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Found 104 results

  1. Turned Every Witch Way

    The Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship! September 29, 2017 Whump. Whump. Whump. Erik Espadas' fists impacted the punching bag suspended from the dojo's ceiling over and over, hard enough to rattle the chain and give him time to switch up his footwork between strikes as the bag swung back toward him. It wasn't rhythmic exactly, as his attacks varied staccato triplets of quick jabs to single heavy swings with the entire weight of his body behind them. Even so their was a somewhat hypnotic quality to the overall pattern, his steady breathing framing the train of percussion while a light sheen of sweats showed on the skin exposed by his light tank top. He'd been at it when Raina had decided to set up in one of the stackable chairs lying against the back wall and he'd kept at it for at least ten straight minutes since, gradually picking up speed and punishing the bag more and more severely. He'd definitely seen her come in but hadn't said anything, expression focused and uncharacteristically severe. While the teenager knew the swordsman wasn't baseline human she was pretty sure he didn't have any measure of super strength and wouldn't be punching the bag clean off of its securely fastened chain. He certainly seemed to be making a go of it nonetheless. Whump. Whump. Whump.
  2. Dance Me to the End

    It was a small list - the friends that Talya still had from her time among the Allies of Freedom was a small list that grew smaller yet every year. Most of them - all of them, really - had public personas just as flashy as Natalya Browning's public facade. They were also well aware that Talya's actual private life was something she had always kept decidedly so, so the understanding that discretion was expected was well understood alongside her invitation to visit the recently renovated apartments above the Espadas' School. Well, to most of them, it was likely well understood. For Ace, she made the effort to include a pointed phone call alongside sending a private town car - lest she get the damn Dangermobile hovering outside a window just because he wanted to tease. It might have been any other cheerful weekend afternoon at the rather noisy home of four very young children. That Talya was tense was only clear to those who knew her very well - and those who could compare her usual level of tidiness to the current downright sparkling level of cleanliness in an apartment with very young children. It was, frankly, unnatural to see the living room looking like something out of a magazine as the blonde Brit frowned before going to rearrange the art fully folded quilt on the couch's arm for the third time.
  3. Present Arms

    January 13, 2017 3:45 PM Even in a city that catered to as many esoteric subcultures as Freedom there were only so many places a teenager might go to improve their skills with medieval weaponry. With the faculty of Claremont Academy in something of a restructuring period - and portions of the student body's faith in the combat training there having suffered somewhat - Cathy Clouston had suggested the next best thing to her girlfriend: a privately run dojo in the city's West End that had been introduced to her by her roommate. Said roommate had continued to receiving mentoring of her own there, albeit in the form of classes not openly available to the public at large. There were certain skills painfully absent from a young lady's usual education these days: picking locks while hanging upside down, disarming an attacker while wearing heels, disarming an attacker with a pair of heels...
  4. Interceptors: Echo vs Gecko

    Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship! December 16, 9:07 PM "Alright, we're locked up," Erik Espadas confirmed as he rounded the gap in the wall between the dojo's entryway and the training space. With the blinds drawn over the big front windows and a few more sophisticated measures in place the small group gathered were ready for their planned after-hours class. Unlike usual the mats were littered with piled weights, cardboard boxes and anything else that had been handy and looked like it might make for an inconvenient obstacle. "Remember, we're working on mobility tonight," he reminded the deceptively lanky man and the woman with short black hair in front of him, folding his bare arms across his plain white workout shirt. They could have easily been a pair of the college students who frequented his intermediary self-defence classes. "That means something a little different for you two than the rest of us so I figured it was past time you compared notes." The fencer let a lopsided grin split his businesslike demeanour as he stepped back toward far corner where Talya and Steve were watching. "That said, loser has to mop the footprints off my ceiling." In the apartments up above Ellie Espadas held her breath as she tip-toed out of the nursery, hoping against hope that her newest niece and nephew would stay asleep at least long enough to get back to the kitchen. Either one of them crying inevitably woke the other and even with three pairs of hands helping she wasn't sure how their parents were coping. Making it down the hallway and all the way to the kitchen table the med student silently raised a pair of crossed fingers as she sat down between Min and Mara. "And I thought pulling a double at Trinity took it out of you," she drawled just barely louder than a whisper. "Please tell me there's coffee or tea or something."
  5. Alright, let's get some initiative rolls out of the way to start with. Jack of all Blades - Initiative: 1d20+9 28 Hooks -Initiative: 1d20+7 19 Katar - Initiative: 1d20 18 Kopesh - Initiative: 1d20+5 18 Butterfly - Initiative: 1d20+7 25 Shadows - Initiative: 1d20+5 19
  6. Interceptors: Terrance and Emily

