The New Guy

A couple of weeks passed in relative quiet. Training, resting and healing for the team. No more was heard of ani-men after that night. Apperantly Circe's idea worked. Only Baybar ventured back every now and again to covertly visit his "mate" Stonewall for a few hours.

Their next assignment came on a Monday afternoon. Escort duty for a very strange cargo–a cryogenically frozen multiple felon named Sarah Phoenix.

Stonewall sighed, shaking her head. "Popsicle patrol?"

"Kinda strange…" Blink replies. "Just depends on the flavor of the ice, I guess."

"Are we gonna dare each other to lick it?" Fox asked grinning.

"No, thank you…" Photon said. Then she added, to nobody in particular, "Please tell me we won't have to deal with someone waking up from cryosuspension again…"

Fox grinned. "Hey, think of it as the best way to babysit. At least they won't squeal if you have your best guy or gal over for some heavy petting."

Blink bursts out laughing. "Foxygirl, you are a card!!" she says.

Fox grinned. "Comes naturally."

"So does Stonewall," Circe said dryly, "and often."

Dr. Morsham coughed lightly, bringing attention to the front of the room. "Ms. Phoenix has been detained for over 20 years. Chances are she will remain that way barring outside intervention. That is what we are worried about. As one of the first metahumans and a criminal, she stands as some sort of bizarre martyr for the Mutant movement."

Stonewall whistled. "Whoah, old school…" She shrugged. "So we guard it, kick ass, and try not to defrost her. I missing anything?"

"Nothin' that can't be handled," Fox said, smiling.

"Speaking of 'outside intervention', have there been any known security breaches involving Ms. Phoenix or information about her?" Photon asked.

Blink nodded. I'd like to know that myself… she thought.

"Aside from the usual press releases, no." Morsham had Holly call up the Screamsheet reports. Details on the exact time, method and destination of the transfer were kept out of the faxes.

"There have been some intra Net rumors," Holly added. "Fairly typical blind theories and rantings, though. Particularly on mutants boards and among the conspiracy theorist set."

"So we may have to deal with fanatics, mutants, metas… just another day at the office," Blink said nonchalantly. "When do we start?"

"Two days from now. We head out and meet with the SoCal Interstate Police at the detention facility on Ragor's Island."

"Does anyone else see the irony in this?" Blink asked. "I know the SoCal fuzz doesn't like me… must have been the missing data files from the commissioner's office… but I could be wrong." she grinned.

Fox shrugged. "What are we going to do 'til then?"

"That's up to you." Morsham shrugged.

Stonewall grinned. "Anyone want to help me plan a wedding?"

"Sure," Blink said. "Who's getting married? And to who?"

"Me. To Scarab."

Fox smirked. "Kewl… getting hitched huh? I'll be in charge of finding the ball and chain… or maybe the shackles," she said.

Stoney grinned. "No need, we've got our own sets…"

"Oooh, a bondage babe?" Foxy asked.

Stoney grinned. "I swing about a dozen ways, babe…"

Fox smirked, "Mmm… lucky man"

Stonewall grinned. "He better think so."

"Well, he proposed, didn't he?" she asked. "Though one guy for the rest of your life… man that could be a long time."

Stoney grinned. "I think we're allowed to fool around, right honey?" She looked to Scarab.

"That's a hell of thing to ask before the ceremony," he laughed.

Stonewall grinned. "You knew I was a slut when you asked me."

"Looks like we all are." Blink said. "Cept maybe Photon and Holly girl. Though with some creative reprogramming…"

Photon smiled slightly, but said nothing.

"Of Photon or myself?" Holly asked. "While physically it might be easier to accomplish with me, I lack the requisite biological accessories."

"Sides, we like our gogirl Holly the way she is, right?"

"Of course," Photon replied.

"You bet, Holly-girl. Wouldn't have you any other way…" Blink said. "What have you got in your data banks regarding weddings?"

"I have all documented ceremonies, rites and rituals recorded. As an AI I am legally able to enact weddings in this jurisdiction, though not in the religious sense."

"Five by five." Blink said. "A decent holo of a preacher man, and we're set." She turned to Stoney. "Okay, girl. Holly has all the biz. Up to you to decide what you want now."

