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GM

 

Bethlehem Heights, 

March 14th, 9:30 PM

 

Bethlehem Heights might not be a rich area, or one where the police routinely patrolled, but it was still home to many. And in the last few weeks, there had been a rash of so far unexplained disappearances. The disappearances seemed focused on the undesirables of society: The homeless, the drunks, the addicts. The people of the street. Not enough to make city hall care enough to send the police for more than routine attempts at searching for the missing people. People were warned to stay off the streets in Bethlehem Heights during the night, but otherwise, little effort was put into finding the missing people, or even finding out what was going on.

 

If anyone were to solve the mystery, it seemed that the heroes of Emerald City would have to step up.

 

And as a man's scream cut through the night in Bethlehem Heights, they might soon get their chance.

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Emerald Spider

Bethlehem Heights wasn’t much but it had been where Peri had grown up and she made sure that whilst she kept most of Emerald City safe (Northern Emerald City luckily had its own defenders) she didn’t lose touch with her home district.

 

So after a quick swing downtown, and a few quick muggers dealt with, she returned to a quick patrol around Bethlehem Heights. Swinging among the lower building of the area tended to disturb people a little, so she instead travelled deftly from rooftop to rooftop looking for potential clues to the disappearances.

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Justice

 

Robin had heard the rumors. In particular, Ms. Doors had been talking at her again, telling her all about how somebody was doing the city a favor by taking the homeless off the streets. She was all heart and love, that Ms. Doors. If Robin didn't suspect that Ms. Doors wasn't any deeper than a shallow pond, she would have half expected her to actually try leading Robin towards trouble that could stand to face some justice. 

 

So now she was walking down the streets of Bethlehem Heights, dressed in a dark hoodie pulled up over her head, a baseball cap under it, some worn jeans, a pair of running shoes, trying her best to look like someone that it would actually be worth jumping. Of course, she was also wearing the dark red domino masked she had taken to wearing when she hadn't activated her armor. No reason to try giving herself away too easily.

 

Just had to be a matter of time, right? Spend enough evenings here and someone was either going to jump her, or she would hopefully hear something.

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GM

 

As luck would have, or rather maybe bad luck, Robin was being followed, without having noticed at all. While she turned down a street, a figure followed her. A large figure, easily 7 feet tall. Broad over the shoulders, though his body was hidden under a heavy, albeit ragged brown coat. It had rips and stains, some a peculiar dark red color, almost turned brown in places. He seemed His head was hidden under a wide hat, hiding him from anyone above.

 

The figure was moving with some difficulty, but still seemed to keep up with his target, slowly getting closer and closer.

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Emerald Spider

Going from rooftop to rooftop she noticed someone making their way home, well it wouldn’t hurt to give a quick warning before going home for something to eat. Jumping onto a light pole she gently lowered herself down until she was face to face with an approaching Robin.

 

“Hi there, just your friendly local Emerald Spider! Just dropped in with a friendly warning, something weird is going on on the streets of Bethlehem Heights!”

 

Watching someone home wasn’t the worst thing in the world, a few more minutes wouldn’t ruin her night after all!

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Justice

 

Still nothing happening! What was up with the guy going around abducting people here? Was Robin not good enough for him? Did he want someone better to kidnap? Honestly, she was probably a bit too lost in her own thinking, and she should have been paying more attention, or maybe at least looked up, but she did not expect someone popping down from above, and she did not expect who this was.

 

"You're the Emerald Spider!" She was starstruck. Alright, she admitted it. Couldn't help herself. "This is so cool!" She quickly pulled her hood back, making the red domino mask she was wearing just a bit more obvious, freeing her dark red hair pulled into a tight ponytail. Robin's first instinct was to try and jump up and hug her, but she resisted. "I'm Justice! You've been such a huge inspiration! Its so awesome to meet you!"

