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F-ing Diabolical

MATT

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  1. “They usually stick to a schedule, although it’s something that you’ll get used to. No song and dance…not literal, but more metaphorical,” she would answer. Yes, that’s how she felt, saying the company line over and over. Not something that she particularly liked, but when you got paid to do. Job…there it was. “They just want to see ‘Britannia’ get a proper introduction and all that. Probably don’t even have to get too into it, just the broad strokes.” Dealing with the media was part and parcel of how she went through every day. But she managed to get through it in an amicable way, at least she believed that she did. Annie nodded, sighing, as she let the smile crack just a bit. “Thank you. I really appreciate that. I might just take you up on that one of these days.” The cameras were rolling in what was now familiar rote to Starlight. Maybe growing up in the spotlight had made it so that being part of the Seven, the Vought ‘family’ was not so sudden and surprising as it might be to other heroes. She nodded, at the blonde assistant, as she smiled confirming she was ready. Taking a seat, she would lean back, a deep breath as she placed her hands on her lap just as the cameras started. She could see that Brit was already getting annoyed at all the theatrics that went into getting ready. She was used to it by now. Annie had already gone through the hair and makeup, and honestly, it was more than a bit absurd how much went into it. But the director was already giving the countdown to when they were live….three…two…one… “And we’re live! Thank you for joining us today with a very special edition of American Hero! Today we have our shining heroine, Starlight! She really does light up our Vought family with her wonderful smile as a literal beacon of justice. We also have the woman out of time…Brittania here to tell us all about how she finds the future!” The cameraman panned out to focus on Brit, as Starlight had sort of worried that was exactly what was going to happen. Oh well, she figured…. “So first off, we want to focus on YOU, Brit. Tell us a bit about yourself, don’t be shy!”
  2. It seemed that Ashley left soon after, which suited Annie just fine. She had been looking to have more of a private conversation with her fellow hero after all. “Yeah…I get you there. Sometimes it does feel easier at times fighting supervillains than dealing with the media.” She gave a slight laugh. Well, to be fair, she had gotten used to it with time. It still did not make it exactly easy, just a bit more bearable than it had been. Someone knew to all of this? Well, she would know that it would certainly seem overwhelming to them. “Need anything, ask me. I’ve been dealing with these people for quite some time now. Just make sure to give them a bit of a show. That’s all they ask for really.” She was sure that would be one way of doing it. Making it so that they got what they thought they wanted, their hero shining bright. “A few years. Even before I joined the Seven. My mom…she saw a chance to put the kid on display. So that was my life growing up. A little supe-star,” She smiled, although the smile didn’t reach her eyes. It was not an easy life living like that, and she was sure that it would be something that she would not wish on most. She looked over at the camera people. They were still getting ready. They had a few minutes still, as she brushed a stray hair to one side. Always had to be perfect after all. “I’ll let you in on a little secret. You never really get used to this,” she said as she whispered to Brit. She said this because she felt that this woman was someone who would be able to tell Bullshit right as it came out of a person’s mouth, so why not just get done with it.
  3. Starlight was perhaps more at home with this sort of thing than others might have been. She was here, decked out in her hero outfit, polished and ready for the cameras, as she already had a fake smile plastered on her face, trying hard to make it look natural. It got easier the more you did it though, and so she was not too worried on that score. Looking over at Brit, she would smile slightly, hoping she wasn’t taking it too hard. Adjusting to this life, it could not be easy, and she would be here to guide her. Hopefully se would figure it out eventually, as she would watch with some bemusement with how she dealt with Ashley. Stepping closer, she nodded to the woman, as they knew that the cameras were going to roll any second, they had a few moments, yet. “Looks like you’re adjusting…well.” She looked over the super suit that Brit had been given. It seemed like it fit, and it wasn’t too garish. She knew that sometimes these outfits could be a bit…much. But overall, she had turned out fairly allright. She looked over at Ashley, giving her another broad smile. “Ashley. I think she’ll do great. Look how far she’s already come,” she said, as she chuckled slightly. Indeed, this was looking up for them, as hopefully Brit would find her place in the modern day. Putting her on tv tough might be considered a bit…she wasn’t sure if she was really ready, although now would be the test, of course. “Just remember. Act natural and that will be one way of getting through this. I’ll be right here if you need me, just follow my lead.” She had been doing this quite some time, so she could figure out just how to help her along.
