Wunderkinder: Alone

 

FAIRFAX, IOWA, USA

January, 2022

 

The Infinity Legion’s decades of dominance over the infrastructure of Earth had led to many of the towns and smaller cities across the United States of America becoming slightly homogenous, with familiar elements on every street corner. Legion recruitment offices, news stands stocked with The Infinity Report, the occasional museum or monument…

 

A young woman who had grown up in such a city now found herself on the wrong side of the world as she knew it.

 

Her name was Mariah, and she had four more legs than she’d ever had before in her life. Her grossly elongated torso wobbled precariously as she fought to become used to the additional appendages and shifted weight. Her upper body was mercifully recognizable, though covered with a layer of fur that she’d also never had before.

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Wunderkinder: In Distress

BOULDER, COLORADO: “FAIRY GLEN” QUEER NIGHTCLUB

 

“Niiiiice,” the dancer emerging from the hall into the backstage dressing room was wearing little: a pair of pasties, a glittery pink thong with a faintly-noticeable bulge, and expertly-overapplied eyeshadow. They cut a small figure, slim and slight, with short red hair and a dusting of freckles all over their face and arms. In their hand was a large wad of dollar bills. “Lotta people out there.”

 

“That’s because they’re hoping one of us will be next,” a muscular young man replied, peering at his own made-up face in the mirror. He was slim too, but rather than a waifish figure, his was chiseled like a greek statue with a head of curly black hair to match. “It’s murder porn for them.”

 

The standing dancer made a face. “You’re such a buzzkill, Adam, what the hell.”

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Wunderkinder: Spectacle

BOULDER, COLORADO: ‘Fairy Glen’ Queer Nightclub

 

“This club is terrible,” Dave complained, sneering at the surroundings, “and it smells bad.”

 

“That’s you,” Chris wrinkled his nose, “you smell bad. You should have taken a shower.”

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Wunderkinder: Unqualified

FREELANCER RECRUITMENT OPTION,

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

 

They’re treating me like a human being, Mariah thought, fidgeting in her chair. I can’t decide whether that’s good or bad.

 

They were treating her like a human being, which should have been more reassuring than it was, but part of the job requirements sort of relied on her not being human. Moreover, the visit felt more like going to the DMV than potentially joining one of the great global powers, and Mariah had never been so far out of her element. Also, she couldn’t stop smelling like stale pizza grease, a new feature of her body since Vera started hanging around the apartment.

 

A woman looked at Mariah’s fourth piece of paperwork and frowned. “So, a gas station robbery?”

She didn’t sound impressed.

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Wunderkinder: Portfolio

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

VERA’S SEVENTH HOUSE

 

There was no sign of “Throwaway” at the Detroit safehouse for a few weeks. Just as her unlikely roommate began to worry, she managed to find a note pinned to the front door.

 

LONG TERM SUBTERFUGE ASSIGNMENT. WATCH FOR ME AT THE GOP DEBATE LOL.

-V”

 

“She’ll fit right in,” Mariah murmured to herself, squinting at the note. “Well, this certainly makes my sneaky plan easier. Why in the hell did she pin it to the front door, though?”

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Wunderkinder: Strategic

THE FLYING FORTRESS

(CURRENTLY ABOVE MONTREAL, CANADA)

 

Alice “Oathkeeper” McGowan leaned back from her desk, stretching her wrists and cracking her knuckles. Her role as General, Recruitment Management Officer, Logistics Manager, Public Relations Officer (depending on the day and the duties at hand) and, of course, a mother was a challenging one. But sometimes, on days like this… She knew she was doing some good in the world.

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Wunderkinder: Top Minds (epilogue)

THE FLYING FORTRESS

SOMEWHERE ABOVE ICELAND

 

The Flying Fortress is a marvel of modern tech. It’s the sort of thing that Legionnaires bring up in every debate against a Freelancer, and that Freelancers have no real answer to. It shouldn’t be in the air, somewhere above Iceland – but it is. The thing is made up of steel and magic and no one really knows what else, and it houses the bulk of the Legion’s forces and administrative staff, and a good deal of tech and vehicles and workshops and a couple of secrets that still haven’t been wrestled out of McGowan or Müller.

 

The outer rims of the Fortress are all decorated for civilian eyes – mahogany floors, small monuments and statues and portraits of Heroes past, present, and future, plush carpets. The farther in you get, the more barebones it becomes.

Until you reach the Core.

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Jupiter Strike and Oathkeeper IN: Rallying the Troops

The great meeting hall could easily sit a hundred Legionnaires, from the hulking Blast Zone to the meek Nix. Today, there were only two Legionnaires on Earth and on duty.


One of them was Alice “Oathkeeper” McGowan, one of the highest ranking Legionnaires on Earth and a legend. She sat, wearing a black and white spotted blouse above narrow white slacks. Her mane of golden hair was brushed back.

 

Next to her sat a girl, about twelve, with dense curly hair and disinterested hazel eyes, reading a book. This was not a Legionnaire – this was Ruth McGowan, daughter of Oathkeeper and Blue Streak.


There was a sizzle and a crackle outside the building, followed by a roll of thunder that reverberated through the building. It was maybe two, three heartbeats away. A minute later, a slim figure flew in, slow and gently for anyone who knew her.

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