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Both Chromium and the Raven would’ve been moments too late, if not for Rev’s jeep parting the wave and Facsimile literally air lifting Dom out the of the way. It would be several minutes before the racers returned, so putting him down was safe enough for the moment. His sister Sofia hit the track. “Dom! Are you all right? What happened?”

 

Dom frowned and then shrugged with a wince. “I don’t know. Something came at me. I tried to dodge, but it hit the left front wheel, locked it down. Emergency ejection system works, though, or I’d be a smear on the wall. Speaking of…“ He looked at his car. The outer damage was bad. Panels smashed and ripped off, glass in tiny pieces, and resting on her roof. Inside, who knew? Dom sighed. “Make sure she’s okay, Sofia.” Yeah, he had races to compete in tomorrow, but Letty was also a friend. He turned to the heroes. “Thanks for saving my life, but can I ask something else of you? I’d like to get my car off the road before everyone comes back. I…I don’t want them to hit it. It’s damaged enough.”

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Rev

 

"No problem! Its a beautiful car, I would hate to see it banged up any more!" said Rev, walking over and lifting the car comfortably over her head. 

 

"Don't ask" she said to the onlookers, as she walked it off to the side of the road out of harms way. 

 

As she did the heavy lifting she continued talking. "If something came at you...why? what? who?...." she babbled, before clamping down on her mouth and talking more coherently. "I mean...this race isn't safe if someones trying to sabotage it. High speed collisions can get ugly" she said, remembering her own terrible crash. "Who would want you out of the race? and why?"

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"No problemsss man." Facs hissed airily as his swirlin form calmed down a little more now the immediate worries were seen too, rev seemed to have the car handled so for now he focused on what was going on in the environment.

 

Returning to his flesh and blood form he started to look around, there had to be like shell casings or the like right?

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Raven landed with barely a sound, before touching a few buttons on his harness and belt, his suit seemingly shifting and becoming more metallic in front of everyone. He gestured for everyone to move.

 

"We need to get against the building. The sniper is still active. We need cover, hold on."

 

He pushed a single hidden button on his belt and began walking toward the closest building, trying to angle them so that there were fewer sight lines. A rumble sounded several blocks away.

 

"Look, Dom, you need to get to cover and stay there. The killer who is after you is good."

 

And then the big, black bulk of the Unkindness rolled up and interposed itself between the group and the last known location of the sniper. 

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Chromium, realizing that this was rapidly evolving into a meeting of super heroes crossed with some kind of attempted evacuation changed shape. The Porsche seeming to melt an,"d reform into a man made of pure silver metal. Sighing he nodded to the others,"Chromium...and I agree with the dude in black. Let's get out of sight and into cover. Then we can figure out what to do to stop all this...."

 

He frowned as the girl lifted the car out of the way, his silver eyebrow raising somewhat as he shook his head, how many supers were there in this one race? A lot it seemed!

 

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Dom shook his head at Rev’s babbled questions. “I don’t think it was on purpose. Strange things can happen during a race. I didn’t even get a look at what it was.” He thought about it for a second. “Nah, my enemies want to beat me on the track, not kill me on it.”

 

Sofia nodded her agreement. “The worst we’ve had to deal with is sabotage. Somebody has been killing racers, though Dom.”

 

“And I keep telling you I’m not going to hide because someone might try to kill me.” Dom shook his head. “I’m not about to jump at shadows.” And then the Raven landed. “Wait, somebody is trying to kill me?” He swore in Spanish and followed the caped crusader of justice, Sofia by his side. Once they were under something resembling cover, he continued. “Somebody shot at me?” His face was one of a man rethinking every person he’d ever made an enemy out of. “Nah, nah. We’re bitter rivals, but murder? Nah. And even then, they’re all hands on kind of people. They’d come at me with a big wrench or a gun, not a sniper.”

 

Sofia eyed her brother. “What about the sponsors you cut? They’re working with Hailey now.”

 

Dom frowned. “Maybe, but they don’t have anything to gain. Hailey’s second only to me on the circuit. She’s a big star, too.” He grinned cockily. “She just can’t beat me.”

 

Sofia rolled her eyes. “Okay, here’s the list. Hailey Harper, Zaki Malik, Marko Baran, Duke Maguire, Ali Howard, and Ramona Cravache. All six and their sponsors would benefit with you dead or too injured to race. And that’s without getting into all the no names who might think the top dawg going down gives them an opening.”