    Content Notices: Violence, Birth Scene Location: Espadas School of Self Defense and Swordsmanship! Date: July 19, 2016 Talya was very good at suppressing the potential consequences for her actions. Leaping off buildings, after all, was much easier if one didn't think about what missing a handhold might mean. Unfortunately, ignoring the eventual ramifications of the biology of how a baby (or two. Two!) would enter the world did not actually prevent the event. The cramps and back ache had only gotten worse despite her refusal to acknowledge that it might not just be late term pregnancy aches and pains. Although, she'd not admitted (and likely never would), it was fairly clear to those closest to Talya that the ex-spy was at least unsettled by the impending birth. Perhaps even frightened. At the moment, though, she was mostly just holding up the relocation to Sanctuary as if not stepping through the portal might some how prevent the next several hours. "I've changed my mind," Talya announced mulishly, her arms crossed over her chest. "Perhaps I could just be unconscious for the entire thing, after all. They still do that, don't they? If we went to the hospital instead, could they just knock me out?" Unlikely to say the least with her magical ability to shake off most things mundane and Talya's mystical biology did not often play well with other magics. Intellectually, she knew that but at the moment, logic was not high on the spy's list. "I'd bounce right back from a c-section. Probably. Almost certainly."
  7. U-Haul

    "Is there room for one more in that box?" Gina Espadas asked, wheeling herself backward in a tight arc with one hand and holding up a framed photo with the other. "It's one of the bigger ones." The retired police officer and single mother of two was in fully serious organizational mode partly in deference to the task at hand and partly to sidestep some of the lingering awkwardness that resulted from being left alone with the other woman in the room. Talya Browning - Gina had enough aliases to keep straight these days without worrying about whether that was the correct civilian identity for this apartment or safe house or what have you - was on the nearby couch with the last new open cardboard boxes, rearranging pictures to pack them as efficiently as possible. The renovations of the apartment Talya shared with Gina's son and daughter-in-law were close enough to completion to move most of her personal effects over but unsurprisingly there was some last minute packing left to do while Erik retrieved the borrowed truck. That left the two of them to sort things out between them in more than one sense.
  8. [ToV] Vanity

    Monday April 25 Trinity Hospital After the events in Ocean Heights, Rhode Island, and Mexico, the heroes of Freedom City (and indeed the world) are aware of the global threat of the Makot Mitzrayim - the Plagues of Egypt. The threat isn't just the Plagues, of course, but the people driven to hysteria (one way or another) by an apocalypse that seems ("but only seems" Seven stressed in her briefing sent to the major superteams) to correspond to that of the three largest religions on Earth. The Interceptors in particular, thanks to Harrier and Echo's report from down in Mexico, have gotten a strong picture of what's going on. But with only one attack in Freedom City proper, it's easy for most people to let life go on. In the West End in the last few days there's been a freakishly rare flu epidemic, one of those bizarre moments that can happen in a city full of people and exposed to all sorts of exotic chemicals, viruses, and other ailments over the years. Things are bad enough that the hospital is nearly full, getting them to send non-emergency cases home, and they've called out volunteer doctors from other hospitals to help deal with the crisis. The flu can be a scary disease for parents, the elderly, the unlucky - especially when it turns to pneumonia. So if the hospital chapel is particularly packed with people praying for their families and themselves, well, maybe it has nothing to do with the Plagues of Egypt. At least until you turn on the news - and catch the continued cleanup elsewhere in the city, the nation, the world. But the heroes of Freedom have dealt with worse than this...right?
  9. The Taxman Cometh

    Date: 2/18/16 Talya was down in the dojo, neither teaching nor working out. No, today was more of a maintenance day - ensuring that everything was in working order, taking inventory, and all the so-very-dull minutiae that kept the business running. Ostensibly, Talya was down in the dojo to help but the ex-theif was really as much hindrance as she was aid. Boredom was not something the immortal handled well and she was certainly not above trying to distract Erik into more entertaining endeavors. At the moment, though, Talya was vaguely on task as she was double checking to make sure that the rings she'd set into the ceiling months ago were still holding up after the use they'd seen in class. Since there were no classes at the moment, she'd discarded the extra layers that were doing less and less to conceal her pregnancy to scale the rope with a power drill in one hand to tighten the bolts, with the rope caught between her knees. "I shall never complain about teaching classes again," Talya commented, which was most likely entirely false. Oh, she liked teaching but every now and again, everyone had a day where the last thing they wanted to do was crawl out of bed in the morning.
  10. Exes and Ohs