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Emerald Spider

It should feel weird hanging upside down whilst someone gushed about being their inspiration, but this was her life now and she’d grown to accept it over the years. As Emerald Spider at least, as Peri she’d be suitably mortified.

 

“I’m glad to have inspired you, though I’ve only been doing what I felt was right. And besides, that means we can skip straight from the antagonism to working together.”

 

Under the mask she smiled, even if it wasn’t completely obvious.

 

“I’m assuming you're here for the same reason I am? To find out what been happening here in Bethlehem Heights. If so I think a team up is in order...”

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Justice

 

Emerald Spider wanted to team up? With her? Robin quickly held a hand over her mouth, suppressing the squee that almost got out. Oh, this was so awesome! Beyond awesome! 

 

"YES!" she finally let out, before managing to get just a bit more self control. "Err... I mean, yes. Yes, let's team up!" She didn't really have the benefit of a mask to hide her huge smile, not yet at least. Should she bring out hte armor? Show Emerald Spider what she had made? Or wait till it was necessary? Maybe that was better. It might even impress her! The thought of impressing her hero made Robin positively giddy.

 

Deep breath. Calm down, just a little bit. "I've been out here, trying to find whoever's been kidnapping people. Figured I'd use myself as bait, but haven't seen anything yet."

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Emerald Spider

Oh well so much for an early night, at least if they’d have more time patrolling she was going to get a meal first.

 

“Look how about we get something to eat and compare notes? I know this little noodle bar on 14th and Ramos that’s pretty closeby...”

 

An armed robbery a few years back meant that she’d been promised free meals for life, though she always made sure to tip more than generously. She also caught a few quick meals as Peri when she was in a hurry.

 

“They're used to capes so you shouldn’t have any trouble, especially as you're with me!”

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Justice

 

Now that the Emerald Spider mentioned it, yeah, Robin was hungry. She'd skipped lunch, only had some snacks for dinner, and otherwise she had been out walking the entire evening. Yeah, it was probably a good idea to get something to eat. "I could eat." she agreed. And a place used to capes? That sounded great. She hadn't really found anywhere that were particularly happy to have her hanging around if she was wearing the mask. Even less so than the armor. And she just knew that she had to get to show the Emerald Spider her armor before they split, no matter if they found the bad guy or not! She grinned at the thought, before settling on a normal smile again.

 

They weren't far from 14th and Ramos, so it would only be a short walk, or swing, depending on what the Emerald Spider would do. For her part, Robin pulled her hood up again and started walking. This was so awesome. "So, uh, I've noticed that Emerald doesn't really seem to have that many heroes running around. Kinda one of the reasons that I decided to start doing all of this, but I don't think I'd have ever finished my armor and gear if you hadn't shown up."

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Emerald Spider

Not swinging around was a little weird as Emerald Spider, but it was politer to walk than just swing around and about like a jackass.

 

“I’ve lived here all my life, and it’s always been like that. Occasionally they’d be the odd hero but they never stayed for long. And no one really gave it much thought, at least until they started showing up again. I guess that’s on me!” her face was of cause covered but there was definitely humour in her voice

 

“And I think it’s great that taken up the mantle! This city definitely needs more heroes around.”

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Justice

 

"That's just what I've been thinking! Only, I've really been thinking about it. Everywhere else seemed to have at least a local hero or two, but not Emerald." She felt herself blushing a bit at the Emerald Spider's compliment. Yeah, it was great. The city did need more heroes, didn't it? "It's kind of been my dream since I was a kid. Been doing my best, at least, but I haven't really run into anyone else until now."

 

She paused and grimaced for a moment. "Well... I did run into a guy that called himself the Gas Man a while ago, but I wouldn't really call him a hero."

 

Robin fell silent for a moment. She hadn't really done something like this before. It seemed kind of rude to assume that she would just know more about what was going on than the Emerald Spider. "So, uh, you've been doing this for a while now, right? Ever see anything like this before, with people just randomly disappearing?"

