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Faith, Hope, and a Few Unlikely Superpowers

Chapter One – The Arrival

Paragon City.

Shining example of democracy, peace, justice, and all that is good.

Apart from the consistent barrage of Hellions, Clockwork, Skulls, Circle of Thorns mages, Outcasts, Trolls, Lost, Arachnos minions, and the occasional influx of invading Rikti hordes, that is.

But to counterbalance their presence, several have donned the mantles, tights, masks, and other outlandish costumes of the few, the proud…

The superheroes.

Wielding powers just as impressive, damaging, and bizarre as their enemies, the good heroes of Paragon City fight the good fight every day.

Good, evil, and downright weird. It’s all here.

And the weirdness factor of Paragon City is about to go up by one…

With a blinding flash of silver light, a deafening crack, and the sharp tang of ozone almost overwhelming her, Sister Johanna Sinclair found herself looking up at the vast statue of Atlas that dominated the park in front of Paragon City Hall, trying not to look too impressed. Then she lifted one hand and shaded her eyes as she peered upward. Unless she was very much mistaken, there were people up on top of the statue. Then she turned and looked behind her to gaze up at the gleaming white building that was Paragon City Hall, the flag flying proudly above it. It was a beautiful sight… albeit slightly marred by the five or six people she could see having what looked like a dance party up by the flag.

“Well, this looks like the right time zone, at least.” She looked around and saw several superheroes milling around, including about two dozen who were lined up underneath the statue, posing before another hero who seemed to be holding some sort of… costume contest?

Grinning, she pushed her shaded glasses back up her nose and studied some of the entrants. There were some good-looking guys up there… and as for their costumes…

Her lips curved in a most un-Sisterly manner as she tilted her head to check out some of the other contestants.

Then Johanna glanced down at her feet, wondering why in the world, with all the available space in the park she could have appeared in, she had to appear standing in the fountain.

“It never fails. Phenomenal cosmic powers, and I still can’t even manage a dignified arrival.”

She reached up and activated the communicator in her right ear.

“Anomaly to Iron Maiden.”

Kate here. Safe arrival?”

“Thankfully, yes.”

I’ll let the others know you’ve arrived, then.”

“Great, thanks.” The nun tried and failed to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.

Judging by your tone, you ended up in another dumpster?”

Johanna frowned, even though Kate couldn’t see her. She had hoped that the other Sister would have forgotten about that little mishap, but no such luck.

“No, actually. This time it was a fountain.”

You’re improving. Glad to know you’re all right, though. Did you at least appear near City Hall?”

“Give me some credit, Kate,” she said with exasperation, and she heard Kate chuckle.

You never know… oh, and your VIP pass?”

“Yes, I’ve got it.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out the laminated pass that she’d been given just before her departure. It seemed to tingle against her fingertips, and she shoved it back into her pocket. “Although what I need this thing for, I have no idea.”

I imagine you’ll find out soon enough. Good luck on your mission, Sister. Kate out.”

Heaving a sigh, Johanna squelched her way out of the water and up the stairs, ignoring the newsie hawking his flyers out in front of the hall, and reached out to open the door. Then she fell back with a sudden shriek as several superheroes came zooming out in various blazes of colours before taking off into the sky. Overbalancing, she landed hard on her backside just as an enormous hero, easily twice her size, practically leapt over her to get in the doors.

“‘I’m sending you to Paragon City,’ she says,” Johanna muttered to herself, ignoring the amused glances she was getting from the various passersby as lay on her back, staring balefully up at the sky. “‘It’ll just be a short stay,’ she says. ‘You’ll just be lending a hand to the Twilight Vanguard team on behalf of the AX,’ she says. When I get back to Rome, I am SO going to give her Eminence a piece of my mind. Assuming I have any LEFT after this.”

Pushing her long auburn hair out of her face, she groaned, pulled herself to her feet, straightened her official AX robes, and entered City Hall.


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