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RocketLord

The Kinslayer

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GM

 

Union Rail Yards

March 6th, 10:30 PM

 

The shock had slowly settled, but the old security guard that had been patrolling the rail yards was still rattled by what he had seen. Even now, as his flashlight illuminated the victim, he was trembling. He had seen his fair share of bad in the twenty-something years that he had worked security here, but seeing a body still sent a shiver up his spine. And this particular body was not just some poor man lying with a lead in his gut. No, this one was a man, dressed in a nice suit, strung up on the side of one of the old, unused train cars. The thing was supposed to have been scrapped years ago, but it had just been pushed back. No rush, didn't cost them anything.

 

The victim was hanging on the side of the train. His arms were stretched up, bound in heavy chains that went around the train, going under it where they were attached to his feet. His suit still looked nice, still looked fine, but blood had seeped into it from his wrists and ankles, where the bands on the chains had cut into his skin and flesh. The man's face was a massive bruise. He had been beaten to death, it seemed.

 

But perhaps most stunning was the the five letters that had been painted across the train and the man, in bright pink. 

 

T A L O N.

 

The security guard was quick to call it in to the police. The rumors of what had happened would spread quickly.

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The news had spread into Talon's network of information-gathering swiftly - he'd picked up police chatter on his radio and what little he had heard disturbed him enormously. A corpse found in the Union Rail Yards, beaten to death. As he had swung and glided from West End to Greenbank, he'd heard little more of it, but there had been a niggling feeling of dread that he could not quite put his finger on. He'd never been one to overly trust his gut when it gave him distress - Although, he reflected, that may have been because it was usually acting up when I'd eaten something bad.

 

Within a few minutes, Talon landed atop a rooftop nearby to the Rail Yards. Fighting against a slowly rising dread, he pulled out his binoculars, and examined the now very-obvious crimescene form afar. Almost immediately, his dread was realized. The pink painted letters spelled out his codename. His thoughts kicked into overdrive as he considered the implications. There are several possibilities - first, someone has heard of my work and is using this as a message, a threat, or an attempt to sully my name. Second, someone - or many someones - has adopted the name I did and is using it to claim credit for murders done. Third, the term 'talon' has significance for whoever did this beyond the obvious.

 

He shook his head, frowning. "And here I thought," he muttered, "that I hadn't gotten any fans yet." Still, investigation from this distance could only take him so far, and with a silent leap, he glided down towards the train and the crime scene. Landing with agility that resembled a cat far more than an owl, Talon remained hidden in the shadows, listening for the police. While he could - and would - conduct his own investigation, getting the attention of the authorities seemed unwise. 

 

Even if they were supposedly on the same side.

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GM

 

Talon was alone for now, but he was right to assume that it would only be a matter of time before the police arrived. And even shorter before the security guard would return. He would have to act fast if he wanted to investigate on his own.

 

At first glance, the most obvious thing aside from the body, would of course be the spray painted letters. The chains that bound the man was heavy. Not something that one could easily have carried across the train yard without making any kind of noise. There were no blood around them, and it seemed unlikely that the man had been killed here. The question is, what would Talon look for, given his limited time?

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Talon grimaced. He'd have thought the police would have arrived already, but that just meant he was on the clock. Moving swiftly, he examined the area around the grisly scene, attempting to determine the path that the murderer - presumably - brought the corpse to hang them on this place. If I have the time, I should also take a sample of the paint, and take a look at the body. He mused, his eyes scanning the ground for clues or signs of passage, beyond that of the security guard.

 

Of course, now if I get caught here, it's likely the police will look with suspicion on me... Talon frowned even as he searched. Best make this quick.

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GM

 

Talon would indeed have time to collect a sample, but he would have to move fast, if he wanted to have time to look at the body and the immediate area as well.

 

The bruises on the man's face would at first glance appear to be caused by blunt force trauma. From the quick look that Talon had time for, he would guess that he had been hit repeteadly with a weapon, most likely some form of club. It would be impossible to tell his identity just from looking at him.

