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The Heart's Zephyr, in the Centery Narrows

July 6th, 2019, 9:27 PM

 

The Heart's Zephyr, sailing out of Lisbon, and ports beyond, drifted slowly beneath the Centery Bridge. Normally, this would be no cause for concern, as a great many ships passed beneath the bridge, even at so late an hour as this. However, unlike the usual ships to pass through the Narrows, the Heart's Zephyr's lights were out. Even worse, as the vast transport slowly trundled along, over a dozen shadowy figures dropped down from the Centry Bridge onto its deck, each one armed in some way.

 

One of the sailors onboard the Zephyr made the unfortunate error of approaching one of the figures. "Stop! Who are y-" 

BLAM!

The crack of a gunshot cut through even the sounds of traffic on the bridge. Even as one of the figures began berating the shooter, the rest began fanning out swiftly through the ship, as though seeking something.

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It had been a rough day for Serena Mustafic. Some jerk had allowed his car alarm to go on for the majority of the night outside her apartment, robbing her of important sleep. Work had been soured by a particularly surly and unpleasant customer. After that, she found that she had been dinged by the bank for some purchase she had never made, meaning that she had to settle for eating a TV dinner rather than the pizza she had already ordered.

 

Still, she found the need to go out on patrol despite her strong desire to crawl into bed and simply hide from the world until the next morning. She felt she owed it to the city. She hoped, of course, that things would be easy, that it would be just a quiet night. She bounded through the city, moving from roof-top to rooftop, creating small flashes of light beneath her feet as she used the explosions to propel herself forward and up.

 

She looked down at the streets below, seeing the cars pass by, moving up and onto the bridge. There was a sort of serenity to the process. The lights of the cars traced through the blackness, the loud hum of their engines filling the air. She briefly felt at peace.

 

Then she heard the gunshot, and sighed. There were no quiet nights in Freedom City. Pivoting, she leapt towards Centery Bridge, rocketing forward. Moving towards the sound of the gunshot, she descended upon the ship she thought she heard it come from.

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GM

 

Within moments, Corona arrived on the deck of the Heart's Zephyr. The deck was loaded with dozens upon dozens of cargo containers, enormous metal boxes cast in shadow by the lights shining down from the bridge. Onboard the ship itself, there were no lights, only shifting shadows that likely hid the shooter. Other than the soft hum of the ship, there were no signs of life whatsoever.

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Talon

 

As he monitored the Heart's Zephyr from atop the Centery Bridge, Talon mused silently that people missed so much of life in sleep. It was odd, how beautiful the night could be, but so few had the opportunity to witness it. To be fair, I suppose part of the beauty in the night is its... isolation. He shook his cowled head, focusing once more on his goals. The Heart's Zephyr was one of Lee Exotic Shipping's craft, and if his guess was correct, it held more than the cargo its manifest claimed it did.

 

As he leaned down to look once more at the boat, he heard the distinctive crack of a gunshot from below the bridge. By the Eyes, someone's shooting down there? With a grimace, he launched himself off of the bridge's grand arch and swooped down to land lightly on one of the many, many shipping containers. Activating his cowl's infra vision, he grimaced. That's... not good. Abruptly, his attention was seized by the sound of... something else. Oh. A superhuman. Do I know anything about this one? Is she associated with Lee?

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Posted (edited)

Serena looked around the ship's darkness, frowning to herself. She had a good feeling that she had heard the gunshot come from here, so where was the shooter? Her hand wandered to her flashlight, hidden within her leather jacket, but she reconsidered when she thought about the fact that she could attract the attention of any accomplices the shooter might have. Then again, she didn't know why the gun had been shot in the first place. She weighed her options. She was basically impervious to most gunshots, even up to some pretty high calibers. 

 

But any crew on board wouldn't be immune. If they heard someone coming, they might take the chance to shoot more people. It wasn't worth it. She was going to have to go stealth. Or... Well, as stealthy as she could be. She was more in your face than anything.

 

She moved along the shipping containers slowly, listening for any sign of people.

Edited by Shofet

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GM

 

Within a few moments since she began her search, Corona approached the corner of one of the many stacks of shipping containers. Before she could turn the corner, however, she heard voices, soft but harsh... but the words, though audible, were in a language that she didn't understand. Indeed, she couldn't even put a name to the language they spoke.

 

Unfortunately for her, the voices were approaching - within heartbeats, a pair of blue-grey figures walked past the corner of the shipping container. Each one held a submachine gun, and wore what looked like ski masks over their faces. In the humidity of the mid-July evening. Even without such a display of dubious intellect, they were clearly not terribly competent, as neither even cast a glance at the hidden superhero.