Stoney grinned. "Works for me. Of course, the first smart comment about me wearing white, and I bust heads."

"What would you consider a smart comment?" Fox asked, wriggling her eyebrows.

Stonewall smiled. "Want to try your luck?"

"Well, wearing white might be all right…" Blink said. "Maybe…off-white?" She grinned at Stoney.

"Buncha comedians here… Watch out, or I'll make you bridesmaids wear something ugly and pink."

"You're the one getting hitched first'you really wanna do something bad? I mean, we all can make up for it later…" Her grin was evil.

"Yeah, but I'm getting the only other eligible bachelor on the island… Unless you and Blinky are gonna get married just to make me wear something frilly?"

"Might be worth it just to see you in something fluffy with big honkin bows all over."

"Don't push it, gogirl…"

Blink laughed. "Can you imagine? Stoney, all in… oh, yellow! Wit a big poofy bow on each shoulder? And one over her butt?!?" Blink nearly doubled over, laughing. "Not that you don't have a nice butt, Stoney. But that would be one for the memory banks!!"

"Like this?" Holly projected a hologram of just that image over the meeting table. "I could process a pattern for Ellcee to sew if you wish."

"That's it. Someone's gotta die…" Stonewall grumped.

"Tell her to start sewing, Holly," Fox said, grinning. "Umm… so do you propose Blinky or do I?"

"Um, I don't know. How do you feel about group marraiges? I'm already involved with the doc." Blink shrugged. "We'd kind of have to ask her."

"Would it wind up with Stoney dressed like that?" Fox teased.

"You mean like this?" Photon asked, grinning impishly. With an offhand gesture, she created an image of the dress on Stonewall.

Scarab finally lost his composure and broke into sputtering laughter. Even the normally dour Dr. Morsham cracked a smile.

Stonewall looked down, then back up. "So, how much more time on my sentence if I shove the boss' head where the sun don't shine?" She grinned, kicking her chair a few feet to the side.

"Oh Stoney," Fox said grinning, "You'd look too cute!"

Stoney grinned. "You, I can just hide the evidence…"

Fox stuck her tongue out while winking. "Mmm… where you gonna stick me?"

Stoney grinned. "Where do you wanna get stuck?"

Fox smirked, "Mmm… warm and wet baby"

Stoney smirked. "You so need a man…"

"A man?" Fox said, chuckling. "Nah, I just need sex. I don't have a play pal here." She sniffed, dabbing at her eyes. "Mine's gettin' married."

Stoney grinned. "Well, I'm sure we can arrange some kind of orgy…" She winked at Scarab.

Fox grinned looking to Scarab, she had calmed down after getting to know him more. "That would always be fun too."

"You two would proably kill me," he deadpanned.

Blink watched the interchange. "You know, Foxy, I bet Holly-girl could progrma somethign for you." She held up her right hand. "Of course, there's something to be said for 'state of the art'…"

"Well," Morsham spoke up. "You'll be leaving in 5 hours, so make whatever preperations you want now."

The VTOL set down, coming in for a landing at the Dixie Federal Prison landing pad.

"Nice place…" Stonewall said, looking out over the yard.

"Awww, come on, Stoney? It doesn't have that nice homey feel to it?" Blink grinned wryly. "Prison is prison, be it lined in stone or silk."

Fox looked around. "The sooner we leave the happier I'll be."

"That being the case," Photon remarked, stretching in her seat, "I'd better get in there and claim the newest member of our little club." She shook her head briefly, then stood and moved to the exit.

The reinforced doors slid open for a trio of armored guards and their prisoner, the heavily restrained meta.

Photon stepped forward and displayed her official ID. "We're here to collect your prisoner."

"And you're welcome to him," the gaurd replied with a thick Southern accent, handing her the manacle controls.

Photon accepted the controls for the prisoner's restraints, saying to the guards, "We'll make sure the restraints and the control unit are returned." She then spoke into her communicator. "Holly, prison people like records, so you'd better record somewhere that we've collected the latest addition to our little group."