    GM post Sunday, February 28th 2016 10:30 AM Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship, Private Apartments "It is still early for a Sunday Ma'am." the personal assistant suggested quietly, the protest fell however on deaf ears. "Marjorie, If this was not time sensitive I wouldn't be bothering the poor woman." came the reply clipped but not cold, "Besides they have children and I have raised enough of those to know late mornings are likely the least of their concerns." She added a bit more warmly, "Make the call please." Thus on the crisp february morning the phone in the apartment housing the ever growing Espadas family began to ring. The number was blocked, and at a very high level though expertise such as the household AI like as not could break it in short order and reveal the call as originating from Danger Internationals sprawling Hannover Campus. When the phone was answered Marjorie spoke in a bright and clear tone, "Good morning, I'm trying to reach a Ms. Rebecka Danvers." she requested politely, "Is she available?"
  11. Teenage Superstars [IC]

    Date: January 25, 2016 It wasn't until after winter break that Raina could round up a small cluster of fellow students to come along to extra curricular training. On the bright side, it meant she'd had several weeks of one on one classes to be confident with both the workings of the school and the general format of the training. Always nice to be the expert in the group, after all. With a large enough group, Claremont sent the teenagers to their extra credit activity in one of the few vans for such purposes rather than letting the students make their own way. The unmarked school van pulled up to let the students unload directly in front of a well kept building in the middle of the West End. A sign proclaimed 'The Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship!' (Exclamation mark included), and through the front doors was a small lobby and receptionist desk before the dojo itself. As they had forewarning that there was going to be more than just the one student, Talya had come down early to straighten things in the lobby and keep an eye out just in case the school van had trouble finding a good drop off point. Rather than standing behind the desk, the attractive blonde was perched on top of it, seated on the surface as she sorted through papers. Lately, Talya had taken to wearing a loose cut tanktop over her formfitting practice wear and today was no different. As the students disembarked she shifted the paperwork to one side to welcome the knot of teenagers. "Come on in and pick a cubby for your shoes and anything else you want to put away," Talya invited in a clipped, British accent. She flashed Raina a smile as the young woman stepped in, "Hullo, Raina." She added before raising her voice slightly, "Erik, the students are here."
  12. Unpredictable Magic

    Although Talya's reputation might give the impression that all her New Year's Eves were spent at fabulous parties or madcap adventure, the fact of the matter was she'd had plenty of quiet New Years as well. There were certainly enough years where time's steady march onwards had not been a matter to celebrate. Still, in all of the New Years that she had celebrated, loud or quiet, Talya had certainly never fallen asleep a good half an hour before the overly-hyped television special had even begun it's crescendo. Yet sleeping was just what the blonde was doing, rather uncomfortably in her position as human barrier. Sometime between when Min and Erik had stepped out, the former to bathe Eden and the latter to produce snacks, Talya had curled up on the floor to keep Mia from getting past her and was now serving as an even better handhold for cruising than the couch had provided. How Talya continued to sleep through the chubby - and potentially sticky - baby hands yanking on her side was anyone's best guess. Normally, the ex-thief slept relatively lightly. Today, though, Mia's hand catching in her hair earned only a sleepy snort as Talya shifted, one arm encircling Mia absently.
  13. A Winter's Tale

    Talya had never really thought she'd miss English weather but the unseasonably warm December really had begun to cut into the Christmas mood, in her opinion. Still, that hadn't deterred her from enjoying the season, especially with the Espadas children to shop for. Although, to be fair, it wasn't like the ex-spy needed an excuse to shop but the season was more magical when there were children to spoil and Eden was right at the right age for that. So, it wasn't unusual for Talya to try and coax Min or Erik on a holiday shopping trip once Thanksgiving had passed. Nor was it unusual for Talya to turn up in the dojo when she wasn't scheduled to teach and knew Erik's classes were light, but she wasn't dressed to spar and her expression lacked the coaxing smile that usually accompanied Talya's suggestions to play hooky. Still, things couldn't be all that terrible as she waited for things to finish up before twining her arms around his waist and offering him an affectionate kiss. "And good morning to you, handsome. I don't suppose you have time in your busy schedule for a quick errand?"
  14. Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

