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Ask for More Wishes

#1
"Oh, hey! Cookies and cream! Thank you!" She said, grabbing the spoon and shoveling a big piece in her mouth.

Her brain, once a bright sunny day at the beach became an arctic tundra. The ice queen ruled the top of the mountain with an iron fist, summoning her snow soldiers to climb down and prod the grey matter earth with their frozen spears. This was no longer a land of creativity, shopping, or doubt. It was one of pain, and anguish. Long live the ice queen, long live in turmoil.

"Brain freeeezee!" She cried out.

Her jaw clenched shut, her palms on her temples, she buckled down, bowing to her new frozen overlord. In her frustration stamped the group as hard as she could with one foot.

This was a huge mistake.

She launched herself into the air, her head collided with the ceiling. She floated down gently back to the ground, mumbling to herself in pain

In her dizzy spinning state, she came to the conclusion this was a punishment from the universe. Like a command somewhere out there said she had to touch the ceiling somehow, and it was willing to contrive a reason to do so if it had to.

Of course, this was ludicrous, what kind of sick twisted force out there would care so much about every bit of insignificant continuity like that? Of course, she wasn't thinking straight at that moment.

"Are you okay?" Cade's voice echoed into the halls of the damned. The fog of haze cleared as his face started to come into focus.

This was enough to snap her back into reality.

Her body lifted itself off the ground and flipped to land perfectly on her feet. Her palm pressed up against her head.

"It's okay, my Tiara took most of it." She said, she ran a finger across it for dents. "Sorry about that, not used to the flight powers."

Cade, still not up with the program, wasn't sure if he should run to the other room to get an ice pack or something, but he was thrown for a loop again when she all the sudden gave him a polite bow as if the last five minutes didn't happen

"I'd like to join the Aven- woah!" Her head nearly drooped towards the hard marble floors, but she caught herself. Thankfully, Cade failed to notice she wound up floating an inch off the ground in that save. She stood up straight, her hair making a cracking sound as her head shot up to attention. "-vengers! Shantae the Guardian Genie is at your service!"

"You sure you're fine?" He said, cocking an eyebrow.

"...you know, maybe I will sit down for a moment." She said as her body floated itself to one of the ornate couches.

"I'll get you an ice pack!" Cade said, feeling a bit guilty he didn't do this sooner.

As he made the trip to the kitchen, his mind was a cavalcade of thoughts on this recent set of developments. Genie? The thought gave him images of blue men and wishes. Was that her power? Granting wishes? Was there a limit? Could he ask for more wishes? He wondered why people in media never think to do that. Wait, what was even this train of thought, a girl has a head injury in the lobby!

He eventually settled to not think about it until she was well. Then he'll wish for more wishes.
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#2
Cade whispered to himself to keep his mind on track, repeating "ice pack" over and over again. He rushed into the kitchen, having pushed aside his otherwise irrelevant thoughts about wishes, and made a beeline for the refrigerator. He opened the door to the freezer and fished around for an ice pack.

Once he found one of a decent size he closed the freezer and walked to the counter. He wrapped the ice pack in a paper towel and, once satisfied with his handiwork, hurried back to the lobby. Shantae was lounging on the same couch he had left her in, one hand still pressed to her forehead. Cade circled the couch and handed her the ice pack.

“Here ya go.”

Shantae smiled and applied the cold bag to her bumped head. “Thanks!

“Yeah, no problem.” Cade stretched and took a seat in an adjacent loveseat. “So, Avengers. You’re looking to join?”

Shantae nodded, but instantly regretted it as her brain bounced off of her still throbbing skull. Thankfully, the ice pack was doing its job. She noticed her new companion was watching her with a strange look in his eye. It wasn’t malevolent, in fact it was quite the opposite. He seemed very… sad. She couldn’t quite place it, especially when he hid his expression behind the remains of his tub of ice cream.

“I don’t see why not. We’re not exactly flooded with resumes right now.” He took a bite of his frozen dessert and rolled it around his mouth with his tongue to give him time to think. “You said you were a… uh... a genie?”

