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RocketLord

Two For Tragedy

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GM

 

The West End

March 6th, 11:00 PM

 

The Seeker had been seeking. According to his contacts, someone had been making the rounds in world of organized crime in Freedom City, especially in West Freedom. Whoever it was had done a great job of staying under the radar of the police and heroes of Freedom City. After all, some lowlives going missing was hardly what would get the Freedom League to come running, but they were growing bolder. Perhaps it was because of their success. Perhaps they were simply moving up the food chain, or they wanted to make a statement. Whatever the cause, it was creating a measure on instability in the West End, and innocents could end up in the crossfire. As an added bonus, the culprit was rumored to have a connection to the Labyrinth. But, he was not an easy man to find. All the Seeker knew was that he was called the Talon.

 

The Seeker had been following a lead to the West End. One of the Talon's potential safehouses, located in an apartment building just North of Greenbank, not far from the old railyards. Approaching from the outside, the building seemed unassuming. Some youths on the street. A man in a nice suit leaned against a wall, reading something on his phone. The groundfloor held a bar. The safehouse was supposed to be on the sixth floor of the eight story building.

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The Seeker

Seeker was positioned on top of a building across the street from the building. Looking down on the scene, he evaluated his options in his approach. I guess it would have been too optimistic to hope that the streets would be empty.

After pausing to gauge his surroundings, he drew grappling gun from his trenchcoat and swung his way over the street to the apartment building. Not the time to conduct interviews, he thought as he withdrew his hook and exchanged it for a pair of suction-cupped gloves. Better to do this the covert way. He walked to the side of the building facing away from the street and looked down, checking for other bystanders and tallying up the number of windows visible from the side. If this Talon was worth much of anything, he wouldn't leave anything important in view of the window in his hideout, but checking the apartments from the outside would at least provide something to go off of.

All right, let's start narrowing the search. Seeker climbed around the edge of the roof and began climbing down to the sixth floor.

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GM

 

The Seeker's descent was slow, but uneventful. Nobody seemed to be looking up on this particular night. Moving down the building on the outside was not exactly easy, but not an impossible task either. If he took his time, he could at least avoid the windows that he could hear noises behind.

 

Further and further, until finally, he reached the window leading into the Talon's safehouse. Or apartment, as it were. Of course, the window was locked. He had options, of course. Smash the glass, break open the window. The question was how much noise he would be willing to make.

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The Seeker

He paused for a moment, evaluating the situation. Smash-and-grab wasn't usually his modus operandi, but he was operating with very little information here. The front door wasn't exactly an option when you didn't have a room number or a name to work with.

He was on the clock, but he had to maintain as much subtlety as possible. If he were to break the window in such a way that it could still move up and down, it would be relatively quiet and could possible cover his tracks if he needed to make a hasty escape. He repositioned himself above the apartment window and began pulling forcefully with one hand.

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GM

 

It took some effort, but with one final pull, the Seeker managed to break the lock on the window. It was cheap, like most of the building seemed to be, but then again, few expected to have break-ins at this altitude. So far, so good. No one had looked up from the street below, and if he looked inside, the Seeker could not sense anyone inside.

 

The room appeared mostly empty, at least at first glance. There was a bed. A dresser by the wall. There was a single stove and a single table. An old refrigerator. A cheap place to live, probably. Two doors, one probably leading to a bathroom, the other to the hallway. Some papers seemed to be spread out over the table.

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The Seeker

 

Not as hard as Sam had expected. With a little effort, he clambered through the window and took in his surroundings. Nothing immediately stood out. The place was spartan. The apartment was either an emergency secondary hideout, or this Talon was still small potatoes. Still, all the better to deal with anything that needs to be dealt with now. Which, for now, meant assessing the situation.

 

It only made sense to begin with the obvious. He would have liked to examine the papers on the table, but he was at an impasse in that regard. He decided to settle for investigating the rest of the apartment, and checking for anything that seemed to be deliberately hidden away. He began with the kitchen, paying extra attention to the spaces beneath the fridge and counter and above normal sight lines.

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GM

 

The room was indeed spartan, as was the kitchen. There were little food to be found. Some rice in an open package, a few bags of chips. Nothing healthy. Some cookware, including a casserole, a pot and a single pan. Forks, knives, spoons, plates, glasses. What you would expect to find in a kitchen, at least. There was nothing below the counter, nothing hidden above. Not as far as the Seeker could sense or find, at least. 

 

Under the fridge was another matter. There was a small package, maybe 4 by 4 inches squeezed under it. It held something hard, clearly not just paper. It felt like a small box, about 2 by 2 inches, maybe half an inch tall.

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"Ah, bingo!" Seeker drew his baton and knelt to the kitchen floor, using the weapon to reach beneath the refrigerator to fish out the tiny parcel. He briefly considered the difficulty he might have inspecting this without leaving evidence behind. He quickly put it aside, deciding that this was too likely to pay off. He would simply have to put it back as best he could or take it with him if that was impossible.

