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Location: Just a few wrong turns from the Downtown strip of the West End

Date: 9 - 23 - 18, 9:15 PM

 

GM Post: Claremont Kids

It certainly wasn't a date-date, but a 'lets check out the game store in the West End' had turned into a quick dinner and an involved discussion of the recent tabletop game shaping up for the latest crop of Claremont kids. It should have been a few quick turns to get back to the bus stop that would take them back to the safety of Claremont's dorms but a right instead of a left (or two), and the pair were decidedly nowhere near where the bus stop should be. Instead, they'd crossed the border into a dark and poorly lit Greenbank where more buildings were abandoned than not, especially at this time of night, and the rail yard loomed in the distance. 

 

They were absolutely and certainly lost. 

 

It seemed entirely deserted, at least, at first. After a few moments. Then, the faintly audible murmur of voices talking caught their attention. Peering around the corner, there was a small knot of shadowy looking individuals apparently intently arguing in low pitched Russian. At their center was a woman dressed in all black. More disconcertingly, there were certain ominous and unmarked crates sitting out. To Lulu's mental senses, the woman at the center didn't even seem to exist but she was absolutely there plain as day. Something shady was going on!

 

GM Post: Interceptors

When Talya had gotten a bit of intel on a possible S.H.A.D.O.W. cell operating near the West End, she hadn't kept it to herself. Such growth, really! Her plan, however, to infiltrate the group and ferret out the ringleader had gone over like a sack of bricks. Min, especially, hadn't been too keen on the 'I'll just let myself get captured, then we'll have plenty of information' solution of the former spy. Relationships, after all, were all about compromise. Months of work, though, and it had finally led to tonight. If everything went well, they'd finally have the information for who thought operating on the Interceptors territory was a good idea.

 

Dressed in all black, Bombshell stood disguised in the center of some very, very dangerous people and their even more dangerous weapons, haggling for a 'good deal' for missile launchers and cluster bombs. Somewhere, out of sight, Jack of all Blades waited. She'd dropped enough hints that S.H.A.D.O.W. agents should suspect her real identity. It was a trap. Bombshell and Jack knew it was a trap, and the intended to spring it on their own terms. Everything had been accounted for. Everything, but a pair of Claremont students. Even the best laid plans...

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Up until now, it had been a pretty fun day. Adam had knocked on Lulu's door that afternoon, and asked her if she'd like to join him on a trip to the West End, which had a some cool shops, including a new game store called The Gaming Goat. The excitable redhead was one of the most enthusiastic players in his campaign, so not surprisingly she leaped at the chance.

 

They started off with coffee and pastries at Silberman's Books, which was really cool and offered a 15% discount to Claremont students (a happy surprise). Lulu poked around in the New Age and Occult sections, and found them both surprisingly well-stocked. After making a few purchases, the two teens popped into Thanks For The Memories (a little pricey for Lulu) before heading over to the Goat, which was really cool. Role-playing and boardgames covered one wall, while card games and miniatures covered the opposite. The sales counter and snack machines were at the back, leaving the whole middle of the store filled with gaming tables, most of which were filled with gamers in intense play on this Sunday afternoon. After much browsing and a few pick-up games (there was a really good licensed Freadom League deck-building game), the Claremonters headed out, purchases in hand, in search of sustenance.

 

They ended up at a sandwich shop called Pickles that made simply massive hoagies, and Lulu brought her appetite, chowing down on a meatball hoagie, cheese fries and a Coke. She liked Adam; true, he wasn't drop-dead gorgeous like Janus (who was, really?), but he was good company and easy to talk to, two major checks in the plus column. She wasn't sure how much dating she would do sophmore year, but a girl could do a lot worse than spending time with the tall, awkward boy with the shy smile.

 

After dinner, the two teens were still talking about their day and how the campaign was going so far, not really too cognizant of the time or their surroundings. After about twenty minutes, they finally came to the conclusion they were good and lost. Looking around at the boarded up storefronts and chain link fences, Lulu chewed on her lip as she peered at her phone, the day's shopping now safely tucked into her bookbag.