Cade couldn’t help but let his mind wander back to more whimsical questions. It wasn’t entirely unlikely for a mystic being like a Genie to exist in the Omniverse. Cade had seen weirder. Maybe someone like Shantae was exactly what he had been waiting for. If she granted wishes then he could finally go home. Maybe, at the very least, he could see his family again; He could see Gwen again.

Shantae nodded again, this time more carefully. “Yep!”

“Like… Wishes and stuff?”

Cade forced himself to maintain eye contact with Shantae. Besides the seemingly ridiculous question, he couldn’t help but feel selfish. Every fiber in his being told him to drop the topic. A tiny voice in the back of his head warned him that he was developing a bad habit of putting himself into situations where he was guaranteed to be hurt.

The young man simply pushed aside those inner machinations. He told himself it was no big deal and that he could handle whatever answer came. After all, if she could grant wishes than it would benefit the team as a whole, not just him. Maybe she could be an asset in combat. Maybe she would say yes. Maybe everything would go right for once.

Maybe this time Cade’s wishes could come true.
From Hawaii, With Love
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#3
The question kind of threw Shantae for a loop. She heard legends of genies granting wishes but she never actually seen it in action. She guessed maybe the man was going off those legends? She wasn't quite certain if they were true or not. Not that it matters at the moment, it's not something she could provide.

She was hoping to give off a good impression. She was hoping she could blow him away by making him think she was a full blown guardian genie, though that hope probably went out the window after bashing her own head against the ceiling.

"I'm... sorry, I think I might have mislead you a bit." She started to explain with an apologetic tone. "I'm only a half-genie, so I can't really do that kind of stuff. I can't really grant wishes."

"Oh." Cade said flatly, his voice faltering a bit part way through. "Okay, I mean, what do you have to provide for the team? I'm all ears."

"Are you okay?" Shantae asked, concerned.

"It's fine." He said, shrugging it off.

"It's clearly not fine." She stated. "I know I haven't given you much reason to trust me with your feelings, but if I hurt you just now, I want to know how."

Cade paused for a moment, then he explained:

"It's just, I was kind of hoping for an easy way home. I just got my hopes up, that's all. It's not really your fault."

Shantae nodded.

"I... can understand that. I don't know what I would give to go home." She said.

Without thinking, she pulled out her lamp from her inventory. The glittering gold surface reflected her face quite nicely. The thing probably should remind her of the pain it caused her, but instead it just reminded of her of home. She could already feel herself back there, the sulfuric smell of uncle's laboratory, the warmth of the air pressed against her skin. Sky, Bolo, and Rotty were all there, they just saved her from a fate worse than death, friendships that would have lasted forever. She compulsively snuggled the lamp against her cheek at the memory. She was reminded of standing in the genie realm. The glow surrounding the stage of Risky's assault, her sisters were there to greet her with open arms. She was glad she finally got to see it before... before...

She pulled the lamp away from her face, finding her own smeared reflection in it's gold surface. If she had the power to go home, would she take it? She wanted it so badly, it had been only a day and it's already suffocating. However, did she even deserve it? Even if she could come back home, could things ever go back to the way they were?

Oh no, not again! Her eyes were already getting a bit steamy. She knew she couldn't cry in front a new teammate. With tears welling in her eyes, she pulled her gaze away from the lamp.

And it was at that moment she realized the mess that was beside her. He hadn't even noticed that she was holding a lamp right now, he was just fixated on the ground in front of him. He wasn't crying, but he wasn't emoting either. Shantae immediately brought herself together. Her new teammate needed her, and that's what matters!

She put her lamp away, then pulled him into a hug. It was more startling than comforting really, the barely clothed teenage breasts pressing awkwardly against his shoulder as her arms wrapped his chest from the side, but at least it brought him out of his funk.

She pulled away and smiled at him.

