Number 6 (newnumber6) wrote,
Number 6

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What I'd Do With #18.5... Runaways, Volume 3! (2/2)

Continued from last post.
Runaways #10 Solicitation
(cover: Victorius strangling Victor)
Victor/Victorius! Part Four

Victor and Victorius in an epic virtual struggle against each other. But while Victor's mind is in combat, his body has flown the coop. Will Victor master the dark forces within himself?

Runaways, Volume 3 #7 Outline:

They're back at the ghost town. Victor is in the leapfrog, looking at one of the displays. Molly pops in and says she wants to use the Internet. It's boring, and there's nothing else to do. He says he's sorry, but he's taken the Leapfrog off-line, he's working on a personal project. Molly naturally assumes it's looking at dirty pictures, but wanders off, trying to find something else to do. He asks the Leapfrog to assure him it can scan his mind without disturbing anything. It insists it can. He plugs himself in, there's a jolt of feedback, and Victor falls unconscious.

We see Molly talking to Klara about what this ghost town really needs. They each seem to come up with their own ideas, but it's not revealed yet what each of those ideas are.

Victor wakes up, and then looks at his reflection. "Not quite according to schedule," he says, "But we'll have to make do." He asks the Leapfrog to take off. It informs him that Chase has removed part of the auxiliary battery pack, and it will not be able to fly until it's replaced. Victor mutters to himself. Molly approaches Victor again, and he snaps at her, calling her a nosy brat and telling her to stay out of the Leapfrog until he's finished with it. Klara also gets a brushoff.

Victor finds Chase, and starts off seeming nice. He asks him about the battery - Chase is clueless about it, saying he must have removed it not realizing what it was. He's been taking out bits of the Leapfrog to sell and raise some spare cash. Vic's a bit surprised at that, but asks for the battery part. Chase tells him he'll put it back in before he goes into town. Victor asks if he can tag along, but Chase says he really wanted to make it a solo trip this time around, but he'd take him next time. As Victor walks away, he sees a mass of metal, maybe a rusted out car or remains of an electrical tower and looks at it speculatively.

We next check in on Xavin, Nico, and Karolina, who are sitting by a fire, discussing things. Maybe Xavin trying to explain Skrull culture (or maybe this is a good time to have the "I'm nonbinary" conversation). Vic comes by and asks Karolina about her bracelet. She doesn't need it anymore, but she still keeps it, because she tends to 'power up' again when she gets surprised or angry and sometimes she wants to stay incognito. Victor asks if he can borrow it, promising to bring it back. He thinks he discovered part of the Leapfrog might be based on alien technology and he wants to compare it. Karolina, unsuspecting, gives it over.

On his way back, he spots Molly again, who's angry at him. He tells her he's very sorry, and that he'll listen to her idea. She explains that she wants to build a pool. Victor gets an idea, and says that he was scouting around earlier, and he saw an old disused water tower that would make a great pool if they ripped the top off, but it was way too heavy to lift. At least for him. But she could probably bring it back in no time at all. If she wants to do that, he'll get the water running. She runs off. Then, as he heads to the Leapfrog, Victor sees Klara, who also wants to show him something. He follows her.

She reveals that, in a little hidden part of the town, she has created a garden, using her powers to fast grow fruit trees, vegetables, and the like. Victor agrees it's impressive, then asks if she's showed anybody else this yet. When she says no, he asks again if anybody knows about this place at all. Once again, she says no. "Pity for you then." The last thing we see is a bolt of lightning shooting out from Victor, towards Klara, and a 'to be continued'.

Runaways #11 Solicitation:
(cover: Molly lifting Old Lace)
Victor/Victorius! Part Five!
When Victor manages to get a message off to the outside world, the Runaways have a fighting chance. But Molly's already on the case!

Runaways #8 Outline

As is usual for a cliffhanger, we start off with a few pages that are unrelated to it so the resolution's not spoiled in the preview pages. So we start off with Molly wandering out in the direction Victor pointed her. "I don't see any water tower". Then she turns around, and looks towards the town with a suspicious look in her eyes.

