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The Broken #11: Developing a Sense of Self Part 2: Meddling, Chapter 6: Costumes
By Ave Messer
PROTEAN: Link to bio
SPLIT: Link to bio
OLD MAN: not necessarily all that old looking, but something should indicate he's been around for quite some time. Celtic ancestry.
(Open to PROTEAN, looking light-hearted, going to his room. He gets to the doorway and sees SPLIT sitting on the bed, scanning one of his mythology books)
PROTEAN: Don't you want to turn on some light?
SPLIT: (Starts a little and looks up) I was thinking Lucian might come back.
PROTEAN: I don't see much of him these days. The guy does like to be left alone.
SPLIT: So, you were on a date?
PROTEAN: Yeah, Grant and my mom sprung it on me. Not much I can do in that circumstance. But she was nice. (SPLIT grabs the back of her neck, looking like she is trying to think of what to say) We got along pretty well, but we both agreed that there wasn't anything romantic between us. Then she killed me at the arcade.
SPLIT: (Shrugs) You were probably still better than me.
PROTEAN: (Fumbles in his pocket and pulls out two slips of paper) But my mom gave me these. They're for costumes. (Hands SPLIT one) They're from the same place Grant got his.
SPLIT: (Crinkles her nose) Ew.
PROTEAN: (Chuckles a little) I know. But it is a way to get costumes, which should be cool.
(Cut to the outside of a small shop with a modest door, above which is a sign that reads "Vecini's Costumes for the Heroically Inclined". PROTEAN and SPLIT are outside and enter, to see it slightly larger inside than out. Fabrics are stuffed onto shelves across the walls, more fabric and ribbons hanging from the ceiling and nearly touching the ground, which has many blocks of different metal slabs littering it. An OLD MAN-whose features show wisdom far more than age-is at a desk just visible behind sheets of fabric. He looks up and motions for the two to come forward. PROTEAN and SPLIT navigate the obstacles to get to him)
PROTEAN: Hi, we're looking for costumes.
OLD MAN: As would be well. You are in a costume store.
SPLIT: Where are they? All I see is fabric.
OLD MAN: (Narrows his eyes) This isn't Wal-Mart, little lady. Nothing comes prearranged and packaged in little bows so that anyone can try them on. What I make is unique to each person.
PROTEAN: Well, uh, we have these coupons. (Places them on the desk)
OLD MAN: (Looks at the coupons and then back at the kids) What are your powers, codenames, all that jazz?
PROTEAN: Uh, I'm a metamorph, I guess. I don't really have a name picked out.
OLD MAN: Animals? Objects?
PROTEAN: Animals. Mythological, but not humanoid.
OLD MAN: (Looking up to the ceiling as if making a mental checklist, muttering) So it's genetic, maybe Protean DNA. (Looks back at PROTEAN) What's your favorite form?
PROTEAN: Um, ah, I don't know. Anything cat-like that flies. What do you mean by Protean DNA?
OLD MAN: Proteus? The Greek god that could turn into any animal. (Turns to SPLIT) What about your powers, miss?
SPLIT: Well, it's a little hard to explain.
OLD MAN: (Smiles) Miss, I've seen every power imaginable come through here. It can't be too difficult to explain to me.
SPLIT: Well, I absorb the souls of the dead, or at least the recently dead. I don't know about those long dead. They act like split personalities and when they're in control, they have all their old powers.
OLD MAN: (Puts his hand to his chin) That does sound quite familiar, though I'm not sure if I've ever had that power here before. I'm assuming you've absorbed someone, then?
SPLIT: (Nods) My brother. He's a hydromancer.
OLD MAN: Interesting. So, what are your codenames?
OLD MAN: (Narrows his eyes a little) Mhm. And yours, miss?
PROTEAN: Split. (SPLIT shoots him a look)
OLD MAN: Okay, that's all the information I need.
PROTEAN: So, when do we pick them up?
OLD MAN: (Raises his hands. Mutters incomprehensible words and opens his palms to his sides. Fabric flies off shelves and unhooks from the ceiling, joined by some metal from the floor. All of this shoots directly into his open palms. SPLIT and PROTEAN stare in wonder, then flinch as the OLD MAN moves his hands to have his palms face them, all the while starting to glow. Wisps of energy wrap around SPLIT and PROTEAN as their bodies begin to glow almost blindingly. Then is over and the OLD MAN puts his arms back to his sides) There you go. (SPLIT and PROTEAN look down to see they are not in any costumes) Just think of your codenames and you will be in costume. (SPLIT and PROTEAN's clothing begins to shift and change, until each is in their costume) It's better than changing in a phone booth. SPLIT looks down at her costume with a surprise and a bit of disgust. Looks at PROTEAN and smiles at him. Turns back to the OLD MAN) It'll grow on you. They always do. To change back, just think about changing back. (SPLIT changes back)
PROTEAN: (Turning to go, SPLIT following) Thank you, Vecini.
OLD MAN: (As they leave) Send some of your friends my way.
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