Cape High Advent 2020 Day 24

“Today is Christmas Eve, everyone, and we are here at a very special concert out here in the Kansas Fields!” Blackbird says, her voice carrying over the roar of a crowd thanks to the mic. “We’ve found out, recently, that THE Justin has decided to become a Christmas Elf! That’s why he’s been setting up the biggest fund-raiser concert he’s ever had! He’s accepting money, clothes, or toys, and plans on donating all of it to our local shelters!”

She leads the way to a fenced off area to the side. There are black suits standing at the gate, but in front there are several of the Cape High students taking the donations and posing for pictures with the donators. They all seem to be having a great time. “We’ve got some great selfie options over here!” Blackbird says as the students wave at them happily. “So if you have some gently used toys or clothes you can spare, we’re looking for them!”

They head back to the stage, showing that Justin is rocking out on the stage with his band, playing Christmas carols and several new Christmas songs, while hundreds of teenage girls and their family members sing along. The song finishes and Justin looks over the crowd.

“And we’re joined by Blackbird and Gecko! Hey, guys!” he says over the mic. “Why don’t you come on up and you can do your interview now?”

“Sounds like fun!” Blackbird says as the two make their way up onto the stage. They hop up the side instead of taking the stairs.

“Everyone, these two are the reporters of a brand new station called VTV,” Justin says over the mic. “They’re working for the school I go to, right now, though. So—“

“Ho, ho, hooooo,” a familiar voice says, taking over the speakers. Everyone looks up, including the drone. Cold Steel floats overhead with his ratty version of a Santa suit on. He’s got a pile of presents wrapped up in metal strands on the back of his surfboard. “Hands up, everyone, I’m here to STEAL CHRISTMAS!”

The crowd has a mixed reaction, with several of the true Justin fans booing loudly and throwing things at him, but the family members that had come along start cheering their heads off (especially the guys.)

“Cold Steel! Have you no Christmas spirit?” Justin demands. The dramatic way he says it looks almost natural. “How could you steal presents from innocent civilians?”

“Well, mostly like this,” Cold Steel says, digging a handful of metal ball bearings out of his pocket and tossing them into the air. They shift, forming a long string that shoots out, wrapping around the Christmas tree on the edge of the stage. It wraps it up and lifts the tree into the air. Cold Steel flicks his fingers, sending the tree flying towards him. He drops it down in front of him, placing a heavily studded boot on it with a triumphant grin.

“Fighting is not part of the Christmas spirit, man, so I’m going to ask nicely. Let. The presents. GO!” Justin says.

“That didn’t sound like asking to me!” Cold Steel says.

“Then let me do it for him,” Kid Liberty says, coming from the table where they’re accepting gifts. He jumps into the air, floating in front of his brother. “You’re my brother, and it’s Christmas, but I’ve got no problem smacking some sense into you right now. Let the presents go, Cold Steel, or get a Merry Christmas smackdown!”

“I choose the smackdown,” Cold Steel says, grinning evilly before putting his mic away. The two start fighting, rushing through the sky and clashing in a well-practiced spar.

“And a one, a two, a three!” Justin calls out before launching into a brand-new song, which seems to be titled “Merry Christmas Smackdown.”

Blackbird and Gecko look at each other, then away, their shoulders shaking with repressed laughter. Gecko seems to recover first, but he’s still grinning from ear to ear as he grabs the mic and says, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!”

The screen fades out with the image of both of them waving going blurry before it turns black.

Cape High Advent 2020 Day 23

The screen lights up, showing a cozy image of Blackbird and Gecko sitting on a couch next to a massive Christmas tree. They’re drinking hot chocolate. There are several other kids sitting around, chatting, but they don’t seem to be the one being interviewed for the day.

Instead, Gecko finishes off his drink and looks at Blackbird. “You know, we’ve interviewed me, and we’ve interviewed a lot of the others, but what about you, Blackbird? What’s your Christmas plan?”

“I’m doing it,” she says. “I wanted to show the Super world something fun, because we’re all going through the same things, in some form or another. And you know that a lot of new capes have been brought into the group, the ones that classify as C or D. I thought they’d like to see this, as well.”

“But that can’t be all of it,” he says. “Isn’t there something personal you want to do?”

