about the future while catching up on the past two years.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Sep 7 05:02:33 2019
Location: The Runaways' Hangout

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Theme Song




Somewhere in New York City, there is a list. It's a living document, an attempt by a group that's historically made it all up as they went along to apply some semblance of order to what would otherwise be an insurmountable task.

'THINGS GERT MISSED', it says across the top; the colored ink and neat block lettering mean Karolina wrote it. After that…

'Semblance' is the key word, here.

The list's hanging on the fridge door. There's a small pouch of markers dangling beside the list to make it easy for anyone to add (or subtract) as necessary. News, media, celebrity gossip— every last piece of interesting data that might've come and gone during Gertrude Yorkes' break from the mortal coil is up for grabs, here, and Karolina, at least, has been busy. Those bright colors, those neat block letters (and, okay, a not-insignificant number of drunken, scrawled ones) abound; there are even a few crude little drawings scattered throughout the list, courtesy of the blonde.

"Have either of you," she exhales, maybe ten minutes into an episode of no. 34 (Trading Powers, a first of its kind reality show meant to foster understanding between powered and unpowered individuals), "ever thought about… y'know. Hitting the streets again?"

She's 'sitting' upside down on a couch with deep, scarlet upholstery and polished brass frame, legs draped on the back rest and hair pooled a ways along the carpet. She's idly watching Herman from Downtown Manhattan walk through a neighborhood close to his own while wearing prosthetics closely mimic the midnight-black horns and bone ridges of Isaiah, the episode's other star.

"Back home, it kinda felt like we were, like, we were stuck making up for all the things they did, fixing things that wouldn't be broken if not for…"

She falls silent for a moment.

"There's just— there's so much happening here, is all," she continues, after swallowing. "I dunno, it's— maybe it's nothing, and I'm just feeling kinda, y'know, pent up, or whatever? But I do— think about it. Some times."

"… swear," an astonished Herman says in a confessional, meanwhile, "I've never felt this way before, and it's really— I'm really, I'm gonna take a lot from this experience…"


Molly's stretched out… because, well, that's pretty much how she always is since they don't actually make furniture in 'Practically a Hulk' sizes. So she's doing her best not to feel awkward and too-large while taking up a well-worn sofa chair, with only minimal squirming and discomfort And she's focused on the TV show intently. Or at least, she's forcing herself ot -look- at the TV intently. "I'm not actually sure this TV show is better than the apocalypse." And then she jolts a little and peers at Karolina, "I mean… like… what? Fighting villains or whatever? I mean, I guess… sometimes… it's just like… so -different- here." She clears her throat, brow furrowing.

"I mean, like, I guess we could try it. Maybe it'd be fun. It's not like it wasn't kinda fun back then… aside from uhh… you know, the attempted murdering and the magic cult stuff and… stuff… but like, Spider-Man doesn't seem like he has to deal with that, right? Maybe we could pick on Spider-Man's guys. No one's gonna be mad if we like… rough up Hobgoblin or anything… but we can't go out fighting muggers. I tried, they don't try to fight at -all-. Maybe it's because I don't have a bright costume."


Gertrude, for her part, seems to have adapted to being two years in the future with remarkable poise.

(Oh, God, no, she has not. Not at all. Not even a little.)

She is sitting on the ground in front of the couch, her oversized deinonychus curled behind her and providing an adequate back- and headrest. She's wearing a too-on-the-nose white t-shirt - 'ASK ME ABOUT MY VELOCIRAPTOR' is emblazoned across and warped by her chest - faded jeans with at-the-factory rips staggered down the front of her thighs, and a pair of white socks that have picked up enough on their soles to reveal forensically actionable footprints.

"Herman's about to come out of the closet," Gertrude chides, not at all attempting to divert the course of the conversation.

And then Molly, who probably shouldn't even get a say in this anyway because who cares what a time traveler says (shut up, it's different), has to go and ruin it all.

So, as she lights a cigarette (a Misty Menthol Light 120, voted 'Girliest Cigarette' for 27 years running by the readers of Girly Cigarettes Magazine), Gertrude says, "Oh, sure. 'Hit the streets.' Nobody's died in the past two years, right? Except the people who did. That's an impeccable winning streak we definitely need to take advantage of. Maybe we could fight somebody with knives for fingers!"


"W-well," Karolina exhales as her eyes roll towards Molly, "I dunno about 'fun', it— "

She's not quite used to the lighter flick yet, but that's not what stops Karolina.

After a beat of squeezing her bottom lip between her teeth staring blankly at the screen, prismatic-shifting hair slides over scales—

"Sorry," she murmurs. The shells around her wrist lightly rattle as she turns it over to squeeze Gertrude's shoulder. "I, I didn't mean to— I know you're…"

A little more floating, and Gertrude can have a front row view of Karolina's lips twisting uncertaintly, of shimmering brows furrowing regretfully.

"I don't wanna lose either of you, any of you," she softly says, turning another look towards Molly, "again. I don't wanna do anything reckless, either, I just… I guess I wanna feel like I'm doing… something… useful, you know? Something…"

Karolina's still upside down, because what are alien superpowers good for, if not efficiently lazing around the Hostel? Denim shorts with desert flowers embroidered down the sides and an off-the-rack 'vintage' Cat's Laughing tour shirt mean there are softly glowing whorls curling off of most of her arms and legs; the arm she isn't shifting to try and keep a hold of Gertrude's shoulder is lightly curled over her stomach.

"… I dunno, like— good, y'know?"

A beat passes.

"I mean, fighting muggers isn't bad…"


Molly sighs the sigh of 'Post apocalyptic survival was so much less about -emotions- and -communication- and -understanding-'. It's a very complicated sigh. But she knows she should be more… herself. Like, her old self. The self that's presumably running around somewhere fitting through doorways easily and enjoying poptarts without tragic memories attached to them.