The prisoner stepped slowly down the ramp, his footfalls echoing in time with the guards that surrounded him. He seemed different from the prior hopefulls. He walked with his head high, but not out of defiance or out of overconfidence, but as one who was genuinely pleased to be there. As if he were coming into his own. "Greetings," he said to them, his auburn tresses falling about his green and gold speckled eyes, "I'm Jonathon Compton."

"Hello, Jonathan," Fox said, smiling. "I'm Fox."

Blink looked up at him. "I'm Blink. Welcome to the team."

Stonewall nodded to him. "Stonewall. Howdy."

Jonathon jingled to a stop at the base of the ramp, the tethering chain between his ankles rattling on the concrete ramp and managed to look regal despite his bright yellow prison jumpsuit. The brilliant color combined with the reflective striping, one across his chest, the others on his limbs in a strange mockery of racing stripes would make it more difficult for him to escape notice should he run.

He raised the chome steel manacles that he sported in greeting. The restarints completely encased his fists so he couldn't even use his fingers. They were designed that way since during the early years of metahuman emergence, one of the prisoners reached out using only his fingers and crushed the shoulder of one of the guards holding him in an attempt to escape.

"I really have to get myself some clothes," he stated simply, a twinkle in his oddly flecked eyes. "Mom would kill me if she saw me in public with a getup like this."

Jonathon, now at level with the rest observed them, eyes serendipitously scouring their bodies, trying to determine their personalities, from the way they stood. It was a shame they were in uniform, one could tell much about a person from their selection of attire. Guns though, the one called Blink bore guns indicating a lack of physical offensive ability. That most likely made her some form of mentalist or a warrior with heightened speed and reflexes. Just to be on the safe side he firmed up on his loose thoughts that he'd been guarding so well within the penitentiary.

Stonewall returned the look, seeming to appraise him in turn. She was unarmed, and seemed physically fit and ready for action.

"Since the others seem to have introduced themselves, I'm Photon'or Jennifer when we're not on duty." She switched to a quieter voice as the group moved away from the two heavily-armed guards, saying, "I'd release you now, but prison guards tend to get a bit twitchy when you release their prisoner right in front of them, so that'll wait until we're aboard."

The young man, clearly the youngest of those gathered here, Jonathon smiled knowing the guard's wouldn't mind so much. The entire nation was sensationalized with his murder charge and how he'd stood in the court without benefit of a lawyer with his two mothers, the heroines Savior and Brash, by his side and pleaded guilty to killing the boy who'd murdered his girlfriend Anna before his eyes.

Stonewall's eyes widened a bit. A famous guy… Probably made sense, he was someone who could work with a second chance… Still, she was suprised the little hero hadn't been paroled by now.

Fox looked him over. "Oh, yeah, you need some new threads," she said, walking straight up to him and running her metal fingers over his shoulder for a moment. "You could try their stuff, or maybe you have your own style you like to keep?" she asked running a hand through her hair, then pushing her trenchcoat back over her hip as her hand came to rest there. She turned to Photon. "Might as well just let him loose here, what are the guards gonna do anyways… he's with us now. He's on the team!" she said with a fake enthusiam. Fox turned back to face Jonathon. "Aren't you the lucky one?"

Jonathon's eyes widened and his lower lip jutted out with the force of his surprise. He hadn't even used his moves yet and this older woman was all over him. It looked like his short prison stay hadn't dulled his edge. "I think it best to follow procedures," he answered her, wishing he had his hands free to do… something. "After all," he grinned, "what's five minutes to a few months in the pen?"

"Enough time for one quick fuck," Stonewall replied with a grin.

Fox looked at her, laughing. "Damn straight, girl! But then again, it's only enough for one quick fuck… some things are better with more time. Scarab doesn't look to be one for just a quick fuck… then again, not all of us are afianced." Fox laughed again, running her hand through her hair. "Not like that matters much," she said with a wink to Stoney.

Stonewall grinned. "I didn't say just one, Foxy girl… Just an earlier start…" She headed back onto the plane.

Fox nodded, "True… better get started then" she said walking over grabbing Jonathon's cuffs with one hand before turning and leading him to the plane with a wicked grin on her face.