 

"Well, this can't be right; wasn't the bus stop this way? Ah don't recognize anythin', and ah got no signal." She looked up as they heard muttered voices. "Oh, there's someone over here; maybe we can ask for directions." But the scene they came upon looked anything but friendly, and Lulu unconsciously dropped into a crouch and lowered her voice. "Oh my Lord...are they drug dealers or somethin'?" She reached up and cautiously pointed at the Woman in Black. "That girl ain't right at all; she's some kind of telepathic dead spot, which means she's either a vampire, robot or some kind of witch or somethin'. What do we do?"

Edited by Heritage

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Adam didn't know what he was thinking, but it ended up working out in his favor. This was more time than he'd ever spent with a girl in his life, let alone as pretty a girl as Lulu. She wasn't just pretty, of course, she was also intelligent. He didn't have much to discuss beyond the game, though. He was lost in pop culture because he'd grown up with the classics. He could discuss the merits of the Socratic method, but he'd completely missed out on whatever a One Direction is. 

 

He was glad she was able to eat the sandwich, because he could have put away two. Not that anyone would suspect him of being a light eater, but he was always self-conscious about it. 

 

So when she pointed out the vampire robot witch that looked like the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen in his life, he was more than a little taken aback.


"I doubt this would be legal if they were doing it out here in an alley." He managed to whisper. Which was probably louder than he meant to. He was not known for subtlety. He ducked down to the best of his ability, but with his height, that probably made him just look stupid.

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Crouched down at the edge of the rooftop two doors down from the would-be arms deal, Jack of all Blade's silhouette was obscured by the folds of his greatcoat pooling around him, the royal blue blending in with the night sky. He'd have even claimed that that practical application was the reason he wore the piratical garment if he thought anyone would have believed him. Fortunately it was tough to spend time with Bombshell without picking up a thing or two about going from distracting to unnoticed at a moment's notice.

 

He wasn't much fonder of the plan than Min had been even after Talya had taken their... constructive feedback into account but he was at least less likely to turn a block worth of pavement into jungle if someone looked at their wife the wrong way. Not that he was the patient one among them by a long shot - Min and Talya both had a lot more practice waiting - but he was more of a precision instrument. Easier on the city infrastructure.

 

He flexed the fingers of his right hand, stopping just short pulling power form the quietly buzzing streetlamp a few feet away, and watched.

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Talya shifted in place as she continued to haggle in Russian for a better price for whatever was in 'box number three', hiding her impatience as she tried to bait in the ringleader. She was positive that this knot of men were convinced that they had the drop on the ex thief which made them predictable.  Predictable meant they could be controlled and she knew Erik was waiting in the wings once the set up clicked fully into place. It should have been easy. If anything, Talya was a little bored by the efforts needed to manipulate the SHADOW agents. She should absolutely not have briefly wished for the evening to be a bit more interesting as just as the thought flickered through her mind, Adam's foot scuffed a pebble and one of the dark clad, scowling men glanced over.

 

If the kids had maybe... maybe just walked by, it might not have all gone to hell in a hand basket. However, two people crouching on the periphery of the weapon deal unfortunately gave the gathered men the right idea. Right idea, wrong people! 

 

"ITS A TRAP!"

 

As the guns swung up and towards Talya, she realized that if she just vanished - which was always on the table - it left two potential bystanders as the likely targets. Which meant dancing away from the kids to draw the automatic fire and hoping she could dance her way out of a hail of bullets. Not ideal but better than dead children. Tossing her coat and wig off, Talya bolted forward and away from the teens, trusting that the gunfire would follow her. 

 

Silenced gunfire filled the air with hissed pops; most of them making the distinctive whizz-ping noise of bullets embedding into abandoned train cars. Enhanced hearing might catch the one that thudded dully into flesh or the breath that whooshed out of Bombshell as she wrenched her body away and towards better ground to stand and fight on. Only someone who knew her would likely catch the hitch in her stride as she stumbled and recovered with a veteran's speed. To the pair at the end of the alley, it was all chaos and sudden violence; guns drawn and firing wildly towards the woman and a whole lot of shouting in Russian. 

