It's a Small World
By Michael Moore

Dedicated to: The Authors of the CoH Writer's Guild




"Is this really neccessary? I mean, I would rather be wearing black. I look good in black." Rick Ferguson asked as he finished putting on his brand new white tuxedo.
"Black doesn't really go with the whole 'Christmas' theme. White's much more fashionable." Carmen Armstrong replied. She twirled in place to show off her glittering silvery dress. Despite her bright red hair, the look actually worked for her.
Since when does she care about fashion? Rick asked himself quietly. Ever since he had become human the lady had been able to push him around. I should've stayed as a cosmic entity.
"Where's the party again?" Johnny, Carmen's brother, asked as he popped his equally red hair in the door. It was lucky that Johnny was almost completely devoid of freckles, he already looked too strange without thumbs, a favor done to him by Tony Danza of the Family.
"Kids, get in here!" Jimmy, a.k.a. Tectonix, called from the living room. The three rolled their eyes. Just like Tec to treat everyone like kids. He aged slowly, but was already in his late forties.
"Who all's going to be at the party anyway? May have to suit up."Rick put in a desperate last attempt to get out of his tux. Carmen merely smiled left the room.
It was supposed to be a hero only gathering, with some of the biggest names in Paragon showing up, outside of the Surviving Eight of course. Top Ten was going to be there, as was the so far unnamed super team that had moved into Steel Canyon not long ago. There were also others that had been given special invitations because of their first heroic acts.
"Ghost comin'?" John, a.k.a. Professor Quartz, asked Dr. Ferguson. Ghost Hero had been a very dependable part of the team so far, but hadn't acted alongside the group yet in missions.
The doctor nodded but continued with his work. The man had a unique ability to multitask, a useful skill when working with dangerous chemicals. "He'll be taking the limo with the Johns. Start socializing with him and he'll hopefully start helping out with my debts."
Rick frowned as he stepped out of the makeshift dressing room. "Okay, that's enough preperation. Let's get moving people! Upstairs now!" The assembled heroes made mocking salutes and headed toward the newly renovated staircase to the surface of the building.
When they had all reached the street they found a man standing in his sunday best, a blue suit with white undershirt and a necktie along with some very expensive looking shoes, next to two limousines. But the man's hair was in rigid purple spikes and had glowing purple eyes.
He stepped back and held the door to the rear limo open. "Shall we?" Carmen nodded and entered the very spacious ride along with Rick, Johnny, Quartz, and the Ghost Hero. Tec was in front along with several other heroes who had been picked up earlier.
Tec glanced around at the heroes and heroines surrounding him. He tried to match their faces one at a time with who he knew whould be at the party but couldn't find one until he saw the last two. One was a very beautiful woman in a flowing dress and the other was a red skinned man with spiked hair. "You're Tropic and WillowWind! From Top Ten!"
Tropic gave a crooked grin and replied, "And you're that guy who was sent to the hospital when a gas pipe exploded. Tec blushed a little, which couldn't be seen because of his rock like skin.
"Actually it was the White Hellion. He had survived somehow and only needed air to ignite his fire powers." he remarked lamely. He knew he sounded more like a child now than he ever had in his youth. It even sounded like a bad lie to him. But they didn't push the subject.
"So, who are you? I don't think we need to introduce ourselves." WillowWind asked from her place next to Tropic. The other heroes were engaged in some other conversation about a battle at the colosseum.
Tec extended his hand and the two Top Ten members shook it gratefully. "I'm Tectonix. But you can call me Tec, since everyone else does. I've heard some crazy stories about you guys. Even watched the broadcast when you were given a key to the city. You two had some night!"
As the heroes were becoming acquainted in the first limousine, the party in Atlas Park was already getting underway. A large group of heroes arrived at the party site in very grand fashion, private cars and even a red carpet were laid out for them.
The heroes were none other than Sara Shaughnessy, known as Solanum, and friends. Nightbringer, White Diamond, Live Wire, The Vision and more were sweeping in. All of them in possibly their best attire of the year.
Looking back, it was a good way to begin such a night.