She looks thoughtful, and then puts her cup on a table and taps on her watch, bringing up a list. “Well, tomorrow we’re going to see Justin’s Elf-Ishness concert, and then on the big day I thought I’d make breakfast for my aunt and then come here for the big party. I mean, I’ve already got presents for everyone, and wrapped them, so… yeah, I’m pretty booked. Did you get your piercing?” she asks.

“I have it lined up with Cold Steel for after Christmas,” he says. “But… well, I DID sneak out to do one thing,” he admits, digging into his pocket. He pulls out a tiny box, holding it out to her.

“It isn’t Christmas, you know,” she says, only to grab it. “I didn’t bring yours, you know,” she adds.

“Go on and open it,” he says.

She nods, opening the box and staring for a moment before bursting out laughing. “You had Cold Steel make these, didn’t you?” she says, turning and showing the camera the earrings. They’re a pair of microphones with sapphires where the grille, the rounded part, should be. “These are amazing, Gecko, thank you!” she says, hugging him.

He looks awkward for a moment before hugging her back. Behind her back, he gives the screen and the rest of the room a thumbs up. She jerks as she hears giggles. “Did you just do something behind my back?” she accuses him.

“I would NEVER!” he says. “Here, the hug wasn’t done yet, right?”

“I’m Blackbird and he’s Gecko,” she says, turning to the camera.

“There goes my hug,” Gecko complains, as the rest of the room bursts out laughing.

“Signing off! See you tomorrow, everyone!”

The screen goes black.

Cape High Advent 2020 Day 22

  “So…” Gecko says, hesitantly. “This is a super that we don’t honestly want people to know about. It isn’t because she’s dangerous, well, I mean—“

“This is a very secret Santa story indeed, everyone,” Blackbird says, shoving past him with her mic in hand. “Our good friend here is planning on going into a very secretive, and very important job in the future! That’s why we need to make a few preparations before heading into this next place, and Gecko will be replacing the drone for the day.” She taps on her watch and her appearance changes completely, showing a typical teenager wearing a school jacket. Gecko nods, following suit before pulling out his phone.

“Switching to manual,” he says and the screen blinks for all of a half second before the view changes, lowering to chest level. The sound of a crowd roaring in the background is heard as they head into what looks like a high school football game.

“We’re here at a local high school football game to find our very special Secret Santa. Um… she doesn’t look like herself right now, does she?” she says to Gecko.

“She’s got an illusion on for the day, yeah,” he says.

“This calls for a bit of super tech!” Blackbird says—only to bring out her phone and tap on the screen. “Hi, are you busy right now?” she says.

“Oh, yeah, that’s SO high tech,” Gecko mutters.

“Okay, found her,” Blackbird says, leading the way through the crowd. The crowd seems to part, but it’s a second too late for her to be the cause. “Actually, Gecko, why don’t YOU go in front?” she says, rolling her eyes.

“Here, just walk next to me,” he says, and the viewers see his hand come out. She grabs it, and moves out of view. The crowd parts instinctively, several of them looking at Gecko with strange expressions. Soon enough, they see a table in the distance. The camera zooms in on a table with piles of presents and a young woman behind it. The young woman turns, sorting through the massive pile and handing a package to the teenager waiting.

“That’s her?” Gecko asks. The screen turns, showing Blackbird lifting a hand.

“That’s her,” she says after a second. They head to the table, moving to the side.

“Merry Christmas,” the young woman says. “One gift any mother would appreciate.”

“Do we, um, have to pay for this?” the teenager asks.

“It’s courtesy of the Hall!” Morgan says, smiling brilliantly. “And remember to take the card, please,” she adds, pointing to a pile of cards to the side. “If you, or anyone you know needs our help, please don’t hesitate to contact us, okay?”

The teen nods, stuffing the present into a bag and heading away with a worried expression.

“They all seem to think it’s a scam,” Morgan says with a sigh as she turns to Blackbird and Gecko. “How are you two doing?”

“Is it a scam?” Gecko asks.

“It’s not a scam,” Morgan says, laughing. “We’re giving them one present aimed at one person. It can be for themselves, a family member, or a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a teacher, that’s up to them. There’s a list of the items that they can pick from, and they’re already wrapped.”

“And why are you doing this?” Blackbird asks. “Since it’s not a scam?”