 

Dom held up his hands for peace. “Aight, aight. I got more enemies than friends. I know ‘em better than you, but who do you think it is?”

 

Sofia fired right back. “Don’t know. But we got four pro heroes here willing to help. Maybe consider it?”

 

Dom sighed. “Aight.” He looked at Rev, Facsimile, the Raven, and Chromium in turn. “What do you want to know?”

 

**************************

 

Dewstar just watched them scurry. She was sitting on the edge of the roof she’d taken her shot from, bow lying idly on her lap. Her suit’s invisibility was engaged, so she wasn’t concerned with being seen. She’d had at least three chances to fasten Dom to the pavement, but eh. She’d missed. A car that moved itself. What would they dream up next? When everyone was under solid cover, she rolled into a shadow and disappeared completely.

Edited by EternalPhoenix

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Rev

 

Rev looked at Chromium for a moment. Something about him was awfully familiar...but right now, she had other things on her mind. 

 

"Murder ain't cool!" she said, rather redundantly. "Of course, we are all here to help! We can't have high speed races leading to death!" she said, with a grin. Of course, risk and adrenaline were part of the deal, but that deal didn't include getting shot at. 

 

If nothing else, it wasn't fair play!

 

"Maybe the shooter is still here...if so, we have some questions to ask him...or her!"

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Holy mackeral! The raven!

 

Now he had to make a good impression with the famously no no none-sense legacy of cowled asskickers.

 

Having had a moment to look around at the scene he his eyes had settled on the flighted shaft sticking out of the wrecked super car.

 

"You upset anyone who'd wanna kill you with a bow and arrow?" He asked ernestly "cus there are not a lotta people who could lead a shot on a supercar....maybe a mercenary?" He said as he looked to the raven expectantly before regarding the rest of the group to make it not-weird.

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Chromium had stopped listening after Sofia had spoken about the racers being killed, his silver face pulled into a frown. A frown that smoothed for just a moment when Rev looked at her, still preoccupied he gave her a wink...after all he was a silver metal superhero no wonder she was staring and then focused on Sofia and Dom,"Wait, what do you mean someone is killing racers? What racers have been killed?"

 

That statement had stood out from all the other stuff, the other stuff revolved around Dom being the only target, but if there were multiple racers being killed then it was more than Dom there had to be another pattern. Although he had plenty of training from Aegis in many things investigations was not one of them but this stuck out like a sore thumb,"What if it's not Dom, he's just a famous racer and that's why he's on the list. If we start chasing people who hate Dom, no offense, but we could be busy awhile it sounds like and doesn't make sense if someone just hates people who race in general...Dom may not even know them."

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"I don't know who hired her or if she's doing it for fun, but the person after you is Dewstar. She's good, she's amoral, and she's ruthless. She had a drugged-out environmentalist set up on a rooftop to snipe with a paint gun, which distracted..."

 

He turned to Dom, his look intent.

 

"The woman who signaled the start of the race. What's her name?"

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Dom blinked. “Daria? You don’t think…” He shook his head. “Naw, man. She’s a top volunteer on the circuit. She helps out everywhere. Everybody likes having her around. There isn’t a murderous bone in her body.”

 

Sofia shook her head too. “She’s a little…weird, sometimes, but she’s been at every event for the past five years. She’s been indispensable. I swear, there’s nothing she doesn’t know how to do. A regular jill of all trades. She’s a master of none, of course, but still. ” She thought for a second. “Darius-Dom’s agent-looked into her, and she’s been helping out at a lot of sporting events. Apparently she’s some trust fund kid out of Brazil or something.”

 

Dom raised his eyebrows. “Brazil, huh? Anyway, she’s usually just off Mechanics Alley. A lot of the rookies on the circuit don’t have their own personal gearheaded grease monkey like us pros do.” He smiled at his sister, who rolled her eyes. “So she does basic maintenance and repairs down there."

Edited by EternalPhoenix

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When Dom said "Daria", Raven began to curse.

 

"Apăsați-mă și găsiți-mă în Alpi! Yes, let me guess, Daria Stravos? That's one of Dewstar's aliases!"