Wide eyed, Jonathon discovered he was in a wholly new world. He couldn't help but note the obvious sexual overtures an being dragged along by the shackles. In fact, the only person she'd ever seen quite this forward was one of his mothers, Brash. "My mothers never said that there would be days like this," he said, shaking his head. "Now I know what they were holding back."

"Oh, don't worry baby, I never hold back," Fox said while leading him up the ramp. "We'll get you inside and get these nasty cuffs off. They can chafe something awful," she said, her ass swaying with every step. "So you didn't have to stay in there too long?"

"Don't get me wrong," he replied in a sincere tone, "they went through all the regular testing. If anything, my eagerness to get in on the Purgatory project probably had them thinking I was faking. They're quite thorough."

Fox blinked. "You asked to sign up? You have a fever or somethin?" she said, turning and pressing her flesh hand to his forehead a minute.

"I don't know how you liked it," he said, tapping Foxy lightly with his steel capped fists, "but the beds are rather lonely in there. I'd have volunteered for just about anything."

"There are worse things than Purgatory," Photon agreed. "Circe would have been forced into psychic isolation for the rest of her life if she hadn't been accepted, and she very nearly wasn't accepted." Then she grinned, and, looking at him appraisingly, said, "I should note, though, that if the comments from Fox and Stonewall alone are taken at face value, the problem won't be that you'll have a 'lonely' bed."

"Mmm… he won't," Fox said, caressing his face with her metal hand. "He's pretty cute." She winked at Jonathon before walking him more to the ship, her hand back on his cuffs.

Jonathon smirked, liking the strange social dynamic. "Is it my imagination," he asked, "or are these cuffs going to be staying on longer than necessary?"

"That probably depends on who's got the controls for those things," Photon said. She paused, then continued, "That's me, by the way."

"You'll leave 'em on for a bit, won't you, Photon? If I ask real nice?" Fox asked.

Jonathon shook his head, clearly amused. "So I figured," he said, irony dripping and and amused smirk slipped across his face.

Scarab emerged from the back of the plane. He was a tall fellow, at least six feet. But that was not his most striking feature by a long shot. Scarab was covered in a chitnous armor from head to toe. He had an insectile head and face, complete with small mandibles and large compound eyes.

Stonewall smiled, heading up the ramp to meet him, slipping her arms around his waist. "Hey baby… Missed me?"

"With every shot so far."

Stonewall grinned. "Maybe if I sat on your lap, you'd have better luck."

Jonathon, having spent his entire life around super beings of every shape and size was surprisingly non-plussed. After a moment's appraisal, the new hero had rationalized Scarab's appearance. "Wicked cool armour," he appraised with a nod.

"It's not armor," Scarab replied.

Fox looked over, a hand still on Jonathan's 'handcuffs'. "Want me to spank him, Scarab?" she asked with a wink.

"Don't bother," he replied, turning to go back into the plane.

Fox smiled as Scarab went up the ramp. "But can I if I want to?" she called after him.

Blink sat in a chair, knees up, her small form neatly held by the seat. "Holly?" she said quietly into the link she had added to her shades. "Tell me about this new guy, would you? Go-girl, he gives me the wigs."

Data streamed in, line after line sliding in the top of her glasses, semi-transparent characters superimposing themselves over her vision. Her custom designed software scoured a hundred databases she shouldn't even have had access to, withdrawing the information without even a trace of entry. The pertinent data was, as usual, bland. He was nineteen, she read, a student at the local university, and she could easily pull up his exact itinerary if she so wished. Only a few months ago he'd been tried and convicted of murdering a fellow student out of a fit of passion after the victim had killed his girlfriend. Exact details were all available to be followed up on, including news articles and documents that should have been sealed by the court.

There was more. His parents, both female, Savior and Brash, created new branches of data for her to follow. There was a link for his birth-father and Saviour's ex-husband, apparently a geneticist gone bad.

She followed the link about the geneticist for a bit, seeing if there was any link to her father. She also wanted to know what was 'special' about him… why he was here on the team…. Also some brief background on Savior and Brash… she wanted to know… although she didnt' know why… Absentmindedly, she rubbed her stomach.