“We want to help the teens in Central. I believe that they’re discussing implementing this in the other branches, too,” Morgan says. “You’d be surprised at how difficult the holiday seasons can be for them. But we’re also giving out those cards. Mostly we’re looking for kids that are… different, like you two are, but there are other things we can help out with, as well.”

“This was your idea, wasn’t it?” Gecko says.

“It was my idea,” she admits, and then turns to the kid that’s just come up to the table, holding out the list of items as she explains what they’re doing.

“So is that ALL you’re doing for the holidays?” Blackbird asks as Morgan finishes with the new teen.

“I’m also going out on a Christmas date with Dragon,” Morgan says. “He promised me a circus.”

“Dude, I want to go!” Gecko says.

“You can’t go on a date with MY boyfriend, Gecko,” she says.

“Yeah, but if he’s building a circus, we can hit a different part than you’re in!” Gecko says.

“I would argue, but that sounds amazing,” Blackbird says. “You can talk him into it, right? The entire school would love that!”

“I didn’t say he was building it—“ Morgan starts out, only to shush them and help the teen who comes up to the table next.

“Then there’s a circus in town?” Gecko asks. “Let’s go see the circus!” he says to Blackbird.

“You sound like a little kid,” she says, but she’s got her phone out. “But I bet he’s making it,” she says. “I don’t see any circus online. We should threaten to show that video to the norms and see if that gets us in.”

“You are NOT blackmailing my boyfriend!” Morgan says as she hands over another present. “Fine, I’ll ASK him if everyone can come.”

“YES!” the two exclaim. “Let’s go tell the rest of the gang!” Gecko says.

“He hasn’t said yes, yet!” Morgan yells as they run off.

“He’ll say yes!” Blackbird yells back. “We’ll tell him you REALLY want us to come!”

“You are OFF my Christmas Card list!” Morgan yells after them, shaking a fist. Gecko and Blackbird burst out laughing, and the screen goes black.

Cape High Advent 2020 Day 21

“We really do need more female villains,” Blackbird says as she and Gecko appear in front of a hospital. “I mean, there’s Frosty, but she’s not from Cape High, and she’s working up north, right?”

“There’s the Deadly Darlin’s?” Gecko offers.

“South, and not teenagers,” Blackbird says. “I still think Gargoyle Girl would be a better villain than a hero.”

“I’m not going to argue that,” Gecko says. “Welcome, everyone, to another Christmas interview with Blackbird and Gecko! I’m Gecko, she’s Blackbird, and this…” he looks at the hospital, and then holds a finger up to his lips, “is something that absolutely CAN’T be leaked to the norm world, got it?”

“It would totally ruin his reputation,” Blackbird adds in a dramatic whisper.

“That’s right, we’re not here to see a healer,” Gecko says, only to look at Blackbird as she jerks slightly, looking to the right.

“This way!” she says, starting at a jog for the side of the building. As they get around the corner, they find themselves standing in the middle of what looks a lot like a snow globe. There are children and even a few adults, wandering through the winter wonderland. Many of them are in wheelchairs, or walking on crutches, or even being carried by their parents. And in the center of the snow globe is a large chair—where Santa SHOULD be sitting, but isn’t.

Dragon lounges on the chair, one leg draped over an armrest. There’s a line of children in front of him, each holding a piece of paper. “Okay, next!” he says, and the next child steps forward, holding up the page for him to see. “Are you SURE?” he asks. The child nods excitedly, and Dragon shakes his head. “One Tyrannosaurus Rex, coming up,” he says, waving a hand. The children squeal as a gigantic dinosaur appears, looming over the little boy that had asked for him. The boy lets out a shout of joy and promptly hugs the T-Rex. What’s REALLY funny is the T-Rex’s expression of shock. He disappears a second later.

“That WAS AMAZING!” the little boy says.

“Merry Christmas,” Dragon says. “Next!” The next child hobbles forward on crutches and lifts a picture. “Are you sure?” he asks.

“Yep! Once I get out of this cast I’m going to start training HARD!” the girl says.

“Then, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the future gold medalist!” a voice echoes out of nowhere and a gold medal appears around her neck.

“We CAN’T interrupt this, can we?” Blackbird says. “Gecko, let’s—“ she stops, looking around. “He got in line again, didn’t he?” she mutters, groaning. “Hey! Wait for me! I want to see something cool!” she says, racing after him.