 

He ran a gauntleted hand over his armored cowl, clearly a slightly nervous gesture.

 

"You say she's helped you out for years? And that she's helped out lots of other sporting events? In particular, racers? She's a trusted figure to you, and probably for all these other athletes. Which just means she knows the best time to strike! Think about it. The worst part is, she's the one who pointed me to the decoy sniper. In retrospect, I should have wondered how she knew...hang on."

 

He stepped slightly away, pressing one side of his head and speaking in low tones for a few moments. When he finished, he nodded and rejoined the others.

 

"Just called the police. They're busy, but they'll try to put out an APB on Daria Stravos, slap a couple of BOLOs down. Probably won't help much, Dewstar's good at evading. I'd say we need to draw her out, but she took her shot and didn't try to follow up. I'm not sure if we can bring her out again..."

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"jeeze there are a lot of high functioning sociopaths just flying around lately huh?" he grimaced as he recalled his encounter with the queen of bones, rather a grizzly lady with a perchant for grinding bones to powder and twisting organs with what he assumed to be dark magic, luckily she'd proven to be nothing but a jumped up dabbler as opposed to the practised serial killer they now faced.

 

"You think we can use her ego against her some how?" he offered rather helplessly in truth "lotta folks like to think they're the best....maybe we can claim it was a like...rival or something and that they're now detained?" honestly he had no clue how to handle this particular foe

 

"then again, this was just the practice race right? maybe she'll try again for the real deal cus professionalism or personal pride?"

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Rev

 

"Environmentalist? So she's trying to...what...make a statement? Crash and burn the gas guzzlers?" pondered Rev, wondering how anybody could be that crazy. "Anyway, you got to hand it to her. She's committed..." she added, genuinely impressed about someones long term plans and the will to act on them. 

 

She snapped back to the reality that people nearly died on the track. Murder! Most Horrid!

 

"If she know's we are onto her, I guess she is going to dissapear. But...maybe we have a chance of capturing her if she doesn't. Like...another race!" she said, boldly (and not doing a very good job of concealing her excitement at a re-run!)

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Chromium frowned, his big silver arms crossing as he shook his head,"Let's go check the pits anyway? She may be over confident, then we can work on setting traps...and other races."

 

He looked at the other superheros and frowns again,"Why though, what's got her killing racers? Environmentalists would be making more noise about killings...don't you think?"

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“Wow, are my ears burning!” Orange hair, green eyes, ambiguously brown, tiny frame, and pleased smile. Yep, Daria from earlier, at the start of the race. She was standing in earshot but way out of arm’s reach of the four heroes, Sofia, and Dom. She was in civilian clothes, not Dewstar’s gear. And she was apparently unarmed. Everyone’s attention firmly grabbed, she spoke again. “Dom, Sofia? Darius is looking for you. He looks really freaked out. The crash is on his mind, looks like. He said he’d be at your trailer.”

 

Dom shook it off first. “Thanks, Daria.” Daria mmmhmm’ed, and turned to go. Dom’s voice stopped her in midstride. “One thing. The Raven here says you’re this Dewstar chick. Kills people. Just tried to kill me. What the hell, Daria?”

 

Daria turned back around. She spoke as if telling a child something glaringly obvious. “Dom, if I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead.” She glanced at the Raven. “Though I gotta say, it’s always nice to be remembered.”

 

Dom looked both relieved and disturbed at the same time. “So you didn’t shoot at Letty and me?”

 

Daria looked thoughtful. “No, that was me. I really didn’t expect the car to move. Eh, it’s all right. Like I said, I don’t want to kill you anyway.” And just like that, she was bored. “All right, I’ve got a little tuning to do, so if you need me you know where I am.” She turned to leave again. This time, Dom had nothing to say to stop her.

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Rev

 

"Bold!" shouted Rev, who was actually impressed with "Daria"'s boldness. But confused too - who would be so stupid as to confess a crime (of sorts) in such a casual way? And to do so in front of four superheroes was beyond bold. It screamed straight into "Mad"

 

"I mean, are you Mad?" she shouted, louder, angry at the woman and angry at herself for not understanding what the hell was going on. "Shooting at somebody? Why? Why?" she demanded. 

 

She felt her Jets starting to burn. 