 

And finally, the ground. There were faint traces of pink paint that had spilled, probably dripped from when it had been applied to the side of the train and the man in particular. A small trail of paint seemed to lead under the old train.

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Talon swiftly took a sample of the paint, even as he glanced up at the victim's face. Blunt force trauma. Increases the likelihood that someone's trying to frame me. That was unnerving. He hadn't thought that he was well known enough to have a copycat attempting to frame him yet. The fact that someone knew of his fighting style, at least possibly, as well as his codename, was troubling. Why hadn't he heard of this before the poor man had had to die for it?

 

Regardless, Talon moved on, bending to examine the paint trail and peering underneath the old train. Doubtful they would have left such an obvious trail, but I should investigate just in case. 

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GM

 

There was something in there, under the train. A can of spray paint, with some splatters of pink pain leading to it. It was difficult to see, and Talon might have missed it, if not for some light reflecting in the can. Maybe the one  It was a bit far in. Further than Talon would be able to reach without actually moving under the train. He could fit, but it would be tight. The question was whether he believed it to be worth it or not. 

 

The sirens were getting closer.

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Ugh. I bet other heroes don't have to worry about fetching spray-paint cans out from underneath derelict trains. Talon hesitated for a moment before an idea struck him. With one hand, he extended his battle staff, before using it as an extension of his arm to pull the spray-paint can out. Huh. Who'd've thought that I'd ever use my battle staff for this? He cocked his head, trying to judge the distance by the sound of the sirens, before using his cowl's radio function to attempt to get a sense of the police's location.

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GM

 

From what Talon could catch of police chatter, the cars were just about to pull in at the entrance. He would have maybe five more minutes while they made their way across the yard to get to the train.

 

And then a voice called out from behind Talon: "What do you think you're doing?"

 

Unnoticed until now, the guard that had first found the body had managed to sneak up on Talon, standing a good ten meters away from him, a gun raised in his hand. 

 

"This is a crime scene, buddy!"

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By the Eyes. Talon cursed mentally, rolling his eyes. Some perceptive hero I am. Letting his battle staff fall to the ground beneath the train, he idly lifted his hands in a conciliatory gesture. "Take it easy. We're on the same side." He said dryly. Getting into a clash with the local guard isn't going to do my reputation any good.

 

While he could easily call his battle staff to his hands with the magnets in his gloves, and could likely knock the guard out without doing him any permanent harm, it seemed ill-advised to do so at the present moment. Of course, he could distract the man and vanish into the shadows, it might not be a good idea to leave them to suspect him of murder. "I know it's a crime scene, that's why I'm here. I am investigating." 

 

Freedom City's supposedly very fond of their heroes, so maybe this will work?

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GM

 

"Investigating?" The guard seemed hesitant, but he had been doing this for a long time, and he had lived in Freedom City even longer. He knew all about super heroes being around and investigating crime scenes. He still kept the gun on the hero in front of him. You could never really tell what side someone in a cape would be in at first sight, could you? "So, you're a hero, then? Who are you supposed to be? I'm pretty sure that you're not the Raven, his gear's different."

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Talon sighed inwardly. Well, it would look rather incriminating if I told him the codename I've chosen, but... He shook his head. "No, I'm not the Raven. Never met the gent, though from what I've heard we've got some similarities." Talon kept his hands where the security guard can see them, idly moving closer to the other man. "As for whether I'm a hero, I suppose so. I try to do my best to be one, at any rate." He shrugged. 

 

"But I am rather involved in this case already, I think, because someone's trying to use my name to harm others." His voice grew hard as he gestured slightly at the letters on the train's side. "This will not be tolerated."

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GM

 

The guard seemed suspicious. He had seen or heard it all before, or knew someone who had at least. Sure, heroes were all around, but this guy did seem somewhat new. And new heroes could make mistakes.