The screen gives everyone a shot of a clown dancing the Macarena, accompanied by the sound of children laughing. Then it goes black.

Cape High Advent 2020 Day 20

“Merry Christmas, everyone! We’re heading into Cape High’s own kitchen, where we’re due to interview the future second-in-command of the South Branch Hall, Fire Hazard!” Blackbird says. She pushes a door open, revealing an older teen working in the kitchen. It’s almost like a scene from a cooking channel, because one moment he’s chopping vegetables, the next he’s pulling something out of the oven. “Fire Hazard, we’re here to—“

“You’re on chopping duty, Fre—Gecko,” Fire Hazard says. “Blackbird, set that stove over there to three-fifty, would you?”

“Um, right, got it,” Blackbird says, heading for the stove as Gecko washes his hands and takes one of the knives to get started. “Can I ask what you’re cooking for?”

“Dinner,” Fire Hazard says, giving her a strange look. “I thought that was obvious.”

“Um, yeah, I guess it sort of is,” she mutters. “Oven’s set. That is WAY faster than mine at home. Did Technico make it?” she asks.

“Technico made everything in here, save for the air fryer,” Fire Hazard says as he prepares another dish. “That one was done by Lady Tech. I was planning on using it for the Christmas turkey, but the group’s been complaining that that isn’t traditional,” he says. He looks a bit disgruntled at this.

“But frying turkeys the old fashioned way can be dangerous, right?” Gecko says. “I saw a lot of videos where they exploded—“

“I know what to do, I always do extensive research,” Vinny says with a shrug. “And I invited Burnout and her dad up for the big meal. He should have a lot of experience with that. Honestly, I think the group is half hoping it explodes.”

Gecko’s shoulders shake and he turns away, covering his laughter with a fake cough into his elbow. Fire Hazard shoots him a dry look. “You can’t say you’re not right there with them, man,” he points out.

Gecko gives into the laughter. “Okay, okay, I SORT of want to see it explode. We’ll make sure the younger ones are protected!”

“I’m not wasting a perfectly good turkey for your amusement,” Fire Hazard says, placing the dish into the oven before handing a pair of oven mitts and a spatula to Blackbird. “Serving duty,” he says.

“Hey, there’s a rule about this, isn’t there?” she says as she goes to work dishing out the food he points her to. The plates are already stacked next to it.

“Sure there is. What’s it going to be?” Fire Hazard asks.

“One answer—“

“Crème Brulee!” Gecko says.

“Crème Brulee it is,” Fire Hazard says, working quickly. “Get the heavy whipping cream out for me, would you?”

“Got it!”

“Wait, I still want my answer!” Blackbird says.

“Want to add fruit to it?” Fire Hazard asks as he finishes up the next dish.

“YES!” Blackbird says, giving up on her answer. “I want blackberries!”

“Then I think we’re done recording, here,” Fire Hazard says, looking directly at the drone. The screen goes black.

Cape High Advent 2020 Day 19

“So tomorrow is the day of the Christmas Celebration,” Blackbird says as the drone hovers over her head. She’s standing on the street corner in front of the Hall. “We’re here to talk with one of our Cape High heroes, Divine Justice! It turns out she’s helping decorate the building for the big party. Um, well, should I actually say THEY are helping decorate?” she asks, only to look around. “Gecko?”

“You want it here, right?” they hear him say. The drone goes up, showing Gecko halfway up the front of the Hall building, carrying a gigantic wreath.

“That looks perfect, Gecko!” Divine Justice says from the roof. “There should be a hook there, have you found it?”

“Yeah, think so,” he says.

Blackbird jerks as a hand drops on her shoulder, almost jumping. “Thanks for coming out, you two!” Divine Justice says. “We can always use the help.”

“Wait, wait, which one are you, anyway?” Blackbird asks, looking from her to the one on the roof.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” D.J. says with a wicked grin. “I’ve got a bunch of bows that we’re planning on putting on the street lamps. Come on, you can do that side of the building, I’ll do the other.”

“But we’re here to interview you, not—“ Blackbird says as D.J. grabs her wrist and tugs her along. “Shouldn’t you only be a third as strong when you’re split up like this?” she asks.