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GM

 

Inside the package was a small box. It hummed lightly, vibrating to the touch. Almost as if it was alive, or at least powered by something inside of it. The box itself was smooth, with rounded corners and edges, but beyond that, nothing that stood out in particular, except for a single button placed in the middle of one of the sides. Almost like the mark for the number 1 on a normal dice. It appeared to be made of some sort of plastic. Not bending to the touch, but it could probably be broken if enough force was applied.

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The Seeker

 

"Hmm. Now you're a curious little thing." He turned the cube over in his hands, ran his fingers along it looking for seams or other fine details, and pressed in on the sides to test its give. He wasn't hoping for much with this experimentation, but he was hesitant to go straight for pressing the big button. He had no idea whether the tiny cube was a GPS tracker, a bomb, a fidget cube or anything else.

Weighing the options in his mind, he considered the space he was in one more time. Nothing of interest so far... Just this cube and a stack of papers that were useless to him for the time being. He sighed and settled for slipping the cube into his trenchcoat pocket for now. The temptation to just press the button and see what happened was there, but he ought to at least check the bathroom first. Hopefully there was at least one option left somewhere int he apartment that was less reckless.

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

Like the rest of the apartment, the bathroom was rather spartan. A square room, with a shower in one corner, and a sink and toilet in the opposite one. A rather shabby rack was against one of the walls, a towel placed on it. The sink had a cup with a toothbrush and a toothpaste. There were almost no toilet paper left. 

 

And whoever had last used the toilet, they had not flushed, and it did not seem it had been a quick trip to the bathroom.

Edited by RocketLord

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"Oh God." It was no small effort for Sam to keep himself from retching. "This has to be some kind of joke."

He attempted to center himself and analyze the room. He examined it slowly, from top to bottom. The ceiling was normal, there was likely just another apartment above. The walls were smooth, nothing odd here. The shower was just a shower and the sink was just a sink. However, something was not quite right about...

"No way." He braved a step closer and took in the offending toilet. He couldn't quite explain what it was, or what it could possibly accomplish, but it didn't seem to fit quite right with its surroundings. Once again, he was left with only one path forward. Swallowing the smallest bit of dignity in the process, he took a step forward and did the only thing that made sense. He flushed the toilet.

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GM

 

The moment he flushed the toilet, Sam felt it. Or rather, saw it. A vision, an explosion rocking through the bathroom, coming from the toilet that he had just flushed. And then he was back, hearing the swirl and flush of the toilet. he had but moments to react to get out of the way as the toilet exploded. Luckily, he was fast, able to make it out of the bathroom, which the explosion seemed confined to.

 

The Seeker was safe, but the bathroom was ruined, and the sound and smoke would attract attention soon. He wouldn't have long to search the remaining space.

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Seeker slid across the floor as he dove to protect himself from the explosion. Cursing, he climbed back to his feet and examined the space behind him. So much for leaving no trace.

Mentally kicking himself for such a rookie mistake, he turned his attention back to the living room. It was the only part of the space he hadn't yet searched, and it was small enough that he would hopefully have enough time to spot anything important and quickly analyze it before exiting. Even if there was nothing there, he still had the cube in his pocket and he could grab some of the papers on the table if nothing else.

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GM

 

The bed seemed uninteresting, and unused. The dresser had a pair of pants and some shirts, but was otherwise empty. The table was filled with papers, but nothing else it seemed. All in all, there was nothing terribly exciting to find. 

 

And then there was a sound, hard knocking on the door and someone yelling. "Hey! What's going on in there? Is everyone alright! Can you get to the door?" Frantic shaking of the door handle. It seemed that the Seeker's time in the apartment was up.

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The Seeker

 

Cursing again, he stood and sprinted to the window. Mid-run, he reached and grabbed a handful of papers from the table and jammed them into his pocket. As quickly as he was able, he threw the window back open, jumped through it, swung around the edge to his right-hand side, and clung to the wall outside. Slamming the window shut behind him, Seeker began to climb back to the roof. While he wasn't thrilled about having his cover blown by an exploding toilet, he realized as he climbed away that the situation acutally presented a unique opportunity. He might be able to use this to spot Talon in plainclothes.

 

For now, though, he needed to get some distance. First he needed to get to the roof and find the best method to get away unseen.

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GM

 

The moment after the window was slammed shut, the Seeker heard the door being broken down inside the apartment and cursing from the inside, followed by cries of nobody being around, someone saying they should wait for the police, followed by more murmur. 

 

It was a few floors to get to the roof of the building, but it didn't take him long to reach it. It was a simple rooftop, really. Nothing much to set, aside from a door leading up there connected to a small building, usual on many rooftops, really. Looking out over the building, he would be able to sense several other nearby buildings. He might be able to make it to one of them with a jump, or at least with the use of his trusty grappling hook. Otherwise, he could most likely break the door open and leave through the building. Who would take him for the man that had just been inside the room with the exploded toilet, after all? Or perhaps, the Seeker would find a third option.