  4. Mags seemed to be taking the advice in stride, which was good. Starlight sighed, as she nodded along. “If you’re going through with a team, it’s always better to be in front of a team you trust, and behind a team you don’t,” Starlight said, once again very carefully. Homelander- if he was listening, was probably too dumb to understand that one. At least she was hoping, for her own sake, as she heard his next piece. “Then if that’s what you want to be, a role model, then explain to them upfront what the life is like. Don’t exaggerate it…or they’ll find out on their own.” Again that was more than blunt, but she figured that was something that most would learn sooner or later, what this life was really like. Some might think it was glamorous and exciting, and sometimes it was. However, sometimes it could also be a royal pain in the butt, and she knew that annoying that was to find out, when you couldn’t easily get out. She turned, almost expecting to see someone from Vought come in just as he said this- they were both on the same page about this, she was glad to see at least. She wouldn’t say or do anything publicly, but she did feel a certain amount of sympathy for him. Vought did terrible things to people, she’d seen that firsthand. Maybe even she might say that she was the number one example of what they did… Either way, she was determined to at least send the kid off with something. “Just…be careful. These are serious people, and they don’t screw around.” Her words were serious and frank now, no longer in the bubbly and Public relations type tone that she might have already gotten used to using with the public. But she wanted to be sure that this person got the message, because she wished someone had told her that when she started.
  5. Starlight could be very serious when the need arose, and today was no different, as her brow furrowed. She listened to what he had to say… mulling it over. They were out of range of earshot of some parties…but not all, she knew well enough to know that. Still… she’d say as much, that she did think they were at least reasonably safe. “Yes…it did. Think of it as a learning experience. Trial by fire.” That was one way to put it. She remembered her first experience with the Deep, and that had been enough for her. What made it worse was that had been how she had lost her innocent view of the world, seeing the world the way it was. She felt her eyes flicker up to meet his, as she thought back to his file. She did recall it, at least flipping through it. “Look. I’ll give you this piece of advice that I wish someone had told me. Always make sure you know what’s going on around you at all times- even inside your team.” That was for sure, as she’d found that out the hard way. She could only hope that others did not have to go through the same thing that she did. It was a rough world out there though… she couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t happen- or couldn’t happen to anyone else.
  6. Now that was when Starlight felt her eyes widen a bit. Yes, that was more than a bit odd. But not unheard of. “Welcome to the future.” She quipped, as she watched the other Supe light a cigarette, clearly a bit shaken. Who wouldn’t be…to wake up in a distant and unknown future? It was clear that was something not too many people would be well prepared to handle- if any could be said to handle it. “You’ll have time to catch up,” Annie repeated, as she took a hand, placing it on their captive’s shoulder. She had already messaged covertly for the appropriate authorities to take him in, now that he had been more or less neutralized. There was no real reason to go any harder on him than needed…at least, she didn’t think she was at that level yet. Maybe eventually she’d get there…but not just yet. A hand on her hip, she watched as the grenade sparked in the pit, no doubt that there wouldn’t be much to find. “I suppose not. They’re still going to look anyways, you know.” She sighed, this was a long night, but it certainly could always get longer, she supposed. Still, there was a few things that they needed to get done. “But I could give you directions if you like…to a debriefing of sorts, if you’re up for it.”
  7. Starlight had plenty experience in being diplomatic, especially here, where being Diplomatic could be essential to her very survival. She smiled broadly, as it appeared the question and answer and meet and greet was almost over. Even if she understood this was a contractual obligation, she did want to provide a memorable experience, and so far, everyone had behaved themselves pleasantly enough. She was already preparing to wave goodbye, as she noticed one of the others walking towards her. Tensing for a second, she raised an eyebrow as she heard him out. This could be either creepy or something altogether different. Still, it was not as if Starlight was not able to handle herself, so she allowed him to speak his piece, see what he had to say. “Sure, there’s another room just adjacent-“ It was a room close enough she could call for assistance if needed, but again she was quite capable of defending herself. As she walked in, she looked around for a second, before she turned her head to him. Hands on her hips, she had a somewhat serious expression on her face. “Well. You have a few minutes. Say what you came to say.” Indeed, she was giving some bit of her time here on what may very well turn out to be nothing.
