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GM

 

Amber was outside, smoking and nervous. She wasn't dressed for the weather, but didn't feel cold. 

 

Alcohol was the central heating for tramps. 

 

She caught sight of Justice in full view. "Wow...a mask...you got good colours on your costume, honey" she said. "I hope its bulletproof too. It will need to be if you are going up against Blowfish..."

 

She flicked her cigarrette away and gave a shudder. Was it cold, or something else?

 

"What do you want to know. And..." she looked ashamed. "How are you going to protect me? I don't want to end up fish food....."

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"Yeah, just wait 'till I pull out the entire thing." Robin responded to the costume comment. This was just the mask, and it wasn't like she would normally wear these clothes with it, but hey, the mask was good for semi-incognito work like this, right? "Let's focus on protecting you first, alright? I really think we should go somewhere else, and I saw Blowfish talking to one of his goons inside. Didn't look to be too pleasant, sooo... yeah. Let's get out of here."

 

She couldn't really show Amber just how she would protect her, could she? She didn't have a plan, didn't have a safe house... the closest thing they had was the Wall's hiding place. It might be a good spot, if the Wall and detective Kidd hadn't killed each other yet, but they couldn't be followed there either. It would have to do.

 

With some determination, Robin gestured Amber forward. The sooner they left this place, the better. Then she could get the evidence.

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GM

 

"Sure...whoops...." stumbled Amber, clumsy of lips and clumsy of foot. 

 

"Aw...I think I sprained it!"

 

High heels and alcohol, combined with the flush of adrenaline, had made her shaky and unsteady, and she took a tumble, wrenching her ankle. She probably broke a nail too, but right now she had bigger problems. 

 

"Looks like she made a Fru-end!" came a voice from around the corner. Two large gentlemen came around, cracking knuckles. 

 

"Blowfish getting a bit worried you not looking arft-uh yourself, honey" laughed one. "You know how Blowfish cares fuh you. He's most jenny-rous..." drawled the other. 

 

They were not twins, but hey may aswell have been. Large, broad, and not too clever. 

 

"Now he ain't gonna be so nice if you talk. He likes you singing songs, but otherwise you shouldn't really be opening your perr-ty lips"

 

The other one started towards Justice. "What is this, halloween? Scram!" he ordered. 

Edited by Supercape

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Oh come on! 

 

Of course she had to go and sprain her foot or ankle or whatever! Still, Robin was quickly by her side, starting to help Amber to her feet... and then she heard the voices around the corner. The bodyguard that had cracked his knuckles, doing the move again. He must like to try and intimidate people with that.

 

"Whatever happens next, try and stay out of the way." she whispered to Amber. One hand had already moved to her Justice Buster, a slight grin on her lips. Needing a hand free to activate her suit wasn't always the best idea, so she had made some upgrades. Sure, the phone and the app still worked, but, she had also put in a voice activation. 

 

She guessed there would be no talking to these goons. Loyal to Blowfish, stupid, big and strong. They would take her down quick in a straight fight. 

 

She stood up straight, swinging her arm out. If he thought a mask meant Halloween... well... This guy was in for a shock. She couldn't keep a grin from her lips. She really got to say this!

 

"Henshin!"

 

The Justice Driver came to life, red and gold springing forth, as Justice leapt into action, quickly placing herself between Amber and the two goons, her gun raised. If Amber had liked her costume before... well, this was something different. 

 

"You two are getting one chance to back off!"

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GM

 

"Har Har Har" the two laughed, mirthlessly. 

 

"It is Hallo-ween!"

 

It was hard to say if they felt any fear. For if they did, working for Blowfish meant you couldn't actually show you were afraid, even if your blood ran to ice. Because if you did show your fear, you blood would not be running to ice. It would be sprinting out of your body. 

 

"You got no chances to back off" said one. 

 

"Cos you getting in the way of Blowfish business. And what gets in the way, gets ker-ushed!" said the other, pointing to a large boot. It looked like a boot that was very good at kicking people and stamping on the pulverised remains of their faces. But then, it had probably never tried to perform its normal dance with a superhero!

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Yeah, Robin didn't believe these goons would take the chance to back down either. Some people just didn't want to avoid trouble. 

 

She briefly followed the thug's finger to his rather large boot. Ker-ushing? That's what he was gonna do? She couldn't keep a smile from her face, but thankfully it was hidden by her mask. She couldn't wait to show these two goons one of her newest upgrades, now. But it would have to wait. She had the advantage of range at the moment, so it would be best to actually use the weapon in her hand. 

 

Her right hand shot up, her left hand moving under the Justice Buster to support the weight. Then she pulled the trigger, sending a blast of kinetic energy flying straight at the nearest of the two goons. 

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GM

 

Her aim was true, and the blast of kinetic energy slammed into the thug, sending him flying down the alley and collapsing in a heap. 