    GM A few minutes away from FCPD Precinct 13 West End Freedom City, New JerseySaturday November 28th, 2015 6:00 PM It was a cool, wintry night fast approaching the end of the month. Despite the old joke about police officers handing out more tickets near the closing off the month to meet some sort of quota the local police station in the West End had not seen a noted increase in traffic. In fact, the night was so quiet it was hard to miss the expression on a young Japanese woman's face as she exited Precinct 13. Pure dissatisfaction, clearly still distraught over whatever occurred in her meeting. In fact, her exit seemed to attract the attention of two heavily tattooed men who made no effort to hide the fact that they were following her. The woman appeared to be in her late teens with a fair complexion that felt right at home in the winter. Her long, straight, brunette hair almost blended into the leather jacket she was using to keep warm. A jacket that was apparently a size or two too large for her frame, indicating that it belonged to someone else. Her pursuers had bright green hair, and tattoos that showed affiliation to some small time local gang. She sped off to try and shake her pursuers. Unfortunately, they were quicker than her. Manhandling with ease they pushed the woman into an alleyway were there were two more men waiting. Only these men were each holding a sword in each hand. As if prepared for her arrival, they each tossed one of their swords to the men who pushed the woman inside of the alleyway.
  15. Old Fiends

    Talya's directions had them parking well away from the school. The racy sportscar was more suited towards the life that went with the high end apartment building than her West End activities so she never parked it in the same place and never close to the school. Walking wasn't exceptionally onerous, after all. When she stepped out of her car, she pulled a different jacket over the top of her blouse, modernizing the pencil skirt enough to distance it from the tailored retro style she favored in public appearances. As Talya's quick changes went, it was relatively minor on the spectrum of what Dimitri had seen before as far as Talya's efforts went. There was no wig and only very minor make up and clothing adjustments. He was well aware that there was probably no less than four or five very different disguises in the trunk of her car. She threaded her hand through Dimitri's parka covered arm, her Russian still flawless despite the definitely loose swing of her hips and the roll of her steps. She wasn't sober, but it would take a discerning eye to notice such things. Talya put on a very convincing facade of sobriety, aided by the fact that she could probably still scale the building in her heels and narrow skirt without missing a step. Fortunately, that wasn't necessary as she fished a key out of her pocket to unlock the closed door to the front of the dojo, "We ought stay down here. If the girls are asleep, I don't want to wake them." Talya said as she opened the door and then locked it behind them, "But, I can show you where I'm spending my time, nonetheless. You can tell me what you think of the very minor addition I made."
  16. Jack of All Blades

    From the album Alder's Artistry

    Costumed version of Jack of all Blades, full body.

    © K Keppeler

  17. Supermarket

    October 18, 2015 Summerhill Street Farmer's Market Only a two block stroll from the Espadas School, every Sunday farmers from the area surrounding the city along with more local bakers, brewers and others set up stalls to sells their wares along either side of the winding path that could somewhat generously be characterized as a park. The fountain in the center of the market hadn't had working water in years but the trees provided pleasant shade and the benches were kept in good condition. The main draw was in-season produce but there were homemade jams and preserves for sale alongside fresh breads, beeswax candles next to knitwear in time for the cooling weather. The bustling path was full of West Enders looking for bargains and loud with the sounds of haggling. "I want to grab some apples, corn and sweet potatoes for sure," Erik was explaining as he led the way, having finally relented to the season and put on a light sweater under his wool-lined jacket. With a pair of reusable shopping bags stuffed unceremoniously stuff into his jacket's pockets he was already craning his neck to see what was on sale. "Other than that, what were you thinking?" After another playful conversation about whether or not Talya could actually manage an uneventful grocery shopping trip he'd agreed to let her take the lead in gathering what they needed for dinner that evening. It had quickly become clear from the way he animatedly talked up the market that he was taking this as an opportunity to show the blonde Englishwoman around the neighbourhood where he'd been born and raised as much as anything else.
  18. Second Chances (Or Third?)

