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Thevshi

Fire, Water, Fist and Coding

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West End, Freedom City, New Jersey

Saturday February 10, 2018

9:34 PM

 

Mali Benjawan was standing on the rooftop of a four story building in West End dressed in the costume she wore as Crimson Tiger.  Over the past couple of days Mali had been investigating the disappearance of several young people in some of the lower income parts of Freedom City.  Her investigation so far (read: some roughed up criminal informants) had led her to believe that these disappearances where the work of the Dark Fist, a street gang connected with the On At-Zhang, a Triad that operated in parts of the West End.


While Mali would normally not be overly afraid of pursuing things further on her own, as luck would have it her friend and former classmate at Claremont, Giang Trang, had reached out about wanting to help Mali with anything she might be working on.  Giang had explained she was helping a current Claremont student with some things and wanted to get her a bit of crime fighting experience as part of the process. 

 

So the two had arranged to meet here.  Mali had arrived a bit early, to watch over the location that her sources had indicated was a hideout for the Dark Fist.  It was an old warehouse on the West End’s boarder with Grenville  For the most part the warehouse was dark and appeared abandoned, but from her vantage point, Mali could see that the section toward the back had lights on, and there were lots of motorcycles parked out near the back entrance and occasionally people coming and going out there.

 

A few blocks away

 

Jessica Witchblood was on a Freedom City Transit bus, on her way toward the southeastern edge of the West End.  The young woman had been looking into the disappearance of Hannah Ryan, a girl that was a peripheral member of the group of friends who worked in the clubs that Jessica was part of.  Despite warnings from Jessica and some of her other friends, Hannah had gotten at least partially involved in some of the more dangerous criminal elements of Freedom City.  And now no one had seen Hannah in a couple of days.

 

Not convinced the police would put this as a high enough priority, Jessica had started looking into it herself.  So far the best lead she had was that it might somehow be connected to a street gang known as the Dark Fist.  So, now she was on a bus headed toward a place the gang was known to hang out at.  The next stop would get her a few blocks from the address.

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Tsunami

 

Giang Trang guided the motorcycle she was riding down the streets of the West End, weaving around a slower moving car as she went.  The young Asian woman was wearing a full body suit of morphic molecules colored in several shades of blue in a pattern that seemed almost to flow and shimmer like water, the costume she wore as Tsunami.  A dark blue domino mask completed the costume, but that was currently concealed underneath the motorcycle helmet she was wearing.  

 

Seated behind her on the motorcycle was Zhu Xieng, the Claremont student Giang had been helping as a mentor.  As Zhu had been making good progress in the things Giang had been working with her on, the Asian young woman had figured it was time to take the teenager out for some observed practical experience.  So, they were on their way to meet Crimson Tiger to help the other heroine on a case she had been investigating.

 

Drawing close to the location where she had arranged to meet Mali, Giang slowed down the motorcycle and pulled into an alleyway.  She found Mali’s bike already parked there and pulled up close to it as well.  Killing the motor and dropping down the kickstand, Giang took off her helmet and looked back at Zhu.  "Crimson Tiger should be waiting for us up on the rooftop." She said, nodding toward the nearby fire escape on a four story building.

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SFX

Zhu nodded taking the helmet off and stowed it on the cycle.  She nodded to her mentor and flashed a smile.  She wore nothing more than a skin tight bodysuit, but with the power of her tech, an illusion of her costume wove itself around her body making it look like the younger girl was wearing a thigh length outfit that flowed and reacted to the environment as a real costume would.  Her face was subtly altered from her normal looks, but it was similar enough to retain it's youthful Chinese features.  The illusionary thigh high boots with detailed clasps made up the remainder of her virtual costume.

 

The ride over here had been exhilarating, with Giang expertly guiding the machine through the city streets.  She had clutched onto her mentor for fear of her life at first, but after a bit, she finally began to get the hang of the balance and shifts the bike would take and soon was rather enjoying herself. 

 

"I like your motorcycle," she said, "if I ever get a drivers license I am going to have to build one.  I bet Rev would love to help with that!"

 

She followed Giang a few feet before adding, "thank's for letting me come along today!"

Edited by BlazingCoconut

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Tsunami


"Thank you."  Giang replied as Zhu complemented her on her motorcycle.  "It was not something I ever though I would have, but Crimson Tiger and John introduced me to them and helped me learn to ride one.  So when I needed a means of transportation after moving to San Diego, I bought one.  I could always help you learn to ride one if you like, though I imagine you friend Rev could help there as well."

 

As the younger girl thanked her from brining her out on this case, Giang just nodded and smiled.  "There can come a point where training can only provide so much more improvement, and practical experience is necessary to truly know if you have improved.  Remember what we have worked on and if you find yourself having difficulty, just stick close to either Crimson Tiger or myself."

