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The Divine Wind

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March 9th, late evening


The sky was black, and it was raining. There might even be thunder and lightning later. It was that kind of smell in the air. 


Particularly on the rooftops. 


It might be raining more than rain, this night. 


A small gang of men held another man by his legs over the side of the building. It was a good thirty feet drop. He might survive, if he landed right. But being dropped head first was not the best way to land right. It was the best way to spray brains all over the pavement. 


"Please! Please!" he yelled, in a Japanese accent. 


The five men who were tormenting him looked thick and heavy set. Hard men, but not the brightest. 


"Give it up" demanded one of the thugs. "Where is he? You really want to die for him, you Yakuza scum? This city belongs to us, y'hear? Big Al and the Mob!"


Perhaps he should not have been speaking so loudly. For Talon was prowling not far away!



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Talon had been on patrol of the poor area of Greenbank in the recent days, but when he'd seen the man being dangled over the edge of the building, he'd stopped and swung to a position where he could leap to save him from his fall at any time, but also could hear clearly the conversation that went on before him. As he listened, a faint frown crossed his face. Oh, joy, a gang feud. As if I didn't have enough of those in my life already. Well, first things first - he needed to ensure the yakuza wasn't going to be dropped to his demise. It would be ideal if he could do that without alerting the gangsters to his presence, but that would prove difficult.


After a  few moments' thought, he withdrew an Owl's Talon from his utility belt, debating whether or not to toss it at the man holding the yakuza hostage. Well, perhaps I can learn more... But if he drops him, I'll go save him.

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"Puh-puh-puhlease!" gasped the Japanese Man. 


"Don't play innocent" grunted the Mobster holding him. "Those are Yakuza tatt's...beats me why any gang member would tattoo themselves with their stripes. Just asking for trouble..."


"Its true...Im Yakuza...I mean...I was Yakuza....but we don't operate in Freedom City no more..."


"That's not what we heard" grunted the mobster. "Somebody trying to put the Yakuza back in play. Now, we don'tlike competition. Maybe that makes us un-american, huh fellaz?"


The mobsters laughed at the almost joke. 


"So, give him up...or we let go!"


The Japanese man gulped. "I don't know! Honestly, you gotta believe me...."


"We don't..." grunted the dissapointed mobster. 


Who dropped the man...

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Talon sighed inwardly, his eyes narrowing behind his cowl. So, assuming I can trust the man dangling from the rooftop, and the words of his interrogators, someone's putting a new group of yakuza in play. Just what this city needs, more gangs fighting over the living space in the underworld. It seemed even this city had its own warring gangs, though far fewer than Empire City did on Talon's home Earth. 


Abruptly, he brought his attention back to the scene at hand, just in time to see the man fall. With a soaring leap, he flew from the place he had hid himself away, swooping down on his cape's wings to snatch the man with a single, graceful motion. His flight path began dropping swiftly, as his cape wasn't designed to carry much more weight than it usually did. While noting this oversight, Talon pulled out his grapple gun and fired it at a building across the street from the mobsters, landing easily on his feet as he (gently) dumped the man on the rooftop. "Well, I can't say I agree with your choices in company. They seem downright unpleasant."

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The mad, soaring leap was like a diving swallow, and the recovery most impressive too. 


The Japanese Man threw up on Talon's cape. 


The five mobsters spun around. They had guns - light calibre standard thug guns. They looked like your typiclal thug - fairly strong, fairly stupid. Tough enough to push around a grandmother. Cowardly enough to want to appear tough. 


But a cape. That was another matter. Especially one who had demonstrated such considerable skill. 


The lead mobster vaguely waved his gun at Talon. 


"Look cape. Stay out of this. This is mob business. You don't want to get involved with mob business. Especially as this guy is a Yakuza. You wan't to go around rescuing Yakuza? They give gangs a bad name" he tried. It at least had a hint of logic to it. But, whilst he probably had a few more brain cells than his friends, that wasn't attesting to vast intelligence. 

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Talon sighed as the man vomited all over him, flicking the fluids off of his cape with an annoyed gesture. Looking up at the mobsters, he rolled his eyes. "Y'know, gents, I get the sense we started off on the wrong foot. Why don't we get introductions out of the way first, and then start beating on each other because we think we're right?" He paused, one hand lying gently on his X shaped utility belt. 


