Enhanced Charisma: superior
I wave at the homeless guy as I leave the SLJ branch office. He waves back. We've never met, but I seem familiar to him. He knows me as the streets he lives on. He'll remain cheerful for another hour or so, making the local mood a bit less dark. I pedal northwest, homewards. A young rounds the corner with a gun in his pocket. I stop to chat. He has not thought through his plan; the store he wants to rob keeps too little money on hand to risk jail time over. But if he needs quick money, there's a shortage of nighttime temp-workers in west Dockside. He boards a southbound bus as I leave.
I cut down the Stevens Boulevard bicycle highway. It threads between Signal Park and the Greenwood Belt. The three-lane bike highway was my work, a compromise between middle-class families commuting downtown and businesses in the Kits worried about noise. But it also lets me pass through the Kits going out of the way to avoid my sisters. The biker ahead of me starts to discard a lit cigarette. I clear my throat; he stops to extinguish it properly. I shout a thank-you as I pass him.
Stevens ends close to home. The people here are noticeably more social - both because they feel at home rather than at work, and because I spent more time here. Where the social bonds down south are tangled and knotty, with many strangers in the same building, here everyone supports their neighbor and the guy down the street. I have spent years planting and watering the seeds of a community. To the immortal eye, the Southspire area is a well-tended lawn in the middle of a jungle.
Plant Life: standard (rank 1)
Ah, home. An oversized treehouse on top of the two-story stump of a once-great spire. The only garage on the block without a car. The only bedroom in the district without a bed. The only lawn that mows itself and bursts into flower for two weeks in the spring.
The lawn is my model for the city. Hundreds of types of wildflower, with sparse grasses in between. Plants have little will of their own. I find it easy to convince them to grow to exactly the same height and stay there, neither shadowing nor crowding each other. If I ask, they gladly keep their seeds close, so that they stay where I can protect them.
I used to use my garden as a security system. Anyone breaking in would find themselves tangled in thorny vines until I arrived to free them, and the few who escaped were coated in a potent floral perfume. But the vines have been peaceful for years. Friendly neighbors are the best guards.
One with the Ecosystem
Enhanced Senses: supreme (rank 3)
I sleep on the inner balcony, hidden from the street and yet open to the air. From here I can keep tabs on my domain. I can sense the drug dealers near Galloway Junction to the southeast, both as the smell of various drug-smokes and as a foul vortex in the local economic flow. I could stamp them out directly, but like a weed they would regrow down the street. I have been starving them instead, tracking down their clients the morning after and nudging them towards rehab. The new strategy takes time, but the dealers have been driven to the far corners of the district.
I can hear bands of college students migrating south, towards the bars. They come to get drunk; I cannot stop them without hurting the bar owners' finances. I can, however, keep them from making trouble afterwards. As each group leaves a bar, I call a taxi on them if the bartender does not. Instead of being a nuisance, the students are a natural cycle with money coming south and life experience going north. A few carry my seeds with them. Over the past few decades, the college party scene has lost a bit of its reckless edge.
There's a lot of traffic at Cook's Landing for this time of night. That area is usually dead quiet once the theater closes. Is that gunfire? A police siren? I should go straighten it out. I haul myself out of bed and take the fireman's pole from the balcony to the bike rack in the garage.
Long Term Plans
Tactician: superior (rank 2)
There are three cars heading east on West Compass street. All are speeding. Two have sirens. They will likely flee through Twinspire on the way to the highway. That would disturb too many people. I can cut them off at Altarspire Park.
I get there thirty seconds before they do, with a good look at them down Compass. The rogue car is packed with three men in hoods and a disassembled Khazan Ragebeast skeleton, presumably from the museum. The driver obviously had practiced his evasive driving. The window-seat passenger has a shotgun. And the guy in back has some blades on the back of his gloves that spark when he moves. I recognize the villain Shredd from his Alpha-C papers, but the other two must be from Lowtown.
I pull a branch off the plum tree behind me, whispering an apology. Under my touch, the branch shapes itself into an aerodynamic javelin. The buds grow into thorns and flatten, ready to spring up on queue. I hide among the plum branches, and when the chase draws close I throw it onto the roadway.
Bump, Bump, Boom, Screech. All four tires are punctured and one blows out. The police come to a stop behind them.
"You moron! Can't even get five miles without an accident." Shredd tears into the driver both verbally and physically. "You're fired." He is in pieces on the sidewalk in seconds.
Then the neighbor across the street opens his bedroom window and hovers out. I encouraged him to buy a house near the park for a reason.
Emotion Manipulation: superior (rank 2)
Humans are strong-willed creatures. Like all animals, my control over them is limited. I can only nudge and herd them, and dispense advice when they decide to listen. While I want Shredd to take off his blades and surrender, I must settle for getting rid of him. I can smell nervousness under his murderous rage. He still feels disoriented as he stumbles out of the car. He sees not only the police, but also the pajama-clad super neighbor. He knows he can take the police.
I cut his calculations short. I grab my javelin from the roadway and move to support the police. Nudge one - he sees me coming with a long and spiky weapon. I chuckle as I approach. Nudge two - He needs to take me seriously as well. I work the javelin further, splitting the end into two barbed points. Nudge three - an unknown and obviously supernatural weapon. He is gone, running into the park to hide.
The gunman is easier to handle; He just saw his boss murder his best friend. He feels cornered and afraid of death. When I drop the branch, he lowers his gun. A simple hug and a whisper of sympathy disarm him completely. He cries on my shoulder for a while, then leaves with the police. An armored car arrives and leaves with the ragebeast skeleton. Shredd climbs the back fence of the park when nobody is watching. The super goes back to bed.
I pick up the poor branch, restore it to a natural shape and leave it under its parent tree. My watch says 3:12, too late to get a good night's sleep. I must refresh myself the old-fashioned way. I dance in the park under the moon until the dawn.