  8. It was surprisingly easy to go along with things like this…when potentially people were eavesdropping on her every word. Annie really hated how fake she had to be in public sometimes, but it was necessary to maintain the peace, fragile and false although it was. She nodded to the others as the assistant would ask if anyone had any other questions. That last one- she froze at it. She quickly ran through the options, as she kept her fake smile plastered. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the assistant’s raised eyes, no doubt writing down whatever she picked. Ah hell, this was going to be a disaster wasn’t it? “I like to think that the Seven work best as a cohesive team, that we play upon each other’s strengths to try to bring all of us up at the same time,” she said finally. It was a diplomatic, if safe answer, as she really didn’t want to risk anyone’s egos getting hurt. Well, not that she thought Maeve would care, but Deep and A-train…that might not ring so true, and she was sure that saying anything about Homelander right now was a very bad idea. At least, that was the vibe she got. Maybe it was better to be safe than sorry? She didn’t know, as she sighed. “I do believe that I am closest to Queen Maeve. Girls get it done, you know?” Ah hell, why not just sell the lie.
  9. It was true that part of her speech was scripted, but so far Vought liked it that way. So long as it didn’t raise any fuss or eyebrows, the safe way was usually what they sprung for in these sorts of speeches. She smiled back at Mags and the others in a noncommittal, bland way, maybe such as the one reserved for celebrities when they met with the public. She sighed, holding herself back as she remembered that time…well, she had no choice but to lie. Vought handlers everywhere, as she turned back to face the others. No doubt there were other ears than just these in here listening. “Interviewing for the Seven is like interviewing for any job really…but on a bigger scale. These are the top heroes in the world, and you really have to show them that you’re up to the task.” She really was making this shit up as she went along, but she could sense the cameras eyes on her even now. Maybe that was enough to guarantee her safety. Maybe. She knew Homelander was still sort of ‘tight’ with Deep for now anyway. “The key to interviewing for the Seven, and for any hero team in general…build up your resume. Or your portfolio if you’re a solo hero. Get visibility by saving people, stopping bad guys, that sort of thing.” Rather generic advice maybe, but that would bail her out for now.
  10. Everything seemed to be going pretty smoothly, which was honestly the best thing that one could hope for when it came to one of these meet and greets. Starlight tried to put her best foot forward, as she would extend her hand out to shake. “I will try to answer as best as I can,” she said with a slight chuckle, her hand on her hips, as she considered the question. Well, that was not a loaded question at all for sure… But she still had her public image to maintain, as she answered. “What I love most about being in the Seven is to be out there inspiring people, through our example.” It was a safe, corporate friendly answer, given that some of the Vought people were in the room as well. Indeed, it was an okayish answer, but she hoped that they’d accept it. Overall, she thought maybe they could do with some expansion of that comment. “Having that team structure to support you is also very good, and what’s more important to me personally is how being in the Seven helps prepare you for being a better hero.” There…that was a backhanded compliment, but one she hoped the Vought people wouldn’t catch, as it only appeared complimentary on the surface. She nodded and smiled to Mags, wondering if they’d figure the tone.
  11. Starlight told herself that this was something that she could never get used to. The feeling of being in the spotlight, that she’d felt on her shoulder ever since she’d gotten involved with the Seven. But here she was, waiting for a meet and greet with another team. ‘Super Pals’… something like that. It seemed to her that there were new teams starting off every week, all Vought Sponsored in some way, she was sure. Nevertheless, she was happy to try to be there for the up and coming within the hero world. Hopefully she could set a good example for these who genuinely were trying to make a difference in the world with their powers. There were quite a few who genuinely didn’t…. Walking in the room, she smiled and waved to the assembled group, as she had been given a quick rundown of who everyone was before entering, by the vought employee. “Hello everyone, it’s good to meet you all. You’re the next generation of Supes, and you’re an inspiration to us all.” Yes, that was Vought inspired drivel, but she hoped that she was selling it with a sincere enough face. She did want to help these people, and probably she was the best one in the Seven to do so. Everyone else was well….in any event it was probably better it was her doing this then the Deep. She would do her best to at least ensure that everyone had a good experience, not that she felt that she was being ‘on display’ so to speak. But she did do her best to shake hands, take photos, and sign autographs, as she looked them over. “So, it’s really great to meet all of you. Especially the newer generations of Supes. I know you all must have questions about what it’s like- being in the Seven,” she said, as she faced Mags.