"Well, I mean, we could volunteer? I dunno, like, there's not a lot of 'Hey, got powers? Here's how to help' stuff that's not 'Beat those dudes up' unless one of your powers is like… super smart genius stuff."

Molly glances over to Gert. Well… okay, Molly totally stares at Gert. And her dinosaur. "…We could do a public access show? I dunno, help at risk teens? Are at-risk teens still impressed by dinosaurs?"



Gertrude slumps a bit further down against Old Lace, the dinosaur stirring just enough and just long enough to offer a huff of discontent as its owner-nee-partner shifts her cigarette from between her lips to between her fingers and tugs down at the hem of her shirt, purple hair spread out against multicolored scales.

"Well, I *suppose* we're unlikely to encounter any more of our parents who have traveled through time to spite and/or to murder us - other than mine, I mean, but I would argue mine are less murder-y and more steal-y so that's, you know, that's different? - so, you know."

A moment's silence, and she continues:

"So, I *guess* we could do *something*. Ignoring the self-apparent issues that come with costumed vigilantes and self-appointed dispensers of post-human justice and the, inherently fascist nature of the entire affair, the, the whole 'wearing bedsheets and reminding people of Their Place' angle that I don't think you can ever really *divorce* from so-called superheroes…

"Ignoring *that*, I *guess* we could be all, you know, Batman, and violently pummel the impoverished and the mentally ill."


"I— god, Gert…"

Grimacing doesn't mute Karolina's glow, but it does seem to send pale purple bleeding through it. The sparkling blonde floats a little bit further, then she drops down beside Gertrude. "That's, like, look, Gert, it's— that's not what any of us,"

Since she doesn't have a mental connection with Gertrude's multicolored backrest, Karolina takes her time lowering her legs towards Old Lace's hindquarters. She keeps a questioning eye on the raptor's face for the first couple seconds before turning her attention up towards the raptor's owner.

"are into, right? And, like, okay, yes, obviously, there's just, there's, there's a LOT wrong with conventional superheroics as, like, as a crime resolution and deterrent method, and, and the power disparities that come with wearing a costume, and…"

Once she runs out of steam and breath, Karolina pulls both hands to her face and scrubs vigorously, muffling some of the panting.

"I dunno about TV, but Molly has a point," she eventually murmurs, also muffled. "I mean, you can just, I guess there's just— volunteering, right? Like anyone else? But it— would be kinda helpful if we could just go to, I dunno, a board, and it's just, 'WANTED:'" Her hands lift so she can spread them as she quotes, "'one super strong person to pull truck out of river'; 'WANTED: one dinosaur and one cynical smart girl to find missing dog', right? 'Need emergency night light!!'"

She slowly exhales, then the little smile that built through her examples makes a pensive turn. A few bright motes leap into the air when she drops her hands to her stomach.

"I don't wanna be a bully any more than you do…"


Molly sighs again, but it's really more of a resigned 'Fine, no punching' sigh. "Well, I guess we could just do the normal kind of volunteering… I mean, yeah, I could help move trucks and stuff. But I bet we could help at a food bank or something. And it's not like we're not also probably going to be their -clients-… I mean, speaking of impoverished and all."

Molly's definitely not going to suggest having Old Lace track down missing pets could be a bad idea. Nope, just gonna like… let things -be-.

"Or like, I dunno, maybe we could… get jobs? Like normal jobs? I mean, not that living like hobos doesn't have a certain charm and all, but… I mean… we could buy -groceries- then."


Gertrude, even knowing that no one will actually see it, refrains from rolling her eyes. Really! She doesn't. At all. Not even a little.

(This is a particularly egregious lie.)

Convinced by persuasive arguments, rather than by emotional appeals - clearly, she sees the logical underpinnings of Karolina's stance, she isn't just giving in because she's unwilling to watch the blonde alien sulk about the place and sniffle about how she wants to be a superheroine for days on end and is equally unwilling to get some sort of demeaning mundane 'job' -

Convinced by persuasive arguments, Gertrude breathes out a long, deep sigh.

"Fine," she mutters under her breath before repeating, louder and more clearly, "FINE."

"But!" she amends, pivoting to face Karolina and jabbing a finger at her.

"I am NOT wearing a costume in public."


There's a list hanging on the fridge, and that fridge has yet to get empty. Whenever Karolina visits,

(the blonde's in a dorm at ESU, but ever since Molly and Gertrude made their way to the here and now, her Hostel room's seen much more use)

she comes loaded with ecofriendly bags filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and a host of other goodies. There's always cash close at hand when they go places; her clothes tend to swing between thrifted and new(-ish).

"I mean…" she murmurs, not quite looking at Molly, "it's been okay so far, right? Like, if you wanted to get a job, you could, but…"

Gertrude - who she knows, and has known over many years, whose judging she has a chance at managing - is one thing, but Molly…?

Towering, powerful Bruiser, the woman who doesn't want to stop muggings because they aren't enough action for her?

She grew up forever away and came back hard.

It's tougher to say how she might feel about Karolina living off of her parents' residuals.

Karolina's head rolls towards loud acquiescence, then. She starts, slightly, at the finger jab, then breathes out a laugh.

"Iiiii dunno," she says as her voice falls to a thoughtful register. "I bet you'd look really cute in the right one," she considers, tapping her chin, "and together, if we all had 'em, we'd probably look, like, super professional…"

She lets the thought linger in the air for a couple seconds of careful appraisal before finally lacing her hands over her stomach and flashing the purple-haired girl a pearly smile.

"… but I guess we'll just have to make do without 'em, huh?"

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