 

The other thug looked at the blast and doubt now crept into his face. Blowfish kept tight discipline, for sure, and these thugs were a cut above the normal street brawlers. But only just. And courage - or the illusion of courage - only went so far. 

 

But perhaps it was just far enough. He gave a roar of desperation, and from his hand extended a retractable stick. So armed, he broke into a charge, screaming something to keep himself going, and brough the stick around heavy and fast. 

 

Fast as Justice was, she wasn't quite fast enough to dodge...

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Again, Robin couldn't suppress her smile. One shot, and she had taken down the first goon. The second looked like he actually doubted where this was going to go, now. He was alone now, his friend taken down, and with one shot too. He had to do something, but he didn't try running. 

 

And he had a weapon. Robin was fast, but not that fast, but not that fast, and the stick came down quick. Moving her left arm up, she was once again thankful that she had upgraded the actual armor in her suit. It stung, but not more than that. And now she was up. Time to try that new addition. She could feel the hum in her right boot as the micro engines powered up. Kicking straight up, she aimed for the goon's guts, hoping the Justice Kick would be enough to take the fight out of him.

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GM

 

The Justice kick found its mark once more, and sent the man flying down the alley, joining his friend in a heaped mess of unconscious limbs. He gave a little jerk as his body tried to maintain the fight despite his brain snoozing. 

 

"Well...shucks...you are a superhero!" proclaimed Amber, eyes wide, sobering up slightly. "More than just a mask! Hell, you might even pull this off!"

 

She staggered over to the two men in a heap and started giving them a good kicking. 

 

"Take that! And that! And that, just for good measure!....as goddamn...." she gasped as her shoe heel broke and she staggered off to slump against a wall. 

Edited by Supercape

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The point where the blow had connected on Robin's arm was sore, but she didn't really feel it. Her adrenaline was pumping. She did it! She got to do a Rider Kick! It might not be the Rider Kick, not jump and everything, but it was hers, and even better? It had worked. The bad guy had been sent flying away, and in exactly two hits, she had taken out two goons.

 

She stood up straight. "Damn straight!" Phone already in hand, she entered the code and the suit retracted itself. 

 

And while she did that, Amber started kicking the men... and broke a heel. Really? Robin found herself just staring at Amber for a moment. Alright, the lady had some frustrations to work out, but really

 

"Alright, alright, we gotta get going before they wake up or Blowfish sends anyone else to check on you. I think I got a safe place where he won't look, but we gotta hurry." So, she supported her weight, and started leading Amber to the bus. Taking her to the Wall and Kidd would probably be the best option for now.

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GM

 

And so...back at the Sunny Sunshine Basement

 

Kidd and the Wall were playing cards and drinking (in moderation). They seemed almost friendly. For now. 

 

"You got her?" grunted the Wall, redundantly. It was obviously Amber, minus one shoe. 

 

"Well, Ill be damned" grunted Kidd. "You run into any trouble from Blowfish?"

 

"We sure did!" said Amber, trying to redo her hair when she saw Kidd. Kidd was not a film star, but he had a certain handsomeness and charm, and Amber acted like she did out of reflex. A man with a gun? A damsel in distress? Some might call her shallow. She would call herself a survivor. 

 

"I can take care of myself, honey! Especially if I have a man with a big gun!" she grinned, still not quite sober. 

 

This was music to Kidds ears, of course. 

 

"I'm sure you can handle a big gun" he said, to which the Wall rolled his eyes. "But we need to bring Blowfish down first, sweetums...."

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The bus ride to Sunny Sunshine had thankfully been rather painless, so Robin had been able to catch her breath. And getting there, sneaking in, she was happy to see that the Wall and detective Kidd were actually getting along. Robin had half expected to come in to one of them having attacked the other, so that was some great progress.

 

"Blowfish didn't like Amber's show, so he sent a pair of his goons after her. I took them down, but had to suit up for it, so depending on what they tell him, he'll know Amber's gone." 

 

She pointedly ignored Amber and Kidd's flirting. They were adults, they could do what they wanted, preferably in their own time. At least Kidd focused on that.

 

"So... we probably gotta move fast. What do you have for us, Amber? We need something good to have a chance for a shot at Blowfish."

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GM

 

Now that Amber had some male attention, and was somehow important again, she seemed to straighten her back, put hand on hip, and place cigarrette in mouth. 

 

Kidd dutifully lit it. 

 

"Blowfish bribed the hell outta some official to get this place. You may not have noticed, but its built cheap, unsafe, and with the blood and sweat of illegals on little pay" she said, matter of factly. 

 

The Wall grunted nastily. He didn't like Amber much, especially when she ignored him, like now. 