Cut to Nico, Karolina and Xavin, who are continuing their discussion. Nico gets tired and heads to bed. Karolina seems happy about this, even says, "Finally," and gets close to Xavin, ready to start making out by the fire.

Finally, we see Victor looking at at something and saying, "Now that, was unexpected." We see Klara is not dead at all. Instead, she's covered in what looks like a protective coating of thick tree bark. She can't seem to speak, producing only a muffled sound. Victor observes that she can't move at all. Still, he decides, whatever the cause, it serves his purpose - he was only trying to taze her unconscious. He makes a cage around her, just in case, and walks off.

He interrupts K/Xavin asking where Nico is, and seems pleased to learn she's gone to bed. "I'm done with your bracelet, by the way." Karolina asks, casually, if he discovered anything interesting. "Yes, actually. Come take a look at this." Karolina and Xavin stand up to look, and as they get close, they're surrounded by a jagged band of metal full of spikes, binding K and X very close together, mouths covered. Victor explains it's a very neat trap. While Karolina's in contact with the bracelet (which is part of the contraption), she won't be immune to Xavin's fire. And the structure is designed like a puzzle trap, if Xavin tries to use their force fields to blast it apart, part of it will tear into Karolina. They might be able to get out if they could shapeshift, but, alas, he can't. "Now if you'll excuse me," Victor says, "I've got a witch to burn."

But he goes into her little house, where she's lying asleep. Without preamble, he shoots a massive electric blast at her. "Sorry, girl. Couldn't take the chance. Magic's too unpredictable." He leaves. But we see Nico rise from an illusionary version of the death scene. "Damn right." She casts a spell. "Instant Message," and then speaks to a holographic chase, and tells him that Victor's become Victorius. She saw him trap Karolina and Xavin, and he just killed her... or thought he did. "Do you remember the other two questions?"

Victor runs to the leapfrog, where Chase is carrying a load of gadgets. He approaches him, and Chase tells him he's sorted through the stuff and is going in to town and see if he can find a buyer. Victor notices one of the fistigons is on top of his pile, and asks about it. Chase points out, since it's broken (in the fight with the Utah Initiative, issue #2), there's not much point in keeping it around. Victor snaps a bit, calling Chase a moron because he's going to sell off a dangerous weapon for scrap metal.

Chase just listens to the rant, until Victor snaps out of it and asks if Chase put the battery back in yet. He says no, he was going to do it now. Victor tells him to just "Give it here, I'll do it myself."
He holds it out tauntingly. "Sure, Vic. I'll give it to you if you just answer one question... If you've got free will, could you choose to answer to this question, even if all-knowing God knew millions of years ago that you were going to say No?"
"What? Don't tell me you've fallen for this religious claptrap. I know you're an idiot, but I didn't think you were that much of one. Give me the battery."
Then Victor throws a punch, a very specific kind of punch, that sends Chase flying to the ground. He drops the battery, and Victor picks it up. Old Lace growls, but lacking any order to attack, stays back. Nico arrives then. She begins repeating the same question Chase did, until Chase cuts her off, and we close off the issue with this exchange.
Chase: "Don't bother. It doesn't work."
Nico: "But the questions are the only sure fire tool we have against Victorius."
Chase: (rubbing his chin) "Yeah, but we're not dealing with Victorius here. We're not even dealing with Victor _Mancha_, are we?
Vic: "I always said you had a brain in there somewhere."
Chase: "Not hard to put together. Even in a robot body, you still punch like a girl... Dad."
(The very specific punch I referred to is to be an echo of the scene we first see Chase way back in Runaways Vol 1, issue #1).


Runaways #12 Outline
(cover: Chase fighting his father)
Victor/Victorius! Part Six

The first year of the hit new creative team concludes! Chase faces off against his dad, who's stolen the body of his friend. But, if that's what it takes, can he kill his own father? Secrets are revealed, property is damaged, and the Runaways get another change to their status quo!