Saviour and Brash, the datastreams taught her, were professional heroines. Saviour was a mentalist gifted with the ability to foresee deaths before they occurred. The telepath, along with her team of heros was famed for their ability to prevent all manner of violent deaths. Brash, her wife, was a traditional super strong, resilient metahuman.

The pair met in an attempt to capture Saviour's husband. The geneticist, in an attempt to gain supernormal abilities of his own, had turned himself into a horrendous monster. The before and after pictures of him were particularly gruesome. He was hunched over, his jaw grown enough to accommodate a human head with teeth to match. His stooped posture was a result of his brain which had grown, expanding down his brain stem and following the line of his spine down to nearly his tailbone. According to the file, he'd become a psionic fiend, feeding on others with psychic ability, literally consuming their brains by biting their heads off. Brash and Saviour had almost died bringing him to justice and now he was safely incarcerated behind reinforced walls and psionic dampers in one of the metahuman prisons converted out of Cold War missile silos.

"Damn…" she said softly. "How does he relate to them, Holly girl? And what does he do, that warrants bringing him into the Project?"

Surprisingly, the nature of his abilities was well researched and documented in comparison to many other metahumans, mostly due to the court's need to determine premeditation. Jonathon, named Sheathe for his unique ability possesses a psionic exoskeleton. A sheathe of psycho-kinetic energy that surrounds his body making him more resilient to damage, heightening his strength to low superhuman levels, to hurl telekinetic bolts, and allowing him to create stabbing weapons like the sword used on the victim. He had heightened reflexes and was classified as a minor telepath, showing little more than a talent for communication and defense. In general, the court ruled that his power, which was as much a part of his body as a human arm and in the heat of the moment had unleashed with everything he had.

"That doesn't explain much… He was as good as innocent… why become part of Purgatory?" Blink switched streams, trying to get a bit more info about their destination, blueprints, things that might be useful once they got there. She stored the info on Jonathan and the rest, and concentrated on the next mission.

Photon was the last to board the VTOL. She sealed the door behind her, then sat down in her chair, picked up her pad, and began perusing Jonathon's file. Damn, but I wish they'd give me the files on these guys before I meet them for once.

Perhaps this time it was because there seemed no reason at all for him to be here amongst them. As Photon looked over the files she couldn't understand it. The unanimous decision, both publicly and among the jury after the trial, seemed to be that, despite the murdered youth's family's objections, the mitigating circumstances were enough to practically absolve him. In essence, it seemed that it was his decision, that he had practically insisted on being punished to the full extent of the law.

Now this is downright odd. It looks like he would have gotten off if he'd allowed it to happen. What is he doing here? Photon decided she'd have a talk with him after the current mission was over. And perhaps with Willow, too'she was supposed to be part of the psychiatric support for Purgatory.

Their destination was an artifical atoll off the East Coast, near New York. The structure had been used to house illegal genetic and bioscience projects in the late 30's before being exposed and destroyed by local law enforcment. Since it had been converted into a store house for cryocriminals, but decaying facilities and budget cuts were leading to its deomissioning. The plane was about to set down in about an hour.

Fox looked over at Jonathan. They had freed his arms when the plane started. Smiling, she crossed her legs and asked, "So… what have you been missing since you've been stuck in there?"

"Trideo," he said with a smirk, knowing that wasn't the answer she was looking for. "Hopefully mom's kept up with the archiving on disc. I've missed I don't know how many episodes of Star Trek: Clandestine Strike."

"Oh… you go out of your way to watch the idiot box… okay," she said with a smirk.

"I'm nineteen…" he smirked, a fiendish sparkle in his eyes flitting joyously. He was obviously lying. "…in most states I can't even drink yet, let alone go clubbing."

"Don't lie to me, kid," she said, crossing her arms.

"No, seriously, check it," he said, still mischievious. "I am nineteen."

"You're full of crap," she said.

The computer result indicated that he was, truly, nineteen. "I swear to god I'm not lying about being nineteen," he said mirthfully.

She looked at him. "Well at least you're not jailbait," she said, smiling. Not that she was much older than him, but she'd let him make whatever assumptions he'd like to. "So then, what am I going to have to do with you… probably still a virgin…"

The young man laughed. "No, grandma," he informed her, taking a playful jab at her age, "sorry to dissappoint you."