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Talon

 

The cowled vigilante blinked briefly as he identified who had arrived on the ship. Corona. Hm. The traitor. She had a chance to bring justice to our world, but threw it away. Something to do with her daughter, I think. With a gentle shake of his head, he reminded himself that this was not the Corona he knew from his old home, even as a sharp memory of the brilliant bursts of light intruded into his thoughts.

 

No, this Corona was someone else - the opposite of the one he had so briefly encountered. She'd been Revolt, but this Revolt had been rather more like the Red Fangs than a just rebel. While he was reasonably sure he could discover the hero's name, that was a question for a later date - he'd have to go infiltrate one of the police stations and hack into their systems for that. Focus on the now. Let's see what is going to happen.

 

As Corona moved about the ship, Talon shadowed her from above, watching over her for the time being. Not that she needed the protection, but it was better not to be seen yet. He might yet need to ambush some of the criminals. Reminded of their presence, he quickly scanned for their outlines, finding them swiftly and easily with his cowl's infravision.

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Corona sighed internally as the men approached. Really, she didn't even know why she bothered; She was all about brute force, not subtlety. Still, at least they were heading towards her rather than attacking any civilians. She inhaled deeply, squared her shoulders.

 

"Hey guys! I'm Corona. Probably immune to those pea-shooters and I can do this!" She aimed her hand at the top corner of one of the shipping containers, avoiding the central mass in case anything was in there, and let loose a melting beam. Even if it wasn't destroyed, it was gonna get white hot.

 

"Anyone wanna f### with me today?"

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GM

 

With a horrific crash, the top corner of the shipping container collapsed in on itself, glowing white-hot where it wasn't completely gone. The masked criminals took one look at the angry-looking woman, glanced at the melted area (which still dribbled liquid metal), and cast their weapons down on the deck of the ship, putting their hands behind their heads and dropping to their knees.

 

In the distance, however, Corona heard a shouted inquiry - again, in a language she did not recognize. The other criminals most likely had heard her less than subtle announcement of her presence. 

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Talon

 

Talon bit back a curse as he (somewhat less-than-gracefully, he had to admit) stumbled away from the sudden explosion of heat and light. Blinking once to clear his vision from spots, he half-turned, glaring down at Corona as memories assaulted him about his previous clash with the Corona of his world. Anger cut deep, but the rational part of him pointed out that she still didn't know he was present. It was as much his fault for not revealing himself to her as it was hers for wanton destruction.

 

Still, he swiftly realized that the sizzling destruction of his perch had not gone unnoticed by the illegal boarders. With a single glance, he noticed three figures approaching from Corona's left, another one from her back, and a couple were entering the maze of shipping containers from her right. She should be fine... A part of him said. Even a small bomb didn't hurt her counterpart much. Plus, he wasn't nearly so durable. While he could probably survive being winged a couple times, a direct hit still might take him down, possibly permanently.

 

But the part of him that had chosen to stand up and fight back against the Tyranny Syndicate refused that. He had dedicated himself to tearing down the unjust and tyrannical rulers of his Earth because he wanted to redeem his failures, and because he wanted to ensure no one else got hurt on his watch. The Magpie had failed. Yamanu had been too indirect. Talon would not do either.

 

With that in mind, he turned on the ball of his foot, and ghosted towards the lone gunner, taking up position to drop and knock them unconscious before they could fire on Corona. She'd better appreciate this.

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GM

 

Within moments of the criminals' surrender, a trio of ski-masked goons arrived at the small T-junction where Corona stood. One shouted something at her (or the surrendering gunmen, she couldn't tell), and pointed a submachine gun at her. A moment of hesitation costs the goon his shot, which pings rapidly off of the shipping containers surrounding them.

 

As one of the two who had surrendered threw himself prone, hands covering his head, the other took the chance to snatch her gun, lifting it and firing directly into Corona's midsection... only to blink numbly as the bullet bounced off of the hero, doing her no harm at all.

 

The two remaining grunts shouted something in their own language, before turning heel and fleeing back the way that they had come as the thug that had shot first screamed something to them.

 

Meanwhile, the sole crook approaching from behind had almost reached the T-junction...

 

Talon grimaced behind his cowl, and extended his staff with a snap as he leapt down elegantly onto the man's back. With a vicious crack of metal meeting meat, the man went down in a heap. A slight, satisfied smile brushed past Talon's lips as he glanced once more at the other combatants.