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Adam muttered a profanity his mother would be shocked to hear. This had gone bad quickly. He looked at Lulu and hoped that she'd stay down at least until the gunfire situation was resolved. Adam had never been shot before, but he was pretty sure he could take it. 

 

This was his first real fight, ever. He wasn't afraid of getting shot. Yet, he hesitated. Not because of fear, but because he simply hadn't honed his reflexes and reaction times. Even though he wanted to charge in to help the woman, he just stood there for a moment psyching himself up.

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"Well, shoot," Lulu said with a sigh, in an almost comedic deadpan. It appeared Miss Blank might be one of the good guys, and damned if she and Adam hadn't just blown her cover. Once the bullets started flying, she instinctively crouched even lower, then erased herself from the minds of everyone present, though she had a feeling Miss Blank would see her regardless. However, she kept herself audible for now, to facilitate communication with her classmate.

 

"Ah'm still here, Adam," her disembodied voice said. "Don't you worry 'bout me none!"

Edited by Heritage

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With an impact louder than the silenced pistol shots, a boot connected with the jaw of the S.H.A.D.O.W. operative shouting into his walkie-talkie. The momentum took him off of his feet and his skull hammering into the device in his hand and then the pavement, hard enough to split the cheap plastic casing open and reducing the criminal to an unconscious heap before he or his cronies had even registered the counterattack.

 

Greatcoat flaring out in a royal blue arc Jack let his momentum fuel an airborne scissor kick into the next gunman, catching him full in the chest. Simultaneously the crackling needle of electricity extending from his right hand sliced cleaning though the barrel of the man's pistol, leaving the smell of ozone lingering in the air as it clattered to the street in two smouldering pieces. A follow-up haymaker left his target dispatched and short one substandard filling.

 

The swordsman rose up to a ready stance next to Bombshell, eyes narrowed behind his bandanna mask. "What happened?! They looked like they were totally buying it!"

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Bombshell twisted, letting Jack of All Blades put himself between her and the angry SHADOW agents with automatic weapons. Without the dark wig, Bombshell's blonde hair caught the lamplight and she shook off the outer layers she'd worn over her costume. The fitted costume she wore underneath was still dark. "They were buying it." Talya replied, the pain of having been shot warring with her annoyance at having BEEN shot in her tone. "On your nine o'clock. Teenagers. Do keep the guns aimed at us, my love. I'd rather not wager that they're as hearty as the adults." 

 

She moved automatically with Jack, keeping his body between her and the thugs. One hand went to the bullet hole and with a grimace she pulled out the bullet that had lodged against her hipbone and and then flicked it on the ground with a soft 'ping' of metal. She hated being shot but she hated having to dig a bullet out after her body healed even more. Without the bullet, the wound sealed closed almost immediately, "And I liked that sweater too. I may have missed the bulk of the conversation, what with the bullets and all, but I'm fairly certain we have reinforcements on the way. Thoughts? Plans?... I'll also even take poorly thought out impulses at this point." 

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Well from the look of things, they'd definitely screwed up a pair of superheroes' bust, and now there were bullets flying everywhere. Lulu felt awful about all of this, but realized it wasn't really their fault. Still, as someone who maybe hoped to be a crimefighter herself one day, she felt obligated to do what she could to rectify the situation. 

 

Focusing her mind on one of hoods closest to the woman, she attempted to force him into a deep sleep.

Edited by Heritage

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Adam took off like a shot. He would have to be careful not to kill the person he was attacking. He wasn't afraid of being hurt, he was afraid of hurting someone else. He reached one of the thugs and lowered his arm, delivering a vicious shot to the stomach as he reached him. There he was, an oversized, out of his depth teenager, trying his level best not to be a liability. 

 

The thug collapsed unconscious at his feet as he stopped. "Hi, sorry I ruined whatever that was, but I'm here to help?" He was sheepish and trying to be useful. 

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