"Just because I'm not that kind of genie, doesn't mean there isn't hope for us!" She exclaimed cheerfully. "After all, primes grant wishes all the time, just a matter of having enough Om!"

While that was in no way a solution to his problem, it did give him a pause from his depression. He had never really thought of it that way. He imagined himself wearing a genie costume, hovering over secondaries, offering to grant their greatest desires. The thought made him chuckle a bit.

This was enough of a change of tone to bring Shantae fully around.

"Speaking of summoning with om," she said, getting on her feet, "I hope you don't mind if I practice with my latest purchase while we continue chatting."

She immediately did a cartwheel, landing perfectly on her feet.

"Careful with your head injury!" He said, concerned. "Wait, where did that ice pack go?"

"Don't worry! I've shaken off worse hits than that in my time!" She said with a laugh. She began do cartwheels and somersaults as she continued. "I come from the magical world of Sequin Land! I lived in a small fishing village called Scuttletown where I served as their guardian genie! Basically, I fought off any invading armies that happen to roll into town."

"Oh, I see." He replied. Wouldn't hurt the team to have another bruiser in their ranks, he thought. Then he realized her wording. He peered back up at her, who was now practicing spin kicks. "Wait, armies?"

"Oh yeah, it's always an army, usually by myself. They aren't much trouble, though I tend to struggle with the tanks."

"Why was this small town a hotbed of military conflict?" He asked, somewhat alarmed.

"Oh, it's usually to steal my uncle's inventions, or to take ownership of the town. Usually one of those two."

She did a flip in the air and made a perfect landing on the ceiling before launching herself and repeating the landing on the ground below. Cade decided to not question why anyone would want to take over a small fishing village, and decided to focus on the more pressing matter in front of him.

"And is the floating thing one of your genie powers?" He asked.

"Oh no! That's from the pants I just summoned!" She stated gleefully, taking a moment from her acrobatics to pose like a model, showing them off to the Avenger. "They're made from the fabric of magic carpets, so they allow me to fly! Usually they'd be impossible to find in my world, but nothings impossible with omnilium."

She gave off a cunning grin, as if the tie in to earlier conversation was a moment worthy of a mic drop. The man laughed.

"Hahaha, but for real though, what powers did your genie half give you?"

"Oh wow! That's right! I should give you a demonstration!" She said excitedly.

Suddenly, her phone lit up and started playing the first few bars of "Dance Through the Danger." She completely neglected to realize it was her own voice singing a song she never recorded, narrowly dodging a fourth wall break of the most heinous variety. Instead, she whipped out her phone to check who it was.

"Oh! It's Rotty!" She exclaimed. Cade's face contorted to at the sound of the name. "She's a zombie!"

That only raised more questions, but before he could ask any of them, Shantae selected to answer the call.

"Hey!" Said the voice on the other end. "Have you made it to the Avengers mansion yet?"

"Uh, yeah, I'm here right now! I'm meeting with one of their members as we speak!" She explained. "In fact, I think I have you on some sort of speaker setting, let me fix that!"

"No! Leave it! I want to talk to him!"

Shantae, hesitantly honoring her friend's request, moved back to the couch and placed the phone between them.

"By the way, how did you know it was a guy?" The half-genie asked, but her question was ignored.

"Hello Avenger guy!"

"Hello, zombie girl!" He said, puzzled as he waved at the phone for no apparent reason.

"Are you hot?" She exclaimed excitedly. Cade's face contorted at the question. "Oh sorry, I shouldn't be asking you that question. Hey Shantae, is this dude hot?"

"You know I'm a terrible judge of that sort of thing, Rotty!" Said Shantae, blushing a bit.

"I know, I know, I get your deal! But maybe send me pictures later? I want to see him!"

"Maybe later when he's out of his pajamas."

"Ooh la la!" Said Rotty, flirtily.

"Good bye, Rotty."

"Wait! I've been meaning to tell you! I have a date with a guy tonight! A hotty named Simon!"

"Oh, that's nice! I hope that works out for you!"