    Between working at the dojo and... other things, Talya was clocking an awful lot of hours at the Espadas School of Self Defense and Swordsmanship(!). Today was no different, except that the dojo was currently empty of students - and most other bodies - save for the blonde currently standing in the main work out area with a decent size ring in hand as she examined the ceiling. Talya was almost always in the 'do what you want, beg forgiveness after the fact' mindset so this indecision was new. New and unpleasant! It was a good idea, Talya told herself firmly. One couldn't have students practice hanging upside down and doing things without having something sturdy to hang FROM. If Erik had only been her employer, Talya would already have had this installed in a joist and been ready to smile prettily when asked about the new addition to the workspace. It was even designed to fold up when not in use. It was a good plan. Muttering under herb breath, Talya resolutely turned towards the wall and within a few seconds had scaled the wall to balance with one foot on top of the stand of practice swords and her palm flat against the ceiling as she began running the stud finder over the ceiling. She was going to be perfectly normal, darnit!
  19. It took two passes over the West End for Raina to find the Espadas School for Self-Defense, mainly because the first time around, she'd discounted the building covered in plants without a second thought. Why would a dojo have a rooftop garden? On the second time around, Merlin and the GPS colluded to convince her to at least make a landing and check it out. With a much put-upon sigh, Raina landed and dropped her invisibility as she slung her broom over her shoulder, not willing to admit aloud that Merlin had been correct. The laughter coming from inside her backpack was galling enough. The school looked sort of like a business and sort of like a house, to the point where Raina wasn't sure if it was okay to just go in or not. Better safe than sorry when it came to just barging into somebody's house, she decided, with only a thick hint of bitterness, and knocked loudly on the front door.
  20. Strangers You Know

    The blond slipped in as the most recent class was just starting to wrap up, rather like she'd timed it that way. Talya had paused outside to admire the facade and the rather bold sign choice. Of course, she really hadn't expected anything less. Letting the door shut behind her, she glanced at the front desk before slipping between the students currently filtering out towards the entrance. Crowds were really always the best cover one could ask for and old habits died hard. Although, Talya really wasn't up to any nefarious purpose today. The students didn't spare her a second glance, really, not beyond the occasional appreciative glance an attractive twenty-something blond might usually garner. Perhaps her boots fell a little too softly on the ground as she skirted the training area, working her way around to the professor. "Uh, Mr. Espadas?" She pitched her voice higher, the accent soft and vaguely mid-western. Hesitant, apologetic. "I was wondering if you might have an opening in one of these classes?" The woman asking the question was blond, pretty - certainly, but Talya was well aware that with softer, subtler makeup and her hair pulled back up into a loose ponytail, she presented a very different picture than her normal attire. That, really, was the point. Gone was the tailored 40's clothing in exchange for a soft turtleneck and a pleated skirt and tights that would have looked entirely normal on a woman her apparent age. The only real give away was Talya's laughing blue eyes, which crinkled around the corners as she added, still in the softer American drawl as there were still students about, "Hullo, Erik."
  21. Back in Black