Runaways, volume 3 #9 Outline:

Nico asks how it could be Chase's father. Chase guesses the Leapfrog, which gets Victor's approval.
Nico: "So... all this time, the leapfrog was... you?"
Stein explains: No. The Leapfrog personality is independent. It's still there. His stored consciousness was underneath, dormant, not even conscious, until recently when a hacking attempt activated them. The machines who hacked in were not in long enough for him to transfer over, but it woke him and he took the next opportunity to get out. He then makes some fatherly-like comment about how he's impressed at how much Chase has grown. Chase doesn't want to hear it, and sics Old Lace on him. But Stein moves swiftly and attaches something to Old Lace's nose ring. He says that he's attached a device that will kill Old Lace on a remote signal. Because Chase is connected to it, he'll die too. He demonstrates with a little bit of juice, and tells Nico to drop her staff.

"You won't kill your own son."
"I brought him into this world, I can take him out of it." He demonstrates again and Chase (and Lace) collapses in pain, and she does... not giving it to him like he demands, but throwing it off in the distance.
He then says that everybody else is alive, although not in the best shape, and he's willing to leave them that way. All he wants is the Leapfrog, and, as insurance, for Chase to order Lace to follow his orders. (He can't transfer the link itself because it won't work with his robot brain). He'll release it in a few days once he's safely away. Chase acquiesces. Stein installs the battery, and checks that the Leapfrog is ready to go. Nico asks what happened to Victor, the real Victor, and Stein says. "What happens to a file when you overwrite it? It's gone. Don't try to follow me."
The Frog takes off.

We cut to Victor waking up. He's in a nice house, in a bed. He wanders through a few rooms, then outside, where he sees somebody sitting beside a pool. She turns around. "You must be Victor Mancha. Pleased to make your acquaintence. My name is Janet Stein."

Back in the ghost town, Nico is casting "Pliable" on the metal trap Karolina and Xavin were in, and starts peeling it away like putty. They find Klara, who's conscious and can talk but can't move any of her muscles. Xavin realizes this is probably something she did to herself, and talks her through Skrull beginner shapeshifting visualizations, and Klara soon returns to normal. Xavin also suggests she might be able to do it voluntarily, and leave enough free that she can move joints. (Klara perhaps makes a comments about how she wishes she could have done this before). Nobody's found Molly yet, and they start yelling for her. We see a quick shot inside the Leapfrog, Old Lace sniffing at a storage cupboard. "Shhh" comes from inside.

For the rest of the issue we're in the virtual environment again. Janet is talking to Victor at the beach. There are perhaps Mrs. Robinsony overtones, with it looking like Ms. Stein is flaunting herself, or that Victor is attracted, but the gist of their conversation is Janet's explanation, that her husband came up with the AI Plan as a way of pulling one over on the Gibborum. They were all willing to die to give their kids a spot in the Gibborum's new world, and happily so, but the Steins thought they could have both. By hiding as AI constructs (in a world which is pulled from their own memories, so they could visit anywhere they've ever been), they could continue to survive and help Chase, and with their help, he would oneday build robotic bodies. They usually refresh the memories every year after the Right of Thunder, so they're still a year out of date, but they know some of what's happened as they can watch anything that's in the Leapfrog's memory. She leads him inside to the TV room, to show him. We see Victor's body threatening to kill Old Lace and, by extension, Chase. Vic makes a response about "Some father." Janet Stein points out that the dinosaur was once Gert's. Would her parents _really_ give her a bodyguard that would kill her if somebody killed it? All it would do is knock Chase out, but he wouldn't do that either... it's Chase's last link to Gert. "My husband is ruthless, not heartless. Otherwise I never would have married him." He'd never kill his own son, or the dinosaur. She then changes the topic to Chase. She asks how he is, whether he's happy, and Victor answers as best he can.

Through the conversation, there have been strange noises. Janet dismisses them as probably the environment acting on his own subconscious anxieties, and that he should relax (more awkward sexual tenson with his best friend's mom, maybe a backrub offer). But Victor stiffens up more as the pounding intensifies. "You do know I've got a lot more in my mind than most people."

"Like what?"

A wall breaks, and an idealized, older version of Victor appears. It should be noted (Because I can be a bit of a stickler) that, because Victor did not see the future vision of him as a supervillain, it shouldn't look exactly like Victorius, costume and all, but it'd be close enough that we know who he is.

"Like that."