  12. The new supe seemed to react in a very nonplussed manner to Starlight’s reveal. For that matter, the blonde just watched Brittania carefully. Eyes narrowingly, she figured she could always ask the specifics later, but it wouldn’t escape her notice how carefully this woman was watching around her, how unfamiliar it obviously was to her. Little things like that, she seemed to pick up on… There… There it was. “It’s Two Thousand Twenty-Two…and yes you’re in New York. Just…maybe changed a bit since you’ve seen it last.?" At this point, her theory was essentially confirmed. This was a woman out of time. Interesting…not that she found any reason to be overtly concerned, but just to note this…she did feel that was something to keep in mind for the future. For a second there, she eyed the woman, just making sure of something. Then she made up her mind. “After we get this guy in custody, maybe we can you know…talk. I think there’s some stuff you might want to catch up on.” Indeed, now that the light was a bit better, she could see the battlefield clearer, including the ‘hatch’, if indeed that was what it was. Maybe she needed to be the one to give this woman a debrief.
  13. Now that they had given the man an ultimatum, Starlight knew that they couldn’t back down- it was going to make them look weak. “Five…four…” she began counting down, her hands glowing with each step as she heard the man cuss the both of them out. Indeed, she felt her patience rapidly running out… What was going on? Back when she’d joined the Seven she had been young and idealistic? How had it come to this? “Two…one-“ The light shown as she was shining the light directly in his face, amplifying it as much as she could. The nearby lamppost flickered as she was drawing power, yet she didn’t care. This was about sending a message, getting him to talk. Starlight believed that she wouldn’t go so far as to actually hurt him…that would be going ‘too far. Looking up at Brit, as she put her hands away, she sighed…hoping it worked. “You’re…new in town I take it?” She pointed up, above them was a billboard for the ‘Seven’ with Homelander front and center, and her near the edge of it. “Is that enough ID for you?” She wasn’t sure what this woman was getting at, although the tone of her voice sounded genuinely confused. Again she nodded, keeping the man up from falling via holding his shoulder. “Sure. I can get people over to detain him straightaway. You don’t have to worry…might want to stick around so we can take your statement too.” She didn’t think it would take that long anyways, although she figured that it was probably best they got this whole thing over with sooner rather than later in any event.
  14. Starlight looked at Brit...there was a certain hardness in her eyes. While not at that level, it was something she'd seen in the other supes around her, Homelander, Noir...even Maeve to some extent. "I'm not going anywhere," Starlight replied. After all, she might have been all new to whatever was going on here...but she would get to the bottom of this. At least as a member of the Seven it was her duty to do so. The man for his part, he didnt seem to respond, even as the 'enhanced interrogation' continued. He was made of some sterner stuff, it seemed, and Starlight heard his screams. Yeah, he was not going to be giving in easily, as she bit her lip. She'd seen this shit before. All that would happen was this guy would be reduced to a quivering mess rather than talk. Placing a hand on the man's shoulder, she faced Brit. "Allow us to take this man into custody. I do not know why he attacked you, but as a member of the Seven, I have the resources to be able to get some answers..." She could see that this man seemed resistant to torture. But again, there were always ways around it. People who had mental powers, for example... brute force wasn't going to cut it here. But...she did know the value of making good on threats as she looked at Brit, swallowing. "After all... he only needs one good hand to be able to write with right?" She was not used to using the stick, but sometimes, it was the only language some people understood.
  15. The back and forth continued for a bit, before Starlight was confident that the man wasn't going to break so easily...or so he thought. Clearly, he had a high opinion of himself, but she'd seen people like hat before, as her own and started to light up. Not that she would do this often, but maybe Hughie was rubbing off on her a bit....the company you keep and all that. The light would shine brighter, as she waved her hand in front of his face. "Fine...be that way," she said softly, as she held the light more in front of his face. Looking up at Brit, she believed the other woman might be effective in interrogation techniques as well. Starlight was just trying to scare him a bit. After all, not like her first time using light like this to get what she needed...as she thought with some twinge of regret about that guy in that car that time. That had been an accident... "Why don't you tell us what we want to know?" The light shone brighter...in front of his face.
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