The Replacements, Part Two: Weltgeist

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“Hey, Amber!” The air rippled as Blastwave flew down, setting gently on the grass of the park. “I sent you a message – is your comm off?”

“I've got it set to emergency calls only.” Timebender smiled, waving at her girlfriend as she stood from the bench where she, along with Lucky and Nadia, had been sitting. Ash stood beside them, his chrome coverings polished to a silver sheen as he silently watched over the park. He nodded to Blastwave, who absently waved back. “Weltgeist is teleporting in any minute now, and we didn't want to be distracted.”

“Yeah, I got your status update. Welcome to the team, Ash.” Blastwave turned her attention back to Timebender. “I wanted to talk to you about that.”

“Pretty amazing, isn't it? You know my father worked with Weltgeist?”

“Yeah, it's all on the records. Practically every major hero of the last century has worked with Weltgeist at one time or another.” Blastwave didn't smile. “Not really what I wanted to say, though.”

“I wonder why she wanted to work with us, though. I mean, sure, this place might have some history, but Weltgeist?” Timebender laughed. “Doctor Ecchs must be stewing in his boots at having to deal with someone like that.”

“If I know the Doc, he's relishing the challenge.” Lucky grinned, and the others nodded. Blastwave ground her teeth in frustration.

“That's all well and good, but you really need to be quiet a moment and listen…” Blastwave broke off as the air in front of her rippled, a thousand shades of color suddenly filling the park as light shone out. It collapsed backwards into a rainbow cloak, which swirled around a tall, feminine figure before settling into a shifting pattern. Even Blastwave fell silent as the group got a good look at Weltgeist.

Even now, with her power stilled, it was difficult to get a good look at her. Her cloak still shone faintly in a myriad of hues, each one casting prismatic shadows across the grass. A shimmering cowl obscured her face, leaving only her piercing purple eyes showing through grey-shadowed skin. Her hands, when she raised an arm in greeting, were a rich shade of bronze, and her faint smile was thin. “Greetings, Timebender. Lucky Lad. Miss Tyler, and Madame Blastwave. And… Ash, I believe?”

“Indeed. It is a pleasure to meet you, Madame Weltgeist. I look forwards to a long and fruitful partnership.”

“As do I.” Weltgeist inclined her head to Ash, then turned her attention to Blastwave. “I trust that all of my papers are in order?”

Blastwave opened her mouth to speak, but her words were drowned out by the sudden blast of a jet engine, as a mechanical platform swooped in overhead. “Well, well. The new Patchwork Champions, assembled already!” A voice boomed over the loudspeaker, and a screen flickered on to show the face of Doctor Ecchs. “Along with the illustrious Weltgeist. Well, Miss “Spirit of the World”, you're in for a surprise. You face no ordinary villain, but the neferaious Doctor Ecchs!”

“Ah, yes. Spencer Ecchs.” Weltgeist smiled a mysterious smile. “I fought your uncle in Hamburg, once. A mad genius.”

“Yeah, good old Uncle Otto. He always made the best Christmas presents…” Ecchs trailed off, his brow suddenly furrowing. “Woah, no. I'm not here to reminisce. I'm here to defeat you on your first day, to show who is truly superior in this town! Tremble before the power of Ectoplasmic Dispersal Arrays!” As he spoke, dozens of lasers unfolded from the base of the platform. As Timebender and Lucky tensed for action, and Nadia and Blastwave quickly retreated, Amber laughed.

“Already, Ecchs?”

“No time like the present, my dear.”

“Fine. Let's do this.” Timebender leapt into motion, ducking and weaving as the lasers created a thicket of firepower. Lucky shifted his stance, neatly sidestepping blasts. He shifted course around a pond, leaping over it as a brace of energy blasts reflected back up into the platform. Across the lawn, Ash raised his arm, sending a half-dozen pinecone grenades upwards to explode against the hardened infrastructure of the machine. A moment later, a half-dozen lasers scythed through Weltgeist, impacting harmlessly into the ground behind her.

There was a moment's pause. Ecchs frowned over the monitor. “Hey, what gives? That was a direct hit!You should be fading into a shadow of yourself, your ectoplasm scattered across the park for hours before you can reform!”

Weltgeist considered the beams dispassionately. “You are aware that I am not a ghost?”

“Um… of course I'm aware… obvious, really… just a little welcoming light show… eh… hoo boy.” Ecchs smiled nervously as rainbow light gathered around Weltgeist, surrounding her in an aura of shifting energy. “You know, I just remembered that I left the oven on back at the office. I'm just going to go and oh dear…” As the platform began to retreat, all of Weltgeist's gathered energy slammed outwards, sending the flying machine flipping end over end into the distance. Everyone watched as the ship faded into a dot, and then slammed into the side of the Malefico building with the sound, barely audible over the distance, of torn metal and shattered glass.

Weltgeist nodded thoughtfully. “Excellent firing sequence, and well-reinforced. It is lacking somewhat in the agility department, though.” She turned to the others. “I think this city will pose an interesting challenge.”

“I'm sure it will. For someone else.” Everyone turned in surprise, and Blastwave sighed heavily. “If you people would listen to me for two minutes, we could avoid this sort of thing. Weltgeist can't join the team.”

“Why not? She was brilliant just now!” Lucky waved his arm in the direction of Malefico.

“That goes without saying. What she is not is a U.S. citizen.” Blastwave turned her attention to Weltgeist, who considered carefully before replying.

“I consider myself a citizen of the world.”

“The United States doesn't really recognize global citizenship.” Blastwave's face was deadpan. “Did you consider filling out an application for permanent residence?”

“Those are important, now?” Weltgeist frowned thoughtfully.


“Ah. I see.” Weltgeist shook her head. “This is a bit problematic. My powers draw from my innate connection to global society. I do not believe I am capable of assigning myself to a single nation.” She sighed heavily. “I am sorry, Champions. It seems I will not be able to join you after all.”

“Well, crap.” Timebender shook her head, then shrugged. “Can she at least stay for dinner?”

“I think the government can handle that, yes.” Blastwave glanced over to Weltgeist, who nodded.

“That seems reasonable enough. I would be delighted.”

As the group headed out of the park, Lucky sighed. “So we don't get one of the famous heroes of all time on the team, but we do get her over for dinner?

“Better than nothing.” Nadia grinned, and after a moment Lucky nodded. With a shrug, he followed the others back to the apartment to eat.

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