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Emerald Spider

I’d like to say I've seen everything since I’ve become a hero, but compared to some back East I’m still pretty new to things myself. You’d think with so few heroes we’d run into the same villains, but I’ve never had the pleasure. I’d think I’d remember a villain with such a stinky code name.” there was obviously a hint of amusement in her voice.

 

It seems that she couldn’t help but pun, it was part of her nature now. And she was pretty fine with that, it was her thing.

 

I’ve had a few missing person cases, but nothing in this area or on such a scale. So it’ll be a learning experience for both of us! But first, we eat!”

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Justice

 

Robin thought about it for a moment. "Y'know, I'm not really sure if the Gas Man was actually a bad guy. Like, he wasn't a good guy at all. Kind of a mercenary I guess? Like the kind of guy that swoops in and is just in it for the money, and you think he might have a hidden heart of gold, but really, he's just a jerk who's in it for the money?" Alright, rambling again, but Robin just couldn't help it. This was too exciting! This was the Emerald Spider after all! And they were doing a team up! This was too awesome!

 

The point about the few heroes and running into the same villains were pretty good, though. Why didn't they do that? Or just run into more heroes, for that matter? Robin knew that there were some out there, but she hadn't met a whole lot yet. It was kind of weird? Maybe she should suggest setting up some kind of network, some way to get in touch with each other if necessary, but it felt kind of weird? Also, this was the Emerald Spider! She was awesome, and she was being nice, but it wasn't like she'd actually need Robin's help, right?

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GM

 

The duo of heroes were being watched. Whether they realized it or not, they had been followed for a while now, even as they chatted among themselves. The large figure had so far proven surprisingly adept at staying out of sight, creeping along the shadows. It was surprisingly silent as well, given its stature, but it was growing restless. While it had previously been content to keep some distance, it was now moving faster, slowly closing the gap between itself and the two heroes. Still, it made no sound, and seemed to do its best to stay out of sight. It seemed to know the value of a sneak attack. The only question was if the heroes would notice it in time or not.

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Emerald Spider

It was almost impossible to describe the feeling, it was like a sense that something around her was fundamentally wrong or like something was plucking on the local super-string filaments producing a tune only for her brain. The one thing she did understand was that danger was approaching them from behind.

 

“Don’t react yet but there someone coming up behind us and they mean us harm, move when I move!”

 

As subtly as she could Peri glanced over her shoulder ready to react to the assailant behind them.

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Justice

 

If she was being completely honest, Robin had almost forgotten everything about the reason she was actually here. She was happily chatting along, just the fact that she was hanging out with the Emerald Spider was just so exciting! That excitement wavered a tiny bit when Emerald Spider told her of whoever was coming from behind. 

 

Robin froze for just a a second, before continuing walking, giving a small node. She slowly moved a hand to her medallion, while moving the other to the Justice Driver, ready to activate the armor at a moment's notice. Alright, this might be it. Time to show the Emerald Spider what she could do.

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GM

 

If the stalker noticed the Emerald Spider's reaction, he did not react to it. Looking over her shoulder, Peri could see a man in a trenchcoat and fedora approaching them rapidly, slowly raising his right hand to reach out for them. Under the coat, his form seemed irregular, like bits and pieces were protruding out of his body in strange places. In a few places they even seemed to have pierced through the coat, what appeared to be sharp bones or spikes. His fingers ended in bone claws, and several spikes seeming seemed to stick out from his wrist. The parts of his legs that were visible were bare, the toes ending in bone claws, much like his fingers. Irregular growths of pone poked out of his begs in random places, most of them being some form of spikes. His face, visible under the fedora, was as much of a mess. He seemed to have overly large tusks jutting out from his jaw, a crest of bone on his forehead that the hat failed to hide, and random, smaller bones sticking out in different locations. He did not seem to have a nose, simply having two holes where it should have been. His eyes seemed filled with madness.

 

He would reach them in moments, if the heroes did not act.

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