    Location: Freedom City Museum of Fine Arts, Liberty Park Date: September 23rd, 9 PM Museums, in Bombshell's never to be humble opinion, were best enjoyed after hours. It really was the best. No crowds. No rules about getting too close or not touching. And no security guards giving you suspicious looks when you stepped out of line. At this point, Bombshell had memorized the guard rotation of her favorite haunts to enjoy them at her leisure. Sure, sometimes she might have had to disable the alarms on a window or two - like tonight - but she always put them back. "Hello, beautiful," Bombshell murmured from where she dangled upside down, eyeing the John Collier painting with a judicious eye. Glad she'd caught the exhibit before it was cycled out, Bombshell moved to unwrap her leg from her swing-line to drop to the ground when faint noise caught her attention. Noisy. That was never a good sign. Dropping soundlessly to the floor, a little tug released the hook on the edge of the line and it coiled back into the hilt of her baton. Stealthy and silent, Bombshell went to see what sort of ham-handed smash and grab might be in progress. No one has any appreciation for the art these days, I swear. Bombshell rounded the corner quickly, but not as quickly as the underpaid security detail arrived on the scene. She, after all, had made it a point to be on the opposite end of the anticipated route so her boots hit the doorway just as the nervous, "Stop, or I'll shoot!" echoed out. As her gaze swept over the scene, Bombshell had enough time to notice the five masked men speedily dismantling an exhibit of some sort between her and the security guard detail. Not masks. Gas masks! "No, get back! They've got-" Whatever else Bombshell's warning might have contained, it was lost in a fit of coughing as several canisters opened with several respective bang-hiss sounds around the room. She might have been able to come back from a bullet to the head but her lungs needed air just like anyone else's. Worst. Bloody. Luck. Wa-THUMP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Freedom City National Museum of Art was situated right along the scenic Liberty Park and abutted affluent Parkside. Which is not to say that Freedom City's finest responded quicker, per say, to the wealthy areas than the poorer ones - but the response tonight was both swift and plentiful in the amount of black and whites that drove along 64th street with their lights blazing. In their defense, though, it had been a rough month for the museums along Liberty Park what with the cultists and the monster-statue. Situated where it was, Grimalkin and her assistant and sidekick were just finishing up another relatively quiet but rewarding day at Silberman's when the first cop car streamed past. When Shrike went to turn the lock, the second and third followed shortly their after, heading towards Liberty Park. Crimson Tiger had already been on patrol and from her rooftop vantage, she could see the flashing lights of the cop cars converging on a small museum abutting Liberty Park. Turning her patrol in that direction, it was clear from her vantage point that one of the skylights was sitting open. As for Jack of All Blades, he had been enjoying a relatively pleasant evening at home when Vince's smooth voice spoke up into his ear, "Ah. I think you might, perhaps, want to hear this..." before relaying the most recent chatter on the police radio bands from the ongoing situation developing at Freedom City's Museum of Fine Arts.
  22. Seven is the Number [IC]

    Date: September 19, 2015 Taylor hadn't exactly given Elis all that much choice really. Oh, she'd promised that it was a nice, normal meeting with nice, normal people who just happened to have super powers. Other than that it was just a barbecue with friends who happened to be super parents, at least that was what she'd conveyed on the phone. In Taylor's defense, she really did feel that it was important for the relatively new super hero to have something like a support network. She certainly would have appreciated having had more of a network when she'd first started. Also, her definition for 'normal' might have gotten steadily skewed over the years. After all, Stesha was the most normal person that Taylor still knew - she just happened to be a goddess running her own nature planet preserve these days. Taylor's lack of sympathy for any attempts to cry off might have also been in part in her expectation that it took some strong arming to get people to attend parties. Jack certainly wasn't ecstatic about Taylor's 'we're all going as a family to this barbecue on Stesha's planet before dark hits. No, really. It's important to me' explanation for why everyone was being rousted on a Saturday, side dish in tow. With a soft 'pop' of displaced air, Taylor showed up in Ellis' living room. Huang had his after school job to keep him busy and Taylor didn't think that he'd enjoy a barbecue with mostly adults and the under ten crowd in attendance. Jack and JJ had already been dropped off with Jack entrusted with delivering the side dishes of potato salad and a cooler full of steaks for the barbecue. That she showed up inside the house rather than on the porch was in difference to Ellis secret identity but he might not see it that way. Except for the sudden appearance, Taylor looked normal enough - at least she wasn't in costume. With her hair pulled up in a bun and in a light shirt and denim shorts she could have been any fresh-faced college student. Well, except for the fact that she was still translucent.
  23. So Great A Cause

    September 5, 2015 It started with a wave of car thefts from the edge of the West End, all of them parked, secured vehicles in the parking lots of the many strip malls and other commercial areas that took up space between the West End and the growing suburbs of Ashton and Grenville. Then came the dumpsters, emptying out without a trace, and then finally vanishing themselves. When store owners put out security cameras and caught glowing lights surrounding their missing property before it vanished, they called their local superheroes for help. This meant the Interceptors - this meant stakeout. A little investigation revealed what looked to be a regular pattern to the thefts; and suggested the next place the thieves would strike. The team was currently occupying the next location on the list; a strip mall adjoining a small stretch of scrub woods that had for the moment escaped the growth of the city all around them. This late, only the all-night liquor store anchoring one end of the complex was open; the rest of the businesses, like much of the neighborhood, were sleeping. Luckily, Steve had a face for customer service, and so behind the counter he sat in the uniform of Al's Liquor Store, his scarred face and brusque demeanor making him seem 'like the kind of person who would work at a liquor store late at night." He wasn't entirely sure he understood what that meant; but he'd been given a mission by his team and he did his job. He knew the other Interceptors were on the case too. Of course, they weren't the only people out tonight trying to solve the mysterious disappearances...
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