"He's a total hotty!"

"Knowing you, I'm certain of that." Said Shantae, a little bit of a sting in her voice.

"Bet you're jealous!"

"Good bye, Rotty."

And with that she hung up. Cade decided to not address the fact that she was beet red after that conversation and focus on something else.

"Well, I've never met a zombie before!" He stated.

"Oh, she's a handful! That's for sure!" She said, laughing it off.

"Well, you might be right at home with the Avengers! One of our teammates is a werewolf! I mean, he's not in right now-"

"Wait, really?" Shantae said, immediately perking up. "Tell me all about him! Or, wait!"

She rotated her whole body to face him. Her eyes making contact, her grin was infectious.

"Tell me about everyone! Starting with yourself! I don't think you've even introduced yourself!"

Thinking back, he couldn't remember ever even giving his name. This is why you don't do new Avengers interviews half awake in your pajamas, kids!

"I'm the Centerion, but you can just call me Cade!"

"Ooh, like, Cascade? I like it!" She smiled gleefully, clapping her hands together in excitement. "Tell me more!"
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#4
“Tell me more!”

It was a strange phrase to Cade. This was the first time anyone had shown any actual interest in his story. Joining the team had been one struggle after another; from being beat up to going to prison, to hallucinating in the Danger Room, he hadn’t had a chance to breathe yet. Sitting there, talking to Shantae, he finally felt somewhat calm. It definitely helped that the half-genie’s positivity was so infectious.

Cade smiled a genuine smile and shrugged. “Not much to tell, really. I’m not that special.”

“Oh, come on!” Shantae shuffled forward to the edge of her seat, staring at him intently.

The young man took a moment, then shrugged again in acceptance. “Back home I’m a superhero, I guess. That’s probably why I liked the idea of the Avengers so much. Now I’m here and I’m trying my best to do right by everyone.”

Shantae’s face scrunched up in disappointment. “That was lame. You can do better than that.”

“I… I guess. But I don’t especially like talking about myself.” He glanced down at the linoleum floor and focused in on some granules of dirt in between the tiles.”The rest of the team though, they’re something else.”

Cade didn’t know where to begin with bringing Shantae up to speed. He wasn’t even sure if he should. The last few weeks hadn’t exactly been their finest moments. When he looked back up to her and saw the expectant expression on her face, he couldn’t help but feel like she would end up disappointed. Despite his worries, he felt a sudden surge of hope. He leaned forward without warning, forcing Shantae to flop back onto the sofa.

“The Moon Knight! Arm of Khonshu and guardian of those who trek under the lunar glow!” He swept his arm towards the ceiling, envisioning the night sky in his mind’s eye. “A dark and brooding leader with a passion for justice.

Cade jumped to his feet, letting the hype flow through his veins. “Marcus Wright! A soldier from another time with metal limbs and a hooded past. His skill with firearms is matched only by his tenacity with his fists.”

Shantae was much more interested in Cade’s sudden excitement than she had been in his rather empty personal description a few seconds earlier.

“Dick Howland! Dust! Ratione! All heroes of great boldness and passion! Together they form the Avengers, a team dedicated to protecting the meek and avenging the wronged.” As the young man passionately recounted the highlights of his time as an Avenger, he felt his soul heal slightly.

“It all started with a battle. Me against four of the mightiest Avengers due to a simple misunderstanding. It was a sight to behold! After I our epic clash, I was defeated and we were all dragged to an Imperial prison. There were were beaten and mistreated.”

He purposefully avoided the harsh details of his own experience.

“There was another epic brawl, this time with all of us functioning as a team, and then we were freed. So we came here to regroup and heal. Some of the team is still missing, but I’m gonna find them. I promise you that.”

To punctuate his story he let his armor form in a burst of crackling electricity as he struck a dramatic pose.

“Come hell or high water, the Omniverse’s greatest heroes strive to be the best!” He paused for an awkward moment before looking at Shantae grinning. “And I’m proud to be one of them.”