Runaways #13 Solicitation
(cover: Karolina holding Klara)
Kids Today, Part One

"Never Trust Adults" may be the Runaways unofficial motto, but how will they deal with things when they're the elders? Meet the Castouts, a new supervillain team, into robbing banks, partying, and causing mayhem... and not one of them has hit sixteen yet.

Runaways #10 Outline

A bit of fighting between Victor and Victorius in the virtual environment starts off the issue. Well, not so much fighting, as running away, through the virtual environment. Victor's powers are always outmatched by Victorius. Janet suggests a change of venue. They're in a high school graduation ceremony. Janet looks appropriately younger. Victor is also in gear. She explains that this is her graduation. She was Valedictorian. She points out people who are in dead end jobs now. Victorius bursts through, talking about how he will consume everything, and starts killing people. Janet: "Time to go." Victor: "But he's killing everybody." "Let him. They're not real. And I hated all these people." They duck through a door and are in a girl's bedroom, filled with geeky stuff, a chemistry set, a disassembled computer, etc as well as a bunch of things in a Frog motif. Victor complains that he's still going to be able to follow them. She insists it's only if he lets it. The Victorius they're fighting isn't a separate entity, it's just his own anxieties. "What we need to do is get your mind off it." (more flirtily).

We check in on the Runaways, who are still looking for Molly. They come to the conclusion that she must have been in the leapfrog. Besides, even if their Victor is gone, Nico might be able to cast an 'undelete' type spell to get him back - it's not the same as death. But how. She has to know where he's going. She talks about how, Maybe if they try the trick where they see through Victor's eyes, she can then teleport there, and power him down before he can hurt old lace. The other Runaways point out that she's used all those spells before, so she can't do them again, and she reluctantly admits that that's not so much an issue any more. When her grandmother tortured her, she learned that the staff feeds on pain. She can recast a spell, or cast a way more powerful spell, if there's enough pain to fuel it. And if Victor's dead, pain won't be a problem. That itself is a bit of a painful confession as it leads to the realization that Nico has deliberately been causing pain for her friends (and herself) to help fuel her magic. That's why she told Xavin's secret. (The 'cast any spell once' rule's kind of a "the first taste's free" type mechanism to encourage feeding it pain, which is what it was designed to absorb... you can get around it with cleverness, but that only postpones the problem).

We revisit Victor Stein, who works at a door in the city, breaking into it, while Molly peeks out through the Leapfrog window. Stein goes inside to a lab, full of projects in incomplete state. Old Lace growls at him, and he tells her to shut up, deciding he'd better take care of her before Chase's hostility bleeds through. He reaches into a drawer and sprays Lace with something. She then begins to shrink, ending up no bigger than a mouse. "Knew that stash of Stein-brand Pym-particles would come in handy)." He puts her in a jar.

In the simworld, the real Victor asks if Ms. Stein is hitting on him. She asks if there'd be anything wrong with that. He lists off the reasons: She's married, she's his friend's mom, her husband just stole his body and is evil. She scoffs at the idea of 'evil', believing that she's pragmatic, claiming that when the Gibborum approached them, they knew there were two choices: agree and get the shot at eternal life, or refuse and die and get replaced. Once they were in, the only practical choice was to continue. Now that the Gibborum're gone, the pragmatic thing to do is return to trying to change the world by creating the next big scientific discovery. She also gives her word, because he's a friend of her son, that they'll give Victor a new body, or his old body and let him go, once they've got one for her. "As for my husband... I love him, but he hasn't been the most faithful, so I don't see why I should be." The issue ends with her standing by the window in the middle of a speech about 'middle-class morality', and then Victorius pierces her through the heart with a spike of metal.

Runaways #14 Solicitation
(cover: Some of the new characters, the villains in the arc. Dark Reign should still be going on so it'll kind of fit into the theme of villains).
Kids Today, Part Two
They're the Castouts, a new generation of crime. Spiderkid, Electrocutie, Horror Girl, Pwner, Lookout, and Blastwave. But the Runaways know there's somebody higher up pulling the strings. In order to take the power behind the group, they'll have to face the kids again... but this time, they won't be defeated like last time. They'll be beaten even worse.