Before the music began, the partiers were given some time to mingle. Some headed for the refreshment table, and others waded helplessly through the crowd looking for dance partners. Among them were the now free Bianca and Johnny. Neither of them had been lucky enough to snag someone before they had to leave. Even Kirk, The Vision, had a partner from Chicago, Prismatic.
Rick, Reaper, was trying to find someone who he could have an intelligent conversation with other than Johnny. "Note to self, if I die, do not haunt Arizona." he thought quietly. He continued on with his hands in his pockets, trying to distinguish real people in white suits and dresses from the walls.
"Hey, need somethin' man?" someone called to him. Turning around he saw a kid who should be somewhere in high school. "Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. Who're you looking for?"
"Kid, why are you here? Surely you're not a hero." Rick replied walking up to him.
He smiled. "Name's Evan, and I'm more of a hero than you think." he said as a long spike extended from his forearm out of his sleeve. Rick chuckled and leaned forward so that they were eye to eye.
"Name's Reaper, and I've been alive longer than this planet." He let his eyes glow red as they did when he was in costume. The result was a spooked Evan who didn't want to show it.
Back at the refreshment table, four of the most vain women in the city were trying to decide how to prove they were the most beautiful. For some of them, it was just to shut the others up. In the end, WillowWind, Solanum, Xandria, and Scarlet decided that they would have a judged dance competition. Now they only needed to get their dance partners to agree.
"Crazy night, eh?" Skyburn asked Bzald who was just now walking through the double doors.Bzald laughed but shook his head.
"I had a little trouble with the car. They don't work too well when a rogue Skull breaks into 'em." Bzald replied.
"Okay! One, two, three, go!" Quartz called out. The arm wrestling match between Big Puerto Rico and Tectonix had begun. Big PR had the match from the beginning, but let the other think they had a chance for a few seconds before slamming his hand down hard on the table.
Quartz held up Big PR's hand and declared, "The winner! Who's next to take on the champ?" Big PR was smiling playfully waved in random people to test their strength.
Looking over the festivities, the three men behind two way mirrored office gave a toast to their brilliant plan. The men were representatives from some of the darkest villain groups in Paragon City. One was Travis Beig, an executive of the Malta organization. The next was Samuel N. Quarmick of Crey Industries. And the final was Tony Danza of the Family.
"Sammy, you are a genius!" Travis said as he popped open anoter bottle of wine. "All of us alone wouldn't have stood a chance taking on any of these guys. They would've called in their precious friends."
Tony nodded and drained his glass. "They've all taken too much out of us. I had some ideas, but when Draco was taken down they all dissapeared."
Sammy himself was smiling with pride and rubbing his hand over his bald head. "Well what else would we have done? Even if this plan fails, we all get away scott free because of Beig's friends!"
"It's also a good reason to get away with raiding my personal cache, my friends." Tony reminded them. They gave a hearty laugh and toasted their genius once more before returning their attention to the party.
"Tropic! Tropic! Honestly, when I want to find him for something really important!" WillowWind was scowling. Her date had mysteriously gone missing just after she had started looking for him. "Hey, War Witch, have you seen Tropic?"
"Only in the papers since he saved us from the Techno Mage. Good times, huh?" War Witch replied. She remembered exactly how that little adventure had ended, as did Willow. "Maybe we shouldn't try it again, of course."
Willow eyed War Witch for a second but then proceeded to question every person that couldn't run fast enough to escape her iron grip.
Ghost Hero was trying his best to blend in, but he couldn't do that too well until Fatal Anomaly walked in. The man was carrying a full sized auto rifle which he should have left at home. "Hey, buddy, you need to at least put that thing down!" Skyburn said walking up to him. Fatal only glared at him until Skyburn walked away.
"Geez, that guy's going to stand out more than you." Skyburn replied as he walked past Ghost Hero.
"Thanks for the positive reinforcement." Ghost said sarcastically. He was about to add to the comment when the speakers rang out with the house DJ's voice.
"Who's ready for the real party to begin? Alright, for all you couples out there tonight, grab your partner and get ready to slow dance. If you don't have a partner, find one quick because we're not waiting long. Will everyone else please turn on their magnetism and stick to the walls for awhile."
When the voice quit speaking it was replaced with a beautiful sonata meant just for such an occasion. Various men found themselves being dragged onto the dance floor, among them Tropic who had been hiding behind Big Puerto Rico until the man had stepped away.
Skyburn was dancing with GoGo, Reaper with Scarlet, Kirk with Prismatic, and General Scrap with War Witch. The others were too numerous to count, but these were some of the more unusual matches. The four competing heroines glared at each other whenever they could but still enjoyed the overall dance.
Outside, in the falling snow, a lone figure stood gazing through the walls of the building. "Pretty little pelts for master's wall. One little man will take them all." he rhymed aloud. No one paid any attention to him, but they should have.

TO BE CONTINUED
TO PART 2 >
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