She grinned right back at him and clapped excitedly. “That’s so cool!”

Cade responded without thinking. “Hell yeah it is!”

“Being an Avenger sounds awesome!” Shantae jumped up in excitement, going a bit too high, but not high enough for a repeat of last time. “I’m in!”

Cade’s smile persisted. “Not really my call, but if it was you’d be on the team in a heartbeat. Come on, let’s try and find Moon Knight. If I know him, he’s probably talking to the bird god in his head.”

The half-genie paused. “To the what?”

Hastily, Cade waved his hands dismissively and started walking, his armor still covering him up to his neck. “Nothing! Nothing. Let’s check the courtyard first.”
From Hawaii, With Love
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#5
The dynamic duo leapt into action, throwing the front doors open to reveal the courtyard. No sign of the white suited marauder. Thankfully, the rebirthing rain had ended. Whatever inconsiderate pleb who brought that about must have had a change in tone. Seriously, what kind of Prime doesn't call in the meteorologists to warn them ahead of time? It's just common courtesy!

Not that she subscribes to any weather broadcasts yet, but she might consider it soon!

Cade never mentioned that Moon Knight wore white, it was just kind of obvious. It was either that or cheddar yellow. Cheese sounded really good to Shantae at that moment. Almost as good as maybe popping out a gator steak or something from her inventory. Why was she hungry all the sudden? Oh well, that doesn't matter, she needed to get her mind on the task at hand.

She took a few steps out as she surveyed the front garden again. Not sure what she was expecting as she was just out here not too long ago, but those hero types were slippery.

The pair ran out onto the street.

"Did he go off to fight some criminals or something?" Asked Shantae

"He was having an emotional moment earlier." Cade said, rolling his eyes as he imagined his glorious leader moping in front of a bunch of statues. "I guess he ran off to burn off some steam."

She was suddenly getting a sinking feeling where the rebirth rain was originating from. Welp, that's a little bit of guilt on her end. She vows never to tell him she thought of him as a "pleb."


The pair navigate the streets for a while. Shantae repeatedly calling out "Moon Knight" as if he was a little lost dog. After a fifteen minutes of no sign of him, the half-genie makes a decision

"My assumption is right that he wears all white, right?!" Proclaimed Shantae enthusiastically.

"I don't think you've ever voiced that assumption, but that is correct!" Stated Centurion. "He wears a white suit, white cape and hood-"

"Ah! I think I'll fly up and get a bird's eye view! He should stand out!"

Cade remembered the genie floating around earlier and thought she meant that. So he was taken aback when she suddenly started waving her hips back in forth right in front of him. Centurion glanced away, not sure if he should be watching this or not.

"Ummm..." He wasn't even sure if he should be talking over this. What is wrong with this girl?

But Shantae couldn't pick up on his discomfort. Instead, she was deep into the rhythm of her heart. She could feel it pounding away, as she felt the presence of a harpy. She could feel the wings that would replace her arms, the feathers that would coat her skin. That smell of down was familiar to her, the beat of her wings were another. She embraced it, like an old friend.

"Transform!"

The flash of light made Cade immediately shoot his eyes toward the genie, but what stood there in her place was a large blue bird woman. Her hair, arms, and legs were now adorning assortment of feathers, while her chest, shoulders, and face now all had blue skin. Thankfully, she was still wearing a top. he wouldn't have known it was if it wasn't for the tiara that remained on her head.

Shantae took off and ascended above the city, scanning carefully for any white figures jumping around. She circled around tier 4.

She didn't pay much attention to the place before when she was first arriving; too engrossed in a text chat with Rottytops. She was kind of shocked to find how run down everything was. Or mostly everything. She could see what looked like a rich district in the distance with casinos and a racetrack, but everything else...

Is this why the Avengers situated in this part of Coruscant? Does this place need their help more than anyone?