Runaways #11 Outline

We begin with Victor Stein (in Victor's Body) in his lab. He's looking at robotic parts and complaining that he'd hoped he'd made progress on this. In the background, Molly is sneaking up. She notices Old Lace in a jar, but is only surprised for a second, before she grabs it and very quietly moves away with it.

Cut to the sim-world. Victorius is choking Victor, telling him he's going to take over, and then go and find and hunt down his friends, and kill them. The background subtly shifts into a science lab. "Well, I think that's enough of that." Janet Stein blasts Victorius with a weapon, sending him backwards into a wall. She then blasts him with something else that sticks him there.

Victor's surprised that she's not dead. "Please. As if I would have designed a virtual environment capable of actually killing me? It just hurt a lot."

Victorius claims that if they can feel pain, he doesn't have to kill them. He'll just torture them until they're driven mad from the pain. "Lovely what you have rattling around in your subconscious, Victor. And I thought the Minoru girl was the dark one."

Victor tries to say that it's not him, it's a subprogram that Ultron designed, that'll go active sometime when he's an adult. Janet scoffs at this. Before she brought him online, she examined his mind's structure. There are no secret evil subprograms, no fully-formed supervillain lurking in secret file folder. There's just the normal flotsam in every mind, some initial tendencies and inclinations, and a backdoor access protocol. If he's evil in some future, it's either because he'll be taken over by someone else, or because the sum of all his personality traits will culminate in him choosing the wrong path. The Victorius they see now is just a reflection of his fears, brought out the same way Janet brought out her old graduation, or the weapons lab she and Victor met (that they're in now). He just has to confront it and dispell it. Then she lets Victorius go, and throws Victor the gun. It snarls and reaches for him, but Victor has a determined face and he shoots it. It disappears. He turns the gun on Janet, and tells her he needs to take control of the leapfrog, get a message to his friends so they know he's still alive. She tells him it won't work. The organic versions of Victor and Janet didn't want any risk of their virtual copies going rogue with their own plans, so they made it impossible. The only way they can have an effect on the outside world is if a storage device capable of holding a human mind jacks in, or if somebody outside left a communication channel open, they can send a message on the leapfrog's screens, through any computer terminal (demonstrating by typing 'Hi honey!'.) And, since the Leapfrog is currently firmly in the hands of her husband, that wouldn't do him much good. They may be enemies, she says, but right now neither of them have any influence on what's going to happen. And while they're waiting, they have the full range of their memories to revisit, as well as a few preprogrammed scenarios (maybe a panel of a menu of them, showing some of them. One of them might be a Doctor Who scdenario with Dalek). "So let's call a truce and enjoy our time together. Besides, I want to hear more about my son."

Cut of course to Chase, who is flying with the others in one of Xavin's force field bubble. Nico says something about how she's already used teleport twice, and that she guesses every time she casts it the 'price' increases, so she still has to be creative. They're using a locator spell (maybe a magic arrow floating in the air that points to Victor?). Klara is practicing turning to bark-skin and back. Somebody (Xavin, maybe) wonders, even if they manage to get Old Lace out of the hostage situation, if Chase is really going to be ready to attack his dad. "Been ready my whole life."

In the simworld, Vic and Janet are at the old Stein family home, watching a young Chase playing with some of the other Runaways, also young, in the rec room. She asks Victor if he still cares about her, her being Nico. Victor says he does, but she hates him now, because he kissed Lillie. Their heart to heart is interrupted, when he notices Molly on the TV. She's in the Leapfrog, excited that she "finally gets to fly this thing" Victor rushes to a nearby computer and starts typing. "Molly, its me, Victor, Victor Mancha. I'm inside the Leapfrog." She's obviously pleased and tells him to hold on tight because she's bringing him home.

The Leapfrog takes to the air. Chase and the other Runaways arrive just in time to see inside. Nico's spell indicates that victor's body is still inside the lab, although Chase can sense Old Lace in the Leapfrog. So, thinking they're relatively safe, they split up. Karolina and Xavin, the fliers, go after Molly. Nico and Chase will go after Victor (Klara is with them, but told to stay behind them)

Victor comes bursting out of the facility, probably coming after the leapfrog. Nico surprises him with an 'Insulation' spell. He freaks out, and runs back inside, activating a force field. Nico tries to cast a spell to get through, but Vic laughs and points out that he made most of his equipment magic-proof. He'll just wait it out until his powers return. Victor walks into the lab, promising that when this is done, he and Chase will have a talk.