 

"Mister John James. Or was it James John? I forget. Never mind, I guess that wont matter" she said, dismissively, smoking and puckering her lips. "So the whole damn things as rotten as you like. And this official been spending his money on gold and showgirls. I seen him in the Stacked Deck plenty of times, throwing his money away and harrassing the girls. Blowfish don't like him much. Not much at all. But he needs him, so..." she shrugged. 

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Part of Robin felt like this was starting to turn into an extended fetch quest, but she silenced that part of her. If that was what they needed to do, then fine. They would have to get some proof for what James John or John James had done. Or rather, Robin would probably have to do the legwork on that.

 

"So. Is JJ the kind of guy that would normally have that kind of money? I mean, doesn't sound like it, at the rate he's burning through it." Amber and Kidd's flirting was a bit annoying, but no, she wasn't gonna let it get to her. "Any kind of money trail, or proof of the bribe? How did you even learn about it?"

 

She paused for a second, looking at Kidd and the Wall. "And do you guys know who this official is?" 

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GM

 

The Wall shrugged. He was built for smashing things, not thinking things. 

 

Kidd scratched his stubble in thought. "I heard of him. Little pen pusher. James Johns. Guess who he is freinds with? Jack Jackson. Its a real J-feast!"

 

Amber nodded. 

 

"There might be a paper trail, there might not. Blowfish is no fool. But it could be enough to rattle him" he mused. "Depends how legit you want to work this angle" he said, pressing Justice for a decision. "Pen pushers on one side, thumbscrews on the other. And all sorts of things in between...."

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How legal? Proof would go over much better in court. Accusations was just that, after all. Blowfish's words against Justice's. Robin suppressed her smile at the thought of the pun she had just made in her head. 

 

"We don't have much time, do we? Maybe the accusation will be enough to rattle him." The friendship with Jackson was an interesting part of it, however. The big question there was how deep that friendship ran. Would Jackson sell his friend out for ratings, or would he stand up for him, and become a problem? "Any of you know how much integrity Jackson has? Do you think we could turn him against Johns? I mean, it'd be quite a sensation, so it might work, and maybe we could lead him on by having a super hero involved."

 

Robin thought that she really should have started watching more of Jackson's shows...

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GM

 

Everyone scowled at the name of Jack Jackson. 

 

"Integrity? Jackson?" said Kidd. "That scum has none. Jack Jackson only looks after one man. Jack Jackson..."

 

The Wall cracked his knuckles. They were very big knuckles, and they made a very big crack. 

 

"But..." conceded Kidd. "...he is predictable. If he gets a good story. If it makes him looks good, particularly if it makes him look good on camera, then he will do pretty much anything. He's scum, but he is easily manipulated scum...."

 

He paused, thinking. 

 

"That cuts both ways though. If Blowfish gets his claws into him, he will be under his thumb"

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Robin grinned. Oh, so if Blowfish got to him first, then he would use Jack? 

 

"Sure, that's a thing, but I wouldn't put it past Jackson to switch sides again, would you?"

 

They just had to dangle the right bait in front of him to get his way. 

 

"Besides, we got an advantage here. We got a few things that'd beat any story: Corruption in city hall, gangsters, cops and robbers teaming up, an angle where he can be all heroic for selling out his friend and, the best thing for getting Jackson's attention: A super hero right in the middle of it all." She paused a second for dramatic effect. "So, is Jackson still hanging around? Better get to him sooner rather than later, right? And I don't think we can keep all this waiting for long, anyway."

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GM

 

"It's true" said Kidd, gaining enthusiasm. "Jackson can hardly resist that kind of story"

 

He even allowed himself a small grin. 

 

And, whilst he preferred smashing things as must as Kidd preferred shooting things, so did the Wall. 

 

"Well, lets see if the odious little runt can help then. Lights, camera, action. We just gotta make sure we put on a good show. Gotta rattle Blowfish. Get him puffing his cheeks. That's when he will slip up"

 

If he slips up he added to himself. 

 

"I can get Jackson, no worries. We had a tussle a few years back when I busted a cult. Bullets flew, and bodies stacked up. Jacksons being trying to get the scoop on me ever since. He has almost given up. Almost. But I can tell you if I offer him a scoop, he will bite..."

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A new step of the plan, then.

 

"Alright, then here's what we'll do. Kidd, you get Jackson on the hook. Tell him what you need to get him to take the bait. If we're lucky, he'll do the investigative work on Johns. Wall, do you think you can get some of your people to cause a disturbance? No violence or anything, but enough that Blowfish is gonna want to come down and check what is going on with the protest and counter-protest and whatever. We have to stay clean on our side here. If your guys go out and start hurting people, then this won't work. If any of you have a better idea to get Blowfish out here, then I'm all ears. Otherwise, I think its best if you stay out of sight Wall, and keep Amber safe. We don't want Blowfish's goons coming for her." She rubbed her forearm a bit, where the bodyguard goon had hit with his stick. "They're not bright, but they're plenty strong."