 

With that, Giang led Zhu up the fire escape to the top of the building.  Just as Giang had expected, Crimson Tiger was up there waiting in a shadow corner of the rooftop, watching the building beyond. 

 

Giang fully expected the Mali already knew they were there, but she still spoke just so her friend could be certain who was approaching.  "It is good to see you again Crimson."  She moved across the rooftop to give her friend a hug, then turned back and indicated Zhu.  "This is the Claremont student I mentioned, SFX."

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Hannah was Jessica's circle. She met her recently, but the girl had a joie de vivre that Jessica thought she would never see in a normal person. Hannah was all about the hustle though. She wasn't just dancing on stage and side. She had fallen into some known bad guys. While they did pay her for special treatment, it wasn't long until Hannah was missing. First she didn't show up for a few days. Jessica and the girls tried to call and text. Her next of kin didn't care for her profession, so they were no help. So Jessica, at the behest of the crew - and she was no slouch, she was going to do it if they asked or not - began tracking the missing girl.

 

The only connection she had to anything in that life was an 'offer' from certain shady folks. It was straight to the matter, but she was going to have to find Hannah the hard way. She was easy to notice where ever she went. A few on the bus stared, some averted their eyes, others prayed even. This wasn't the most garish outfit. Black leather pants, a leather jacket, and a fishnet shirt underneath. West End led her to some guy named Chavez. They'd meet at the bus stop to discuss some things. but she was sure there wasn't going to be discussion. Then again, she wouldn't go lightly.

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GM

 

Jessica's bus reached the stop she was supposed to get off on, the last one before the bus' route turned back to the east to eventually wind its way back toward Midtown.  She was the only one to get off at the stop, and the mood on the bus improved some once the unusual young woman was off.

 

The bus stop was right under a streetlight, and island of light among dark shadowy sidewalks and alleyways, several other nearby streetlights burned out or broken intermingled with ones that actually worked.  As the bus pulled away, Jessica spotted a figure standing in the shadows of a nearby alleyway.  Once the bus was down the street he walked forward.


"You must be Red."  The man said with a heavy Spanish accent.  "Damn, chica, you sure your wanting to get tangled up with the Dark Fist?  There are so much better things you could be doing with your time."  Chavez was a twenty-something Latino of about average height.  He was dressed warmly for the cold night air and was giving Jessica a look she was more than familiar with.

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Mali smiled and walked over. "Nice to meet you." She glanced around. "Claremont was good to me. Taught me a lot of stuff, about crime fighting, about life." It felt weird to be a veteran hero to someone. The idea of anyone treating her like an experienced, older hero was odd. Yet, she reflected, she had a student. She was training someone. Life had a way of throwing curve balls at you, it was better to go with the flow and adjust to reality, rather than try to hold it to your desires.

 

"Shall we go?"

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Smiling as he complimented her, she remembered the offer made to her. The Dark Fist wanted some entertainment on the side. Chavez even left a thick tip with her that night. Of course, she wasn't about to get mixed up in some darker flesh trade, but Chavez was her only hope of getting information. She smacked her lips, "if money like that keeps coming my way, how could I refuse?" She walked towards him, "though I hear you got other girlies in this deal. Like that white girl with the blonde and red-streaked hair and the nice butt you was with before me?"

 

She stopped, getting in his personal space. "There ain't gonna be any competition, is there?" She turned all the way around to show off her assets, front and back, side to side. "Then again, we know who'd win that. Right, papi?"

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Zhu smiled at the Tigress as they met, "no really, the pleasure is mine.  I mean... I know this is going to sound bad, but it's really exciting to meet you.  We did a study on the arms deal at HyperMegaCorp that you did with Terrifica so it's really awesome to meet you in the flesh."

 

Then she nodded and followed the two heroines, determined not to make a mess of anything that happened tonight.

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GM

 

Chavez gave Jessica a quizzical look as they started walking away from the bus stop. "I'm not sure who you’re talking about Red."  He said.  "I have not brought any other girls here."

He then shrugged and her question about competition.  "I wouldn't worry about it chica, there are sure to be other girls there.  I hear the Dark Fist are celebrating some sort of big score or something.  But you?  I don't think you have anything to worry about."

 

They walked a few blocks from the bus stop and came up to an old warehouse.  From the sidewalk it looked dark and abandoned.  But standing near entry way into the outside lot behind a chain link fence were a pair of Chinese young men.  Chavez led Jessica over towards the two men, who turned to regard them, tensing slightly.


"You Chavez?"  One stated as the pair drew near, his hand resting on the grip of a pistol tucked into the waistband of his jeans. 

 

"That's me."  Chavez replied, holding up his hands to show they were empty.  "This is Red."  He then added, indicating Jessica.

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