 

"Wait, your name?" The guard was surprised, quickly turning to look up at the words spray painted on the train car as Talon pointed. "You're Talon?"

 

The sound of sirens in the distance had come to a halt, and Talon and the guard could now hear the officers running across the yard.

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As the guard looked at the letters painted on the car, Talon dodged into the shadows of the train yard, silently flowing from one to the next until he slipped between two train cars. With a gesture, he called his battle staff back to his hand using its magnetic qualities. Smoothly collapsing it, he slipped it back into its place on his utility belt. With a soft sigh, Talon glanced back at the security guard, before casting his eyes about the yard for signs of the police.

 

could talk to the law enforcement officers. But they might not believe me, and they might be less than willing to hear me out. Better to listen and wait here for the time being. They might yet miss something.

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GM

 

"Jeez!" the guard exclaimed, as he turned back to Talon after looking at the paint. "Guess you really are one of the super people, huh?" He stood there, scratching the back of his head, when four officers came running, guns drawn. 

 

"You called this in?" the lead officer asked, while the other began work to cut off the area of the potential crime scene.

 

"Yeah. There's some guy out there calling himself Talon, was here a moment ago, disappeared when I looked away. Claimed he didn't do this." The guard was at least being truthful. He chuckled lightly. "And that it wouldn't be tolerated. So... guess you guys got a super guy looking to help you here?"

 

The officer didn't seem entirely convinced. "Sure, makes sense. Never heard of him, so announcing himself like that is either some convoluted plan or just plain stupid, if he's the one that did this." He turned back, thinking a bit. "Man, this guy got messed up bad. Must've really pissed off somebody." 

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Posted (edited)

Talon listened carefully to the words of the police officers and the security guard, his lips twisting in a frown. Well, at least telling the truth didn't hurt... too much. If I'd not said that, they'd probably be more suspicious...? He shook his head slightly, before climbing up atop the train car, where he lurked in the shadows, peering down on the crime scene from above.

 

The chains might have traces of the killer's use of them, but here and now was hardly the time to examine them more closely... at least for the moment.

Edited by secondling

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GM

 

"Right. No point in looking for that Talon guy. Guy probably didn't do it anyway, and he's far away by now." At least the guard seemed to be on Talon's side in this, even if the officers didn't seem fully convinced. 

 

"Sure." The lead officer moved closer to the body. "Hey, look at this. Guy's got something stuck in his mouth." Another officer reached up for it, but the lead, a man with a brown greying moustache, stopped him by slapping away his hand. "Gotta wait for forensics, buddy." With a sigh and a muttering about newbies, he made another command. "Alright, spread out and search the area. See if you can spot anything. You," he paused and pointed at the guard, "stay right here, make sure nobody messes with the vic. Forensics should be here soon." 

 

Then he turned away, spreading into the darkness around the train car with the rest of the officers, leaving just the guard behind.

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Talon relaxed slightly, his eyes narrowing as the police officer noted something in the man's mouth. That could be important. I'd better take a look. As the officers spread out to search the area, Talon slipped over towards the victim, and bent down to investigate the mouth, hanging delicately from atop the train. With swift, delicate movements, he gently pulled whatever-it-was from the victim's mouth. 

 

Hopefully I don't disrupt the evidence too much for the forensics team, but I have to know what happened here.

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GM

 

"Sure, sure. You guys go ahead." With a sigh, the guard turned around, looking out into the darkness and trying to light up. Maybe he was looking for Talon, maybe for the murderer? Who knew, aside from himself? At least it meant that Talon had free access to the victim. 

 

It took a little bit of effort, but he managed to open the victim's mouth and extract a small, round ball. It was bright red, and it could appear to be a ball gag at first, but there was something else. An edge, running around the side of the ball. Like it could be separated. Whatever else, it seemed pretty clear that the red ball had been placed there by someone else, probably after the damage had been done to the victim.

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