 

"And why tell us? Because we can't just let you walk off, you know!" she said, as firm as she could, her voice now shouting at full volume. 

 

Sheeesh! Its like she is ignoring us!

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Daria spun back around. “Oh, you’re asking?” There was no malice or mockery in her tone. “Your type usually doesn’t ask. You just cry ‘Stop right there, criminal scum’ and start flinging weapons or magic at me. Kinda rude.” She considered for a moment. “Well, I suppose it makes sense.” She smiled. “I am criminal scum. And you don’t know me, so you don’t know that I only do what I want to do. Dominic is a friend. I don’t want to kill him.” Her smile went away, as she stepped into the shadow of the nearby building. “So why did I try?” Tendrils of shadow wound their way around her ankles and up her legs. “Answer’s easy, but I can’t give it to you. Rules. I hate them so much. Like I said, you know where to find me.” The shadows leapt up and consumed her, and she was gone.

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"Why is it always magic with these lunatics? Man i gotta find whatever or whoever is handing it out to these losers and slap some sense into em." Facs agitation found his voice despite his best efforts as he started to pace and ponder on this troubling development.

 

"Not my area of expertise..." he admitted to no-one in particular as he looked around at the assorted heroes thoughtfuly.

 

"I know someone who dabbles a bit but.." he trailed off as he sat on his haunches

 

Taking a calming breath he examined the situation as it had unfolded; his mothers advice echoed in his head, one had to listen and not merely hear to understand, dewstar had probably already told them enough.

 

"That shadow thing....grabbed her right...maybe its someone else with the magic and they put some kinda...grease? Geese?  On her...you know the magically enforced contract thing from the TV?" He asked as he once again got to his feet and paced around a little.

 

"Think better when im moving." He explained

 

Edited by Exaccus

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Raven managed not to facepalm as the others completely misheard what he said.

 

"She hired the environmental extremist as a distraction. Her reasons are unlikely to be environmental at all."

 

And then the woman herself showed up and even admitted to shooting at Dom. But before he could move on her, she disappeared. For a few moments, his hands just flexed open and closed. His eyes were hidden behind his cowl's lenses, disguising whatever might be going through them. 

 

"That woman is a murderer. Many times over. I don't care that she decided this one particular person 'ought' to live. She's taken lives, innocent lives. She's experienced; she's been keeping the Raven at bay for many, many years."

 

In other words, well before his time.

 

"But I refuse to let a killer like that walk. Magic, technology, metahuman powers, I don't care how she did it. All I care about is stopping her from killing again. Who else is going to help me catch this killer?"

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Chromium shook his head, this made no sense at all,"No, she didn't say that. She said he escaped because his car moved by itself, she said she didn't want to kill him not that she didn't try." The big silver man frowned, his hand rising to run over his silver chin,"Something is off, she's gone to great lengths to let us know she did it. Which can either mean she's doing it against her will...or she wants us to think that. Either way she's right, we need to find her."

 

Glancing at Dom he said,"Let's get him to safety and then find out where she is hiding...I feel like we're going to be lead a merry little chase."

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Facsimile was shocked to see the raven of all the people present loose his cool like that.

 

"Ease up on the tunnel vision my guy." He said with some light humour "main take away from my spiel is she might not be acting alone is all, make sure we dont let em slip through by being prepared for interferance." He explained "whoevers helpin or commandin her is just as guilty right?" 

 

He looked to dom and then the raven with a grin "how do you feel about batin' the trap a little? Let dom hit the track in ya ride....draw out a second attempt and swoop in!" He exclaimed slamming his fist into his palm "boom! Both at once, in the act no less!"

Edited by Exaccus

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Dom shrugged, a determined look on his face. “I’m sure as hell not going to stashed somewhere and forgotten. I’ve got races to win. Daria-nah, it’s Dewstar isn’ it?-isn’t the woman I thought she was, and I’m sure as hell not gonna let her take my crown from me. So however you’re getting her and whoever’s behind her, I’m in. Not I want in, I am in.”

 

Sofia spoke up, alarmed. “Dom, come on-“

 

He interrupted her. “Nah, sis. I’m not gonna be intimidated.” He looked at the heroes. “Sofia can have my ride ready by race time tomorrow. She’s been more banged up and come back just as fast. I can stay out of sight in the meantime. That said, do we have a plan?”

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