Nico, Klara, and Chase seem stuck at first, and then Chase gets an idea. The force field is spell-proof. But it's probably not Stein proof. His dad always made it so his inventions didn't hurt him, and that usually applied to Chase, too. He tries, and indeed, he's able to walk right through it. But instead of opening it on the other side as Nico tells him, he goes straight into the lab. Flexing his (working) Fistigon, he says, "Hi, Dad. Time for that father-son chat."


Runaways #15 Solicitation
(Cover: Klara, finally getting a cover to herself. She's in barkskin mode)

Kids Today, Part Three

Somebody's been giving troubled kids super powers, and setting them loose to commit crimes, and the Runaways have decided to track down the perpetrators. And to do that, their newest and youngest member must go on an undercover mission... inside the gang itself!

Runaways #12 Outline:
While watching Karolina and Xavin try to direct Molly to land the leapfrog (and she explains to them how she suspected something was up because if the water tower was made of metal Victor could have used his powers on it), Victor (Mancha) and Janet Stein have a bit of a discussion. She seems resigned, saying it was nice meeting him, but she didn't think he'd be there much longer. If there's one thing she's realized about their little superhero group, they're resourceful. Assuming Chase doesn't destroy it, he'll be back in his body in a few hours. Victor admits Janet's not what he expected, and then finally (after prompting from her to ask what he's been meaning to) asks why she let her husband abuse Chase.

But before we get the answer, we check in with the real world, the confrontation between Chase and his father.

Victor complains about the irony that the only times he uses his brains it's when it's least convenient for him.
Chase raises the Fistigon, says that he always was a problem child.
Victor: "Don't do anything stupid, son."
Chase: "Or what? You'll use science on me?" He lets out volleys from the Fistigon, destroying pretty much everything technological in the room. "Oops. Guess I keep screwing up." Victor calls him an idiot, and Chase says, "Yeah, you always did love science more than me." Victor reveals that this was for his mother, to build her a new body. Chase is thrown, then makes a comment about how he guesses he did all the evil stuff and she just shut up and pretended it wasn't happening. "Or does she take a bit more active interest when the project doesn't involve beating the crap out of your son."

Victor's scared of course, with no powers and no tech, and Chase advancing on him. He says he realizes that he's made some mistakes with him, but it worked. It turned him into the man he is today.

Chase: "The man you threatened to kill a few hours ago. Why shouldn't I take you out?"
Stein: "For heaven's sake, Chase, it was a bluff. I'd never kill you. Everything your mother and I have done has been for you kids. We were ready to die and give up our spots in Paradise for you."
Chase: "Yeah, but you always had a backup plan."
Stein: "Of course. We had no idea if it would work, but I had to try. I didn't want to leave my kids without guidance."
Chase: "We're doing fine without... wait, why do you keep saying 'kids'?"
Stein: "Oh. I thought you had put it together.. you two act so much like brother and sister, and you're good at intuitive leaps."
Chase: "What?"
Stein: "Molly. She's your half-sister."
Chase: "What?
Stein: "The Hayes had trouble conceiving, something about their mutant genes. Alice came to me for help. We kept it between us. Even your mother doesn't know. But you kill me, you're not only killing your father, you're killing hers."
Chase: "Wrong argument. She's probably better off without you as a father. I know I was."

In the Simworld, we watch Vic and Janet walking through Janet's memories as she relates the story. "We had high hopes for Chase. Perhaps too high. He was to be the perfect child, to inherit the perfect world the Gibborum were going to leave us. When he didn't measure up, my husband couldn't... let things be."
"Isn't perfection's kind of an unrealistic hope?"
"We're engineers. We don't hope, we design."
"Wait, so you're saying you... designed Chase?"
"Not exactly. He was an accident, but once he was born we gave him genofix treatments. We made him perfect, in potential. Natural health, balance, mechanical aptitude. You might say perfection was _his_ destiny. If he worked at it, really worked, he could have the physique of a Captain America, and the mind of... well, of a Janet Stein. But destiny isn't so easy to program. Chase just never pushed himself to the limit. He became lazy, especially intellectually. And Victor saw it as a failure on his part. So he took it upon himself to push him.