Now that she mentions it, she's a little confused by the lay out. There was literally no sign of the caverns she witnessed when she first arrived. She Perched up the nearest tall building and peered with all her might to see where she entered Coruscant, but all she could see was Tier 4. Even with her special bird eyes, she couldn't make anything out that looked like caverns. Was this place just that big?

Also, no sign of this Moon Knight guy. Guess she kind of got sidetracked there.

She followed the landmarks that she took note of to find her way back to Centurion who was still standing there, his jaw on the ground below. Shantae did a perfect landing in front of him and in an instant, was a human again.

"No sign of that Moon Knight guy." Said Shantae, regretfully. "Sorry, this place is really big, isn't it?"

"Shantae..." Said Cade, his voice in a low rumble.

The shift in tone put the half-genie at ease.

"That was awesome!" Exclaimed Centurion, his expression shifting to excitement.

"Awesome? I mean, I didn't even find the guy-"

"The bird thing! That's your genie power you were talking about?" Asked Cade

Shantae paused. Then slapped her forehead.

'Join a super hero group, never mention what it is you actually do. Real smart!' She thought.


A little while later, they found a run down little empty park. She sat him down in a bench as she positioned herself in front of him.

"I lost a lot of my transformations when coming to the Omniverse, so please don't judge me too much when I don't have too much more to show..."

"Less talk, more shapeshifting!" He said, bouncing in his seat with excitement.

She focused on the dance. She envisioned herself smaller, fur covering her body. A prehensile tail curling up behind her. Soon, it enveloped her.

"Transform!"

Cade flinched for a second and looked upon the tiny creature before him, and his face lit up!

"Oh my god, you're a monkey!" He exclaimed gleefully, giddy like a school boy in a candy shop!

Indeed! She was a tiny little monkey, purple fur covering most of her body. Her face, chest, legs, feet, and tip of her tail were all peach colored. She did some monkey tricks for him, clapping her hands, jumping around, doing the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" thing. Cade ate up every second of it, laughing and applauding at every bit of it.

She climbed up the light post and launched herself off it in a stunning feat of speed. He gasped a bit, but she wasn't done yet. As soon as she hit the ground, she burst into a sprint, so fast that it was almost like she was teleporting. Cade's head was spinning. She screeched to a halt in front of him throwing clumps of grass and dirt everywhere. She shifted back to her human form. Centurion was ecstatic.

"That was amazing!" He exclaimed.

The genie smirked as she immediately went into another dance. A new form came from the beat of her heart. Long nose, towering above her current stature, four big feet. She could feel it's weight on her shoulders.

"Transform!"

A flash of light. Cade gasps!

"An elephant too?" He exclaimed excitedly.

Before him was a purple skinned elephant with a blue and gold tarp draped on her back. Stepping back a bit, she does tremendous leap into the air and launches herself towards the ground, all four gigantic stumps hitting the ground with all her weight and momentum, shaking the ground around her.

Even with the added distance, Centurion was thrown from his seat. But quick reflexes allowed her to catch the falling hero with her nose.

"Heh, thanks! Wasn't expect an earthqua- woah!"

Suddenly, the nose lifts him up, as effortlessly as she did with the children the other day, and places him on her back. She starts to trample around the grounds as Cade hoot and hollers like a cowboy riding a horse. She even did a few kicks as if they were in a rodeo, which only made a mess of things.


A while later, the two of them reconvened on the park bench. Shantae was sittin beside him in her human form again.

"You have an absurdly versatile power!" Cade said impressed.

"Thanks! It does help when saving the day alright!"

"You say you inherited all that from your mother?" He asked.

"Well, it's more of a byproduct of my heritage," she explained, rubbing her cheek, "every half-genie develops powers in some way, but it's different for every one!"

"And you said you had other forms?"

"Oh yeah! Mermaid, spider, crab, bat, tree. I had plenty!"

"Tree?" Asked Cade baffled.

"But enough about my powers, what is it you do?" She asked, anticipatingly.

"What I do?" He inquired.

"You're in the Avengers, you must fight with something! Give me a demonstration!"
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