“Who said I wasn’t?” D.J. says. “According to Technico, when I’m in a single form, I’m almost as strong as Kid Liberty!”

“Are you serious?” Blackbird says.

“I said ‘almost,’ didn’t I?” D.J. says. “And he’s getting stronger,” she adds, making a face. “But anyway, we’ve got all the decorations here—“

She drags Blackbird into the Hall and into a smaller room, where a third Divine Justice is sorting through things. “Yo! I brought help!” the D.J. leading Blackbird says.

“You DO realize I’m a villain, right?” Blackbird says.

“So?” both D.J.s say. “We made Cold Steel put together all those old-fashioned street lamps to begin with,” the one who’d been in the room to start with says. “And I can answer your question now, so you can get to work!”

“Really?” Blackbird says, glancing at the drone. “Okay, D.J. what are your plans for the holidays?”

“Well, we’re setting this up, we’re going caroling with Hy-Bo, and we’re going to talk Kid Liberty into taking us on a romantic date!”

“All… uh… three of you?” Blackbird asks. “At the same time?”

“One at a time!” they say, grinning widely. “We like it when he makes an effort.”

“You heard it here, people! Kid Liberty is clearly a sucker—“

“I didn’t say that!” one D.J. exclaims.

“No, he’s sort of a sucker,” the other says. “But he’s so cute that way!”

“He absolutely is,” the first agrees. “But we’ll let him take two of us out AFTER Christmas is over, since he’s so busy with helping people. We plan on giving him a hand with that, too.”

“I bet he’d appreciate that. And I… apparently—“ Blackbird starts out, only to grunt as she’s loaded down with bows. “Am going to tie bows on streetlamps. See you next time, everyone!”

The screen goes black.

Cape High Advent 2020 Day 18

“Happy Holidays everyone!” Blackbird says as she’s pulled to a stop in front of a large fenced-in field. There are military guards standing at the entrance of the fence, watching them closely. “Today we’re—ah, sorry, let me get that out,” she says to the guard. She pulls out a card and touches it with her fingertip, bringing up a hologram. “We should be on the list?” she says, trying to peek at the clipboard he’s holding.

“Blackbird and Gecko?” the guard says. “Ah, welcome to the ‘Christmas Station.’ If you’d follow me, please?” he says, motioning to his partner to take over as he leads them through the gate and into the field. There are several family groups standing to the side with piles of presents and eager expressions on their faces. They’re all facing two supers in full uniform, who are looking over a clipboard and chatting quietly.

“Nightstep!” Blackbird says, heading over with the mic in hand. The camera follows.

“S’up, guys?” Nightstep says before turning to the other super. “Marigold, you know Blackbird and Gecko, right?”

Marigold nods, looking at the camera. “I thought you two had a drone,” she says.

“I’m not about to bring a drone with so many military officers around,” Blackbird says. “It’d get shot down, and then my bosses would make me repay them.”

“What about if I get shot down, huh?” Gecko says, his voice close to the screen.

“Eh, it should probably bounce off,” she says, waving it off. “So what’s going on here?” she asks Nightstep. “A super villain working with a Hall leader seems strange.”

“Well,” Nightstep says, “even super villains like to support our troops. It’s a totally different field, you know? And Marigold has been setting it up so I can deliver presents to troops still overseas for the past few years. This year, our local base has offered to give us a hand, provided they can oversee it. Instead of bringing stuff to the troops, we’ll be bringing the troops to the families. It won’t be for long, unfortunately, but…” he gives them a crooked smile. “Even a few minutes is precious, right? We’ve got a schedule for the next month or so, and I’ll be bringing them in batches and then taking them back.”

“Then it sounds like your holidays are quite packed,” Blackbird says. “This is amazing, Nightstep, thank you for doing it.”

“I might be a villain, but that doesn’t make me a bad guy, you know?” he says, grinning. “Put in a good word with Hy-Bo for me, would you?” he adds, wickedly.

Gecko starts laughing and Blackbird shakes her head with reluctant amusement. “You know she’s going to see this, don’t you?” she points out.

“She would be GREAT to have on the dark side!” he says.

“That will NEVER happen, and you know it,” Blackbird says. “Well, thank you both for your time! We appreciate it, and what you’re doing here. And until next time, everyone, I’m Blackbird and he’s Gecko, signing off!”