"Mmm… Grandma? You must have a death wish," she said, shifting her metal arm slightly. "No desire to live?" she asked with a grin.

"I live dangerously," Jon said, reaching forward and caressing the steel with one hand. "My mom's legacy."

"Dangeroulsy and stupidly are two different things," she said.

"Well, not knowing what you guys do," Jon said with another smirk, "I'll pass on getting struck."

Smiling, Fox looked to him. She shifted her arm back from his and a 1 foot metal shaft popped out. Grabbing it, she spun her wrist and it turned into a full staff. "Be careful…I can show you other tricks…"

"Thanks, but no thanks," Jon bantered, "I don't want to see a shaft coming out from where it's not supposed to…"

She smiled, shifting the jacket back so her gun was exposed. "My staff is hidden for unexpected close combat. I'm rather good at a distance," she said, winking. "And trust me, that is the only thing that is hidden on me."

The boy nodded, noting how the woman missed out on his joke about her suddenly sporting a cock. "I believe that," he said, admiring her ample bust. Why not? She was practically throwing herself at him. In a way it was reminding her of mom who used the same strategy to get men. As Brash said, "If I don't scare them away, then they've passed the first test."

Fox simply watched him some noting his eyes, though she could have simply been ignoring his comment, which she was. "So, do you always play hard to get or do you ever go after women?"

Jonathon laughed, flexing the biceps crossed over his chest. He was young, but it looked like he knew his way to the college's gym. "Only when they're not pursuing me."

Fox smirked, "Oh… is that it? Okay" she said turning leaning back against her chair slightly, "I don't know if you'd be good on a Fox hunt though…" she said crossing her legs as she relaxed glancing at him from the side of her eye.

Blink snorted from her chair. "Well aren't you the king of the ladykillers?" she said, with a half grin.

Jonathon took his gaze from Fox for a moment. "Well," he quipped, "older ladies are supposed to be good in bed… I must be in heaven."

Fox looked to Blink to see what her reaction would be. Blink looked at him. "Older… Foxy is, a bit. But you don't know me from Eve. I could be younger than you." She looked to Fox and back at Jonathon. "I started very young…"

Fox smiled. "I'm not that much older than him," she said, winking to Blink.

"Ah," Jonathon said dismissively, "you can't pull my leg. Odds are if you much younger than me you'd be a juvie and ineligible for the program. If I were playing Blackjack, I'd say I was sitting here with an ace in the table. Almost no chance for me to bust."

"I know… he thinks he's king, cuz he found some 'older' women…" she grinned. "He don' know us vewy well, do he?" she said, winking back at Foxy, even though she couldn't see it.

"You are correct, Blinkie… He's in for a rude awakening," Fox smirked audibly.

"I think I already got that," he answered vaguely, eyes momentarily distant. "So. Where do we bunk up?"

Fox looked at him. "Bunk up? We have rooms at the base."

"Yep," Blink said. "I'm sure Holly has something nice and nursery-like just for you." She paused. "Right now, you get to break in on a mission." She sat back down, letting the datastreams run.

Fox laughed. "Yeah… with side railings so you don't fall out of the bed," she said looking to Blink with a grin before smiling oh-too-sweetly at Jonathan.

"Yeah… he's really clueless, isn't he?" Blink replied.

Fox smiled, "Seems that way"

"Beats being old and ornery," Jonathon grinned and thumbed the side of his nose.

"Then c'mon, pup… show me what you got," Fox said.

"And you have yet to see ornery," Blink said, "or grumpy, for that matter."

Jonathon laughed. "Oh no…" he protested raising both arms, "I'm not going to start a super-powered sparring session in a supersonic jet. That's just asking for disaster."

"I wasn't looking for a fight, Jonathan," she said with a wicked grin.

"At least wait 'til we're back at base to ask him to whip it out, Foxy," Blink replied.

"O…kay," Fox said, pouting a little. "I'll be good."

"You're always good, Foxy. I'm just telling you to behave," Blink said.

Fox laughed. "True…"