 

She paused for a moment. So, what then?

 

"Once we got both Jackson and Blowfish in position, I'll make my entrance. Full suit, catch phrases flying, and confronting him right then and there. Hopefully, I can get him to lose his cool, and then we'll go from there. If he gets violent, then I'll deal with that. Should only work to our advantage. And just to make sure I haven't forgotten anything: I rile Blowfish up, I mention the bribes to Johns, the cheap, illegal labor that Blowfish brought in himself, how he pressure you guys into being criminals, the shoddy construction, and all that just being the tip of the iceberg for his crimes. Anything else?"

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GM

 

Kidd nodded. "I can get Jackson on the hook. No problem. I can even try and make sure I don't shoot him in the kneecaps for opening his mouth" he grinned. It was a nasty grin, too. 

 

The Wall grunted. "No violence?" he mumbled, cracking his knuckles. 

 

He considered the matter carefully. 

 

"No violence. For now" he concluded. It sounded like he very much thought violence would happen and he very much would like it to. 

 

"Hey, violence is golden!" cracked Kidd. 

 

"Do I just hang about looking pretty?" asked Amber, looking at Amber with her eyes and Kidd with some other organ. 

 

"Suits me!" replied Kidd, giving her a wink. 

 

Amber giggled. 

 

"Justice, you pretty much got anything. Make him blow his tics, then taunt him about them. Thats when he will loose his cool. And things will get ugly....and on camera!"

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"No violence." Robin replied to the Wall. "Unless Blowfish starts something. Whatever else, he has to strike the first blow., and it gotta be on camera, else it'll just be more trouble for you and your guys." They had to make it look good, and they had to make it look right. 

 

Kidd would get Jackson hooked. The Wall would get things started and keep Amber safe. Robin would ignore Kidd and Amber flirting, because really, that was none of her business.

 

Right now, her business was Blowfish.

 

And now?

 

Now it was time for justice!

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GM

 

And so...

 

...it started with...

 

"Fight for Right! Right for Fight! Might! Fight! Right! Smite!"

 

This was the unoriginal, meaningless (but at least rhyming) chant of the Wall and a small group of his followers as they plowed through the crowds that had virtually camped outside the Sunshine Asylum centre. They elbowed police and protestors most violently. Whilst the Wall had grunted at the notion of non violence (was that an agreement, or an acknowledgement of the request?) he pushed that almost-pledge to the very limit. His strength and size were prostigious, and nobody dared get in his way...

 

Soon the soup of persons and chants was heating up quite nicely. It was only a matter of time before riot control or SWAT was called, if they had not been already. Blowfish looked on, looking smug, safe behind a few of his bodyguards, and pondering how to capitalise on the chaos best.

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Their chant was hardly original, but Robin had to admit that it was kind of catchy, and better yet, it did get everyone's attention. The Wall and his people were pushing it a bit. They really didn't need to force their way through the police and protestors like that, but at least the Wall's size seemed to be enough to have most just move out of the way.

 

Robin was watching from the crowds. Her mask was on, but she had the hood from her hoodie pulled up close, and with the streetlights, most of her face was in shadow, hiding the mask for now. She had spotted Blowfish. It was kind of hard not to do it. And waiting. She didn't like Blowfish's smug look, and she was starting to look forward to wiping it off his face, but the timing had to be right. Jackson had to be there, and they had to do it before any of the officers called a SWAT team or something like that. 

 

So, once she spotted Jackson, it was time to make her move. Cell phone in hand, she opened the program and entered the code. This was it, the last chance to back out. But she was already too involved, wasn't she? 

 

So, she pushed through the crowds, phone in hand. Get everyone's attention with her suit up. Last button pressed, phone quickly hidden. Henshin time!

 

As the gold and red suit exploded from the Justice Driver belt, Robin called out, pointing a finger into the crowds, straight at Blowfish. "Hey Blowfish, why are you hiding in the crowds like that? Come to see how your hard work bribing officials and bringing in illegal workers are gonna turn out? Well, I got some news for you, Froggie! It's time for justice!"

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GM

 

The Crowds dutifully parted. Jacksons eyes popped from sockets and his tongue flopped out of his mouth, salivating heavily. 

 

"Code CAPE!" he yelled to his cameraman, barely able to keep his head from exploding. What fortune! All this drama and a cape too!

 

Blowfish twitched. One solitary tic. But he kept it together, just. His initial surprise was dulled by years of experience. He was practiced both in careful planning and rolling with the unpredictable. Still, his normally unrattled facade was not completely smooth. 

 

"...ahem....well now...I....am almost happy to help a concerned citizen..." he waffled, looking more at the crowd than at Justice. And not at all at Jackson (much to Jack Jacksons Ire).

 

"I don't pay much credence to rumour, gossip, and hearsay. Unless I can sue!" he half-quipped in retort. 

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