And push him. At some point it became abuse, but when you're telling yourself it's for his own good, you can miss that dividing line, and once you've crossed it, rationalizing it away becomes easier than dealing with your failures. But I've had a lot of time in here with my memories. We were wrong. If you get out of here, I want you to tell my son that. We were wrong, and I'm sorry. We did it out of love, but it's no excuse."

Back to Chase threatening his father.
"You're not going to kill me. Whatever else we've been through, I'm your father."
"You're not my father. You're just some electronic ghost, a virus that should be wiped out. Even if you were my dad, you beat me. You killed kids for the Gibborum. You killed my best friend and are wearing his body." He knocks Victor down and steps on his neck, choking him.

Stein reveals of course, that Victor's alive. His mind was stored in the Leapfrog. He only said otherwise so they wouldn't follow him and he could complete his work. "I can bring him back."

"Fine, you get one chance. You return Victor to his body, and go back in the Frog, and stay there. Prison instead of a death sentence. With good behaviour, in 25 years I'll try to find a way to get you out. Try anything else, and I'll delete you."

Victor, defeated, says that that sounds remarkably fair. He's allowed to get to his feet, and comments that he's impressed. He was sure that Chase was going to beat him, maybe to death. "Yeah, well, I guess I'm a better man than you." Victor starts moving, and Chase says, "Dad?" when Victor looks over, Chase socks him in the face. "Not that much better."

VictorStein's in the leapfrog, tied up (Chase explainng he didn't trust him to not run at the last minute). Dad, before he plugs himself in, says he's got one more thing to say. A gift. Maybe an inheritance. He went there right before coming in here, but since Victor's body didn't have Stein DNA he couldn't open it. It was intended as new lair for the Pride, but it was never finished. The location's in the Leapfrog. The entrance is a maintenance shed. Then he does the transfer. Vic comes back. Asks why his face hurts.

We next see them approaching the shed. Chase (mini Old Lace crouched on his shoulder) is thanking Victor, presumably for the message, then asking if he's sure they can't hijack the leapfrog from inside. He thinks he is, and Chase says good. Then he goes to open the door. It's Tardis like... a small place on the ouside, but huge on the inside. The others all crowd around inside. "Oh, yeah, this is going to be sweet."

Runaways #16 Solicitation
(cover: Xavin, generic pose)
"Kids Today, Part Four"

Klara undercover! After getting her way into the gang, Klara goes on her first mission. But will a life of crime stick with Klara, turning her into... DARK KLARA?! Probably not. But read anyway.

And that brings us more or less to where we are now in the series (of course, the real Runaways Vol 3 is only up to issue #11, and didn't have a one-shot, but that's because they're not as awesome as me). As mentioned, I've actually plotted.... pretty damn far ahead. I have solicitations written up to #36, and know what happens to a large degree in each issue up to that point (but haven't written out the full outlines yet). I have plans to take me up to issue #50, with a little wiggle room. I probably will write up the rest of the outlines because, well, it's fun. Helps me clarify, visualize, and most importantly, helps me expel the demons - if I didn't write them up, I'd still have bits and pieces of the Victor/Victorius arc running through my head. Instead, I have the rest of Kids Today and the few arcs beyond that cluttering up my thoughts, but its better than spinning my wheels).

Plans for the next year include adding new ongoing antagonists for the Runaways (more than just the Castouts), shaking up the roster a little (since I didn't actually make any cast changes for the first year), exploring some origins, breaking up the cast into smaller groups for smaller adventures, and the return of a couple characters from the past. I'll probably post them when I get done, too.

Comments and such welcome.

Edit: Now continued here.
All my WIDWs are here.
Tags: #1, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #2, #36, #50, #7, #8, #9, comics, ideas, runaways, silly, widw, writing
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