"No?" He frowns mockingly, before glancing at them with a sad smile. "Well, I hope you don't mind if we begin the festivities off with a bang, hm?" With that, he flicked a flash-bang at the group, using the distraction to vanish into the shadows as he had learned to long, long ago.

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A bang it was! A flare of brilliant light that caught the thugs by surprise. 


A few panicked shots rang out from a few of the mobsters. But if you couldn't see, you couldn't aim. And if you couldn't aim, you would be lucky to hit an elephant at ten paces without some serious zen-ninja skills. And these were Italian mobsters, not Yakuza. 


One of the men seemed to have looked away at the last minute, and more by luck than judgement wasn't seeing a white blur. He took a BAN...BAM-BAM! couple of shots at Talon, but even if he could see, he was panicking, and his gun trembling. 


And he turned to run. 


The others might of too, but if you are on the top of a building thirty foot from hard concrete below, and blind, running was arguably more dangerous than staying around....



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Talon's lips quirked in a faint smile as he slipped from shadow to shadow, moving up behind the fleeing mobster and snapping his battle staff to its fully extended length. With a swift, fluid blow, he struck at the man's temple, intending to lay him out so he could go back to the blinded and confused thugs.

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The man sank to his knees, quite dazed and confused. He mumbled something about a walrus and two pencils (testament to the blossing unconsciousness in his brain rather than representing anything useful), then quickly slumped backwards, out cold. 


The other four thugs were now essentially helpless. True, they were armed, but hadn't a clue what was going on. They hardly dared fire - they might hit each other, or, even worse, catch a bad ricochet. 


They grunted, groaned, and wailed. Some tried to effect some veneer of bravery ("Come here! Ill get you!") which they tried to spice up with various expletives, but everybody (including them) knew the game was up. They could try and save some face, but even that was a difficult task...

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"Sure...sure!" said the Japanese man. Up close, Talon could see he was dressed in a cheap suit, and did indeed have the signs of Yakuza tattoo's up his arms and on his neck. He was clearly frightened, sweating. A slightly short, thinnish kind of man, who had the physique, and possibly the personality, of cobra. His accent was Japanese, although he clearly knew English fluently. 


"Just don't throw me off the roof or anything" he blustered. "And we better get out of here...before these guys start firing for real. Or worse...they have back up. They weren't bluffing, you know. They are part of the Freedom City Mob, and the mob has some serious muscle!"


He looked down over the side of the building. Funny how things looked a lot further when looking down than looking up. 


"Can you fly or something?" he asked Talon. 

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Talon arched his brow at the Japanese man as he slipped his battle staff back into its place on his utility belt. "I wouldn't dream of throwing you off the building. Now, why don't we talk about why these men were trying to do just that, and who they were looking for." The cowled hero grabbed ahold of the Japanese man and drew his grapple gun. "But let's continue this conversation over there." He pointed the grapple gun at a building across the street, and leapt off of the edge of the roof, taking the (ex?)yakuza with him.


He allowed himself (and his companion) to fall for several seconds before firing his grapple gun and allowing it to pull them both to the other roof.

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"Uuuugh......" groaned the Yakuza, throwing up again when he landed. 


"Haven't you got a better way to travel than that?" he groaned, looking green and yellow. 


Once had recovered his breath and his spinning head, he talked freely. 


"OK OK, so I am Yakuza. Or was. The mafia never let us get a hook in Freedom City. We had pretty much stopped operating, given up. Most of us, including me, just went back to normal lives. I pack fish now" he said, without any pride. 


"About a month ago, this hot shot came over from Japan. Harry Cane. Son of some big Yakuza boss over there. He said he had come to put the Yakuza on the map. Brutal, powerful, smart. Half of us didn't really feel like going back to that life, but Harry Cane didn't care what we thought. He strong armed us into rebvuilding the Yakuza here..."


"...thing is, under Harry Cane, we started carving out a big niche in smuggling and extortion. We were winning. Now, the Mob is pulling out all the stops to find Harry Cane and slit his throat!"

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