[In-Character] Truth & Justice, Episode 4

[More of Hikaru’s in-character observations. The player of Raz has decided to so something similar.]

This morning Raz surprised me by acting somewhat civil and even saving me the trouble of asking him to show me how to fight. Through blind luck I managed to get one over on him and he just lost it and came after me full force, shapeshifting, super-strength, and all. I’m trying to figure out how to explain to him that different people learn differently. I need to be able to take a thing apart and understand what it’s made of, while he seems to prefer to throw someone into the water and hope they figure out how to swim. Combat has an emotional dimension, to be sure, but it can also be understood through “numbers.” The body has various strengths and weaknesses, points of attack and defense, limitations of perception, and so forth. An opponent is likewise a mixture of positives and negatives. Victory is a matter of taking away strengths and/or exploiting weaknesses. Thinking about it that way I can wrap my head around it, but when a rampaging visual rock lunatic is charching towards me I can’t.

Maybe that has something to do with why I decided to accompany him on “patrol,” which is his word for going to a bad part of town and getting into an unproductive brawl. Yes, crime is bad, drugs are bad, etc., but there has to be a better way of improving things. Moreover, we underestimated Pinnacle. We were in an alleyway and while Raz was busy ploughing through a gang of 15 or so, Pinnacle somehow managed to abduct me before any of us even knew what was happening. It was only through careful analysis of the surveillance footage after the fact that Glenn figured out that Pinnacle had used some kind of optical camouflage to sneak in and chloroform me and slip away. I had been expecting a cold-blooded killer and a skilled soldier, but it hadn’t occurred to me that a man who could afford cloned soldiers and powered armor could also get his hands on an optical camouflage cloak. I was very, very lucky that for the moment Pinnacle only wanted to use me to deliver a message. He wants us to turn ourselves over by 6 p.m. tomorrow, or he’ll let his soldiers loose in the middle of San Francisco. He’s playing on our desire to protect the innocent, something he obviously lacks.

We went over the powers available to our group members. Dynamo’s kinetic energy enhancement, Jack’s shadow power, Raz’s shapeshifting and super-strength, Sam’s hydrokinesis, and finally my rider powers. When I demonstrated the transformation an odd thing happened though: the armor was different. It was smaller and, frankly, more feminine. It looks like it’s adapting to my physiology much faster than I had dared to hope. (I should think about what to call myself when it stabilizes.) Supergroups have always had a diversity of powers, but I feel like we’re blatantly mismatched. The Watchmen were varied, but we seem to all come from completely different worlds. I am very much a Japanese transforming hero, Dynamo is a rank-and-file American superhero, Raz seems to be part demon, Jack comes off as a homeless guy with weird powers, and Sam… is a pro-wrestler.

I had a dream last night, and when I woke up at 5 in the morning I couldn’t get back to sleep. (Not that I’ve been sleeping well the past few days anyway). In the dream I was a little girl with magical powers, and I was fighting alongside my father. I can’t remember any more. I don’t dream often, and I don’t often remember the details, but the remaining fragments of this dream are still right behind my eyes. I didn’t even see him that much, but I miss my father. I miss the way he would make us feel like everything would be all right.

That’s right. The Japanese government is looking for me. And mom isn’t well. The Mega-Brace has to figure into the situation somehow, but… Can I risk calling home? Mom and Ryo should be alright financially with dad’s pension, but what if the need me? Maybe it was dumb of me to come to America, but I can’t even think about going back until we deal with Pinnacle. Maybe circumstances will force the issue again and I won’t have to choose.

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