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Posted (edited)

The Seeker

 

Seeker paused and thought. His first instinct was to flee. There was too great of a risk that he had been seen at some point and hadn't realized it, and that could compromise him almost instantly if he were to be spotted for a second time. That said, the bomb had raised more questions for him that he needed answered, and this was likely his best way to get them answered. It didn't make sense for the bomb to be a defense against trespassers or anything of the sort. If Talon had set it up on the assumption that anyone breaking in would be annoyed enough by the smell of a used toilet to flush it, then Sam had to applaud him on his ingenuity. It made more sense, though, that someone had broken in before him and set it up with hopes that Talon himself would trigger it. And if Talon already had enemies, that didn't clear him of suspicion, but it did cast things in a different light.

 

His curiosity now piqued, he made the decision to hang around. He approached the edge of the roof closest to the front entrance. Making his best effort to remain unseen from the street below, he attempted to listen in on any chatter from the street. First he would determine if he had already been made. If he was in the clear, he would make approach and offer to aid in the investigation.

Edited by BingoBongo
Found a typo

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GM

 

It didn't take long for sirens to come. A couple of police cruisers escorting a larger car, which, once they stopped, released what appeared to be a few members of the bomb squad. No one taking any chances, in case another bomb might go off. They disappeared into the building, probably hurrying up the stairs, while the officers outside started blocking the entrance. 

 

As one would expect, people started to gather, eager to see what was going on. Phones pulled out, pictures taken, that kind of thing. It would probably only be a question of time before the news would be arriving too. There was a lot going on, at at once, and yet, nothing seemed out of place for a situation like this. Everyone reacted like you would expect, but then, the Seeker noticed something else. There was someone there, at the opposite side of the street, standing on top of a building overlooking the situation below. 

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Interesting. Sam regarded the figure on the opposite rooftop, and played through the possibilities in his mind. The most likely was that this was Talon, whose attention had been caught for obvious reasons. This could also theoretically be another, unrelated super who came to investigate of their own accord. The final possibility, and the one that worried Sam the most, was that this was the individual who had planted the bomb in the first place, out to see if his trap had done its job.

Regardless of who it was, Seeker thought to himself, if they realized someone other than the police was investigating, they would likely either talk to him directly or flee. And if he was on the ground talking to the police at the time, they would likely get away if they were to run. That wouldn't do.

With that in mind, Seeker drew himself up to his full height and launched his grappling hook, breaking into a run in order to swing over to the other rooftop. If this person wanted to talk, or even cooperate, he'd be happy to oblige. If they ran, he'd catch and question them. Simple as that.

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GM

 

The Seeker moved swiftly between the buildings, his grappling hook finding a nook to attach to, before pulling him to the rooftop. As he approached, it became clear that the figure was wearing some kind of mask to cover the face, and heavy clothes. A jacket of some kind covered the upper body, pulled up to cover the lower face, with a hood pulled up to cover the figure's hair. 

 

The figure didn't just wait around to let the Seeker catch up, however. It turned around and started running towards the opposite side of the rooftop. It seemed that the chase was on.

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The Seeker

 

The swing from one rooftop to the other didn't give him a lot of time to examine the other figure. A quick glimpse gave him enough detail to confirm that this guy fit the description, as it were. He didn't have a lot of hope that this person was going to be friendly, but very briefly he thought "Please just stay there."

As the figure turned tail to run, Sam huffed to himself. Landing on the roof and breaking into a sprint, he muttered "Fine. Let's do it your way, then."

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GM

 

The Seeker was closing in, almost reaching the figure. Whoever it was, he was certainly faster, especially with the graceful landing. A smell of zone and burning preceded the figure's jump, followed by a short burst of flames from its heavy boots. It didn't appear to be quite flight, rather a powerful boosted jump that catapulted them towards the next building. The burst of flames left burnt smell in the air, as the silent figure released several further bursts of flames before landing heavily on the roof across the street.

 

It was quite a distance, not an easy jump to make, but of course, the Seeker had options. The figure turned upon landing, drawing something from a pocket.

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The Seeker

 

For the briefest moment, he considered turning tail. He had been wondering if he might be outclassed when he saw his suspect taking off with jets of flame. If it were simply a matter keeping up pace he wasn't afraid of losing his target, but if he could simply fly off or bypass obstacles by simply skipping over them, then he was at a risk.

It was the reach into the pocket that caused Seeker's heart to skip a beat. A brief moment of memory, countless shouts of "Gun!" in his past, and consideration of what kind of weapon this likely super-criminal would be carrying caused a moment of hesitation where he nearly missed his next jump.

Steeling himself, he decided that he had come too far, and his target was unlikely to let him just walk away. He swung himself forward again, hoping to take down his suspect before he could draw whatever he had on him.

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