Author's Notes

I don't think I've set things up well for this chapter. I had planned to have other missions, such as rescuing the scientists kidnapped by Poe, where the people she helped were scared of her or the cops being suspicious. But they just didn't find their way into the story for various reasons. I didn't talk about the isolation much, and just dumped the clumsy exposition here.

The game and story are now in sync, and in both she is at level 14.

At level 13 I picked up Kickback 1. That gives me an energy boost from the first non-energy-blaster attack I use after my energy blaster. Fire-based heroes always need more energy.

At level 14 I got Kickback 2 plus another power and an advantage. I've really been suffering for lack of healing. I had been holding out for Fissure with the Reconstruct advantage. That was purely a concept heal rather than necessarily a good heal. However it was going to be a couple more levels before I got it and I really needed healing now. So I took game mechanics over RP and took Bountiful Chi Resurgence, plus the second level.

Note that in the story I've been having her heal with fire, which was the RP reason for BCR. However I shouldn't have put that in the story yet. The healing incident with Poe was actually a healing bubble and not BCR. That's the problem with writing so long after playing. Right now in the game she just hit level 30, so I have to keep reminding myself what powers she had in the period I'm writing. I got one wrong. Not worth going back to change.

Cataclysm may have left the Maniacs but she never dealt with her real problem: Zoe. I can't figure out an appropriate trope for this particular betrayal on the part of The Dragon. She's not The Starscream because this was spontaneous rather than planned, and she doesn't plan to take over the Maniacs. It's not The Dog Bites Back because she's not a Mook. She's not the Bodyguard or the self-interested Reliable Traitor. It might be an extreme version of Calling The Old (Woman) Out but really she's betraying the Big Bad for the benefit of the Mooks.

Anyhow, Cataclsym was the Noble Demon who kept Zoe in line but no longer. Cataclysm knows she has to step in. Zoe tells the new recruits that Cataclysm is the family White Sheep and issues the ultimate I Have No (Daughter) line. After a brief combat to clear out the Mooks Zoe gives her the Sarcastic Clap and then a Breaking Speech. Zoe invites her back into the gang (can't find a trope for this) but Cataclysm refuses, not because she's a hero but because she's a Pragmatic Villain. Cataclysm gives her a Last Chance to Quit but it's too late for that.

During the battle Cataclysm blasts the gun out of her hands and shows how ruthless she is by kicking Zoe while she's down.