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Corona stared at the goon who had shot her, then looked down at her costume, looking at the bullet holes threatening to turn her top into a belly shirt. She sighed annoyance through her nose. This stuff isn't cheap, she thought to herself.

 

A brilliant flare of plasma enveloped her hand, and she glared at the one who had shot her. She had given the jerk a chance to surrender, and it was wasted. Now it was time to give him a taste of his own medicine

 

She whipped a ball of hot plasma at the fake surrenderer, going for centre-of-mass.

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Talon

 

Glancing up as a blast of plasma flashed, Talon pulled out his grapple gun, swinging up to the top of the shipping containers once more. Landing lightly on the balls of his feet, he swiftly took in the situation near Corona. She doesn't need my help with those dolts. He turned his gaze to the fleeing criminals, locating them easily. But those two might get reinforcements, or accomplish their task before she has a chance to deal with the others. Better go after them.

 

With that, he leapt from the cargo container, spreading his cape to glide towards them.

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GM

 

The false surrenderer was caught in the stomach with a ball of plasma and toppled over immediately, collapsing in a heap. The other criminals cursed loudly - at least, Corona assumed that was what they were doing, and leveled their guns at the heroine once more.


The one goon that had shot at her first scored a hit on her shoulder this time, only to notice that she didn't even flinch from the impact. Shouting something, he, too, began to back away from her. The remaining two (conscious and hostile) criminals hesitated a moment before one broke off to flee, and the other tossed a small, round object at her. It landed near the sole unarmed goon, who had kept his surrender... before it exploded with a horrific crack! They'd just tossed a grenade at her!

 

Miraculously, the surrendered criminal was able to throw himself out of the way of the explosion, and escaped with only superficial cuts. After a moment's silence, he began shouting at the others (Corona assumed) in their language.

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Corona looked at the flash of the grenade, and then ground her teeth. Before, she had been annoyed, but now she was honest to god furious. No one got to just throw a grenade at her like that. Especially when they almost killed their own friend. Her gaze settled on the one who had thrown themself out of the way, and then the unconscious one.

 

Using a measured blast of force beneath her heel, she rocketed herself forward, pulling back her arm to deliver the mother of all haymakers. Once her fist connected with his head, she would detonate a small explosion that had enough force behind bit to send most people flying.

 

"You coulda killed somebody!"

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Talon

 

Meanwhile, the cowled vigilante glided swiftly through the air, bringing his battle staff down on one of the two fleeing grunts with an expert strike. Unfortunately, even as it struck home, the crack of the grenade caused the criminal to half turn, just enough to put the armored vest he was wearing in the path of the battle staff. With a shout, the would-be thief turned, eyes widening. 

 

Dammit, that is not good. Talon didn't let the realization faze him, though, and instead offered the man a cheeky grin. "You know, most pirates do their work on the high seas. Less likelihood for heroic interventions there." 

Edited by secondling

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GM

 

Corona's explosive punch met the grenadier's skull with a ferocious vigor, and the explosion sent the grunt flying. His (now blessedly unconscious) body arced almost gracefully across the deck before crashing into the railings and stopping dead. His friend paused, eyes widening, and he threw down his gun, putting his hands up. "I give!" He said, his English heavily accented. "No hit, please!"

 

Before she had a chance to react, however, things had begun heating up on the far side of the deck. The criminal whom Talon had struck struck back, landing a lucky strike that Talon easily rolled with, allowing his costume to take most of the impact. Nevertheless, it did give the pair a chance to flee further, with one turning the corner as the other fired a parting shot at the vigilante. However, even as the man's finger tightened on the trigger, Talon  was already in motion, throwing himself against one of the shipping containers and bouncing off of it.

 

"Oh, come on, that's just not neighborly! You might hurt someone with that thing!" Talon grimaced inwardly, his expression fixed in a mocking smile. Too close.

Edited by secondling

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Corona glared at the man, and kicked the gun off into the water. While she was technically destroying evidence, it was better than him re-arming himself. She raised a finger, bringing it close to his face.

 

"You go check on your friend," she said, gesturing to the man by the railings. "And if I catch you with another gun, I am gonna make you EAT IT."

 

She turned, and clapped her heel against the ground, generating a flash as an explosion kicked her up in the air, sending her towards rhe direction of the other gunshots. Looking down as she soared through the air, she prepared another blast of white hot plasma and hurled it at the source of the gunfire.

 

"You morons just dunno when to call it quits, huh?" She called from the sky as she descended upon them.

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